Mary of Advent: Enclosure, Stillness, Waiting (Artist: Sulamith Wulfing)

Mary of Advent: Enclosure, Stillness, Waiting (Artist: Sulamith Wulfing)

 

 Path of Sacred Mysteries: Advent as a Marian Time of Waiting
ADVENT in the Christian tradition comes in the cold and dark of winter when it seems that we will be waiting forever for the return of Spring, the season of new light, life, warmth and the emergence of the greening vegetation that sustains us. It is in these dark days and even longer nights that we must not lose energy and Faith that although all seems hidden and silent,  a great Mystery is taking place within the womb of Mother Earth; the seeds of something wonderful and NEW are gestating in the darkness itself , and will indeed, undeniably and and with utmost certainty be born out of the Waiting Time to bring new Life and Hope everywhere.

In the Christian tradition, it is familiar to focus on the birth of a Savior..THE Savior… and so Advent is celebrated week by week, with the lighting of a candle and the reading of Scripture that expresses the LONGING of the people to be saved, rescued and renewed by One who will bring new life, new hope and new meaning to humanity in dark times. However, although the Catholic/Christian path was the inherited and beloved path of my own roots originally, as I have grown older as a woman, a mother and now a grandmother, and have spent many years in and with spiritual circles of Women, I have come to ponder  another perspective on this Holy time before the actual birth of the Baby…and that is,  ADVENT as a “Marian” time, and the story-REALLY pondered  studied, imagined and ritualized, as the story of a young, innocent Child-Woman asked to partcipate in an astounding happening: Maryto agree to be “overshadowed” by God, to defy the rules of Nature and become pregnant by Divinity…and  yet to remain within the tribe of her people, undercover as it were, containing a very great Mystery within her that surely could not be explained in ordinary society.  (artwork on the left by Janelle Michaels)

My compassion and admiration for Mary in this story is great and profound. It must also be said, having studied archeological histories that there is vast evidence of archeological HERstories also and that this particular Holy Story is not the only one of its kind..many that pre-date Christianity. But this is the season of ADVENT in the Christian tradition, and it IS winter,  during which the Earth is pregnant with the seeds of Spring’s new Life.  And so though it may be a departure from the traditional focus for this season of Advent, there is in truth for me a  very personal call to honor Mary in the enclosed time of her pregnancy, holding the Light of a very special Life within her, in a posture of Stillness, Solitude, Calm Waiting and Mystery.

It is also a time of personal remembering for those who have experienced 1514610_1431458313745785_3675754312023749390_npregnancy as a Mother-to-be in the waiting time, or for everyone borne of a Mother…and an honoring of an awesome event that can only be experienced by, and through the body of a Woman. (Artwork on the left: unknown artist- click to enlarge, Mary and Elizabeth)

 

***Notes on Sulamith Wulfing’s painting at the top of this essay. A deeply passionate mixing of both Christian and pagan symbols…metaphors all….the protective sweep of the Angel’s wing over Mary signifying Divine protection, the Full Moon symbolizing the fullness of pregnancy, the Winter scene of quiet, stillness and solitariness and the unseen seeds underground, and most powerfully, the cave-like enclosure and slab of stone on which Mary sits…a metaphor of both Womb and Tomb which are , and will become,  part of the big story… the prophetic  birth and death of Jesus, her Son.

Christine, The Greening Spirit

dreams

Next on the Path of Sacred Mysteries, Part 3: Christmas Eve

 

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