Archive for winter solstice

O Holy Night

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, belief, Christianity, culture, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, prehistory, religion, scriptures, Social, theology with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2014 by chouck017894

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Winter Solstice in Faith System Disguises

Posted in Atheist, belief, Christianity, culture, faith, Hebrew scripture, prehistory, random, religion, scriptures with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2013 by chouck017894

Every year as the hours of daylight grow progressively less in the Northern Hemisphere, western organized faith systems burst forth during the approach of the Winter Solstice in lavish demonstrations of belief that a one-time event occurred just for them a couple of thousand years ago at this time of year. In truth, that which is being celebrated is actually the cyclic celestial panorama which activates the seasons and which has set the pace of life on planet Earth for many millions of years.

Bluntly, it has been astrophysical features that have served as the basis for many portions of scriptural stories which are marketed as “holy” accounts. And it is the two major turning points in the year–the solstices–which have been artfully disguised in sacred tales and which have allowed practitioners of divine deception (faith systems) to manipulate large masses of people.

The seasonal change occurring with the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere signals a time of renewal and revival in Nature. That regulatory cyclic change which is spoken of as “solstice” comes from the Latin word sol, meaning Sun, and the Latin word sistere, past participle of stit, meaning “to stand.” The illusion in the Northern Hemisphere that the Sun moves southward periodically in the winter and northward in the spring is, as we know today, caused by Earth’s axial tilt as it orbits the Sun. In the Northern Hemisphere the Sun appears to reach its most southern point on December 21, and appears to begin a northward movement on December 25. In pre-Christian Rome the twenty-fifth of December was therefore known and celebrated as Natalis Solis Invict, meaning “birthday of the Sun.”

With the approach of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the star Murzim or Murzar (in constellation Canis Major) rises upon the eastern horizon. The name Murzim is said to mean “the Announcer,” and it precedes the appearance of the star Sirius—the brightest star in the sky—which, in turn, seemingly heralds the greater light of the Sun that is to come. Remember, Jesus allegedly said of himself, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). The month preceding the Winter Solstice (November) carried great significance in ancient cultures, and it is from Pagan study and awe of astronomical movements that the observance of Advent (from Latin adventus, “the coming”) was introduced into Catholic formality around 600 by Pope Gregory the Great. This allowed the faith system’s representatives four Sundays before the solstice to utilize the declining light of the Sun as reminder of God’s power, and it was inferred that it was only by the flock’s continuous obedience that the power continued in glory. In Pagan antiquity the commencement of the new yearly cycle was celebrated after the perceptible northward movement of the Sun was certain; then it was perceived as the “Deliverer” or “Redeemer.”

In Judaism the festival of Hanukkah, meaning “dedication” (to the light which will be increasing), is observed within the same seasonal period of the approaching Winter Solstice, being celebrated from the 25th of Kislev (third month of the Jewish calendar) to the first of Tevet (which overlaps December and January). This is known variously as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, and Feast of the Maccabees. The increase of light for the Northern Hemisphere is disguised here in the story of the Temple of Jerusalem having been rededicated to Yahweh by Judas Maccabaeus in 165 BCE, which had been profaned by Antiochus VI Epiphanes, King and overlord of Syria. Three years earlier, 168 BCE, on the date corresponding to December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, the Syrian king had dedicated the captured Temple in Jerusalem to the worship of Zeus Olympius. When Maccabaeus recaptured Jerusalem, the Temple was purged and a new altar replaced the desecrated one. This re-dedication was then planned to be celebrated for eight days, but woe!–supposedly only one cruse of pure olive oil, blessed by the priest, could be found. Yahweh intervened and that single cruse of oil burned miraculously for the whole eight days! Yahweh’s holy light prevailed.

