Autumnal Equinox/Mabon/Second Harvest
Gathering seeds is a magickal act, so I consider it to be a sort of ritual in itself. I prepare myself by doing some deep breathing and then visualize the life that is contained within the seeds that will blossom and bear next year.
For annuals, the production of the seeds marks the end of their life and I acknowledge that their turn on wheel has been completed and give thanks as I pull them from the ground. I scatter some of the seeds into the place where the mother plant grew, and save some to plant in the spring in case the birds get the ones that were scattered on the ground. We all have our role, and we all have our needs. There’s enough to share and I try in interfere in the natural process as little as possible.
I store the seeds in a folded paper packet which I label and keep in a cool, dry, dark place. The seeds will be blessed at the Vernal Equinox.
In Europe and Britain, the conclusion of the harvest each autumn was once marked by great festivals of fun, feasting, and thanksgiving known as “Harvest Home.” It was also a time to hold elections, pay workers, and collect rents. These festivals usually took place around the time of the autumnal equinox. Certain ethnic groups in this country, particularly the Pennsylvania Dutch, have kept the tradition alive.
Fall begins. The autumnal equinox is defined as the point at which the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south. The celestial equator is the circle in the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles. It can be thought of as the plane of Earth’s equator projected out onto the sphere. Another definition of fall is nights of below-freezing temperatures combined with days of temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The word equinox means “equal night”; night and day are the same length of time. In addition to the equal hours of daylight and darkness, the equinoxes are times when the Sun’s apparent motion undergoes the most rapid change. Around the time of the equinoxes, variations in the position on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets can be noticed from one day to the next by alert observers
Ice Ball Lantern
These ice ball lanterns are a real Wow! and will be the talking point of any party – for maximum effect make them in pairs to stand sentinels at the front door or gate. It goes without saying that they will melt after a few hours, so the colder the night you put them out the longer they will last.
* One balloon per lantern
* One bucket per lantern
* Small saw or serrated knife
* Several votive candles
* Pair of barbecue tongs
1. Fill the balloon with water and tie a knot at the top. It is easier to do this while holding the bucket under the balloon for support.
2. Put the bucket with the balloon inside in the freezer for several hours or until about 1/2″ of ice has formed all around the inside of the balloon – you may have to experiment to find out how long this takes, as times vary from freezer to freezer.
3. Take the bucket out of the freezer and cut the balloon away from the ice ball.
4. Use a serrated knife or small saw to cut a lid off the top of the ice ball.
5. Pour out the water and scrape out any soft ice left in the center of the ice ball.
6. Put the ice ball back in the bucket and replace in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
7. When appropriated, position the lanterns outdoors and put a votive candle inside the lantern – a pair of tongs is helpful for this.
As an added extra, you could use food coloring to make colored lanterns. You could also add different herbs, leaves or other decorations as desired into the ice lanterns. Think first harvest, fruits and such.
Ideas for Celebrating Mabon
* Go through your garden, tending it, thanking the plants and flowers for their abundance, harvesting whatever is ready, collecting seeds.
* Make a mandala of seeds and grains found on the graound, an offering of the Mother’s gifts to the animals and birds; infuse it with specific magick that will be released as the seeds are consumed or scattered.
* Honor the elders in your circle or your life in some special way.
* Have a pot-luck feast of thanksgiving and invite all your friends and loved ones to celebrate abundance.
* Bake a loaf of bread for your Sabbat cakes and ale in the shape of the sun or with a sun design cut into the dough before it is baked.
* Share your abundance. Collect a basket of goodies from your garden to share with a neighbor who has no garden or who has had a rough year; gather donations of food and/or clothing for a favorite charity.
* Go on a Nature walk with your family or circle members; spend time discussing things you’ve done together in the last year. Gather wild seeds and seed pods to decorate your circle for ritual.
* Start gathering those pinecones when you see them.
By Jane Roa
Nowadays many folks decorate porches and homes with dried corn, corn husks, baskets of gourds and varieties of squash. In the past hanging a bunch of dried corn by the front door was a sign that it was a Pagan home and the Ancient Gods were welcomed.
Keep your mind open to this time of year. I grew up in New Mexico, the usual outdoor decoration was not only the Indian corn but the Chiles both red and green. These can be used at the altar to represent Fire – due to their spicy nature, or even as Earth due to the green color. A lovely casserole to bring to a ritual is a Chile Relleno dish. Use fruits at each quadrant for the element they represent. Use those lovely fall leaves to decorate your altar. Suggested candles are deep green and russets. Be creative with altar clothes. Use one of those pretty fall fabrics as a cloth.
A gift to the Goddess suggested is the iris bulb. Plant shortly after the Equinox. Remember this was sent by the Mother Goddess to teach her magick to her children on Earth. The iris is the Goddess of the Rainbow. The growth that follows in the spring helps us understand the lesson of things dying around us even though there is life all around. It shows us this promise “From this life. Life is to come.”
Rituals at this time can be done using the variety of fall colors available. Also use deep purple, it is a prominent color at this time. Use the bounty of nature to decorate your home, altar or workplace. Use items such as acorns, oak sprigs, pine and cypress cones, ears of corn, wheat stalks, fruits and nuts. Along with a rustic basket filled with dried leaves of various colors. Some traditional foods are grains, fruits and veggies, especially cornbread, beans and baked squash.
By Jane Roa
1 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
2-3 green onions, diced
6, 8 inches tortillas, I used Whole Wheat
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (Queso Fresco or Monterrey Jack would be good too)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
In bowl, stir pumpkin, green onions and spices, mix well. Spread over 3 tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with remaining tortillas. In large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-low. Cook quesadillas 1 at a time, turning once and adding more oil between batches, until browned, 3-4 minutes. Cut into wedges.