November! The clocks have gone back an hour, it takes longer for the light of morning to appear and the afternoon turns into an early darkening evening! The temperatures are dropping, central heating is well and truly on and overall we could say, Winter has arrived!
However, what an exciting and thoughtful time of year we are entering. We have had our wonderful summer, our amazing colourful Autumn, and now is the time for regeneration, for dormancy, to get ready for the bursting buds and new life of Spring. Yes, we are twixt and tween two of creations wonderful seasons, so let’s enjoy what Winter brings!
November 1st is the Celtic Samhain, or loosely, Halloween, marking the end of Summer, beginning of Autumn and Harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold Winter.
All Souls, on the 2 November is the day we remember those who have passed before us. A time when pre-Christian Celts and Christian souls would return to their homes where food and drink would be left out for them. The connection being that the dead initially went to Purgatory, and by praying and helping them in this way they could depart to heaven and a life after death. All saints, on the 1 November, being the calling to mind and celebration of real and imaginary saints, including in Celtic times, memories of guardian spirits and fairy woman.
The Christian calendar, begins its official year at the end of the month, which was derived from the start of the Celtic New Year. The year starts with Advent.
Remembrance Day on the 11November commemorates the end of hostilities of the First World War at 11am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month with poppies being the symbol.
Our own lives through this period need to rest and refresh, and look forward to when a new cycle will begin. All forms of life are cyclic, and when we become aware of that it can have a profound effect on our philosophy and spirituality of life. Death is not the end for plants, they reseed and grow again, the flowering bulbs will again send out those green shoots and brilliant flowers in the spring.
The trees also go through a different exterior visually, with no leaves until spring, but like humans the underlying spirit is the same. In this quiet time, we can grow a greater understanding of nature, and in learning the wisdom of the changing seasons, the cleansing, the regrowth, getting ready for a fresh new rebirth when the next warmer season of spring appears. We also will reappear, rested, stronger, more aware and appreciative of what has gone on through those dark days and cold nights.
We are after all, a part of the earth, made of her substance, involved in what happens to the seas, the meadows, the hedgerows, and the agricultural lands.
It is truly a wonderful season to enjoy and to grasp, to recharge, to grow and to learn and become a greater part of our wonderful Mother Earth and our Creator.
November’s Full Moon will be on the 19 November at 8.57am. It will also be a Micromoon, occurring at a time of the year when it is farthest away from Earth, therefore appearing smaller than usual. Called either the Beaver or Frost moon.
I am looking to the 9 November for the next Pilgrimage walk, but may change the idea to a natural Celtic ‘moment’ savouring and feeling the joys of being a part of this beautiful earth, at a site of spiritual feeling or a thin place in the Benefice. By a Hedgerow maybe!!