Light is the very sustenance of spiritual and earthly life. Have you ever wondered what the spiritual significance is of lighted candles upon a meditation altar?
A central candle, a single lit candle, represents the Divine Light that enlightens all of us, without regard to being a member of a specific religion, or of any religion. Other arrangements include a circle of candles surrounding a central candle, such as during Advent, or a row of candles representing many faiths coming together to light the main candle in an interfaith service.
On the earthly scale, without the light of our sun we would not be able to live on our planet. There would be no process of photosynthesis to turn sunlight into plant material, the basis of our diet for both vegetarians and non-meat eaters, alike. (After all, the animals we eat need to make their flesh by eating plants, first.)
Our sun shines as a covering upon all of us, nurturing and uniting us as a world family.
Back to the significance of the candle light on the meditation altar. The flame provides both heat and warmth, another of the requirements we need on the planet to ward off the chill, and in early days, to scare off predators at night. And what is more nostalgic then a blazing campfire promoting comradeship and the telling of stories and tales.
In earlier days, while sitting around the flaming light of a central campfire, and still in tribal cultures without a written language, it is most likely many traditions and tales from the culture and history of the tribe are passed down by the younger members listening carefully to the tales of the elders.
Candle light has been with us for a long time in our history and even if we do not 'need' it today it adds ambience to any gathering or event.
Keep your candles burning brightly and think about some of the ways light and heat have benefited humankind through the centuries. And, why not enjoy the special delights of scented candles, brightly colored as a special centerpiece on meditation altars or holiday tables!
Candle light burning bright
Remind us of the spiritual light
That shines so brilliantly from within
Through thoughts and acts of pure lovin'.
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Article by Susan Helene Kramer
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