Discussion:
Christmas trees mentioned in bible!
(too old to reply)
martus
2003-12-13 11:27:09 UTC
Permalink
Jer 10:2-8 KJVA
(2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not
dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
(3) For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe.
(4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails
and with hammers, that it move not.
(5) They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must
needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for
they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
(6) Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art]
great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(7) Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it
appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and
in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.
(8) But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a
doctrine of vanities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "jsearcy2001" <***@gvtc.com>
Subject: Is Christmas Christian?

Dear Friends -

There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.

The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.

The December 25th SELLebration of winter solstice does NOT honor God.
The true God has spoken clearly on it. Jesus Christ was born on the
feast of Tabernacles, most likely mid September. There was no room
for them in the inn, because devout Jews from the entire world, were
in Jerusalem, just 6 miles from Bethlehem, for the one required
Jerusalem pilgrimage feast that NO ONE wanted to miss.

Most people on the GJiGT list know what God had to say about the
Christmas tree, is in Jer 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people
are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with
gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

Read all of Jeremiah chapter 10 and explain to children, family,
friends, and Christians, that this SELLebration of the winter
solstice is a waste of time and effort, and the only god it honors is
the god of covetousness.

The Savior was not born on the 25th of December. It is an old Pagan
holiday celebrated many hundred years before His birth. The Christmas
tree also is a relic of heathenism. "Hear ye the Word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, Oh house of Israel. THUS SAITH THE LORD, learn not
the way of the heathen..... for the CUSTOMS of the people are VAIN.
Learn NOT the way of the heathen is the command. This Christmas
custom of the people we are told in Jeremiah chapter 10 is vain. This
all came from old Babylon, and was adopted in the church by the
western so called "CHURCH FATHERS", Eusebius, Jerome, Polycarp,
Justan Martyr, and others, while the Eastern church Fathers were
opposed to all of these heathen customs. For 500 years they all
strictly observed the true Sabbath, while the Western Bishops,
called "Fathers", were in the great falling away. The mystery of
iniquity has now become full. Many today are hearing the Lord say,
Come out of Babylon.

Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian"
holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas
really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look at every word on
every page of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD
of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of God's people! It is not
even mentioned once! Neither Christ nor any of His apostles ever
observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Church!

Yet, on the other hand, the pagan, heathen world observed this day
for thousands of years before Christ was even born! Where did the
mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from?
What about the Christmas tree, and the Yule log, and mistletoe, and
Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin?
And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus? It's
high time we address these questions, and take a new look
at "Christmas." Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the
truth about this popular and widespread holiday?

There is a topic on the GJiGT by the title "Is Christmas Christian?"
It is filled with FACTS that can be shocking. It can be a tremendous
help for those NOT SELLebrating their first or second one. The
article is a good read for anyone, at any time; but, for those in the
midst of your FIRST NON-SELLebration it is a GREAT encouragement.
Here is the direct Link:
http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/C&E

Millions of "nominal" Christians, who think they are followers of the
religion of Jesus Christ, have been deceived. Not only have they
foolishly embraced erroneous "traditions" as if they
were "Christian," but they have been lied to, by preachers,
ministers, and priests. Most have ASSUMED that they were worshipping
Christ! Yet Jesus Christ Himself warned: "Howbeit IN VAIN DO THEY
WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye HOLD THE TRADITION OF
MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).

In the gospel of Matthew, we find Christ says, "Ye HYPOCRITES, well
did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouths, and honoreth me with their lips; but THEIR HEART
IS FAR FROM ME. But IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Matt.15:7-9).

What is the truth? What is the evidence regarding when Jesus Christ
was born? Was it anywhere NEAR December 25? And if not, then why
believe a lie, and practice and perform a lie?

The birth of Christ is not known for certain, but we can know the
approximate time of year when He was born! In the book of Luke we
read that the father of John the Baptist was Zacharias, and he was a
priest who served at the temple in Jerusalem. He was "of the course
of Abia" (Luke 1:5). While serving at the temple, he was informed by
an angel that his wife was to have a son, who was to be named "John."
After this, Zacharias finished "the days of his ministration,"
and "departed to his own house" (v.23). "And after those days, his
wife Elizabeth conceived . . ." (v.24).

The names of the different courses of priests that served at the
Temple are given in I Chronicles 24:1-19. "Abia" or "Abijah" was the
EIGHTH course. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, each one
of these courses served at the Temple for one week, the first course
serving the first week of Nisan, in the spring (compare I Chron.27:1-
2), and then each course in its own order. All the priests served
during the annual festivals (Passover in spring, Pentecost, and then
Tabernacles in the fall). After six months, the order would be
repeated, thus each "course" would serve two weeks during a year.

The course of Abijah, then, would have served the eighth week in the
rotation. The eighth week from Nisan 1, leaving out the week of
Passover, when all the priests served, would have been IYAR 27 TO
SIVAN 5, the day just before Pentecost, which generally fell on Sivan
6. After serving a week in the Temple, Zacharias would have remained
another week in Jerusalem, because of the Feast of Shavuot or
Pentecost that week. Therefore, he returned home shortly after this,
and his wife then conceived. This would have been about the middle of
June. If we add nine months to this date, the normal time for the
gestation of a human baby in the womb, John the Baptist would have
been born about the middle of March, in the spring, shortly before
the Passover.

Jesus was conceived about six months after John (Luke 1:24-31, esp.
verse 26). This would suggest that Jesus Christ was conceived about
the middle of December. This would place His birth nine months, or
270 days, later -- or the month of September!

If Jesus Christ was not born on December 25, who was? In other words,
whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on
December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? What "Christ"
are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the
translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally
means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, where
we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on
December 25?

In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we find this amazing
revelation:
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that
much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western
world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of
the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even
became the state worship. . . .
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then,
centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the
central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the
solar orb. . . Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a
massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal
point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday
of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO
CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS
CULT" (p.391- 392).
Notice! Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult
of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of
Jesus Christ! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god,
worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!


In the article on the GJiGT "Is Christmas Christian?" there are many
more interesting facts of history which prove the feast is pagan to
the core. Are we beginning to get the picture? In the fourth century
AFTER Christ, the Church moved to incorporate the birthday of the sun
god into the so-called "Christian" calendar, and converted the pagan
sungod's "birth day" into the birth day of CHRIST Himself! That which
was distinctly and definitely pagan now was "baptized," and by some
act of "magic" was transformed into something "Christian"!

No matter how many Christians, and non-Christians alike, believe
December 25th to be "Christian," it is not, in fact, or in TRUTH. In
fact, it remains an abomination to the true God, and what the bible
over and over calls spiritual harlotry or whoredom. It may now be
called "Christian." But in truth, it still has a pagan heart and core!

These historical observations ought to make us sit up and take
notice! The 'Christianity" that we see around us in the world today
is but a "spin-off" of this ancient syncretism or 'blending"
and "merging" of PAGANISM into the professed Church of Jesus Christ.
The compromised state church, lapsed into apostasy, debauchery,
licentiousness, and impurity. The descendants of the once chaste and
pure virgin of Christ, the New Testament Church, had seemingly
become, for all intends and purposes, the religious WHORE of Babylon -
- a bejeweled and bedecked and bedeviled harlot, a "shady lady," a
spiritual PROSTITUTE!

"Paganism" was not defeated by the Church. It invaded the church,
infiltrated it, and seduced it from within! The professing Christian
Church became the "new face of paganism"! Only the "names" were
changed. And in some cases -- as in "Easter" Sunday -- even the old
pagan names were left in place!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

End times:
http://www.geocities.com/mart1963/martsindex.htm
JCarew
2003-12-13 22:21:42 UTC
Permalink
JMJ

From: "JCarew" <***@prodigy.net>

Subject: How we got the Date for Christmas

Date: Monday, December 10, 2001 7:38 PM

The designation of December 25th for Christmas
(Christ's Mass in Anglo Saxon, in Old English the
Mass of Christ) was done by Pope(Saint) Julius I
in the 4th century AD

From the "Christmas History" Website(see below)

Actually, Christmas was a movable feast and
was celebrated many different times during
the year. Not until Pope Julius I in the 4th
century AD choose December 25th because it
coincided with the pagan rituals of Winter
Solstice or "Return of the Sun". The purpose
was to replace the pagan celebration with the
Christian one.

11 days were dropped from the year in 1752, when
we switched from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian
Calendar(see note,jc). The date, December 25th
was effectively moved backwards by 11 days. Some
Christian Church Sects, called the "Calendarists",
still celebrate Christmas on January 7th (previously
December 25th of the Julian calendar).

From the Inglewood Care Centre(a non-Catholic
source,btw) Website at:

http://www.inglewoodcarecentre.com/history/christmas_history.htm

Note: The "Gregorian Calendar"(the Calander we
use today in the US) was put into effect by a
decree of Pope Gregory XIII(hence the name
"Gregorian Calendar")in 1582 the change was not
accepted by the English Protestants until the
year 1752 which is where they get the year
they use above.

Jim Carew sfo
Post by martus
Jer 10:2-8 KJVA
(2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not
dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
(3) For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe.
(4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails
and with hammers, that it move not.
(5) They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must
needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for
they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
(6) Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art]
great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(7) Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it
appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and
in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.
(8) But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a
doctrine of vanities.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------
Post by martus
Subject: Is Christmas Christian?
Dear Friends -
There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.
The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.
The December 25th SELLebration of winter solstice does NOT honor God.
The true God has spoken clearly on it. Jesus Christ was born on the
feast of Tabernacles, most likely mid September. There was no room
for them in the inn, because devout Jews from the entire world, were
in Jerusalem, just 6 miles from Bethlehem, for the one required
Jerusalem pilgrimage feast that NO ONE wanted to miss.
Most people on the GJiGT list know what God had to say about the
Christmas tree, is in Jer 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people
are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with
gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
Read all of Jeremiah chapter 10 and explain to children, family,
friends, and Christians, that this SELLebration of the winter
solstice is a waste of time and effort, and the only god it honors is
the god of covetousness.
The Savior was not born on the 25th of December. It is an old Pagan
holiday celebrated many hundred years before His birth. The Christmas
tree also is a relic of heathenism. "Hear ye the Word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, Oh house of Israel. THUS SAITH THE LORD, learn not
the way of the heathen..... for the CUSTOMS of the people are VAIN.
Learn NOT the way of the heathen is the command. This Christmas
custom of the people we are told in Jeremiah chapter 10 is vain. This
all came from old Babylon, and was adopted in the church by the
western so called "CHURCH FATHERS", Eusebius, Jerome, Polycarp,
Justan Martyr, and others, while the Eastern church Fathers were
opposed to all of these heathen customs. For 500 years they all
strictly observed the true Sabbath, while the Western Bishops,
called "Fathers", were in the great falling away. The mystery of
iniquity has now become full. Many today are hearing the Lord say,
Come out of Babylon.
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian"
holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas
really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look at every word on
every page of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD
of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of God's people! It is not
even mentioned once! Neither Christ nor any of His apostles ever
observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Church!
Yet, on the other hand, the pagan, heathen world observed this day
for thousands of years before Christ was even born! Where did the
mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from?
What about the Christmas tree, and the Yule log, and mistletoe, and
Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin?
And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus? It's
high time we address these questions, and take a new look
at "Christmas." Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the
truth about this popular and widespread holiday?
There is a topic on the GJiGT by the title "Is Christmas Christian?"
It is filled with FACTS that can be shocking. It can be a tremendous
help for those NOT SELLebrating their first or second one. The
article is a good read for anyone, at any time; but, for those in the
midst of your FIRST NON-SELLebration it is a GREAT encouragement.
http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/C&E
Millions of "nominal" Christians, who think they are followers of the
religion of Jesus Christ, have been deceived. Not only have they
foolishly embraced erroneous "traditions" as if they
were "Christian," but they have been lied to, by preachers,
ministers, and priests. Most have ASSUMED that they were worshipping
Christ! Yet Jesus Christ Himself warned: "Howbeit IN VAIN DO THEY
WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye HOLD THE TRADITION OF
MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).
In the gospel of Matthew, we find Christ says, "Ye HYPOCRITES, well
did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouths, and honoreth me with their lips; but THEIR HEART
IS FAR FROM ME. But IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Matt.15:7-9).
What is the truth? What is the evidence regarding when Jesus Christ
was born? Was it anywhere NEAR December 25? And if not, then why
believe a lie, and practice and perform a lie?
The birth of Christ is not known for certain, but we can know the
approximate time of year when He was born! In the book of Luke we
read that the father of John the Baptist was Zacharias, and he was a
priest who served at the temple in Jerusalem. He was "of the course
of Abia" (Luke 1:5). While serving at the temple, he was informed by
an angel that his wife was to have a son, who was to be named "John."
After this, Zacharias finished "the days of his ministration,"
and "departed to his own house" (v.23). "And after those days, his
wife Elizabeth conceived . . ." (v.24).
The names of the different courses of priests that served at the
Temple are given in I Chronicles 24:1-19. "Abia" or "Abijah" was the
EIGHTH course. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, each one
of these courses served at the Temple for one week, the first course
serving the first week of Nisan, in the spring (compare I Chron.27:1-
2), and then each course in its own order. All the priests served
during the annual festivals (Passover in spring, Pentecost, and then
Tabernacles in the fall). After six months, the order would be
repeated, thus each "course" would serve two weeks during a year.
The course of Abijah, then, would have served the eighth week in the
rotation. The eighth week from Nisan 1, leaving out the week of
Passover, when all the priests served, would have been IYAR 27 TO
SIVAN 5, the day just before Pentecost, which generally fell on Sivan
6. After serving a week in the Temple, Zacharias would have remained
another week in Jerusalem, because of the Feast of Shavuot or
Pentecost that week. Therefore, he returned home shortly after this,
and his wife then conceived. This would have been about the middle of
June. If we add nine months to this date, the normal time for the
gestation of a human baby in the womb, John the Baptist would have
been born about the middle of March, in the spring, shortly before
the Passover.
Jesus was conceived about six months after John (Luke 1:24-31, esp.
verse 26). This would suggest that Jesus Christ was conceived about
the middle of December. This would place His birth nine months, or
270 days, later -- or the month of September!
If Jesus Christ was not born on December 25, who was? In other words,
whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on
December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? What "Christ"
are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the
translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally
means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, where
we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on
December 25?
In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we find this amazing
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that
much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western
world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of
the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even
became the state worship. . . .
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then,
centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the
central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the
solar orb. . . Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a
massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal
point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday
of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO
CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS
CULT" (p.391- 392).
Notice! Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult
of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of
Jesus Christ! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god,
worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!
In the article on the GJiGT "Is Christmas Christian?" there are many
more interesting facts of history which prove the feast is pagan to
the core. Are we beginning to get the picture? In the fourth century
AFTER Christ, the Church moved to incorporate the birthday of the sun
god into the so-called "Christian" calendar, and converted the pagan
sungod's "birth day" into the birth day of CHRIST Himself! That which
was distinctly and definitely pagan now was "baptized," and by some
act of "magic" was transformed into something "Christian"!
No matter how many Christians, and non-Christians alike, believe
December 25th to be "Christian," it is not, in fact, or in TRUTH. In
fact, it remains an abomination to the true God, and what the bible
over and over calls spiritual harlotry or whoredom. It may now be
called "Christian." But in truth, it still has a pagan heart and core!
These historical observations ought to make us sit up and take
notice! The 'Christianity" that we see around us in the world today
is but a "spin-off" of this ancient syncretism or 'blending"
and "merging" of PAGANISM into the professed Church of Jesus Christ.
The compromised state church, lapsed into apostasy, debauchery,
licentiousness, and impurity. The descendants of the once chaste and
pure virgin of Christ, the New Testament Church, had seemingly
become, for all intends and purposes, the religious WHORE of Babylon -
- a bejeweled and bedecked and bedeviled harlot, a "shady lady," a
spiritual PROSTITUTE!
"Paganism" was not defeated by the Church. It invaded the church,
infiltrated it, and seduced it from within! The professing Christian
Church became the "new face of paganism"! Only the "names" were
changed. And in some cases -- as in "Easter" Sunday -- even the old
pagan names were left in place!
L Perez
2003-12-14 03:59:49 UTC
Permalink
There was a festival celebrated in December in Rome. It is necessary to any
understanding of what is happening at Christmas. That festival was termed
the Saturnalia. It was the festival of Saturn to whom the inhabitants of
Latium, the Latins, attributed agriculture and the arts necessary to
civilised life (Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 2nd ed.,
London 1851, p. 1009). It fell towards the end of December and was viewed by
the population as a time of absolute relaxation and merriment. During its
continuance, the law courts were closed. No public business could be
transacted. The schools kept holiday. To commence a war was impious and to
punish a malefactor involved pollution (ibid.). Slaves were relieved of
onerous toils and permitted to wear the pileus or badge of freedom. They
were granted freedom of speech and were waited on at a special banquet by
their masters whose clothes they wore (ibid.). All ranks devoted themselves
to feasting and mirth with presents exchanged among friends.


Wax tapers were given by the more humble to their superiors. The crowds
thronged the streets and Smith says many of the customs had a remarkable
resemblance to those of Christmas and the Italian carnival (ibid.).


Public gambling was condoned by the authorities as was later card-playing
indulged even by the most rigid in later times at Christmas eve. The whole
populace threw off the toga, wore the loose gown called the synthesis and
walked about with the pileus on their heads. Smith's Dictionary says this
practice is reminiscent of the dominoes, peaked caps and other disguises
worn at later Christmas festivals by masques and mummers. The cerei or wax
tapers or lights, were probably employed as the moccoli are on the last
night of the carnival. Our traditions of Christmas lights probably stems
from this tradition.


Lastly, for amusement in private society, was the election of a mock king
which is immediately recognised in the ceremony of Twelfth Night (ibid.). We
will come across this later.


Sir James George Frazer, in his classic study of magic and religion (The
Golden Bough, McMillan, 1976), says this mock king was an allusion back to
the idyllic days of the reign of Saturn and the slaves being given temporary
freedom at this time hearkened back to these days when all were free and
things were just (ibid., ix, p. 308 ff). Roman soldiers stationed on the
Danube in the reign of Maximian and Diocletian are recorded (by Franz
Cumont) to have chosen a young and handsome man to resemble Saturn from
among them by lot thirty days before the festival. They dressed him in royal
attire to resemble Saturn. He went about in public attended by a retinue of
soldiers and indulged his passions no matter how base and shameful. At the
end of thirty days, he then cut his own throat on the altar of the god he
personated. In the year 303, the lot fell upon the Christian soldier Dasius
but he refused to play the part of the heathen god and to soil his last days
by debauchery. He refused to give in to the intimidation of his commanding
officer Bassus and was accordingly beheaded by the soldier John at
Durostorum on Friday 20 November 303 being the twenty-fourth day of the Moon
at the fourth hour (Frazer, ibid.).


This historical account has been confirmed, after its publication by Franz
Cumont, by the discovery in the crypt of the cathedral at Ancona, of the
white marble sarcophagus in script characteristic of the age of Justinian
with the Greek inscription:

Here lies the holy martyr Dasius, brought from Durostorum.

The sarcophagus had been brought there from the church of St Pellegrino in
1848 where it lay under the high altar and was recorded as being there in
1650 (Frazer, p. 310).


Frazer says this sets a new light on the nature of the Lord of the
Saturnalia, the ancient Lord of Misrule, who presided over the winter revels
at Rome (ibid., p. 311). Here we see the extent of the traditions and the
elements of human sacrifice which extend into the festivals in both December
and at the equinox. Dasius the Christian suffered martyrdom rather than
participate in these revels.


As Saturnus was an ancient national god of Latium, the institution of the
Saturnalia is lost in remote antiquity (ibid.).

There are three traditions associated with it.


It is ascribed to Janus who on the sudden disappearance of his benefactor
from the abodes of men erected an altar to him as a deity in the forum and
ordained annual sacrifices.

According to Varro, it is attributed to the wanderings of Pelasagi on their
first settlement in Italy. Hercules then on his return from Spain was said
to have abolished the worship and practice of immolating human sacrifice;
and

The third tradition attributes the Saturnalia to the followers of Hercules
who set it up after his return to Greece.

In either of the last two we see a commonality. The practice of this
agricultural festival thus has certain common elements with the spring
festival of Easter as we will see later. The element of human sacrifice
common to all traditions can also be traced to the worship of Moloch as the
Moon god Sin and also of Ishtar (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
This sacrificial aspect also appeared in the worship of the god Attis (see
below).


The erection of temples in historical times are recorded, such as during the
reign of Tatius, Tarquinius superbus, to the consulship of A Sempronius or M
Minucius (497 BCE) or in that of T Larcius the previous year. It appears the
ceremonies were at varying stages neglected or corrupted and then revived
and extended (ibid.).


The Saturnalia originally fell on 14 Kalend January. When the Julian
calendar was introduced it was extended to 16 Kalend January which caused
confusion among the more ignorant and Augustus enacted that three whole days
(namely 17, 18 and 19 December) should be hallowed in all time coming
(ibid.). Some unknown authority added a fourth day and Caligula added a
fifth day, the Juvenalis. This fell into disuse and was later restored by
the emperor Claudius.


Strictly speaking, one day only was consecrated to religious observance in
the days of the Republic. However, the celebrations lasted over a much
longer period. Historically, Livy speaks of the first day of the Saturnalia
(Liv. xxx, 36). Cicero writes of the second and third days (ad Att., v 20;
xv 32). From Novius (Attelanae) the term seven days of the Saturnalia was
used and this phrase was also used by Memmius (Macrobius, i, 10) and Martial
(xiv, 72; cf. Smith, ibid.). Martial also speaks of the five days enacted by
Caligula and Claudius.

These five days have an ancient calendrical significance also.


Smith says that in reality three festivals were involved over this period.

The Saturnalia proper commenced on 17 December (16 Kalend December).


This was followed by the Opalia (14 Kalend January or 19 December) which was
anciently coincidental to the Saturnalia. These two together lasted for five
days. This festival was celebrated in honour of Opis who was allegedly the
wife of Saturn. Originally, it was celebrated on the same day and, thus, the
Mother goddess and lover theme is evident in the origins of this festival.
We will meet this theme throughout. The followers of Opis paid their vows
sitting and touched the earth of whom she was goddess (Smith, ibid., art.
Opalia, p. 835).


The sixth and seventh days were occupied by the Sigillaria which was named
for the little earthenware figures which were displayed for sale on the
period as toys to be given as presents for children.

Thus, the period ran from 17 December until 23 December under the Julian
Calendar, when the presents were given to the children.


We now proceed to examine further the theology behind these festivals. The
commonality of the traditions of the festivals are too obvious to be
ignored.


The Heavenly Virgin as Mother goddess

Frazer notes that:

the worship of the Great Mother of the Gods and her lover or son was very
popular under the Roman Empire (v, pp. 298 ff),

From the inscription we know that the two [as Mother and lover or Mother and
son] received divine honours not only in Italy but in all the provinces -
particularly in Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Bulgaria
(ibid.). Their worship survived the establishment of Christianity by
Constantine.


Thus, the symbolism of the Heavenly Virgin and the infant child paraded on a
yearly basis are not of Christian origin. They stem from the Mother goddess
religion which is very ancient. We will see more of this later.


Frazer notes Symmachus as recording the festival of the Great Mother. In the
days of Augustine her effeminate priests still paraded the streets and
squares of Carthage and, like the mendicant friars of the middle ages,
begged alms from the passers-by (ibid., cf. S Dill Roman Society in the Last
Century of the Western Empire, London, 1899, p. 16; and Augustine City of
God, vii, 26).


The Greeks on the other hand rejected the more barbarous rites in favour of
those similar but gentler rites of the worship of Adonis (ibid.).

Frazer says that the same features which shocked and repelled the Greeks
were what attracted the Romans and the barbarians of the west (ibid., pp.
298-299).

The ecstatic frenzies which were mistaken for divine inspiration, the
mangling of the body and the theory of a new birth and the remission of sin
through the shedding of blood, have all their origin in savagery (ibid.).

Frazer holds that their true character was often disguised under a decent
veil of allegory and philosophical interpretation which drew the more
cultivated of them to things which might otherwise have filled them with
horror and disgust. Modern Pentecostalism draws its inspiration from the
ideas behind these religious festivals.


The religion of the Great Mother was only one of a multitude of similar
oriental faiths which spread across the Roman Empire imposing themselves on
the Europeans. According to Frazer, this gradually undermined the whole
fabric of ancient civilisation.


The entire Greek and Roman society was based on the concept of the subordina
tion of individual to the state and one's whole life was dedicated to the
perpetuation of the society. If one shrank from supreme sacrifice then it
never occurred to anyone that they acted other than for base reasons.


Oriental religion taught the reverse of this doctrine. It inculcated the
communion of the "Soul" with God and its eternal salvation as the only
objects of existence and in comparison with the prosperity and even the
existence of the state were insignificant.


The inevitable consequence of this selfish and immoral doctrine was to draw
the individual more and more from the public service and to concentrate, in
the individual, a contempt for the present life.


The misapplication of these mystery doctrines or oriental religions and
their application in Gnosticism, when placed on the biblical narrative of
the City of God as a spiritual edifice, was to have disastrous consequences
for the ordering of society. The effect was to loosen the ties of the family
and the state and to generally disintegrate the political body of the state.
The society tended to relapse into its individual elements and thereby into
barbarism. Civilisation is only possible through the active cooperation of
the individual and the subordination of the interests of the individual to
that of the common good (ibid., p. 301).


People refused to defend their countries and even to continue their own kind
in ascetic celibacy (ibid., see also the papers Vegetarianism and the Bible
(No. 183) and also Wine in the Bible (No. 188)).


Frazer holds that this obsession lasted for a thousand years. He held that
it only changed at the end of the Middle Ages with the revival of Roman law,
of Aristotelian philosophy and of ancient art and literature to saner and
more manly views of the world. The fact of the matter is that if the true
biblical model was implemented no such problem would have existed. The
problem arose from Oriental Mysteries combined with the Gnostic system which
is more prevalent today. Frazer held that the tide of this oriental invasion
had turned at last and was ebbing still. He was wrong in this regard
although he also allows that bad government and a ruinous fiscal system are
two major causes which strike down civilisations as they did the Turkish
Empire in his day.


We will look at the effects of the Great Mother religion and the Mithras
system and its applications under Gnostic influence in Christianity to see
that it is still there as strong as ever in more subtle forms. Yet much of
its traditional trappings are the same.

Mithras

One of the gods who competed for the worship of the west was the Persian
deity Mithra.


The immense popularity of this cult should not be underestimated. The
monuments dedicated to this system are scattered all over the Roman Empire
and right through Europe (a map of the extent of the monuments is found in
David Ulansey The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, Oxford, New York, 1989,
p. 5).


This was a secret cult whose mysteries were never written down and, so,
little is known exactly of their ritual except what we can deduce from their
shrines and places of worship. However, we do know that they had two forms
of worship. The private and secret form was Mithraism. The public form,
however, was Elagabalism and we know more of its system from this. Both were
based on Sun worship.


Much of its religion was similar to the religion of the Mother of the Gods
and also to what was understood to have been later Christianity (cf. Frazer,
ibid., p. 302). The similarity struck the Christian doctors themselves and
it was explained to them as the work of the devil by counterfeiting a
version of the true faith (ibid.). Tertullian explained how the fasts of
Isis and Cybele were similar to the fasts of Christianity (De jejunio 16).


Justin Martyr explains how the death, resurrection and ascension of
Dionysius, the virgin birth of Perseus, and Bellerophon mounted on Pegasus
were parodies of the true Christian stories written by the demons in
advance, even down to the story of Christ riding on an ass which was
contained in the Psalms as prophecy (cf. Apol., i, 54).


The conflict between Mithraism and Christianity was so great that for a time
the outcome hung in the balance. The fact of the matter is that the result
was decided by adopting their practices and giving them Christian names. The
most important single relic of this pagan syncretism is that of Christmas
which Frazer says the Church seems to have borrowed directly from its
heathen rival (p. 303).


The army became devotees of Mithras and it is obvious from the records
regarding Dasius that the Saturnalia was held in conjunction with the
worship of Mithras. Thus, the Saturnalia simply preceded the Solstice
festival and became a part of it.


Christmas and the Heavenly Virgin

In the Julian calendar, 25 December was reckoned as the winter solstice
(Frazer, ibid., p. 303; cf. Pliny Natural History, xviii, p. 221). It was
regarded as the nativity of the Sun as its days began to lengthen and its
power increase from that turning point of the year.


The ritual of the nativity, Frazer holds, as it was celebrated in Syria and
Egypt was remarkable. The celebrants retired into certain inner shrines from
which at midnight they issued a loud cry, The Virgin has brought forth! The
Light is waxing! (ibid., cf. Cosmas Hierosolymitanus, see fn. 3 to p. 303)


The Egyptians even represented the newborn Sun by an image of an infant
which, on his birthday (the winter solstice), they brought forth and
exhibited to his worshippers (ibid., cf., Macrobius Saturnalia, i, 18, 10)

Frazer says:

No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a son on the twenty-fifth of
December was the great Oriental goddess whom the Semites called the Heavenly
Virgin or simply the Heavenly Goddess; in Semitic lands she was a form of
Astarte (ibid., noting Franz Cumont s.v. Caelestis in Pauly-Wissowa's
Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, v, 1, 1247, sqq).

This is the origin of the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of the mother
of Jesus Christ. It has no basis in the Bible or in fact. Christ's mother
was not named Mary and the Bible is clear that she bore other children. We
will return to this myth later.


The legend of the three kings

25 December was an ancient Sun-worshipping festival and the three kings
associated with it do not appear to relate to the wise men from the east in
the biblical narrative but to a perhaps older tradition relating to the
so-called twelve days of Christmas. The Twelfth Day sequence is associated
with the three kings in France, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Austria. Their
names are Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. In Germany and Austria it is known
as the Day of the Three Kings (Dreikonigstag) and in France as the Festival
of the Kings (Fête des Rois). The kings go around in some areas represented
by mummers who sing songs and collect from the householders. It is given a
Christian basis but there is no basis in the Bible for assuming there were
three people (other than the three types of gifts) or that they were kings.
They are recorded as magi or wise men. This seems to have another basis (cf.
Frazer, ix, p. 329). From the customs in Franche-Comte and also the Vosges
Mountains, Melchior is supposed to have been a black king and the face of
the boy playing him is blackened (ibid., p. 330). These three are invoked
for healing with rituals involving three nails placed in the earth. This
smacks of the triune systems of the Celts in France long before the
Christian system.


In Czech and German Bohemia, the rituals of fumigation and spices are found
being used on the twelfth day. The initials C.M.B (Caspar, Melchior and
Balthasar) together with three crosses are marked on doors after fumigation
to guard against evil influences and infectious diseases. They were invoked
under the words pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths.


The Lord of Misrule and the King of Beans

In this tradition also we see the Lord of Misrule emerge among the
traditions. The full extent of time was from All-hallows eve (31 October,
the eve of All Saints day) to Candlemas (2 February). Generally, it was
however confined to the twelve days at Christmas, termed the twelve nights.
The Lord of Misrule was elected from the Court of the Sovereign in England
through every office of the land. This Lord of Misrule was also elected at
Merton College Oxford as King of the Beans (cf. Frazer, ix, p. 332).


The Festival of Fools

In France, the counterparts of the English Lords of Misrule masqueraded as
mock clergy, bishops, archbishops, popes or abbots. This was known as the
Festival of Fools and was held either on Christmas day, St Stephen's day (26
December), New Year's day, or Twelfth day depending on place.


At these times there were parodies of the most solemn rites of the church
where priests wearing masks and sometimes dressed as women danced in the
choir and sang obscene chants; laymen disguised as monks mingled with the
clergy and the altar was turned into a tavern where the deacons and
sub-deacons ate sausage and black-pudding or played dice and cards under the
nose of the celebrant. The censers were filled with bits of old shoes,
filling the church with a foul stench.


In some areas of France, for example at Autun, an ass was led into the
church where a parody of the mass was said over it. A regular Latin liturgy
was said over it and the celebrant priest initiated the braying of an ass
(Frazer, pp. 334-335).


At Beauvais on 14 January a young woman with a child in her arms rode on the
back of an ass allegedly in imitation of the flight into Egypt. She was led
in triumph from the cathedral to the parish church of St Stephen where she
and the ass were placed on the left side of the altar. A long mass was said
consisting of scraps borrowed indiscriminately from many church services
throughout the year. The singers quenched their thirst in the intervals as
did the congregation and the ass was fed and watered. Afterwards, the ass
was brought from the chancel into the nave where the entire congregation,
clergy and laity danced round it braying like asses. After vespers, a large
procession proceeded to a great theatre opposite the church where they
watched indecent farces.


All of this is reminiscent of the rites in North Africa of the effeminate
priests of the Mother Goddess system and the Saturnalia. Frazer says there
is no direct evidence that one is derived from the other but the Saturnalia,
with the licence that characterised it and the temporary reign of a mock
king, makes it appear so (ix, p. 339). These traditions were kept up until
the nineteenth century when Victorian England and Napoleonic France
following on the Revolution did away with them in some fashion. They were
replaced as we will see with another form of the same errors. Much of the
modern insanity derives from the USA and its commercialism.


The twelve days of Christmas, cakes, beans and money

The King of the Bean is also associated with the Festival of Fools in France
and there is a more ancient significance to it. The Festival of Fools goes
on to the Twelfth day of Christmas (Twelfth Night is the night of 6
January). The eve, which is 5 January and thus the Epiphany of 6 January,
marks the end of the two periods of the pre-Christmas festivities which are
associated with the Saturnalia and the Sun system which commence from the
Solstice on 25 December and continue until 5 January.


In some areas, the king has a queen consort both of whom have an
agricultural significance and seem to be related to the rites also of the
Saturnalia.


The king and queen are elected by lot on the Twelfth Night (i.e. Epiphany 6
January) or on the eve of that festival on 5 January. It was common in
France, Belgium, Germany and England. It is still kept in some parts of
France. The Court acknowledged the practice and each family elected its own
king. On the eve of the festival, a great cake was baked with a bean in it.
It was divided into portions - one for each member of the family; one for
God; one for the Heavenly Virgin and, sometimes, one for the poor. The
person getting the portion with the bean was proclaimed King of the Bean
(Frazer, ix, p. 313). Sometimes a second bean was placed in the cake for the
election of the queen. At Blankenheim near Neuerburg, in the Eiffel a black
and a white bean were baked in the cake - the black for the king and the
white for the queen. In Franche-Comte they used to put as many white haricot
beans in a hat as there where people present. Two coloured beans were
included and drawn at random by a child. Those receiving the coloured beans
were king and queen.


In England, the practice was to put a bean in the hat for the king and a pea
for the queen. However, in some places, only the king was elected by lot and
he chose his queen himself. Sometimes a coin was substituted for the bean in
the cake. This custom was followed in southern Germany as early as the first
half of the sixteenth century. It is, however, considered by Frazer to be a
variation on the earlier bean. It shows reasonably clearly that the custom
of placing coins in Christmas pudding stems from this custom of an earlier
time.


In France, the young child present was placed under a table. It was
addressed as Phoebe or Tebe and he answered in Latin Domine. The pieces of
the cake were distributed according to the child's direction. The etymology
has been attributed to the oracle of Apollo by some scholars. Frazer thinks
it may be simply derived from the word for the bean (Lat. faba, Fr. fève).


Every time the king or queen drank the company cried the king or queen
drinks and they all did likewise. Anyone failing to do so had their faces
blackened by corks or soot or the lees of wine. In some parts of the
Ardennes, the practice was to fasten great horns of paper in the hair and
put a huge pair of spectacles on their nose. This was worn until the end of
the festival. This is probably the origin of the Dunce's Cap.


This is still kept in northern France where a miniature porcelain figure is
substituted for the bean and drawn by a child. If it is drawn by a boy he
chooses his queen; if it drawn by a girl she chooses her king.


These kings and queens placed white crosses on the rafters of houses to ban
hobgoblins, witches and bugs. There was, however, a more serious
significance to some of the office. In Lorraine, the height of the hemp crop
was said to be determined from the height of the king and queen. If the king
was taller, the male hemp would be higher than the female and vice versa. In
the Vosges Mountains on the border of France-Compte, the practice of dancing
on the roof was observed to make the hemp grow tall.


In many areas, the beans used in the cake were taken to be blessed by the
clergy and divination was employed on Twelfth Night to determine the month
of the year in which the price of wheat would be dearest.


The practice of lighting bonfires is still carried out in some areas and, at
the time Frazer wrote, it was still done in the Montagne du Doubs on the eve
of Twelfth Night (ix, p. 316). This was seemingly to ensure the fertility of
the crops. There seems to be a definite, if distant, relationship to the
Yule festivals of the pagans.


While it burned, the people danced around it singing Good year come back,
Bread and wine come back!


The youth of Pontarlier carry torches over the sowed lands shouting
couaille, couaille, blanconnie; the meaning of which is lost in antiquity.


In the Bocage of Normandy on the same day, it is the fruit trees that are
fired. These twinkling lights are everywhere as the peasants celebrate the
Ceremony of the Moles and Field-mice (Taupes et Mulots). Villages compete in
the blaze and woods and hedges are scoured for materials. They scour the
fields threatening the moles and field mice and, thus, they believe the crop
will be larger that autumn.


The bonfires on the eve of Epiphany were also observed in the Ardennes. It
is useful to look at the customs here in regard to festivals of the goddess
Hecate in Rome and Europe generally and the fields and the crosses involved
there (cf. the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).


Similar fire customs are experienced in the UK in Gloucester and in
Hertfordshire with twelve fires at the end of twelve lands (Gloucester)
designed to prevent smut in wheat. There is a thirteenth larger fire lit in
both cases - the latter being on a hill (Frazer, ix, p. 318).


This custom of making twelve fires of straw and drinking toasts of cider or
ale is called Wassailing and is ancient. Oxen are also toasted in this
strange ritual in some areas with a cake placed on the horns of the lead ox
and then thrown by tickling the ox.


The explanation of the practice of lighting fires and especially this
largest is found in examination against the practice not only in UK and
France but in Macedonia. The large fires are to burn the witches and
malefactors that roam the fields at night. They are called by the
Macedonians karkantzari or skatzanzari. They are overcome by binding with
straw rope. They resume their human shape during the day. Over the twelve
days of Christmas, they must be overcome by strenuous effort. Some places
start on Christmas eve and in others it continues or is done on Twelfth
Night.


On Christmas eve, some people burn the karkantzari by burning holm-oak
faggots and throwing them out in the streets at early dawn. Here, again, we
have reference to the Yule festivals of the Druids. The later oak faggots
were remnants of the earlier log burning.


In Ireland, they set up sheaves of oats. This was done in Roscommon where
they held that Twelfth Night which is Old Christmas Day is greater than
Christmas Day itself (Frazer, ix, p. 321).


They set up thirteen candles in the sheaf, twelve smaller and one greater in
the centre and attribute these to the apostles at the Last Supper; but these
are at Christmas and not Passover. Thirteen candles of rushlight named after
each member of the family (or relations to make up the number) are placed in
cakes of cow dung and burned to determine the length of life of each person
(ix, p. 322).


The origin of candles

The use of candles goes back to the ancient Aryan religion which used them
at the Yule ceremony to ward of the gods of thunder, storm and tempest
(Frazer, x, p. 264 (n. 4) and also p. 265). They were lit and tied to the
sacred oak (ibid., ii, 327).


In some areas (Ruthenia and Europe generally) they were used by thieves and
burglars to cause sleep (Frazer, i, pp. 148-149) and in this case they were
made of human tallow (ibid., i, p. 236). Parts of the human anatomy were
also used as candles or human bones were filled with tallow made from the
fat of hanged men (ibid., p. 149). Sometimes, candles were made from the
fingers of new born or, preferably as they saw it, unborn children. As late
as the seventeenth century in Europe robbers used to murder pregnant women
to extract such candles from their wombs (ibid.).


Candles were burnt to ward off witches. They entered Christianity through
the Catholic or Orthodox Church (cf. Frazer, ibid., i, p. 13).


The ancient Aryan practice continued among the Germans of lighting new fire
by means of a Bonfire at Easter and sending the sticks to each home to start
the fires to ward off the gods of thunder, storm and tempest. The practice
was introduced to Catholicism as the Easter candle. This single giant candle
was lit at Easter on Saturday night before the Easter Sunday and then all
the candles of the church were lit from it. This continued for the year
until next Easter when the single Easter candle was again lit.


The practice of lighting the candle appears to take place on the night
before the day of the Sun as part of the ancient Sun worshipping system.


In the Temple, incense was burned. Candles were not burned other than as the
Menorah.


This practice of burning lights as candles or tapers was similar to that of
the Saturnalia. We know from the Book of Baruch 6:19 ff that the practice of
lighting candles before idols overlaid with precious metals was Babylonian.
The practice of lighting multiple candles probably entered Judaism through
the Babylonian system. We will deal with it in more detail in the section on
Easter.


The Menorah was seven branched and ordered by God for the Temple. In
Solomon's Temple, there were ten tables of seven candles representing the
Council of the Elohim of which the Sanhedrin was a copy. The nine branches
are given mystical symbolism. There is no biblical authority for them.


Weather

The weather of the twelve days of Christmas was said to determine the
weather of the forthcoming year.


It is based on what appears to be a form of ancient zodiacal division of
dividing the twelve days into four quadrants of three days per quadrant.
This was done in the British Isles and it extended through Germany and
German Austria into western Europe.


From the weather on each of the twelve days it was possible to divine the
weather of each successive month of the year. It was held to be accurate and
apply also to the Twelfth day itself where the weather on each hour would
determine the weather for the corresponding month. The days were thus a
system of divination for the year ahead in its agricultural aspects.


In Swabia, the days were called the twelve lot days. More precise divination
was determined by making twelve circles divided into four quadrants. Each
quadrant represented a quarter of the month. These were drawn on paper and
hung over the door. As each day of the twelve days passed from Christmas to
Epiphany, the weather on each quarter day was shaded and the weather for
that quarter month was determined.


In Switzerland, Germany and Austria it was done somewhat differently. On
Christmas, New Year's day or on another of the twelve days, one sliced an
onion in two, peeled off twelve coats, and sprinkled a pinch of salt in each
of them. From the moisture left in them the next morning, it was considered
possible to determine the weather for the next twelve months of the year.


This was not confined to the Germanic tribes or the Teutons - it was found
also in France and among the Celts of Brittany and in Scotland.


