The upcoming American holiday of Thanksgiving offers us a wonderful reminder to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. Wherever you are in the world, I invite you to cultivate gratitude by creating your unique Four Elements Thanksgiving Table. This ritual can of course be continued throughout the year with changing decorations and inspirations.
When we consider the mystery of our own life as an inseparable part of everything, we realize that all life on this planet depends on the four elements.
As we give thanks to the food that was harvested to provide us with nutrients, we take into account the soil, sun, rain, and air that helped it to grow. In addition we offer gratitude to the farmers who planted, took care of and harvested it.
As you decorate your table this month, I invite you consider how to make every item meaningful.
Here are some ideas to enchant your Thanksgiving table with magic:
Ignite the element of fire with candles. Once lit, allow the flames to transport you to the external sources of the element as well as the ones within.
What comes up for you when you connect to the fire element?
Can you visualize vast deserts, the heat of the sun, lightening, the flickering candlelight, and volcanos?
As you place a hand on your belly, see if you can imagine the color yellow. This is the color of your solar plexus chakra. Take a few deep breaths into the center of your core. This is the home of fiery emotions like passion, willpower, courage, and confidence. Gently bring your awareness back and just notice.
In addition to candles, bring out the red/orange color of fire with coasters, place mats, tangerines, cranberries, or persimmon. If you have a fire place, enjoy the crackling of the fire wood.
Invite the element of water by filling glass/crystal vases with beautiful flowers, placing decorative bowls of water with floating flower-petals or cranberries. A water fountain close by, enjoy the soothing trickling water sounds. The color blue represents water, e.g. blue glass stones, napkins, etc.
A way to connect to the element of water is to place your hands on your abdomen, and imagine the color orange. This is your sacral chakra which is connected to the water element. Now imagine the natural beauty of water in nature. Vast oceans, secluded beaches, mountain lakes, lush waterfalls, a tropical rainstorm, the tides moving with the lunar cycle, early morning fog. Allow yourself to feel the depth as well as the fluidity of emotions, sensuality, inner wisdom, empathy, and creativity. When you are ready, gently open your eyes and notice what arose for you.
The grounding and nourishing element of mother earth can be beautifully displayed with pots filled with rich soil and vibrant succulents. Earthy colors like soft grey, brown, green, or beige work well for napkins, coasters, place mats, etc.
Connect to your root chakra and the element earth, by placing your hands on your lower back, around the sacrum/tailbone area. If that is too much, just bring your awareness to that area. Visualize the color red, or if visualizing doesn’t come easy for you, simply repeat the word “red” as you keep focusing on the area of your body. Can you feel your internal roots at the base of your spine resonate with mother earth and nature in all its forms? Imagine vast, green fields, luscious rainforests, wildflowers, mountains, caves, your feet walking on warm sand. Allow your chakra to ground you in the here and now, feeling secure, safe, and protected. When you are ready, blink your eyes open.
Represent the element air with aromatherapy diffusers or incense. Watch the mist of your diffuser or smoke of your incense rise into the air and dissipate.
Now, take a deep breath in, pause for a moment, then breathe out. Allow your next inhale to be slightly deeper, and your exhale to be even longer. As you fill your lungs with the precious air, take a moment to feel the breath in your nostrils, the rise and fall in your chest and belly.
Connect with your heart chakra by placing both hands over your chest and imagine the color green. Open yourself to the love, compassion, and kindness. Then expand your exploration to the way the element air expresses itself in nature. Imagine a magnificent blue sky with clouds moving along, the wind the in the trees, the way a storm creates ripples on the surface of water. When you are complete, open your eyes, keeping your gaze soft and your breath calm.
Combine the Elements
A fun way to combine elements could be:
An ornate bowl of water with floating candles (water & fire)
A flower in a vase filled with water (earth & water)
A large bowl, decorated with sand, pebbles, a small container with water, a small tea-light, and incense (earth, water, fire and air)