This week is Mabon! For all Witches, and with any sabbath, it’s a fun time to celebrate. So, I figured I’d put together a little guide for Mabon.
Mabon is also known as the Autumnal Equinox, when Night and Day are equal with each other. With Mabon, we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending darkness. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.
At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.
Symbolism of Mabon:
Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance.
Symbols of Mabon:
wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.
Herbs of Maybon:
Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, solomon’s seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables.
Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Incense of Mabon:
Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage.
Colors of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.
Stones of Mabon:
Sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates.
Activities of Mabon:
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.
Spellworkings of Mabon:
Protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance.
Deities of Mabon:
Goddesses-Modron, Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona and the Muses. Gods-Mabon, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, and The Green Man.
Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Considered a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hussle-bussle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing!
that has been related to occultisms are Gnoticism, Hermeticism, Satanism,
Luciferianism, Thelema and Neopaganism.
has been associated with witchcraft since a long time ago. Occultism itself is
actually just a term to indicate any believes that doesn’t fit in the category
of the existing religion (Christian, Buddhism, Hindu, Catholic, Islam). The
definition of Occult now however, has somehow narrowed to “deal with the Satan
first in Late Antiquity (2nd or 3rd centuries) based on
the writings of Hermes Trismegistus, a wise man and Egyptian priest (some also
say that it’s the Greek God Hermes and the Egyptian God Thoth). It has great influence
during the Renaissance.
to the belief, there were 3 parts of wisdom given by God to Hermes. They were
Alchemy, Astrology and Theurgy.
(sun): changing physical things
(moon): knowledge and wisdoms about the movements of planet influence earth
(stars): divine magic, in alliance with divine spirits such as angels,
archangels and Gods.
journey, Hermeticism was forced to become part of Medieval occult ovement by
the church that time. It once more came to popular after Leonardo republished
the book “Corpus Hermeticum”. Nowadays Hermeticism is strongly associated, or
even suggested as the origin of some of the basic ideas of modern witchcraft.
Hello! I was wondering if you could do a retelling of the birth of Hermes and the fight he gets into with Apollo for stealing his cattle?
OK, so I put this up to a public vote and this myth was by far the most popular choice, so here we go. If people don’t want to read a myth about a mouthy child prodigy stealing his half-brother’s cows, then press J on your keyboard now as this is going to be a long post. More info under the Read More, as always!
The story starts, as all good stories should, with a woman
giving birth in a cave. The woman in this instance is Maia, who is giving birth
to Zeus’ baby, because approximately 70% of all babies in Greek mythology
belong to Zeus. Once she’s popped the baby out, she’s like “well, it’s time for
a nap. Hermes, watch over yourself” and then she’s out like a light and Hermes
is left to stare at the walls or something.
After a few hours, Hermes gets really bored with living the
baby lifestyle, and so he decides to absolutely subvert the infant hegemony by
immediately learning how to walk. Like the freakish genius baby that he is, he
escapes from his swaddling and toddles all the way down to Pieria, where he
finds a whole field of cows. Immediately, he’s just like “sweet, I’ve always
wanted a whole field of cows” and starts stealing them. Being a complete
genius, he realises that he has to cover his tracks, so he finds a whole load
of cow-sized boots that are presumably just lying all about the place in
Ancient Greece, and he puts these boots on the cows and leads them away to a
little town called Pylos. As soon as Hermes has left, Apollo saunters into the field where he keeps his favourite cows, and when he notices that they’re gone, he drops to his knees dramatically and cries “I will have my vengeance, in this life or… well, the same life, thank goodness for immortality!” and he sweeps away in a haze of sunlight and glory.
