Mabon Ritual for Home Protection
Mabon is a time of balance, and it is the time to celebrate the stability of the hearth and home. This ritual is a simple one designed to place a barrier of harmony and security around your property. You can do this as a family group, as a coven, or even as a solitary. If you live in an apartment, feel free to adapt the rite as necessary. The key here is to focus on the perimeter of your personal space, whether you have a half-acre yard, a big rural spread, or a downtown condo.
You’ll need the following items:
There is no need to cast a circle before beginning this rite, because you will be casting a magical perimeter as part of the working.
- A bowl of fresh earth from your yard
- An assortment of iron nails* (railroad spikes work nicely if you can get them)
- A brown or green candle to represent the land
Begin at the entrance to your property that sees the most traffic. If you have a yard and house, this will likely be the end of the driveway, where it connects to the street.
Place the bowl of earth at the entrance to your property. If you like, you can place it on a table, or you can just set it on the ground. Place your hands into the bowl, and feel the cool soil on your fingertips. Feel the energy of the earth, traveling from the ground, up into the bowl, through the dirt, and into you.
Focus on the bowl of earth, and say:
Earth, symbol of security and stability,
bring peace and harmony into my home
at this season of thanksgiving.
May my family be well,
my house be a haven,
and my table be one of hospitality.
May the earth, the soil, the land,
ground me and protect me and
those whom I love,
and that which I call mine.
My property shall be a safe place,
a secure place, a harmonious place
for all those who enter.
As I will, so it shall be.
Leave the bowl in place, and begin slowly walking around the perimeter of your property, traveling in adeosil, or clockwise, direction. Feel the energy of your land, and the way in which you connect with it. Is there a tree you particularly love? Or the big rock where the kids always sit? Or that weird piece of root that you trip over every time? Consider why your property is home instead of just a place to live. Even if you live in an apartment, you can do this — what about that creaky spot by the door that your mom always hears when you come in late? All of these make a house personal and connect us to it.
Periodically — and depending on how many iron nails or railroad ties you’ve got — stop and touch the ground. Drive a nail or spike into the dirt – iron is known as a protective material throughout many cultures. As you push it into the earth, say:
Iron spike, in the ground,
protect my home, my family and me.
Keep out that which would cause us harm.
Repeat this with each iron nail or spike, until you’ve placed a protective barrier around your property. By now, you should have returned to your bowl of earth at the entrance. Light the green or brown candle, and place it within the bowl. Pack the earth lightly around it so that the candle doesn’t topple over. Say:
Dark and light, equal parts
at the time of Mabon.
Fire and earth, together.
Balance, harmony, security,
these things shall be mine.
If there is a particular deity of your tradition that represents hearth and home, now might be a good time to call upon them asking for assistance. If you do so, be sure to make an offering in their honor. If you choose not to call upon deity at this time, just take a few moments to reflect on your home life, and the things that mean security to you. When you are finished, bring the bowl with the candle inside, and place it in a spot where all can see — on your hearth, or the kitchen table — and allow it to sit until the candle goes out. When the candle has burned away, return the earth to your property.
- Even if you just live in one room of a home, you can still do this rite. Simply adapt it so that you’re going around the perimeter of the room, beginning with the doorway. Instead of pounding iron spikes into the ground, you can tuck a small nail up under the edge of the carpet.
- A reader points out that in some areas, the ground may freeze enough to push iron nails out of the ground, which could cause problems once things warm up – no one wants a small child to step on a rusty nail! If you live in an area where this may be a problem, you may wish to remove the nails at certain times of year, or at the very least, check to make sure they are securely in the ground.
How to Hold a Gratitude Ritual
For many Pagans, autumn is a time of giving thanks. Although this is the most obvious around the Mabon holiday, if you live in the United States, most of your friends and family will be giving thanks in November. If you’d like to tie in to that a little, but with a Pagan flair, you might want to consider doing a short gratitude ritual as a way of expressing your own thankfulness.
