Muin Light: Mabon, C.E. 1998
Mabon: The Autumnal Equinox
The Autumnal Equinox, also known as Harvestide or Mabon, is usually celebrated on the evening of September 2lst. Although Mabon is not considered one of the original Celtic festivals (seeing how the early Celts were a predominantly pastoral society and had little solar orientation), Yule, Midsummer, (the solstices) Ostara, and Mabon (the equinoxes) have been adopted as cross quarter days into the Wheel of the Year. Caesar once commented that the Celts measured time by nights instead of days. Lughnassadh marked the actual gathering of the harvest; but in its sacrificial aspect, Mabon marks the completion of the harvest - a time of thanksgiving with emphasis placed on future returns of abundance.
This is a time of equality when the day and night are of equal length. The pregnant Goddess bestows her gifts and the Green Man as Lord of the Vine begins to regain his strength. We strive for balance - to seek harmony between the male and female forces of life. Look for the inner qualities of masculine and feminine that all possess. Seek balance between the negative and the positive.
Autumn Equinox is a time of transition and we can clearly see that this festive time is connected with the dynamics of the relationship between Sun and the Earth. We look to an older time when people were tuned to the rhythm of the Earth, and her cycles were part of their daily lives. Doreen Valiente remarks in the book, The ABC of Witchcraft (p.166), that "most frequent spectral appearances occur in the months of March and September, the months of equinoxes -periods well known to occultists as being times of psychic stress." This would seem to contradict the idea of the Equinoxes being a time of balance. The balance, a time of suspended activity, is by its nature a time when the veil between the seen and the unseen is at its thinnest. This time is when human beings "change gear" to a different phase, and therefore is a time of psychological, as well as psychic, disturbances. Realizing the significance of these natural phases enables us to be exhilerated by them - instead of being distressed.
This time-ritual-celebration is also known as the Harvest Home and falls during the height of the harvest season and the season of vintage and wine making. As summer comes to a close, the agricultural work has been done for the year and food is being stored for the winter. We see work being done communally with sharing and participation by all.
Some things that will come to mind during this time are leaves turning, bird migrations, winemaking, harvesting the corn, fruits and nuts, and time to spend with friends around the fire with sharing of food and drink as the chill of winter is anticipated.
Our purpose during this season will be to thank the gods for the harvest and ask their blessings upon that which has been set aside for future nourishment. At this time of the year, the seeds of desire that were planted during the Spring Equinox shall be realized and made manifest for those who sowed and nurtured in a true pagan spirit. Autumn's grain is Spring's seed.
Significant colors are gold, brown, warm reds, soft greens, orange and other harvest colors. You will want to decorate your sacred place with wheat, corn, nuts, and harvest items to bring the feeling of the season to the forefront, to please the senses, and to awaken the inner mind.
The feast to follow this celebration should contain pork, apples, and seasonal vegetables along with corn and breads baked from whole gains. Each person will want to contribute and participate in all the planned activities.
Persephone, virgin Goddess of Rebirth, carries a sheaf of barley as symbol of the harvest. The Welsh god Mabon is associated with divine youth. The tree of autumn equinox and of old age is the shifting-leaved white poplar, or aspen - the shield-maker's tree.
"The Whistling Swan takes flight as the Season of water ends. The rush of her wings stirs the bracken, and we see its reflection on her neck as she wings into the sky." Taken from Year of Moons. Season of Trees (p. 86)
Article by Kia Marie Wolfe
Senior Druids Report
I've recently returned from a festival called "Wampum For Wellness" held at the Brushwood Folklore Center in western New York. This was a benefit for the Wellness Fund in honor of Don Waterhawk. The stated purpose of the Wellness Fund is: "To provide financial support in the case of catastrophic illness for people without health insurance." This fund is dedicated to extending help to the greater Pagan community wherever the need is greatest.
In reality, this festival was the first step on a new road for the Pagan community. A quote from Nyborg of Haven Community sums it up best. At the World Parliament of Religions conference, a theologian asked the representative from the Haven Community, "If you're a religion, where are your hospitals?" This festival is, I trust, a preliminary step in developing our own health care support system. And later, I trust, our own hospitals. As the fund grows, a further aim will be to provide affordable health care insurance to the Pagan community.
The time has come to show the mainstream religions that we are willing to stand behind our community. To help our sisters and brothers in time of need. To give of ourselves to those who have helped shape, and who continue to build our community. Many in the Pagan community have worked unselfishly for others. It's time that we can do something in return!
This festival was but the first of many fundraisers dedicated to expanding this aspect of our community through the Wellness Fund. If your interested in helping, either by organizing fundraisers or monetarily, please contact:
Church of Earth Healing, 6560 State Rt. 356, New Marsfield, OH 45766. E-mail to: email@example.com or at their web site at: //www.fragnet.net/~healing.
Bright Blessings, Skip Ellison
by Keith Veeder
I would like to thank all the members of Muin Mound Grove who went out of their way to help Alyssa to get to the rituals and to other Grove events. While I was away for three months at Brushwood, she needed all the friends she could get. The folk and other members of Muin Mound Grove were the ones who filled the gap when she needed it the most. To all those who helped her in some way or were just there to listen, thank you.
By Lady Heather
Gathered together you and I
In the misty stillness of the eve,
Chants and beats swimming in our minds
Mystical magical tunes they weave.
Our minds and spirits become One
As we sing and chant songs of praise.
My hands tap lightly upon the hide
Hidden stirrings these gentle beats raise.
We start with the heartbeat of the Mother Earth
My pulse becomes One with Her own.
The rhythm ebbs and flows with the sacred drama
Of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
My drumming takes on a whole new strength
As a gods voice echoes through the drumhead.
He sings of heroes, and victims, and great Love
By His influence my hands are led.
We drum out songs of Druids long dead
But through our offerings they now can live.
We drum the rhythms that swirl our lives to this point
Hearts dancing with the flames, we offer all we have to give.
Stirrings in the grass tell me that
The Nature Spirits have witnessed all.
And a gentle sigh of the Ancestors whispered in the trees
Assure me that we have responded to Their call.
A tear slowly trickles down my cheek
And drops down to become One with the dew.
I am totally overwhelmed with joy and peace
For on this night, I was One with All, and with you.
If you have any contributions, they are always welcome and encouraged! Write to us c/o Muin Mound Grove, PO Box 592, East Syracuse, NY 13057-0592 or via e-mail
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