The connection of the Muslim fast Ramadan to the Winter Solstice is far less obvious, due partly to Mohammad’s (or his scribe’s) misunderstanding of Jewish/Christian myths which allowed for their disguised ceremonial observance of the Winter Solstice period. The link to the Winter Solstice became lost in Islamic observation due to the Muslim year being calculated according to lunar phases instead of solar cycles. Also, being from a desert culture the seasonal changes were not such an obvious yearly transitional event as it was to those in higher latitudes. Therefore Islamic holidays seemingly “relocate” through each season, and in a period of about thirty-three years Ramadan makes a complete cycle of the solar year. For these reasons the Muslim celebration of Laylat-al-Qadr, meaning “the Night of Power,” which is held on the evening of the twenty-seventh day of the ninth month of their year calculation because Mohammed allegedly received his first revelation in this timeframe. Thus, although Ramadan seems not to be obviously related to the “infidel’s” recognition of the approaching increase of light (symbolizing revelation), the fasting and rites of the Night of Power were inspired by the disguised Jewish/Christian observances of the Winter Solstice.

Now back to the Christian faith system observation, which, of these three sister faith systems, is more closely aligned with prehistory (Pagan) wisdom that had deeper understanding of our direct relationship to cosmic forces. It was not any priests who initiated the Jesus cult in Rome; it was Roman aristocrats and literati, for prehistory wisdom was known and revered by them. The Winter Solstice was referred to by the ancient ones as “Mother Night,” and this was because the star Spica, the brightest star in constellation Virgo, the virgin, appears on the meridian at midnight during the longest night. This is why Christian lore relates that the Virgin (symbolic of the cosmic void) gave birth to a divine son (the Sun) which characterizes the Life Principle. Light begins to increase in the Northern Hemisphere after the Sun’s intercourse with darkness, and so light is “born” again—out of itself. Thus the Winter Solstice figuratively marks the “birthday” of life-giving light, and this prehistory acknowledgment of the life supporting Sun’s movements was absorbed into the Christian faith system and dubbed “Christmas,” i.e. Christs’s Mass.

As noted, constellation Virgo makes its appearance on the horizon at the decisive point of the Winter Solstice period, and this is the basis for all the stories of world saviors that were said to have been born of a virgin. The returning light was reason for celebration and gift giving, and this accounts for the gifts borne by the Magi or wise men or kings to such saviors (of spirit) as Zoroaster, Mithras, Tammuz, Jesus, and others.

That respect for ancient wisdom by the Roman authors of earliest Jesus cult texts gradually became smothered by those who awoke to the possible manipulative power that the new cult offered as a mechanism for social and political control. It was the passion for material power, not spiritual enlightenment and guidance that drove men to weave myths upon the ancient cosmic knowledge and build corporate-style “faith” businesses upon them.

Another New Year

Posted in belief, faith, Inspiration, nature, Pantheism, random, religion with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2012 by chouck017894

Each year the Sun reestablishes its apparent northward movement on the 25th of December, marking the position at which light begins to increase in the northern hemisphere.  This phenomenon is much grander in scope and more awesome in infinite power than is any imagined virgin birth of a demigod or some oil lamp in a temple allegedly burning on limited oil for eight days.  The interaction of planet Earth and the Sun is in every way a much truer covenant extended to all life by the creative universal power than are the ego-gratifying stories of special favor extended by god only to some select assemblage of people.

For our ancient ancestors—those much maligned Pagans—who felt a more intimate connection with nature and the observable heavens than is acknowledged today, there was no egotistical need to disguise the natural occurrences such as the solstice and equinox periods as being some mythic miracle performed only for a favored few.

For seven days following the end of the Winter Solstice (Dec. 25), which was honored by the Pagans as “Mother Night,” the beginning of increasing light was reason for celebration and the exchange of gifts among family and friends to acknowledge the approach of production and abundance.  And in this period, in recognition of the true miracle of the Sun’s support of life, the customary salutation upon parting with loved ones or friends was the blessing, “May your light increase.”

