Christmas is a funny one. I’m not in any way religious, but I always throw myself into Christmas with great gusto. At no point does the thought of a little baby lying in a manger surrounded by farmyard animals enter my head. Let’s be clear about this – for me the holiday season is all about giving presents, spending quality time with the family and, of course, eating and drinking a little too much.
So, what are the origins of the Christmas story? Well, needless to say Jesus is a throw-back, the latest in a long line of God Heads playing out myths and legends that stretch far back into antiquity. Most religious tales follow this pattern. They all have flood stories, from Gilgamesh to Noah, even the Garden Of Eden is a re-hash. Christmas is essentially the story of the Death and Rebirth of the Sun. You have to realise, the early period of man’s development was a harsh and scary time. The darkness would have been fraught with danger and the sight of the Sun peaking over the mountains at first light would’ve been such a relief. The group had made it through another night, all praise the Sun Disk.
And so it was for thousands of years. Early humans knew how important the Sun was to their very being. They would track its progress through the sky and its relation and position to the Stars which they had personified. So, to the Winter Solstice. Every year on December 22nd, the Sun gets to its lowest point on the horizon. There it stays for three days before starting its journey back towards Summer. It could be said that the Sun dies for three days before its resurrection, when the Sun is Born again. Christmas. Easy right? The brightest star in the winter sky is Sirius to the East, and the three stars that make up the Belt of Orion line up with Sirius at this time of the year and point to the Sun Rise on the third day. The Three Kings follow the Star to the Birth of the Sun. And the final piece of the puzzle – the Crucifixion. Above the horizon, where the Sun is said to die is the Crux Constellation or the Southern Cross. And so it is, the Sun dies on the Cross.
So there you have it – Happy Solstice everyone…!
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