In the Bocage of Normandy, the temperature was divined for the year from the
temperature of the twelve days. This was considered more accurate than the
predictions of the Double-Liégois. In Cornouaille Brittany, the twelve days
were determined from Christmas to the Epiphany - being the last six days of
December and the first six of January. In other parts of Brittany and in
Scotland the twelve days were determined from 1 January. They were known in
Brittany as the gour-deziou or male days. It is said to mean properly the
additional or supplementary days. This concept takes us back to another
ancient concept of the calendar and the five excess days of the year.


The Scots from their almanac from the last day of December or the first day
of January (depending on place) determining the weather by that of the
twelve days. Thus, January is determined by the weather of 31 December and
so on as an infallible rule.


The Celts of Scotland, as elsewhere in France, are divided as to the
beginning of the days either at Christmas on 1 January or on 31 December.
Frazer considers this an important indicator of the origin of the beliefs
(ibid., ix, p. 24).


This concept is very ancient and is found among the Aryans of the Vedic age
in India. This predates Christ by many centuries.

They, too, appear to have invested days in midwinter with a sacred character
as a time when the three Ribhus or genii of the seasons rested from their
labours in the home of the sun-god, and these twelve rest-days they called
'an image or copy of the year' (Frazer, ix, pp. 324-325).

Frazer follows A Weber in this explanation of the common views of the East
and West (cf. fn. 3 to ix, p. 325).


The system was thus an ancient system of the Aryans who conquered India from
the Steppes with the use of iron age implements and harnessed horses about
1000 BCE.


Their relatives took the same festivals west into Europe. These movements
are part of the dispersion of the ancient mysteries of the Babylonian system
which found its way into the nomadic Shamans. This religion was Animism.


Ancient calendar systems

The division of the twelve days came from the ancient Aryan calendar which
was divided according to the phases of the Moon and not that of the Sun. The
various Aryan languages have the name for month as the name for Moon.


The days of the month alternate between twenty nine and thirty days every
two months. These days at fifty-nine times six fall short of the actual
solar year by almost twelve days (eleven and one quarter days).


This appears to have been an intercalation to adjust the lunar to the solar
year which was a perversion of the true intercalation system adopted by the
Hebrews and the Assyro-Babylonians and the Greco-Romans. It thus seems to
have been a perversion of Sun-worship from the earliest days of the
movements of the Middle Eastern tribes. The Celtic Hittites, being the first
to move into Europe, took the system with them and its implementation
corrupted subsequent colonisation from the Assyrian relocations and the
movement of the Parthian and Gothic horde.


We now know much more about the calendar system in use in Europe and the
midwinter solstice in use in Europe and the UK. The circles were designed to
determine the solstice exactly on midwinter's day.


The twelve days were distinct from the five days and they appear to have
been variously added to or combined in different areas.


It appears that the five extra days of the year making the 365 days over and
above the 360 days considered to be the normal year was a very ancient
belief and system of intercalary practice where, from the Mayas of Yucatan
to the pyramids of Egypt, people regarded them as useless for any religious
or civil purpose and did nothing on those days. This may have also had some
basis for the practices. The texts of the pyramids expressly mention the
five days over and above the year comprised of twelve months of thirty days
(ibid., p. 340). The Aztecs and the American system, however, has eighteen
months of twenty days and so did not follow any lunar system. The five days
were considered, because of their mathematical values in the divisions of
the calendar, to be useless and the object of no work and a general malaise
of the society. This had no relationship to the Hebrew prophetic year of
twelve thirty-day months which is a symbolic idealisation of the actual
revolutions of the true intercalary nineteen year cycle. This religious
symbolism and structure is detailed in the Bible.


The five day sequence related to the calendar in

use in solar systems or Sun-worshipping systems. The twelve days were an
adjustment of the lunar to the solar which one would expect to find in the
more ancient Moon-Sun-Morning Star systems which were common at the time of
the Exodus (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).


The Sun god

25 December was also associated with Mithras, as he was Sun god.


The Catholic liturgist Mario Righetti (in addition to Duchesne and also
Cullman) held that:

After the peace of the Church of Rome, to facilitate the acceptance of the
faith by the pagan masses, found it convenient to institute the 25th of
December as the feast of the temporal birth of Christ, to divert them from
the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honour of the "Invincible
Sun" Mithras, the conqueror of darkness (fn 74, II, p. 67 quote also in
Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday, Pontifical Gregorian University Press,
Rome, 1977, p. 260).

Thus, Mithras was the god of the festival of the solstice on 25 December
which followed immediately on from the Saturnalia. With this deity, we see
Sunday worship emerge in Rome.


The dedications to Mithra was as Soli invicto Mithrae or the Invincible
Sun - the Unconquered Sun as Frazer terms it (p. 304). It was also related
to him as Sol Invictus Elagabal in the public form of the religion.


The term Father was a rank held by the priests of Mithra. The term is
forbidden to Christians (Mat. 23:9). It entered Christianity with the
Mystery cults.


What actually occurred was that the original calendars of the Roman system
began the week on Saturday and were in use in the first years of the
Augustan era (27 BCE to 14 CE) following the discovery of the calendar of
Nola (cf. A Degrassi, fn. 26, p. 104; cf. Bacchiocchi, ibid., p. 244). This
structure appears to be related to the system of Mithras (as we know from
the Epicurean Celcus (c. 140-180 CE) where the Sun occupied the highest
place on the ladder of ascent through the seven gates of

the Mithraic ladder from Saturn to the Sun. This is classic Shamanism and is
practiced by animistic religion throughout the world. In Origen Contra
Celsum, 6,21-22 we see that Celsus lists the planets in the reverse order
enabling the Sun to occupy the significant seventh position.


We later see this system emerge as the eight day symbolism in the Roman
system for the week beginning on Saturn's day or Saturday and ending with
the day of the Sun or Sunday which was always a holiday. The planetary week
was also not in the accepted order of the planets and people could not
account for the difference (cf. Plutarch Complete Works, III, p. 230; cf.
Bacchiocchi, ibid., p. 246).


The differences can be seen also by comparison with the Ziggurat of the
Babylonian system and the seven levels of ascent to the Moon god there (cf.
the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).


The statement of Tertullian (Ad Nationes, 1, 13, ANF, III, p. 123), attempts
to refute the charge of Sun-worship. Tertullian admits that, by then,
Christians had commenced praying towards the east and made Sunday a day of
festivity. He directly places the responsibility for Sunday worship over the
Sabbath on the Sun-worshipping cults where he says they selected its day in
preference to the previous day of the week (i.e. the Sabbath or Saturday)
(cf. Bacchiocchi, pp. 248-249). However, by then, they were both worshipping
on that day as well as the Christian Sabbath.


Prayer to the Sun in the east

Apparently, prayer to the east originated by prayer towards Jerusalem as
Irenaeus mentions being the custom of the Ebionites (Adv. Her., 1,26, ANF,
I, p. 352). By the time of Clement of Alexandria and Origen, we see the
orientation to be towards the source of light that dispels the darkness of
the night although Clement still mentions the ancient temples (Stromateis,
7,7,43, GCS, 3, 32; cf. Bacchiocchi, p. 255).


Bacchiocchi makes it clear that the association between the Christian Sunday
and the pagan veneration of the day of the Sun is not explicit before the
time of Eusebius (c. 260-340 CE). Although previous writers associated him
as true light and sun of justice, no deliberate attempt prior to Eusebius
was made to justify Sunday observance by means of the symbology of the day
of the Sun (ibid., p. 261).


The process thus entered Christianity by means of the earlier December
festival, which was originally derived from the worship of Saturn and Opis
in the Saturnalia, and its association with the Heavenly Virgin or Mother
goddess and her infant child.


The gospels say nothing as to the day of Christ's birth and the early Church
did not celebrate it.


The custom of celebrating Christ's birth began in Egypt, being derived from
the Mother goddess cult there, and the Christians there celebrated it on 6
January. By the fourth century it had become generally established in the
East (Frazer, v, p. 304). The western church had never recognised 6 January
as the true date and, in time, its decision was accepted by the eastern
church. At Antioch this change was not introduced until about 375 CE
(Frazer, ibid.).


The origin of the practice is plainly recorded by the Syrian Christians as
we see from Frazer quoting also Credner and Momsen and also Usener (v, pp.
304-305).

The reason why the fathers transferred the celebration of the sixth of
January to the twenty fifth of December was this. It was a custom of the
heathen to celebrate on the same twenty-fifth of December the birthday of
the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these
solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part. Accordingly when
the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to
this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should
be solemnized on that day and the festival of the Epiphany on the sixth of
January. Accordingly, along with this custom, the practice has prevailed of
kindling fires till the sixth.

Thus, the Saturnalia led up to the solstice when presents were given to
children from 23 December or now Christmas eve on 24 December in the
Gregorian calendar. The rites of the solstice then took over from the
original Saturnalia but the period then became lengthened from three to
seven days to which was added the twelve days.


When we count five days from 25 December we come to 31 December from which
some of the Celts and Germans begin the count. The addition of St Stephen's
Day (or Boxing Day) brings the five day period from 27 December in line to 1
January.


The pagan origin of Christmas is also evident in Augustine when he exhorts
his brethren not to celebrate this solemn day like the heathen on account of
the Sun but on account of him who made the Sun (Au ustine Serm., cxc, 1; in
Migne Patriologia Latina, xxxviii, 1007). Leo called the Great likewise
rebuked the pestilent belief that Christmas was solemnised because of the
birth of the new Sun, and not because of the nativity of Christ (Frazer,
ibid.; cf. Leo the Great Serm., xxii (al xxi) 6 and Migne, liv, 198).

However, by then, it was a hopeless cause. The entire system was endemic to
Christianity and the Mother goddess cult was entrenched.


Frazer says:

Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate the birthday of
its Founder on the twenty-fifth of December in order to transfer the
devotion of the heathen from the Sun to him who was called the Sun of
Righteousness (p. 305).

There was a theory put forward by one Mgr Duchesne that 25 December arose
from the conformity with the equinox on 25 March and this was the day on
which Christ was killed and also on which his mother conceived. This digs an
even deeper pit because 25 March was indeed initially adopted in Africa and
elsewhere as the date of the crucifixion. However, it was on a Sunday in the
only year that 14 Nisan could have fallen on 25 March. It is thus
destructive to the theory. Moreover, 25 March is associated with the
festival of the god Attis as Frazer notes in his footnote to page 305. We
will examine this in the sections below.


The Goat and the Bear

On the twelve days we also see mummers playing the part of a goat and a
bear.


In the highlands of Scotland and St Kilda down until the last half of the
eighteenth century, at least a cowherd would wrap himself in a skin on New
Year's eve. The young people would meet and with staves they would beat the
hide as a drum and proceed from house to house where the one covered with
the hide runs three times round deiseil, i.e. in the way the Sun revolves.
He was pursued by the crowd crying in Gaelic:

let us raise the noise louder and louder let us beat the hide (Frazer, viii,
p. 323).

They go from house to house repeating verses. On entry, they call down
blessings on the house and its cattle, stones and timber, its produce and
health. A part of the hide was then burnt and applied to the noses of every
person and domestic animal in order to protect the inhabitants against
disease and misfortune for the coming year.


This last day of the year is called Hogmanay.


Each of the party, after the rhyme had been said and the Rann Calluin or
Christmas Rhyme had been repeated, in return entered and had refreshment.
The general thing that was burnt in lieu of the strip of hide was a
Casein-uchd made of the breast strip of a sheep (or deer or goat) wrapped
around the point of a shinty stick. This was singed in the fire and put
three times around the family and to the nose of all. No drink was taken
until this ceremony had been completed. The purpose was to protect the
household against witchcraft and disease.


On the Isle of Man, the feather of the wren was used (viii, p. 324).


The custom appears to be related to an older custom involving human
sacrifice. Frazer notes that the Khonds slew a human victim as a divinity
and took him from house to house and everyone took a relic of his sacred
person (cf. i, pp. 246 ff). The cowhide no doubt substituted for this
victim. The communion substituted for the body and blood of the god.

While these customs may not have connection with agriculture, the similar
customs of Plough Monday certainly do and the processions we see in Europe
of men clad as animals probably identify with the corn spirit. They may have
association with the Gilyak procession of the bear and the Indian procession
of the snake (ibid.).


Often in these processions (as in the last days of the carnival in Bohemia)
a man was swathed from head to foot in pease-straw and wrapped around in
straw ropes (Frazer, ibid.). This harkens back to the wicca man in ancient
Britain.


These festivals of agriculture were associated with both the midwinter
solstice and the spring equinox - both heralding the return of growth and
warmth and life as the power of the Sun and summer to nature.


The Bohemian man goes by the name of the Shrovetide or Carnival bear
(Fastnachtsbär).


After he has danced at every house with the girls and maids and the
housewife herself they all retire to the ale house:

For at Shrovetide, but especially at Shrove Tuesday, every one must dance,
if the flax, the vegetables and the corn are to thrive (Frazer, viii, p.
326).

The straw of the bear is put in the nests of the hens and geese. The bear
represents the spirit of fertility. The purpose of the dancing is to make
fertile both animal and vegetable in all aspects.


In parts of Bohemia, this person is not called a bear but an oats-goat.


In Prussian Lithuania on Twelfth day a man is wrapped in pease-straw to
represent the bear and another in oats-straw to represent the goat.


In Marburg in Steiermark, men appear as both a wolf and a bear (Frazer,
ibid.).


The man who gave the last stroke at threshing is called the wolf. He keeps
the name Wolf until Christmas when he is wrapped in a goat's skin and led
from house to house as a pease-bear at the end of a rope. His dress as a
goat marks him out and appears to associate the symbols of goat and bear and
wolf in this ancient ritual of the corn-spirit.


In Scandinavia, the appearance of the corn-spirit as a goat is common
(ibid.). In Sweden, led about with horns on his head, he personated the
Yule-goat. In parts of Sweden they make a pretence of slaughtering the goat
who comes to life again (ibid., p. 327). The two men who slaughter him sing
verses referring to the mantles of varying colours, red, blue, white and
yellow, which they laid on him.


After supper on Christmas evening, the people dance the "angel dance" to
ensure a good crop. Yule straw, either of wheat or rye, is made into the
likeness of a goat and thrown among the dancers with the cry of catch the
Yule-goat. In Dalarne it is called the Yule-ram.


In Denmark and Sweden, it is customary to bake cakes of fine meal at
Christmas in the shape of goats, rams and boars (Frazer, ibid., p. 328).
They are often made out of the last sheaf at harvest and kept until
sowing-time where they are partly mixed with the seed corn and partly eaten
by the people and the plough oxen in the hope of securing a good harvest.
The commonality of the customs from the British Isles to Europe and
Scandinavia and the East establishes beyond doubt the ancient practice as
appeasement of the corn-spirit and the ancient gods. The appearance as a
wether and a boar is also ancient and widespread.


The Straw-bear was witnessed in Wittlesy Cambridgeshire, being performed as
it had been for centuries on the day after Plough Monday, by Professor Moore
Smith of Sheffield University in January 1909 (see letter of 13 January
1909; cf. Frazer, viii, p. 329).


Plough Monday is the first Monday of January after Twelfth day. It is beyond
dispute that we are dealing with an ancient agricultural festival which is
directed at appeasement of the ancient agricultural gods in the sequence of
the midwinter festivals which run from the Saturnalia to the solstice high
day and then on to the twelve days of so-called Christmas to the plough
festival of Plough Monday and Shrove Tuesday.


It appears to have been anciently associated with human sacrifice - perhaps
in each of the three aspects or perhaps as single festivals.


Plough Monday in England was normally associated with a team of human plough
bullocks, one of whom was disguised as an old crone called Bessy. They went
about leaping and dancing in high fashion presumably to make the corn grow
as high as they leapt. This was similar to the practice of the Straw-bears
or Yule-goats on the continent and elsewhere in UK.


The same practices are found in Thrace and Bulgaria on the same day, i.e.
the Monday of the last week of Carnival. One dancer (the Kuker) is a man
clad in goatskin. Another dancer (the Kukerica), disguised in petticoats as
the old woman or baba, has "her" face blackened.


Bears are represented by dogs wrapped in bearskins. A mock court is set up
of a king and judge and other officials. The plays of the Kuker and Kukerica
are wanton and lascivious.


Towards evening, two people are yoked to a plough and the Kuker ploughs a
few furrows and sows some corn. He then takes off his disguise and is paid
for his trouble.


The people believe that the person who plays the Kuker commits a deadly sin
and the priests also make vain efforts to abolish the customs. The Kuker in
Losengrad district has a cake with money in it which is distributed to those
present. If a farmer gets the coin, the crops will be good; if a herdsman
gets it, the herds will be good. The Kuker also symbolically ploughs the
ground and waves to and fro to imitate the waving corn. The man with the
coin is bound and dragged by the feet over the ground to quicken the
fertility of the ground. This drawing by lot is reminiscent also of the
Saturnalia sacrifice we saw above.

In Bulgaria itself, the festival has the Old Woman or Mother as the leading
personage, played by a man in woman's clothing. The Kuker and Kukerica are
subordinate to the "Old Woman". They wear fantastic masks of human heads
with animal horns or birds heads and skins with a girdle of lime bark. On
their back is a hump made out of rags. This festival in Bulgaria, being the
Monday of the last week of Carnival, is called Cheese Monday. It is
nevertheless associated with the Ploughing festival.


The same rituals associated in western Europe of going round the house and
the blessings conferred by the presence of the "old woman" on the fertility
of the village is uppermost in the minds of all. Incursion by masked people
from any other village is seen as a threat and a drawing away of the
fertility of the village. Such incursions are resisted.


The similarity between the Old Woman with the black face of Demeter and the
two aides of Pluto and Persephone are probably behind the origins of the
three kings custom, with the black Mechior representing Demeter.

The festival of Befana in Rome on the night before Epiphany is clearly
related to this festival of Demeter and the term Befana is obviously a
corruption of Epiphany. She is clearly an old witch and the noise of this
festival is clearly associated with an ancient custom of clearing the area
of evil influences (see also below). The same ceremonies involving Befana on
the eve of Epiphany were or are observed in Tuscan Romagna and elsewhere in
Italy (Frazer, ix, p. 167).


Frazer rightly sees in the Old Woman of the Bulgarian and Thracian system a
reference to the Corn Mother-goddess Demeter who in the likeness of an old
woman brought blessing to the house of Celeus, king of Eleusis and restored
the lost fertility to the fallow Eleusinian fields. The Kuker and Kukerica,
the male and female mummers, represent Pluto and Persephone. These rituals
are extant from East to West and represent the oldest of the religious
festivals (Frazer, viii, pp. 334-335). We are thus directly in the middle of
the Eleusinian Mystery cults and linked with the same Mystery cults of
ancient times from the cult of Apollo in early Europe and of Dionysius and
of agricultural symbols in the cult of worship of the Sun god. The
Bull-slaying cults are thus also involved and we see from the times of
dedication of the Bulls sacrificed by the Greeks in Magnesia after its
dedication in the beginning of the sowing that we have a common idea of the
festival. Zeus is the partner of Demeter and the final product is the
slaying of the Bull to Zeus in the equivalent of the month of May.


Yule logs, the holly and ivy, and mistletoe

The summer and winter solstice were seen as the two great turning points of
the year. Fires were lit on both solstices. The midsummer fires were lit in
the open and youths jumped the fires. This practice was found among the
Celts in Ireland, Britain and Gaul and also among the north Africans in
Morocco and the Atlas Mountains. Their practice is much more ancient than
the Islam they also profess. The practice of lighting fires happened
anciently among the pagans on May Day and on Halloween (1 November) called
All Saints Day. The asymmetric nature of these festivals with that of the
solstice should be noted. The Festival of Walpurgis on the last day of April
preceding May Day is the Festival of the Burning of the Witches. This type
of festival is also associated with the twelve days between Christmas 25
December and the Epiphany of 6 January. Fires of pine-resin are lit on these
nights to keep the witches away. The fires are generally larger on Twelfth
Night. In Silesia, people burn fires of pine-resin between Christmas and New
Year to drive witches away from the farmhouses. This was the "proper time
for the expulsion of the forces of darkness". On Christmas eve and New Year'
s eve, shots are fired over the fields and people wrap straw around the
fruit trees to prevent evil forces from doing them harm.


In Biggar in Lanarkshire UK, New Year's eve is the traditional time for this
fire which has been lit since time immemorial.

In 1644, nine witches of flesh and blood were burnt on Leith Links in
Scotland (Frazer, ix, p. 165).


Fires are lit in the Autumn but are not significant. The festival of the
nativity of the Virgin on 8 September was traditionally associated with
noise and uproar associated with Befana at Rome and traditionally involved
assassinations. Prof. Housman noted that when he witnessed the festival at
Capri in 1897, a few more than the usual eight or ten were murdered (Frazer,
x, p. 221).


Fires are also traditionally lit on the midwinter solstice on 25 December.
The difference between the midsummer and midwinter fires being that the
midwinter fires are lit indoors and form part of the ritual of the
invocation of the Sun god to his place of supremacy in the heavens. Thus,
the midwinter fires developed a more cloistered or family type atmosphere.


It is perhaps of significance that in the Shetland Islands, the Yule or
Christmas holidays began seven days before Christmas and ended at Antinmas,
i.e. the twenty-fourth day after Christmas.


The Shetlanders name these holidays the Yules. Seven days before Christmas,
the elves called Trows by the Shetlanders are let free from their homes in
the earth and dwell above ground if it pleases them. This is the probable
origin of the elf symbolism of and with Santa Claus. It seems to relate back
to the concept of the misrule of the seven days of the Saturnalia leading up
to 25 December.


The most important of the rituals in Yule was the saining which had to be
properly carried out to deal with the grey folk as the elves were called.


The modern myths emanating from the USA regarding alien greys is none other
than the revamping of the elves at Yule.


On the last day of the holidays, the twenty-fourth day after Christmas,
called up-helly-a, or Uphalliday in Shetland, the doors were all opened and
a great deal of pantomimic chasing went on to rid the area of the
mischievous elves. People piously read the Bible and displayed iron
ostentatiously "for it is well known that elves cannot abide the sight of
iron." The infants were carefully guarded and sained by learned wise women.
No doubt, we have the sign of the evil eye involved here as an ancient
custom (cf. also the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).


When day dawned after twenty-fourth night, the Trows or Grey-folk had
vanished and the Yules were ended.


The customs of banishing evil forces and witches on a night set aside for
the purpose in the period of the winter solstice and festivals can thus be
traced from Rome and Calabria in the south as far north as the Shetlands. It
also runs from Ireland to the Steppes and down to North Africa.


The log

We know that the Germans burnt the Yule log which was an ancient custom even
by the eleventh century. In 1184, the parish priest of Ahlen in Münsterland
records bringing a tree to kindle the festal fire at the Lord's nativity
(Frazer, x, p. 247). This was found in Britain in ancient times and was
common to the Teutons and apparently the Celts. John Brand is quoted by
Frazer as saying that the Yule block is a counterpart of the midsummer fires
made within doors because of the cold weather at the winter solstice (ibid.,
n. 2). This was nothing other than the erroneous application to 25 December
of the solstice which was set aside for the worship of the Sun (Frazer, x,
p. 246). This lighting of the tree fire was to assist the Sun to relight its
ailing lamp, and the entire system of fires and candles at the nativity
before the Heavenly Virgin is the ancient worship of the Mother goddess and
her infant child, the Sun. The lamps assist in the lighting of the heavenly
fire of the Sun and this is the basic idea behind flame and its use in
Zoroastrianism.


The Yule log was also kept among European groups and placed on the fire to
ward off thunder and the effects of storms. Thus, the relationship is
clearly made between the ancient gods of the Teutons over thunder and
lightning and weather and the Yule log at the solstice.


Mistletoe

Mistletoe was sacred in the religion of the Druids. The Druids who came via
Egypt as Magi were picked up by the Milesians in Spain from among the
Gadelians before the Scoto-Milesians went to Ireland. From there they spread
into Britain and Europe (MacGeohagen The History of Ireland, Sadlier, NY, p.
42; cf. Frazer, ii, pp. 358,362; xi, pp. 76 ff,301).


Pliny (Natural History, xvi, pp. 249-251) derives the word Druid from the
Greek word for oak which is drus. It is, however, the same or similar in the
Celtic being daur. The Druids are thus priests of the oak. Their cult is
thus ancient and associated with the oak groves. Other scholars prefer to
derive the name from the root meaning knowledge or wisdom - hence, they were
the wizards or magicians. This is also borne from the title Magi which they
held (cf. Frazer, xi, pp. 76-77, n. 1 to p. 76).


The Druidic cycle of the calendar was of thirty years and there appears to
be a common relationship in their worship with that of the Boetians who,
like they, worship or conjured the oak and, thus, both may have a common
Aryan connection. The Boetian cycle, in the festival of the great Daedala,
was one of sixty years and not thirty. This may have application to the
Aryan practice observed among the Indians of the sixty year cycle based on
the sidereal cycle of Jupiter.


The mistletoe is cut with a golden scythe on the first or sixth day of the
Moon (Frazer, xi, pp. 77-78). It is associated with fertility and was held
to make barren animals and women to bring forth. It was thought to have
fallen from the sky and was called the all-healer (Frazer, xi, pp.
77-79,82). Two white bulls were sacrificed at its cutting on the sixth day
for this purpose. The priest was dressed in a white robe. It was cut on the
first day of the Moon by the Italians and on the sixth by the Druids. This
difference is probably accounted for because of the commencement of the
lunar month in both systems. Neither cut the mistletoe with an iron
implement. It was not allowed to touch the earth and, hence, it was caught
in a white cloth.


The Italians believed that mistletoe growing on oak had similar properties
if we accept Pliny and, thus, there was a commonality of belief to both
systems.


We are thus back again to the fertility system of the Saturnalia and the
healing of the Mysteries and Apollo, but in an ancient form common to the
Aryans before 1000 BCE.


This system was so ancient that it was common even to the Ainu of Japan who
also held it sacred. They, however, use mistletoe cut from a willow because
that tree is sacred to them. They agree with both the Druids (in its
curative properties) and the Italians (regarding the fertility of women for
childbirth) in their beliefs (Frazer, xi, p. 79).


This belief extends down to the natives of Mabuig Island in the Torres
Strait (ibid.). The common belief is also found in Africa among the Walos of
Senegambia (ibid.).


The veneration of mistletoe as an all-healer is found among Swiss peasants
and among the Swedes (ibid., p. 82).


The Norse god Balder was said to have been slain by mistletoe and Frazer
gives an extensive account of this matter in his work.


Mistletoe was used as a remedy for epilepsy generally and by high medical
authorities in the UK and Holland as late as the eighteenth century (ibid.,
p. 83, noting Ray of UK in 1700, Boerhaave of Holland in 1720 and his pupil
Van Swieten in 1745).


Mistletoe is held to be a protection against lightning and fire and, hence,
associated with the Yule system also (Frazer, xi, p. 85).


It was most commonly used at the midsummer fires and at this time was
associated with the death of the god Balder. This seems to have involved
actual human sacrifice at this time in Denmark, Norway and Sweden (Frazer,
xi, p. 87). The practice of throwing the victim chosen by lot into the
Beltane fire and also the Green wolf of the midsummer fires are associated
with this system of worship as tree spirits or gods of vegetation (ibid., p.
88).


The worship of mistletoe is associated directly with the cult of the worship
of the oak and was common to all the Aryans. The Celts in Asia Minor
worshiped at the grove called Drynemetum which is pure Celtic, meaning
Temple of the Oak. These are the groves which also contained a phallus
spoken against by the Bible.


Among the Slavs, the oak was the sacred symbol of the great god Perun and
the oak ranks first among the holy trees of the Germans. It was adored by
them anciently and certain of these practices and attitudes survive to the
present day (Frazer, ibid., p. 89).


The oak was also sacred to the Italians and the image of Jupiter on the
Capitol was originally nothing but a natural oak tree. At Dodona, Zeus was
also worshipped as being immanent in the oak. Frazer concludes that the
Aryans, including Celts, Germans and Lithuanians, commonly held the oak
sacred before their dispersion and this common land must have been
plentifully supplied with oak. The mistletoe is merely its symbol, as heaven
sent aspect of healing, protection and fertility.


The kindling of sacred fire, whether among the Celts, Germans or Slavs, is
always by use of the oak in rubbing two of the sticks together or by rubbing
oak on a grey stone (not red). The same types of practice are found from
Germany to the highlands of Scotland in kindling the need-fire (cf. Frazer,
xi, p. 91).


Frazer says the perpetual fire of Vesta in Rome was fed with oak wood. Oak
wood also burnt in the perpetual fire before the sacred oak at Romove in
Lithuania. The blocks of oak are burnt also from the midwinter solstice
through to the end of the year and replaced with the new log and the ashes
are mixed among the seed etc. for fertility.


The common link in all these stories is the burning of the fires and the
cutting of the mistletoe. The ancient Aryans believed, as we can deduce from
the myth of Balder, that the oak was the god and the mistletoe's link with
it ensured its longevity. The human sacrifice at the midsummer fires ensured
the life of the crops. The use of mistletoe and the Yule log at the
midwinter solstice also looked to the sacrifice of the god represented by
the human who took his place, and the return of the Sun system. This is the
underlying symbolism of the Christmas tradition (cf. Frazer, xi, p. 93).


While the mistletoe stood, neither the god nor his substitute could be
injured. The cutting of the mistletoe was both the signal and the cause of
his death.


Holly and ivy

Holly and ivy allegedly represent male and female. The ivy clings and
twines - supposedly representing the female. The holly is prickly and
erect - supposedly representing the male.


In Surrey England, a holly tree is used to pass a child through a cleft to
heal rupture whereas it is usually an ash elsewhere (Frazer, xi, p. 169, n.
2).

The holly-oak was sacred to the Fratres Arvales or Brethren of the Tilled
Fields. This was a Roman college of twelve priests who performed public
religious rites for the purposes of agriculture. They wore wreaths of ears
of corn. Their sacrifices were made in the grove of the goddess Dia some
five miles down the Tiber from Rome. This grove contained laurels and
holly-oaks. It was so hallowed that expiatory sacrifices were offered every
time a tree or even a bough of a tree fell to the ground. This was obviously
especially prone to occur with the advent of snow and storms at the winter
solstice. Hence, the concept also of holly and the white Christmas. More
elaborate sacrifices had to be made when one of the trees were struck by
lightning. They were then dug up by the roots, split and burnt and others
planted in their stead. At the Roman festival of the Parilia which was for
the welfare of flocks and herds, peasants prayed for forgiveness if they
entered a hallowed grove, sat under a sacred tree, or lopped a holy bough to
feed sheep (cf. Frazer, ii, p. 123).


Pliny says the woods were formerly the temples of the deities and that even
in his time the peasants dedicated a tall tree to a god with the ritual of
olden times (Pliny Natural History, xii, p. 3).


The ivy is the symbol of the Mystery cults. It is chewed by the Bacchanalian
feast-goers. It is identified with the god Dionysius, or Bacchus.


Ivy was used by the Greeks as one of the two firesticks. The board of the
pair was made out of a parasitic or creeping plant which was usually ivy.
The borer was usually laurel. Oak was also used as the borer.


The ancient Indians used a parasite (the climbing fig) as the borer using
the parasite as the male concept. The Greeks seemed to have reversed this
concept. The ivy is considered female and the laurel male. Yet in the Greek,
the word ivy is masculine and the ivy was identified anciently with the male
god Dionysius. The word for laurel is feminine and is identified with a
nymph. Thus, we may conclude that the Greeks, like the Indians, considered
the concepts similarly in very ancient times but modified them perhaps
though expedience (Frazer, ii, pp. 251-252).


Anciently, ivy was prohibited to touch or name (Frazer, iii, pp. 13 ff.).
Ivy was also sacred to the god Attis and, hence, we come then to the pine
tree which was also sacred to that god (cf. Frazer, v, p. 278 and see the
paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).


Ivy was also sacred to the god Osirus (Frazer, vi, p. 112) and also for
dreams (ibid., x, p. 242). Thus, we see a commonality to the system of the
Triune god and the Mystery cults generally which ties in naturally with the
solstice system and Sun worship. Thus, the holly and the ivy are the symbols
also of the oak and other groves dedicated to the deities so condemned by
the Bible.


The Christmas tree

The decorated pine tree stems directly from the Mystery cults and the
worship of the god Attis. He is held to have been a man who became a tree
and, hence, is the embodiment of the ancient tree-spirit we meet in ancient
Indian or Indus mythology from as early as Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. He is
clearly a fertility god of corn and wears a Phrygian cap like Mithras (from
the statue in the Lateran; Frazer, v, p. 279).


The bringing in of the pine tree decked in violets and woollen bands is like
bringing in the May-tree or Summer-tree in modern folk custom. The effigy
which was attached to the tree was a duplicate representative of the god
Attis. This was traditionally kept until the next year when it was burnt
(Firmicus Maternus De errore profanarum religionum; cf. Frazer, v, p. 277
and n. 2).

The original intent of this custom was to maintain the spirit of vegetation
intact throughout the coming year. The Phrygians worshipped the pine tree
above all others and it is from this area that we derive the Mysteries and
the Mithras system. It is probably sacred to the cults in that it is an
evergreen lasting through the solstice period over a large area, when other
trees are bare. Remember also that pine resin was burnt at the solstice
festivals. The origins are lost in the antiquity of the Assyro-Babylonian
system.


The resemblance of the god Attis was changed to the Sun symbol as a
monstrance on the top and then to angels and other types of decorations. The
decorations are easily identifiable as the Sun, Moon, and stars of the
Triune system of the Babylonians as Sin Ishtar and Shamash or Isis, Osirus
and Horus of the Egyptians (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).

Ivy was also sacred to Attis and his eunuch priests were tattooed with the
symbol of the ivy leaf (Frazer, v, p. 278).


Pine nuts were used to produce a wine used in the orgiastic rites of Cybele
which were in effect counterparts of the Dionysian orgies and Strabo
compared them (Strabo, x, 3. 12 ff).


At the festival of Thesmophoria, they were thrown along with pigs and other
agents or emblems of fertility into the sacred vaults of Demeter for the
purpose of increasing the fertility of the earth and of women (Frazer, v, p.
278). Thus, we are back again to the Demeter festivals and the aspects that
have kept on and which are associated with Christmas in Europe generally as
we have already seen.


The Epiphany

The term Epiphany means manifestation as the appearance of some divine or
superhuman being. It was applied to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, king of Syria
(175-164 BCE).


It was also known as: the dies luminum (day of lights); as three kings day
or the twelfth day. All of these are dealt with above. The practices
associated with it are all derived from the ancient sources we see in the
text and have little to do with the faith.

The name survives in the great festival of Befana at Rome (cf. Catholic
Encyclopedia, art., Epiphany, Robert Appleton, NY, 1909, Vol. V, p. 504).
The CE says:

It is difficult to say how closely the practice then observed of buying all
sorts of earthenware images, combined with whistles and representing some
type of Roman life, is to be connected with the rather similar custom in
vogue during the December feast of the Saturnalia (ibid.).

It is hardly difficult to identify. The practices were the same and the term
is applied to the manifestation of the Befana as the goddess as we see
above. The attempts to place the reference in Hippolytus on the Sacrament of
Baptism is incorrect as he uses the term theophaneia not epiphania (ibid.).


The first substantive reference is in Clement (Stromateis, I, xxi, p. 45).
The CE quotes this text as follows and then goes on to say:

'There are those, too, who over-curiously assign to the Birth of our Saviour
not only its year but its day, which they say to be on 25 Pachon (20 May) in
the twenty eighth year of Augustus. But the followers of Basilides celebrate
the day of his Baptism too, spending the previous night in readings. And
they say that it was the 15th of the month Tybi of the 15th year of Tiberius
Caesar. And some say that it was observed the 11th of the same month.' Now,
15 and 11 Tybi are 6 and 10 January.

Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church try to draw from this
practice of the Gnostics under Basilides (teaching at Rome in the middle of
the second century) support for the celebration of the nativity as well as
the baptism of Christ but there is no real evidence for this conjecture. The
evidence of the festivals themselves indicate that the practice was the
ancient fertility festival and the blessing of the produce. From this arose
the practice of blessing the waters and the practice of throwing crucifixes
into the sea to make the seas productive for fisherman. All are based in
ancient paganism and were not evident in Christianity until the fourth
century. This addition was well after Origen writing in the third century as
he makes no mention of the Epiphany in his list of the festivals. The first
reference to it as a feast of the church is in 361 (cf. CE, p. 505).


From Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus

Santa Claus is a rather late invention and comes to us as a product of late
American commercialism. It is derived chiefly from German and Dutch
folklore. It has its origins in the entity referred to as Saint Nicholas.


The man usually known as Saint Nicholas is Nicholas of Myra in Lycia. He
died on 6 December 345 or 352 (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XI, p. 63). He is
popular in both the Greek and the Latin church but there is scarcely
anything certain about him except that he was bishop of Myra in the fourth
century (ibid., p. 64). He was born at Parara in Lycia of Asia Minor. In his
youth, he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and Palestine. On his return he was
made bishop of Myra and was imprisoned during the persecution of Diocletian.
He was released on the ascension of Constantine. The Catholics allege he was
present at Nicaea but his name does not appear on any of the records by
their own admission (ibid.).


In 1087, Italian merchants stole his body at Myra and took it to Bari. His
cult in Italy dates from this point. It appears this may have been prompted
by a cult that had developed concerning him in Europe. The numerous miracles
attributed to him are the outgrowth of a long tradition but, as we will see,
much of it has pagan origins that would have little to do with the original
man.


His cult in the Greek church is old and especially prominent in the Russian
church although they were long after him (c. 1000 CE). The emperor Justinian
I built a church in his honour at Constantinople and his name appears on the
liturgy ascribed to John Chrysostom (ibid.).


His cult in Europe started from the time of Otto II whose wife Theophano was
a Grecian. Bishop Reginald of Eichstadt (d. 991) wrote a metric entitled the
Vita S. Nicholai. He is, or was, honoured as patron saint in Greece, Russia,
the kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Lorraine, the Diocese of Liege, and many
cities in Italy, Germany, Austria and Belgium, Campen in the Netherlands,
Corfu in Greece, Frieburg in Switzerland and Moscow in Russia (ibid.). He
was patron of mariners, merchants, bankers and children.


His relics are still preserved in the church of S. Nicola in Bari. An oily
substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, is said to exude from his relics. It
is valued for medicinal purposes. His relationship with the festivals of 5/6
December are examined below.


One legend associated with him relates to the formation of three golden
balls, each made from his wages for one year, and rolled through the window
of a needy family of good birth over a period of years. The first ball
allegedly landed in a stocking (hence the Christmas stocking). This enabled
the needy recipients to marry off their daughters. He was allegedly seen on
the last time. This is no doubt the origin of the three golden balls of the
pawn brokers and the symbol of his patronage of merchants. These stories we
will see have relationship with other myths.


The traditions associated with his generosity caused the practice of Norman
French nuns giving to the poor on Saint Nicolas day or eve and this came to
be called Boxing Day from the alms box of the church. This became the
tradition behind the Boxing Day of 26 December. In Germany, Christ Bundles
were also given to the poor and the annual parades took on the Heavenly
Mother goddess tokens of the Mysteries.


The practice of children saving all year for the annual pig at Christmas in
Holland led to the introduction of the piggy bank.


The amalgam also of the false Roman robes of the clergy worn on the Festival
of Fools and the tales of Odin's wild ride and the beards of the Magi with
the elves of the Yule festivals saw a gradual evolution.


Nicholas of Myra was a saint in the Roman Catholic Church until 1969 when he
suffered the fate of many other myths.

Sinterklaas - the precursor of Santa Claus

Sinterklaas, or Saint Nicolas, is a typical Dutch folklore, celebrated in
the Netherlands and partly in Belgium.


The celebration of Sinterklaas is always on the evening, after sunset of 5
December in the Netherlands and 6 December in Belgium.


In the celebration of the evening and night, the children are assembled
around the chimney, singing songs to Sinterklaas:

"Heerlijk avondje is gekomen. Kom maar binnen met je knecht".

"The nice (or lordlike) evening has come. Come in with your servant".


His servant, Black Peter, is black. He is always portrayed as a Negro with
thick lips and earrings and clothed in funny clothes. This probably stems
from the Demeter/Melchior nexus and later associated with good and evil
being embodied in the legend of Woden and Nöwi.


Sinterklaas himself is as a bishop with mitre and a book with the good deeds
and sins. He has the staff of a shepherd and rides on a white horse over the
roof tops. Black Peter listens at the chimneys to determine whether the
children are singing the right songs and presenting the right offerings to
the horse in the form of hay and carrots.


The presents for the children are put through the chimney.


Sinterklaas is a syncretic product of the old Germanic or Teutonic religion.
The Germanic roots can be explained as follows:

The god Woden (also known as Odin), who is still remembered by the use of
Wednesday, was the most important god of the old Germanic tribes (not the
small group of people we understand as Germans today). Woden, who is a
figure of history, was made into the personification of the multitude of
earlier gods - the gods of wind and war, the god of the dead, the god of
fertility, the god of wisdom and the Sun god. We will find him in
mythological legends "riding through the air on his faithful white horse,
clothed in a flowing robe." Further, he is described as a figure with a long
white beard, and with a big hat on his head. Because he was also held to be
the god of wisdom, he had a book in his hand written in rune letters, and he
carried a great spear.


In these stories Woden was accompanied by the giant Nöwi, who had a black
countenance because he was the father of the night. He was, according to
legend, well versed in making rhymes and poems. He carried in his hand, as a
sign of fertility, a bunch of twigs.


From these aspects - the white horse, the wide robe, the big hat, the book,
the spear, and the black Nöwi, with a bunch of twigs, and the poems or
poetic traditions - we have so many parallels with our today's Sinterklaas
and Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) that is beyond mere coincidence. We see here,
also, the parallels with Demeter and the three wise kings one of whom was
also the black Melchior.


If we now add to this the traditional customs, we will complete the picture.


The old Germanic tribes or Teutons always left, after the harvest, a sheaf
on the land for the white horse of Woden. The children offered, during the
Sinterklaas time, hay in their shoes at the chimney (stockings at the
chimney at Christmas) for his horse.


We see here the same traditions as found among the Celts of burning the
twelve fires and the thirteenth major fire of the straw. We also see the
black faces of the Mother goddess system. We can deduce a much earlier
origin than that attributed to Woden. This is part of the early cults of
fertility related to Apollo as Sun god and master of the Mystery religions
among the states of the Danube and into the Hyperborean Celts. He was drawn
across the sky in a chariot and often this was pictured being drawn not just
by horses but by geese or swans. The similarity of these feasts was with the
old ceremonies of the Saturnalia which was traditionally prior to Christmas.
In the Netherlands, we see a much earlier date than is normal now. It was
some thirty days before the Epiphany. It was, however, not thirty days
before the solstice as we saw in the Saturnalia examples above. We see the
same tradition but removed so that the thirty days of the Lord of Misrule as
the god Saturn and Apollo relate to the Epiphany rather than the end of the
Saturnalia.


