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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in christmas
What Do You Say When They Wish You 'Merry Christmas'?

What do you say when they wish you 'Merry Christmas'?

Well, it all depends on what you want to communicate.

Thanks, you too.

No thanks.

(Smile, shake head.)

Sorry, not my holiday.

You shouldn't assume that everyone's Christian.

And the broom you rode in on, baby.

Hail Satan.

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Happy Yule from The Holly King (free gift)

This time of year is pure magic. The days grow shorter, the crops are all brought in and processed for the long winter ahead, and family and friends are pulled close.

We appreciate you for serving the Goddess with us, and for bringing us joy, love, and growth in the previous year. We gift you this greeting card as a way to help show how much we appreciate you, and all you do each and every day.

The Holly King brings you and yours gifts of love and prosperity this holiday season, as you make your way through the long night of winter. You may download and distribute this card to anyone whom may be deserving of your love this season.

This is also the time of year for you to remember the institutions that serve you, and need your contributions to survive. If there is a group in your life that fills this need, take the time to show your support. If the Aquarian Tabernacle Church is one of those organizations, consider making a charitable donation.

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
Tis the Season!

It’s that time of year once again. The merriest, cheeriest time, or so we’re led to believe. It’s the Winter Holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule, New Year’s, Kwanzaa, and so many more. As always we’ve gathered our very best stories on the subject from PaganSquare as well as any other bits from around the web we thought you might enjoy.

We hope you enjoy the rest of the winter season! And have a Happy New Year’s!

—Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Candle to Light the Way

Growing up, my mother used to have white candles in the every window at Christmas time.  I remember loving how it looked.  Our traditions was different from most of the other people I know.  

Christmas eve my siblings and I went to the barn with my father.  Cows were milked, fed, tended.  None of us could go to the house.  We weren't allowed to go outside to play.  We all had to stay in the barn while the chores were being done.  My mother stayed in the house.  As an adult, I know she was prepping the house, gifts, and stockings for us.  As a child I thought it was magical.  

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

dove-2015Every year, it seems, I'm bewildered by all the fuss about Christmas. And every year I eventually rediscover, or revive, a meaning for the season.

This year, as in other years, it's happened a day or two before December 25, and now I'm scrambling to join the Christmas cheer. This is the story...

I'd recently finished reading Margaret Starbird's Magdalene's Lost Legacy: Symbolic Numbers and the Sacred Union in Christianity. Another of her books about Mary Magdalene, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail, was a major inspiration when I was writing The Woman's Belly Book, so intrigue led me to read more of her work.

In Magdalene's Lost Legacy, Starbird presents the system of number-coding called gematria, how it figured in the writings of early Christians, and what it means for understanding Mary Magdalene and the return of the Sacred Feminine to Western culture.

These subjects are, of course, intricate and deep. Here's how I've rolled them into this year's Christmas card — and how they've spiralled into the Source Energy, the pro-creative power, dwelling within our body's center:

What's gematria? The way I'm understanding it, gematria is an ancient practice that links mind to spirit by relating letters to the vast significance of number.

Greek and Hebrew alphabets imbue each letter with a numerical value. Summing the numbers assigned to each of the letters in a word reveals another number, another dimension of meaning, another connection to human experience. The Greek word for “dove” is peristera, written περιστερα, with these numerical values:

peristera

These Greek letters spelling “dove” add to 801. The number 800 corresponds to the Greek omega (Ω); the number one corresponds to alpha (α). With gematria of 801, the dove is the “Alpha and Omega,” the unity of beginning and end. Reaching from first to last, it is completion, fulfillment.

What's more, the sum of the numerals comprising 801 is 9, a trinity of threes, the epitome of three. Three carries the significance of the circle, the unconditional acceptance that encompasses both this and that. Three enfolds dualities into one wholeness: the Sacred Marriage yields the Divine Child.

For the early Greeks, the dove signalled the presence of Aphrodite, embodiment of love and beauty — she who brings life, death, and peace to the world. Early Christians understood the dove to signify Sophia, Holy Wisdom; they later adopted the dove as sign of the Holy Spirit.

The gematria of “Holy Spirit” (το αγιον πνευμα) is 1080. That same number, its numerals adding to nine, is the measure of the moon‘s radius in miles. Given numbers one, eight, and nine, gematria links Holy Spirit with moon, goddess, Sophia, the feminine — and with the dove.

In this light, the dove (801) coming to rest upon Jesus’ shoulder at his baptism in the River Jordan heralds the descent of the Holy Spirit (1080) — Sophia — into his nature. Indeed, early Gnostic Christians understood Sophia to be incarnate in the dove sparking Mary’s pro-creative power to birth Jesus as the child of Holy Wisdom.

Pro-creative power, yes.

That's what more or less fits into a Christmas greeting. For the illustration, I filled the dove with a pattern of Chinese spirals and sent her flying over a shrine in which doves perch atop three pillars. This miniature clay shrine, found in Knossos, Crete, dates to 2000 years before the birth of Jesus.

What about those pillars?

As the Rite for Reconsecrating Our Womanhood was developing, I called number 13 in this sequence of belly-energizing exercises "Stretch Up/Press Down," describing its way of tracing a vertical axis.

As I did with each of the 23 moves in the sequence, I paired this gesture with an ancient artifact conveying a sense of the Sacred Feminine. In this case, I paired the move with an image of pillar, recalling Sophia's "pillars of wisdom":

Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars...
— Proverbs 9:1

I made a clay replica of the three-pillar shrine presented in Elinor Gadon's The Once and Future Goddess. (For more detail, see the color photograph of the original, displayed at Greece's Heraklion Archaeological Museum, here.) I also sketched the shrine as a line drawing.  


 Gadon fig 66Clay replica informed by photo in Elinor Gadon's The Once and Future Goddess

 

Incorporating that sketch, the Rite for Reconsecrating Our Womanhood shows Stretch Up/Press Down as a gesture of affirmation: As we let go of preconceptions and expectations, we can attune more nearly to our inner wisdom, to Sophia:

text-line drawing


Still, pillars are powerful phallic emblems, and doves perched upon pillars show us something about the Sacred Marriage. 

Indeed, there's a lot of Sacred Marriage going on this season:

The shaft of light at the dawn of winter solstice penetrating deep into the dark of Neolithic earthworks such as the tomb at Newgrange, County Meath, Ireland. The Hebrew Shekinha — the word's Semitic root refers to birds nesting — partnering Yahweh. The virgin Mary partnering Deus. The prelude to Mary Magdalene, understood by early Gnostic Christians as an incarnation of Sophia, partnering Jesus.

Maybe next year I'll be writing a post titled "Sex and the Santa Claus."

 
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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, December 15

People in Japan and Palestine find common ground rebuilding their communities. A Jewish survivor of the Holocaust decries racist attitudes towards modern refugees. And the Front National, a populist and xenophobic party in France, rises in electoral support. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, December 14

Christmas' most iconic monsters are listed. A comic featuring fairy tales from Asia prepares for its release. And Marvel's new Native American / American Indian superhero's debut is reviewed. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in pop culture. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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