Here are Jan's thoughts:
Like the Vernal Equinox, this celebration occurs at a point of
pivot. With days and nights of equal lengths, there is a
particular stillness which encourages contemplation of the summer now
dying, and the long night ahead. Whilst we give deep thanks for
the harvest resting in our store-houses, we are starkly aware of what
lies before us.
roughly translates to “Bright Blessings”, erected almost like a shield
against the encroaching darkness. Another of the titles belonging
to this festival is that of “Harvest of the Wine” – this because grapes
are traditionally gathered and trodden at this time of year.
our modern world, which bristles with manmade conveniences to defeat
the wrath of Mother Nature, it becomes very easy to lose sight of what
a critical period Mabon represents. But – just for a little
while – journey back with me in your imagination. There is no
electricity, no piped gas, no central heating, no running
You have (if you are fortunate and
diligent) a waterproof and wind-proof shelter. But as the nights
lengthen and the temperature drops you have only the warmth and light
shed by a fire which, no doubt, fills your home with smoke at
times. You will have been gathering wood and seasoning it
for months, storing it in a wood shelter which will hopefully keep it
tinder dry. This fire is also your only method of cooking
food. If its embers die, and you cannot resurrect them, or
if you run out of fuel, you too will die.
this last few months you have spent every daylight hour gathering in
your harvest, collecting berries and fruit, storing meat to see you
through the dark and barren winter. You will continue gathering
until there is nothing left to harvest. Every day will be just a
little colder than the last, and a little shorter. As Autumn
slides into Winter, the weather will turn into a fiend, seemingly
intent upon the destruction of your shelter. After every storm
you will drive yourself to your limits in the dimming daylight making
repairs that you hope will see you through the next storm.
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