If you have been a regular reader of mine in past years, you know that starting in late November, I invite all my visitors, regardless of path, to join together in a virtual prayer circle, or spell weaving, if you will.
Inspired originally by Beltane Papers founder, the late Helen Farias, and continued by Waverly FitzGerald, I have found this to be a gentle, inclusive, yet powerful practice. Over the years, many of my readers have agreed that it is a deeply meaningful ceremony for them as well.
This ritual may remind you of the Christian practice of lighting candles around an Advent wreath, which, in fact, was copied from older Pagan practices surrounding the advent of the Winter Solstice. The word “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 others throughout the world, and to share it with your friends and beloveds.
And please tell your friends about it. Let’s spread the word and good energy!
Of course, you can adapt this to your own desires, but I suggest that we might join together and let our intention be that:
We are making ready in this Advent Season to, ourselves, shine as the living Light of hope, peace and wisdom.
Thus, beginning at Winter’s Solstice, may our own Light grow. May we awaken what is best in one another and restore honor, compassion, balance, wisdom, and good will among all beings. May our Light of Peace guide us to work together with one another, and courageously serve the healing of our Mother Earth. So mote it be.
First, you’ll need make 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. 28. 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, laid 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. 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, at sunset, you have a quiet ceremony to light a new candle. The first Sunday (Nov. 28, 2009), you will light one candle only, the one for East. The next Sunday, December 5, we again light the East Candle, plus add the South candle. And so on, until the final candle, either Solstice night, or Christmas, depending on your preferences.
Even if you haven’t started with us from the beginning week(s), don’t worry. You can join in with us any time!
As you do this, send your energy and intentions for empowering and welcoming the birth of the Light. Consider all the meanings that this has for you – in your own personal life, for the good of our community and our planet as well. What is your deepest wish and will for the coming year, in the Light reborn?
Be aware that, based on the many, many emails I’ve gotten over the years, there are hundreds of other people, in many different time zones, around the world, who are participating in this with you. 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.
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 new day dawning.
So gaze a while upon the dancing flame and call upon the powers of the week’s 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.