For the beauty of the Earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Holy One(s), to you we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.
Today is the fourth and final Sun Day before Winter Solstice, and it is the third Sunday of Christian advent.
If you are joining our global prayer circle for the first time (it’s never too late, until after the final lighting!), or if you wish to refresh your memory as to the general steps of this Sun Wheel celebration, please visit here.
If you are counting down to Christmas only, this is the third candle and it represents (in most churches) Joy. Many Christian advent wreaths feature this Sunday’s candle as a special rose pink one, or else a royal blue.
This represents a shift from the purple of penitence to the lighter color of anticipation and joy for the Divine Birth.
Many others of us counting down to Solstice are using our candles to represent the Elements and Directions in our Solstice Sunwheel.
If so, then tonight we light the fourth candle, which for most traditions will stand for the North and for the element of Earth.
I love that for all of us together, we are, in essence, celebrating Joy to the World. Let us then wish one another the Joy of the Earth.
The Terrible Darkness Falling
I know this is especially hard right now. It seems as if an impenetrable, relentless darkness is descending for all who are caretakers, healers, and celebrants on behalf our living planet. So many cries of pain are being heard from our Mother Earth, that anyone with even the mildest sensitivity can feel them.
Even more so, each of you reading this, who are, one and all, of exceptional awareness and receptivity.
And so as the final dark before the rebirth of the Light encloses us, we pause and honor the grief we feel in a thousand ways. For it is true that a terrible, seemingly insurmountable shadow of colossal wrong is being perpetrated against our sacred Gaia.
Yet, as most of us realize, no healing can happen until we are willing to look at the wound.
It is this grief that is a catharsis and awakener. And therein lies the promise that dawn shall return.
Let the Beauty We Love Be What We Do
With these words from Rumi, let us be inspired, remembering that we are united tonight — thousands of us, around the world. Listen deeply, and see in your inner vision the twinkling of countless candles up and down the edge between night and day as it sweeps across the face of the globe.
We each hold in our hands the spark for the flame that honors the Guardian of the North, which corresponds to the element of Earth. Tonight we give honor to all that is of the Earth. Regardless of language, faith, and country, we know the truth of both the destructive darkness of our times, as well as the rich promise that is the sleeping Earth Herself.
Now, as we make the final descent into the darkest moments of the year, with even Lady Luna now waning away, every cell of our physical being and our souls’ ancient awareness knows and remembers that the Wheel is turning, and we wait.
We are on the cusp of the Ages, the final Solstice of this decade, and the moment of the great rebirth is nearly upon us.
From Darkness to Light
And so we light the candles of the past weeks: Air, Fire, and Water. One at a time, we call in their power, their blessings, and align ourselves with the gifts of awakening and change they offer.
Then, tonight, let us illuminate for the first time our fourth candle together, the candle for the Earth.
For we are creatures of the Holy Mother 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.
And as grim as things are, as you light your fourth candle, you might remember this: Greta Thunberg is being recognized as Time Magazine’s most influential Person of the Year. The Extinction Rebellion is spreading from the U.K. all across our globe in massive outpourings of art, magic, and passion aimed at educating the public in order to cooperatively shut down the systems churning out Earth’s destruction. The EU is rolling out its own version of the “Green Deal.”
Like reaching the bottom of Pandora’s box full of demons, ONLY when we unconditionally face the deepest darkness, is there hope. (Thank you to my Priestess sister Yanara for sharing this link with me. It is no coincidence that if you click on this, you must read or watch to the very end, to get there).
Thus, as our Earth candle flame dances into life, let us celebrate the sumptuous taste of Her fruit and the scent of Her sweet fertile body.
Tonight, we honor bone and stone, seed and flower. From darkest caves to the highest mountaintops, we give thanks for the blessed Earth. We invoke Her power, Her strength, Her great cycles.
Silent Guardian of the North, we stand now on the final threshold before your sacred time of Winter. Keeper of the deep places in the Earth, the roots that are beyond knowing, You are also the North Star that guides our way home.
And in harmony with the third candle of our Christian friends, let us also call in the unfolding rose of Joy.
Let us all join together tonight in our global circle, my dear ones. Let our prayers and magic empower us, as we assist this great birthing.
Let us call forth the very joy of the Earth. May She come now — in Her laughter and splendor, reminding us that we are all Her beloved, precious children.
Join us tonight, heart to heart, across the Earth, lighting the candles on our wreaths. Together, across time and geography, may the Earth sing to us, reminding us of Her Divine promise.
Rejoice, rejoice! The birth is at hand.