Occupy Christmas Day
In some ways I liken this holiday season to a roller coaster that I once waited in line for two hours in the hot blistering sun to ride as a child, and the ride itself only lasted for two minutes, leaving me completely disoriented. Somehow the anticipation, discomfort, and intense focus of Christmastime rarely seems worth the effort afterward, that is unless you’ve got good company or a killer ipod selection while you’re standing in a long line, waiting for whatever.
Although Christmas day has become just another commercialized holiday with social pressure toward consumerism and spending beyond one’s means, it has its roots in ancient pagan observances of the changing seasons. Later it came to be associated with the birth date of Jesus Christ, even though his real birth date remains a mystery. Christ’s observed birthday most likely fell upon the 25th due to its close proximity to the Winter Solstice, coinciding with many other celebrations already occurring during this time.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we really did focus on giving from the heart rather than from the credit agencies, sharing time with those we love, and spreading warmth and light during the dark half of the year, or any time of year for that matter? Since when did Christmas become all about discount stockings at the drug store, florescent candy canes, Santa Claus in the shopping mall, cramming the refrigerator, and ironically struggling to get by because too many people are too busy scurrying about to buy presents instead of choosing to create and/or pay for the services and products that would actually bring benefit and peace and of mind? Since when did we associate showing love to children as spending thousands of dollars on both plastic wrap and plastic crap for them that they will forget they own within a year? Why do we invest in objects that will take thousands of years to fully disintegrate into the earth, further cluttering our fragile ecosystem?
It’s been going for quite awhile, having escalated over the past couple of decades. The concept of giving at Christmastime used to be simple and genuine. If we don’t collectively change our ways pretty soon, we may not have much of a future to offer our children.
Believe it or not, even as adults we need stories as much as we need food. Christmas stories can actually help us to awaken and heal, whether or not they are fictitious or based on “reality”. We also need to learn from the past, both in the sense of learning from past mistakes, and learning our history, and the history of our ancestors. Let’s take a look at our good old pal Santa Claus, for instance…
Sinter Klass was a traditional holiday figure celebrated in Norse, Dutch, and even some South African and Asian cultures. Known as Saint Nicolas (actual title of a bishop, as well as a patron saint of children) in Europe and Santa Claus in North America, this generous entity of Yuletide was originally depicted in folklore and symbolism as riding a white horse on his nightly rounds.
The feast of Sinter Klass, celebrated in the Middle Ages on December 6th, provided an occasion to bless children and help the poor. The people and children left their shoes outside overnight, which were filled with coins, fruit and nuts by morning. Sinter Klass was said to be assisted by many mischievous helpers with “black faces” and colorful Moorish dresses. These helpers are called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Petes). It is interesting to note that the character of Black Pete, with origins in so-called evil, later came to acquire racial connotations. It’s also interesting to note the cross-over between certain racial terms and the mischievous spritely beings dwindled down in size, known in folklore as elves. Good and bad played an important role in the feast, with good being rewarded, bad and evil punished. There were costumes, role-playing, dancing and drinking, like any other wild festivity. Strange how customs get watered down, twisted, and re-interpreted throughout the ages!
Christmas Day – The 6 of Hearts
In the ancient playing card system known generically in modern times as the Destiny Cards, Christmas day falls on a 6 of Hearts day. The number six is associated with the balancing of karmic affairs, with the hearts suit signifying relationships, harmony, creativity, and love. Those born on this day have come to offer love to others in some very large way, whether through sacrifice, creativity, or a combination of both. The karma that must be cleared or learned relative to this card’s influence is humility. 6 of Hearts – the “Peacemaker Card”, helps bring family and loved ones together, so how apropos that we have assigned a holiday revolving around gift-giving to this day. Only 3 birthdates share this card: October 29th (Scorpio), November 27th (Sagittarius), and December 25th (Capricorn). Three of my favorite 6 of Hearts celebrities are Jimi Hendrix – 11/27/42, Bruce Lee – 11/27/40, and Annie Lenox – 12/25/54. Anyone born under one of these 3 dates may feel a particularly strong energy on any one of these days. These people are literally known as the bearers of gifts. Home and family are very important to them however one of their negative traits is often that they can be too domineering. When they have it, they naturally enjoy sharing their bounty with others.
The original feast of Sinter Klass that occurred on a Queen of Clubs day, December 6th. The Queen of Clubs, known as the Mother of Intuition is energetically one of the most fast-moving, psychic and potentially giving cards of the deck. I find it interesting how the main holiday has shifted from a royal Clubs day to one of the Hearts, moving from the mastery of the mind to a fostering of generosity and openness of the heart, perhaps helping us to clear our collective karma around greed, pride and the lack of love.
Runes of December 2011 – The Blank Rune and Uruz
Like falling off a cliff into a mysterious abyss, the presence of the Blank rune indicates that we are on the cusp of great collective change, and that there is nothing we can do other than to inwardly prepare, and to outwardly surrender. We may fear the end is near, but this is just the end of life as we know it. This is often the case when we are in the midst of two eclipses, as we are now.
A second rune, Uruz came close behind the blank rune, indicating great force, strength and power surrounding us at this time. The influence of Uruz may come in invigorate us just before we feel like our energy is about to drop, or maybe it is to reinforce the work we are doing toward beneficial change. There is some hint that we may be dealing a lot particularly with male energy and men in positions of power and authority, yet whether the results of this are negative or positive would depend upon the nature or circumstances of an individual or group.
