Thanksgiving occurs on the wheel-of-the-year map sandwiched between the descent of Halloween and the darkness of Winter Solstice. It does not appear in any pagan calendars but is an important holiday in America. Thanksgiving, as a harvest festival, has borrowed many of the symbols belonging to the Lammas Festival of Europe and other harvest festivals around the globe.
To the ancients, a bountiful harvest was always due to the generosity of the mother goddess, and numerous cultures represented her bounty with an overflowing vessel. In Europe, we have the cornucopia, and in Asia we see the “vase of plenty.” In North America, we see a basket filled with corn.
In this country, Thanksgiving is one of the few times we collectively acknowledge the native peoples of this land who so generously provided for the incoming Europeans. Generosity was one of the core values of the native peoples here, along with gratitude. It is appropriate at this time of the year to be thankful for our abundance and be mindful of the indigenous people of the planet.