Today is the last Sun Day before Winter Solstice, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Tonight, you are invited to join once again (or for the first time) in our Yule/Advent ritual. For the basic guidelines and our intention, please pop over here.
If you are celebrating this rite from a Pagan perspective, then this candle may represent the direction of North, or the element of Earth. In many Christian traditions, the fourth candle on the Advent wreath symbolizes Love. Isn’t it beautiful how these two attributes – Love and the Earth – can co-exist?
Without question, this is the most intense week in the Western European spiritual traditions. Its roots go deep into the Mesopotamian New Year’s celebrations of ancient Persia and Babylon. From Greece’s rites to honor Kronos, known later by Romans as Saturn; merging, as Rome conquered northern Europe, into the Celtic and Norse Solstice observances, this powerful time of the rebirth of the Sun echoes through the blood memory of all the Western tribes.
So powerful and popular is this time, so deeply ingrained the welcoming of the returning Sun, that the new religion was obliged in 350 C.E. to change the observance of their sun God’s birth (which their scholars well know was in the Springtime) to December. They found it utterly impossible to put a halt to the revelries of the Saturnalia, so they co-opted and Christianized them instead.
But solemnity and piousness are feeble playmates, and there is no place at this groaning table of joy for the guilt-ridden. For we are the children of the Earth, and our bodies and our spirits remember this.
We feel what our Mother Earth feels, and when our chattering minds and noisy toys are silent, we can hear Her singing in the rush of our blood.
Who can help but celebrate in the splendor of the taste of Her fruit and the scent of Her sweet fertile body? In every cell of our physical being and in the soul’s ancient awareness, we know and remember the darkness that now gathers deeper around us. We know and remember that the Wheel is turning, and we wait.
So tonight, let us light our fourth candle together, celebrating Love. Let us honor Earth’s bone and stone, seed and flower. We give thanks for the dark, for the blessed Earth. Silent Guardian of the North, we stand on your threshold of Winter. Keeper of the deep places in the planet, the roots that are beyond knowing, we give thanks to you.
Let us light our candle tonight on our wreath, and stand in awe of the great and beautiful dark. We welcome Goddess Night and the loving, fiery heart of Holy Mother Earth.