Mabon (“MAY-bon”) is celebrated on September 22-23, during the Autumn Equinox. In reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology, “Mabon” being an Old Welsh word meaning “son”. The Irish Reconstructionist name of this festival is Meán Fómhair (“Middle of Harvest”). This Minor Sabbat marks the middle of the Celtic Autumn, but is actually the astronomical beginning of autumn, manifested by the decrease of the light of the sun. Mabon is the second of the three Harvest Festivals. This is a time for acknowledging the decline of the life force into shadow and a moment of thanksgiving for the fruits of the Earth
On this Equinox, the Welsh God Mabon ap Modron (“Son of the Goddess Modron”) was born. Three days after Mabon’s birth he was taken from his mother. Mabon is freed from his captivity. However, his captivity was actually in the womb of his mother Modron, a place of nurturing and challenge where Mabon acquired strength and learned lessons. Not long after, Mabon is reborn as the Son of Light and his mother’s champion. In Gaelic Mythology, Aengus Óg is widely considered to be connected to the ancient Celtic Gallic God Maponos and his Welsh equivalent, Mabon. Also, this Sabbat is often associated with Macha, a Crone aspect of the Goddess. Mabon was not an authentic ancient festival either in name or date. The autumn Equinox was not celebrated in Celtic countries, while all that is known about Anglo-Saxon customs of that time was that September was known as haleg-monath or ‘holy month’. The name Mabon has only been applied to the Neopagan festival of the autumn Equinox by Aidan A. Kelly in the 1970’s in his efforts to conceptualize modern Pagan rituals.
Some modern Pagans consider Mabon as the Pagan Thanksgiving. It is time to look back upon what the earth has given us, what we have sown and reaped, and give thanks for all that we have. I usually do most of my acts of services or volunteering work during this time. I also do my best to come in peace and harmony with others and I prepare myself for the upcoming seasonal transition. It is assuredly my favorite time of the year to study and learn about magick.
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