autumn-06

When Autumn comes, it sometimes comes in a blink of an eye.  One day it is summer and then the next, you notice a subtle crispness in the air.  Then it is pumpkin-spice time, chunky knitted sweaters and knee-high boots are everywhere.  This is the work of the Autumn Equinox. It is also known as Michaelmas, Mabon, and Harvest Home.  It comes without any fanfare.  We pass it on the calendar in its small print in a blink of an eye.

This year, the Autumn Equinox happens approximately at 10:26am EDT on Thursday 22 September 2016.  The sun will rise at 6:44am and set at 6:52pm, giving us 8 minutes more of daylight over night.  The equinoxes happen at the same moment everywhere.  More light is called equilux(“lux” being Latin for light).

Autumnal Equinox Illustration
Autumnal Equinox Illustration

 

Depending on what side of the equator you live, you have different seasons than the opposite side.  The equinox in September in the north is known as the Autumnal(fall) equinox and the one in the south is known as the vernal(spring) equinox.  Each year has two equinoxes, September and March, when the sun shines directly on the equator and length of day and night are almost equal on both sides of the equator.  This equinox occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator-the imaginary line above the Earth’s equator-from North to South.  This can happen on either September 22, 23, or 24 every year.

Earth Orbits Sun At a Slant
Earth Orbits Sun At a Slant

The angle at which the Earth is tilted at is 23.4º, to the ecliptic, or the imaginary plane Earth’s path creates around the sun.

Both hemispheres are always tilt a little towards the sun on any other day of the year, but on these two days, the Earth’s axis is always perpendicular towards the sun, as illustrated in the picture above.

On the Equinox, the night and day are nearly the same-12 hours-all over the world.  Equinox is derived from the Latin word aequus,  eqi meaning “equal” and nox meaning “night”.  Despite this being commonly accepted definition, in reality, equinoxes don’t exactly have 12 hours of daylight.  If you want to read more about why they don’t have exactly 12 of day, please click HERE.

hello autumn!
hello autumn!

Until December, the days get shorter until the Winter solstice, when the light will make its slow creep back to long summer days.  Technically, Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, compared to the summer solstice in June, which has the longest sunlight.

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Due to the fact that it takes Earth 365.25 days to orbit the Sun and why we have a leap year every year, the precise time of the equinox varies every year.  But usually it happens six hours later on each successive year.  On leap years though, the date jumps back an entire day.

Male Siberian Hamster
Male Siberian Hamster

Brilliant leaves and geomagnetic storms aren’t the only things that ramp up around the time of the autumnal equinox.  The creature world also does too.  Animals at high latitudes also go through biological changes with the changing of the seasons.  For example, the Siberian hamster, experiences the growth of their testes of up to 17 times their normal size in days leading up to when the days get shorter.

The Japanese traditionally mark both the Spring and Autumn Equinox with higan, higan-festivala seven-day period where they honor and remember their ancestors by visiting their graves by cleaning graves and offering flowers and foods, and burning incense sticks and praying.

 

 

 

Priest blessing food and flowers during the Polish Festival of Greenery.
Priest blessing food and flowers during the Polish Festival of Greenery.

In Poland, the Polish celebrate the Polish Festival of Greenery bring bouquets of flowers and foods to a priest for a blessing, and then using them for medicine or keeping them until the following year’s harvest.  The Roman celebration of the Fall Equinox was dedicated to Pomona, goddess of fruits and growing things

A well-fattened goose which had fed well on the stubble on the fields after the harvest is traditionally feasted on.  Ginger is also part of the tradition too.  Every single piece of food that is served that day at the feast is seasoned with ginger from gingerbread to ginger beer.

The last piece of corn that was harvested was made into a doll in England,corn-huskdolls representing the “spirit of the field”.  Drenched in water, this would represent rain or they were burned, representing the death of the spirit of the grain.  Large wickerwork figures are burned in a mock sacrifice or constructed to present a vegetarian spirit.  The large wickerwork figures also represented those two factors as well.  Farmers and merchants gathered at fairs.  Often there would be a large glove was suspended above the fair, symbolizing  the handshake of promises and open-handedness and generosity.

 

Burning Man Galen Oaks 2015
Burning Man Galen Oaks 2015

The “burning man” has seen a revival in the US.  It is celebrated at the end of summer.  It is an enthusiastic festival of performance arts and creativity.  Participating in your own burning man celebration is a powerful way to connect with humanity, past and present.

