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“A” IS FOR ALTAR
Sep, 21 , 20
Guest Authors Ted Enik & Beth Roth, authors ofWee Witches— a playful and richly symbolic introduction to the world of Wicca and the magic of Nature — have written this special Mabon blog post to be shared with your children (or the child in all of us).
Now, let’s get ready to make our Mabon Altars!
Witches and Pagans all over the world gather to celebrate this high holiday also known as the Autumn Equinox.
“Ma,” like the sheep’s “Baaa, and “Bon,” like the jangly parts of a skeleton.
At the Autumn Equinox, Sun and Moon and Day and Night come into balance as EQUALS—with the time of day, on the calendar, and in the nature energy all around us. The Sun crosses the celestial equator and moves into the astrological sign of Libra-the-Scales, which stands for BALANCE. At this middle point in the seasons, we reap what we have sown—eat the fruit of the seeds we planted, give thanks to the Sun and to the Summer’s bounty—and also prepare to greet Mother Moon and the longer nights ahead. This is our Harvestime.
How might we honor this balance of day and night? On the day before Mabon, we need to set up our ALTAR. This is a tabletop, platform, or small stage dedicated to our celebration that will set the mood for the festivities. We decorate our ALTAR with small objects that represent Mabon and that help to build the Harvestime witchiness.
We’ll need a cloth or scarf the colors of autumn leaves to lay down as our “mood field” like a tablecloth ready for plates and forks and spoons. Then we must gather everyday things from around the house, or from the garden or the woods—a favorite pin, bits of yarn, tiny toy animals, even superhero figures, acorns, fallen leaves, a bird’s feather, a pine cone, a milkweed pod, Indian Corn—anything you discover that just feels “right” for Mabon. Arrange your findings “just right” on your colored cloth, then step back and see what you’ve got, what you’ve created!
Setting up an Altar is easy and really fun! Now let’s make what’s good even better. If our holiday theme is BALANCE, what else might we place on the Altar? How about pictures of both the Sun and the Moon? You can draw and color those yourself, I bet. Most importantly, we should have an “Offering;” this is like a special gift to the Goddess (the Moon) and the God (the Sun). This is how we honor and thank them for watching over us all year long. Again, because Mabon is a Harvest Celebration, maybe ask Mom or Dad if you can help bake a loaf of bread or corn muffins. And we’ll need something to drink as well—cider or fizzy water, so we can clink our cups and toast the season.Sláinte! That’s Irish or Celtic for Cheers, or Good Health! “Sláin,” like “La, la, la,” with an “S” in the front and an “N” at the end. And “te,” sounding like “Cha-cha-cha.” Slahncha=Sláinte! Cheers!
Your Altar is all set up! YAY. And now, when we witches gather as one and join hands in a Mabon magical circle, it will serve as the hub, a center-point of remembering the long sunlit Summer days as we ready ourselves for the cold and cozy, moonlit nights of Winter.
About the Authors:
As an illustrator, Ted Enik has worked for most of the better-known publishing houses in New York, as well as for the occasional advertising agency, greeting-card house, and pharmaceutical company. He was honored to be tapped to illustrate Eloise in Hollywood and for nearly a decade and was an artist for the popular Fancy Nancy “I Can Read™” series. He recently switched hats and is now, happily, writing (and rhyming) up a storm.Beth Rothis a lifelong practical pagan. She grew up in a nine-gabled Victorian home out in the country, surrounded by open fields and hidden streams. Her early environment encouraged her deep connection to the natural world and the discovery that magic is all around us. As a child, she and her sister often played “witches” in their Nana’s attic, sneaking off with the brass cauldron that held kindling by the fireplace. By profession, she is an astrologer and Tarot reader. She has contributed to Witches Spell-a-Day crafting spells for aspiring witches. She lives in beautiful Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with her nonpagan husband of 40 years and their French bulldog, Patty Mayonnaise.
Want to teach your children more about the Wheel of the Year?
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