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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Solstice

I always feel a little sad for the Pagans around Solstice.

Like our native peoples they had a great deal of their culture and religion crushed or occasionally co-opted. If it had not been for Romans converting Northern Europe through witness and sword I would be celebrating Solstice and the Spring Equinox not Christmas and Easter. When I think about it logically the Pagans based holidays around the same kind of delusional stories about higher powers that Christians, Jews, Muslims do today but with one exception, they based some of their holidays on natural rhythms, measurable and predictable events that shaped their simple lives.

The modern faiths recorded the words of “Prophets and Seers” which were sometimes written down decades after the events and often had numerous versions that could be culled on a whim whenever it suited their religious leaders. Some were translated through several languages over centuries; others interpreted time and time again being warped and finessed to suit some personal belief or goal rather than a provable absolute.

The Pagans had their stories as well and while they did vary from region to region or tribe to tribe but they did have an absolute, each year as predicted and promised in their stories the days would grow longer after solstice, and each spring would bring rebirth.

As an outsider or visiting alien species which would be more irrational to you, Bronze age peoples basing stories on provable phenomena, or industrial age peoples who believe in the hearsay of long past miracles? True there was a darker side to some Pagan beliefs and practices but stoning, witch burning and animal sacrifices are the heritage of today’s enlightened religions, so where do we get off being critical?

While the true Pagans have been replaced with neo-Pagans, Wicca’s, and posers who can only try to mimic but never replicate the nuances of unrecorded Pagan practices, I still wish them all Happy Solstice in the memory of those lost astronomers from the past.Recommend this Post

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