Friday, November 23, 2007

Writing Continues

This is a hard time of year to deal with almost any project. The United States alone is looking at two holidays celebrated by everyone and four more celebrated by groups of people based on faith or ethnicity, all in a span of little more than a month.

For those of you in the United States, I hope you had a wondrous Thanksgiving, filled with the company of family and the bounty of this pre-winter harvest. Thanksgiving is, after all, a harvest festival. It is unique in that it has no religious roots whatsoever, and most cultures around the world celebrate the harvest in some way. Canada, for example, holds their harvest Thanksgiving the second Monday in October. It has become a day not only to give thanks for the bounty of the harvest, or the Natives who taught the Pilgrims how to have a bountiful harvest, but also for all of your blessings. Gratitude is a blessed thing.

I want to share a blessing with you. I usually bring this up around Lughnasadh but, as you can see, I did not have my journal up for that holiday. It is appropriate here because Lughnasadh is a Thanksgiving holiday, it is the first harvest.

Since many Wiccans and pagans come from other religious backgrounds, and most of those are Christian, many ask me about a pre-meal blessing appropriate to their faith, similar to a rhyme they were taught as children (for example, the "God is great, God is good" blessing of the Methodist Church, or the "Bless us, oh Lord, and these, Thy gifts" blessing of the Catholic Church).

There is such a grace that can be said with pagan flair. You can recite it aloud at a faith gathering, or to yourself when you are surrounded by grace-sayers of other faiths and wish to be discrete. I quite regret that I do not know who wrote this. It was repeated to me by a High Priestess of a local coven, and I heard it again in an online coven. It is usually credited as an historic part of the Lughnasadh festival, but even in other online sources, its actual origins seem to be unknown.

The grace:

Thanks to the Lord for the food we eat.
Thanks to the Lady for her gifts so sweet.
Thanks to the farmers who labored long.
Thanks to the animals for their bodies strong. 
Thanks to the hands that prepared our meal.
Thanks to all who turn the Wheel.

Lughnasadh or Thanksgiving or just dinner, it's always a good time to give thanks for the food that keeps you alive.

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