On September 23rd my friend Alix, her daughter and I did a makeshift celabration of Mabon. I had been planning on taking out the time and celebrate this Sabbath as well, in my very own way, and soon I found that Alix wanted to celebrate it too. It surprised me then also to find out that her daughter, MJ, would be attending our improvised celebration.
Mabon is a name that was born in 1970, in the Wiccan religion to refer to Autumn Equinox, so we could simply call this celebration "Autumn Equinox". Madron is another usual name for the celebration. It marks the Second Harvest and also the day when the day and the night are of the same leght. In this spirit, and according to the books I've read, one can preceive the Autumn Equinox as a celebration of balance, and also as a celebration to be thankful for what we've received during this period. In this sense I set three little "reminders" or "decorations" (I can't call them altars as they are far from it): one at home, one at the office and then the one Alix, MJ and I set at Alix's place.
It may have looked strange to my coworkers, but no one said anything. Besides, it just looked like decoration, and since I still wear my silver cross, I guess no one would think I'd gone officially witchy, though if I do no one would be surprised (perks of being the official weirdo of the pack). Through the day, and as the days have passed (the bread and orange are gone now) this simple arrangement have served as reminder of the cycle fo nature and a particular part of it. This celebration is a moment to remember that with the bad comes the good, with the good the bad. Positive and Negative walk hand in hand just as day and night, sowing and harvest, work and rest, struggle and success. It serves as a reminder that things are not bad and there's mo such thing as bad luck or mean people out there to get you - though not once you may find ill intentioned people out there to harm you or profit from you. There are things that are yours to make and yours to worry about - that's your sowing and harvest, but there are others that also play in your work, that also add to your harvest, but that are out of your reach. And everything is part of your bounty.
Mabon makes me think of the organical us, that we are not alone in the world, pure individuals single handedly forging our destinies, but that the world, Mother Nature, the Universe, Prana, the Chi, God is out there and He also has a say and He also plants seeds in our life, and He is the Sun that warms our crops just like the rest of the world is the wind, the crows, the bees, the ox or horse, the basket, the scycle and so on. Yes, our choices are in our hands and we make them and we should shoulder them, but Mabon remind you that no element, no part is alone, that we are all together and we are all part of the harvest and you shall remember your fellows, your country, the nature, the planet, and don't just write it down on your stars. We are more, everything is more and God in His infinite wisdom has created such a perfect Mother Nature, such a perfect Universe, such a Prana, such a magnificent Chi, it is balanced out to bring to our harvest always the best our actions can achieve.
As a Christian - though admitedly it is not the path religion or the church encourages - I feel curious of the celebrations of other religions, of their ideas and what they hold up. In this sense I like and admire the Wiccan or Pagan celebrations as a wonderful way of reminding us of the Work of God reflected in the nature He has put around us, which we, as social and economical beings, are set on ignoring and destructing, pretending that recycling and reducing our carbon emissions is all we need to "respect nature".
Our celebration was simple and quite trampled. I must admit I'm not a very good ceremony leader, specially not when suddenly appointed. :-P Armed with "Wicca" by Scott Cunningham, we set on the dining table a small arrangement of eight red tea candles to represent the Wheel of the Year. In the center we put two candles - a red one and an orange one - presumably to represent the God and Goddess, though no one was appointed officially (God and Mother Nature, maybe?) with two cups to hold the offer (beer and chips). Outside the Wheel of the Year we set the four elements corresponding with the four corners of the world (North, East, South and West), and then did the small ceremony. Each of us made an offer of chips (cake) and beer (ale) before partaking the bounty and then shared an experince of somethinggood that has come from something bad. Without question mine was the experience of the thesis, and how we had to put up with so much crap from the tutor only to prevail in the end and come out rewarded in so many ways.
The experience was wonderful, truth to be told. Pagan music in the background and a shy attempt to raise energy. The fear to cast circle - so we left that out for another time - the insecurity of looking dumb doing this, and the awesome sense of sharing something deep with willing people, something from the core, unattached to any socially bound religion to be deeply human, deeply introspective and naively reaching out to God to say, "Dude, you are so awesome!".
Yes, I may climb one day on the roof at 5 am and make my attempt to sing Adhan (Muslim call to prayer), then roll out my yoga mat and pray on it. I might, and I strongly believe it doesn't make me less Christian, but instead it makes me a human being seeking to reach out to God in as many ways as He has inspired mankind to reach out to Him and communicate with Him to request, thank and simply tell Him, "God, you rock!".