It's the happiest time of year again and no I'm not Jewish, but it's Rosh Hashanah for them too. I'm feeling very perky although a little peeky. Had a pleasent night out in hurricane George last night enjoying the warm strong gales and a pint or three. Then tried to stay up all night but failed but awoke before dawn. Heard the dawn chorus, saw the sun rise and felt the vibrancy of the morning, no sign of the darkness that's to come yet. Considered wearing green but had nothing clean - but will be carrying the green flag all winter long in the words of Jethro tull.
We've got mead and a bonfire ready for tonight. Although with my herbal cigarettes many think I've been burning bonfies for weeks. Hoping the weather stays nice we've got dough ready to make some bread things - although we're not decided what as I'd like to make apple bread and K wants cheese bread.
Jethro Tull's - Jack-In-The-Green
Have you seen Jack-In-The-Green?
With his long tail hanging down.
He sits quietly under every tree ---
in the folds of his velvet gown.
He drinks from the empty acorn cup
the dew that dawn sweetly bestows.
And taps his cane upon the ground ---
signals the snowdrops it's time to grow.
It's no fun being Jack-In-The-Green ---
no place to dance, no time for song.
He wears the colours of the summer soldier ---
carries the green flag all the winter long.
Jack, do you never sleep ---
does the green still run deep in your heart?
Or will these changing times,
keep us apart?
Well, I don't think so ---
I saw some grass growing through the pavements today.
The rowan, the oak and the holly tree
are the charges left for you to groom.
Each blade of grass whispers Jack-In-The-Green.
Oh Jack, please help me through my winter's night.
And we are the berries on the holly tree.
Oh, the mistlethrush is coming.
Jack, put out the light.
From one of the best pagan albums with a song for every solstices and Equinox:
Click - which is a great reference for the album and related imagery.
Anyway here's a little on Mabon for those who are interested:
Now the God is preparing to leave His body. He knows He is dying and it is all right because soon enough He will be reunited with His bride once again. The Goddess prepares to grow weak as the Earth will freeze over when Winter arrives. This is the Harvest Thanksgiving.
The harvest is completed by Mabon. This is a time for reflection over the past year and giving thanks for what has come of it. All year long, literal and figurative plantings have been going on and have finally been harvested; there is a lot of thought about how it went. This holiday is for the preparation of the "season of sleep," and for introspection, and understanding our dark and wise side. We think of sacrifices others have made for us and what we can sacrifice for others. Mysteries and unknowns are pondered.
As Mabon is the time of the harvest and a time for meditation and thankfulness, it is a good time to make wine or mead - yummy. Lots of people like making wine for Mabon because it uses harvested foods and is symbolic of the fruits of the year. But I prefer mead as it's champagne and hunny - very summery. Plus a lot of it is probably going to be packed away and fermented, much like we are packing ourselves away and thinking over what has happened. Some like to call the spirits of their totem animals for help in inner searching. Meditation rituals are very common for Mabon. Some people use this time to visit their friends' and relatives' graves and give them flowers. I also like to have and give a massage in oil and no doubt Sifi would approve though i tend not to use olive oil.
The Mabon season:
Mabon Herbs--Apple, balm of Gilead, calendula, corn acorn, cypress cone, hazel, milk thistle, mugwort, myrrh, oak, orris root, passion flower, pine cone, rose, sage
Mabon Incense--Myrrh, sage, pine, frankincense, jasmine, cinnamon
Mabon Colors--Orange, dark red, yellow, brown, violet, deep gold
Mabon Decorations--Acorns, pomegranates, pine cones, baskets of fallen leaves, cornucopias
Mabon Foods--Breads, corn, cornbread, squash, apples, roots (carrots, potatoes, onions), cider, beans, nuts
Mabon Sacred Gemstones--carnelian, lapis lazuli, sapphire, yellow agate
Spellwork appropriate for Mabon--spells for protection, wealth and prosperity, security, feeling of self-confidence, and balancing magick.
