Mabon 2019!

Mabon, or the Autumnal Equinox, falls on September 23rd. Mabon is a very significant holiday for different Pagan groups, and overall it is a great way to begin the fall season.

Various groups celebrate Mabon under different names, but many of the celebrations follow the same purpose – to celebrate the current year’s harvest and to take time to plan for the upcoming winter and spring seasons.

To me, Mabon is the most powerful of holidays for manifesting, for you are bringing together all the experiences of the last 12 months and focusing that energy into energy into bring positive things into your life.

Mabon is first and foremost about Gratitude. For thousands of years (and still in many places around this world), harvest time signified whether you would have a chance to survive the upcoming winter and early spring months.

While food supply is not currently an immediate challenge for most of us, this holiday is still relevant as an opportunity to explore our experiences throughout the last 12 months, how those experiences have helped us grow, and provide an opportunity to share our growth and our accomplishments.

Basically, this is the one night of the year where bragging about how great you are is actually beneficial to you. This positive energy you bring to the table will assist with manifesting that which is in your highest and best good for the next 12 months.

On a cautionary note, this is also about transparency. You may very well have a different viewpoint or perspective about events that transpired from others, but this is not the time or place to state falsehoods or fabrications to try to impress others. The energetic difference between lies and truth is quite significant and lying will only manifest new lessons for you to learn through the next year, instead of benefits to you.

Some examples of experiences to share could include life events such as career changes, income increases, people who have entered or exited your life, home environment changes, deaths of family or friends, etc. Events that touched you emotionally, situations that caused you to contemplate who you are, what you are doing with your life, or opportunities that provided a realization that change needed to happen “now” and you were finally in a place to accept that change – all are important events that need to be celebrated.

Other examples include the completion of tasks or goals that allowed you to move forward on your goals, the checking of boxes on your list, as we say.

Once you have thought about this, write down these things. Select a few to share over the bonfire with those in your group and then set the paper aside.

Now, let’s look at planning for the next 12 months. It used to be the planning was for survival through the winter months into spring. Planning on how to take the harvest and make the most of it so that everyone in your group would survive and not starve to death.

Nowadays we can take this planning idea, and shift it to the idea of manifesting that which is in our highest and best good. This takes some self reflection if you are not doing this on a regular basis.

Take some time during the day to meditate on where you are spiritually, energetically, physically, mentally, and emotionally and see where you would LIKE to be. Maybe you are fine with where you are in each of these places, but most likely there is some aspect of your life you would like to change. Maybe an area you perceive a lack in and want to improve or maybe you just don’t know what to do, but you know that something has got to change.

Take a piece of paper and start writing. Allow your heart’s desire to flow up through you energetically and allow that energy to pass onto the paper. Don’t worry about it being “perfect” or grammatically correct. The only person seeing this is you and it is going to go into the bonfire tonight, so the only thing important is that you are allowing what is truly important to you to flow through you. This energy will imprint into the paper and when you burn it in the bonfire tonight, the energy will be released to help shape and make changes to your life. Manifestation in action!

Focus, during this time, on that of which you dream, of your true inner desires (not what others have told you that you want), and offer those desires to the Creator. By doing this, you are surrendering your personal will to the Creator and acknowledging that all things come from the Creator. Control is merely an illusion. Write these down on a piece of paper as well.

When you share your heart’s desires with the Creator, regardless of how silly and insignificant, or how impossible your desire may seem to be, this act of surrender provides your High Self, your Guides and Angels, and the Creator the opportunity to assist us with healing, with shifting, and with the changes needed to bring our heart’s true desires into our life.

This is, in my opinion, the most important energetic gift you can give to yourself. When the thoughts or ideas which is so important to yourself that you have locked them away, you repressed all in any and every way, and now you allow these things to surface to your conscious state, miracles can happen overnight or even in the blink of an eye.

Manifestation is hard for many people to understand, and harder still to enact, but true manifestation is driven by your emotions. Not wild emotions, not negative emotions, but authentic and balanced emotions based in love – not fear!

So on this night of celebration, allow the differing energetics to serve your highest and best good by releasing the illusion of control, by acknowledging your challenges and achievements, and by opening up to your heart’s desires.

Steps to follow/complete:
Once you have written these two different lists down of paper, at dusk begin to (safely) build your bonfire. Laugh and share time and stories with those in your circle as the fire develops. Use this time wisely to develop your community and good will amongst your peers.

Once the fire is developed and everyone can rest or sit down, whoever wants to go first will start the circle. Let that person stand up and share their “harvest” events. Then, when they have shared what they choose, they will then walk to the fire and give the gift of their experiences to the flames to burn.

When the paper is burnt up, the energy of gratitude will be released.

Next, the person will take their second piece of paper, with their heart’s desires written on it, and offer that to the flames as well. The energy released from the first piece of paper will blend with the energy of the heart’s desires and be used to manifest that person’s highest and best good. The individual should continue standing in front of the fire until he or she feels that they have absorbed all the positive energy returned to them.

