Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

The First Candle

Lethargics are to be laid in the light, and exposed to the rays of the sun for the disease is gloom.
-~Aretaeus

This night, having made the preparations I described last week, we begin our spell for the return of the Light. It is based on the Christian practice of lighting candles around an Advent wreath, which, in turn, is based on even older Pagan practices celebrating the advent of the Winter Solstice.

The Christians call this season Advent, which refers to the coming birth of their God. Advent simply means “to come,” and all northern hemisphere cultures throughout history have made merry in this time of preparation for the great miracle of the longest night. For we are only weeks away from the magical turning, when the long descent into the darkness pauses, and then daylight begins to lengthen once more. This is the rebirth of the Light, the shining Child of Promise.

And Goddess knows, we need some Light.

So let our intention be that we will shine with the Light of understanding and truth. Let our light awaken humanity and guide us to restore honor, tolerance, beauty, and good will among all humans. Let the light guide our hearts and hands to act on behalf of our Mother Earth.

This evening, Sunday, Dec. 2, ideally at sunset, take some time for a quiet ceremony to light one candle, for the Guardians of East, or the Element of Air (or whoever your tradition invokes first, when casting a Circle). Or for whatever quality or spiritual gift you long to see bestowed upon yourself or the world.

As you do this, send your energy and intentions for empowering and welcoming the coming birth of the Light. Consider all the meanings that this has for you – in your own personal life, for the good of your community, your nation, and the planet as well. What is your deepest wish and will for the coming year, as the Light is reborn?

What gift would you, as the Wise One, give to the newborn Child of Hope?

Meditate on the fact that (based on the many, many emails I’ve gotten each year since I introduced this ritual) there are untold numbers of others, from many faiths and paths, in different time zones, all around the world, who are participating in this with you. As the shadow of sunset moves over our globe, envision how, one by one, a candle is lit in friendship, hope, and intention.

As one friend described it, we are doing a magical, worldwide version of The Wave. All of our hearts are joined in this act of both acknowledging the dark, and yet feeling our empowerment to light a candle of hope and renewal.

For as you focus your will, remember that we are not fighting, fearing, or trying to defeat the dark. Darkness is necessary; without the dark, there are no dreams, no healing sleep, no deep growth that is necessary to thrive. We honor the dark, but heaven knows our troubled world is in great need of a strong, powerful new day dawning.

So gaze a while upon the dancing flame and call upon the powers of that Element or Gift of Spirit, to bless and protect the coming Sun Child, and the renewal of Life. When you are at peace, and the time feels right, gently extinguish your candle.

Blessed be.

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  • December 2, 2007, 3:52 pm Wren

    Thank you, dear heart, for this spellworking. This is the first time, I think, that I’ve taken part in it. Went out this morning (sun Dec 2) and gathered pine, juniper (red cedar), and holly twigs from my yard, and bound them in a circlet of honeysuckle and trumper-creeper vines to create perhaps the scruffiest-looking (but well loved by its mother) wreath in North Carolina. Created candleholders by filling 4 skinny jelly jars with sand from neighbor’s garden in order to raise the little votive candles high enough that they won’t promptly set the wreath on fire. Tied white, red, blue and green ribbons, respectively, around the appropriate jelly jars. For the center I had a silver star-shaped candle gotten as a gift years ago that I had just burned down to the end of its wick this morning, the last day of my week-long birthday celebration. The center of the star candle had burned out while the points of the star remained, making a perfect holder for the center votive; the star with votive sits in the top of a green glass vase that fits beautifully into the center of the wreath. I have printed out the intention and wrapped it around the center vase. A quirky but sincere basis for the spellworking, and very, very magical!

    Blessings on us every one!

  • December 2, 2007, 5:53 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    This sounds just wonderful, Wren! I can just feel all the love and care and magic that went into it!
    Thank you SO much for sharing it with us!

    And Happy ongoing Birthday celebrations!

    – Beth

  • December 3, 2007, 8:44 am Cyber_Hippie

    Blessings! I have added your blog to my list of links. 🙂

    (It’s Wind Horse from the SpiralHeart list–I won one of your Mercury Retrograde contests, a couple years back.)

    This is a lovely working. I shall join the practice next Sunday (I found out about it this morning.)

    Thank you.
    ~JM