This time of Halloween/All Saints Day/All Souls Day and leading into Martinmas leads me to think about light and lanterns. There is a passage from the book “Celebrating Festivals With Children” by Freya Jaffke that I like regarding “Lantern Time”:
“Two lantern festivals mark this time. From the Celtic tradition there is Halloween on October 31, and from Continental Europe we have Martinmas on November 11. Halloween is connected with the earth, and its turnip or pumpkin lanterns are made of fruits from the ground. Martinmas commemorates a human deed of sharing, and its paper lanterns are entirely made by human hand. As the outer light of day diminishes, there is first a kind of afterglow of e earth – the turnip or pumpkin lanterns. Then there is the human spark of kindness we see in the paper lanterns of Martinmas. The light is gradually transformed from the outer light of the sun in summer to the internal spirit light of Advent and Christmas.”
This is a wonderful time of year to think about any changes in rhythm that you want to make as the days grow shorter, the nights longer and colder. It is also a wonderful time to think about bringing light into your home. I know Waldorf teachers who light lanterns whilst the children play and keep lanterns up in the school room until the light of Advent comes.
Outside, one can work in tidying the garden, caring for the birds and other small creatures, and planting flower bulbs for spring.
I would love to hear what you are planning for this time of year.