Today's tradition in the Netherlands is to give letters of chocolate or
almond pastry. The connection with the ancient runes seems very obvious. The
German Wotan feast was a mixture of sacrifice and fertility festivals during
and around the midwinter feasts. The lads and lassies of the Germanic tribes
prayed in those early times for a partner. The presents from Sinterklaas
were also in the form of lovers made from speculatius or other cakes. Also,
presents were of animals in the form of sugar mice and pigs, to substitute
for the real animal sacrifices.


Sinterklaas is also the patron of the city of Amsterdam and the seamen who
sail from her ports.


The apparel of Sinterklaas is Roman Catholic. It was little wonder that, in
the sixteenth century, the Reformation tried to stamp out these customs. It
was not entirely successful in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas came to life
again after an absence of some centuries (or being underground) in
Protestant Netherlands in the first half of the twentieth century.
Sinterklaas disappeared in England and Germany and went underground. Many of
the traditions simply were moved to 25 December and completed with the
Christmas tree and Santa Claus. The acceptance of the 'rebirth' of
Sinterklaas in Protestant Netherlands was sooner and earlier than the
acceptance of the Christmas tree. Today, commercialism has to fight to get
Santa Claus accepted in the Netherlands, as many are against this imposter
of Sinterklaas, even though its rebirth in the Netherlands was because of
what was done in the USA.


Santa Claus in the USA

When migrants went to the United Sates, they brought with them the Yule
traditions from Europe and particularly the three elements which went to
make up the Santa Claus myth.


The Dutch contributed the Sinterklaas myth which was adapted from its
traditional place. The Pere Noel tradition of the red robes was also
contributed from Europe. The Germans brought with them the Christ Bundle
tradition and termed it Christkindl or Christ Child tradition. The name Kris
Kringle developed from this term.


Washington Irving in the Knickerbocker Tales (c. 1820) discusses the elf
Santa Claus who presents the stocking as did St Nicholas.


Clement Clark Moore introduced many new elements in his poem A Visit from
Saint Nicholas which was renamed 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. He
introduced new elements such as eight reindeer including the traditional
representation we see regarding thunder and lightning as the gods of the
Yule festival in the form of Donner (Donder) and Blitzen.


Santa Claus was still an elf of the Yule tradition however until the
American Civil War when Thomas Nast of Harpers Weekly was commissioned to do
a series of Santa Claus cartoons. He continued this after the Civil War and
the publishing company McLaughlin Brothers Printing Company experimented
with the colour of Santa's leather and decided on red.


The final change was made in 1931. The Scandinavian Haddon Sundblom was
hired by Coca Cola to paint Santa Claus. On the death of his model, he
fashioned Santa Claus on his own face. This continued for twenty-five years.


In 1941, the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was written. It was
recorded by the cowboy singer Gene Autry.


The Coca Cola model and colours and the American myths surrounding the
figure are now the final product of at least 3,000 years of pagan idolatry
wrapped in the crass commercialism that first emanated from the merchants of
the Roman Saturnalia and which was perfected in the USA.


