The Festival of Lights
Faith revealed through hope and trust – Letting go of old traditions – A new dispensation
demands a new beginning – New traditions rich with meaning – The Winter Festival
of Lights: winter solstice – In the expression of joy is strength created – Celebrating
the Winter Festival – Rejecting old traditions and images of the past – Celebrating
Sophiel and Mahaleenah – Giving to the poor – “Come my child and tell me true: Will
you my angel be?” – The burden of shame or the freedom of joy – The joy of God is
the greatest treasure – Making the world bright through the Festival of Lights
1 Come my child and let us reason together, for if you would fill your life with
God, to dress your days with joy and not sorrow, then must you place your hand in
mine and give to me your faith; which faith is made revealed through all your hope
2 Know then that in the founding of a new dispensation is it needful to let go the
old traditions, which traditions are filled with burdens of every kind, having perverted
the things of God from ages past to fill the mind with vagueness, causing that you
should wander about in a stupor of thought filled with many shadows.
3 For who will sew a patch of new cloth onto an old garment? For when it is washed
and put in the sun, the new cloth will pull away from the old and the tear is made
worse than before.
4 Or, which of you will pour new wine into old wineskins? For if you do, then will
the old wineskins burst apart and the new wine is spilled out upon the ground. Thus
if you would preserve the new, then must you forsake the old ways altogether.
5 In like manner are you disadvantaged by the traditions of the past, which traditions
are made of men only, becoming themselves incompatible and discordant with such things
as God would reveal through the teachings of Azrael.
6 Prove yourself as one made wise and filled with good resolve, letting go the things
of men by cleaving unto me; becoming yourself as one transformed by the renewing
of your mind, establishing well within your heart a tradition born of God.
7 For this law we hold most certain: that a new dispensation demands a new beginning,
and this on the world of the First Power only; for in this world so far away is evil
found in greater measure.
8 Yet in a new beginning do we sweep away the corruptions of ages past, setting
free the heart and mind to gaze at new horizons; becoming yourself a child of light
and filled with happy wonder, establishing through a new tradition the realness of
God and Heaven.
9 For in new and bright traditions do old things pass away, making bright what once
was dark, having swept away the dust of ages past to find at last yourself, a child
of God most nobly born and filled with greater purpose.
10 Thus shall the festivals which I appoint cause old things to pass away, for behold,
I shall make all things new for your sake, to set in place a new tradition filled
with jubilation and rich with meaning, which meaning shall create in you a life of
11 Having as your foremost goal the achievement of godly things, to become yourself
as one with God through holiness and great rejoicing; for I would have you deep remember
that in the expression of joy are you made both strong and free, having set at liberty
the spirit within you, causing that even the very angels shall sing and dance beside
12 Let us then consider the second festival which I would now appoint, for on the
eve of the winter solstice shall you celebrate for three days the Winter Festival
of Lights; which festival shall proclaim aloud the family of God above that of mortal
13 For even your own family is in similitude of a far more greater family, which
greater family is found in Heaven, being in its every part wondrous and delightful;
possessing in its construct a home and hearth where even all are gathered to dwell
in joyful purpose before the Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father; and of this far
more greater family are even you become a part.
14 Consider then the season, the cold and wintry months, for even therein do you
find a similitude of all your life upon the world of man; for in every life is there
made to come the hard and bitter day, filled with burdens of every kind; causing
that you should feel yourself as one despairing and filled with grief.
15 And even as in the wintry months, even so do you feel likewise a creeping coldness
within the heart, which coldness would make most dark and filled with gloom the life
which you now live; causing that there should well up within you a hurtful ache which
would make even your own spirit dull and filled with weariness.
16 How then shall you bring warmth and light and hope into the life which feels
most burdened and pressed on every side? By what means would you chase away the coldness
of depression, causing that such gloom as you might feel should prove itself diminished
and unworthy of further thought?
17 For in the beginning was it not intended that you should prove defeated in the
living of your life; neither was it foreordained that life should prove a burden;
for this I tell you for your good, that unto you is there given the seeds of victory
and happy life.
18 What then shall prove the fertile soil which would make victory grow within you?
By what power shall light and warmth be made to glow and chase away the gloom?
19 Come then and I will tell you and this a mantra speak, to be in yourself always
remembered that in the expression of joy is strength created, in the expression of
joy is light and warmth made to glow to chase away the gloom; for in the midst of
jubilation is the victory of your life most clearly seen.
20 Let us consider the Winter Festival of Lights, the manner in which you celebrate;
for in your jubilation would I establish within your heart the supremacy of God above
all things temporal and impermanent;
21 Creating within your mind the constant presence of God the Mother and the Father
in all your daily living; becoming themselves through all your joy an ever constant
realness which shines and glows before your eyes to fill the heart with wonder.
22 To be for you a good reminder that you are made of something greater, having
your beginning in a far more nobler birth; born of God and everlasting, to become
yourself eternal always, a child of Heaven sent down to earth and filled with greater
23 Thus at the rising of the sun, on the first day of celebration shall you light
a candle to place it upon the altar, and for three days shall you cause to shine
from out of the sanctuary the candle of light, to be for you a symbol which reflects
the light of God which in the darkness shines.
24 And there shall be feasting and celebration within both your families; first
in the family of your mortal flesh, and secondly in that greater family which is
found in the Fellowship of God, filled with song and dance and joyful hallelujah.
