Last minute modron miniatures for tomorrow’s game. Unfortunately don’t have time to paint them up, but they’ll do in a pinch.
I’ve always loved modrons, not so much for their roots in D&D and Planescape, but for their general weirdness. They look like a 3rd grader’s doodle that someone turned into a monster, and their “unrealness” is equally adorable as it is unnerving.
Autumn Equinox, around September 21, is the time of the descent of the Goddess into the Underworld. With her departure, we see the decline of nature and the coming of winter.
This is a classic, ancient mythos, seen the Sumerian myth of Inanna and in the ancient Greek and Roman legends of Demeter and Persephone.
In September, we also bid farewell to the Harvest Lord who was slain at Lammas. He is he Green Man, seen as the cycle of nature in the plant kingdom. He is harvested and his seeds are planted into the Earth so that life may continue and be more abundant.
Mabon (Great Son) is a Welsh god. He was a great hunter with a swift horse and a wonderful hound. He may have been a mythologized actual leader. He was stolen from his mother, Modron (Great Mother), when he was three nights old, but was eventually rescued by King Arthur (other legends say he was rescued by the
Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle, and the Salmon). All along, however, Mabon has been dwelling, a happy captive, in Modron’s magickal Otherworld – Madron’s womb. Only in this way can he be reborn.
Mabon’s light has been drawn into the Earth, gathering strength and wisdom enough to become a new seed. In this sense, Mabon is the masculine counterpart of Persephone – the male fertilizing principle seasonally withdrawn.
Modron corresponds with Demeter.
From the moment of the September Equinox, the Sun’s strength diminishes, until the moment of Winter Solstice in December, when the Sun grows stronger and the days once again become longer than the nights.
Symbols celebrating the season include various types of gourd and melons.
Stalk can be tied together symbolizing the Harvest Lord and then set in a circle of gourds.
A besom can be constructed to symbolize the polarity of male and female.
The Harvest Lord is often symbolized by a straw man, whose sacrificial body is burned and its ashes scattered upon the earth.
The Harvest Queen, or Kern Baby, is made from the last sheaf of the harvest and bundled by the reapers who proclaim, “We have the Kern!”
The sheaf is dressed in a white frock decorated with colorful ribbons depicting spring, and then hung upon a pole (a phallic fertility symbol).
In Scotland, the last sheaf of harvest is called the Maiden, and must be cut by the youngest female in attendance.
* candles should be red, orange or brown.
* decorate the altar with autumn flowers, acorns, gourds, corn sheaves and fall leaves.
Mabon Magickal Herbs
Rue, yarrow, rosemary, marigold, sage, walnut leaves and husks, mistletoe, saffron, chamomile, almond leaves, passionflower, frankincense, rose hips, bittersweet, sunflower, wheat, oak leaves, dried apple or apple seeds.
Pine, sage, sweetgrass or myrhh.
You can also mix marigold, passionflower, and fern, using frankincense or myrhh as a resin for Mabon incense
Mabon Magickal Stones
During Mabon, stones ruled by the Sun will help bring the Sun’s energy to you. Clear quartz, amber, peridot, diamond, gold, citrine, yellow topaz, cat’s-eye, adventurine.
Mabon is a good time to cast spells of balance and harmony. It’s also a time of change.
Protection, wealth and prosperity spells are appropriate as well.
Mabon is the Witch’s Thanksgiving, a time to appreciate and give thanks to the Goddess for her bounty and to share in the joys of the harvest. Fall fruits, squash, gourds, pumpkins, grains, nut breads, vegetables.
A magickal Mabon beverage: hot apple cider.
Apple rules the heart, cider alone is a self-love potion. By spicing it with cinnamon, ruled by Jupiter and the Sun, we are in essence, ingesting the sunlight.
At this point on the Wheel of the Year, we choose to celebrate the universal story of Mabon, which has been passed down to us from the ancient proto-Celtic oral tradition. Mabon ap Modron, meaning “son,” or “son of the mother,” is the Young Son, Divine Youth, or, Son of Light. Just as the September Equinox marks a significant time of change, so, too, does the birth of Mabon. Modron is his mother, the Great Goddess, Guardian of the Otherworld, Protector and Healer. She is Earth itself.
