Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Saturnalia

It seems that the Pagan in me cannot help but to say a few words about Christmas. I am not sure how this entry will be received but then hey I didn't make the shit up so take it up with ancient Rome if you take issue. This is also a rebuttal of sorts to some folks who got all Preachy on me about me not celebrating Christmas,
apparently they will see me in HELL(I guess from Heaven?).

Jokes on them cuz I already work retail!
This will be a very very brief history of the Holiday formerly known as Saturnalia.....

The Roman festival of Saturnalia was dedicated to Saturn and was generally held around December 17th but was later expanded to an entire week which would include Winter Solstice. This was a time of libation and general merriment. Slaves were spared from their toils and allowed to wear the badge of "freedom", men exchanged gifts with men, engaged in man on man love. Certainly these were not the only elements of the festivities but it was ancient Rome and I think we all have a general idea about the worth of women and the enslaved in ancient and not so ancient societies.

In an effort to "Christianize" the population, December 25th was adopted as Christ's birthday because Pagans already celebrated this day as the Winter Solstice. I mean you do the math, wouldn't it be easier to just take the day when people were already partying and rename it rather than coming up with another day and trying to start a new tradition? What better way to convert than to usurp?

To pay homage to the God of Farming (Saturn), Romans would sometimes cut down an Evergreen tree and decorate it in order to honor the fact that evergreens remained green even during bitter winters.

I was brought up southern Baptist (and I know study at a Catholic University) and so much of what I learned about Christmas came from the bible. Most importantly how the shepherds watched over there flocks by night (Luke). Palestinian winters are reputed to be quite bitter and so this flock-watching outside was probably a practice of springtime. Which is cool by me and I am sure by countless others. The thing is that I was not informed of the weather conditions in the region mentioned in the bible at the time of "lambing" so I was under the impression for the longest time that all of the Christmas business of the time occurred in what I knew to be winter. My perception was incorrect to say the least. December in Jerusalem is not ideal for shepherding and flocks would likely be brought indoors no later than October. *Sigh*

Oh well as I mentioned earlier, I work retail (until I grow up that is Smiley), and I see people, many of them "Christians", at their worst during this time of year. I watch people sink into debt and scowl as they buy gifts for people they feel less than "jolly" about so that they may "appear" giving. They drag their children around at all hours of the night going from store to store buying Yuletide Gaiety at rock bottom prices thanks to an eviscerated third world proletariat, which is by the way largely comprised of women and children.

To be sure I am not out to convert Christians to Paganism. As a matter of fact I rather like many elements of the faith. Plus It does not enhance my life in any way to make everyone walk on eggshells waiting for the religious debate to jump-off when there is pie to eat and sage to burn...oops I mean eggnog to drink. This entry was for a select few who got in my face about how I live and celebrate and for me as a tiny little rant. It was also for anyone else who wants to read it.

At any rate I hope that everyone enjoys good food, good times and good company all year long!
I know that I already do, especially lately.
I dont have to tell you that you dont need shiny things to validate you.
I dont need to tell you that the people you love will love you more if you give them a little recognition here and there throughout the year.
Dont wait for a Holiday to let you generosity take the front seat.
Please dont wait for a Holiday to tell the people you love that you love them.
Help others all year.
Give. That is your duty as fellow human, to share yourself in a goodly manner all the days you bless us with your lovely presence.
I love you all. All year, I love you all.
Be safe and be true and know that even if you dont remember those deeds, Karma has a proper tally and updates often. Here is a Winter poem by Emily Bronte that I just love and want to share with you my lovely friends!

Spellbound

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.--Emily Bronte

1 comment:

Mizrepresent said...

Well you certainly did educate me...it's funny though i was having this same discussion a gentlemen who was explaining his distaste with the commercialism of the holiday...and i understand how it can become even less likeable wow working in retail (lol)...but hey lady, happy happy, and thanks for my morning cup of knowledge.