The Importance of Holidays

I recently read a discussion about Epiphany as a celebration of Light.  In that discussion, there was a comment that every day was a celebration of Light.  It is an interesting comment that I have heard in many places, and certainly every day is a celebration of Light in a certain sense.  On the other hand, I think that holiday celebrations are quite important.

vlcsnap-2015-01-06-19h54m52s212In the Filianic tradition, we celebrate holidays in accordance with the Wheel of the Year.  Other traditions have other cycles and other holidays, and they are no less valid. We celebrate Nativity at the same time as Christmas, and our day of Epiphany is the same day as the Christian Epiphany.  Nativity and Epiphany are both far older than Christianity and speak to Universal Truth rather than a set of historical, factual events that may or may not have happened 2,000 years ago in the Middle East, see the True Meaning of Christmas.

By celebrating holidays, we bring ourselves into harmony with the Music of the Spheres.  The original function of astrologers was not to give guidance to individuals in the form of prediction or personality analysis, but to read the heavens in order to set the appropriate time for religious festivals and other earthly activities.  Just as a musical score would be rather dull if it played the same note all the time, our lives would be similarly bereft if every day was exactly the same.

Actually, there was a time* in which there were no seasons or holidays.  In the Filianic tradition, we speak of the Golden Time, when we laughed and danced with the Mother.  The Judeo-Christian speaks of Eden and the time before the Fall.  All traditions have a similar story. We are no longer able to celebrate and worship constantly.  In the Filianic Creation Mythos, the Mother tells us, “I shall not live as close to you as before, but still I shall pour blessings upon you, and you may bring Me gifts–not in every moment as before, for you have learned to tire, but My light shall give you signs in this matter.”

As Unenlightened beings, we are not able to celebrate all of the time.  We do tire.  I needed a few days to recover after the Nativity Eve dinner, and to be honest, the decorations that were exciting during Advent and the beginning of Christmas were starting to feel a bit old and stale by the end of the twelve days.  If we were to attempt to celebrate every day, we would not be able to really enjoy any celebration.

My grandmother gave me a set of plates that belonged to my great grandmother.  When she gave them to me, she said that she wanted me to use them for everyday use. There were no more daughters or granddaughters to pass them down to, and she wanted them to be used.  At first, I tried to honor that request, and I did use them every day.  The problem with that was that they lost their specialness by doing that.  So, I stopped using them every day, and I now take them out for holidays and other times that seem special (like when I cooked my first successful roast).  This seemed a good compromise.  The plates are used…often enough so that they do get used, but not all the time, so that they are still special.

Every day is indeed a celebration of Light, and each day is a microcosm of the year.  Sunrise corresponds to the Spring Equinox or Eastre, noon corresponds to Midsummer or Rosa Mundi, sunset corresponds to the Fall Equinox or Cuivanya, and midnight corresponds to Midwinter or Christmas/Nativity.  Yet, just as we need periods of activity and periods of rest every day, we also need periods of activity and rest throughout the year.

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*The use of the term “time” is not quite accurate, because it was the time before and beyond time; however, English does not quite have words to express this concept (at least to my knowledge).

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Making Space for Nativity

This year, Nativity was quite a hectic time for me.  For the first year, I was the hostess for the family Christmas Eve smörgåsbord.  It was a small gathering, but even so, a great deal of preparation was required.  The house had to be cleaned and decorated, and I was responsible for the meatballs.  In our family, the meatballs are quite important; my grandmother would often make the meatballs weeks in advance, and freeze them until just before Christmas Eve.  This year was the first year that I have been allowed to make the meatballs, which was quite an honor.

SAMSUNGLearning from my grandmother, I made the meatballs a couple of weeks in advance, and I made a test batch for my grandmother to taste before committing the rest of the mix to little balls.  I was quite pleased when I received her approval after the first try.

