Mabon or the Autumnal Equinox is the second harvest festival in the Southern Hemisphere calendar which is a vernal equinox meaning the hours of the day and night are approximately the same length. This year it falls on the 20th of March at 7.37pm. Mabon is named after the god of the same name in Welsh mythology but its a modern adaptation from the 1970’s. Other gods such as Pamona, the Green Man, Bachus, Dionysus, Artemis, Carpo, Hestia, Persephone, Demeter and Hekate can all be honoured during this time of year.
My mother was a wildcrafter and I have very distinct memories of her taking me foraging during this time of year. We would forage for various herbs, plants, nuts and flowers. The area I grew up in was surrounded by farmland and so there was a plethora of nature’s gifts to be found and used. On occasion we would also take day trips to forage seasonally.
I like to take long walks and see the changing of the leaves (yes I am one of those people) and I do this locally as well as around my beautiful state. I also go out foraging during this time of year and I have engaged in various foraging expeditions and would recommend the following books for those living in Melbourne/Victoria to assist you as you need to be VERY careful with what you collect and use (and if in doubt leave it be and don’t risk poisoning yourself):
- The Weed Forager’s Handbook: A Guide to Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Australia by Adam Grubb and Annie Raser Rowland.
- Wild Food Plants of Australia Paperback by Tim Low.
I feel that Demeter resonates with this time of the year. This is the time when Demeter withdraws her creative powers from the earth as Persephone descends into the underworld. I also feel that Hekate also resonates with this time of year especially since its a liminal time – a day of equal day and night and Hekate’s ability to dwell within those times.
I personally like to honour Demeter as well as Hekate during this time and make offerings of wine, grapes, bread, grains: corn, oats and barley, nuts, acorns, apples, pomegranates, onions, poppies, mushrooms, dandelions, nettles, marrow, chickweed, black berries, oak leaves, vine leaves and herbal teas.
I like to cook with seasonal foods and for Hekate and Demeter I like to bake and offer Cheese Garlic and Thyme Bread , Garlic and Saffron Risotto (I substitute the rice for barley and the butter for Nuttlex) and Apple Tea Cake (I substitute milk with soy/almond/oat milk and butter with Nuttlex)
- Rituals and spells involving balance within or outside of yourself such as removing an addiction and replacing it with a healthy lifestyle change.
- Rituals and spells involving mourning something lost – to be able to better accept this loss.
- Honouring the dual nature of life and accepting its beauty. This includes honouring the darkness and the light as both are equally as important.
- Prepare food for the God/s you honour during this time and thank them for their gifts.
- Cleanse and purify your home and garden.
- Gardening such as blessing and sowing autumnal seeds specific to your region and/or fertilising and turning the earth.
- Go foraging with friends (ensuring you are very careful and don’t collect anything poisonous or which has been sprayed with chemicals) or alternatively book a local guided wild forager tour (such as mushroom or herbs/plants) or go apple picking at a local orchard.
- Like Demeter go for a wander – take a long walk in the woods or somewhere where you feel close to the gods and spirits of your local land.
As is my style, I like to craft during this time of year making abundance pouches which I fill with various items which symbolises abundance to me, along with cleansing washes, blessing oils, and seasonal God/dess incense.
I would like to share with you a Hekate Incense I came up with which I love and resonates with this time of year and which I urge you to try your hand at making:
Hekate’s Autumnal Incense (C) T. Georgitsis
1 Part Dehydrated (or oven dried) Apple Peel
1 Part Dehydrated (or oven dried) Pomegranate Peel
1 Part Pine Resin
1-3 Sprinkle of Cinnamon (or crushed cinnamon stick).
Since I love to perform rituals to honour Hekate, I like to mark the date with a ritual in her name. Here is a hymn I wrote to Demeter and Hekate for my devotional rites which I would also like to share with you:
Autumnal Hymn to Demeter and Hekate (C) T. Georgitsis
Great Goddess Demeter
I thank you for your bounty
You who separates the chaff from the grain
I pray to you so that my life be full of boons
Madam of the Sacred Law
Encourage and protect me as I work its mysteries
Great Goddess Hekate
I thank you for your guidance
You who perceives the cycles of life and death
I pray to you so that my life be full of blessings
Madam of Magick
Encourage and protect me as I walk its path
So work your magick this equinox and engage in some activities which can bring you in closer connection to your Gods and the cycle of the earth.
(c) T. Georgitsis 2021