Mabon (Autumn Equinox) is the second of the three harvest festivals on the Witches’ Wheel of the Year. This brings the gathering of the fruits of wood and orchard, of pumpkins and root vegetables. It is a time of thanksgiving, a time to honor Earth’s bounty. Autumn Equinox heralds a time when day and night are equal – in balance. As such, this time of thanksgiving, to me, means more than merely saying thank you, but also maintaining balance by giving back for the blessings I have received.
My Mabon celebration started the weekend prior. I am blessed with the companionship of a lovable black labrador retriever, named Mollie. To give back for our blessings, Mollie and I attended the PCS Petwalk at Norfolk County Agricultural High School to benefit a local animal shelter. The weather was perfect for the event – clear and sunny, not too warm, not too cool. We made a donation to the shelter and walked the three miles of trails through the grounds of the school, along with some newly made two and four-legged friends.
To further my Mabon celebration, on Autumn Equinox itself, what better way than to immerse myself in the farmlands, in the midst of the harvest bounty?
I invited a friend to visit Davis’ Farmland in Sterling, MA. At this time of year, Davis’ Farmland attractions include apple picking in the orchard, and the Mega Maze; a three-dimensional maze carved out of one of the farm’s cornfields. The theme and shape of the maze changes every year. To give you an idea of what it looks like, below is an aerial view of the maze I tackled for Mabon a couple of years ago. This was The Wild West maze, which took on the shape of a sheriff’s badge.
This year’s theme was “Lost Vegas”. Below is the early concept art from the planning stages of this year’s maze.
Davis’ Mega Maze is a great place to wander with a friend (or two, or more!), as well as with the family. With play areas for the kids and picnic tables along the way for resting, you could spend the whole day exploring the maze. To increase the level of difficulty, you can play one or more of the numerous games. You receive a game card and pencil prior to entry. The card contains 12 trivia questions, the answers to which are posted in random locations throughout the maze. Additional games for this year’s theme include “bridge bingo” (get the appropriate punch on your game card upon crossing each bridge), and/or find the five “lucky charms” hidden in the maze, and more!
We found our way to the victory bridge (which leads out of the maze) purely by accident, in about an hour & 15 minutes. (We were actually looking for the snack shack in the middle to get some cold water at this point.) So back in we went to try to complete a couple of the games. Alas, we only found answers to 8 of the trivia questions, and we only managed to cross 5 of the 7 bridges before deciding we had been “lost” long enough for one day. Sure, then try to find our way to victory bridge again, on purpose this time! 🙂
But that gives you a better idea of just how big this maze really is – about three hours of enjoying the adventure, and we didn’t manage to get to every bridge, or locate every path, nook or cranny. I couldn’t have asked for a better day – the weather was perfect for spending time outdoors enjoying great fun, great company, and a challenge to the mind (not to mention the feet!)
Before returning home for a small solitary ritual at my altar, which was decorated for the occasion, I stopped at the apple orchard for some fresh apples. Hmmmm….what shall I make during this beautiful Harvest Moon? …Pie? …Turnovers? Whatever it is, I won’t be able to eat it all myself, so in sharing the bounty with others, my coworkers will be happy. 🙂
My deepest thanks to those special friends – you know who you are! 😉 – who shared in my Mabon activities this year. I enjoyed turning the wheel with you!
Photo by: Zsaj
And Harvest Blessings to all!