Mabon. Second Harvest. Pagan Thanksgiviing. That Sabbat before Samhain.
In the South autumn is not yet in full swing at Mabon. We might have seen a slight drop in temperatures or realized that Hallothanksmas is in full swing at the local craft or drugstore, but that special feeling of fall just hasn’t arrived yet. The tomato vines are full and the leaves are firmly attached to their branches and the Green Man is still virile. The last physical harvest is still pending.
As southern urban pagans our daily connections to nature are climate controlled or covered in asphalt. We must seek out experiences with nature instead of being pulled into the flow. External and retail oriented indications of the seasonal change inspire hurry and a sense of impending need. It is easy to get caught up in the anticipation of Samhain, Halloween, Yule, and Christmas (as many pagans celebrate both our religious holidays and secular ones with extended family)
How do we connect back to the Wheel turning without the seasonal cues of those in more northernly climates? Remember that there is magic and beauty in the ordinary. As the temperatures slowly dip below 90 at sunset and twilight begins to arrive just after supper instead of at bedtime, reserve time to step outside and listen to the music of the tree frogs singing. The late blooming crepe myrtles have offered up their blossoms but there is also beauty in the rich green of plants past the flowering stage.
Plan a trip to a local farmer’s market and head to the stalls still selling the last of the tomatoes, pole beans, okra, peppers and peaches, the rewards of a longer growing season. This is the beginning of pumpkin flavored everything in retail but there is time for that, the last harvests of summer are still waiting to be savored or canned.
Though our weather may not have caught up, Mabon is an equinox and a time of balance between the light and the dark. It is in this time of between we find our connections to Mabon and our harvests that are the culmination of the things we have spent our time and effort on; our intellectual and financial harvests as well. Set aside time to plan for the the coming short days and long night, create a space in your home for reading or crafting or other activities that feed your spirit through the Dark of the year. Start a journal or scrapbook to reflect on the gifts of what you have harvested through the spring and summer, family outings and vacations and summer games.
As urban pagans our lives are no longer dependent on the cycles of the growing season but our spirits remain tied to the cycle of Light and Dark. Set aside this time as the days begin to shorten to gather the gifts of the Light and know you have the harvest of strength, courage, and wisdom to step into the next cycle of the wheel.
Julie Jeznach is a Mother, student, and practitioner of an eclectic Wiccan life. She has been studying Wicca and Paganism for 31 years while pursuing varied careers and raising her children. Julie is currently a second degree student and Maiden with Temple of the Sacred Gift and a talented tarot reader. She is skilled in fiber arts and jewelry making and channels her inner magpie collecting gemstones, yarns, and various small “pretty things.” She loves recipes both delicious and magical. Julie shares her home with her two wonderful children, a cranky orange tabby, and a loving border collie that keeps things running smoothly.