This date is the one where I technically acknowledge Mabon, though the actual equinox may fall at some other point. In my internal mythos – one seemingly not matched elsewhere – the God dies at this time, and is mourned by his wife. I’ve come to associate male death with Mabon anyway; my maternal grandfather died at this time of year. And you can be sure I will be thinking tearfully of my father, whom I lost shortly after Easter to leukemia.
In Mabon, my understanding has been that the God dies so that the people can live. It is typically a metaphor for the land going fallow, for the plants that, when harvested, then have to die back whether or not that fruit has been taken. It is also a quiet explanation that life feeds on life: for any entity to live, something else living, whether or plant or animal, must usually die. This in no way accounts for dairy.
For me, it’s always a melancholy time: I’m watching the lovely life of spring and summer wither away, and yet I’m strangely looking forward to the winter and the closeness and closed-ness it brings. I sometimes wonder that I don’t mourn enough. I’m a celebrant, deep down, and even with my significant loss this year I’ve had much to celebrate in terms of conquering my own inner problems. I started 2009 with friends remarking on what a “good place” I was in. And while some might argue that my father’s death ruined that “good place” I really think that starting from that good place – and having the supportive friends on my side that I did – was the main thing that got me through all of it. Yes, that good place isn’t such a good place now, but it’s like an emergency savings account: I drew on those resources while I had them, and now I need to replenish them.
The fall and winter will be all about rebuilding those inner resources, and remembering my father with love. I hope that next Mabon the losses are smaller, the harvest is bigger and that my love expands so that I can share with you here the products of my creation.