English: Turkey (bird)

English: Turkey (bird) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A turkey with luminous plumage strutted outside the picture window, where I lounged inside with a book. When I stepped up to the glass to look more closely at the magnificent bird, I noticed in the distance a man on horseback, gun poised to shoot.

I woke from this dream a few weeks before Thanksgiving. My first thought was that the dream was a simple pre-holiday picture of things to come. Turkeys are indeed being hunted this time of year. A quasi-vegetarian, I feel for the birds, and so it didn’t seem unusual that I’d dream of a turkey under the gun in early November.

But the bird was so luminous I decided the dream was asking for closer attention. Thus I took a moment to look up the spiritual significance of turkeys, in my trusty book: Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.

I learned among other things that the turkey represents a connection to Mother Earth, a time of harvest, and shared blessings.

That’s not surprising, is it? Turkeys are at the center of the Thanksgiving tradition, which is meant to be a time when we express gratitude for the harvests, literal and figurative in our lives, and it is a day of shared blessings, too.

But like so many rituals, Thanksgiving has become more rote than rite. We gobble our feasts and turn on the TV. We enjoy or time with loved ones, but seldom pause to feel and honor the true meaning of the day.

My dream reminded me to reconnect with deep meanings behind the symbols of Thanksgiving Day. I invite you, too, to pause to consider the significance of the bird on your table this year. May this holiday be a day of connection to our planet, our families, and a day of deep gratitude for the harvests in our lives and for our shared blessings.


I wish you a dreamy holiday, whether you’ll be feasting on turkey or tofurkey…

May you bless and be blessed!