Junious Ricardo Stanton
“Upon the winter solstice, the Sun appears at its lowest in the sky, and its noontime elevation seems to stay the same for several days before and after this day. The Sun’s gradual decrease in the sky reverses upon the winter solstice, marking what many cultures believe to be a ‘rebirth’ of the Sun as the hours of daylight become longer.” https://www.farmersalmanac.com/winter-solstice-first-day-winter
As the holiday season approaches it can be a time of reflection, meditation awakening and invigoration. The December 21, 2021annual winter solstice marks the official start of winter. The Sun has always played an important role in the lives of human beings. Our ancestors realized the Sun was powerful; it gave light, warmth, and helped sustain growth and life.
Today we don’t celebrate the solstice like our ancestors did. However we do observe holidays (holy days) around this season and they all have in common the theme of light. The Jews celebrate Hanukkah the Festival of Lights, Christians celebrate the Christ Mass (Christmas) and many people of African descent celebrate Kwanza. Each of these celebrations prominently feature candles which are a source of light, one of the major sources of illumination prior to the discovery and use of electricity. Candles have a deep significance beyond the obvious uses as an instrument of physical light. “Deeply rooted in almost every religious and spiritual practice, creed and nationality, there is something peculiar and symbolic in a solitary flame and the aura of light surrounding it. It communicates with our souls. It speaks beyond words. It is the Unspeakable that dwells in the midst of the candle flame. It enlightens, enlivens, inspires, whispers secrets, comforts and ultimately connects. No matter how thick the darkness, the light of one candle conquers it. No matter how solitary one flame is, it is never alone or lonely for its light knows no boundaries and touches eternity. People of all faiths and walks of life, and many different creeds, have been joining together in a candlelight vigil to grieve, pray or celebrate. Candles are an integral part of our identities, they have been playing an important role in both our collective and individual consciousness…No matter what religion we are born into, there are sanctuaries and special places to light a candle for health, protection, blessing and loving memory of departed ones. Candles are believed to connect people with divine, and with the deceased. They send our message beyond the boundaries of the visible and material world. In a candle light, the material world and the world of the Spirit are met.” Candles a Brief History of Symbolism by Nikola https://www.candledelirium.com/blog/candles-brief-history-of-symbolism/
The idea and symbol of light is spiritual, it is equated with life itself, signifying the divine spark, the animating spirit within us. Candle light also denotes enlightenment transcending ignorance and guidance illuminating our way. All cultures use the symbol of light, candles and share a reverence for the Sun because we intuitively know if the Sun went out we would all die, there would be no life on this planet!
We live in an age of technology driven by a materialistic a-spiritual cosmology/ethos. Western “scientists” talk about “The Big Bang Theory” of creation but they never say what caused the bang in the first place, what came before and how this majestic well ordered universe resulted from their primordial explosion. Sane people know better. Even the Hebrew tale of creation says THE CREATOR said, “Let there be light and there was light.”
Light also symbolizes hope, resilience, innovation and perseverance, a way of thriving despite the darkness. We need to get back to basics and appreciate light and all that it represents during this holiday season no matter what traditions we celebrate. We need the light of hope to pierce the depression and constant fear mongering about COVID. We need our inner light to shine to outshine the saber rattling and threats of war. We need to tap into our own inner light to help us make it through these turbulent times; we need the light of faith to transcend the gloom and doom, fractiousness and polarization in the world today. Even if you don’t light personal candles or participate in rituals and ceremonies where candles are lit, you can light your inner candle and allow it to shine.
During this season of lights, let’s remember what Yeshua Ben Joseph said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.