It’s the autumn equinox tomorrow (Wednesday). The moon is waxing, and will be full on the 25th, but in the meanwhile, there are rituals to be observed and there is work to be done.
I’ll be working solitaire this Mabon. Sometimes I like to get together with local Pagans; other times I like to work alone at the Sabbats, and do my own thing. This year, I’ll be alone, and taking time out to observe the change of the seasons, the cooling of the earth, and the preparation of the world around me for winter.
On my farm, the sheep have been shorn, and are starting to grow their woolly coats for winter. The second harvest is due, and it is time for me to call the Home Kill guy from down the road. He’ll shoot two more of our lambs – the last lambs from our ram, so we can keep him for another season.
As for the ram, he’ll be paying a short visit to two pretty black faced ewes at a neighbouring farm. It’s a favour we’re doing them, so they can keep the black-faced stock happening – our ram is a black-face, and very handsome. He’s also in demand from our neighbours across the road – once he comes back and does his duty with my ewes, he’ll be going over the road to the neighbours, to service their ewes.
Ah, the tough life of a good-looking healthy young ram!
With Mabon, you’re aware of the turn of the earth. It’s tupping time, time for the Second Harvest, time to gather the nuts that have fallen on the farm (I live on an organic hazelnut farm) and sell and barter and share them with friends.
But now, to ritual.
Mabon Solitary Ritual
You will need:
A candle in a jar. The candle can be red, orange or brown. The jar is for windproofing. If you choose, you can use a cauldron in a fire-safe way instead (epsom salts and methylated spirits work well).
Four elemental markers. These can be small rocks, semiprecious stones, or white candles. It is up to you.
You may need a Compass, if you are not proficient at finding directions innately.
Locally-gathered fallen leaves.
Locally gathered fresh nuts, or organic nuts if no local nuts are available. Ensure the nuts are ready to eat by removing any husks or shells.
Your blade (if you use one), sterilized and clean, or Wand for casting. If you do not use a blade, you will need a sterile needle, or sharp knife to cut yourself – only a small cut!
Antiseptic or saltwater or strong spirits.
Go to a sacred place where the Elements of Earth, Wind and Water meet. You will be providing the Fire and Spirit (Aether). A suitable spot is a quiet beach, or a riverbank.
If you cannot be outside, gather rainwater or blessed fresh water in a glass bowl.
Set up your elemental markers in the East, North, West and South. Light your Elemental Markers, if they are candles.
Place the Cauldron or candle in the jar in the center, and set it ready with the lighter beside it, with the cutting tool (if it is different from your Casting tool) in the center, but do not light the central fire yet.
Put the fallen leaves at the left side of the Fire. Put the nuts at the right side of the Fire.
You are ready to begin.
Cast Circle. A simple casting is as follows:
Stand in the East.
Raise your casting tool, and walking around the Circle three times counter-clockwise, say:
Wind, Fire, Sea, Stone
Breath, Flame, Wave, Bone
As I will, So it be done!
As I will, so it be done!
This circle is cast!
This circle is cast!
I am between the worlds.
Ensure that you reach each appropriate Elemental point as it is spoken: Wind / Breath (air=east), Fire / Flame (north), Sea / Wave (water=west), Stone / Bone (earth=south).
Once you have Cast, sit to the south of your central Fire (Aether / Spirit = Akasha), with your Casting tool in front of you.
Meditate on the changing of the seasons. Feel the wind on your cheeks. If it begins to rain, embrace it. Be glad. Let the minutes pass. Relax. Breathe in and out.
When you are centered and ready, light the central Fire.
Take up the fallen leaves in your left hand.
Look on them. Feel their dryness in your hand. If they are damp, feel that too. Sense everything that they are: the passing of the year that is gone; a symbol of death and of age. But see the beauty in them too – their elegance and loveliness. Cherish and thank them, and thank the tree they came from for giving life and nourishment.
Cast the leaves one by one into the Fire, saying:
The Old Year is past.
The Old Year must pass, to make way for the New.
Now, take up the nuts in your right hand.
Look on them. Roll them around in your hand. Feel their smoothness, their roughness, their give and their firmness. Sense the potential for life within them. Be thankful for the energy they are going to provide for you. Be thankful to the tree that bore them, and for the life you are given.
The New Year is upon us.
The Old has made way for the New.
Time is Change, Change is Time,
Change is the Way of the Goddess…
You can chant this if you wish. When you are ready, eat the nuts slowly with a sense of thankfulness.
Take up your Blade, or your cutting instrument. Run it through the Fire in front of you.
When you are ready, cut your hand or your finger a little, so that the blood drips to the earth below you.
There is no Life without Sacrifice.
There is no Change without Pain.
There is no Renewal without Death.
I welcome Change, I welcome Life,
And, when my time comes, I will welcome Death.
Relax, watch the Fire, and when you are ready, let the Fire die naturally or kill it yourself.
Stand when you are ready, and close Circle, starting with the South:
By the Earth that is Her Body
By the Water that is Her Blood
By the Fire of Her bright Spirit
By the Air that is Her Breath
This Circle is open, yet forever unbroken.
As I will, it is done.
The Circle is closed, and the Ritual over. Clean your wound if necessary. Take food and water to ground yourself.
Leave the site of your Ritual undamaged and undisturbed.
You are done.