Tonight at 11:09 Eastern time, we cross into the time of perfect balance, the Equinox, taken from the Latin for “equal night.”
This is the Autumnal Equinox in the northern hemisphere, and the Vernal (Spring) Equinox below the equator. In both cases, today consists of exactly twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness.
For us, since Summer Solstice, the power of the night has grown as the daylight hours have diminished. Today is the midpoint between the height of the daylight at Summer Solstice, and the deepest dark that awaits at Yule. Just for today, for everyone, the dark and light are equal. After this, for those of us above the Equator, from now until Spring, the darkness will prevail.
Mabon, (pronounced “MAY-bon”) is one ancient name for the Autumn Equinox, also called Harvest Home, Second Harvest, and the Witches’ Thanksgiving. It is the last Sabbat of the year (since Samhain marks the new year).
The name Mabon has links to the Mabinogion, the ancient stories of Gods and Humans in Welsh mythology. The tales of the Mabon are the “tales of the hero.” They derive this meaning from “mabon” or “meibon” –meaning a young man or youth. It is also the name of the God, Mabon ap Madron (Mabon in Welsh means son). So this is also a reference to the son of the Welsh Goddess Madron. She is the Divine Mother and He is, simply, the Divine Son.
Most scholars agree that the Celts did not call the Autumn Equinox by the name Mabon. But this newer adaptation is certainly traditional to the ancient Celtic characteristic of adopting festivals, myths, and Deities from other cultures.
This would be an excellent time for divination and it marks the end of the second harvest. By this time, most of the crops should have been gathered in, primarily fruits, vegetables and herbs that will not stand up to frost.
If you haven’t yet harvested your own flowers, grains, herbs and veggies, this is an ideal time to do so, especially as tomorrow is the most magical Full Moon of the year: the Harvest Moon.
Often celebrated as the Witches’ Thanksgiving, you might spend today now gathering in the gifts of summer, and prepare for winter’s needs. Everything in nature is constantly giving to and receiving from everything else. The Wise only take what is needed, and only with reverence, mindfulness, gratitude and giving in return. For as we receive the gifts of the Goddess, we also give back, making an offering, and expressing our gratitude.
This is, in fact, the truth of being in balance.
May this holy day be richly bountiful and deeply nurturing for you. May we celebrate with hearts overflowing with gratitude.