Mabon, the second of the great harvest festivals, is celebrated at
the Autumnal Equinox around the 21st of March. (between September
21-September 25).It marks the end of the corn harvest which started
with Lughnasadh. It is the time of the apple harvest. For our
ancestors, apples were the fruit that sustained them through the
winter. Apples themselves and the cider which was pressed from them
were an important part of the diet. The
Wheel has turned and for this single day
the hours of daylight and darkness are once again equal. The air is
cooler and the harvest of fruits and vegetables means that we are
busy canning, pickling, drying and bottling the bounties of orchard
The sun is the focal point of energy (along with the moon) and such;
its life force pushes us to discover more about ourselves. It is
time for a cooperative outlook on that time of year, just what was
needed by the communities, as they all worked together to complete
Mabon is the Welsh name for a Celtic god who was stolen from his
mother three days after his birth and locked away till he was a man.
His name was Mabon, son of Modron, which translated means "Son, son
of the Mother". Mabon was also known as the Son of Light. He was the
god of liberation, harmony, music and unity.
The Mother and
son aspect is the most common among the neo-pagans, and fits well
with in the Wiccan perspective of the Holly King mythology.The
story has very ancient origins and much of it has been lost. The
version which has come down to us tells of, Kyllwch, one of King
Arthur's knights, finding and freeing Mabon as a step toward
fulfilling one of the conditions for his betrothal to the fair Olwen.
Through the intervention of the Stag, Blackbird, Owl, Eagle and
Salmon -- the ancient Celtic symbols of wisdom-- Mabon is freed from
his mysterious captivity and Kyllwch wins Olwen.
Mabon, The Mother of the Harvest becomes the Old One,
the wise grandmother who teaches us to rest after our
ancient Greece, the Goddess of the season was both
Demeter, who can be generous with her gifts, or hold
them back as she mourns for her daughter, and
Persephone, who goes into the underworld to return
This is often a time of reflection and re-establishment of routines
that may have slipped during the heat of the summer. We pull out the
boxes of warmer clothing and realize how
much our children have grown when clothing that fit them just a few
months ago is far too short and tight.
Altar arrangement - The Mabon altar is simple. Make
an arrangement of some of the things harvested that will
keep for a few weeks: winter squash, dried corn, herbs,
pumpkins. If you haven't harvested anything yourself,
this is a good time to go to a farmers' market or a
pick-your-own farm and choose what you want on the
Autumn leaves, a bouquet of late-blooming flowers,
picture or figurines of animals are good additions, as
you know any stories of people who have been imprisoned
for their beliefs, their religion or race, you can put
their pictures on the altar.
Colours -red, bronze, orange, yellow and rust!
Incense, Herbs and Woods - Nutmeg, cloves,
Sandalwood and myrrh. Heather, pine and cedar also make
good choices. Herbs commonly associated with Mabon are:
mace, cinnamon, cloves, cypress, juniper, oakmoss,
marigold, ivy and sage. Make your wands from hazel at
this time of year.
Look for coloured leaves. Collect fallen leaves and make a
centerpiece or bouquet for your home, save the leaves to burn in
your Yule fire, or make a "Contact Collage" by sticking the leaves
on the contact (or similar brand), then sticking the whole thing on
a piece of paper or card.
Visit an apple orchard and, if possible, pick your own apples.
Do a taste test of different kinds of apples.
Make apple sauce or apple pie.
Make an apple Doll. (You can speed things up by putting your peeled
and carves apple "head" in the oven at the lowest setting). If you
put them outside to dry, protect them from birds, Magpies once made
quite a feast of our apple heads!
Any of the
activities listed for
the other harvest festivals (Lughnasadh
or Samhain) would also be appropriate for Mabon.
After you have
shared the story of the Little Red House with your children, it is
fun to make block prints using your cut apples. Of course you can
use other fruits and vegetables to make other shapes, but the
natural pentacle inside an apple is a fun for all kinds of pagan
applications from stationary to tee-shirts (Star fruit also has the
pentacle when sliced across).
Apples cut cross-wise to reveal the star
Acrylic craft paint in desired colours. Available in tubes and small
bottles. The tubes work better for this project.
(Note: while it is wet, most acrylic paints can be washed away with
water or rubbing alcohol--once it is dry, it is virtually
impossible to remove from fabrics.)
Items to be printed (white polyester tee-shirts,
folded into quarters to use as stationary or greeting cards, plain
brown paper or white butcher paper to use as
wrapping paper, brown or white bags with handles, etc.)
