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Mythology Time – Mabon

Since the 1970’s the word ‘Mabon’ has most widely been associated with the autumn equinox, but did you know the word itself is much, much older? From legendary Welsh figure to Celtic deity to Neopagan festival, buckle up, witches, because it’s time for a super quick history lesson.

 

Mabon - The Legend

One of the cool things about Welsh mythology is that fact and fiction have a way of mixing itself up, like a game of naked twister. As such, the deity that’s referred to as Mabon, likely has his roots in a once living person.

Mabon ap Modron, who’s name fittingly means Son of the Mother, was kidnapped 3 nights after his birth and held captive in the in the city of Gloucester (less than 1 hour away from Storm and Fortune HQ) and was eventually rescued by King Arthur’s men and a giant talking salmon. He went on to be a fine hunter, who was chummy with King Arthur.

Keep this cycle of birth-capture-release in mind, but you probably know where this is going.

 

Mabon - The Sun God

As a deity, Mabon, is referred to as a Welsh sun god. Like many other solar deities, he was renowned as a hunter and represented youth, vitality, love and sex.

He was said to be the son of the Madron – whose name, as we mentioned briefly above, is said to mean “mother”, and is, in her own right often associated with the maternal aspect of the triple goddess.

Also similar to the above legend, he was said to have been taken and held captive in the Underworld, (which may seem like a fair description of Gloucester, depending on the time of night) and upon his release, had not aged.

 

Mabon - The Equinox

It wasn’t until the resurgence of Neopaganism and modern day Wicca that ‘Mabon’ was used as the name of the equinox celebration.

As we mentioned in our Equinox Article, the wheel of the year turns, and the harvest is gathered, the sun god, who’s life is represented in the corn, is harvested and sacrificed. He returns to the underworld to be reborn in the spring.

We can see this cycle of divine birth-life-death-rebirth retold in other religions and cultures - from Persephone’s return to the underworld, to the resurrection of Jesus.

On a quick tangent, I’ve mostly been focusing on the God here, but I have to make quick note of the parallels between Mabon/Madron, Persephone/Demeter and Jesus/Mary.

Those three Devine Mothers would have a lot to bond over at the school gates. 

 

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