Mabon and the Autumn Equinox is aspecial time of year when night and day are equal.This is an opportunity to celebrate the seasons, harvest crops, and welcome thetransition from summer into autumn.
TheAutumn Equinox is the first day of fall, and it’s always a special time. Nature puts on a glorious show of colors and moody days, and the delicious fall scents invite us to cozy up in our homes.
Early autumn mornings, everyone asleep
The house is quiet and hushed
The grandfather clock echos soft rhythmic ticks
Dim light appears as the sun starts to rise
A cool breeze floats through an open window
Coffee brews and breakfast sizzles
Soft blankets and a purring cat, Autumn has begun
I particularly love Autumn mornings and I always find myself lighting a cinnamon-scented candle. Relaxation and as the hot days have come to an end and busy schedules wind down. I always feel a need to start nesting and get my home ready for the cold winter to come. The season of the witch is close at hand!
Many Pagans, Witches, and those interested in Nature Spirituality celebrate the seasonal cycles and pagan holidays. Sometimes referred to as the Wheel of the Year, and consisting of eight celebrations. Four of these festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain) are rooted in Celtic history and origins. The other four (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, and Winter Solstice) represent the sun’s location.
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What is Mabon?
Mabon and the Autumn Equinox marks the end of summer and symbolizes the day of the year when fruit and fields are now ripe for harvesting and winter can be expected soon after.
Mabon is often confused with Samhain because of their close proximity during the Autumn season. However, Mabon marks the end of the summer harvest season, while Samhain ushers in winter.
Mabon is most often celebrated by Wiccans, although it is not exclusive to their practice. Many Pagans or spiritual practitioners simply celebrate the Autumn Equinox.
What’s the Difference between Mabon and the Autumn Equinox?
The name Mabon was popularized by Wiccan author, Aidan Kelly, in the 1970s. He believed that the solstice and equinox holidays should also have names like the Celtic fire festivals did. His research concluded that Stonehedge was used to determine the date of the Autumn Equinox dating back at least 3000 years ago. This confirms ancient pagans believed the Autumn Equinox to be an important date.
He also researched many Greek, Hebrew, and Germanic myths looking for possible names they may have used to celebrate the Autumn Equinox. He eventually decided on the Welsh story of Mabon.
so I picked “Mabon” as the name for the holiday in my calender. It was not an arbitrary choice.Aidan Kelly – About Naming Ostara, Litha, and Mabon
When is Mabon and the Autumn Equinox?
In Latin, the word equinox translates to “equal night” and typically occurs around September 20th – 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere and March 20th – 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere.
Mabon is one of the three harvest festivals, along with Lughnasadh and Samhain.
Mabon and Autumn Equinox Spiritual Meaning and Traditions
During Mabon, the balance and harmony between the day and night are at a peak. The Autumn Equinox is a great time for self-reflection and gratitude. Now is the time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Representing the second harvest and is sometimes referred to as the Witches Thanksgiving.
Many traditions take place this time of year including – many Pagans (not all) celebrate the Autumn Equinox, Druids celebrate Alban Elfed, Norse Pagans (Heathens) celebrate Winter Finding, Celtic Pagans celebrate the Feast of Avalon, and Hellenic Pagans celebrate Boedromion.
All of these celebrations generally honor the coming of the dark or an abundant harvest but none are quite alike.
Mabon Celebration and Ritual Ideas
Mabon celebrations usually include a feast similar to thanksgiving that varies depending upon what food is available during the autumn season. Respect for mother nature is a common theme during many celebrations and rituals.
Mabon is widely known as a time for harvesting. Some pagans also conduct intentions or spells to focus upon one particular outcome while others celebrate the beauty of life itself!
Many Pagans, witches, and spiritual practitioners also wish blessings for those who need them during this time.
Incorporating the magical elements of fire, water, air, and earth during the Autumn Equinox is a fabulous way to connectto Nature.
They are some of the most basic but essential fundamentals of nature spirituality. Representing Nature, the cycle of seasons, and spiritual energy. Elements provide harmony and balance through the vibration and energy of the universe and Nature.
Plant bulb flowers
I love having bulbs blooming when Ostara and the Spring Equinox rolls around. It’s such a great time right now to prep the garden for spring and to acknowledge that summer is ending but flowers will bloom again as the Wheel of the Year continues to turn. Sometimes I write a wish on paper and plant it with the bulb. Hopefully, your intention will bloom with the coming spring season!
As the year comes to a close, you start evaluating your goals, dreams, and intentions. As Winter approaches we also look for ways to protect our home and ourselves. Sigil magic can help you with both!
A sigil is a symbol created by you that connects with your subconscious mind to achieve your goals and magical purposes. Sigil magic allows you to concentrate and clarify your intentions.
Divination work is a wonderful way to close out the busy summer season and prepare yourself for the colder days ahead.
Candles are a wonderful practice to incorporate any spiritual celebration or holiday. Using candle magic meanings to represent or symbolize your intentions is incredibly simple, but powerful.
