Thanksgiving is an important time for many Canadians (and also Americans!) and with the Autumn being a time of harvest and reaping this is the perfect opportunity to do a feast of thanksgiving not only for your community but also for your helping spirits. This ceremony is relatively simple, have everyone bring an item for a potluck, you may wish to designate each person to bring a specific item. Each person, in turn, should also make a list of things they’re grateful for on a piece of paper and they should bring a simple and small offering (incense will work perfectly for this ceremony!).
An altar should be erected, and on this altar should be images or representations of the various helping spirits that each person works with. A bit of everything should be placed in a bowl and placed on or beside the altar. The helping spirits should be called. As this bowl is given by the hands of the community they should be filling themselves with as much gratitude as they can muster and as the bowl is placed on the altar each person should whisper a thank you.
For those who are capable of merging with helping spirits doing a embodiment or power animal dance is the perfect way to invite one of your helping spirits to partake in the meal you’re about to share.
Now it’s time to eat!
Over the course of the dinner, each member should go in turn raising their glass as if to propose a toast. All who are present should pay close attention to what the person has to say and the person toasting goes over their list of what they’re grateful for. This list is then set aside to be burned or disposed of at a later date.
Once all have said their toast and the meal has come to an end, return to the altar, each person with their list and offering at hand. If people have merged with a helping spirit now is the time to disengage and ask them not to be merged anymore. Each person approaches the altar in turn, and repeats their list of gratitude to the helping spirits and shred the list and place the pieces into a bowl, box or container that should be easily accessible. These pieces will either be burned, buried or returned to water at some point by the host who is facilitating this ceremony.
The offering is given to the altar and the spirits. These offerings should be small and consumable, this is why incense or candles are perfect for this sort of work.
Each person in turn walks up to the altar and repeats the procedure above.
Once all of that is done, now you can party and enjoy yourselves! I particularly like and encourage people to tell stories, either of their helping spirits and journeys, the lessons they have learned or stories of people who have helped them. This is a time to be grateful and mindful.