I finally felt inspired to write today. Thanksgiving was yesterday, and I spent some time reflecting on what blessings the past year has brought me. Yes, I am grateful for the tough lessons, too. It’s what strengthens my faith in the Unseen, for never have I been disappointed or betrayed by Spirit. I have only ever been loved and supported, guided and protected.
A friend of mine sent me some information about this holiday just past, and it started me on an exploration. I pay attention to patterns, to coincidences, to points of convergence; and we had one such convergence this Thanksgiving. There is much written about the holidays of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and the rare juxtaposition of the two this year.
The last time the two holidays fell on the same day was in 1888. The next time that will happen is more than 70,000 years away. Hanukkah typically begins in December, and Thanksgiving is usually a week earlier than it was this year.
I was intrigued by the similarities between the two celebrations. Both are a time of reflection and gratitude when family comes together. Thanksgiving is about gratitude for the harvest, and for the new land, the new opportunity for religious freedom the Pilgrims sought when they made the dangerous voyage across the sea to this, the new world.
Both celebrations recognize the Divine hand that guides our lives. When the Pilgrims came to this new land, they gave thanks for the successful voyage across the sea, and for the harvest of crops they’d planted that would see them through their first winter here. The message of Hanukkah is that a little light can illuminate a lot of darkness. It is also a celebration of thanks for the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean military victory over the Syrians in 168 BC.
I also find it interesting that there are both solar and lunar influences that were ‘combined’ this day. The Gregorian calendar, which is the western calendar, is based upon the Earth’s journey around the sun. The dates for Hanukkah are determined by the Hebrew calendar, which is lunisolar. (Months are calculated according to the moon cycle, years by the sun.)
The third ingredient to now be tossed into the mix is the appearance of the comet ISON on November 28th which was Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Harkens back to a time a couple of thousand years ago when a star appeared in the heavens…
Yes, ISON passed on its way to the sun on Thanksgiving day. If it survives its journey around the sun, it will come closest to the Earth again on December 26th, the day after Christmas. It will be visible in the sky starting in mid-December, however.
A Festival of Light(Hanukkah), a day of Thanksgiving, the appearance of a light in the sky. Is someone trying to tell us something? What do you think?
Re-examine all you have been told. Dismiss what insults your soul. ~Walt Whitman
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Photo credits: Wikipedia