A piece of tile, or a Styrofoam meat tray to use as a paint surface
Brayer (Optional, but nice to have--a small rolling pin can be used,
but a real brayer can be purchased reasonably at most
art supply stores.)
1. Squeeze a small amount of
paint on your paint surface and spread with the brayer.
2. Dip the cut side of your apple
in the paint and apply to the item you are stamping.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as many
times as desired. If using more than one colour, let dry between
If stamping tee-shirts, let dry
at least 24 hours before wearing or washing.
3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Myrrh
1 part Rosemary
1 part Cedar
1 part Juniper
Burn during fall
and winter Sabbat rituals.
2 Parts Frankincense
1 Part Sandalwood
1 Part Cypress
1 Part Juniper
1 Part Pine
1/2 Part Oakmoss (or few
drops of Oakmoss Bouquet)
1 Pinch Pulverized oak
Burn during Mabon
2 c Apple juice
1 c Water
1 pinch Sea salt (optional)
1 c Rice bran
1 Ts Cinnamon
1 c Roasted pecan or other nuts -- (chopped)
1 Ts Vanilla
Bring juice, water and
salt to a boil in a large saucepan.
Stir in Rice bran and
Turn heat to low.
Simmer 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Stir in nuts and vanilla.
Let set until slightly
Pour into a 20cm square pan.
Refrigerate until set and
Serve squares plain or with a little
Fresh Apple Cake
This is a very rich, moist cake which needs no frosting. I'm told it
mellows and improves with age.
3 C. tart apples, diced and peeled
2 1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Vegetable oil
3 C. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Almond flavouring
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 C. shredded Coconut
1 C. chopped Nuts.
Mix sugar in oil.
Add eggs and mix.
Combine dry ingredients.
Stir the apples, nuts and
coconut into the dry ingredients.
Stir everything together.
Add the flavorings.
Pour into a greased and
floured tube pan.
Bake at 170°C for 1
hour & 30 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the cake comes out
This is a
It keeps well for up to a week without refrigeration.
It's good for breakfast, for snacks or for dessert.
1 1/2 C. Applesauce (chunky is especially good)
1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Shortening
1 C. Raisins
2 C. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 C. chopped Nuts.
Combine applesauce, sugar,
raisins and shortening in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring
frequently until the mixture comes to a boil. Allow to cool.
Combine dry ingredients
Stir everything together
until well blended. (Mixture will be very thick.)
Pour into a greased and
floured 22cm x 30cm pan.
Bake at 175°C for 30
minutes, or until a pick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely,
then cover with plastic wrap.
2 acorn squash
(or similar small pumpkin), washed and
cut in halves
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup of crushed Ritz
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
Wash and cut acorn squash
in half from stem to bottom
Scoop out the seeds and
rub the inside and cut parts with butter
Put the acorn squash on a
Melt the butter, and mix
in the walnuts, brown sugar, and crackers
Place in the holes of the
squash and bake at 175°C for 30 - 40 minutes or until done.
Wild Rice with
Apples and Walnuts
1 cup wild rice
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Cook rice and oil
in water for 50 minutes.
1 cup walnuts
1 rib of celery, chopped
4 chopped scallions
1 cup raisins
1 red apple, peeled and
chopped, set aside in lemon water
2 teaspoons grated lemon
celery, onions, raisins, drained apple and lemon rind and set aside.
3 T. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/3 cup olive oil
pepper, to taste
juice, salt and pepper, garlic and oil and add to cooked rice.
Add fruit mixture
to the rice (to which has been added oil, spices and juice) and mix
well. May be served cold or heated.
1-1.5 kg sweet potatoes,
peeled and steamed until completely soft
3/4 cup orange juice
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons melted
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
Mix juice, eggs,
sugar and spices and blend thoroughly with potatoes using an
electric mixer. Spread into a greased 22cm x 33cm pan.
1/2 cup flour
1/4 c plus 2 T. brown
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans
flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and nuts until crumbly, spread
on top of sweet potatoes and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
The Little Red
One crisp Autumn
day a boy named Peter was looking for something to do. His mother
was busy making applesauce and couldn't stop to play with him, so
she suggested that he go on a quest.
"What is a quest?"
"A quest is a
search for something important that is very hard to find," said his
"What shall I look
for?" asked Peter.
His mother thought
for a moment. "You could look for the Little Red House with No Doors
and No Windows and a Star Inside," his mother said.