From the moment of the September Equinox, The Sun’s strength diminishes, until the moment of the Winter Solstice in December, when the Sun grows stronger and the days once again become become longer than the nights. Mabon also disappears, taken at birth when only three nights old. His mother is in sweet lament. And though his whereabouts are veiled in mystery, Mabon is eventually freed with the help of the wisdom and memory of the most ancient of living animals- the Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle and the Salmon. His seeker asks the ritual question of each totem animal: “Tell me if thou knowest aught of Mabon, the son of Modron, who was taken when three nights old from between his mother and the wall?”
All along, however, Mabon has been dwelling, a happy captive, in Modron’s magical Otherworld- Modron’s womb. It is a nurturing and enchanted place, but also one filled with challenges. Only in so powerful a place of renewable strength can Mabon be reborn as his mother’s champion, the source of Joy and Son of Light. Mabon’s light has been drawn into the Earth, gathering strength and wisdom enough to become a new seed.
To understand the themes of Mabon’s story is to accept the reality and significance of an archetypal world. The archetypes of Mabon and Modron are first forms or first models that allow us to consider information not strictly measurable by machines or the physical senses. They transcend the boundaries of convention and can travel, as the entire pantheon of Goddesses and Gods travels, between the worlds. Witches, like the Celts, who also practiced Witchcraft, have a deeply held sense of coexistent, multiple time dimensions. There are many cycles of time, and many of the cycles overlap. We believe in our history, but we also believe in the presence of truth outside of time.
The story of Mabon and Modron, because it is archetypal, echoes through all ages and is for all beings of all religions in all worlds. There are many Mabons and many Modrons. The Greek God Apollo shares many of Mabon’s characteristics. Mabon’s Gaulish title is Maponus. Mabon was celebrated along Hadrian’s Wall, and there is new evidence that he was honored long before the arrival of the Vikings in North America! Although much was changed, aspects of Mabon and Modron are found in the later Jewish and Christian Religions.
Each of our cultural identities comes from how we interpret and position ourselves in the narratives of the past. During the September Equinox, this dramatic moment of cosmic balance as well as change, we honor Mabon and the Great Goddess, his mother, Modron, in ritual.
(Source: Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition by Laurie Cabot and Jean Mills)
“The Welsh say, “She is casting rain,” not “It is raining,” and in
Pwyll’s day men still knew why. Rain and sun, crops and wombs of beasts
and women, all were ruled by that old, mysterious Goddess from whose
own womb all things had come in the beginning. The wild places were
Hers, and the wild things were Her children. Men of the New Tribes,
Pwyll’s proud golden warrior-kind, left her worship to women, made
offerings only to their Man-Gods, who brought them battle and loot. But
now Pwyll began to wonder if those hunters were right who said that all
who went in to the woods to slay her horned and furry children should
first make offerings to Her, and promise not to kill to many. So folk
of the Old Tribes had always done.”
–excerpted from Prince of Annwn by Evangeline Walton
I’m working on a new piece of Goddess embroidery inspired by Evangeline Walton’s novelizations of The Mabinogian. I just finished Prince of Annwyn in which the goddess Modron (Mother) is a primary character.
In the design I’m working on right now her head is a sun symbol, her torso is rain fall, and her skirt the sown field motif, symbolizing the fertility of both the fields and women. From her head sprouts the Tree of Life.
Take 1 of wearing a suit without a tie (See Take 2 & Take 3)
This weeks Friday challenge on Style Forum is to dress down a suit, i.e. to wear a suit without a tie.
It may sound easy. It’s not. At least not if you want to look somewhat coherent. Most people do the “business casual” take on it, just wearing their worsted business suits, shirts with cutaway or spread stiff collar and simply loose the tie. I mean, sure, go ahead, but it will look exactly like what it is: A guy who’s taken off his tie - an incomplete look.
I don’t usually hand out advice, mainly because there are other guys out there who are way better at articulating the finer nuances of #menswear rules and tips than I.
I’ll make an exception today. Because this is a look that intrigues me, and that I’ve experimented a whole lot with. A look, about which I may just have gathered some knowledge worth sharing.
When going tie-less I’ll pick out a suit with one, or all, of these qualities:
Non business fabric, e.g. tweed, cotton, linen, flannel, fresco et c.
A non structured or soft construction.
