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Celebrating the Cycles of Nature

Do you celebrate nature?

This year we have been open to embracing a more spiritual lifestyle, and although we are very new to actually implementing these changes, such as gardening with maramataka and tuning in to our intuitions, we have already felt the impact this has had on our mental well-being. It may sound very new-agey for anyone who has known us for a while, but it is very liberating. We have moved from busy city life to a small town, and even this shift has brought many positive changes to our family. But that is another story.

We have started celebrating nature this year. We started small of course, so we can find what is right for us. The first small step we took was to celebrate the moon cycles. We implemented small family rituals around this, for example, when it is a new moon, we make a point of going outside to do some stargazing. This is great because nights like these are the darkest nights of the moon cycle and the stars are clearest. The new moon is also a great time to think of any new goals you may have for the month ahead. When it comes to the full moon we have celebrated this in many ways so far. In summer we swam under the full moon (nothing exciting, just in our backyard pool), and we have also done some moon bathing, which is a great way to recharge your soul.

This weekend was special though as it was both a full moon and Mabon. We started off on Friday with a silent disco under the full moon. This concept was actually introduced to us by friends of ours, which is called F*ck it up Friday. Their F*ck it up Fridays are epic compared to ours, but you can do what feels right for your situation. The idea behind this is to release endorphins, so you choose three or four songs, this can be played loudly in a group setting or each person can listen to their own mix through headphones. You dance like no one is watching, or you can close your eyes and just get immersed in the music, whatever makes you happy, there is no right way to do this. At home we join a Spotify group, then listen to the songs in sync through headphones. We have to wait until our son has gone to bed before we do this, as parents with an autistic son we feel like we can never 100% relax until we know he is asleep.

On Saturday we did some craft activities, making Mabon crowns, and making a cornucopia for the Mabon mantlepiece. This will be the first time we celebrate Mabon, so we are still finding our way and working out how this celebration will work for our family, but we always like to incorporate some kind of crafty activity in our family celebrations.

Sunday we spent the morning decorating our fireplace with everything that Mabon represents for us, we included root vegetables, apples, pumpkin, crystals, candles, flowers from our garden, autumn leaves, dried herbs, pinecones, cider, red wine, etc. We think it looked pretty magickal by the end.

The rest of the morning/early afternoon was spent prepping for our Mabon feast. We made corn fritters, pumpkin fritters, kumara bake, and apple and feijoa crumble. This was accompanied by ham steaks cooked on the fire for dinner, and vanilla whipped cream for dessert. Sunday night was spent around the fire, reflecting on everything we are thankful for. In these uncertain times, with everything that is happening around the world, we truly have a lot to be thankful for. We finished the evening with marshmallows toasted on the fire.

This is definitely a celebration we'll be repeating annually, with the same delicious food and fun family activities becoming a new tradition for our family. Next up we are very excited about Samhein and have already started discussing how we will celebrate this together.

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