Spheres Of Light

Mabon Ritual

Ritual written* and led by Samantha & Jenni
(March 29, 2008)

Background Information...

MABON

Mabon marks the beginning of autumn. It is a time of the Equinox, when the Sun crosses the Equator and heads on its Northern path. Day and night are equal, but soon we will plunge into the darkness of Winter. Here the land is full of the gifts of nature and the effort of humankind. There may be a hint of sadness within us now, an inner sense of fear and trepidation, as the world begins to tilt toward the time of darkness. This Sabbat is a time of meditation and introspection; a time to slow down the pace of our lives and to relax and recognise our own personal harvests during the year that is fast declining. It's also a time to appreciate the connection we have with those around us, as well as those who have gone before us. Mabon is a time for feasting, celebrating the good fortune of the previous year and preparing for the long months of Winter ahead.

Mabon is the second of the three harvest festivals. It is preceded by Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain.

As Pagans we celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair and honor The Green Man - the God of the Forest - by offering libations to trees.

This Sabbat is also known as: The Second Harvest Festival, Feast of Avalon, Cornucopia, Wine Harvest, Harvest Home or Winter Finding (Teutonic).

The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is called the Harvest Moon. Farmers would harvest their crops by this moonlight as part of the Second Harvest celebration and also use the light from the moon to extend their gathering time. It is also known as the Wine Moon. This is the time of year when grapes are harvested and the process of making wine begins.

MYTHOLOGY

Demeter & Persephone

In Greek mythology, Autumn begins as Persephone returns to the Underworld to live with Hades, her husband. The myth says that Demeter's daughter, Kore, had taken a day to pick flowers in a meadow when the Earth opened up and Hades pulled the girl into the Underworld to become his bride. Kore's name became Persephone when she married Hades. For nine straight days, Demeter searched for Kore, with no success. In misery and desperation, Demeter questioned Helios, the Sun God, who informed her that her brother, Zeus, had given the girl to Hades. Furious, Demeter left Olympus to roam the Earth disguised as an old woman, settling in her temple at Eleusis. Soon after, she cursed the Earth so it would yield no crops. Zeus sent her a frantic message inquiring as to why she had prevented growth on the planet. She replied that there would be no regeneration of vegetation on the Earth until her daughter was safely returned. Zeus immediately dispatched Hermes into the Underworld to retrieve the girl. Hades, not wanting to relinquish his bride permanently, convinced Persephone to eat some pomegranate seeds before she returned to her mother, Demeter. Demeter was yet again distraught when she learned of this trickery! Finally, Zeus declared that Kore-Persephone would live with her mother during one half of the year and return to her husband, Hades, during the other half. In thanks, Demeter lifted the curse on the Earth, creating Spring. Every year hence, during her time of greatest sorrow, Demeter renews the curse, as her daughter returns to Hades and the Underworld.

Celebrations

In Japan, the Autumnal Equinox marks a time for visiting the graves of loved ones and honouring one's ancestors. It is considered taboo to pass a burial site and not honour the dead.

In England, many fall celebrations include corn dolls, made of the corn husks from the harvest. These dolls are often burned, to represent the "death" of the god for the season, or doused with water, recalling the importance of rain to the crops. The burning of figures has been adopted and embraced in the United States. A festival, known as Burning Man, has become incredibly popular.

Mabon is an excellent time to honour our animal companions. You can invite into your circle the spirits of animal companions that have passed on as well as totem animals. Think about animals that are extinct or endangered. Bless the Earth, all Her Creatures and those who work hard to preserve Her.

Symbolic of Mabon

Spell Workings: Protection, Prosperity, Security, and Self-confidence. Any spells centered around harmony and balance are appropriate.

Deities:
Goddess- Modron, Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona, the Muses & Snake Woman.
God- Mabon, Thoth, Odin, Hermes, The Green Man, Dionysus & Bacchus.

Herbs: Myrrh, Thistles, Tobacco, Oak Leaves, Hazel, Hops, Acorns, Marigold, Roses, Sage, Ferns, Honeysuckle, Benzoin, Passionflower, Pine, and Cedar

Colours: Red, Deep Gold, Orange, Brown, Maroon, Violet, Russet, Yellow, and Indigo.

Stones: Yellow Topaz, Carnelian, Sapphire, Yellow Agate, Lapis Lazuli, and Amethyst.

Food: Grapes, Acorns, Wheat Bread, Goat, Corn, Cornbread, Root Crops (i.e. Onions, Carrots, Potatoes, etc.), Nuts, Dried Fruits, Apples, Beans, and Squash.

Drinks: Wine, Ale, and Cider

Plants: Vines, Gourds, Pine Cones, Acorns, Wheat, Dried Leaves, Corn, Pomegranate, Ivy, Hazel, Hops, Cedar, and Tobacco.

Animals: Dogs, Wolves, Stag, Birds of Prey (especially the Blackbird, Owl, and Eagle), Salmon and Goat.

