Saturday, September 1, 2012

Preparing for Mabon

The nights are becoming a bit longer, the days a bit shorter.  Here on the prairie, we've been watching the canadian geese and many other birds pass us by on their way south.  My extremely late-planted garden is finally yielding a harvest, and even some of the trees are yellowing a bit.  There's no denying it: Fall is upon us.

Maybe it's because fall is not my favorite season - I have trouble seeing the good in cold weather, and no matter how hot it's been I miss summer already!  Maybe it's because this is my first year really gardening and providing part of my own subsistence.  Whatever it is, I have a really hard time distinguishing between the holidays of Lughnasadh and Mabon.  Sure, Lughnasadh is the bread feast while Mabon is more about fruits and veggies, but to me it's never been enough of a difference to really set the two holidays apart.  So this Mabon will be my attempt to really appreciate the holiday in a way that is separate and distinct from the first of the Harvest holidays.

First of all, and most importantly, this year my feast will have fruits and veggies from my own garden.  There's nothing better than homegrown tomatoes, and I plan to make good use of them.  Homemade veggie pizza is on the menu, and hopefully my bell peppers will start fruiting in time to be included!  All this feasting is very similar to Lughnasadh, and honestly if I'd have gotten my plants in the ground earlier, they'd probably be ready for a first harvest closer to the first of August than September.

I recently was reminded of the liminal between-ness of the equinoxes, and I'm hoping to really recognize that this year.  Samhain is traditionally the feast of the ancestors, spoken of as the festival where the veil between our world and theirs is the thinnest; but perhaps Mabon can be thought of as sort of the twilight before Samhain's full darkness.  The light thins and comes through only in slanting rays, as all the colors mix together and the world goes in to a soft-focus of sorts.  Whereas Samhain is for the ancestors, and Lughnasadh seems uniquely fitted to celebrating the nature spirits, perhaps Mabon is the perfect holiday for really getting in touch with the gods and goddesses.  In my tradition, before the sun or moon were placed in the sky light came from another source, one that never really rose or set but instead faded in and out between silver and gold.  The world was bathed in the same half-light that I imagine Mabon represents.  So for me, I want to establish this holiday as reminiscent of that same time, when the gods and goddesses walked under the trees and helped to shape the world.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really beautiful and inspiring post! Lots of great imagery and a good outline of your plans. And I love that story from your tradition, about the silver-and-gold light source - really beautiful :)