There is nothing Christian about so-called Christmas and, indeed, it is so
steeped in false religious superstition that it is a direct breach of
biblical law. No Christian can observe it and remain a Christian.
Mark Bassett
2003-12-15 20:31:17 UTC
Permalink
Super research, L. Perez, worthy of republication.
Post by L Perez
There was a festival celebrated in December in Rome. It is necessary to any
understanding of what is happening at Christmas. That festival was termed
the Saturnalia. It was the festival of Saturn to whom the inhabitants of
Latium, the Latins, attributed agriculture and the arts necessary to
civilised life (Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 2nd ed.,
London 1851, p. 1009). It fell towards the end of December and was viewed by
the population as a time of absolute relaxation and merriment. During its
continuance, the law courts were closed. No public business could be
transacted. The schools kept holiday. To commence a war was impious and to
punish a malefactor involved pollution (ibid.). Slaves were relieved of
onerous toils and permitted to wear the pileus or badge of freedom. They
were granted freedom of speech and were waited on at a special banquet by
their masters whose clothes they wore (ibid.). All ranks devoted themselves
to feasting and mirth with presents exchanged among friends.
Wax tapers were given by the more humble to their superiors. The crowds
thronged the streets and Smith says many of the customs had a remarkable
resemblance to those of Christmas and the Italian carnival (ibid.).
Public gambling was condoned by the authorities as was later card-playing
indulged even by the most rigid in later times at Christmas eve. The whole
populace threw off the toga, wore the loose gown called the synthesis and
walked about with the pileus on their heads. Smith's Dictionary says this
practice is reminiscent of the dominoes, peaked caps and other disguises
worn at later Christmas festivals by masques and mummers. The cerei or wax
tapers or lights, were probably employed as the moccoli are on the last
night of the carnival. Our traditions of Christmas lights probably stems
from this tradition.
Lastly, for amusement in private society, was the election of a mock king
which is immediately recognised in the ceremony of Twelfth Night (ibid.). We
will come across this later.
Sir James George Frazer, in his classic study of magic and religion (The
Golden Bough, McMillan, 1976), says this mock king was an allusion back to
the idyllic days of the reign of Saturn and the slaves being given temporary
freedom at this time hearkened back to these days when all were free and
things were just (ibid., ix, p. 308 ff). Roman soldiers stationed on the
Danube in the reign of Maximian and Diocletian are recorded (by Franz
Cumont) to have chosen a young and handsome man to resemble Saturn from
among them by lot thirty days before the festival. They dressed him in royal
attire to resemble Saturn. He went about in public attended by a retinue of
soldiers and indulged his passions no matter how base and shameful. At the
end of thirty days, he then cut his own throat on the altar of the god he
personated. In the year 303, the lot fell upon the Christian soldier Dasius
but he refused to play the part of the heathen god and to soil his last days
by debauchery. He refused to give in to the intimidation of his commanding
officer Bassus and was accordingly beheaded by the soldier John at
Durostorum on Friday 20 November 303 being the twenty-fourth day of the Moon
at the fourth hour (Frazer, ibid.).
This historical account has been confirmed, after its publication by Franz
Cumont, by the discovery in the crypt of the cathedral at Ancona, of the
white marble sarcophagus in script characteristic of the age of Justinian
Here lies the holy martyr Dasius, brought from Durostorum.
The sarcophagus had been brought there from the church of St Pellegrino in
1848 where it lay under the high altar and was recorded as being there in
1650 (Frazer, p. 310).
Frazer says this sets a new light on the nature of the Lord of the
Saturnalia, the ancient Lord of Misrule, who presided over the winter revels
at Rome (ibid., p. 311). Here we see the extent of the traditions and the
elements of human sacrifice which extend into the festivals in both
December
Post by L Perez
and at the equinox. Dasius the Christian suffered martyrdom rather than
participate in these revels.
As Saturnus was an ancient national god of Latium, the institution of the
Saturnalia is lost in remote antiquity (ibid.).
There are three traditions associated with it.
It is ascribed to Janus who on the sudden disappearance of his benefactor
from the abodes of men erected an altar to him as a deity in the forum and
ordained annual sacrifices.
According to Varro, it is attributed to the wanderings of Pelasagi on their
first settlement in Italy. Hercules then on his return from Spain was said
to have abolished the worship and practice of immolating human sacrifice;
and
The third tradition attributes the Saturnalia to the followers of Hercules
who set it up after his return to Greece.
In either of the last two we see a commonality. The practice of this
agricultural festival thus has certain common elements with the spring
festival of Easter as we will see later. The element of human sacrifice
common to all traditions can also be traced to the worship of Moloch as the
Moon god Sin and also of Ishtar (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
This sacrificial aspect also appeared in the worship of the god Attis (see
below).
The erection of temples in historical times are recorded, such as during the
reign of Tatius, Tarquinius superbus, to the consulship of A Sempronius or M
Minucius (497 BCE) or in that of T Larcius the previous year. It appears the
ceremonies were at varying stages neglected or corrupted and then revived
and extended (ibid.).
The Saturnalia originally fell on 14 Kalend January. When the Julian
calendar was introduced it was extended to 16 Kalend January which caused
confusion among the more ignorant and Augustus enacted that three whole days
(namely 17, 18 and 19 December) should be hallowed in all time coming
(ibid.). Some unknown authority added a fourth day and Caligula added a
fifth day, the Juvenalis. This fell into disuse and was later restored by
the emperor Claudius.
Strictly speaking, one day only was consecrated to religious observance in
the days of the Republic. However, the celebrations lasted over a much
longer period. Historically, Livy speaks of the first day of the Saturnalia
(Liv. xxx, 36). Cicero writes of the second and third days (ad Att., v 20;
xv 32). From Novius (Attelanae) the term seven days of the Saturnalia was
used and this phrase was also used by Memmius (Macrobius, i, 10) and Martial
(xiv, 72; cf. Smith, ibid.). Martial also speaks of the five days enacted by
Caligula and Claudius.
These five days have an ancient calendrical significance also.
Smith says that in reality three festivals were involved over this period.
The Saturnalia proper commenced on 17 December (16 Kalend December).
This was followed by the Opalia (14 Kalend January or 19 December) which was
anciently coincidental to the Saturnalia. These two together lasted for five
days. This festival was celebrated in honour of Opis who was allegedly the
wife of Saturn. Originally, it was celebrated on the same day and, thus, the
Mother goddess and lover theme is evident in the origins of this festival.
We will meet this theme throughout. The followers of Opis paid their vows
sitting and touched the earth of whom she was goddess (Smith, ibid., art.
Opalia, p. 835).
The sixth and seventh days were occupied by the Sigillaria which was named
for the little earthenware figures which were displayed for sale on the
period as toys to be given as presents for children.
Thus, the period ran from 17 December until 23 December under the Julian
Calendar, when the presents were given to the children.
We now proceed to examine further the theology behind these festivals. The
commonality of the traditions of the festivals are too obvious to be
ignored.
The Heavenly Virgin as Mother goddess
the worship of the Great Mother of the Gods and her lover or son was very
popular under the Roman Empire (v, pp. 298 ff),
From the inscription we know that the two [as Mother and lover or Mother and
son] received divine honours not only in Italy but in all the provinces -
particularly in Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Bulgaria
(ibid.). Their worship survived the establishment of Christianity by
Constantine.
Thus, the symbolism of the Heavenly Virgin and the infant child paraded on a
yearly basis are not of Christian origin. They stem from the Mother goddess
religion which is very ancient. We will see more of this later.
Frazer notes Symmachus as recording the festival of the Great Mother. In the
days of Augustine her effeminate priests still paraded the streets and
squares of Carthage and, like the mendicant friars of the middle ages,
begged alms from the passers-by (ibid., cf. S Dill Roman Society in the Last
Century of the Western Empire, London, 1899, p. 16; and Augustine City of
God, vii, 26).
The Greeks on the other hand rejected the more barbarous rites in favour of
those similar but gentler rites of the worship of Adonis (ibid.).
Frazer says that the same features which shocked and repelled the Greeks
were what attracted the Romans and the barbarians of the west (ibid., pp.
298-299).
The ecstatic frenzies which were mistaken for divine inspiration, the
mangling of the body and the theory of a new birth and the remission of sin
through the shedding of blood, have all their origin in savagery (ibid.).
Frazer holds that their true character was often disguised under a decent
veil of allegory and philosophical interpretation which drew the more
cultivated of them to things which might otherwise have filled them with
horror and disgust. Modern Pentecostalism draws its inspiration from the
ideas behind these religious festivals.
The religion of the Great Mother was only one of a multitude of similar
oriental faiths which spread across the Roman Empire imposing themselves on
the Europeans. According to Frazer, this gradually undermined the whole
fabric of ancient civilisation.
The entire Greek and Roman society was based on the concept of the subordina
tion of individual to the state and one's whole life was dedicated to the
perpetuation of the society. If one shrank from supreme sacrifice then it
never occurred to anyone that they acted other than for base reasons.
Oriental religion taught the reverse of this doctrine. It inculcated the
communion of the "Soul" with God and its eternal salvation as the only
objects of existence and in comparison with the prosperity and even the
existence of the state were insignificant.
The inevitable consequence of this selfish and immoral doctrine was to draw
the individual more and more from the public service and to concentrate, in
the individual, a contempt for the present life.
The misapplication of these mystery doctrines or oriental religions and
their application in Gnosticism, when placed on the biblical narrative of
the City of God as a spiritual edifice, was to have disastrous
consequences
Post by L Perez
for the ordering of society. The effect was to loosen the ties of the family
and the state and to generally disintegrate the political body of the state.
The society tended to relapse into its individual elements and thereby into
barbarism. Civilisation is only possible through the active cooperation of
the individual and the subordination of the interests of the individual to
that of the common good (ibid., p. 301).
People refused to defend their countries and even to continue their own kind
in ascetic celibacy (ibid., see also the papers Vegetarianism and the Bible
(No. 183) and also Wine in the Bible (No. 188)).
Frazer holds that this obsession lasted for a thousand years. He held that
it only changed at the end of the Middle Ages with the revival of Roman law,
of Aristotelian philosophy and of ancient art and literature to saner and
more manly views of the world. The fact of the matter is that if the true
biblical model was implemented no such problem would have existed. The
problem arose from Oriental Mysteries combined with the Gnostic system which
is more prevalent today. Frazer held that the tide of this oriental invasion
had turned at last and was ebbing still. He was wrong in this regard
although he also allows that bad government and a ruinous fiscal system are
two major causes which strike down civilisations as they did the Turkish
Empire in his day.
We will look at the effects of the Great Mother religion and the Mithras
system and its applications under Gnostic influence in Christianity to see
that it is still there as strong as ever in more subtle forms. Yet much of
its traditional trappings are the same.
Mithras
One of the gods who competed for the worship of the west was the Persian
deity Mithra.
The immense popularity of this cult should not be underestimated. The
monuments dedicated to this system are scattered all over the Roman Empire
and right through Europe (a map of the extent of the monuments is found in
David Ulansey The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, Oxford, New York, 1989,
p. 5).
This was a secret cult whose mysteries were never written down and, so,
little is known exactly of their ritual except what we can deduce from their
shrines and places of worship. However, we do know that they had two forms
of worship. The private and secret form was Mithraism. The public form,
however, was Elagabalism and we know more of its system from this. Both were
based on Sun worship.
Much of its religion was similar to the religion of the Mother of the Gods
and also to what was understood to have been later Christianity (cf. Frazer,
ibid., p. 302). The similarity struck the Christian doctors themselves and
it was explained to them as the work of the devil by counterfeiting a
version of the true faith (ibid.). Tertullian explained how the fasts of
Isis and Cybele were similar to the fasts of Christianity (De jejunio 16).
Justin Martyr explains how the death, resurrection and ascension of
Dionysius, the virgin birth of Perseus, and Bellerophon mounted on Pegasus
were parodies of the true Christian stories written by the demons in
advance, even down to the story of Christ riding on an ass which was
contained in the Psalms as prophecy (cf. Apol., i, 54).
The conflict between Mithraism and Christianity was so great that for a time
the outcome hung in the balance. The fact of the matter is that the result
was decided by adopting their practices and giving them Christian names. The
most important single relic of this pagan syncretism is that of Christmas
which Frazer says the Church seems to have borrowed directly from its
heathen rival (p. 303).
The army became devotees of Mithras and it is obvious from the records
regarding Dasius that the Saturnalia was held in conjunction with the
worship of Mithras. Thus, the Saturnalia simply preceded the Solstice
festival and became a part of it.
Christmas and the Heavenly Virgin
In the Julian calendar, 25 December was reckoned as the winter solstice
(Frazer, ibid., p. 303; cf. Pliny Natural History, xviii, p. 221). It was
regarded as the nativity of the Sun as its days began to lengthen and its
power increase from that turning point of the year.
The ritual of the nativity, Frazer holds, as it was celebrated in Syria and
Egypt was remarkable. The celebrants retired into certain inner shrines from
which at midnight they issued a loud cry, The Virgin has brought forth! The
Light is waxing! (ibid., cf. Cosmas Hierosolymitanus, see fn. 3 to p. 303)
The Egyptians even represented the newborn Sun by an image of an infant
which, on his birthday (the winter solstice), they brought forth and
exhibited to his worshippers (ibid., cf., Macrobius Saturnalia, i, 18, 10)
No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a son on the twenty-fifth of
December was the great Oriental goddess whom the Semites called the Heavenly
Virgin or simply the Heavenly Goddess; in Semitic lands she was a form of
Astarte (ibid., noting Franz Cumont s.v. Caelestis in Pauly-Wissowa's
Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, v, 1, 1247, sqq).
This is the origin of the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of the mother
of Jesus Christ. It has no basis in the Bible or in fact. Christ's mother
was not named Mary and the Bible is clear that she bore other children. We
will return to this myth later.
The legend of the three kings
25 December was an ancient Sun-worshipping festival and the three kings
associated with it do not appear to relate to the wise men from the east in
the biblical narrative but to a perhaps older tradition relating to the
so-called twelve days of Christmas. The Twelfth Day sequence is associated
with the three kings in France, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Austria. Their
names are Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. In Germany and Austria it is known
as the Day of the Three Kings (Dreikonigstag) and in France as the Festival
of the Kings (Fête des Rois). The kings go around in some areas represented
by mummers who sing songs and collect from the householders. It is given a
Christian basis but there is no basis in the Bible for assuming there were
three people (other than the three types of gifts) or that they were kings.
They are recorded as magi or wise men. This seems to have another basis (cf.
Frazer, ix, p. 329). From the customs in Franche-Comte and also the Vosges
Mountains, Melchior is supposed to have been a black king and the face of
the boy playing him is blackened (ibid., p. 330). These three are invoked
for healing with rituals involving three nails placed in the earth. This
smacks of the triune systems of the Celts in France long before the
Christian system.
In Czech and German Bohemia, the rituals of fumigation and spices are found
being used on the twelfth day. The initials C.M.B (Caspar, Melchior and
Balthasar) together with three crosses are marked on doors after fumigation
to guard against evil influences and infectious diseases. They were invoked
under the words pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths.
The Lord of Misrule and the King of Beans
In this tradition also we see the Lord of Misrule emerge among the
traditions. The full extent of time was from All-hallows eve (31 October,
the eve of All Saints day) to Candlemas (2 February). Generally, it was
however confined to the twelve days at Christmas, termed the twelve nights.
The Lord of Misrule was elected from the Court of the Sovereign in England
through every office of the land. This Lord of Misrule was also elected at
Merton College Oxford as King of the Beans (cf. Frazer, ix, p. 332).
The Festival of Fools
In France, the counterparts of the English Lords of Misrule masqueraded as
mock clergy, bishops, archbishops, popes or abbots. This was known as the
Festival of Fools and was held either on Christmas day, St Stephen's day (26
December), New Year's day, or Twelfth day depending on place.
At these times there were parodies of the most solemn rites of the church
where priests wearing masks and sometimes dressed as women danced in the
choir and sang obscene chants; laymen disguised as monks mingled with the
clergy and the altar was turned into a tavern where the deacons and
sub-deacons ate sausage and black-pudding or played dice and cards under the
nose of the celebrant. The censers were filled with bits of old shoes,
filling the church with a foul stench.
In some areas of France, for example at Autun, an ass was led into the
church where a parody of the mass was said over it. A regular Latin liturgy
was said over it and the celebrant priest initiated the braying of an ass
(Frazer, pp. 334-335).
At Beauvais on 14 January a young woman with a child in her arms rode on the
back of an ass allegedly in imitation of the flight into Egypt. She was led
in triumph from the cathedral to the parish church of St Stephen where she
and the ass were placed on the left side of the altar. A long mass was said
consisting of scraps borrowed indiscriminately from many church services
throughout the year. The singers quenched their thirst in the intervals as
did the congregation and the ass was fed and watered. Afterwards, the ass
was brought from the chancel into the nave where the entire congregation,
clergy and laity danced round it braying like asses. After vespers, a large
procession proceeded to a great theatre opposite the church where they
watched indecent farces.
All of this is reminiscent of the rites in North Africa of the effeminate
priests of the Mother Goddess system and the Saturnalia. Frazer says there
is no direct evidence that one is derived from the other but the Saturnalia,
with the licence that characterised it and the temporary reign of a mock
king, makes it appear so (ix, p. 339). These traditions were kept up until
the nineteenth century when Victorian England and Napoleonic France
following on the Revolution did away with them in some fashion. They were
replaced as we will see with another form of the same errors. Much of the
modern insanity derives from the USA and its commercialism.
The twelve days of Christmas, cakes, beans and money
The King of the Bean is also associated with the Festival of Fools in France
and there is a more ancient significance to it. The Festival of Fools goes
on to the Twelfth day of Christmas (Twelfth Night is the night of 6
January). The eve, which is 5 January and thus the Epiphany of 6 January,
marks the end of the two periods of the pre-Christmas festivities which are
associated with the Saturnalia and the Sun system which commence from the
Solstice on 25 December and continue until 5 January.
In some areas, the king has a queen consort both of whom have an
agricultural significance and seem to be related to the rites also of the
Saturnalia.
The king and queen are elected by lot on the Twelfth Night (i.e. Epiphany 6
January) or on the eve of that festival on 5 January. It was common in
France, Belgium, Germany and England. It is still kept in some parts of
France. The Court acknowledged the practice and each family elected its own
king. On the eve of the festival, a great cake was baked with a bean in it.
It was divided into portions - one for each member of the family; one for
God; one for the Heavenly Virgin and, sometimes, one for the poor. The
person getting the portion with the bean was proclaimed King of the Bean
(Frazer, ix, p. 313). Sometimes a second bean was placed in the cake for the
election of the queen. At Blankenheim near Neuerburg, in the Eiffel a black
and a white bean were baked in the cake - the black for the king and the
white for the queen. In Franche-Comte they used to put as many white haricot
beans in a hat as there where people present. Two coloured beans were
included and drawn at random by a child. Those receiving the coloured beans
were king and queen.
In England, the practice was to put a bean in the hat for the king and a pea
for the queen. However, in some places, only the king was elected by lot and
he chose his queen himself. Sometimes a coin was substituted for the bean in
the cake. This custom was followed in southern Germany as early as the first
half of the sixteenth century. It is, however, considered by Frazer to be a
variation on the earlier bean. It shows reasonably clearly that the custom
of placing coins in Christmas pudding stems from this custom of an earlier
time.
In France, the young child present was placed under a table. It was
addressed as Phoebe or Tebe and he answered in Latin Domine. The pieces of
the cake were distributed according to the child's direction. The etymology
has been attributed to the oracle of Apollo by some scholars. Frazer thinks
it may be simply derived from the word for the bean (Lat. faba, Fr. fève).
Every time the king or queen drank the company cried the king or queen
drinks and they all did likewise. Anyone failing to do so had their faces
blackened by corks or soot or the lees of wine. In some parts of the
Ardennes, the practice was to fasten great horns of paper in the hair and
put a huge pair of spectacles on their nose. This was worn until the end of
the festival. This is probably the origin of the Dunce's Cap.
This is still kept in northern France where a miniature porcelain figure is
substituted for the bean and drawn by a child. If it is drawn by a boy he
chooses his queen; if it drawn by a girl she chooses her king.
These kings and queens placed white crosses on the rafters of houses to ban
hobgoblins, witches and bugs. There was, however, a more serious
significance to some of the office. In Lorraine, the height of the hemp crop
was said to be determined from the height of the king and queen. If the king
was taller, the male hemp would be higher than the female and vice versa. In
the Vosges Mountains on the border of France-Compte, the practice of dancing
on the roof was observed to make the hemp grow tall.
In many areas, the beans used in the cake were taken to be blessed by the
clergy and divination was employed on Twelfth Night to determine the month
of the year in which the price of wheat would be dearest.
The practice of lighting bonfires is still carried out in some areas and, at
the time Frazer wrote, it was still done in the Montagne du Doubs on the eve
of Twelfth Night (ix, p. 316). This was seemingly to ensure the fertility of
the crops. There seems to be a definite, if distant, relationship to the
Yule festivals of the pagans.
While it burned, the people danced around it singing Good year come back,
Bread and wine come back!
The youth of Pontarlier carry torches over the sowed lands shouting
couaille, couaille, blanconnie; the meaning of which is lost in antiquity.
In the Bocage of Normandy on the same day, it is the fruit trees that are
fired. These twinkling lights are everywhere as the peasants celebrate the
Ceremony of the Moles and Field-mice (Taupes et Mulots). Villages compete in
the blaze and woods and hedges are scoured for materials. They scour the
fields threatening the moles and field mice and, thus, they believe the crop
will be larger that autumn.
The bonfires on the eve of Epiphany were also observed in the Ardennes. It
is useful to look at the customs here in regard to festivals of the goddess
Hecate in Rome and Europe generally and the fields and the crosses involved
there (cf. the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).
Similar fire customs are experienced in the UK in Gloucester and in
Hertfordshire with twelve fires at the end of twelve lands (Gloucester)
designed to prevent smut in wheat. There is a thirteenth larger fire lit in
both cases - the latter being on a hill (Frazer, ix, p. 318).
This custom of making twelve fires of straw and drinking toasts of cider or
ale is called Wassailing and is ancient. Oxen are also toasted in this
strange ritual in some areas with a cake placed on the horns of the lead ox
and then thrown by tickling the ox.
The explanation of the practice of lighting fires and especially this
largest is found in examination against the practice not only in UK and
France but in Macedonia. The large fires are to burn the witches and
malefactors that roam the fields at night. They are called by the
Macedonians karkantzari or skatzanzari. They are overcome by binding with
straw rope. They resume their human shape during the day. Over the twelve
days of Christmas, they must be overcome by strenuous effort. Some places
start on Christmas eve and in others it continues or is done on Twelfth
Night.
On Christmas eve, some people burn the karkantzari by burning holm-oak
faggots and throwing them out in the streets at early dawn. Here, again, we
have reference to the Yule festivals of the Druids. The later oak faggots
were remnants of the earlier log burning.
In Ireland, they set up sheaves of oats. This was done in Roscommon where
they held that Twelfth Night which is Old Christmas Day is greater than
Christmas Day itself (Frazer, ix, p. 321).
They set up thirteen candles in the sheaf, twelve smaller and one greater in
the centre and attribute these to the apostles at the Last Supper; but these
are at Christmas and not Passover. Thirteen candles of rushlight named after
each member of the family (or relations to make up the number) are placed in
cakes of cow dung and burned to determine the length of life of each person
(ix, p. 322).
The origin of candles
The use of candles goes back to the ancient Aryan religion which used them
at the Yule ceremony to ward of the gods of thunder, storm and tempest
(Frazer, x, p. 264 (n. 4) and also p. 265). They were lit and tied to the
sacred oak (ibid., ii, 327).
In some areas (Ruthenia and Europe generally) they were used by thieves and
burglars to cause sleep (Frazer, i, pp. 148-149) and in this case they were
made of human tallow (ibid., i, p. 236). Parts of the human anatomy were
also used as candles or human bones were filled with tallow made from the
fat of hanged men (ibid., p. 149). Sometimes, candles were made from the
fingers of new born or, preferably as they saw it, unborn children. As late
as the seventeenth century in Europe robbers used to murder pregnant women
to extract such candles from their wombs (ibid.).
Candles were burnt to ward off witches. They entered Christianity through
the Catholic or Orthodox Church (cf. Frazer, ibid., i, p. 13).
The ancient Aryan practice continued among the Germans of lighting new fire
by means of a Bonfire at Easter and sending the sticks to each home to start
the fires to ward off the gods of thunder, storm and tempest. The practice
was introduced to Catholicism as the Easter candle. This single giant candle
was lit at Easter on Saturday night before the Easter Sunday and then all
the candles of the church were lit from it. This continued for the year
until next Easter when the single Easter candle was again lit.
The practice of lighting the candle appears to take place on the night
before the day of the Sun as part of the ancient Sun worshipping system.
In the Temple, incense was burned. Candles were not burned other than as the
Menorah.
This practice of burning lights as candles or tapers was similar to that of
the Saturnalia. We know from the Book of Baruch 6:19 ff that the practice of
lighting candles before idols overlaid with precious metals was Babylonian.
The practice of lighting multiple candles probably entered Judaism through
the Babylonian system. We will deal with it in more detail in the section on
Easter.
The Menorah was seven branched and ordered by God for the Temple. In
Solomon's Temple, there were ten tables of seven candles representing the
Council of the Elohim of which the Sanhedrin was a copy. The nine branches
are given mystical symbolism. There is no biblical authority for them.
Weather
The weather of the twelve days of Christmas was said to determine the
weather of the forthcoming year.
It is based on what appears to be a form of ancient zodiacal division of
dividing the twelve days into four quadrants of three days per quadrant.
This was done in the British Isles and it extended through Germany and
German Austria into western Europe.
From the weather on each of the twelve days it was possible to divine the
weather of each successive month of the year. It was held to be accurate and
apply also to the Twelfth day itself where the weather on each hour would
determine the weather for the corresponding month. The days were thus a
system of divination for the year ahead in its agricultural aspects.
In Swabia, the days were called the twelve lot days. More precise divination
was determined by making twelve circles divided into four quadrants. Each
quadrant represented a quarter of the month. These were drawn on paper and
hung over the door. As each day of the twelve days passed from Christmas to
Epiphany, the weather on each quarter day was shaded and the weather for
that quarter month was determined.
In Switzerland, Germany and Austria it was done somewhat differently. On
Christmas, New Year's day or on another of the twelve days, one sliced an
onion in two, peeled off twelve coats, and sprinkled a pinch of salt in each
of them. From the moisture left in them the next morning, it was considered
possible to determine the weather for the next twelve months of the year.
This was not confined to the Germanic tribes or the Teutons - it was found
also in France and among the Celts of Brittany and in Scotland.
In the Bocage of Normandy, the temperature was divined for the year from the
temperature of the twelve days. This was considered more accurate than the
predictions of the Double-Liégois. In Cornouaille Brittany, the twelve days
were determined from Christmas to the Epiphany - being the last six days of
December and the first six of January. In other parts of Brittany and in
Scotland the twelve days were determined from 1 January. They were known in
Brittany as the gour-deziou or male days. It is said to mean properly the
additional or supplementary days. This concept takes us back to another
ancient concept of the calendar and the five excess days of the year.
The Scots from their almanac from the last day of December or the first day
of January (depending on place) determining the weather by that of the
twelve days. Thus, January is determined by the weather of 31 December and
so on as an infallible rule.
The Celts of Scotland, as elsewhere in France, are divided as to the
beginning of the days either at Christmas on 1 January or on 31 December.
Frazer considers this an important indicator of the origin of the beliefs
(ibid., ix, p. 24).
This concept is very ancient and is found among the Aryans of the Vedic age
in India. This predates Christ by many centuries.
They, too, appear to have invested days in midwinter with a sacred character
as a time when the three Ribhus or genii of the seasons rested from their
labours in the home of the sun-god, and these twelve rest-days they called
'an image or copy of the year' (Frazer, ix, pp. 324-325).
Frazer follows A Weber in this explanation of the common views of the East
and West (cf. fn. 3 to ix, p. 325).
The system was thus an ancient system of the Aryans who conquered India from
the Steppes with the use of iron age implements and harnessed horses about
1000 BCE.
Their relatives took the same festivals west into Europe. These movements
are part of the dispersion of the ancient mysteries of the Babylonian system
which found its way into the nomadic Shamans. This religion was Animism.
Ancient calendar systems
The division of the twelve days came from the ancient Aryan calendar which
was divided according to the phases of the Moon and not that of the Sun. The
various Aryan languages have the name for month as the name for Moon.
The days of the month alternate between twenty nine and thirty days every
two months. These days at fifty-nine times six fall short of the actual
solar year by almost twelve days (eleven and one quarter days).
This appears to have been an intercalation to adjust the lunar to the solar
year which was a perversion of the true intercalation system adopted by the
Hebrews and the Assyro-Babylonians and the Greco-Romans. It thus seems to
have been a perversion of Sun-worship from the earliest days of the
movements of the Middle Eastern tribes. The Celtic Hittites, being the first
to move into Europe, took the system with them and its implementation
corrupted subsequent colonisation from the Assyrian relocations and the
movement of the Parthian and Gothic horde.
We now know much more about the calendar system in use in Europe and the
midwinter solstice in use in Europe and the UK. The circles were designed to
determine the solstice exactly on midwinter's day.
The twelve days were distinct from the five days and they appear to have
been variously added to or combined in different areas.
It appears that the five extra days of the year making the 365 days over and
above the 360 days considered to be the normal year was a very ancient
belief and system of intercalary practice where, from the Mayas of Yucatan
to the pyramids of Egypt, people regarded them as useless for any religious
or civil purpose and did nothing on those days. This may have also had some
basis for the practices. The texts of the pyramids expressly mention the
five days over and above the year comprised of twelve months of thirty days
(ibid., p. 340). The Aztecs and the American system, however, has eighteen
months of twenty days and so did not follow any lunar system. The five days
were considered, because of their mathematical values in the divisions of
the calendar, to be useless and the object of no work and a general malaise
of the society. This had no relationship to the Hebrew prophetic year of
twelve thirty-day months which is a symbolic idealisation of the actual
revolutions of the true intercalary nineteen year cycle. This religious
symbolism and structure is detailed in the Bible.
The five day sequence related to the calendar in
use in solar systems or Sun-worshipping systems. The twelve days were an
adjustment of the lunar to the solar which one would expect to find in the
more ancient Moon-Sun-Morning Star systems which were common at the time of
the Exodus (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
The Sun god
25 December was also associated with Mithras, as he was Sun god.
The Catholic liturgist Mario Righetti (in addition to Duchesne and also
After the peace of the Church of Rome, to facilitate the acceptance of the
faith by the pagan masses, found it convenient to institute the 25th of
December as the feast of the temporal birth of Christ, to divert them from
the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honour of the "Invincible
Sun" Mithras, the conqueror of darkness (fn 74, II, p. 67 quote also in
Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday, Pontifical Gregorian University Press,
Rome, 1977, p. 260).
Thus, Mithras was the god of the festival of the solstice on 25 December
which followed immediately on from the Saturnalia. With this deity, we see
Sunday worship emerge in Rome.
The dedications to Mithra was as Soli invicto Mithrae or the Invincible
Sun - the Unconquered Sun as Frazer terms it (p. 304). It was also related
to him as Sol Invictus Elagabal in the public form of the religion.
The term Father was a rank held by the priests of Mithra. The term is
forbidden to Christians (Mat. 23:9). It entered Christianity with the
Mystery cults.
What actually occurred was that the original calendars of the Roman system
began the week on Saturday and were in use in the first years of the
Augustan era (27 BCE to 14 CE) following the discovery of the calendar of
Nola (cf. A Degrassi, fn. 26, p. 104; cf. Bacchiocchi, ibid., p. 244). This
structure appears to be related to the system of Mithras (as we know from
the Epicurean Celcus (c. 140-180 CE) where the Sun occupied the highest
place on the ladder of ascent through the seven gates of
the Mithraic ladder from Saturn to the Sun. This is classic Shamanism and is
practiced by animistic religion throughout the world. In Origen Contra
Celsum, 6,21-22 we see that Celsus lists the planets in the reverse order
enabling the Sun to occupy the significant seventh position.
We later see this system emerge as the eight day symbolism in the Roman
system for the week beginning on Saturn's day or Saturday and ending with
the day of the Sun or Sunday which was always a holiday. The planetary week
was also not in the accepted order of the planets and people could not
account for the difference (cf. Plutarch Complete Works, III, p. 230; cf.
Bacchiocchi, ibid., p. 246).
The differences can be seen also by comparison with the Ziggurat of the
Babylonian system and the seven levels of ascent to the Moon god there (cf.
the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
The statement of Tertullian (Ad Nationes, 1, 13, ANF, III, p. 123), attempts
to refute the charge of Sun-worship. Tertullian admits that, by then,
Christians had commenced praying towards the east and made Sunday a day of
festivity. He directly places the responsibility for Sunday worship over the
Sabbath on the Sun-worshipping cults where he says they selected its day in
preference to the previous day of the week (i.e. the Sabbath or Saturday)
(cf. Bacchiocchi, pp. 248-249). However, by then, they were both worshipping
on that day as well as the Christian Sabbath.
Prayer to the Sun in the east
Apparently, prayer to the east originated by prayer towards Jerusalem as
Irenaeus mentions being the custom of the Ebionites (Adv. Her., 1,26, ANF,
I, p. 352). By the time of Clement of Alexandria and Origen, we see the
orientation to be towards the source of light that dispels the darkness of
the night although Clement still mentions the ancient temples (Stromateis,
7,7,43, GCS, 3, 32; cf. Bacchiocchi, p. 255).
Bacchiocchi makes it clear that the association between the Christian Sunday
and the pagan veneration of the day of the Sun is not explicit before the
time of Eusebius (c. 260-340 CE). Although previous writers associated him
as true light and sun of justice, no deliberate attempt prior to Eusebius
was made to justify Sunday observance by means of the symbology of the day
of the Sun (ibid., p. 261).
The process thus entered Christianity by means of the earlier December
festival, which was originally derived from the worship of Saturn and Opis
in the Saturnalia, and its association with the Heavenly Virgin or Mother
goddess and her infant child.
The gospels say nothing as to the day of Christ's birth and the early Church
did not celebrate it.
The custom of celebrating Christ's birth began in Egypt, being derived from
the Mother goddess cult there, and the Christians there celebrated it on 6
January. By the fourth century it had become generally established in the
East (Frazer, v, p. 304). The western church had never recognised 6 January
as the true date and, in time, its decision was accepted by the eastern
church. At Antioch this change was not introduced until about 375 CE
(Frazer, ibid.).
The origin of the practice is plainly recorded by the Syrian Christians as
we see from Frazer quoting also Credner and Momsen and also Usener (v, pp.
304-305).
The reason why the fathers transferred the celebration of the sixth of
January to the twenty fifth of December was this. It was a custom of the
heathen to celebrate on the same twenty-fifth of December the birthday of
the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these
solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part. Accordingly when
the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to
this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should
be solemnized on that day and the festival of the Epiphany on the sixth of
January. Accordingly, along with this custom, the practice has prevailed of
kindling fires till the sixth.
Thus, the Saturnalia led up to the solstice when presents were given to
children from 23 December or now Christmas eve on 24 December in the
Gregorian calendar. The rites of the solstice then took over from the
original Saturnalia but the period then became lengthened from three to
seven days to which was added the twelve days.
When we count five days from 25 December we come to 31 December from which
some of the Celts and Germans begin the count. The addition of St Stephen's
Day (or Boxing Day) brings the five day period from 27 December in line to 1
January.
The pagan origin of Christmas is also evident in Augustine when he exhorts
his brethren not to celebrate this solemn day like the heathen o account
of
Post by L Perez
the Sun but on account of him who made the Sun (Augustine Serm., cxc, 1;
in
Post by L Perez
Migne Patriologia Latina, xxxviii, 1007). Leo called the Great likewise
rebuked the pestilent belief that Christmas was solemnised because of the
birth of the new Sun, and not because of the nativity of Christ (Frazer,
ibid.; cf. Leo the Great Serm., xxii (al xxi) 6 and Migne, liv, 198).
However, by then, it was a hopeless cause. The entire system was endemic to
Christianity and the Mother goddess cult was entrenched.
Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate the birthday of
its Founder on the twenty-fifth of December in order to transfer the
devotion of the heathen from the Sun to him who was called the Sun of
Righteousness (p. 305).
There was a theory put forward by one Mgr Duchesne that 25 December arose
from the conformity with the equinox on 25 March and this was the day on
which Christ was killed and also on which his mother conceived. This digs an
even deeper pit because 25 March was indeed initially adopted in Africa and
elsewhere as the date of the crucifixion. However, it was on a Sunday in the
only year that 14 Nisan could have fallen on 25 March. It is thus
destructive to the theory. Moreover, 25 March is associated with the
festival of the god Attis as Frazer notes in his footnote to page 305. We
will examine this in the sections below.
The Goat and the Bear
On the twelve days we also see mummers playing the part of a goat and a
bear.
In the highlands of Scotland and St Kilda down until the last half of the
eighteenth century, at least a cowherd would wrap himself in a skin on New
Year's eve. The young people would meet and with staves they would beat the
hide as a drum and proceed from house to house where the one covered with
the hide runs three times round deiseil, i.e. in the way the Sun revolves.
let us raise the noise louder and louder let us beat the hide (Frazer, viii,
p. 323).
They go from house to house repeating verses. On entry, they call down
blessings on the house and its cattle, stones and timber, its produce and
health. A part of the hide was then burnt and applied to the noses of every
person and domestic animal in order to protect the inhabitants against
disease and misfortune for the coming year.
This last day of the year is called Hogmanay.
Each of the party, after the rhyme had been said and the Rann Calluin or
Christmas Rhyme had been repeated, in return entered and had refreshment.
The general thing that was burnt in lieu of the strip of hide was a
Casein-uchd made of the breast strip of a sheep (or deer or goat) wrapped
around the point of a shinty stick. This was singed in the fire and put
three times around the family and to the nose of all. No drink was taken
until this ceremony had been completed. The purpose was to protect the
household against witchcraft and disease.
On the Isle of Man, the feather of the wren was used (viii, p. 324).
The custom appears to be related to an older custom involving human
sacrifice. Frazer notes that the Khonds slew a human victim as a divinity
and took him from house to house and everyone took a relic of his sacred
person (cf. i, pp. 246 ff). The cowhide no doubt substituted for this
victim. The communion substituted for the body and blood of the god.
While these customs may not have connection with agriculture, the similar
customs of Plough Monday certainly do and the processions we see in Europe
of men clad as animals probably identify with the corn spirit. They may have
association with the Gilyak procession of the bear and the Indian procession
of the snake (ibid.).
Often in these processions (as in the last days of the carnival in Bohemia)
a man was swathed from head to foot in pease-straw and wrapped around in
straw ropes (Frazer, ibid.). This harkens back to the wicca man in ancient
Britain.
These festivals of agriculture were associated with both the midwinter
solstice and the spring equinox - both heralding the return of growth and
warmth and life as the power of the Sun and summer to nature.
The Bohemian man goes by the name of the Shrovetide or Carnival bear
(Fastnachtsbär).
After he has danced at every house with the girls and maids and the
For at Shrovetide, but especially at Shrove Tuesday, every one must dance,
if the flax, the vegetables and the corn are to thrive (Frazer, viii, p.
326).
The straw of the bear is put in the nests of the hens and geese. The bear
represents the spirit of fertility. The purpose of the dancing is to make
fertile both animal and vegetable in all aspects.
In parts of Bohemia, this person is not called a bear but an oats-goat.
In Prussian Lithuania on Twelfth day a man is wrapped in pease-straw to
represent the bear and another in oats-straw to represent the goat.
In Marburg in Steiermark, men appear as both a wolf and a bear (Frazer,
ibid.).
The man who gave the last stroke at threshing is called the wolf. He keeps
the name Wolf until Christmas when he is wrapped in a goat's skin and led
from house to house as a pease-bear at the end of a rope. His dress as a
goat marks him out and appears to associate the symbols of goat and bear and
wolf in this ancient ritual of the corn-spirit.
In Scandinavia, the appearance of the corn-spirit as a goat is common
(ibid.). In Sweden, led about with horns on his head, he personated the
Yule-goat. In parts of Sweden they make a pretence of slaughtering the goat
who comes to life again (ibid., p. 327). The two men who slaughter him sing
verses referring to the mantles of varying colours, red, blue, white and
yellow, which they laid on him.
After supper on Christmas evening, the people dance the "angel dance" to
ensure a good crop. Yule straw, either of wheat or rye, is made into the
likeness of a goat and thrown among the dancers with the cry of catch the
Yule-goat. In Dalarne it is called the Yule-ram.
In Denmark and Sweden, it is customary to bake cakes of fine meal at
Christmas in the shape of goats, rams and boars (Frazer, ibid., p. 328).
They are often made out of the last sheaf at harvest and kept until
sowing-time where they are partly mixed with the seed corn and partly eaten
by the people and the plough oxen in the hope of securing a good harvest.
The commonality of the customs from the British Isles to Europe and
Scandinavia and the East establishes beyond doubt the ancient practice as
appeasement of the corn-spirit and the ancient gods. The appearance as a
wether and a boar is also ancient and widespread.
The Straw-bear was witnessed in Wittlesy Cambridgeshire, being performed as
it had been for centuries on the day after Plough Monday, by Professor Moore
Smith of Sheffield University in January 1909 (see letter of 13 January
1909; cf. Frazer, viii, p. 329).
Plough Monday is the first Monday of January after Twelfth day. It is beyond
dispute that we are dealing with an ancient agricultural festival which is
directed at appeasement of the ancient agricultural gods in the sequence of
the midwinter festivals which run from the Saturnalia to the solstice high
day and then on to the twelve days of so-called Christmas to the plough
festival of Plough Monday and Shrove Tuesday.
It appears to have been anciently associated with human sacrifice - perhaps
in each of the three aspects or perhaps as single festivals.
Plough Monday in England was normally associated with a team of human plough
bullocks, one of whom was disguised as an old crone called Bessy. They went
about leaping and dancing in high fashion presumably to make the corn grow
as high as they leapt. This was similar to the practice of the Straw-bears
or Yule-goats on the continent and elsewhere in UK.
The same practices are found in Thrace and Bulgaria on the same day, i.e.
the Monday of the last week of Carnival. One dancer (the Kuker) is a man
clad in goatskin. Another dancer (the Kukerica), disguised in petticoats as
the old woman or baba, has "her" face blackened.
Bears are represented by dogs wrapped in bearskins. A mock court is set up
of a king and judge and other officials. The plays of the Kuker and Kukerica
are wanton and lascivious.
Towards evening, two people are yoked to a plough and the Kuker ploughs a
few furrows and sows some corn. He then takes off his disguise and is paid
for his trouble.
The people believe that the person who plays the Kuker commits a deadly sin
and the priests also make vain efforts to abolish the customs. The Kuker in
Losengrad district has a cake with money in it which is distributed to those
present. If a farmer gets the coin, the crops will be good; if a herdsman
gets it, the herds will be good. The Kuker also symbolically ploughs the
ground and waves to and fro to imitate the waving corn. The man with the
coin is bound and dragged by the feet over the ground to quicken the
fertility of the ground. This drawing by lot is reminiscent also of the
Saturnalia sacrifice we saw above.
In Bulgaria itself, the festival has the Old Woman or Mother as the leading
personage, played by a man in woman's clothing. The Kuker and Kukerica are
subordinate to the "Old Woman". They wear fantastic masks of human heads
with animal horns or birds heads and skins with a girdle of lime bark. On
their back is a hump made out of rags. This festival in Bulgaria, being the
Monday of the last week of Carnival, is called Cheese Monday. It is
nevertheless associated with the Ploughing festival.
The same rituals associated in western Europe of going round the house and
the blessings conferred by the presence of the "old woman" on the fertility
of the village is uppermost in the minds of all. Incursion by masked people
from any other village is seen as a threat and a drawing away of the
fertility of the village. Such incursions are resisted.
The similarity between the Old Woman with the black face of Demeter and the
two aides of Pluto and Persephone are probably behind the origins of the
three kings custom, with the black Mechior representing Demeter.
The festival of Befana in Rome on the night before Epiphany is clearly
related to this festival of Demeter and the term Befana is obviously a
corruption of Epiphany. She is clearly an old witch and the noise of this
festival is clearly associated with an ancient custom of clearing the area
of evil influences (see also below). The same ceremonies involving Befana on
the eve of Epiphany were or are observed in Tuscan Romagna and elsewhere in
Italy (Frazer, ix, p. 167).
Frazer rightly sees in the Old Woman of the Bulgarian and Thracian system a
reference to the Corn Mother-goddess Demeter who in the likeness of an old
woman brought blessing to the house of Celeus, king of Eleusis and restored
the lost fertility to the fallow Eleusinian fields. The Kuker and Kukerica,
the male and female mummers, represent Pluto and Persephone. These rituals
are extant from East to West and represent the oldest of the religious
festivals (Frazer, viii, pp. 334-335). We are thus directly in the middle of
the Eleusinian Mystery cults and linked with the same Mystery cults of
ancient times from the cult of Apollo in early Europe and of Dionysius and
of agricultural symbols in the cult of worship of the Sun god. The
Bull-slaying cults are thus also involved and we see from the times of
dedication of the Bulls sacrificed by the Greeks in Magnesia after its
dedication in the beginning of the sowing that we have a common idea of the
festival. Zeus is the partner of Demeter and the final product is the
slaying of the Bull to Zeus in the equivalent of the month of May.
Yule logs, the holly and ivy, and mistletoe
The summer and winter solstice were seen as the two great turning points of
the year. Fires were lit on both solstices. The midsummer fires were lit in
the open and youths jumped the fires. This practice was found among the
Celts in Ireland, Britain and Gaul and also among the north Africans in
Morocco and the Atlas Mountains. Their practice is much more ancient than
the Islam they also profess. The practice of lighting fires happened
anciently among the pagans on May Day and on Halloween (1 November) called
All Saints Day. The asymmetric nature of these festivals with that of the
solstice should be noted. The Festival of Walpurgis on the last day of April
preceding May Day is the Festival of the Burning of the Witches. This type
of festival is also associated with the twelve days between Christmas 25
December and the Epiphany of 6 January. Fires of pine-resin are lit on these
nights to keep the witches away. The fires are generally larger on Twelfth
Night. In Silesia, people burn fires of pine-resin between Christmas and New
Year to drive witches away from the farmhouses. This was the "proper time
for the expulsion of the forces of darkness". On Christmas eve and New Year'
s eve, shots are fired over the fields and people wrap straw around the
fruit trees to prevent evil forces from doing them harm.
In Biggar in Lanarkshire UK, New Year's eve is the traditional time for this
fire which has been lit since time immemorial.
In 1644, nine witches of flesh and blood were burnt on Leith Links in
Scotland (Frazer, ix, p. 165).
Fires are lit in the Autumn but are not significant. The festival of the
nativity of the Virgin on 8 September was traditionally associated with
noise and uproar associated with Befana at Rome and traditionally involved
assassinations. Prof. Housman noted that when he witnessed the festival at
Capri in 1897, a few more than the usual eight or ten were murdered (Frazer,
x, p. 221).
Fires are also traditionally lit on the midwinter solstice on 25 December.
The difference between the midsummer and midwinter fires being that the
midwinter fires are lit indoors and form part of the ritual of the
invocation of the Sun god to his place of supremacy in the heavens. Thus,
the midwinter fires developed a more cloistered or family type atmosphere.
It is perhaps of significance that in the Shetland Islands, the Yule or
Christmas holidays began seven days before Christmas and ended at Antinmas,
i.e. the twenty-fourth day after Christmas.
The Shetlanders name these holidays the Yules. Seven days before Christmas,
the elves called Trows by the Shetlanders are let free from their homes in
the earth and dwell above ground if it pleases them. This is the probable
origin of the elf symbolism of and with Santa Claus. It seems to relate back
to the concept of the misrule of the seven days of the Saturnalia leading up
to 25 December.
The most important of the rituals in Yule was the saining which had to be
properly carried out to deal with the grey folk as the elves were called.
The modern myths emanating from the USA regarding alien greys is none other
than the revamping of the elves at Yule.
On the last day of the holidays, the twenty-fourth day after Christmas,
called up-helly-a, or Uphalliday in Shetland, the doors were all opened and
a great deal of pantomimic chasing went on to rid the area of the
mischievous elves. People piously read the Bible and displayed iron
ostentatiously "for it is well known that elves cannot abide the sight of
iron." The infants were carefully guarded and sained by learned wise women.
No doubt, we have the sign of the evil eye involved here as an ancient
custom (cf. also the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).
When day dawned after twenty-fourth night, the Trows or Grey-folk had
vanished and the Yules were ended.
The customs of banishing evil forces and witches on a night set aside for
the purpose in the period of the winter solstice and festivals can thus be
traced from Rome and Calabria in the south as far north as the Shetlands. It
also runs from Ireland to the Steppes and down to North Africa.
The log
We know that the Germans burnt the Yule log which was an ancient custom even
by the eleventh century. In 1184, the parish priest of Ahlen in Münsterland
records bringing a tree to kindle the festal fire at the Lord's nativity
(Frazer, x, p. 247). This was found in Britain in ancient times and was
common to the Teutons and apparently the Celts. John Brand is quoted by
Frazer as saying that the Yule block is a counterpart of the midsummer fires
made within doors because of the cold weather at the winter solstice (ibid.,
n. 2). This was nothing other than the erroneous application to 25 December
of the solstice which was set aside for the worship of the Sun (Frazer, x,
p. 246). This lighting of the tree fire was to assist the Sun to relight its
ailing lamp, and the entire system of fires and candles at the nativity
before the Heavenly Virgin is the ancient worship of the Mother goddess and
her infant child, the Sun. The lamps assist in the lighting of the heavenly
fire of the Sun and this is the basic idea behind flame and its use in
Zoroastrianism.
The Yule log was also kept among European groups and placed on the fire to
ward off thunder and the effects of storms. Thus, the relationship is
clearly made between the ancient gods of the Teutons over thunder and
lightning and weather and the Yule log at the solstice.
Mistletoe
Mistletoe was sacred in the religion of the Druids. The Druids who came via
Egypt as Magi were picked up by the Milesians in Spain from among the
Gadelians before the Scoto-Milesians went to Ireland. From there they spread
into Britain and Europe (MacGeohagen The History of Ireland, Sadlier, NY, p.
42; cf. Frazer, ii, pp. 358,362; xi, pp. 76 ff,301).
Pliny (Natural History, xvi, pp. 249-251) derives the word Druid from the
Greek word for oak which is drus. It is, however, the same or similar in the
Celtic being daur. The Druids are thus priests of the oak. Their cult is
thus ancient and associated with the oak groves. Other scholars prefer to
derive the name from the root meaning knowledge or wisdom - hence, they were
the wizards or magicians. This is also borne from the title Magi which they
held (cf. Frazer, xi, pp. 76-77, n. 1 to p. 76).
The Druidic cycle of the calendar was of thirty years and there appears to
be a common relationship in their worship with that of the Boetians who,
like they, worship or conjured the oak and, thus, both may have a common
Aryan connection. The Boetian cycle, in the festival of the great Daedala,
was one of sixty years and not thirty. This may have application to the
Aryan practice observed among the Indians of the sixty year cycle based on
the sidereal cycle of Jupiter.
The mistletoe is cut with a golden scythe on the first or sixth day of the
Moon (Frazer, xi, pp. 77-78). It is associated with fertility and was held
to make barren animals and women to bring forth. It was thought to have
fallen from the sky and was called the all-healer (Frazer, xi, pp.
77-79,82). Two white bulls were sacrificed at its cutting on the sixth day
for this purpose. The priest was dressed in a white robe. It was cut on the
first day of the Moon by the Italians and on the sixth by the Druids. This
difference is probably accounted for because of the commencement of the
lunar month in both systems. Neither cut the mistletoe with an iron
implement. It was not allowed to touch the earth and, hence, it was caught
in a white cloth.
The Italians believed that mistletoe growing on oak had similar properties
if we accept Pliny and, thus, there was a commonality of belief to both
systems.
We are thus back again to the fertility system of the Saturnalia and the
healing of the Mysteries and Apollo, but in an ancient form common to the
Aryans before 1000 BCE.
This system was so ancient that it was common even to the Ainu of Japan who
also held it sacred. They, however, use mistletoe cut from a willow because
that tree is sacred to them. They agree with both the Druids (in its
curative properties) and the Italians (regarding the fertility of women for
childbirth) in their beliefs (Frazer, xi, p. 79).
This belief extends down to the natives of Mabuig Island in the Torres
Strait (ibid.). The common belief is also found in Africa among the Walos of
Senegambia (ibid.).
The veneration of mistletoe as an all-healer is found among Swiss peasants
and among the Swedes (ibid., p. 82).
The Norse god Balder was said to have been slain by mistletoe and Frazer
gives an extensive account of this matter in his work.
Mistletoe was used as a remedy for epilepsy generally and by high medical
authorities in the UK and Holland as late as the eighteenth century (ibid.,
p. 83, noting Ray of UK in 1700, Boerhaave of Holland in 1720 and his pupil
Van Swieten in 1745).
Mistletoe is held to be a protection against lightning and fire and, hence,
associated with the Yule system also (Frazer, xi, p. 85).
It was most commonly used at the midsummer fires and at this time was
associated with the death of the god Balder. This seems to have involved
actual human sacrifice at this time in Denmark, Norway and Sweden (Frazer,
xi, p. 87). The practice of throwing the victim chosen by lot into the
Beltane fire and also the Green wolf of the midsummer fires are associated
with this system of worship as tree spirits or gods of vegetation (ibid., p.
88).
The worship of mistletoe is associated directly with the cult of the worship
of the oak and was common to all the Aryans. The Celts in Asia Minor
worshiped at the grove called Drynemetum which is pure Celtic, meaning
Temple of the Oak. These are the groves which also contained a phallus
spoken against by the Bible.
Among the Slavs, the oak was the sacred symbol of the great god Perun and
the oak ranks first among the holy trees of the Germans. It was adored by
them anciently and certain of these practices and attitudes survive to the
present day (Frazer, ibid., p. 89).
The oak was also sacred to the Italians and the image of Jupiter on the
Capitol was originally nothing but a natural oak tree. At Dodona, Zeus was
also worshipped as being immanent in the oak. Frazer concludes that the
Aryans, including Celts, Germans and Lithuanians, commonly held the oak
sacred before their dispersion and this common land must have been
plentifully supplied with oak. The mistletoe is merely its symbol, as heaven
sent aspect of healing, protection and fertility.
The kindling of sacred fire, whether among the Celts, Germans or Slavs, is
always by use of the oak in rubbing two of the sticks together or by rubbing
oak on a grey stone (not red). The same types of practice are found from
Germany to the highlands of Scotland in kindling the need-fire (cf. Frazer,
xi, p. 91).
Frazer says the perpetual fire of Vesta in Rome was fed with oak wood. Oak
wood also burnt in the perpetual fire before the sacred oak at Romove in
Lithuania. The blocks of oak are burnt also from the midwinter solstice
through to the end of the year and replaced with the new log and the ashes
are mixed among the seed etc. for fertility.
The common link in all these stories is the burning of the fires and the
cutting of the mistletoe. The ancient Aryans believed, as we can deduce from
the myth of Balder, that the oak was the god and the mistletoe's link with
it ensured its longevity. The human sacrifice at the midsummer fires ensured
the life of the crops. The use of mistletoe and the Yule log at the
midwinter solstice also looked to the sacrifice of the god represented by
the human who took his place, and the return of the Sun system. This is the
underlying symbolism of the Christmas tradition (cf. Frazer, xi, p. 93).
While the mistletoe stood, neither the god nor his substitute could be
injured. The cutting of the mistletoe was both the signal and the cause of
his death.
Holly and ivy
Holly and ivy allegedly represent male and female. The ivy clings and
twines - supposedly representing the female. The holly is prickly and
erect - supposedly representing the male.
In Surrey England, a holly tree is used to pass a child through a cleft to
heal rupture whereas it is usually an ash elsewhere (Frazer, xi, p. 169, n.
2).
The holly-oak was sacred to the Fratres Arvales or Brethren of the Tilled
Fields. This was a Roman college of twelve priests who performed public
religious rites for the purposes of agriculture. They wore wreaths of ears
of corn. Their sacrifices were made in the grove of the goddess Dia some
five miles down the Tiber from Rome. This grove contained laurels and
holly-oaks. It was so hallowed that expiatory sacrifices were offered every
time a tree or even a bough of a tree fell to the ground. This was obviously
especially prone to occur with the advent of snow and storms at the winter
solstice. Hence, the concept also of holly and the white Christmas. More
elaborate sacrifices had to be made when one of the trees were struck by
lightning. They were then dug up by the roots, split and burnt and others
planted in their stead. At the Roman festival of the Parilia which was for
the welfare of flocks and herds, peasants prayed for forgiveness if they
entered a hallowed grove, sat under a sacred tree, or lopped a holy bough to
feed sheep (cf. Frazer, ii, p. 123).
Pliny says the woods were formerly the temples of the deities and that even
in his time the peasants dedicated a tall tree to a god with the ritual of
olden times (Pliny Natural History, xii, p. 3).
The ivy is the symbol of the Mystery cults. It is chewed by the Bacchanalian
feast-goers. It is identified with the god Dionysius, or Bacchus.
Ivy was used by the Greeks as one of the two firesticks. The board of the
pair was made out of a parasitic or creeping plant which was usually ivy.
The borer was usually laurel. Oak was also used as the borer.
The ancient Indians used a parasite (the climbing fig) as the borer using
the parasite as the male concept. The Greeks seemed to have reversed this
concept. The ivy is considered female and the laurel male. Yet in the Greek,
the word ivy is masculine and the ivy was identified anciently with the male
god Dionysius. The word for laurel is feminine and is identified with a
nymph. Thus, we may conclude that the Greeks, like the Indians, considered
the concepts similarly in very ancient times but modified them perhaps
though expedience (Frazer, ii, pp. 251-252).
Anciently, ivy was prohibited to touch or name (Frazer, iii, pp. 13 ff.).
Ivy was also sacred to the god Attis and, hence, we come then to the pine
tree which was also sacred to that god (cf. Frazer, v, p. 278 and see the
paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).
Ivy was also sacred to the god Osirus (Frazer, vi, p. 112) and also for
dreams (ibid., x, p. 242). Thus, we see a commonality to the system of the
Triune god and the Mystery cults generally which ties in naturally with the
solstice system and Sun worship. Thus, the holly and the ivy are the symbols
also of the oak and other groves dedicated to the deities so condemned by
the Bible.
The Christmas tree
The decorated pine tree stems directly from the Mystery cults and the
worship of the god Attis. He is held to have been a man who became a tree
and, hence, is the embodiment of the ancient tree-spirit we meet in ancient
Indian or Indus mythology from as early as Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. He is
clearly a fertility god of corn and wears a Phrygian cap like Mithras (from
the statue in the Lateran; Frazer, v, p. 279).
The bringing in of the pine tree decked in violets and woollen bands is like
bringing in the May-tree or Summer-tree in modern folk custom. The effigy
which was attached to the tree was a duplicate representative of the god
Attis. This was traditionally kept until the next year when it was burnt
(Firmicus Maternus De errore profanarum religionum; cf. Frazer, v, p. 277
and n. 2).
The original intent of this custom was to maintain the spirit of vegetation
intact throughout the coming year. The Phrygians worshipped the pine tree
above all others and it is from this area that we derive the Mysteries and
the Mithras system. It is probably sacred to the cults in that it is an
evergreen lasting through the solstice period over a large area, when other
trees are bare. Remember also that pine resin was burnt at the solstice
festivals. The origins are lost in the antiquity of the Assyro-Babylonian
system.
The resemblance of the god Attis was changed to the Sun symbol as a
monstrance on the top and then to angels and other types of decorations. The
decorations are easily identifiable as the Sun, Moon, and stars of the
Triune system of the Babylonians as Sin Ishtar and Shamash or Isis, Osirus
and Horus of the Egyptians (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
Ivy was also sacred to Attis and his eunuch priests were tattooed with the
symbol of the ivy leaf (Frazer, v, p. 278).
Pine nuts were used to produce a wine used in the orgiastic rites of Cybele
which were in effect counterparts of the Dionysian orgies and Strabo
compared them (Strabo, x, 3. 12 ff).
At the festival of Thesmophoria, they were thrown along with pigs and other
agents or emblems of fertility into the sacred vaults of Demeter for the
purpose of increasing the fertility of the earth and of women (Frazer, v, p.
278). Thus, we are back again to the Demeter festivals and the aspects that
have kept on and which are associated with Christmas in Europe generally as
we have already seen.
The Epiphany
The term Epiphany means manifestation as the appearance of some divine or
superhuman being. It was applied to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, king of Syria
(175-164 BCE).
It was also known as: the dies luminum (day of lights); as three kings day
or the twelfth day. All of these are dealt with above. The practices
associated with it are all derived from the ancient sources we see in the
text and have little to do with the faith.
The name survives in the great festival of Befana at Rome (cf. Catholic
Encyclopedia, art., Epiphany, Robert Appleton, NY, 1909, Vol. V, p. 504).
It is difficult to say how closely the practice then observed of buying all
sorts of earthenware images, combined with whistles and representing some
type of Roman life, is to be connected with the rather similar custom in
vogue during the December feast of the Saturnalia (ibid.).
It is hardly difficult to identify. The practices were the same and the term
is applied to the manifestation of the Befana as the goddess as we see
above. The attempts to place the reference in Hippolytus on the Sacrament of
Baptism is incorrect as he uses the term theophaneia not epiphania (ibid.).
The first substantive reference is in Clement (Stromateis, I, xxi, p. 45).
'There are those, too, who over-curiously assign to the Birth of our Saviour
not only its year but its day, which they say to be on 25 Pachon (20 May) in
the twenty eighth year of Augustus. But the followers of Basilides celebrate
the day of his Baptism too, spending the previous night in readings. And
they say that it was the 15th of the month Tybi of the 15th year of Tiberius
Caesar. And some say that it was observed the 11th of the same month.' Now,
15 and 11 Tybi are 6 and 10 January.
Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church try to draw from this
practice of the Gnostics under Basilides (teaching at Rome in the middle of
the second century) support for the celebration of the nativity as well as
the baptism of Christ but there is no real evidence for this conjecture. The
evidence of the festivals themselves indicate that the practice was the
ancient fertility festival and the blessing of the produce. From this arose
the practice of blessing the waters and the practice of throwing crucifixes
into the sea to make the seas productive for fisherman. All are based in
ancient paganism and were not evident in Christianity until the fourth
century. This addition was well after Origen writing in the third century as
he makes no mention of the Epiphany in his list of the festivals. The first
reference to it as a feast of the church is in 361 (cf. CE, p. 505).
From Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a rather late invention and comes to us as a product of late
American commercialism. It is derived chiefly from German and Dutch
folklore. It has its origins in the entity referred to as Saint Nicholas.
The man usually known as Saint Nicholas is Nicholas of Myra in Lycia. He
died on 6 December 345 or 352 (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XI, p. 63). He is
popular in both the Greek and the Latin church but there is scarcely
anything certain about him except that he was bishop of Myra in the fourth
century (ibid., p. 64). He was born at Parara in Lycia of Asia Minor. In his
youth, he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and Palestine. On his return he was
made bishop of Myra and was imprisoned during the persecution of Diocletian.
He was released on the ascension of Constantine. The Catholics allege he was
present at Nicaea but his name does not appear on any of the records by
their own admission (ibid.).
In 1087, Italian merchants stole his body at Myra and took it to Bari. His
cult in Italy dates from this point. It appears this may have been prompted
by a cult that had developed concerning him in Europe. The numerous miracles
attributed to him are the outgrowth of a long tradition but, as we will see,
much of it has pagan origins that would have little to do with the original
man.
His cult in the Greek church is old and especially prominent in the Russian
church although they were long after him (c. 1000 CE). The emperor Justinian
I built a church in his honour at Constantinople and his name appears on the
liturgy ascribed to John Chrysostom (ibid.).
His cult in Europe started from the time of Otto II whose wife Theophano was
a Grecian. Bishop Reginald of Eichstadt (d. 991) wrote a metric entitled the
Vita S. Nicholai. He is, or was, honoured as patron saint in Greece, Russia,
the kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Lorraine, the Diocese of Liege, and many
cities in Italy, Germany, Austria and Belgium, Campen in the Netherlands,
Corfu in Greece, Frieburg in Switzerland and Moscow in Russia (ibid.). He
was patron of mariners, merchants, bankers and children.
His relics are still preserved in the church of S. Nicola in Bari. An oily
substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, is said to exude from his relics. It
is valued for medicinal purposes. His relationship with the festivals of 5/6
December are examined below.
One legend associated with him relates to the formation of three golden
balls, each made from his wages for one year, and rolled through the window
of a needy family of good birth over a period of years. The first ball
allegedly landed in a stocking (hence the Christmas stocking). This enabled
the needy recipients to marry off their daughters. He was allegedly seen on
the last time. This is no doubt the origin of the three golden balls of the
pawn brokers and the symbol of his patronage of merchants. These stories we
will see have relationship with other myths.
The traditions associated with his generosity caused the practice of Norman
French nuns giving to the poor on Saint Nicolas day or eve and this came to
be called Boxing Day from the alms box of the church. This became the
tradition behind the Boxing Day of 26 December. In Germany, Christ Bundles
were also given to the poor and the annual parades took on the Heavenly
Mother goddess tokens of the Mysteries.
The practice of children saving all year for the annual pig at Christmas in
Holland led to the introduction of the piggy bank.
The amalgam also of the false Roman robes of the clergy worn on the Festival
of Fools and the tales of Odin's wild ride and the beards of the Magi with
the elves of the Yule festivals saw a gradual evolution.
Nicholas of Myra was a saint in the Roman Catholic Church until 1969 when he
suffered the fate of many other myths.
Sinterklaas - the precursor of Santa Claus
Sinterklaas, or Saint Nicolas, is a typical Dutch folklore, celebrated in
the Netherlands and partly in Belgium.
The celebration of Sinterklaas is always on the evening, after sunset of 5
December in the Netherlands and 6 December in Belgium.
In the celebration of the evening and night, the children are assembled
"Heerlijk avondje is gekomen. Kom maar binnen met je knecht".
"The nice (or lordlike) evening has come. Come in with your servant".
His servant, Black Peter, is black. He is always portrayed as a Negro with
thick lips and earrings and clothed in funny clothes. This probably stems
from the Demeter/Melchior nexus and later associated with good and evil
being embodied in the legend of Woden and Nöwi.
Sinterklaas himself is as a bishop with mitre and a book with the good deeds
and sins. He has the staff of a shepherd and rides on a white horse over the
roof tops. Black Peter listens at the chimneys to determine whether the
children are singing the right songs and presenting the right offerings to
the horse in the form of hay and carrots.
The presents for the children are put through the chimney.
Sinterklaas is a syncretic product of the old Germanic or Teutonic religion.
The god Woden (also known as Odin), who is still remembered by the use of
Wednesday, was the most important god of the old Germanic tribes (not the
small group of people we understand as Germans today). Woden, who is a
figure of history, was made into the personification of the multitude of
earlier gods - the gods of wind and war, the god of the dead, the god of
fertility, the god of wisdom and the Sun god. We will find him in
mythological legends "riding through the air on his faithful white horse,
clothed in a flowing robe." Further, he is described as a figure with a long
white beard, and with a big hat on his head. Because he was also held to be
the god of wisdom, he had a book in his hand written in rune letters, and he
carried a great spear.
In these stories Woden was accompanied by the giant Nöwi, who had a black
countenance because he was the father of the night. He was, according to
legend, well versed in making rhymes and poems. He carried in his hand, as a
sign of fertility, a bunch of twigs.
From these aspects - the white horse, the wide robe, the big hat, the book,
the spear, and the black Nöwi, with a bunch of twigs, and the poems or
poetic traditions - we have so many parallels with our today's Sinterklaas
and Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) that is beyond mere coincidence. We see here,
also, the parallels with Demeter and the three wise kings one of whom was
also the black Melchior.
If we now add to this the traditional customs, we will complete the picture.
The old Germanic tribes or Teutons always left, after the harvest, a sheaf
on the land for the white horse of Woden. The children offered, during the
Sinterklaas time, hay in their shoes at the chimney (stockings at the
chimney at Christmas) for his horse.
We see here the same traditions as found among the Celts of burning the
twelve fires and the thirteenth major fire of the straw. We also see the
black faces of the Mother goddess system. We can deduce a much earlier
origin than that attributed to Woden. This is part of the early cults of
fertility related to Apollo as Sun god and master of the Mystery religions
among the states of the Danube and into the Hyperborean Celts. He was drawn
across the sky in a chariot and often this was pictured being drawn not just
by horses but by geese or swans. The similarity of these feasts was with the
old ceremonies of the Saturnalia which was traditionally prior to Christmas.
In the Netherlands, we see a much earlier date than is normal now. It was
some thirty days before the Epiphany. It was, however, not thirty days
before the solstice as we saw in the Saturnalia examples above. We see the
same tradition but removed so that the thirty days of the Lord of Misrule as
the god Saturn and Apollo relate to the Epiphany rather than the end of the
Saturnalia.
Today's tradition in the Netherlands is to give letters of chocolate or
almond pastry. The connection with the ancient runes seems very obvious. The
German Wotan feast was a mixture of sacrifice and fertility festivals during
and around the midwinter feasts. The lads and lassies of the Germanic tribes
prayed in those early times for a partner. The presents from Sinterklaas
were also in the form of lovers made from speculatius or other cakes. Also,
presents were of animals in the form of sugar mice and pigs, to substitute
for the real animal sacrifices.
Sinterklaas is also the patron of the city of Amsterdam and the seamen who
sail from her ports.
The apparel of Sinterklaas is Roman Catholic. It was little wonder that, in
the sixteenth century, the Reformation tried to stamp out these customs. It
was not entirely successful in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas came to life
again after an absence of some centuries (or being underground) in
Protestant Netherlands in the first half of the twentieth century.
Sinterklaas disappeared in England and Germany and went underground. Many of
the traditions simply were moved to 25 December and completed with the
Christmas tree and Santa Claus. The acceptance of the 'rebirth' of
Sinterklaas in Protestant Netherlands was sooner and earlier than the
acceptance of the Christmas tree. Today, commercialism has to fight to get
Santa Claus accepted in the Netherlands, as many are against this imposter
of Sinterklaas, even though its rebirth in the Netherlands was because of
what was done in the USA.
Santa Claus in the USA
When migrants went to the United Sates, they brought with them the Yule
traditions from Europe and particularly the three elements which went to
make up the Santa Claus myth.
The Dutch contributed the Sinterklaas myth which was adapted from its
traditional place. The Pere Noel tradition of the red robes was also
contributed from Europe. The Germans brought with them the Christ Bundle
tradition and termed it Christkindl or Christ Child tradition. The name Kris
Kringle developed from this term.
Washington Irving in the Knickerbocker Tales (c. 1820) discusses the elf
Santa Claus who presents the stocking as did St Nicholas.
Clement Clark Moore introduced many new elements in his poem A Visit from
Saint Nicholas which was renamed 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. He
introduced new elements such as eight reindeer including the traditional
representation we see regarding thunder and lightning as the gods of the
Yule festival in the form of Donner (Donder) and Blitzen.
Santa Claus was still an elf of the Yule tradition however until the
American Civil War when Thomas Nast of Harpers Weekly was commissioned to do
a series of Santa Claus cartoons. He continued this after the Civil War and
the publishing company McLaughlin Brothers Printing Company experimented
with the colour of Santa's leather and decided on red.
The final change was made in 1931. The Scandinavian Haddon Sundblom was
hired by Coca Cola to paint Santa Claus. On the death of his model, he
fashioned Santa Claus on his own face. This continued for twenty-five years.
In 1941, the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was written. It was
recorded by the cowboy singer Gene Autry.
The Coca Cola model and colours and the American myths surrounding the
figure are now the final product of at least 3,000 years of pagan idolatry
wrapped in the crass commercialism that first emanated from the merchants of
the Roman Saturnalia and which was perfected in the USA.
There is nothing Christian about so-called Christmas and, indeed, it is so
steeped in false religious superstition that it is a direct breach of
biblical law. No Christian can observe it and remain a Christian.
Besq
2003-12-16 07:37:32 UTC
Permalink
Thank you Mr. Perez! I'm printing this out to put in my "Christmas is
Pagan" booklet, valuable information. Thank you especially for the time you
