Friday, September 23, 2011


Blessed Mabon, Northern Hemisphere people! To people below the equator, Blessed Ostara! But today I'm profiling Mabon!

Mabon is a Wiccan holiday that takes place on the Autumnal Equinox. The last holiday celebrated the harvest of grains, and Mabon celebrates the harvest of fruit. This holiday is sometimes referred to as "the Wiccan Thanksgiving" and that's a pretty apt description. We often prepare a large feast on this day and give thanks to the earth for providing for us. The earth is dying little by little, so this is a good time to practice some of the darker elements of the Craft. The Horned God is an elder at this time of year, and on the next holiday he will die.

Mabon (pronounced "MAY-bohn") is unique in that it is the only Neo-Pagan holiday that does not have an ancient equivalent. That's right, it's pretty much "new and made-up." Apparently, the Ancient Pagans didn't think the Autumnal Equinox was much cause for celebration. The name Mabon, however, is very old.

This name was given to the holiday by Aiden Kelly, a Wiccan academic and poet, in 1970. He was referencing Mabon ap Modron, a prominent figure in Welsh mythology and Arthurian legend. His name is most likely derived from that of the Northern British god of youth, Maponos. Maponos means "divine son." Both Mabon ap Modron and his mother Modron are likely based on deities, or it's possible that they were once real people.

There are many different variations of Mabon's story, but here's an overview. Mabon is a great hunter and tracker. He was taken away from his mother when he was three nights old and imprisoned, but was eventually rescued either by King Arthur or by his various animal friends. He appears in the Welsh tale Culhwch & Olwen, in which he helps Culhwch fulfill his quest in slaying Twrch Trwyth, the magical boar. Mabon is sometimes viewed as the masculine version of Persephone in that he travels back into his mother's womb during the winter months.

There is evidence that suggests that Mabon was a name used during Ancient times and the Middle Ages. What supports that is it's saintly namesake. Saint Mabon, also known as Mabena or Mabyn, is a 12th century saint that is associated with Cornwall, England. Not much is known about her life, and sources can't even seem to agree on her gender.

Mabon is perfectly Witchy. And pretty obscure to those that are not familiar with any Neo-Pagan faith. It's a great name for any little autumn hunter.
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1 comment:

  1. Interesting that you pronounce it "MAY-bohn" in your part of the world. The Welsh way -- and what you'd here most among British Wiccans -- is "Mab-on" (the "mab" rhyming with "dab," "tab" and "cab" and the "on" just as "on").


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