One of the 4 minor Sabbats, Mabon, is a time of balance, the days and nights
are equal, giving way to increased darkness. Mabon is the Witches'
Thanksgiving. The God prepares to leave his physical body beginning the
great adventure into the unseen toward renewal and rebirth of the Goddess.
The Goddess is entering into Cronehood and the dark year is beginning. It is
the second Harvest Festival of the Witches' calendar, and it celebrates and
gives thanks for the bountiful harvest of fruit, squash, grains, and
Mabon is also known as the Autumn Equinox, Second Harvest, Festival of
Dionysus, Cornucopia, Wine Harvest, and Alban Elfed. It between September
20th and 23rd, the reason for this variance, is due to the differences
between the actual astronomical event and our calendar.
Symbols used to represent the Mabon are: grapes, wine, vines, garland,
gourds, burial cairns, Horn of Plenty.
Foods in tune with the Mabon are: wines, grapes, nuts, apples, roots -
carrots, onions, potatoes, etc., cider, pomegranates.
The plants & herbs associated with the Mabon are: morning glories, asters,
hazel, corn, aspen, acorns, vines, ivy, cedar, hops, tabacco, mums, passion
For the Mabon incenses and oils you can use any of the following scents,
either blended together or alone: benzoin, myrrh, sage, apple blossom,
Colors associated with the Mabon are: brown, orange, violet, maroon, russet,
Stones associated with the Mabon are: amethyst, yellow topaz, sapphire,
Animals and mythical beasts associated with the Mabon are: dogs, wolves,
birds of prey, gnomes, sphinx, andamans, cyclopes.
Appropriate Mabon Goddesses are all Grape-Berry Goddesses, Fruit-Vegetable
Dieties. Some Mabon Goddesses are: Akibimi (Japanese), Morgan
(Welsh-Cornish), Cessair (Welsh), Epona (Celtic-Gaulish), Lilitu (Semitic),
The Muses (Greek), Sin (Irish), Pamona (Roman).
Appropriate Mabon Gods are all Wine Gods, Gods of Fruits, Non-grain Harvest
Gods, Gods of Abandonment. Some Mabon Gods are: Dionysus (Roman), Great
Horned God (European), Haurun (Canaanite), Bacchus (Greek), Hotei
(Japanese), Mabon (Welsh), Thoth (Egyptian).
Altar decorations can consist of: autumn leaves, gourds, berries, pine and
cypress cones, acorns, a small statue or figurine representing the Triple
Goddess in her Mother aspect.
Traditional activities during the Mabon consist of: hay rides, adorning
graves, wine making, hosting a wine tasting party and quilting bees.
Taboos on Mabon are: passing burial sites and not honoring the dead.
Spellwork can be for: herbal magick
Herbs Sacred To Mabon
Acorn / Oak
Latin name: White Oak - quercus alba; Red Oak - quercus rubra; Black Oak - quercus velutina; etc. Celtic name: Duir (pronounced: dur). Duir means 'door'. Herbal usage: Oaks are known for astringent tonics and therefore tea made from Oak is a good remedy for hemorrhoids. White Oak bark tea helps in sinus infections since it helps unclog congestion. Acorns can be peeled and used to make various homeopathic potions used to treat alcoholism, bad breath and constipation. Acorns can also be dried, crushed and made into flour from which bread can be made. Associations: The Oak is associated with the element of fire and is ruled by Mars and Jupiter. The tree is sacred to Bridghid and the Dadga. The Druids were said to have worshipped in Oak-groves in Gaul. Magickal usage: The Oak is the tree known as "The King of the Grove" and was one of the sacred three: 'Oak, Ash & Thorn'. It bestows protection, healing, financial success, masculine virility, fertility and good luck. Uses of Oak in magick include carrying a piece of Oak for protection. Acorns placed in a window can ward off lightning or creatures that go bump in the night. They also can be carried to prevent illness and to bring good luck. Oak branches can be made into wands or staves. When gathering Oak, be sure to pour wine on the roots of the tree to thank it for allowing you to take a part of it. Acorns should be gathered in the daylight, and leaves and wood by night. A waning moon is the correct time to harvest Oak.
