In northern Europe, not so long ago, understanding the cycles of the earth was critical to the survival of the village. This was especially so during the winter months for the village had to survive on their autumn harvest until the new shoots arrived and animals birthed in the spring.
The harvest season, from August through October, was celebrated in villages as a thank you to the earth for providing once again. Hence, we have Thanksgiving Day today. By the time late October arrived, the harvest was in. So now it was a time for remembering those who had passed on during the year … for life was hard in these northern villages. It was at this time that the folk finally had the time to honour their departed and send them properly on their way. And today we celebrate this time of transition between the harvest and the dark as Halloween.
For those who practice Earth-based spirituality today, this is the beginning of a new cycle of the Wheel of the Year. It is Auld Lang Syne. These words translate from Gaelic into “times gone by” in remembrance of lost friends and family. And so I invite you to share a meal of harvest abundance with your family, remember the ancestors you have known and not known … and celebrate the start of the new year.