Welcome! T’is the Equinox (pass the mead!) and in Welsh lore and pagan festival Mabon’s hour in the forest clearing around the fire of story.
Story of Mabon
“Mabon is the name of a mythic hero of Welsh mythology. He is the son of Modron, the Great Mother, and is ‘stolen away from between his mother and the wall’ at the age of three days. He is sought by his mother for many years, but remains unfound. Finally Arthur, the High King, comes to the search, and over many days he goes from bird to beast to tree, looking, seeking Mabon, but not finding him. At length, the Salmon of Wisdom assists him to find the Lost God, who has now become an adult, and who is powerful beyond expectation, successfully assisting Arthur and his Knights in the Quest for which they have been seeking him.
“Mabon’s feast corresponds with the Autumnal Equinox, the time of Solar Balance, when day and night for a moment are equal, and it is Balance we seek in finding the Hidden Self.”
In addition, this was the time for making mead (a fermented drink of honey and grain or grapes), this autumn Equinox, so, pour out a glass and let’s connect Mabon and the power of individual transformation to the Tarot symbolism.
King of Pentacles
The first card that came to mind for me for this time is the mature and grape-draped King of Pentacles. His harvest of wisdom and wine is obviously in; he’s duly connected to the Earth and her rhythms and is blessed with beneficence. Would love to just cuddle with this guy in a forest glade or before a warm fire in a cozy castle (although castles were generally rather drafty, but let’s not ruin the fantasy!)
I look forward to having this King’s power to keep me grounded as the days grow shorter and the shadows longer. For the time has come to face our nemesis, our own inner Shadow, which is now our equal in the solar balance of the Equinox. It will only get stronger. But what to do with that Shadow self, the one that whines, the one that blames others, the one that says it can’t be done, the one that says we aren’t good enough to change for the better, to increase the balance of light?
Should we despair as the ancients might have originally done when the cold encroached and the nights grew long? Should we listen to the naysayers or should we destroy our Shadow, as some would have us to do? Should there only be light?
Nope. Change only comes from accepting the process of . . . change, which includes loving all that is and all parts of ourselves. The light will return. It always does. Let’s allow for the rhythm of waxing and waning, of moons, of suns, of ourselves. We are not moving to, we are moving through. And whenever we want light, all we have to do is raise our glass of mead, take a sip of honeyed sunshine, and smile. For, in the end, all is swell, because it’s just the beginning.
Shadow Leaf Spread
Here’s a cool spread to use to see where your shadow is and the tools you might use to change the rhythm to focus on the balance. I call it the dancing leaf, in honor of the falling leaves of this season, those bright shadows of the summer green moving out of the way to allow for rest and the renewal that comes before rebirth (or re-leaf).
Four cards in a fan shape, to represent the root of the leaf and three lobes. Shuffle as you would normally. The first card goes to the root of the leaf and represents your Shadow-self. Position 2 is that which is hiding behind your Shadow that you need to talk to (usually your Inner Child). Position 3 is that which creates the illusion that your Shadow cannot be transformed (the obstacle). Position 4 is the honeyed draft of light you can drink to transform the situation and yourself.
Savor the bounty of Earth and good company. Hug your Shadow and play in the Light.