By now, the leaves are turning and the temperatures are getting a bit cooler (or not, if you are experiencing a late summer heatwave). Summer seems like a whisper in your ear, and the wind rustles amidst the swirling leaves. Mabon is beckoning as a time of balance, which always strikes me as highly ironic, as this begins during the most unbalanced time of all. School routines are in place, the weekends are full of activity, there are endless chores to do, the holidays are looming, and we begin the descent into the last part of the year.
I was breathless just writing that. It is easy to go down the rabbit hole of anxiety and worry, feeling overwhelmed and the furthest from balanced that we can possibly feel. There is hope, however. Our beloved ancestors knew what they were doing when they aligned themselves with the Wheel of the Year. You can feel it shifting yourself, either incrementally, or seemingly quickly, depending on your circumstances. Mabon is a time to reset yourself, to pause and review, to plan and look forward. It is the one of the two days of the year when the day itself is evenly balanced. Think about that for a second. Take a deep breath. Ground and center, and plan to use this time to reset yourself.
Is your life like a sped-up movie? Are things getting forgotten in the chaos of day-to-day living? Do you long for a simpler life? No time for ritual or even a decent nap?
Make plans now to take some time on Mabon, after you have celebrated with your community or as a solitary practitioner, and perform this ritual to hit the reset button, so that the rest of the year is more serene than scary, more grounded than garish, more thoughtful than terrifying.
First, you need to grab your favorite beverage and take some time to write. Use your journal, some pretty paper, or even a shopping list from the fridge. On one sheet, write down all the things you have accomplished this year. Mabon is all about accomplishment, isn’t it? All about what you planted and harvested, so go way back to the beginning of the year and list all the things you’ve done. Do not go down the rabbit hole of “Well, I wanted to do this, but didn’t get to it…” Make this a positive session. You arrived to work on time every day? Excellent. You kept your temper with an annoying co-worker? Kudos. Really focus on what you’ve gotten done. I am positive you have lots you can choose from. Maybe you’ve been more frugal at the grocery store, or made better food choices. List all that.
On the other piece of paper, write down what you want the rest of the year to look like. It doesn’t have to be a list, it can be free-form writing, such as “I want to go explore my area, spend lots of time outdoors, wear my boots and flannels again, and drink lots of warming beverages. I want to finish one whole book, and write a decent poem, and learn to cook one amazing fall dish with spaghetti squash, because I never know what to do with it…” It can be as simple as, “Every day I want a whole hour for myself.”Then set a time and space for your ritual.
When that time arrives, gather the following:
A fall-colored candle (orange, red, yellow)
A white candle
Some colorful leaves, real or otherwise. Make some from paper if you want to be creative.
A cloth, scarf, or piece of autumnal colored material
Whatever you use for clearing (sacred smoke bundle, Florida water, incense)
A cup or chalice with your favorite beverage (water, mead, wine, etc.)
A red piece of yarn, around 6-12 inches
Your athame or a knife
Arrange all these articles on the cloth in your sacred space, and light the candles. Have your lists nearby. If you have time, take a soothing bath right before, and play some of your favorite music.
When ready, ground and center yourself. Feel yourself rooted deep, deep down into the earth below you.
Breathe deeply, and call in your guides and ancestors. Take your time with this, and really savor those you call on, as you feel their support, love and caring for you.
When ready, read your first list out loud, and then take a drink of your beverage.
Lift up the autumnal candle and gaze into the flame. Smile at your harvest of accomplishments. Feel the smile spread through your body, relax your shoulders, and revel in that list.
Now, take the second piece of paper and read aloud your vision of the rest of the year.
Life up your white candle, gaze into the flame and say “This is my vision of the rest of the year. May it be so!” Take another drink of your beverage.
Next, pick up the red piece of yarn, fold it in half, and cut it with the knife or athame. One half represents the year so far, the other half represents the rest of the year. Fold up one string within the first piece of paper and fold the paper until it is tiny and contained. Place to one side.
Now take the feather, and your choice of clearing item, and clear the area around you. Cover all the directions, and say out loud or to yourself “This is done, so it is done, and remains done.”
Pick up the second piece of paper, place a kiss upon it, place the second piece of yarn within it, and fold it up until it is all contained. Hold it within your two hands, cradling it, and visualize the calm, happy season before you.
Thank your ancestors and guides, snuff your candles, and place the second paper bundle upon your altar as a reminder of your intent.
The first bundle is to be taken outside and buried, or bury it within a potted plant you have at home.
Now, toast your reset, and move forth in the season with intention, vision and purpose. When life starts feeling harried, unfold the paper bundle from your altar, read it, and hit that reset button again.
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
Happy Mabon to all!