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Posts Tagged ‘Witches’ Thanksgiving’

I found both of these info graphics on the internet and thought I would share them with you. They’re a handy little reference for dates. I’m in the Northern hemisphere and I have February 2nd for Imbolc, though. Looks like it’s probably correct for Lammas in the Southern hemisphere.

 

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Yesterday was Mabon, the Fall Equinox, the Witches’ Thanksgiving, and the morning was cool, crisp, and wet where I live. It was the kind of morning that makes you think of Fall, even though everything is still green and summery looking. After the last few days of cool weather and seeing the cats all curled up in their ‘I only use this bed when it’s cold’ beds, I figured I’d relent and turn the heat on.

I had the urge to see the lake and when the weather radio went off warning of the potential for waterspouts, it wasn’t hard at all to convince my husband that we needed to drive down the coast. We spent the afternoon driving down to where we guessed from the radar that there would be the most storm activity… We missed it. The roads were freshly wet when we got there, but the clouds had all broken up and there was blue sky to be seen.

The lake looked magnificent, though. It was all churned up and tumbling around like an ocean. There was a tiny bit of color change in the trees. The brisk, chilly breeze was more than reason enough for coats. It was a lovely first day of fall.

I hope everyone had a lovely Mabon. How did you spend your day?

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Mabon is also known as the Witches’ Thanksgiving, so what better ritual to do than one of gratitude?

This is a ritual written by Scott Cunningham for a solitary worshiper. I’ve altered a few things slightly because I think it can easily lend itself to Mabon and even to a group ritual. Have everyone light a candle of their own, have more than one bowl, if necessary, or do it outside in a pond (just please don’t leave your candles in the pond!).

Supplies needed:

A large white or pink bowl; personally, I like to use a large, clear glass bowl

A white candle (or two if you need one for wax drippings; also, you could use floating candles)

A lighter with a long reach

Water

Fresh flowers (Scott Cunningham calls for white, but for a Mabon twist, how about fall mums?)

A piece of white cotton cloth; maybe hemp cloth would be better as you’ll be burying this cloth at the end of the ritual

Put the bowl on your altar or a table.

Cast a circle, if you wish.

Adhere the white candle to the middle of the bowl with warmed beeswax or with drippings from another white candle. This is to keep the candle from moving when you add the water to the bowl.

Gently pour water into the bowl and float the flowers. If using floating candles, pour the water first, then add the candles and the flowers.

Light the candle. If doing this with a group, have everyone light a candle.

 


 

Visualize your reason for this gratitude ritual. Though this ritual was not written for Mabon, at this time you can think about what the harvest means to you, both physically and spiritually. There’s food on your table, maybe you’re getting a promotion at work, maybe you’ve just gotten a new job, maybe you’ve learned new things about the Craft, or simply gotten more in tune with your beliefs.  Think of all the things you’re grateful to the Goddess and God for. Using both hands, touch the water and say these or similar words:

Lady of the Moon, of the stars and the Earth;
Lord of the Sun, of the forests and the hills;
I perform a ritual of thanks.
My love shines like the flame;
My love floats like the petals
Upon You.
Lady of the Waters, of flowers and the sea;
Lord of the Air, of horns and of fire;
I perform a ritual of thanks.
My love shines like the flame;
My love floats like the petals
Upon You.
Lady of the Caves, of cats and snakes;
Lord of the Plains, of falcons and stags;
I perform a ritual of thanks.
My love shines like the flame;
My love floats like the petals
Upon You.

Look into the candle’s flame, then down into the water. Blow gently upon the water’s surface and watch the flowers’ movements. Meditate. Commune. Thank.

When you’re finished, take the petals from the water and wrap them in the cloth. Close the circle, if you cast one. End your rite of thanks by quenching the candle’s flame, pouring the water onto the ground, and burying the flowers in the Earth. It is done.

 

Adapted from Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham

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It’s still a little too summery around here, despite the cooling temperatures, to really get that fall smell in the air. I’m not ready to bust out any pumpkin pie spice scented candles, though, so I’ve been settling for lavender essential oil wafting through the house. That’s even a bit too…shall we say, robust for what I’m really in the mood for, though. Dragon’s Blood incense just wafted over from my incense shelf, and that might just be the ticket…

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, I wanted to talk about Mabon incense. I have a recipe from Scott Cunningham that I’d like to share with you. It makes a loose type of incense that is meant to be smoldered on a charcoal disk.

2 parts Frankincense

1 part Sandalwood

1 part Cypress

1 part Juniper

1 part Pine

1/2 part Oakmoss

1 pinch ground Oak leaf

I like the 2:1 of the frankincense and sandalwood as sandalwood gives me a headache. This recipe, of course, is just Cunningham’s suggestion for a season appropriate incense. I’ve been thinking about some more cinnamon or nutmeg scented aromas mixed with a patchouli to soften the sharpness and add the earthiness of the season that I love. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything good.

The purpose of seasonal incense is to help put you in the right frame of mind for the time of the season and so aid in any magical workings you might want to do. It also adds to the spiritual vibrations around you which aids in spellcrafts, meditations, you name it!

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We’re coming up to my favorite time of the year: Autumn (so consider yourself warned to the upcoming autumnal related posts 😉 ). I love the colors of the leaves and the sky, the smell of the earth, and the slight chill that means you need a light jacket to be comfortable outside. This time of year means bonfires that you actually want to be near (instead of the ones in summer when you lean in long enough to cook that hot dog and then you run from the heat!). It means cool, clear night skies with twinkling stars and your breath visible as you gaze upward. It’s the sound of rustling leaves and the sight of birds passing through your neck of the woods as they migrate to their winter homes. This time of year encourages us to ‘nest’, to fortify our homes for the cool weather ahead by changing out our wardrobes to warmer clothes, pulling out blankets, and changing light cotton sheets to flannels.

Autumn is also a time of harvest. Where I live there are a number of crops coming to harvest now. We have apples, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupes, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, grapes, green beans, lettuce, onions, parsnips, pears, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, squash, tomatoes, turnips, watermelon, and zucchini! That’s quite a haul to be thankful for!

Mabon, September 22 this year, is also known as the Autumnal Equinox (when night and day are of equal length) and I’ve heard it called the Witches’ Thanksgiving. I definitely agree with that comparison. There have been many years I’ve set back my Mabon celebration and combined it with Thanksgiving in November. Harvest time is the time of year that we show our gratitude for the food and animal products (wool, skins, etc.) that will sustain us through the increasingly cold and harsh months ahead. It’s the time for dressing up in your best and having a lavish meal with family and friends, reflecting on all the blessings in your life.

Deities of Mabon

Demeter and other mother/agricultural goddesses

Dionysus or Bacchus

Green Man or Horned God

Parvati

Persephone

Pomona

Symbols of Mabon

Acorns

Apples

Autumnal Leaves

Corn

Dried Seeds

Grains

Gourds

Horns of Plenty (aka cornucopia)

Wine

Colors of Mabon

Brown

Gold

Maroon

Orange

Red

Russet

Herbs of Mabon

Acorn

Autumnal Leaves

Ferns

Grains

Honeysuckle

Marigold

Mum

Rose

Sage

Thistle

Spellwork for Mabon

Balance

Gratitude

Harmony

Protection

Prosperity

Rededication

Whatever your plans for Mabon, whether they be solitary celebration or lavish party, I wish you the brightest blessings.

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