Mabon: the Second Harvest and Autmnal Equinox

"O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit Beneath my shady roof, there thou may'st rest, And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe; And all the daughters of the year shall dance, Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers. " ~William Blake, To Autumn

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.

The Wheel turns on - 'tis Mabon-tide. Dawn and dusk abreast now ride Darkness, brightness, calm and storms. The hand that holds the scythe transforms. I vow this wisdom shall be my own: Poise will get my power known. From balance the Wheel now turns toward deep. Through Winter, my vow and faith, I'll keep. After Ashleen O'Gaea, Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon


photo by Cole Keister

A Story for Fall

Bambi: A Life in the Woods, by Felix Salten

Excerpt of Chapter VIII

The leaves were falling from the great oak at the meadow’s edge. They were falling from the trees.

One branch of the oak reached high above the others and stretched far out over the meadow. Two leaves clung to its very tip.

“It isn’t the way it used to be,” said one leaf to the other.

“No,” the other leaf answered. “So many of us have fallen off to-night we’re almost the only ones left on our branch.”

“You never know who’s going to go next,” said the first leaf. “Even when it was warm and the sun shone, a storm or a cloudburst would come sometimes, and many leaves were torn off, though they were still young. You never know who’s going to go next.”

“The sun seldom shines now,” sighed the second leaf, “and when it does it gives no warmth. We must have warmth again.”

“Can it be true,” said the first leaf, “can it really be true, that others come to take our places when we’re gone and after them still others, and more and more?”

“It is really true,” whispered the second leaf. “We can’t even begin to imagine it, it’s beyond our powers.”

“It makes me very sad,” added the first leaf.

They were silent for a while. Then the first leaf said quietly to herself, “Why must we fall?…”

The second leaf asked, “What happens to us when we have fallen?”

“We sink down….”

“What is under us?”

The first leaf answered, “I don’t know, some say one thing, some another, but nobody knows.”

The second leaf asked, “Do we feel anything, do we know anything about ourselves when we’re down there?”

The first leaf answered, “Who knows? Not one of all those down there has ever come back to tell us about it.”

They were silent again. Then the first leaf said tenderly to the other, “Don’t worry so much about it, you’re trembling.”

“That’s nothing,” the second leaf answered, “I tremble at the least thing now. I don’t feel so sure of my hold as I used to.”

“Let’s not talk any more about such things,” said the first leaf.

The other replied, “No, we’ll let be. But– what else shall we talk about?”

She was silent, but went on after a little while, “Which of us will go first?”

“There’s still plenty of time to worry about that,” the other leaf assured her. “Let’s remember how beautiful it was, how wonderful, when the sun came out and shone so warmly that we thought we’d burst with life. Do you remember? And the morning dew, and the mild and splendid nights….”

“Now the nights are dreadful,” the second leaf complained, “and there is no end to them.”

“We shouldn’t complain,” said the first leaf gently. “We’ve outlived many, many others.”

“Have I changed much?” asked the second leaf shyly but determinedly.

“Not in the least,” the first leaf assured her.

“You only think so because I’ve got to be so yellow and ugly. But it’s different in your case.”

“You’re fooling me,” the second leaf said.

“No, really,” the first leaf exclaimed eagerly. “Believe me, you’re as lovely as the day you were born. Here and there may be a little yellow spot but it’s hardly noticeable and only makes you handsomer, believe me.”

“Thanks,” whispered the second leaf, quite touched. “I don’t believe you, not altogether, but I thank you because you’re so kind, you’ve always been so kind to me. I’m just beginning to understand how kind you are.”

“Hush,” said the other leaf, and kept silent herself for she was too troubled to talk anymore.

Then they were both silent. Hours passed.

A moist wind blew, cold and hostile, through the tree tops.

“Ah, now,” said the second leaf, “I…..” Then her voice broke off. She was torn from her place and spun down.

Winter had come.

