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Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

 

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it today!

Last night my husband and I had our own Thanksgiving feast since today is going to be a bit busy with spending time with family. I would like to share what I recited before we ate. It’s from Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook by Deborah Blake. I changed it for us so it applied to multiple people as it is written for a solitary.

“I am grateful

For the blessings bestowed upon me this day

And every day

I am conscious

Of the gifts that have been given

And the wishes granted

I am aware

That not everyone shares my good fortune

And that others suffer

I am hopeful

That my good fortune continues

And is spread to others

I am grateful

Blessed be”

More of my Thanksgiving posts from Thanksgivings past:

Animal Totems: Turkey

A Ritual of Thanks

Two Simpsons clips to sum up Thanksgiving 😉

 

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Thanksgiving is in a couple of days, so to all who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

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With Thanksgiving coming at the end of this month in the United States, I thought I would look into the symbolism of the most popular animal during this time of the year: the turkey.

Whether by serendipity or on purpose, the turkey is an excellent animal to represent the holiday of Thanksgiving. As a totem animal, it represents shared blessings and harvest with its cycle of power being the season of Autumn.

Also known as the earth eagle, the turkey has long been associated with honoring the Earth Mother. It symbolizes not only all of the blessings of the earth, but also the ability to use these blessings to their best advantage.

In Native American mythology, Turkey helped to create the world and taught humans how to raise corn.

The turkey is an incredibly adaptable bird. Turkeys can adapt to most environments, though they prefer the woods. Their diet is varied, as well, but they have been known to eat up to a pound of acorns a day. This is significant in that animals and birds that eat acorns and nuts are associated with hidden wisdom and new seeds of growth.

The male turkey will keep multiple females as mates. These females may share one nest, laying all of their eggs together. This again ties into the idea of shared blessings and harvest. Turkeys will also roost together for the night, finding strength in numbers and again exemplifying the ideas of shared energy.

This year, if you plan to eat a turkey for your Thanksgiving meal, perhaps take a moment either during the preparation of the bird or before serving to reflect on the concepts of sharing blessings. This could be sharing blessings with family, friends, or the world around you. As you eat the turkey, take into yourself the connection with the Earth Mother and share the blessings that She gives to us all.

If you don’t plan to eat turkey this year, maybe create a turkey collage or statue, or find a cute one at the store and use it as a centerpiece. Talk about the way blessings have been shared throughout the year, either from you or given to you from others. Feel your connection to the Earth Mother and to all those around you and know that all blessings from Her are shared amongst you all.

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Mabon is also known as the Witches’ Thanksgiving, so what better ritual to do than one of gratitude?

This is a ritual written by Scott Cunningham for a solitary worshiper. I’ve altered a few things slightly because I think it can easily lend itself to Mabon and even to a group ritual. Have everyone light a candle of their own, have more than one bowl, if necessary, or do it outside in a pond (just please don’t leave your candles in the pond!).

Supplies needed:

A large white or pink bowl; personally, I like to use a large, clear glass bowl

A white candle (or two if you need one for wax drippings; also, you could use floating candles)

A lighter with a long reach

Water

Fresh flowers (Scott Cunningham calls for white, but for a Mabon twist, how about fall mums?)

A piece of white cotton cloth; maybe hemp cloth would be better as you’ll be burying this cloth at the end of the ritual

Put the bowl on your altar or a table.

Cast a circle, if you wish.

Adhere the white candle to the middle of the bowl with warmed beeswax or with drippings from another white candle. This is to keep the candle from moving when you add the water to the bowl.

Gently pour water into the bowl and float the flowers. If using floating candles, pour the water first, then add the candles and the flowers.

Light the candle. If doing this with a group, have everyone light a candle.

 


 

Visualize your reason for this gratitude ritual. Though this ritual was not written for Mabon, at this time you can think about what the harvest means to you, both physically and spiritually. There’s food on your table, maybe you’re getting a promotion at work, maybe you’ve just gotten a new job, maybe you’ve learned new things about the Craft, or simply gotten more in tune with your beliefs.  Think of all the things you’re grateful to the Goddess and God for. Using both hands, touch the water and say these or similar words:

Lady of the Moon, of the stars and the Earth;
Lord of the Sun, of the forests and the hills;
I perform a ritual of thanks.
My love shines like the flame;
My love floats like the petals
Upon You.
Lady of the Waters, of flowers and the sea;
Lord of the Air, of horns and of fire;
I perform a ritual of thanks.
My love shines like the flame;
My love floats like the petals
Upon You.
Lady of the Caves, of cats and snakes;
Lord of the Plains, of falcons and stags;
I perform a ritual of thanks.
My love shines like the flame;
My love floats like the petals
Upon You.

Look into the candle’s flame, then down into the water. Blow gently upon the water’s surface and watch the flowers’ movements. Meditate. Commune. Thank.

When you’re finished, take the petals from the water and wrap them in the cloth. Close the circle, if you cast one. End your rite of thanks by quenching the candle’s flame, pouring the water onto the ground, and burying the flowers in the Earth. It is done.

 

Adapted from Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham

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We’re coming up to my favorite time of the year: Autumn (so consider yourself warned to the upcoming autumnal related posts 😉 ). I love the colors of the leaves and the sky, the smell of the earth, and the slight chill that means you need a light jacket to be comfortable outside. This time of year means bonfires that you actually want to be near (instead of the ones in summer when you lean in long enough to cook that hot dog and then you run from the heat!). It means cool, clear night skies with twinkling stars and your breath visible as you gaze upward. It’s the sound of rustling leaves and the sight of birds passing through your neck of the woods as they migrate to their winter homes. This time of year encourages us to ‘nest’, to fortify our homes for the cool weather ahead by changing out our wardrobes to warmer clothes, pulling out blankets, and changing light cotton sheets to flannels.

Autumn is also a time of harvest. Where I live there are a number of crops coming to harvest now. We have apples, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupes, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, grapes, green beans, lettuce, onions, parsnips, pears, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, squash, tomatoes, turnips, watermelon, and zucchini! That’s quite a haul to be thankful for!

Mabon, September 22 this year, is also known as the Autumnal Equinox (when night and day are of equal length) and I’ve heard it called the Witches’ Thanksgiving. I definitely agree with that comparison. There have been many years I’ve set back my Mabon celebration and combined it with Thanksgiving in November. Harvest time is the time of year that we show our gratitude for the food and animal products (wool, skins, etc.) that will sustain us through the increasingly cold and harsh months ahead. It’s the time for dressing up in your best and having a lavish meal with family and friends, reflecting on all the blessings in your life.

Deities of Mabon

Demeter and other mother/agricultural goddesses

Dionysus or Bacchus

Green Man or Horned God

Parvati

Persephone

Pomona

Symbols of Mabon

Acorns

Apples

Autumnal Leaves

Corn

Dried Seeds

Grains

Gourds

Horns of Plenty (aka cornucopia)

Wine

Colors of Mabon

Brown

Gold

Maroon

Orange

Red

Russet

Herbs of Mabon

Acorn

Autumnal Leaves

Ferns

Grains

Honeysuckle

Marigold

Mum

Rose

Sage

Thistle

Spellwork for Mabon

Balance

Gratitude

Harmony

Protection

Prosperity

Rededication

Whatever your plans for Mabon, whether they be solitary celebration or lavish party, I wish you the brightest blessings.

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