Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, is fast approaching. Usually occurring around September 21st, it is a day where both light and dark are of equal length. It tells us winter is almost here. It is a time when the Goddess descends into the underworld, from which she will be reborn at Yule.
This is also the time we celebrate the farewell of the Harvest Lord, slain on Lugnasadh in celebration of the first harvest in August. The Harvest Lord is often represented as a strawman, whose body is burned in sacrifice and then scattered over the earth. The Harvest Queen is made from the very last sheaf of harvested wheat, made into a wheat woman, and then dressed in a frock with colored ribbons indicating Spring. In some places, the last sheaf of wheat is called The Maiden and is traditionally cut down by the youngest female participating in the ceremony. The Maiden, or Harvest Queen, is then placed on the top of the pole from which hang many ribbons, much like a May Pole.
Mabon is the middle of the Harvest period, and as such, it is a time to reflect on the past as well as the future—to plan the future based upon what is learned from the past.
A historical connection to Mabon is the First Thanksgiving in America. This is believed to be the festival brought over by the Pilgrims and celebrated in the New World. It is also believed, by some, to be the time when Jesus celebrated the Feast of Kyriat. This is when he fed thousands with five loaves of bread and two fishes. Early Christian Priests, in attempting to assist in the conversion of Pagans to Christianity, tied these two festivals together.
Traditional Mabon meals align well with modern tastes. A simple roast with vegetables is a great meal to enjoy when celebrating the event. I have a favorite crock pot or slow cooker recipe that I use.
Mabon Crock Pot Roast
4 pound pot roast 1 package of Onion Soup Mix 1/2 cup flour 1 can whole mushrooms (or two cups of fresh sliced mushrooms) 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 3 tablespoons olive oil
Mix all of the ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl ensuring they are mixed well.
Using a heavy duty pan, large enough to hold the roast, get it smoking hot on the stove top. Roll the roast in flour, covering all sides lightly. Brown the roast on all sides in 3 tablespoons oil. Place in crock pot along with the other ingredients. Put the lid on the crock pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
You can add your favorite vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, turnips, etc., before placing the roast inside. Make sure the vegetables are cut into serving size pieces before you put them in the crock pot. Serves four.