. . . and I haven't had the time to write about it from a spiritual perspective. Most of my time has been orientated towards our 2 new horses and all it takes to take care of them. You can read about them and other aspects of homesteading here.
From the time of my last post we've gone through Equinox, the Days of Awe, Sukkot, Simchat Torah and most recently Samhain. Being a Jewitch I try to celebrate all of them with some sort of earth based ritual, Sukkot being my favorite although in this climate normally spending any significant time in the sukkah is impractical. This year though no sukkah got built, no pumpkins got carved, Simchat Torah got missed, I spent Equinox stringing electric fence line and the Days of Awe were somehow lacking in spirituality this year.
I've always been independant in my spirituality but it seems that with the lack of an active local community, either Jewish or Pagan, or a Jewish family, both paths have somehow lost their lustre and I just go through life trying to remember to find spirituality in the changing of the leaves, the majestic starkness of a naked tree, in the mud I slip and slide around in and the seemingly neverending rain. Perhaps that is where true spirituality lies - not in the holidays and the artificial demaracation of the seasons but in being able to seeing Shechinah all around us - the Indwelling Presence of the Divine in every tree, in every rain cloud and in the people we share a smile with when the days are so gloomy.
OTOH, holidays are important because they do remind us that we are bound to tradition, to culture, to like minded people and that we are not alone on the spiritual paths we walk. It is so much easier though when there are others to celebrate with and when you have the inclination to celebrate with others. Perhaps my withdrawing into myself as summer turns to fall which proceeds into winter is the greatest celebration of this part of the natural cycle of the year - a time for examination and preservation of that which is important to us, including our ancestors and their ways, a theme found in both the Days of Awe and Samhain. This year Winter Solstice will come 2 days after the end of Channukah and, as usual, will probably have more meaning for me than Channukah in it's traditional practices. Does this make me more of a witch than a Jew? Certainly more witchy than traditional Jewish.
Spirituality is where you find it. In my heart I am Jewish in that I FEEL the connection to Avraham and Sarah and in that I recognize there is only One diety - albeit with many, many facets. In my heart I am also a witch in that I see the Divine in nature, every fiber of my being responds to the natural cycle of the year and my natural inclination is to celebrate the changes with rituals involving the elements of earth, air, fire and water. Sometimes those celebrations coincide with dates on the calendar that have been designated for celebration and sometimes they don't. So the tension between the connections created by holidays and the individual spirituality of experience goes on.