Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fall Equinox & Mabon: Rituals, Recipes and Gratitude Lists

This post is my offering to you all for Mabon & Equinox. It contains some links, articles and recipes to inspire you as we enter Fall.

I have many things to be grateful for this year, including that fact that today makes it 24 years since I quite smoking. People I love who did not do so are gone now. I allow little room in my life for hate, but I do hate cancer. This post is dedicated to those in the Earthwise Community who seek health and healing. May they find the tools, the teachers and the courage they need to face change. I say this as someone who needs to visit the gym and put in those yoga tapes more often then she does....

Have you ever made such a powerful change that it leaves an imprint, not only on your life, but on the very time of year it happened, for many years after? It's that way for me at fall equinox. Powerful changes come to me now in the fall. I quite smoking at equinox, then stood in cirlce at a dear friend's memorial the year after as her two year old dance in the redwood grove while we remembered her mother. That girl is in her 20's now, happy and healthy and tending to children of her own. Mary, if you're watching, you must be pleased. I forgave some hurts that had been a long and difficult burden many years ago at Mabon and I've felt lighter ever since. I left a long relationship as well, and then, years later when I was living more of my life and less of his, I began work that has blessed me to this day. Change comes to me in the time when the apples ripen and fall. As I scatter small galas for the deer who come to our meadow, and begin to make pink lady pies I watch and wait for the next one.

Meanwhile, dog and I are going on the road. We'll be staying with old friends and hiking in well loved places during the fall holidays. Dog wants me to take a rest from the computer. Madame, I hear and obey. I'll take up the blog again when I get back.

All good things,

Sia Vogel

Fall Equinox Celebrations - A Cultural Overview

Mabon Offering and Gratitude

An Apple Harvest Rite

How Can I Keep From Singing by Sarah Sutterfield Winn
Excerpt: It’s amazing how quickly the oppressive thoughts of late summer evaporate as the world opens and shines holy like a morning glory in mid-September. I am half rock n’ roll and half gregorian chant as I stare down the long, golden road of fall - noticing as I drive the long dusty farm roads to various appointments, how the corn turns a rusty shade of red and blushes new as a peach at sunset. How the rain comes cold and sweet like a lemon. How the creeks lap at the grass and wax blue as the best evening sky.

And here I sit in the breathless perfection of creeping spectacular death - the tending to the sleeping bed of the Mama before her long, ancient nap - and….well, it’s hard to stay irritated when the world is just so freakin’ gorgeous.

Mabon by Hecate
Excerpt: I swear by all that's holy (and, let's face it, I'm a witch.I think that it's all holy. The pretty stuff: the flowers and the mountains and the flowing river and the sunlight on the water and the softness of a baby's cheek and the maiden's blush and an eagle and waves and firelight and brave deeds, and the widdershins stuff: the worms and the decay and the mold and the spiders and the cold and the dark and the crone's greed for the warm spot by the fire and the fear and the death. So, it's a lot to swear by) that yesterday, when I drove home from work, the trees along the Potomac River were green. And, tonight, literally overnight, they've begun to turn yellow and brown. As if Mother Earth were saying: here. Here's the boundary.

Mabon and the Harvest in Modern Times by the Tarotlaydee
Excerpt: In these modern times, a spiritual way to look at this time of year is, what did you harvest and bring to your hearth this year? Give thanks to the God and the Goddess for what you have been able to accomplish. Cut away the chaff, the useless things and situations that are slowing your life down. Since we are coming to the end of our Pagan year, what can you hope and plan to accomplish next year? How can you spread some of your good fortune around to others who are needy? How can you work to balance any conflict that is around you? ... It is also time to thank the God and the Goddess for the special people in your life. These things are your modern day "Harvest."

Offerings and Harvest: Pagan Thoughts at Mabon by Sia Vogel
Sacrifice, balance, effort and change: Misconceptions abound around these themes. They are not shiny or sexy. They are not easy to grasp, easy to teach or easy to live. They will not help to sell your next book or workshop. The term sacrifice especially, carries with it a dysfunctional ideal of martyrdom, or worse, it conjures images of innocents lying slain on a bloody altar, the lives of others callously wasted in order to appease a vengeful, angry and jealous god. Pagans have no such deity, so is it any wonder that most Pagan teachers and writers don't address these issues, loaded and ill used as they are? Yet sacrifice and the need for change are something that adult Pagans deal with every day.

