AD.LIB. Department. Wheel of the year. Pagan holiday. Mabon

A series of pagan holidays “Mabon” (Russian: “Ovsen”).

20 -23 of September.

In the world of nature starting from this day the water element gradually begins falling asleep. The combination of Air and Water allows the flow of time to acquire its movement. However, when Air falls asleep this movement becomes seemingly slower and less action of the element of Water seems to stop it altogether. A myth about the birth and development of a young God speaks about his search for power and experience. This search leads him to leave this world.

In Mabon, the one who seeks power and knowledge sails to Avalon – the island of apples, the world of magicians, witches, sorcerers, the world of the old gods. He travels to the world of those who now actively manifest themselves in other worlds. Those ancestors are still the keepers of the old knowledge that people have now forgotten. Still, the strength of the god of the future must be present, he needs to rely on the knowledge of the distant past, on the knowledge of all the worlds, all the gods and all the systems that at some point were using its power. That is why the god of the young Fire goes into the Darkness where the true knowledge is hidden. Those who stayed in the physical world would follow him in their minds watching the sun go to rest and birds fly away. They watched all of nature fall asleep and had a strange feeling that time was stopped, they felt abandoned as if their power was leaving them.

Light becomes equal to Darkness, but Light departs and Darkness stays. Darkness rules and scares the living beings – other children of the Mother are coming out of it now as it is their time. They come to replace the young God who departed in search of knowledge because nature abhors a vacuum.

For a man, this time period is a resistance test. Having no help and support of external forces, now he can only rely on what he has accumulated and achieved by this moment. From now on and until the elements return, this will be a test period where man will be challenged by very unfriendly forces. These forces come from another world that received the young god of Fire in order to give him the power of the Ancient people. These forces also have this power, but this power is all they have. These ancient children of the Mother existed even when there was no talk of the birth of man and they were the only masters of the living world. To say they dislike the presence of man is to say little. But Mother ́s will is a law for everyone, and therefore the challenges that living beings have to go through are never mild.

Cold weather is approaching, all nature is “dying”, birds are flying away, all living things seem to flee from the place where each day the gates of the world of Death and Darkness open up more and more. The flow coming out of the other world is like a piercing wind that leaves not only nature but man himself with no covers – he becomes as he is. And what is

he like with no power or support, without feeling protected by his god? Their communication becomes quieter, the thread connecting their minds by the constant flow of power becomes thinner. Mother Earth, the Grand Goddess mourns for her departed son through the rain. She lets him go so that someone else will return, but how immense is the grief of a mother that knows she will never see her child again.

Water falls asleep and the world around seems to stop. Water falls asleep and then the world seems to stop as well and man, just like the young God, is immersed in the feeling of the world of Death. People have a deep sense of unexpressed fear, they start clinging to each other, they begin to seek protection not only from the powers of this world but also from the unseen forces, their ancestors long gone into other worlds.

And only those who could not do otherwise would go into the obscure world of Darkness with their eyes wide open, following the footsteps of their god. They would discover his path by finding cranberries growing in abundance in the swamp moss as if they were his blood drops. Those were the ones who decided to dedicate themselves to this invisible power, magical power since this was the period of time when magicians and druids would begin their magical initiation. Not all of them, of course. The Line of Dark magicians would follow the young god in order to receive their training and go through the stages of their initiation.

The Line of White magicians would stay with the people to help them go through the dark and difficult time, go through the trial on their own, and teach the people to maintain their strength and loyalty, to live and grow using their own mind even when gods did not help them. On the day of the Fall Equinox, the power of the gods would decide who would take which path.

The ancients believed that even having no connection to their god, people were able to preserve everything he gave them during a short period of his power, if upon his return he would see that their children managed to preserve the power and didn’t betray him – that would mean that both people and their god passed through the stages of their growth and they really were equal. People and gods were equal. Man had to mature and learn together with his god, he had to learn to be loyal and honest with his god and not to betray his own power, no matter what.

In Ancient Greece during Fall Equinox, the famous Eleusinian Mysteries were held for 9 days and their purpose was the same – to unite with one’s god, follow his path, be initiated in the kingdom of Hades and go through the ritual death. Moreover, almost “theatrical” action of the mass restoration of the legend of Demeter and Persephone had nothing to do with the real religious rite. It was one thing for the magicians and another for the people.

In Ancient Russia, the day of the Fall equinox was called Ovsen. Ovsen (Belarusian: Avsen, Usen; Tausen, Kiten)  – is the god of labor, he is a patron of the horses, bridges, and plowing. He is a Slavic god of harvest. When Kupala left into the darkness, Ovsen had to

stay instead of him. He had to teach people everything that was the tradition of the Old gods, teach people to live without the departed young god, but also learn to wait for him without betraying him or giving up. In the old days, it was believed that Ovsen had to build a bridge across Smorodina river, “open the way” so that Kupalo could return from the world of the dead.

This myth stayed in the memory of the people in a form of a tale about Usila the Good as a reminder that betrayal of one’s power always turns against the betrayer himself. He and his children will have a lot of troubles for serving the god of the other out of fear and weakness.

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Russian tales of the old times say: “In the old days, in the ancient times our Ancestors lived in the forests and grasslands. They did not sow wheat at that time but exchanged it for meat, leather, lard and sheep wool.

They lived simply, but happily,

the wisdom was simple – they used what they needed and that was enough.Our Ancestors were honest, kind, never boasted about themselves. They would take their cattle to the grasslands, take care of the lambs and foals. And everyone knew his horse like a peasant knew his bridle. Everyone knew his cattle like a scholar knew his book, and if a cow got sick, our ancestors knew how to cure it, and if anyone fell ill, they knew how to hеаl them.

