Celebrating Mabon

A week and a half ago, I put together a small-ish feast to celebrate the Autumn Equinox/Mabon. I have recently come to the decision that this is the year that celebrating traditional holidays needs to come to an end. So from this point, we will not be celebrating Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Easter. Instead the Wheel of the Year will guide our celebrations! 

I am still learning the different Sabbats, but Mabon was our “thanksgiving.” I spent the entire day of September 22nd cooking and creating. It felt very satisfying to be using my hands and celebrating the turning of the seasons. 

I went looking through recipes and blog posts on Pinterest, and decided on making two recipes from this gal’s blog – Jessica Jewett.

I made the pot roast and butternut squash soup. Although, I did make some adjustments to the recipes due to my somewhat strict way of eating restrictions. Instead of potatoes, I did turnips and cauliflower. 

Once I got the pot roast on and all of the squash and other veggies in my second crockpot, I got down to cleaning and making a wreath for my front door! 

the beginnings of my wreath

I scoured the shelves of Joann Fabrics trying to find the makings of a wreath that really spoke to me. Two years ago, when I was started to get into celebrating the Wheel of the Year Sabbats, I made a wreath for Lammas, which is at the beginning of August. Since I missed Lammas this year, I really wanted to have some sort of autumn decoration that I had made for myself. 

the finished wreath

Once the wreath was finished, attention was turned to cleaning and cleansing my space. My spouse helped with corralling our kiddos and cleaning. The weather outside was so bright and sunny and cool! 

I grew up cooking for my rather large family, so when I first got married, it was really hard to adjust cooking for only two people instead of the big amount I cooked for before. It took me almost all of the first 5 years of our marriage to get back to a place where I actually enjoyed cooking. Ha, then I got really sick, and the physical symptoms of my chronic illnesses went into significant overdrive. So I had to completely revamp what I could or couldn’t eat. The past 5 months have been the first consecutive months that I have been able to consistently eat food without getting sick after every meal. 

This has meant that planning for a feast like the one I wanted to do for Mabon gets a little more complicated than just following a recipe. I am grateful for the cooking knowledge and instinct I have, but it is still frustrating at times to want to celebrate a Sabbat that consists of honoring the harvest, and what’s commonly associated with the harvest? Bread. And I can’t eat bread, of almost any kind.

Anyway, I figured my way around my food restrictions, and when the butternut squash soup was done, oh my, it was heavenly! I used an immersion blender to blend up the pieces of veggies. I was unsure if it would actually work, but with the combination of buttery soft vegetables from having been in the crockpot for several hours, and a powerful immersion blender, the soup turned out completely silky smooth at the end! 

our feast!

The pot roast was falling apart as I pulled it from the crockpot. The only downside to having been cooking all day long is that I had been smelling and test-tasting all of the food so when we sat down to finally eat, I was barely hungry! It was all so good though!

It definitely felt like a “Thanksgiving” and I am satisfied that we have replaced that traditional holiday. The next on my list is Samhain! 

Working With The Morrigan – meandering thoughts

I recently discovered my library system does inter-library loans and through that program I was able to get a book called Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess – Invoking The Morrigan

This book is a book I definitely want to own. It is a detailed description of all three Morrigan sisters, and their myths and legends, and their associations. I am in awe of this book and the information it contains. I also found out some more information about the divine being I am named after. It is thought, that as Medb was said to be born in the Cave of Cruachan, which is the cave the Morrigan called home, that Medb very well may be the Morrigan’s daughter. This makes sense to me as I feel a tight connection between the Morrigan and Medb. The connection holds notes of a mother-daughter connection and that means a lot to me. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is about Paganism that resonates so deeply with me. Part of it is this amazing give and take between the deities you worship and yourself. I love the space that’s given for the whims and wiles of the deities and that it’s expected for them to have emotional pulls and shifts. It’s allowed just as we are allowed, in our human forms, to have the up and downs of emotions. 

There is also, especially in the Celtic deities I am getting initiated with, an emphasis on the cycles of life – Life, Death, Rebirth. There is no guilt or shame associated with the Goddesses I am learning about and am holding sacred space for. For the past two weeks, my body has been in the throes of flare ups with my chronic illnesses. When that happens, my mind shuts down to just the bare minimum. The incredible thing was that during that time, I was not able to focus or doing any rituals or dig deeper into my connection to the Morrigan. Instead of feeling guilty or ashamed that I was letting my deity “down” I felt their compassion and willingness to give me space and time for my body to recover. They have been sitting there patiently waiting for me, no pressure given to me to commune with them. 

This is such a difference from my previous experiences with religion. I am now in a place where I am connecting with and communing with Goddesses who want to get to know me as much as I want to get to know them. I used to struggle with how I could practice paganism and keep up with my daily life as a mother and home-maker. Now I know it is about harmony; my deities are with me throughout my day, I see the beauty around me as I go about my daily life, and I commune with them as I have a moment of time here and there. 

It’s a beautiful thing, finding not only balance, but harmony when it comes to your beliefs. I am aware of a contentment within my soul and heart that has been missing for almost all of my life. I am aware of the fierceness with which the Morrigan is taking an interest in me and entering in to my life. My experiences so far with Badb has been evidence of how much she wants to bring up the deeply hidden trauma scars and help me scrap those out so I can fully heal. 

There is no hiding and there is no disguising the pain I still carry from my past. I went to see my former therapist yesterday for a session with her. I know that in combination with her help and the help of the Morrigan, I am about to make great strides forward. It’s going to be rough, and painful, and exhausting, but it will be worth it.