took with it.
Post by L Perez
There was a festival celebrated in December in Rome. It is necessary to any
understanding of what is happening at Christmas. That festival was termed
the Saturnalia. It was the festival of Saturn to whom the inhabitants of
Latium, the Latins, attributed agriculture and the arts necessary to
civilised life (Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 2nd ed.,
London 1851, p. 1009). It fell towards the end of December and was viewed by
the population as a time of absolute relaxation and merriment. During its
continuance, the law courts were closed. No public business could be
transacted. The schools kept holiday. To commence a war was impious and to
punish a malefactor involved pollution (ibid.). Slaves were relieved of
onerous toils and permitted to wear the pileus or badge of freedom. They
were granted freedom of speech and were waited on at a special banquet by
their masters whose clothes they wore (ibid.). All ranks devoted themselves
to feasting and mirth with presents exchanged among friends.
Wax tapers were given by the more humble to their superiors. The crowds
thronged the streets and Smith says many of the customs had a remarkable
resemblance to those of Christmas and the Italian carnival (ibid.).
Public gambling was condoned by the authorities as was later card-playing
indulged even by the most rigid in later times at Christmas eve. The whole
populace threw off the toga, wore the loose gown called the synthesis and
walked about with the pileus on their heads. Smith's Dictionary says this
practice is reminiscent of the dominoes, peaked caps and other disguises
worn at later Christmas festivals by masques and mummers. The cerei or wax
tapers or lights, were probably employed as the moccoli are on the last
night of the carnival. Our traditions of Christmas lights probably stems
from this tradition.
Lastly, for amusement in private society, was the election of a mock king
which is immediately recognised in the ceremony of Twelfth Night (ibid.). We
will come across this later.
Sir James George Frazer, in his classic study of magic and religion (The
Golden Bough, McMillan, 1976), says this mock king was an allusion back to
the idyllic days of the reign of Saturn and the slaves being given temporary
freedom at this time hearkened back to these days when all were free and
things were just (ibid., ix, p. 308 ff). Roman soldiers stationed on the
Danube in the reign of Maximian and Diocletian are recorded (by Franz
Cumont) to have chosen a young and handsome man to resemble Saturn from
among them by lot thirty days before the festival. They dressed him in royal
attire to resemble Saturn. He went about in public attended by a retinue of
soldiers and indulged his passions no matter how base and shameful. At the
end of thirty days, he then cut his own throat on the altar of the god he
personated. In the year 303, the lot fell upon the Christian soldier Dasius
but he refused to play the part of the heathen god and to soil his last days
by debauchery. He refused to give in to the intimidation of his commanding
officer Bassus and was accordingly beheaded by the soldier John at
Durostorum on Friday 20 November 303 being the twenty-fourth day of the Moon
at the fourth hour (Frazer, ibid.).
This historical account has been confirmed, after its publication by Franz
Cumont, by the discovery in the crypt of the cathedral at Ancona, of the
white marble sarcophagus in script characteristic of the age of Justinian
Here lies the holy martyr Dasius, brought from Durostorum.
The sarcophagus had been brought there from the church of St Pellegrino in
1848 where it lay under the high altar and was recorded as being there in
1650 (Frazer, p. 310).
Frazer says this sets a new light on the nature of the Lord of the
Saturnalia, the ancient Lord of Misrule, who presided over the winter revels
at Rome (ibid., p. 311). Here we see the extent of the traditions and the
elements of human sacrifice which extend into the festivals in both
December
Post by L Perez
and at the equinox. Dasius the Christian suffered martyrdom rather than
participate in these revels.
As Saturnus was an ancient national god of Latium, the institution of the
Saturnalia is lost in remote antiquity (ibid.).
There are three traditions associated with it.
It is ascribed to Janus who on the sudden disappearance of his benefactor
from the abodes of men erected an altar to him as a deity in the forum and
ordained annual sacrifices.
According to Varro, it is attributed to the wanderings of Pelasagi on their
first settlement in Italy. Hercules then on his return from Spain was said
to have abolished the worship and practice of immolating human sacrifice;
and
The third tradition attributes the Saturnalia to the followers of Hercules
who set it up after his return to Greece.
In either of the last two we see a commonality. The practice of this
agricultural festival thus has certain common elements with the spring
festival of Easter as we will see later. The element of human sacrifice
common to all traditions can also be traced to the worship of Moloch as the
Moon god Sin and also of Ishtar (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
This sacrificial aspect also appeared in the worship of the god Attis (see
below).
The erection of temples in historical times are recorded, such as during the
reign of Tatius, Tarquinius superbus, to the consulship of A Sempronius or M
Minucius (497 BCE) or in that of T Larcius the previous year. It appears the
ceremonies were at varying stages neglected or corrupted and then revived
and extended (ibid.).
The Saturnalia originally fell on 14 Kalend January. When the Julian
calendar was introduced it was extended to 16 Kalend January which caused
confusion among the more ignorant and Augustus enacted that three whole days
(namely 17, 18 and 19 December) should be hallowed in all time coming
(ibid.). Some unknown authority added a fourth day and Caligula added a
fifth day, the Juvenalis. This fell into disuse and was later restored by
the emperor Claudius.
Strictly speaking, one day only was consecrated to religious observance in
the days of the Republic. However, the celebrations lasted over a much
longer period. Historically, Livy speaks of the first day of the Saturnalia
(Liv. xxx, 36). Cicero writes of the second and third days (ad Att., v 20;
xv 32). From Novius (Attelanae) the term seven days of the Saturnalia was
used and this phrase was also used by Memmius (Macrobius, i, 10) and Martial
(xiv, 72; cf. Smith, ibid.). Martial also speaks of the five days enacted by
Caligula and Claudius.
These five days have an ancient calendrical significance also.
Smith says that in reality three festivals were involved over this period.
The Saturnalia proper commenced on 17 December (16 Kalend December).
This was followed by the Opalia (14 Kalend January or 19 December) which was
anciently coincidental to the Saturnalia. These two together lasted for five
days. This festival was celebrated in honour of Opis who was allegedly the
wife of Saturn. Originally, it was celebrated on the same day and, thus, the
Mother goddess and lover theme is evident in the origins of this festival.
We will meet this theme throughout. The followers of Opis paid their vows
sitting and touched the earth of whom she was goddess (Smith, ibid., art.
Opalia, p. 835).
The sixth and seventh days were occupied by the Sigillaria which was named
for the little earthenware figures which were displayed for sale on the
period as toys to be given as presents for children.
Thus, the period ran from 17 December until 23 December under the Julian
Calendar, when the presents were given to the children.
We now proceed to examine further the theology behind these festivals. The
commonality of the traditions of the festivals are too obvious to be
ignored.
The Heavenly Virgin as Mother goddess
the worship of the Great Mother of the Gods and her lover or son was very
popular under the Roman Empire (v, pp. 298 ff),
From the inscription we know that the two [as Mother and lover or Mother and
son] received divine honours not only in Italy but in all the provinces -
particularly in Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Bulgaria
(ibid.). Their worship survived the establishment of Christianity by
Constantine.
Thus, the symbolism of the Heavenly Virgin and the infant child paraded on a
yearly basis are not of Christian origin. They stem from the Mother goddess
religion which is very ancient. We will see more of this later.
Frazer notes Symmachus as recording the festival of the Great Mother. In the
days of Augustine her effeminate priests still paraded the streets and
squares of Carthage and, like the mendicant friars of the middle ages,
begged alms from the passers-by (ibid., cf. S Dill Roman Society in the Last
Century of the Western Empire, London, 1899, p. 16; and Augustine City of
God, vii, 26).
The Greeks on the other hand rejected the more barbarous rites in favour of
those similar but gentler rites of the worship of Adonis (ibid.).
Frazer says that the same features which shocked and repelled the Greeks
were what attracted the Romans and the barbarians of the west (ibid., pp.
298-299).
The ecstatic frenzies which were mistaken for divine inspiration, the
mangling of the body and the theory of a new birth and the remission of sin
through the shedding of blood, have all their origin in savagery (ibid.).
Frazer holds that their true character was often disguised under a decent
veil of allegory and philosophical interpretation which drew the more
cultivated of them to things which might otherwise have filled them with
horror and disgust. Modern Pentecostalism draws its inspiration from the
ideas behind these religious festivals.
The religion of the Great Mother was only one of a multitude of similar
oriental faiths which spread across the Roman Empire imposing themselves on
the Europeans. According to Frazer, this gradually undermined the whole
fabric of ancient civilisation.
The entire Greek and Roman society was based on the concept of the subordina
tion of individual to the state and one's whole life was dedicated to the
perpetuation of the society. If one shrank from supreme sacrifice then it
never occurred to anyone that they acted other than for base reasons.
Oriental religion taught the reverse of this doctrine. It inculcated the
communion of the "Soul" with God and its eternal salvation as the only
objects of existence and in comparison with the prosperity and even the
existence of the state were insignificant.
The inevitable consequence of this selfish and immoral doctrine was to draw
the individual more and more from the public service and to concentrate, in
the individual, a contempt for the present life.
The misapplication of these mystery doctrines or oriental religions and
their application in Gnosticism, when placed on the biblical narrative of
the City of God as a spiritual edifice, was to have disastrous
consequences
Post by L Perez
for the ordering of society. The effect was to loosen the ties of the family
and the state and to generally disintegrate the political body of the state.
The society tended to relapse into its individual elements and thereby into
barbarism. Civilisation is only possible through the active cooperation of
the individual and the subordination of the interests of the individual to
that of the common good (ibid., p. 301).
People refused to defend their countries and even to continue their own kind
in ascetic celibacy (ibid., see also the papers Vegetarianism and the Bible
(No. 183) and also Wine in the Bible (No. 188)).
Frazer holds that this obsession lasted for a thousand years. He held that
it only changed at the end of the Middle Ages with the revival of Roman law,
of Aristotelian philosophy and of ancient art and literature to saner and
more manly views of the world. The fact of the matter is that if the true
biblical model was implemented no such problem would have existed. The
problem arose from Oriental Mysteries combined with the Gnostic system which
is more prevalent today. Frazer held that the tide of this oriental invasion
had turned at last and was ebbing still. He was wrong in this regard
although he also allows that bad government and a ruinous fiscal system are
two major causes which strike down civilisations as they did the Turkish
Empire in his day.
We will look at the effects of the Great Mother religion and the Mithras
system and its applications under Gnostic influence in Christianity to see
that it is still there as strong as ever in more subtle forms. Yet much of
its traditional trappings are the same.
Mithras
One of the gods who competed for the worship of the west was the Persian
deity Mithra.
The immense popularity of this cult should not be underestimated. The
monuments dedicated to this system are scattered all over the Roman Empire
and right through Europe (a map of the extent of the monuments is found in
David Ulansey The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, Oxford, New York, 1989,
p. 5).
This was a secret cult whose mysteries were never written down and, so,
little is known exactly of their ritual except what we can deduce from their
shrines and places of worship. However, we do know that they had two forms
of worship. The private and secret form was Mithraism. The public form,
however, was Elagabalism and we know more of its system from this. Both were
based on Sun worship.
Much of its religion was similar to the religion of the Mother of the Gods
and also to what was understood to have been later Christianity (cf. Frazer,
ibid., p. 302). The similarity struck the Christian doctors themselves and
it was explained to them as the work of the devil by counterfeiting a
version of the true faith (ibid.). Tertullian explained how the fasts of
Isis and Cybele were similar to the fasts of Christianity (De jejunio 16).
Justin Martyr explains how the death, resurrection and ascension of
Dionysius, the virgin birth of Perseus, and Bellerophon mounted on Pegasus
were parodies of the true Christian stories written by the demons in
advance, even down to the story of Christ riding on an ass which was
contained in the Psalms as prophecy (cf. Apol., i, 54).
The conflict between Mithraism and Christianity was so great that for a time
the outcome hung in the balance. The fact of the matter is that the result
was decided by adopting their practices and giving them Christian names. The
most important single relic of this pagan syncretism is that of Christmas
which Frazer says the Church seems to have borrowed directly from its
heathen rival (p. 303).
The army became devotees of Mithras and it is obvious from the records
regarding Dasius that the Saturnalia was held in conjunction with the
worship of Mithras. Thus, the Saturnalia simply preceded the Solstice
festival and became a part of it.
Christmas and the Heavenly Virgin
In the Julian calendar, 25 December was reckoned as the winter solstice
(Frazer, ibid., p. 303; cf. Pliny Natural History, xviii, p. 221). It was
regarded as the nativity of the Sun as its days began to lengthen and its
power increase from that turning point of the year.
The ritual of the nativity, Frazer holds, as it was celebrated in Syria and
Egypt was remarkable. The celebrants retired into certain inner shrines from
which at midnight they issued a loud cry, The Virgin has brought forth! The
Light is waxing! (ibid., cf. Cosmas Hierosolymitanus, see fn. 3 to p. 303)
The Egyptians even represented the newborn Sun by an image of an infant
which, on his birthday (the winter solstice), they brought forth and
exhibited to his worshippers (ibid., cf., Macrobius Saturnalia, i, 18, 10)
No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a son on the twenty-fifth of
December was the great Oriental goddess whom the Semites called the Heavenly
Virgin or simply the Heavenly Goddess; in Semitic lands she was a form of
Astarte (ibid., noting Franz Cumont s.v. Caelestis in Pauly-Wissowa's
Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, v, 1, 1247, sqq).
This is the origin of the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of the mother
of Jesus Christ. It has no basis in the Bible or in fact. Christ's mother
was not named Mary and the Bible is clear that she bore other children. We
will return to this myth later.
The legend of the three kings
25 December was an ancient Sun-worshipping festival and the three kings
associated with it do not appear to relate to the wise men from the east in
the biblical narrative but to a perhaps older tradition relating to the
so-called twelve days of Christmas. The Twelfth Day sequence is associated
with the three kings in France, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Austria. Their
names are Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. In Germany and Austria it is known
as the Day of the Three Kings (Dreikonigstag) and in France as the Festival
of the Kings (Fête des Rois). The kings go around in some areas represented
by mummers who sing songs and collect from the householders. It is given a
Christian basis but there is no basis in the Bible for assuming there were
three people (other than the three types of gifts) or that they were kings.
They are recorded as magi or wise men. This seems to have another basis (cf.
Frazer, ix, p. 329). From the customs in Franche-Comte and also the Vosges
Mountains, Melchior is supposed to have been a black king and the face of
the boy playing him is blackened (ibid., p. 330). These three are invoked
for healing with rituals involving three nails placed in the earth. This
smacks of the triune systems of the Celts in France long before the
Christian system.
In Czech and German Bohemia, the rituals of fumigation and spices are found
being used on the twelfth day. The initials C.M.B (Caspar, Melchior and
Balthasar) together with three crosses are marked on doors after fumigation
to guard against evil influences and infectious diseases. They were invoked
under the words pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths.
The Lord of Misrule and the King of Beans
In this tradition also we see the Lord of Misrule emerge among the
traditions. The full extent of time was from All-hallows eve (31 October,
the eve of All Saints day) to Candlemas (2 February). Generally, it was
however confined to the twelve days at Christmas, termed the twelve nights.
The Lord of Misrule was elected from the Court of the Sovereign in England
through every office of the land. This Lord of Misrule was also elected at
Merton College Oxford as King of the Beans (cf. Frazer, ix, p. 332).
The Festival of Fools
In France, the counterparts of the English Lords of Misrule masqueraded as
mock clergy, bishops, archbishops, popes or abbots. This was known as the
Festival of Fools and was held either on Christmas day, St Stephen's day (26
December), New Year's day, or Twelfth day depending on place.
At these times there were parodies of the most solemn rites of the church
where priests wearing masks and sometimes dressed as women danced in the
choir and sang obscene chants; laymen disguised as monks mingled with the
clergy and the altar was turned into a tavern where the deacons and
sub-deacons ate sausage and black-pudding or played dice and cards under the
nose of the celebrant. The censers were filled with bits of old shoes,
filling the church with a foul stench.
In some areas of France, for example at Autun, an ass was led into the
church where a parody of the mass was said over it. A regular Latin liturgy
was said over it and the celebrant priest initiated the braying of an ass
(Frazer, pp. 334-335).
At Beauvais on 14 January a young woman with a child in her arms rode on the
back of an ass allegedly in imitation of the flight into Egypt. She was led
in triumph from the cathedral to the parish church of St Stephen where she
and the ass were placed on the left side of the altar. A long mass was said
consisting of scraps borrowed indiscriminately from many church services
throughout the year. The singers quenched their thirst in the intervals as
did the congregation and the ass was fed and watered. Afterwards, the ass
was brought from the chancel into the nave where the entire congregation,
clergy and laity danced round it braying like asses. After vespers, a large
procession proceeded to a great theatre opposite the church where they
watched indecent farces.
All of this is reminiscent of the rites in North Africa of the effeminate
priests of the Mother Goddess system and the Saturnalia. Frazer says there
is no direct evidence that one is derived from the other but the Saturnalia,
with the licence that characterised it and the temporary reign of a mock
king, makes it appear so (ix, p. 339). These traditions were kept up until
the nineteenth century when Victorian England and Napoleonic France
following on the Revolution did away with them in some fashion. They were
replaced as we will see with another form of the same errors. Much of the
modern insanity derives from the USA and its commercialism.
The twelve days of Christmas, cakes, beans and money
The King of the Bean is also associated with the Festival of Fools in France
and there is a more ancient significance to it. The Festival of Fools goes
on to the Twelfth day of Christmas (Twelfth Night is the night of 6
January). The eve, which is 5 January and thus the Epiphany of 6 January,
marks the end of the two periods of the pre-Christmas festivities which are
associated with the Saturnalia and the Sun system which commence from the
Solstice on 25 December and continue until 5 January.
In some areas, the king has a queen consort both of whom have an
agricultural significance and seem to be related to the rites also of the
Saturnalia.
The king and queen are elected by lot on the Twelfth Night (i.e. Epiphany 6
January) or on the eve of that festival on 5 January. It was common in
France, Belgium, Germany and England. It is still kept in some parts of
France. The Court acknowledged the practice and each family elected its own
king. On the eve of the festival, a great cake was baked with a bean in it.
It was divided into portions - one for each member of the family; one for
God; one for the Heavenly Virgin and, sometimes, one for the poor. The
person getting the portion with the bean was proclaimed King of the Bean
(Frazer, ix, p. 313). Sometimes a second bean was placed in the cake for the
election of the queen. At Blankenheim near Neuerburg, in the Eiffel a black
and a white bean were baked in the cake - the black for the king and the
white for the queen. In Franche-Comte they used to put as many white haricot
beans in a hat as there where people present. Two coloured beans were
included and drawn at random by a child. Those receiving the coloured beans
were king and queen.
In England, the practice was to put a bean in the hat for the king and a pea
for the queen. However, in some places, only the king was elected by lot and
he chose his queen himself. Sometimes a coin was substituted for the bean in
the cake. This custom was followed in southern Germany as early as the first
half of the sixteenth century. It is, however, considered by Frazer to be a
variation on the earlier bean. It shows reasonably clearly that the custom
of placing coins in Christmas pudding stems from this custom of an earlier
time.
In France, the young child present was placed under a table. It was
addressed as Phoebe or Tebe and he answered in Latin Domine. The pieces of
the cake were distributed according to the child's direction. The etymology
has been attributed to the oracle of Apollo by some scholars. Frazer thinks
it may be simply derived from the word for the bean (Lat. faba, Fr. fève).
Every time the king or queen drank the company cried the king or queen
drinks and they all did likewise. Anyone failing to do so had their faces
blackened by corks or soot or the lees of wine. In some parts of the
Ardennes, the practice was to fasten great horns of paper in the hair and
put a huge pair of spectacles on their nose. This was worn until the end of
the festival. This is probably the origin of the Dunce's Cap.
This is still kept in northern France where a miniature porcelain figure is
substituted for the bean and drawn by a child. If it is drawn by a boy he
chooses his queen; if it drawn by a girl she chooses her king.
These kings and queens placed white crosses on the rafters of houses to ban
hobgoblins, witches and bugs. There was, however, a more serious
significance to some of the office. In Lorraine, the height of the hemp crop
was said to be determined from the height of the king and queen. If the king
was taller, the male hemp would be higher than the female and vice versa. In
the Vosges Mountains on the border of France-Compte, the practice of dancing
on the roof was observed to make the hemp grow tall.
In many areas, the beans used in the cake were taken to be blessed by the
clergy and divination was employed on Twelfth Night to determine the month
of the year in which the price of wheat would be dearest.
The practice of lighting bonfires is still carried out in some areas and, at
the time Frazer wrote, it was still done in the Montagne du Doubs on the eve
of Twelfth Night (ix, p. 316). This was seemingly to ensure the fertility of
the crops. There seems to be a definite, if distant, relationship to the
Yule festivals of the pagans.
While it burned, the people danced around it singing Good year come back,
Bread and wine come back!
The youth of Pontarlier carry torches over the sowed lands shouting
couaille, couaille, blanconnie; the meaning of which is lost in antiquity.
In the Bocage of Normandy on the same day, it is the fruit trees that are
fired. These twinkling lights are everywhere as the peasants celebrate the
Ceremony of the Moles and Field-mice (Taupes et Mulots). Villages compete in
the blaze and woods and hedges are scoured for materials. They scour the
fields threatening the moles and field mice and, thus, they believe the crop
will be larger that autumn.
The bonfires on the eve of Epiphany were also observed in the Ardennes. It
is useful to look at the customs here in regard to festivals of the goddess
Hecate in Rome and Europe generally and the fields and the crosses involved
there (cf. the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).
Similar fire customs are experienced in the UK in Gloucester and in
Hertfordshire with twelve fires at the end of twelve lands (Gloucester)
designed to prevent smut in wheat. There is a thirteenth larger fire lit in
both cases - the latter being on a hill (Frazer, ix, p. 318).
This custom of making twelve fires of straw and drinking toasts of cider or
ale is called Wassailing and is ancient. Oxen are also toasted in this
strange ritual in some areas with a cake placed on the horns of the lead ox
and then thrown by tickling the ox.
The explanation of the practice of lighting fires and especially this
largest is found in examination against the practice not only in UK and
France but in Macedonia. The large fires are to burn the witches and
malefactors that roam the fields at night. They are called by the
Macedonians karkantzari or skatzanzari. They are overcome by binding with
straw rope. They resume their human shape during the day. Over the twelve
days of Christmas, they must be overcome by strenuous effort. Some places
start on Christmas eve and in others it continues or is done on Twelfth
Night.
On Christmas eve, some people burn the karkantzari by burning holm-oak
faggots and throwing them out in the streets at early dawn. Here, again, we
have reference to the Yule festivals of the Druids. The later oak faggots
were remnants of the earlier log burning.
In Ireland, they set up sheaves of oats. This was done in Roscommon where
they held that Twelfth Night which is Old Christmas Day is greater than
Christmas Day itself (Frazer, ix, p. 321).
They set up thirteen candles in the sheaf, twelve smaller and one greater in
the centre and attribute these to the apostles at the Last Supper; but these
are at Christmas and not Passover. Thirteen candles of rushlight named after
each member of the family (or relations to make up the number) are placed in
cakes of cow dung and burned to determine the length of life of each person
(ix, p. 322).
The origin of candles
The use of candles goes back to the ancient Aryan religion which used them
at the Yule ceremony to ward of the gods of thunder, storm and tempest
(Frazer, x, p. 264 (n. 4) and also p. 265). They were lit and tied to the
sacred oak (ibid., ii, 327).
In some areas (Ruthenia and Europe generally) they were used by thieves and
burglars to cause sleep (Frazer, i, pp. 148-149) and in this case they were
made of human tallow (ibid., i, p. 236). Parts of the human anatomy were
also used as candles or human bones were filled with tallow made from the
fat of hanged men (ibid., p. 149). Sometimes, candles were made from the
fingers of new born or, preferably as they saw it, unborn children. As late
as the seventeenth century in Europe robbers used to murder pregnant women
to extract such candles from their wombs (ibid.).
Candles were burnt to ward off witches. They entered Christianity through
the Catholic or Orthodox Church (cf. Frazer, ibid., i, p. 13).
The ancient Aryan practice continued among the Germans of lighting new fire
by means of a Bonfire at Easter and sending the sticks to each home to start
the fires to ward off the gods of thunder, storm and tempest. The practice
was introduced to Catholicism as the Easter candle. This single giant candle
was lit at Easter on Saturday night before the Easter Sunday and then all
the candles of the church were lit from it. This continued for the year
until next Easter when the single Easter candle was again lit.
The practice of lighting the candle appears to take place on the night
before the day of the Sun as part of the ancient Sun worshipping system.
In the Temple, incense was burned. Candles were not burned other than as the
Menorah.
This practice of burning lights as candles or tapers was similar to that of
the Saturnalia. We know from the Book of Baruch 6:19 ff that the practice of
lighting candles before idols overlaid with precious metals was Babylonian.
The practice of lighting multiple candles probably entered Judaism through
the Babylonian system. We will deal with it in more detail in the section on
Easter.
The Menorah was seven branched and ordered by God for the Temple. In
Solomon's Temple, there were ten tables of seven candles representing the
Council of the Elohim of which the Sanhedrin was a copy. The nine branches
are given mystical symbolism. There is no biblical authority for them.
Weather
The weather of the twelve days of Christmas was said to determine the
weather of the forthcoming year.
It is based on what appears to be a form of ancient zodiacal division of
dividing the twelve days into four quadrants of three days per quadrant.
This was done in the British Isles and it extended through Germany and
German Austria into western Europe.
From the weather on each of the twelve days it was possible to divine the
weather of each successive month of the year. It was held to be accurate and
apply also to the Twelfth day itself where the weather on each hour would
determine the weather for the corresponding month. The days were thus a
system of divination for the year ahead in its agricultural aspects.
In Swabia, the days were called the twelve lot days. More precise divination
was determined by making twelve circles divided into four quadrants. Each
quadrant represented a quarter of the month. These were drawn on paper and
hung over the door. As each day of the twelve days passed from Christmas to
Epiphany, the weather on each quarter day was shaded and the weather for
that quarter month was determined.
In Switzerland, Germany and Austria it was done somewhat differently. On
Christmas, New Year's day or on another of the twelve days, one sliced an
onion in two, peeled off twelve coats, and sprinkled a pinch of salt in each
of them. From the moisture left in them the next morning, it was considered
possible to determine the weather for the next twelve months of the year.
This was not confined to the Germanic tribes or the Teutons - it was found
also in France and among the Celts of Brittany and in Scotland.
In the Bocage of Normandy, the temperature was divined for the year from the
temperature of the twelve days. This was considered more accurate than the
predictions of the Double-Liégois. In Cornouaille Brittany, the twelve days
were determined from Christmas to the Epiphany - being the last six days of
December and the first six of January. In other parts of Brittany and in
Scotland the twelve days were determined from 1 January. They were known in
Brittany as the gour-deziou or male days. It is said to mean properly the
additional or supplementary days. This concept takes us back to another
ancient concept of the calendar and the five excess days of the year.
The Scots from their almanac from the last day of December or the first day
of January (depending on place) determining the weather by that of the
twelve days. Thus, January is determined by the weather of 31 December and
so on as an infallible rule.
The Celts of Scotland, as elsewhere in France, are divided as to the
beginning of the days either at Christmas on 1 January or on 31 December.
Frazer considers this an important indicator of the origin of the beliefs
(ibid., ix, p. 24).
This concept is very ancient and is found among the Aryans of the Vedic age
in India. This predates Christ by many centuries.
They, too, appear to have invested days in midwinter with a sacred character
as a time when the three Ribhus or genii of the seasons rested from their
labours in the home of the sun-god, and these twelve rest-days they called
'an image or copy of the year' (Frazer, ix, pp. 324-325).
Frazer follows A Weber in this explanation of the common views of the East
and West (cf. fn. 3 to ix, p. 325).
The system was thus an ancient system of the Aryans who conquered India from
the Steppes with the use of iron age implements and harnessed horses about
1000 BCE.
Their relatives took the same festivals west into Europe. These movements
are part of the dispersion of the ancient mysteries of the Babylonian system
which found its way into the nomadic Shamans. This religion was Animism.
Ancient calendar systems
The division of the twelve days came from the ancient Aryan calendar which
was divided according to the phases of the Moon and not that of the Sun. The
various Aryan languages have the name for month as the name for Moon.
The days of the month alternate between twenty nine and thirty days every
two months. These days at fifty-nine times six fall short of the actual
solar year by almost twelve days (eleven and one quarter days).
This appears to have been an intercalation to adjust the lunar to the solar
year which was a perversion of the true intercalation system adopted by the
Hebrews and the Assyro-Babylonians and the Greco-Romans. It thus seems to
have been a perversion of Sun-worship from the earliest days of the
movements of the Middle Eastern tribes. The Celtic Hittites, being the first
to move into Europe, took the system with them and its implementation
corrupted subsequent colonisation from the Assyrian relocations and the
movement of the Parthian and Gothic horde.
We now know much more about the calendar system in use in Europe and the
midwinter solstice in use in Europe and the UK. The circles were designed to
determine the solstice exactly on midwinter's day.
The twelve days were distinct from the five days and they appear to have
been variously added to or combined in different areas.
It appears that the five extra days of the year making the 365 days over and
above the 360 days considered to be the normal year was a very ancient
belief and system of intercalary practice where, from the Mayas of Yucatan
to the pyramids of Egypt, people regarded them as useless for any religious
or civil purpose and did nothing on those days. This may have also had some
basis for the practices. The texts of the pyramids expressly mention the
five days over and above the year comprised of twelve months of thirty days
(ibid., p. 340). The Aztecs and the American system, however, has eighteen
months of twenty days and so did not follow any lunar system. The five days
were considered, because of their mathematical values in the divisions of
the calendar, to be useless and the object of no work and a general malaise
of the society. This had no relationship to the Hebrew prophetic year of
twelve thirty-day months which is a symbolic idealisation of the actual
revolutions of the true intercalary nineteen year cycle. This religious
symbolism and structure is detailed in the Bible.
The five day sequence related to the calendar in
use in solar systems or Sun-worshipping systems. The twelve days were an
adjustment of the lunar to the solar which one would expect to find in the
more ancient Moon-Sun-Morning Star systems which were common at the time of
the Exodus (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
The Sun god
25 December was also associated with Mithras, as he was Sun god.
The Catholic liturgist Mario Righetti (in addition to Duchesne and also
After the peace of the Church of Rome, to facilitate the acceptance of the
faith by the pagan masses, found it convenient to institute the 25th of
December as the feast of the temporal birth of Christ, to divert them from
the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honour of the "Invincible
Sun" Mithras, the conqueror of darkness (fn 74, II, p. 67 quote also in
Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday, Pontifical Gregorian University Press,
Rome, 1977, p. 260).
Thus, Mithras was the god of the festival of the solstice on 25 December
which followed immediately on from the Saturnalia. With this deity, we see
Sunday worship emerge in Rome.
The dedications to Mithra was as Soli invicto Mithrae or the Invincible
Sun - the Unconquered Sun as Frazer terms it (p. 304). It was also related
to him as Sol Invictus Elagabal in the public form of the religion.
The term Father was a rank held by the priests of Mithra. The term is
forbidden to Christians (Mat. 23:9). It entered Christianity with the
Mystery cults.
What actually occurred was that the original calendars of the Roman system
began the week on Saturday and were in use in the first years of the
Augustan era (27 BCE to 14 CE) following the discovery of the calendar of
Nola (cf. A Degrassi, fn. 26, p. 104; cf. Bacchiocchi, ibid., p. 244). This
structure appears to be related to the system of Mithras (as we know from
the Epicurean Celcus (c. 140-180 CE) where the Sun occupied the highest
place on the ladder of ascent through the seven gates of
the Mithraic ladder from Saturn to the Sun. This is classic Shamanism and is
practiced by animistic religion throughout the world. In Origen Contra
Celsum, 6,21-22 we see that Celsus lists the planets in the reverse order
enabling the Sun to occupy the significant seventh position.
We later see this system emerge as the eight day symbolism in the Roman
system for the week beginning on Saturn's day or Saturday and ending with
the day of the Sun or Sunday which was always a holiday. The planetary week
was also not in the accepted order of the planets and people could not
account for the difference (cf. Plutarch Complete Works, III, p. 230; cf.
Bacchiocchi, ibid., p. 246).
The differences can be seen also by comparison with the Ziggurat of the
Babylonian system and the seven levels of ascent to the Moon god there (cf.
the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
The statement of Tertullian (Ad Nationes, 1, 13, ANF, III, p. 123), attempts
to refute the charge of Sun-worship. Tertullian admits that, by then,
Christians had commenced praying towards the east and made Sunday a day of
festivity. He directly places the responsibility for Sunday worship over the
Sabbath on the Sun-worshipping cults where he says they selected its day in
preference to the previous day of the week (i.e. the Sabbath or Saturday)
(cf. Bacchiocchi, pp. 248-249). However, by then, they were both worshipping
on that day as well as the Christian Sabbath.
Prayer to the Sun in the east
Apparently, prayer to the east originated by prayer towards Jerusalem as
Irenaeus mentions being the custom of the Ebionites (Adv. Her., 1,26, ANF,
I, p. 352). By the time of Clement of Alexandria and Origen, we see the
orientation to be towards the source of light that dispels the darkness of
the night although Clement still mentions the ancient temples (Stromateis,
7,7,43, GCS, 3, 32; cf. Bacchiocchi, p. 255).
Bacchiocchi makes it clear that the association between the Christian Sunday
and the pagan veneration of the day of the Sun is not explicit before the
time of Eusebius (c. 260-340 CE). Although previous writers associated him
as true light and sun of justice, no deliberate attempt prior to Eusebius
was made to justify Sunday observance by means of the symbology of the day
of the Sun (ibid., p. 261).
The process thus entered Christianity by means of the earlier December
festival, which was originally derived from the worship of Saturn and Opis
in the Saturnalia, and its association with the Heavenly Virgin or Mother
goddess and her infant child.
The gospels say nothing as to the day of Christ's birth and the early Church
did not celebrate it.
The custom of celebrating Christ's birth began in Egypt, being derived from
the Mother goddess cult there, and the Christians there celebrated it on 6
January. By the fourth century it had become generally established in the
East (Frazer, v, p. 304). The western church had never recognised 6 January
as the true date and, in time, its decision was accepted by the eastern
church. At Antioch this change was not introduced until about 375 CE
(Frazer, ibid.).
The origin of the practice is plainly recorded by the Syrian Christians as
we see from Frazer quoting also Credner and Momsen and also Usener (v, pp.
304-305).
The reason why the fathers transferred the celebration of the sixth of
January to the twenty fifth of December was this. It was a custom of the
heathen to celebrate on the same twenty-fifth of December the birthday of
the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these
solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part. Accordingly when
the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to
this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should
be solemnized on that day and the festival of the Epiphany on the sixth of
January. Accordingly, along with this custom, the practice has prevailed of
kindling fires till the sixth.
Thus, the Saturnalia led up to the solstice when presents were given to
children from 23 December or now Christmas eve on 24 December in the
Gregorian calendar. The rites of the solstice then took over from the
original Saturnalia but the period then became lengthened from three to
seven days to which was added the twelve days.
When we count five days from 25 December we come to 31 December from which
some of the Celts and Germans begin the count. The addition of St Stephen's
Day (or Boxing Day) brings the five day period from 27 December in line to 1
January.
The pagan origin of Christmas is also evident in Augustine when he exhorts
his brethr n not to celebrate this solemn day like the heathen on account
of
Post by L Perez
the Sun but on account of him who made the Sun (Augustine Serm., cxc, 1;
in
Post by L Perez
Migne Patriologia Latina, xxxviii, 1007). Leo called the Great likewise
rebuked the pestilent belief that Christmas was solemnised because of the
birth of the new Sun, and not because of the nativity of Christ (Frazer,
ibid.; cf. Leo the Great Serm., xxii (al xxi) 6 and Migne, liv, 198).
However, by then, it was a hopeless cause. The entire system was endemic to
Christianity and the Mother goddess cult was entrenched.
Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate the birthday of
its Founder on the twenty-fifth of December in order to transfer the
devotion of the heathen from the Sun to him who was called the Sun of
Righteousness (p. 305).
There was a theory put forward by one Mgr Duchesne that 25 December arose
from the conformity with the equinox on 25 March and this was the day on
which Christ was killed and also on which his mother conceived. This digs an
even deeper pit because 25 March was indeed initially adopted in Africa and
elsewhere as the date of the crucifixion. However, it was on a Sunday in the
only year that 14 Nisan could have fallen on 25 March. It is thus
destructive to the theory. Moreover, 25 March is associated with the
festival of the god Attis as Frazer notes in his footnote to page 305. We
will examine this in the sections below.
The Goat and the Bear
On the twelve days we also see mummers playing the part of a goat and a
bear.
In the highlands of Scotland and St Kilda down until the last half of the
eighteenth century, at least a cowherd would wrap himself in a skin on New
Year's eve. The young people would meet and with staves they would beat the
hide as a drum and proceed from house to house where the one covered with
the hide runs three times round deiseil, i.e. in the way the Sun revolves.
let us raise the noise louder and louder let us beat the hide (Frazer, viii,
p. 323).
They go from house to house repeating verses. On entry, they call down
blessings on the house and its cattle, stones and timber, its produce and
health. A part of the hide was then burnt and applied to the noses of every
person and domestic animal in order to protect the inhabitants against
disease and misfortune for the coming year.
This last day of the year is called Hogmanay.
Each of the party, after the rhyme had been said and the Rann Calluin or
Christmas Rhyme had been repeated, in return entered and had refreshment.
The general thing that was burnt in lieu of the strip of hide was a
Casein-uchd made of the breast strip of a sheep (or deer or goat) wrapped
around the point of a shinty stick. This was singed in the fire and put
three times around the family and to the nose of all. No drink was taken
until this ceremony had been completed. The purpose was to protect the
household against witchcraft and disease.
On the Isle of Man, the feather of the wren was used (viii, p. 324).
The custom appears to be related to an older custom involving human
sacrifice. Frazer notes that the Khonds slew a human victim as a divinity
and took him from house to house and everyone took a relic of his sacred
person (cf. i, pp. 246 ff). The cowhide no doubt substituted for this
victim. The communion substituted for the body and blood of the god.
While these customs may not have connection with agriculture, the similar
customs of Plough Monday certainly do and the processions we see in Europe
of men clad as animals probably identify with the corn spirit. They may have
association with the Gilyak procession of the bear and the Indian procession
of the snake (ibid.).
Often in these processions (as in the last days of the carnival in Bohemia)
a man was swathed from head to foot in pease-straw and wrapped around in
straw ropes (Frazer, ibid.). This harkens back to the wicca man in ancient
Britain.
These festivals of agriculture were associated with both the midwinter
solstice and the spring equinox - both heralding the return of growth and
warmth and life as the power of the Sun and summer to nature.
The Bohemian man goes by the name of the Shrovetide or Carnival bear
(Fastnachtsbär).
After he has danced at every house with the girls and maids and the
For at Shrovetide, but especially at Shrove Tuesday, every one must dance,
if the flax, the vegetables and the corn are to thrive (Frazer, viii, p.
326).
The straw of the bear is put in the nests of the hens and geese. The bear
represents the spirit of fertility. The purpose of the dancing is to make
fertile both animal and vegetable in all aspects.
In parts of Bohemia, this person is not called a bear but an oats-goat.
In Prussian Lithuania on Twelfth day a man is wrapped in pease-straw to
represent the bear and another in oats-straw to represent the goat.
In Marburg in Steiermark, men appear as both a wolf and a bear (Frazer,
ibid.).
The man who gave the last stroke at threshing is called the wolf. He keeps
the name Wolf until Christmas when he is wrapped in a goat's skin and led
from house to house as a pease-bear at the end of a rope. His dress as a
goat marks him out and appears to associate the symbols of goat and bear and
wolf in this ancient ritual of the corn-spirit.
In Scandinavia, the appearance of the corn-spirit as a goat is common
(ibid.). In Sweden, led about with horns on his head, he personated the
Yule-goat. In parts of Sweden they make a pretence of slaughtering the goat
who comes to life again (ibid., p. 327). The two men who slaughter him sing
verses referring to the mantles of varying colours, red, blue, white and
yellow, which they laid on him.
After supper on Christmas evening, the people dance the "angel dance" to
ensure a good crop. Yule straw, either of wheat or rye, is made into the
likeness of a goat and thrown among the dancers with the cry of catch the
Yule-goat. In Dalarne it is called the Yule-ram.
In Denmark and Sweden, it is customary to bake cakes of fine meal at
Christmas in the shape of goats, rams and boars (Frazer, ibid., p. 328).
They are often made out of the last sheaf at harvest and kept until
sowing-time where they are partly mixed with the seed corn and partly eaten
by the people and the plough oxen in the hope of securing a good harvest.
The commonality of the customs from the British Isles to Europe and
Scandinavia and the East establishes beyond doubt the ancient practice as
appeasement of the corn-spirit and the ancient gods. The appearance as a
wether and a boar is also ancient and widespread.
The Straw-bear was witnessed in Wittlesy Cambridgeshire, being performed as
it had been for centuries on the day after Plough Monday, by Professor Moore
Smith of Sheffield University in January 1909 (see letter of 13 January
1909; cf. Frazer, viii, p. 329).
Plough Monday is the first Monday of January after Twelfth day. It is beyond
dispute that we are dealing with an ancient agricultural festival which is
directed at appeasement of the ancient agricultural gods in the sequence of
the midwinter festivals which run from the Saturnalia to the solstice high
day and then on to the twelve days of so-called Christmas to the plough
festival of Plough Monday and Shrove Tuesday.
It appears to have been anciently associated with human sacrifice - perhaps
in each of the three aspects or perhaps as single festivals.
Plough Monday in England was normally associated with a team of human plough
bullocks, one of whom was disguised as an old crone called Bessy. They went
about leaping and dancing in high fashion presumably to make the corn grow
as high as they leapt. This was similar to the practice of the Straw-bears
or Yule-goats on the continent and elsewhere in UK.
The same practices are found in Thrace and Bulgaria on the same day, i.e.
the Monday of the last week of Carnival. One dancer (the Kuker) is a man
clad in goatskin. Another dancer (the Kukerica), disguised in petticoats as
the old woman or baba, has "her" face blackened.
Bears are represented by dogs wrapped in bearskins. A mock court is set up
of a king and judge and other officials. The plays of the Kuker and Kukerica
are wanton and lascivious.
Towards evening, two people are yoked to a plough and the Kuker ploughs a
few furrows and sows some corn. He then takes off his disguise and is paid
for his trouble.
The people believe that the person who plays the Kuker commits a deadly sin
and the priests also make vain efforts to abolish the customs. The Kuker in
Losengrad district has a cake with money in it which is distributed to those
present. If a farmer gets the coin, the crops will be good; if a herdsman
gets it, the herds will be good. The Kuker also symbolically ploughs the
ground and waves to and fro to imitate the waving corn. The man with the
coin is bound and dragged by the feet over the ground to quicken the
fertility of the ground. This drawing by lot is reminiscent also of the
Saturnalia sacrifice we saw above.
In Bulgaria itself, the festival has the Old Woman or Mother as the leading
personage, played by a man in woman's clothing. The Kuker and Kukerica are
subordinate to the "Old Woman". They wear fantastic masks of human heads
with animal horns or birds heads and skins with a girdle of lime bark. On
their back is a hump made out of rags. This festival in Bulgaria, being the
Monday of the last week of Carnival, is called Cheese Monday. It is
nevertheless associated with the Ploughing festival.
The same rituals associated in western Europe of going round the house and
the blessings conferred by the presence of the "old woman" on the fertility
of the village is uppermost in the minds of all. Incursion by masked people
from any other village is seen as a threat and a drawing away of the
fertility of the village. Such incursions are resisted.
The similarity between the Old Woman with the black face of Demeter and the
two aides of Pluto and Persephone are probably behind the origins of the
three kings custom, with the black Mechior representing Demeter.
The festival of Befana in Rome on the night before Epiphany is clearly
related to this festival of Demeter and the term Befana is obviously a
corruption of Epiphany. She is clearly an old witch and the noise of this
festival is clearly associated with an ancient custom of clearing the area
of evil influences (see also below). The same ceremonies involving Befana on
the eve of Epiphany were or are observed in Tuscan Romagna and elsewhere in
Italy (Frazer, ix, p. 167).
Frazer rightly sees in the Old Woman of the Bulgarian and Thracian system a
reference to the Corn Mother-goddess Demeter who in the likeness of an old
woman brought blessing to the house of Celeus, king of Eleusis and restored
the lost fertility to the fallow Eleusinian fields. The Kuker and Kukerica,
the male and female mummers, represent Pluto and Persephone. These rituals
are extant from East to West and represent the oldest of the religious
festivals (Frazer, viii, pp. 334-335). We are thus directly in the middle of
the Eleusinian Mystery cults and linked with the same Mystery cults of
ancient times from the cult of Apollo in early Europe and of Dionysius and
of agricultural symbols in the cult of worship of the Sun god. The
Bull-slaying cults are thus also involved and we see from the times of
dedication of the Bulls sacrificed by the Greeks in Magnesia after its
dedication in the beginning of the sowing that we have a common idea of the
festival. Zeus is the partner of Demeter and the final product is the
slaying of the Bull to Zeus in the equivalent of the month of May.
Yule logs, the holly and ivy, and mistletoe
The summer and winter solstice were seen as the two great turning points of
the year. Fires were lit on both solstices. The midsummer fires were lit in
the open and youths jumped the fires. This practice was found among the
Celts in Ireland, Britain and Gaul and also among the north Africans in
Morocco and the Atlas Mountains. Their practice is much more ancient than
the Islam they also profess. The practice of lighting fires happened
anciently among the pagans on May Day and on Halloween (1 November) called
All Saints Day. The asymmetric nature of these festivals with that of the
solstice should be noted. The Festival of Walpurgis on the last day of April
preceding May Day is the Festival of the Burning of the Witches. This type
of festival is also associated with the twelve days between Christmas 25
December and the Epiphany of 6 January. Fires of pine-resin are lit on these
nights to keep the witches away. The fires are generally larger on Twelfth
Night. In Silesia, people burn fires of pine-resin between Christmas and New
Year to drive witches away from the farmhouses. This was the "proper time
for the expulsion of the forces of darkness". On Christmas eve and New Year'
s eve, shots are fired over the fields and people wrap straw around the
fruit trees to prevent evil forces from doing them harm.
In Biggar in Lanarkshire UK, New Year's eve is the traditional time for this
fire which has been lit since time immemorial.
In 1644, nine witches of flesh and blood were burnt on Leith Links in
Scotland (Frazer, ix, p. 165).
Fires are lit in the Autumn but are not significant. The festival of the
nativity of the Virgin on 8 September was traditionally associated with
noise and uproar associated with Befana at Rome and traditionally involved
assassinations. Prof. Housman noted that when he witnessed the festival at
Capri in 1897, a few more than the usual eight or ten were murdered (Frazer,
x, p. 221).
Fires are also traditionally lit on the midwinter solstice on 25 December.
The difference between the midsummer and midwinter fires being that the
midwinter fires are lit indoors and form part of the ritual of the
invocation of the Sun god to his place of supremacy in the heavens. Thus,
the midwinter fires developed a more cloistered or family type atmosphere.
It is perhaps of significance that in the Shetland Islands, the Yule or
Christmas holidays began seven days before Christmas and ended at Antinmas,
i.e. the twenty-fourth day after Christmas.
The Shetlanders name these holidays the Yules. Seven days before Christmas,
the elves called Trows by the Shetlanders are let free from their homes in
the earth and dwell above ground if it pleases them. This is the probable
origin of the elf symbolism of and with Santa Claus. It seems to relate back
to the concept of the misrule of the seven days of the Saturnalia leading up
to 25 December.
The most important of the rituals in Yule was the saining which had to be
properly carried out to deal with the grey folk as the elves were called.
The modern myths emanating from the USA regarding alien greys is none other
than the revamping of the elves at Yule.
On the last day of the holidays, the twenty-fourth day after Christmas,
called up-helly-a, or Uphalliday in Shetland, the doors were all opened and
a great deal of pantomimic chasing went on to rid the area of the
mischievous elves. People piously read the Bible and displayed iron
ostentatiously "for it is well known that elves cannot abide the sight of
iron." The infants were carefully guarded and sained by learned wise women.
No doubt, we have the sign of the evil eye involved here as an ancient
custom (cf. also the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).
When day dawned after twenty-fourth night, the Trows or Grey-folk had
vanished and the Yules were ended.
The customs of banishing evil forces and witches on a night set aside for
the purpose in the period of the winter solstice and festivals can thus be
traced from Rome and Calabria in the south as far north as the Shetlands. It
also runs from Ireland to the Steppes and down to North Africa.
The log
We know that the Germans burnt the Yule log which was an ancient custom even
by the eleventh century. In 1184, the parish priest of Ahlen in Münsterland
records bringing a tree to kindle the festal fire at the Lord's nativity
(Frazer, x, p. 247). This was found in Britain in ancient times and was
common to the Teutons and apparently the Celts. John Brand is quoted by
Frazer as saying that the Yule block is a counterpart of the midsummer fires
made within doors because of the cold weather at the winter solstice (ibid.,
n. 2). This was nothing other than the erroneous application to 25 December
of the solstice which was set aside for the worship of the Sun (Frazer, x,
p. 246). This lighting of the tree fire was to assist the Sun to relight its
ailing lamp, and the entire system of fires and candles at the nativity
before the Heavenly Virgin is the ancient worship of the Mother goddess and
her infant child, the Sun. The lamps assist in the lighting of the heavenly
fire of the Sun and this is the basic idea behind flame and its use in
Zoroastrianism.
The Yule log was also kept among European groups and placed on the fire to
ward off thunder and the effects of storms. Thus, the relationship is
clearly made between the ancient gods of the Teutons over thunder and
lightning and weather and the Yule log at the solstice.
Mistletoe
Mistletoe was sacred in the religion of the Druids. The Druids who came via
Egypt as Magi were picked up by the Milesians in Spain from among the
Gadelians before the Scoto-Milesians went to Ireland. From there they spread
into Britain and Europe (MacGeohagen The History of Ireland, Sadlier, NY, p.
42; cf. Frazer, ii, pp. 358,362; xi, pp. 76 ff,301).
Pliny (Natural History, xvi, pp. 249-251) derives the word Druid from the
Greek word for oak which is drus. It is, however, the same or similar in the
Celtic being daur. The Druids are thus priests of the oak. Their cult is
thus ancient and associated with the oak groves. Other scholars prefer to
derive the name from the root meaning knowledge or wisdom - hence, they were
the wizards or magicians. This is also borne from the title Magi which they
held (cf. Frazer, xi, pp. 76-77, n. 1 to p. 76).
The Druidic cycle of the calendar was of thirty years and there appears to
be a common relationship in their worship with that of the Boetians who,
like they, worship or conjured the oak and, thus, both may have a common
Aryan connection. The Boetian cycle, in the festival of the great Daedala,
was one of sixty years and not thirty. This may have application to the
Aryan practice observed among the Indians of the sixty year cycle based on
the sidereal cycle of Jupiter.
The mistletoe is cut with a golden scythe on the first or sixth day of the
Moon (Frazer, xi, pp. 77-78). It is associated with fertility and was held
to make barren animals and women to bring forth. It was thought to have
fallen from the sky and was called the all-healer (Frazer, xi, pp.
77-79,82). Two white bulls were sacrificed at its cutting on the sixth day
for this purpose. The priest was dressed in a white robe. It was cut on the
first day of the Moon by the Italians and on the sixth by the Druids. This
difference is probably accounted for because of the commencement of the
lunar month in both systems. Neither cut the mistletoe with an iron
implement. It was not allowed to touch the earth and, hence, it was caught
in a white cloth.
The Italians believed that mistletoe growing on oak had similar properties
if we accept Pliny and, thus, there was a commonality of belief to both
systems.
We are thus back again to the fertility system of the Saturnalia and the
healing of the Mysteries and Apollo, but in an ancient form common to the
Aryans before 1000 BCE.
This system was so ancient that it was common even to the Ainu of Japan who
also held it sacred. They, however, use mistletoe cut from a willow because
that tree is sacred to them. They agree with both the Druids (in its
curative properties) and the Italians (regarding the fertility of women for
childbirth) in their beliefs (Frazer, xi, p. 79).
This belief extends down to the natives of Mabuig Island in the Torres
Strait (ibid.). The common belief is also found in Africa among the Walos of
Senegambia (ibid.).
The veneration of mistletoe as an all-healer is found among Swiss peasants
and among the Swedes (ibid., p. 82).
The Norse god Balder was said to have been slain by mistletoe and Frazer
gives an extensive account of this matter in his work.
Mistletoe was used as a remedy for epilepsy generally and by high medical
authorities in the UK and Holland as late as the eighteenth century (ibid.,
p. 83, noting Ray of UK in 1700, Boerhaave of Holland in 1720 and his pupil
Van Swieten in 1745).
Mistletoe is held to be a protection against lightning and fire and, hence,
associated with the Yule system also (Frazer, xi, p. 85).
It was most commonly used at the midsummer fires and at this time was
associated with the death of the god Balder. This seems to have involved
actual human sacrifice at this time in Denmark, Norway and Sweden (Frazer,
xi, p. 87). The practice of throwing the victim chosen by lot into the
Beltane fire and also the Green wolf of the midsummer fires are associated
with this system of worship as tree spirits or gods of vegetation (ibid., p.
88).
The worship of mistletoe is associated directly with the cult of the worship
of the oak and was common to all the Aryans. The Celts in Asia Minor
worshiped at the grove called Drynemetum which is pure Celtic, meaning
Temple of the Oak. These are the groves which also contained a phallus
spoken against by the Bible.
Among the Slavs, the oak was the sacred symbol of the great god Perun and
the oak ranks first among the holy trees of the Germans. It was adored by
them anciently and certain of these practices and attitudes survive to the
present day (Frazer, ibid., p. 89).
The oak was also sacred to the Italians and the image of Jupiter on the
Capitol was originally nothing but a natural oak tree. At Dodona, Zeus was
also worshipped as being immanent in the oak. Frazer concludes that the
Aryans, including Celts, Germans and Lithuanians, commonly held the oak
sacred before their dispersion and this common land must have been
plentifully supplied with oak. The mistletoe is merely its symbol, as heaven
sent aspect of healing, protection and fertility.
The kindling of sacred fire, whether among the Celts, Germans or Slavs, is
always by use of the oak in rubbing two of the sticks together or by rubbing
oak on a grey stone (not red). The same types of practice are found from
Germany to the highlands of Scotland in kindling the need-fire (cf. Frazer,
xi, p. 91).
Frazer says the perpetual fire of Vesta in Rome was fed with oak wood. Oak
wood also burnt in the perpetual fire before the sacred oak at Romove in
Lithuania. The blocks of oak are burnt also from the midwinter solstice
through to the end of the year and replaced with the new log and the ashes
are mixed among the seed etc. for fertility.
The common link in all these stories is the burning of the fires and the
cutting of the mistletoe. The ancient Aryans believed, as we can deduce from
the myth of Balder, that the oak was the god and the mistletoe's link with
it ensured its longevity. The human sacrifice at the midsummer fires ensured
the life of the crops. The use of mistletoe and the Yule log at the
midwinter solstice also looked to the sacrifice of the god represented by
the human who took his place, and the return of the Sun system. This is the
underlying symbolism of the Christmas tradition (cf. Frazer, xi, p. 93).
While the mistletoe stood, neither the god nor his substitute could be
injured. The cutting of the mistletoe was both the signal and the cause of
his death.
Holly and ivy
Holly and ivy allegedly represent male and female. The ivy clings and
twines - supposedly representing the female. The holly is prickly and
erect - supposedly representing the male.
In Surrey England, a holly tree is used to pass a child through a cleft to
heal rupture whereas it is usually an ash elsewhere (Frazer, xi, p. 169, n.
2).
The holly-oak was sacred to the Fratres Arvales or Brethren of the Tilled
Fields. This was a Roman college of twelve priests who performed public
religious rites for the purposes of agriculture. They wore wreaths of ears
of corn. Their sacrifices were made in the grove of the goddess Dia some
five miles down the Tiber from Rome. This grove contained laurels and
holly-oaks. It was so hallowed that expiatory sacrifices were offered every
time a tree or even a bough of a tree fell to the ground. This was obviously
especially prone to occur with the advent of snow and storms at the winter
solstice. Hence, the concept also of holly and the white Christmas. More
elaborate sacrifices had to be made when one of the trees were struck by
lightning. They were then dug up by the roots, split and burnt and others
planted in their stead. At the Roman festival of the Parilia which was for
the welfare of flocks and herds, peasants prayed for forgiveness if they
entered a hallowed grove, sat under a sacred tree, or lopped a holy bough to
feed sheep (cf. Frazer, ii, p. 123).
Pliny says the woods were formerly the temples of the deities and that even
in his time the peasants dedicated a tall tree to a god with the ritual of
olden times (Pliny Natural History, xii, p. 3).
The ivy is the symbol of the Mystery cults. It is chewed by the Bacchanalian
feast-goers. It is identified with the god Dionysius, or Bacchus.
Ivy was used by the Greeks as one of the two firesticks. The board of the
pair was made out of a parasitic or creeping plant which was usually ivy.
The borer was usually laurel. Oak was also used as the borer.
The ancient Indians used a parasite (the climbing fig) as the borer using
the parasite as the male concept. The Greeks seemed to have reversed this
concept. The ivy is considered female and the laurel male. Yet in the Greek,
the word ivy is masculine and the ivy was identified anciently with the male
god Dionysius. The word for laurel is feminine and is identified with a
nymph. Thus, we may conclude that the Greeks, like the Indians, considered
the concepts similarly in very ancient times but modified them perhaps
though expedience (Frazer, ii, pp. 251-252).
Anciently, ivy was prohibited to touch or name (Frazer, iii, pp. 13 ff.).
Ivy was also sacred to the god Attis and, hence, we come then to the pine
tree which was also sacred to that god (cf. Frazer, v, p. 278 and see the
paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)).
Ivy was also sacred to the god Osirus (Frazer, vi, p. 112) and also for
dreams (ibid., x, p. 242). Thus, we see a commonality to the system of the
Triune god and the Mystery cults generally which ties in naturally with the
solstice system and Sun worship. Thus, the holly and the ivy are the symbols
also of the oak and other groves dedicated to the deities so condemned by
the Bible.
The Christmas tree
The decorated pine tree stems directly from the Mystery cults and the
worship of the god Attis. He is held to have been a man who became a tree
and, hence, is the embodiment of the ancient tree-spirit we meet in ancient
Indian or Indus mythology from as early as Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. He is
clearly a fertility god of corn and wears a Phrygian cap like Mithras (from
the statue in the Lateran; Frazer, v, p. 279).
The bringing in of the pine tree decked in violets and woollen bands is like
bringing in the May-tree or Summer-tree in modern folk custom. The effigy
which was attached to the tree was a duplicate representative of the god
Attis. This was traditionally kept until the next year when it was burnt
(Firmicus Maternus De errore profanarum religionum; cf. Frazer, v, p. 277
and n. 2).
The original intent of this custom was to maintain the spirit of vegetation
intact throughout the coming year. The Phrygians worshipped the pine tree
above all others and it is from this area that we derive the Mysteries and
the Mithras system. It is probably sacred to the cults in that it is an
evergreen lasting through the solstice period over a large area, when other
trees are bare. Remember also that pine resin was burnt at the solstice
festivals. The origins are lost in the antiquity of the Assyro-Babylonian
system.
The resemblance of the god Attis was changed to the Sun symbol as a
monstrance on the top and then to angels and other types of decorations. The
decorations are easily identifiable as the Sun, Moon, and stars of the
Triune system of the Babylonians as Sin Ishtar and Shamash or Isis, Osirus
and Horus of the Egyptians (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
Ivy was also sacred to Attis and his eunuch priests were tattooed with the
symbol of the ivy leaf (Frazer, v, p. 278).
Pine nuts were used to produce a wine used in the orgiastic rites of Cybele
which were in effect counterparts of the Dionysian orgies and Strabo
compared them (Strabo, x, 3. 12 ff).
At the festival of Thesmophoria, they were thrown along with pigs and other
agents or emblems of fertility into the sacred vaults of Demeter for the
purpose of increasing the fertility of the earth and of women (Frazer, v, p.
278). Thus, we are back again to the Demeter festivals and the aspects that
have kept on and which are associated with Christmas in Europe generally as
we have already seen.
The Epiphany
The term Epiphany means manifestation as the appearance of some divine or
superhuman being. It was applied to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, king of Syria
(175-164 BCE).
It was also known as: the dies luminum (day of lights); as three kings day
or the twelfth day. All of these are dealt with above. The practices
associated with it are all derived from the ancient sources we see in the
text and have little to do with the faith.
The name survives in the great festival of Befana at Rome (cf. Catholic
Encyclopedia, art., Epiphany, Robert Appleton, NY, 1909, Vol. V, p. 504).
It is difficult to say how closely the practice then observed of buying all
sorts of earthenware images, combined with whistles and representing some
type of Roman life, is to be connected with the rather similar custom in
vogue during the December feast of the Saturnalia (ibid.).
It is hardly difficult to identify. The practices were the same and the term
is applied to the manifestation of the Befana as the goddess as we see
above. The attempts to place the reference in Hippolytus on the Sacrament of
Baptism is incorrect as he uses the term theophaneia not epiphania (ibid.).
The first substantive reference is in Clement (Stromateis, I, xxi, p. 45).
'There are those, too, who over-curiously assign to the Birth of our Saviour
not only its year but its day, which they say to be on 25 Pachon (20 May) in
the twenty eighth year of Augustus. But the followers of Basilides celebrate
the day of his Baptism too, spending the previous night in readings. And
they say that it was the 15th of the month Tybi of the 15th year of Tiberius
Caesar. And some say that it was observed the 11th of the same month.' Now,
15 and 11 Tybi are 6 and 10 January.
Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church try to draw from this
practice of the Gnostics under Basilides (teaching at Rome in the middle of
the second century) support for the celebration of the nativity as well as
the baptism of Christ but there is no real evidence for this conjecture. The
evidence of the festivals themselves indicate that the practice was the
ancient fertility festival and the blessing of the produce. From this arose
the practice of blessing the waters and the practice of throwing crucifixes
into the sea to make the seas productive for fisherman. All are based in
ancient paganism and were not evident in Christianity until the fourth
century. This addition was well after Origen writing in the third century as
he makes no mention of the Epiphany in his list of the festivals. The first
reference to it as a feast of the church is in 361 (cf. CE, p. 505).
From Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a rather late invention and comes to us as a product of late
American commercialism. It is derived chiefly from German and Dutch
folklore. It has its origins in the entity referred to as Saint Nicholas.
The man usually known as Saint Nicholas is Nicholas of Myra in Lycia. He
died on 6 December 345 or 352 (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XI, p. 63). He is
popular in both the Greek and the Latin church but there is scarcely
anything certain about him except that he was bishop of Myra in the fourth
century (ibid., p. 64). He was born at Parara in Lycia of Asia Minor. In his
youth, he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and Palestine. On his return he was
made bishop of Myra and was imprisoned during the persecution of Diocletian.
He was released on the ascension of Constantine. The Catholics allege he was
present at Nicaea but his name does not appear on any of the records by
their own admission (ibid.).
In 1087, Italian merchants stole his body at Myra and took it to Bari. His
cult in Italy dates from this point. It appears this may have been prompted
by a cult that had developed concerning him in Europe. The numerous miracles
attributed to him are the outgrowth of a long tradition but, as we will see,
much of it has pagan origins that would have little to do with the original
man.
His cult in the Greek church is old and especially prominent in the Russian
church although they were long after him (c. 1000 CE). The emperor Justinian
I built a church in his honour at Constantinople and his name appears on the
liturgy ascribed to John Chrysostom (ibid.).
His cult in Europe started from the time of Otto II whose wife Theophano was
a Grecian. Bishop Reginald of Eichstadt (d. 991) wrote a metric entitled the
Vita S. Nicholai. He is, or was, honoured as patron saint in Greece, Russia,
the kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Lorraine, the Diocese of Liege, and many
cities in Italy, Germany, Austria and Belgium, Campen in the Netherlands,
Corfu in Greece, Frieburg in Switzerland and Moscow in Russia (ibid.). He
was patron of mariners, merchants, bankers and children.
His relics are still preserved in the church of S. Nicola in Bari. An oily
substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, is said to exude from his relics. It
is valued for medicinal purposes. His relationship with the festivals of 5/6
December are examined below.
One legend associated with him relates to the formation of three golden
balls, each made from his wages for one year, and rolled through the window
of a needy family of good birth over a period of years. The first ball
allegedly landed in a stocking (hence the Christmas stocking). This enabled
the needy recipients to marry off their daughters. He was allegedly seen on
the last time. This is no doubt the origin of the three golden balls of the
pawn brokers and the symbol of his patronage of merchants. These stories we
will see have relationship with other myths.
The traditions associated with his generosity caused the practice of Norman
French nuns giving to the poor on Saint Nicolas day or eve and this came to
be called Boxing Day from the alms box of the church. This became the
tradition behind the Boxing Day of 26 December. In Germany, Christ Bundles
were also given to the poor and the annual parades took on the Heavenly
Mother goddess tokens of the Mysteries.
The practice of children saving all year for the annual pig at Christmas in
Holland led to the introduction of the piggy bank.
The amalgam also of the false Roman robes of the clergy worn on the Festival
of Fools and the tales of Odin's wild ride and the beards of the Magi with
the elves of the Yule festivals saw a gradual evolution.
Nicholas of Myra was a saint in the Roman Catholic Church until 1969 when he
suffered the fate of many other myths.
Sinterklaas - the precursor of Santa Claus
Sinterklaas, or Saint Nicolas, is a typical Dutch folklore, celebrated in
the Netherlands and partly in Belgium.
The celebration of Sinterklaas is always on the evening, after sunset of 5
December in the Netherlands and 6 December in Belgium.
In the celebration of the evening and night, the children are assembled
"Heerlijk avondje is gekomen. Kom maar binnen met je knecht".
"The nice (or lordlike) evening has come. Come in with your servant".
His servant, Black Peter, is black. He is always portrayed as a Negro with
thick lips and earrings and clothed in funny clothes. This probably stems
from the Demeter/Melchior nexus and later associated with good and evil
being embodied in the legend of Woden and Nöwi.
Sinterklaas himself is as a bishop with mitre and a book with the good deeds
and sins. He has the staff of a shepherd and rides on a white horse over the
roof tops. Black Peter listens at the chimneys to determine whether the
children are singing the right songs and presenting the right offerings to
the horse in the form of hay and carrots.
The presents for the children are put through the chimney.
Sinterklaas is a syncretic product of the old Germanic or Teutonic religion.
The god Woden (also known as Odin), who is still remembered by the use of
Wednesday, was the most important god of the old Germanic tribes (not the
small group of people we understand as Germans today). Woden, who is a
figure of history, was made into the personification of the multitude of
earlier gods - the gods of wind and war, the god of the dead, the god of
fertility, the god of wisdom and the Sun god. We will find him in
mythological legends "riding through the air on his faithful white horse,
clothed in a flowing robe." Further, he is described as a figure with a long
white beard, and with a big hat on his head. Because he was also held to be
the god of wisdom, he had a book in his hand written in rune letters, and he
carried a great spear.
In these stories Woden was accompanied by the giant Nöwi, who had a black
countenance because he was the father of the night. He was, according to
legend, well versed in making rhymes and poems. He carried in his hand, as a
sign of fertility, a bunch of twigs.
From these aspects - the white horse, the wide robe, the big hat, the book,
the spear, and the black Nöwi, with a bunch of twigs, and the poems or
poetic traditions - we have so many parallels with our today's Sinterklaas
and Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) that is beyond mere coincidence. We see here,
also, the parallels with Demeter and the three wise kings one of whom was
also the black Melchior.
If we now add to this the traditional customs, we will complete the picture.
The old Germanic tribes or Teutons always left, after the harvest, a sheaf
on the land for the white horse of Woden. The children offered, during the
Sinterklaas time, hay in their shoes at the chimney (stockings at the
chimney at Christmas) for his horse.
We see here the same traditions as found among the Celts of burning the
twelve fires and the thirteenth major fire of the straw. We also see the
black faces of the Mother goddess system. We can deduce a much earlier
origin than that attributed to Woden. This is part of the early cults of
fertility related to Apollo as Sun god and master of the Mystery religions
among the states of the Danube and into the Hyperborean Celts. He was drawn
across the sky in a chariot and often this was pictured being drawn not just
by horses but by geese or swans. The similarity of these feasts was with the
old ceremonies of the Saturnalia which was traditionally prior to Christmas.
In the Netherlands, we see a much earlier date than is normal now. It was
some thirty days before the Epiphany. It was, however, not thirty days
before the solstice as we saw in the Saturnalia examples above. We see the
same tradition but removed so that the thirty days of the Lord of Misrule as
the god Saturn and Apollo relate to the Epiphany rather than the end of the
Saturnalia.
Today's tradition in the Netherlands is to give letters of chocolate or
almond pastry. The connection with the ancient runes seems very obvious. The
German Wotan feast was a mixture of sacrifice and fertility festivals during
and around the midwinter feasts. The lads and lassies of the Germanic tribes
prayed in those early times for a partner. The presents from Sinterklaas
were also in the form of lovers made from speculatius or other cakes. Also,
presents were of animals in the form of sugar mice and pigs, to substitute
for the real animal sacrifices.
Sinterklaas is also the patron of the city of Amsterdam and the seamen who
sail from her ports.
The apparel of Sinterklaas is Roman Catholic. It was little wonder that, in
the sixteenth century, the Reformation tried to stamp out these customs. It
was not entirely successful in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas came to life
again after an absence of some centuries (or being underground) in
Protestant Netherlands in the first half of the twentieth century.
Sinterklaas disappeared in England and Germany and went underground. Many of
the traditions simply were moved to 25 December and completed with the
Christmas tree and Santa Claus. The acceptance of the 'rebirth' of
Sinterklaas in Protestant Netherlands was sooner and earlier than the
acceptance of the Christmas tree. Today, commercialism has to fight to get
Santa Claus accepted in the Netherlands, as many are against this imposter
of Sinterklaas, even though its rebirth in the Netherlands was because of
what was done in the USA.
Santa Claus in the USA
When migrants went to the United Sates, they brought with them the Yule
traditions from Europe and particularly the three elements which went to
make up the Santa Claus myth.
The Dutch contributed the Sinterklaas myth which was adapted from its
traditional place. The Pere Noel tradition of the red robes was also
contributed from Europe. The Germans brought with them the Christ Bundle
tradition and termed it Christkindl or Christ Child tradition. The name Kris
Kringle developed from this term.
Washington Irving in the Knickerbocker Tales (c. 1820) discusses the elf
Santa Claus who presents the stocking as did St Nicholas.
Clement Clark Moore introduced many new elements in his poem A Visit from
Saint Nicholas which was renamed 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. He
introduced new elements such as eight reindeer including the traditional
representation we see regarding thunder and lightning as the gods of the
Yule festival in the form of Donner (Donder) and Blitzen.
Santa Claus was still an elf of the Yule tradition however until the
American Civil War when Thomas Nast of Harpers Weekly was commissioned to do
a series of Santa Claus cartoons. He continued this after the Civil War and
the publishing company McLaughlin Brothers Printing Company experimented
with the colour of Santa's leather and decided on red.
The final change was made in 1931. The Scandinavian Haddon Sundblom was
hired by Coca Cola to paint Santa Claus. On the death of his model, he
fashioned Santa Claus on his own face. This continued for twenty-five years.
In 1941, the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was written. It was
recorded by the cowboy singer Gene Autry.
The Coca Cola model and colours and the American myths surrounding the
figure are now the final product of at least 3,000 years of pagan idolatry
wrapped in the crass commercialism that first emanated from the merchants of
the Roman Saturnalia and which was perfected in the USA.
There is nothing Christian about so-called Christmas and, indeed, it is so
steeped in false religious superstition that it is a direct breach of
biblical law. No Christian can observe it and remain a Christian.
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-14 09:39:38 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
Post by JCarew
JMJ
Subject: How we got the Date for Christmas
Date: Monday, December 10, 2001 7:38 PM
The designation of December 25th for Christmas
(Christ's Mass in Anglo Saxon, in Old English the
Mass of Christ) was done by Pope(Saint) Julius I
in the 4th century AD
Whatever else you may believe, be aware that the first Christmas is
recorded in the New Testament.