Long light has lingered here, Earth still is warm, Deepening shadows Lost by the dawn. Long darkness rising here, Though heat still lingers on, Twist of the Equinox Mabon has come. Wind, fire, sea, and stone Breath, flame, wave, and bone Shadows through the mist I see: Time passing silently. Starlight, as the Spiral bends. Moonlight, as the daylight ends. Time passes quietly, echoing past: Earth calls the winter in. Mabon at last! After Leanne Daharja Veitch, Mabon: Song of the Autumn Equinox



Festival of equal balance, night with day and dark with light

Day of the Sun poised in the heavens before its slow descent

Last day of the reign of light

Time of completion, fullness, ending

Feast of the Goddess, grain giver and gift-bearer

Holder of the herfest, store of richness, overflowing cornucopia


Hail to you wise Mother, with your womb of fullness,

Now is the waning of the sun, the time of waiting, time of storing grain in

vaults of darkness.

Hail to Cerridwen, harvest-goddess, Mother of the bard and mystical


Hail to the cauldron’s gifts of hidden wisdom, knowledge and intuition.

Welcome to the resting time, the inner sleeping, time when the buried powers begin their secret working.

After this day, the nights will grow gradually longer, but now, for one precious moment in time, the day and night are of equal length.  We gather on this blessed eve so that we might celebrate this season of Mabon – The time of the second harvest.  In this moment between time we wish to give thanks to our bountiful Goddess and feel ourselves a part of the always-nurturing wheel of life and death and rebirth.  Let all who would honor the Goddess enter into her protective circle.




Leaves fall,

the days grow cold.

The Goddess pulls Her mantle of the Earth around Her as You,

O Great Sun God,

sail toward the West to the lands of

Eternal Enchantment.,

wrapped in the coolness of night.

Fruits ripen,

seeds drop,

the hours of day and night are balanced.

Chill winds blow in from the North wailing laments.

In this seeming extinction of nature's power,

O Blessed Goddess,

I know that life continues.

For spring is impossible without the second harvest,

as surely as life is impossible without death.

Blessings upon You,

O Fallen God,

as You journey into the lands of winter

and into the Goddess' loving arms.

Place the basket down and say:


O Gracious Goddess of all fertility,

I have sown and reaped the fruits of my actions, good and bane.

Grant me the courage to plant seeds of joy and love in the coming year,

banishing misery and hate.

Teach me the secrets of wise existence upon this planet,

O Luminous One of the Night!


The God Speaks

I am Mabon, God of the second harvest. I reign over the garnering of the final Harvest Home, the wine harvest. This is a time when, for one day, light and dark are in balance; what will be is and what was will be. All time is here and now. in this moment between time we wish to give thanks to the Goddess and her consort for the bounty they have bestowed. Huzzah!



Ancient God of the forest deeps,

Master of beasts and Sun;

Here where the world is hushed and sleeps

Now that the day is done.

I call You in the ancient way

Here in my circle round,

Asking that You will hear me pray

And send Your Sun-force down.


God of the Sun and all its blessings
God of the ancient groves
Father, we who are your children, call you.
We call your strength from the Oak
We call your wisdom from the mountain
We call your wisdom from within and all around us
Father of a thousand names
Ever living, ever dying
Come if you will to our circle tonight
Hail and welcome



I hear your call, child of the Earth

I am Cernunos, Guardian of the wild places.

Some also call me Herne, the hunter.

Regardless of what you call me,

I am protector of the high crags and the wilderness


As the consort of the Great mother

I provide the seeds of new growth

As leader of the Wild hunt I cut down the old

If you would hear me you must quiet your racing mind and listen

For it is in the silences that I speak

Seek me in the wild places of your spirit

Open yourself to the wild beauty of nature

Listen and heed my call






Crescent One of the starry skies,

Flowered One of the fertile plain,

Flowing One of the ocean's sighs,

Blessed One of the gentle rain;

Hear my chant 'midst the standing stones,

Open me to Your mystic light;

Waken me to Your silver tones;

Be with me in my sacred rite!



I hear your heart, Child of the Earth

I am Ma, Marianne

I am Yemaya, Brighid, Bride, Brigantia

I am inane, I am Ishtar, I am Isis

My names are many and my face may change

Countless times in countless years

But Goddess will not die

I am everlasting, the compassionate not

I am the Great Mother worshipped before the gods

To com I myself gave birth.