After seven days of celebration from Earth’s apparent emergence from the long nights, the routine chores of life were taken up anew, and a new cycle was calculated from the end of that seven-day celebration period.  Thus the time of the New Year observance that is today recognized across much of the world has its foundation in Pagan recognition of the scientific principles that are active throughout the universe and demonstrated in the Earth/Sun relationship.

The awe-inspiring universe was perceived by Pagan cultures to be a living thing–a vast unified consciousness.  When the Pagans looked out into the universe they identified something at work that was much grander in scope than do the constraining faith systems of today which choose to imagine some humanlike personification presiding over and directing that all-embracing power.  The Pagans felt an intimacy with that enfolding universal power which the practice of ecclesiasticism can never experience.  The spiritual attunement of the ancient Pagans with the surrounding universe confirmed for them the interrelatedness of all things.  They would judge as weirdly unrealistic the religious interpretations postulated by self-serving faith systems today that Creation’s power is separate, distant and aloof from everything that is made manifest.

Humankind’s invented hierarchical faith systems always have an unfortunate tendency to leave their followers with vague, uneasy feelings of being unfulfilled, which inevitably erodes their spirit with unrecognized resentment.  By ignoring Nature and the universe, and focusing exclusively upon itself, these faith systems have become systems in which one must will themselves to believe rather than feel one’s unity with it all.  Intricately structured faith systems such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam are not faiths that can be assessed as arising from natural expressions of consciousness.  They are, unfortunately, faith systems that encourage a denial of compassion for all things and beings that coexist with them in spite of their faith system’s self-set boundaries.  The reason behind their negative approach to Creation’s wealth of diversity is that allowing oneself to be open to feel compassion for all life is curtly dismissed by male-dominated faith systems as a feminine aspect and is therefore unworthy to be cultivated.  In other words, such faith systems are formulated to gratify their egos through carefully crafted hypocrisy.

It is unlikely that each individual’s higher potential was fashioned by a Creator to simply act as some separate organ of some religious social structure.  Dedicating oneself to what is only a man-conceived faith system reduces followers to little more than hive workers and breeders who, through indoctrination processing and mental conditioning, would find emotional survival virtually impossible if separated from the body of their faith system.  Followers of such systems are made blind to the beautiful transcendent unity that is made possible in the acceptance of all diverse people.  The binding element in that acceptance is the yearning of human spirit for enlightenment, and that is not achieved through some self-imposed alienation from everything else.

Despite mankind’s struggles with such bouts of self-inflicted delusions, the heavens still bear witness to the flow of Creation.  We need only to remove the blinders that have been placed over our eyes by those who make a habit of taking advantage of our blindness.  Lured away from adoring the unity of all things, which is openly expressed and demonstrated in the universe, we have been “guided” to seek spiritual enlightenment by huddling together in echoing “sanctified” enclosures.  There, the devout are given role models of heroes and saints and saviors and kings who would never have accepted being herded into such self-demeaning behavior as self-dedicated faith systems teach.

But the universe continues to fuse it all together by patiently extending allowance for wide-ranging diversity.  If mankind wishes to pretend that it is the sum-total of universal wisdom, the universe can afford to be patient.  Meanwhile the interaction of Earth and the Sun annually extends and reaffirms the covenant to all life, and that power is not restricted by time or mankind’s self-imposed limited beliefs.  As another New Year unfolds, that covenant is renewed.

May your light increase.

Source of Savior Birth Myths

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, faith, prehistory, random, religion with tags , , , on December 24, 2011 by chouck017894

Throughout the ancient world the advent of the winter solstice marked the first point of Capricorn and signaled mounting luminary blessings to come.  There was also a noteworthy occurrence that always accompanied the winter solstice, for at midnight of the solstice the great star Spica in constellation Virgo (virgin) began to rise above the eastern horizon.  The so-called “Pagan” cultures referred to the night of the winter solstice—the longest night of the year—as “Mother Night,” and this is why myths have always tied the Virgin to the birth of a divine son—in actuality, the Sun.