Once he’s at Pylos, Hermes hides all the cows in the grotto,
when his little tummy starts rumbling. Apparently forgetting the fact that he’s
a newborn baby and absolutely should not be on solid foods at this point, he
decides to slaughter two of the cows as a sacrifice, and then he cooks up the
leftover meet with a little sage and probably some mixed herbs and a lovely red
wine roux. While he’s waiting for the meat to cook, he finds an adorable little
tortoise wandering around outside the cave, and immediately he’s like “awesome,
time to continue my sociopathic spree of animal slaughter” and he kills the
tortoise and cleans out the shell, stretching some of the cow hide and tendons
across it, and bam, he’s invented the lyre. After playing a few prodigal
ballads on his rad new instrument, he decides that he’s tired and it’s
absolutely time for a little nap and maybe a burp or two, and so he waddles
back home to Kyllene, where Maia, who is definitely not up for the mother of
the year award, doesn’t even realise that he’s been missing and is covered in cow entrails.
Meanwhile, Apollo is doing some absolutely stellar detective
work, probably whilst wearing his special detective hat, the one with the blue
ribbon around the brim which brings out the cornflower hue of his eyes, because
no-one steals Apollo’s cows and gets away with it. Seething with rage, he goes
into the heart of the town of Pylos, and to the first woman he sees, he’s like “look,
this is probably a really strange question, but have you by any chance seen a
shitload of cows?” and the woman nods, briefly dumbstruck by Apollo’s jawline,
and she says “this is probably a really strange answer, but I’m pretty sure I
saw a baby leading a really well-organised line of cattle wearing shoes right
through the heart of our fine town” and Apollo blinks and he’s like “shoes” and
the woman says “yes, without socks” and Apollo says “a baby” and the woman nods and
says “a human baby” and Apollo frowns and says “are you sure it was a baby
and not just a tiny bald man?” and the woman shakes her head and says “it was
definitely a baby, I don’t usually get confused between my infant son and my
withered grandfather” and Apollo just sighs and says “well, that’s really
thrown me for a loop, I have absolutely no idea who this nefarious baby could
possibly be” and the woman is like “judging by your cheekbones, I would say
that you’re probably a god, so why don’t you just use your whole divine science
mojo and get it over and done with?” and then Apollo blinks, briefly denying
the woman a glimpse of his azure gaze, and he’s like “that is the best idea I’ve
ever heard from a woman, I will do just that”
and so, Apollo taps into his super special psychic abilities,
and immediately he’s like “that goddamn little shit, I should’ve known it would
be a devious child of Zeus that did this, honestly all of Zeus’ kids are just
so terrible and badly behaved, he’s like a walking advertisement for vasectomies” and the
woman is like “but aren’t you a child of Zeus?” and Apollo just pushes her to
one side and he’s all “quiet, woman, I have a baby to physically overpower” and
then he’s off to Kyllene to fuck an infant up.
At Kyllene, Hermes is sitting in his crib, being really
adorable and cherubic and basically the epitome of everything a non-criminal
baby should be, when Apollo bursts in, stark and handsome against the bright
light outside the cave, and he’s like “arrest that baby! I have reason to
believe he has partaken in a bovine conspiracy” and Maia is like “you are aware
that he is literally three hours old?” and Apollo nods sagely and says “it’s a bitter pill to swallow but the
worst kind of criminals start young, now hand that baby over and no-one gets
hurt, except probably that baby” and then Hermes opens his little rosebud mouth
and says “you’ve got the wrong man, Apollo, this is madness” and he smirks
wryly and Maia’s mouth just falls open and she whispers “I’m getting Mensa on
the phone right now” but Apollo ignores her and hisses “you won’t get away with
this, Hermes, your one man crime spree is over” and Hermes just snorts and he’s
like “dude, I’m a baby, you won’t convince a jury” and Apollo narrows his eyes
and says “we’ll see about that, sunshine” and then Hermes just says “no, you’re sunshine” and then Apollo leaves
to go and do the mature thing, which is to call their dad.
