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The Healing Harvest

by Clea Danaan

Corn and Grain,
Corn and Grain,
All that falls shall rise again!

Hoof and Horn,
Hook and Horn,
All that dies shall be reborn!

Whenever I harvest, I chant this old pagan reminder of the circle of life. I pray for rebirth while I give thanks for what is given. This Mabon I am overwhelmed with the illness of our society and our planet, and I pray for the rebirth of honoring the Earth. My rituals this year focus on that renewal of love and compassion for all life, and also on giving thanks for what the Mother provides by giving healing energy back to the earth. In this article I will share with you the ritual of high healing I will do on Mabon. I invite you to join me, whether you like me celebrate the autumn equinox or whether you dance to the Eostre light. There is no right time to celebrate death and life, and no right time to give thanks and healing to the planet. I will, however, focus on harvest images for my ritual. Substitute words and tools where appropriate. Also, I am a solitary, and the ritual will reflect this, but it can easily be adapted to a group.

First, a quick word about healing, especially “healing the earth.” We are all healers. We all posses an innate and powerful ability to transmute what is harmful or unwanted into divine energy. But being a healer does not mean being a “fixer”. When you offer healing energy, whether to a feverish child or the great Mother Earth, I encourage you to do so with humility and an open mind. When we heal, we tap into a great flow of unconditional love and infinite wisdom. It is the focused channeling of this energy that creates balance, healing, or release. Offer this channeling up with love from your higher self that knows that death and pain are all part of Life, as is miraculous healing and rebirth.

Mabon Ritual for the Earth
Bathe and cleanse yourself in whichever way you find most powerful. You may choose to not consume meat, caffeine, or sugar for a few days, or simply to smudge and meditate then take a hot bath. Cleansing in whatever way prepares us to enter the sacred circle with as few distractions as possible. We are baptized anew each time we cleanse to enter sacred space.

Clear also the space in which you will work by smudging, Reiki, sweeping, drumming, and whichever ways you choose.

Set an altar cloth of red, orange, or black upon your altar. Red is the blood of the Mother, Orange is the rhythm of the earth (think of Buddhist monks’ robes) and Black is the color of the womb and the grave. On this altar place seeds, apples, pumpkins, corn kernels, and other harvested gifts from the Mother. I like to use one large candle of an appropriate color for safety, but if you prefer to set a more traditional layout of candles you may. I usually light it before I cast my circle and say a prayer of blessing for all my relations (you may choose to light your candle after you have cast your circle, do whatever feels right to you). Also include a bowl of salt, a cup or bowl of water, and some incense or a feather. All of these have purpose and make a lovely altar; however, remember that tools are only allies to help us focus. Nothing at all is needed.

I cast my circle very simply. Starting in the East and moving clockwise, I say “I call on the powers and guardians of the East (etc.) to witness, support, and protect my work.” I might ad something about each of their powers, like the North helping me in manifesting my work. Then I say, “The circle is cast, I am between the worlds!” Sometimes at this time I call on Goddesses or Gods to work with; for this ritual I call on Mabon, Gaia, Demeter, and Artemis.

Now go sit in front of you altar for a few moments, grounding and breathing to center yourself. Let your thoughts still. Witness the gifts upon your altar. Listen to your breath, feel the earth beneath your bum. When a feeling of peace and power descends upon you, declare your purpose to the circle: “This work is an offering of thanks and a declaration of healing to the Earth. As Mabon returns to the Mother’s womb, may I gift Her with my support as an ally and doula of life. May Gaia and Demeter hear and honor my work. May Artemis aid me as doula and Goddess of justice both.” A doula aids not only in the birth itself, but in supporting the mother all thorough her pregnancy. This is the role of doula I and Artemis present this season.

Now rise and dance, drum, sing, or whatever you do to raise power. Holding that power in your body (it feels alive, like the inside of your body is vibrating), come back to your altar and lift the bowl of salt in your hands. Focus inwardly, on the vast cosmos inside you. Picture yourself as the Great Goddess. Feel this power. See your energy reaching to the infinite vastness of the Universe. Now focus a moment on the salt in your hands. Say, “Salt of the earth, may you represent the whole earth, the mountains and valleys, minerals and stones. I invite you to resonate with me, Great Goddess and Creator.” Let the salt be a mirror of your powerful energy. You are not forcing it to change, simply inviting it to vibrate with pure divine energy. You will feel it shift.

Now lift the water and do the same thing.

Now place your hands in the air, facing the altar. Say, “The elements present on this sacred space, air, fire, water, and earth, may you resonate with all the earth and all my relations.” Picture the Earth in front of you. Do the same thing you did with the salt and water, inviting all the Earth to reflect pure, infinite, Divine energy. Sit with this until you feel a shift, which may be a while. Then place your hands on the ground in front of you and allow any excess energy to flow back into the earth.

Take a few moments to ground and center, listening to your breath. Open your circle, thanking the directions and Deities present. Say, “The circle is open but never broken. May my offering here be manifest truly in the world. So mote it be.”

Clean your altar quietly and then eat and drink to ground, giving thanks to these gifts.

*     *     *

Clea Danaan gardens and writes from Denver, Colorado. She is the author of Sacred Land: Intuitive Gardening for Personal, Political and Environmental Change (Llewellyn, 2007). More of her work can be found at


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