Welcome to the days of the full corn moon, also known as the time of the barley moon.
The southward equinox is the moment when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward and in the South of England, here where I am, this occurred last night before the day that begins the 25th September, 2021.
Therefore, the full corn moon marks the end of the astronomical summer and the beginning of the astronomical autumn (here in the Northern Hemisphere it occurs between 21st and 25th September.)
On the Wicca “Wheel of the Year” the moment is noted as Mabon, seen at nine o’clock on the eight-armed sun cross.
As such, it is a moment of balance… where darkness has yet to replace light… and cold has yet to replace warmth. It is a season marked with festivals of thanksgiving (for the fruits of the earth) and this weekend requires meditations on the need to share fruits with those less fortunate than ourselves.
Mabon is named after Mabon ap Modron (shown above) a prominent figure in Welsh literature and the son of Modron, who was a member of King Arthur’s war band and one of his main advisers. Both he and his mother (Dea Matrona, the divine mother goddess, shown below) were probably semi-deities, descendants of a divine mother-child pair. His name is related to the Romano-British god Maponos, whose name means “Great Son”.
Since pagan times, man has been celebrating the bringing the safe harvest home at this time. And until very recently, rural communities celebrated bringing this important moment with a harvest supper, also known in some parts as a “Mell-supper” because the last neck of corn (wheat, barley or rye in Europe) was known as the Mell.
Some churches and villages still have a Harvest Supper, although the tradition is (sadly) dying out. I remember when I was a young boy how amazing the church in our neighborhood looked, sumptuously decorated with hops, sheaves of wheat, loaves of bread, fruits, vegetables, baskets, cans, jars and specially baked cakes. The food would go to charity, and we sang special hymns for the harvest festivities. I thought it was a magical moment. It saddens me to think that in just a few years we have lost our vital link with nature… our vital link with the cycle of the seasons, and we don’t understand (as a community) where our food comes from or how to preserve it and we don’t think we have anything to be thankful for!
Best of the season to you. I wish you a safe and prosperous full corn moon…
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Words: @neilmach 2020 ©
The English novelist Neil Mach has gained widespread recognition for the creation of strong female characters and for compelling stories that often revolve around the themes of loyalty and duty.
His character MOONDOG is a Romani detective. He is called-in when other investigators hesitate. The detective inquires into things that lay “beyond normal human experience” where things hang in the balance between mundane and miraculous.