Yesterday the sacred Wheel of the Year turned again & we entered the Sabbat of Mabon, at the Autumn Equinox. The Earth stood in perfect balance, just as at Ostara, with the day being exactly the same length as the night. From this point onward the days will become shorter until the Winter Solstice.
Mabon is a time to be thankful for the abundance of the harvest & to take stock. A time to fill the larder with homemade preserves & the freezer with vegetables, stocks & soups. In Pagan symbolism Mabon is the time of the second harvest, the Fruit Harvest. The Goddess is radiant as Harvest Queen & her union with the God has produced both the abundance all around us & the seed for next year's harvest.
Inwardly, Mabon is a time to examine whether the hopes, ideas & dreams we sowed in Spring have come to fruition, rejoice in those that have & to ponder the lessons of those that haven't. Just as we are thankful for the harvest it's a time to be thankful for all that is ripe & rich & good in our lives. Just as the chaff is discarded at harvest time, now is the time to discard our emotional & spiritual chaff so that we can begin to lay down the seed to be sown next year.
The apple is a symbol of the Fruit Harvest & this year we are lucky to enjoy a particularly good crop of apples in the UK. For Pagans the apple contains a hidden secret. If you cut one across its middle rather than top to bottom you reveal a hidden pentagram containing the seeds. The 5 points of a pentagram represent the elements of Air, Fire, Water, Earth & Spirit.
Blackberry & Apple Jelly
4lb blackberries (when taking fruit from the hedgerows remember to always leave enough behind for wildlife)
2lb cooking apples
2 pints water
Rinse & drain the blackberries,wash & chop the apples & place both into a preserving pan with the water. Simmer until soft, the strain the pulp & measure the juice produced. Return the juice to the pan, along with 1lb of sugar for every pint of juice & boil until setting point is reached (roughly 10 mins of rapid boiling). Allow to cool slightly before potting into sterilised jars.
Mabon is an excellent time for gathering herbs & spices that will help fend off those pesky Winter colds & chills. For example sage, ginger & hyssop are all good for treating the congestion of colds & flu. Cinnamon & nutmeg are warming & improve circulation. Echinacea works as a natural antibiotic & immune stimulant.
Warming Winter Tea
1.5 cups of freshly boiled water
1/2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp each grated lemon & orange zests
1 to 2 crushed cardammon seeds
1 or 2 drops of vanilla essence
1 cinnamon stick
Allow to infuse for 5 mins or to taste,sweeten with honey if desired.
May Mabon / Autumn blessings be with you,