Mabon?

“[…]Mabon the son of Modron .

He was taken from his mother when three nights old,

and it is not known where he now is, nor whether he is living or dead.”

Kilhwch and Olwen (sic) 

Thus says the story from the collection of Welsh folk lore now more commonly known as the Mabinogion, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest over 150 years ago.

It’s not Mabon; it’s the Autumn Equinox!

Mabon is also known as the Child of Light – while he is not, as far as I can see, linked to any time of the year in the tale in which he appears, if he was, then the birth of the son of Modron, the Great Goddess, must surely, be logically linked to the rebirth of the sun at MidWinter?

Therefore, he cannot, under any circumstances be linked with the Autumn Equinox – nor is there any evidence that anyone called this point in time by that name.

I’ve been told that one Adien Kelly made it up – as I have no idea who this person was, or is, I cannot *quote – but it seems this came about in the 1970’s and has since stuck.

I’m going to suggest that the misused of Mabon, to represent the Autumn Eqinox is a misuse of Welsh culture – a bit strong perhaps?

It’s time to reclaim the name, and place the Mabon back into his Mothers arms, were he belongs. 

*Update: I now have a link to a rather interesting article by Mr Kelly, which can be found here.

**Update: for a very interesting article on the history of the Eight Fold Wheel of the Year, follow this link.

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3 thoughts on “Mabon?

  1. I have spoken to Aiden Kelly via email over this very thing. He’s a Big Name Pagan in America. He said he thought it romantic and we needed another Celtic name to balance the wheel. Although I asked, why, and what on earth he was thinking to chose that time of year, or that particular name? As all the other Celtic names are Irish, so why pick on the Welsh culture? He is unable to explain further. As he is in his 70’s now and has a long Gardnerian down line, so that’s why it has taken off in America and is infecting British Paganism. I tend not to react when this comes up, as I think it’s a lost cause. I simply try and remind people that Mabon is a recent American take, and is not part of our heritage. Although I feel even that is drowned out by the sheer weight of numbers, who know no better.

  2. I do think those of us across the pond who avoid the Gardnerian take would love a chance to make a change. Consider this one American witch who will educate her fellows and begin the Autumn Equinox celebration with pride.

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