Latin name: Styrax benzoin Part used: Benzoin is a gum (resin) collected from a tree that grows in Java, Sumatra and Thailand. The gum or resin, called storax, is collected much like rubber is, permitted to harden and then ground into a powder. Folk names: Benjamin, Gum Benzoin, Siam Benzoin Herbal usage: The powdered resin can be diluted with water and used externally as an antiseptic skin wash. Taken internally (10 to 20 drops in water or tea 4X day) it relieves fart gas. Used in a vaporizer, Benzoin can relieve sinus congestion and bronchitis (thanks to Free for telling me about this). Associations: Benzoin is associated with air, and is ruled by the sun. Magickal usage: Benzoin is a powerful herb of purification. Add Benzoin powder to incense to sanctify the area or better yet, add a drop or two of Benzoin oil on a burning charcoal block. This will make billowing smoke that will cleanse and clean the area. Benzoin, in a tincture form, is also used as a fixative to preserve magickal oils. Benzoin can also be added to incense blends to attract business - just combine the Benzoin with basil, peony or cinnamon. As an oil, Benzoin can be used in calming spells since the oil brings peace of mind.
Latin name: Male Shield Fern - Dryopteris Filix-mas; Bracken Fern - Pteris Aquilina; Moonwort - Botrychium lunaria. Common name: Fern Herbal uses: The Male Fern's root can be used in a powdered form to make a remedy that will kill tapeworms <YIKES>. The root powder can also be added to salve for wounds and burns. Bracken Fern can be eaten - the inhabitants of Palmaand Gomera (islands of the Canary Group) use Bracken as food, grinding the rhizome to powder and mixing it with a small quantity of barley, and the young fronds are eaten in Japan. In Siberia and in Norway, the uncoiled fronds have been used for brewing a kind of beer. Magickal Associations: Bracken Fern is associated with Mercury and Royal Fern with Saturn. All ferns have an earth association. Magickal Uses: Male Fern can be used to bring luck and prosperity. If it is carried, it will attract women to the carrier and if it is burned outdoors it will attract rain. If the Fern is dried over a balefire on the day of the Summer Solstice, it can then be used as a protective amulet. The 'seeds' from a Fern are said to render one invisible - but only if the seeds are gathered on Mid-Summer's eve. Moonwort is an herb of immortality and must be gathered by moonlight if it is to work. Moonwort aids in opening locks - Culpepper says: 'Moonwort (they absurdly say) will open locks and unshoe such horses as tread upon it; but some country people call it unshoe the horse.' Moonwort was also said to have been was used by the Alchemists, who thought it had power to condensate or to convert quicksilver into pure silver.
Latin name: Barley - Hordeum Pratense Herbal uses: Barley is especially useful in treating shattered nerves and is good for getting rid of bladder and kidney problems. In fact Barley is just a good general tonic. Barley is one of the best feeds to put weight on a thin horse - the barley is cooked on a stove until the kernels split, and then fed to the horse warm. Associations: Barley are associated with Saturn and with Venus. Its elemental association is with the earth. It is associated with the full moon of the month of August (The barley Moon) and as a grain is one of the sacred Druidic herbs of Mean Fomhair (also called Mabon). Magickal uses: Barley can be used in Love, Healing, and Protection spellwork.
Latin name - Zea Mays, etc. Common names: Indian Corn is often called Maize or Squaw Corn. Parts used: Seeds, silk, husks Herbal uses: Corn silk is a mild stimulant, diuretic and demulcent, useful in the treatment of bladder irritation and has also been employed in gonorrhea treatments. The seeds are also diuretic and mild stimulants. A poultice can be made from the seeds to treat ulcers, swellings, and rheumatic pains. An infusion of the parched Corn can help control nausea and vomiting in many diseases. Cornmeal makes a palatable and nutritious gruel and is an excellent diet for convalescents. Corn oil is used in treating arteriosclerosis and high cholesterol. Mexicans of today are very skilful in making fermented liquors from Corn - 'Chicka' resembles beer and cider, and a spirituous liquor called 'Pulque de Mahis,' is made from the juice of the stalk. Magickal Associations: Corn is a sacred Druidic herb of Mean Fomhair (also called Mabon) and of Samhain. Corn is associated with the element of earth and the planets Venus and Saturn. Because Corn was such an important part of the food supply of many early cultures, almost every ancient religion had a Corn God or Goddess. Some of these Corn deities are: Annonaria, Roman Goddess protector of the Corn supplies; Cerklicing, the Latvian god of fields and Corn; Kurke, the Prussian God of Corn; Nepit, an Egyptian Corn Goddess and Neper an Egyptian Corn-God; Nodutus, the Roman god who was held responsible for making the knots in the stalks of Corn; Nzeanzo, the Sudan god of rain, medicine, Corn, fertility and metal-working; Robigo, a Roman Goddess of Corn; Iyatiku, the Pueblo Corn Goddess; and Gabjauja, the Lithuanian Goddess of Corn (with the advent of Christianity She was, as were so many other Pagan deities, reduced to a demon). *Magickal Uses: Corn can be used for spells protection, luck, and in divination. Corn on the altar represents the power of the Corn Mother, She who blesses and nourishes all Her earthly children. Often Corn husks and Wheat straw are used to create what are called 'Corn Dollies'. These are usually in the shape of a doll or are woven into various other shapes and are carried as charms or put on an altar. Corn dollies can be hung from the rafters of a house to offer protection for the house and all those who dwell within. Corn can also be used in many forms of fertility magic. One Corn Fertility spell is used if you want to get pregnant.... it requires that you eat Corn on the cob while saying: "Bless my womb, this seed of earth, grant to me, a healthy birth." Corn can be worn as jewelry or in amulets to make the wearer closer to the spirit of the earth. Corn can be used to divine the future. An old folk spell said that if a damsel found a blood-red ear of maize, she would have a suitor before the year was out. Remember that when harvesting Corn for magickal uses it is important to say thanks you to the grain spirits: "Mother of Corn I harvest thee. In spring thou wilt A maiden be."
