As the Christmas season approaches, I will be offering a min-blog experiment which I hope to share more widely with friends others. While stores have opened their doors on Thanksgiving evening (and earlier in many cases), and customers have lined up for early shopping and Black Friday sales... many of us are seeking a deeper and more meaningful way of experiencing this season...a slower and more contemplative way of celebrating.
Tonight, the candles of the menorah are lit- in deep respect to another tradition- and in honor of religious freedom, gratitude, mystery and miracles. And on Sunday I will light the first candle of the Advent wreath- the candle of hope. A Christian tradition with Pagan roots (German peoples were said to have spun a wheel decorated with evergreens and adorned with candles, to bring on the light in those dark winter days...), the Advent wreath is a tradition I have cherished and made my own over the past several years, offering prayers and meditations with each morning's candle lighting.
My personal re-creation of the Advent ritual is neither Pagan nor Christian, though it draws on the spirit of ancient peoples who longed for light in the dark cold winter, and of those who have found hope in a powerful story of divine love incarnated. Bowing to the wisdom of our religious traditions, I offer a personal ritual for our human story that is centered on the spiritual pillars of those five candles. While candle meanings and colors vary depending on who you ask, I have chosen hope, love, joy, and peace- with patience at the center- as the attributes around which I will reflect in the coming weeks. Love, joy, and peace are what we hope for and long for most fully in our lives and in our world. May we in this season of Advent create a space for the soul, a space of preparation and openness, of patient and expectant waiting, of hopeful possibility for the birthing of our lives into fullness.
I invite you to join me in walking this Advent Journey over the 25 days of Christmas. To follow, please visit: http://creatingspaceforthesoul.wordpress.com/