Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving, and as I reflected on what to write for the week, I remembered a previous column that said best what still seems relevant about this holiday. A day set aside for gratitude is not unique to the United States of America. A festival or ritual designed to give thanks for the harvest of the year is universal, a fundamental element of the human experience. Despite our political and religious differences, the United Peoples of Planet Earth share the same concerns, hopes, and dreams.
November 26, 2003
Tomorrow, we celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving. It’s a big holiday, here, in the States. And while it’s probably a politically incorrect tradition, and like most modern rituals, mired in commercialism, setting aside a day to give thanks is still a good idea. Many of us don’t take enough time to be thankful. Minds tend to focus on what’s missing, or wrong, or what the future will be. The vicissitudes of daily life, the hardship of the human condition, make it difficult to be truly present. We struggle to survive, and if we’re surviving, we’re longing to feel fulfilled. Even those satisfied that their work has meaning, are trying to cope with the repetitive monotony of daily life. The grind of existence doesn’t lend itself easily to gratitude, which is why a day devoted to giving thanks is a potent notion. It’s an opportunity to call “time out,” turn off the negative tapes of grasping, and take stock. A day dedicated to gratitude is a chance to readjust our view. To be grateful is to be humble. And humility is powerful. It softens, it opens, and it allows us to take a deeper, more real, resonant breath. Humility is an essential and necessary component of being a spirit in the material world.
Unfortunately, the essence of gratitude is often lost in the emotional tumult of family gatherings. Often those old sticky family issues seem to bake right along with the turkey, and the pressure to have a “good” time sometimes turns the feast into a fiasco. This Thanksgiving is a little tricky when it comes to maintaining the peace.
Please note: Thanksgiving 2003, a Mars/Pluto square stirred the caldron of interaction. This year, 2013, the emotional volatility of the day is driven by the Moon, as it transits Libra all day long, opposing Uranus, and simultaneously squaring Pluto, triggering the ongoing Uranus/Pluto square. Fortunately, Jupiter, which could be deemed the symbol for gratitude, trines Mercury, the symbol for the many dimensions of the mind, and as they unite in a positive alliance, we experience a strong capacity for common sense. This configuration is also the source of humor. Jupiter signifies laughter, and when it combines with Mercury, quick wit takes hold. Just be aware that Mercury’s position, in Scorpio, is certain to turn some of the “stand up” pointy with sarcasm. Aim your barbs at those who can endure being mocked.
No combination in astrology is inherently negative. As is often said, the stars incline, they do not compel. But spirits lost in the material world do tend to react to strong energetic currents, especially around the holidays when we want so very much to be happy.
Make Thanksgiving a ritual of gratitude. Put aside personal agendas and ancient grievances, and refuse to let arrogance, yours or others, dominate the day. Let humility clear your vision. Take that humble breath, open your heart, and be thankful for the gift of life. We are so small and the Great Mystery is so vast, so unknowable, and so truly powerful, even more powerful than the stars—how could we be anything but humble before its Presence? Take that breath, the breath of life, and allow a day devoted to humility to strengthen the soul and nourish your spirit.
If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Grace can be found in the freedom from negative thinking. Take a moment to consider what it would be like to be free from mental patterns that keep you from envisioning the best possible picture.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Be specific about what you are thankful for—no broad strokes or insincere nods in the “right” direction. Take the time to recognize what’s meaningful and true in your life, and then allow what’s genuine to nourish your soul.
Gemini May 21-June 21
The beauty of a “relationship revolution” is that it supplies the power to turn the situation on its head. Even if nothing is “wrong,” this is an opportunity for refinement, especially if you’re willing to speak from the heart.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Rely on your innate capacity to nurture, and even if your efforts are not met in kind, do your best not to devolve into resentment. Keep your heart open, and learn to give simply for its own sake.
Leo July 23-August 22
Be grateful for every little thing—and you’ll find a number of previously undiscovered reasons to be thankful. For while you may think this is the life you’ve been given, at a much deeper level, this is the life you’ve created. And that recognition is reason enough for humility.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Conversations with family and friends have the potential to shed light on important themes. Most of the dialogue, is well intentioned, and even if it turns a little “heavy,” keep paying attention—only people who love you will speak the truth.
Libra September 23-October 22
You can make it a battle of wills, or you can find the grace to step back, release the need to control the outcome, and let everyone figure it out. While letting go could be a stretch, it will be worth the effort.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
There’s no need to let negative thinking steal your peace of mind. Be determined to accentuate the positive, and you’ll stay on track for uplifting and inspiring interactions with others.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Be thankful for your innate gift of gab, which allows you to chitchat your way through any situation that turns the least bit challenging. Also give thanks for your funny bone and its ability to help you to always find the silly.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
A truly powerful person is always aware of what she doesn’t know, so rather than pretend to be in charge of a difficult situation, seek the advice of a wise friend or counselor. The relief of another opinion will work wonders.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Be thankful for all your gifts and celebrate your talents, even if you feel frustrated about how to share those gifts with a wider audience. Simply appreciate and enjoy their value.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Allow yourself several moments of deep contemplation on all that is good in your life. The way you view your world creates the context of your life and determines how you embrace all your experiences.