Monday, September 12, 2016

5 Ways to Celebrate Mabon (Without Spending a Dime)



It's September! 

Let me just relax into that for a moment...*sigh*

I love September for so many reasons. Apple season. The beginning of fall. Leaves skittering across the pavement. Pumpkin spice coffee. Hoodies! But most importantly, here in the desert, it's starting to cool down! Trust me, low 90's feels pretty nice after a summer of triple digits. This week nature has blessed us with much needed rain, and my little Pagan soul is very happy!

But September also means Maaaaabon! And Mabon is awesome because it's officially the start of fall, which means Christmas decorations!

Wait... that's not right.

Oh, yeah. The beginning of fall means the start of my favorite season...even if stores are trying to rush me through it. Don't think I'm not aware of that colorfully-lit tree tucked away in the garden section, Walmart. I'm onto your shit!

Okay, maybe I'm a little defensive of autumn. But it's always been my absolute favorite season, even if the Southwestern version is just a tad skewed. (Living in Arizona, our Samhain tradition was to go swimming. Swimming....on the 31st of October!!!)

Mabon marks the autumn equinox, meaning daylight and nighttime are equal. After today, the darkness will begin to win the battle, gaining an extra minute or so every day as we progress towards winter. Now is the time when nature begins to slow and the harvests become less plentiful as the God prepares for his transition from the living realm into the afterlife. Though Mabon can arrive as early as September 20th or 21st depending on solar patterns, this year Mabon falls on September 22nd. So get ready to celebrate!

Like most Sabbats that are celebrated later in the year, Mabon is about reflection and letting go of that which does not serve us any longer. It's a chance to slough off the old and prepare for new beginnings. That smoking habit you've been meaning to quit? Biting your nails? Criticizing your co-worker's love for sweaters with cats knitted on the front? Still having pizza for breakfast? Now is the time to address these issues and make changes toward betterment. 

Of course, if you enjoy having a slice of cheese and pepperoni before 9 am, that's your business. You're an adult. I'm not going to lecture you. ;)

The colors of Mabon are just as rich and warming as the colors of autumn—deep crimson, vibrant orange, lustrous gold, and earthy brown. If you're planning a feast, make sure to include all the fall bounties as well as late summer fruits and vegetables. Pumpkin, squash, berries, nuts, and corn are all fantastic inclusions. 

Looking for specific ideas on how to celebrate Mabon without spending a dime? You've come to the right place! Here are 5 wonderfully fall-ish ways to celebrate the Autumn Equinox!

Make popcorn

What's more cozy than snuggling under a blanket with a big bowl of buttered popcorn? Of course, you could always watch a movie, but why not take your treat outside to watch nature instead? Inhale that fragrant autumn air. Really take a few moments to appreciate the breathtaking hues of the trees. Watch the birds and squirrels as they prepare for winter. Simply take in the magnificence of the season. And if you're in a generous mood, leave a few un-buttered pieces of popcorn for the neighboring critters. They'll enjoy the crunchy snack!

Balance your chakras

Being the equinox, Mabon is a time to find balance in your life. But while we tend to immediately think of time constraints as a place to find balance (work versus family time, family time versus self-care), when was the last time you balanced your spiritual centers?

If you're not familiar, chakras are points of energy on the body that have spiritual as well as physical impact. When they are balanced, life is good. When they are imbalanced, we have unwanted manifestations, such as illness and financial troubles. The good news is balancing them is as simple as taking a few minutes for visualization! Like any visualization, chakra balancing gets easier with practice, so don't feel discouraged if you have trouble focusing during your first go around or two. A nice, simple chakra meditation can be found here on Youtube

Get a blanket, find a quiet spot under a tree, and take some time to balance your chakras this Mabon! You'll be glad you did. Bonus points if you plant your feet in the soil and get your earthing on!

Have a pumpkin spice latte

Admittedly, this suggestion is a little self-benefiting. But what's autumn without a warm drink laced with cinnamon and nutmeg? You can certainly buy one at your favorite coffee shop, but why not make one? I'm betting you already have the ingredients on hand. Take the time to really savor the process. Inhale the nutty aroma of the coffee before you brew it. Watch as the creamer turns your drink into a rich caramel color. Savor the first sip without scarfing down the entire drink. Life is a lot more pleasurable when we take time to relish the things we enjoy. Sit outside with your homemade brew, breathe deep inhalations of that luscious autumn air, and simply BE.

Focus on gratitude

With Mabon being a time of reflection and balance, what better way to celebrate than to make a list for all that you are thankful for? Take a notebook to the park and make a list of everything you appreciate—from big things, like your family or health, to small things, like hot cocoa and fuzzy slipper socks. 

