Advent of Hope

I remember as a kid we had a hanging advent calendar in the shape of Santa, and beginning on December 1st, each day I would move a little plush mouse through all the numbered pockets leading up to the one marked 25. It was something I always got excited about and wouldn’t let anyone else move the mouse except me. Most kids anticipate the gifts of Christmas above all, and I won’t deny that the presents excited me, but I would remember the feeling of Christmas more than anything, and it was that feeling that I anticipated the most. I’m the type that usually enjoys the journey as much as the destination, and I thrive on anticipation.

Christmas is a sacred holiday that is bright and joyous, but also at times mysterious and deserving of deep respect. I feel this darker tone originates from the feeling of desperation that many of our pagan ancestors felt during the shortest days of the year. The “advent” season for them was the hope of the returning sun, and I would imagine this time was spent in reverence and devotion to some form of personified deity representing the sun. In a culture that lived so closely with the land, that didn’t have the resources we have today to preserve food through the winter or cultivate food in harsh conditions, the returning sun was a literal salvation from death.

I am so grateful to be living in this age of technology, because our lives have been made so much easier. But I can’t forget the significance of what this time of year meant to my ancestors, and what it means to me today. I think of the darkest moments of my life, when it felt like all hope was lost, when I was starving for nourishment, when it felt like my heart was freezing out in the cold. It’s in those moments of darkness that hope is all we have to hold on to. Hope of that guiding light to show us the way out, and to warm our hearts after being left out in the cold. This is what advent means to me. Even if life is going great, this season is about hope and welcoming the return of love, compassion, and protection from the darkness. This is why we celebrate the divine birth and the coming of the “Sun” of God. Whether you see it as the birth of Jesus, the coming of Santa Claus, or even the birth of Horus. These are all symbols on the surface, but in our hearts it means so much more. So to anyone reading this, what are you hoping for this advent season?

Spend this time in reverence of whatever divine power you acknowledge, and appreciate the blessings that are all around. Share those blessings with others when you can, spreading joy to others who may be hoping for more. This advent season, I will prepare and welcome the returning God as he is born anew from the womb of the Goddess, and with it the returning life energy that sustains us all. It doesn’t matter how you celebrate, even if you don’t believe in anything, but hold on to hope. That is what keeps us moving forward into the new year, and paves the way for greater things to come.

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Rhythm

At the moment I’m feeling drawn back to my love of witchcraft and magic, after a brief time away. I think the coming and going of my attachment to magic is a good thing, keeping my interests fresh and helping me continue to gain new perspectives on everything. I’m of the belief that life swings in the rhythm of a great pendulum, constantly flowing with the tides. I also feel like my connection to magic is not something that is ever lost just because I stop actively seeking new knowledge and experiences. There are little things that happen almost everyday that remind me of the energy that flows around me, and serve as reminders that magic can work even at subconscious levels. It’s often difficult to know if my life is headed in the right direction, and it’s those leftover beliefs in predestination that force me to view my life through a cloudy lens. I control the destiny of my life starting at this very moment, and each decision I make causes me to move forward. I don’t like not having the road paved out in front of me, it’s scary and uncertain, but the possibilities are boundless. I can only follow my intuition and I won’t be steered wrong.

Healing Waters

Standing still while the world continues to spin around me. The pressure to keep moving is pinning me against a wall that seems to only hold me back. I’ve tried and tried to understand why this wall is there, but my search for answers ends up leading me back to this place of stagnation. My intuition tells me that I am not who the world says I am, and that my life is not like anyone else’s, but I continue to look at the mirrors that society holds up, watching my life through the filters of a dysfunctional world. Why do I struggle with this image of myself, not completely understanding who I am or what my place is in the world? I do my best to be grateful for the blessings in my life, but there’s a constant yearning for something deeper, more meaningful. I express disgust for the superficial culture that I live in, but is it I who am putting on the front? To hold myself back from being my true self, I’m also partaking of this false image that I witness everyday. I pray everyday for the power to be myself and grow into the person I truly, in my heart, know I want to be, and I know that this power lies within waiting for me to tap in.
I performed a reading this morning with my Anubis Oracle deck, and I pulled the card of the water elemental represented by the Nile. I then began to see this blockage in myself as if a dam was built within the sacred river, cutting me off from the precious qualities of water. Water cleanses and clears away, it provides nutrients for life to flourish, and it heals the spirit. My hurts from the past and the persistent negative feelings I feel have created this dam and if I don’t break it down I can only expect death and decay to continue. I’ve prayed that the cleansing waters of the Nile clear away the old and make way for the new season of growth that I need. It’s time for the dam to be destroyed and let the sacred waters flow freely in my life.