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Article ID: 4490
Age Group: Adult
Posted: November 20th. 2000
November-Marking The Time In Between
The changing of the seasons is well underway- even here in Florida- and we notice that the sun now sets in His/Her Autumnal position. As with all of the forces in Nature, our golden orb follows the rhythmic principles that guide the Universe. It is time to move on. Our non-U.S. readers will undoubtedly be happy to read that The Witches' Voice will NOT be covering the presidential election again this week. Let the chads fall where they may!
November is a season 'in between'. In the Northern Hemispheres, it marks the days between Samhain and Yule. The hours of sunlight are trimmed short. The nights grow longer. Many northern Pagan traditions view the month of November as a continuation of the Samhain season and they spend the time in reflection and introspection. Recalling the agricultural societies of the past ages upon which much modern Pagan tradition is based, our present-day spiritual 'harvests' have now been gathered in. The fields lie 'fallow' until that time when the Sun once again begins to eke out a few more minutes of warmth each day.
In the Southern Hemispheres, November is also a seasonal marker. Between Beltaine and the Summer Solstice (Litha), spiritual seedlings are sprouting and beginning to grow. Watching over the new plantings of hopes and wishes and plans requires patience and attention to details. Everything has been 'activated' and now Southern Pagans are waiting to see what fruit will come from their efforts.
Our Gaia is continually in a simultaneous state of rest and activity. That is Her way. November is a month in which Pagans everywhere can spend reflecting upon such profound mysteries.
Photo credit: The picture to your upper right was sent in by David and Laura (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) and is from their handfasting earlier this year. Blessings on your recent union and thank you David and Laura for sharing this wonderful image with us all.
November-A Month For Giving Thanks...
Here in the U.S., November is often marked by that national holiday called Thanksgiving. Within the last decade, Americans have become a little schizophrenic about celebrating this particular day. In fact, it is not only Thanksgiving, but many of the holidays celebrated by humankind that Pagans in particular may be conflicted about.
Thanksgiving, we have learned in recent years, is not exactly as it was depicted in that coloring book picture that we brought home from first grade to post on the refrigerator door. Pagans who resonate or empathize with Native American beliefs may find that the Treaties, Turkeys and Treachery surrounding the true history of what happened after that 'first Thanksgiving' nothing to celebrate. Those of us with Native American friends may feel that honoring what one of ours only half-kiddingly calls "Kill the Indians Day" is served up with a side order of guilt. (This same close friend will be hosting a feast this coming weekend-which we are attending- that has everything to do with giving thanks and nothing to do with 'Pilgrim Pride'.) So where does that leave us? Should we defrost that turkey sitting in the freezer or not?
Go ahead and start mixing up the stuffing. Thanksgiving has developed -like most of the other well known holidays- a multiple personality and that is just as it should be in a diverse nation of many beliefs and even of non-belief. Just as Halloween/Samhain and Christmas/Yule have morphed into being both a secular celebration for some and a religious observation for others, Thanksgiving has emerged from its strict religious connotation into something that can be adapted to just about everyone. As long as we can be comfortable with that, we can enjoy any holiday for what it means to US rather than what some faction of society may try to tell us that it should mean for everyone. As Pagans, our family is who WE say our family is (regardless of the various misguided attempts to force us all into the 'traditional family' parameters of the religious radical right), and so too the holidays that we choose to celebrate can be about what WE say are the concepts and historical events that are worthy of celebration. Thanksgiving, by its very name, is a time to celebrate the good things in Life. So, give thanks to those people and for those things 'as ye will.' And don't forget to thank both the turkey and the cook!
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