Crones Musings : December 

The feast of St. Nicholas; oil on canvas, c. 1...
The feast of St. Nicholas; oil on canvas, c. 1665-1668; by Jan Steen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Nativity

It is the end of the year. Last month December. An auspicious time.

I think all that gift giving is how humans trying to avoid depression. These are the dark times in most places. But we use the Old Religion to cheer us up and the new religion of commerce to sell and buy stuff.

What is lost almost totally is the reason for all this activity and gifting.

Its a Birth. Nativity. There is a woman in labor, moaning and pushing, sweating and breathing deep. She is a young woman, unmarried, fertilized by a proxy via the Angel Gabriel. She is in the grip of a universal happening; you cannot step away from it, you cannot postpone it, the birth has to happen or you’ll die.

And every woman knows this when delivering a baby from a life of nothingness into manifestation of humanity. This is what makes mothers divine. In this moment of birthing, we are both animals and we are goddesses. Its our labor that creates all of humanity. As my mother used to say, “Women are the real human beings,” and she would say freely that she isn’t a feminist. Its how nature created all species.

What do you say? That men have a little something to do with it? Right you are. Males contribute the sperm which brings diversity into the individual and their sexual assignment. But men also come from woman. We create the same – daughters, and we create the variations – sons.  So its our sperm, or rather Mother Nature’s plan.

On the need of a Life Loving Culture

I think the natural state of humans is joy. This planet is so amazing, imagine if we lived by the old calendar where every day is a holyday. Mention just a few from my book “Grandmother of Time”.

December 3

Feast of Bona Dea (Roman)

Bona Dea is the Good Goddess of Justice. In her honor women held celebrations which were forbidden to men. Not even male cats or dogs were allowed to be near the women. Bona Dea sounds like the origins of Women’s Mysteries. Its interesting that the first aspect of the Goddess is Justice before all else. Start a women’s group today. Be good to women and girls, we are there when you are  born,  and we are there when you finish it.

So-called "Velletri Pallas": Helmete...
So-called “Velletri Pallas”: Helmeted Athena. Marble with traces of red colour, Roman copy of the 1st century CE after a bronze original of the 5th century. Found in 1797 in the ruins of a Roman villa near Velletri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

December 4

Pallas Athena (Roman)

The goddess of wisdom when  experience and study was celebrated this day. Pallas was a separate Goddess from Athena. Theirs is a lesbian love story we never hear about.  It is told that Pallas  fell down a cliff during some Amazonian games and was killed. Athena grieved so hard, she placed the name of Pallas in front of her own name, and placed her in her own temples, so they were worshipped together as a couple. Athena was the inventor of weaving, the law, all the arts, strategies, the wheel, music, poetry and humor. Stealing and transforming this ancient archetype  into a male identified token woman who ruled that “matricide” was ok in the play Orestes by Euripides hurt women’s legal status.

Killing your mother was punished by the Fates with insanity.

December 5

Sinterklaas Day

This was the original Santa Claus, a Dutch Elf who enjoyed being drunk, hohoho. Dutch children hung their stockings out to be filled with nuts and chocolates. He had a Krampus as a fellow traveler, who brought dark coal to the children who were bad.

This date is the same in Europe still today.

They have a procession through town, the Dutch Elf lights the evergreen tree up in front of the City hall. There is merriment and music and dancing. Lots of gifts and food are distributed to poor children and their parents.

December 12 (Mexico)

Birthday of the Lady of Guadalupe. She is the Queen of all Americas. Where I live we meet at Lake Pinto annually all dressed up. There is music and free tamales.  Masked dancers of old faces dance on their stilts for hours. Mexicans with their families  sing the praises of the lady actually all month. Mexico is filled with pilgrims, some proceed to the  her Church  on their knees.

Every day there is an other big group processing through the streets in Mexico City.

December 13

St.Lucy’s Day (Swedish)

Where does the bridal gown come from? It comes from this holyday in Northern Europe. The birthday of the Sun Goddess Lucina, dressed in white with a crown of evergreens on her head with lit candles, symbolizing the returning light. The white gown stands for light not virginity.

Little girls dressed as Luminas brides pass out cookies and drinks to passers by. The memory of this wonderful holyday created an entire industry of bridal gowns. This is still celebrated in Sweden.

December 17 

Celebration of  Saturn and Ops, Saturnalia begins.

Street dancing, general intoxication, visits to each other houses, blessings bestowed on families and children.

Slaves are given their freedoms, traditions from the Golden Age of equality is pulled forward. Yes we were free and equal once!

It is still celebrated in many countries, like Belgium, Austria, France Italy and Hungary. All customs of revel and carnivals  originate from here.

December 21

Winter Solstice Sun enters Capricorn, the new light is returning to the world. Hope is raised.

The theme of giving birth is now spread all over the globe, Rhiannon gives birth her sacred son Pryderi, Isis gives birth to Horus,Demeter gives birth to Persephone, the Earth Goddess gives birth to Dionysus,Amaretasu the Japanese Goddess of the sun comes out of her cave to shine again. These various celebrations of births  that are  all the origins of Christmas.

December 23

The day of the sacred Fool.

Class system is suspended for the day. Paupers exchange cloths with the wealthy. A Fool is seated on the throne of the king, the king goes into hiding. Its a simulated death. Even the mighty and wealthy must die in order to be reborn.

December 24

Mother Night (Anglo Saxon)

Our Anglo Saxon ancestors called this night Modraniht. The Night of the Mothers.

This is a magical time. A renewed commitment  to life had been made  by the Mothers .Youth  is filled with excitement because after the night of the mothers, their turn is coming.

On the 24th the Mothers had a big dinner for each other, where the women visited each others family, exchanging presents of magical importance. For good luck, for good health, for more children.

Everything we use to celebrate Christmas today comes to us from their traditions. The evergreen Tree of life, decorations of colorful globes  symbolizing wholeness. The sweets we hang on the branches are wishes for love and good times. Candles are obviously the sun. Gifts we place under the tree are the fruits of the harvest.

Yule log on the fire comes from the Germanic /Scandinavian origins. Yule means “the wheel” of the year.

Ops is still giving out more presents, Saturnalia is enlivening the streets and cultural centers.

Finally the Star Goddess, Lady Mother nature’s star sits atop of all the Trees of Life, symbolizing the Pole Star. Its a feast of ancient memories and good times .

December 25

Juvenilia: the day of the children (Roman)

On this day much artistic entertainment, theater, mummers, stories, magical characters such as harlequins and fools was provided for the folks. The custom was to give gifts of magical value. A bell that can call up the fairies help, a lucky hat which can render one invisible, a pair of socks to keep warm in the winter yet to come, shoes for leading you on the lucky path. Toys for the imagination. There were dances given for young people to meet each other, courting girls and ladies by gentlemen, was a whole other art.

Falling in love under the mistletoe, comes from the Druids. Long before our Anglo Saxon ancestors had any contact with Christianity; a Far Eastern Import not indigenous to Europe. They already celebrated Christmas which was for centuries known as Modraniht or Yule tides.

We would all benefit because joy is the natural state of humans. Ask any newborn.