Monday, December 17, 2018

Awaken the Feminine

Today promises to be a sunny day, unlike the gloomy past month. I sorely missed the sun hiding behind clouds day after day. While preparing a Christmas card for my nephew and his family in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, I realized they have an even longer darkness surrounding winter solstice. I wondered how difficult it is for him, born and bred in Minnesota. 

Years ago I overcame the blues of sun-deprivation at this time of year by placing it in the context of spirituality and religion. While I was trying to be an atheist, I learned about non-Christian religions. My discoveries appear in my essay for Awaken the Feminine!: Dismantling Domination to Restore Balance on Mother Earth.
Wanting distance from Christian stuff but drawn to spiritual content, I read about the pagan religions I had been trained to despise and got surprising revelations about the Goddess. I learned that human beings had prayed to a Great Mother before the Father/Son myth started.
Accounts of Mater Magna, the Great Mother, creator of the universe, taught me that She manifests the feminine face of the Divine. She is simply an alternative way to think of what is called “God.” That She reigned under many names in pre-historic times obliterated the Judaeo-Christian claim to being the first monotheistic religion. 
Goddess myths center divinity more in the earth than in the sky. The Goddess envelopes the sun in her body every evening and sends it forth in the morning. 
I learned that Christmas copies birthday feasts honoring pagan gods and that, before Jesus of Nazareth lived, pagan gods had twelve disciples, died and rose in three days, were commemorated in rituals involving wine and bread, and so on. 
Promoting their own feast, Christians declared that Jesus Christ is the real sun-god—“the real light which gives light to everyone." John 8:12 has Jesus saying, "I am the light of the world. 

Having learned alternatives to the Christian myth enriches rather than spoils my celebration of Christmas. It also makes me more tolerant of the way our secular, commercial world treats it. 

When displays of Christmas lights appeared before Christmas, I used to strongly resist. I wanted the world to begin Christmas celebrations on the Day, as we did it in St. Martin in the 1950s. But it’s during these dark days before the solstice that the world needs more light. I’m sure that this, and not only the commercial motive of making money, accounts for Christmas lights going up a month before Christmas Day and coming down soon after Christmas Day. 

I leave my lights up much longer just because I was trained that way. But I see that after the solstice on December 21, people are relieved and happy that the sun stays with us longer and longer. So the artificial lights come down. 

Whatever connects us with Transcendence seems good to me. 

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