I spend a lot of time hanging out with dead people. In my professional life, I am a psychic medium, focused on healing and creating deep personal contact for my clients and their loved ones who have crossed into spirit. In my personal life, I am always in communication with 'My Spirits'. This constant connection with the other-world affects my life experience, giving me an understanding of 'what really matters in life'; through the lens of those who have lost theirs.
Thanksgiving matters... not necessarily the historic holiday; which is tainted by lies and hidden atrocities, but the gathering around the table with loved ones, sharing stories and food together knowing that other families are doing the same all over the country...that Thanksgiving matters!
The dead love to talk about family celebrations, and they love to reminisce about the foods they enjoyed most. October through January the spirits I communicate with all mention something of their holiday traditions. For many Thanksgiving is preferred over Christmas, Hanukkah, or Yule. The favoritism comes from simplicity. Thanksgiving is simple, it's about getting together and eating, maybe watching the football game or a holiday movie but, for the most part, it's really just about family and food.
Darkness is a time for memory making and remembrance.
Seeing the holidays from the perspective of memories made & revisited, the time spent making grandma's stuffing is well worth it; what's more, it's one of the easiest ways to connect with her spirit. When we engage consciously in something that reminds us of our Beloved Dead we send out an energetic signal; much like a pager, calling the spirits of our loved ones to us. This is a sacred act, one filled with love, sadness, and joy, for when we create (cook, sew, build, repair) in the way of our Beloved Dead we honor them and invite communication. This connection like all relationships is one that develops over time, and can be experienced in many forms; from a feeling of sensing the spirit is near to seeing, smelling, hearing and various other forms of communication.
Thanksgiving is many things; flawed like the rest of us, it is both beautiful and damaged. I personally see it as a time of being thankful for the abundance of my life, intentionally connecting with family and friends, and giving back to my community. However you celebrate the holidays, remember you are sharing the table with more than your living guest.
Thanksgiving Offerings for our Beloved Dead...
This holiday set an extra plate on the table, counter or buffet. Place pictures of the loved ones you wish to honor next to the plate in remembrance. Light a candle to represent their moving/living energy. Throughout the gathering encourage guests to add slices of pie, pieces of meat, rolls and pickled bits to the plate as offerings to their Beloved Dead. If your dad loved deviled eggs, add one to the plate. Make sure to tell a tale of him to whoever is standing nearby after doing so. As the day goes on the plate will fill up, as the evening winds down once again encourage guests to partake in savoring one of the treats on the ancestor plate & telling a tale of course. My ancestors were poor hill-folk who carried on the traditions of their Irish Traveler and Blackfoot roots. We always ate the food left for the ancestors for we didn't waste food. I personally think this is a tradition we need to prescribe to at this time of excess waste.
Whether you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving or not take a moment to think on your Beloved Dead, for they most certainly will be visiting you.