The first magnitude star Spica on the meridian at midnight during the winter solstice was therefore seen to illustrate the bearing forth of the Life Principle out of void conditions so that the Sun might continue to safeguard (save) the world (all matter-life).  To paraphrase a traditional Christmas carol, it was thought of as the night divine, the night when light was born.  Consequently, all savior figures of various cultures were said to have been born on December 25th, when the Sun again took up its northerly course.  This movement began only after a suspenseful three days during the solstice period when the Sun seemed to hang low and unmoving in the southern sky.

In ancient Egypt, for example, the birth of the son, Horus, god of day, to the fertility goddess Isis, was celebrated on this date.  Persians celebrated on December 25th the birth of the “prophet” of ancient Iran, Zoroaster.  In pre-Christian Rome the twenty-fifth of December was known as Natalis Solis Invict, meaning “birthday of the Sun.”  All such celebrations of various “Pagan” cultures were in recognition that an increase of light would follow the longest night of the year.

In many pre-Christian observances during the period of longest darkness, a midnight rite was observed which was known as the “Vigil of Light.”  The culmination of the rite often involved the lighting of a great bonfire on the highest ground in the area from which they conducted the colorfully symbolic ceremony of the “Yule” wheel.  In readiness for the celebration was a great wheel made of dried twigs, leaf stalks, small tree limbs and coarse grasses.  As darkness seemingly engulfed the whole world, the wheel was set ablaze and sent rolling down the hillside into a lake or other body of water.  This ceremony commemorated the Sun’s descent into its period of apparent rest, which was regarded as occurring within the waters (energies) of Creation.  The bonfires were generally kept burning on the hilltop throughout the rest of the night.

Today’s rigorously structured faith systems, of course, deride this ceremony as nothing more than “heathen ignorance.”  The truth is that such ceremonies demonstrated a closer understanding of cosmic processes than pretending that the longest night of the year marks the incarnation of some demigod or is associated with some supernatural “miracle” of oil lamps providing light for eight days for the devotees of some man-conceived faith system.  Of course the wholesome understanding of Creation’s patriarchal principles and universal order that was honored by the Pagans does not contribute to the ego-pampering ideas of godly favoritism that is the bedrock of every organized faith system.

A celebration of increasing light is also part of Hindu observance, and is similar in some respects to Christmas and Hanukkah.  This celebration occurs in November of the Julian calendar, however.  Since the observance is spoken of as being the darkest night of the year, it suggests that it is really a displaced observance of the winter solstice (as with Islamic observance of Ramadan).

The noticeable movement of celestial objects that occur in the heavens is the true substructure of every organized faith system, although that relationship is always heavily disguised.  The early representatives of contrived religious doctrines were so fearful that the uneducated followers would discover the true association that the promoters of those contrived religious movements condemned Pagan astronomical observation and study as “star worship.”

Stories of the birth of savior-like beings also invariably included three wise men or kings or magi who “came from the east” bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn.  Older pre-Christian tales relate that three magi bearing identical gifts attended the birth of Krishna, Osiris, Mithras, Zoroaster, Confucius, Socrates, and a list of others.  The three “gifts” of gold, frankincense and myrrh are indeed precious to the Life Principle, for they represent the three energy planes that integrate for the development of physical-matter manifestation.

As for the “star” that is said to have led most of these kings, wise men or magi to their destination, it is mythic representation of those involving energies that radiate in the process of matter manifestation.  That just may be the reason that there have never been any genuine history accounts anywhere that verify such a celestial phenomenon of a stationary star hovering over a specific earthly location.

Myths Built Around Winter Solstice

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, belief, culture, faith, history, life, nature, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on November 18, 2009 by chouck017894

Every year as the hours of daylight grow progressively less in the Northern Hemisphere, western organized religions (especially Christian) burst forth during the approach of the Winter Solstice in lavish displays of belief that a one-time-only soul-saving event occurred just for them.  In truth, that which is being celebrated is the celestial panorama that activates the seasons and which has set the pace of life on Earth for millions of years.

