Moon Phase


Thursday, September 15, 2011

What is Mabon

Mabon was the Welsh god of light, the son of Modron whose Greek equivalent is Matrona or “Mother.” Modron is an Earth goddess and corresponds to Demeter, mother of Persephone, in the more familiar Greek pantheon. According to mythology, the infant Mabon was abducted and taken to the Underworld when he was three days old. Eventually Mabon was liberated, and his return to the human world signals spring, the time when days begin to grow longer and warmer and the earth is again fruitful. Both Modron and Demeter mourn while their kidnapped children are absent, and their grief causes the earth to grow dark, cold, and barren.
The autumnal equinox marks that day in September when we experience an equal number of light and dark hours. Afterward, the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, as the mythological mothers grieve and wail for their children. In recent years, those who follow the path of Wicca have developed formal rituals for acknowledging the end of summer and the symbolic death of light. Some choose to call this sabbat “Mabon,” in honor of the Welsh god of light.
One need not identify with Wiccans or any other faith to feel the change that marks the turn of seasons. The outward symbols of Mabon are ubiquitous in Western society, even though relatively few people realize that their decorations and activities reflect the traditions of ancient peoples. The colors, the corn wreaths, and the hearty soups are such powerful symbols of the old, nature-based way of life that no one questions their appearance at this time of year; it simply feels right.

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