Mabon (Fall Equinox)

From "The Wheel Of The Year At Muin Mound Grove, ADF"

By Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison

© 2001

1) Consecration of Space followed by Musical Signal when finished. (Bell)
The musical signal is usually given by ringing a bell a total of nine times in groups of threes.

2) Processional.
This chant is usually sung as people are approaching and entering our Nemeton area over the bridge.

Chant - I Am Walking (Words by Phoenix) - MP3
I am walking, walking, walking.
I am walking, walking, walking.
I am walking home.
I am walking home.

3) Aspurging and Censing as people enter the area. (Water and incense)
Aspurging is done by sprinkling each person with water from a chalice while saying
"May we wash away all Earthly cares."
Censing is done by fanning incense smoke around each person while saying
"May the Spirit rise within you."

4) Sigil Marking / Opening Prayer.
A short declaration of why we are here is spoken, such as:
"We come to this place, this grove of trees, to form a circle of flesh and bone and blood and spirit. This place is wrought with emotion, with desire, with dreams, with sweat and with tears. And yet we still come forth with smiles upon our faces, with questions in our hearts and with one another's hands held in our own."
(Forcefully) "We are here to honor the Gods!" *
"TÁ MUID ANSEO CHUN ONÓIR A THABHAIRT DO NA DÉITHE!"
(ta mid anshow khun onoh'r a havart do na day-a)
(All repeat) "We are here to honor the Gods!"
*This line is spoken forcefully, first in English, then in Gaelic, and the English part repeated by those assembled, while two people mark the Sigil by stepping back a pace outside the circle, then crossing to the opposite side and through the circle by a pace, then returning to their starting positions.

5) Honoring the Earth Mother. (Cornmeal offering).
In our Grove, we usually honor the Earth Mother first with a poem written by one of our members (Gloria) and then with a chant. An offering of cornmeal is poured to the Earth around the circle as the poem is being read. One of her poems for Mabon is below.

You have filled our silos with grain
And our cribs are filled with corn
Our casks bulge with new wine
To refill the drinking horn.

In our zest we have reaped the harvest
But in doing so we have laid You bare
We thank You for our plentiful bounty
And offer to you this prayer:

Let us take only as much as we give
Let our autumn's grain be spring's seed
May we care for You as You care for us
That neither may know need.

Chant - Oh Earth Mother (Words by the RDNA, music by Richard MacKelley) - MP3
Oh Earth Mother, we praise thee

That seed that springeth,
That flower that openeth,
That grass that waveth...

We praise thee, for winds that whisper

Through the shining grass,
Through lively pine,
Through the mighty oak...

We praise thee, for all things.
Oh Earth Mother, you who givest life.

At this time, it is our custom to bestow a kiss upon the Earth, either directly or via our fingertips, while the presiding Druid says:
"And it is the custom among our people, our folk and our grove, to bestow a kiss upon our Mother."

6) Honoring the Bardic Deities. (Oil offering)
The presiding Bard usually does this piece. As the invocation is spoken, an offering of oil is poured to the fire.
"I stand before you as the Bard. Mine the face of all the Bards that come before and all that will follow. My voice rings down the corridors of time and will resound in the future. My memory reaches beyond the mist of years, centuries and eons. My song is the melody that sings through eternity. My voice the remembrance of the ancestors and the cries of our children. But for this time and in this place, I am the Bard. And I call now to Ogma, silver-tongued leader of people with your words. Helps us find that spark of inspiration that burns within and let it burn bright this night."

7) Expression of Unity.
Chant - Earth, Sky And Sea (Words and music by Sable) - MP3
Earth, Sky and Sea
Blessed are these three
Day bright and darkest night
Two sides of the light

And one in mind
We will find
Our praises here resound
Yes one in mind
We will find
From our lips to the sacred ground.

8) Two Power Meditation Earth & Sky.
Two people, male and female, with one doing the Earth part and the other the Sky part usually lead this meditation. We do this to incorporate the subtle energy difference between the sexes. We start by having the people get ready to meditate. Slow their breathing down, take deep, full breathes, clear their minds, etc. We then tell them to start using their "inner vision," that found in their mind's eye.

