Mabon is almost upon us. This is the time of year when summer heat is giving way to cooler fall temperatures, the leaves are starting to change colors, and chrysanthemums are in bloom. Orchards are heavy with apples, and grains and squash are ready for harvest. At Mabon, day and night are equal but this day marks the point where light will start giving way to dark, the point where the wheel turns towards the dark half of the year. This is definitely a time to celebrate the Earth’s bounty, and what better way than with a simple Mabon ritual?
What you’ll need:
- Basket or bowl of offerings (you can include things like fruits, breads, leaves, flowers, herbs, acorns, twigs, etc. Trust your instincts here!)
- Incense of your choice
- Candle (dress the color of your choice in a Mabon oil you’ve made or the essential oil that works for you)
- Items to represent each of the 4 elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth); you can use pictures, actual things that make you think of or feel the specific element, etc.
- Goblet of juice, wine, or water (again, go with what feels right to you)
- A plate of grain-based food (muffin, bread, cake…something that you can divide into 6 pieces)
I prefer to do this ritual outdoors around sunset but it can also be done indoors (you’ll just want 4 offering bowls so that you aren’t dumping food and drink on your floor!). As always adapt this ritual to fit your needs and circumstances; if you need to do it in the morning before work, then that’s when it’s right for you.
Start by facing west, towards the setting sun and begin by setting up your altar. You can lay a blanket down or just lay your things on the ground. Put your bowl or basket of offerings in the center of your altar space. Find a place for the candle and incense. Place your goblet and plate before your altar.
Raise your circle as you normally would, placing the items you’ve chosen to represent each element on the cardinal points. In the west, place your water element (shell, river rock, moon water, etc.), place your earth element (rock, flower, soil, etc.) to the north, your air element (feather, a poem written out on paper, lit incense, etc.), and place your fire element (lit candle, lava rock, etc.) to the south.
Return to your altar, light both the candle and the incense, and meditate for a few moments before your altar. Focus on opening yourself up to the bounty of this harvest. Admire the sunset and think about the perfect balance between light and dark that happens today. Think about how this day separates the light and dark halves of the year. Finally, consider what entering the dark half of the year means to you.
When you’re ready, stand in the center of the circle and invite the elements to your ritual:
Facing west, say something like, “I call to the element of Water; let your intuition flow through me as I celebrate the rites of Mabon.”
Turn to the north and say something like, “I call to the element of Earth; let me be grounded in your strength as I celebrate the rites of Mabon.”
Turn to the East and say something like, “I call to the element of Air; let me breathe in your wisdom as I celebrate the rites of Mabon.”
Finally, turn to the south and say something like, “I call to the element of Fire; let your spark burn bright in me as I celebrate the rites of Mabon.”
Facing west once again, call your deities in your customary way or you can say something like:
“My Lady and My Lord,
Tide puller and cycle mover
breath of life and of wisdom rife
grain grower and seed sower
hearth-keeping one and of the blazing sun
You who are all, Lady and Lord
Dark and light, deed and word
Day and night, Sun and Moon
Blessings bright, harvest boon
May You be here, at twilight’s hour
As I honor You and toast Your power!”
Pick up the goblet and bless it, saying something like “Bless this juice, infused with your love. As you’ve freely given, I freely give in return. Accept my love and gratitude for your bounty this harvest season.” Pour a small libation into the offering basket. Starting at the western cardinal point, pour a small splash of the juice on the ground (or into the offering bowl) at each of the quarters saying, “May the balance of nature’s energies flow in harmony, with the Goddess and God, with each other, and within me.” Return to your altar, take a sip of the drink and put the goblet down.
Pick up the muffin/bread offering and hold it up saying “Bless this grain, infused with your love. As you’ve freely given, I freely give in return. Accept my love and gratitude for your bounty this harvest season.” Break off a piece of the bread and drop it into the offering basket. Starting at the western cardinal point, sprinkle crumbs at each of the quarters saying, “May the cycles of the seasons keep turning, may the power of the Wheel keep burning.” Take a bite of the remaining bread and enjoy your simple feast as you breathe in the moment.
As you’re relaxing, take a few moments to reflect on your year to this point. What have you sown? What have you reaped? Think about the things you need to let go of and those things that seem to be holding you back (no judgements, just acceptance). This is the season to put these types of things to rest if you’re ready to do so.
When you’re ready to close the ritual, simply turn to each corner (starting in the West) and thanking each element and bidding it go in peace. Thank your Gods as well with something like:
“There is life and death, and death and life, the wheel turns on and on
My gratitude and love go with you in celebration of this Mabon.
As light makes room for dark, with a kiss from the Sun before sleeping
Your presence remains in my heart and mind, always honored in my keeping!”