Recipes from 2 Witches Blog

Incense mixtures & recipes

Sea Turtle Wisdom Bread and Harvest Morning Muffins

Irish Herb Scones, Apple Butter & more

Chedder Cheese Bread and Fall Leaf Cookies (Pagan recipes for the holidays)

Off the Shelf

An Apple Harvest

Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon

Mabon: Celebrating the Autumn Equinox

Gratitude at Mabon - Originally posted at this blog on 9/07

The maple leaves are turning all around us, and apples are ripening in the farms below. I breath in the rich scents of hay, horse farms and mountain grass. I can see the red tailed hawks turning, wheeling and rising in the early morning light. I feel the kiss of the wind that allows them to rise, and I imagine that I am flying alongside them on warm currents of air, currents that take us all the way up to the sun. It will be some time before we feel it's warmth again, and I will cherish this feeling. The growing light will glisten off the lake and turn what clouds there are pink and red; the colors of those apples I will use in my ritual that day. If I sit very still I may see Mamma bobcat again, out hunting for her young, or share the morning peace with a flock of mountain quail or a white tailed deer and her doe out foraging for food. My thoughts will be with our loved ones, human and non, with our dear friends, both close by and far away.

Later on, I will do some gardening and perform a small dedication on our land, before joining friends and loved ones for a feast. Before the sun sets, I will sit out on our deck with a strong, dark cup of coffee and write both my Gratitude List and my list of Intentions; two things I use in rituals this time of year. It's important to keep these lists in my heart as the wheel turns. I want the perspective a Gratitude List brings and the focus of will my Intention List offers as I enter the dark labyrinth of winter. I never go in but I come out changed. I will later burn both lists at Samhain, as dedication and cleansing.

I will also make up my book list and my writing list. The book list is a reference to the glorious tower of books I will now have time to read when the dark and cold keep us indoors. My writing list includes all those articles and essays I hope to gather in book form. I have finally carved out enough time in my life to do this work. It's something I've been saying I want to do for many years now - Let's see if I really mean it.

This is a special time for me. I will get up early to watch the sun rise over Mt Hood, which lies east of our own little mountain. The place I go to is a small, high, open set of hay fields bordered by fir trees. This spot lies just off our maintain road, on a ridge line near the summit. It has a clear view both east and west, and down into the valleys below us. It's a spot I have visited many times. Few people know of it and fewer visit it, except for those of us who live nearby. Day Trippers will sometimes find it, and pull over to enjoy the view, as will local drivers of small trucks who use our mountain pass or hard bodied cyclists out on training runs but I usually have this spot all to myself. Most times these people respect the place, but sometimes not, and I never leave there without picking up any litter I find. It's a deal I have with the place. I protect this little bit of paradise, and I am gifted in turn with hawk and blue jay feathers and the odd, discarded snake skin. I leave nothing behind and take nothing away that grows there. Sometimes I go up there to see the moon rise at night, and I might meet amateur astronomers, pleasant folks who come to our mountain with their large telescopes to do some star gazing well away from city lights. They often offer to let me look and treat me to sights of colored stars and spiral nebula. Since I always travel with a pack of food, I offer them baked goods, in turn. We don't talk very much, these folks and I, it's enough to share chocolate squares and awe.

Sometimes I go to see the sunset and sometimes I go at dawn. This place and I have come to know each other's moods, the way loved ones will. It will be cold up there tomorrow, just before sunrise, and I hope it will be clear. Most days now are glorious and you can see for miles. But fog or no, I'll go up just the same.

I would like to take this time to wish a Happy Fall Equinox and Blessed Mabon to all here.

Go well, stay well,


Painting: Apple Harvest by David Lawton. Prints are available at Foxhall Gallery

1 comment:

Hecate said...

Do you know David McCord's poem:


"This is my rock,
And here I run
To steal the secret of the sun;

"This is my rock,
And here come I
Before the night has swept the sky;

"This is my rock,
This is the place
I meet the evening face to face."