Fall has finally decided to soon grace us with its presence and many of us enjoy marking the occasion, whether it be because the season is a favorite of the year, because Mabon is a holiday increasingly recognized in modern times, or because of your own personal autumnal traditions.
Whatever the reason may be for our collective love of this special time of change, coming up with things to do is a task sometimes filled with too much pressure and not enough inspiration. Not only that but life is inevitably still going on all around us and few have the luxury of plentiful time amidst mundane responsibilities, especially for a holiday not marked by the general public.
All things considered, I thought it would be helpful to provide a guide for celebrating Mabon in simple and subtle ways more adapted to busy life, a living environment wherein not everyone recognizes the holiday, or even those in the broom closet.
Cooking, Baking & Snacking
Eat foods related to the season of harvest, these can be easily adapted to the seasonal fruits and veggies of your local vegetation or you can follow Mabon traditions and incorporate breads, grains, apples, corn, cider, and all manner of squashes into your meals or snacking.
If all you get to do is eat an apple in the middle of a bustling day with the intent to have it symbolize and acknowledge Mabon, then celebrate the fact that you made the time to do so and see your commitment as something to be proud of.
Cooking and baking dishes that incorporate the aforementioned foods should be simple enough as they are common in most modern communities and cultures. But if you are worried about seeming suspicious if you’re not usually in the kitchen, then you can use the excuse that quarantine boredom has inspired you to experiment with a recipe or two.
Dressing for Mabon
Wear the spirit of the holiday on your sleeves, both figuratively and literally. You can imbue your jewelry, outfits, nail polish, eye shadow or lipstick, and anything else you wear on your person with the colors and symbolism of fall, from burnt oranges to cranberry reds to mellow yellows.
You can even dye your hair accordingly if you’re allowed or put on an unassuming pumpkin or autumn related graphic tee. This can be as subtly or decoratively done as you want it to be, the point is that you know the meaning behind your manner of dress.
Inconspicuous Autumnal Decor
Autumn decorations that don’t have apparent witchy connotations are plentiful and convenient if you don’t live alone or just don’t like to be obvious about your recognition of the Wheel of the Year.
This can look like orange and brown bedding, pillows, or throw blankets. Place a crystal you relate with the season in your favorite display area or altar space if you have one. Scatter some decorative pumpkins and other squashes around along with faux (or real) autumn leaves. Even a small cornucopia could potentially be explained away as a DIY project necessitated by too much free time on your hands.
Home Cleaning & Release
Mabon is the second of the three harvest festivals and given that it signifies the end of growing season when everything begins to become more dormant and trees release their leaves, so too is this a perfect time for cleaning your home and letting go of what no longer serves you.
Do some introspection on what you have been perhaps clinging onto, give thanks for what you will be releasing, and donate what you can so that you can contribute to the abundance of others. This can be a beautiful ritual to appreciate your home for all it has given you and gently walking yourself through the process of letting go which can often be difficult.
Cleansing your house spiritually and energetically with room spray, herb bundles, incense, visualization, or any other preferred method is an excellent act to accomplish to complete the cleaning of your space.
Branded Scented Candles
Chime candles and any unscented candles can lend themselves to questioning if you live with others, so lighting scented candles with easily noticeable branding, logos, and standard cliche names like “sweater weather” or “pumpkin spice” won’t prompt people to think the candle is serving any other purpose than to make the room smell nice.
Candles that don’t come in standardized jars also tend to require more diligent supervision depending on their height and the way they drip so going for branded scented candles in steady containers will also be a safer option if you have more important things to do than manage a candle’s burning habits.
You can perform spells, rituals or blessings with these candles as you see fit and remember that these too can be as simple and efficient as you need them to be considering your available time and schedule.
Gratitude and Thanks
Mabon has been given the nickname of the Witches’ Thanksgiving as it is a time to be grateful for what the earth has provided in preparation for the darker and colder months ahead. Though we no longer live in times when we generally have to worry about storing food for the winter, the happenings of this year have prompted many of us to be more mindful of the hands that grow our food and the lands our edible goods come from.
So, gratitude for the land, farmers, farm pickers, and food on our tables would embody the wholesome spirit of Mabon in a way more important than ever. The holiday also prompts us to count and share our blessings with others.
This can be acted upon by making either a mental or physical list of all we are thankful for, and by expressing gratitude to one’s deities, ancestors, and or the self for the blessings received. Celebrating abundance doesn’t have to be complicated and it also doesn’t have to be fame or fortune, it really can be as simple as the air we breath everyday and the people we cannot imagine our lives without (but being thankful for the ability to pay our bills is well worth being thankful for, too).
Be you a loud and proud witch, fanatic of the fall season, or broom-closeted practitioner, I hope you’ve found some attainable and practical inspiration to make the holiday feel magical and celebratory in whatever way makes most sense to you.
May you have many things to be thankful for this Mabon and experience all the blessings and abundance the holiday represents.