Holidays Musings and the Magi
As the celebrations of the many holidays comes to an end, and while I enjoyed the time that passed between these days let me share with you a few thoughts.
First the origin of these many celebrations, it seems that every year I find a new piece of information regarding the “real” origin of this and that. This year I ran into a story of the origin of Santa Claus/Saint Nick as being a representation of a gift giving Shaman from an old Eastern European tradition, with hallucinogenic mushrooms playing a part in the story, flying deers you know…
One thing does seem sure; the reasons and the manner we celebrate them (holidays) are old, thousand of years old, and the main cause behind them is, the observance of the passing of the seasons and the marking of milestones that happen only once in the travel route of the blue dot around the Sun. The Sun plays a major role in most of these celebrations, as the time of the solstice, viewed from the northern part of the globe, marks the end of the night having the upper hand against the day. From this moment on the days will get longer and thus for many, a time to celebrate and plan the year ahead, all based on the now more available daylight to work the land and see the crops grow and provide nourishment. For many the difficulties of the cold weather conditions begin to retreat and give way to warmer, sunnier days.
Most cultures have had deities to thank for such happenings, thus it seems that the origin of most of these celebrations is a way to thank the gods for giving us another chance in this adventure called life. Some have used these globally celebrated traditions to celebrate the birth of a symbol of hope, glory and a bright future (Sun). Christmas as the birthdate for the Messiah, seems like an easy choice, but before him there were other great beings deciding to see the light around the solstice: Horus, Osiris, Mithra, Dionysus, Adonis to name a few, oh wait, let me not forget Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war and the sun, sometimes represented by a hummingbird, that was celebrated during the month of December.
For many, the need to sacrifice animals to honor the birthday of their chosen deity and to ask for favors was a common practice, for others the gathering of as much food provided by the Mother (Earth) and to have a feast in their honor was the way to go.
And the gift giving; a sacrifice to the gods, a way to asks for favors, a recognition of stature and honor, a manner of salutation and of respect. A symbolism in action and gracefully represented in the iconic stories we have heard. Among them, the story of the Magi. The 3 wise Teachers from far lands that followed a bright shining star to the birthplace of the Messiah, The future Christ, the embodiment of Love on its way to the trials of life and the final triumph of Light. Three gifts were bestowed upon the newborn Prince of Peace: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Gifts full of meaning.
The 3 wise Men are still celebrated in many cultures, on January 5th, the twelve night after the birth, also know as the night of the kings – Noche de Reyes – Celebrated before the Epiphany, the day when the 3 kings visit the newborn baby and present him the symbols of Stature (gold), Honor (frankincense) and Purity (myrrh).
There is a tradition that includes sweet bread, hot cocoa and gift giving that is still celebrated in many households.
The gift giving part around the holidays is bewildering to me these days.
Real Gods do not a present need, The real Gods understand that it is in giving that we receive, that giving is sharing, sharing is a form of service and service is the natural state of the Divine.
As members of the one family, members of one living body, to serve each other is the greatest gift we can present our fellow brothers and sisters.
Real Gods live in temples, We are the living temples and the real God is within each and every one of us, waiting for our own winter celebration to see our own personal Sun God begin to take the upper hand over the darkness of our personality and bring about a little more light into our lives every day. A Light that only grows stronger as it is shared and thus it brings joy into the world.
I had a wonderful Winter celebration, I missed seeing family members but they were in my thoughts. I had my moments of doubt, only to laugh at them in hindsight. I shared what I had, and gladly accepted the gifts that came my way.
I reconnected, if only for a lightning moment, with my understanding of the source of the meaning of this Season, and I gave thanks, for I see that the future is bright and the ending is already assured.
There is work to be done, the land is ready for new seeds to be planted and new crops to be harvested, crops like we have never seen before. The Light is here.
Peace to all