How did you celebrate Christmas this year and what does it mean to you? I heard so often that people found it stressful, costly and hard work while others saw it as the time to gather with loved ones and have a good drink. Until around 3 years ago, Christmas was over by 26 or 27 December when everyone would be getting ready for a big knees up on new year. In our home we have just started our celebration of the festival of Christmastide. It began on Christmas Eve and will continue until January 6th with the day of the three kings/Epiphany. I am not religious, however, we really embrace the season of Advent with around four weeks of preparation and Christmastide, a festival which lasts for 12 days and 13 nights, in our home.
When I had children I really took time to consider what Christmas was all about and how I would share it with my children. I spent a lot of time meditating and researching to discover what is was really about. Wow, what a journey that turned out to be and of course, I still don't know the facts, not for certain but I do know that what we are told about Christmas isn't necessarily the whole truth and the parts that are true did not happen when we have been told they did. That's fine, in the Spirit realm there is no time and space so the birth of Christ can be any and every day. Because of this I am at peace with celebrating Him on 25 December. What is important is that I feel I have finally found some real meaning to the festival of Christmastide and it goes way beyond presents and Santa.
I don't have time to back up everything that follows, I have read so many books and a bibliography would be as long as this article, so if any of it is of interest or resonates with you, please research and explore yourself and of course, run it by your own inner knowing, does it feel like truth in your heart? If not, forget it all!
Okay, so here is what I believe. Christmas Eve is really Adam and Eve day, the day when humans first came to dwell on the earth. Jesus of Nazareth was not born on 25th December, it was a date the church chose and at the time it was a very controversial decision. Some sources state that the Emperor of the day (Constantine?) believed the Winter Solstice (in the Northern hemisphere) was on 25th December and when the focus moved from a Pagan faith to the Christianity the Solstice celebrations were simply overwritten with the new celebration of the birth of Jesus. Further exploration supported my belief that neither Jesus (yes, there were two, very interesting, please explore) was not born on 25 December but one in Spring and one in Autumn. Further the three kings took 9 months to reach Bethlehem to see the baby and so it couldn't have happened on January 6th as we are told or if this part is true, then they were visiting the baby Jesus born in the spring. So what is it that we are celebrating over the Christmas period?
The early church used to celebrate the Baptism of Jesus by John on January 6th. This was the time when Jesus became the Christ, aged 30 and was Jesus the Christ until he died age 33. I believe in Jesus, the three kings (wise men) and the nativity. I also see how all these stories are symbolic and hold deep meaning if you know about things such as alchemy. (I know very little but enough to know that many of the religious stories are deeply symbolic) I also know that the truth has been hidden from the people. There are those who know and have purposely kept it hidden.
It's not enough for me to celebrate a festival without knowing why. Yes Christmas is a time to get together with those you love and celebrate and that in itself is a very worthy reason to celebrate. I was so certain that there was deeper meaning in the Christmas festival and I feel I have finally found it. I do not have time at this moment to go into it in depth and I probably don't have the ability to eloquently explain it but to put it simply, for me it is about the birth of the light within.
Christmas is about the birth of light within, me and all humans. Christmas is a magical, holy experience that has the power to nourish, nurture and transform a person who is willing and open to receive this precious gift. I like to use the Holy Nights between Christmas Eve night and January 6th as an opportunity to look within, review the past and focus on the coming year.
Two things before I finish. Even though I don't believe Jesus was born on 25 December, I do believe he lived on earth. I have a deep love and appreciation for Him and for Mother Mary. I felt a great affinity for Mother Mary during both of my pregnancies and births and my children share this with me now. Although I am not a Christian in traditional sense, I do consider myself a Christian in that there is a spark of the Divine within me, I AM a child of God, a being of light and love. I just have a lot of baggage to clear and a lot of growth to experience before I can shine with the magnitude of a being like Jesus, Mary, Buddha and all the other great saints and sages.
Finally, I wanted to share this with you, it's a quote by Rudolf Steiner.
"What has become often a mere festival of gifts cannot be said to have the same meaning as what the Christmas festival meant to people for many centuries in the past. Through the celebration of this festival the souls used to blossom forth with hope-filled joy, with hope-borne certainty, and with the awareness of belonging to a Spiritual Being, Who descended from Spiritual heights, and united Himself with the earth, so that every human soul of good may share in His powers.”
If this quote from Steiner speaks to you, you might enjoy a lecture by Rudolf Steiner, The festivals and their meaning, it is available to read for free at http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Christmas/ChrMas_index.html
Christmas blessings to all, Carole