Yes, I’m celebrating Advent. Of course, by Advent I don’t mean the Christian one, but my own. Actually, I think it’s more accurate to say not the purely Christian Advent nor the pre-Christian one, but the joining of both. A Syncretic Advent. After all, to go back to the ways of my ancestors and bring them into the current age, I must cross hundreds of years of Christianity. Surely, some original Christian traditions have crept into our modern paganisms, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In our family’s cultus (which includes Catholic traditions for many of us), I have retained the lighting of 4 Advent candles to herald the coming of the Saviour (which could be Christ’s birth or Dionysos’ rule, depending on who you ask in our family), and a 5th white candle to mark the rebirth of the Unconquered Sun.
In addition, I have made it into a tradition to hang symbolic gifts on the Holiday Tree every week of Advent. On the 1st Sunday, I hung 12 candy canes to represent the 12 months of the year; and this Sunday, I perched 2 ornamental birds to represent the Sun’s companions, Dawn and Dusk.
What will I hang on the 3rd Sunday? We’ll all have to wait and see.