gods of the Thanksgiving table

Although Thanksgiving is a holiday that really has nothing to do with the Hellenic religion, and is one that I personally ignore all the propaganda surrending it (you know what I mean…the cherub-like pilgrims and the smiling happy natives) when we all know that that is not how it got down, it is one that I do celebrate as a gathering of family in celebration of the things which they can be thankful for from the year, and the bountiful food that the harvest yeilded, despite that most of us are completely unconnected to the harvest itself but can still give thanks for our blessings for what propserity we have had during the year. For such an occassion it is quite appropriate to replace the table decor of pilgrims and native americans with a portionof the table designated for the gods, and in that place set up the statues of the gods of the household that they may partake in the celebration. This is something I did years ago when I didn’t have a family member staying with me of which I found added a great deal to the celebration on a personal-religious level. However in a mixed household (including situations in which having company for the holidays makes it difficult) in which you cannot set the statues on the table it is prudent to after the feast take some portion of your feast to the gods and celebrate with them privately at the altar. And so while all the household gods and Olympians gets honored during the Thanksgiving there are those which I give particular thanks and offerings to during the holiday.

1. Demeter. This one is probably quite obvious because she is the goddess associated with the grow and maturationof the crops and the harvest itself. She is the goddess who brings and gives plenty.

2. Dionysos for similar harvest associations…the cut vine and harvested grape. He is much more a part of my christmas-time holiday celebrations in which hard eggnog is enjoyed heh.

3. Apollon who presides over the light that enriches the heart and homes, with a prayer that his return from Hyperborea will bring golden prosperity in the new year.

4. Hermes as the bringer of prosperity, he who gives good things during the year.

5. Artemis who nurtures the chick into the adult that we feast upon, goddess who nurtures and slaughters by the same hand.

6. Zeus and Hera from whom all prosperity, and all good things come in general.

They recieve an extra portion of everything, though none of the Olympians are left out, and none of the gods of the household in general because Thanksgiving, at least how most celebrate it, is about family and thankfulness of the good things from the year…and all these gods we worship are part of giving to us these things in which we rejoice. And so it is important to make the gods a part of the Thanksgiving celebration, because even though it is not a religious holiday, it is a cultural one with great significance for us…and those holidays which are of significance should not be removed from the love of the gods.

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4 thoughts on “gods of the Thanksgiving table

  1. I personally think that of all American holidays, Thanksgiving is perhaps THE singlemost hypocryt one, because of the false myth of cherub-like pilgrims and happy, smiling natives, and the fact that in reality some real bad shit went down.

    Otherwise I think it is indeed a good idea to “Hellenise” the festival like this 😉

    • Exactly, which is why I reject all of the Thanksgiving story, it is very hypocritical. But that said I do celebrate a Thanksgiving with my family that i completely disassociate with this idea. I am more than happy to celebrate a family of celebration, with great foods 🙂

  2. Having been born and having lived most of my life on on the East coast, I am still — three years later — amazed at how *recent* a lot of the Native American/European/Eastern American battles were fought here, out West. I mean, intellectually I knew, right? You learn the dates, but then to get out here and read accounts of the settlers, and to realize, hey, my grandparents parents could have known some of these folk, and my grandmother’s grandparents were peers of theirs . . . it boggles my mind. It’s so *removed*, back east — it all happened centuries ago. It. The erradication of whole peoples.

    Having grown up in Mass., the whole Thanksgiving myth is really close to home. Plymouth, don’tcha know. I can get the holiday as giving thanks sort of day, so long as it’s removed from the cultural trappings, and it is sad that it’s so removed from the reality — many of the European settlers would have died if not for the friendly willingness for exchange and curiosity of the locals that were then abused and destroyed, but its also important to remember that not all the European stock were evil and bent on eradication, and not all the locals were peaceful, and a lot of the settlers had either no choice in coming here or anywhere elso to go.

    And I think I’ve totally digressed. Sorry! We have a number of “be thankful” dates on our calender, but more never hurts. Also, a day to gorge — a sacrifical festival of plenty before the coming winter — is also very appropriate in our Northern-focused household. Also, apple pie.

    • I havent’ been able to celebrate with the cultural trappings since I was about 15 and started learning more about American colonial history. I can see how the settlers would have been thankful for being saved from starvation when they knew nothing of how to survive in this country or what is edible among the native plants. So in a way, if it hadn’t been for the whole rest of the story of colonization I could almost see how it would have been a day of thankfulness of one culture coming to the rescue of another, but it didn’t stop there.
      And certainly you are right not every European was bent on the destruction of the natives I imagine, but consider that they were also likely very afraid of them usually, mostly because of circulating propoganda, much of which I am certain the church itself, which had great influence over the people, was quick to exploit. So even if there wasn’t that bent there was certainly a great deal of unfriendly, even hostile, relationship between the two cultures. And certainly not all the natives reacted peacefully either to what most of considered the same threat equal to that of a invading tribe…especially among those tribes that had conflictive relationships with their neighboring tribes. All the same, none of it can get me to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with the propoganda attached to it and all the cultural trappings. That said, I don’t have a problem with Turkeys and usually refer to it as Turkey Day anyhow lol.

      It is Turkey, squash, maize and potatoes day…two of which become important crops in other countries…potatoes in Ireland particularly, and I believe maize became a staple crop in..Italy? I can’t remember now. So maybe we should consider it a Turkey-squash-potatoes-maize dead instead…for all the plenty that has come from the “New World”.

      And you are right…we do have alot of holidays of thankfulness, and one more added to it certainly doesn’t hurt any!

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