As the summer draws to a close, we are once again brought to the time of Mabon. The second harvest ritual of the year, Mabon is also the Autumnal equinox, and one of the times of the year when day equals night. In times of old the farmers would harvest by moonlight to avoid the insufferable heat of the day, hence the phrase "harvest moon". This is also around the time of year when livestock was slaughtered so meats were plentiful. Of course the colors of this sabbat are in correspondence with nature, warm colors, gold tones, rich warm reds, yellows and oranges.
This ritual is one in which we will give thanks to the Gods for the bountiful harvest of this year, but also evaluate the year that has past and decide what you will "harvest" and keep with you, and what it is best to give back to the earth. It is a time to seek out that balance and mirror nature, work towards an equilibrium in your life, shed those things that are weighing you down. In a Mabon ritual you may expect to find homage to a dying God who knows his time with us will soon draw to a temporary close, dying at Samhain to be reborn of the Goddess at Yule. You may also see depictions of the Goddess becoming her crone aspect and leaving the earth for the winter such as enactments of the Goddess Persephone going down to spend the next few months in the underworld. Themes that dominate and those of storing and preparing for the winter and lean times, reflection and then relaxation and preparations to enjoy another winter by the hearth. Mabon is also a time for feasting, friends and family, a time of abundance and plenty. And, of course we must keep in mind the aspects of festival and celebration of nature, and remember to be free and love the earth and all that surrounds us.