* 13 Ideas for a Family Mabon *  


by Heather Evenstar Osterman

(Article published in Widdershins; volume 5 issue 4. http://www.widdershins.org/)


This is a gorgeous season. Nature is a blaze of color and everything seems to come into balance. Night and day are again equal. There is a bountiful harvest to be thankful for, yet we must plan for the sparse times ahead.  This is a time of generosity and conservation. So, how do you share these  values with your children? You can plan Mabon activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Mabon (also Harvest Home, Alban Elfed or Winter Finding) is celebrated at the Autumnal Equinox. This is the second harvest festival of the year, that of fruits and vegetables. Mabon is the Welsh God of all things wild and free. He is also associated with the Sun God whose power dies on this day.

We also give thanks to the spirit of vegetation for the sacrifice made so that we can live through the winter. The Goddess at this Sabbat is the grandmotherly crone, warm and wise. Here are some ideas to get your family started in celebrating this season:

*Have a potluck feast with a group of friends and loved ones to celebrate the abundance of the season. Feel the warmth of being part of a community.

*Adopt someone in a nursing home. As a family, take your special person baked goodies and colored pictures. Read them books or tell them stories.

*Walk around your neighborhood picking up garbage. Do what you can to improve your home and prepare for winter.

*Pick a subject that interests the whole family. Go to the library or find other resources and study that subject. Together, share what you've learned.

*Look at old family photo albums or scrapbooks. Try to tell stories about each person in the pictures.

*Leave an apple on the grave of an ancestor. Cut an apple in half to show your children the star inside. This is a reminder that all life is renewed in some way.

*Bake cored apples filled with butter and cinnamon as a special treat.

*Create decorations for your front door out of colored leaves, pinecones, nuts, acorns and Indian Corn bundles.

*Take a walk in a wild place. Gather seedpods and dried plants. Sing songs and talk about all the things you've done over the summer. Make plans for the winter.

*Honor the birds and small animals in the wilderness or by your home by making a birdfeeder or mandala filled with seeds and grain.

*Make rattles out of empty gourds and sunflower seeds or seeds collected from nature walks. Use the rattles to make music or scare away bad dreams.

*Look at your family habits and figure out what you can do to improve your conservation habits. Can you use less water or recycle more of your garbage?

*Make a Vine God (stick-type male figure with a hollow body) filled with foil-wrapped cornbread and sacrifice him on the campfire (or barbecue!). Give thanks to the god for his sacrifice and enjoy the cornbread!


Heather Osterman is the Family Services Coordinator for the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. For more information on pagan oriented activities and events for children and families, please contact her at ATCchild@A... or ATC at (360) 793-1945 between 9 a. m. and 9 p. m.