Fall is quickly approaching! If you’re one of the many who associates Fall with the supernatural, you’re not totally wrong. The planets are beginning to align for some of our favorite holidays: the Equinox, Halloween, Thanksgiving. Many of these holidays tie back into some ancient witchy celebrations like Mabon or Samhain. Due to modern technology and the power of Google, you can now celebrate both!
What is Mabon anyway?
Mabon is the holiday celebrated on the Fall Equinox. This year it falls on September 22, 2017. Its basic roots go back to harvest seasons, where Mabon represented the middle of the harvest and a time of equal day and night. For me, Mabon is an early Thanksgiving. You’re meant to look back on what you have to be grateful for and think of the loved ones who have moved into the afterlife. The White Goddess says it best:
This is the time to look back not just on the past year, but also your life, and to plan for the future. In the rhythm of the year, Mabon is a time of rest and celebration, after the hard work of gathering the crops.
Does performing a ritual mean I’m going to hell?
Actually, you can be a Christian/Catholic/Muslim/Jewish/Non-Denominational witch. Witchcraft itself isn’t a religion. Just like with tarot, if you want to practice magic, you don’t have to devote yourself to some dark figure. The rituals are for you and you alone and you can devote them to whatever figure you want to. I personally know of very many Christian pagans who love what they do! Many Christian practices stem from pagan practices, so it connects both worlds for them. Find what works for you.
More importantly, the fact that you’re performing a ritual doesn’t mean you have to call yourself a witch. This is almost essential to understanding. These practices, rituals, and symbols are *strictly for you.* Take back your own power and label yourself as you wish. For me? I call myself a tarot reader. Every other practice I partake in only grounds me in nature and lets me tap into my inner intuition to read better.
Again, these practices are not meant for anyone else but you. If it feels right in your heart, you’re golden. Also, it’s 2017. Hell seems pretty hard to avoid seeing as I’m currently wearing blended fabrics and have tattoos. Maybe damnation is in the eye of the beholder?
How can I celebrate as a first timer?
Again, consider this an early Thanksgiving! If you’ve ever participated in a very traditional turkey day in the States, it’s very similar. Dress to the nines and have a feast. Invite your friends and family. Express thanks to one another. Share how you feel and remind those you care about just how much you care about them! And if that feels right in your heart, call it a day.
If you’d like to add in some witchy flair, consider incorporating some pagan elements into the mix. The traditional colors of Mabon are that of our traditional fall colors – gold, red, brown, orange, yellow, and sometimes green. Maybe for you’ll paint your nails gold and use a red tablecloth? Go wild. Use the apple as often as possible. Apple pie? Apple cider? Apple centerpieces? The apple is a huge symbol not just for Mabon, but for immortality, healing, and renewal.
My ideal Mabon is celebrated with locally grown foods and a nice glass of wine. I may even order pizza from a local pizzeria just to treat myself. *Throws glitter.* I purchased some badass sparkly gold nail polish to adorn my nails and plan to take a walk in an old cemetery in my neighborhood to just appreciate nature and may my respects to the dead. Feel free to steal this idea and use it for yourself.
As with everything, if you plan on taking nature walks – please be safe and aware of your surroundings! But more importantly, enjoy your personal version of Mabon in a way that opens your heart and fills you with happiness. Own both your practice and your spirituality.
Until next time!
Featured Image via Nathan Riley.