Named after the Welsh god of mythology, the autumn equinox celebrates the time of equal days and nights. For those of you that notice, it is the turning point in the year when the wind shifts and the weather changes. Mabon is the child of light and a pre Christian Celtic god. Also known as Maponos where Roman inscriptions have been found dedicated to him in Northern Britain where he is linked to the youthful god Apollo.
The Shining One
Mabon is the Shining One, once abducted from his mother as a babe and kept in the darkness for many years. Thus he, as the light, disappears from the world to reappear at the winter solstice and the lightening days. He is linked to Arthurian legend and the oldest animal in the world the salmon, providing a link to water as well as light. With the canal to one side and the church on the mound on the other the Oak Tree is balanced between the two. Ball lightening has been seen above the church and in the sixteen hundreds the church was struck by lightning during a service, killing several members of the congregation. The light-that-shines or light-that-burns depending on the balance of things. When we are out of balance we cause damage such as that done to the Oak by the lighting of the fire. We have the wisdom of the world at our finger tips yet it seems that we only want to imprison the light rather than set it free.
The Gentle Oak
The gentle Oak shows us that balance is possible. The story of Mabon is a warning of what happens when we don't keep that balance in our lives. We shut our inner child away and all chance of inspiration and joy in our lives. So it is that a part of ourselves is left grieving like Mabons' mother for the child lost. At the Autumn equinox the light and dark are in balance but the nights are about to overshadow the days.
The Two Sides of Darkness
We can look at the darkness in two ways. One is to see it as negative, a source of gloom and doom. The other way is to see it as a necessary part of the cycle of life. The time when deciduous trees rest and many animals hibernate. The world goes much quieter. This then can be a time of rest and contemplation. Withdrawing from the business of the world so our inner self can rest and recuperate.
Balance and the shining light
The point then is balance. Too much of either isn't helpful. In this mindfulness about where we are at, how things are balanced in our branches, is helpful. In this way we can continue to cultivate the Mabon of our inner joy and inspiration, holding the light as the oak does.
If you would like to support volunteer run AST sustainable tree planting and rewilding please visit our shop for ecards, teeshirts, tree planting certificates and more. You can purchase a personalised tree planting certificate for just £5 that will plant 10 trees in the Tropics or the UK.
Jack In The Green is also planting a tree for every £5 spent on ethical gifts.
AST tree planting membership and more coming soon