How To Hold a Mabon Apple Harvest Rite

Girl holding apple
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Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, is celebrated in many ways around the world. It is a day of balance, with equal amounts of darkness and light, but soon, winter will arrive. In some Wiccan traditions, it marks the time when the Sun King descends into the underworld, from which he will be reborn at Yule.

Did You Know?

  • Apple trees are representative of wisdom and guidance; this ritual will allow you a chance to thank the gods for their bounty and blessings.
  • Apples are associated with divination; find a way to associated divination into your rituals for Mabon.
  • In Celtic myth, an apple branch bearing grown fruit, flowers, and unopened buds was seen as a magical key to the land of the Underworld.

In many pantheons, the apple is a symbol of the Divine. Apple trees are representative of wisdom and guidance. This apple ritual will allow you time to thank the gods for their bounty and blessings, and to enjoy the magic of the earth before the winds of winter blow through.

Decorate your altar with symbols of the season—a basket of gourds or small pumpkins, colorful fall leaves, acorns, vines, grapes or blackberries. You'll also need a pair of orange candles to symbolize the harvest, a cup of cider or wine, and an apple. Although this ritual is designed for a solitary practitioner, you can easily adapt it into a group ritual setting.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now. Feel free to replace the wild god and mother goddess with the names of deities from your own tradition if you need to.

Two Candlestick holders and three apples by the window. Still life.
Images say more about me than words. / Getty Images

Light your harvest candles. Face the altar and hold the apple in both hands. If you can do this rite outside, raise the apple up to the sky, and feel the wisdom and energy of the gods coming to you. Say:

The apple is sacred, a symbol of the gods,
and holds the knowledge of the ancients inside.
Tonight I ask the gods to bless me with their wisdom.


Five points in a star, hidden inside.
One for earth, one for air, one for fire,
one for water, and the last for spirit.

Next, turn to the south and say:

I call upon the wise ones, the ancient gods,
as the sun moves away and fire fades,
to be replaced with the chill of the night.

Finally, face west, and say:

I will reflect on the guidance of the gods,
and let the cool autumn rains wash over me,
cleansing my heart and soul.

Raise the cup of wine or cider to the sky, and toast the gods. Say:

The wild god returns this night to the belly of the Mother.
The mother goddess tonight becomes the Crone.
As the Wheel of the Year turns, the earth dies a bit each day.
I willingly follow the old gods into the darkness,
where they will watch over me, protect me, and keep me safe.

Sip from the cup, and as you drink your wine or cider, think about the power and energy of the Divine, in whatever aspect you choose to honor. Extinguish one of the candles, and say:

The wild god has gone to rest in the Underworld.
I look to the darkness for renewal and rebirth.

Leave the apples on your altar overnight, and the next morning, put them in your garden as an offering to the earth.

For Further Reading

  • Black, Susa Morgan. “Tree Lore: Apple.” Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, 22 Oct. 2012,
  • “History And Folklore.” U.S. Apple Association,
  • Hunter, Candace. “Apple History, Folklore, Myth and Magic.” The Practical Herbalist, 7 Dec. 2016,