As we write this afternoon, approaching the last days in September, the sun shines brightly and the gentle breeze rustles the trees and plants outside our doors. No doubt fall is here, and it seems it’s both gentle and a little foreboding. At times such as these, it’s good to tap into your own spiritual self. Autumn is upon us with all the bright colours. As the leaves saunter down from the trees, the transition marks a new chapter for the plant life around us, and so too is this happening in our own lives. The energy of autumn invites us to rid ourselves of unnecessary negativity -shedding, as trees do, anything that is not nourishing, making more room for positivity and new growth.
Spiritual activities are prevalent now as much as any other time of year. In some traditions October is a time for honouring loved ones, including ancestors, pets, and the natural world surrounding us. Some say it is a good time for gathering colourful autumn leaves that have fallen from their branches, to place in a bowl on a visible counter to acknowledge what you want to shed in your life and what you want to reseed within you for inner growth and regeneration.
Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity for us to put our challenges in perspective and intentionally focus on gratitude for all that we have. Sometimes just gathering together in community even once, with the sole intention of targeting gratitude can be the beginning of awareness and practice of thankfulness. Concentrating on what we have in our world leaves little room for focussing on what we are missing.
The Wiccan holiday of Samhain, occurring at the end of October is a yearly opportunity to connect with our ancestors through prayer, music and movement.
Samhain – pronounced, ‘sow-when’ occurs during the days including November 1 and January 31, and is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or “darker half” of the year. It is held on November 1st with celebrations beginning on the evening of October 30, since the Celtic day begins and ends at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumn equinox (Mabon) and winter solstice (Yule).
Yom Kippur, in Jewish tradition culminates the 10 Days of Awe, beginning this year on September 25 (Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year) and ending on October 4. These are also called the days of penitence. During these times we reflect inwardly to identify behaviours that might have caused others pain and hurt. Shedding unproductive practices, perhaps to replace them with more loving and productive behaviours might be the cleansing process that can help us prepare for the year ahead in hopes of atonement and becoming more productive and grateful human beings.
Please plan to join us this month for our Annual Giving Thanks Dinner. At the golf course on October 22. Every year in October we come together as an Ecumenical Community to express our gratitude for all we have been given, to enjoy good food, wonderful music and the company of friends and fellow spiritual seekers.
Our book club will be gathering at the library on October 13 to review and discuss Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass. Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.
Come share some of these spiritual practices with us in October. They each represent the same truths though different paths. Check out all of our coming events for the month. We look forward to seeing you.