Sunday, February 22, 2015
Christmas and Pagan festivals linked to the Winter Solstice
The modern secular commercialized Christmas Holiday is Pagan, an amalgamation of various winter pagan traditions. The ones we in modern America are familiar with mostly come from Celtic and Norse/Germanic traditions more so then the Greeco-Roman/Egyptian/Levant/Mesopotamian religions The Bible's human authors directly interacted with..
Jeremiah 10 is about cutting down a tree to carve it into an idol, that's clear when you read the entire chapter. Isaiah 60:13 refers to pine trees as decorations in a positive context. The Christmas tree does have a relationship to some Germanic rituals involving trees, but the desire to connect it to that Jeremiah passage is a torturing of the text. I Laugh at any pastor who calls a Pine Tree an Idol but has an American Flag in their Church.
There are pagan holidays all year round, the Wiccans and related Neo-Pagans alone have 8 evenly scattered throughout the year, all of which are based on ancient ones. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
No matter when Jesus was born, some Pagan holy day is near by if not exactly on it. It's popular now to say he was born on one of the Tishi Jewish Holy Days, any one of those could fall on the Autumnal Equinox, and Tabernacles sometimes can fall late enough to put Halloween on one of it's 8 days. Also the Full Moon of Tabernacles is always either the Harvest Moon or Hunter's Moon. As for those who think Jesus was born in the Spring, spring holidays will come up later.
The Church should do Spiritual warfare on Pagan holy days against the demonic forces whether or not there is a Biblical Holy Day to celebrate. That includes reading The Bible, praying in unison, singing godly hymns ect. So the way I see it whether the date is correct or not reading the Gospel Nativity narratives and singing the strictly Jesus centric Christmas hymns in December can never be a bad thing.
Rob Skiba even condemns the act of gift giving "why are giving gifts to other people if it's supposedly Jesus Birthday?" he says. Because Jesus said "it is better to give to receive" and we are the Body of Christ so any gift given to a brother or sister in Christ is a gift to Jesus in my book. I've always felt the healthy attitude is to delight in giving gifts but not feel entitled to receive any.
Christians should certainly never deceive their children into believing in Santa Claus (Odin), or the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy or any other such modern folk deities. Satan has repeatedly used that as a means to make people doubt the existence of God. One notorious example is Gene Roddenberry.
The other Pagan aspects like Christmas Trees and Yule Logs and Mistletoe may be harmless as long as you don't do them with false god worshiping intent. But people think the same about Quij boards and many demonic possessions started from dabbling with that. It's ultimately between you and the Holy Spirit.
What I'm seeking to refute here is the notion that December 25th specifically has it's origin in Paganism, and Christians only adopted it to co-opt the Pagan holiday. This is based on the poor research of Hislop just like the Semiramis was married to Nimrod myth.
Now it's cited by countless both skeptics of Christianity and Christians as an absolute fact that every major Demigod or Avatar was born on December 25th. But in fact that claim is no more credible then them being born of Virgins or Crucified or any other alleged parallel to Jesus claimed by Christ Mythers. But it's the only popular Christ Myther claim used in films like Zeigueist that Christian apologists don't object to, instead the concede by saying December 25th isn't Biblical.
The Winter Solstice is actually the 21st or 22nd of December. Saturnalia was many days that ended on December 23rd.
The only remote basis for claiming Mithra a connection to December 25th is the connection Mithra worship developed over time to Sol Invictus. Mithra is a deity that always existed in Persia, but during the Hellenistic era he became popular in synchronizing Hellenic religion with Middle Eastern religion. However everything we know about the Mithridic Cult of Roman Times goes back to the second Century at the earliest. And none of it mentions December 25th.
It is the Roman Sol Invictus cult the date is accused of directly coming from. And that is indeed the cult that Constantine and other Romanizeing Christians were trying to merge Christianity with. But it seems the superficial things like names and dates are what were taken from Christianity, while the Substance came from Paganism.
The Sol Cult was created in the early Third Century. but it was not the official Imperial Cult until Aurelian made it so in 274. Aurelian held games to Sol Invictus in October not December. All Pre Constantine references to the Sol cult refers to festivals in December no later then the 22nd. But the August festivals were considered far more important.
All of this after December 25th for Jesus Birth had been refereed to by Hippolytus as I documented in my previous post.
