September 2009 Mabon: The Second Harvest
Handfastings.org News and Views
We've moved!
A New Home Base

Handfastings.org has moved its home base from New York to Connecticut.  The content of the website & newsletter will not be affected due to its international presence - except for the fact that the move pushed our newsletter back one month, so we missed the August issue (sorry!).   But we're back on track with our Mabon issue this month - so sit back, relax, pour a cup of hot cider with mulled spices and enjoy!
Welcome Officiants!

Newly Listed Officiants

Johnny Erato, handfasting officiantMelissa Vennel, handfasting officiant

This month we welcome Johnny Erato of Long Island, NY (left),
Melissa Vennel of California (right),
Rev. Diane Louchart of Michigan, Rev. Shelaine Hamby of Kansas -our first listing in Kansas! (and soon to also be performing weddings in Missouri), and Maureen A. Davis, Justice of the Peace in Connecticut (my new home state!).

Mabon - The Autumn Equinox
Fall into the harvest!

Our Second Harvest
The sunlight wanes as we welcome the turning of the Sacred Wheel - taking us deeper into Life's mysteries.  Some of us in these northern parts move our long-sleeved shirts to the front of the closet as we anticipate the coming winds of change.  

mabon harvest cornucopiaMabon, a Pagan celebration of the Autumnal Equinox, is the Esbat that falls in between the first and third harvests of Lughnasad and Samhain (respectively).  Mabon marks the halfway point between Litha (Midsummer) and Yule (Midwinter) when our earth is aligned with the sun.  This is the second time of the year that the days and nights are equal in light and dark (the other is at the opposite of the Wheel of the Year, on Ostara, or Spring Equinox).  

After today, the nights grow longer.  Introspection, hearth, and comfort begin to take center stage for this Autumnal Equinox.  We wander through the labyrinth of apple trees at dusk and pick our sweet discoveries.  We drink tea infused with warm cinnamon and clove much to the delight of our accepting bellies.    

This is a coming home of sorts, and these are our first fruits of the harvest, following the grains of July's Lughnasad.  It is time to fill our cornucopias with the gifts of Mother Earth as we harvest - and enjoy - the fruits of our labor.  

There are many ways to honor the Gods and Goddesses of Mabon (named for the Celtic God of harvest and, you guessed it folks, fertility) and to pay homage to the turning of the wheel.   Make incense using rose oil, sandalwood, cinnamon and lavender. Spike your applesauce with clove and red chili pepper.  Create a ritual with a homecoming theme.  There are many ways to enjoy the coming season; may you have a wonderful Mabon!

The Magic of Apples
by Shira

The Enchanting Fruit

apple magic

Apples are arguably the most storied of fruits.  The flower of the welcoming apple tree, this sweet crop has had an illustrious history, inspiring fairy tales, legends, biblical script and magical lore.  

With its windy limbs growing low to the ground, the apple tree reaches out to welcome us, inviting people to climb its short trunk and pick its fruit.  We empathize with its approachable stature and share our excitement with it as we take a bite from its crisp, satisfying gift.  Like its tree, the apple holds an emotional component.  We round up the family to go apple picking and the fruit becomes a part of our day and our memories.  We share the fruit with our teachers as apples are a symbol of knowledge.  We use the fruit to celebrate our varied customs and ceremonies.  Apples also have a long history of use in divination, especially to foretell the future in matters of love and prosperity.

appleApples are enchanting - it is the fruit that holds charming powers to anyone who receives it as a gift from a loved one.  The apple is actually a part of the rose family and carries similar symbolism.  During a handfasting, the bride and groom may hand each other a red apple as a symbol of the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life.  Like the rose ceremony at a wedding, the exchanging of the apples (instead of roses) can symbolize the "love" in "I Love You."  Handing an apple to your soon-to-be-spouse is appropriate as your first gift to one another: the gift of love - and highly appropriate if the wedding falls around the Autumnal Equinox.
On the Altar

Mabon Oil
Use this oil to bless yourself or your altar items during your Mabon rite.

Combine equal parts of hazelnut and almond oil. Add a pinch of marigold leaves, some broken or crushed walnut shells, a pinch of oak leaves, a few drops of cinnamon oil, an acorn, and one stone ruled by the sun (such as yellow topaz, citrine, tiger's eye, or amber).  

Stir three times in a clockwise motion, saying, "Goddess and God of this Mabon harvest, may this oil bring in goodness and hearthly protection.  Blessed be."

The altar and circle can be decorated with autumn leaves, gourds, berries, pine and cypress cones, acorns, oak sprigs, pomegranates and other fruits of the season.  Have your Mabon oil handy for consecration and anointment. 

tree shaking hands

Missed any past emails?  Visit our email archive here.

Link back to Handfastings.org.  If we've added your website to our officiant list, or even if you just really dig our site, link back to Handfastings.org.  The more reciprocal links the better!

Handfastings.org wants to know what you think.  Please email me at shira@handfastings.org and let me know if you have any suggestions, ideas, or corrections.  I'm all ears.

As always, Handfastings.org remains a free service to all.  I look forward to hearing back from you.  

Mission Statement
The mission of Handfastings.org is to link people in the Pagan and Wiccan communities with ordained officiants who perform Handfastings, Wedding Ceremonies, Commitment Ceremonies, Sacred Unions and other Rites of Passage and celebrations.

Love and Light,
Shira's signature
Artemisia Shira Tarantino

Joining Hearts in Perfect Love™
Contact Information
email: shira@handfastings.org
website: www.handfastings.org

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