I am reborn each day.  I will outlast my children

For I am the sea and the mother of the sea

I am the mother of God and all creation

And you are my namesakes


ANTIPHONAL CHANT: (Divide circle North/South)

NORTH: What night is this night?

SOUTH: It is the night of the Autumnal Equinox, some call it Mabon

NORTH: What is the meaning of this night

SOUTH: Tonight all things are in balance

NORTH: What are the elements that balance on this night?

SOUTH: Night and day are equal,

NORTH: Life and death are equal,

SOUTH: Goddess and God are equal

NORTH: What changes after this night?

SOUTH: Light gives way to dark

NORTH: Movement gives way to repose

SOUTH: Blessed Be the Season of Darkness,

NORTH: Blessed Be the Time of Night.

SOUTH: Blessed Be this Mabon, Blessed Be the Darkness, Blessed

Be the Light

NORTH: How do we recognize ourselves on this night?

SOUTH: We turn away from light, we embrace the darkness, we find

the darkness within ourselves

NORTH: Who is Goddess

SOUTH: We are Goddess

NORTH: Who is God

SOUTH: We are God

NORTH: Who are Goddess and God

SOUTH: All living things are Goddess and God
NORTH: And who are we?

ALL: We are Deity, and we are children of Deity. We are a part of the creative life forces  which move the universe. We are microcosm and macrocosm. We are a part of all that is. Blessed Be Goddess and God, Blessed Be Earth and Universe.



Once more the wheel has turned, bringing us back to Mabon.  The turning of the wheel is a popular concept celebrated in our rituals: the returning, to the same place in time, each year, to celebrate, yet again, a beloved Sabbat.  But is it really the same? Do we really return, or is this just illusion, and do we actually move ahead.? I would submit that the answer is “Both!”  How we choose to view it depends on what we plan to do. In celebrating the Sabbat, time is circular, as we follow in the footsteps of our ancestors who celebrated this same festival millennia ago. In looking forward to the year ahead, time is linear, as new experiences and events beckon, and we find new ways to celebrate the old. Circles have been a symbol of unity and completeness for eons. Tonight we celebrate in circle and with a symbolic circular portal.


Let tomorrow dawn with a promise; a promise that each of us will, on a daily basis, send positive, healing energy with all of our magical strength into the world—that when we gather in other circles, we take the time to raise and send this energy also. Like the ripples on a pond, it can spread in ever widening circles until the tipping point is reached, and the world can begin to heal. Can we influence outcome? You bet we can! As we all know, thoughts are things. Let us set our intent, and do the energy work necessary to bring this about. This past year has seen great upheaval and change. New orders are being established. Let us do all in our power to see that these changes will be positive and peaceful  Guardians, will you take your places, please.  (Guardians carry the Portal into place)


As the Sun prepares to enter Autumn, it pauses for a moment on the threshold, looking, not back toward the brightness of Summer, but ahead towards the darkness of Winter. Let us, too, pause for a moment on that threshold. What are the things we wish to leave behind? What are the things we wish to bring forward into the dark times, things which may need more time to incubate and develop before they emerge into the light? Take a moment to separate one from the other.  Please take a moment to consciously form the words: “I bring peace with me into the dark time,” then with a nod to the Guardians of the Portal, step through into the other half of the year, bringing your bright promises with you.

(As you are ready, go to the portal and step through)



\Fall Equinox Chant

Queen of Love’s own heart so deep

Wake this land from endless sleep

Show us your beauty, show us your pride

Bring us the healing that will abide:

Keep faith with the Seeker






Give thanks to Mother Gaia,

Give thanks to Father Sun,

Give thanks for the beautiful Earth,

Where the Mother and Father are one.


Mother Earth Beloved Garden — use for call response.


Opening the Circle — Need to write music down


Eve of work and night of pleasure

Gratitude circles now full measure

Forest Lord and Moonlight’s daughter

Earth and Air and Fire and Water

Bless this company as we leave

Love to each unto their need

Blessings from our Goddess rain

Until we come to meet again


Hoof and Horn

Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn, All that dies shall be reborn!

Corn and Grain, Corn and Grain, All that falls shall rise again!