Before you begin, decorate your altar with symbols of the season. You may want to choose items that represent abundance, such as:
- You’ll want to have a candle on your altar. Gold or green is preferable, but you can use another color if it signifies abundance to you. Also, make a batch of Gratitude Oil ahead of time to use in the ritual.
- Baskets of fruit, such as apples or grapes
- An abundance mandala
- Colors associated with abundance, such as gold and green
- Symbols of things you’re thankful for, such as your health or your career
- Photos of your family and friends who mean a lot to you
If your tradition calls for you to cast a circle, go ahead and do so.
As you begin, take a moment to reflect on the abundance in your life. When we say abundance, it doesn’t necessarily mean material or financial gain — you may be abundant if you have friends who love you, a satisfying family life, or a rewarding career. Think about that things you have for which you are most grateful. These are the things you will be focusing on in this rite. As you’re thinking about these things, anoint the candle with the Gratitude Oil, and then light it on your altar table or workspace.
If you have a particular deity in your tradition who is associated with thankfulness, you may wish to call out to this god or goddess and invite them into your circle. If not, that’s okay too — you can express your gratitude to the universe itself.
Beginning at one corner of the table, begin saying the things you are thankful for, and why. It might go something like this:
I am thankful for my health, because it allows me to feel well.
I am thankful for my children, for keeping me young.
I am thankful for my career, because each day I get paid to do what I love.
I am thankful for my job, because I am able to feed my family.
I am thankful for my garden, because it provides me fresh herbs.
I am thankful for my coven sisters, because they make me feel spiritually complete…
and so forth, until you have expressed your thankfulness for everything in your life.
If you’re doing this ritual with a group, each person should anoint a candle of their own, and call out their own things that they are thankful for.
Take a few more minutes to meditate on the candle flame, and to focus on the notion of abundance. While you’re thinking about things you are grateful for, you might also wish to consider the people in your life that are grateful towards you, for the things you have done. Recognize that gratitude is a gift that keeps on giving, and that counting one’s blessings is an important thing to do, because it reminds us of how truly fortunate we are.
Note: It’s important to realize that one of the things about being thankful is that we should let people who have made us happy know they’ve done so. If there’s someone specific you wish to thank for their words or actions, you should take the time to tell them so directly, instead of (or in addition to) merely doing a ritual that they’ll never know about. Send a note, make a phone call, or tell them in person how much you appreciate what they’ve done for you.
Mabon Balance Meditation
Mabon is one of those times of year that affect people in different ways. For some, it’s a season to honor the darker aspects of the goddess, calling upon that which is devoid of light. It’s a time of both positive and negative energy. For others, it’s a time of thankfulness, of gratitude for the abundance we have at the season of harvest. No matter how you see it, Mabon is traditionally a time of balance. After all, it’s one of the two times each year that has equal amounts of darkness and daytime.
Galina Krasskova over at Patheos sums it up beautifully. She says, “On this holy tide, we hail the hunter and the hunted, the predator and the prey, the plough and the scythe, the blessings of growth and of decay. We honor our resources, and the frugality and careful planning of every ancestor whose careful household management got their families safely through the cold constraints of winter. Mabon is a time of remembrance and of culling away, of honoring what we have, what we need, but also what we can provide to others.
It is a time to look clearly at where we are weak in spirit, where we are strong, and where we stand somewhere in between, a time to take stock of our portion of gratitude and blessings for the coming season.”
Because this is, for many people, a time of high energy, there is sometimes a feeling of restlessness in the air, a sense that something is just a bit off-kilter. If you’re feeling a bit spiritually lopsided, with this simple meditation you can restore a little balance into your life.
Setting the Mood
Now that fall is here, why not do an autumn version of Spring Cleaning? Get rid of any emotional baggage you’re dragging around with you. Accept that there are darker aspects to life, and embrace them, but don’t let them rule you. Understand that a healthy life finds balance in all things.
