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Mabon - A balance of light and dark








Mabon is hands down my favorite traditional celebration. I love Autumn and all the colors and changes that occur this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Mabon is essential a harvest celebration or festival. This was a time to celebrate the bounty of the gardens and thank Mother Earth for all she had provided. Mabon also celebrates the Autumn Equinox or the first day of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.


At this time and light and dark are even and in balance with each other, just like at the Spring Equinox. However, during the Spring we say goodbye to dark and let in the light. During Mabon the Sun’s light in waning and we are returning to the dark the cycle is almost complete. The sap in the trees are returning to the roots. The lush green of Summer is change to the fiery colors of Autumn.


What are some things to do for Mabon:


We can declutter. Just like Spring cleaning is cleansing to our home and soul so it Autumn cleansing. You are putting away what no longer serves you in preparation for what does.

So how can be celebrate Mabon at home? We can plant bulbs. Just because the days are getting longer and cooler does not mean that life stops. Beneath the chilly earth the bulbs and roots are resting to make their appearance in the Spring. We can decorate with Autumn colors, go apple picking and host a dinner to show off and give thanks for our bounty.

Other ways to celebrate: We can celebrate by harvesting. We can pick what has been grown for us and give thanks for the abundance that we have received during the Summer months. Rosehips are abundant this time of year (wait until after the first good frost). They can be dried for teas and infused oils, cooked down into jams and syrups or added into your baking. Remember to remove the seeds as they are hairy and can be irritating to the throat.

Other quick tidbits for Mabon:


Colors: Orange, Red, Yellow, Brown, Copper, Dark Yellows and Greens

Foods: Pumpkins, Squash, Apples, Pomegranate and Root Vegetables

Stones: Amber, Citrine, Cat’s Eye, Jasper, Aventurine

Flowers and plants: Sunflowers, Marigolds, Thistle

Herbs: Mugwort, Yarrow, Rosehips

Deities: Mabon, Green Man, Persephone

Folklore:


The origin of the name Mabon is from the Welsh God. He is the Child of Light and he was son of the Earth Mother Goddess.


In Greek Mythology, Hades the God of the Underworld saw Demeter’s daughter and wanted her for himself so he took her to his palace in the Underworld. Demeter (known as the grain goddess) was very protective of her daughter and Hades knew she would never approve of him marrying her Persephone (ancient death goddess whose name means ‘destroying face’. So Hades made a secret arrangement with Zeus, Persephone’s father and he took Persephone down to his Underworld.

Demeter scoured the earth for her missing daughter. She grew more and more sad and began to cry. She cried so much for her daughter that her tears destroyed all the crops on Earth.


Meanwhile, while Persephone was in the Underworld she ate from ‘the fruit of death’. She had 6 pomegranate seeds that she picked from Hades garden. The consequence for her snack? 6 months of the year she had to remain in the Underworld. So in the Northern Hemisphere, Persephone remains underground for Autumn and Winter. But this is not all bad as she is granted to return to the surface for Spring and Summer where she visits her mother Demeter.


Recipes:


Spice Cake;

Ingredients:

SPICE MIXTURE:

1.5tsp Ground Cinnamon

1.5tsp Ground Nutmeg

1.5tsp Ground Clove

1.5tsp Ground Allspice


CAKE BATTER:

1/2C Butter

2C Flour

1tsp Baking Soda

1tsp Baking Powder

Pinch of Salt

1C Packed Brown Sugar

1/2C Oil

3 Eggs

3/4C Buttermilk


FROSTING:

1C Milk

3-4 Tbsp Flour

1C Sugar

1tsp Vanilla

1C Soften Butter


Directions:


Mix all spices together and set aside

Melt and brown butter, once brown add spice mixture and allow to cool until firm in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C

In a bowl whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt)

In a large bowl cream spiced butter mixture and brown sugar until fluffy

Beat in oil and egss one at a time until incorporated

While alternating flour mixture and buttermilk mix continuously until combined.

Pour batter into a 8x8 lined dish or pan and bake for 35-40 mins

Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.


Frosting Directions:

Heat and whisk together milk, flour and sugar

Bring to a boil and stir constantly until thick (about 5mins)

Remove from heat and mix in vanilla

Cool completely

Beat butter in a bowl until light and fluffy and then add cooled frosting mixture

Continue to beat until light and fluffy then frost the cake.


Apple Cider


Ingredients:


2C Apple Juice (Real not concentrate or blend)

3 Cinnamon Sticks

¼C Brown Sugar

1tsp Cloves (whole)

¼tsp Ground Nutmeg

1 Orange (sliced)

Directions:

Add all ingredients to slow cooker and heat on high for several hours.

Or

Heat in a pot and allow to simmer for 30mins.

Serve warm

*Optional treat. Add a scoop of Vanilla ice cream and make it an apple cider float


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