(Aka Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist; the Autumnal Equinox, the Celebration of the Autumnal Equinox,
Mean Foghamhar, and Harvest Home)
This page was created by Marc Carlson
It was last edited 9 June 2004
End of Summer and the Beginning of Winter, the "Season of the Sun's
Loss". End of the Harvest.
Day and night are equal as Fall begins the descent into the dark times.
Mabon is a holiday recognized by many neoPagan and Wiccan groups, though
not all. For example, the original Gardnerian rituals had no place for
an Equinox Ritual. I don't have a clue when the name began to be used by
modern Pagans. It is one of the four "Lesser Sabbats".
Mabon is believed to be a form of the Welsh word for "son". It should
probably be pronounced "MA-bon" with the "a" like in "mass." However, most
Wiccans and pagans seem to say "MAY-bon."
Mabon mab Modron/Mabon mab Mellt/Maponos map Matrona, is the "Great
Youth", and is related by the Romans to Apollo for his healing, illuminatory
and eloquance attributes.
The Autumn Equinox is the time of "second harvests"
The Male and Female forces are in balance.
The meanings of this particular holiday often fall into three basic groups:
A harvest festival of Thanksgiving to God (the Gods, or the Goddess) for
a rich and successful harvest
This marks a time of rest after the bulk of the hard work of gathering
in the crops
To some people, this is a festival honoring Lugh and In Morrigan
A time of ritually honoring the sacrifice in the hope of a rich and successful
This is a festival of symbolic human sacrifice, just as Easter is at the
other end of the year, this is the sacrifice of the Spirit of Vegetation,
the honoring the sacrifice of the king of the Harvest festivals (John Barleycorn/the
Corn King/the Wickerman). It is acting out the death and resurrection of
the spirit of vegetation, reflecting that at the Vernal Equinox. Cernunnos,
Grangousier, Herne the Hunter, the Green Man
This ties in to the myth of the Sacred King sacrifice, when the blood of
the King is shed to replenish the Land (something that, I must point out
doesn't really have a verifiable historical basis)
This is seen by some as the traditional time of the Eleusinian Mystersies,
which are observed in rites and dramas.
The death of the God of Light at the hand of the God of Darkness.
In some versions of this holiday, this is when the god of Light is defeated
by his twin and alter-ego, the God of Darkness (for example, Llew and Blodenwedd/Goronwy/Horned
King; Balor and the Maiming of Nuada). It is the time of the year when
night conquers day. Although the formal coronation of the victor will not
be for another six weeks, occurring at Samhain (Halloween) or the beginning
of Winter, when he becomes the Winter Lord, the Dark King, Lord of Misrule.
The spirit of the Corn Mother (Harvest Mother, the Old Woman; Grandmother;
the Old Man) is believed to remain in the last sheaf or shock of the harvested
grain, which was dressed in fine clothes, or woven into a man-shaped form,
which was then cut and carried from the fields with great rejoicing. Sometimes
it was burned, sometimes it was kept until the next year.
This is historically, not a big "Celtic" holiday, but more generally is
appears to have been more of of Germanic origin).