I think of the second rune Uruz’s presence in this month’s rune draw as being akin to tricky Mercury’s going Direct mid-month, in that after we emerge from retrogradation in communication or find ourselves on terra firma after falling into the great mysterious abyss, many plans and projects that were stuck or delayed may begin gradually falling back into place. Thank Heavens, because Christmas season can be crazy enough as it is, without stellar complications!
12/10/11 Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse takes place at 18 degrees of Gemini, greatly heightening our awareness of personal communications with family, friends, and the human family at large. Gemini’s ruling planet Mercury, still Retrograde is not close enough to the sun to form a strong opposition to the Full Moon, but is far enough away from it to create a lot of contradictions to our normal or comfortable ways of relating. The eclipse will activate any personal planets that anyone may have within 5 degrees of this Full Moon at 18 degrees Gemini. It may help to pay particular close attention to the aspects of life that any of these planets represent, to bring awareness and transformation of their expression.
The South Node so close to the Moon indicates that we may be feeling rather nostalgic or regretful about past events or actions. One way to overcome this is by sitting quietly in observance of the present moment, which is the only reality that exists – the Power of Now, so eloquently written about by Eckhart Tolle. If old habits die hard, we can actually and finally lay them to rest with the gentleness of quiet attention and acceptance. We don’t overcome by pushing or resistance, but very possibly by simple awareness.
The asteroid Ceres in Pisces squares the eclipse, and forms a grand mutable square between the Full Moon and opposition to Mars in Virgo. The great desire to heal our relationship with the Earth Mother, the Mother archetype, and perhaps our personal mothers is highlighted, while the Ceres grand square exposes our weaknesses, desires for nurturance, and pushes us toward taking better care of ourselves and each other. Practical approaches are called for rather what would be the nice or “ideal” things to do. Speed is our tendency when we desperately want to get something done, but it is not always necessary, nor is it always helpful. It’s as though we or those around us need to pull our own and or their heads out of the clouds and stop daydreaming about what we need to do, and just get down and do it. Similarly, if one is hungry, it won’t do much good to think about eating. The only solution to physical hunger is food. If there is trash on the ground, for most of us, it won’t do much good to imagine it vanishing. The best solution is to pick it up and throw it in the trash can. These examples are to give a general idea of how we can work with the energies arising at this time.
12/13/11 Mercury Direct
Mercury will go Direct at 4 degrees of Sagittarius, after having been Retrograde since November 24th. It’s obviously not time to celebrate quite yet, for many will still feel as though they’re dangling within its “shadow” for another week or two. Overall the collective mood will lighten though, in part due to Mercury Direct, in part due to its being in Sagittarius, and in part due to colorful lights, cheerful décor, and furry critters and children running around having fun.
12/21/11 Winter Solstice – Making a Prosperity Box
The Winter Solstice, coinciding with Hanukkah this day may be an emotional day, with the Moon in Scorpio making only one aspect to Mars. It will be a wonderfully suited time for clearing out old energies and setting intentions for the winter season. One idea for doing this is to make a prosperity box, designing and or filling a decorative box with images, coins, symbols, written goals, thank yous, and other objects that represent prosperity and abundance, and placing it in the Wealth corner of one’s living space, or purposefully setting it upon an altar where it will be seen often. Each time a goal is reached or a vision manifested, a thank you offering can be added. Each New Moon new goals, visions, and intentions can be added. During the Full Moon they can be charged and/or removed if they have already been attained.
12/24/11 New Moon in Capricorn
On Christmas Eve the New Moon falls at 2 degrees of Capricorn, in an unpredictable square with Uranus in Aries. It would behoove us to move carefully to avoid sudden mishaps, and to be especially mindful of the words that come out of our mouths at this time. Some people may easily fly off the handle if the things don’t go their way. We will have opportunities to exercise patience, tolerance, and kindness now and within the following couple of days. The New Moon is also in conjunction to transformative Pluto and a helpful trine from Jupiter in Taurus. The expansive and jovial nature of Jupiter is still rather subdued due to its Retrograde phase, yet there is a sense of coming together and bringing order where it is needed that is taking place. We can anticipate that we will have assistance and sustenance this winter season. Even if we have to work hard to achieve our goals, at least we will have the energy overall to do so. Success is likelier to occur as a result of the greater energy and focus that will bless many now.
The Sabian symbol for the New Moon 2-3 degrees of Capricorn is:
A Human Soul, In Its Eagerness For New Experiences, Seeks Embodiment
What this symbol represents is “the powerful yearning for whatever will increase the scope and depth of one’s contact with other living beings”. As such, it is very personal to the individual whom it touches.
Wishing all a warm and joyous holiday season, with or without the lights, sweets, presents, and whatnots! We can’t take any of that stuff with us when our bodies die anyway. What can we give, whether material or immaterial, that will be beneficial and leave a lasting positive impression upon those whom we love?
A few ideas:
- Artwork such as a painting, a clay pot, or a collage that represents happiness and prosperity for the person receiving.
- Music whether you buy it, create it, or otherwise spread it somehow.
- Handmade gift certificates for specific services such as massage, housecleaning, or something you do well that you know that person receiving would really appreciate.
- A gift certificate for an intuitive or astrology reading from me. This holiday season, from now until January 1st I am offering a fifty percent discount on gift certificate readings. A full hour reading, valued at $90 will cost $45 as a gift certificate for someone else. If you are purchasing a gift certificate reading you will receive a $30 discount on your next personal reading.
You can also find my monthly horoscopes in the Upbeat Times of Sonoma County and read them online ~
Yuletide Blessings to all!