Afternoon, faithful but often disappointed by my lack of content, readers.
I’ve just got back from my weekly sewing group and we’ve started on the Christmas crafting. Yep it’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to gluttony and gifts. Before that we have Halloween though and of course in the pagan community it’s ‘Mabon’in a week.
I do not celebrate Mabon; the name ‘Mabon’ has never been associated with the autumn equinox, it is the name of quite an obscure god appropriated by early members of the witchcraft tradtions as a festival name in the 40’s and 50’s. There is no reference to celebrations for the autumn solistice in any survivng Anglo-Saxon or Continental Iron Age literature, that I kniow of. That being said, September is called ‘Haligmonath’, christianised to ‘Harvestmonath’, by Bede in his Ecclisiastical History. It’s a holy harvest month; the grain harvest is long over, what we’re bringing in now is the fruit – apples and pears, blackberries, rosehips and sloes. The fruit of the orchard and hedgerow. The stuff that stored, pickled, made in to jams and steeped in alcohol provided a source of fruit through the winter.
Next weekend I’ll be celebrating that harvest, thankful for the fruit that my ancestors survived on and thankful for the free food I find as I take the dogs out for a walk, or go for a stroll myself. I’ll be with a bunch of druids and pagans who have a different religious calender to me; we each will find different meaning in the same celebration, each as valid as the other.
If I don’t call Mabon ‘Mabon’, what do I call the autumn equinox?
Nothing. Well, the autumn equinox, I suppose. But as a celebration? To me it doesn’t have a name. Haligmonath is the name of the month, a time to celebrate the fruits and last harvests. I might choose to celebrate it all month or I might choose to celebrate on a specific day, or I might do both. Joining other pagans in a festival is a bonus and I’ll take a different meaning from it than my friends who are druids or who are exclectic pagans, or who are Christo-Pagans.
There’s room enough for us all to find our own meaning’s and to use whatever name fits.
My weekend ‘to do’ list:
- Forage cooking apples, eating apples, brambles (if there are any left), sloes.
- Learn how to make use of rosehips; forage rosehips.
- Collect firewood if the rain stops long enough for them to dry out.
Best be off.