Before the new month begins,
it can be helpful to take stock
of upcoming holidays/holydays,
so we’re ready to approach them
with more intentionality.
Here’s a partial list of major observances* in NOVEMBER 2022:
Tue.11/1/22: Beginning of Native American Heritage Month
Tue. 11/1/22: Samhain – Celtic name for multicultural celebration of the halfway point between the Autumn Equinox & Winter Solstice
Tue. 11/1/22 – Wed. 11/2/22: Dia de los Muertos/All Saints Day – International celebration of deceased familial and spiritual ancestors, observed via making ofrendas/altars/shrines and holding vigil
Tue.11/8/22: Election Day in the U.S.
Fri. 11/11/22: Veterans Day – U.S. day of honoring for those who’ve served in the U.S. military
Thu. 11/24/22: Thanksgiving – U.S. celebration of gratitude for family, friends, and food, and of honoring the land and First Nations (Native American/American Indian) people, without which the U.S. wouldn’t exist
It can also be helpful to look at
common themes and reflection and conversation prompts,
to provide more of a center for our spiritual experience.
May we learn to hold these questions in our hearts,
not just this month, but all year long.
For the month of NOVEMBER, one theme might be RECONCILIATION
As we finish gathering the last of the fallen leaves and the rest of the Autumn harvest, we continue a time of taking stock of everything this year has produced. We may notice ourselves sifting and sorting our memories and internal resources, in preparation for what the Winter will ask of us. We begin setting the tables of our lives, readying for the celebrations and changes held by the holydays ahead. This process can sometimes feel fraught with tension and decisions: What is helpful for us going forward, and what isn’t; what do we keep, and what don’t we; to what do we say yes, and no?
To aid this discernment – in this period when the busy fruition of plant-life is going quiet, but before the onset of Winter snow – we can actually take comfort that we are surrounded by a landscape of bareness. In the chilly clarity, we see and sense things stripped down to their essence. Colors converge and distinctions fall away. Our shared substance and source, the commonalities of all living things, are revealed. May this be an invitation, above all and no matter what, to love – in particular, to seek ways to make amends and express gratitude for what matters most. Whatever we say or no to this season, may we learn and practice doing so with love.
I offer some reflection questions and conversation starters:
How can you honor the luminous cultural contributions of people of First Nations (Native American/American Indian) descent to our world?
How do you attune to the guidance and love of people who’ve passed on, of familial and spiritual ancestors?
What shared essence, substance, source, or commonalities – among humankind and among all life – do you want to pay attention to this season?
How can you acknowledge the contributions and struggles of veterans in your community?
With whom can you, and/or do you need to, make amends in your life?
What are you most thankful for this year? How can you best express that?
What are you saying yes and no to, and setting the table for in the season to come?
May we all remember RECONCILIATION in our lives!
*In this series, A Holyear of Holydays, I focus only on major religious and U.S. civic holidays/holydays that are not named after any one person. This is for the sake of cross-cultural relevance and avoiding unwieldiness.