The Earliest reference to a Sol Invictus holiday on December 25th is the Chronography of 354. The exact same source refers to Jesus being born on December 25th as well. So Jesus was on December 25th first, it was Sol who was moved.
Dionysus is another deity who comes up. Dionysus aka Bacchus aka Bromius had many festivals all over the year, pretty much every month there was a Bacchus festival somewhere in Greece. The Greeks however even after they adopted a Solar calendar for Civil purposes still used the Lunar Attic Calendar for religious ceremonies. So none were linked to December 25th consistently. The Roman Bacchanilias were the only ones linked to a Solar calendar, they were in Spring.
Bacchus had many Births in Greek Mythology, but the Festivals linked to his Birth were always in Spring.
Before Christianity came along, rarely were winter holidays about births. Pagans, especially if they were worshiping a Solar deity (Sol, Mithras, Apollo as he latter became), or Vegetation deities (Bacchus, Attis, Tammuz) would have considered the Winter Solstice the WORST time to affiliate with their god's birth.
That is when the days are shortest and the Sun is seemingly less powerful then usual, and plant-life is seemingly dead. The Winter Solstice is in fact defined as when the Sun dies and then rises again.
To the Pagans, Christmas and Easter should be switched. The Winter Solstice is when Solar and Vegetation Gods die and rise again (none of that being the same as Biblical Resurrection which is about defeating Death not carrying out an endless cycle) and Spring is the time for Birth and Youth and Vitality. A child born on the Spring Equinox would be conceived around the Summer Solstice (June 21st) when the Sun is at it's most powerful.
Egypt was perhaps an exception, their unique dependence on the Nile inverted a lot of things. Including making Summer rather then Winter the time they affiliated with death due to the Nile drying up. But our documentation of dates related to Horus and Osiris are shaky and largely dependent on sources no older then Plutarch. With even how to interpret/translate what Plutarch said being disagreed on.
Some sources say he was born on the 5th of the Epagomenal Days, which would be in August on our calendar. An October/November (Khoiak) birth for Horus has also been cited. It's important to remember according to the Egyptian kings-list there were two Horuses, the latter the son of the first and Hathor.
This changed because of trying to merge Christianity and Paganism, so modern Neo-Pagans may or may not find reason to justify Births at the Winter Solstice and Death at the Spring Equinox (and claim ancients saw them the same way). Just as they'll seek to justify seeing a Virgin Birth as Pagan even though the ancients considered the idea of a goddess being both a mother and a virgin at the same time unthinkable.
You know what, Switching those two things around is exactly in God's character. The Pagan Caananites built their temples facing East, so God told Israel their Tabernacle should face West.
Now you may think "don't pagans talk about death and rebirth" Pagans affiliated conception and the sexual act with both death and rebirth. One layer of meaning to it is seeing the... I'm going to get a little crude here... Erect Penis becoming flaccid after it ejaculates as a type of death. Then when it in time becomes hard again later as a rebirth. So when Isis temporarily reanimated Orisis to conceive Horus in part represents her getting Osiris hard one last time before he becomes permanently impotent.
Judeao-Christians thought also (for different reasons) liked to see symmetry in seeing Conception and death happening on the same day of the year. In the post this is a follow up to I talk about why it can make sense to see Jesus as conceived around Passover or First Fruits.
Seeing Jesus as being born in September as is popular with people like Rob Skiba who puts His conception in December. The irony is Skiba has been tricked into rejecting December 25th as the birthday of the gods he wrongly thinks are Nimrod. But in turn has placed Jesus conception where sun gods are killed and conceived.
Apollo specifically was believed to have spent the winter months in hyperborrea, a mythical northern land. Why would the Greeks affiliate Apollo's birth with the time they believed he was gone? Ten festivals on the Greek calendar were affiliated with Apollo, some are harder to find info on then others. Boedromia was in the Summer, Carnea was in August. When Daphnephoria happened in the year seems unknown, but it wasn't annual, it was every nine years. Hyacithia was in Summer.
The only ones not in Summer are Pyanopsia being in October, and Thrgelia which is the only one identified as being affiliated with birth. Apollo and Artemis were it seems born on May 6th and May 7th respectively. Later in Roman times Augustus Caesar made his birthday (September 23rd) the national holiday of Apollo, because he was seeking to be seen as an incarnation of Apollo, hence Virgil's fourth Ecalouge and it's made up prophecy from the Sybil. And the Coptic Calander shows that Egyptians placed the Birth of the Sun in September at the end of the Month of Mesori.
