Waiting for the King

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to write for this blog. So much is going on in the world. There is so much I could draw attention to or draw out into discussion. Sometimes I think I should be more newsy, but I don’t really have any desire to be a “poor man’s” The Wild Hunt. Jason and the PNC folks do news much better than I do.

I’ve been using this season between Hallows and Yule to do some deep introspection. Although Hallows marks the new year in the Wiccan tradition, it doesn’t feel like a new year. Really, Hallows marks the end of the old year, and we walk in shadows, in deep expectancy, until Yule. It is a sloughing period, where we shed the old, leaving our debris in dark places to decompose and return to nature. We, quite literally, walk in the land of the dead.

Part of me feels like everything is on hold. In stasis. From the moment the leaves began to turn the air has been filled with a hushed anticipation. We are waiting. A comment this morning from a colleague regarding Yule suddenly pulled it into perspective for me this morning:

We are waiting for a King.

I know. It sounds like it sprung from an Evangelical hymnal. But it’s true. The Wiccan God has been dead since Lammas, and how long ago that seems now! At Samhain he spoke to us from the land of the dead, granting us communion with those who have gone before, but the Lord of Death is vastly different from the Lord of the Wild, from the Sun King. He is dread and mirthless. He may give comfort, but surely it is of the cold kind.

I miss the warmth. The sunlight seems thin, ragged, these days. The earth seems so barren. This year especially. With the leaves bare of leaves everything seems exposed and cruel. It is a coldly beautiful and magnificently unforgiving landscape outside my windows.

I’m giving myself permission to long for the Sun King this year. To yearn for the Child of Promise. I’m setting all thoughts of Christianity aside and immersing myself in the season without regard of whether my impulse or language resonates too well with that other tradition. We were here first, and I claim the natural religious inclination of my soul as my birthright, regardless of what other faiths practice. My concern is not with them but with Wicca.

I’ve been contemplating the Pagan concept of salvation as temporal instead of eternal. My soul is in no great danger. There is no infinite punishment or reward awaiting me. No grand battle between opposing forces in which I must take sides. There is life and the inherent ebb and flow of the cosmos. Balance is my tenet, and when the scales tip too far it is my soul’s inclination to right them. It is a fascinating thought to think that we need no savior for all time, but a savior for today. For this moment. We need a navigator, a course-corrector, a load balancer, a compensator.

Less than two weeks to the Solstice, we are out of balance. We have been drawn too far into the darkness. We cannot maintain this course. It is too cold. Too dark. Too bleak. We will lose hope. We will freeze. We will starve.

We need to change our course. We need to return to the light. To the warmth. We need to return to balance. We need a savior. Not for eternity. Not because the world is bad. Not for all of history. We need a savior for today. We just need the scales to be tipped back into our favor.

So in this hushed silence we are waiting for a King. The Unconquered Sun. For all her strength, wisdom and love, the Goddess can’t keep the balance alone. They need each other to make this world go ’round. Just like we need each other. Just as it takes a world full of Gods to keep the harmony of the cosmos, so it takes humans working together to ensure humanity’s survival.

So maybe as we look forward to the rebirth of the Sun at Solstice, we are not merely waiting for a King, but perhaps we are also waiting for each other?

Apollo by Giovanni Tiepolo


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