Latin name - Avena Sativa Herbal uses: Oat tincture forms the basis for all nerve tonics and a mixture of cooked Oats and Slippery Elm powder make an excellent poultice for skin troubles. Oatmeal is ideal food for sick folks and a tea made from Oats will clear up chest congestion. Associations: Oats have a planetary association with Mercury and Jupiter. The Oat is one of the sacred Druidic herbs of the Sabbats of Lammas and Mabon. Magickal uses: Oats are useful in money and prosperity spells. Oats can be used on the altar in their grain form or straw form, and Oat flour can be used to bake Oat cakes as offerings to the Goddess.
Herbal uses: Wheat germ and Wheat germ oil are excellent dietary supplements. Associations: Wheat is associated with Venus and Jupiter.Wheat and other grains are associated with Gods and Goddesses of death and resurrection. Tammuz (Sumerian) and Adonis (Assyrian, Babylonian and Phoenician) are both Grain Gods. The Greek Grain Goddess is Demeter and Ceres (where the word 'Cereal' comes from) is the Roman equivalent of Demeter. Freya is 'The Lady' or 'Giver Of The Loaf' in Norse religions. As a grain, Wheat is one of the sacred plants of the Druid' s for the Sabbat of Mabon. Magickal uses: Wheat can be used in Fertility and Money spells. You also can do Wheat flour divination - first dampen a surface (wood is good), then sprinkle Wheat flour onto the damp surface while concentrating on your future, then use unfocused eyes to see what patterns show up in the flour.
Latin name: Lonicera caprifolium, Lonicera Periclymenum. Common names: Woodbine, Dutch Honeysuckle, Goats' Leaf. Parts Used: Flowers, seeds, leaves. Herbal uses: The Honeysuckle is a favorite food of goats. Used as a herbal remedy, Honeysuckle has an effect on salmonella and streptococcus. It can be used as an antibiotic to treat colds, flu, etc. Honeysuckle has expectorant and laxative properties. The flowers (in syrup form) have been used against diseases of the respiratory organs and in the treatment of asthma. The leaves (as a decoction) have been used to treat diseases of the liver and spleen. Associations: Honeysuckle is an herb of mercury and mars, and is associated with the element of earth. Magickal Uses: Honeysuckle is an herb of the mind and prosperity. When the fresh herb is rubbed on the forehead, psychic abilities are heightened. In much the same way, if Honeysuckle oil is dabbed on the temples, the person will think quicker and clearer. Honeysuckle also adds memory. Honeysuckle is an important herb to use in prosperity spells and attract money spells. A green candle can be ringed with Honeysuckle flowers to attract money to the spell worker. In fact, Honeysuckle can be added to all prosperity incense or sachets. Honeysuckle is also an herb of devotion, fidelity and affection, and those who wear it will dream of their own true love.
