Today Leesa presented a comparison of Autumnal rituals and rites across many cultures to see what they have in common.  In the Christian tradition there is the feast day of Archangel Michael who protects the world from darkness.   All souls day and all saints day is, in essence, a celebration of the ancestors.  There is, of course, ancestor worship among many pagan traditions and ancestor worship is prevalent in China as well.   

In the Jewish tradition the floods recede leaving Noah high and dry on the autumnal equinox.  Abraham is ready to sacrifice Isaac on the Autumnal equinox and Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah are all born on the Autumnal equinox.  In Japan where Shintoism is a key religion, the Autumnal Equinox is a public holiday.

And, of course, Norse and Celtic beliefs feature prominent Autumnal celebrations.  Samhain, marks the end of the harvest and the coming of the darker half of the year.  Building a bonfire and feasting is a good way of coming to terms with winter.  Today, all across Ohio we have harvest festivals... the tomato festival, the corn festival, the pumpkin festival to name a few.  There are competitions, and we still raise up a "queen" for the harvest... we haven't come that far from pagan festivals even in today's world.

We had a lively discussion afterward with coffee and snacks.  Come join us next week.