Fall is my favorite because of the colors and the temperature. The ambience of golden afternoon sun dappled leaves, crimson burnt umber, blazing orange hues. Pumpkins and hay, on a crisp, fallovely day, beckons … playing hooky, harvest moons, burning sunsets fuel the soul to dream of greater things.
Autumn equinox is when the light and dark are perfectly balanced. Light and dark. A time to harvest; from root vegetables to pumpkins, grapes, apples, pomegranate and more.
The Druids called this celebration, Mea’n Fo’mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and gifts that are appropriate at this time.
Traditional celebrations include a kitchen garden cornucopia of herbs and flowers such as honeysuckle, marigold, sunflowers, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, rose hips, sage, thistle and rosemary.
Nights lengthen, chlorophyll production slows down and leaves are are unmasked to show their true colors. The fading green allows a leaf’s true colors to emerge, producing the dazzling array of orange, yellow, red and purple pigments we refer to as fall foliage.
And so we augment glorious fall festivals with forest harvest of pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, and squash, complimented by a bacchanalian staple supply of wine and mead, nectar of honey and grapes.
Mabon is the threshold for the darker half of the year. A balance of light and dark, the Autumn Equinox gives us a balance of day and night and is a beautiful reminder of balance and harmony within and without.
The ancient Welsh hero named Mabon ap Modron, which means Son of Mother, Mabon is the second of three harvest festivals that take place in the Wheel of the Year (Lughnasadh is the first and Samhain the third).
Similar to Apollo, the figure of Mabon was depicted as a handsome youth with a lyre. As a baby Mabon was said to have been held hostage as a baby in the underworld, similar to the story of Persephone and Demeter.
Vermont is in peak of harvest now, where farmers were able to work late into the night by the light of this Moon produces abundance of nature; corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice and harvests of herbs that support the harvest of Autumn Equinox.
Modern Pagans began celebrating Mabon as the last of the eight Sabbats in the 1970s, but its roots as a harvest festival go back to ancient times.
The September full moon marks the Harvest Moon, the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox which divides the day and night equally, getting ready to embrace the light and shadow within and honoring the impending dark.
Harvest season is a good time to shed what no longer fits into your life and help you invoke what you truly desire for the rest of the year and darker half. Like the trees, we can prepare, beautify and shed our leaves too … anything weighing us down, limiting beliefs, habits or patterns that no longer serve us.
A cat’s eye blinks, and beyond the kitchen garden, autumn greenery is dotted with bright gold and reds of fallen leaves.
Bare branches poke into the night beautiful sun-kissed days and cool, fragrant nights. Bright, and blooming on the dusky horizon after the last magenta, indigo waves of sunset are overtaken by a galaxy of stars. An owl hoots, a bat darts. Autumn is indeed a glorious season.