So Turkey Day is upon us. Time for the family get-together. As we stuff our face holes let's remember the meaning of thanksgiving, to be thankful of our blessings.
I am thankful for my health, my family, and my friends. I am thankful for being alive and for being an American. I am thankful for having food on the table, a roof over my head, and money to pay my bills. I am thankful for you, my readers.
One of the things I like to do on Thanksgiving is watch the following episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It's titled, "Pangs", and was episode 8 of season 4. The episode is set on Thanksgiving and deals with themes of ill-treatment against Native Americans by Europeans. I enjoy this episode because it expresses a complex message. Sometimes you have to do things to protect yourself for your own survival, even wile understanding the pain and anger of your enemies.
Because of the horrendous atrocities performed against Native Americans, I like to take time on Thanksgiving to honor the Indian spirits I work with as well as show thanks to Native Americans. I do this in part because of the false belief that Thanksgiving celebrates Native Americans. It does not. Thanksgiving was originally designed as a religious holiday, a time not of feasting but of fasting and prayer. The first Thanksgivings in the Colonies were times where Native Americans reached out and helped Europeans. Europeans betrayed the trust of Native Americans and gave them genocide in return. So I do my best to truly make an effort to recognize the strength, beauty, and honor of the Native tribes.
As you feast on Turkey today, please remember the wishbone!
A wishbone, properly called a furcula, is a special bone that only birds and some dinosaurs possessed. It is formed by the fusing of the two clavicle bones. The wishbone is fragile. like all bird bones, to keep the weight of the bird down and make them light enough to fly. Because of their uniqueness, most cultures have attributed special powers to the bone. In European folklore, the wishbone is believed to attract good luck and to make wishes come true. Wishbones were also used in various divination rites to determine such things as the upcoming weather, such as the severity of an upcoming winter season, and even to divine the winner of a war. It is not just the wishbone of a turkey that is considered to posses such powers. The wishbone from any bird that has been eaten can be used. All that matters is that the bird be eaten first. This belief stems from ancient concepts of animal sacrifice and/or the slaughtering of animals for divination purposes, such as with haruspicy and hepatomancy, which was the examination of the entrails and/or liver of sacrificed animals in order to divine the future.
The Wishbone Wishing Ritual
1. Carefully remove the wishbone from the turkey. The wishbone is very fragile so do your best to avoid breaking it. If the wishbone is broken before the ritual can be done then it is useless and you miss out on the wish for the year.
2. Two people will think of a wish. Do not speak the wish out loud but rather keep it to yourself.
3. Each person will grab one end of the wishbone and then close their eyes.
4. At a given signal, each person will pull their end of the wishbone until the wishbone snaps in two pieces. The two can then open their eyes.
5. The person holding the longer portion of the wishbone will have his/her wish granted. Again, keep the wish a secret and do not speak it out loud or tell anyone else what the wish is.
Now, if you are cooking multiple birds this holiday and are in a crafty spirit you can do the following:
Making a Wishbone Ornament
These make good gifts and can also be used as a Christmas tree ornament. Take a whole wishbone and then paint it silver or gold. You can use leaf foil if you prefer. There are also paints that contain real gold, silver and other metals as well. If you want an antique look you an buy one of these products that have real bronze and then age it with vinegar, ammonia or a special antiquing solution that one can buy at a hobby or craft store, to give it a vintage look. After you are done painting and/or antiquing it you can then spruce it up with a ribbon. Twist wire around it to make a hanger or else tie twine to it to create one. You may add other things if you prefer. I once made one in silver, with a dual-tone silver and gold bow and with silver and brass jingle bells. It looked cool. Hang it on your altar or else give it as a gift to family or friends. Spread the luck!
Making Wishbone Oil
You can use a whole wishbone to make a special wishing oil, to make all your wishes come true. On a full moon, simply take a large container with a lid. To it add a whole, unbroken wishbone as well as 6 other lucky objects or herbs/roots believed to attract or increase good luck. Top it with at least enough oil of your choice to cover the items. Every day pray over it and/or recite a passage from the Bible concerning prosperity over it. Examples of Bible verses for prosperity include: Psalm 23, Psalm 1:3, Joshua 1:8, etc. Then place the cover or lid back on the container and keep in a hidden place from one full moon to the next full moon. After the next full moon you can then strain the oil, wash or discard the items/ingredients, and then scent the oil to your liking. I prefer bayberry, cinnamon, wintergreen or balsam fir, but you can literally scent the oil with anything you like or just leave it unscented if you prefer. Divide the oil into small bottles, label the bottles, and then use the oil to dress your candles, lodestones/magnets, and feed your hands or mojo bags.
Thanksgiving Trivia: Before the 1920s, one of the activities children did around Thanksgiving was the carving of Jack-O-Lanterns. This was because the carving of Jack-O-Lanterns was something that was done throughout the fall. It wasn't until after the 1920s that Jack-O-Lanterns became identified as something only done around Halloween. One can find many examples of vintage Thanksgiving cards that were made in the late 1800s and early 1900s that have both traditional Thanksgiving imagery along with a Jack-O-Lantern, such as in the following examples:
WISHING EVERYONE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY!