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On January 6, the children woke up to a new scene on our nativity table. Everything disappeared except Joseph and Mary (now wearing a circlet of stars around her head) and the Christ Child, now in its mother’s arms.  A bright red star shines above them. The Three Kings are around the family and 12 candles, each representing the 12 Holy Nights just passed, surround the picture.  The Christmas tree is gone. The season is over, and a new one begins: Epiphany.

At the beginning of each festival season, I try to take a few moments to read, review, and deepen my understanding of what the season brings.  It is never easy and there are moments when I feel I’ve understood nothing at all.  Still, if we are quiet and listen to the sounds of nature and sink into the subtle changes in the air, I am certain we can come to a non-intellectual understanding of what is coming at us.

For now, I  like to think of this season as the beginning of another cycle of the year, that is hopefully imbued with the gifts of the Holy Nights just passed.  The shepherds and the magi who recognized the message of the star are the coming together of our earthly intuition and our kingly wisdom towards a realization of our higher purpose as human beings. I see the season as one of harnessing spiritual guidance and of entering the year with full appreciation of its blessings.

That morning, we had star-shaped cinnamon toast for breakfast. Tonight I will gather the boys for a story.  We have been playing songs of the season these last few days, so I think we’ll be good for some singing as well.

May the wisdom of the stars guide you from within in 2012. Epiphany blessings to all!


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  1. Ramon Loyola / Jan 13 2012 4:09 am

    Back in my (much) younger days, our school taught us to observe Epiphany, with elaborate presentations to the whole school congregation. But, having grown up in a dual-religion family, my Dad (Methodist) used to baulk at the reasons why my Mom (Catholic) engaged my siblings and I in celebrating it at home. He eventually relented, though, but without confusing us kids even more. But back in school, I used to play the king who brought myrrh to the baby Jesus. Every year, I insisted that I played it at the standard school tableau, only because I couldn’t spell “myrrh” correctly. Glad to see kids nowadays still get to celebrate its significance. Well done to all the Moms out there who let their tots appreciate the hope and joy that Epiphany brings. To new beginnings!


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