The Season of the Blessed Stranger
This time of the year many gather to give thanks and offer blessings. The season of the Blessed Stranger is upon us and now, more than ever, we need to consider the sacredness of all of life. This timing is represented on my altar by a single stem of my finest crystal and a beautiful china plate.
For many years it has been a tradition in the circles of my life to offer The Blessing of the Stranger when we gather for a meal. It is a reminder that there is always a seen or unseen “Stranger” contributing to the bounty we are about to enjoy. My family often sets a plate at the table for the Stranger upon which we place a bit of the finest morsels from our meal and a chalice or cup with our finest wine or water. When the meal is complete we take those morsels and the wine and make an offering to Mother Earth by returning them to Her as the original source of the nourishment they provide.
Since ancient times in numerous cultures it has been a tradition to welcome the Stranger who approached the threshold or crossed the path. The Stranger was seen as the potential bringer of a great gift or lesson and it was recognized that we might well be such to them.
Love, not fear was the foundation for the meeting.
Perhaps we had completed the harvest and the Stranger was a bard or great storyteller who would provide countless hours of enjoyment for our family as we sat gathered round the fire on cold winter nights. Perhaps they were simply without a meal for the evening and we could add a bowl of soup for them at our own table. And, perhaps we were the Stranger at the door seeking a warm hearth and open heart.
Countless Strangers impact our lives every single day. Let us pause for a moment and offer to them our blessings.
FOR ALL OF THE HANDS that tilled the soil, planted the seeds, harvested the crops, and cared for the livestock… For all of these hands, Strangers to us we give thanks and we offer blessings.
FOR ALL OF THE HANDS that packaged the products, prepared the livestock, brought all to market, and stocked the shelves… For all of these hands, Strangers to us we give thanks and we offer blessings.
FOR ALL OF THE HANDS that are gathered ‘round this table or that reach out to us from the distance…
Many Strangers once, but friends and family now…
FOR ALL OF THE HANDS we give thanks and we offer blessings.
May we use this food and the energy of love and grace to nourish ourselves and each other in body, mind, and spirit.
“The Creative Flame”