Pagan Winter Solstice

Six years ago I woke at 3:33 am and I remembered reading in the New York Times that there would be a lunar eclipse. The first to occur on the winter solstice in over 400 years. I looked out the window and saw the shadowed moon. A sliver of silver atop the Earth’s satellite. I stripped naked and went up on the roof of our Fort Greene brownstone to bathe in the light of the sun off the moon. The frost on my skin was the only human sacrifice within sight. After 30 seconds I retreated back to my bed and shivered myself to sleep.

Today is also the shortest day of the year and this morning I woke at dawn. Rain poured down in buckets. I craved to bathe in the distant sun’s light, however the sleets of rain forced me back into bed with hopes of seeing the sun in the afternoon.

Few people in the modern age and even fewer Christian realize that Christmas had been lifted from the ancient pagans’ celebrating the winter solstice as the rebirth of the sun. The holiday feast coincided with the final stages of fermentation of wine and beer.

My friend the ex-model from Paris abhors Christmas as an orgy festival. Brigitte is a devout fundamentalist. To her the Bible is fact and she wrote on Facebook.

“Christmas is a disgusting pagan holiday that comes from Roman orgies where they would choose a scapegoat torture them by forcing them to eat and indulge in all sorts of excess and then brutally murder them.”

She later added, “Some of the most depraved customs of the Saturnalia carnival were intentionally revived by the Catholic Church in 1466 when Pope Paul II, for the amusement of his Roman citizens, forced Jews to race naked through the streets of the city. An eyewitness account reported before they were to run, the Jews were richly fed, so as to make the race more difficult for them and at the same time more amusing for spectators.”

Sounds like a good time had by all.

So happy solstice one and all.

I’ll be drinking me some beer and not a little either.

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