Noilly Prattle: Happy Aphelion

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Aphelion

A little different seasonal greeting 
to welcome the planet back 
from the farthest point in its annual journey 
around our beloved Sun, and 
the shortest day of the year.

nandina berries and pothus leaf

A bit of trivia for you...
Christmas (the "birth" of Christ) 
is an arbitrary date chosen 
to coincide with the Winter Solstice (aphelion) celebrations of ancient peoples 
who needed a celebration to dispel 
the depression and gloom of 
long, cold, dark winter nights.

Update 12/23/2014:

       One can find much speculation about the origin of the Christmas story and it's symbolic relation to Sun (Son) worship in older religions. 

       The idea isn't to debunk Christianity, but to see it as a continuity with the whole spectrum of human speculation about our origins and relationship to our universe. I agree with a friend of mine who finds that continuity fascinating and reassuring. There is an interesting (unprovable, of course) relationship between Christianity and Mithraism for example:

       “Mithra (Sun-God) is believed* to be a Mediator between God and man, between the Sky and the Earth. It is said* that Mithra or [the] Sun took birth in the Cave on December 25th. It is also the belief of* the Christian world that Mithra or the Sun-God was born of [a] Virgin. He traveled far and wide. He has twelve satellites, which are taken as the Sun's disciples.... [The Sun's] great festivals are observed in the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox—Christmas and Easter. His symbol is the Lamb...."

Swami Prajnanananda, Christ the Saviour and Christ Myth

[*My emphasis]

       I think it isn't really a question of belief or faith, but an intuitive connection with the full panoply of human thought, emotion and existence from ancient to our own times. 

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