Friday, 30 November 2012

Pagan Truth:- Christmas Pagan Origins

The VuDooMan is in the House
When you need a little faith, turn to the VuDooMan

Spirit of Yule
Spirit of Yule
Few people realize that the origins of a form of Christmas was pagan and; celebrated in Europe long before anyone there had heard of Jesus Christ.

No one knows what day Jesus Christ was born on. From the biblical description, most historians believe that his birth probably occurred in September, approximately six months after Passover. One thing they agree on is that it is very unlikely that Jesus was born in December, since the bible records shepherds tending their sheep in the fields on that night. This is quite unlikely to have happened during a cold Judean winter.

So why do we celebrate Christ's birthday as Christmas, on December the 25th?

The answer lies in the pagan origins of Christmas. In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast.

In Rome, the Winter Solstice was celebrated many years before the birth of Christ. The Romans called their winter holiday Saturnalia, honouring Saturn, the God of Agriculture. In January, they observed the Kalends of January, which represented the triumph of life over death. This whole season was called Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The festival season was marked by much merrymaking. It is in ancient Rome that the tradition of the Mummers was born. The Mummers were groups of costumed singers and dancers who travelled from house to house entertaining their neighbours. From this, the Christmas tradition of carolling was born.

In northern Europe, many other traditions that we now consider part of Christian worship were begun long before the participants had ever heard of Christ. The pagans of northern Europe celebrated the their own winter solstice, known as Yule. Yule was symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras, being born, and was observed on the shortest day of the year. As the Sun God grew and matured, the days became longer and warmer. It was customary to light a candle to encourage Mithras, and the sun, to reappear next year.

Huge Yule logs were burned in honour of the sun. The word Yule itself means "wheel," the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. Holly berries were thought to be a food of the gods.

The tree is the one symbol that unites almost all the northern European winter solstices. Live evergreen trees were often brought into homes during the harsh winters as a reminder to inhabitants that soon their crops would grow again. Evergreen boughs were sometimes carried as totems of good luck and were often present at weddings, representing fertility. The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees.

In 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ's birth would be celebrated on December 25. There is little doubt that he was trying to make it as painless as possible for pagan Romans (who remained a majority at that time) to convert to Christianity. The new religion went down a bit easier, knowing that their feasts would not be taken away from them.

Christmas (Christ-Mass) as we know it today, most historians agree, began in Germany, though Catholics and Lutherans still disagree about which church celebrated it first. The earliest record of an evergreen being decorated in a Christian celebration was in 1521 in the Alsace region of Germany. A prominent Lutheran minister of the day cried blasphemy:

"Better that they should look to the true tree of life, Christ."
The controversy continues even today in some fundamentalist sects.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Pagan Truth: Thanksgiving Roots

The VuDooMan is in the House
When you need a little faith, turn to the VuDooMan

It is taught in American schools that the Pilgrims established Thanksgiving (to share their abundant harvest with local Wampanoag "People of the Dawn" Tribe).
« Most history books would like to convince us that Thanksgiving Day goes back to only Plymouth Rock in the 1600's. Plymouth Rock was not the first Thanksgiving Day though. (Ever wonder why Canada has a Thanksgiving Day also?) This pagan feast, honoring the agricultural gods, goes back thousands of years, in one form or another. »

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Cameron warns priests of turbulence after church votes no to female bishops

Backed by politicians of all stripes, prime minister urges Church of England to 'get with the programme' and reconsider decision.

Campaigners for female bishops...
Campaigners for female bishops hold a vigil outside Church House after the vote.
Photograph: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Church of England general synod rejects women bishops

The Church of England's general synod has voted against appointing women as bishops.

Campaign group Women and the Church called it "a devastating blow" for the Church and the people of England.

What an utter shambles!!

Tonight the traditionalits have won, but Christianity as a whole has lost bigtime. I knew that Roman Catholics are stuck in the fourteenth century, but I never thought British CofE ministers were also!! Shame on these 'men of God'!!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Welby Wants the Mitre on Female Heads!

