We had a lovely Mabon celebration this year! For those who are not familiar with Wicca and the Wheel of the Year, Mabon is the autumnal equinox and it is the second of the three harvest festivals. It is a holiday especially associated with gratitude and is often celebrated with a thanksgiving dinner. My mom and I made a gratitude tree on September 1st and we each added a leaf every day until Mabon. Here is our finished tree:
We made lots of amazing vegan food for our Mabon dinner! I wish I had another plate right now!
We had orange-glazed carrots, corn, mashed potatoes, vegan “turkey” and “turkey” gravy, stuffing, cran-raspberry sauce, green bean casserole, and caramelized onions! (Click on the links for the recipes – the rest are coming soon! You can find even more Mabon or Thanksgiving recipes on this post.)
I had planned to have a bonfire the same night, but it was about 90 degrees here and we decided to wait until the temperature dropped. Because the heat wave lasted so long, our Mabon celebrations continued for two weeks! On the first cool day, we went apple picking at a nearby orchard:
Did you know there is a pentagram inside every apple?
We also went to a Renaissance Faire! This was a small production but was still quite nicely done. All of the vendors and quite a few attendees were in costume and we had a fun afternoon looking around.
The highlight of the Faire was the Gypsy fortune teller! I was expecting someone dressed up and pretending to use a crystal ball. Instead, I found the remarkable Iya Luciana Vanilar and a new friend.
Iya’s Ukrainian Gyspy grandmother survived a concentration camp, and later taught her how to read cards when Iya was only eight years old. We were chatting and Iya showed me her beautiful cards. The artwork was done by Ukrainian artist Vladislav Yerko, and the illustrations perfectly match the meanings her grandmother taught her. We were so busy talking that I forgot to get a close-up of the cards, but I found this photo online:
Iya showed us the card spread her grandmother taught her and explained the meanings of some of the cards. She is a very gifted reader and it was fascinating to hear. She then did a full reading for me and, while I won’t share the details here, it was very accurate for the past and present, and I hope for the future as well. You can contact Iya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also enjoyed the music and hearing some of the history of the Renaissance as explained by the various performers and artists.
We finally got to have our bonfire on the first full moon after Mabon, and I got some new photos of our yard and the soy field next to us. You can really see a big change from Lughnasadh!
We built a fire just before it started to get dark.
Once the full Harvest Moon was out and shining brightly, we burned the branches of our gratitude tree to send our thanks to the universe for our many blessings. It was a lovely night and a beautiful end to our Mabon celebrations!