"(Voice One) Close your eyes and join hands. Let you're breathing slow and take deep full breaths, in and out, in and out. And as your breathing slows, let your mind turn inward. Look within with your inner vision. The vision that exists behind your eyes. Using this vision let your mind move downward. Out of your body through your feet, then down farther still. Let it move down into the Earth itself. Down still, through the layers of rock and the waters that flow beneath the surface. Down to where you can feel the flow and play of the fields of energy that move below the Earth. Take theses energies within yourself and then move back up toward your physical body. Bring them with you and when your being is back in your body, allow them to flow out from you to mix with the energies the other people here are bringing up. And as all of our energies flow and mix, you can see them filling our Nemeton with light.

(Voice Two) And as those energies of the Earth fill our nemeton, let your inner vision travel upwards. Up out of your body again to move up towards the Sky. Let your vision move up past the clouds, out through the atmosphere, out to where the stars are. And here above the clouds and the air, you can feel the flow of the energies of the stars. A cooler, different feeling energy. Let this energy flow into you and then move back down, down toward your physical body. And as your being moves back into your body, allow these energies from the stars to move out of your body to mix with the energies of the Earth. And as you can see our nemeton filled with glowing, swirling energies, open your eyes and be at peace."

9) Historical Precedent.
The presiding Druid usually does this section.
"Now is the time of Balance, when Day and Night face each other as equals. Let us find that same balance within ourselves. The Yin and the Yang. The Active and the Passive. Without one the other cannot exist. Let us also find that same harmony with the people around us.

The end is just a reawakening of the beginning - life is reincarnated. Energy is never destroyed - it simply changes form. Nothing ever remains without change, in the tides of Earth and Sky. Autumn's grain is Spring's seed. Know and remember, that whatsoever rises must also set and whatsoever sets must also rise."

10) Naming the Deities of the Ritual -
Mabon (pronounced Ma-bun) and Modron (pronounced Mud-ron)

GOD "Mabon,
Stolen from your mother three days after birth,
Locked away in the most terrible prison,
Rescued by Arthur and Kei"

GODDESS "Modron,
Mother of Mabon,
You thought you killed your son,
Till he was returned by Arthur and Kei."

11) Establishing the Vertical Axis. (Silver (Well) and Oil (Fire & Tree) offerings)

Chant - Fire, Bright Fire (Words & music by Pandora) - MP3
Fire, bright fire
Gate to the Shinning Ones
Fire, bright Fire
Our passage to the Sky
Fire, bright Fire
Warmth of our Community
Spark of Life
We honor you now

Well, deep Well
Gate to the Underworld
Well, deep Well
Our passage to the Sea
Well, deep Well
Wisdom of the Ancestors
Waters of Life
We honor you now

Tree, great Tree
Gate that reaches everywhere
Tree, great Tree
With you we share the Land
Tree, great Tree
Passage to the Otherworld
Source of Life
We honor you now

12) Establishing the Boundaries. (Cornmeal (Land), Water (Sea) & Incense (Sky) offerings)
First person pours corn meal around the outside of the sacred space saying,
"We ask that the Earth not open up and swallow us."

Second person sprinkles water around the outside of the sacred space saying,
"We ask that the Seas not rise up and drown us."

Third person throws incense and flour into the fire saying,
"We ask that the Sky not fall down upon us."

13) Evoking the Gatekeeper. (Oil offering)

Chant - We invoke Manannan (Words by Sable) - MP3
We invoke Manannan / Opener of every Gate
We invoke Manannan / Opener of every Gate
He will reach us / He will teach us
And reveal our fate
He will reach us / He will teach us
And reveal our fate

"I call out to the gatekeepers, openers of the ways between, guardians of the portals. I call now to Manannan mac Lir, we wish to walk between the worlds, to follow the secret trails. We ask you to open the gates so that we can give praise to the Great Ones, to the honored dead and to the Spirits around us. We ask this Manannan mac Lir!

We ask that the fire open as a gate! We ask that the well open as a gate. And we ask that the tree open as a gate!"
(Forcefully) "O Manannan, let the gates be opened!"
"A MHANANNAIN, OSCLAÍTEAR NA GEATAÍ!"
(awananan, oscleechar na gyatee)
(All repeat) "O Manannan, let the gates be opened!"

14) Acknowledgement of Outsiders. (Ale offering)
A cup of ale is taken to the south, outside of the ritual space, and given to the outsiders after saying:
"We give this offering of ale to you Outsiders. We ask that you trouble not our working and leave this place in peace. At this time we also vow to set aside those weaknesses within ourselves that would trouble our working. Outsider, this offering is for you!"

