Fresh Apples

Mabon and the Autumn Equinox

August 18, 2021 1 By Saranne Mallinson

You may have seen a few posts about Mabon lately!  For me, Mabon signifies the coming of autumn, and is the second harvest. Autumn is my favourite time of the year; the colder nights, fresh hand picked apples, and leaves starting to turn red and orange. It heralds a coming change. This picture I took when I lived in Copenhagen.

Mabon is one of eight Pagan Sabbats, named after the Celtic Sun God Mabon. This is a time to celebrate the harvest, and to give thanks for the things we have.

Autumn Equinox is what I call the ‘autumn same day’ – a powerful balance between light and dark, and where the day and night are equal. This marks the coming of the winter, and the days growing shorter and the nights growing longer. It is a time of transition.

You should decorate your altar with harvest items. This could be apples, blackberries, or damsons for example. If you can’t gather them yourself, then supermarket fruits will be just as good. You can also make an outdoor shrine if you like, to give thanks to nature for the bounty.

A symbol of Mabon is the apple, which has a special place in in our work as when cut it horizontally it reveals five points. These represent the elements of Earth, Fire, Air, Water with Spirit at the top. If you are like me, then you will be gathering lots of apples for preserving and use over the winter months. We love apples in our family and always have hand collected apples, either in the fridge or chopped up and cooked in the freezer. It helps that we have an apple tree in the garden and a cooking apple tree hanging over our car park! (Thank you neighbours!)

A simple spell you can try when you are cutting up apples you have gathered. Select a whole apple, and place the knife at the top of the apple and close your eyes. Make a wish and cut through the apple, so that it is cut into two halves. If the knife has cut any of the seeds in half, then your wish will come true.

One of my favorite things to do with apples during Mabon is to make an apple crumble. As a kitchen witch, baking is where I feel most at home. I always call this ‘Crumble Season’, because it isn’t just apples, but a whole host of other fruits collected over the last few weeks – pears, damsons, sloes, rose hips, elderberries, blackberries, hawthorn berries. I also collect a second round of blackberries from local bushes as they are abundant and taste delicious in jams, preserves and of course with apples!

My Apple Crumble Recipe

180g butter (either salted or unsalted)

180g caster sugar

180g plain flour

Chop as many apples (or whatever fruit you want to substitute with) as you like and put them into your crumble dish.

Sprinkle some ordinary sugar over the apples. This will be to your taste. If you are using desert or red apples you may not need this sugar at all, but is you are using Bramley apples you will need to add a little sugar.

Half a teaspoon cinnamon sprinked over the chopped apple.

Put the flour, caster sugar and butter into a bowl and mix together with your hands, giving thanks for everything your have. When done, the mixture should be crumbly when separated, but should stick if you clump it together.

Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of the fruit and place in the oven at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until you can see the crumble looking good enough to eat! It will smell delicious too.

Don’t forget you can add other fruit to the apples; I often add blackberries, but any hedge fruit works well. I’ve even tried frozen strawberries (and yes, it was amazing!).

I usually serve with a dollop of hot custard for extra autumnal comfort.

Mabon begins on Tuesday, 21 September, and ends on Wednesday, 29 September. The autumn equinox for Crawley falls on 23 Sep 02:03 British Summer Time.