It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost time once more to join together every Sunday through Yule (or Christmas) for our annual Advent Sun Circle, (or Yule Prayer-Spell, if you prefer).
I want to make sure you know in plenty of time, since lots of y’all will be traveling this week.
If you have been a regular visitor here, you know that starting in late November, I invite all my visitors, regardless of their spiritual path, to join together in a virtual prayer circle, or spell weaving.
This was originally inspired by Beltane Papers founder, the late Helen Farias, and adapted by Waverly FitzGerald.
Starting Our Second Decade
Ever since the beginning, I have found this to be a gentle, inclusive, yet very powerful ceremony. I began sharing it on my first website back in 2004 and have celebrated it ever since, with an exponentially growing number of participants around the world.
Over the years, my readers have agreed that it has become a deeply meaningful ceremony for them as well. Some have also noted that it feels like we are doing a prayer version of “The Wave.“
It’s very simple. You only need a wreath and five candles. Starting with the first week, around dusk wherever you live, you’ll light one candle, meditate a bit, then extinguish the flame. The next week you light the first candle, and then a second one. And so on, until the final candle on Winter Solstice, Christmas, or both.
This ritual may remind you of the Christian tradition of lighting candles around an Advent wreath. That practice is descended from older Pagan observances that marked the advent of the Winter Solstice. (Advent simply means “the coming of”).
You can easily adapt this to be in harmony with your own dreams, desires, and beliefs. I encourage you to join the countless families and individuals throughout the world, Christians and non- , and to share it with your friends and beloveds.
When Do We Begin?
This year’s lighting dates are simple. Everyone begins next Sunday November 29. If you are counting down to the Winter Solstice you light Candle 1 on Nov. 29, Candle 2 on Dec. 6, and so on, ending with Candle 5 at Winter Solstice, Dec. 21.
If you are counting down to Christmas, the lighting dates are the same, but you light the final, fifth candle on Christmas. Families that celebrate both can light the last candle on both holidays.
For Our Friends in the Southern Hemisphere
I also want to include all our friends south of the Equator, who are preparing to celebrate Summer Solstice, their longest day of the year. You, too, are warmly invited to join us in this rite, lending us your brilliance, helping us to keep our love fires blazing.
I invite you to light your Solstice candles (perhaps on a Summer wreath of herbs and flowers), and shine your dazzling hearts upon this work with us. For you, too, are the light-keepers and an integral part of this weaving. You are the living proof of Summer’s promise.
Thus we enact our support and respect for each others’ traditions. And by the way — even if you miss the beginning week(s), don’t worry. You can join in any time!
We Merry Meet, One and All
This ceremony is possibly the most familiar to Christians, since many denominations practice Advent ceremonies for Christmas, both in the home, and at church.
But it works beautifully for Pagans, too, counting down to Solstice by calling in the four Elements, or Directions. It can work, too, for Buddhists, who might wish to light a candle each week to honor the The Five Skandhas, or perhaps the Four Noble Truths, plus the final candle representing liberation.
Hindus might wish to choose sacred elements of the Vedanta for each candle. Jews can imbue each candle to represent the five books of the Torah — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Non-religious attributions can center on what you may feel are the five most important qualities for a worthwhile life, or your favorite philosophical values. The possibilities are limitless, and can be adapted to any spiritual or intellectual path.
Want even MORE details?
Don’t worry, I’ll be blogging about each specific lighting on the Sundays applicable.
And if you’ll take a look at the Menu bar at the top of my website, you’ll see Advent 2015. Click there and get lots more info, including specifics about our core intention this year.
Got even more questions? Email me!
We want YOU, and all your friends to join us!
The more, the merrier!