Latin name: Calendula officinalis Common names: Calendula, Husband's Dial, Holigold, Marybud, Caltha officinalis, Golds, Ruddes, Mary Gowles, Oculus Christi, Pot Marigold, Marygold, Fiore d'ogni mese, Solis Sponsa. Parts Used: Flowers, herb, leaves. Herbal uses: Marigold is chiefly used as a local remedy. It is useful in the treatment of chronic ulcer, varicose veins, and jaundice. A Marigold flower, rubbed on the affected part, is a remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee. A lotion made from the flowers can be used for sprains and wounds. The leaves can eaten as a salad and a yellow dye has also been extracted from the flower, by boiling. Associations: Marigold is associated with the sun and the element of fire. Magickal uses: Magical attributes include prophesy, legal matters, the psychic, seeing magical creatures, love, clairvoyance, dreams, business or legal affairs and renewing personal energy. Be sure to gather your Marigolds for magickal workings at noon. A fresh Marigold flower can be worn to court for a favorable outcome of a trial. If you place Marigold in your mattress, you will have prophetic dreams... and if you place it under your mattress it will make whatever you dream come true. Since the Marigold embodies the sun, it can make a person more attractive and confident. Add Marigold to your bath water to make this happen. A vase of fresh and bright Marigolds in a room brings a renewed surge of life to those in the room!
Latin name: Asclepiadaceae Parts used: flowers, bud, sap, root Herbal uses: The Milkweed root is powdered and then used to treat bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. It has a very milky juice, which is used as a domestic application to warts (I've done this, and it works!). The root taken in tea is said to produce temporary sterility. The tender buds can be eaten when steamed and are said to taste like broccoli. Milkweed is TOXIC if too much is taken internally. Magickal uses: Both Monarch butterflies and fairies like milkweed. If Milkweed is planted in a Witches garden, the fey will always be in the area. The silky tassels of the Milkweed pods can be added to a dream pillow to not only make it softer but also to make you dream of fairies. In the summer when the pods are bursting and the fluffy seeds are flying across the fields, a wish is granted for each seed that can be caught and then released again.
Latin name: Commiphora myrrha Common names: Mirra, Morr, Didin, Didthin, Bowl, Karan, Mirra Balsam Olendron, Gum Myrrh. Part Used: The oleo-gum-resin from the stem. Herbal Uses: Myrrh is gathered from trees grown in Arabia and Somaliland. It has uses as a disinfectant wound wash. Used internally it increases circulation - although prolonged internal use causes kidney damage. It also is an excellent insect repellent and as a tincture it is good for bad breath and gum problems Associations: Myrrh is associated with the Moon and Jupiter, and with the element of water. Myrrh is sacred to the Goddess Isis and is also associated with Adonis, Ra and Marian. Magickal uses: Myrrh is used in magick for protection, peace, exorcism, healing, consecration, blessing, meditation and heightening spirituality. As an incense Myrrh can be used to help deepen mediation and to aid contemplation. Myrrh can be used in any ritual to the Goddess Isis, since Myrrh is a Goddess plant of the moon's sphere and is sacred to Isis. Myrrh can also be burned so that its smoke can purify and protect an area, and the smoke can also be used to consecrate and bless objects like rings, amulets, and ritual tools. As an essential oil, Myrrh can be used to purify, protect and also for hex breaking. If you are having trouble with pesky spirits or unwanted magickal energies sent to you, annoit your house both first thing in the morning and last thing at night with Myrrh for protection. Myrrh can be used in charm bags with Frankincense too, since combining it with Frankincense increases ts power. Any use of Myrrh - either as incense, oil, or carried as an amulet - will help raise the magickal energies of any spell work that is done.
Latin name: Passiflora incarnata Common names: Passion Vine, Granadilla, Maracoc, Maypops. Part Used: The dried herb, collected after some of the berries have matured. Herbal uses: Passionflower is known to be a depressant and so can be used to treat insomnia and hysteria. It is said to be work well in controlling epilepsy. Its narcotic properties cause it to be used in treating diarrhea and dysentery. Some varieties produce edible fruits used in jellies and juices. Passionflower can also be used as a brain tonic when combined with Lady's Slipper, Valerian and Skullcap. Associations: Passionflower is a sun herb. It is associated with Venus and with the element of water. The Deities that are associated with this herb are Flora, Feronia and Venus. Magickal uses: Passionflower has uses in protection and love magick. When Passionflower is used, it calms and brings peace to the home. You can sprinkle dried or fresh Passionflower over the doorsteps of your house or apartment to keep harm away. If you carry some of the herb in an amulet bag, you will make friends easier since it will work to increase your personal charisma making you more attractive and more likable. Place Passionflower in a dream pillow and it will help you get a good nights sleep. place it in power bundles and use in love spells to attract love. You can also burn it as an incense to promote understanding.