Mead, a liqueur produced from fermented honey-water, is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks. It was once the favourite beverage in regions of Northern Europe where the climate was not suited to maintaining vineyards. Mead had ritual and spiritual significance for the Celts of the British Isles, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Vikings. Many ancient legends recall the pleasures of mead: early Irish literature speaks of the ever-full mead cauldrons to be found within faery mounds; the Norse Eddas tell how the god Oðin seduced a giantess to gain the mead of poetry; and the joys of the meadhall are a common motif in Anglo-Saxon verse. Popular folk-belief traces the origin of the word honeymoon back to the medieval custom of newlywed couples drinking mead for the first month (moon) of married life to ensure their fertility and to increase the chances that their first child would be a son.
Maponos alias Mabon
Celtic God of Youth
The name Maponos or Mabon means 'Divine Son'. He was the son of Modron, the 'Divine Mother,' but a father is never mentioned. He was stolen from his mother at the age of only three days and imprisoned in Caer-Gloiu (Gloucester), until eventually rescued by King Arthur. Perhaps the city was sacred to Maponos. For he was not a mortal, but the Celtic God of the Young & Youthful Pursuits, particularly hunting. He appears in the tale of Culhwch & Olwen, helping the former fulfil his quest by slaying the great magical boar, Twrch Trwyth.
Maponos may be identified with the Welsh mythical character, Pryderi, who was similarly kidnapped in his youth; or, possibly, he is the Irish God of Love, Oenghus, known as 'Mac Oc' meaning the 'Young Son'. He certainly had a popular following in Northern Britain as still to be noted by Lochmaben, west of Lockerbie in Scotland. This may be the Locus Maponi mentioned in the Roman Ravenna Cosmography. A silver plaque from the Roman fort at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) has been discovered inscribed "Deo Mapono". At Ribchester, Maponos shares a stone with a hunter-goddess - perhaps Apollo's sister, Diana - bloody thievin' Romans . At Hexham, however, his musical and poetic attributes are emphasised more. His worship was widespread throughout the Celtic World though and his name has been found in several places on the Continent.
Mabon - Kernow:
mab [maab] masculine noun
PLURAL meibion [meib -yon] - men
The son of man - This sense survives in the word baban (= baby), originally maban (mab + diminutive suffix -an)
côr meibion - male-voice choir (choir of men) - Welsh and Cornish
A descendant as in mab Adam - a son of Adam, a descendant of Adam, a human being
Mab Duw (the Son of God),
... Mab Dyn (the Son of Man)
Mebyon Kernow (the sons of Cornwall) - The Cornish political party is called Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall's greater independence.
Listed as Mabon in 12th Century records, Mabyn was said to have come from a large family, with 23 brothers and sisters. A depiction of Mabyn exists in the wives’ window in St Neot Church. She is wearing robes, a crown, and is carrying a palm branch. A well in the parish is also thought to represent her. She is thought to be the symbol to the preceeding Celts who the church embraced.
St.Mabyn is a village situated between Wadebridge and Bodmin Moor in North Cornwall. The village is centred on the grade 1 listed 15th century Church of St.Mabena.
Cae Mabon (the storyteller's roundhouse) in Penzance
Mabon is referred to as the “Great Son of the Great Mother” in the Mabinogion. The name is also a form of “Maponus” who some say was the Solar Deity to whom Stonehenge was dedicated. So “Cae Mabon” could mean the “Home of the Divine Youth” or the “Lair of the Ancient British Sun God”! Grandiose pretensions indeed! On a more earthly plane, for ten years storytelling has homed in on the Cae Mabon Roundhouse. Many of Britain’s storytelling “greats” have performed there, telling their funny, epic, surreal, moving, poetic and extraordinary tales.
Well i think that's everything - so raise your glass tonight to the Jack-in-The-Green and think of harvest time. I'm always fearful I'll die before Mabon but once again I've made it. Blessed be!