On the Calendar
Of course, we can’t forget acorns. Through the centuries, people have marveled at how a small seed can produce such an amazingly large tree. For more information about the oak, refer to the entry in “June.”
Use an acorn in spells to manifest what you need. Carry one for protection or place several on a windowsill to protect your home. An acorn on your altar during ritual or meditation aids in connecting with ancient wisdom. Place three acorn cups (the top of the nut) in a row on a kitchen windowsill and ask for abundance, blessings, and love for your home and family. Leave several acorn cups in your garden with gifts for fairies.
September 22/23: Mabon/Autumn Equinox
Mabon is a celebration of the beauty and bounty of the earth and a time to pause and give thanks. In the past, the autumn harvest was a series of celebrations that took place in the fields as each crop was successfully taken in. The most well-known component of these celebrations was creating a corn dolly from the last sheaf of grain.
As previously mentioned, corn in this regard refers to grain crops in general and not maize. Most often the traditional corn dolly was not in human form. Instead, stalks with seed heads attached were braided and twisted into various shapes, decorated with flowers, and tied with ribbons. The corn dolly symbolically held the spirit of the grain and was usually kept in the home until spring when it was put into the first-plowed furrow along with seeds. The corn dolly also represented the cycle from life to death and eventual new life.
To make a simple corn dolly, you will need three pieces of straw with the seed heads attached. Soak the stalks in water overnight so they will be pliable and can be bent without breaking. Tie them together with a piece of thick thread an inch or so below the seed heads. Braid the stalks together but leave about a third of the stalks unbraided at the bottom. Tie another piece of thread around the stalks to keep the braid in place. Bring both ends of the braided section together to create a loop and secure it with another piece of thread. Lay it flat and spread out the ends, alternating the seed heads between the stalk ends. Place a light weight on it to keep it flat as it dries. Add a ribbon along with a few dried flowers or sprigs of herbs to finish it.
Figure 30. A simple corn dolly can be made with three stalks of straw.
Like Lammas, loaves of bread made with newly cut grain were important at Mabon. Place nuts, fruit, leaves, straw stalks, ivy, and fresh-baked bread on your altar as you celebrate the harvest and give thanks.
September 30: The Celtic Month of Ivy Begins
Ivy is associated with the Goddess because it grows in a spiral, which is one of her symbols. Use ivy on your altar to symbolize your spiritual journey through the wheel of the year: in winter we follow the spiral of energy down and within, and in the spring we follow it back up into the light for our own symbolic rebirth.