Latin name: Rosaceae Common names: A Rose by any other name would still be a Rose. Some General Rose Information: More than 10,000 kinds of Roses are known to be in cultivation but only three types of 'Rose' odors are recognized (those of the Cabbage Rose, the Damask Rose and the Tea Rose ). However because of how many hybrid rose types there are, every gradation of odor is possible. Parts used: flowers, hips. Herbal uses: Rose petals are known for their mild astringency and tonic value, but they are today mostly used to impart their scent to other pharmaceutical preparations. When Rose petals are used as a medicine they are used to treat stomatitis and pharyngitis. Honey of Roses can be made from clarified honey and fluid extract of Roses and is popular for treating sore throats and ulcerated mouths. Rose Vinegar, prepared by steeping dried Rose petals in distilled vinegar, can be used to treat headaches. Two French liqueurs also have Rose petals as one of the chief ingredients. Ointment of Rose-water, commonly known as Cold Cream, is used as a soothing, cooling application for chapped hands or face and minor skin abrasions. Rosehips are a good source of vitamin C and a tea can be made of them which is good for treating colds and flu. Associations: Rose is associated with the element of water and with Venus, and is known as a 'Goddess Herb'. The Deities that Rose are associated with are: Venus, Hulda, Demeter, Isis, Eros, Cupid, and Adonis. Magickal uses: Rose is known as *THE* herb of love. Add Rose bud petals to bath water to conjure up a lover. Put red Rose petals in a red velvet bag and pin this under your clothes to attract love - or you can wear Rosehips as beads to bring love to you. Rose oil and Rose incense are both used in love spells. If you wash your hands with Rose water before mixing love potions, the potions will be stronger. Rose is also good when used in healing rituals and spells. Burn Rose Petals in your bedroom before going to sleep and this will guarantee you a good nights sleep. Roses are loved by the fey so you can plant Roses in your garden to attract fairies. Wild Roses are best for this purpose and you need to say the following spell as you plant your baby Rose bush: "I ask a fairy from the wild, To come and tend this wee rose-child. A babe of air she thrives today, Root her soul in the Goddesses' good clay. Fairies make this twig your bower, By your magic shall time see her flower!" Different color Roses have different meanings so you can use Roses to give someone a message magickally. These are what the different Rose colors mean: Red - I love you White - I love you not Yellow - I love another Moss - I admire you from afar Pink - My love for you is innocent Orange - I love you vigorously Amethyst - I will love you forever Wild - I love you because you are fair and innocent
Latin name: Salvia officinalis Common names: Sawge, Garden Sage, Red Sage, Sage spice Herbal uses: Sage is used as a spice in many recipes (often in Thanksgiving turkey stuffing). It can be used as a tea to aid in digestion, and to relieve the discomfort of measles, dizziness, colds, fever, and headaches. An infusion can be made with Sage and honey and used as a mouth wash to help cure mouth sores and sore throats. A strong wash will help in cases of skin ulcers, rashes, and dandruff. It acts as a stimulating tonic to the digestive tract or nervous system. Rub fresh Sage leaves on the teeth to whiten and clean them. Sage is also used as an insect repellent, sending away flies and, in the garden, cabbage moths and carrot flies. It attracts bees, and the result is a very aromatic honey. Associations: Sage is associated with Jupiter or Venus, and is associated with the element of Air. Magickal uses: Sage is used for fertility, longevity, wishes, wisdom, protection, money attraction, purification, healing, and health magick. Sage that is being gathered for magickal use should not be cut with a metal knife or athame. It is said that if you eat Sage you will become more wise and also immortal. Sage is often an herb used at handfastings since it will help bring about a long life and domestic virtue for the happy couple. Sage can be added to almost any healing spell. A good healing amulet may be made by putting a clove of Garlic, a bit of Eucalyptus and Cinnamon, two pinches of Sage and one pinch of Saffron into a small blue bag. This bag can then be worn or carried to promote healing. Sage can also be placed in with Tarotcards or Runes to protect and keep them 'clean'. Sage can be used for attracting money and for wish manifestations. One of the most common magickal uses of Sage is as a purifier of sacred spaces, living areas, and magickal tools. Sage is often used as a main ingredient in "Smudgesticks" and "herb bundles. If you can gather and dry your own wild Sage for smudging, do so. Native Americans believe that Sage should never be bought or sold, as this ruins the spirituality of the herb. To purify a house of unwanted spirits or energy, just light a sprig of dried Sage and carry it from room to room, visualizing any negativity being replaced by the purifying fragrance of the Sage. Another way to do this is to burn Sage in a incense bowl and then brush the smoke around the room by using a feather as a fan.
