Lore

Sabbats - Mabon and Ostara

8th September, 1998

Maybon

Pronounced may-bon, it is named after a Welsh fertility God, Mabon , and marks the Autumn Equinox. It falls around the 23rd of September in the Northern Hemisphere. The Welsh name Mabon means "great son" and refers to the Son of the Great Mother. It is the second of the Harvest festivals; it is associated with the reaping of corn, grains and other foods that can be harvested at this time. These foods can be used to decorate the ritual altar.

It is a time when night and day are equal in length again and when the harvest is nearing completion. The God nears his death and the Goddess prepares for his rebirth. The bounty of the harvest is celebrated in wine festivals, knowing that soon Winter will bring uncertainty.

There are many myths associated with this festival. One of the most famous is that of the Greek goddesses Demeter and Persphone. It is the abduction of Persphone by Hades, that in Greek mythology was said to be the cause of the dying of the Earth. In her grief at the abduction of her daughter, the earth goddess Demeter ignores her duties and the fertility of the earth wanes.

Ostara

Pronounced Oh-star-ah, and named after an ancient virgin Germanic Goddess of Spring, it is also called Alban Eiler in Caledonii and falls on the Spring Equinox. It falls around the 23rd of September in the Southern Hemisphere. This is the second of the Spring festivals, it is one that celebrates the fertility of the Spring. Seeds are blessed for future planting.

It is time of increasing greenery. A popular image for this festival is the Green Man. The Foliate Mask most often represents him; a face made up of leaves and greenery. He represents the God, both untamed and savage, and benevolent and watchful. Many men often make a Green Man mask to wear in Ostara rituals.

As the God walks across the face of the Earth, the Goddess finally shrugs off her sleep. The days and nights are now of equal length, the lights blanketing the Earth with fertility? It is a time of balance, not really Winter but not yet Spring. It is now a time to sow spells for your future. Symbols of Ostara include eggs and rabbits.


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