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The God Mabon

The God Mabon

PostAuthor: Morgan » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:45 pm

We all know of the Festival/Sabbat/call it what you will of Mabon but how much do we know about the Deity behind the Festival? In this month’s Deity, I’ll try to provide some information that you may not know about the Second Harvest Festival Deity of Mabon.

He is also known as Maponos and Maponus. Mabon means “Great/Divine Son” and was the son of the Goddess Modron, the “Divine Mother”, but a father is never mentioned. He was stolen from his mother at the age of only three days and imprisoned in Caer-Gloiu (Gloucester), until eventually rescued by King Arthur (other legends say he was rescued by the Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle and the Salmon).

Mabon’s myths overlap those of Gwyn ap Nuad, and they may have once been the same Deity. Mabon rode wild horses, had prized guardian hunting hounds and he may have been an actual ruler of Wales who later came into myth.

He is also a minor Sun God yet he represents the power in darkness. His images transcend all the life stages of other Gods. He is a king of death and the Otherworld, a deity of the Harvest and fertility and was once called “The Divine Youth” by his followers. He represents innocent youth when young, strength and virility as a young man and the sacrificial God when elderly. His image is linked to hierarchies of sacred animals and he may have once figured heavily in long lost Celtic creation myths since He is equated with the expelling of and control of the darkness and of storms. Some Celtic traditions see Him as the original being, the first God, the first life carved out of the primal void of the divine womb. Only in this way can he be reborn. Mabon's light has been drawn into the Earth, gathering strength and wisdom enough to become a new seed.

He has been linked with Cernunnos for His association as a God of liberation, unity and music. He is also occasionally equated to the Irish God of Love, Aengus MacOg. Sometimes he has been called a masculine Persephone or the Celtic Dionysus because of His linkage with the grape harvest. Mabon may also be identified with the Welsh character, Pryderi, who was similarly kidnapped in his youth. He certainly had a popular following in Northern Britain as still to be noted by Lochmaben, west of Lockerbie in Scotland. This may be the Locus Maponi mentioned in the Roman Ravenna Cosmography. A silver plaque from the Roman fort at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) has been discovered inscribed "Deo Mapono". At Hexham, however, his musical and poetic attributes are emphasised more. His worship was widespread throughout the Celtic World though and his name has been found in several places on the Continent. An Ogham inscription to “Mabo-Mabon” has apparently been found at South Woodstock, Vermont, USA which means that His worship was more extensive than originally presumed.

He was adopted by the Anglo-Romans as Maponus and was honoured at Hadrian’s Wall. He was also linked with the Greek/Roman God Apollo. At Ribchester, Mabon shares a stone with a hunter-goddess - perhaps Apollo's sister, Diana.

Like most Welsh Deities, the stories of Him are rare and generally only found within the Mabinogion so it is up to the reader to decide which is myth and legend and which are true stories passed down through generations of a Deity known by the people.

Symbols: Vines, Grapes, Wine, The Equilateral Cross, Pine Cones, Acorns, Grains, Corn, Apples, Pomegranates, Dried Seeds and Horns of Plenty.
Colours: Red, Orange, Russet, Maroon, Brown and Gold.
Stones: Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli and Yellow Agates.
Foods: Breads, Nuts, Apples, Pomegranates and Vegetables such as Potatoes, Carrots and Onions.
Herbs: Acorn, Benzoin, Ferns, Grains, Honeysuckle, Marigold, Milkweed, Myrrh, Passionflower, Rose, Sage, Solomon's Seal, Tobacco, Thistle and Vegetables.


Culhwch ac Olwen

Culhwch's father, King Cilydd son of Celyddon, loses his wife Goleuddydd after a difficult childbirth. When he remarries, the young Culhwch rejects his stepmother's attempt to pair him with his new stepsister. Offended, the new queen puts a curse on him so that he can marry no one besides the beautiful Olwen, daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden. Though he has never seen her, Culhwch becomes infatuated with her, but his father warns him that he will never find her without the aid of his famous cousin Arthur. The young man immediately sets off to seek his kinsman. He finds him at his court in Celliwig in Cornwall and asks for support and assistance. Arthur agrees to help, and sends six of his finest warriors (Cai, Bedwyr, Gwalchmei, Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd, Menw son of Tairgwaedd and Cynddylig Gyfarwydd) to join Culhwch in his search for Olwen.