LK 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord
appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and
they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ
the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped
in cloths and lying in a manger."

LK 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared
with the angel, praising God and saying,

LK 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

LK 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the
shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this
thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

The first Christmas. From the NIV Study Bible

John W
Post by JCarew
From the "Christmas History" Website(see below)
Actually, Christmas was a movable feast and
was celebrated many different times during
the year. Not until Pope Julius I in the 4th
century AD choose December 25th because it
coincided with the pagan rituals of Winter
Solstice or "Return of the Sun". The purpose
was to replace the pagan celebration with the
Christian one.
11 days were dropped from the year in 1752, when
we switched from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian
Calendar(see note,jc). The date, December 25th
was effectively moved backwards by 11 days. Some
Christian Church Sects, called the "Calendarists",
still celebrate Christmas on January 7th (previously
December 25th of the Julian calendar).
From the Inglewood Care Centre(a non-Catholic
http://www.inglewoodcarecentre.com/history/christmas_history.htm
Note: The "Gregorian Calendar"(the Calander we
use today in the US) was put into effect by a
decree of Pope Gregory XIII(hence the name
"Gregorian Calendar")in 1582 the change was not
accepted by the English Protestants until the
year 1752 which is where they get the year
they use above.
Jim Carew sfo
Post by martus
Jer 10:2-8 KJVA
(2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not
dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
(3) For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe.
(4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails
and with hammers, that it move not.
(5) They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must
needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for
they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
(6) Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art]
great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(7) Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it
appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and
in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.
(8) But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a
doctrine of vanities.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------
Post by martus
Subject: Is Christmas Christian?
Dear Friends -
There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.
The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.
The December 25th SELLebration of winter solstice does NOT honor God.
The true God has spoken clearly on it. Jesus Christ was born on the
feast of Tabernacles, most likely mid September. There was no room
for them in the inn, because devout Jews from the entire world, were
in Jerusalem, just 6 miles from Bethlehem, for the one required
Jerusalem pilgrimage feast that NO ONE wanted to miss.
Most people on the GJiGT list know what God had to say about the
Christmas tree, is in Jer 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people
are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with
gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
Read all of Jeremiah chapter 10 and explain to children, family,
friends, and Christians, that this SELLebration of the winter
solstice is a waste of time and effort, and the only god it honors is
the god of covetousness.
The Savior was not born on the 25th of December. It is an old Pagan
holiday celebrated many hundred years before His birth. The Christmas
tree also is a relic of heathenism. "Hear ye the Word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, Oh house of Israel. THUS SAITH THE LORD, learn not
the way of the heathen..... for the CUSTOMS of the people are VAIN.
Learn NOT the way of the heathen is the command. This Christmas
custom of the people we are told in Jeremiah chapter 10 is vain. This
all came from old Babylon, and was adopted in the church by the
western so called "CHURCH FATHERS", Eusebius, Jerome, Polycarp,
Justan Martyr, and others, while the Eastern church Fathers were
opposed to all of these heathen customs. For 500 years they all
strictly observed the true Sabbath, while the Western Bishops,
called "Fathers", were in the great falling away. The mystery of
iniquity has now become full. Many today are hearing the Lord say,
Come out of Babylon.
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian"
holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas
really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look at every word on
every page of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD
of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of God's people! It is not
even mentioned once! Neither Christ nor any of His apostles ever
observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Church!
Yet, on the other hand, the pagan, heathen world observed this day
for thousands of years before Christ was even born! Where did the
mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from?
What about the Christmas tree, and the Yule log, and mistletoe, and
Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin?
And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus? It's
high time we address these questions, and take a new look
at "Christmas." Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the
truth about this popular and widespread holiday?
There is a topic on the GJiGT by the title "Is Christmas Christian?"
It is filled with FACTS that can be shocking. It can be a tremendous
help for those NOT SELLebrating their first or second one. The
article is a good read for anyone, at any time; but, for those in the
midst of your FIRST NON-SELLebration it is a GREAT encouragement.
http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/C&E
Millions of "nominal" Christians, who think they are followers of the
religion of Jesus Christ, have been deceived. Not only have they
foolishly embraced erroneous "traditions" as if they
were "Christian," but they have been lied to, by preachers,
ministers, and priests. Most have ASSUMED that they were worshipping
Christ! Yet Jesus Christ Himself warned: "Howbeit IN VAIN DO THEY
WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye HOLD THE TRADITION OF
MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).
In the gospel of Matthew, we find Christ says, "Ye HYPOCRITES, well
did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouths, and honoreth me with their lips; but THEIR HEART
IS FAR FROM ME. But IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Matt.15:7-9).
What is the truth? What is the evidence regarding when Jesus Christ
was born? Was it anywhere NEAR December 25? And if not, then why
believe a lie, and practice and perform a lie?
The birth of Christ is not known for certain, but we can know the
approximate time of year when He was born! In the book of Luke we
read that the father of John the Baptist was Zacharias, and he was a
priest who served at the temple in Jerusalem. He was "of the course
of Abia" (Luke 1:5). While serving at the temple, he was informed by
an angel that his wife was to have a son, who was to be named "John."
After this, Zacharias finished "the days of his ministration,"
and "departed to his own house" (v.23). "And after those days, his
wife Elizabeth conceived . . ." (v.24).
The names of the different courses of priests that served at the
Temple are given in I Chronicles 24:1-19. "Abia" or "Abijah" was the
EIGHTH course. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, each one
of these courses served at the Temple for one week, the first course
serving the first week of Nisan, in the spring (compare I Chron.27:1-
2), and then each course in its own order. All the priests served
during the annual festivals (Passover in spring, Pentecost, and then
Tabernacles in the fall). After six months, the order would be
repeated, thus each "course" would serve two weeks during a year.
The course of Abijah, then, would have served the eighth week in the
rotation. The eighth week from Nisan 1, leaving out the week of
Passover, when all the priests served, would have been IYAR 27 TO
SIVAN 5, the day just before Pentecost, which generally fell on Sivan
6. After serving a week in the Temple, Zacharias would have remained
another week in Jerusalem, because of the Feast of Shavuot or
Pentecost that week. Therefore, he returned home shortly after this,
and his wife then conceived. This would have been about the middle of
June. If we add nine months to this date, the normal time for the
gestation of a human baby in the womb, John the Baptist would have
been born about the middle of March, in the spring, shortly before
the Passover.
Jesus was conceived about six months after John (Luke 1:24-31, esp.
verse 26). This would suggest that Jesus Christ was conceived about
the middle of December. This would place His birth nine months, or
270 days, later -- or the month of September!
If Jesus Christ was not born on December 25, who was? In other words,
whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on
December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? What "Christ"
are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the
translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally
means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, where
we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on
December 25?
In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we find this amazing
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that
much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western
world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of
the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even
became the state worship. . . .
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then,
centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the
central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the
solar orb. . . Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a
massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal
point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday
of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO
CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS
CULT" (p.391- 392).
Notice! Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult
of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of
Jesus Christ! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god,
worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!
In the article on the GJiGT "Is Christmas Christian?" there are many
more interesting facts of history which prove the feast is pagan to
the core. Are we beginning to get the picture? In the fourth century
AFTER Christ, the Church moved to incorporate the birthday of the sun
god into the so-called "Christian" calendar, and converted the pagan
sungod's "birth day" into the birth day of CHRIST Himself! That which
was distinctly and definitely pagan now was "baptized," and by some
act of "magic" was transformed into something "Christian"!
No matter how many Christians, and non-Christians alike, believe
December 25th to be "Christian," it is not, in fact, or in TRUTH. In
fact, it remains an abomination to the true God, and what the bible
over and over calls spiritual harlotry or whoredom. It may now be
called "Christian." But in truth, it still has a pagan heart and core!
These historical observations ought to make us sit up and take
notice! The 'Christianity" that we see around us in the world today
is but a "spin-off" of this ancient syncretism or 'blending"
and "merging" of PAGANISM into the professed Church of Jesus Christ.
The compromised state church, lapsed into apostasy, debauchery,
licentiousness, and impurity. The descendants of the once chaste and
pure virgin of Christ, the New Testament Church, had seemingly
become, for all intends and purposes, the religious WHORE of Babylon -
- a bejeweled and bedecked and bedeviled harlot, a "shady lady," a
spiritual PROSTITUTE!
"Paganism" was not defeated by the Church. It invaded the church,
infiltrated it, and seduced it from within! The professing Christian
Church became the "new face of paganism"! Only the "names" were
changed. And in some cases -- as in "Easter" Sunday -- even the old
pagan names were left in place!
_______________________________________________________________________________
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disciple
2003-12-21 02:20:21 UTC
Permalink
JCarew wrote in message ...
Post by JCarew
JMJ
Subject: How we got the Date for Christmas
Date: Monday, December 10, 2001 7:38 PM
The designation of December 25th for Christmas
(Christ's Mass in Anglo Saxon, in Old English the
Mass of Christ) was done by Pope(Saint) Julius I
in the 4th century AD
From the "Christmas History" Website(see below)
Actually, Christmas was a movable feast and
was celebrated many different times during
the year. Not until Pope Julius I in the 4th
century AD choose December 25th because it
coincided with the pagan rituals of Winter
Solstice or "Return of the Sun". The purpose
was to replace the pagan celebration with the
Christian one.
No. The purpose was to meet paganism half-way, and pollute true Christianity
with pagan rituals. This was to try to make Christianity acceptable to the
pagan Romans by making Christianity more like the pagan Roman religion.
Therefore, it was not real Christianity anymore, but some kind of a pagan/
Christian hybrid, not acceptable to God. God only accepts true Christianity
from the New Testament.
Here, read about it in detail:
How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December the 25th as Christmas-day?
Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era
itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of
the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of
heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the
heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity,
the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name
of Christ. This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half-way
was very early developed; and we find Tertullian, even in his day, about the
year 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of Christ in
this respect, and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the Pagans to
their own superstition. "By us," says he, "who are strangers to Sabbaths,
and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, the
feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia, are now frequented; gifts
are carried to and fro, new year's day presents are made with din, and
sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar; oh, how much more faithful
are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no
solemnity from the Christians." Upright men strive to stem the tide, but in
spite of all their efforts, the apostacy went on, till the Church, with the
exception of a small remnant, was submerged under Pagan superstition. That
Christmas was originally a Pagan festival, is beyond all doubt. The time of
the year, and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its
origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of
heaven, was born at this very time, "about the time of the winter solstice."
The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among
ourselves--Yule-day --proves at once its Pagan and Babylonian origin. "Yule"
is the Chaldee name for an "infant" or "little child"; * and as the 25th of
December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, "Yule-day," or the
"Child's day," and the night that preceded it, "Mother-night," long before
they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real
character.


* From Eol, an "infant." In Scotland, at least in the Lowlands, the
Yule-cakes are also called Nur-cakes. Now in Chaldee Nour signifies "birth."
Therefore, Nur-cakes are "birth-cakes." The Scandinavian goddesses, called
"norns," who appointed children their destinies at their birth, evidently
derived their name from the cognate Chaldee word "Nor," a child.
Far and wide, in the realms of Paganism, was this birth-day observed. This
festival has been commonly believed to have had only an astronomical
character, referring simply to the completion of the sun's yearly course,
and the commencement of a new cycle. But there is indubitably evidence that
the festival in question had a much higher reference than this--that it
commemorated not merely the figurative birth-day of the sun in the renewal
of its course, but the birth-day of the grand Deliverer. Among the Sabeans
of Arabia, who regarded the moon, and not the sun, as the visible symbol of
the favourite object of their idolatry, the same period was observed as the
birth festival. Thus we read in Stanley's Sabean Philosophy: "On the 24th of
the tenth month," that is December, according to our reckoning, "the
Arabians celebrated the BIRTHDAY OF THE LORD--that is the Moon." The Lord
Moon was the great object of Arabian worship, and that Lord Moon, according
to them, was born on the 24th of December, which clearly shows that the
birth which they celebrated had no necessary connection with the course of
the sun. It is worthy of special note, too, that if Christmas-day among the
ancient Saxons of this island, was observed to celebrate the birth of any
Lord of the host of heaven, the case must have been precisely the same here
as it was in Arabia. The Saxons, as is well known, regarded the Sun as a
female divinity, and the Moon as a male. *


* SHARON TURNER. Turner cites an Arabic poem which proves that a female sun
and a masculine moon were recognised in Arabia as well as by the
Anglo-Saxons.
It must have been the birth-day of the Lord Moon, therefore, and not of the
Sun, that was celebrated by them on the 25th of December, even as the
birth-day of the same Lord Moon was observed by the Arabians on the 24th of
December. The name of the Lord Moon in the East seems to have been Meni, for
this appears the most natural interpretation of the Divine statement in
Isaiah lxv. 11, "But ye are they that forsake my holy mountain, that prepare
a temple for Gad, and that furnish the drink-offering unto Meni." There is
reason to believe that Gad refers to the sun-god, and that Meni in like
manner designates the moon-divinity. *


*See KITTO, vol. iv. p. 66, end of Note. The name Gad evidently refers, in
the first instance, to the war-god, for it signifies to assault; but it also
signifies "the assembler"; and under both ideas it is applicable to Nimrod,
whose general character was that of the sun-god, for he was the first grand
warrior; and, under the name Phoroneus, he was celebrated for having first
gathered mankind into social communities. The name Meni, "the numberer," on
the other hand, seems just a synonym for the name of Cush or Chus, which,
while it signifies "to cover" or "hide," signifies also "to count or
number." The true proper meaning of the name Cush is, I have no doubt, "The
numberer" or "Arithmetician"; for while Nimrod his son, as the "mighty" one,
was the grand propagator of the Babylonian system of idolatry, by force and
power, he, as Hermes, was the real concocter of that system, for he is said
to have "taught men the proper mode of approaching the Deity with prayers
and sacrifice" (WILKINSON); and seeing idolatry and astronomy were
intimately combined, to enable him to do so with effect, it was
indispensable that he should be pre-eminently skilled in the science of
numbers. Now, Hermes (that is Cush) is said to have "first discovered
numbers, and the art of reckoning, geometry, and astronomy, the games of
chess and hazard" (Ibid.); and it is in all probability from reference to
the meaning of the name of Cush, that some called "NUMBER the father of gods
and men" (Ibid.). The name Meni is just the Chaldee form of the Hebrew
"Mene," the "numberer" for in Chaldee i often takes the place of the final
e. As we have seen reason to conclude with Gesenius, that Nebo, the great
prophetic god of Babylon, was just the same god as Hermes, this shows the
peculiar emphasis of the first words in the Divine sentence that sealed the
doom of Belshazzar, as representing the primeval god--"MENE, MENE, Tekel,
Upharsin," which is as much as covertly to say, "The numberer is numbered."
As the cup was peculiarly the symbol of Cush, hence the pouring out of the
drink-offering to him as the god of the cup; and as he was the great
Diviner, hence the divinations as to the future year, which Jerome connects
with the divinity referred to by Isaiah. Now Hermes, in Egypt as the
"numberer," was identified with the moon that numbers the months. He was
called "Lord of the moon" (BUNSEN); and as the "dispenser of time"
(WILKINSON), he held a "palm branch, emblematic of a year" (Ibid.). Thus,
then, if Gad was the "sun-divinity," Meni was very naturally regarded as
"The Lord Moon."
Meni, or Manai, signifies "The Numberer." And it is by the changes of the
moon that the months are numbered: Psalm civ. 19, "He appointed the moon for
seasons: the sun knoweth the time of its going down." The name of the "Man
of the Moon," or the god who presided over that luminary among the Saxons,
was Mane, as given in the "Edda," and Mani, in the "Voluspa." That it was
the birth of the "Lord Moon" that was celebrated among our ancestors at
Christmas, we have remarkable evidence in the name that is still given in
the lowlands of Scotland to the feast on the last day of the year, which
seems to be a remnant of the old birth festival for the cakes then made are
called Nur-Cakes, or Birth-cakes. That name is Hogmanay. Now, "Hog-Manai" in
Chaldee signifies "The feast of the Numberer"; in other words, the festival
of Deus Lunus, or of the Man of the Moon. To show the connection between
country and country, and the inveterate endurance of old customs, it is
worthy of remark, that Jerome, commenting on the very words of Isaiah
already quoted, about spreading "a table for Gad," and "pouring out a
drink-offering to Meni," observes that it "was the custom so late as his
time [in the fourth century], in all cities especially in Egypt and at
Alexandria, to set tables, and furnish them with various luxurious articles
of food, and with goblets containing a mixture of new wine, on the last day
of the month and the year, and that the people drew omens from them in
respect of the fruitfulness of the year." The Egyptian year began at a
different time from ours; but this is a near as possible (only substituting
whisky for wine), the way in which Hogmanay is still observed on the last
day of the last month of our year in Scotland. I do not know that any omens
are drawn from anything that takes place at that time, but everybody in the
south of Scotland is personally cognisant of the fact, that, on Hogmanay, or
the evening before New Year's day, among those who observe old customs, a
table is spread, and that while buns and other dainties are provided by
those who can afford them, oat cakes and cheese are brought forth among
those who never see oat cakes but on this occasion, and that strong drink
forms an essential article of the provision.

Even where the sun was the favourite object of worship, as in Babylon itself
and elsewhere, at this festival he was worshipped not merely as the orb of
day, but as God incarnate. It was an essential principle of the Babylonian
system, that the Sun or Baal was the one only God. When, therefore, Tammuz
was worshipped as God incarnate, that implied also that he was an
incarnation of the Sun. In the Hindoo Mythology, which is admitted to be
essentially Babylonian, this comes out very distinctly. There, Surya, or the
sun, is represented as being incarnate, and born for the purpose of subduing
the enemies of the gods, who, without such a birth, could not have been
subdued. *


* See the Sanscrit Researches of Col. VANS KENNEDY. Col. K., a most
distinguished Sanscrit scholar, brings the Brahmins from Babylon (Ibid.). Be
it observed the very name Surya, given to the sun over all India, is
connected with this birth. Though the word had originally a different
meaning, it was evidently identified by the priests with the Chaldee "Zero,"
and made to countenance the idea of the birth of the "Sun-god." The Pracrit
name is still nearer the Scriptural name of the promised "seed." It is
"Suro." It has been seen, in a previous chapter, that in Egypt also the Sun
was represe ted as born of a goddess.
It was no mere astronomic festival, then, that the Pagans celebrated at the
winter solstice. That festival at Rome was called the feast of Saturn, and
the mode in which it was celebrated there, showed whence it had been
derived. The feast, as regulated by Caligula, lasted five days; * loose
reins were given to drunkenness and revelry, slaves had a temporary
emancipation, ** and used all manner of freedoms with their masters.


* Subsequently the number of the days of the Saturnalia was increased to
seven.
** If Saturn, or Kronos, was, as we have seen reason to believe, Phoroneus,
"The emancipator," the "temporary emancipation" of the slaves at his
festival was exactly in keeping with his supposed character.

This was precisely the way in which, according to Berosus, the drunken
festival of the month Thebeth, answering to our December, in other words,
the festival of Bacchus, was celebrated in Babylon. "It was the custom,"
says he, "during the five days it lasted, for masters to be in subjection to
their servants, and one of them ruled the house, clothed in a purple garment
like a king." This "purple-robed" servant was called "Zoganes," the "Man of
sport and wantonness," and answered exactly to the "Lord of Misrule," that
in the dark ages, was chosen in all Popish countries to head the revels of
Christmas. The wassailling bowl of Christmas had its precise counterpart in
the "Drunken festival" of Babylon; and many of the other observances still
kept up among ourselves at Christmas came from the very same quarter. The
candles, in some parts of England, lighted on Christmas-eve, and used so
long as the festive season lasts, were equally lighted by the Pagans on the
eve of the festival of the Babylonian god, to do honour to him: for it was
one of the distinguishing peculiarities of his worship to have lighted
wax-candles on his altars. The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was
equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the
palm-tree; in Rome it was the fir; the palm-tree denoting the Pagan Messiah,
as Baal-Tamar, the fir referring to him as Baal-Berith. The mother of
Adonis, the Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to
have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth
her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognised
as the "Man the branch." And this entirely accounts for the putting of the
Yule Log into the fire on Christmas-eve, and the appearance of the
Christmas-tree the next morning. As Zero-Ashta, "The seed of the woman,"
which name also signified Ignigena, or "born of the fire," he has to enter
the fire on "Mother-night," that he may be born the next day out of it, as
the "Branch of God," or the Tree that brings all divine gifts to men. But
why, it may be asked, does he enter the fire under the symbol of a Log? To
understand this, it must be remembered that the divine child born at the
winter solstice was born as a new incarnation of the great god (after that
god had been cut in pieces), on purpose to revenge his death upon his
murderers. Now the great god, cut off in the midst of his power and glory,
was symbolised as a huge tree, stripped of all its branches, and cut down
almost to the ground. But the great serpent, the symbol of the life
restoring Aesculapius, twists itself around the dead stock, and lo, at its
side up sprouts a young tree--a tree of an entirely different kind, that is
destined never to be cut down by hostile power--even the palm-tree, the
well-known symbol of victory. The Christmas-tree, as has been stated, was
generally at Rome a different tree, even the fir; but the very same idea as
was implied in the palm-tree was implied in the Christmas-fir; for that
covertly symbolised the new-born God as Baal-berith, * "Lord of the
Covenant," and thus shadowed forth the perpetuity and everlasting nature of
his power, not that after having fallen before his enemies, he had risen
triumphant over them all.


