by Krizia Isamar Bruno
It is time to honor the season of change. Whether you choose to call this day the Fall equinox, Mabon, or the Mid-Harvest festival. Mabon is the second holiday on the Wheel of the Year, which includes other harvests or solar festivals like Samhain and Yule. Due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis and the Earth’s position around the Sun, there is an equal amount of day as there is to night.
Many pagans, wiccans, and witches associate Mabon with seeking balance within one’s life and one’s self, as well as embracing gratitude, celebrating what is to come next. Join in on the preparations to embark on joyful festivities, and mark your calendars for Friday, Sept. 22.
1. Create an altar
As a college student, I know the struggle of having to find a special area for your own to set up an altar. I like to use a shelf on my desk. Other suggestions include shoeboxes or designated tables or shelves. For my personal altar, I use decorations that create a balanced representation of light and dark, burn sweet grass incense, place gems around a pentagram created from fallen twigs. Don’t be afraid to decorate to your style.
2. Experience autumnal harvesting like apple picking
One of my all-time favorite activities to indulge in during the autumn months is to visit orchards and farms — to join in on the picking of apples, pumpkins, and other fall fruits and vegetables. According to CBS Pittsburgh, one of the best farms in the
Pittsburgh area is Half Crown Hill Orchard. Located at 600 N Branch Road, McDonald, PA 15057. They are currently open for the 2017 season on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm and Sundays between the hours of 11am and 4pm. Here you can harvest a variety of apples and make hand-pressed apple cider and apple juice. Likewise, the farm also produces pumpkins and homemade honey.
3. Enjoy a holiday spa day
The Sabbats are a great excuse to declare “Me Time.” Fill up the tub. Grab some chrysanthemum and pansy petals, Lush’s Guardian of the Forest bath bomb, and a blend of lavender, marjoram, cedarwood, and ylang ylang essential oils. If you’re in a college dorm like myself, candles are unfortunately against school rules. You can use small LED tea lights typically sold at Target, Walmart, or Home Depot instead.
4. Read and tell stories
Sit by a fireplace, or cozy up within a mountain of pillows and soft blankets. Drink your homemade apple cider and read myths and folklore like “The History of a Great Son,” about Maenads (Wild Women), or the Greek story of Bacchus/Dionysus.
You’ve reached the end of your exciting and festive day, and your energies are roiling. Step back into a comfortable place or in front of your decorated altar to bring everything together. Focus on your breathing and clear your essence of negativity. Again, balance is key.