Winter is coming
It’s that time of year when clocks are changed and we recognise ‘winter is coming’.
The Celtic festival of Samhain, marks the end of harvest and the beginning of the darker half of the year, coinciding with Halloween or All Hallows Eve. Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. That’s why people dressed in masks to fool the spirits.
And in this darkness, we celebrate with Light and fire. Bonfires and Fireworks. And burning a guy!
For Hindus Diwali, the Festival of light (Nov8th) symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.
In the words of the sufi mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi,
There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness.
In the Qur’an, Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth - Al Nur (Surah 24:35) And Hasrat. Isa (Jesus) is also called Light of God Nurullah ((4:174).
And Jesus is known as the ‘Light of the World’…
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)
With so much ‘Light’ in common it is so important in these dark days to strive to maintain the bonds of peace. To spread the light and help create interfaith harmony and community cohesion. To overcome hatred with LOVE (mahabba).
We want to be able to Coexist, and live together without killing each other!
The opposite of xenophobia, the hatred of the ‘other’ is Phileo-xenia, love for stranger, the biblical word for hospitality. Practice hospitality. And thus entertain angels unawares… This is the way of Love.
Or in the words of J.K.Rowling’s Albus Dumbledore: