Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Magic of Thanksgiving

I don’t think I’ve ever talked with my pagan friends about the magic of Thanksgiving before, and since I’m waiting for the post-pie sugar buzz to wear off so I can go to bed, I figured now is the perfect time.

Thanksgiving is one of the most interesting secular holidays.. It’s full of political opinions about the pilgrims and Native Americans, and lots of my more liberal friends are angry on behalf of the Native American folks who were robbed of their land, culture, and lives.

But it’s also a time for football, where people are usually drinking and having fun while watching their favored team either win or get trounced, with all of the high emotions around whichever way it’s going.

And let’s not forget that Thanksgiving is also a time where lots of friends and families are getting together, having a good time and quietly rejoicing in the company, the food, the traditions, etc.  I know some families also get together and fight, it’s sort of the other side of the coin I suppose.

A small percentage of people are camping out at stores, in the hopes of getting a special deal for Black Friday and buy all of their holiday gifts for the least amount of money.  Some of them have been camping for days, waiting in line to be first/second in the store.  (Just think of all the energy that goes into this one thing, and compare it to ritual preparation.)

Many people are giving thanks for the joys in their lives, or sometimes the lack of bad things in their life, such as "I'm thankful I'm not homeless".  A small percentage of people are volunteering at soup kitchens and feeding homeless and hungry people who have nowhere else to go.
A lot of the "giving of thanks" that goes on this time of year is focused on love and the people we're happy to have in our lives.  Some people are thanking specific deity, some are just "being thankful" without invoking any gods at all.

But all of those scenarios I’ve described amount to one thing – emotional energy.  The seasons are changing where I live, the cooler weather has arrived and the trees are making a heroic farewell with bright red, soft gold, and showering the streets with the leaves that fall.  Emotional energy, changes in nature – all of which a witch can tap into.  We can choose from the vast smorgasbord of energy which wavelength of the energy to immerse ourselves in, and channel it into whatever works best for us.

I’m choosing to focus on the quiet joy of families giving thanks to no specific deity, to amplify and send out in waves of harmony as far as they’ll reach.  Which energy are you going to choose to align yourself with?


  1. I know it said it on Facebook, but with regards to the natives, I like to emphasize that the "First Thanksgiving" was actually a case of positive "First Contact". Had all our subsequent relations been equally harmonious, then there'd be no question about Thanksgiving being a positive occasion for both groups. It wasn't until a decade after this encounter that England armed The Colonies and the conflict with Native Americans began.

    That said, I was reduced by circumstance to being thankful for the fact that no one in my family died on Thanksgiving. This was, in fact, something of a concern at the time.

  2. I'm unable to sort the mixed energies & I choose to ignore them.

  3. I work for a local Tribe and can honestly say that I enjoyed a "traditional" Thanksgiving last week; the Tribe had an employee potluck luncheon and we all gathered together (Apaches and Whites)each of us brought a dish, and had a great meal.