Mabon is known as the Witches’ Thanksgiving. It is the time when we thank the God and Goddess for the harvest. It also marks the turning of the wheel to autumn. From this point forward, the days will become shorter and the nights will become longer. At this time of year, I love to celebrate with family and give back to the community. Here are my five favorite ways to celebrate Mabon.
Host a Dinner for Family & Friends
Small celebrations with friends and family are one of the main reasons that I love Sabbats. Time with our loved ones is precious. This year, I am particularly thankful for my family and that we are still together.
So for Mabon, I plan to host a small family dinner. Dinners do not have to be fancy affairs. If you don’t want to do all of the cooking, host a potluck dinner. Everyone can bring their favorite dish. The wonderful thing about potlucks is the variety of dishes available.
One year, I didn’t feel like cooking at all. We actually went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant. The lunch buffet cost a set amount per person. There were plenty of vegan options available. All in all, it was one of our best thanksgivings ever. And, I didn’t have to clean up anything.
If you have a friend who is new to the area or not close to their immediate family, consider inviting them to your celebration. Even if they don’t celebrate Mabon, I think most people enjoy eating with friends. It might be just what they need in order to feel less lonely.
If you live near a University, see if their Pagan/Wiccan group is hosting a Mabon celebration. When I was in college, all of our celebrations were potluck.
Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelter
Mabon is about celebrating our blessings. At this time, it is nice to give back and share our blessings. One of our favorite ways to give back to our community is to volunteer at the local animal shelter. They always need volunteers. I am a cat person, so I work in the cat enclosure. Litter boxes and cages have to be cleaned every single day. Also, many kittens need additional socialization. What could be more fun than playing with kittens?
If you prefer dogs, kennels always need to be cleaned. Most dogs would love a walk with a new friend. Some animals at shelters have never seen a toy and don’t know how to play. Being the one to teach them is a priceless experience.
If you have a gift for photography, ask if your shelter needs someone to take pictures of the animals. Many shelters list their adoptable pets on Petfinder. Including an animal’s picture on the site greatly increases their visibility. By donating your time to take, edit and post photos, you could help a pet find their forever home.
Or if you are handy, you might become the shelter’s new MVP. When our shelter expanded, they were in desperate need of craftsmen. All skill sets were needed. One day of your time could save the shelter hundreds of dollars.
Focus on Creating Balance
On the equinox, night and day are equal. It is the perfect time to establish balance in our own lives. We are all only given 24 hours in a day. I think that a lot of problems stem from the fact that we lose track of time. I am one of the worst about aimlessly scrolling through Instagram. Time gets away from me.
For at least a week, keep track of everything that you do and how much time that everything takes. This may sound silly, but time gets away from us. I have a tendency to be a workaholic. I don’t do it intentionally, but it will quickly get out of control if I don’t watch it. Once I started keeping track of my time, I realized that I was working over 70 hours a week. Even when we were together as a family, I would be working on something halfway listening to everyone. I didn’t want to live my life that way.
Next, write down everything that you want to do. Do you want to spend more time with your family? Have you always wanted to write a novel? Do you want to start a side hustle? Write it all down.
Now, compare your two lists. What are you spending too much time doing? How can you shift around your schedule? Is there anything that you can eliminate completely? Think about your priorities.
Hold a Family Clean Up Day
Litter and waste are a major problem in our area. According to Keep America Beautiful, plastic litter has increased 165% in the past fifty years. Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. I personally find that fact horrifying.
While visiting a local wildlife refuge, I saw litter literally everywhere. It lines the road to the refuge and the trails as well. In addition to harming the environment, litter also poses a danger to wildlife. Animals don’t understand the threats caused by human waste. The World Wide Fund for Nature estimates that 80% of litter in the sea originates on land.
What can we do to help wildlife and Mother Earth? First and foremost, say something if you see someone litter. I usually try to make a joke then pick up the trash. I don’t want to be overly confrontational, but I emphasize the importance of properly disposing of trash.
How does this relate to Mabon? National Cleanup Day is September 21st this year. This ties in perfectly with the autumnal equinox. It is incredibly easy to participate. Simply pick up litter whenever you are on September 21st. The purpose of the event is to get people involved. Even if you only pick up one piece of litter that day, you participated in National Cleanup Day.
If you are feeling really ambitious, invite everyone in your community to participate. Simply pick your location and time. Then, register your event on the National Cleanup Day website. Create a public event on Facebook. Invite your friends.
Hold a Fundraiser for Your Local Food Bank
Mabon is the time that we celebrate the fruits of the harvest and abundance. However, not everyone is so fortunate. Feeding America estimates that 40 million Americans struggle with hunger. Of the 40 million, 12 million are children. We can celebrate our Sabbat by helping those who are food insecure.
First, locate your local food bank. Ask them what they need. Every situation is different. They will let you know what they need most.
If you belong to a coven, perhaps you could host a bake sale. Personally, I love bake sales. One of my groups hold a bake sale every year. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and we usually raise about $300 at the event. Thanks to food banks being able to buy in bulk, that translates to 3,000 meals for those in need.
Or perhaps you and your coven would like to volunteer together at your food bank. Once a month, our bank needs volunteers to pack boxes for seniors. It may not sound like it, but volunteering as a group is a lot of fun.
If you want to collect non-perishable food items, ask your employer if you can place a collection box in a common area at work. (You don’t have to mention Mabon, if you are not comfortable doing so.) We did this two years ago. I would suggest giving people two weeks to donate. Check and empty the collection box every other day. You might be surprised at how much you collect.
Interested in a Giveaway?
As you can probably tell, volunteering and giving back is very important to me. I would love to create t-shirts with a design saying “Pagan Volunteer”. Then, hold a giveaway for a shirt every quarter. To enter, you would send or share a picture showing how you volunteered. Then, a winner would be chosen by random number generator. Would you be interested in that giveaway? If so, please leave me a comment below.
Do you have little ones? Check out our free Mabon word search printable.
How are you going to celebrate Mabon? Leave a comment below. I would love to know your plans.