Can you feel the change in the air? Happy Autumn and Blessed Mabon to those in the Northern Hemisphere!
Equal hours of light and darkness
we celebrate the balance of Mabon,
and ask the gods to bless us.
For all that is bad, there is good.
For that which is despair, there is hope.
For the moments of pain, there are moments of love.
For all that falls, there is the chance to rise again.
May we find balance in our lives
as we find it in our hearts.
-Prayer by Patti Wigington
"Night and day are again of equal length and in perfect equilibrium - dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But we are again on the cusp of transition and from now the year now begins to wane and from this moment darkness begins to defeat the light. The cycle of the natural world is moving towards completion, the Sun's power is waning and from now on the nights grow longer and the days are are shorter and cooler. The sap of trees returns back to their roots deep in the earth, changing the green of summer to the fire of autumn, to the flaming reds, oranges and golds. We are returning to the dark from whence we came....
So Mabon is a celebration and also a time of rest after the labour of harvest. In terms of life path it is the moment of reaping what you have sown, time to look at the hopes and aspirations of Imbolc and Ostara and reflect on how they have manifested. It is time to complete projects, to clear out and let go that which is no longer wanted or needed as we prepare for descent, so that the winter can offer a time for reflection and peace. And it is time to plant seeds of new ideas and hopes which will lie dormant but nourished in the dark, until the return of Spring."*
We honor Mabon when we protect the wild things, animals and when we work for freedom for all people.
Nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon are the scents of the season, along with Sandalwood and myrrh. Heather, pine and cedar also make good choices.
Herbs commonly associated with Mabon are: mace, cinnamon, cloves, cypress, juniper, oakmoss, marigold, ivy and sage.
Build your fires with pine, apple, and oak wood.
*From: The Goddess & The Green Man
We also have a recipe for a homemade Harvest Beer, taken from the book "Homemade Root Beer, Soda, and Pop," which we carry here at Moonrise Herbs.
"This is a traditional harvest drink made in the traditional way. It is less controlled - and hence more unpredictable - than the preceding recipes. Still, it's fun to try to do things by a centuries-old method, and if you start with good ingredients, you're likely to get a delicious beverage. Note that although there are some similarities between this beverage and the soft drink recipes given earlier, this one will produce a beverage within the alcohol may be noticeable - though in most cases it is substantially less than that found in light beers. On the other hand, it is like a soft drink in that gushing or exploding bottles are a possibility, so refrigerate the bottles as soon as the carbonation is right. Aim to drink the entire batch within about four weeks.
"In reading the list of ingredients for this recipe, you will notice right away the lack of any granulated yeast. The yeast that creates the alcohol and carbonation will be wild yeast - either from the air or from the apple peel and raisin skins. If you have a good source for unwaxed apples free of pesticides, or for organically grown raisins, by all means use them."
4 pounds apples, grated
1/2 pound raisins, chopped
2 gallons cold water
2 3/4 pounds sugar
2 inches stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1. Put apples and chopped raisins into a crock together with the cold water. Cover with cheesecloth; stir once daily for one week.
2. After one week, strain and then pour over the sugar and spices Stir well, cover, and allow to sit for 12 hours.
3. Strain and bottle, letting it work at room temperature for about 48 hours. Refrigerate as soon as sufficiently carbonated.