Feeling crafty? Make a gratitude tree! Simply find a funky fallen twig that has lots of little branchy offshoots to hold your leaves. Place the twig (or twigs) in a pot of stones so it's standing upright, like a miniature dead tree. Collect fallen leaves or cut your own from construction paper. Write something you're grateful for on each leaf. Tape on a loop of string or thread, and hang the leaves from your twig! Beauty and function— my favorite!

And remember, crafts don't need to be limited to children. It's just my hubby and myself, yet we make a gratitude tree every year for Thanksgiving by adding one leaf a day for each day in November leading up to the big feast! Festiveness isn't just reserved for those too young to drive. Embrace life! Live it with all you've got! And don't forget to be grateful! ;)

Bring in some nature

If you're anything like me, you're just itching to get something decorative in your home this fall. Since it's a touch early for ghosts and jack-o-lanterns, why not take a nature walk and collect whatever beautiful, natural treasures you stumble upon? Colored leaves. Acorns. Gnarled twigs. Pine cones. Cool rocks. Bring a bag and collect whatever catches your eye. Arrange it on a table or counter top when you get home, throw in a candle or two (maybe gold and red) and you've got yourself an instant natural Mabon altar! You can even leave your natural masterpiece up for a few weeks as a spectacular (and FREE!) fall decoration!

Looking for more Mabon altar ideas? Check back next week for my personal Mabon natural altar!

Happy Mabon, everyone!!! 🍂🍁


What are your favorite ways to celebrate Mabon?

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10 comments:

  1. Wow. Hoodies and 90 degree temps in the same paragraph. ;) I wonder what you'd think of Wisconsin? I'm really enjoying your blog, by the way. :)

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    1. Haha! You most definitely will NOT find me in a hoodie in 90*! I was referring to hoodies for other parts of the country... where they have good weather! =P I'm from New England, so I know cold! I won't even don long sleeves until we hit the 50's. If you're in Wisconsin, please think of me next time you throw on a hoodie! =P

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    2. This was really helpful for my first Mabon with a friend as well. I live where there's no greenery whatsoever so this was really awesome :)

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    3. Glad it was helpful! Congratulations on your first Mabon. I hope it was magical! ;)

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  2. I'm loving your blog. Now all you need is a "share to Facebook" button, and life is that much more complete. I stumbled on your blog from Pinterest, and I'm now an email subscriber. Enjoy your warmer fall temperatures, I've pulled out my long sleeves for the morning and evening bike ride to and from work on Long Island (that funny little fish shaped island that's part of New York)

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    1. So glad you're enjoying the site! =D There actually are share buttons just above the post labels, but they are so small they are difficult to notice. =S I appreciate you bringing it to my attention, though, because it's something I've been meaning to change!

      I'm originally from New England, so I definitely know where Long Island is! While you're envious of my warmer temps, I'm dying for your leaves! Let's think of each other with a sigh every time you pull on a sweatshirt and I turn on the A/C! =P

      Thanks for sharing your kind words and for subscribing. It truly means a lot to me! =D Have a fantastic autumn day!!

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  3. Ooh, Thank You! I know this is one year old, but I've been getting into my spiritual/natural side just lately (I've come a long way), and I was just wondering how to celebrate my first Sabbat. It has to be special, and it will! :)
    So thank you so much, Blessings to you <3

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    1. Merry Meet!

      So glad you found this helpful. Mabon is a wonderful Sabbat, so it being your first Sabbat is really special! It's nice to know I'm not the only person who is very much looking forward to Mabon! =P Blessed Be! ♥

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  4. Do you have any tips for celebrating Mabon as your first Sabbat? I kind of officially accepted myself as pagan a week or so ago so I am /extremely/ new and a bit overwhelmed!

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    1. Sorry for the late reply; I took some time away from the computer and am just now returning to the electronic world. The good news is it's not too late to celebrate Mabon, as we're still very much at the turning of autumn.

      First off, try not to be overwhelmed! There is a lot to be learned when exploring any new discovery, but this is a path in which you set the pace! Spirituality is your own personal journey, so there's no need to feel like you're behind or in competition. Take it at your own rate!

      If you're new to Paganism/nature worship, I recommend simply spending a few minutes during the Sabbat (any Sabbat) outside. It's really that easy! Be among the nature you adore, take in the changes of that particular time of year, learn by watching the earth around you. Have the scents changed? What are the animals doing? What visual differences do you notice? What does this mean for us, as people?

      For example, nature begins to wind down in the fall, the fun and frenetic pace of summer cascades into a more thoughtful and purposeful movement. From that we learn autumn is a time of introspection, a period for us to reflect and prepare as we ready for the darkness of winter. Mother Nature is abundant with wisdom; all we need to do is spend time with her to learn! This is an easy and meaningful way to deepen your spiritual practices regardless of your level of experience. If you enjoy writing, keep a journal to notate your observations.

      Hope you have a wonderful autumn. And remember, try not to get overwhelmed! ;)

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