Blessed Mabon to all of you Kittenz in the Northern Hemisphere! Happy Spring to all of you down South! If you’ve stumbled onto this page and don’t know what I’m talking about, Mabon is a holiday celebrated by many Pagans honoring the beginning of Autumn Equinox. We honor the Harvest, both the actual and the symbolic Harvest. We take stock of the blessings in our lives. We give thanks. We also look at how we might live in balance. I have many things to be thankful for, but my heart is heavy. To be brutally honest, I’m scared for my Black friends, co-workers, and Witchkin. I want to protect them, but I can’t. I want to say the right thing, and so often I blunder. Where is the line between offering comfort and stirring up that which would rather be left undisturbed? I almost didn’t write this post because it felt so trivial in the midst of so much fear and sorrow. But then I thought about Mabon and the journey to balance. The internet is clogged with images and talk about the most recent shootings of Black people by the police. I imagine there are people of color who might like to browse the internet, just for a few minutes, and not read all the horrible details of what has happened, combined with racist comments. Maybe this is one way I can help. This blog post doesn’t have a lot of insight. But maybe it will be a nice distraction–a five minute read away from the painful things people of color are experiencing right now. If you are a person of color and you’ve found my blog, I hope this is at least a mildly pleasant break…
The Drama of The Wine Boxes
by Courtney Weber
A million years ago, I lived in the West Village with an older lady who set the trend for the “Glam-ma.” She was an 88 year old Aries, a former actress, a glamorous dame of the old stage. She dated Burl Ives. She starred in an original Tennessee Williams. She understudied for Vivian Leigh. She wore bright red lipstick. She was my mentor. She was my friend. And, as a Great Depression baby, she kept and used everything. One of the many things she kept and used were beautiful old wine boxes which she’d find on the street outside the liquor store. When I moved out, she gave me a couple.
In my old apartment, a bachelorette paradise roughly the size of the backseat of most cars, I used them as bookcases and altars. I turned one on its side as a bare-bones nightstand, tucked in between my mattress and box spring (no bed frame) and my Magickal cabinet. It was home to condom wrappers and watery drinks, to tissues when I was sick or crying over yet another broken heart. I rested my cell phone on it, which served as my alarm clock. It held my journals.
Then, I met my husband and we moved into a bigger place. We got real bookshelves and a real bed. No longer tall enough to be nightstands, the wine boxes found their way into the back room, where they held miscellaneous stuff that I never got around to filing. Now, as part of our Mabon work, Husband and I are trying to find balance in our house by doing a major purge. When I first came across the wine boxes, it felt time to let them go. I am ready for some new-to-me antiques. My husband wants to build me some shelves. I imagined us eventually lugging the wine boxes to a new house, then another new house, until one day when I’m dead and my future kids look at them and say, “What the fuck, Ma? Thanks for leaving us so much crap.”
Was it time to let them go?
I cleaned them out and left them by the front door, ready to take them to the curb when I was stopped by their web of memories. The condom wrappers….the tear-soaked tissues, the coffee cups and rum and coke glasses….my dear friend Anna…being a scrappy Bachelorette who couldn’t afford furniture…how could I let that go?
“Wait. That part of my life is over.”
My Mabon lesson: I can let the boxes go because I’ve already let the life go that needed them. I’m not a scrappy bachelorette. I’m a reasonably organized married lady who keeps a reasonably tidy home with reasonably nice furniture. Anna is in Summerland, but I don’t need the wine boxes to remember her. My memories of her are in my heart.
The memory does not belong to the object. The memory belongs to the soul.
But also in the Spirit of Balance, the essence of Mabon, did I really have to choose between two extremes? Keep the boxes or throw them out? Was there another option? I thought on it and asked the Spirit of the Sabbat to show me the most balanced option.
I thought of another friend, who was also friend to Anna. I asked her if she would like the wine boxes and she enthusiastically said yes. She had always admired Anna’s creative use of storage and appreciated having something that once belonged to her. It made me feel good. It was time to part from something that was only taking up nostalgic space. The part of my life connected to those boxes is long behind me. But the essence of it has stayed with my Spirit. Yet, the boxes aren’t being flung to the curb. They are on their way to someone who will love them and their origin as much as I did, continuing their story.
This feels right to me. This feels balanced.
May you find blessed balance on your Mabon or Ostara, whether you are receiving, giving away, or something in between.