15) Triad Invocations:
A) Ancestors. (Cornmeal offering)
The offering is sprinkled around the inside of the circle. An invocation is spoken at this time by the person giving the offering, such as:
"This offering is to you Ancestors. Without you we wouldn't be here. We owe you our very lives. Ancestors, we ask you to aid us in our ritual tonight."
(Forcefully) "Ancestors, be with us tonight!"
All repeat: "Ancestors, be with us tonight!"

Chant - Mothers and Fathers of Old (Words by Sable) - MP3
From far beyond this mortal plane
Mothers and Fathers of Old
We pray that you return again
Mothers and Fathers of Old
To share with us the mysteries
And secrets long untold
Of the ancient ways we seek to reclaim
Mothers and Fathers of Old.

B) Nature Spirits. (Herbal mix offering)
The offering is sprinkled around the inside of the circle. An invocation is spoken at this time by the person giving the offering, such as:
"This offering is for you Spirits of this Place, of the Earth. You are around and near us all the time. Nature Spirits, we ask you to aid us in our ritual tonight."
(Forcefully) "Spirits of the Earth, be with us tonight!"
All repeat: "Spirits of the Earth, be with us tonight!"

Chant - Hoof and Horn (Words and music by Ian Corrigan) - MP3
Hoof and Horn / Hoof and Horn
All that dies shall be reborn.
Corn and Grain / Corn and Grain
All that falls shall raise again.

C) Gods/Goddesses. (Oil offering)
The offering is sprinkled around the inside of the circle. An invocation is spoken at this time by the person giving the offering, such as:
"This offering is for you Shinning Ones. Even though you are not named in our ritual, you are always in our hearts. Shinning ones, we ask you to aid us in our ritual tonight."
(Forcefully) "Shinning Ones, be with us tonight!"
All repeat: "Shinning Ones, be with us tonight!"

Chant - Shinning Ones (Words by Phoenix) - MP3
Shining one, wisdom filled, healers of the Earth
Call to us, and be with us, show us what we're worth
Ay ya, Ay ya Oh
Ay ya, Ay ya Oh

16) Invocation of Deities - Mabon and Modron. (Oil offerings)
As each invocation is spoken, an offering of oil is poured to the fire. Two people usually do this.
"We call now upon Mabon. You were stolen from your mother as she slept. And you were one of the Three Exalted Prisoners. Put in a prison near Gloucester, you were kept there till you were grown. After being rescued on Kei's back while Arthur and his men were attacking the prison, you helped them to recover the razor from behind the ear of the boar, Twrch Trwyth (pronounced Turkh Troo-ith). Mabon, we call to you to join us in our ritual tonight!"

"We call now upon Modron. Mother of Mabon, you had your son stolen when he was only three days old. Long though you searched for him, he wasn't to be found. Then years later he was returned to you by Arthur and his men. Modron, we call to you to join us in our ritual tonight!"

"And at this time we call upon our Grove patron and matron, Dagda and Morrigan, and ask them to join with us tonight for our working."

17) Praise Offerings.
Done through individual offers of song, poetry, story, dance, artwork, etc.

18) Omen.
As the omen is being taken, the chant is softly sang in the background and continues until the omen has been taken.
Chant - Come druids all (Words by Sean Miller, music traditional English.) - MP3
Come druids all, ovates and seers
And let your minds be still.
Earth, sea, and sky will lend no fears,
As the gods reveal their will.

Let every heart sing praise to them,
And all our works be skilled.
Claiming their blessings to the very end,
As the gods reveal their will.

After the omen is interpreted, people are given time to reflect upon how the omen is relevant to their personal lives and the grove as a whole.

19) Return Flow
The return flow section is started by having three people, the Presiding Druid and two members of the Folk of the Grove, hold up the hearthstone, a large cup of water and a large horn of ale. The Presiding Druid then calls for the return flow to begin.
"Close your eyes and let your body still. Using your inner vision, let your mind roam to look around and above us. Look at the crowd of friends gathered on this plane and on the other planes. Spirits of this Place, Ancestors and Shinning Ones, all of them looking at us with love in their hearts! We ask you now, gathered host, return to us your blessings! Give them to us into this Heartstone, this cup of water and this horn of ale. Gathered Host, we ask this of you!"
Then the presiding Druid says:
(Forcefully) "Behold, the Waters of Life!"
"SEO AN USICE BEATH!"
(show un ishkuh byah)
(All repeat) "Behold, the Waters of Life!"