Rt Rev Justin Welby
This is a follow up article to:
Placing the Mitre on Female Heads?

Selby Calls For Women Bishopd

Back in July I did an article on Women Bishops. (For those of you who read it back then, or would rather not bother, I’ll quickly summarise.)
  1. The previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowen Williams, urged the General Synod to resolve the issue over female bishops (an issue 36 years in the making).
  2. Parliament voted on this issue and allowed it (123 in favour and 53 against). If the vote hadn’t been passed it would have been shelved until 2015!
  3. When it comes to women in roles within the church, things get sticky. Anglicans (happy to have female priest) don’t wish for them to pursue leadership positions.
  4. While, in the past, the Anglo-Catholic's have gone as far as saying one may as well ;“ordain a pork-pie”.
  5. Dr Rowen put forward conditions to appease those “who continued to have theological reservations”.
  6. However, their are concerns from senior women clergy (some prospective candidates for the roles of women bishops) who take offence at not merely been asked to step-aside but demanded by church law (due to clause 5(1)c).
  7. Eventually, the vote was postponed until November.

The vote will take place at a special session of the Church’s General Synod in London next week.

The high-flying crusader for women bishops, Christina Rees, objects to clause 5(1)c. She has concerns that the discrimination of females and the further favouring of males over females bishops will moth only cause fundamental problems, it’ll down-play the roles of female bishops within the CofE.

The online campaign (organised by blogger “Church Mouse") Yes 2 Women Bishops) has attracted large support in recent days.

The Rt Rev Justin Welby (as chosen successor to Dr Rowan Williams)   last week that he is in favour of female bishops and is set to make a personal plea to traditionalists to “go forward" in a show of unity, in an attempt to end years of struggle for women within the Church of England for leadership

also see: Give winnings to church - Welby suggests »

and: Welby to be next Archbishop of Canterbury »

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Give winnings to church - Welby suggests

The Rt Rev Justin Welby: "We may not like that food centres are necessary, but they are and they need paying for"

The next Archbishop of Canterbury has suggested people who made money by correctly betting on his appointment should donate their winnings to parish churches.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Vatican launches Latin academy

Pope Benedict XVI has approved the launch of a new Latin language college in the Vatican.

The Pope said the Church was the "guardian and promoter" of Latin and that a good understanding of it was more important than ever.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Justin Welby urges General Synod to vote in favour of female bishops

Justin Welby, the bishop of Durham, has urged the General Synod to vote in favour of landmark legislation allowing women to become bishops as his appointment as the next archbishop of Canterbury was confirmed by Downing Street.

Welby set to be archbishop of Canterbury

Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, an Eton and Cambridge-educated former oil executive, looks set to be named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury replacing Rowan Williams, who has held the post for a decade.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

How to join the Pagan faith?

Taken from Yahoo Answers »
I've been learning about and considering Paganism for a long time, and I think it's for me. How do I become a Pagan?
Paganism refers to any of a wide array of spiritual/religious beliefs based on Pre-Christian non-centralized beliefs. If you want to be a pagan, you are one. There are specific initiatory rituals for Wicca, Asatru, and Kemetism, among others; all of which are pagan religions.

A pagan who is not a member of a specific organized "path" such as the above is referred to as an "eclectic pagan". Eclectic pagans are those who do not follow the beliefs of any other group or individual specifically, but instead create their own path based on what feels true, right, and natural to them, usually borrowing from the practices of many other religions.

If you are interested in practicing Wicca, which is probably the largest pagan religion, I suggest "Wicca: A Guide to the Solitary Practitioner" and "Living Wicca" both by Scott Cunningham, as well as all of the works of Gerald Gardner and Raymond Buckland. Some of the books written by Silver Ravenwolf might also be helpful to you.

For more information, answers to questions, as well as lessons and articles on eclectic paganism as well as specific paths, a more dynamic resource is important, so I suggest the following message boards:

As to those who have answered this question with negative things to say, you have my pity. It must be difficult living with such a narrow and closed-minded world view.

May you find what you seek.

Landra, High Priestess of the Coven of the Crossed Paths

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