Mabon the Autumn Equinox

mabon equinozio di autunno

Mabon the autumn equinox, on September 22nd is celebrated, according to the calendar of the Wheel of the Year, the second autumn harvest festival: MABON, the autumn equinox.
After the spring equinox of Ostara, now once again the passage of time stands still in balance, with day and night of equal length: but now the nights become longer and the days shorten gradually; this is also the Sabbath of the Mysteries, associated with the descent into the underworld of Persephone and the grief of Demeter, her mother, as in the Eleusinian Mysteries.
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Mabon, Welsh deity son of Modron, was considered the god of youth, hunting and harvesting; connected to the Celtic god Maponos, formerly associated with Apollo to which the ancient Roman garrison of Hadrian’s Wall raised prayers and offerings, contains in himself the myth of Demeter and Persephone and the symbolism of the grain: as the mother is desperate in the search of her daughter abducted to the underworld, so the earth in this period prepares for the long winter sleep, not giving fruit anymore, but keeping within itself the richness of its seed for the next harvest in the new season. This is therefore a time of thanksgiving for the harvest obtained and for all that the soil has given us, with the desire to share with others this wealth honoring the gods, making thus sure that they are always benevolent and generous in giving their gifts; it is also the celebration of the end of the most laborious period of the year; the productive cycle is concluded with the harvest and now nature is preparing for winter, fields are ploughed, and rituals and prayers for a good new season are held.
This circumstance is also a moment for reflection and rest, it is time of balance, and not only between light and darkness: it is the balance between the Goddess and God, between matter and spirit, between our desires and what we achieved, between what was given to us and what we were able to obtain, it is a time of meditation in which we aspire to protection, security and self-confidence.
Now the Goddess, grown old, lets the God, her husband, die to be reborn to a new life and thus bring wealth and abundance in the coming harvests. Nature also is preparing for this new period, the leaves turn yellow, the last fruits ripen in the warm autumn sun: it’s vintage time. The preparation of wine, precious product, through fermentation brings the symbolic meaning of spiritual transformation, and makes Mabon an important initiatory festivity, rich of the awareness of our intimacy, that allows us to look inside ourselves.
Representation and metaphor of the equinox is the Swan, symbol of the immortality of the soul and guide for the dead in their path to the afterlife.
In ancient times, many were the celebrations related to this festivity: Druids honored The Green Man, the god of the forest, offering sacrifices to the trees; nowadays homage is payed by walking in places surrounded by nature, picking berries and dry plants to be used later for making garlands and decorating the house, preparing foods with typical products of this period of the year such as grapes, wine, cereals, fruits and vegetables, beans, pumpkins and pomegranates.
Since ancient times, the equinox is celebrated in several countries, with festivals and events; one, for instance, will take place in Thornborough, North Yorkshire. Even in the field of music many artists have remembered and celebrated Mabon, including Omnia, Lisa Thiel and Jemie Smith.

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