The cup of water and the horn of ale are then taken around and given to the people. It is the custom in our Grove to give the first offering of the return flow to the ground while saying:
"We give this first offering to those of the Folk and of the members of the Grove that couldn't be with us tonight. May these blessing give them the strength and nourishment to do what they need!"
If people want to make a toast of things they have done since the last holiday, or make a boast of what they will do before the next holiday, before they drink the blessing is the best time for it.

20) Thanking the Deities -Modron and Mabon. (Oil gifts)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"Modron, divine mother, we thank you for joining with us. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."
(Forcefully) "Modron, We thank you!"
"Modron, GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIT!"
(Mud-ron, gora ma-agit)
(All repeat) "Modron, We thank you!"

As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"Mabon, divine child, we thank you for joining with us. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."
(Forcefully) "Mabon, We thank you!"
"Mabon, GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIT!"
(Ma-bun, gora ma-agit)
(All repeat) "Mabon, We thank you!"

21) Thanking the Triads.
A) Gods/Goddesses. (Oil gift)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"Shinning Ones, we thank you for being with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."
(Forcefully) "Gods and Goddesses, We thank you!"
"NA DÉITHE, GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIBH!"
(Na Day-uh, gora ma-agiv)
(All repeat) "Gods and Goddesses, We thank you!"

B) Nature Spirits. (Oil gift)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"Spirits of this Place, we thank you for being with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."
(Forcefully) "Spirits of the Earth, We thank you!"
"SPRIDEANNA NA TALAIMH, GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIBH!"
(Shprih-dennuh nuh tulluv, gora ma-agiv)
(All repeat) "Spirits of the Earth, We thank you!"

C) Ancestors. (Oil gift)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"Ancestors, we thank you for being with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."
(Forcefully) "Ancestors, We thank you!"
"ÁR SINSIR, GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIBH!"
(Aur shinshur, gora ma-agiv)
(All repeat) "Ancestors, We thank you!"

22) Thanking the Gatekeeper and Closing the Gates. (Oil gift)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"I call out to the gatekeepers, openers of the ways between, guardians of the portals. I call now to Manannan mac Lir, we thank you for allowing us to walk between the worlds, and to follow the secret trails. Our ritual is coming to a close, so it is time once again to close the gates, knowing that every time we open them, the ways between become clearer!

Manannan, again I ask you to join your power to mine. And let the Well be again a well, and let the Fire be again a fire, and let the Tree be again a tree."
(Forcefully) "O Manannan, let the gates be closed!"
"A MHANANNAIN, DUNTAR NA GAETAÍ!"
(awananan, doontur na gyatee)
(All repeat) "O Manannan, let the gates be closed!"

23) Reversing the Two Power Meditation
This meditation is reversed at the end of the ritual by having the people allow the energies to move back to their source.
"(Voice Two) Please join ands and close your eyes. For one last time tonight, let your vision move back to the place behind your eyes where the inner vision lies. Look about you at the energy still flowing around our Nemeton. Let that energy from the Skies, from the stars, flow into our being. And with that energy in your being, let it move upwards, back to where it came. As it moves out of your physical body, keep enough so that you will be filled with energy, refreshed and at peace. "

"(Voice One) And as those energies from the Skies pass through your being and leave your body, let your inner vision move out, out to our Nemeton. See the energies from the Earth still moving about and around our sacred space. Let those energies move into your being, then allow them to move down, back to where they came from. As they move out, keep all that you need to feel energized, relaxed and at peace. Open your eyes and look around you at the other people here and at the Nemeton itself. Be at peace with yourself and with the others here."
(Forcefully) "Biodh amhlaidh! Be it so!"
(bee awlah)
(All repeat) "Biodh amhlaidh! Be it so!"

24) Announcement of End.
Everyone comes together in a group hug as the chant is sung. This chant is especially meaningful if everyone looks around the circle and into people's eyes as it is sung.

Chant - Celtic Blessing (Author Unknown) - MP3
May the road rise with you,
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall softly on your fields
And until we meet again
May They hold you in the hollow of Their hands

25) Recessional
As the chant is sung, people start to leave the ritual area.

Chant - Wondered As One (Words by Phoenix) - MP3
Look not back or right behind you
But to either side you'll find two
Friends holding on to a hand of yours

Walk with wisdom deep inside you
Let it move and let it guide you
Now we've welcomed, worshiped, wondered as one

Last updated - 4/6/04