It's Madron aka Mabon/the Autumn Equinox this Friday. Last October I started a post series of sabbat celebration ideas (I started with Samhain/Hallowe'en celebration ideas). So now, almost a year later I'm going to do one for Madron. :)
Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere then Oestara aka Ostara/the Spring Equinox is coming up. You can read some celebration ideas here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/03/oestaraspring-equinox-celebration-ideas.html
Madron is the second harvest festival (the first is Lammas and the third is Samhain), so along with Lammas, it's linked with grain and abundance. You can think about what you've "harvested" in the last few months or since last year. It's also a time of balance. Since Litha/the Summer Solstice, the days have been getting slightly shorter and the nights longer. (Since the beginning of September I've been noticing the difference, the sun sets just after 7 now). They are equal on the equinox day and then the days continue shortening until Yule/the Winter Solstice, after which they start getting gradually longer again and the light increases. Here's a post I wrote last year with some links to Madron info and suggestions for things to do at the Equinox: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2016/09/happy-madron.html
And a couple more posts with more information:
I usually bake something for Madron. As with Lammas it's a good time to make gingerbread because it's a harvest festival. Or you can bake bread. I did both this Lammas, you can read this year's post here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/08/lammas-2017.html
I've baked ginger cakes in the past but they've tended to be quite heavy. However I baked a ginger beer cake last year and that was nicer. In my End of Summer post I mentioned that I was thinking of making Bara brith this Madron. But now I've decided that I'd prefer to make a ginger apple tealoaf, using a recipe from Sam Stern's Student Cookbook. Apple is appropriate for this time of year as well.
For more suggestions on using apples in witchcraft check out these posts:
In The Kitchen Witch book Soraya has some soup recipes for Madron/Mabon. I'm not making soup specially for this sabbat but one of my favourite soups is potato and onion (also from the Student Cookbook). I make it every so often for lunch. I tend to have it throughout the year but it's especially good for autumn when the weather gets colder. Here's a link to a post about it (and a similar recipe since I couldn't write the exact recipe out due to copyright): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2013/10/potato-and-onion-soup.html
Also quick dinner bread and chicken soup would be a good meal to have for Madron. I'm actually making some chicken stock currently (using a recipe from The Kitchen Witch) to use for soup another day.
Now here are a couple of Tess Whitehurst posts on ideas for celebrating the Autumn Equinox:
In the first post Tess suggests taking stock of your pantry (No. 1). I last had a big clear out of my pantry last summer, so I'm thinking it's time do it again! I also like No. 3. Clear out old photos. I'll probably start with my digital photos and get rid of ones of my computer that I don't need anymore. I did part of No. 4 last year (celebrate your successes and accomplishments) and I'd like to do it again this year. I also might light an orange candle.
Tess also mentions the Persephone and Demeter myth as linked to this time of year. In the Greek story Persephone went down to the underworld with Hades and her mother Demeter brought on the autumn in her grief. You can read about it here:
Update 14/9/21: The link above is currently unavailable, but you can read about the story here: https://www.infoplease.com/culture-entertainment/mythology-folklore/classical-mythology-hades-takes-wife-persephone
And if you'd like to read a story you might like one I wrote called The Goblin Prince. It's partly based on the Persephone myth, where a girl goes down into the world below. Check it out here: https://starsparklex.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html
I just did this Fall Equinox affirmation on Tess' site:
It's for harmonising and balancing and it's not a long video, which is good for me because my attention wanders! lol.
Update 14/9/21: The blog post appears to have gone but here's a direct link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcChRcxhXC0
Finally here are some more Madron celebration ideas:
I like Michaela's suggestions for balancing the chakras in the first Penniless Pagan post. I have done some chakra work so now would be a good time to do some more. And focusing on gratitude is good as well. I also like her ideas in the second post for welcoming in the darkness and bringing on the cosy! I recently got a knitting magazine and am currently having a go at knitting squares for a throw blanket.
Another thing I might do is go up to my local nature reserve on a hill on the evening of Madron and say goodbye to hibernating animals and migrating birds, which is a suggestion in the Pagan in the City book by Cassandra Eason.
At the beginning of September the weather started to change and it's definitely feeling more "autumny" now. The leaves haven't changed colour much yet but they're starting to, and in the park last week I noticed fallen chestnuts. I always feel sad when summer ends because it's my favourite season, but I do like autumn as well. The picture at the top of the page is one I took in Hove Park earlier this month.
Hope that gives you some ideas for celebrating. Happy Madron/Autumn Equinox! :)
Photo: Hove Park. Copyright Moonsparkle 2017.