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The Bliss Blog

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Last night brought with it the last candle of Hanukkah for 2017. As I kindled each one over the past 8 nights, using the menorah that I inherited from my parents when they passed,  I offered a prayer for peace, healing, reconciliation for the planet. More than any time in my own history, I have witnessed the downfall of decency, and an upswing in hatred. I grew up in a home in which love and understanding thrived. My parents taught us that no one is inferior and that equality is essential regardless of gender, socio-economic background, skin tone or religion. Why I wonder, should that be a rarity? Hard to imagine sitting at a dinner table at which racial epithets are strewn. In my teens when I called my dad on his use of the word ‘schvartze’  to refer to Black people, he initially replied that it was a figure of speech and he did not mean it disparagingly. I then asked him how he felt when throughout his life, I’m certain that he was called a ‘kike’. He looked down and admitted I was right. I never heard him use that word again.

Although Judaism was the religion practiced at home, my parents encouraged us to learn about other faith traditions. My sister and I were permitted to attend services at friend’s churches. In college, I took classes in Eastern religions, and in my 40’s attended The New Seminary and graduation in 1999 as an ordained Interfaith Minister. My practices now are eclectic. This past week, I participated in a Winter Solstice ritual with another ahead on Friday that includes a Yule Log ceremony and the reading of a poem I wrote many years ago.

The Birth of The Divine Child

As winter’s darkness descends, our hearts tremble. But is it of fear or celebration? Dread of the shadow or anticipation of the Light? Ask of the voice within that knows all things for what they are. And wait in silence for the answer to arise. Still your mind of the busy chatter that fills it to capacity with all that does not serve. Within the comfort of the shadow realms, take a moment to look about. Put aside your trepidation, for in truth, there is no cause to hide. We are of that soft shadow just we are of the Light that will soon replace it. In order for new life to spring forth, the seeds of that anticipated growth require the blanket of rich, moist soil to embrace them. The intelligence within those seeds knows that they must lie dormant for a bit. Think that they worry? Not likely, for they are one with nature. They know no separation. So why must we?

On December 21st, we welcome the birth of the New Solar year and the onset of winter. God and Goddess dance as one in the forms of the Great Mother and Sun Child. Swirling and soaring, melting the chill from our bones and souls. Enticing us to join in the ballet of Being. Crimson like the blood that flows through our veins, moss green that carpets the earth, feather white that gently blankets the reaching branches, stretching to the heavens, asking for a blessing from All That Is. The message from the One is of trust that all is well, despite appearances. It is of shifting our focus from darkness to light, from terror to safety, from condemnation to affirmation.

As the Light ascends, so too do we. Rising from the depths of self-doubt into certainty. Expanding from our limited view of what we can do into All that we Are. Surrendering with arms cast wide in the knowing that we will be safely carried into the next moment. Recognizing the sacred in each act of love, each word of support, each thought of kindness. Seeing the Highest in each soul. Embracing what is so. Cultivating wisdom. Creating from our hearts’ desires. Emboldening our passions. Singing a celestial song with words of Divine origin. Stretching our comfort zones.

And as we do this, we witness the Birth of the Divine Child within us. Blessed Be.

Edie Weinstein copyright 2004

Christmas Eve will find me at Pebble Hill Church, which is an interfaith community that has been a spiritual home for me since 1984. My favorite part is at the end when we light each other’s candles and sing Silent Night as the illumination reflects in the skylights as if the flickers are twinkling stars.

On Christmas Day, I will be with my son, daughter-in-law and her family; now part of mine. They got married in August and this young woman raised Catholic expressed interest in learning about Judaism and asked for a menorah. I brought one to them and sent her youtube videos which described the holiday that celebrates miracles. I also gave them Christmas tree ornaments from Adam’s childhood to create new traditions in their home.

In a time when darkness seems like it is gathering, keeping the glow going is essential.

 

 

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