Thursday, December 20, 2007

The True Meaning of Christmas

At this time of year, as people rush around trying to finish off their last minute Christmas shopping, I think it's important for all of us to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas, as Sol Invictus, has been a pagan ritual for thousands of years celebrating the winter solstice. Why is the winter solstice so important? It represents the time that the Earth's orbit begins to bring the Northern hemisphere closer to the sun; in effect, the days get longer again. For ancient peoples, this represented the Sun God's reemergence, hence, the celebration of Sol Invictus: "the unconquered sun." In later years, Jesus ("the unconquered son?") fit neatly into the pantheon of gods whose rebirth was signified by the solstice.

The point being that it's okay to get psyched about Christmas because of the presents. Christmas is a celebration of new life and rebirth, "the sun will come out tomorrow," as it were. Save your whining about peace on Earth and goodwill towards men for Easter.

Christmas is also a good time for us to remember Odin. Odin, the Norse God who was All-father to folks like Thor and Baldur, also liked to fly through the air on his eight-legged horse. Did he give presents to all the good little boys and girls? One can only look to the skies and wonder.

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