Historically and spiritually, this is the month (at the time of the winter solstice) of the mythical birth of the light-bringers. These are the messengers of love and light—the hero-shamans that first brought the knowledge of the fire of the heavens, the knowledge of the light in the darkness, to all of humanity. These heroic messengers of light are born of the Virgin—the constellation Virgo. In the heavens Virgo is a Y-shaped group of stars resembling a cup that just happens to rise in the Eastern sky at this most spiritual time of the year. This is the mythic Holy Grail, the Cup of Light, the Bowl of Love that is Light—all the key to the metaphoric message of these virgin light-bringers—that the sun, the spiritual sun, is contained within all beings and all living things. This is the message that institutionalized religions do not want humanity to hear: that each one of us, like the light-bringers, is also a virginal vessel of love and light. No inborn sin here, just intrinsic love and light.
Thus, the winter solstice presents us with the opportunity to honor and to reveal (revelation—lifting the veil) this prime mystery of life. This is the time to honor these heroic messengers and to pay homage to the metaphoric moment of their “virgin birth” (based on the positioning of the constellation Virgo not on an actual physical birth—the actual birth of the prophets and messengers such as Jesus was late summer, early fall under the astrological sign of the Virgin-Virgo). In addition, it is the occasion to celebrate the gift of fire and the return of the light foretelling the truth of eternal love and life.
The ancient winter solstice, which was celebrated on December 25, signified the rebirth of the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus). At this point in the year the days grow longer and light re-enters the world. This solstice celebration is permanently rooted in both the fabric of the natural world and the core essence of human nature!
But, it was not until the middle of the fourth century that the winter solstice came to be accepted as a Christian festival and even today, many people are un-enlightened to the roots of Christmas and all of its trappings, such as the Christmas Tree. This symbol of the Tree of Life began with the ancient shamans and the Indo-European spiritual practice of cutting down a living tree and erecting it within the home or community center at the time of the “dark,” the Winter Solstice. This was in celebration of the return of the sun and to symbolize regeneration and new life.
However even pre-dating this time, during the dawn of humanity, we find the roots of the Tree of Life as well as one of the earliest myths—the “theft of fire” and the reality of humankind’s first attempt at controlling nature through knowledge. In short order the earliest religious guide and leaders, the shamans, having received this great gift of spiritual power and knowledge—fire, realized that nature could not really be controlled, but could only be harmonized, through a partnership of the people and the great Earth Mother. In a ritual and ceremony of forgiveness for the “theft of fire” (think of a lightning struck tree), the shaman would select the proper tree, decorate it with gifts and, with the community looking on, set it on fire. And thus, the shaman became recognized as the “flame-man” or “keeper of the fire.” Of course this yearly ceremony would take place on the longest night of the year. This Tree of Fire, or Tree of Life, was accordingly the earliest form of our Christmas Tree.
Today, you and I are the recipients of this great legacy—one of fire and spiritual knowledge,
During this holiday season, and considering current and past events, an urgent return to a green philosophy is needed. This is an egalitarian philosophy of humanity’s partnership with the seen and unseen things of the earth and nature—a green philosophy. Furthermore, society has lost many of the values treasured by past indigenous cultures, such as a partnership with nature, truth telling, and elder/ancestor respect and honor. We need to discover meaning in life—not accumulate money and material things. The equality of men and women as well as the equality of all things—as all have the starlight/divine spark within them—needs to be reinstated. These and other lost values need to be reinstated throughout this earth. Nature needs to be respected, loved and cared for by humanity. We need to be partners in relationship with nature, not its stewards.
Honor this season of goodwill and joy by practicing and embracing a green philosophy while spreading light and love to all who you encounter-each day and every day of the year.