Thursday, September 19, 2019

Spirit Work for Mabon

Spirit Work for Mabon

Mabon, also called the Autumn Equinox, is often referred to as the pagan Thanksgiving. The crops are being harvested in full force and stored away for the winter months. Celebrations and feasts abound, along with corn mazes, apple picking, and bonfires! I am so ready for cool evenings, warm apple cider, and pumpkin carving. I already have fall decor up and fall candles burning around the clock. Yum! Like every sabbat, Mabon is no different in that there is spirit work to be done! My personal favorite is apple divination, but there are a couple other activities you and yours will enjoy doing this holiday!

1. Practice apple divination.

I love apple divination, probably because I love apples. Going out and picking fresh apples from an orchard is one of the best fall activities, hands down. If you've never done it, I strongly encourage you to find a local orchard and take the whole family. When you come back with your apples, there are several different divination activities you can do before you cook them up into a Dutch Apple Pie!

One of the most famous forms of apple divination uses the peel. Peel the apple in one long piece. When the peel comes off, drop it on the floor or throw it over your shoulder. The letter it forms is the first initial of your true love! If you break the peel before it is completely removed from the apple, you have to start over. Sometimes this is seen as an omen of death prior to meeting your true love. This form of divination is famously portrayed in Alias Grace by Margret Atwood. I adored this book as a teen. The pagan imagery in the book is fascinating. In fact, in tenth grade, I wrote a paper discussing the use of pagan imagery in the book. But I digress.

Another form of apple divination involves cutting the apple into nine pieces at midnight. Once cut, place the pieces in a dark room with a mirror. Begin eating the pieces of the apple while looking into the mirror. When you get to the ninth piece throw it over your shoulder and the face of your lover will appear in the mirror.

And finally, if you have multiple lovers, place an apple seed on your cheek for each person. The last one to remain stuck to your face represents the suitor who is your true love. A lot of future lover magic here! You can read more about the properties of apples here.

2. Thank your household spirits by putting out an offering.

At Imbolc I suggested you introduce yourself to your house spirits and get to know them. Hopefully, you've been attempting to work with them or have at least acknowledged them since your initial meeting. Either way, the spirits of your home keep you and yours safe all while ensuring that you never run out of food. Mabon is a time for giving thanks, and its a great time to thank the spirits of your home for all that they do. If you throw a Mabon Thanksgiving feast, be sure to set out a plate on your stove or hearth for your house spirits to enjoy. You can also offer them milk, honey, beer, ale, wine, apples, nuts, bread, or other traditional fruits and vegetables of the season. Leave the offering out as long as you can; overnight is best. In the morning, bury the offering in your yard. While the food likely looks untouched, unless your cats decided it belonged to them to like mine are often apt to do, the house spirits have absorbed and fed off the energy of the offering, leaving it energetically depleted. It's good to thank your house spirits often, but you certainly should on Mabon.

3. Create a Thankful Tree.

I know this doesn't seem like spirit work on the surface, but it most certainly is. When we express gratitude, we let the Universe and the spirits around us know we are thankful for all they have done, whether we know they have helped or not. It also changes your brain chemistry. Several studies have shown that people who express gratitude often are generally happier and more satisfied with their lives. Happy, satisfied people make better witches. It will change your entire magical practice and help you become more intuned with the world around you. When you feel good, you are often more open to receiving messages so start being grateful!

To create a Thankful Tree, find a fallen branch to turn into a "tree" in your home. Be sure to thank the tree for gifting you with the branch. This is a thankful tree after all. You can't go around stealing branches without thanking the plant it came from. That's a good way for this to backfire! Place some floral foam into the bottom of a decorative pot and place the branch into the foam. Cover the foam with some greenery or craft moss. Now you're ready to start decorating the tree with what you are thankful for. Write what you are thankful for on small strips of paper, fallen leaves, or cutouts of leaves. Using a hole punch, punch a hole into each note and thread a piece of yarn through it to create a hook. Hang your paper or leaves on your tree, I've also seen people do this on a wall by creating a paper tree and taping it to a door, wall, or window and slowly adding leaves over several days to fill in the tree with what they are thankful for. Rhythms of Play and HGTV have some great ideas on making your own Thankful Tree. However you set up your tree, it is sure to bring you happiness. Plus, the whole family can get involved, especially those little witchlings!

And there you have it! Three fun ways to do some spirit work this Mabon. How do you work with the spirits this time of year?

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