Most of the western world celebrates Christmas, but what does it truly represent nowadays? Very few of the younger generations go to church willingly around the festive period, but they still enter into the spirit of Christmas, buying gifts, having feasts and meeting with family and friends. Why?
Maybe it is just that ‘spirit of Christmas.’ But what is the spirit? A tradition? A need? A feeling?
Many have wonderful memories of Christmas; of rare moments when family come together, everyone has time off, the young children are excited about the magic of Santa coming down the chimney bringing gifts, and the adults look forward to sharing a bountiful feast. But the birth of Christ is not the focus any longer.
Was Christ actually born on the 25th of December? Modern scholars don’t believe this was the case. Some believe he was actually born around the time of the Autumn Equinox, August 21st.
Astronomically, the star of Bethlehem, which the three kings followed to find the place where Christ was born, is now believed to be connected to the star ‘Sirius’ or even ‘Sirius B minor’ which is only visible every 2000 years. It is visible now and is linked to the
‘dawning of the age of Aquarius.’
The last time it was visible was the birth of Christ, which coincided with the beginning of the age of Pisces. Both the Piscean and Aquarian age are scientific astrological observations, called the ‘Procession of the Equinox.’ This is an observation of the sun as it passes through each of the twelve zodiac signs, a movement that takes over 2000 years for each sign.
Is the mention of the three kings following the star more of a symbolic connection? We are slowly finding out that these biblical stories are more symbolic than factual and are there to bring us closer to a bigger mystery, so we can have a more personal, or even ‘Gnostic’ connection with the mystery.
The story of Christ has probably been one of the greatest stories known to man, because it has a more personal connection or interpretation at its core, like the story of King Arthur.
As I have mentioned, it is possible that the Star of Bethlehem is related to the presence of ‘Sirius B minor,’ signifying to the astrologers of old that a major shift of consciousness was about to happen, with Jesus as the head of that movement 2000 years ago. The Magi have often been connected to the three kings and the astrologers of that time. They have also been known as ‘the seekers’ or ‘hunters of truth and knowledge,’ which could be directly connected to the giant starry huntsman ‘Orion,’ the three stars on Orion’s belt are pointing directly to Sirius or even travelling there. This could give us a timeless connection to the search for truth and knowledge. As we follow Sirius as a guiding light through the heavens, Sirius B minor gives us a glimpse of those hidden secrets we are searching for. A good reason to celebrate this seasonal time. But why not follow that star throughout the year?
Another Christmas connection to the past is ‘The Winter Solstice’, which is celebrated on December the 21st. Christ is a ‘solar deity’ and is linked to the Winter Solstice. Like other solar deities, such as the Egyptian Horus, whom has a similar mythos; Celtic Lugh, the bringer of light, and many of the Nordic gods, Freya, Sol and others, Christ was born on the Winter Solstice. This is connected directly to the nature of Winter Solstice. After tirelessly shining in the heavens throughout the year, the sun reaches the end of its yearly cycle, seemingly standing still for three days, after which the sun resurrects and births a new light onto the earth once again as it moves back towards the North. This is the true connection between Winter Solstice and the birth of Christ.
Winter Solstice is even more relevant to cultures of the far north, such as Lapland and Sámi which are hugely affected by large amounts of snow in the winter. My favourite story of the Nordic cultures is that the strongest warrior-hunter embodies Odin and goes out into the wilds of midwinter to track down and hunt a wild stag for the Winter Solstice feast. To survive the freezing cold conditions, the hunter would skin the stag, turn the skin inside out and wear it as he brings back the kill to the feast. This is said to be where the red and white associated to Father Christmas came from, which links directly back to All father Odin and again the giant starry huntsman ‘Orion.’
I also loved learning the origins of the story of the flying reindeer. The Nordic shamans would use the fly agaric mushrooms to enter a shamanic trance state, but to prevent the poisons affecting them, they fed the mushrooms to their beloved reindeer, who appeared to have a much higher threshold for the toxins. Once fully digested, the shaman would then drink the reindeer’s urine or the yellow snow as a hallucinogenic substance and enter a trance-like state, where they would fly through different realities, hence the name fly agaric, maybe?
All of these great stories tell us the importance of this season.
I personally enjoy all of it: Winter Solstice, the birth of Christ, Yule, the family gatherings and the presents. I used to let the details get to me, but now I embrace the spirit and celebrate the diversity of the seasonal stories in different cultures. I celebrate the wonderful year that has gone and look forward to an exciting new year ahead. Happy Christmas everyone.
Why not tell us how you enjoy your season and your observations of this time of year?