Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advent Spirals (Solstice Spirals)

Winter Solstice is coming in just a few days (December 21). On the last equinox I wrote about seasons and changes, but today I want to discuss ways to observe those cycles.
I feel like the passing of seasons should be observed with contemplation and meditation (I accidentally just typed 'medication'...the passing of seasons should be observed with medication...yeah...) I think God is pleased when we respect and connect with the natural cycles of the world He created for us. I think it helps us connect with the natural cycles within ourselves. I think it helps us connect to Him.

Spirals represent the forces of nature, eternity and transformation [link]. They are linked to circles, which represent wholeness and unity. It should be no surprise then that spirals should be used to represent and celebrate the changing of seasons.

In the Waldorf tradition the advent spiral is made on the floor with pine branches, and candles are set throughout (often apples are used as the candleholders). Each participant has a candle of their own, and walks around through the spiral to the center, lights their candle from the one in the center, and then walks back out, placing their lit candle somewhere along the way. Each person takes a turn and the whole thing is done in silence (ideally after dark, so that the candles can be fully appreciated). This blog post has beautiful pictures as well as a description of the advent spiral at her son's waldorf school.

Here are some pictures from our spiral last year:Wolf lighting his candle (Hubby on the left, on his way out of the spiral...the bald guy on the right is my dad)
Me (with Bear in the sling). It was a windy night and the candles kept going out...it took me about 15 tries to get my candle to light. ☺
My mom and I had read about the waldorf advent spirals, and were excited to do this one last year. The rest of the family obligingly participated, but mom says that none of them want to do it again this year.
I have mixed feelings...like I said, I want to take the time for meditation and contemplation, but I don't know how best to do it. I like the idea of the spiral, but I am interested to hear other ideas too.
Have you ever done an advent/solstice spiral? Tell me about it please! What do you do to celebrate (or at least take note of) the solstice?

4 comments:

Becky N. said...

This seems like a very beautiful idea. I've never done anything to celebrate officially, unless you count practically jumping for joy that the days will start getting longer again. I hate it when it's dark at 4:30pm. :(

Mommy Bee said...

Light until 4:40? Woo, that would be nice!!
Because of the mountains, we literally only see the sun for a couple of hours. We have light for about 7 hours right now...it is pitch black before 4pm.

Emily said...

That's a really cool idea! I have been looking into Waldorf-style home schooling for my two little ones. I am impressed with the emphasis on connection with nature. Why did your parents not like it?

In any case, we plan to celebrate the solstice by having Bella's birthday. :) She was born on December 21.

Mommy Bee said...

My mom liked it fine, I have no idea what dad thought...it was my teenage siblings who were not impressed.

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