For several reasons I like to hear about the Iroquois. Chiefly, I think it is because I grew up in New York State, and in elementary school, learned all about their way of life. I spent teenage summers close to the land at camp, and heard some lore, filtered as it was through appropriation by the Boy Scouts. Still, even as some of the “old earth fragrance” of paganism abides in our observance of Christmas, I feel I got a whiff of Iroquois culture. I also find interesting the way in which the lysistratic refusal of Iroquois women gave them veto power over war, and understand that the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy influenced our own democracy.
For these reasons I was pleased to see that Rawbert’s Organic Garden Café in Beverly, MA circulated this Iroquois prayer in its Thanksgiving e-mail.
We return thanks to our Mother, the Earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.
via Iroquois Prayer, adapted Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace A Thanksgiving Prayer.
I got to frequenting Rawbert’s after my first cleanse, and like to visit there aprés yoga or when I can steal a moment away from teaching.
May we each be grateful for the gifts of earth and spirit and for all things that flow from them. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!