For many readers across the USA and Canada, this week sees the celebration of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest across much of the Northern Hemisphere occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated. Celebrations of a successful harvest go back centuries and although many countries do not formally take a holiday at this time, I invite all readers across the world to join with our North American friends to give thanks to Mother Earth for all her bounty and abundance.
For many, Thanksgiving is also about entertaining friends and family and it reminded me of two passages from my book, Advice from Angels, which I think are especially relevant.
An angel is like the perfect guest, always brings gifts and never a burden.
Many of the gifts given to us by the angels are in the form of dreams and visions. Try this simple meditation when you have a few minutes spare this weekend:
- Take yourself into a meditative state, by sitting comfortably, with a straight back and listen to some gentle music.
- Breathing deeply, allow yourself to visualise walking on a mountain side with a marvellous view all around you.
- Imagine that you are walking higher, and higher, where the air is pure and fragrant.
- Imagine that ahead of you is a beautiful, large ornate golden gate.
- As you walk towards it the gate opens slowly and you are surrounded by amazingly bright golden light. Breath in the light allowing it to enfold and infuse you.
- Now imagine that before you stand your guardian angel. The most beautiful being you have ever dreamed of. The angel has greets you and embraces you.
- Now the angel gives you a special gift. Stand in the light of the angel, bathing in the love and acceptance.
- With gratitude in your heart, knowing that you may return at any time, leave the angel, when you are ready.
- Turn and walk down the mountain side and when you reach the bottom taking a few deep breaths bring your awareness into your feet, hands and face.
- Being fully present in the here and now, reflect on your gift and how you can use it.
Your gift may be a symbol, a special message, image or memory. What does it mean for you at this moment in time? You may want to make a note in your diary or journal and see if it has any relevance in the days ahead. Or discuss it with loved ones – they may see some special significance in your gift that you have missed.
And this story is, perhaps, a note of caution to all of us:
Jo-anne had been repelled by her sense of disgust as she opened her front door to a man in filthy clothes at the door asking for food. Luckily the weather was good and she felt no obligation to ask him in. She she wanted to be charitable so asking him to wait outside she brought him some sandwiches and a drink. There was something unnerving about the man’s stare. His eyes were so blue, and piercing, yet gentle and ‘all-knowing’. He spread an old cloth on the mossy garden wall and sat to eat the food after thanking Jo-anne for her kindness. Not wanting to encourage him into conversation she went indoors and carried on with her work. After a few minutes she decided to take him a bottle of water for his journey. To her surprise he had gone. There was no sign of him anywhere. No bread crumbs on the floor, no indentation on the mossy wall. She opened the gate into the street. Not a sign of him. As she walked back into the kitchen, there on the table was a beautiful white feather. Could she have entertained an angel unawares?
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for in so doing some have entertained angels unawares.”
(Hebrews 13:2 from The Bible)