September is the one month not named after a Roman deity and it is the only month with the same number of letters in its name as the number of the month (9). September derives its name from the Latin word “septum,” which means seven. In the original Roman calendar, September was the seventh month, later the calendar was adjusted to add January and February.
Sapphire is the birthstone of September. The calming energy of the Sapphire stone is a great healer, it helps to slow down the mind, serving as a natural relief for insomnia. Like other beautiful blue gemstones, the Sapphire is connected to the throat and third eye chakras. The throat chakra is essential in learning how to communicate our truth and the third eye chakra is all about spiritual communication and intuition. Sapphire is a stone that promotes clear and positive thinking when following the path of your dreams.
Virgo is the sixth sign of the zodiac whose mascot is the maiden. The maiden pays homage to Virgo’s hardworking nature. Virgos have a tendency to be purely practical and very logical in their thinking. Virgos are kind, have positive energy and are great at problem solving. Virgo as an earth sign takes a lot of comfort, cleansing, and calm from healing crystals. Virgos make the best friends as they are fiercely loyal and they have a huge heart space which makes for strong connections.
September 15 is the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual celebration in the United States that honors the history, culture, and contributions of Americans whose ancestry can be traced to Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Spain. September 15 was chosen as the kickoff date since it coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of Costa Rico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, followed by Mexico on September 16, Chile on September 18, and Belize on September 21.
The idea to celebrate Hispanic History began as a week long observance in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was later extended to a full month twenty years later by President Ronald Reagan.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the Hispanic or Latine population hit 62.1 million, making this community the largest minority group in America. Although they are used interchangeably, the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” have different meanings. Hispanic refers to someone who comes from or is a descendant of a Spanish speaking country, whereas Latino or Latina (or the gender neutral Latine) refers to someone who comes from or is a descendent of any Latin American country.
My sixth grade teacher had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Venezuela so the Hispanic Heritage celebration in our class was memorable. My teacher, wearing the traditional ruffled dress, put her oil filled, electric skillet on her desk and fried empanadas, plantains, and sopapillas. Everything was delicious. We had spent days making a brightly colored piñata and had great fun bashing it with a broom.
My kindergarten class this year will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by exploring Alebrijes. Alebrijes are strange, fantastical animals such as a lion with an eagle’s head and a donkey with butterfly wings. Years ago, my youngest son created an alebrijes, he drew the head of a cat and the body of a caterpillar, it was so amazing that we framed his drawing and had t-shirts made with the image. Alebrijes came from the imagination of Pedro Linares. Mexican artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo made alebrijes popular and they are now a form of Mexican folk art.
While we should never wait for an annual event or holiday to celebrate someone’s ethnic background, Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity to honor the respective cultures and ancestral backgrounds of Latine and Hispanic Americans.