The autumnal equinox, also known as Mabon, is celebrated sometime around September 21. Again, as with the spring equinox, we have a time of equal day and equal night. However, after this night, the days grow shorter and the sun begins to wane in power.
This Sabbat is also known as The Harvest Home and is basically the end of the agricultural year. Now all the crops have been gathered. Canning and storage for the winter is a priority, and wine-making is in full progress. Some things that come to mind are leaves turning color, bird migrations, corn harvesting, and bonfires.
The purpose of celebrating the autumnal equinox is twofold. First, we want to give thanks for all our blessings
and achievements, and second, we want to project for the ability to maintain that which we possess. It does no good to manifest a goal if you cannot hold on to it. This is what the Corn-baba represents — thanksgiving for what you have received, and request for the ability to keep what you have created. (For an easy Corn-baba, you can tie multicolored ribbons around an ear of corn to represent the corn mother, or place an ear of corn in a basket decorated with dried flowers and brightly colored ribbons.)
Ritual Tools, Symbols, and Decorations
Altar decorations: Orange, red, or brown altar cloth; orange or red altar candles; Corn-baba; cornucopia filled with fruit and vegetables; a red, apple-shaped candle; a wand tied with orange, red, and brown ribbons, apple-flavored wine or hard cider; ritual cakes.
Plants and herbs: Apples, acorn, benzoin, honeysuckle, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, marigold, myrrh, blessed thistle, gourds, fern.
Oil: Mix cinnamon, clove, and myrrh oils together for anointing.
Food: Corn, apples, apple pie, baked pork with apples, cinnamon cookies, glazed game hens, ginger bread, Indian pudding, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, Waldorf salad, mixed vegetables, cider, mulled wine, corn fritters, green bean casserole.
Symbols: Corn baba, apples, scarecrow, cornucopia, sickle, dried gourds, broom, cauldron, apple dolls, dried flowers, leaves, bonfires, and baskets tied with orange, red, and brown ribbons.
At this point, your goal should have manifested or at least be well within your reach. Technically, this is a time to give thanks for all the blessings you have received throughout the year.
A Ceremony for A\abon
Light the right altar candle and then the left one, as you say the following:
Lord of the Sun
Pulsing bright Cast away the shadows Bring forth the light.
Lady of the Moon Jewel of power Bless this sacred space From this hour.
Cast the circle, and call in the Guardians. Face the altar, anoint the forehead with seasonal oil, and speak the following blessing:
Blessed be the Lady. Blessed be the Lord. Blessed be the corn. Blessed be the harvest.
Say the following blessing, and light the apple candle:
Lord of com, barley, and rye, Golden sun, ruler of the sky.
Lady of milk, honey, and wine
Silver moon, mistress most divine.
Fruit of field, passion, and fire, Light the way, fulfill desire.
Blessed be the Lord and Lady!
Place the candle back on the altar and pick up the Corn-baba. Hold the Corn-baba in offering as you ask this blessing:
Golden-haired mother Red dying king
Leaves are falling Arid sickles gleam.
Hearty is the harvest Blessed is the corn
What withers and dies Always is reborn.
Still holding the Corn-baba, proceed to offer it at each of the quadrants. Begin in the East by saying:
Element of Air, power of the mind,
Your intellect and wisdom I now bind.
Element of Fire, power of the soul,
Your strength and fortitude make me whole.
Element of Water, power of the heart,
Your beauty and grace now impart
Element of Earth, power of the will,
Place the Corn-baba in the center of the altar and do the Invocation of the God and then the Invocation of the Goddess. Take a moment to meditate on the meaning of the ritual and season. At this point you will want to energize the Corn-baba with your own wishes. Place your hands over the Corn-baba, express your desire, and then chant the following:
Blessed be the harvest Blessed be the home
Blessed be the grain
Pause, and bless the wine or cider through the Rite of Union, and the bread with the Blessing of the Bread ceremony. Begin your closing segment of the rite by offering this blessing:
Within my heart is devoted feeling Vainly should my lips express.
I come before your altar kneeling
And pray this time and place you bless.
Pick up the Corn-baba and proceed to offer it in closing at each of the quadrants. Begin in the North by saying:
May the spirit of earth bring me wisdom. West
May the spirit of water bring me control. South
May the spirit of fire bring me inspiration. East
May the spirit of air bring me awareness.
Dismiss the Guardians and extinguish the altar candles, beginning with the left one:
Lady of the silver moon,
Mistress of this holy earth. Grant to me a special boon,
To my wishes and needs give birth.
Lord of the golden sun,
Master of the forest and field. Let your will and work be done,
Take up the circle and allow the apple candle to burn out. Hang the Corn-baba over the main entrance to your home. If you own a business and want to increase sales, place the Corn-baba next to the cash register.
This completes the eight Wiccan Sabbats. It is through these rites and other celebrations based on nature that the Witch is able to express his or her magickal desires and appreciation for the God and Goddess. The ceremonies presented here are not written in stone, nor are they the only way to approach seasonal celebration. They are simply guidelines to inspire creativity when approaching the seasonal shifts. If you plan to expand these rituals for group work, be sure your additions go well with the basic framework and seasonal focus of the rite. Always keep in mind the influence of the energies that will be available at the time of your ceremony. Work with, not against, the ebb and flow of the natural forces of the universe. When you align your power and energy with that of Mother Nature, you will prosper and grow.
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