June 24, 2024
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Mabon 2023: Pagan Traditions and Tarot Spread to Celebrate the Fall Equinox

The days of sunshine, outdoor swimming, and barbeque parties are ending, and the days of cooler, crisp air, falling colorful leaves, hoodies, apple cider, and visiting pumpkin patches are coming. The fall or autumn equinox is coming on September 22nd (in the Northern Hemisphere, as in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the vernal equinox) when the sun enters Libra.

It is also a time of Mabon celebrations, which is one of the eight pagan Sabbats, as there is a fascinating history that comes with this sabbat. Let’s discuss that briefly, along with the customs, and end the article with a collective Mabon tarot reading.

What Is Mabon, and When Did It Originate?

Mabon is a harvest festival where pagans celebrate the autumn equinox, and the name Mabon originates from the Welsh God, the son of the Earth Mother Goddess. The God Mabon was also the god of light. In addition, Mabon is also associated with Herne the Hunter, which is the commencement of deer hunting in British Folklore. However, the name of the festivity was not used until the 1970s. Before that, the ancient Celts honored the seasons and observed the changes from summer to fall. After that, it became common for many cultures to celebrate the harvest around the autumn equinox, especially the Bavarians.

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The festivals began during the last week of September, and it was known as Oktoberfest and included celebrations and feasting. Oktoberfest still happens in many parts of the world, as it is known to be a German festivity, but it stems from the pagan celebrations of the autumn equinox.

Mabon is the second harvest, as the first is Lammas, on August 1st. The second harvest is when many cultures gave thanks to their crops and animals for providing food. American Thanksgiving was around October 3rd, coinciding with Mabon, and Canadian Thanksgiving is always the first Monday of the month.

Many pagans celebrate Mabon in honor of “the Dark Mother” or the Crone during this sabbat, as this goddess represents the shadow side. Your shadow side is the side of you that you do not want to acknowledge because it means your dark side, the side that society shuns. The side of you that brings out anger, jealousy, resentment, and even dark thoughts and feelings is that you do not want anyone to see and don’t want to acknowledge it. However, it would be best if you embraced it because it is a component of you that makes you human. Now, let’s talk about the Mabon celebrations and how you can celebrate the sabbat, whether pagan or not.

How You Can Celebrate Mabon

Mabon is the time to pick apples, which symbolize the second harvest. Pagans do an apple harvest ritual to thank the gods for the abundant harvest. They may also set up an altar with other harvested fruits and apples, such as grapes, corn, oats, pomegranate, squash, pumpkin, potatoes, and other root vegetables. There is always a Mabon feast with friends and family, as pagans also perform a ritual to help create balance in their lives as this is a time of equal day and night, hence, the Libra season.

Therefore, if you want to celebrate Mabon, even if you are not pagan, you can utilize apples, whether you juice them, make cider, make apple pies or pastries, or even get apple-scented candles. It is also a great time to declutter and to give up something that is no longer serving you as Mabon is a great time to set intentions.

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Since it is getting dark earlier than it did during the summer months, you can choose to go to bed earlier if that is what you decide to do. Since giving thanks is associated with the sabbat, it is also an excellent time to begin a gratitude journal if you have not yet already done that. It is also a great time to acknowledge your shadow side and do some shadow work. One of the ways to do that is to do a tarot reading for yourself for the Sabbat to gain some clarity.

Now that you know about Mabon and its festivities, let’s do a collective tarot reading for the sabbat and see what the cards bring out for you.

Mabon Pagan Traditions and Tarot Spread_pic_1

Mabon Tarot Reading for 2023

Doing shadow work is something to do during Mabon, and doing a tarot reading for yourself is one way. However, I want to do a collective Mabon tarot reading for you. Here is a four-card Mabon tarot spread, which makes it simple and concise. I got this spread from New Age Hipster, and you place four cards from left to right, as card one is on the left, and the last card, card four, is on the right. You place the cards horizontally (or you can place them in any way you choose, as there is no rule for how you position these cards).

The first card represents what has grown over the summer. The second card indicates what you want to keep, the third indicates what you want to give, and the fourth represents what you want to receive. That is pretty easy! So, I will do a spread now:

Card one: What has grown over the summer – Ace of Swords

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Card two: What you want to keep: Lovers

Card three: What you want to give: Six of Pentacles

Card four: What you want to receive: Three of Cups


Let’s break the reading down.

Card One: Ace of Swords

The first card represents what has grown over the summer, and the card that comes up for that is the Ace of Swords. That means over the summer, you had gained some clarity and may have had some mental breakthroughs. You may have come into the summer with specific expectations that were not met, and as disappointed as you may have been, it opened your eyes and gained clarity based on those experiences. Therefore, due to the increased clarity, you have different expectations for the fall, and the truth is having too high expectations will only lead to disappointment. That is a challenging realization, but it helps you see more clearly and alter your expectations and standards in certain situations.

Card Two: Lovers

The second card indicates what you want to keep, and the Lovers came up for that. Whatever your choices, you want to keep them and those commitments. Therefore, if you made good choices over the summer, this card guides you to keep them and commit to nurturing them. Of course, it has to align with your true self, but if it does, keep nurturing that commitment based on your choices, as they will serve you well in the fall and beyond. You will be glad that you did at the end.

Card Three: Six of Pentacles

The third card indicates what you want to give, and the Six of Pentacles comes up. The Six of Pentacles represents the giving and receiving card. It does not necessarily mean giving money, clothing, or other items to charity or receiving things from others. It can represent time. You will want to provide some time for anyone who means a lot to you and anything that means a lot to you. If you have a friendship you want to nurture more, and you did not make time for them over the summer, ensure that you make time for them in the fall, for example. The thing with the Six of Pentacles is not to give anything away that will cause you to become depleted or resentful, as you want to ensure that you are getting something back, so you know what and who will need more of your time because you do get something from them.

Card Four: Three of Cups

Card four represents what you want to receive, and the Three of Cups comes up. Therefore, that represents celebrations, growth, and friendships; you may want to find more things to celebrate, make more friends, and find areas where you want to grow. Some ideas for you would be to join networking groups to increase your chances of developing more friendships; that way, you can arrange social gatherings to grow your social life. It would be best to create some of those opportunities for yourself this season.

Therefore, you want to keep the clarity and smarts you have gained over the summer while you stick to your right choices. You also want to give more time to the people and things that mean a lot to you while you take the opportunity to develop more friendships to celebrate more. That is the Mabon collective tarot reading, and Mabon is the time to celebrate the second harvest and acknowledge your shadow side as you celebrate the light and the dark as summer ends and the fall makes its way through.

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