November is winding down already and it’s time to think about this month’s entry on the ritual calendar cycle. I’d mentioned previously that November’s ritual is purposefully abridged. There has been some interesting behind-the-scenes feedback about the efficacy of abbreviated rituals. Some indignation has been expressed that small rituals don’t ‘properly honor’ one’s path or deities.
Embracing a ‘Go big or go home’ philosophy is a viable option only if you have the resources to do so. The couple of critics who have expressed dissatisfaction with my approach have missed a vital point – not everyone has unlimited resources to invest in a regular schedule of large-scale rituals. Lack of resources does not necessarily preclude someone from having a meaningful practice. More importantly, it is up to each individual to decide what constitutes a meaningful practice on their path and what level of ritual work is required.
Perhaps I need to be more clear in my intent: this calendar is for my own use and takes into account my own limitations and priorities, along with the expectations of those deities with whom I work. The purpose of posting it here is not to declare that my method is the One True Way(tm). Rather, it’s just an opportunity to share one approach that someone else may find useful or adaptable on their own paths. If it doesn’t work well for someone else, that’s fine because it is not created for anyone else. In any case, I’m not going to post large-scale, expansive rituals simply because someone else thinks that’s the way it should be done. So, without further ado, a little ritual of thanksgiving.
November Ritual – The Gratitude List
- Any time in November, but well suited for Thanksgiving if you’re in the States.
- Reflection and expression of thanks.
- Gather supplies:
- Blessing oil of choice (optional)
Ritual- Full Version
- Spend some time in considering what it is that makes you thankful. Start with the big and obvious things, events, and beings in your life for whom you are grateful.
- Write out your list. This can be a simple bullet list or if desired, prose text that includes the reasons for your gratitude.
- When your list is complete, say a prayer of thanks. If desired anoint the list with blessing oil and add a prayer of blessing for those on your list.
- Place the list in a place where you can see it frequently and be reminded of it.
Modifications and Notes
- As this is a reflective work, I don’t find warding or demarcating the ritual space necessary. These steps can be added per personal preference.
- If you have the inclination or are of a creative bent, you can also look for less obvious additions to your list. For example, a broken leash and an ill-mannered dog because that combination allowed me to meet a really amazing person (who is also the subject of much gratitude).
- An alternative to the list would be a visual collage with representations of the objects of your gratitude.
- While I do list deities on my list, this is not designed to be a ritual of giving thanks directly to them. Offerings of thanks to deity are done separately and tend to be very specific to the deity and the situation.