The Wheel Of The Year: Celebrating Mabon

Celebrate Mabon, the Wiccan Wheel of the Year holiday that honors gratitude and the gifts of harvest.
Publish date:
Image Credit: Jen CK Jacobs

Image Credit: Jen CK Jacobs

Our Spirituality Editor, Jen CK Jacobs, is guiding us through the eight primary holidays that make up The Wheel of the Year, all inspired by the earth and its natural cycles. Read her introduction to The Wheel of the Year here, and then celebrate Mabon with us below.

Light is such a beautiful metaphor for so many aspects of our existence. As many of us were able to experience a few weeks ago during the solar eclipse, sun and shadow can reverberate powerful energy anywhere we so choose to send that magic. 

Summer is waning, and with it, the light. Our days are just beginning to shorten so that the day now equals the night and depending on where you live, you may notice a subtle shift in the air as well. Historically, this time of year marks the second harvest and in the Northern Hemisphere, on the evening of Friday, September 22nd, we will welcome the Autumn Equinox, also called Mabon.

While Samhain marks the New Year of the Wheel of the Year, we will begin our journey together with Mabon. Above all else, this is a celebration of gratitude and a time to seek balance in your life – like the now equal marriage of day to night. When people once relied solely on the harvest they brought in to nourish them throughout the winter, it was part of their ancient rituals to give thanks for such abundance. Today, unless we live completely off of the land, we can simply walk or drive to the nearest market to replenish our stores. But taking a moment to thank the Mother Earth, and those that tirelessly work her fields to bring us such bounty is important; not only for your spiritual health, but also because the light of kindness and gratitude will catch flame and burn bright in the world as a whole.

Ask yourself what are you most grateful for this fall. How do you celebrate or honor gratitude? Perhaps you meditate or journal, or perhaps you give service to your community. Take time to honor yourself and be grateful for the body, spirit and voice you were given to do good work in this world. And take time to honor those you love. (Ultimately, what we need in this world is simply more love.) 

Invite friends and family to join you in a Day of Gratitude on September 22nd by sharing something with each other that you are thankful for. Perhaps it’s the way your daughter always kisses both of your cheeks when you say goodnight, or maybe it’s that a certain friend always seems to know when you need to hear her voice. If you have the means, gather your loved ones in an outdoor celebration that evening for a potluck feast. One of my favorite ways of showing people how much I love them is by cooking for them, nourishing them and giving them a place at my table to rest their weary bodies.

As we wander the orchards plucking apples from their branches this fall, keep the below recipes in mind as a way to say “thank you” at the end of your feast. Double the apple butter recipe and divide the leftovers between small jars as a parting gift for your friends.



  • 6-7 apples (I love organic Cortlands – they hold their shape beautifully), cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Apple, Rosemary and Wine Apple Butter (see below)
  • 3 tablespoon butter, cubed
  • one pie crust (see below)


1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Place the apple slices in a large bowl.

3. Butter and lightly flour a tart or pie dish.

4. Roll out the pie dough (recipe below) and transfer to the pie dish.

5. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Then add to the apples. Mix well so that all the apples are evenly coated.

6. Add the apple, rosemary and wine butter (recipe below) to the apple bowl and again ensure everything is completely coated. I find it's easiest to use my hands as opposed to a utensil here.

7. Add the apples to the prepared pie dish. Fit them in tightly, so they are a bit snug. Dot the apples with about half of the butter cubes.

8. Use the remaining apples to create a fanned pattern on top of the pie; then, dot the top of the pie with the remaining butter. Place the pie on a baking sheet (just in case it bubbles over) and slide into the oven for 45-55 minutes. When done, the top should be golden and you should see the filling bubbling. Serve with laughter, light and gratitude!


This apple butter adds a perfect zing to the above pie, but it’s equally delicious when spread on toast, spooned into oatmeal or used in any other way you might use a fruit jam.