I will wear a turtle neck, or a shirt with one, or several, of these qualities:
Casual fabric, e.g. Oxford cotton, chambray, pique or any type of knitted shirt with a collar et c.
Casual collar, e.g. several different types of collars that lack tie space, button down collar et c. I think there are several collars that look good without a tie, as long as it’s not an extreme cutaway, or a collar with a tie space.
Colour. A white shirt can look good in this context, but white is hard wired into my brain as a formal shirt colour. Therefore I’d rather go with light blue, pink, khaki et c.
I quite like the look of a good pair of black oxfords. But for this look I’ll usually go for boots, derbies or monks. More often than not, the shoes will be brown.
I think this type of look opens up for a wide variety of accessories, such as non solid scarves, caps et c.
Mabon (Also Mapon, Maponus)- A Celtic sun God of prophesy, he is associated with light and the wild chase or ritual hunt. As the son of Modron, he is the great son (sun) of the Great Mother. He is taken from her when he is three days old. Called “The Son of Light” or “The Divine Son”, he represents youthfulness, sex, love, and magick, and enjoys playing tricks. Associated with Myrddin and later Christ, his symbols are the boar, mineral springs, and the lyre.
Macha- A powerful Irish threefold sun Goddess of war, fertility, and ritual games, she was wife of Nemed and consort of Nuada; called the “Sun Woman.” Ancestress of the Red Branch, Macha is a Queen of Ireland, daughter of Ernmas, and granddaughter of Net. Her body is that of an athlete, and her symbols are the horse, raven, and crow.
Mebd (Also Maeve, Mab)- A Goddess of sovereignty, she is the good queen call The Warrior Queen. She is the Faery Queen and Queen of Connaught. She runs faster than a horse, while carrying animals and birds on her arms and shoulders. She also carries a spear and shield.
Mei (Also Mai, Meia)- An Earth and sun Goddess, similar to Rosemerta, she is the mother of Gwalchmei.
Modrona (Also Modron, Madrona, Matrona)- A Goddess associated with Coventina, Morgana, Vivian, and Dechtire, she is an aspect of the All Mother. The Great Goddess and Mother of Mabon or “Light”.
Morgana- A Goddess of war, fertility, and magick, she is the Death Mother and Queen of Death. Born of the sea, she is the daughter of Llyr and Anuand, a powerful shapeshifter. She is beautiful and sensuous. Her symbols are trees along shorelines, especially cypress trees, seashells, ravens and crows.
Morrigan (Also Morrigana)- She is called the Great Queen, Sea Queen, and the Great Sea Mother. As a powerful Goddess of wisdom and the sea, she is associated with the queen’s rod of command, sand dollars, ocean vegetation, manta rays and whales.
Morrigu- A Goddess of death, life, music, and magick, she is called the Dark Gray Lady. She protects sailors and the shores of Erin and plays a harp made of silver, shell and pearl.
Myrddin- A sun and Earth God, Fire of Earth, he is a God of the woodlands, nature, and mirth. A Sky-God associated with stones, caves, crystals, and magick, as well as herbs, natural mineral deposits, and pure water springs, his symbols are the wild rose and sweet water springs. He plays a flute whose sound makes you want to dance.
Nantosuelta- A Goddess of abundance associated with Sucellos; she is a river Goddess. She holds a dove house on a pole in one hand, and carried a bakers paddle.
Nemetona- A warrior Goddess of the oak grove, she is the great protectress of the sacred nematon. Also a patron of thermal springs, her symbols are oak groves, a ram, and a spear made of ash with a tip of silver.
Nimue (Also Niniane, Niviene, Nymenche)- An Earth and Water Goddess and a young aspect of the Bright All Mother, she is a Goddess of lakes also known as the Lady of the Lake, maker and keeper of Excalibur, King Arthur’s sword. She is consort, student, and teacher to Myrddin. She created the river, Ninian, that originates in the Cotes-d’ Armor in Brittany. Her symbols are a white-silver sword, underwater caves, swans, swallows, and quartz and crystalline formations.
Nodens- A God of sleep, dreams, and dream magick, he is a God of the Otherworld.
Nwyvre- A God of the ether, stars, and space, he is also a God of celestial sciences, astronomy, and astrology. Consort to Arianrhod, his symbol is the nine-pointed star.
(Source: Exploring Celtic Druidism by Sirona Knight)