They can either be placed around your home to encourage positive energy or incorporated into rituals, spiritual intentions, or spells to enhance and spread magical power.
Enjoy the last of the warm days sipping wine at a local vineyard. If you’re like me, you could try beer tastings instead. Cider or mead would be delicious as well! Channel your inner Dionysus but please be responsible! My local vineyard even has an outdoor dance floor to dance the night away!
Ryan started the fire! A little The Office joke there, but honestly this time of year fire is a must! Light your fireplace up and snuggle up with a good movie or warm drink.
An outdoor fire pit can be a wonderful ritual and such a great way to honor the current balance of light and dark.
You could even invite a few friends and host a potluck dinner! Don’t forget the S’mores!
What better way to celebrate a harvest festival than giving back to those who need it most? Such a great way to include your children and practice gratitude!
Stay in bed
With the sun taking a little longer to rise in the mornings, it’s a great excuse to stay in bed a little longer.
Turn your alarm off on your days away from work. If everyone is awake you can chat with your loved ones on your plans for the day (or you can be like my husband and me and ask each other philosophical questions).
Bring your coffee or tea back to bed and stay snuggled up a bit longer. This is the time of year I bring my bed heater back out. My mom gave us one as a Christmas gift a few years ago and now it’s one of my favorite things during the chilly months.
I know, I know, this is always a suggestion nowadays but hear me out! There’s a lot of forms of self-care other than beauty routines (which is not to say I don’t enjoy a great Mani/Pedi, face scrub/mask, and an Epsom salt or bubble bath).
I have lots of anxiety problems and always feel that my value is based on my productivity (at home and at work). So my form of self-care is clearing the schedule! I only do what I want when I want.
If I wake up and want to sit on the couch all day binging Netflix, I do that! If I want to go to Michaels and do a craft project I do! If I want to journal all day or read a book, I do and I don’t feel guilty!
Pick your own form of self-care and always make it a priority! It’s important for your well-being!
Food always plays a part in any celebration, and the Autumn Equinox is no exception!
As a matter of fact, many believe it to be a kind of Thanksgiving after a bountiful summer harvest. Popular feast ideas include freshly baked bread (I love to put herbs from my garden in mine), mulled wine, potatoes, pumpkin, veggies, nuts, and any kind of comfort food.
I’m always a sucker for a warm chili and make it easy on myself by cooking it in the crockpot. Don’t forget the cornbread. It’s also a great time to make an apple or peach crisp!
Keep it local!
Many spiritual practitioners celebrate this Pagan holiday around the belief that we should be conscious of harvesting in an environmentally friendly way. Shopping local is a wonderful way to do that!
Stop by a local farmers market, orchard, or produce stand and make a home-baked treat. You could also check out any local U-pick farms and go apple picking! It’s a great way to start some new traditions!
It always does my soul good to get outside. I try to do these activities in the morning before too many people arrive. I find it to be much more pleasant and peaceful. Don’t forget to drink some apple cider, a pumpkin spice latte, or chai tea! (Did I mention I love food?)
Get Creative for Mabon
I love to make a wreath for each season! It’s wandering the aisles at craft stores, creating a color scheme, letting myself relax, and get creative! I’ve always felt that when I can daydream and create, it nourishes my soul.
Honoring the dark or what you’d like to accomplish during this time. Consider what you’re grateful for from the bountiful season of summer.
Take a Back Road
My husband and I are notorious back road drivers. We do it almost every season! It’s a great way to get out of the house and go exploring. I can’t tell you how many cool things we’ve discovered in our own area. Listen to some good songs (Lana Del Rey is our go-to). Chat about your dreams and goals. Don’t forget to stop when you find a beautiful spot and take a bit of a nature walk!
Grimoire, Book of Shadows, or Journaling
Your girl loves a notebook especially spiral ones with blank pages! I’m swooning already. I love the freedom to do a scrapbook-style creative page, talk about the highlights of my day, write down goals or dreams, daydream about my garden for next year, talk about what I’m grateful for, or just plan out my week. You can add celebration ideas, rituals, writing prompts, or correspondences to your grimoire or Wiccan Book of Shadows as well! Keep reading for writing prompt ideas!
This can not be overstated enough. I love to snuggle with my cats (if they’re in the mood which is not always the case). Taking some time away from the TV or internet is so important. I love to give them all my attention and make sure they know they’re loved. It does both of our souls good!
Spring (Autumn) Clean Your Home
The Autumn equinox is a wonderful time to refresh the energy in your home! I love throwing open the windows and letting that cool fresh Autumn breeze waft in through the windows. Every Autumn I start nesting and it feels so amazing to have a fresh, clean, and organized home. It really makes a huge difference once we start spending more time inside.
Make your home cozier & decorate with some soft blankets and pillows. This is also a great time to do a deep cleaning before the cold of winter sets in. I also use it as a time to donate items that I no longer need or use.
