As I sit here in my little terraced house in Britain writing this, I can see the cloudy grey sky out of my window and I feel the summer ending. I can feel the leaves turning crunchy and everyone’s back to school photos, and with a little twinge of excitement, I can sense the pumpkin spice lattes waking and stretching their little caffeinated arms. Without a doubt, this is the end of summer.
Which means that Mabon is coming, and it means that it’s been a whole year (!) since I started fully practising on Pagan holidays. Over the year, I’ve been refining my skills, bought far too many books and qualified in various different aspects of witchcraft and Pagan culture.
Anyway, with Mabon coming up, I’ve put together a couple of things that you can do if you’re struggling for ideas – especially if you’re in self isolation or local lockdown (like I am, sigh).
It wouldn’t be a Frank post if there wasn’t some reference to food, and so I’ll start with a bit of kitchen witchery. I got this recipe from The Almanac by Lia Leendertz – an absolute must have for anyone wanting to connect more to the earth and its ways. This recipe was tweaked from another book called Cattern Cakes and Lace. As with any of my kitchen witchcraft posts, you can add or remove spices from this as you see fit, and use spices that you feel are connected to Mabon! I would use woody spices, like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.
Suffolk Fourses Cakes (Mabon Spice Bread)
675g strong white flour
1 ½ teaspoons of instant dried yeast
½ tsp salt
2 teaspoons mixed ground spice (or mixed Mabon spices)
2 teaspoons sugar
175g softened butter
450ml warm water
175g currants (optional)
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then add the butter and rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the water and mix until it becomes a dough, then tip it out on a floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes. Put it in another bowl, cover with a teatowel and leave it somewhere warm to rise for 1 to 2 hours (until it’s doubled in size).
Tip it out and knead in the currants (if using), then divide it into two pieces. Shape them into two loaves and put each in a loaf tin. Leave them to double in size again.
Preheat the oven to 200C, and when the loaves have risen enough, brush them with milk (to make them shiny) and bake them for 45 minutes. Leave them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then cool them on a wire rack.
Enjoy as part of your Mabon feast or leave as an offering!
Easy Mabon spell bags
I love spell bags. They’re easy to make, and my home is full of them! A neat trick with certain spell bags (ones containing cloves or other whole spices) is to put a bit of water in the top of a wax burner, and ‘boil’ the bags with the tealight underneath. You can take them out, dry them and then use them again and again! You can make them out of cheesecloth and twine: just put the spices/flowers in your cheesecloth, wrap them up like a parcel with twine and make a little string to dangle them if you want to! I have protective ones in my front window which I hang off the window handles.
NB: if you do this, be careful of the bag dripping when you take it out! My carpet is a bit stained from the clove syrup dripping off the bag 🙁
As I mentioned in the recipe, I associate Mabon with falling leaves and woody earthy smells/atmospheres, so for my spell bags, I put in whole cloves, two cinnamon sticks and a ‘stone’ (unsure of the word!) of nutmeg. Hang them around, or use the wax/oil burner trick to make your home smell like Autumn.
Summon a demon
Joking! Joking! Please don’t do this – we have enough issues in the world already.
Thank Mother Earth for the circle of the seasons
Feel free to ignore this one if you don’t believe in prayer, as I will probably post some poetry at some point. I am by no means more qualified to lead a ritual than anyone else, but I have edited this ritual prayer so the solitary practitioner can read and sit in contemplation, or read to a group of practitioners. This prayer is from Seasonal Occult Rituals by William Gray, and this section is The Rite of Autumn.
May the light of sunset shine resplendently on us this Autumn equinox.
Blessed be the sun of Autumn bringing heavenly beauty to the edges of this earth.
Blessed be light so wonderfully shown to us upon its path of power.
We stand between the light and shade
Upon the middle path we made
Where day and night divide,
As we have lived and worked and prayed.
Fire and water bring to birth
With air, the outcome of this earth.
So bless the earth on which we stand
For harvests of the sea and land.
Roots below, fruits above, ripe and ready for our reaping. Blessed be the earth suppoorting life, and air that brings the breath of life to earth. Let us keep our feet well grounded on our earth however high we hold our heads to the sky. So shall we live as upright souls between both ends of our existence.
Make a Cerridwen brew
Cerridwen is the Welsh goddess of transformation, so you could probably brew this at any changing of the seasons. This recipe is toxic and so should not be consumed. Instead, you can sit and absorb the vapours as it boils.
This recipe is from The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews by Scott Cunningham.
- Hellebore (you can substitute this with rosemary)
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you would like me to write one for each corner of the year (ie. Yule, Ostara, Litha and Mabon 2021), please like, share and comment!