It is, conceptually, a beautiful holiday. The commercialization of American Thanksgiving, however, has compromised its meaning somewhat. These days, Thanksgiving is a time for overindulgence, family drama, Football, and camping outside big-box stores for Black Friday sales. Not exactly what the forefathers had in mind. It is also, even when traditionally observed, rather Christian in its focus. Nothing wrong with that. The Pilgrims were Christian. But what about the rest of us? How should we offer our thanks? Here are a few suggestions, and our sincere wishes for a safe and happy holiday:
from A Pagan Ritual Prayer Book by Ceisiwr Serith
Here we are, gathered on this wonderful holiday, among family and friends.
and all we can think is “thank you.”
Thank you to all those whose presence made this celebration possible,
and gratitude most of all to the Shining Ones,
whom we continually praise.
From A Book of Pagan Pray by Ceisiwr Serith
The gifts the gods give me are many and wonderful
and I am grateful to the gods for their generosity.
Knowing that it would be wrong to forget them,
I lift my voice in thankfulness.
Holy Ones, thank you, for all that you have done.
Standing in the presence of the mighty gods,
my mind is turned toward all I’ve been given.
I thank them, as is only their due,
for they pour out blessings on all their children.
Thanks to my patron for my continued prospertity,
for my continued health, for my continued life.
Continually I will pray to you,
always remembering you.
From A Grateful Heart, ed. M.J. Ryan
O Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me! I am small and weak, I need your
strength and wisdom.
Let Me Walk In Beauty, and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make My Hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make Me Wise so that I may understand the
things you have taught my people.
Let Me Learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
I Seek Strength, not to be greater than my
brother, but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make Me Always Ready to come to you with
clean hands and straight eyes.
So When Life Fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.
– Native American Prayer
May the suffering ones be suffering free
And the fear struck fearless be.
May the grieving shed all grief –
And the sick find health relief.
The food is brahma (creative energy)
Its essence is vishnu (preservative energy)
The eater is shiva (destructive energy)
No sickness due to food can come
To one who eats with this knowledge.
– Sanskrit Blessings, tranl. Baba Hari Dass
The sun brings forth the beginning
The moon holds it in darkness
As above, so below
For there is no greater magic in all the world
than that of people joined together in love.
– Wiccan Blessing
May we walk with grace
and may the light of the universe
shine upon our path.
All Life Is One
And Everything that Lived is Holy
Plants, Animals and People.
All must eat to live and nourish one another
We bless the lives that have died to give us this food.
Let us eat together
Resolving by our work to pay the debt of our existence.
– John Bennett
Now may every living thing, young or old, weak or
strong, living near or far, known or unknown, living or
departed or yet unborn, may every living thing be full
– The Buddha