Image courtesy of Angela Liu at Unsplash

There is little doubt that it has been a hellish year, with so many of us having perished from illness, become homeless, or found ourselves unemployed. Even now, though, even in this, there are things to be thankful for, and I record them here for you to take a bit of solace in. Take up pen and paper and record your own list, friends, to recite to yourself when it seems like there is nothing worth living for, and to lift up to your gods and spirits in joy as you’re able.

  1. I am thankful for the brilliant color of the leaves in autumn. I may never own a ruby so brightly colored as the red of a sugar maple’s leaf, but for a moment, I have this.
  2. I am thankful for the warmth of blankets which keep out the chill. Was the crafting of a blanket the earliest magic humans made? It certainly feels like it.
  3. I am thankful for the unconditional love of pets. May I one day be as magnificent and good as they think I am.
  4. I am thankful for the stories of my gods. Why should I hold myself to impossible standards of perfection when even my gods have made mistakes? Rather, let me take inspiration to overcome my troubles, as they have, or to learn from them.
  5. I am thankful for the taste of hot chocolate. Both chocolate and warmth are modern luxuries our ancestors would have greatly appreciated.
  6. I am thankful for the ancestors upon whose backs I stand. So much of what I take for granted (air conditioning, changes of clothes, medicine, literacy, knowledge) was hard won by my ancestors.
  7. I am thankful for the proliferation and endurance of life under extreme circumstances. Whether it is people surviving wildfires or the cruelty of others, or relatively “simple” organisms living on far-off planets, life is truly amazing in what it is able to overcome.
  8. I am thankful for the kindness of friends and family. Even when I fall out of touch with people I care for, a simple word of kindness strengthens old bonds and renews my sense of feeling appreciated by others.
  9. I am thankful for good books. There are few finer ways to escape from the world for a moment when it all gets to be too much, and you need a break from being you for just a bit.
  10. I am thankful for how common incense is these days. Once rare, precious, and easily worth a year (or more!) of a person’s earnings, incense has become so common you can buy it in gas stations and offer it to your gods and spirits every day, if you like.
  11. I am thankful for the ability to practice my faith and my craft in the open, without fear that I am going to be hung or burned. I know it is a privilege that comes from living in North America, but still, I am grateful.
  12. I am thankful for the internet, which has made quarantine fairly painless for me. I’ve always been a bit of an introvert, and it’s much easier for me to spend time with people online as I’m able, rather than meeting them in person. Quarantine has made this the norm for so many, so I don’t have to make excuses when I’m just too tired to go out.
  13. I am thankful for the Internet Sacred Text Archive. For the cost of internet (or the ability to get near wifi) there’s access provided to some of the most obscure (or widely referenced) occult texts ever made!
  14. I am thankful for a husband who loves and supports me. I realize many don’t have such a support system, but if you are fortunate enough to, make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them.
  15. I am thankful for sidewalks. Everyone makes a big deal out of Roman roads, and it’s true, they’re amazing and their “descendants” have opened up the world to us. But I’m thankful as well for the humble sidewalk, a mini-road for pedestrians, and where they enable me to take myself.
  16. I am thankful for my health. I have problems, but I’m fortunate in that my disabilities are minor and easily accommodated by the present world. Going without contacts for a few months is a small thing, but it has reminded me that those who wish for things like civil war and apocalypses (and even average people) all too often don’t think about how many people couldn’t survive or function if our modern world collapsed. Imagine no contacts, no prescription lenses, no easily dispensed medication, no wheelchairs or inhalers. It’s a sobering thought.
  17. I am thankful for preservatives. Yes, many are bad for you, but I think about how without them, and cans, and pickling, and salting, many of us would starve during the colder months.
  18. I am thankful for the proliferation of Pagan artists and writers. You all are truly an inspiration and a light in dark times.
  19. I am thankful for spices. Yes, I’m a McCormick witch. I’m also very keen on having tasty food, and that wouldn’t be possible without black peppercorns, nutmeg, curry blends, and exotic chiles.
  20. I am thankful for you, dear readers. Thank you for reading our writings here on ev0ke!

[Ashley Nicole Hunter is a founding editor and regular contributor of ev0ke. She also serves on the board of directors of Bibliotheca Alexandrina.]