What is Mabon?Sep 13, 2023
Mabon and the Autumn Equinox
On September 21st, Mabon marks the autumn equinox and Libra season. In truth, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that Mabon was actually celebrated by the ancients. In fact, there is reason to believe that this sabbat was named in the 1970’s after a god in Welsh mythology. Mabon was the Child of Light and son of Modron, the Earth Mother Goddess. No matter its origins, this sabbat marks a very important time of the year that has been acknowledged and honored for millennia. Ancestors from the British Isles recognized this as a time for gratitude after the last harvest, while preparing for darker days to come. It was a period of building resilience to survive the winter.
Though we don’t have the same concerns around survival today, the symbolism of Mabon still bares relevance and warrants deep reflection.
On this day, we honor the autumn equinox and arrival of Libra season. As night and day are of equal length, the most prominent theme at play is balance - whether that be light and dark, masculine and feminine, give and take, inner and outer, we are being called to restore balance to our lives. The equinox is nature’s reminder that within balance, a state of equilibrium is achieved. If we look closely at the forces of nature, we’ll see that we’re always moving towards greater harmony. Our bodies themselves are constantly in self-regulation to maintain biological systems ensuring homeostasis.
Balance and Natural Order
Why is this so damn important? Mabon highlights the significance of balance and natural order as means of ensuring peace, and serves as a guide for us to restore harmony within our lives. The very need for balance in our physical reality denotes that there is indeed natural law (Libra) in the cosmos that is always working to restore harmony. The Greeks (particularly Homer) defined kosmos as "an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution". This universe has a system of arrangement or orderliness, and we as humans are extensions of that universe. Virgo, the sign before Libra, works to maintain this order.
We can sense when we’re out of balance within and without. Internally, we experience anxiety, overwhelm, underwhelm, stress, tension, depression, and more. Externally, our schedules are overfilled, bodies overweight or underweight, and our diets are poor (that includes anything we choose to consume - food, drinks, music, information, drugs, etc). When this happens, we aren’t moving with the natural flow toward homeostasis, and we are out of balance. This sacrifices peace and leads to internal and external war. The further we entertain disharmony, the further away we are from experiencing the highest frequency of all - love.
This concept is further solidified through the symbolism of Libra and the equinox. Libra is the sign of balance, harmony, and peace. It’s also ruled by Venus and is linked to love and relationships. There’s a reason why all of these things are connected under one umbrella. The Chinese philosopher Confucius taught us that harmony is relational. Harmony, or peace, does not occur with sameness, but with differences working together to create a symphony - much like a musical working composed of different notes that work together and form a masterpiece. Our relationships are divine mirrors through which we can see our own imbalances. We need differences in order to grow, change, and evolve. Turbulence and war ultimately serve as a mechanism for exercising free will. Things become so uncomfortable that we need to CHOOSE peace, love, and harmony.
Mabon and Shadow Work
To wrap this up, I want to circle us back to the notion of balance between light and dark - the equinox. We become imbalanced when shadow (our darkness) has hijacked our consciousness and is at the wheel. It is only when we bring light to these sides of ourselves that we can exercise free will and accept the invitation for healing and evolution. We tip the scales back into equilibrium when we choose love and sometimes, this is the hardest thing we can do. Choosing love may look like admitting that you’re in the wrong, or letting go. It could look like changing patterns and habits that have kept you safe, but ultimately destroy you and your relationships. It may require you to up-level in a way that feels absolutely terrifying, but will restore peace in the long-run.
Conversely, we may become imbalanced if we’re too engulfed in light, and leave no room for the mystery and unconscious to work its magic in the darkness. This may ask us to release control and allow ourselves to sit within the discomfort of not the unknown, or the blindness that comes with the dark. We may be so orderly, that embracing chaos is needed to restore homeostasis.
We cannot know light without dark, harmony without disharmony, or love without war. We also cannot be in equilibrium all the time, for we’d never evolve or grow. Nature reminds us of this as we move through light during one half the year, and darkness through the other, experiencing a bit of both in between. Mabon, Libra season, and the equinox simply call us back to equilibrium to remember one thing - love. The question becomes ‘how are we DANCING with the different moving parts now, and is this creating harmony or war? What is needed for equilibrium?’
We can tune into the natural order and listen for the right notes - just like a musician tuning their guitar back into greater order or harmony.
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