Tomorrow, September 22, 2021, is Mabon, the first day of Autumn, yet many people start celebrating today. Before talking more about Mabon and apple magic, I want to mention that Mabon is really a season. Although there is an astronomical time when the equinox occurs, the celebration is of the harvest time, which will vary on location.
Mabon is time to relish the abundant seasonal produce Mother Earth is offering us, just as our Ancestors did. Apples come readily to mind. Join me in some Mabon apple magic! Grab an apple, and let’s get to it. At the end of this post, you’ll find a delicious seasonal recipe to use your apple after the ritual.
Who Celebrates Mabon?
Mabon is for everyone! It is an astronomical event, the change of seasons. An equinox occurs at the moment when the center of the visible sun is directly above the equator. On the date of an equinox, the center of the sun spends almost equal time above and below the horizon. This happens at every location on Earth; therefore, night and day are about the same length.
The harvest time is also a foundational component to the celebration of Mabon. We all eat to live, and so celebrating the abundance of the season and the harvest that will keep us through the colder months is certainly something we can all get behind.
This means that anyone can celebrate the equinox no matter what your particular religion or belief system is.
The Inherent Magic of Food
Food is inherently magic. No matter what you eat, it is a sacred gift from Mother Earth. When we eat, we absorb the life force of another being and receive their individual nutrients to support our bodies. One day the earth, and some of her other children will also absorb our life force and nutrients for their own nourishment.
Eating and receiving nutrition is a fundamental part of the day in the life of every living thing on this planet. This is why food is the first key I use to guide folks back to the Ancestral wisdom that resides in each one of us.
When we create intimacy with our sustenance, we can examine our place in the cycles of life and death. From there, we can begin to explore our own relationship with nature, and the creatures that inhabit it, including our Ancestors, their cultures, traditional foodways, and the spirituality that sprung up from the lands our people grew from.
If you want to know which key your most attuned with, and therefore can use to access your own unique Ancestral wisdom, take my Quiz &You’ll receive a ritual or practice for how to use your key today!
Mabon Apple Magic
Would you like to practice some simple yet effective Mabon magic with me? This is such a fun and simple ritual that I encourage you to invite your loved ones to participate, too. Then I’ll share a recipe that incorporates the divination tool we use…
The inherent magic of apples becomes apparent when you cut them horizontally- the cut reveals a pentagram, a 5-pointed star which has been an important symbol since the time of the Sumerians. The 5 points could symbolize the 5 senses, the 5 elements, the top of the star acting as the seat of wisdom, or the higher self. That is why they are a great vehicle for divination.
First, choose an apple that you enjoy eating. One that looks beautiful to your eyes. Ask it to participate in this ritual with you, where you are seeking clarity.
Second, hold the apple in your hand while you ponder a yes or no question that you want to receive an answer about. You can ask the question in your mind, or you might whisper it to your apple. Then ask the apple (nicely!) to reveal the answer.
Then lay your apple on its side. Choose one side to correspond to “yes” and the other will be “no”.
Cut the apple in half horizontally to reveal the star of the apple. Whichever side has the most seeds, “yes” or “no” is your answer.
Thank the apple and then prepare to make a delicious seasonal recipe with it.
First, I’d like to invite you to listen to the latest Old Ways for Modern Days Podcast, September. This is the first in a year-long series where we will explore the Wheel of the Year with short 20-minute (or less!) episodes each month to connect to the seasonal rhythms.
In this month’s episode, we continue with the theme of apple magic through the lens of a couple of myths in European mythology and illustrate how we can use these myths to see the world through the animistic worldview of our Ancestors.
Old Ways for Modern Days Podcast: The Wheel of the Year
Although the WOTY was never used by any Pre-Christian culture, it can still guide us to explore the seasonal folk practices of our Ancestors. The creator of the Wheel, Gerald Gardner, made the wheel a resource and framework for modern folk to celebrate the seasonal shifts. So although it is imperfect, it can still be useful for us today.
My aim for the podcast is to go beyond the confines of the Wheel. I want history and folklore to inspire us to apply what we learn from the ancients to our modern everyday lives by creating our own personalized framework for honoring the seasons. I encourage you to use your own intuition as we explore the seasons based on our own lived experiences & bioregions.
As many of you know, I have written a collection of monthly guidebooks, which include history, folklore, activities, rituals, crafts, and recipes for each month of the year. The guides are in-depth explorations of the months ranging on average between 50 and 75 pages each. I created them as resources for individuals and families to support your connection to the Old Ways & honoring seasonal changes.
Our bones remember the time when our Ancestors lived with the seasons. The guides and this year’s podcast episodes attempt to answer that ancient call, to help us connect to the folkways of the ones that came before, and inspire us to use those traditions and stories to tap into the natural shifts and seasonal rhythms to experience the world from an animist perspective. These episodes are meant to be a companion to the guides and vice versa.
Mabon Baked Apples
Now for our delicious Mabon Apple recipe! Its best to make several baked apples at a time. You can keep leftovers in the fridge and warm them up when you want to eat them. They are delicious on their own, and also with a bit of fresh cream, vanilla yogurt or ice cream.
4-6 apples (Gala and Fuji are best for baked apples), cut in half, seeds removed.
Cube of butter for each apple (optional)
Cane sugar, Honey or Maple Syrup
Fresh Cream, Yogurt or Ice Cream to serve (optional)
In each hole of the apple, add a few raisins, some fresh grated ginger and a pinch each of cinnamon and cardamom. Try other spices instead like nutmeg, anise, or cloves. If you have apple pie or pumpkin pie spice you could use those, too. You might like dried currants or cranberries instead of raisins.
Once you’ve made your combination and stuffed the apples with spices and butter nestle the apples close together in a baking dish. Sprinkle them with sugar or drizzle them with honey or maple syrup. Then pour about one inch of water into the pan (not on the apples).
Bake the apples for about an hour. Check them after 30 minutes to be sure there is still liquid in the pan, if not, or if it is getting low, add some more.
Finish cooking the apples, turn off the oven and leave them inside until the oven cools off.
Serve them as is, with their own sauce, or add something cool and creamy to go alongside.