Before you light your first candle, stand quietly for a moment in complete darkness, and let the darkness indeed be complete, with no want for anything, no need for the distractions of sight, simply sense the quiet Self that sits there patiently waiting for you to take notice, to turn off the television, to turn off all vision, to be quiet and sense the sanctuary that is the Self.

Standing in the cellar of my self, with an unlit candle in my hand, in the darkness I discover a deeper self than light lets in.

This night I dedicate to inner darkness, to the unknown, unspeakable
seclusions of the soul. It is the darkness that keeps me searching . . . a worthy opponent,
provoking my path to further reaches, my thoughts to further depths. It is the as-of-yet
unillumined, unanswered aspects of an unraveling self, the landscape of dreams and
nightmares, tragic truths and fears.

I dedicate this night to every question I have quested after,
to every confusion that has humbled me,
to every challenge I have mastered,
to the thrill of secrecy.

As this candle casts a shadow, my self in dark outline,
I integrate and dedicate the darkness with the light.
The first night is for the dark cellar of winter,
that which illumines a deeper insight.


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