They travel onwards until they come across the "fairest of the castles of the world", and meet Ysbaddaden's shepherd brother, Custennin. They learn that the castle belongs to Ysbaddaden, that he stripped Custennin of his lands and murdered the shepherd's twenty-three children out of cruelty. Custennin set up a meeting between Culhwch and Olwen, and the maiden is receptive to Culhwch's attraction, but she cannot marry him unless her father agrees, and he, unable to survive past his daughter's wedding, will not consent until Culhwch completes a series of about forty impossible-sounding tasks. However she agrees to lead Culhwch and his companions to Ysbadadden's castle. Cai pledges to protect the twenty-fourth son, Goreu with his life.

The knights attack the castle by stealth, killing the nine porters and the nine watchdogs, and enter the giant's hall. Upon their arrival, Ysbaddaden attempts to kill Culhwch with a poison dart, but is outwitted and wounded, first by Bedwyr, then by the enchanter Menw, and finally by Culhwch himself. Eventually, Ysbaddaden relents, and agrees to give Culhwch his daughter on the condition that he completes a number of impossible tasks (anoethau), including hunting the Twrch Trwyth and recovering the exalted prisoner, Mabon son of Modron, the only man able to hunt the dog Drudwyn, in turn the only dog who can track the Twrch Trwyth.

Arthur and his men learn that Mabon was stolen from his mother's arms when he was three nights old, and question the world's oldest and widest animals about his whereabouts, until they are led to the salmon of Llyn Llyw, the oldest animal of them all. The enormous salmon carries Arthur's men Cei and Bedwyr downstream to Mabon's prison in Gloucester; they hear him through the walls, singing a lamentation for his fate. The rest of Arthur's men launch an assault on the front of the prison, while Cei and Bedwyr sneak in the back and rescue Mabon.

Arthur's enchanter, Menw son of Tairgwaedd is sent to snatch one of the treasures from the boar but is poisoned in the process and is forced to retreat. Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd, one of Arthur's companions is sent as an emissary to the boars but friendly negotiation lead to nothing. As a result, Arthur and his men set over towards Wales to begin the hunt.

After being chased across Wales, Twrch Trwyth makes a stand at Cwm Cerwyn and slays eight of Arthur's warriors, but is wounded himself. Early the next morning, a number of Arthur's men attack Twrch Trwyth again, leading to the deaths of the gatekeepers Huandaw, Gogigiwr and Penpingion as well as Arthur's chief craftsman Gwlyddyn Saer. The next battles are at Peuliniog, in which a further three men are killed and at Aber Tywi, in which two more, including King Gwilenhin of France, are slain. The host lose the boars at Glan Ystun.

At Dyffryn Llychwr, two of Twrch Trwyth's piglets massacre a number of Arthur's huntsmen, leading to a counter-attack from Arthur and his heroes. Twrch Trwyth moves to defend his piglets and then flees to Mynydd Amanw, where three of the piglets are killed. At Dyffryn Amanw, another two are slain by the Britons and their allies leaving only two of Twrch Trwyth's children left alive. At Llwch Ewin, a large number of men and dogs are killed by the boars. The piglets, Grugyn Gwallt Eraint and Llwydog Gofyniad, are separated. Grugyn succeeds in killing a number of the men before his death at Garth Grugyn, while Llwydog slaughters the Bretons under King Hir Peisog before his own death at Ystrad Yw.

Arthur calls upon the men of Devon and Cornwall to fight against Twrch Trwyth and the combined force drives him into the Severn. Mabon and Cyledr Wyllt succeed in retrieving the razor and shears.

Eventually, the comb is retrieved in Cornwall and the boar is driven into the Irish Sea and is drowned.
The God Mabon
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Morgan )O(

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Re: The God Mabon

PostAuthor: Morgan » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:30 am

THE TALE OF MABON (Modron), (the "great son of the great mother"), also known as the Son of Light, the Young Son, or Divine Youth, is celebrated. The Equinox is also the birth of Mabon, from his mother Modron, the Guardian of the Outerworld, the Healer, the Protector, the Earth. Mabon was taken after he is a mere three nights old (some variations of the legend say he is taken after three years).
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Morgan )O(

May your summers and winters be short, springs be mild and autumn reaping plentiful.

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Posts: 1223
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Location: Hessen, Germany

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