Website of the Grove of Manannan Mac Lir of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids

Autumnal Equinox (Mabon)

Archetypal Energy: Dark-Solar-Androgynous (Masculine, +/-)

Archetype: Manannan mac Lir (Irish under sea god), Cernunos (The Celtic Dear Horned God who is the Lord of the animals and the forest)

The season of Mabon occurs between September 21 st and October 31 st. Mabon marks the end of harvesting when day and night are equal. At this time, the Celts stored food in readiness for winter and gave thanks for a bountiful harvest. It is a time for seeing the positive side of what you have, and for identifying those aspects that could have germinating potential for future personal development. Mabon like the spring equinox, is a time of balance between the polarities including the balance between masculine and feminine. It is a time of mature androgyny versus the child-like androgyny of spring. The gods of this season are mature and androgynous in nature. They have completed the Jungian journey towards wholeness. They have incorporated and transformed all of the polarities including masculine and feminine. They are far more mature in this sense than the adolescent, summer/solar gods. They have developed all of the four Jungian functions and abilities i.e. sensation, thinking, emotion and intuition. They also exist in a balanced way both in the Inner world and this material world. They incorporate all of the archetypal energies which we have been exposed to in the seven previous seasons of the Celtic year. This season is the culmination of the Celtic wheel of the year and as such is the most whole and complete.

Both Manannan mac Lir and Cernunos are perceived as nurturing, loving, protective, magical males who love, nurture and protect the earth, it’s trees and creatures and peoples. They therefore have incorporated their anima (feminine aspect) into their natures; they are models and teachers for where modern men must go in their development. Modern men are still adolescent boys who have had John Wayne-like models of masculinity. These archetypes are also a model for women to have a different and healthier relationship with a more wholesome animus (male aspect).

This is the season of the element of water and the time of the holy chalice, The Holy Grail. It is a deeply spiritual time; a time to journey to other worlds including the magical isle of the faery women. This is a time of deep emotion and meditation; this is a time to connect to inner guides and receive their wisdom. This is a time also to make commitments to steward the sacred land, its animals, trees, plants, lakes, rivers and oceans.

Ritual for this season involves incarnating the archetype of Cernunos, protector of the earth into ourselves and making a commitment to become and be stewards of the earth.

