The medicine of Mabon: lessons for the autumn equinox

Come Mabon, come my favorite time of year. It is the day that initiates the season that I love most of all. The cozy, cool, dark, wild, inward season. And while Mabon may be fairly unknown; we all know about the equinox. It is the day occurring twice a year when there is equal time of light + dark. Once in the spring + once in the autumn. On the day of the equinox, we experience 24 hours when daylight + nighttime are in perfect balance. Mabon is simply the name of the festival of the equinox in autumn. Ostara, the name of the spring equinox. And since the autumn equinox is upon us (the official day is tomorrow), it is now time to dive deep into the medicine that Mabon brings.

For me, the equinox is like that space between breaths. You know, that little moment when you have deeply, mindfully filled your lungs + belly, and just before you exhale slowly + with intention. It’s that short little pause of magic between between the two sides of breathing. That’s the equinox. The one day, between the abundant, growing, beautiful season of light and the magical, inward, silent season of the dark.

So, yes, after Monday in the northern hemisphere, we turn towards the dark. We descend into the darkest half of the year… the days now becoming shorter, dark ruling light, from now until the spring equinox. From now on, there will always be more nighttime hours daylight hours. And, I know that for many people that this symbolizes the beginning of a tough season. It can definitely be a real challenge to face the darkness. There are real struggles with depression + seasonal affect disorder when it comes to the darkest half of the year.

I am no expert in complex seasonal difficulties and I absolutely recommend seeking professional help if the darkness leads to feelings of hopelessness and depression, as I am not a licensed therapist. But I am a theologian + a spiritual guide, giving me a unique perspective + way of interpreting + exploring deeper truths. So, I would like to offer a few ways that I always seek a bit of comfort + inspiration + growth through this season by connecting with nature and my soul. Ways that I use the lessons of the season of Mabon as a practical guide for living slowly + intentionally.

For me, celebrating + recognizing Mabon is one way to honor the changing of the seasons and to find a way to live in rhythm with the natural world. The cycle of life that I see in the earth, especially this time of year, reminds me that there is constant change + evolution. Both in nature, and in myself. So, I use Mabon as a marker, a turning point, to allow myself to prepare + sink into the darkness so that I can then rise higher next spring. So that I can dive deeper into my soul, knowing that from the dark comes life again. And, after the winter, the flowers + I will bloom + become even more who I are meant to be.

On the autumn equinox, as I pause for just a day, in perfect balance between light + dark, I find the perfect energy for looking back + looking ahead. The vibes of the day of the equinox inspire a quiet pause to reflect + breathe. What are the seeds I planted back in the spring? How have they grown + what am I harvesting right now? I actually began thinking about what I am harvesting this autumn back on the full moon a week or so ago. For me, I spent this growing season learning + living into who I really am. And, with the coming of September, it became so very clear to me that this autumn is meant to be a whole new path on my life journey. One that is meant to be an embodiment of all that I have believed, learned, and become.

But, before I get ahead of myself, before I move too quickly into some action phase of manifesting, I need the slow medicine of Mabon + the autumn. With the end of the season of light + growth, we move from an external energy to the energy of inner work. This is is sacred season of gratitude, harvesting, releasing, surrendering. It is the time of coming home. And, after that, comes the season of sowing + planting new seeds. In the darkest of the dark of winter is when we begin to plan + prepare. But first, we must release, let go, and listen. We must do the inner work of the season of the autumn. Facing our shadows. Honoring the circle of life, death, and rebirth. Celebrating the wisdom + magic of the autumnal season.

The medicine of Mabon gives us the space to do just that. Light surrenders to the dark. Leaves fall from the trees. Earth begins to turn inward. Death looms. We return home + settle inside with candles, blankets, and food. The quiet season arrives. And , though it may be uncomfortable, suddenly, there is space to feel, intuit, listen, plan, prepare, create, write, wonder, trust, believe, and hope. The next 6 months are magic for our soul, if we tap into the energy of the earth, follow the rhythm of nature, and understand the deeper, spiritual lessons calling to us.

To drop into the magic + medicine of Mabon I intend to spend some time on the autumn equinox in nature. Perhaps by visiting + hugging my sacred tree in a clearing on a nearby hill. Perhaps by baking something with apples + autumns spices such as cardamom, rosemary, nutmeg, and cinnamon. But, I will most definitely journal + write.

A few reflective questions for Mabon.

  1. Harvest: What do I need to take with me into autumn?
  2. Compost: What do I need to get rid of + leave behind?
  3. Light: What can I shine out into the world this season?
  4. Dark: What should I meditate on this season?

It is my intention to use these questions with my oracle cards actually. A chance to let my intuition guide me by tapping into the spirit within + around me.

And then, I think I’ll also make an autumn bucket list. Not only is there so much spiritual energy swirling around this season, but it’s also just so damn cozy + beautiful in the autumn. So, from now until Halloween, I will be drinking golden milk, reading under blankets, making soups + stews, practicing magic, reading oracle cards, using crystals, meditating, connecting with spirits, drinking red wine, creating magic, wearing sweaters + scarves, lighting candles, honoring nature, howling at the moon, and doing whatever comes my way as I drop into this new phase of embodying my own soul power.

Wishing you a blessed Mabon, lovelies. Feel the balance of the day. And sink into the energy of the darkness that is now upon us. And, of course, welcome the light, dear friends of the southern hemisphere. Before we move into the dark or towards the light, though, for just a few hours today, we can all balance in the magic of the equinox… all together, all over the earth. Feeling the deep medicine of Mabon + Ostara. Giving thanks + honoring the sacred cycle of life.

xoxo. liz.

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