Mabon: The Wheel of the Year: A Personal Experience

I feel tired and unforgiving with myself; the summer having been long and hard, hot and humid with little rain, atypical for the Sonoran Desert.  The summer and its rough energies threw at me lessons about my body and changes that were needed.  I spent the majority of the three month season, flat on my back, immobilized by pain from injury and apparent degenerative  disease that  finally caught up  to me. If I was not on my back, I was wrestling with my screaming figure in physical therapy sessions; being twisted and pulled, massaged and broken down to some how heal tissue that had had enough for various reasons.

The summer challenged me physically, financially, and most notably emotionally, thrusting me into existential and spiritual examination of my behaviors and attitudes toward myself.  I feel as if this has been the path since my cancer crisis three years ago.  Yes, I call it a crisis; it was a crisis, there were moments when I almost died; slipping away on the dining room floor of my house where I had collapsed, yet Spirit had a different plan for me and I rallied, getting myself to a phone and help.  I found myself in a similar situation and another ambulance ride to a hospital, the realization of it all coming full circle as I recovered.

The Chinese have a character in their writing for crisis; it is made up of two other characters: Opportunity and Danger.  I have returned to this knowledge again and again throughout my life, appreciating the Asian wisdom in putting these two characters together.  Yes, crisis for me has always reflected that wisdom and presented both opportunities and dangers to me.  I find that I make my greatest leaps of faith and growth in these situations, using the crisis as catalyst for change and evolution in my thinking and hopefully behavioral patterns.

I am emerging now as the fall nears, slowly stepping forward, shedding that part of myself that I no longer need and allowing it to wither and die like the leaves of the trees that endure this cycle annually.  I have much to learn from these trees. I must allow myself to be stripped bare of my outer ornamentations that hid me through the summer of my life; stand tall in my nakedness, viewing the architecture of my structure.  It is time to pull in my sap through the winter ahead and nourish myself on the much needed energy so that I may be pruned further just before the spring and awaken in my new form.

I see it so clearly now, as I approach the mid-point of my 46th year, the mid-point of my life, my Mabon season, my second harvest.  This is the time of balancing the energies.  This is still growing time, a third harvest ahead in my life as in the wheel of the year.  It is time to take an accounting of myself.  Mabon is the turning point in which we begin to come into the dark part of the year, of ourselves, introspection and self-care being the predominant themes.

I find myself naturally following this cycle, more aligned with the natural world than I realize. I understand perhaps for the first time this awareness on a deeper level, the understanding of the knowledge penetrating my darkest places of being.  It is a time of reaping what has been sown; I find that I need to care better for my physical body as I do for my emotional, energetic, and spiritual body, but those too were long journeys of pain and discovery.

It is a time of honoring and gratitude, as the Goddess passes from Mother to Crone; I find myself at this stage as well.  When I started my journey in the craft, I was as the Maiden, moving into the Mother phase of life.  I prepared myself by carving a candle and writing a spell to claim my power.  I think it is time again to revisit this as I find myself in this next phase, this time honoring myself in Mabon, a candle carved for gratitude and honoring my body, reclaiming it as I shift and continue to transition from Mother to Crone, transforming yet again as the wheel turns.

I am thankful for the insight and the opportunity to grow and change, having faced dangers again and survived. I nurture these new scars, badges of honor for the lessons learned and experienced.  As I slice an apple for Mabon, I’m going to take a moment to light my candle and say my spell of gratitude as I honor the structure of the star the Goddess placed within that fruit’s center to remind us of the energy we hold within us, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit; five points.  We are each that star, a beautiful structure within the delicious fruit of the universe. May you find honor, gratitude, and blessings this Mabon season.

2016 copyright by Katie Pifer

“Mabon” original Art by Debi Wolf Reeves




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