The Path To Thanksgiving: A Tarot Spread

 "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice."

-Meister Eckhart

"Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action."

-W.J. Cameron


There is a path to Thanksgiving? Yes, there is a path to Thanksgiving – and to thanksgiving (the giving of thanks). Thanksgiving is celebrated here in the U.S. on the fourth Thursday in November. (Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October.) The first Thanksgiving celebration in the American colonies was shared by the pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. It was a celebration of the colonists having survived their first difficult winter, but also a celebration of their having learned from the Indians how to live off of the land.

Modern Thanksgiving is a time of families getting together, of traditional family recipes appearing on the table – of roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. It also highlights one of my favorite events of the year – the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which ends with the arrival of Santa Claus in his sleigh. Your household may be watching old movies, or that very important football game, or, in the past few years, a very important NBA basketball game.

Readers see another side of this holiday, especially if they read for a phone line. They see the stress that people are under – dealing with difficult family members, tempers flaring, alcohol consumption gone out of control. They might also see those individuals who are spending the day alone, which might trigger some level of depression. How can we help our clients (or ourselves, if we are under stress)?

I designed the following spread as a way to get a quick overview of the Seeker’s situation. Further questions can be built on this spread.

Thanksgiving House of Cards 

  1. Where is the stress coming from that the Seeker is aware of?
  2. Where is the Seeker’s hidden stress coming from?
  3. What actions can the Seeker take to release their stress?
  4. What energy can the Seeker use to help heal?

 From the Fantastical Creatures Tarot (Lisa Hunt & DJ Conway) I drew: 

  1. The Star
  2. Page of Cups
  3. Knight of Swords
  4. Queen of Pentacles


The Giving of Thanks

The giving of thanks is an ingrained part of Thanksgiving, beginning with the pilgrims being thankful that they had survived their first year, and that the native Indians shared their wisdom on how to live in harmony with the land, in a healthy manner. The giving of thanks does not have to be limited to Thanksgiving Day – it can be honored all through the month of November (actually, it can and should be honored year round).

When we give thanks, we are acknowledging the things that we have to be grateful for – the things that nourish and sustain us. In acknowledging the things that sustain us, we are able in many ways to release at least some of the stress that we are under. Our lives are filled with blessings, if we choose to see them.

In what ways can we acknowledge the blessings in our life? Here is a partial list – place in your life the tools that work best for you. You are a unique individual, and you lead a unique life. Only you know what will work best for you. 

  1. Prayer
  2. Thanking your Guides.
  3. Journaling
  4.  Giving a random smile to a friend, co-worker or stranger.
  5. Lending a hand to someone in need.
  6. Inviting someone who would otherwise be alone to celebrate Thanksgiving with you and your family.
  7. Donating time or money to your favorite charity.
  8. Making a conscious effort to life your life in harmony with those around you, and with Mother Earth.
  9. Make an effort to live in the present – in this way you will notice the abundance and prosperity around you that you have to be thankful for.
  10. Give silent thanks as you go about your day.

The Tarot represents the story of our life. Its archetypal nature tells our personal stories, as well as the stories of communities and nations. It is an excellent tool for understanding where and how we have a need to give thanks. In giving thanks, we are keeping in touch with ourselves, and with the environment around us. We are keeping our mental/physical/emotional/spiritual selves in balance, and living our life in an authentic manner.

What does the Seeker have to be thankful for in the:

  1. Mental Realm.
  2. Physical Realm
  3. Emotional Realm
  4. Spiritual Realm

 From the Medieval Scapini Tarot I drew: 

  1. Nine of Swords
  2. Seven of Wands
  3. King of Cups
  4. Temperance


May this Thanksgiving find you healthy, happy, and celebrating the abundance and prosperity that is rightfully yours!

Wishing each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 © November 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

3 thoughts on “The Path To Thanksgiving: A Tarot Spread

  1. Arwen

    Bonnie, thank you so much. I got a lot out of this. I particularly was intrigued with the list of ways to count my blessings. As you know from my Twitters, I’m all about acknowledging life’s joys.

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