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Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
Thanksgiving is past. We are finishing the last of the turkey, and, in my family, putting away the autumn-themed linens and decorating for the winter holiday season. It's a time for me of memories, of remembering the ritual of choosing the tree at the nursery, getting stabbed with needles, and the look of the tree once decorated and lit, glowing in the dark parlor as I paused on my way to bed. There was magic in that tree, and I always sensed magic in the season in general.

But as an adult, I understood more about magic. It's not easy. Change never is. However, as we all know, you grow, you change, or you die; it's a law of nature. For pagans, we are preparing for the season of the Winter Solstice, when the Goddess gives birth to the God, and when the days begin to grow longer again. Our stories and songs speak of reborn hope and change, and renewed optimism for the future.
And as we come to the season of rebirth, we are called out to clean house.

Oh, not merely the outward work of washing down walls and rubbing furniture with polish, and unearthing the ornaments in the back of the closet and discovering in the process where the cat's been having her hairballs, though that's sometimes part of it. If you want to take part in this rebirth, you have to clean your own mental and spiritual house. It may be too big a job to take on on your own, and that's fine; that's why we have other people and the gods. But just as with cleaning up a hoarded house, homeowner participation and assistance is necessary.

We know where our anxiety closets are. We know what is behind the cellar doors of our minds. Sometimes it grows more horrible as it sits there neglected and deliberately ignored, and looming at us. But this I will tell you; often once you open the door and haul it out, the mess is not as bad as you feared. And knowledge is always preferable to fear, isn't it? Once that's done, you can make the life change not to ever let it get so bad again.

So let us do our cleaning, inside and and outside, within and without. Let us open ourselves up to the change of the season, the coming rebirth....whatever your personal mythology around it...and participate in the change, in the hope, in the future.

Let us pray*.

Originally posted to Alexandra Lynch on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Community Spotlight.

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