Wine Making a Mabon activity
Mabon is the second harvest, sometimes called the Wine Harvest, and is a time when the majority of crops have been gathered. Grapes, apples and berries are featured crops of this sabbat, and fortunately all of them make a tasty wine. Indeed it was considered taboo in many places to consume berries after Mabon unless they were in wine form.
Grapes are everywhere in the fall, so it’s no surprise that the Mabon season is a popular time to celebrate wine-making, and deities connected to the growth of the vine. Dionysus and the Green Man are different manifestations of the God of the Vine: a key figure in harvest celebrations.
The Greek God Dionysus was representative of the grapes in the vineyards, and of course the wine that they created. As such, he gained a reputation as a party-hardy kind of God, and his followers were typically seen as a debauched and drunken lot. However, before he was a party God, Dionysus was originally a God of trees and the forest. He was often portrayed with leaves growing out of his face, similar to later depictions of the Green Man. Farmers offered prayers to Dionysus to make their orchards grow, and he is often credited with the invention of the plow.
In Scotland and Wales, Mabon wines were poured onto the ground to honor the aging Goddess as she swiftly moved into her Crone aspect. Celtic lands were not well known for growing grapes, so blackberry wine became a Celtic specialty, especially in Ireland, where blackberries are sacred to the Goddess.
In celebration of Mabon, you can try your hand at making this simple blackberry wine.
3 pounds of blackberries
3 pounds of sugar
1 gallon of boiling water
Wash berries, put in large bowl and pour over them the boiling water. Stir well, then cover the bowl and leave for ten days. Strain liquid through muslin, add the three pounds of sugar and stir well. Cover the bowl and leave for three days, but stir daily. Put into bottles and cork, loosely at first. The wine will be ready to drink in six months.
Evidence of wine making and grape cultivation dates back over 7000 years to the Biblical mountains of Ararat, now modern day Armenia and former Soviet Georgia. At the end of the 5th century BC, the Greek historian Thucydides wrote: “the people of the Mediterranean began to emerge from barbarism when they learnt to cultivate the olive and the vine.” Thucydides clearly was a man who had his priorities straight. The period that Thucydides was most likely referencing was the time between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, when winemaking emerged in force in Asia Minor, Greece, and the Cyclades Islands of the Aegean Sea.
About the Author
When not writing for Ravenhawks, Kamberlyn works with clients seeking a more spiritually centered life. In her work, she helps people realize the relationship, career and finances that belongs to their soul. She can be found on KEEN at Kamberlyn Divine Love or through her website, LadyKamberlyn.com.