Organic Innocence and Autumn Mysteries

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Autumn Equinox – the Beloved One descends

Autumn Equinox Season is frequently named as “Mabon”, and even though I consistently celebrate this Seasonal Moment in the tradition of the Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone, I too have named it thus – as “Mabon”.[1]

”Mabon” is a name from the Celtic tradition, and it is the name of the Son of Modron, the Matrona or Mother of earliest times. His name is not a name, but is a title “Mab ap Modron” meaning “Son of the Great Mother”. In later tales and songs the divine Mabon is transformed into the role model for the Western knight.[2] Mabon is taken from His Mother when only three nights old as the story goes in the Mabignogion. “He is the primal child who was in existence at the beginning of things”.[3] He represents an innocence. In the still strong mysteries of Mabon and Modron the Mother, he is lost and imprisoned, but his primal innocence is held to turn away harm. Though he is “lost”: that is, not visible on the surface of things, he has the power of the protecting Life. It has similarities to the multivalence of the Demeter-Persephone story, wherein Persephone as the Seed containing all that is needed for renewal – for Life to go on, descends to the below, beneath the visible. In these Mother-Daughter Mysteries, “Daughter” is a title, much like “Mabon”  … all initiates (female, male and all permutations) identified with the Mother and the Daughter, all dressed alike: the identification with “Daughter” of Demeter signified one’s claimed identity of relationship with the Mother – a religious relationship. It is this “innocence” that protects the beloved one who descends, who is lost. It is a “Don Quixote” thing, if you know that story, wherein a nameless nobleman loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world, under the name Don Quixote.


It is a pathway characterised by “innocence “ being a connection to the Mother, to Source, direct connection to Cosmos – not in an arrogant way, but in a “selfless” way: that is, knowing the small self’s immersion in the Great Self and also one’s contribution to that Great Self, the rich reciprocity of that bond.


the Seed descends, bearing the germinal red thread that protects, guides and forms the future. Photo: PaGaian Autumn Equinox ceremony

This is what innocence may be … nothing to do with an asexual state of being, as it is frequently diminished to in our current mythological context. And even much more than simply “being without guilt” which is another construct of a more alienated state of being, innocence may be understood as knowing that one is connected to the Source, to the Mother of All, as the tree bud is to the branch: that this is the sacred thread of knowledge that will guide your path through the dark realms, and protect from ultimate harm … one may be wounded but the wounds become enrichment, complexification – not lethal. Thus the initiates into the Mysteries wore red threads to signify recognition – the Vision – of this seamless primordial connection, the sacred capacity to see the organic innocence at the core of being, an essence of life below the visible that can be trusted. It is a religious relationship with the Mother – knowing that bond.


Demeter and Persephone, 500 B.C.E. Greece. Image: “The Heart of the Goddess” Hallie Iglehart Austen, p. 72.

© Glenys Livingstone 2015 

You may enjoy the Autumn Equinox/Mabon Meditation available as an individual track on this page: PaGaian Meditations CDs


[1] There are other possible names for the Season of Autumn Equinox: “Alban Elfed” is the Welsh name, meaning “autumn”; and some New Zealand Goddess yoginis had another Goddess name for it, but I cannot recall it.

[2] Claire French, The Celtic Goddess, p.58.

[3] Caitlin and John Matthews, The Western Way, p.83.


French, Claire. The Celtic Goddess. Edinburgh: Floris Books, 2001.

Iglehart Austen, Hallie. The Heart of the Goddess. Berkeley: Wingbow Press, 1990.

Livingstone, Glenys. PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. Nebraska: iUniverse, 2005.

Matthews, Caitlin and John. The Western Way. London: Penguin, 1994.

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