Can you believe it? It is time to begin the countdown for our annual Yuletide Prayer-Spell.
If you have been a regular reader of mine, you know that for many years now, starting in late November, I invite everyone to join together in a virtual prayer circle, or spell weaving. All spiritual paths are welcome to this beautiful and powerful practice.
This is a very, very simple ritual, so although this post is longish, the practice is not. I am just including lots of background for you.
We begin the Solstice Sun-Wheel Prayer this Sunday!
Inspired originally by Beltane Papers Magazine founder, the late Helen Farias, and further developed by Waverly FitzGerald, I have found this to be a peaceful, inclusive, yet amazingly rich practice.
This is the prelude to a moment that has been celebrated since prehistoric times, by people of every culture. The dawning of the Winter Solstice and the re-birth of the Light is coming to all beings across the Northern Hemisphere, no matter what they believe about it!
Over the years, the numbers of my readers who participate has grown exponentially, with many of our participants agreeing that it has become an important annual ceremony for themselves and their families.
This ritual may remind you of the Christian practice of lighting candles around an Advent wreath. That was, in fact, adapted from older Pagan practices surrounding the advent of the Winter Solstice. The word “Advent,” simply means the coming of.
So this works for all faiths, all spiritual paths.
One caveat, however: this year’s timing is out of sync. Because there is an extra Sunday between Solstice and Christmas, if you are counting down to Christmas (Christians), your first Sunday ceremony is next week — Dec. 1.
If you are counting down to Winter Solstice (everyone else!), we are beginning this Sunday, Nov. 24.
In all cases, you can easily adapt this to be in harmony with your own dreams, desires, and beliefs. I encourage you to join others throughout the world, across time zones, who are also participating, prompting some to compare it to doing “the Wave,” except this is prayer and good wishes!
And please spread the word and good energy! Truly – the more, the merrier!
What You Will Need to Join In
A wreath. Five candles. That’s it.
Sooooo.. This weekend, go shopping for an Advent wreath, or call it a Solstice Sun Wheel, or whatever is appropriate to your beliefs. You’ll be lighting one candle on each Sun Day prior to the Solstice, starting this Sunday Nov. 24.
However — as I mentioned, if your family celebrates Christmas, your Advent season starts Sunday, Dec. 1. But everything else will be the same, so just keep checking back each week.
Either on Yule night, or on Christmas eve, depending on your preferences, you’ll light the final, fifth candle.
Your Sun Wheel is simply a small wreath, the sacred Circle of the Divine Feminine, or the symbol of eternal life. You will have it lying horizontally upon a table, altar, or other special place.
Evergreens are a nice touch, but it can be of holly berries, or grapevine, or whatever materials you have on hand. Some families encourage their children to make decorations for it. The wreath should have the four candles around its periphery, and a fifth candle in the Center.
The colors and type of candles are up to you. The Christian Advent wreath traditionally is made with three candles of violet, and a fourth, which is lit the last Sunday before Christmas, of rose pink. In some churches, a center pillar candle of white is also included, lit on Christmas or Christmas Eve.
My suggestion for non-Christians is to use five simple white candles (tea candles perhaps), or a yellow candle for East (Air), a red candle for South (Fire), a blue candle for West (Water), and a green candle for North (Earth) with a fifth candle in the center for Spirit (Mystery). A black, white or purple candle would be a good choice, but let your heart be your guide.
The idea is that each Sunday before Solstice, ideally on the threshold between day and night, you will have a quiet ceremony to light a new candle.
Starting this Sunday, I will post what our intention is for this year (your suggestions are welcome), and all the particulars of what to do each week.
Please join us in the coming weeks, as we gather with our families, friends, and one another, to prepare for the coming dawn of the Light.