Change up your candles, incense, and wax melts around your home. You could also try a more natural way of scenting your home with some homemade stove potpourri.
Throw open those windows! Winter is coming and you’ll be glad you took time to let some fresh air flow through your home!
Autumn correspondences and rituals often include honoring the ancestors and considering the changes of the turning year. Workings for abundance are often made at this time of year as well.
Mabon Spiritual Intentions
- Shadow Work
- Home protection
- Family and loved ones
- Preparations and goal setting
- Harvesting and agriculture
- Dark brown
- Burnt orange
- Deep green
- Dark red
- Golden yellow
- Earth tones
Autumn Equinox Herbal Magic
- Bay Laurel
- Rose Hips
Mabon Recipe and Food Ideas
- Wheat / Bread
- Acorns / Nuts
- Root veggies
- Stew or chili
Crystals, Stones, and Metals
- Tiger’s Eye
Autumn Incense, Candles, and Scents
Autumn Equinox and MabonJournal Prompt Ideas
- As summer comes to a close, is there anything else you’d like to complete before the Winter cold and darkness sets in?
- September’s Full Moon is the Harvest Moon – talk about the history, meaning, and how you celebrate.
- What’s your top goal or priority in life right now? What’s one thing you can do today that can help bring it closer to fruition?
- Reflect and write about how old beliefs and folklores influence modern Autumn traditions today
- Write down any rituals you like to do or participate in for Mabon or the Autumn Equinox
- Do you have a Mabon or Autumn Equinox altar? What do you like to add? How do you decorate your home? What correspondences resonate with you and why?
- Do you have any seasonal family recipes you love to make this time of year? Any stories or memories you have making them?
- Pick one new and meaningful way to practice self care in the coming Winter months ahead that will fill you with joy. Why is this important to you? What steps can you take to make sure you prioritize it?
- Make a list of fun Autumn activities that awakens your inner child. What can you do to enjoy more of the Autumnal magick this season? Engage all 5 senses!
- What’s something you learned about yourself this year that makes you feel powerful moving forward? Did you overcome a challenge?
- Write down 3 words that best describe this time of year. Better yet use them to write a poem or short story!
- What do you daydream about? Write about it in detail. Use all 5 senses and be descriptive!
- Name a book or movie you’d like to read/watch before the year ends. Why?
- What do you enjoy most about being Peculiar? What do you find frustrating?
- The Autumn Equinox is a time of balance between light and dark. What do you do to find balance in your life? Take a moment to evaluate where you are in your life and write about how you find strength in it.
- What can you do to honor and respect the darkness?
- Mabon is the second harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as the Witches Thanksgiving. What are you currently harvesting? What abundance is currently in your life that you’re grateful for? What did you cultivate this summer that will nourish you all Winter?
- Write down any recipes, infusions or herbal creations you’d like to create with in-season, herbs, flowers, or veggies.
- You didn’t reach your “harvest” goals all on your own, who has helped you facilitate your accomplishments? How can you honor and thank them? How can you share your bounty or help them with their harvest goals?
- Press any flowers, herbs or leaves you may have from your garden or collected on a nature walk and put those in your book. You could also use them as a stamp by painting one side and pressing it onto the journal or grimoire page.
- Were you able to complete the goals you set last Winter or early this year? If yes, take some time to reflect on how proud you are of yourself. Really bask in the glory of your accomplishments. If not, why? How can you re-evaluate for next year? Take a moment to list the things you do have and what you are grateful for. What “seeds” grew and which ones did not?
- What interests or hobbies do you have that can fuel your spirituality in creative ways? How can you keep the passion lit throughout the colder months?
You can check out more of the Pagan holidays and Wheel of the Year series here:
Yule & Winter Solstice
- Pagan Yule Log History, Decoration, and Traditions
- 6 Pagan Yule and Winter Solstice Decoration Ideas
- Yule and Winter Solstice – Traditions, How To Celebrate, Rituals, & Decoration Ideas
- Yule Winter Solstice Grimoire and Book of Shadows Journal Prompts
- DIY Yule Winter Solstice Holiday Tree Ornaments
Midwinter & Imbolc
- Imbolc – History, Traditions, Correspondences, and Simple Ritual Ideas
- Imbolc and Midwinter Journaling Prompts For Spiritual Meaning
- Spring Equinox – History, Traditions, Correspondences, and Simple Ritual Ideas
- Spring Equinox Ritual Ideas For Ostara and Decorating With Eggs
Summer Solstice & Litha
- Litha Meaning, History, Correspondences, Celebration, and Grimoire Prompts
- Enchanting Flower and Herb Spread
Lughnasadh & Lammas
Samhain & Halloween
- Samhain – How To Celebrate, Meanings, Correspondences, and A History
- Samhain Grimoire or Wiccan Book of Shadows Writing Prompt Ideas
I hope you enjoy your Mabon rituals and celebration, lots of love to you, and remember as always…