They would only tell the truth to each other, nobody lied, they would obey the elderly, respect their grandfathers and grandmothers, guard their children, protect their wives and help the weak. They would give food and drink, a place near the fire, and a place to sleep to every passing traveler. And when they saw a thief they would chase him away on their horses from their flocks.

Our ancestors had a king, Usila the Good. And that king just like all people slept in a wagon, covered himself with a rug and put a saddle under his head. At night he would get up and go around guarding his lands and woe to those who fell asleep in the grass!

Our Ancestors would get up at dawn, they would pray to the clear East and say the following: “Shine bright, clear Dawn, shine in the sky! You wake up early and come to us like a good wife, you bring your milk to us and pour it into the grassland. Rejoice, Shepherd´s Dawn! Accept a bow to the father and the mother, accept a bow to the grandfather and grandmother and to the brother and sister that died early! Let them burn in the blue sky like the stars and shine for us from Vyrai of the kingdom of Svarog!”.

This is how our Ancestors would pray, praise the gods, and the gods would give them good things needed for life. Gods would never give too much to the people because having too much makes man weaker, his woman less of a good wife, his sons go away and stop working, his daughters go to other people’s families. Having too much leaves a man alone – not needed by anyone.

At that time people were kind, they helped their neighbours and didn’t charge for their work. Young people respected the elderly and protected the children. They lived simply, cared about staying clean, they didn’t know what evil and jealousy were. And God would come and visit them dressed in simple clothes, talk to them, give them advice, and people naively thought that they were visited by an Old Man. They answered him with respect. And then suddenly they saw that the old man walked on the ground, and then across the sky, the Milky Way, that the Dawn poured out of the jar.

Once the children were playing in the grass, and one girl was digging the ground and putting straws of grass in it. A White Grandfather came up to her and said: “This is how, my child, you need to sow!” He gave her some seeds and told her to put them into the soil and water them often. The girl took the seeds, did what the Grandfather said and in a week the sprouts appeared. The girl watered them all summer and in the end, there were ripe cucumbers, melons, and watermelons. Everyone was surprised, ate and praised the food and collected new seeds. People began to plow the soil and plant the seeds, since then they learned grain farming. They began to sow peas, lentils, and different kinds of beans. Then they began to grow wild onions and garlic in their gardens. And people began to have more food apart from milk, butter, and dry quark.

King Usila the Good carved an oak plow for himself, harnessed oxen, plowed the soil and sowed wheat. When the harvest was ripe, he praised the gods, put the First Sheaf for Dazhbog, prepared a jar of honey and splashed it on Zemnobog and thus, according to tradition, made an offering for them.

Our Grandfathers and Great Grandfathers began to plow the ground, sow wheat and praise the gods as they were no longer in need and began to exchange their cows and sheep for flour.

Once a merchant from faraway lands came to them and started to show them his gold and silver, offering it in exchange for leather, lard, cow meat, and sheepskin. Queen Godina, Utila’s wife took a lot of silver and gold, started to decorate herself with it, braid her hair with it, wear rings and bracelets and cover her body in velvet and brocade. And all the women started copying her, and women were followed by the girls, and then all the young men started decorating their swords with gold and their bridles with silver.

They began to envy each other. Those who had a more beautiful bridle or saddle began to feel superior and laugh at the rest. The former simplicity disappeared, life became different, more boring. King Usila himself got bored, and his wife started pushing him to go to war so he could take more silver and gold from another king. And because of those thoughts about having too much, people´s life became greedy and hard, they needed to be getting ready for war, make weapons, make forges, swords, strong knives, sharp spikes and go to war in the middle of summer.

As soon as the other king learned about this, he started to get ready for fighting back and taught his people how to mount horses, ride them in the fields and defend themselves.

When king Usila led his people to war – some armed with swords, others with pitchforks, the neighboring king put out his people and a great fight began. Many people died in that fight and there was a lot of food for the ravens. That evil started walking around the grasslands so that far away neighbors also clashed with each other, and all over the earth where our ancestors lived, kings rebelled against each other. And that resulted in a great loss – all the cows were eaten, all the crops were destroyed, and even the pots were smashed – there was nothing to eat from.

Grandfathers started complaining about queen Godina saying that if it had not been for her, Usila would not have gone to war with the neighbors. Godina was shouting back at the grandfathers, saying that if they were brave, they would have destroyed all the kings and taken all their treasures. Things started getting even worse – fields got abandoned, cattle got killed by the plague and feuds began between the neighbors.

And they were attacked by a fierce enemy who was brought by a faraway merchant. And that enemy defeated our Ancestors. Godina was tied by the neck to a wagon, beaten with whips and taken into captivity with the rest of the people. Our ancestors lost everything they had, and King Usila was buried in the ground because the enemies had killed him.

The slavery period lasted a long time before ancient Russia was unified again and managed to fight back against the enemy.

Remember those Grandmothers and Grandfathers that were unwise and therefore lost their land and freedom. Praise your gods and only ask them for peace and bread, more than that is not necessary!”

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The moment of transition into the state of “no water”, in spite of being very hard, can become the most useful time of your life. The Dark children of the Mother are cruel but very fair teachers. They will show you what exactly you are, they will accurately show all the flaws in your mind and body: not the consequence of disease but its cause. If you do what the ancient wise men did – if you face your flaws instead of turning away from them, you can solve your problems and you can do it very quickly.

“No water” is a state of no future. You need to see yourself and current moment  as the last one. No hope. There is only what there is. I am that  I am.

Extract from Menshikova K.E book “Health through the Power of the Elements”

1 Imbolc 2 Ostara 3 Beltane 4 Litha (Kupala) 5 Lammas 6 Mabon 7 Samhain 8 Yule