 

 

Autumn is a great time to still get out and do many activities before having to stay inside all winter.  This is just a small sampling of the many activities celebrated worldwide to usher in the annual Autumn Equinox.

How do you celebrate Autumn Equinox?  Do you look forward to autumn?  Please continue the conversation below.  If you liked this post, click “like” below and share to your favorite social networks.   I hope you enjoyed this post.  Thanks!

 

Till next time…

xo-heather

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In Old English, September is called Haervest-monath(Harvest Month).  This is time when the harvest is gathered, ready and put up for the winter months.  September’s name comes from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven”.  This month

Mary Howitt quote meme

 

This year, Labor Day, (the first Monday in September), falls on the 5th.  Did you know Canadians also celebrate Labour Day as well?

Patriot Day is observed in the U.S. on 11 September or 9/11.

patriots day

Grandparents’ Day is also celebrated on 11 September  too!  Please honor your grandparents(if you still have them) today and every day.  I have two Grandma’s left whom are alive and kicking in their 80s! 🙂

grandparents-day-1-550x320

Fall is right around the corner!  The Autumnal Equinox falls on 23 September this year.  At this moment, there is an equal amount of daylight and darkness hours in a day.  Find you current sunrise and sunset HERE.

Seasonearth_copy.jpg.650x0_q70_crop-smart

The month is then wrapped up on 29 September with Michealmas, an ancient Celtic “Quarter Day”.  This day was marked with the end of the harvesting and steeped heavily in folklore.

St. Micheal
St. Micheal

Some seasonal all-time favorites to bake would be:

Apple Pie Recipe by Grandma Ople
Apple Pie Recipe by Grandma Ople

 

Autumn Cheesecake Recipe
Autumn Cheesecake Recipe
Apple Crisp Recipe
Apple Crisp Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a great time Martins on TM12 300to prepare winter bird seed for those of our feathered friends who stay around in the winter.

 

 

Full Harvest Moon
Full Harvest Moon

 

 

The Full Harvest Moon will be making its annual appearance on 16 September 2016 3:05P.M. EST.  There will also be other night sky events going on this month as well.

 

Some Folklore For This Month:

  • Heavy September rains bring drought
  • September blow soft, till the fruit’s in the loft
  • Married in September’s golden glow, smooth and serene your life will go
  • If the storms of September clear off warm,  the storms of the following winter will be warm
  • Fair on September 1st, fair for the month
September's Flower-Asteraceae(Aster amellus)
September’s Flower-Asteraceae(Aster amellus)
Sapphire, September's Birth Stone, which was once thought to guard against poisioining and evil
Sapphire, September’s Birthstone, which was once thought to guard against poisoning and evil
September's other flower, the Morning Glory(Convolvulaceae)
September’s other flower, the Morning Glory(Convolvulaceae)

 

fall is here
I’m excited! Are you?

What are you looking forward to(or baking) this fall?  I’d love for you to continue the conversation below.  And if you’ve liked this post, please tic like below and give it a share if you’ve really liked it.  Thanks 🙂

Till next time~

xo-heather

Josh Duggar Has Been Accused of Molesting 5 Young Girls

Joshua James "Josh" Duggar (born March 3, 1988) is an American television personality and former executive director for the Family Research Council who known for his appearances on Discovery Health Channel and TLC as part of reality television show 19 Kids and Counting, which focuses on the life of the Duggar family (2 parents and 19 children), and as former director of FRC Action, a non-profit legislative action arm of the Family Research Council. He is the eldest child of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, and has 18 younger siblings. In May 2015 it became public that when Duggar was between the ages of 14 and 15 years old, he molested five girls, some of whom were his sisters. The abuse consisted of fondling their breast and genital regions while they were asleep and sometimes while awake according to a police report obtained by the magazine In Touch Weekly, in which Jim Bob Duggar reported to Arkansas State Police that in 2002 Josh Duggar had molested the girls, Jim Bob told police that he had enrolled Josh in a program consisting of physical labor, but it was later revealed that Josh had been sent to stay away from home to work for a family friend in the home remodeling business instead.
Joshua James “Josh” Duggar (born March 3, 1988) is an American television personality and former executive director for the Family Research Council who known for his appearances on Discovery Health Channel and TLC as part of reality television show 19 Kids and Counting, which focuses on the life of the Duggar family (2 parents and 19 children), and as former director of FRC Action, a non-profit legislative action arm of the Family Research Council. He is the eldest child of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, and has 18 younger siblings.
In May 2015 it became public that when Duggar was between the ages of 14 and 15 years old, he molested five girls, some of whom were his sisters. The abuse consisted of fondling their breast and genital regions while they were asleep and sometimes while awake according to a police report obtained by the magazine In Touch Weekly, in which Jim Bob Duggar reported to Arkansas State Police that in 2002 Josh Duggar had molested the girls, Jim Bob told police that he had enrolled Josh in a program consisting of physical labor, but it was later revealed that Josh had been sent to stay away from home to work for a family friend in the home remodeling business instead.

