As promised we present our Advent post.
The work below is similar to that which we have performed in previous years during the Advent Season. Should you wish to accompany us on this years Advent journey, you will be most welcome.
We understand that many of you will not wish to follow a traditional Christian path asking: “What has Advent to do with me?” Our focus here is upon a ‘Spiritual Advent’, which can be practiced/performed by those from any tradition.
Those who wish to make the Solstice their focal point, will need to begin working during the week beginning 25th November, so as to have four clear weeks in which to reach completion. Those who wish to retain the four Advent Sundays will need to start the work on Sunday 1st December.
Advent means ‘coming’. It is an anglicised version of the latin adventus, which is in turn a translation of the Greek word parousia, meaning presence or arrival.
The ‘Christian Season of Advent’ marks the anticipation of the Coming of the Birth of Jesus Christ/the Christ Child. We do well to remember that Christianity is just over 2000 years old, whereas the ‘Winter Solstice’ marking the darkest time and the rebirth of the sun, has been celebrated for much longer. Whether Odinist or Roman Catholic, you cannot fail to find significance in the joy of anticipation which exists during this season. Devotional types may pick out a singular theme to work with, we at SRTB will be taking a Noetic multi layered approach, which encompasses the Solar/land cycle, World Teacher/Logos & Transpersonal elements.
The Advent Season marks the rebirth or renewal of the Indwelling Light (the Light/Christ within us.) The birth of Sol Invictus/the Golden Child. The Descent of Sophia/the sacrifice of spirit into matter & the Sun cycle at Midwinter, with its anticipation & preparation of the feasting & celebrating, before the lean, hard times. For as the light is rekindled the worst weather is yet to come.
Several years ago we devised the following work, constructing altars & spending each evening in meditation, reflecting upon the meaning of the season; its significance both esoteric & exoteric. It was a powerful experience which enhanced our understanding of Advent.
If you plan to work outside of the Advent Sunday cycle, adjust the dates in accordance with your tradition or preference. From experience we feel it is more productive to begin the work on a particular day and then perform the next part of the work on the same day during the following week and so on. The concluding work being done on Solstice itself; most importantly there needs to be 4 candle/theme meditation periods before the 21st, with the central candle being lit on that date.
The themes for the work are HOPE, LOVE, JOY, PEACE. These are not just aspects of our lives, they are embodied qualities of the archetype, being or energy, whose coming is anticipated. You may wish to work with those deities, elements, archangels, evangelists, elemental kings, etc. which correspond to each of the four themes.
Schedule: (following traditional Advent Sundays)
Light incense of your choice at the start of each session i.e. (Frankincense, Pine, Myrrh etc). For those allergic to incense replace with an acceptable substitute.
Sunday 1st December light candle 1 Meditate/Reflect upon HOPE
Sunday 8th December light candle 2 Meditate/Reflect upon LOVE
Sunday 15th December light candle 3 Meditate/Reflect upon JOY
Sunday 22nd December light candle 4 Meditate/Reflect upon PEACE
Tuesday 24th December light candle 5 Meditate/Reflect upon ARRIVAL
Once lit allow your candle/T-light to burn for five minutes minimum. Each week you will need to light the next candle from the preceding one, increasing the number of lit candles so as to symbolically increase the light. At Solstice/Christmas Eve you will end the work with all five candles burning.
We at this stage engage in a communion to mark the moment of arrival.
The candles may be of one colour OR you may use the 3 + 1 system with the 3rd candle being different. The central candle (5) can differ in appearance from the others i e. a votive, vigil candle or a lamp etc.
Our work here concentrates on the more spiritual aspects of the Season. It is regrettable that in our more secular society, the advent calendar has become a countdown to the arrival of the ‘gift giver’ and the number of shopping days left till Christmas!
Wishing you all Light & Love