Be Thankful for Who You Are
"The sun grows weary and autumn's chill breath clings to the alder and maple. Children chase tumbling leaves under a Harvest Moon as the last canned goods are stored. The hearth calls to me... Time to rest." (The Magickal Family)
Autumn equinox (or Mabon) is upon us. During this time, day and night are once again equal, and we (as Pagans), celebrate the second harvest (or the Witch's Thanksgiving). For most of us who work the land, this marks the end of our harvest season- and with all of the labor done, it's time to celebrate and be thankful.
At our home, the Witch's Thanksgiving is celebrated in true Martha Stewart style. September is typically one of our driest months in the Pacific Northwest, so we set up our traditional feast under a large maple near the Sauk River complete with candles and buckets of sunflowers.
Our feast includes what anyone may find at a traditional Thanksgiving meal- but there is one rule we abide by, and that is everything prepared must contain local or homegrown ingredients (flour and sugar are my exceptions).
A fun project to share during your Mabon feast with visiting guests, or the little ones in the family, are Poetry Masks. These masks are made to wear as an artistic expression of who we are on the inside- conveying the message that our inner qualities are more important than our physical appearance. And there's nothing better to be thankful for than what sets us apart from the rest of the world.
You will need:
1 white cardstock or plastic mask per person
Ribbon or a Popsicle stick (to secure the mask if using ribbon or to glue on the bottom as a handle if using the stick)
Fine-tipped permanent markers (black plus any other colors for decorating)
Decorations: colorful feathers, sequins, plastic jewels, natural material, glitter, felt... you get the picture
Before the fun of decorating, use the black marker to write on the mask quotes, words, song lyrics, or poetry that describe you in a positive way.
Now for the fun! Use those craft supplies to create an artistic picture of you. Are you a true nature baby? Use leaves and twigs or small cones to show your style. Maybe you love the water- how about small shells and scales using shiny paper.
When your done, attach your Popsicle stick to the bottom or punch holes on each side to tie ribbon.
The example I made (pictured below and modeled by my daughter, Chloe) is pretty low-key. But I think it describes me quite nicely. I used words, symbols and a few herbs that express me magickally and creatively.
After everyone is done, hold them up (or tie them on) and try this blessing:
This mask I wear portrays the potential in me,
A symbol of the beauty I want everyone to see.
As I say these words, help me bloom and grow.
Let me be an example to others- as above, so below
(Poetry Masks and other great ideas can be found in "The Magickal Family: Pagan Living in Harmony with Nature" published by Llewellyn Worldwide)