* Baal-bereth, which differs only in one letter from Baal-berith, "Lord of
the Covenant," signifies "Lord of the fir-tree."
Therefore, the 25th of December, the day that was observed at Rome as the
day when the victorious god reappeared on earth, was held at the Natalis
invicti solis, "The birth-day of the unconquered Sun." Now the Yule Log is
the dead stock of Nimrod, deified as the sun-god, but cut down by his
enemies; the Christmas-tree is Nimrod redivivus--the slain god come to life
again. In the light reflected by the above statement on customs that still
linger among us, the origin of which has been lost in the midst of hoar
antiquity, let the reader look at the singular practice still kept up in the
South on Christmas-eve, of kissing under the mistletoe bough. That mistletoe
bough in the Druidic superstition, which, as we have seen, was derived from
Babylon, was a representation of the Messiah, "The man the branch." The
mistletoe was regarded as a divine branch *--a branch that came from heaven,
and grew upon a tree that sprung out of the earth.


* In the Scandinavian story of Balder, the mistletoe branch is distinguished
from the lamented god. The Druidic and Scandinavian myths somewhat differed;
but yet, even in the Scandinavian story, it is evident that some marvellous
power was attributed to the mistletoe branch; for it was able to do what
nothing else in the compass of creation could accomplish; it slew the
divinity on whom the Anglo-Saxons regarded "the empire" of their "heaven" as
"depending." Now, all that is neceesary to unravel this apparent
inconsistency, is just to understand "the branch" that had such power, as a
symbolical expression for the true Messiah. The Bacchus of the Greeks came
evidently to be recognised as the "seed of the serpent"; for he is said to
have been brought forth by his mother in consequence of intercourse with
Jupiter, when that god had appeared in the form of a serpent. If the
character of Balder was the same, the story of his death just amounted to
this, that the "seed of the serpent" had been slain by the "seed of the
woman." This story, of course, must have originated with his enemies. But
the idolators took up what they could not altogether deny, evidently with
the view of explaining it away.
Thus by the engrafting of the celestial branch into the earthly tree, heaven
and earth, that sin had severed, were joined together, and thus the
mistletoe bough became the token of Divine reconciliation to man, the kiss
being the well-known token of pardon and reconciliation. Whence could such
an idea have come? May it not have come from the eighty-fifth Psalm, ver.
10,11, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have
KISSED each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth [in consequence of
the coming of the promised Saviour], and righteousness shall look down from
heaven"? Certain it is that that Psalm was written soon after the Babylonish
captivity; and as multitudes of the Jews, after that event, still remained
in Babylon under the guidance of inspired men, such as Daniel, as a part of
the Divine word it must have been communicated to them, as well as to their
kinsmen in Palestine. Babylon was, at that time, the centre of the civilised
world; and thus Paganism, corrupting the Divine symbol as it ever has done,
had opportunities of sending forth its debased counterfeit of the truth to
all the ends of the earth, through the Mysteries that were affiliated with
the great central system in Babylon. Thus the very customs of Christmas
still existent cast surprising light at once on the revelations of grace
made to all the earth, and the efforts made by Satan and his emissaries to
materialise, carnalise, and degrade them.

In many countries the boar was sacrificed to the god, for the injury a boar
was fabled to have done him. According to one version of the story of the
death of Adonis, or Tammuz, it was, as we have seen, in consequence of a
wound from the tusk of a boar that he died. The Phrygian Attes, the beloved
of Cybele, whose story was identified with that of Adonis, was fabled to
have perished in like manner, by the tusk of a boar. Therefore, Diana, who t
hough commonly represented in popular myths only as the huntress Diana, was
in reality the great mother of the gods, has frequently the boar's head as
her accompaniment, in token not of any mere success in the chase, but of her
triumph over the grand enemy of the idolatrous system, in which she occupied
so conspicuous a place. According to Theocritus, Venus was reconciled to the
boar that killed Adonis, because when brought in chains before her, it
pleaded so pathetically that it had not killed her husband of malice
prepense, but only through accident. But yet, in memory of the deed that the
mystic boar had done, many a boar lost its head or was offered in sacrifice
to the offended goddess. In Smith, Diana is represented with a boar's head
lying beside her, on the top of a heap of stones in which the Roman Emperor
Trajan is represented burning incense to the same goddess, the boar's head
forms a very prominent figure. On Christmas-day the Continental Saxons
offered a boar in sacrifice to the Sun, to propitiate her * for the loss of
her beloved Adonis.


* The reader will remember the Sun was a goddess. Mallet says, "They offered
the largest hog they could get to Frigga"--i.e., the mother of Balder the
lamented one. In Egypt swine were offered once a year, at the feast of the
Moon, to the Moon, and Bacchus or Osiris; and to them only it was lawful to
make such an offering. (AELIAN)
In Rome a similar observance had evidently existed; for a boar formed the
great article at the feast of Saturn, as appears from the following words of
Martial:--


"That boar will make you a good Saturnalia."
Hence the boar's head is still a standing dish in England at the Christmas
dinner, when the reason of it is long since forgotten. Yea, the "Christmas
goose" and "Yule cakes" were essential articles in the worship of the
Babylonian Messiah, as that worship was practised both in Egypt and at Rome.
Wilkinson, in reference to Egypt, shows that "the favourite offering" of
Osiris was "a goose," and moreover, that the "goose could not be eaten
except in the depth of winter." As to Rome, Juvenal says, "that Osiris, if
offended, could be pacified only by a large goose and a thin cake." In many
countries we have evidence of a sacred character attached to the goose. It
is well known that the capitol of Rome was on one occasion saved when on the
point of being surprised by the Gauls in the dead of night, by the cackling
of the geese sacred to Juno, kept in the temple of Jupiter. In India, the
goose occupied a similar position; for in that land we read of the sacred
"Brahmany goose," or goose sacred to Brahma. Finally, the monuments of
Babylon show that the goose possessed a like mystic character in Chaldea,
and that it was offered in sacrifice there, as well as in Rome or Egypt, for
there the priest is seen with the goose in the one hand, and his sacrificing
knife in the other. *


* The symbolic meaning of the offering of the goose is worthy of notice.
"The goose," says Wilkinson, "signified in hieroglyphics a child or son";
and Horapolo says, "It was chosen to denote a son, from its love to its
young, being always ready to give itself up to the chasseur, in order that
they might be preserved; for which reason the Egyptians thought it right to
revere this animal." (WILKINSON's Egyptians) Here, then, the true meaning of
the symbol is a son, who voluntarily gives himself up as a sacrifice for
those whom he loves--viz., the Pagan Messiah.
There can be no doubt, then, that the Pagan festival at the winter
solstice--in other words, Christmas--was held in honour of the birth of the
Babylonian Messiah.

Information found at this website:
http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/sect31.htm



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Midwinter
2003-12-13 23:10:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by martus
There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.
The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.
Martus, Martus... As a pagan I would love nothing more than to be able to
quietly enjoy the midwinter season without having YOUR bloody
'SELLebration' rammed down my throat at every end and turn. I would love
to be able to celebrate (yes, CELebrate - sorry) the solstice, the long
night, without being expected to conform to all the rituals and nonsense
that the Christians force on me. Yes, you are right - people can be very
hard on a person who rejects the commercialized pseudo-Christian hypocrisy
of this time of year (although their disdain is usually limited to a smug
and sarcastic "bah, humbug", with that expression on their faces that
indicates they seriously believe they are the first to think of saying it
to you).

Make no mistake, my fanatical and detached friend, it is in the name of
Christianity, not paganism, that Christmas has become the perversion it
has become. And the sooner you persuade your fellow Christians to reign
it back in and turn it back into something even vaguely respectful towards
your religion, then at that point I will again start to respect it as a
sacred date in the Christian calendar. As it is it is a joke, and an
inconvenience, and YOU have made it so.

--
Midwinter
Steven Buehler
2003-12-14 01:55:32 UTC
Permalink
If you had bothered to put it back in its context, it refers to creating an
idol out of wood.

SWB
Post by martus
Jer 10:2-8 KJVA
(2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not
dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
(3) For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe.
(4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails
and with hammers, that it move not.
(5) They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must
needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for
they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
(6) Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art]
great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(7) Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it
appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and
in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.
(8) But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a
doctrine of vanities.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------
Post by martus
Subject: Is Christmas Christian?
Dear Friends -
There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.
The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.
The December 25th SELLebration of winter solstice does NOT honor God.
The true God has spoken clearly on it. Jesus Christ was born on the
feast of Tabernacles, most likely mid September. There was no room
for them in the inn, because devout Jews from the entire world, were
in Jerusalem, just 6 miles from Bethlehem, for the one required
Jerusalem pilgrimage feast that NO ONE wanted to miss.
Most people on the GJiGT list know what God had to say about the
Christmas tree, is in Jer 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people
are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with
gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
Read all of Jeremiah chapter 10 and explain to children, family,
friends, and Christians, that this SELLebration of the winter
solstice is a waste of time and effort, and the only god it honors is
the god of covetousness.
The Savior was not born on the 25th of December. It is an old Pagan
holiday celebrated many hundred years before His birth. The Christmas
tree also is a relic of heathenism. "Hear ye the Word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, Oh house of Israel. THUS SAITH THE LORD, learn not
the way of the heathen..... for the CUSTOMS of the people are VAIN.
Learn NOT the way of the heathen is the command. This Christmas
custom of the people we are told in Jeremiah chapter 10 is vain. This
all came from old Babylon, and was adopted in the church by the
western so called "CHURCH FATHERS", Eusebius, Jerome, Polycarp,
Justan Martyr, and others, while the Eastern church Fathers were
opposed to all of these heathen customs. For 500 years they all
strictly observed the true Sabbath, while the Western Bishops,
called "Fathers", were in the great falling away. The mystery of
iniquity has now become full. Many today are hearing the Lord say,
Come out of Babylon.
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian"
holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas
really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look at every word on
every page of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD
of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of God's people! It is not
even mentioned once! Neither Christ nor any of His apostles ever
observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Church!
Yet, on the other hand, the pagan, heathen world observed this day
for thousands of years before Christ was even born! Where did the
mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from?
What about the Christmas tree, and the Yule log, and mistletoe, and
Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin?
And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus? It's
high time we address these questions, and take a new look
at "Christmas." Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the
truth about this popular and widespread holiday?
There is a topic on the GJiGT by the title "Is Christmas Christian?"
It is filled with FACTS that can be shocking. It can be a tremendous
help for those NOT SELLebrating their first or second one. The
article is a good read for anyone, at any time; but, for those in the
midst of your FIRST NON-SELLebration it is a GREAT encouragement.
http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/C&E
Millions of "nominal" Christians, who think they are followers of the
religion of Jesus Christ, have been deceived. Not only have they
foolishly embraced erroneous "traditions" as if they
were "Christian," but they have been lied to, by preachers,
ministers, and priests. Most have ASSUMED that they were worshipping
Christ! Yet Jesus Christ Himself warned: "Howbeit IN VAIN DO THEY
WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye HOLD THE TRADITION OF
MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).
In the gospel of Matthew, we find Christ says, "Ye HYPOCRITES, well
did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouths, and honoreth me with their lips; but THEIR HEART
IS FAR FROM ME. But IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Matt.15:7-9).
What is the truth? What is the evidence regarding when Jesus Christ
was born? Was it anywhere NEAR December 25? And if not, then why
believe a lie, and practice and perform a lie?
The birth of Christ is not known for certain, but we can know the
approximate time of year when He was born! In the book of Luke we
read that the father of John the Baptist was Zacharias, and he was a
priest who served at the temple in Jerusalem. He was "of the course
of Abia" (Luke 1:5). While serving at the temple, he was informed by
an angel that his wife was to have a son, who was to be named "John."
After this, Zacharias finished "the days of his ministration,"
and "departed to his own house" (v.23). "And after those days, his
wife Elizabeth conceived . . ." (v.24).
The names of the different courses of priests that served at the
Temple are given in I Chronicles 24:1-19. "Abia" or "Abijah" was the
EIGHTH course. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, each one
of these courses served at the Temple for one week, the first course
serving the first week of Nisan, in the spring (compare I Chron.27:1-
2), and then each course in its own order. All the priests served
during the annual festivals (Passover in spring, Pentecost, and then
Tabernacles in the fall). After six months, the order would be
repeated, thus each "course" would serve two weeks during a year.
The course of Abijah, then, would have served the eighth week in the
rotation. The eighth week from Nisan 1, leaving out the week of
Passover, when all the priests served, would have been IYAR 27 TO
SIVAN 5, the day just before Pentecost, which generally fell on Sivan
6. After serving a week in the Temple, Zacharias would have remained
another week in Jerusalem, because of the Feast of Shavuot or
Pentecost that week. Therefore, he returned home shortly after this,
and his wife then conceived. This would have been about the middle of
June. If we add nine months to this date, the normal time for the
gestation of a human baby in the womb, John the Baptist would have
been born about the middle of March, in the spring, shortly before
the Passover.
Jesus was conceived about six months after John (Luke 1:24-31, esp.
verse 26). This would suggest that Jesus Christ was conceived about
the middle of December. This would place His birth nine months, or
270 days, later -- or the month of September!
If Jesus Christ was not born on December 25, who was? In other words,
whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on
December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? What "Christ"
are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the
translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally
means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, where
we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on
December 25?
In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we find this amazing
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that
much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western
world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of
the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even
became the state worship. . . .
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then,
centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the
central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the
solar orb. . . Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a
massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal
point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday
of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO
CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS
CULT" (p.391- 392).
Notice! Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult
of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of
Jesus Christ! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god,
worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!
In the article on the GJiGT "Is Christmas Christian?" there are many
more interesting facts of history which prove the feast is pagan to
the core. Are we beginning to get the picture? In the fourth century
AFTER Christ, the Church moved to incorporate the birthday of the sun
god into the so-called "Christian" calendar, and converted the pagan
sungod's "birth day" into the birth day of CHRIST Himself! That which
was distinctly and definitely pagan now was "baptized," and by some
act of "magic" was transformed into something "Christian"!
No matter how many Christians, and non-Christians alike, believe
December 25th to be "Christian," it is not, in fact, or in TRUTH. In
fact, it remains an abomination to the true God, and what the bible
over and over calls spiritual harlotry or whoredom. It may now be
called "Christian." But in truth, it still has a pagan heart and core!
These historical observations ought to make us sit up and take
notice! The 'Christianity" that we see around us in the world today
is but a "spin-off" of this ancient syncretism or 'blending"
and "merging" of PAGANISM into the professed Church of Jesus Christ.
The compromised state church, lapsed into apostasy, debauchery,
licentiousness, and impurity. The descendants of the once chaste and
pure virgin of Christ, the New Testament Church, had seemingly
become, for all intends and purposes, the religious WHORE of Babylon -
- a bejeweled and bedecked and bedeviled harlot, a "shady lady," a
spiritual PROSTITUTE!
"Paganism" was not defeated by the Church. It invaded the church,
infiltrated it, and seduced it from within! The professing Christian
Church became the "new face of paganism"! Only the "names" were
changed. And in some cases -- as in "Easter" Sunday -- even the old
pagan names were left in place!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------
Post by martus
http://www.geocities.com/mart1963/martsindex.htm
Pastor Winter JNAHC
2003-12-14 20:00:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Buehler
If you had bothered to put it back in its context, it refers to creating an
idol out of wood.
The false-christian dirt Steven Buehler has repeatedly
"demon"strated his contempt for the Word of God, other truths,
and many other things including common decency.

False-christian dirt like Steven Buehler worship a three headed
Roman idol called the "trinity", so what would one more lie
about tree worship or a heathen holiday matter to a devil like
him?

Accursed, deceiving, false-christian dirt like Buehler don't care
about any truth, they have their traditions and only want their
itching ears scratched with the fables to which they have become
accustomed.

Pastor Winter
--
Apostolic Oneness Pentecostal /*/ PreRapture Ministry
http://www.pentecostal.biz for Bible studies (text and audio)
Have you obeyed Acts 2:38 as Paul taught in Acts 19:4-6?
Email adwords-***@google.com to let them know how you feel about
their blatant religious discrimination against www.prerapture.org
John Kelley
2003-12-15 05:00:05 UTC
Permalink
http://www.answers.org/issues/isgodaginxmas.html
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-15 04:03:50 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes

On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 01:55:32 GMT, "Steven Buehler"
Post by Steven Buehler
If you had bothered to put it back in its context, it refers to creating an
idol out of wood.
SWB
Correct. These bozos don't notice the part of the chapter where it states
that this object was being constructed as an idol to worship.

John W
Post by Steven Buehler
Post by martus
Jer 10:2-8 KJVA
(2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not
dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
(3) For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe.
(4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails
and with hammers, that it move not.
(5) They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must
needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for
they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
(6) Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art]
great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(7) Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it
appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and
in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.
(8) But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a
doctrine of vanities.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------
Post by martus
Subject: Is Christmas Christian?
Dear Friends -
There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.
The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.
The December 25th SELLebration of winter solstice does NOT honor God.
The true God has spoken clearly on it. Jesus Christ was born on the
feast of Tabernacles, most likely mid September. There was no room
for them in the inn, because devout Jews from the entire world, were
in Jerusalem, just 6 miles from Bethlehem, for the one required
Jerusalem pilgrimage feast that NO ONE wanted to miss.
Most people on the GJiGT list know what God had to say about the
Christmas tree, is in Jer 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people
are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with
gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
Read all of Jeremiah chapter 10 and explain to children, family,
friends, and Christians, that this SELLebration of the winter
solstice is a waste of time and effort, and the only god it honors is
the god of covetousness.
The Savior was not born on the 25th of December. It is an old Pagan
holiday celebrated many hundred years before His birth. The Christmas
tree also is a relic of heathenism. "Hear ye the Word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, Oh house of Israel. THUS SAITH THE LORD, learn not
the way of the heathen..... for the CUSTOMS of the people are VAIN.
Learn NOT the way of the heathen is the command. This Christmas
custom of the people we are told in Jeremiah chapter 10 is vain. This
all came from old Babylon, and was adopted in the church by the
western so called "CHURCH FATHERS", Eusebius, Jerome, Polycarp,
Justan Martyr, and others, while the Eastern church Fathers were
opposed to all of these heathen customs. For 500 years they all
strictly observed the true Sabbath, while the Western Bishops,
called "Fathers", were in the great falling away. The mystery of
iniquity has now become full. Many today are hearing the Lord say,
Come out of Babylon.
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian"
holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas
really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look at every word on
every page of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD
of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of God's people! It is not
even mentioned once! Neither Christ nor any of His apostles ever
observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Church!
Yet, on the other hand, the pagan, heathen world observed this day
for thousands of years before Christ was even born! Where did the
mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from?
What about the Christmas tree, and the Yule log, and mistletoe, and
Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin?
And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus? It's
high time we address these questions, and take a new look
at "Christmas." Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the
truth about this popular and widespread holiday?
There is a topic on the GJiGT by the title "Is Christmas Christian?"
It is filled with FACTS that can be shocking. It can be a tremendous
help for those NOT SELLebrating their first or second one. The
article is a good read for anyone, at any time; but, for those in the
midst of your FIRST NON-SELLebration it is a GREAT encouragement.
http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/C&E
Millions of "nominal" Christians, who think they are followers of the
religion of Jesus Christ, have been deceived. Not only have they
foolishly embraced erroneous "traditions" as if they
were "Christian," but they have been lied to, by preachers,
ministers, and priests. Most have ASSUMED that they were worshipping
Christ! Yet Jesus Christ Himself warned: "Howbeit IN VAIN DO THEY
WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye HOLD THE TRADITION OF
MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).
In the gospel of Matthew, we find Christ says, "Ye HYPOCRITES, well
did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouths, and honoreth me with their lips; but THEIR HEART
IS FAR FROM ME. But IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Matt.15:7-9).
What is the truth? What is the evidence regarding when Jesus Christ
was born? Was it anywhere NEAR December 25? And if not, then why
believe a lie, and practice and perform a lie?
The birth of Christ is not known for certain, but we can know the
approximate time of year when He was born! In the book of Luke we
read that the father of John the Baptist was Zacharias, and he was a
priest who served at the temple in Jerusalem. He was "of the course
of Abia" (Luke 1:5). While serving at the temple, he was informed by
an angel that his wife was to have a son, who was to be named "John."
After this, Zacharias finished "the days of his ministration,"
and "departed to his own house" (v.23). "And after those days, his
wife Elizabeth conceived . . ." (v.24).
The names of the different courses of priests that served at the
Temple are given in I Chronicles 24:1-19. "Abia" or "Abijah" was the
EIGHTH course. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, each one
of these courses served at the Temple for one week, the first course
serving the first week of Nisan, in the spring (compare I Chron.27:1-
2), and then each course in its own order. All the priests served
during the annual festivals (Passover in spring, Pentecost, and then
Tabernacles in the fall). After six months, the order would be
repeated, thus each "course" would serve two weeks during a year.
The course of Abijah, then, would have served the eighth week in the
rotation. The eighth week from Nisan 1, leaving out the week of
Passover, when all the priests served, would have been IYAR 27 TO
SIVAN 5, the day just before Pentecost, which generally fell on Sivan
6. After serving a week in the Temple, Zacharias would have remained
another week in Jerusalem, because of the Feast of Shavuot or
Pentecost that week. Therefore, he returned home shortly after this,
and his wife then conceived. This would have been about the middle of
June. If we add nine months to this date, the normal time for the
gestation of a human baby in the womb, John the Baptist would have
been born about the middle of March, in the spring, shortly before
the Passover.
Jesus was conceived about six months after John (Luke 1:24-31, esp.
verse 26). This would suggest that Jesus Christ was conceived about
the middle of December. This would place His birth nine months, or
270 days, later -- or the month of September!
If Jesus Christ was not born on December 25, who was? In other words,
whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on
December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? What "Christ"
are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the
translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally
means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, where
we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on
December 25?
In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we find this amazing
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that
much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western
world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of
the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even
became the state worship. . . .
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then,
centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the
central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the
solar orb. . . Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a
massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal
point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday
of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO
CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS
CULT" (p.391- 392).
Notice! Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult
of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of
Jesus Christ! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god,
worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!
In the article on the GJiGT "Is Christmas Christian?" there are many
more interesting facts of history which prove the feast is pagan to
the core. Are we beginning to get the picture? In the fourth century
AFTER Christ, the Church moved to incorporate the birthday of the sun
god into the so-called "Christian" calendar, and converted the pagan
sungod's "birth day" into the birth day of CHRIST Himself! That which
was distinctly and definitely pagan now was "baptized," and by some
act of "magic" was transformed into something "Christian"!
No matter how many Christians, and non-Christians alike, believe
December 25th to be "Christian," it is not, in fact, or in TRUTH. In
fact, it remains an abomination to the true God, and what the bible
over and over calls spiritual harlotry or whoredom. It may now be
called "Christian." But in truth, it still has a pagan heart and core!
These historical observations ought to make us sit up and take
notice! The 'Christianity" that we see around us in the world today
is but a "spin-off" of this ancient syncretism or 'blending"
and "merging" of PAGANISM into the professed Church of Jesus Christ.
The compromised state church, lapsed into apostasy, debauchery,
licentiousness, and impurity. The descendants of the once chaste and
pure virgin of Christ, the New Testament Church, had seemingly
become, for all intends and purposes, the religious WHORE of Babylon -
- a bejeweled and bedecked and bedeviled harlot, a "shady lady," a
spiritual PROSTITUTE!
"Paganism" was not defeated by the Church. It invaded the church,
infiltrated it, and seduced it from within! The professing Christian
Church became the "new face of paganism"! Only the "names" were
changed. And in some cases -- as in "Easter" Sunday -- even the old
pagan names were left in place!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------
Post by martus
http://www.geocities.com/mart1963/martsindex.htm
_______________________________________________________________________________
Posted Via Uncensored-News.Com - Accounts Starting At $6.95 - http://www.uncensored-news.com
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John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-14 09:37:41 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
Post by martus
Jer 10:2-8 KJVA
(2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not
dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
(3) For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe.
(4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails
and with hammers, that it move not.
(5) They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must
needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for
they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
(6) Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art]
great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(7) Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it
appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and
in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.
(8) But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a
doctrine of vanities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subject: Is Christmas Christian?
Dear Friends -
There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.
The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.
This is silly. If you correctly read the Jeremiah passage, it CLEARLY
says the object being built is an idol. I don't know of ANY Christian
who worships the Christmas tree. If's just fine to use scripture, but
we must use our brains and take things in context. Nowhere in the Old
Testament are we prohibited from cutting and decorating Christmas
trees under which to place gifts.
Post by martus
The December 25th SELLebration of winter solstice does NOT honor God.
NOT true. IF you re-read Luke's narrative of the Nativity,

LK 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord
appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and
they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ
the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped
in cloths and lying in a manger."

LK 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared
with the angel, praising God and saying,

LK 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

LK 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the
shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this
thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

Luke has just described the first Christmas celebration, an event
thrown for mankind via the shepherds to honor the birth of His Son.

And since we do not know exactly what date our Lord was born (for good
reason) we have chosen a date. It matters not what the date was of
Christ's birth. It matters that we honor Him on a day set aside for
that purpose.

And anyway, your objections are based on an Old Testament passage, and
those laws are no longer in effect.

This is an OLD view that has NOTHING to do with scripture.


God bless!

John W
Post by martus
The true God has spoken clearly on it. Jesus Christ was born on the
feast of Tabernacles, most likely mid September. There was no room
for them in the inn, because devout Jews from the entire world, were
in Jerusalem, just 6 miles from Bethlehem, for the one required
Jerusalem pilgrimage feast that NO ONE wanted to miss.
Most people on the GJiGT list know what God had to say about the
Christmas tree, is in Jer 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people
are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with
gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
Read all of Jeremiah chapter 10 and explain to children, family,
friends, and Christians, that this SELLebration of the winter
solstice is a waste of time and effort, and the only god it honors is
the god of covetousness.
Not true. I can go from Seattle to San Diego, to Chicago to New York
to Ft Lauderdale to London to Moscow and St Petersburg to Ethiopia to
Istanbul. And I could ask people who speak English, "What do we
celebrate on December 25th?" And I'd hear from 95 of 100, "We
celebrate the birth of Christ."

It is YOU who has been sold a bill of goods and taught to not think.

God does NOT call us to be ignorant, illiterate, or stupid.

God bless as we celebrate the birth of the King of Kings!

John W
Post by martus
The Savior was not born on the 25th of December. It is an old Pagan
holiday celebrated many hundred years before His birth. The Christmas
tree also is a relic of heathenism. "Hear ye the Word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, Oh house of Israel. THUS SAITH THE LORD, learn not
the way of the heathen..... for the CUSTOMS of the people are VAIN.
Learn NOT the way of the heathen is the command. This Christmas
custom of the people we are told in Jeremiah chapter 10 is vain. This
all came from old Babylon, and was adopted in the church by the
western so called "CHURCH FATHERS", Eusebius, Jerome, Polycarp,
Justan Martyr, and others, while the Eastern church Fathers were
opposed to all of these heathen customs. For 500 years they all
strictly observed the true Sabbath, while the Western Bishops,
called "Fathers", were in the great falling away. The mystery of
iniquity has now become full. Many today are hearing the Lord say,
Come out of Babylon.
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian"
holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas
really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look at every word on
every page of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD
of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of God's people! It is not
even mentioned once! Neither Christ nor any of His apostles ever
observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Church!
Yet, on the other hand, the pagan, heathen world observed this day
for thousands of years before Christ was even born! Where did the
mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from?
What about the Christmas tree, and the Yule log, and mistletoe, and
Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin?
And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus? It's
high time we address these questions, and take a new look
at "Christmas." Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the
truth about this popular and widespread holiday?
There is a topic on the GJiGT by the title "Is Christmas Christian?"
It is filled with FACTS that can be shocking. It can be a tremendous
help for those NOT SELLebrating their first or second one. The
article is a good read for anyone, at any time; but, for those in the
midst of your FIRST NON-SELLebration it is a GREAT encouragement.
http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/C&E
Millions of "nominal" Christians, who think they are followers of the
religion of Jesus Christ, have been deceived. Not only have they
foolishly embraced erroneous "traditions" as if they
were "Christian," but they have been lied to, by preachers,
ministers, and priests. Most have ASSUMED that they were worshipping
Christ! Yet Jesus Christ Himself warned: "Howbeit IN VAIN DO THEY
WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye HOLD THE TRADITION OF
MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).
In the gospel of Matthew, we find Christ says, "Ye HYPOCRITES, well
did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouths, and honoreth me with their lips; but THEIR HEART
IS FAR FROM ME. But IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Matt.15:7-9).
What is the truth? What is the evidence regarding when Jesus Christ
was born? Was it anywhere NEAR December 25? And if not, then why
believe a lie, and practice and perform a lie?
The birth of Christ is not known for certain, but we can know the
approximate time of year when He was born! In the book of Luke we
read that the father of John the Baptist was Zacharias, and he was a
priest who served at the temple in Jerusalem. He was "of the course
of Abia" (Luke 1:5). While serving at the temple, he was informed by
an angel that his wife was to have a son, who was to be named "John."
After this, Zacharias finished "the days of his ministration,"
and "departed to his own house" (v.23). "And after those days, his
wife Elizabeth conceived . . ." (v.24).
The names of the different courses of priests that served at the
Temple are given in I Chronicles 24:1-19. "Abia" or "Abijah" was the
EIGHTH course. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, each one
of these courses served at the Temple for one week, the first course
serving the first week of Nisan, in the spring (compare I Chron.27:1-
2), and then each course in its own order. All the priests served
during the annual festivals (Passover in spring, Pentecost, and then
Tabernacles in the fall). After six months, the order would be
repeated, thus each "course" would serve two weeks during a year.
The course of Abijah, then, would have served the eighth week in the
rotation. The eighth week from Nisan 1, leaving out the week of
Passover, when all the priests served, would have been IYAR 27 TO
SIVAN 5, the day just before Pentecost, which generally fell on Sivan
6. After serving a week in the Temple, Zacharias would have remained
another week in Jerusalem, because of the Feast of Shavuot or
Pentecost that week. Therefore, he returned home shortly after this,
and his wife then conceived. This would have been about the middle of
June. If we add nine months to this date, the normal time for the
gestation of a human baby in the womb, John the Baptist would have
been born about the middle of March, in the spring, shortly before
the Passover.
Jesus was conceived about six months after John (Luke 1:24-31, esp.
verse 26). This would suggest that Jesus Christ was conceived about
the middle of December. This would place His birth nine months, or
270 days, later -- or the month of September!
If Jesus Christ was not born on December 25, who was? In other words,
whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on
December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? What "Christ"
are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the
translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally
means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, where
we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on
December 25?
In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we find this amazing
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that
much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western
world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of
the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even
became the state worship. . . .
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then,
centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the
central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the
solar orb. . . Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a
massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal
point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday
of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO
CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS
CULT" (p.391- 392).
Notice! Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult
of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of
Jesus Christ! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god,
worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!
In the article on the GJiGT "Is Christmas Christian?" there are many
more interesting facts of history which prove the feast is pagan to
the core. Are we beginning to get the picture? In the fourth century
AFTER Christ, the Church moved to incorporate the birthday of the sun
god into the so-called "Christian" calendar, and converted the pagan
sungod's "birth day" into the birth day of CHRIST Himself! That which
was distinctly and definitely pagan now was "baptized," and by some
act of "magic" was transformed into something "Christian"!
No matter how many Christians, and non-Christians alike, believe
December 25th to be "Christian," it is not, in fact, or in TRUTH. In
fact, it remains an abomination to the true God, and what the bible
over and over calls spiritual harlotry or whoredom. It may now be
called "Christian." But in truth, it still has a pagan heart and core!
These historical observations ought to make us sit up and take
notice! The 'Christianity" that we see around us in the world today
is but a "spin-off" of this ancient syncretism or 'blending"
and "merging" of PAGANISM into the professed Church of Jesus Christ.
The compromised state church, lapsed into apostasy, debauchery,
licentiousness, and impurity. The descendants of the once chaste and
pure virgin of Christ, the New Testament Church, had seemingly
become, for all intends and purposes, the religious WHORE of Babylon -
- a bejeweled and bedecked and bedeviled harlot, a "shady lady," a
spiritual PROSTITUTE!
"Paganism" was not defeated by the Church. It invaded the church,
infiltrated it, and seduced it from within! The professing Christian
Church became the "new face of paganism"! Only the "names" were
changed. And in some cases -- as in "Easter" Sunday -- even the old
pagan names were left in place!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/mart1963/martsindex.htm
_______________________________________________________________________________
Posted Via Uncensored-News.Com - Accounts Starting At $6.95 - http://www.uncensored-news.com
<><><><><><><> The Worlds Uncensored News Source <><><><><><><><>
Besq
2003-12-16 08:13:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
Post by martus
Jer 10:2-8 KJVA
(2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not
dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
(3) For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe.
(4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails
and with hammers, that it move not.
(5) They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must
needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for
they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
(6) Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art]
great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(7) Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it
appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and
in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.
(8) But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a
doctrine of vanities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
------
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
Subject: Is Christmas Christian?
Dear Friends -
There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.
The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.
This is silly. If you correctly read the Jeremiah passage, it CLEARLY
says the object being built is an idol. I don't know of ANY Christian
who worships the Christmas tree. If's just fine to use scripture, but
we must use our brains and take things in context. Nowhere in the Old
Testament are we prohibited from cutting and decorating Christmas
trees under which to place gifts.
Post by martus
The December 25th SELLebration of winter solstice does NOT honor God.
NOT true. IF you re-read Luke's narrative of the Nativity,
LK 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord
appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and
they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ
the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped
in cloths and lying in a manger."
LK 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared
with the angel, praising God and saying,
LK 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
LK 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the
shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this
thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
Luke has just described the first Christmas celebration, an event
thrown for mankind via the shepherds to honor the birth of His Son.
And since we do not know exactly what date our Lord was born (for good
reason) we have chosen a date. It matters not what the date was of
Christ's birth. It matters that we honor Him on a day set aside for
that purpose.
And anyway, your objections are based on an Old Testament passage, and
those laws are no longer in effect.
This is an OLD view that has NOTHING to do with scripture.
God bless!
John W
Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof
[are] the ways of death.
Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof
[are] the ways of death.

"Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord
has told us about." is hardly a celebration. It is estimated since the
shepherds were still in the fields with their flocks it was early fall. The
very fact we don't know when Christ was born should be an indication that we
are not supposed to worship His birthday. The only commemoration we are
commanded to keep is the bread and wine, and Passover. All else is the
tradtion of man, not God and forbidden.
Xmas is pagan, sun worshipping, full of idols and heathen connotations,
teaches children selfishness and materialism and any "Christ" in the
celebration that might have been injected is long forgotten today. Denying
what the Bible clearly says and rationalizing, "as long as its for the
'right' reason" won't change the fact that it is a pagan celebration and is
forbidden.
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
The true God has spoken clearly on it. Jesus Christ was born on the
feast of Tabernacles, most likely mid September. There was no room
for them in the inn, because devout Jews from the entire world, were
in Jerusalem, just 6 miles from Bethlehem, for the one required
Jerusalem pilgrimage feast that NO ONE wanted to miss.
Most people on the GJiGT list know what God had to say about the
Christmas tree, is in Jer 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people
are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with
gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
Read all of Jeremiah chapter 10 and explain to children, family,
friends, and Christians, that this SELLebration of the winter
solstice is a waste of time and effort, and the only god it honors is
the god of covetousness.
Not true. I can go from Seattle to San Diego, to Chicago to New York
to Ft Lauderdale to London to Moscow and St Petersburg to Ethiopia to
Istanbul. And I could ask people who speak English, "What do we
celebrate on December 25th?" And I'd hear from 95 of 100, "We
celebrate the birth of Christ."
It is YOU who has been sold a bill of goods and taught to not think.
God does NOT call us to be ignorant, illiterate, or stupid.
God bless as we celebrate the birth of the King of Kings!
John W
Post by martus
The Savior was not born on the 25th of December. It is an old Pagan
holiday celebrated many hundred years before His birth. The Christmas
tree also is a relic of heathenism. "Hear ye the Word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, Oh house of Israel. THUS SAITH THE LORD, learn not
the way of the heathen..... for the CUSTOMS of the people are VAIN.
Learn NOT the way of the heathen is the command. This Christmas
custom of the people we are told in Jeremiah chapter 10 is vain. This
all came from old Babylon, and was adopted in the church by the
western so called "CHURCH FATHERS", Eusebius, Jerome, Polycarp,
Justan Martyr, and others, while the Eastern church Fathers were
opposed to all of these heathen customs. For 500 years they all
strictly observed the true Sabbath, while the Western Bishops,
called "Fathers", were in the great falling away. The mystery of
iniquity has now become full. Many today are hearing the Lord say,
Come out of Babylon.
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian"
holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas
really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look at every word on
every page of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD
of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of God's people! It is not
even mentioned once! Neither Christ nor any of His apostles ever
observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Chu ch!
Yet, on the other hand, the pagan, heathen world observed this day
for thousands of years before Christ was even born! Where did the
mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from?
What about the Christmas tree, and the Yule log, and mistletoe, and
Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin?
And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus? It's
high time we address these questions, and take a new look
at "Christmas." Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the
truth about this popular and widespread holiday?
There is a topic on the GJiGT by the title "Is Christmas Christian?"
It is filled with FACTS that can be shocking. It can be a tremendous
help for those NOT SELLebrating their first or second one. The
article is a good read for anyone, at any time; but, for those in the
midst of your FIRST NON-SELLebration it is a GREAT encouragement.
http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/C&E
Millions of "nominal" Christians, who think they are followers of the
religion of Jesus Christ, have been deceived. Not only have they
foolishly embraced erroneous "traditions" as if they
were "Christian," but they have been lied to, by preachers,
ministers, and priests. Most have ASSUMED that they were worshipping
Christ! Yet Jesus Christ Himself warned: "Howbeit IN VAIN DO THEY
WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye HOLD THE TRADITION OF
MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).
In the gospel of Matthew, we find Christ says, "Ye HYPOCRITES, well
did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouths, and honoreth me with their lips; but THEIR HEART
IS FAR FROM ME. But IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Matt.15:7-9).
What is the truth? What is the evidence regarding when Jesus Christ
was born? Was it anywhere NEAR December 25? And if not, then why
believe a lie, and practice and perform a lie?
The birth of Christ is not known for certain, but we can know the
approximate time of year when He was born! In the book of Luke we
read that the father of John the Baptist was Zacharias, and he was a
priest who served at the temple in Jerusalem. He was "of the course
of Abia" (Luke 1:5). While serving at the temple, he was informed by
an angel that his wife was to have a son, who was to be named "John."
After this, Zacharias finished "the days of his ministration,"
and "departed to his own house" (v.23). "And after those days, his
wife Elizabeth conceived . . ." (v.24).
The names of the different courses of priests that served at the
Temple are given in I Chronicles 24:1-19. "Abia" or "Abijah" was the
EIGHTH course. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, each one
of these courses served at the Temple for one week, the first course
serving the first week of Nisan, in the spring (compare I Chron.27:1-
2), and then each course in its own order. All the priests served
during the annual festivals (Passover in spring, Pentecost, and then
Tabernacles in the fall). After six months, the order would be
repeated, thus each "course" would serve two weeks during a year.
The course of Abijah, then, would have served the eighth week in the
rotation. The eighth week from Nisan 1, leaving out the week of
Passover, when all the priests served, would have been IYAR 27 TO
SIVAN 5, the day just before Pentecost, which generally fell on Sivan
6. After serving a week in the Temple, Zacharias would have remained
another week in Jerusalem, because of the Feast of Shavuot or
Pentecost that week. Therefore, he returned home shortly after this,
and his wife then conceived. This would have been about the middle of
June. If we add nine months to this date, the normal time for the
gestation of a human baby in the womb, John the Baptist would have
been born about the middle of March, in the spring, shortly before
the Passover.
Jesus was conceived about six months after John (Luke 1:24-31, esp.
verse 26). This would suggest that Jesus Christ was conceived about
the middle of December. This would place His birth nine months, or
270 days, later -- or the month of September!
If Jesus Christ was not born on December 25, who was? In other words,
whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on
December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? What "Christ"
are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the
translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally
means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, where
we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on
December 25?
In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we find this amazing
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that
much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western
world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of
the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even
became the state worship. . . .
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then,
centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the
central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the
solar orb. . . Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a
massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal
point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday
of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO
CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS
CULT" (p.391- 392).
Notice! Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult
of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of
Jesus Christ! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god,
worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!
In the article on the GJiGT "Is Christmas Christian?" there are many
more interesting facts of history which prove the feast is pagan to
the core. Are we beginning to get the picture? In the fourth century
AFTER Christ, the Church moved to incorporate the birthday of the sun
god into the so-called "Christian" calendar, and converted the pagan
sungod's "birth day" into the birth day of CHRIST Himself! That which
was distinctly and definitely pagan now was "baptized," and by some
act of "magic" was transformed into something "Christian"!
No matter how many Christians, and non-Christians alike, believe
December 25th to be "Christian," it is not, in fact, or in TRUTH. In
fact, it remains an abomination to the true God, and what the bible
over and over calls spiritual harlotry or whoredom. It may now be
called "Christian." But in truth, it still has a pagan heart and core!
These historical observations ought to make us sit up and take
notice! The 'Christianity" that we see around us in the world today
is but a "spin-off" of this ancient syncretism or 'blending"
and "merging" of PAGANISM into the professed Church of Jesus Christ.
The compromised state church, lapsed into apostasy, debauchery,
licentiousness, and impurity. The descendants of the once chaste and
pure virgin of Christ, the New Testament Church, had seemingly
become, for all intends and purposes, the religious WHORE of Babylon -
- a bejeweled and bedecked and bedeviled harlot, a "shady lady," a
spiritual PROSTITUTE!
"Paganism" was not defeated by the Church. It invaded the church,
infiltrated it, and seduced it from within! The professing Christian
Church became the "new face of paganism"! Only the "names" were
changed. And in some cases -- as in "Easter" Sunday -- even the old
pagan names were left in place!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
http://www.geocities.com/mart1963/martsindex.htm
____________________________________________________________________________
___
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Posted Via Uncensored-News.Com - Accounts Starting At $6.95 -
http://www.uncensored-news.com
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
<><><><><><><> The Worlds Uncensored News Source
<><><><><><><><>
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-16 11:23:35 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes

On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 01:13:27 -0700, "Besq" <Besq*ns*@ispwest.com>
wrote:

I do not respond to those who quote the KJV extensively.

