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Celebrating Mabon; Gratuity Garland

Theres a new scent rolling in with the morning mists off the mountain field, crisp as a fresh apple. The last of the grains have been cut, the tides are turning, as we enter into the second of three fall harvests.

Mabon is the fruit harvest, is symbolized by the overflowingly abundant cornucopia, and specifically the apple, one of the primary foods harvested at this time. Mabon is known as the Witch's Thanksgiving. Preceded by Lammas/Lughnasadh (Aug. 1), the Grain Harvest or Bread holiday and followed by Samhain (Oct. 31), the final harvest. Throughout the harvest season, we are in a theme of giving thanks for the fruits of Mother Earth which sustain us through the cold winter months.


Mabon is the Autumn Equinox, sitting opposite Ostara, Spring Equinox, on the Wheel of the Year. The Equinox is a momentary balancing point between the Summer and Winter Solstices. In the moment of the equinox, there is equal time between hours of Night and Day. At this time, we become aware of the inevitable end of summer season, and pause in gratitude for the fruits of summer.

Mabon is a Gaelic word originating from the phrase Mabon ap Modron meaning 'Son of the Mother'. This refers to the son, or offspring/fruits of Mother Earth having grown into maturity, and now ready withstand the initiatory test of sustaining himself through Winter.


Symbols: corn, apple, cornucopia, sunflower, acorn

Colors: burnt orange, russet brown, brick red, golden yellow, evergreen

Scents/herbs: cinnamon, rosemary, yarrow, pine

Themes: gratitude, maturation, balance, stillness

Activity: Gratuity Garland

A major theme of Mabon, and the whole of harvest season is Gratitude, and the major symbol of Mabon is the apple as the fruit harvest. Make a garland, tying together pieces of dried fruit to represent everything you are grateful for.

As you string each item onto your garland, share with others and yourself something you are grateful for. You may also use a felt tip pen or marker to write what you are grateful for directly onto the piece of fruit.

Supplies: fruit (apples, oranges, pears cranberries) for drying, dehydrator or oven, string/ twine, scissors, cookie rack, cookie sheet, upholstery needle.

Optional: cinnamon sticks, cranberries, small hammer and nail.

Optional: marker or felt tip pen

1. Collect the fruits you would like to have for your garland: apples, oranges, pears

2. Cut into 1/4 inch slices

3. Place fruit on a cookie rack on top of a cookie sheet

4. Bake at 150 degrees for 5-6 hours

5. When the fruits are visibly dried, remove from oven with oven mitss

6. Leave fruits out until cool to the touch

7. Use upholstery needle to thread the fruit into string/thread. Option to tie knots on either side of the fruit pieces to spread them out.

8. Option: thread cranberries, or use a small hammer and nail to carefully puncture a hole in cinnamon sticks to thread onto the garland.

9. Hang your garland somewhere you will see it, preferably in a window or somewhere the light can catch it, to illuminate the pieces of fruit, and you will be reminded of everything you have to be grateful of.

Enjoy this Mabon Season and relish in the last of Summer's Fruits! Soon the leaves will be turning and we will find ourselves being reminded of the necessary season of Death with Samhain, as the Oak King succumbs his reign to the Holly King.

Blessed Be!!

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