The ritual tools of Wicca are powerful symbols, connecting us to greater energies beyond our everyday perceptions. Each tool has its own story, its own symbolism and vital archetypal energy that it taps into.
Going further than the Elemental association, for even They have a simpler correspondence, each tool has a basic association: masculine or feminine. The reasons for this go further than being a basic expression of animal life (i.e. male and female,) but to what it is these two sexes accomplish when united. Together, they are Creator, that which is able to bring forth new life into this world. (Going off of the Law of Similarities, we should thus be able to create anything, magickally, with these tools.) And it is this ability to create, this fertility, that is at the utmost core of Wicca.
Many erroneously describe Wicca as a Nature religion as opposed to the Fertility religion it rightfully is. The difference in these two terms is what they emphasize. Being a Nature religion means a belief in the Natural world being sacred, a belief in animism and an immanent Divine. A Fertility religion, on the other hand, is based upon the driving forces behind the Natural world, the ebb and flow of energies, that which turns not just the Wheel of the Year, but the wheel of Life and Death as well. As this energy permeates all (and is also beyond it) it is only to be expected that the Natural world is honored, for just as we are, it is an extension of this energy and is thus, just as we are, sacred.
This is the energy that is sought when a Wand is raised and this is the energy that is honored when Athame enters Chalice. Each tool is a representation of that which we are most familiar with in the dance of creation, the very parts of us that we use to create. Accordingly then, every Athame, every Wand, represents Man and the animating force that allows all to exist and every Chalice, every Cauldron, represents Woman and the matrix from which all emanates. The use of these tools in ritual affirms the sanctity of life and that which creates it.
The symbolism is simple, for these are very basic energies. But the power that is in turn wielded and honored is nothing less than the driving force of the Universe.
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The second of the Harvest Festivals, this is a celebration of Thanksgiving! At this time, the Harvest season is in full swing and there is much to be grateful for. Vegetables are being brought in from the garden by the barrel full, the last of the grains are being harvested, and everywhere you look the Earth yields Her bounty, an offering to the life She created and now sustains in love. Now is the Harvest of fruit: of apples and grapes. As such, this is also a celebration of Wine as last year's wine is cured to perfection and now able to be drunk to celebrate the fresh harvest of grapes and newly vinted supply.
Common Mabon Traditions
Here are a few ideas for ways you can celebrate Mabon.
The Harvest surrounds us. The bounty of Summer, the fruit of our labor, is ripe and hanging heavy on the vine. The theme for this Holiday is abundance and thanksgiving, rightfully so, as Mabon is the second of the harvest holidays and the most productive, and labor intensive, of the three. In many places, this harvest marks the peak of the garden harvest and the beginning of the fruit harvest, especially of grapes and apples. Due to the grape harvest and the nature of wine making, this is also a wine celebration, as last year’s vintage is finally able to be enjoyed and a new batch is now being started.
This day is also the Autumnal Equinox, a day when day and night are equal, balanced. From here on out the days will be shorter, the nights longer, the Winter that much closer. A chill in the air, frost on the grass, these mark the entrance of the spiders into our homes, a desperate effort to escape the cold and perhaps survive a little longer.
Within these few characteristics of Mabon, there is an underlying theme: connection. Who is it that we worked so hard with to create the abundance we now enjoy and pull in, but our community, those with whom we are most intimately connected. Our family, our friends, they are our community and they are the ones who celebrate all of our joys with us, with whom we give thanks and of whom we are thankful for. Even the entrance of the spiders into our homes, taking up residence in the corners where they will happily take care of any biting insects, echoes this theme of connection, this time to the larger community. The spiders remind us that we are never fully removed from Nature, even when we hide ourselves away in our climate controlled homes, surrounded by technology and “proof” of our superiority over the natural world.
The energy of the Autumnal Equinox spills over, and at this time when there is so much, we find ourselves pulled to share the abundance with those around us. At this time when Day and Night are equal, so, too, are all people equal; divisions and barriers are taken down, and we are reminded that we are all the same and we are all truly members of the same community.
It’s all cause and effect. When we start to acknowledge our connections, that we are not separate, it is then that we notice the Community to which we belong and notice just how far the breadth of that Community stretches. We notice our place in the scheme of things, and this leads to compassion, to the desire to share what we have with those around us. This sacred day reminds us of the need for community, the blessing of community, and the obligations we have as members of a community.
Throwing the Bones
Whether you're struggling with something spiritually or in everyday life, bone divination can highlight areas where focus is needed and identify alternative ways forward.
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