Astrological elements are the basis for many portions of scriptural stories, and the two major turning points of the year—the solstices—have been artfully disguised in sacred tales which allowed practitioners of divine deceits to manipulate large masses of people.

The  seasonal change occurring with the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere signals a time of new beginnings.  That change is the meaning behind the word solstice, which comes from the Latin word sol, meaning Sun, and the Latin word sistere, past participle of stit, meaning “to stand.”   The illusion that the Sun moves periodically southward in the winter and northward in the spring is, as we know today, caused by Earth’s axial tilt as it orbits the Sun.  For life in the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun appears to reach its most southern point on December 21, and appears to remain in a stationary period for three days time, after which it appears to start moving northward again—on December 25th.  In pre-Christian Rome the 25th of December was therefore known as Natalis Solis Invict, meaning “birthday of the Sun.”

With the approach of winter, the star Murzim  or Murzar (in constellation Canis Major) rises upon the eastern horizon.  The name Murzim is said to mean, “The Announcer,” and it precedes the arrival of the star Sirius, seemingly to announce the greater light to come—just as in the New Testament the character of John the Baptist is portrayed as announcing the coming of Jesus (who declared “I am the light of the world”).

The month leading into the Winter Solstice carried great significance in ancient cultures, and it is from Pagan study of astronomical movements that the observance of Advent was incorporated into Catholic formality—which allows four Sundays to make ready for the light (personified as Jesus) to come back in glory.

In Judaism, the festival of Hanukkah, meaning “dedication” (to light which will be increasing), is observed within the same seasonal period of the approaching Winter Solstice, being celebrated from the 25th of Kislev to the first of Tevet of the Jewish calendar (overlaps December-January).

The connection of the Muslim fast of Ramadan to the Winter Solstice is far less obvious, due primarily to Mohammad’s (or his scribes’) misunderstanding of Jewish/Christian myth that allowed for ceremonial observance of the solstice period.  Being from a desert culture the seasonal change was not such an obvious yearly transitional event as it was to those of more northerly or southerly regions.  In addition, Islam uses a lunar calendar which is about eleven days shorter than the solar calendar that is more widely used throughout the world.  For this reason the Islamic holidays “move” each year.  Nevertheless, the Muslim celebration of Laylat-al-Qadr, meaning the “Night of Power,” is held on the evening of the 27th day of the ninth month of the Muslim year.  Although not as obviously related to recognition of the light phenomenon at the Winter Solstice due to geographic location (desert), the fasting and rites of the Night of Power were inspired by the Jewish/Christian observances of the yearly occasion of feeble light, after which light increases.

John the Baptist, myth of

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, history, life, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by chouck017894

June 24–or Midsummer day–is alleged in Christianity to be the birthday of John the Baptist.  The date was a contrived arrangement instigated by Pope Gregory I (540?-604), who is called “the Great” because his pontificate was marked by fervor in propagating Christianity.  The conversion of Britain was begun under his direction and carried out by Augustine in 597, for example.  Gregory was passionately opposed to Paganism, introduced numerous changes in the liturgy of the mass, and is credited with revision of church music, better known as Gregorian chant.

The reason for Gregory’s passion for contriving a birth date for the unproven predecessor of Jesus was due to the Pagan’s midsummer festival which always coincided with the summer solstice and which was in honor of the Chaldean, Syrian, and Phoenician messiah Tammuz.  In his zeal for gathering Pagans into the Christian fold, Gregory had sent emissaries all across Europe, and the midsummer festival in honor of Tammuz was found to be lovingly favored nearly everywhere.  So entrenched was this yearly festival with its curious rites which engaged the minds of men that Gregory could not allow the season to pass without instigating some counter incentive for Christian purpose.  He was faced with the problem of what could the Christian faith business offer as enticement.

