Friday, November 28, 2008

BlissQuest: Let Your Advent(ure) Begin!

Lilly Adeline upside down.

Listening to: It's officially time for this!

Bliss: Leftovers. Need I say more?

In my house, when I was little, we were C & E Catholics. You know -- Christmas and Easter was the only time you would catch us at mass, unless there was a funeral or a wedding or we were visiting my grandparents, who went every week.

We certainly never participated in or did anything for Lent and Advent, and now I know how much we were missing out on -- all that build up and preparation can just add to the actual day.

This Sunday is the first day of Advent, and this year, I am going to light the Advent candles. I love this ritual as a reminder and as a hint of the underlying paganism. This idea of Advent culminates in Christmas but also in the Winter Solstice and the return of light, so it only makes sense to be adding light to our candle wreath as we go through these coming days.

From Christmas/Winter Solstice on, we are building day time into our days. What a wonderful thing. This is one of the ways that I have learned to overcome a predisposition toward Seasonal Affective Disorder -- to really focus on that extra minute or two every day.

In the Catholic church, the Advent season is the beginning of the liturgical year, so you could say that this Sunday is New Years.

And, of course, the end of the Advent season is all about birth, a beautiful metaphor for your creative and spiritual life.

Perhaps you could build an altar with a candle wreath at the center and every Sunday when you light one and more of those candles, you could ask yourself or the universe or divinity what it is that is trying to birth itself through you. Do some journaling around this theme.

What do you want to bring to fruition over the coming year?

Be clear in your intentions and let them light your way.

Another idea: ask for or get yourself a Christmas gift that is centered around that intention. Painting or writing supplies. A fresh journal. Whatever it is that will help you with the step that comes after prayer and meditation: action!

6 comments:

Lisa said...

Excellent post! Very timely for me, as I'm committed to decorating and celebrating in a much-less-Christian-tradition this year. Need to still find meaning and hope in this season, but want it to take on a very different, more spiritual and less religious form.

I'm going right now to find that wreath and dig out my candles :-)

differenceayearmakes said...

Every year I love to celebrate ADVENT THROUGH EPIPHANY. I love Epiphany - the holiday that most just pass on by - and Advent that most use just shopping. Of course maybe because my birthday comes within that time frame....

You'll have to check out my blog to see my plans for celebrating this year.

And yes, I love lighting the Advent candles - all part of the Winter Solstice return to light.

Kavindra said...

Oh Lilly looks so cute upside down!

I too love advent. Since I have been having a spat with the catholic church, I often forget to notice when advent begins, thank you for the reminder. I will light the candles in the circle of hope and faith of what is coming too!

Something that I like is the advent calendar - here's a good one on line. (Well, it hasn't started yet, but I think it will be)
http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/advent.html

Also beliefnet.com usually has an interesting one.

Happy advent bliss chick

blisschick said...

oh, lisa and kavindra, i'm glad if this helps you to see advent in a different light (ha -- sorry -- couldn't resist). And rebecca, i look forward to seeing what you're up to -- new ideas are always exciting!

Barbara said...

Living as I do, in the Great White North, Advent is a time of darkness, enwombment. I cherish the custom of lighting the Advent wreath candles to chase away the "demons" that tend to gather in the dark. The Japanese have the custom of osohji, the great annual clean up in anticipation of the new year celebrations, when the world stops for four days. It is a lovely season to take stock and eliminate the clutter. And that is so delightfully countercultural!
I am intrigued by your blog.

blisschick said...

Barbara, Thank you for stopping by! Thanks to epiphanygirl, I just found your blog and am thoroughly enjoying your perspective and insights. Thanks also for the information about the Japanese custom -- I may have to do some reading on that (and then some writing!). And how odd (or not) that you just used the word "demon," when I just posted today's piece about simplifying the season and used the same word when talking about the meaning behind Advent. Peace to you.