The same could be said for the Christian ‘adoption’ of a Pagan festival (the Babylonian Feast of Nimrod – The Son of Isis, who was born on December 25) by celebrating the same date as the birth of Christ. I am truly amazed that so many Christians today actually celebrate a festival that has no bearing whatsoever on their relatively new religion. It wasn’t until well after the death of Christ (around 350 AD) that Pope Julius I declared that His birthday would take over the day of the ancient Pagan festival, even though there is no mention of this date in the bible.
(Most historians agree that Jesus’ birth would more than likely have occurred in September.) Furthermore, the Christian Christmas as we know it today can only be traced back as early as the 1500’s, almost 4000 years after the foundation of Babylon.
But still, the catch-cry “JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON” is plastered across every surface in the Western world in association with December 25th.
So, lets get back to the roots of this festive season.
There are a number of key similarities among the various pagan traditions celebrated in December. They all incorporate the following in some form:
Gratitude for the abundance of resource provided by Mother Nature
Gift-giving to honour loved ones
Acknowledgement of the importance of fertility for survival
Celebration of the knowledge that life will prevail over death
What I find most appealing about Pagan worship is that there is an infinite freedom in how each individual interprets and practices their faith. The general idea and the symbolism remains collective, but the rituals can be adapted to suit the specific culture and environment of the individual.
In my home, the time of year associated with Christmas is a tribute to Mother Nature. It is a time to be grateful for Her gifts. The transitional phase of a fertile Spring has worked its magic and produced a vibrant, buzzing Summer full of reward. December for us is the peak of a tropical summer. A spectacular array of the Mother’s finest creations are on display. An abundance of rain, animals, fruit, flowers and greenery. Electrical storms light up the sky with their powerful performance. Baby birds leave the nest to explore the world beyond their tree. We venture forth to swim in the ocean and lakes and to camp in the forests and mountains. Our schools and many businesses close down, so it is also a time for family. A time to rest and be revitalised for the coming New Year.
It is extremely difficult to find decorations for my home which are congruent with my beliefs. The Christian-inspired trinkets are commercial and in no way represent the truth of the season. I don’t relate to the Winter-Inspired decorations either. After all, it’s hard to take a snowman seriously when humidity is sitting at 95%.
For those of you out there who experience the same problem, and who wish to decorate for the festive season in a more meaningful and traditional manner, I have come up with a few ideas that may inspire you.
What to use to top your tree? Try a beautiful bouquet of flowers in full bloom. For my tree I have used some lovely silk flowers sprinkled with some sparkly glitter. You could even opt to use fresh ones from your garden if you ‘d prefer. You can wire the bottom half of a plastic bottle to the top of your tree to use like a vase. If you have a flair for flower arranging, you can even use some florist wire and a bit of oasis and create a masterpiece. The possibilities are endless with this concept!
As you can see in the background, I also like to feature the Ankh symbol in my decorating. It is the Ancient Egyptian symbol of life. The one hanging on my wall here is a mirror mosaic made for me by a dear friend.
“I am grateful for that which I have. I am not sorrowful for that which I do not. I have more than others, less than some, but regardless, I am blessed with what is mine.”