At last we move forward into Mabon, the sacred boon of the year. While Lammas celebrates the rewards we receive from our own efforts (those of the garden), Mabon brings the blessings of the God and Goddess that would grow with or without our attention (the nuts, fruits, and foods of the vine). At times, the blessings of Fall supplemented a challenged harvest to the point that it literally made the difference between life and death for a village. As such, the miracles that happen in our lives, big and small, from Mabon to Samhain, can define how the Dark of the Year will proceed for us.

If your year has been anything like mine, you are so very ready to put the hard work of the year behind you and slip into the comfort and quiet of the Dark of the Year. While that repose is incredibly tempting, there is still work to be done before Samhain takes us into that darkest embrace for the harvest cycle. Our ancestors believed that crops left in the field on November 1st were poisoned by the trickster who came around Samhain night, so there was a great effort during this time to harvest as much as possible. The brilliant Harvest Moon gave additional light to work and bring in the last of the crops, as well as apples, nuts, and other blessings of Mabon.

Our ancestors knew as well as we do that the food in the field on November 1st has no fundamental difference than it did on October 30th. They also knew that people need to be told when to stop moving. They need a line of “when” to tell them that the year has transitioned and they should let go of wanting and focus on what they have. We can follow the same cycle by working hard “making hay while the sun shines,” then dialing back our activity during the dark part of the year. Tuning ourselves to the cycles of nature and to the behavior patterns encoded in our DNA structure by thousands of years as agricultural people gives us a greater sense of being “in the zone” and honoring the flow of natural progression.

Moreover, it is a psychologically sound process to break away from the constant force of lusting after specific outcomes and going nonstop without time for introspection and contemplation. Samhain heralds our time to pass through our own veil and move into a quiet, still time where we minimize our efforts and go within.

Now, however, we move through the time of Mabon, which is about abundant, unexpected blessings we receive for a job well done. Today, we open ourselves to the transition into cooler weather, shorter days, and the crisp smell of falling leaves and pumpkin in the air. We work hard to bring in the last of the crops from the field we planted and finalize the year, getting our lives basically under tarps until Spring, gearing down to the bare essentials, and preparing our lives to “go within” both literally, in terms of the weather being less hospitable to outside work, and metaphorical, as we turn our attention to our inner selves and our inner thoughts.

May your Mabon be blessed and joyful and may your boon be abundant and delightful.

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