Associated energies and symbols for the season of Mabon

1. Associated Element: Sea and Water

2. Direction: West

3. Season: Autumn

4. Faery Realm: Murias of the Undines (Mermen and Mermaids)

5. Animal: Swan and Seal

6. Plant/Tree: Vine and Ivy

7. Color: Sea Blue and Green

8. Earthly Realm: Plant

9. Arch Angel: Gabriel

10. Polarity: Androgynous: Balance of Feminine and Masculine.

11. Energy: Balance of Dark(-)/Lunar and Light/Positive(+)/Solar

12. Focus: Wholeness; Balance of Outer/Extroverted and Inner/Introverted.

13. Sacred Tool: Holy Chalice/Holy Grail

14. Stage of Life: Mature Adulthood

15. Time of Day/Night: Dusk

16. Body Consciousness/Chakra: Genitals (Celtic); Solar Plexis(Hindu)

17. Consciousness: Lunar Consciousness

18. Jungian Personality Function: Emotions

Autumn Equinox

We shift to the lunar circle during the autumn equinox. We celebrate in the Monarch Bear Grove using the lunar circle. It is associated with the element of sea and water and the direction of the west. It focuses upon harvest and its completion. It is a time of balance between dark and light and a shift towards darkness. It is a time we move past the mid-point between the dark and light. It is the time of the full ascendancy of the earth god over the sky god. It is a time of connecting to the underworld. It is the time of the liberation of the spirit, preparing for death, to transcend death. Autumn is about retrieving the spirit of the child-god from the unconscious, before death. Autumn is the time of full adulthood. As we move from adulthood to old age, it is important to retrieve those positive child-lie qualities such as creativity, imagination, idealism, spontaneity, freedom, openness, purity, honesty, being in awe of life, wonderment, being active and creating and doing things, many people have lost their connection to the Mabon and their sacred youth. It is the time to go into the unconscious to retrieve the spiritual child, reconnect to it, bring it back into our lives, before we move to the next stage of death. This retrieval of the eternal child needs to happen constantly, at each Mabon season, and needs to be emphasized for spiritual development. This is an essential aspect for an elder to do before their death because they need to complete the cycle. They need to reclaim and return the child within before death. This is not acknowledged in our society, but this is a very important phase. If someone dies without connection and reclaiming their eternal child, they enter at death into a very dark and dreadful place. It is the Mabon energy of the eternal youth that transcends our physical death, therefore we need to nurture our connection to this throughout our lives in order to be prepared for our death. It's the Mabon who is reborn at the winter solstice. If we are not connected to our Mabon, how will this occur? Part of this mythos is how it is essential to keep the Mabon alive.

Personal focus:

During the season of Mabon we focus upon our relationship with nature and the earth. We focus upon our stewardship and calling and purpose in our life; we focus upon our deepest emotions; we focus upon becoming more aware of synchronicities in our life and the quiet voice of Spirit; we focus upon developing our magical and intuitive abilities.

Ritual for the Autumn Equinox

Continuing to harvest and complete what has been created and worked upon. This might be done again by sharing what one is proud of and what they have accomplished and then acknowledging that. Ritualistically, descending into the underworld and bringing the Mabon back into this world. Sharing or focusing on what aspects of one's own child that you wish to bring back into this world for yourself. Celebrating the harvest by pouring wine or whisky upon the earth and spreading seed from the harvest upon the earth. Sharing of food and wine from the harvest. Calling in the earth good from the wilderness into the warmth of hearth and home, preparing for winter. This is symbolic of moving from the outer world towards the safety and security of the inner world. The inner world maybe the spiritual circle, one's friends, families, or one's own inner self.

The 8 Seasons of the Celtic Wheel of the Year

In Celtic Shamanistic Traditions, each of the different directions has different elemental and energetic and behavioral associations.


Begining about Nov. 1st -- Samhain is the Pagan New Year. It literally means "summer's end" in Irish Gaelic, and is the hallmark of the feminine half of the year. It is the time we honor those beloved who have died, particularly in the last year.

Winter Solstice (Yule)

Yule is the celebration of the rebirth of light. It is humanity's oldest celebration which honors the Goddess giving birth to her son - the God, the Sun, and the Light.

Brighid (Imbolc)

February 1st - Brighid honors the time just before spring, when the earth is preparing to burst forth in productivity. It is the time when ewe's milk begins to flow in preparation for birthing, a symbol of the mother's milk of the earth.

Vernal Equinox (Eostara)

Marks the shift from the lethargy and darkness of winter into the fruitfulness of Spring. The festival honors the time for new beginnings, as we travel into the light and action of spring, in gratitude for its warmth and light.


May 1st - Beltaine is the hallmark of the male part of the year, and honors the fecundity of earth. The God and Goddess are in sexual union - the maypole represents the phallus of the God planted in the Earth Goddess. The plants and flowers we lash to the maypole with ribbons represent the fertility of the Goddess. The festival celebrates vitality and passion - we cherish the joys life has to offer.

Summer Solstice (Litha)

A festival in honor of the sun, of passion, and of the ripeness of the earth. The Goddess and the earth are heavy with pregnancy. This is a time when sacred and magical plants are gathered, dried, and stored for the coming winter.

Lughnasad (Lammas)

August 1st - A time of thansgiving for the first fruits of the harvest. The God, a metaphor for the grain, is sacrificed - cut down in the fields to feed us. We make offerings of gratitude, ever mindful of the bounty the earth provides.

Autumnal Equinox (Mabon)

The light and darkness again are equal, but light grows less. The God, sacrificed in the harvest to nurture us, begins his journey into the Underworld. Mabon is a celebration of the completion of the harvest begun at Lughnasadh.