Latin name: Polygonatum multiflorum Common names: Lady's Seals, St. Mary's Seal, Dropberry, Sealwort, Sealroot Part Used: Root. Please note: this is an endangered species. Gather it with reverence and only when you find a large patch (take only a few, leave at least seven healthy plants). Herbal uses: Solomon's Seal is an astringent, demulcent and tonic. Combined with other remedies, Solomon's Seal is given in pulmonary consumption and bleeding of the lungs. It is useful also in female complaints. It is a mucilaginous tonic, very healing and restorative, and is good in treating stomach problems. The powdered roots make an excellent poultice for bruises, piles, inflammations and tumors. Associations: Solomon's Seal is associated with Saturn and with the element of fire. Magickal uses: Solomon's Seal has excellent qualities of cleansing and purification. To exorcise evil or unwanted spirits from your home, sprinkle a bit of this dried herb in each corner of every room. Then anoint the door knobs and window sills with Solomon's Seal protection oil. You can also add nine drops of this oil to your scrub water and wash around all entrances thoroughly. Solomon's Seal can be added to incense so that the smoke can cleanse and purify a sacred space or can be scattered to the four winds to purify a large area.
There are many different varieties of Thistle so these are a few of the best known ones...
Latin names: Holy Thistle - Carbenia benedicta; Milk Thistle - Silybum Marianum Common names: Holy Thistle - Blessed Thistle; Milk Thistle - Marian Thistle, Our Lady's Thistle Part used: Holy Thistle - herb; Milk Thistle - Whole herb, root, leaves, seeds and hull. Herbal uses: The Holy Thistle can be used as a liver tonic and also is useful in migraine headache relief. It can be made into a salve for canker sores and warts. The Milk Thistle is also a liver tonic but is also useful in helping cure depression. It is used in Germany for curing jaundice. The decoction when applied externally is said to have proved beneficial in cases of cancer. Thistle was also said to cure "bitings of mad dogs and venomous beasts." Associations: Thistles are associated with the planet of Mars and with the element of fire. Milk Thistle is associated with the Virgin Mary (Milk Thistle gets its name from the white veins in its leaves. Legend has it that one day Mary stopped to feed the Holy Child, and was so tired from her long ride that she fell asleep. The babe was also soon slumbering, and some drops of milk escaped from Her Breast, and fell upon a Thistle, which forever bears the imprint of this accident.) The Thistle is also associated with Scotland and is in fact the nation's national emblem (When Scotland was ravaged by Viking invaders, the attacking Vikings crept up upon the sleeping Scots - unfortunately the Vikings stepped in Thistles with their barefeet and their cries of pain woke up the Scots who were able to fight off the attackers). Magickal uses: Thistle has great value in protection spells and also is used to bring spiritual and financial blessings. If Thistle is thrown into a fire, it will protect the thrower from being struck by lightning during summer storms. Thistle can be carried in an amulet bag for joy, energy, vitality, and protection - in fact men who carry Thistle become better lovers! A shirt with Thistle woven into the cloth will protect the wearer from evil spirits. Thistle can be burned as an incense for protection and also to counteract hexing. Thistle powder can also be added to ritual baths to give added protection. Thistle can be grown in the garden to ward of those dreaded vegetable thieves, and a bowl of fresh Thistle will give off such good strengthening energies that it is the perfect thing to have in a sickroom. Thistle is a wonderful material to use to make magick wands for spirit conjuring and magickal walking sticks. In England, the wizards of old were said to select the tallest thistle and use it as a wand or walking stick. For a Witchling child, a thistle wand would be good because it might protect him or her from giving in to peer pressure. If you have a dream about Thistle this is a good thing because Thistles are good omens in dreams. Boil some thistle, then remove it from heat and lie or sit beside it as the steam rises. Listen carefully, and you should be able to get the spirits to answer your questions.
Autumn Equinox, Mabon or Michealmas
by Cabot Tradition Witch and WLPA Staff Member Christina
Origins: The word Mabon is the name of the Welsh fertility God. It
is a time when night and day are of equal length; it is the first day
of Autumn and when the harvest is nearing completion. The God nears
his death and the Goddess prepares for his rebirth. The bounty of
the harvest is celebrated in wine festivals, knowing that Winter will
Decorate home with colored ears of corn.
Perfect time to: Walk in wild places and forests, gathering seed
pods and plants. Decorate the home with the plants and save the rest
for future herbalist magic. Celebrate fruit of the season as proof
of the God's and Goddess' love.