I myself have never watched The Duggar’s but I have read articles here and there about them. I have heard some things about their faith and whether or not that stuff is true I haven’t formed an opinion about their family and the show. But when this particular issue came to light a few days ago, I wasn’t pleased. I thought they had good intentions about waiting to kiss until they were pronounced married, a supervised courtship, modest dress, homeschooling, much like myself and my anabaptist brethren do, but I began to see things unravel when pictures of certain “non-Christian” things began to pop up on Instagram and on Yahoo articles. I am so passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that we all are not perfect, but I don’t expect intentional things like that to happen.  Did Josh Duggar do this intentionally or did he have no control over his actions?  I don’t think we will ever know this answer.

I am passionate about the Truth of the God’s Holy Word and I desire to see others to come to know and understand and follow that Truth. I myself am a believer in following everything single principal of the bible. Not picking and choosing which parts of the bible suit me best. The Duggar’s started out emulating following all precepts of the bible. People loved that and hailed them. Then the failings started to happen. Cracks began to form as the elder Duggar’s began to leave the home.

Sin is sin. Molestation is molestation. There is no redefining it, explaining it away, or excusing it. There is no undoing the physical, emotional, or psychological damage of it. God would never do that, so why should we do that for The Duggar’s? Or why should they do that? Abuse is sin. It doesn’t matter if it’s physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, or spiritual; it is all sin. Titus 2:4 says we are to love our children. In addition, there is a principle found in Jesus’ words about children. Jesus used a child to teach His disciples that childlike faith is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. At the same time, He said that the Father has concern for all of His “little ones” (Matthew 18:1–14). In that passage, Jesus says, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:10, KJV). The word offend in the Greek means “to cause one to stumble, to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, to entice to sin, or to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.”

These definitions of the word ‘offend’ can easily be applied to the actions of a pedophile. Of course, the principle of not harming a child can be applied to a wide range of child-abusive actions, and Matthew 18:10 make the case against anyone who would bring any type of harm to a child. In the New Testament we find similar passages. Romans 1, specifically talks against sexual sin as ‘against nature’.

Here is another scripture to consider and reflect over in regards to this. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”(1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

Some of the reactions I have heard over this scandal have been mixed.  Two of the most popular ones are grief and others are casting stones.  I don’t think there is any need for either of them. “He who is without sin may cast the first stone.” Am I without sin? No. Are you no? No. I am not perfect. Nor are you or Josh Duggar anywhere near perfection. Am I grieving over this? No. There are a few reasons why. One, I am obviously not a fan. Two, I am not buying into the media hype. Three, there isn’t a reason to grieve over this.

I am though, hating the sin, not the sinner. I love our brothers and sisters in Christ.  God has called us to do this. Each and every Christian is commanded to do this. I am praying that Josh Duggar will get the help that he needs to overcome the sin. I am praying that he learns from this and him and his family heals from this. I am praying that his victims also heal from this horrid event. And I am praying that this never, ever happens again. I think we should all do this. This is the best, most appropriate reaction to this situation. I think the fact that Josh Duggar has been open and honest about the whole affair has been a great start in his way of seeking forgiveness from the Lord. I hope and pray he continues on that path to seek healing and forgiveness from his sisters and the other young ladies he molested.

How do you feel about Josh Duggar and what he did?  Do you think we should pray for forgiveness of his sin?  What has the tone of the other articles have you been reading?  Have they been negative or positive?  Do you or have you watched 19 Kids and Counting?  Please keep the conversation going and leave your comments below.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this unfortunate and grave issue.

See you next time!

vintage bluebird signature EDIT