Much has been written about Mabon and balance, as we experience an equal amount of daylight on the Autumn Equinox, followed by shortened daylight hours as we head towards Winter. Finding balance in our very unbalanced world is a challenge, but the beauty of this celebration on the Wheel of the Year can help us regain that balance we seek. We look backwards, rejoicing in what we harvested, and plan ahead for the autumn and winter moths ahead. It is a reminder that we still have quite a few days left in the year to make plans, focus on our intentions, and make changes if needed.
Below is a ritual for celebrating Mabon, the seasons, the harvest, and balance. I recommend taking a ritual bath before you begin, with some epsom salts, and some lavender. The setting for this ritual is calm and quiet, so you will want to settle the chatter in your head of lists, things undone, and events in the future. Light some candles, take deep breaths, and wash away your worries for a little while.
You may have already decorated your altar for Mabon, but if not, bring in the fall colors via flowers and candles, along with two small bowls of salt and pepper (a balance of darkness and light) and a small vase of chives, an herb that represents harmony, balance and abundance.
Once you are done with your bath, gather your items for this ritual.
Mabon Balance Ritual
One small white candle
Matches or lighter
Two sheets of paper
Cauldron or fireproof container
Favorite drink and snack
Before you begin, prepare you altar, dress in comfortable clothing, and have some background music if you prefer. Choose something soothing and autumnal that reminds you of this time of year. If music is too distracting, honor that as well. Be sure to ground yourself, either by walking outside in the grass, or doing so with feet firmly planted in your home, feeling the roots grow down the layers of the earth, doing so until you feel centered and ready.
Honor the directions with gratitude for nature in each area of earth, air, fire and water.
Settle into your space, and breathe deeply.
Pick up the white candle, and with the black marker, draw a line around its middle as its equator.
Place it in the candle holder, and light the candle with your match or lighter.
Gaze into the flame, and mentally go back in time this year, back to where you were on January 1st, and move forward towards the present. View the events of your year as if a slideshow, not pausing too long, just dipping into memories as you move towards the present moment.
Take up one piece of paper, and tear it in half horizontally, so that you have two equal sizes of paper.
Pick up your writing instrument, and on one piece of paper, write down all the negative things that have happened to you this year. Do not dwell too deeply on the events, detach yourself from the feelings of those moments, and list them down as they come to you, moving through the list until you come to the present day. Make note of how many items are in the list. Put that sheet to one side.
Pick up the other piece of paper, and list all the good that has happened this year, taking care to match the number of items on the other list.
When done, hold the sheets of paper together as if you were going to attach them together. Look from the negative to the positive and back again. Feel the sense of balance that both are in equal alignment, and breathe in gratitude for all the good that is in your present life. Place your hand on your heart and nourish the person that you are at this very moment, feeling your heartbeat. Then take both pieces of paper and light them in the flame, placing them in your cauldron or fireproof container. Watch the papers reduce to ash before you move into the next step.
Look back at your candle and notice the descent of the wax as it nears the equator of the black marker. Think back again to all that you have harvested up to this point, including health, relationships, learning, and emotional growth. Write those down on the next piece of paper. When you are done with that list, draw a line across the sheet, and think ahead to the months before you. What would you like to change, add and experience before the year is over? Write those down below the line in the middle of the paper.
When done, tear off the top half of the sheet, offer thanks and gratitude, and burn that paper with the flame of the candle, Place in your cauldron or fireproof container. Make sure the paper is reduced to ash before the next step.
Take the bottom half and look over the words you have written. Anything to add? When satisfied with the list, fold into a small square. Place over your heart, and breathe in words of affirmation, seeing yourself at the end of the year with what you would like to accomplish and experience by then. Place this square of paper on your Mabon altar, under something heavy, whether a candle or pumpkin/gourd, etc. Keep there on the altar until the next time you celebrate, and see what has come to fruition.
Let the candle burn down to its end. As it burns below the marked middle, feel yourself planted into the new season upon us. Time to let go of what’s gone on before, and look forward to what remains.
Open your circle with gratitude for the elements, and enjoy your beverage and snack. Spend time in silence, visualizing the plans you have made during this ritual. Scan your mental and physical landscape to feel the balance of the ritual upon you. Anything still feel out of kilter? Make note to work on those areas another time. Continue the evening with activities that soothe and calm you: read a favorite book, play your favorite music, rub some lotion on your feet and hands, or spend some time in nature.
Before you go to sleep, offer a smile for the day you experienced, and gratitude for what’s ahead. Take the ashes from your cauldron at a later date, and bury them away from your home, or flush them away if easier. Take the balance of this exercise, and use it to move forward through the Autumn with intention.