If you try to understand Druidry and Paganism (indeed, any religion or philosophy) using the intellect, you will invariably come a cropper (an ancient English term meaning the same as the well-known German expletive total abgefucked). I believe it is vitally important to disregard the Head and attempt to understand this complicated subject with the Heart, keeping things scrupulously simple. Being a bear of little brain, I will try to clarify this extremely confusing and contradictory matter.
Mabon literally means ‘Great Son’ and his mother is Madron the Earth Mother. Similar to Jesus (and Horus, and the rest), the “Great Son’ or the ‘Son of God’ is synonymous with the ‘Great Sun’. There are lots of stories and myths about Mabon in Celtic mythology, and, to be absolutely honest, they do nothing for me. As a bear of little brain, I simply don’t focus my limited intellect on them… at all.
Everything becomes clear to me when the Mabon is equated with both the Sun, and the archetype of youth (the Son). And when are these two concepts in alignment? It is at the Winter Solstice, when the Sun (Son) starts his/her new cycle, as experienced here on Earth (Madron). At no other place in the universe is this moment in time celebrated, because Winter Solstice is a specific relationship between the Sun (Mabon) and the Planet Earth (Madron). Mother and Son.
The most precious gift is the gift of life. Without life there is nothing. With life, we have the potential to create ourselves according to the dreams of our hearts, and to enjoy the wonders of the magical world that is our home and playground. We can build relationships with nature and with each other; we can give, and receive, love. Life exists when the spark, the star (the sun is our star), or Spirit, interacts with the Earth. There is no greater experience of vitality and aliveness than those times when we are fully aligned with our Soul: in other words, when the Mabon is fully present in our lives.
For me, Life itself is symbolized by the spark of Life, of Awareness (the Mabon), illuminating and activating the Earth (the Madron). Its cycle starts and ends at the Winter Solstice, growing and developing throughout the year. By recognizing, aligning with, and celebrating the birth of the Sun, we synchronize ourselves with this cycle. Our levels of awareness develop throughout the year, experiencing the various stages of consciousness from birth, to mid-life, through Death… until the cycle start again.
The Mabon is also known as the Magical Child, the spark of magic that lives in our hearts, the truly spontaneous and authentic child, the One in contact with the Source. This magical being is the symbol of the intact, undifferentiated Soul, whom we can wake and activate in order to flood our world (and consciousness) with miracles. It is no accident that the Mabon is the only being capable of destroying Twrch Trwyth, the great boar that is destroying the countryside. The Mabon’s magical innocence and Heart energy neutralizes all negativity and brings health and harmony to the Land.
The Mabon represents a vital, egoless force of renewal and spontaneous expression that lives entirely in the present. He (or she) has neither past nor future, possessing only awareness of the eternal Now, acting and experiencing the present moment. He is fully present, whole, authentic, entire, and expresses what is in his heart. He is fully connected to the Source of All, and is a flower in full blossom, a spring in full flow, and a shooting star illuminating the heavens.
Druidry recognizes the importance of coaxing our inner Magical Child out to play, which, at first, requires persistence and practice. Why attempt to understand the Mabon with the intellect, in six different languages, when all we have to do is to shrug off our stiff, analytical minds and play? The rebirth of the Sun celebrates letting go of our adult, boring, fuddy-duddy personas and getting on with the serious parts of our lives… like play, spontaneity, dance, and vital, loving relationship with nature and each other.
If you can speak, you can sing.
If you can walk, you can dance.
If you are capable of expression, you can smile.
If you can interact with others, you can play.
If you can feel, you can experience joy.
If you take, you can give.
If you can move, you can fly.
If you are alive, you can be grateful for every breath.
If you have senses, you can recognize the Sacred in all things.
It is never too late to activate the Mabon in your life; you do not have to wait until the start of the next cycle. All you have to do is to stand in front of a mirror, apply some face paint or a sharpie in a silly manner, stand back… and giggle!
This is my sincere wish for us all in 2015…