Celebrate Mabon at your Enchanted Hearth

Celebrate Mabon at your Enchanted Hearth

The Autumn Equinox, and how to incorporate it into your enchanted hearth

Mabon has arrived! 

Coming around September 21st-24th in the Northern Hemisphere, March in the South, the Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon, “home harvest,” and  Alban Elfred to modern day druids, is the most abundant of all harvests.

This is a compilation of ideas for honoring this season at home, but it is not at all meant to be a to-do list. The Enchanted Hearth is about enjoying the life we live at home, and there is nothing magical about grudgingly working through a to-do list and calling it a celebration. 

If you can feel inspired to work with the shifts in season, and with nature, and want your home life to reflect this, read on for some ideas I have for this time. Take what you like, leave the rest, and incorporate anything else that is meaningful for you. 

Celebrate and Gather the Harvest

This is a time to celebrate whatever your harvest looks like, and also to share harvests with one another. We don’t exist in a vacuum. You don’t have to have grown your own produce, you can visit an orchard, the farmers market, or gather wildflowers and nuts in the wild.

We are at a point of balance between day and night at the Autumn Equinox, and the nights and darkness will begin to grow.  It’s a great time to gather and preserve harvest for those darker days. 

Compound Butter

One easy thing you can do to preserve some harvest is to make compound butter. Gather some fresh tender herbs, such as chives, green onions, dill, and oregano leaves.  Stir them into some softened butter, allow it to rest and harden a little, and then roll the butter up in baking paper. You can also just put it in a jar while it’s warm. 

Other Preserves

You can make all sorts of infused oils, dry some herbs, can some produce, freeze things. You might think of some things you’d like to make over the winter and begin preparing the bases for them.  Would you like to make soaps, lotions, salves, etc.? Now is a great time to start infusing your oils and drying ingredients. You can make the rest of the product when the weather is cool and the garden has slowed.

Gather

It’s also a great time to gather some other things for the winter. It may be hard to imagine wanting to be under a fuzzy blanket right now, but it’s around the corner. Here are some ideas of things to gather:

  • Fuzzy blankets, new bedspreads, pillows, nice socks
  • Rose petals and other supplies to make a potpourri
  • Apples and other fruits and vegetables in season
  • Grapes- perhaps start some juice, wine or mead
  • Make compound butter and herb infused oils
  • Gather some books to keep on the shelves over winter
  • Harvest plants you’d like to use for medicinals, tinctures, seasonings, teas, etc.

Prepare the Indoors

When those darker, colder days roll in, people start spending more time indoors. Now is a good time to prepare for that with a round of decluttering and dusting. The walls can begin to feel like they’re closing in when you’re stuck in a dark, dusty, cluttered house.

It’s time to decorate for fall. Take this as far as you want to. Make a corn doll and altar if you wish. You can also decorate with leaves, gourds, acorns colored corn, and walnuts. Set bales of hay and straw outside and decorate them. Place a wreath on your door. I love to add purple and orange twinkle lights for a little ambiance and a magical feel.

Start up some sourdough starter that you can keep alive and bake from throughout the winter. Organize your pantry spaces to prepare for fall and winter cooking. Take a look at your wardrobe and rotate things for the changing seasons. What style do you want for the fall and winter seasons?

Prepare the Outdoors

This is also prime time to get some final repairs done to your house before winter. Do the things you don’t want to do on a blustery day. Give the outside of your windows a good wash if you have the spoons. Do you have a chimney that needs to be prepped so you can enjoy fires in the winter?

It may feel weird to fantasize about spring now, but now IS your opportunity to put in Spring bulbs. What will you be relieved to see popping up in your yard after a long winter? Now’s also the time to divide some plants like daylilies, hostas, peonies, and black eyed susans. 

You might also want to start cover-crops for your yard to protect and add nutrients to your soil. My favorite is Crimson Clover. It’s great for wildlife, I can feed it to my chickens, it pulls nutrients up into the soil, and I love the vibrant red flowers. It’s also packed full of vitamins and can be used to make syrups, teas, and various creative recipes.

Harvest anything you want to use for medicinals, and consider using the leftover as a mulch for your plants. Comfrey and Mullein are very beneficial and dynamic plants. They also grow in abundance. I take the leftover and spread it around other plants so it can break down into nutrients for them. 

Compost your annual plants that are done. Prune others, such as lavender, which should be cut into a nice globe shape for better growth and cuttings next year. You can easily rubber band bunches of it and hang upside down to dry. Other hardy herbs that dry well are sage, thyme, savory, and rosemary. Anything you prune that wont be used can be composted, or even just spread around other plants. 

Consider leaving some plants and leaves for wildlife. Sunflowers are a good food source to leave out. Leaving grasses, plants, and leaves provides shelter for creatures that tend to the soil, and makes overwinter habitats and food for songbirds, pollinators, frogs, and other cherished wildlife. 

Plan for Samhain/Halloween

Now is a good time to make plans for the Samhain festivities. If you’d like to host a party, start thinking of what that will look like now. Break it down into steps to make it doable. Are you and your family planning to dress up for Halloween? You might start thinking and planning for that now. 

Fall Hosting

Some fun ideas to consider for fall hosting include apple bars, chili cookoffs, and backyard parties with cornhole or horse shoe throwing.

Nature offers a wide variety of decor, like pumpkins, gourds, corn, and straw-bales. Twinkle lights add beautiful ambiance to a backyard party, and I know I bring them up a lot. I find them so enchanting. 

You can offer up so many fresh dishes at this time of year, especially if using homegrown or local produce and herbs. The weather begins to cool, so you can make pastas, soups, stews, and roasts. People tend to love to see a fresh, homemade pie at a gathering.

Autumn-Equinox Reflections

  • Think about balance. We are at a time in which the day and night are balanced. Does your life feel balanced? What can you do to bring things to better balance? 
  • Fall is a time of heading for completion. What projects are you working on that can be tied up now? What things are you prepared to let go of as we head into the winter? 
  • What are some things you can do now that will help preserve you through the darker times? Are there ways you could make yourself more stable? 

Remember, Mabon is more about shifting with the seasons than it is about doing a bunch of things in a day. This isn’t an extensive list of things you “should” or “need” to do, but a collection of ideas. As always, be gentle with yourself. Look to and shift with the seasons, find what there is to celebrate, and live your best life!



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