When the day came, the gathering went well, I thought.  It was rather interesting really.  While I prepared the house and the meatballs, most of the food came from other people.  My grandmother made the glögg (a hot, sweet, spiced alcoholic beverage).  My aunt brought the potato sausage and the prinskorv (which, since childhood, I always called “little hot dogs”).  My spouse went grocery shopping and bought lots of vegetables, a small smoked ham, pie, and various cookies and sweets.  My spouse’s coworker came and brought the rotmos (a Swedish version of mashed rutabaga).  I prepared the house and the meatballs, and the rest of the bounty just arrived!  That seemed quite symbolic of Nativity to me.

All of this made me think of the meaning and importance of Nativity.  I no longer consider myself a Christian, but Christmas/Nativity has a much deeper and older meaning than the Christian narrative.  The Mother God Chapel recently published two important articles that explain the older and deeper meaning of Nativity which can be found here and here.  In summary, the material world falls further away from the Light and would fall into complete Darkness, but the Light intervenes, and Light returns and is renewed.  This theme is found in the Christian narrative, but the theme is Universal and thus larger and deeper than the narrative of any human religion.

In thinking about the meaning of Nativity, I have also been reflecting on the Advent preparations.  These preparations involve rearranging one’s schedule, one’s finances, and one’s home to make room for Nativity to happen.  One buys and/or makes gifts for friends and family.  The preparations take time, making Advent a rather busy season, and often one must rearrange one’s daily activities to accommodate the extra chores and tasks.  If one puts up a Nativity Tree, furniture must be moved.  Regular household decorations must be put aside to make room for the Nativity decorations.  It seems to me that these preparations are all symbolic of making space for Nativity to happen.

Yet, when we make space for Nativity to happen, a bounty often arrives, I think…or at least it did for me this year.

A Fresh Start

It has been a while since I have written.  It has been a rather intense month and a half of deep internal changes.  I am back, though, and just in time for Sai Herthe Day.

For Deanists and Filianists the new year starts at the Spring Equinox, which is Eastre for us.  Today is the Day of Sai Herthe.  An explanation of the Day of Sai Herthe can be found here on the Chapel of Our Mother God.

While the Day of Sai Herthe is not the official new year, it is still a day of fresh starts and new beginnings.  It seems an appropriate time for a return from my brief hiatus, as this day is very much a celebration of the theme of this blog, the Temple of the Home.  I find it interesting that in the West, it is common to celebrate the New Year’s Eve by going out to parties.  In contrast Sai Herthe Day is a home based festival.  In a feminine based religion, the home and the hearth are the center of life, so it is important to spend time blessing and renewing our homes.

The title to this article is, “A Fresh Start,” and I mentioned that I have been through deep SAMSUNGinternal changes over the past month or so.  In the main, I have been internalizing the outward changes that I have written about in this blog.  I am becoming softer and gentler, and I am losing the hard edge I used to have when I was a career woman.  One rather delightful external change is that I have learned how to make my hair curly, and to stay curly and in place, all day long!  The only trouble with that is that I have become rather vain, and I find I am spending a fair amount of time looking at myself in the mirror and smiling.  I am allowing myself some indulgence with this, though, because I think seeing myself with a softer look is helping with the softening inside.

Sadly, I have let my house fall into disorder again.  I was hoping to have a clean house to bless for Sai Herthe Day, but I having caught a cold.  I am not sure how much energy I will have.  I did a little today, and I hope to do a little tomorrow…at least enough for the house to look nice for the celebration.  I did manage to clear a corner of my house for a Nativity Tree though!  This is the first time I have put up the tree in years!  My cats are quite happy that we have put up the tree!

SAMSUNGSo, what are my plans for a fresh start?  Well, mostly to continue along the path that I have been on.  I did manage to complete my previous business; however, I have not sorted the papers from my old business to store.  I must also work out what to do with the office furniture in storage!

I hope to finally get started on an astrology practice, which I have talked about for some time, and to finally learn to sew!  We bought a new sewing machine several months ago, but I am rather embarrassed to admit, I have not yet tackled the sewing machine monster.  I think I gave up when it started shooting thread at me in a big bunched up knot.  My ever practical spouse said something along the lines that I threaded the bobbin wrong, and she has promised to help me to fix it and teach me what to do.

Please wish me luck, and I will do the same for all of your endeavors!

Have a blessed Sai Herthe Day, and for those of you celebrating New Year, have a wonderful and magical New Year!