Once that person has sat down, the next person will stand up and do their sharing and burning of their papers. Again, they will wait for the energy to be absorbed before they sit down. Repeat this until everyone has had their turn in front of the fire.

IMBOLC – A NEW BEGINNING, A NEW YOU

Our knowledge of the celebration of Imbolc comes largely from stories and information passed down first through families and eventually transferred over to the Internet. The truth is, once Christianity took hold in Ireland, much of what might have been part of the rituals related to Imbolc were probably lost, because early Christians had a thirst for killing people who did not conform to their beliefs and ideas. So – just as many other forms of non-Christian beliefs were lost, much was lost for Imbolc.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, Imbolc or Candlemas is defined as “A Christian festival held on 2 February to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary (after childbirth, according to Jewish law) and the presentation of Christ in the Temple. Candles were traditionally blessed at this festival.”

Taken over and subverted by Catholicism and relegated to become the bland “St. Brigid’s Day”, much of what Imbolc was celebrated for was decimated. Such is the way of the conqueror. However, in today’s world, many people have returned to the idea of a celebration during the middle of winter and with the Internet’s assistance, Imbolc has become the Light within the Darkness again.

Imbolc is a celebration of the end of winter, and a celebration to the Light half of the year. The Gaels had an impressive understanding of the moon cycles and their year was divided into a time of darkness (rest and recovery) and a time of Light (breeding, growth, and a return to activity). 
Samhain at the end of October was the beginning of their new year and the start of Darkness. Imbolc is the return of Light.

While we don’t have the information lost over the last millennium regarding this holiday, we can each still celebrate the basic ideas behind this moon cycle. Winter is departing, and every day a couple more minute of sunlight benefit the Earth. You can look forward to warmer temperatures returning, animals begin their breeding cycles, and plants in your yard are starting to poke their heads out of the ground. What’s not to celebrate?

When I look at Imbolc from a spiritual perspective, I see the endless possibilities for healing and growth. We have come through the hardest part of today’s US culture – we have survived the onslaught of the winter holidays. Starting with Halloween and ending with the New Year celebration, every month brings forth opportunity to spend time with family and friends. While for many this may be cause for joyful reflection, for many more this is a time of dread, a series of events that must be gotten through, gotten over, to just make it to January when you can be assured of some quiet time to yourself as everyone drops away as there is no longer a need to pretend.

I am asked the question, “Why do I feel alone after New Year’s?”

The simple answer is that the energy of obligation or duty is no longer driving certain people in your life to include you – or to berate you, depending upon your perspective. I look at this time of the year as a blessing, for it is now time to cleanse and begin anew.

Many people being New Year’s resolutions, thinking a goal will help them make the changes that they feel they need to make during the year. Many times those resolutions are based off things they think are wrong with themselves, that they are deficient in, that they need to “fix”.

From a spiritual perspective, that kind of self-hatred is bound to fail as your High Self wants you to learn to love yourself – not fix what is “wrong” with you. I suggest that we adopt the perspective of self-love and apply it to Imbolc. Imbolc could easily adapt and be the symbolic time of healing and growth to take you on the path to become your authentic you.

By using the traditional symbols of candle and flame, you have the added bonus of include your neighboring Fire Elementals in this return to balance, a return to your essential self, and the promise of a new beginning. So, what can you do to celebrate Imbolc quietly in your own home?

Years ago, a friend of mine took me to my first Imbolc celebration. It was not what I expected and the energy was not what I thought it would be, so I never returned to that pagan enclave, however, I did adopt the candle ritual and use that as a part of my healing and growth process.

Obtain a tall 7-day glass candle. You can find them even at your local grocery store. Make sure it is one of the plain ones as you are going to decorate it yourself. If you are a Reiki practitioner, I suggest permeating the candle with Reiki to raise its vibration and cleanse it of that which is not in your highest and best good.

Then, spend a little while in reflection and rumination. What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to achieve this year? What goal’s have you put off or what challenges do you foresee for which you will need strength and purpose? There are many ways to view your potential and you need to chop that down into bite sized pieces. This is not to set yourself up for failure – this exercise is to establish and manifest the energy to reach these goals for yourself.

Last year, my goals were to return to North Carolina and be with my friends and family after being gone for almost 5 years. I needed a certain amount of money to come in, I needed a place to stay, I needed a vehicle of my own to even begin the process. Within two months, all these things were manifested with people even coming forward – unasked – to offer assistance. 

The Universe WILL provide when you not only know what you want, but know that what you want is also in your Path.

Now, once you have a few bite sized pieces to work with, it is time to get creative! Speaking as someone who has zero real world creativity, this next step is not to intimidate you at all! This is for you – your energy is going into your creativity to manifest your highest and best good – so don’t worry what it will look like to ANYONE ELSE!