Purify yourself with a ritual bath or anointment. Purify your
ritual space, and set up the altar. Cast the circle and invoke the
Goddess and the God.
This is the time of harvest, of thanksgiving. Now day and night are
equal, balanced, give thought to the balance and flow within our own
lives. The Sun King has become the Lord of Shadows, sailing West; we
follow him into the dark. Life declines, the season of bareness is
on us, yet we give thanks for that which we have reaped and gathered.
Magic may be performed, or if you prefer, meditate. Thank the
Goddess and God for attending your rite. End the celebration with a
simple feast and release the circle.
Northern Hemisphere: September 21
Southern Hemisphere: March 21
Related Deities: Mabon, Modron, Herne, Cernunnos, Mannanan Mac Lyr, Ishtar, Isis, Demeter, Persephone, Rhiannon, Morgan, Epona, Pamona and the Muses, Bona Dea, Land Mother, Sky Father, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, The Green Man, Hotei, Harvest Deities, and Aging Deities
Related Herbs: Hazel, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, milkweed, passion flower, sage, solomon's seal, tobacco, thistle, vegetables, Corn, Aspen, Acorns, Oak Sprigs, Cypress Cones, Pine Cones, Marigold, Sunflowers, Hibiscus, Rose Petals, Myrrh, any harvest gleanings, autumn leaves, wheat stalks, Vines, Garlands (made of these various plants), Gourds, Pomegranate, Ivy, Hops, Cedar, Mums, Asters, Passionflower, Pine and Tobacco, fig, orchid, balsam fir, and beech. Walnut, pine, apple, fennel
Foods: Breads, Pomegranates, Grapes, Acorns, Wheat Bread, Goat, Indian Corn, Horn of Plenty, Cornbread, Corn, Root Crops (ie Onions, Carrots, Potatoes, etc.), Nuts, Dried Fruits, Apples, Beans, and Squash. Wine, Ale, and Cider
Related Stones: Amber, Clear Quartz, Tiger-Eye, Citrine, Sapphire, lapis lazuli, yellow agates, Yellow Topaz, Carnelian, Amethyst. Also, river or stream stones which have been submerged for the Summer may be used.
Colors: Orange, red, yellow, green, russet, maroon, brown, Violet, Indigo and gold, purples, wines and greens (basically, grape colors)
Incense: Aloes Wood, Benzoin, Jasmine, Frankincense, Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, myrrh, sage, juniper, pine, cedar
Animals: Dogs, Wolves, Stag, Birds of Prey (especially the Blackbird, Owl, and Eagle), Salmon, and Goat.
Music: "Carry On, Wayward Son" by Kansas, "Red, Red Wine" by Neil
Diamond or UB40, "All Good Gifts" from the Godspell soundtrack, "Turn,
Turn, Turn" by the Byrds, "Spill the Wine"
Mythical Creatures: Gnomes, Sphinx, Minotaurs, Cyclops, Andamans, and Gulons.
Traditional Motifs: Cornucopia, autumn leaves, pine cones, gourds, corn cobs, mushrooms, apples, wine, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty
Symbolism: Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance.
Activities: Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.
Spellworkings: Protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance
Other: Burial Cairns, Rattles, and Sun Wheels
Also known as: Michaelmas, Alban Elfed or Alban Elued (Light of the Water), Cornucopia, Harvest Home, Autumn Equinox, Fall Equinox, Second Harvest, Festival of Dionysus, Wine Harvest, Fogharadh, Winter Finding
The Autumnal Equinox, the second of the Harvest Festivals, is the Pagan rite of Thanksgiving, also known as "Harvest Home." It's a Sabbat of celebration for the abundance of the harvest; a time meant for us to give thanks through song, dance, and feasts.
The Equinoxes are times of equilibrium. Day and night are equal and the tide of the year flows steadily, but whilst the Spring Equinox manifests the equilibrium before action, the Autumn Equinox represents the repose after action, the time to take satisfaction in the work of the Summer and reap its benefits. The Autumn Equinox is the second harvest festival, both grain and fruit having been gathered in. This is the time of the Vine. The God, who was Lord of the Greenwood in the Summer, and the Corn King at Lughnasadh, now dances his last dance upon the Earth, as Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine, Music and Dance, before making his descent to the underworld to take up his role as Dread Lord of Shadows.
The God's presence is shadowy. His face is turned towards the Underworld, yet He is heard in each sign of the wind and glimpsed in the shades of early dusk. He leads us to the hidden, inward places of our souls and invites us to explore.
