Your Shadow is Showing. A ritual to celebrate Mabon, the Fall Equinox and Full Harvest Moon
I write this ritual feeling a bit like a kid at christmas. The Sabbat of Mabon and the Fall Equinox as well as the Full Harvest Moon (with a partial eclipse) are all happening in the next few days, ushering in the turning of the wheel…that mystical moment where for light and shadow are equal before we descend slowly into winter. It also happens to be a super moon! It’s like a mystic/witchy bonanza, so you can imagine my excitement. Where to begin? I think it best to break this deep symbolism down into some categories. When you then look at the parts as a whole, you can see what a spectacular and magical time this is!
(If you are interested in learning more about the astrology, the position of the planets, and the moon phases, I recommend you do some searching and reading. It will certainly compliment your ritual, but this is a mythological, spiritual and magickal practice blog)
- Light and Shadow
- Death and Rebirth
- Reaping what you have sown
- Wisdom and Intuition
In the goddess tradition, Demeter is the goddess of the grain and harvest. She represents fertility and life and abundance. Her daughter Persephone representing the maiden aspect, the goddess of Spring. When Persephone was “abducted” by Hades and taken into the underworld, Demeter assumed the Crone (Dark Mother) aspect of the goddess. In her sadness, the Earth began to die and the crops wither as she searched mournfully for her daughter. Persephone, however, embraced her new dark love. He was the kind of the underworld, where all souls must pass. Persephone became the mother to the lost souls, to all the “broken and unloved things” in their sadness. It was only when she fully embraced her darkness, her shadow, that she became the queen that she was destined to be. He departure triggered an uproar in the upper world, since the goddess of Spring and fertility was now in mourning, so Zeus made a deal with his dark brother. He would demand Persephone be sent back…unlesss she had eaten of the fruit of the gods. For each seed she had eaten, she would remain in the underworld with Hades. As it turned out, she had indeed eaten of the fruit. Six seeds to be exact. Demeter was overjoyed and in her joy the crops returned, the flowers bloomed, the rains came and Spring returned to the land. Every year, once the Earth stands still at Mabon, Persephone makes her way back into the shadows to take her place in the underworld, and the eternal cycle begins again.
The eclipse signals a time when the sun essentially illuminates our shadow, as it passes between the Earth and the moon. The shadow is that crone aspect of ourselves, The Dark Mother. She bears a fierce energetic grounding. She reaps, she clears away, and she silences. Like into a deep dark cave, The Dark Mother aspect calls us to go within, and to go deep within sometimes we must bring our scythe and our lantern.
This ritual welcomes the archetype of the Crone, The Dark Mother. Though she may appear fierce or frightening, or her energy dark, we must be willing to acknowledge it, embrace the slow descent towards death so we may fully appreciate light and life as they return again new in Spring.
- Black candle for Persephone
- Orange, yellow or red candle for Demeter
- Chalice (fancy way of saying glass) of wine or other red beverage
- Pomegranate (this can get messy)
- Decorations that represent harvest and/or darkness (fall theme or you can embrace your Memento Mori. I use alot of skulls)
- Prepare you sacred space according to your tradition. If you have an altar, decorate it with colors and decorations of the harvest. I use my Memento Mori (Remember Death is Near) during this season. For inspiration, look to Victorian Mourning traditions. Sage your space, meditate or cast a circle as you normally do to come inot your prayerful ritual place.
- Light the black candle for Persephone, repeat aloud or write “Persephone descends into the underworld and the earth continues it’s descent into night.
- Light the color candle for Demeter, repeat aloud or write “Dark Mother, we honor your pain, we welcome the darkness in your honor.”
- Break open the pomegranate, take out 6 seeds. Place these 6 seeds on the altar. Say aloud or write “six months of shadow, six months of light. Dark Mother, we honor you this night.
- Holding up the chalice (glass) of wine, say or write “Demeter, Kali, Hecate, Persephone, we embrace you tonight. Without rage, there is no love. Without pain, there is no happiness. Without night, there is no day. Without death, there is no life.
- Extinguish all lights but the burning candles. Meditate silently on the darker aspects of yourself. Where is your pain? Where is there anger that you have been longing to release? NOW is the time to take this energy and turn it into your PURPOSE. The magic is in the shifting of what you do with that dark power once you bring it up and into the light.
Happy Enchanting )0(