Solstice Advent(ure) Newsletter
December 21, 2014
Advent: Return of the Sun
Today is the last Sunday of the season of Advent (from Latin adventus, a coming) a period of four Sundays when the Christian church traditionally asks us to prepare for the arrival of the baby Jesus’ birthday on December 25th. People keep calendars with 24 tiny doors that are opened each day as a countdown, and they light candles on wreaths to celebrate the coming of the “child of light” in this, the darkest period of the year.
This year, the fourth and final Sunday of Advent also falls on Solstice, the shortest day of the year, when the sun seems to stop in the sky on its trek southward, and head back north again. Hence it marks the beginning of our New Solar Year. For the meaning of the Return of the Child of Light, see my friend David Fideler’s classic work: Jesus Christ, Sun of God. (Spelling pun intended.)
The Forty Days
Originally (4th century AD) the Christian period of Advent was not 24 days, but 40 days, an important biblical number also dating to ancient times and ancient civilizations. Long before Jesus wandered in the wilderness for 40 days, Moses likewise stayed on the mountain, Noah rode out the deluge, and the ancient architects of Egypt, eastern Europe, as well as Stonehenge and later Celtic monuments, used a solar system of 9 x 40 to track the solar year. (9 Egyptian gods, 9 circles of stones, 9 days Wotan hung from the World Tree to capture the secret of the runes…)
For meanings of the numbers, see my friend Michael Schneider’s Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe and his wonderful follow-on workbooks.
Let’s Advent(ure) into the New Year
The word Adventure (from Latin adventurus, reach, arrive at) has the same root as Advent, ad-venire, to come. But over the years it has grown also to signify something novel, exciting, involving chance, risk, peril, danger, even elements of wonder or the marvelous.
In the spirit of adventure, and to usher in the New Solar Year (starting tomorrow) I’ll be making my New Year’s resolutions and leaving bits and pieces of my own adventures on the Quest section of my website. What will you be doing to adventure into the New Solar Year?
Please visit me on my website www.KatherineNeville.com