Let’s Celebrate the Holiday Shopping Season by Barbara Ardinger

We’ve recently celebrated Thanksgiving, when I hope that, like me, you gave thanks to the deity of your choice for the wise and thoughty blogs we’ve been reading on this site. Now we’re well into the holiday season, which seems (at least in the malls) to start earlier every year. No matter what you call the December holiday, its origin lies in the winter solstice, which is the tipping point of the year’s dark season. The solar gods—Adonis, Amon-Ra, Apollo, Attis, Baal, Horus, Jesus the Christ, Lugh, Marduk, Mithra, Shamash, Sol Invictus, and the rest—are born or reborn now. These are the gods who live for a season or a year in great honor, after which they’re sacrificed, spend a season underground, and are then reborn. This happens every year at the winter solstice. (Just so you know: if Jesus was a real man, he was probably born in the spring or fall between 7 and 4 B.C.E. In 354 C.E., Bishop Liberius of Rome moved his official birth date to December 25 to match the birth date of the popular Roman god Mithra.)

Also born and reborn at the winter solstice is the light itself, the solar light and the temple light, too. We can think of the reborn light as literal light—a lamp in a temple that burns for eight days when it has fuel for only one—or metaphorical light, that is, learning, wisdom, and generosity. Hanukkah (which usually comes in December but which coincided with Thanksgiving this year) embraces both literal and metaphorical light. Continue reading “Let’s Celebrate the Holiday Shopping Season by Barbara Ardinger”

June—a Month Ruled by Feminine Principles by Barbara Ardinger

Let’s celebrate the Matronalia in the 21st century by demanding money from our male relatives, our male religious leaders, and the men in our local, state, and federal governments to support causes that help women—young girls, married women, new mothers, poor and oppressed and abused women, artists and actors and other performers, philosophers and scholars…all of us. Let us seek out and use Juno’s powers to improve the lives of modern women.

June, Juno, Hera, Barbara Ardinger, marriage, honeymoon, Rome, Hellenistic Period, MatronaliaJust as each Roman man had his genius, or guardian spirit of masculinity, so did each woman have her juno, or guardian spirit of femininity. Juno rules every woman’s entire life and every feminine occasion. In fact, it’s because she’s in charge, so to speak, of married life that we have our June weddings and our honeymoons. Our modern “honeymoon” dates perhaps back to the fifth century and is based on the custom that the newly married couple sweetening the beginning of their life together by drinking a lot of mead (which is made with honey) and making merry. (Honey is sometimes considered to be an aphrodisiac.) Continue reading “June—a Month Ruled by Feminine Principles by Barbara Ardinger”

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