This weekend was absolutely PERFECT for some autumnal abundance here at Stately Salrin Manor, gentle readers – highs of 70 degrees in the daytime and nippy, crisp evenings that made spending all day in the kitchen with the windows wide open well worth all the effort. My good husband and I worked like crazy Saturday to make our Mabon Feast, and we had an absolute blast doing so!
We made our own Instant Pot Mabon Stew using a recipe from Kelly at Life Made Sweeter
In place of the Italian seasoning she called for, I worked a little kitchen witchery and added the Scarborough Faire mix of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (yes, you have to hum the song to yourself now) for protection, prosperity, good health, strong memory, purification, love, family harmony, and loyalty. We also included a bay leaf for good fortune, star anise for luck, and a sprinkle of poppy seeds for wisdom and heightened awareness for the night’s rituals. The mix of spices, cooking wine, and tomato paste made for a much different beef stew than the type I grew up eating (Mom’s standby was literally just meat and potatoes, with a dash of salt and pepper), but the flavor was very rich and complex and thoroughly enjoyable! (Just be sure to give it double the time it indicates for your pressure cooker to come up to seal – my pot nearly ranneth over with all the ingredients it called for!)
Since I used all whole-wheat flour instead of the white/wheat flour the recipe called for, this bread was much darker and coarser than what I’m used to – which is what I intended, honoring the Dark Mother aspect of the Goddess, but it was a perfect complement to the Mabon Stew and was delicious with the apple butter. The apple butter’s creamy smooth texture melted on the tongue, flavored with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg for prosperity, allspice for luck, and maple syrup for longevity, money, and love.
Traditional Apple Crisp by Jen at Cincy Shopper
This dish did a great job of showcasing apples used to represent the abundance and fertility of the Earth during our harvest feast. I tweaked this recipe by using whole wheat flour (again in honor of the Dark Mother phase of the Goddess) and working with the cinnamon in the recipe to bring peace and prosperity to our home. This was, as we eloquently told each other, “STOOPID GOOD,” particularly with vanilla ice cream to top it off!
Hard Apple Cider by the good folks at Angry Orchard – (I can’t take credit for making this one, but we certainly enjoyed imbibing while we celebrated the Sabbat. The fact that the apples honored the season just made it all the sweeter.
After we ate that amazing repast, we headed outside (under the full Harvest Moon – how fortunate!) to do a few rituals to welcome in the season and give thanks for our abundant harvest, both of material and spiritual. My boys are not Pagan, but they are supportive and like to have fun with me, so I was very grateful that they joined me in my prayer and spellwork tonight.
Autumn Full Moon Ritual by Patti Wigington at ThoughtCo
This ritual was written for groups, but can easily be adapted for solitaries (which I did!). It’s basically a fun exercise in calling the quarters and asking the Elements to bring wisdom, guidance, prosperity, and comfort during the cold months to come. It tickled me greatly that the last part called for the participants to hold hands while they give thanks and ask for blessings, and MY BOYCHILD ACTUALLY DID SO VOLUNTARILY. (He is honestly never under any pressure to participate in my beliefs, but it made me feel very loved that he chose to do so at this gratitude ritual – my heart was definitely full!)
Apple Harvest Rite, also by Patti Wigington at ThoughtCo
More of a solitary ritual, this one involved cutting open an apple crosswise to recognize the five seeds that make a star/pentacle inside it – a representation of the elements of earth, wind, water, and fire, plus the spirit. My husband and I toasted the Powers that Be with some of our cider while I recited:
“The wild god returns this night to the belly of the Mother.
The mother goddess tonight becomes the Crone.
As the wheel of the year turns, the earth dies a bit each day.
I willingly follow the old gods into darkness, where they will
Watch over me, protect me, and keep me safe.”
Then I offered one half of the apple to nature (i.e. threw it over my fence for the deer) and ate the other half myself – not a bad bargain!
What better way to end this magical night than with a pumpkin cauldron bursting into blue and green flames? I combined two awesome rituals into one for this last and most impressive bit of witchery.
In the Coloring Book of Shadows Planner for a Magical 2018, Amy Cesari whips up a spell in which one burns herbs in a hollowed-out pumpkin (using a fire fueled by frikkin’ TEQUILA, which is just awesome by any measure). In her spell, when the incantation is finished, the guts of the pumpkin are put back inside it, on top of the burned herbs, and then the squash is planted in the garden, where it returns to the earth and is reborn in the Spring as its seeds sprout and flourish.
I liked this ritual, but I added a little oomph to it by combining it with Patti Wigington’s Herb Burning Ritual, in which I gave a prayer of thanksgiving as I asked the Powers that Be to use the herbs to grant me balance on this night of the autumnal equinox. Her spell resulted in ashes that she suggested could be used as incense, but I collected what I could and combined it with table salt to create a banishing salt I will use in a Samhain ritual. (Hey, I am both electic and new at this, so right now I can do whatever I want!) 😉
Here are the herbs I used and their correspondences:
Acorns (good luck and protection), chamomile (love and prosperity), lavender (peace and harmony), marigolds (respect, admiration, and protection), milkweed (strength, perseverance, wisdom), pinecones (new beginnings), sage (purification), sunflower (energy and power), Sweet Annie (because it smells good!), yarrow (overcoming fear)
Thankful and Blessed
My son bowed out soon after the flames died down, but my husband and I sat out for a good long time beneath the full harvest moon, basking in the glow of its reflected light and being grateful that we are livin’ the dream with our tiny house, our sweet and nerdy kiddo, and each other. For me, there’s no better way to give thanks to the Universe for all my blessings than to spend a day like this at home with my boys.
Blessed Mabon, everyone! Be sure to share how you celebrated or are planning to celebrate over on Facebook in the Half-Assed Circle!