Start with covering your candle with plain paper. You could use a piece of printer paper, cut to size. Or even kitchen paper if you have that on hand. Don’t put it on the candle yet! Decide how you are going to decorate your candle.

The very first candle I created years ago was covered in different colored pieces of crinkled-up wrapping tissues. Then, I took a variety of small crystals, cleansed them, and imbued them with the energy I wanted to happen during that year. I then used wire and wrapped the tissue-wrapped candle with my crystals. I was very pleased with it and with the crystals that had volunteered to do this work with me.

When we went to the ceremony, my candle stood out alone and strange from the others, but it was perfect for me and the vibration it emanated was perfect for me, so what else did I need?

Their candles were wrapped with taped pictures from magazines – like a vision board. That is what they needed and that was absolutely great for them! This is YOUR candle – you need to make it work for you!

So start your preparations now. Go purchase your candle, meditate on what you want to achieve, and then decorate the candle as you like it. Then – and this is the important step – meditate with the candle every day before Imbolc. Spend at the very least a few minutes focusing on what you want to achieve, what you want to shift, how you want to heal, and how you want to grow. Ask your High Self to join you in this project – for your High Self knows exactly what is needed for you to be living the life you were designed to live!

I want to add something I think is very important. It is vital that you are honest with yourself when you are focusing on what you want. If you are harboring self-defeating emotions, then that is what you need to focus on healing first. Do not set yourself up for disappointment by creating non-achievable scenarios – that is harmful to you. Work on doing what you need to do first and then grow from there!

Then, after sunset on Imbolc, take a few moments to get prepared. Make sure you have a safe place to light your candle and leave it alone, for it needs to burn for the entire time it has wax. Maybe you will leave it on a fire-proof counter. Maybe you will get a decorative bowl and put some sand inside to set the candle on. Regardless of your choice – have your fire-safe place set up before you begin the celebration.

Once everything is prepared, it is time to quiet and focus your thoughts, again focusing on your desire for your High Self to assist you with returning to your essential place of authenticity, a place of healing and growth, and utilize the energy of gratitude to facilitate the manifestation of these energies to help you achieve the wonderful changes you will experience. Gratitude is never a wasted emotion.

Say whatever words or prayer you think appropriate as you light the candle, and then spend several minutes with it, sharing the energy of gratitude and manifestation with the candle. Then, when you are done, leave the candle in its fire-proof location and return to your daily activities.

If you are doing this as a group event, think about what you want to say out loud in front of everyone. You don’t need to share your every detail of every intimate thought and desire with everyone. This is your personal manifestation moment, so you want to be comfortable with your spoken declarative statement as you light the candle.

Make sure every day you spend some time with the candle while it burns – sharing the energy of gratitude and manifestation with it. Emotion creates energy and energy creates intention and intention is the energy behind manifestation.

You may find that you need to dump a little of the wax here and there to keep the wick vital, depending upon the candle body material. Please be careful as the glass will be hot and spilled wax is messy.

Once the candle is completely burned it is time to complete the manifestation process. I always remove my crystals I have wrapped around the candle at this stage and set them aside to include in my daily meditations. If you have included something tangible you want to keep with you like crystals or a necklace, etc., remove that now.

Now wrap your candle in 2 or three paper bags, then finish with a plastic grocery or garbage bag. Get some sort of hammer, some safety goggles if you have them, and take everything outside. Look around your yard – if you have one – and ask to be shown where the perfect spot will be to bury your candle. You will need to dig a hole deep enough to cover all the candle and the paper bags.

If you are in a place where the ground is still frozen or you live in an apartment setting, skip this step.

Once outside with the wrapped candle, hammer, and safety goggles, find a solid place and get into a light meditative state. Reiterate one last time what you wish to manifest with the energy from this candle and hold that energy in your heart and mind. Now, place the wrapped candle on the solid surface and pound the candle until it is only tiny, tiny pieces.

It is very important you follow safety procedures while doing this. Having wrapped the candle in multiple layers of paper bag will assist with keeping dust and shards from flying about, but you can never be too careful with your eyes! The plastic bag should keep all the pieces in one location as the paper bags may indeed be torn by the jagged pieces of glass.

Once you have destroyed the candle and released the energy of manifestation, it is time to bury that candle in the ground. If you don’t have a place to bury it, ask for your High Self to release all the energy within the glass container and release it now to the Universe. Your High Self will make sure that it is released as appropriate for you.

Now you can safely place it inside your garbage can. For those who will plant it in your yard, it will be your choice if you wish to leave it in the ground once the year has passed or if you wish to dig it up and dispose of it in the garbage can at that point. The energy will have been released, so its purpose will be fulfilled and there will be no negative ramifications if you should.

Imbolc is a time of promise, an opportunity to return to your true state of being. I hope you find this exercise useful and I wish for you to receive your blessings throughout the year.