Nov 27, 2010
Thursday (November 25th) was Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. It is (or purports to be) a purely secular holiday which has many traditions surrounding it, including the start of the Christmastide selling season and many, many family pilgrimages in which families come together for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Those family pilgrimages to family gatherings can be a whole other matter, considering the dynamics which can exist in almost any family. I mention some such situations here but, suffice it to say that it is necessary to not allow such factors interfere with the spiritual dimension of your own thanksgiving.
The secular Thanksgiving in the United States has been said by some to take up the void left by the fact that there isn't anything to take Mabon's place in the secular version of our spiritual calendar. That's as good an explanation as any. Most secular calendars do indeed include some day set aside for giving thanks. And if the secular want to think it's purely secular, let them enjoy their opinion. There's more to it than that, and we know it.
And, the principle behind Thanksgiving goes far beyond the celebration of one day on some calendar. Note that it is close to, but not at, the end of the year. Look at any daily cycle of prayer, such as a breviary, and you'll find that the time of most thanks (Compline, for instance) is at the last prayer service, which is after all of the day's work is complete and all that's left afterwards is to retire for the day. And this secular Thanksgiving does indeed follow Samhain and is while we wait for the first lights of Yule. And there's more!
There is something here which you can harness in your daily spiritual life which can become a most powerful spiritual tool! Look, and you will see what I mean!