  • 5 pounds of apples (again, I like organic Cortlands, and I don't peel mine, but you can if you wish)
  • lemon juice
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dry rosemary
  • salt


1. In a large pot, combine the wine and cider over medium heat.

2. Mix the cinnamon, cloves and rosemary together, and add to the pot.

3. Core and chop up the apples and then add to the pot. Cover the pot partially and leave on medium to high heat until it begins to boil; squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into the pot (mind the seeds!) and a dash of salt then turn to simmer and leave it for at least two hours, stirring occasionally.

Note: You should learn to always taste as you're cooking – it helps train your palette and can save you from having to start over once finished. If it's not sweet enough for you, add a bit of honey; if the flavors lack a little depth, add a bit more cinnamon and touch of salt. Experiment a little – make it yours.

4. When it starts to look like a mushy, thick applesauce, pour it into a food processor and blend until you achieve your desired consistency. If you like really chunky apple butter, you can skip this step entirely and sort of mix and mash with a wooden spoon or spatula.

5. Once done, if not used in the above pie, pour the sauce into clean hot mason jars fresh from the dishwasher and seal them. (I'm no canning expert; moreover we eat ours too quickly to worry about storage. But if you want to save your apple butter for later, look into official canning rules.)


Every great pie deserves a great piecrust. And this is a great piecrust. I usually make several at the beginning of the season and freeze the discs. When you are ready to use them, let them thaw for a few hours at room temperature, and they will be ready to roll.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 9 tablespoon organic salted butter (VERY cold and cubed)
  • 3 tablespoon ice water


1. Add the flour, salt and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Cover the bowl and process. 

2. Once the butter is fully incorporated, pour the water through the hole on the top of the lid. 

3. Allow the processor to continue to run until the dough starts to form into a ball. Once it has, remove the dough and shape into a disc. This will yield one piecrust. 

You can make as many crusts as you wish, but they need to be made one at a time. If you are making them to freeze, place them in individual freezer bags to store. If you want to use the crust right away, place in a plastic bag or wrap with saran and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.

Happy Mabon!



Motif Founder Shanetta McDonald On Storytelling, Healing, & Connection

"By opening up about these unique experiences, women of color build esteem and lift the shame of hiding their true selves from the world. We’re able to be seen, and feel heard, and that is healing."

Where do we go from here Headshots

Where Do We Go From Here? Join The Fold For A Conversation About The Impact of COVID-19 on Women and Mothers In The Workplace

Join us for a free virtual event featuring Angela Garbes, The Fold's Nora Gomez-Strauss and hosted by Executive Editor, Amanda Carter Gomes.


March 2021 Tarotscopes

Dear Pisces: Striving towards your vision is very different than gazing wistfully upon someone else's. There are amazing gifts out there all around you, being offered freely and with great love, but if you don't bother to raise your head then you surely won't bother to see them.


Bite-sized Visioning for Mercury Retrograde

Mercury is in retrograde, so let's make it simple. Here are a few easy prompts for you to tell your story and hold your vision.


A Conversation On Menopause & The Stories She Documents With Filmmaker, Bronwen Parker-Rhodes

"There is so much about the female body that doesn’t get discussed enough and many women struggle and suffer in silence because of it."


February 2021 Tarotscopes

Dear Aquarius: Do not hide from your previous selves. Do not deny the sharp, tempered strength of your history. That is exactly what brings you here to this moment of power and renewal.

peace flag

On Healing & Hope: "Imagine What We Can Do Next"

"As a parent yearning for a more equitable future for her children, as a human yearning for the earth to survive more lifetimes, I hope we can remind ourselves that the work does not end here."


Narrative Intelligence: Mapping + Meaning, A Free Virtual Event with Laura Sullivan Cassidy in Conversation with The Fold's Founder, Amanda Carter Gomes

A conversation about our personal plotlines and how we can write and direct them—even in this time of trauma, grief, and uncertainty.