You can perform this ritual anywhere, but the best place to do it is outside, in the evening as the sun goes down. Decorate your altar (or if you’re outside, use a flat stone or tree stump) with colorful autumn leaves, acorns, small pumpkins, and other symbols of the season. You’ll need a black candle and a white one of any size, although tealights probably work best. Make sure you have something safe to put them in, either a candle holder or a bowl of sand.
Light both candles, and say the following:
A balance of night and day, a balance of light and dark
Tonight I seek balance in my life
as it is found in the Universe.
A black candle for darkness and pain
and things I can eliminate from my life.
A white candle for the light, and for joy
and all the abundance I wish to bring forth.
At Mabon, the time of the equinox,
there is harmony and balance in the Universe,
and so there shall be in my life.
Meditate on the things you wish to change. Focus on eliminating the bad, and strengthening the good around you. Put toxic relationships into the past, where they belong, and welcome new positive relationships into your life. Let your baggage go, and take heart in knowing that for every dark night of the soul, there will be a sunrise the next morning.
Mabon Ritual To Honor the Dark Mother
Demeter and Persephone are strongly connected to the time of theAutumn Equinox. When Hades abducted Persephone, it set in motion a chain of events that eventually led to the earth falling into darkness each winter. This is the time of the Dark Mother, theCrone aspect of the triple goddess. The goddess is bearing this time not a basket of flowers, but a sickle and scythe. She is prepared to reap what has been sown.
The earth dies a little each day, and we must embrace this slow descent into dark before we can truly appreciate the light that will return in a few months.
This ritual welcomes the archetype of the Dark Mother, and celebrates that aspect of the Goddess which we may not always find comforting or appealing, but which we must always be willing to acknowledge. Decorate your altar with symbols of Demeter and her daughter — flowers in red and yellow for Demeter, purple or black for Persephone, stalks of wheat, Indian corn, sickles, baskets.
Have a candle on hand to represent each of them — harvest colors for Demeter, black for Persephone. You’ll also need a chalice of wine, or grape juice if you prefer, and a pomegranate.
If you normally cast a circle, or call the quarters, do so now. Turn to the altar, and light the Persephone candle. Say:
The land is beginning to die, and the soil grows cold.
The fertile womb of the earth has gone barren.
As Persephone descended into the Underworld,
So the earth continues its descent into night.
As Demeter mourns the loss of her daughter,
So we mourn the days drawing shorter.
The winter will soon be here.
Light the Demeter candle, and say:
In her anger and sorrow, Demeter roamed the earth,
And the crops died, and life withered and the soil went dormant.
In grief, she traveled looking for her lost child,
Leaving darkness behind in her wake.
We feel the mother’s pain, and our hearts break for her,
As she searches for the child she gave birth to.
We welcome the darkness, in her honor.
Break open the pomegranate (it’s a good idea to have a bowl to catch the drippings), and take out six seeds. Place them on the altar. Say:
Six months of light, and six months of dark.
The earth goes to sleep, and later wakes again.
O dark mother, we honor you this night,
And dance in your shadows.
We embrace that which is the darkness,
And celebrate the life of the Crone. Blessings to the dark goddess on this night, and every other.
As the wine is replaced upon the altar, hold your arms out in the Goddess position, and take a moment to reflect on the darker aspects of the human experience. Think of all the goddesses who evoke the night, and call out:
Demeter, Inanna, Kali, Tiamet, Hecate, Nemesis, Morrighan.
Bringers of destruction and darkness,
I embrace you tonight.
Without rage, we cannot feel love,
Without pain, we cannot feel happiness,
Without the night, there is no day,
Without death, there is no life.
Great goddesses of the night, I thank you.
Take a few moments to meditate on the darker aspects of your own soul. Is there a pain you’ve been longing to get rid of? Is there anger and frustration that you’ve been unable to move past? Is there someone who’s hurt you, but you haven’t told them how you feel? Now is the time to take this energy and turn it to your own purposes. Take any pain inside you, and reverse it so that it becomes a positive experience. If you’re not suffering from anything hurtful, count your blessings, and reflect on a time in your life when you weren’t so fortunate.
When you are ready, end the ritual.