The Pagan Student Alliance’s first ritual of the year took place on Thursday, Sept. 21 with the observance of Mabon.
“Mabon is a celebration of the death of summer and the advent of fall,” PSA Program Coordinator Lennon Hutto said.
Similar to Thanksgiving, Mabon is a time for renewal and being thankful for what the Earth offers, Hutto said.
“Mabon is a small but important festival,” Hutto said. “It is a time for reflection on the past year and rebirth.”
According to the Pagan Federation, an authority on Paganism based in the United Kingdom, Mabon is defined as the Autumn Equinox.
PSA celebrated Mabon at 5 p.m. on the Autumn Equinox. PSA Vice President Zach Simonson began the ritual by inviting the attendees to join hands to create a circle around a table set with harvest bounty and pagan symbolism.
“Hand-in-hand, the circle is cast,” Simonsin read from the Mabon observational rites.
The ritual proceeded with each participant reading a portion of the rites, giving thanks to each cardinal direction. Rye bread and grape juice were passed around the circle to symbolize the traditional act of joining in cakes and ale.
The ritual came to a close with each person saying something they were thankful for and a final reading from the rites.
“Merry we meet, merry we part and merry we meet again,” the final link in the circle read.
PSA observes five main holidays throughout the year, member Tyler Hahn said.
“We celebrate Mabon, Samhain, Yule, Ostara and Beltane, which all center around food, the seasons and earth-based worship,” Hahm said. “Our rituals are open to anyone who’s interested in attending.”
Simonson also spoke about the importance of fellowship in the organization.
“We are very inclusive and open to teaching anyone who wants to learn about what it means to be Pagan,” Simonson said. “PSA is LGBTQ+ friendly so we’re also a great place if someone is in need of that sort of community.”
Simonson said he has been involved in PSA for ten months, and he was initially attracted to the group because of it’s accepting nature and his own interest in exploring tarot readings and Paganism.
“This was a great way to meet new people that I really had a lot in common with,” Simonson said.
PSA meetings are typically academic in nature, Hahn said.
“In the past we have done dream workshops, tarot readings, divination classes and had speakers,” Hahm said.