Ynis Afallach Tuath


Avaloniana Path


The Wheel


Ynis Afallach Tuath



MABON: the autumnal equinox

(© Caillean)

Mabon is the autumnal equinox, the time of the Second Harvest after Lughnasadh.  After cereals, now is the time of fruits and in particular of grapes. The equinox always falls in a different day, between 20th  and 24th  September.

Equinoxes and Solstices are not part of the great Celtic festivals, but they surely had an important role for people with advanced astronomical knowledge, like the Celts. In addition, myths and customs related to these times are present in many cultures in ancient Europe, and the pre-Celtic megalith builders  were no doubt conscious of the power of these days (see the alignment of sacred Circles such as Stonehenge or Drombeg or passage tombs such as Newgrange).

During the equinox, night and day have exactly the same duration and this represents a moment of balance between light and darkness, between contrasts of opposites which are symbolically solved.

The name Mabon comes from the name of the Celtic God Mabon or Maponus: he is the youth who is stolen from his mother Modron, and is locked in a tower until King Arthur will come to set him free. We have here a symbolical tale which bears a strong analogy with the myth of Persephone and Demeter, a myth which forms the basis of the Eleusinian Mysteries celebrated in ancient Greece between September and October. “Mabon ap Modron” simply means the young mother’s son and actually represents the archetype of the Young Sun (the Oak King in northern legends, but also Persephone) giving way to his aspect of Old Setting Sun (the Holly King) in the dark half of the year and who will be reborn from the Mother at the Winter Solstice. Just as the abducted Persephone is led into Hades and summer comes to an end, Mabon, too, is locked away waiting to return.

In several neodruidic circles this day is known as Alban Elued ‘light of water’ as the sun sets down plunging into the vast western seas that symbolize the otherworld.

The symbols of Mabon are the apple, the vine and the ivy, all of them season’s products which hide much deeper meanings. The apple is a symbol of immortality and of the Otherworld, while  the Vine and the Ivy grow in spirals, distinctive sign of cyclical rebirth. Moreover, wine is produced from the vine and  the ancient people held it as a divine gift, therefore sacred. Wine can alter perception and bring on  visions and is derived from a long and, for those days, obscure fermentation in dark barrels. This procedure was later associated to initiation, to symbolic death and transformation of the initiate. Wine and wheat had an  outstanding importance in initiatic Eleusinian mysteries, which used to take place in this period.

In the United States an echo of these harvest celebrations survives in Thanksgiving Day.

Mabon marks the beginning of the dark half of the year, which will culminate at Samhain….but the ancients, in their wisdom based on deep communion with nature, well knew that death is no more than a compulsory passage towards rebirth….


Traduzione a cura di Abigail_derwen


© Ynis Afallach Tuath, 2008/2009
Sito internet con aggiornamenti aperiodici, non rientrante nella categoria Prodotto Editoriale.
Nessuna parte di questo sito può essere riprodotta senza il permesso degli autori e senza citare la fonte.
Tutti i lavori pubblicati sono protetti dalla legge n. 633 e s.m.i. in tutela dei diritti d'autore.
Tutti i loghi e marchi in questo sito sono di proprietà dei rispettivi proprietari. I commenti sono di proprietà dei rispettivi autori.
Questo sito è stato creato con MaxDev, un sistema di gestione di portali scritto in PHP.
MD-Pro è un software libero rilasciato sotto la licenza GNU/GPL Visualizzate le nostre news usando il file backend.php
Il tema grafico è stato creato da Argante. Webmistress Violet.

Powered by MD-Pro