Gregory was divinely shrewd, counseling his subordinates (such as Augustine) that if Pagans were to be lured into the church the wisest policy was to make an effort to meet the Pagans half-way.  The answer to the dilemma was to incorporate the festival activity into the calendar of Christian holy events.  Of course it was impossible to retain an honor to Tammuz or Bel, but nothing in the myths of Jesus Christ could be linked as occurring specifically around the summer solstice period.  O what to do?

Then divine inspiration struck.  Since the birth of the Savior was honored at the time of the winter solstice, and John the Baptist was said to be  born before Jesus’ birth, was it not reasonable that the summer solstice was the birth time of his forerunner?  Hallelujah!

The Vatican think-tank had to contrive a link with Pagan thought though.  The link was discerned hiding in Pagan Mysteries:  there, after  Tammuz had been slain, he reappeared to the faithful under the name Oannes, and the name used in sacred language adopted by the Roman Church for John was Joannes!  Double Hallelujah!

Thus the Pagan festival of June 24 was made to cohabit with Christian ideas under the label festival of Joannes–Nativity of St. John–which, not so subtly, begins exactly as the Chaldean festivities.

The Pagans were not really fooled by all this jockeying.  They remembered that the name John was also  part of the church promotion of Christmas, with the feast of  “Saint John” the disciple (a personification of light) celebrated on the 27th of December immediately after the winter solstice.   Because retaliation from the church could be harsh, even deadly, the heathens and Pagans mockingly spoke of the year being divided “from John to John.”

Doomsday 2012?

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist with tags , , , on March 13, 2009 by chouck017894

(Excerpt from Time Frames and Taboo Data, page 475)

…awareness of universal patterns seem to have been better comprehended in numerous ancient cultures than it is today.  “Prediction” of a sort could be attempted as in the age-old Mayan astro-calendar–which was inherited from the older Olmec culture.

 

Today we live in the time-calculation that the Maya calendar presented as the Great Cycle, and the cycle ended at 4 Ahau 3 Kankin, which corresponds to 23 December 2012 of our calendar.  The current Great Cycle, according to Mayan accounts, began in a long period of darkness that occurred on 4 Ahan 8 Cumku, which corresponds to 13 August 3114 BCE.  Time was recognized by them as infinite, but they discerned that it advances with cyclic adjustments that are indifferent to individuals, societies, cultures, or civilizations.

 

Was the end of the world predicted with the last date etched upon the Mayan astro-calendar?  Did it foretell some horrendous cosmic or geological cataclysm?  Not exactly.  The Mayan used a period of 5125-5126 years that made up what is referred to as the “Long Count,” which we may liken to a taximeter that records an accumulated debt–only in this case what is tallied is Earth’s debt to the universe.  It is certain that the spread of the human species across the world has disturbed the delicate balances of Nature with little regard to long-term consequences.  Changes will occur, of course, and payment must be extracted.  Perhaps payment must be violent for human nature to pay attention, for despite all the pretended revealed, divine claims, man seems incapable of establishing an atmosphere of congeniality.  The Mayan calendar may seem to suggest an apocalyptic ending, but it was presented without the ugliness of scriptural bigotry.  That the date 23 December 2012 was not regarded as the end of all time or even as the end of the world was neatly conveyed by simply having the calendar calculations being  suspended on the threshold of the winter solstice–the cyclic period when the process of renewal of life is the order of things.  More precisely, the Mayan calendar indicates an end of an era.  Earth is at the threshold of no return for some ecologically distrubing practices, but mankind still has it within its power to awaken and progress with reverence directed at universal truths.

 

However, we must not assume that (religious) belief makes it impossible that in the distant future some scouting cosmic citizens may investigate the scarred little planet once known as Earth.  And after intense studies, the visitors to Earth decipher the last records of the species that once dominated the planet.  But before the explorers pack up to leave, they pause to erect in a lonely barren spot a commemorative stele upon which is etched their summary of findings.

        As this little planet groaned in distress

        And seas grew wild and the planet poles moved,

        The creature man continued to obsess

         And war over gods that could not be proved.