We often put aside pagan practices for the commercial ones that spread throughout all stores and houses. However, after centuries, for the first time in forever, Paganism is pushing back and here’s a holiday for you!
How Holidays And Celebrations Happen In Paganism
The Wheel of the Year is split into eight segments called Sabbats. They honour the Moon Goddess and the Sun God while celebrating the cycle of life of the sun. They focused the eight Sabbats of the year on the Solar Rites of Wicca. As life comes and goes, the Wheel represents it.
The Sabbats comprise the four “quarter days” known as solstices and equinoxes. So, the other four days include the four midpoints in between, known as the “cross-quarter days.” The embryonic growth, the birth, the life, and then the death of the Sun God portray nature’s seasons and the life of a Wiccan.
The Witch’s Wheel of the Year: Mabon, September 21st
September 21st is the cross-quarter day of the Vernal Equinox, and the holiday celebrated is Mabon.
Mabon is the Pagan Thanksgiving and the second of three harvest festivals. This is when the wine becomes available from the ripened grapes of summer and prime time for apple and gourd season. Farmers prepare their fields for the winter months ahead, as does Mother Earth.
At Mabon, the Goddess has entered her crone stage with her God, the Sage. Autumn has officially begun, whether there are patches of colour in the foliage or not.
A Story For The Year That Repeats Itself
This time of the year marks a time to reflect and thank the universe for all it has provided throughout the year, as the Witch’s New Year falls the next month afterward. We see our God withering away, surrendering His life to sustain the crops until the harvest season, and the Promised Child the Goddess carries.
Once the last harvest completes, the Sage completely withers and returns to the Goddess’ womb, the Underworld, for respite to be reborn as the Promised Child. A time of personal reflection begins as the nights grow longer and the days become shorter.
A Moment Of Reflection In Nature
Our Goddess is now a Crone, and our God is the Sage. Together, they enjoy the twilight days remaining until they are once again separated, only to be reunited again at the Winter Solstice.
The Goddess withdraws into her own quiet contemplation, and as she does, she pulls life back from the Earth as she waits for the last moments of life to be given to her consort.
The Celebration And Gatherings
Many Wiccans and Pagans gather for festivals and dinners. They feast with apple wassail and moon cakes seasoned with the seasonal fragrance of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. They do it to celebrate the last dinner of the God before his departure at Samhain into the primordial womb of the Underworld.
Wiccans and Pagans are grateful to the God for his sacrifice. The same goes for the ancestors that are honoured and given blessings. It is a time of reverence and reflection. They spent much of the holiday celebrating, drinking, and crafting.
Not The Bees! Not The Bees! No, Not That Movie, Either
In some traditions, they make a Wicker Man or Straw Man effigy to symbolize the King of the Harvest. It is lit on fire as a ritualistic sacrifice of the God of the Year. This was to replace the sacrificial human or animal of the ancient traditions they modelled it after.
If this is your first year of practicing, or you wish to begin, Mabon is a perfect introductory rite to partake in. Not only are you honouring the Sacrificial God and the spirits of your ancestors, but you are honouring yourself in doing so.
What seeds have you sown throughout the year that you are reaping? What sacrifices did you make on your spiritual journey?
Light a candle, offer food and libations to your ancestors and revel in the beams of the waning sun while remembering what you gave up this past year to further your spiritual journey.