Mythical Creatures: Gnomes, Sphinx, Minotaurs, Cyclops and Gulons.
References:
http://www.equinox-and-solstice.com/html/autumnal_equinox.html
http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/4885/mabon.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mabon
http://www.tryskelion.com/mabon.htm
http://www.wicca.com/celtic/akasha/mabon.htm

GAIA

"Gaia, the beautiful, rose up,
Broad blossomed, she that is the steadfast base
Of all things. And fair Gaia first bore
The starry Heaven, equal to herself,
To cover her on all sides and to be
A home forever for the blessed Gods"

Hesiod

Gaia or Gaea is known as Mother Earth (the Greek common noun for "land" is ge or ga). It is written that Gaia was born from Chaos, the great void of emptiness within the universe, and with her came Eros. She gave birth to Pontus (the Sea) and Ouranos (the Sky). This was achieved parthenogenetically (without male intervention). Gaia took as her husband Uranus, who was also her son, and their offspring included the Titans, six sons and six daughters. She gave birth to the Cyclopes and to three monsters that became known as the "Hecatonchires". The spirits of punishment known as the Erinyes were also offspring of Gaia and Uranus.

The Romans believed every element in the universe, whether on land, in the sea or sky, was a single living entity of Gaia. More than any other Goddess, Gaia is identified as the divine and animate Earth Mother.

She is the living, conscious planet who provides sustenance and nutrition and the wisdom inherent in the earth itself. Her values are rooted in the sacredness of all life, whether it be plant, animal or the stars in the sky - respect for others is paramount if we are to attain the deep sense of balance and completeness that a connection with Gaia brings. Gaia connects us to the universal source of "mothering" and "nurturing", leading us to a feeling of profound peace and balance.

References:
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/g/gaia.html
http://www.paleothea.com/SortaSingles/Gaia.html
http://www.goddess.com.au/goddesses/Gaia.htm
http://www.webwinds.com/myth/elemental.htm
http://www.theoi.com/greek-mythology/titans.html

OURANOS

Great Ouranos,
Son and Husband of Gaia, the Father of our skies,
God of storms and tempests,
we seek the new and innovative through you always.

Ouranos, known also as Uranus, embodied the sky or heavens. He was the first son of Gaia (the earth) and he also became her husband. After Ouranos had been castrated, his blood fell to earth (Gaia) and conceived the Giants. These were of monstrous appearance and had great strength. In some versions Aphrodite is believed to have risen from the foam created by the sex organs of Ouranos after they were thrown into the sea by his son Cronus.

Ouranos was appalled by the sight of his offspring, the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires. In another version Ouranos was frightened of their great strength and the fact that they could easily depose him. He hid them away in Tartarus (the bowels of the earth) inside Gaia, causing her intense pain. The discomfort became so great that she asked her youngest son, Cronus, to castrate his father, as this would cease his fertility and put an end to more monstrous offspring. To accomplish this deed Gaia made an adamantine sickle, which she gave to Cronus.

That night Ouranos came to lay with Gaia. And as the sky god drew close, Cronus struck with the sickle and cut off Ouranos's genitals. From the blood that fell out of the open wound were born nymphs and giants, and when Cronus threw the severed genitals into the sea white foam appeared. From this foam, Aphrodite the goddess of love and desire was born.

A slightly differing version tells of Ouranos being so vast that he could cover Mother Earth (Gaia) and easily take advantage of her fruitfulness, but Gaia tired of her exuberant fertility and begged her sons to free her from the excessive embrace of Ouranos. All refused except Cronus. Armed with a sickle he castrated Ouranos, and the blood which fell from the mutilation gave birth to the Erinyes (Furies), the Giants and the Meliae (Nymphs of the manna ash trees). And when Cronus threw the sickle into the sea, the island of Corfu, home of the Phaeacians, sprang up).

After Ouranos (the sky) had been emasculated, the sky separated from Gaia (the earth) and Cronus became king of the gods. Later, Zeus (the son of Cronus) deposed his father and became the supreme god of the Greek Pantheon.

References:
Encyclopedia Mythica
Uranus Mythology Wikipedia

The Ritual...

Everyone is belled into the circle.

Bring article for release into the circle.

The circle is cast, three times thus.
By the power of Earth and Sky, may the circle be blessed, cleansed and sanctified.

EAST

Zeus, He who resides in the quarter of Air
Lend us your power and protection this night
Welcome!

NORTH

Hades, He who resides in the quarter of Fire
Lend us your power and protection this night
Welcome!

WEST

Hera, She who resides in the quarter of Earth
Lend us your power and protection this night
Welcome!

SOUTH

Persephone, She who resides in the quarter of Water
Lend us your power and protection this night
Welcome!

GODDESS

Gaia, divine Earth Mother!
Grace us with your beautiful presence this night
Nurture and protect us, and allow us to see the sacredness in everything around us
Bless our lives with balance and fertility
Welcome!

