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December, Brigid & the Sun Gods


December marks the celebration of many solar "Saviors" and Gods, usually on or about December 25th. Many of them have the word "Light" in their titles. They include, Sol, Apollo and of course, Jesus Christ.

A particularly interesting merger of the old and new ways was that of Brigid, initialy an anicent Godess, who was later credited as the mid wife at the birth of Jesus and famously became "Mary of the Gael."

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What's interesting about the Celtic round of the year is that many of the dates originally celebrated by the anicent Irish were later super-imposed with Christian feasts. The Irish welcomed Christianity and the old ways of the ancient Irish and the new Christian ways merged beautifully together.

Brigid's poem to Jesus ("I'ld Like to Give a Lake of Beer to God"), with its lovely earthy sentiment has a lovely quality to it. You can read all about Brigid here. Where the mythology begins and the real woman end is hard to fathom. The early Christians were a fascinating bunch.

There are stories of two calendars running concurrently, that of Rome of those of the old Irish, so to speak; even more amusing ones of husbands and wives following different calendars concurrently. It must have made for some interesting dinner chat just the same! The Synod of Whidby (466 or 446 - someone remind me?) seemed to bring things together, or so they tell me.

The other quarter days. May 1 - Beltaine became Our Lady's Day. The above-mentioned Bridgt's Feast on Feb. 1 (Imbolc) became Saint Bridget (Brigit), who by the way was Considered "Mary of the Gael" and mid-wife at the Birth of Jesus Christ. She was so beloved by the Irish that they thought of her as being at the right hand of Mary. They also believed she could turn water to beer and stone to salt. Sound familiar?

Samhain (Nov. 1) became All Souls Day and All Saints Day. The list is quite a bit longer. But this is a good start. Initially, it was all based around the agriculatural cycle of the year, which makes sense back in the day. Not sure how we got here from Sun Gods. But Happy Solstice! And to all a Happy New Year!