When Zeus arrives, Apollo is like “you have to do something,
my incredibly recent half-brother has stolen all my favourite cows” and Zeus
sighs and he’s all “can’t your mother fix it?” and Apollo is like “his mother
isn’t the same as mine, dad, jeeze, I just said he was my half-brother” and
Zeus blinks and he’s like “oh yes, of course, you’re my son. Haha, I totally
knew that, son. Let’s go and sort this out, son” and Apollo is like “please
stop calling me ‘son’, it’s weird” and Zeus is like “I agree, we will never
speak of this again” and they go into the cave.
Immediately, Hermes just throws his little pudgy hands in
the air and says “whatever Apollo says I did, I didn’t do it” and Zeus narrows
his eyes and says “you’re both more verbose and defensive than the average
baby, aren’t you?” and Hermes is like “what can I say, I got some traits from
my dad” and then they make finger guns at each other and Apollo just starts
banging his head against the cave wall and says really wearily “my cows, dad”
and then Zeus clears his throat and tries to arrange his face into a serious
expression and says “son, what’s all this about Apollo’s cows?” and Hermes is
like “I didn’t steal them from under his nose and sacrifice some of them and
turn one of them into a lyre and plectrum” and Apollo just shouts “I can’t
believe what I’m hearing!” and Hermes scoffs and says “then fix your hearing, I
just said I didn’t do it” and Zeus is like “you totally did it, didn’t you” and
Hermes has the grace to look a bit bashful as well as proud and says “yeah, I
may have very slightly done it” and Zeus beams and turns to Apollo and he’s
like “are you kidding me? This absolutely fantastic baby of mine managed to
steal your cows and invented an entire musical instrument! This is better than
the time I stole a human male with the promise of cups” and Apollo just
whimpers and Zeus sighs and he’s like “right, Hermes, let’s stop your brother’s
bitching once and for all. Show me where you hid these cows” and Hermes whines “but
daaaaad” and Zeus is like “no buts, I am putting my foot down and temporarily
assuming the role of a father figure” and Apollo is like “you are literally our
father” and Zeus says “for the next few hours, yes” and before Apollo can make
a pithy rebuttal about parental responsibilities, Hermes is leading them to
As soon as they get to Pylos, Apollo just runs over to his
cows and starts hugging them, murmuring things like “don’t worry, papa’s here,
no-one’s going to hurt you now” and Zeus looks at Hermes and says “he’s getting
a bit Pasiphaë over this, isn’t he?” and Hermes is like “yeah, I’m starting to
worry that he’s going to try and get revenge on me somehow” and Zeus takes him
to one side and says “between you and me, son, I think you should apologise”
and Hermes is like “I literally cannot do that, it goes against all my ethics
as a spoilt brat, but I guess I could give him that sweet lyre I made from the
flesh of his pets” and Zeus is like “that’s an excellent idea, son, we’ll make
a diplomat of you yet”. So, Hermes goes over to Apollo and gives him the lyre,
and says “no hard feelings, bro?” and Apollo just blinks and asks “what is
that?” and Hermes is like “well, I tore the skin off your favourite cow and
made it into this really beautiful instrument” and Apollo is about to start
screaming when Hermes just holds up his hands and says “we can get into the
ethics of that later, but first, here’s Wonderwall” and he starts playing a
really haunting melody on this fantastic instrument, and when he’s finished,
Apollo just blinks and says “I want it” and Hermes is like “if you promise to
put this whole silly thing behind us, then it’s a deal” and Apollo is like “put
what whole silly thing behind us?” and Hermes is about to clarify when he sees
that Apollo is making a finger gun at him, and Hermes rolls his eyes and makes a
finger gun back, and Apollo says “bro” and Hermes says “bro” and
then Zeus is like “sons” and they all just hug it out in the beautiful scenic
fields of Pylos.
And then, many months later, Zeus promotes Hermes to the
role of his personal herald and messenger, because nothing says ‘employee of
the month’ quite like juvenile petty theft.
My other retellings can be found here; my dedicated mythology blog is here; and my Mythology Mondays Facebook page is here. The latter two links also allow you to follow my progress in writing a whole actual book. Thrilling.