Watching the world move through the year is a mindful practice; seeing God's hand in the coming and going of skeins of geese and clouds of swallows; in the changing shades of oak, maple and beech; the graphic silhouettes of trees across the horizon; stormcast skies and shortening days.
This is the time for the ancient Sabbat festival of Mabon; named for the Welsh Celtic God who, like Persephone, gives six months of his life to the underworld so that the earth may benefit from the promise of rebirth into the arms of the Great Mother.
At this time the Green Man also takes his rest; sinking into the loam of fallen leaves; nestling the acorns, seedpods and tubers into his body; protected and preserved until the sun comes again. But, before sleep, there is time for thanksgiving for the abundant fruits and crops of the earth. Sometimes known as the Feast of Avalon, which means “Land of Apples” the harvest remembers both what is past and what is to come.
The Celts honored this Sabbat by the harvest of apples; this is particularly the last few days for the harvesting of fruits. The fruits, wines and gatherings of the summer are shared in thankfulness for the life-giving harvest of this year; often shared with the mother trees themselves.
This is a time to pause and reflect with thanks on our own harvest of the year; to celebrate our families; friendships; personal achievements and dreams fulfilled.
Also, to say goodbye with equal thanks to those times that have now passed and the loved ones who rest in the peace of earth and the joy of Heaven.
Christianity has baptised this period with the practice of Harvest Festivals; churches richly decorated with displays of flowers, fruit and corn. Many communities bring donations to church to be shared amongst the needy of the area - again a reminder of the early times when the sick and the widow would struggle to survive the winter without help.
As we enter the time of The Crone; when Brigid the Mother gives up her busyiness and sits a while so as to share her wisdom stories and healing gifts; it is a good reminder to us all to spend a while with those we love in this world and those that now rest in their own misty lands of mellow fruitfulness.
Blessing of mother and son
warrior and crone
sun and moon
Blessing of gift and giver
generosity of spirit
Blessing of light and shadow
sun rising over violet lakes
setting over velvet hills
Blessing of harvest
fallen apples; rising wheat
gourds and grape
Blessing of farewells
misty veils and far horizons
Blessing of the Creator God
His blessed Son
and Spirit of Life