What comes to mind when you think about autumn? Maybe it’s fallen leaves, crisp air, or warm sweaters. But you’d be hard-pressed to think of autumn without thinking of apples! Going to an apple orchard or biting into the sweet, crunchy fruit is quintessentially autumn. Here is a spell you can do with apples for Mabon, the autumn equinox. But first, let’s find out more about the history, lore, and symbolism of apples!
Apples and Paganism
In countless mythology, apples are present, symbolizing things like wisdom, divination, the underworld, and immortality. Apples are commonly associated with feminine energy and goddesses such as Pomona, Idunn, Eris, Venus, Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, and Diana.
In most of the world, we associate the autumnal equinox with apples because they ripen at this time. But interestingly, how the name “Mabon” came to represent this sabbat has a different connection.
Aiden Kelly* was the one who chose the names for the equinox and solstice sabbats, opting for Anglo-Saxon names while the fire festival sabbats go by Celtic names. He found parallels with the Greek Eleusinian Mysteries with the Wiccan themes of the Autumn Equinox. He compared the tale of Demeter and Persephone with the Celtic source, Mabon ap Modron because of the stolen child theme and the wheel turning into the dark half of the year. From there, he derived what we now call the sabbat.
The popular Garden of Eden myth also contains an apple, a fruit from the tree of knowledge. But scholars believe this was originally depicted as a pomegranate, the same fruit Persephone ate that caused her to be trapped in the underworld for half of the year. As you can see, there are many parallels here, causing Aiden Kelly to create a name for this sabbat that encompasses so many different myths and stories.
How to Use Apples in Magick
In witchcraft and magick, apples are commonly used for love spells and healing spells. A good example of this is the popular rhyme, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Reciting that while eating an apple is a spell on its own! A simple love spell according to Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs is to cut the apple in half and share it with your loved one to ensure you will stay happy together.
But for the purpose of this article, we will be using apples for their protective properties to link this spell with the themes of Mabon. The apple may be sweet and healing, but did you know that the seeds contain poison? The seeds are what connect apples with protection. The apple reminds us that we do not have to close ourselves off to the world in order to protect ourselves. We can bring healing to others without overstepping our own boundaries.
If you cut an apple horizontally through the middle, the seeds make a pentagram, which is a symbol of protection in witchcraft.
For this spell, we will be using the horizontally cut apple with pentagram shaped seeds. You can make this a spell for protection, banishing, or return-to-sender depending on your intentions. Banishing spells are ideal for Mabon since the daylight is decreasing and you are working with the cycle of nature, making banishing extremely effective this time of year.
Items You'll Need:
- An apple, cut in half horizontally with seeds intact
- Small mirror or plate
- One black candle
- 10 whole clove buds
- Lighter or matches
- Optional: Petition Paper or a tool for candle carving
Ground and center yourself. Cleanse your space and your spell ingredients and cast your circle before beginning.
Make a salt circle around the outside of your mirror or plate. If you are doing a return-to-sender spell, use a mirror. The intent is to reflect the energy back to whoever might be sending it to you. A return-to-sender spell is a type of defense magick, preventing negative energy from reaching you and specifically and causing it to reflect back on the one who sent it to you, which is a step above a general protection spell. A banishing spell or protection spell can be done on a plate. If you have other herbs on hand that you like to use for banishing or protection, feel free to layer those with your salt circle.
If you are doing the optional step of this spell, write your intentions for the outcome on your petition paper or etch it into the black candle. Once you finish, hold the candle in your hands, visualizing the energy of this intention infusing the candle. This is good to do even if you aren’t using a petition paper or carving the candle because visualization will make the spell stronger. If you wrote a petition paper, place it under the plate or mirror.
At the center of your mirror or plate, light your black candle and position the apple halves on either side of the candle. Like the seed pentagram inside the apple, the black candle also symbolizes protection from negativity, and uncrossing, the removal of negative energy. If you are using this as a banishing spell, visualize what you want to banish in your life melting away as the black candle burns. You can either set it in a candle holder at the center of the plate, or before you light it, melt the bottom so the wax sticks to the surface, securing the candle upright.
Stick 5 whole clove buds around the pentagram at the center of each apple half. Cloves are a very powerful and active defense. They are known for stopping people from gossiping and spreading rumors about you. Cloves are good to use if you want something more aggressive that will actively attack negative energy coming from the outside of your protective field.
Allow the candle to burn down and dispose of the remnants of the spell.
*source link: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/aidankelly/2017/05/naming-ostara-litha-mabon/
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