25 Thus on the very day of the winter solstice shall you gather in fellowship with
the family of God on earth; and you shall give to each other a warm embrace and a
holy kiss; and in much joy shall you celebrate the light which comes from God, to
feast and dance midst joyful songs in the midst of cold December.
26 And throughout your celebrations shall you create within the festival all that’s
good and bright, to give them sacred meanings; yet in the doing prove most careful
in letting go the old traditions, rejecting with stout heart the images of the past.
27 For if you entangle the old with the new to make them seem as one, then shall
you entangle even your own heart and mind and bring forth great confusion; to become
yourself slowly mired in traditions from the past, which traditions are born of men
and not of God.
28 Beware I say, be most aware; for the liberties which come from God cannot by
force be taken from you; but are instead surrendered for the sake of some convenience,
here a little, there a little, till you are made a prisoner; having surrendered inch
by inch, even all the liberties which come from God.
29 Let go therefore the images of the past, but turn your heart to a new and brighter
image filled with light and joy, song and dance, and this in greater remembrance;
for here on the world so far away, where evil presses hard, even you can be the victor
by holding on to God.
30 For there is given you already a good example which would encourage, for in the
beginning did Sophiel stand alone against Jehovah-Yahweh, and did herself claim a
brightly shining victory against the darkness of this world; bringing forth to be
a symbol, the ever greening tree to be a tree of life.
31 Thus shall Sophiel prove the first heroine who came quick to defend the children
of First Man; to prove for them a guiding spirit filled with goodness, to become
herself the giver of dreams and subtle influence whereby she might prepare this world
for the coming forth of mighty dispensations.
32 Let it then be seen appropriate to festoon your home with pine boughs dressed
in light, and this during the Winter Festival of Lights; let pine boughs adorn the
corners and the walls, on shelf and mantel piece let pine boughs and twinkling lights
fill your home with cheer; to commemorate throughout your generations the victory
of Sophiel over fierce and dread Jehovah.
33 And unto this shall I add the second heroine, who in her glory and achievement
did prove far greater than the first; for even Mahaleenah did come forth to defend
the daughters of Shaemdiel, to rebuke with cold disdain Jehovah-Yahweh; to stand
herself before the darkness as a brightly shining light fit for war and battle.
34 Thus in similitude of the winter solstice is there found the darkest day of the
year, causing that many should feel a greater aloneness; let light therefore glow
and twinkle throughout your home, to remind you of your joy, and let there be music
to feed the soul in remembrance of Mahaleenah.
35 And remember those who are forlorn, who feel themselves abandoned, and give to
them great kindness, extending to those less fortunate a gentle, tender grace; placing
into their hands gifts of food and drink; for in giving to the poor do you give to
God a gift, to prove yourself an angel sent from God above.
36 Yet in your giving prove most careful, for there are those who would use a gift
to make themselves seem great, comporting themselves with condescension when dealing
with the poor; to fill the poor with humiliation in the receiving of the gift; stripping
away their sense of worth to fill them up with shame.
37 Thus will some use a gift to crush the heart of those made poor, to make the
giver seem superior to those who are without; exalting themselves in the midst of
pride upon the backs of those made poor and filled with simple needs.
38 Be not like unto such as these, for in the giving of a gift should you give to
the poor your respect; being careful not to shame the one who is unfortunate; extending
to the poor the grace of God which overshadows all, to prove yourself a good reminder
that brighter days will come.
39 Prove yourself as one most generous and always happy eager to remember those
less fortunate, to be yourself that gentle friend which cheers and makes most bright
the darkest day of those made poor and who are themselves without.
40 Come my child and tell me true: Will you my angel be, to brighten up the darkest
day, to share and joyful give, to prove yourself most filled with grace in dealing
with the poor, always eager to lift the fallen and speak a word of cheer?
41 If you my child can do these things with a good and noble heart, then you are
mine and I am yours, to be as one forever; filled with light and gentle grace to
be ourselves entwined; ever constant like a star that glows and brightly shines.
42 Celebrate therefore the Winter Festival of Lights and this with Maranatha, and
fill your heart with jubilation while dancing in the light; making bright the darkest
day to chase away the cold, holding up for all to see the family of God on earth.
43 Set free your joy through song and dance and you become most free, to find within
both heart and mind the joy of God revealed, letting go such inhibitions as you alone
enforce; for joy and shame go not together, being each themselves exclusive. For
shame does forge a heavy chain, while joy will set you free.
44 Choose therefore which you will have and in your choice be wise. For if you choose
the ways of joy then act most well the part, for in the act of great rejoicing all
shame will flee away, leaving in ruin the heavy chains which once did hold you bound.
45 Ask yourself within the heart and in your mind give thought: What shall prove
the greatest gift which you could hope to have? What is the treasure of greatest
worth, the pearl beyond price or measure? What one thing is worth the having above
all other things?
46 Hear me then and I will answer; for the joy of God is the greatest gift which
you can have, which gift is purchased only in the act of jubilation and great rejoicing,
moving out into the ethers to touch the lives of others who likewise seek to have;
to find at last the joy of Heaven which would set the spirit free.
47 Let then the Winter Festival of Lights make bright the world around you, celebrating
within your family the victory found in God; proving yourself through jubilation
a good and grateful child, holding up for all to see the light which in you glows.
48 Feast and dance and make most merry, let joy engulf the home; adding to your
celebration things of your own design, giving to all who would enact a good and sacred
meaning, to prove yourself a worthy agent who reflects the will of God.