The Autumnal Equinox
Also known as Harvest Home, or Michaelmas, Mabon marks the final death of the Vegetation God. The spirit of the corn was often though to leap from sheaf to sheaf, escaping the sickles of the harvesters, until one single sheaf was left standing. This sheaf was treated with great respect, left until ritually cut and carried in to preside over the feasting, often tied into human form and dressed. The sheaf was then either burned (potentially serving as the origin of the wickerman tradition) or kept until the planting season of the next year, where it was buried in the field as insurance that fertility and growth would also return.
Mabon is the second harvest festival in the Wheel of the Year, following Lughnassadh and preceding Samhain. Like Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, it marks the balance point of light and dark as the days grow shorter and the nights gain length. Hence, it too is a festival of balance, but one which focuses more on introspection regarding the past year, and what one intends to "harvest" from those seeds of activity sown at Ostara.
Mabon is the Pagan equivalent of Thanksgiving, and is usually marked by large feasts, preserving, and canning. The modern term "Mabon" is derived from a Welsh god called Mabon ap Modron. Mabon, known as "the son of the mother" or "the son of light," has his journey chronicled in the Mabinogion. In it, he is captured at three days old, then rescued from imprisonment as an adult by Arthur and his men (as told in "Kilhweh and Olwen (or Twrch Trwyth)"). The concept of the newness of life incubating before being released is an important one on the eve of winter: although we currently gather the fruits of our labours, a season of quiet and dormancy is necessary before the cycle can begin again.
Correspondences:Colors: Brown, Burgundy, Gold, Maroon, Orange, Purple, Red, Russet, Scarlet.
Gemstones: Carnelian, Chrysoprase, Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire, Turquoise, Yellow Agate.
Decorations: Acorns, Apples, Dried Seeds, Dried Flowers, Dried Leaves, Gourds, Grains, Grapes, Horns of Plenty, Indian Corn (Sqwa), Pine Cones, Pomegranates, Vine Wreaths.
Deities: Bona Dea, Epona, The Green Man, Hermes, Kore, Mabon, Modron, Morgan, The Muses, Demeter and Persephone, Pamona, Sky Father, Thoth, Thor.
Foods & Offerings: Apples, Baked Squash, Beer, Cider, Dried Fruits and Beans, Foods Breads, Grains (Oats, Barley, Wheat), Seeds, Nuts, Pomegranates, Pumpkins, Wine, and Vegetables such as Potatoes, Carrots, & Onions.
Herbs: Cinnamon, Frankincense, Myrrh, Pine, Pumpkin, Sage.
Scents: Cinnamon, Myrrh, Pumpkin, Sage, Pine.
Spells: Equality, Groundings, Harmony, Prosperity, Security, Celebration of the Second Harvest, Protection, Prosperity, Security, Self-Confidence, Harmony, Balance, the Mysteries.