Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Hari OM
Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.

Yule is often confused with the winter solstice, but the former is a season while the latter is a precise moment in time. Yule begins with the Arra Geola moon, which grows full in late November or the first few weeks of December, and the season then continues for two lunar months.

For Saxon Pagans (as well as Pagans from many other paths), the celebration of the Yuletide usually does not actually begin until Mothers’ Night (the solstice) and continues for a week or two after this. As society settled and became more formalised, the recognition of the shortest day and the turn towards lengthening light again made a point of focus for Yule. It is commonly accepted that many of the Christmas traditions that Western cultures follow came out of this pagan celebration, but in truth, there are many different aspects to our modern concept of Christmas - but much of it actually arrived with Prince Albert from Germany when he married Queen Victoria. Certainly, early Christianity saw the use of imprinting a worship 'module' upon the pre-existing festivity and this actually originated in Rome.  The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.

It is true those Germanic traditions of bringing in greenery and stoking a roaring log fire may have been hangovers from Yule Fest. The origin of the fire was the bringing of a whole tree trunk into the Saxon halls and setting it to smoulder for the duration of Yule, keeping the place warm and fumigated… it was mid-winter, remember, and everyone lived at close quarters… it was a practical habit, which developed into a ritual. The concept of bringing in greenery was to remind everyone that, despite the darkness and the snow, the spring would arrive before long. The only source of light would, of course, have been lamps and candles. One of the only joys in life would have been the prep and the eating of food and entertainment on those long nights would have been story-telling; these often being about mysteries of nature, myths of forest men, or mountain men, according to geography.

Much of Yuletide is itself lost in myth and mystery now, but the key thing is the acknowledgement of the cycle of life and nature and the fundamental need for humans to have hope of a brightening future.

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Hari OM
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