So, happy Equinox. Or Mabon, or Herfest, or whatever you prefer to call it. I mostly called it Equinox this year, but when I googled for info about what different people do to celebrate it, I used “Mabon” because that seems to be the overwhelmingly popular term. The general idea I got was of a sort of pagan Thanksgiving; apples, acorns, and bread featured prominently in most searches on Pinterest and Google.
So I went with my own version of the whole thing. I baked a pumpkin pie, and before I poured the filling in, I inscribed some runic symbols on the crust: a couple for Yggdrasil, a runestaff for prosperity and success. I stuck moon and sun crust cut-outs on top of the pie, to symbolize the equal day and night thing. Oh, and I tossed some rum into the pie for flavouring, because rum.
I cooked a chicken stuffed with apples and goat cheese and roasted on a bed of grapes, and basted with a cider reduction. It was tasty but the description sounds a lot more epic than the reality where my thermometer lied to me, I pulled it out and started carving only to discover that it was only half-way cooked and had to put it back in the oven. The mulled cider I made with the leftover cider was pretty close to epic. I leaned heavy on the nutmeg and tossed in a couple of lemon slices since we had no oranges, and Beowulf and I drank ours with a slug of rum added.
And I did an altar thing on the table. I took some candles, did more inscribing, for the season, for prosperity in the coming winter months, and set it up with oak leaves, acorns, and some sage. Eowyn was napping and it’s not Beowulf’s thing, so I did my short welcome to autumn/farewell to summer ritual on my own and lit the candles. Eowyn promptly insisted on blowing them out (candle safety!) as soon as she got up, so I haven’t exactly gotten a chance to let them burn all the way down as you’re “supposed” to, but those rules assume you can babysit the candles to make sure they don’t burn the house down and that you don’t have an overzealous preschooler who likes to blow out candles around.
The day of baking and cooking and spending time outdoors and just thinking about the change in the season was good. I chose not to focus on a deity for this sabbat, just the seasons. Sometimes I need the deity-focus, sometimes I need something else. This time it was something else. Summer, hail and farewell. Autumn, hail.