The Sabbat of Mabon

VII. AUTUMN EQUINOX (C. SEPT 21)

A. HISTORY

“The two Equinoxes are, as we have pointed out, times of
equilibrium. Day and night are matched, and the tide of the year
flows steadily. But while the Spring Equinox manifests the
equilibrium of an athlete poised for action, the Autumn Equinox's
theme is that of rest after labor. The Sun is about to enter the
sign of Libra, the Balance. In the Stations of the Goddess, the
Spring Equinox represents Initiation; the Autumn Equinox, Repose.
The harvest has been gathered in, both grain and fruit, yet the
Sun- though mellower and less fierce than he was- is still with
us. With symbolic aptness, there is still a week to go before
Michaelmas, the festival of Michael/Lucifer, Archangel of Fire
and Light, at which we must begin to say au revoir to his
splendor." (WBC p.116)
Unlike Lughnasadh, which marked the time of beginning to
gather the harvest and emphasized the sacrifice aspect of the
God, Autumn Equinox marks the completion of the harvest, and is a
time of thanksgiving for that abundance with an emphasis on the
future return of that abundance.
There are also legends mentioning the times and places of
balances such as the Equinoxes, dusk, dawn, and crossroads.
Places and times where/when it was neither one thing nor another.
These were reputed to be places/times when the veil between
worlds was thinnest, and great care had to be made to avoid what
we know to be psychic phenomena at such places and times.
Witches, of course seek such experiences, and often are found out
celebrating balances at balanced times. Indeed, the whole
religion seems based on Neutrality; not Good, nor Evil, but a
Natural Balance in all things. There can be no natural thing
without its opposite or counterpart.

This is also the fruit and grape harvest, so wine-making and Bacchnallia are all traditional. While we cannot reconstruct the great vats where women danced the grapes, we can still make a Bacchnallia of it with friends. A cider press is also traditional, and those are still affordable. There are wine and beer-making shops in many cities and many mail-order places.


B. THE ALTAR

1. ALTAR CLOTH AND CANDLES SHOULD BE RED, SYMBOLIZING FIRE.
2. DECORATE THE CIRCLE WITH AUTUMN FLOWERS, ACORNS, GOURDS, PINE
CONES, CORN SHEAF, ETC.
3. A BOWL OF FRUIT IS ON THE ALTAR.
4. OFFERINGS SIMILAR TO SUMMER SOLSTICE SACRIFICE OFFERINGS SHOULD BE NEAR THE ALTAR. (Gifts to charity)
5. HAVE A SMALL BASKET OF DRIED FALL LEAVES ON THE ALTAR.


C. RITUALS

1. SCATTER THE LEAVES ABOUT THE CIRCLE, SAYING APPROPRIATE WORDS SUCH AS THOSE USED IN "SOLITARY PRACTITIONER" P.140.
2. WALK WILD PLACES, GATHERING SEED PODS AND DRIED PLANTS AS PART OF THE RITUAL. SOME CAN BE USED TO DECORATE THE HOME; OTHERS SAVED FOR FUTURE HERBAL MAGIC.
3. USING FRUIT FROM BOWL ON ALTAR, GIVE ONE TO EACH COVENER TO SYMBOLIZE REAPING REWARDS OF JOYOUS HARVEST.
4. A PHRASE TO BE USED FOR RITUAL OFFERING OF SACRIFICES IS, "WE OFFER A PORTION OF OUR FORTUNES TO GO WHERE IT MAY BE NEEDED".
5. HONOR DIONYSUS IN RITUAL BY MAKING GRAPE WINE.
6. BEFORE THE CIRCLE, GO TO A FARMER'S MARKET AND GET BUNCHES OF CORN AND WHEAT FOR UPCOMING RITUALS.
7. AS PART OF CIRCLE, GATHER MANDRAKE ROOTS FOR AMULETS. CARVE THEM INTO MALE OR FEMALE SHAPES FOR PROTECTION, OR FERTILITY. Alternate: use Sculpey Premo and make figures.

8. Poetry

'Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods,
And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt,
And night by night the monitory blast
Wails in the key-hole, telling how it pass'd
O'er empty fields, or upland solitudes,
Or grim, wide wave, and now the power is felt
Of melancholy, tenderer in it's moods
Than any joy indulgent summer dealt.'
William Cunningham


D. SYMBOLISM

1. COMPLETION OF THE HARVEST.
2. DAY AND NIGHT ARE EQUAL.
3. THE PREGNANT GODDESS WATCHES THE WANING GOD DECLINE, KNOWING HE WILL BE REBORN AGAIN.

E. Suggestions for celebrations

1. Have a Roman Bacchnallia Feast. Have everyone bring a potluck dish, and recline on pillows all over the floor if inside or on blankets or sheets if outside.

2. Have a sedate wine tasting. Have everyone bring a favorite wine to share. You provide the crackers, cheese and fruit/veggie tray. Play classical music and pretend you are yuppie pagans. (grin)

3. If you are lucky enough to have a skilled herbalist/botanist available, let them lead an expedition into a wild place for seed-pod and mandrake gathering. If not, make a trip to a local Botanical Garden and grab one of those who work there to tell you all about the plants. Sometimes, at this time of year, you can wrangle a propogated plant from them, if you are polite and show great interest.

4. Have the whole group invest in a wine-making kit and appropriate recipes. Everyone gather to make wine, beer and/or mead. Here again, a potluck is appropriate.

5. Oktoberfest is also seasonal and usually held just after Mabon. Don’t be a Sabbat-go-to-meeting pagan. There are Oktoberfests held all around the country. Grab up your pagan friends, go, drink beer (in moderation!!) and eat all that delicious German food. Don't forget to designate a driver.

F. Recipies

1. Butternut Squash Casserole

2 cups cooked, mashed butternut squash
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup softened butter
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. coconut flavoring
Crunchy Cereal Topping (following)

Combine first seven ingredients; pour into a lightly greased 8¬inch square baking dish. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes. Sprinklewith Topping, and bake 10 minutes more. Yield: 6_8 servings.

Crunchy Cereal Topping
1_1/2 cups cornflake cereal crumbs
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
Combine all ingredients. Makes 2©1/2 cups.

2. Acorn Squash Cake

1/4 butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup cooked, mashed acorn squash
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all_purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Streusel Topping

Beat Butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg, beating well. Stir in squash and vanilla.Combine flour and next four ingredients in a separate container.Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed after eachaddition. Pour batter into greased 9 inch square pan. Sprinklewith Streusel topping. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes. cool cake onwire rack. Yield: 9 servings.

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Combine all ingredients. Yield: 1©1/2 cups

3. Creamy Squash Soup ( a real favorite!)

4 cups cooked mashed butternut squash (can substitute 2 cups ofmashed cooked acorn squash for 2 cups of butternut)
2 (14 oz each) cans ready_to_serve chicken broth
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup whipping cream, divided
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Process half of first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor, and pour into a large saucepan. Repeat with remaining half. Bring to a boil over medium heat; gradually stir in half of whipping cream, and cook until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat. Beat remaining whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Dollop on each serving of soup. Sprinkle with nutmeg. 7 cups.

Review by Berdache, Jaysa, and Tira: Pretty good...Good color and taste.

Acorn Squash Bowls
Cut off tops of squash; cut a thin slice from bottoms to stand squash upright. Remove seeds, and brown tops of shells in a hot greased skillet.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

USE ALL Your Pumpkins This Year

Cleaning the Silver for the Holidays the Easy Way