Is there any occult or esoteric meaning in the American holiday of Thanksgiving? Many holidays were originally pagan. Christianity usurped these pagan holidays and Christianized them. This makes for strange bedfellows. Easter eggs and bunnies? Those are symbols of spring fertility festivals (sex!), not really the resurrection of Christ. Christmas is associated with the Winter Solstice and deities like the god Woden and his elves. They are the origin for the Father Winter/Santa archetype. Even odd holidays like Groundhog Day were pagan (in this case the festival of Imbolc).
Thanksgiving is an American holiday started by pilgrims. It would seem to be a stretch to find any hidden occult significance in this event. Yet maybe so!
Thanksgiving is a harvest festival to give thanks for the past year. During the farming era of the past, scarcity and need were always lurking around the corner. When there was a bountiful harvest it was time for celebration.
Thanksgiving is associated with the cornucopia, symbolizing food, abundance, and prosperity. The cornucopia of plenty has its origin in ancient mythology. The Roman god Fortuna, the goddess of luck and fortune, was often depicted carrying a cornucopia and it became linked with her. Lady Fortune represented how life was subject to the whim of chance, good or ill. In ancient Roman times Fortuna was sought by many seeking good fortune and to avoid bad luck. Since then this goddess has a modern name…Lady Luck.
Here is the possible occult meaning of Thanksgiving. We give thanks for our abundance, with the unspoken hope of avoiding scarcity in the year ahead. Giving thanks is not just an act of appreciation for what has past, but hope for the future as well. Unknowingly, with thanksgiving we are practicing the law of attraction.
The Law of Attraction suggests what we think will become manifest in our lives. This concept is one of the cornerstones of occult thought. Ritual, visualization, ceremony (dinner festivals) are all tools to the same end, to affect the future. By giving thanks for what we have with confidence for better days ahead, we may cause this to occur. The opposite is true, if we bemoan the present with grim expectations for the future, then that will likely be our fate as well.
I nominate Fortuna as the unspoken patron deity of Thanksgiving. Life is a roll of the dice and can be arbitrary and unfair. If we are fortunate enough to have a happy thanksgiving holiday, we should really be grateful. There are many who will not enjoy a feast this year, or who eat alone. We live in hard times now. Our state of mind can make the difference. We can change our circumstances if give thanks not only for the present, but give thanks for the future as well. Giving thanks for that which has yet to happen will make it manifest.