I think it's interesting that John The Baptist was both conceived and born exactly 6 months before Jesus.
All the pagan birthdates I can find (besides contradictory info on Horus birth) seem to fall in spring, not winter.
That fact about Augustus is very interesting because that's contemporary with the Birth of Christ. This man who could be viewed as a type of The Antichrist, was being deified as an incarnation of one of the gods Rob Skiba thinks is his imaginary version of Nimrod. His birth and Apollo were being celebrated at about the Autum Equinox during the time the Nativity narrative happened. But we're today being told your celebrating the birth of Apollyon if you celebrate Christmas in December rather then September.
The death of Tammuz (and the women weeping for Tammuz) happened at the summer Solstice (usually in the Hebrew month that became named after Tammuz). The Greek Adonia for Adonis was the same time. Tammuz died about the Summer Solstice and was risen about the Winter Solstice, Ishtar took his place dying about the Winter Solstice and rising about the Summer Solstice.
I've seen some Christians spreading Christmas paranoia (like Michael Rood) add to and confuse this trying to bring Spring holidays into it and saying Tammuz or someone was born on December 25th. But that is all nonsense. Winter was his resurrection not his birth.
Again, modern Neo-Pagans often like all this comparative mythology stuff so you may see material from them supporting births at the winter solstice. But nothing backs that up in actual ancient sources.
Even if an ancient pre 354 AD example of a pagan deity born on the Winter Solstice can be found, so what. Genesis 1 tells us the Sun, Moon and Stars were all given for times and for seasons. At the Exodus God codified a Lunar Calendar for Israel, but the Moon is never a symbol for Jesus himself, Malachi calls Jesus the Sun of Righteousness. So when the days begin growing longer makes sense as a time for him to be born. That pagans also found significance in that is just a reminder that Satan can only copy and corrupt the things of God.
Maybe The Antichrist will claim the same Birthday, so what, I have reasons to suspect Satan will arrange for him to be killed on Passover too.
Dionysus is interesting to study in relation to Hannukah.
First Maccabees chapter 1 verse 54 to the end says Antiochus Epiphanes placed his Idol in the Holy of Holies on the 15th of Kislev, and on the 25th sacrifices were made to the Idol. The same day it was cleansed 3 years later.
The 15th would be after a Full Moon, and since as I said the Greeks also used a Lunar calendar for their religion this could have been significant. This time of year among other things is when the Athenian Rural Dionysia would happen.
Second Maccabees informs us that the feast of Bacchus was kept in The Temple. That could be significant, but we're not told which feast, or if this is really supposed to be an elaboration on the ritual that first desecrated The Temple.
People will use this same material from Second Maccabees 6 to say Antiochus Epiphanes birthday was celebrated in The Temple. And overlap that with the 25th of Ksilev reference to say Antiochus was born on December 25th. But Second Maccabees 6 was referring to the day of the Kings' birth every MONTH not a yearly anniversary, and again there is no evidence that it is connected to the Kislev 25th sacrifices.
The Books of Maccabees do place Antiochus Epiphanes death about the same time The Temple was cleansed, three years after he first desecrated it.
Again the Rural Dionysia was not about Dionysus' birth. It was a festival that like many other Dionysian festivals was affiliated with the Theater, a time for Plays to be performed and competitions between play writers to be held. So the Rural Dionysia's main contribution to modern Christmas is the Christmas season being a time when Hollywood releases (besides Summer) the most of it's big event movies.
I'm absolutely NOT one of those Baptists saying it's bad to enjoy a good time at the movies, or to enjoy any secular media. I love going to the Cinema, there is a 50/50 chance I'll see The Force Awakens this Christmas. Just be aware of the possible secret reasons behind when they release them.
Returning to my earlier themes though. If the Antichrist's abomination of Desolation is on his birthday which could be something he'd want to do. We know that Abomination is at the Midway Point of the seven year period, which I'm convinced will occur in Tishei (September-October). Meaning it'd be evidence for the Antichrist's birthday in Fall not Winter. And I think it's possible the opening of the Abyss is 9 months before that.