Rites, Rituals and Ways to Celebrate Mabon, the Autumn Equinox

The Harvest and the Balance Between Light and Dark

Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Mabon, the autumn equinox, but typically the focus is on either the second harvest aspect, or the balance between light and dark. This, after all, is the time when there is an equal amount of day and night. While we celebrate the gifts of the earth, we also accept that the soil is dying. We have food to eat, but the crops are brown and going dormant. Warmth is behind us, cold lies ahead. Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying—and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

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10 Ways to Celebrate Mabon

Mabon is a time of reflection, and of equal balance between light and dark. Image by Pete Saloutos/Image Source/Getty Images

On or around Sept. 21, for many Pagan, Mabon is a time of giving thanks for the things we have, whether it is abundant crops or other blessings. It is also a time of balance and reflection, following the theme of equal hours light and dark. Here are some ways you and your family can celebrate this day of bounty and abundance. 

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Setting Up Your Mabon Altar

Decorate your Mabon altar with symbols of the season. Image by Patti Wigington 2008

Mabon is the time when many Pagans and Wiccans celebrate the second part of the harvest. This Sabbat is about the balance between light and dark, with equal amounts of day and night. Try some or even all of these ideas -- obviously, space may be a limiting factor for some, but use what calls to you most. 

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Create a Food Altar

Image © Patti Wigington 2013

In most Pagan traditions, Mabon is a time when we're gathering the bounty of the fields, the orchards and the gardens, and bringing it in for storage. Often, we don't realize how much we've collected until we pile it all together - why not invite friends or other members of your group, if you're part of one, to gather their garden treasures and place them on your Mabon altar during ritual?

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Ritual to Honor the Dark Mother

Celebrate the darker aspects of the Goddess at the autumn equinox. Image by paul kline/Vetta/Getty Images

Demeter and Persephone are strongly connected to the time of the Autumn Equinox. When Hades abducted Persephone, it set in motion a chain of events that eventually led to the earth falling into darkness each winter. This is the time of the Dark Mother, the Crone aspect of the triple goddess. The goddess is bearing this time not a basket of flowers, but a sickle and scythe. She is prepared to reap what has been sewn.

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Hold a Mabon Apple Harvest Ritual

Take a moment to thank the gods for their bounty and blessing. Image by Patti Wigington 2010

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. 

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Mabon Balance Meditation

Mabon is a time of balance, and this simple meditation will help you focus on bringing harmony to your life. Image by Serg Myshkovsky/Vetta/Getty Images

Mabon is traditionally a time of balance. After all, it's one of the two times each year that has equal amounts of darkness and daytime. Because this is, for many people, a time of high energy, there is sometimes a feeling of restlessness in the air, a sense that something is just a bit "off". If you're feeling a bit spiritually lopsided, with this simple meditation you can restore a little balance into your life. 

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Hold a Hearth and Home Rite for Mabon

No matter where you live, you can do a hearth & home protection rite at Mabon. Image by Patti Wigington 2008

Mabon is a time of balance, and a good time to celebrate the stability of the hearth and home. This ritual is a simple one designed to place a barrier of harmony and protection around your property. You can do this as a family group, as a coven, or even as a solitary. 

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Hold a Gratitude Ritual

Do a Gratitude Ritual to express your thankfulness. Image by Andrew Penner/E+/Getty Images

Are you thankful for the things you have—both material and spiritual? Want to sit down and count your blessings? Why not perform this simple gratitude rite, in which you can enumerate the things you have that make you feel fortunate? After all, Mabon is a time of giving thanks. 

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Celebrate the Autumn Full Moon

Celebrate the autumn full moon outdoors!. Image by KUMIKOmini/Moment/Getty Images

Some Pagan groups prefer to have a season-specific full moon ceremony, in addition to marking the Sabbats. During the autumn months, the harvest season begins with the Corn Moon in late August, and continues through September's Harvest Moon and the Blood Moon of October. If you'd like to celebrate one or more of these moon phases with a ritual specific to the harvest, it's not hard. This rite is written for a group of four people or more, but if you needed to, you could easily adapt it for a solitary practitioner. 

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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Rites, Rituals and Ways to Celebrate Mabon, the Autumn Equinox." Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, learnreligions.com/mabon-rites-and-rituals-2562284. Wigington, Patti. (2021, February 8). Rites, Rituals and Ways to Celebrate Mabon, the Autumn Equinox. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/mabon-rites-and-rituals-2562284 Wigington, Patti. "Rites, Rituals and Ways to Celebrate Mabon, the Autumn Equinox." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/mabon-rites-and-rituals-2562284 (accessed April 2, 2023).