John w
Post by martus
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
Post by martus
Jer 10:2-8 KJVA
(2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not
dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
(3) For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe.
(4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails
and with hammers, that it move not.
(5) They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must
needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for
they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
(6) Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art]
great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(7) Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it
appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and
in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.
(8) But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a
doctrine of vanities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
------
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
Subject: Is Christmas Christian?
Dear Friends -
There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.
The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.
This is silly. If you correctly read the Jeremiah passage, it CLEARLY
says the object being built is an idol. I don't know of ANY Christian
who worships the Christmas tree. If's just fine to use scripture, but
we must use our brains and take things in context. Nowhere in the Old
Testament are we prohibited from cutting and decorating Christmas
trees under which to place gifts.
Post by martus
The December 25th SELLebration of winter solstice does NOT honor God.
NOT true. IF you re-read Luke's narrative of the Nativity,
LK 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord
appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and
they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ
the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped
in cloths and lying in a manger."
LK 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared
with the angel, praising God and saying,
LK 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
LK 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the
shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this
thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
Luke has just described the first Christmas celebration, an event
thrown for mankind via the shepherds to honor the birth of His Son.
And since we do not know exactly what date our Lord was born (for good
reason) we have chosen a date. It matters not what the date was of
Christ's birth. It matters that we honor Him on a day set aside for
that purpose.
And anyway, your objections are based on an Old Testament passage, and
those laws are no longer in effect.
This is an OLD view that has NOTHING to do with scripture.
God bless!
John W
Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof
[are] the ways of death.
Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof
[are] the ways of death.
"Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord
has told us about." is hardly a celebration. It is estimated since the
shepherds were still in the fields with their flocks it was early fall. The
very fact we don't know when Christ was born should be an indication that we
are not supposed to worship His birthday. The only commemoration we are
commanded to keep is the bread and wine, and Passover. All else is the
tradtion of man, not God and forbidden.
Xmas is pagan, sun worshipping, full of idols and heathen connotations,
teaches children selfishness and materialism and any "Christ" in the
celebration that might have been injected is long forgotten today. Denying
what the Bible clearly says and rationalizing, "as long as its for the
'right' reason" won't change the fact that it is a pagan celebration and is
forbidden.
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
The true God has spoken clearly on it. Jesus Christ was born on the
feast of Tabernacles, most likely mid September. There was no room
for them in the inn, because devout Jews from the entire world, were
in Jerusalem, just 6 miles from Bethlehem, for the one required
Jerusalem pilgrimage feast that NO ONE wanted to miss.
Most people on the GJiGT list know what God had to say about the
Christmas tree, is in Jer 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people
are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with
gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
Read all of Jeremiah chapter 10 and explain to children, family,
friends, and Christians, that this SELLebration of the winter
solstice is a waste of time and effort, and the only god it honors is
the god of covetousness.
Not true. I can go from Seattle to San Diego, to Chicago to New York
to Ft Lauderdale to London to Moscow and St Petersburg to Ethiopia to
Istanbul. And I could ask people who speak English, "What do we
celebrate on December 25th?" And I'd hear from 95 of 100, "We
celebrate the birth of Christ."
It is YOU who has been sold a bill of goods and taught to not think.
God does NOT call us to be ignorant, illiterate, or stupid.
God bless as we celebrate the birth of the King of Kings!
John W
Post by martus
The Savior was not born on the 25th of December. It is an old Pagan
holiday celebrated many hundred years before His birth. The Christmas
tree also is a relic of heathenism. "Hear ye the Word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, Oh house of Israel. THUS SAITH THE LORD, learn not
the way of the heathen..... for the CUSTOMS of the people are VAIN.
Learn NOT the way of the heathen is the command. This Christmas
custom of the people we are told in Jeremiah chapter 10 is vain. This
all came from old Babylon, and was adopted in the church by the
western so called "CHURCH FATHERS", Eusebius, Jerome, Polycarp,
Justan Martyr, and others, while the Eastern church Fathers were
opposed to all of these heathen customs. For 500 years they all
strictly observed the true Sabbath, while the Western Bishops,
called "Fathers", were in the great falling away. The mystery of
iniquity has now become full. Many today are hearing the Lord say,
Come out of Babylon.
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian"
holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas
really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look at every word on
every page of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD
of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of God's people! It is not
even mentioned once! Neit er Christ nor any of His apostles ever
observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Church!
Yet, on the other hand, the pagan, heathen world observed this day
for thousands of years before Christ was even born! Where did the
mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from?
What about the Christmas tree, and the Yule log, and mistletoe, and
Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin?
And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus? It's
high time we address these questions, and take a new look
at "Christmas." Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the
truth about this popular and widespread holiday?
There is a topic on the GJiGT by the title "Is Christmas Christian?"
It is filled with FACTS that can be shocking. It can be a tremendous
help for those NOT SELLebrating their first or second one. The
article is a good read for anyone, at any time; but, for those in the
midst of your FIRST NON-SELLebration it is a GREAT encouragement.
http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/C&E
Millions of "nominal" Christians, who think they are followers of the
religion of Jesus Christ, have been deceived. Not only have they
foolishly embraced erroneous "traditions" as if they
were "Christian," but they have been lied to, by preachers,
ministers, and priests. Most have ASSUMED that they were worshipping
Christ! Yet Jesus Christ Himself warned: "Howbeit IN VAIN DO THEY
WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye HOLD THE TRADITION OF
MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).
In the gospel of Matthew, we find Christ says, "Ye HYPOCRITES, well
did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouths, and honoreth me with their lips; but THEIR HEART
IS FAR FROM ME. But IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Matt.15:7-9).
What is the truth? What is the evidence regarding when Jesus Christ
was born? Was it anywhere NEAR December 25? And if not, then why
believe a lie, and practice and perform a lie?
The birth of Christ is not known for certain, but we can know the
approximate time of year when He was born! In the book of Luke we
read that the father of John the Baptist was Zacharias, and he was a
priest who served at the temple in Jerusalem. He was "of the course
of Abia" (Luke 1:5). While serving at the temple, he was informed by
an angel that his wife was to have a son, who was to be named "John."
After this, Zacharias finished "the days of his ministration,"
and "departed to his own house" (v.23). "And after those days, his
wife Elizabeth conceived . . ." (v.24).
The names of the different courses of priests that served at the
Temple are given in I Chronicles 24:1-19. "Abia" or "Abijah" was the
EIGHTH course. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, each one
of these courses served at the Temple for one week, the first course
serving the first week of Nisan, in the spring (compare I Chron.27:1-
2), and then each course in its own order. All the priests served
during the annual festivals (Passover in spring, Pentecost, and then
Tabernacles in the fall). After six months, the order would be
repeated, thus each "course" would serve two weeks during a year.
The course of Abijah, then, would have served the eighth week in the
rotation. The eighth week from Nisan 1, leaving out the week of
Passover, when all the priests served, would have been IYAR 27 TO
SIVAN 5, the day just before Pentecost, which generally fell on Sivan
6. After serving a week in the Temple, Zacharias would have remained
another week in Jerusalem, because of the Feast of Shavuot or
Pentecost that week. Therefore, he returned home shortly after this,
and his wife then conceived. This would have been about the middle of
June. If we add nine months to this date, the normal time for the
gestation of a human baby in the womb, John the Baptist would have
been born about the middle of March, in the spring, shortly before
the Passover.
Jesus was conceived about six months after John (Luke 1:24-31, esp.
verse 26). This would suggest that Jesus Christ was conceived about
the middle of December. This would place His birth nine months, or
270 days, later -- or the month of September!
If Jesus Christ was not born on December 25, who was? In other words,
whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on
December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? What "Christ"
are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the
translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally
means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, where
we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on
December 25?
In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we find this amazing
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that
much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western
world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of
the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even
became the state worship. . . .
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then,
centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the
central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the
solar orb. . . Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a
massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal
point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday
of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO
CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS
CULT" (p.391- 392).
Notice! Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult
of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of
Jesus Christ! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god,
worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!
In the article on the GJiGT "Is Christmas Christian?" there are many
more interesting facts of history which prove the feast is pagan to
the core. Are we beginning to get the picture? In the fourth century
AFTER Christ, the Church moved to incorporate the birthday of the sun
god into the so-called "Christian" calendar, and converted the pagan
sungod's "birth day" into the birth day of CHRIST Himself! That which
was distinctly and definitely pagan now was "baptized," and by some
act of "magic" was transformed into something "Christian"!
No matter how many Christians, and non-Christians alike, believe
December 25th to be "Christian," it is not, in fact, or in TRUTH. In
fact, it remains an abomination to the true God, and what the bible
over and over calls spiritual harlotry or whoredom. It may now be
called "Christian." But in truth, it still has a pagan heart and core!
These historical observations ought to make us sit up and take
notice! The 'Christianity" that we see around us in the world today
is but a "spin-off" of this ancient syncretism or 'blending"
and "merging" of PAGANISM into the professed Church of Jesus Christ.
The compromised state church, lapsed into apostasy, debauchery,
licentiousness, and impurity. The descendants of the once chaste and
pure virgin of Christ, the New Testament Church, had seemingly
become, for all intends and purposes, the religious WHORE of Babylon -
- a bejeweled and bedecked and bedeviled harlot, a "shady lady," a
spiritual PROSTITUTE!
"Paganism" was not defeated by the Church. It invaded the church,
infiltrated it, and seduced it from within! The professing Christian
Church became the "new face of paganism"! Only the "names" were
changed. And in some cases -- as in "Easter" Sunday -- even the old
pagan names were left in place!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
http://www.geocities.com/mart1963/martsindex.htm
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Midwinter
2003-12-16 18:27:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
I do not respond to those who quote the KJV extensively.
You must find that something of a limitation in a place like this.

--
Midwinter
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-17 13:07:20 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 18:27:34 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
I do not respond to those who quote the KJV extensively.
You must find that something of a limitation in a place like this.
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight it.
Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of KJV, I
stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then the
headache starts.

Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.

John W


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Midwinter
2003-12-17 15:50:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight it.
Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of KJV, I
stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then the
headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
So why do you impose this restriction on yourself?

--
Midwinter
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-18 23:26:14 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:50:36 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight it.
Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of KJV, I
stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then the
headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
So why do you impose this restriction on yourself?
I think you don't understand what I said. See above.


John W

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Midwinter
2003-12-19 07:33:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:50:36 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight
it. Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of
KJV, I stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then
the headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have
begun very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
So why do you impose this restriction on yourself?
I think you don't understand what I said. See above.
Perhaps I do not. It is the word 'sadly' that confuses me, since this
denotes regret.

--
Midwinter
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-19 15:01:26 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 07:33:10 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:50:36 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight
it. Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of
KJV, I stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then
the headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have
begun very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
So why do you impose this restriction on yourself?
I think you don't understand what I said. See above.
Perhaps I do not. It is the word 'sadly' that confuses me, since this
denotes regret.
I have no problem enlightening you, since you have asked so nicely.
First, I have some kind of neurological disorder, and the King James
looks like a foreign language. I can struggle and make out a few words
at times, but it typically gives me a headache to do so. And I can
literally feel my eyes cross as I try to read it.

I therefore tend to avoid the KJV like a virus.

About a month ago, I took a HARD blow to the face and it left me with
migraine headaches briefly. I noticed at that point that when I
inadvertently began reading a passage in here, and realized it was
KJV, I'd go from the crossed eyes to a migraine.

I asked a dozen times if those who posted to me would PLEASE post in a
modern translation and explained in detail why. I have LOTS of
enemies in here; unfortunately, many who don't like me call themselves
"Christians". Well, rather than respecting my problem with the brain
injury and the migraines, a few of the "naughtier" folk put the word
out that they could all drive me crazy and cause me SEVERE pain (IF I
was telling the truth-- I was) if EVERYBODY would start posting in
KJV.

They did.

"Sadly" the idea caught on, and for several weeks, I couldn't open a
post to me without seeing at the very top of the post, a long passage
in KJV.

I think for people who call themselves "Christians" to DELIBERATLY be
that cruel is "sad."

The Bible says we are to "bear one another's burdens." Many in here
are adding to my burden rather than making it lighter.

"Sad!"


John W



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Akigar
2003-12-19 15:31:14 UTC
Permalink
Click Verse for Commentary Notes Reverse Sort | Next 20

Ge 4:7 - If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted ?28? and if
thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his
desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Ge 13:9 -
Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee,
from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if
thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Ge 15:5 - And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward
heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto
him, So shall thy seed be.

Ge 18:28 - Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty
righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If
I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

Ge 20:7 - Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a
prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou
restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that
are thine.

Ge 23:13 - And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of
the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will
give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.

Ge 24:8 - And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then
thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.

Ge 24:41 - Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou
comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear
from my oath.

Ge 24:42 - And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God
of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:

Ge 30:31 - And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou
shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again
feed and keep thy flock:

Ge 31:50 - If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take
other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness
betwixt me and thee.

Ge 33:10 -
And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy
sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy
face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.

Ge 43:4 - If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and
buy thee food:

Ge 43:5 - But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for
the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with
you.

Ge 43:9 -I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require
him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear
the blame for ever:

Ge 47:6 -The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land
make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell:
and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers
over my cattle.

Ex 4:9 -And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also
these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the
water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou
takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

Ex 4:23 - And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me:
and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy
firstborn.

Ex 8:2 -And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all
thy borders with frogs:

Ex 8:21 - Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will
send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people,
and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms
of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
If thou just knew. LOL
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 07:33:10 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:50:36 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight
it. Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of
KJV, I stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then
the headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have
begun very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
So why do you impose this restriction on yourself?
I think you don't understand what I said. See above.
Perhaps I do not. It is the word 'sadly' that confuses me, since this
denotes regret.
I have no problem enlightening you, since you have asked so nicely.
First, I have some kind of neurological disorder, and the King James
looks like a foreign language. I can struggle and make out a few words
at times, but it typically gives me a headache to do so. And I can
literally feel my eyes cross as I try to read it.
I therefore tend to avoid the KJV like a virus.
About a month ago, I took a HARD blow to the face and it left me with
migraine headaches briefly. I noticed at that point that when I
inadvertently began reading a passage in here, and realized it was
KJV, I'd go from the crossed eyes to a migraine.
I asked a dozen times if those who posted to me would PLEASE post in a
modern translation and explained in detail why. I have LOTS of
enemies in here; unfortunately, many who don't like me call themselves
"Christians". Well, rather than respecting my problem with the brain
injury and the migraines, a few of the "naughtier" folk put the word
out that they could all drive me crazy and cause me SEVERE pain (IF I
was telling the truth-- I was) if EVERYBODY would start posting in
KJV.
They did.
"Sadly" the idea caught on, and for several weeks, I couldn't open a
post to me without seeing at the very top of the post, a long passage
in KJV.
I think for people who call themselves "Christians" to DELIBERATLY be
that cruel is "sad."
The Bible says we are to "bear one another's burdens." Many in here
are adding to my burden rather than making it lighter.
"Sad!"
John W
____________________________________________________________________________
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Besq
2003-12-20 07:19:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 07:33:10 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:50:36 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight
it. Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of
KJV, I stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then
the headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have
begun very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
So why do you impose this restriction on yourself?
I think you don't understand what I said. See above.
Perhaps I do not. It is the word 'sadly' that confuses me, since this
denotes regret.
I have no problem enlightening you, since you have asked so nicely.
First, I have some kind of neurological disorder, and the King James
looks like a foreign language. I can struggle and make out a few words
at times, but it typically gives me a headache to do so. And I can
literally feel my eyes cross as I try to read it.
Oh come on! A neurological disorder? That only manifests when you read
King James?! That is ridiculous. To expect anyone to believe that is worse
than ridiculous.
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
I therefore tend to avoid the KJV like a virus.
About a month ago, I took a HARD blow to the face and it left me with
migraine headaches briefly. I noticed at that point that when I
inadvertently began reading a passage in here, and realized it was
KJV, I'd go from the crossed eyes to a migraine.
I asked a dozen times if those who posted to me would PLEASE post in a
modern translation and explained in detail why. I have LOTS of
enemies in here; unfortunately, many who don't like me call themselves
"Christians". Well, rather than respecting my problem with the brain
injury and the migraines, a few of the "naughtier" folk put the word
out that they could all drive me crazy and cause me SEVERE pain (IF I
was telling the truth-- I was) if EVERYBODY would start posting in
KJV.
They did.
"Sadly" the idea caught on, and for several weeks, I couldn't open a
post to me without seeing at the very top of the post, a long passage
in KJV.
I think for people who call themselves "Christians" to DELIBERATLY be
that cruel is "sad."
The Bible says we are to "bear one another's burdens." Many in here
are adding to my burden rather than making it lighter.
"Sad!"
John W
____________________________________________________________________________
___
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Midwinter
2003-12-20 15:21:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Besq
Oh come on! A neurological disorder? That only manifests when you
read King James?! That is ridiculous. To expect anyone to believe
that is worse than ridiculous.
Unlikely, I agree. However, to argue the point would be futile. The
majority of us here may not be neurologists, those that are could not prove
that they are, and to continue debating John's statement would involve
claim and counter-claim that would ultimately prove nothing. There is also
the possibility that such a disorder may be psychosomatic, which does not
make it any less real, and which could account for any amount of unusual
symptoms.

This is one argument I would recommend we do not pursue, since nothing will
be gained from it one way or the other.

--
Midwinter
Besq
2003-12-21 03:37:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Midwinter
Post by Besq
Oh come on! A neurological disorder? That only manifests when you
read King James?! That is ridiculous. To expect anyone to believe
that is worse than ridiculous.
Unlikely, I agree. However, to argue the point would be futile. The
majority of us here may not be neurologists, those that are could not prove
that they are, and to continue debating John's statement would involve
claim and counter-claim that would ultimately prove nothing. There is also
the possibility that such a disorder may be psychosomatic, which does not
make it any less real, and which could account for any amount of unusual
symptoms.
This is one argument I would recommend we do not pursue, since nothing will
be gained from it one way or the other.
True, for a fact.
Post by Midwinter
--
Midwinter
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-21 09:56:42 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
On Sat, 20 Dec 2003 15:21:14 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by Besq
Oh come on! A neurological disorder? That only manifests when you
read King James?! That is ridiculous. To expect anyone to believe
that is worse than ridiculous.
Unlikely, I agree. However, to argue the point would be futile. The
majority of us here may not be neurologists, those that are could not prove
that they are, and to continue debating John's statement would involve
claim and counter-claim that would ultimately prove nothing. There is also
the possibility that such a disorder may be psychosomatic, which does not
make it any less real, and which could account for any amount of unusual
symptoms.
This is one argument I would recommend we do not pursue, since nothing will
be gained from it one way or the other.
I would ask, what would be the point of my making such a claim if it
were not true?

It is. I could say more, but it's frankly no one's business, and I've
gotten NO sympathy in here YET.

So much for Christians "bearing one another's burdens."

John W


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w***@dirty.deeds.done.dirt.cheap.llc
2003-12-21 12:58:27 UTC
Permalink
In <***@4ax.com>, on 12/21/2003
at 09:56 AM, John W <john_weatherly47<no>@yahoo.com> said:

Trolls crossposting noted, followups set to trolls home group [poor sods]
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Sat, 20 Dec 2003 15:21:14 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by Besq
Oh come on! A neurological disorder? That only manifests when you
read King James?! That is ridiculous. To expect anyone to believe
that is worse than ridiculous.
Unlikely, I agree. However, to argue the point would be futile. The
majority of us here may not be neurologists, those that are could not prove
that they are, and to continue debating John's statement would involve
claim and counter-claim that would ultimately prove nothing. There is also
the possibility that such a disorder may be psychosomatic, which does not
make it any less real, and which could account for any amount of unusual
symptoms.
This is one argument I would recommend we do not pursue, since nothing will
be gained from it one way or the other.
I would ask, what would be the point of my making such a claim if it
were not true?
With you, just another look at my monumental problems, & I am still a xian
card. It generartes no sympathy, for no one really beleives you. Is it
pyschomatic as Midwinter asked, could be. In which case it is self
induced, real but self induced. So if you want sympathy for your own
destructive habits & their results, look in a dictionary between shit &
syphliss [sp].
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
It is. I could say more, but it's frankly no one's business, and I've
gotten NO sympathy in here YET.
You've gotten sympathy, until you threw your ass on your shoulders & went
loopier than normal, you had more sympathy than your posting history says
you deserved. You are on the outs with any regular poster of over three
months on the group. That should tell you something. But it won't.

That does not include ir-regular posters like axel or Midwinter, but were
they to do a google search from aug of 2003, you might lose them, as
well. & as to it being no ones business, you made it everyone's business
by posting the claim[s].
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
So much for Christians "bearing one another's burdens."
They diud for quite a spell, longer than I thought they would. Don &N Oz
were the first ot point out that in spite of your claims, you were not
being what you represented yourself as. From haviong seen Joel 2
fullfiul;led [with the implication yoiu were there & on active duty at the
time] on through your mobile churches & lack of evidence foir any
education beyound [if that] high school, you have earneed no relief with
your self imposed burdens.
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
John W
walksalone who has burdenms of his own making as well, but he will carry
them by himself thank you very much. Even the kids are not permitted to
share them, nor do they know of them. & that is as it should be.
Midwinter
2003-12-21 15:17:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
I would ask, what would be the point of my making such a claim if it
were not true?
There are many claims made in groups such as this, and they are made for
many reasons. If I am to apply this logic then they must all be true.
This is clearly not the case. As far as your claim is concerned, you do
mention several times in your posts that you feel you are not obtaining
sympathy - is that your aim, perhaps? Regardless, as I have said I have
no way of knowing whether it is true or not, and therefore I do not intend
to pursue it.
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
It is. I could say more, but it's frankly no one's business, and I've
gotten NO sympathy in here YET.
On the contrary, if it were no-one's business you would not have raised
the subject. I have problems of my own, as I am sure do all the other
posters here. However, those which I feel are no-one else's business I do
not speak of, and thus the group does not know of them. You have made it
everyone's business by posting it publicly on a newsgroup.

Besides - and I realise this will also sound rather unsympathetic - we
should consider the nature of your problem, assuming for the sake of
argument that it is true. There are those who are paralysed, those who
are blind, or deaf, those who are dying. There are those who lose limbs,
or those who live their lives dependent each day on medication. There are
those who suffer starvation, or homelessness, abuse or exploitation. With
the greatest respect, these people throw into stark perspective an
inability to read the King James translation of the Christian text. How
much sympathy do you feel is warranted?

--
Midwinter
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-21 09:54:54 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
Post by Besq
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 07:33:10 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:50:36 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight
it. Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of
KJV, I stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then
the headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have
begun very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
So why do you impose this restriction on yourself?
I think you don't understand what I said. See above.
Perhaps I do not. It is the word 'sadly' that confuses me, since this
denotes regret.
I have no problem enlightening you, since you have asked so nicely.
First, I have some kind of neurological disorder, and the King James
looks like a foreign language. I can struggle and make out a few words
at times, but it typically gives me a headache to do so. And I can
literally feel my eyes cross as I try to read it.
Oh come on! A neurological disorder?
I don't know what it is. My guess is a neurological disorder. And
what is that to you?

That only manifests when you read
Post by Besq
King James?! That is ridiculous.
You have expressed your opinion. I've heard it before. "If I don't
know about it, it's total BS!"

How bigoted of you!

To expect anyone to believe that is worse
Post by Besq
than ridiculous.
You have an opinion; you have expressed it. And you have called me a
liar. I'll make note of your name and not bother to read any more of
your posts.

Your bigoted attitude is called "not giving the other guy the benefit
of the doubt." You also don't believe in any disabilities you can't
see.

You are far worse off than I !


John W
Post by Besq
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
I therefore tend to avoid the KJV like a virus.
About a month ago, I took a HARD blow to the face and it left me with
migraine headaches briefly. I noticed at that point that when I
inadvertently began reading a passage in here, and realized it was
KJV, I'd go from the crossed eyes to a migraine.
I asked a dozen times if those who posted to me would PLEASE post in a
modern translation and explained in detail why. I have LOTS of
enemies in here; unfortunately, many who don't like me call themselves
"Christians". Well, rather than respecting my problem with the brain
injury and the migraines, a few of the "naughtier" folk put the word
out that they could all drive me crazy and cause me SEVERE pain (IF I
was telling the truth-- I was) if EVERYBODY would start posting in
KJV.
They did.
"Sadly" the idea caught on, and for several weeks, I couldn't open a
post to me without seeing at the very top of the post, a long passage
in KJV.
I think for people who call themselves "Christians" to DELIBERATLY be
that cruel is "sad."
The Bible says we are to "bear one another's burdens." Many in here
are adding to my burden rather than making it lighter.
"Sad!"
John W
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Midwinter
2003-12-20 15:17:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
I have no problem enlightening you, since you have asked so nicely.
First, I have some kind of neurological disorder, and the King James
looks like a foreign language. I can struggle and make out a few words
at times, but it typically gives me a headache to do so. And I can
literally feel my eyes cross as I try to read it.
I understand. I had gained the impression that your problem with the King
James text was merely a matter of preference, and this is why I queried
you.

--
Midwinter
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-19 15:03:19 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 07:33:10 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:50:36 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight
it. Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of
KJV, I stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then
the headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have
begun very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
So why do you impose this restriction on yourself?
I think you don't understand what I said. See above.
Perhaps I do not. It is the word 'sadly' that confuses me, since this
denotes regret.
BTW, Midwinter, for an example of the abuse that has been heaped on me
for this malady, see Basqs' post below yours!

John W




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John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-21 09:51:19 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 07:33:10 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:50:36 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight
it. Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of
KJV, I stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then
the headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have
begun very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
So why do you impose this restriction on yourself?
I think you don't understand what I said. See above.
Perhaps I do not. It is the word 'sadly' that confuses me, since this
denotes regret.
Another brief note which I forgot to state earlier, it is ALSO sad
that I cannot tolerate the KJV, since many consider it "beautiful". I
would like to enjoy reading it like so many others. I cannot.

John W

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Pastor Winter JNAHC
2003-12-22 04:11:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Another brief note which I forgot to state earlier, it is ALSO sad
that I cannot tolerate the KJV, since many consider it "beautiful". I
would like to enjoy reading it like so many others. I cannot.
Have you considered that it might be due to your being filled
with demons and devils that you have accumulated during your
tenure as a false-christian scum, John?

Which came first, John, your filthy false-christianity or your
mental illness?

Pastor Winter
--
Apostolic Oneness Pentecostal /*/ PreRapture Ministry
http://www.pentecostal.biz for Bible studies (text and audio)
Have you obeyed Acts 2:38 as Paul taught in Acts 19:4-6?
Email adwords-***@google.com to let them know how you feel about
their blatant religious discrimination against www.prerapture.org
Midwinter
2003-12-22 15:53:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pastor Winter JNAHC
Have you considered that it might be due to your being filled
with demons and devils that you have accumulated during your
tenure as a false-christian scum, John?
If you are inclined to believe in demons and devils (there is a
difference?), then anything in life which causes problems or difficulties
might be attributed to their influence - as indeed many mental illnesses
once were by the ignorant and the superstitious.

Whatever John's mental illness might be - whether a genuine physical
inability to read a particular version of the Bible, or a psychological
need to seek sympathy - it is no more caused by 'demons' than the disorder
which afflicts you, 'Pastor'.

Think about it - not that you will see it, of course, since you are so
convinced of your utter perfection: A 'pastor' whose life and mission is
based on hatred and invective, and an absolute intolerance of anyone not
willing to immediately roll over and obey your demands? You cannot see it,
but I assure you it is glaringly obvious to everyone else.

--
Midwinter
Bootstrap Bill
2003-12-23 17:30:33 UTC
Permalink
What a loser!
Post by Pastor Winter JNAHC
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Another brief note which I forgot to state earlier, it is ALSO sad
that I cannot tolerate the KJV, since many consider it "beautiful". I
would like to enjoy reading it like so many others. I cannot.
Have you considered that it might be due to your being filled
with demons and devils that you have accumulated during your
tenure as a false-christian scum, John?
Which came first, John, your filthy false-christianity or your
mental illness?
Pastor Winter
--
Apostolic Oneness Pentecostal /*/ PreRapture Ministry
http://www.pentecostal.biz for Bible studies (text and audio)
Have you obeyed Acts 2:38 as Paul taught in Acts 19:4-6?
their blatant religious discrimination against www.prerapture.org
Midwinter
2003-12-24 00:35:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bootstrap Bill
What a loser!
Indeed. Me hearty. Yo ho.

--
Midwinter
Pastor Winter JNAHC
2003-12-17 17:52:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
That is very true. But it is my lot, and I see no reason to fight it.
Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of KJV, I
stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then the
headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
You sure that isn't just part of being a nut case, John? Your
rejection of the truth and true Christianity has taken its toll
on you.

Pastor Winter
--
Apostolic Oneness Pentecostal /*/ PreRapture Ministry
http://www.pentecostal.biz for Bible studies (text and audio)
Have you obeyed Acts 2:38 as Paul taught in Acts 19:4-6?
Email adwords-***@google.com to let them know how you feel about
their blatant religious discrimination against www.prerapture.org
Mark Bassett
2003-12-18 07:25:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of KJV, I
stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then the
headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
This is hysterical!

John, life has improved since you have found your calling in the area of
comedy!
Midwinter
2003-12-18 16:26:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Bassett
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of KJV, I
stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then the
headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
This is hysterical!
John, life has improved since you have found your calling in the area of
comedy!
Remarkable. John, are you aware you have caused Mark Bassett and 'Pastor'
Winter to agree on something?

--
Midwinter
John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-18 23:32:19 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
On Thu, 18 Dec 2003 16:26:17 +0000 (UTC), Midwinter
Post by Midwinter
Post by Mark Bassett
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of KJV, I
stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then the
headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
This is hysterical!
John, life has improved since you have found your calling in the area of
comedy!
Remarkable. John, are you aware you have caused Mark Bassett and 'Pastor'
Winter to agree on something?
As I said to Mark, it is nice that he is so easily entertained. I bet
he laughs at Down's Syndrome people and those with Cerebral Palsey.


John W


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John W <john_weatherly47@yahoo.com>
2003-12-18 23:31:05 UTC
Permalink
x-no-archive:yes
On Thu, 18 Dec 2003 07:25:35 GMT, "Mark Bassett"
Post by Mark Bassett
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of KJV, I
stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then the
headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
This is hysterical!
My malady amuses you? You ARE sadistic!

Do you laugh at those with Down's Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy, too?
Do you kick the crutches out from under people? I bet you push those
in wheel chairs over!

Fun stuff!

John W
Post by Mark Bassett
John, life has improved since you have found your calling in the area of
comedy!
It is very good that you are so easily entertained. I bet you find
belches and farts HILARIOUS!


You must roll on the floor laughing when people sneeze!
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Pastor Winter JNAHC
2003-12-19 00:45:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by Mark Bassett
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
This is hysterical!
My malady amuses you? You ARE sadistic!
I believe John, it is because you are pretending to be a
"christian" while all see that you are a nut. It is sad
to see, but you are probably just reaping the fruits of
your filthy false-christianity and dishonesty.

Pastor Winter
--
Apostolic Oneness Pentecostal /*/ PreRapture Ministry
http://www.pentecostal.biz for Bible studies (text and audio)
Have you obeyed Acts 2:38 as Paul taught in Acts 19:4-6?
Email adwords-***@google.com to let them know how you feel about
their blatant religious discrimination against www.prerapture.org
Mark Bassett
2003-12-24 04:53:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
On Thu, 18 Dec 2003 07:25:35 GMT, "Mark Bassett"
Post by Mark Bassett
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Therefore, when I begin reading and I see two or three words of KJV, I
stop immediately. It literally makes my eyes cross, and then the
headache starts.
Sadly, too many have figured out that I am serious and they have begun
very deliberately posting everything in KJV.
This is hysterical!
My malady amuses you? You ARE sadistic!
Do you laugh at those with Down's Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy, too?
Do you kick the crutches out from under people? I bet you push those
in wheel chairs over!
Fun stuff!
John W
Post by Mark Bassett
John, life has improved since you have found your calling in the area of
comedy!
It is very good that you are so easily entertained. I bet you find
belches and farts HILARIOUS!
You must roll on the floor laughing when people sneeze!
My goodness...

We have finally found out what USENET is really for. :)

Besq
2003-12-19 02:01:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
I do not respond to those who quote the KJV extensively.
Sorry, I don't own a copy of Waite's Grimoire or any Crowley works.
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
John w
Post by martus
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
x-no-archive:yes
Post by martus
Jer 10:2-8 KJVA
(2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not
dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
(3) For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe.
(4) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails
and with hammers, that it move not.
(5) They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must
needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for
they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
(6) Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art]
great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(7) Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it
appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and
in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.
(8) But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a
doctrine of vanities.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
------
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
Subject: Is Christmas Christian?
Dear Friends -
There are more and more people this year, who may be hearing clearly
from the Lord, NOT to do the Christmas SELL-inebriation, of the pagan
winter solstice draped in some token Christian terminology.
The first one is tough NOT to SELLebrate. But, when you get past the
first one, you will rejoice at the freedom. When you get past the
first one, you will wonder how you could ever have been sold on such
a pagan SELLebration. I want to encourage those of you who are making
this your FIRST NO SELLebration X-mass. Those who have had one or 2
of the NO SELLabrations do not need encouragement; but, the FIRST NO
SELLebration of winter solstice can have family, friends, neighbors,
co-workers, and especially Christians, be really hard on you. Only be
very strong and of good courage.
This is silly. If you correctly read the Jeremiah passage, it CLEARLY
says the object being built is an idol. I don't know of ANY Christian
who worships the Christmas tree. If's just fine to use scripture, but
we must use our brains and take things in context. Nowhere in the Old
Testament are we prohibited from cutting and decorating Christmas
trees under which to place gifts.
Post by martus
The December 25th SELLebration of winter solstice does NOT honor God.
NOT true. IF you re-read Luke's narrative of the Nativity,
LK 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord
appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and
they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ
the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped
in cloths and lying in a manger."
LK 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared
with the angel, praising God and saying,

LK 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
LK 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the
shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this
thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
Luke has just described the first Christmas celebration, an event
thrown for mankind via the shepherds to honor the birth of His Son.
And since we do not know exactly what date our Lord was born (for good
reason) we have chosen a date. It matters not what the date was of
Christ's birth. It matters that we honor Him on a day set aside for
that purpose.
And anyway, your objections are based on an Old Testament passage, and
those laws are no longer in effect.
This is an OLD view that has NOTHING to do with scripture.
God bless!
John W
Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof
[are] the ways of death.
Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof
[are] the ways of death.
"Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord
has told us about." is hardly a celebration. It is estimated since the
shepherds were still in the fields with their flocks it was early fall.
The
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
very fact we don't know when Christ was born should be an indication that we
are not supposed to worship His birthday. The only commemoration we are
commanded to keep is the bread and wine, and Passover. All else is the
tradtion of man, not God and forbidden.
Xmas is pagan, sun worshipping, full of idols and heathen connotations,
teaches children selfishness and materialism and any "Christ" in the
celebration that might have been injected is long forgotten today.
Denying
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
what the Bible clearly says and rationalizing, "as long as its for the
'right' reason" won't change the fact that it is a pagan celebration and is
forbidden.
Post by John W <***@yahoo.com>
Post by martus
The true God has spoken clearly on it. Jesus Christ was born on the
feast of Tabernacles, most likely mid September. There was no room
for them in the inn, because devout Jews from the entire world, were
in Jerusalem, just 6 miles from Bethlehem, for the one required
Jerusalem pilgrimage feast that NO ONE wanted to miss.
Most people on the GJiGT list know what God had to say about the
Christmas tree, is in Jer 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people
are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with
gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
Read all of Jeremiah chapter 10 and explain to children, family,
friends, and Christians, that this SELLebration of the winter
solstice is a waste of time and effort, and the only god it honors is
the god of covetousness.
Not true. I can go from Seattle to San Diego, to Chicago to New York
to Ft Lauderdale to London to Moscow and St Petersburg to Ethiopia to
Istanbul. And I could ask people who speak English, "What do we
celebrate on December 25th?" And I'd hear from 95 of 100, "We
celebrate the birth of Christ."
It is YOU who has been sold a bill of goods and taught to not think.
God does NOT call us to be ignorant, illiterate, or stupid.
God bless as we celebrate the birth of the King of Kings!
John W
Post by martus
The Savior was not born on the 25th of December. It is an old Pagan
holiday celebrated many hundred years before His birth. The Christmas
tree also is a relic of heathenism. "Hear ye the Word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, Oh house of Israel. THUS SAITH THE LORD, learn not
the way of the heathen..... for the CUSTOMS of the people are VAIN.
Learn NOT the way of the heathen is the command. This Christmas
custom of the people we are told in Jeremiah chapter 10 is vain. This
all came from old Babylon, and was adopted in the church by the
western so called "CHURCH FATHERS", Eusebius, Jerome, Polycarp,
Justan Martyr, and others, while the Eastern church Fathers were
opposed to all of these heathen customs. For 500 years they all
strictly observed the true Sabbath, while the Western Bishops,
called "Fathers", were in the great falling away. The mystery of
iniquity has now become full. Many today are hearing the Lord say,
Come out of Babylon.
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian"
holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas
really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look at every word on
every page of the Bible, and you will find not ON WORD
of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of God's people! It is not
even mentioned once! Neither Christ nor any of His apostles ever
observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Church!
Yet, on the other hand, the pagan, heathen world observed this day
for thousands of years before Christ was even born! Where did the
mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from?
What about the Christmas tree, and the Yule log, and mistletoe, and
Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin?
And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus? It's
high time we address these questions, and take a new look
at "Christmas." Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the
truth about this popular and widespread holiday?
There is a topic on the GJiGT by the title "Is Christmas Christian?"
It is filled with FACTS that can be shocking. It can be a tremendous
help for those NOT SELLebrating their first or second one. The
article is a good read for anyone, at any time; but, for those in the
midst of your FIRST NON-SELLebration it is a GREAT encouragement.
http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/C&E
Millions of "nominal" Christians, who think they are followers of the
religion of Jesus Christ, have been deceived. Not only have they
foolishly embraced erroneous "traditions" as if they
were "Christian," but they have been lied to, by preachers,
ministers, and priests. Most have ASSUMED that they were worshipping
Christ! Yet Jesus Christ Himself warned: "Howbeit IN VAIN DO THEY
WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye HOLD THE TRADITION OF
MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).
In the gospel of Matthew, we find Christ says, "Ye HYPOCRITES, well
did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouths, and honoreth me with their lips; but THEIR HEART
IS FAR FROM ME. But IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Matt.15:7-9).
What is the truth? What is the evidence regarding when Jesus Christ
was born? Was it anywhere NEAR December 25? And if not, then why
believe a lie, and practice and perform a lie?
The birth of Christ is not known for certain, but we can know the
approximate time of year when He was born! In the book of Luke we
read that the father of John the Baptist was Zacharias, and he was a
priest who served at the temple in Jerusalem. He was "of the course
of Abia" (Luke 1:5). While serving at the temple, he was informed by
an angel that his wife was to have a son, who was to be named "John."
After this, Zacharias finished "the days of his ministration,"
and "departed to his own house" (v.23). "And after those days, his
wife Elizabeth conceived . . ." (v.24).
The names of the different courses of priests that served at the
Temple are given in I Chronicles 24:1-19. "Abia" or "Abijah" was the
EIGHTH course. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, each one
of these courses served at the Temple for one week, the first course
serving the first week of Nisan, in the spring (compare I Chron.27:1-
2), and then each course in its own order. All the priests served
during the annual festivals (Passover in spring, Pentecost, and then
Tabernacles in the fall). After six months, the order would be
repeated, thus each "course" would serve two weeks during a year.
The course of Abijah, then, would have served the eighth week in the
rotation. The eighth week from Nisan 1, leaving out the week of
Passover, when all the priests served, would have been IYAR 27 TO
SIVAN 5, the day just before Pentecost, which generally fell on Sivan
6. After serving a week in the Temple, Zacharias would have remained
another week in Jerusalem, because of the Feast of Shavuot or
Pentecost that week. Therefore, he returned home shortly after this,
and his wife then conceived. This would have been about the middle of
June. If we add nine months to this date, the normal time for the
gestation of a human baby in the womb, John the Baptist would have
been born about the middle of March, in the spring, shortly before
the Passover.
Jesus was conceived about six months after John (Luke 1:24-31, esp.
verse 26). This would suggest that Jesus Christ was conceived about
the middle of December. This would place His birth nine months, or
270 days, later -- or the month of September!
If Jesus Christ was not born on December 25, who was? In other words,
whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on
December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? What "Christ"
are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the
translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally
means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, where
we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on
December 25?
In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we find this amazing
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that
much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western
world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of
the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even
became the state worship. . . .
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then,
centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the
central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the
solar orb. . . Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a
massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal
point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday
of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO
CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS
CULT" (p.391- 392).
Notice! Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult
of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of
Jesus Christ! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god,
worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!
In the article on the GJiGT "Is Christmas Christian?" there are many
more interesting facts of history which prove the feast is pagan to
the core. Are we beginning to get the picture? In the fourth century
AFTER Christ, the Church moved to incorporate the birthday of the sun
god into the so-called "Christian" calendar, and converted the pagan
sungod's "birth day" into the birth day of CHRIST Himself! That which
was distinctly and definitely pagan now was "baptized," and by some
act of "magic" was transformed into something "Christian"!
No matter how many Christians, and non-Christians alike, believe
December 25th to be "Christian," it is not, in fact, or in TRUTH. In
fact, it remains an abomination to the true God, and what the bible
over and over calls spiritual harlotry or whoredom. It may now be
called "Christian." But in truth, it still has a pagan heart and core!
These historical observations ought to make us sit up and take
notice! The 'Christianity" that we see around us in the world today
is but a "spin-off" of this ancient syncretism or 'blending"
and "merging" of PAGANISM into the professed Church of Jesus Christ.
The compromised state church, lapsed into apostasy, debauchery,
licentiousness, and impurity. The descendants of the once chaste and
pure virgin of Christ, the New Testament Church, had seemingly
become, for all intends and purposes, the religious WHORE of Babylon -
- a bejeweled and bedecked and bedeviled harlot, a "shady lady," a
spiritual PROSTITUTE!
"Paganism" was not defeated by the Church. It invaded the church,
infiltrated it, and seduced it from within! The professing Christian
Church became the "new face of paganism"! Only the "names" were
changed. And in some cases -- as in "Easter" Sunday -- even the old
pagan names were left in place!
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c***@velocitus.net
2003-12-21 23:14:15 UTC
Permalink
Hello ***@hotmail.com (martus),
you posted in alt.religion.christian :
<snipped it all!>

Japanese automobiles are mentioned in the Bible too. . .
Acts 5: 12 At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were
taking place among the people; and they
were all with one accord in Solomon's portico.

Christian
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