Setting Up Your Mabon Altar

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Decorate your Mabon altar with symbols of the season. Image by Patti Wigington 2008

Mabon is the time when many Pagans celebrate the second part of the harvest. This Sabbat is about the balance between light and dark, with equal amounts of day and night. Try some or even all of these ideas -- obviously, space may be a limiting factor for some, but use what calls to you most.

Colors of the Season

The leaves have begun to change, so reflect the colors of autumn in your altar decorations.

Use yellows, oranges, reds and browns. Cover your altar with cloths that symbolize the harvest season, or go a step further and put brightly colored fallen leaves upon your work surface. Use candles in deep, rich colors -- reds, golds, or other autumn shades are perfect this time of year.

Symbols of the Harvest

Mabon is the time of the second harvest, and the dying of the fields. Use corn, sheaves of wheat, squash and root vegetables on your altar. Add some tools of agriculture if you have them - scythes, sickles, and baskets.

A Time of Balance

Remember, the equinoxes are the two nights of the year when the amount of light and darkness are equal. Decorate your altar to symbolize the aspect of the season. Try a small set of scales, a yin-yang symbol, a white candle paired up with a black one -- all are things which represent the concept of balance.

Other Symbols of Mabon

  • Apples, cider, and apple juice
  • Pomegranates
  • Ears of corn
  • Pumpkins
  • Gods' Eyes
  • Corn dolls
  • Mid-autumn vegetables, like squashes and gourds
  • Seeds, seed pods, nuts in their shells
  • Baskets, symbolizing the gathering of crops
  • Statuary of deities symbolizing the changing seasons

More About Mabon

Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of the autumn equinox?

Find out why Mabon is important, learn about the legend of Persephone and Demeter, the symbolism of stags, acorns and oaks, and explore the magic of apples and more!

  • Origins of the Word Mabon

  • Wondering where the word "Mabon" came from? Was it a Celtic god? A Welsh hero? Is it found in ancient writings? Let's look at some of the history behind the word.
  • 5 Ways to Celebrate Mabon with Kids

  • Mabon falls around September 21 in the northern hemisphere, and around March 21 below the equator. This is the autumn equinox, it's a time to celebrate the season of the second harvest. It’s a time of balance, of equal hours of light and dark, and a reminder that the cold weather isn't far away at all. If you’ve got kids at home, try celebrating Mabon with some of these family-friendly and kid-appropriate ideas.
  • Autumn Equinox Around the World

  • At Mabon, the time of the autumn equinox, there are equal hours of light and dark. It is a time of balance, and while summer is ending, the winter is approaching. This is a season in which farmers are harvesting their fall crops, gardens are beginning to die, and the earth gets a bit cooler each day. Let's look at some of the ways that this second harvest holiday has been honored around the world for centuries.
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    Wigington, Patti. "Setting Up Your Mabon Altar." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2016, thoughtco.com/setting-up-your-mabon-altar-2562301. Wigington, Patti. (2016, August 27). Setting Up Your Mabon Altar. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/setting-up-your-mabon-altar-2562301 Wigington, Patti. "Setting Up Your Mabon Altar." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/setting-up-your-mabon-altar-2562301 (accessed December 11, 2017).