NEARLY everyone in North America is aware that September 22-23 is the official beginning of the autumn season. Since childhood, I’ve loved fall — the earthy colors, crunchy leaves, crisp evening air, and clear skies provide textural thrills for any writer, and cooler temperatures offer a much-needed respite following a long summer of triple digit afternoons. Of course, the fact that I have a fall birthday doesn’t hurt!
This year, however, brings us far more than a change of seasons. This weekend, as the first faint gleam of a new moon is sighted over the Middle East and elsewhere, a very rare convergence of celebrations begins.
— In Israel, the fall feast of Rosh Hashana starts a ten day clock culminating in the holiest of days, Yom Kippur.
— For Muslims, the new moon sighting kicks off a one-month fast called Ramadan.
— In India, Hindus spy out the new moon to commence a semi-annual celebration called Navaratri.
— In the Northern Hemisphere, Neo-Pagans practice a new moon feast called ‘Harvest Home’ (aka ‘Mabon”).
— In the Southern Hemisphere, Neo-Pagans and Wiccans greet ‘Ostara’ (since they enter the spring season).
Now, to make this very rare convergence all the more spectacular, add an annular solar eclipse, taking place on September 22nd.
As a Christian, Rosh Hashana strikes a very personal chord in me, but we have to remember that there must be a reason why so many religions set aside this time of year for special celebration. As we approach this weekend, please be in prayer. According to Wiccan tradition, the veil between the worlds of substance and spirit thins during such times. Some Christians believe Christ’s rapture of the Church will occur during Rosh Hashana of some year.
We live in a physical realm, but you and I are also spiritual beings. Which feast will you be celebrating? Do you know Christ as your Savior? With all that’s happening this week, this might just be the perfect time for you to seek Him out.