Peter had never
heard of such a strange house, but he supposed that it would be more
fun to go on a quest than to sit and wait for the applesauce to
cook, so he put on his jactet and hat and set out on his way.
Peter didn't know
where he should start looking, but he knew his mother would never
set him a task that would be too hard for him to accomplish, so he
walked along the street looking at all the houses. All of the houses
he passed had doors and windows and none of them seemed like the
sort of house that would have a star inside.
Peter saw a little
girl playing in the park. He decided to ask her if she knew about
the Little Red House with No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside.
The little girl
said, "I have never heard of such an unusual house. Let's go ask my
father. He is a farmer. He knows how to make the crops grow and when
it will rain. Maybe he knows about the Little Red House with No
Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside."
Peter followed the
little girl. They walked down the lane, over the hill and to a small
white farmhouse. The girl's father was sitting on the porch. Beside
him were bushel baskets of golden corn and squash, which he had
harvested that morning.
"Daddy," said the
little girl, "This is Peter. He is looking for a Little Red House
with No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside. Do you know where he
can find it?"
The farmer took off
his hat and scratched his head. "I heard of such a house once, but I
never tried to find it. Maybe you should ask my Granny. She is very
old and very wise. She knows how to make apple pies and red mittens.
Maybe she can tell you where it is."
Peter set of down the road looking for
Granny's cottage. He walked all morning and was beginning to get
very hungry when when he finally arrived at the Granny's gate. The
old lady was sitting in
on the front porch knitting some red mittens.
"Excuse me, Granny"
said Peter, "The farmer told me that you might be able to help me
with my quest. I am looking for the Little Red House with No Doors
and No Windows and with a Star Inside. Could you help me?"
The old woman's
face was as wrinkled as an apple doll's. It wrinkled even more when
she squinted at Peter and smiled. "I have heard of that house, but I
never tried to find it. Perhaps you should ask the Wind. He sees and
Peter walked to the
top of a high hill and called to the wind. "Excuse me, Wind, do you
know where I can find Little Red House with No Doors and No Windows
and a Star Inside?"
answered the Wind it it's gusty voice. "I know where that hous-s-s-se
is-s-s-s. Follow me."
Peter followed the
wind. Sometimes the wind would push him gently in the direction it
wished him to go and other times it would snatch off his hat and
throw it into the air in a silly game of catch.
They went down the
hill and through the vale. They finally arrived at an apple orchard.
The Wind climbed into a tree and threw an apple down to Peter.
Peter picked up the
apple and looked at it. The apple was red as rubies and shiny in the
sun. With it's stiff brown stem sticking up like a chimney it did
look like a little house with no doors and no windows.
"But what about the
star?" asked Peter. "Where is the star?"
whispered the Wind. "Cut it open from s-s-side to s-s-side."
Peter took his
and did as the wind instructed. He cut the apple from side to side
and when he opened it, there was a star inside holding the
"Thank you, Wind"
called Peter as he ran towards him home.
Peter," whistled the Wind.
"Granny, I found
it! Thank you for helping me," he shouted as he ran past her
cottage. Granny just nodded and smiled.
"Farmer, I found
it! Thank you for helping me," he shouted as he ran past the
farmer's corn field. The farmer waved and smiled.
Peter didn't stop
running till he got home. "I found it, Mom!" he said.
"I knew you would"
smiled his mother as she gave him a big hug and a spoonful of
painting from -
Once upon a time
there was a little girl named Meagan. She lived with her mommy and
daddy, her big brother Corwin and her beautiful cat named
Starweaver. It was a cool
day. The leaves had started to change colour. Meagan walked home
looking at all the pretty colours. She was wearing the new sweater
that her Nana had made for her. Meagan sighed. Her brother had
gotten his cast off of his arm. But he still didn't seem to want to
play with her. Meagan wished that things would go back to being the
way they were before he broke his arm.
saw a flash of colour at the door to her house. She looked closer and
started running. It was her best friend Cindy! "Hey!" she called
out. Cindy turned around and grinned. "Guess what?" asked Cindy.
Meagan stopped by her panting, "You haven't got a cold anymore."
Cindy giggled, "Yeah, but that's not all. My mom said that I can go
with you to pick apples at Jeremy and Sybil's farm!" "Yay!!"
shrieked Meagan. She and Cindy started jumping up and down and
dancing around. She had been looking forward to picking apples but
it would be even more fun having Cindy with her. Especially since
Corwin wasn't paying attention to her.