The leaves falling from the trees and rotting into the Earth are a reflection of the Horned God's journey from the Greenwood to the Underworld, deep into the womb of the Mother, here He will reside until He begins to emerge with the new green shoots in the Spring. The Autumn Equinox marks the completion of the harvest, and thanks giving, with the emphasis on the future return of that abundance.
Wiccans associate the autumn with the assumption of the Crone. The Goddess shall rule in this aspect of Herself until Imbolc, when the form of the Maiden will rise to power. This marks not a time of death or evil, but a natural progression of life.
In Christian mythos, late September marks the feast of Michaelmas. This celebration is held in honour of the arch-angel Michael, man's protector against the forces of darkness. It is also a traditional day to pay up on accounts and a time for the beginning of leases and contracts.
Slavic Pagan celebrate Svarog's Holiday in their month of Ruen. This is the day honoring Svarog, the God of Fire and the Sky, a day to drink mead and celebrate. In ancient Egypt (Kemet), they celebrated the Feast of Divine Life in honor of the Moon and the life-giving waters which came from it by sacrificing a pig. This was also the time of the Ritual of the Netjeru of the Two Lands. The Inca celebrate the Coya Rayni festival honoring the Moon Goddess Quilla, focusing on purging sickness and evil.
Late September also marks the Munich festival of Oktoberfest. This date commemorates the marriage of Ludwig I of Bavaria and does not have a connection to the ancient holiday of the equinox, but does have everything to do with the weather trends of Bavaria. I do not allow the lack of religious background to keep me from incorporating aspects of the famous festival into my Mabon celebrations. After all, barley is a harvest grain! So, "Ozapft is!"
The Eleusinian mysteries took place at this time, during which the initiate was said to have been shown a single ear of grain with the words "In silence is the seed of wisdom gained". Another aspect of these mysteries was "Know thyself" which seems appropriate for the coming months. During the Winter months energy levels drop and the Autumn Equinox is the time to ready ourselves, to look at our "harvest" of accomplishments, to refine and redefine our intentions.
Crops are harvested; light and darkness are in balance again. The God sleeps in the womb of the Goddess, waiting to be reborn. The second harvest festivel of the year and marks the first day of Autumn. Nature declines, drawing back it's bounty as the earth prepares for winter. Frost will come soon so the last of the herbs and plants to be dry for winter use are brought in now.
In Welsh mythology, the God Mabon (Great Sun) was said to have been kidnapped from his mother Modron when only three days old and taken to the Underworld to prevent his light from shining on the land. Being much smarter then the Lord of the Underworld, Mabon gathered his wits, strength and power for the time when he would be rescued and need to revitalize the land. In this capacity, he's the male version and counterpart of Persephone who was taken by Hades, Lord of the Underworld in Greek Mythos, thus bringing the dark half of the year.
Like with Lammas, this is a time to celebrate the Earth's bounty and thank the Earth for it's bounty with a feast similiar to Thanksgiving, making it also known as the Witches' Thanksgiving. A time to give thanks for that we have and blessings. Remembering ancestors and looking to the future for what may come and those not yet born.
One tradition is to walk in wild places and forests, gathering seed pods and dried plants. Some of these are used to decorated the home; others can be saved for future herb magick.
An old English poem states that "Who'er eats goose on Michaelmas Day will e'er have money his debts to pay!" so fowl would not be amiss on this holiday. Birds commonly associated with fall include pheasant, quail, and turkey.
All harvest foods are appropriate fair for a Mabon feast. Corn, apples, beans, nuts, grains, and roots are all popular. Foods associated with an American Thanksgiving, such as sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, will go excellently for Mabon dinner. Cinnamon tends to be linked to the sun and hence is a very suitable spice for oatmeal cookies, mulled beverages, and baked apples. Drinks served at Mabon tend to include beers, wines, and ciders. Non-alcoholic suggestions would include apple juice, grape juice, and cranberry blends.
If you are decorating your house for the holiday, choose items with fairly obvious autumn themes, such as pine cones, gourds, acorns, turned leaves, and hazelnuts. Try dipping the pine cones in glue and glitter to add a sparkling flair or dip the leaves in wax and carve symbols to serve as charms. Cutting an apple into thin slices will reveal a suggestion of a pentacle. Try drying the slices and placing them atop a pile of potpourri or stringing them into a garland. Garlands can also be easily made of nuts, popcorn, or cranberries.