Thanksgiving is more than just a day of gluttony in the US; it’s a powerful ritual and act in its own right. At its core, thanksgiving is just that: giving thanks, or being grateful. We feel gratitude for a lot of things: gifts received, favors obtained, good work done on our behalf, and the like. Many religions place a high emphasis on being grateful towards divinity, especially since so much of our work and our lives in general depend upon divinity for continuing and continuing support. Offering our thanks for, or at the bare minimum recognizing, the help and spiritual substance we receive, often forms a crucial center of worship and devotion, which enables us to further recognize the aid and presence of divinity in our lives, which enables us to always treat the things we receive (our food, our homes, our work, our families, our lives, etc.) with respect just as we respect divinity, which further enables us to live better lives. This is especially true for magicians, where we not only have divinity to work with but often innumerable spirits, angels, demons, saints, gods, and the like to tend to. For any work done, payment and thanks should always be given in return; this not only sweetens the deal and solidifies the relationship between magician and entity, but also makes the magician more receptive to that spirit’s aid and presence in their lives.
One of my favorite thanksgiving rituals is elegantly simple; I’ve adapted it from Draja Mickaharic’s book Magical Spells of the Minor Prophets, a collection of rituals and spells based on verses selected from the Minor Prophetical books of the Old Testament. This is a fantastic book to pick up with plenty to offer. The following is one I’ve added onto slightly by adding some more prayers, but it’s very simple and takes all of five minutes to do. Mickaharic says that this type of ritual is best performed often, since it not only makes one more receptive to divinity in their lives but also strengthens the connection with divinity and helps their ritual strength the more they give thanks. It makes sense; by recognizing the source of the power we work with as magicians, we honor it, and by honoring the source of the power we work with, we enable ourselves to receive more of it. Given the source of this ritual, it leans heavily to the Abrahamic/Judeo-Christian side with its prayers, but it’s still a good one to use for any who are open to it.
- Light three white candles set up in a triangle pointing away from you, preferably towards the east or to some image of the Divine.
- For each of the three candles, do the following:
- Recite aloud Jonah 2:9, “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.”
- Silently pray the Lord’s Prayer three times.
- Silently pray the Trisagion three times.
- Silently pray the following prayer three times: “Thank you very much for everything; I have no complaints whatsoever.”
- Silently focus gratitude on the candle flame for a brief moment.
- Recite aloud the Prayer of Thanksgiving.
- In your own words, offer your thanks and gratitude for all the things in your life: the people you know, the work you do, the luxuries you enjoy, the provisions you use, the home you inhabit, and the like. Especially give thanks for any ritual, spiritual, or divine work that has been done in the recent past.
I like to perform this thanksgiving ritual once a week, on Sundays after my meditation, act of contrition, and usual prayers, but before any other ritual work such as energy work or banishing or offerings. It helps focus myself for the rest of my magical work, giving my thanks for all the work I’ve done so far and preparing myself for the work I’ve yet to do. Different spirits or gods get different types of thanksgiving rituals, depending on the spirit in question, but since this is directed to the Source and the All itself, it’s a very general and broad thing.