The two girls
went inside the house. Meagan's father smiled as they walked past
him chatting about how many apples they were going to pick. "My Nana
said that she'd help teach me to make applesauce and apple butter,"
said Meagan, "Then we can have them for Mabon." Cindy frowned,
"Which one is that?" They sat down on Meagan's bed. "Mabon is when
we celebrate the second harvest." "Huh?" said Cindy, "I know that a
harvest is when you bring the crops in on a farm but I didn't know
that there was more than one."
"Yeah, remember I told you how Lammas is the grain harvest?" Cindy
nodded. "Well," continued Meagan, "Mabon is when you harvest the
fruit, like apples. And then Samhain is when you harvest the meat
if you eat meat. 'Cus you have to choose how many animals you can
feed through the winter." Cindy looked puzzled, "But we don't have
to do that anymore." Elizabeth appeared in the doorway, "That's
right Cindy, but we still celebrate many of the holidays that our
ancestors did. But Mabon is also one of the two equinoxes. That's a
day when the sun is up just as long as it's down. But I didn't come
in here to lecture. Would you two like to come help me make cookies
The girls jumped
off of the bed and went into the kitchen with Elizabeth. They laid
out the ingredients and began making cookies. They rolled out the
dough and used the special cookie cutters. They had a stag for the
North, an eagle for the East, a lion for the South and a dragon for
the West. They also had a star, a sun and a moon. Cindy looked
through the rest of the cookie cutters. "Hey, here's an apple!
Wouldn't that be good for Mabon too?" Elizabeth nodded, "Yes, you're
right. And we have a pumpkin cutter you can use too." Everyone
worked busily making the cookies.
looked at her mother, "Mom? How come Corwin is such a grouch
lately?" Elizabeth set the timer and put a tray of cookies into the
oven. "Well," she said, "your brother is going through some changes
right now. His body is changing and so is his life. How he sees
things. How he relates to people and what they expect of them. So he
has lots of stuff to deal with right at the time his body is
changing which makes it that much harder. You'll understand better
when your body starts changing more. Try to give him some space.
Once he works things out he'll be able to be your favourite brother
"He's my only
brother!" laughed Meagan, "He'd better be my favourite!" Elizabeth
smiled at her. "I remember my cousin Lisa getting really weird when
her body started getting to be like a grown-ups," said Cindy, "I
hope I don't get like that." Meagan nodded, "Me too!" she said.
"Well," said her mother, "it helps if you know what is going on
inside. And remember, you can always go talk to a grown-up, even if
it isn't me or your father. You should never try to keep everything
inside. If it's inside too long it might burn, like those cookies
will if we don't get them out soon!"
Soon it was time
to go to the farm to pick apples. Meagan and Cindy had a good time.
They were made the official apple inspectors since they were still
too young to climb the ladders. Sybil had even made them buttons to
wear on their coats. They checked all the apples for worm holes. The
apples that didn't pass inspection went into baskets that went to
the animals on the farm. Some other apples had started to rot or had
other damage. They put these into another basket to go to the
compost pile. When all the apples had been picked they divided them
up. Jeremy and Sybil got the most because it was their farm, but
everyone got at least some apples to take home with them. When
Meagan and Cindy got back home, Meagan's Nana was already there,
ready to teach them to make applesauce and apple butter. They worked
so long that Elizabeth called Anna and got permission for Cindy to
spend the night.
The next day
Meagan and Cindy carefully packed some jars of the applesauce and
apple butter for Cindy to take home with her. Elizabeth also let her
have some of the cookies that they had made. They were just
finishing when they heard Anna's car in the driveway. The girls
rushed outside to put the packages in the car. "Hold up!" said Anna,
"I've got a few things in the car that need to go inside." In her
car she had some pretty gourds. Meagan hadn't known that gourds
could come in that many colours.
good-bye to her friend and went back inside with the gourds. It
wasn't very long before it was time for the Mabon celebration.
Meagan put on warm clothes under her robe. She helped lay out gourds
and grapes and apples on the Altar and around the Circle. She felt a
little better after talking to her mother about Corwin and he wasn't
acting so weird either. Someone lit the candles and the Coven
members began chanting. After Circle was over Meagan wasn't very
tired so she helped clean things up. But soon she began yawning. It
was time to go to bed. She picked up
Starweaver and went to her room. She got ready for bed and was just
about to snuggle under the blankets when Corwin put his head in the
room. "Hey Sis," he said, "sweet dreams." "You too," replied Meagan
and she went to sleep. It had been a good day.
by Kathryn Dyer