The summer is coming to a close. Schools are opening and teachers and students and parents are getting ready for the beginning of another school year. In September, many of us return to a more regulated time of schedules and plans, deviating from our summer pursuits of freedom, spontaneity and adventure.
Along with the change of weather, the coming of autumn brings with it possible mystery and unforeseen adventure. How might we remain open to all that could be possible in the coming season? It’s safe to say that no one is unscathed by the last 2 ½ years of pandemic in our world. We are different than we were pre-pandemic. How we react to our environment, how we experience emotional connections, how we energize and use our time, are all changed. The possibilities could be slightly frightening, unforeseen, possibly invigorating, and wholly gratifying. How do we remain open to it all?
Some people say that September offers the opportunity for a spiritual awakening and a pursuit for finding the right avenue for spiritual expression. With the sun awakening later and going to sleep earlier, somehow we learn better how to live in darkness. Perhaps this forces us to look within more readily. How do we find that meaning in our spiritual pursuit?
The Autumnal Equinox, when the day and night are equal, is a time to celebrate nature. The Mabon Festival celebrates the Autumnal Equinox and is practised by the Wiccan community. In the northern hemisphere, this will occur on September 23rd.. Mabon, beginning this year on Wednesday, September 21st is the second of three harvest festivals (Lammas, Mabon, and Samhain), when practitioners of paganism reflect on the past season and express their gratitude for the blessings in their lives. The festival is held to thank Mother Earth for providing a good harvest to last through winter, with animals traditionally slaughtered and preserved at the equinox in order to provide enough food for the cold months ahead.
In Jewish practice, Rosh Hashana celebrates the Jewish New Year. It begins with the “opening of heaven’s gates” and finishes 10 days later on Yom Kippur, the day of repentance during which Jews fast all day and spend the full day in prayer until the final hours when God (however you consider God) closes the pages of the Book of Life, with hopes from each person that his or her name will be written in the Book of Life for another year. Letting go of personal sins, creating possibilities for new relations and fresh attitudes, allows us all to refocus our spiritual growth and awareness.
GES has many ideas for events this coming year (2022-2023). Programmes that highlight everything from literature to ecstatic dancing and everything in between will be offered. In September, our friend Lama LoSang Samten will be offering a 3 day retreat at The NetLoft, the last weekend in September.
Our book club will gather for the first time this fall beginning on Thursday October 13th. Our book selection is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, And The Teachings Of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Come and join us this Fall “as we continue to look to Unity In Diversity and Spiritual Inclusivity as guideposts in our programming”.