Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Article ID: 15287
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 184
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Author: Realta Dragonfly
Posted: December 16th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,628
Well, it is that time of year again. Lights everywhere, carols piped into each department store, and the ever-present “Keep Christ in Christmas” sign on every street corner. It is the time when all we hear about is the supposed ‘War on Christmas’. I am pretty tolerant of other religious beliefs but am sick and tired of seeing “Keep Christ in Christmas” everywhere I turn.
By now the true origins of modern Christmas are widely known. So, that is not why I am writing this. I am writing to answer a question I once had: “Where did the 'Xmas' come from anyway?” Having found my answer, I now wonder what exactly is wrong with the term “Xmas”. Today we are told that Xmas is a mere abbreviation and an attempt to remove the religious aspect of this most commercial of holidays.
Jesus. We have all heard that name. Most of us know the story. I like to think of him as Joshua. In Aramaic/ Hebrew, he would be called Yesua/ Yehosua. In Latin and Greek, we find Iesus and Iesous respectively. Over time the 'I' becomes a 'J' and we get Jesus, which is Latin for Joshua.
What of Christ? The Christ in ‘Jesus Christ’ is not a name but a title. It is derived from the Greek ‘kristos’, which means ‘anointed one’. This being a translation of the Hebrew “masiah”, which is where the word ‘messiah’ comes from. So we have the Latin ‘Jesus” and the Greek ‘Christ” which would translate in modern English to ‘Joshua the anointed”. I like it.
But what about that pesky X? Why, I thought you would never ask.
You may have seen this symbol. You may even know what it is. Well I never knew. For those like me, this is called a CHI-RHO. It is the Catholic Church’s monogram of Christ. See that X. It is the Greek letter CHI. Now depending on who you ask, Christmas means ‘Christ sent’ ort ‘ day of Christ’ and while December 25 is not the actual birth date of Jesus (not even close) , it is still the day celebrated as such by millions of Christians everywhere. So the next time a follower of Christ gives you the “We’re keeping Christ in Christmas” line, ask them “What is wrong with the ‘X’ part anyway?” Chances are they don’t have a reasonable answer. You, on the other hand, now have a logical answer.
Of course, it doesn’t matter anyway when you look at the true origins of modern day Christmas celebrations. Each time-honored tradition is a remnant of a pagan past. The majority of us all know these, so let’s just take a quick glance*:
Why not Dec 25?
1. December is the cold rainy season in the region. What shepherd would be out in the fields on such a night? Freezing to death.
2. The Roman census was not taken in the winter because the hazardous conditions made travel unlikely and therefore would make the census pointless.
3. Luke’s account of the birth of the Christ suggest either summer or early fall.
Traditions and Possible origins
1. The Date- Early Christianity was not very popular among adherents to the old religions so church leaders made efforts at conversion by placing their holy day over more popular celebrations, most notably, the week long celebration of Saturnalia (which was debauchery at its finest, I hear) and Sol Invictus, one of the holiest days in the Mithras cult.
2. O Christmas Tree- The Asheira cult worshipped trees and would decorate them during celebrations. (I haven’t found much more than this but am interested.)
3.Presents- Now, the main focus of this holiday for many, this custom has possible origins during the Saturnalia where the people were urged to give gifts to the emperor. This becomes popular amongst the general population and absorbed into Xmas.
4.Mistletoe- Featured in Norse mythology involving Baldor. Also highly prized by the Druids. (I do not know the Xmas connection here though. Please enlighten.)
5. Holly- Myth of the Battle of the Oak King and Holly King where the Holly King reins at this time of year.
6. Santa Claus- Ah, yes the jolly elf. Based on Saint Nicholas, who in life was a Bishop of the church and a member of the Council of Nicaea. His death is recorded as December 6. He become a patron saint of sailors who carried his story to Italy where he become merged with Pasqua Epiphania, an Italian grandmotherly figure believed to give gifts to children by placing them in their stockings. He eventually made his way north again where he merged with Woden and gained some of his more familiar appearance and mode of travel. Of course, over the years, we got our modern Santa Claus.
Well, I hope this helped somebody out there. If you want to have a healthy, logical and reasonable discussion about ‘the reason for the season’, I am more than thrilled to participate. Just please, leave the willful ignorance and knee-jerk reactions at the door.
Have a Merry Xmas, Happy Chanukah, and a Joyous Yule Celebration!
*I intentionally left the information vague to encourage further exploration on the reader’s part. If you feel I have incorrect information please feel free to let me know. I am always open to learning.
All information in this article can be found at Wikipedia. Some found at ucg.org (not what I expected either) .
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