In December we are waiting – waiting for the return of the light. The Winter Solstice marks the turning point of the sun cycle, as from this darkest point of mid-winter, the sun will once again begin to rise in the sky. On Christmas Eve we celebrate the birth of the sun at midnight, the birth of the spiritual Sun, and the birth of a renewed spiritual consciousness within each one of us. December 25th, three days after the Solstice, is the moment when the sun can be seen to have shifted and begin its return. Christmas is celebrated by Christians and by people of all faiths and none, celebrating the rebirth of the light.

Advent offers four Sundays in preparation and waiting for the festival of Light, beginning on the fourth Sunday before the Solstice/Christmas festival. These four weeks of Advent are very much what December is about. Nowadays the mystery and power of this special time can get lost as we get caught up in providing Christmas ‘with all the trimmings’. Many people can get stressed by the expectations placed on them and get anxious finding time to be ready. Others avoid Christmas altogether. And some dive in and love every moment.

It is the one time of year just about everyone decorates their home and essentially we are transforming our space, creating sacred space for this holiest time of year. We bring in the light and meet the inner light that is aglow within the earth in deepest winter. Celebrating consciously makes all the difference. We can join in with all the fun of Christmas and at the same time meet the time consciously. This is a festival celebrating new light, newness of life, peace on earth, good will to all. If we just go through the motions, it can feel empty and a bit haphazard, missing all the profound meaning behind these customs. Taking care to consider the intentions behind what we do makes all the difference to the energy we bring to our home. Its great to make things ourselves but time pressure means many people buy things instead which is fine if we remember to make it our own with our intentions. In a way Advent challenges us with time and space as those four weeks rush by unless we meet the time well.

‘People, look East.
The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love the guest is on the way.’

Love the guest is on the way, a Carol with words by Eleanor Farjeon.

As the sun is at a turning point, so too are we, connecting our own sol/soul with the sol/sun above. In deepest darkest winter new light comes to Earth. New life is born. What is waiting to be born in you?