Monday, September 17, 2012

Glorious Autumn... A Time to Give Thanks... Part Two

~ Mabon ~
In continuation of Harvest celebrations and the autumn equinox...

Emilie Preyer

Mabon is an old Celtic mid-harvest celebration, which occurs during the Autumn Equinox. This particular celebration, one of three Pagan Harvest Festivals, honors Mabon, the Welsh God of male fertility. This is a time designated to give thanks, and to celebrate the ‘second-harvest.’ The Druids refer to this celebration as Mea'n Fo'mhair, in honor of the God of the Forest or The Green Man. They offer gifts of wine, cider, and herbs to the trees. They also celebrate Alban Elfed, a time of balance between the light and the dark.

Thomas Moran - Under the Trees
The autumn season is a time to gather and store crops—and marks the beginning of the hunt. Traditionally, men hunt game animals, such as deer, elk, and other wild animals to provide food for the winter table. Symbols of Mabon include mid-autumn vegetables, like squash, gourds, apples, pies, and cider. Seeds, pods, sickles, scythes and baskets all symbolize harvest gathering.

Other worldwide myths and legends emphasize these themes of life, death, and rebirth, as the earth enters her death-like sleep of winter. As we discussed last week, Demeter and her daughter Persephone, kidnapped by Hades has to return to the Underworld once a year, which brings on winter. 

In another myth, the Sumerian goddess Inanna, goddess of fertility and abundance, descended into the Underworld, ruled by her sister Ereshkigal. Entry into the Underworld in this legend required Inanna to strip away her clothing and all her worldly possessions. Ereshkigal unleashed a series of plagues against her sister. Inanna eventually succumbed to these plagues. The growing things of the earth died (winter). A vizier then restored her to life and upon her return; the earth once again renewed itself.

In Germany, September 29 is Michaelmas Day, and is held in honor of the archangel, Michael. When the Germans converted to Christianity, Michael replaced the Teutonic god Wotan (Odin), to whom many mountain places were sacred. There are many chapels of St. Michael in the mountains of Germany.

And what about that “Wicker Man?” Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome blog! Thank you for sharing!