It may be helpful to think of Mabon as “the Witches’ Thanksgiving.” It is our Autumn harvest and feasting holiday. Our agrarian, pagan ancestors were vastly grateful for a harvest which, for them, literally meant the difference between life and death in the face of the approaching winter. The cool thing about the witch Thanksgiving is that it has zero to do with European colonization of the Americas or the subjugation of Native peoples. It doesn’t have to be connected to eating turkeys either!
In the story of the Goddess and God, the Oak/Corn King is now completely consumed. He “dies” in the sense that he gives way completely to his other aspect, the now reigning Holly King. The Holly King is a death god, since he reigns over the time of decay, darkness, and dormancy. The Goddess progresses toward her identity as the Crone as she and the Holly King lead the way through autumn and towards winter. Yet the holiday of Mabon is a feast of thanks to the Summer God for his loving sacrifice and the bounty it provides.
Other ideas for Mabon:
This one’s easy: have a vegan potluck! If you already have a vegan meetup group, this can be a great time of year to try out some Thanksgiving type recipes in preparation for the mainstream holiday. If you do not have such a group, maybe you can create one! The site www.meetup.com is great for making these kinds of connections.
If it is a brand new group you may want to meet at a restaurant rather than give a bunch of strangers your address. In this case you could do a recipe swap and try them out on each other if a potluck develops later on.
If you start thinking about mainstream Thanksgiving at Mabon, you have more time to plan some vegan activism, alone or in a group. You could:
· Prepare your group to pool resources and “adopt a turkey” for a rescue group like www.farmsanctuary.org.
· Plan a vegan food drive to give to food pantries when the mainstream Thanksgiving dinner drive starts. You can raise popular fall veggies or even have a tofurkey drive!
· Make a donation yourself or in the name of your group to a local food pantry at Thanksgiving. Possibly attach some information, like the address of your website or a vegan website you like (PETA, Compassion Over Killing, Vegan Outreach, a local animal rights or vegan group, etc.)
· If you have a farm animal sanctuary as a local resource, see if they are having a Thanksgiving event, like a “feed the turkeys” (a popular Farm Sanctuary idea). Maybe with your support, they could start one!
· Have a harvest bake sale for your group, perhaps by joining a mainstream harvest bazaar or event. In this way even your small table could introduce consumers to tasty vegan treats, and perhaps raise money for a vegan organization of your choice (or animal shelter, etc.)
On a holiday that is so focused on the blessing of a full pantry and tummy, it is perhaps a good time to contemplate what veganism has to offer to food equality issues both locally and globally.