GOD

Ouranos, powerful Sky Father!
Grace us with your imposing presence this night
Allow us to ride through the eye of the storm, accept and embrace the changes that come to us.
Bless us with your innovative insight
Welcome!

Mother Earth and Father Sky Meditation

Written by Jenni Barnett 29/03/2008

After sitting with our items we wish to release from ourselves, the meditation begins.

You will begin by closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. Breathing in and out, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Imagine a glowing white light coming up from below the earth, beginning from your feet and toes. Breathe in and out, allowing your body to relax. From your feet, breathe in to your ankles, moving up through your calves and your knees. The white light is glowing as you now breathe into your thighs, hips and buttocks, gently working your way through your waist, your ribs, your chest and shoulders, down through your arms and out through your fingertips. Returning through your fingertips, this glowing white light is now moving through your arms and shoulders, through your neck, your face and hair, through all of your skin, your bones and your organs, finally moving out through the crown of your head. Your body is now glowing with this brilliant white light, and you are completely relaxed.

I would like you to now stand on a path and ask your personal guides to come join you. This path is going to take you to a very special destination. As you begin to walk on this path, you may notice that it meanders as it slowly winds its way down a hill. Is there anything that you notice, perhaps on the side of the path or in front of you? Do you notice the colour of the sky? Are there clouds, or is it a clear blue? What does the air smell like? Are you aware of the different colours of the earth, the texture of the grass? Do you see animals, on the ground or flying in the sky? Do you encounter anyone or anything else? Ensure at this time that you are still on your path, as this takes you to your destination. Your path is safe and sacred to you.

Your path takes you to a meadow down in a gulley. You are surrounded by tall, stately trees, forming a perfect circle. In the middle of the meadow, you are met by a guide who asks you to walk into a sacred circle that is etched into the earth. You sit down on the soft, rich earth, and wait with rising anticipation - for it is here that you meet your special deity relating to Mother Earth and Father Sky. It is now time for you to commune with these beings. Feel free to ask questions relevant to what is happening to you at this time, talk to them, or just simply enjoy this moment in their company. I'll be silent now while you share this time.

It is now time for you to wind up your time with Mother and Father. In exchange for your offering, they would like to give you something to help you on your current journey. Know that as you say goodbye, you can come back to this place again. As you leave this space, the guide sees you out safely as you make your way back onto the path that heads back up the hill and from where you started. On your way back up, you will recall everything which has just occurred. You thank your personal guides for joining you as you come back now to normal awareness. The glowing white light that is with you can now be released back into the earth, starting down from your crown, down through your head and neck, shoulders, arms and fingertips, down through your torso, hips and buttocks, down through your legs, ankles, feet and toes, finally returning to the rich soil of earth. Give thanks to our mother, and start moving and stretching your body, wriggling your fingers and toes. When you are ready, you may open your eyes.

Verse and Reflection

Source unknown

On this day, when light and dark stand in the north and south
When the world is balanced between them,
We come to say farewell to the summer,
To the light and the Sun,
And welcome and prepare ourselves
For the cold and the darkness that are coming.
Summer is ended, and Autumn begins.
We cast off those things that hinder us
And reach for those things of future promise.
We thank the powers that guide us for the summer's growth
For those things we have tended
And those we have gathered in from the cold,
We give thanks.
For the coming Autumn and Winter,
Under the night sky that will soon dominate our days,
In the cloak of the chill that will keep us indoors,
We hope that we will grow in our own ways,
And grow well.

Articles to be given to charity are now handed to bag bearer.

Closing

GODDESS

Gaia, divine Earth Mother!
Thank you for gracing us with you presence this night and for allowing us to see the beauty in everything that surrounds us
May we learn to nurture you as you do us
Hail and Farewell

GOD

Ouranos, powerful Sky Father!
Thank you for gracing us with your presence this night
Taking us through the eye of the storm, accepting and embracing the changes that come to us
May we learn to be as insightful as you are
Hail and Farewell

SOUTH

Persephone, She who resides in the quarter of Water
Thank you for lending is your power and protection
Hail and Farwell

WEST

Hera, She who resides in the quarter of Earth
Thank you for lending us your power and protection
Hail and Farewell

NORTH

Hades, He who resides in the quarter of Fire
Thank you for lending us your power and protection
Hail and Farwell

EAST

Zeus, He who resides in the quarter of Air
Thank you for lending us your power and protection
Hail and Farewell

May this circle be open but unbroken
May the peace of the Goddess be ever in our hearts.
Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet again.






* This ritual is a combination of the author's original ideas and information obtained from various books and/or internet sources.



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Spheres Of Light (SOL) is an Australian Pagan group (eg. Witches, Wiccans, Heathens, Shamans, Magicians, Occultists etc) meeting in the Sutherland Shire,
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