By now, you have have noticed that the hours of daylight are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. The Autumnal Equinox and the solar festival of Mabon are here at long last. This is the second of the harvest festivals and marks the beginning of the dark time of the year.
Mabon is my favorite of all of the wheel of the year festivals. Since I live in an area where there are so many apple orchards and vineyards, I feel the strong pull of this season. As a child growing up, thanksgiving was my favorite of the family holidays and for me, Mabon marks the start of that season.
My coven is celebrating our second anniversary this Mabon. We named ourselves the Coven of the Oak and Apple in honor of both the Oak trees that grow all around us and the apple orchards that thrive in our valley. The Oak tree represents our connection of the God energy and the Apple tree represents our connection to the Goddess energy. We use acorns, oak leaves, and apple starts in our clothing and decorations.
The ritual work I do with my coven is often different from the work I will do on my own time. I like to do big magical work with my coven but all my personal work, I do on my own and my coven mates do theirs. Being in a coven is great for getting help with large issues that need more energy behind them. Coven members become like family if you let them in. I share all of my fears and insecurities with them and they help me to overcome them without feeling like I am being judged. When times are tough, we come together to support each other.
Finding pagans that you click with is actually pretty hard. I live in a pretty Christian city and out pagan population is definitely a minority here. There’s plenty of new age people but not a lot of them follow the path of the old gods or want to bring these kinds of practices into their everyday life. I will admit that I struggled with being public about my beliefs for a long time. This was when I was worried about how my beliefs would impact my employment status. These days, I don’t care about that at all. I am out of the broom closet for good now.
For my own personal work this Mabon, I am giving thanks for all of the lessons that I have been gifted this year. Some of them were harsh lessons that I had to learn about myself and what I want out of my life and relationships. I am at a bit of a crossroads as to what to do next and what I want. I feel like I am on the next stage of my life but I am not sure what I want to put my energy into. That’s one of the hard parts of doing ritual work, figuring out what you want to put your energy into.
Since we are at the harvest season, now is not the time to start something new but rather to reflect on what we have received. I am thankful for being able to reconnect with old friends, for the chance to reevaluate my life and needs, and for growing stronger.