December’s Powerful Spiritual Energy

by Diana Rankin

Spiritual energies are at their greatest in December because of the many sacred celebrations across cultures and throughout the ages. The ancient Celtic and Jewish peoples, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all had sacred celebrations during this month. In all, there were nearly 30 sacred traditions in December. Modern-day Christians, Buddhists, and African-Americans continue the tradition. People on the spiritual path can use these energies to let go of old thoughts to rebirth new energies.

In ancient mythology and modern-day religions, December is the most sacred and powerful month of the year. From the ancient Celts and Egyptians to the modern-day Christians and Jews, this period of time – late November into December and early January – is a time of reflection and celebrations as we lay down the old and give birth to the new.

Many celebrations have their birth in Winter Solstice, which takes place on December 21s t.  The shortest day of the year, Winter Solstice was significant to ancient peoples. As the sun ebbed toward the horizon, cattle for winter food were slaughtered and grapes fermented for drink during the coming deep winter. Sites such as Newgrange in Ireland and Stonehenge in England are aligned so that the sun rises on a single line in Newgrange and sets on a single line in Stonehenge. For these ancient Celts, the sun god traveled to the underworld and brought back the mysteries for life and those souls who were to be born in the coming season.

Wine was significant in the Greek celebration of Dionysus, the God of the Grape Harvest and wine. Held on December 21st, one of the village men came to represent Dionysus. Chosen by the women of the village after enjoying enough wine to dance themselves into ecstasy, the man was set off to his death with much frenzy and celebration to be reborn again as the baby Dionysus on December 25th.

This date, December 25th  was kept sacred by the Romans. Many Roman gods were said to be born on December 25th, among them are Apollo and Hermes, God of transitions.

December 25th was also a sacred day to ancient Egyptians. It is the day the Goddess Isis and her beloved, the God Osiris, conceived their son Horus, God of New Beginnings.

For the world’s Christians, December 25th is the most holy of holy days. It is the day the Christians worship as the birth of Jesus, the Christ and savior. Although there is debate among scholars as to the actual date of Jesus’ birth, for more than 2,000 years December 25th has heralded the awakening of a new era of hope and love.

Earlier in the month, on December 8th, Bodhi Day is celebrated. For Buddhists, this is a celebration of when Prince Gautama became enlightened and became the Buddha while sitting beneath the Bodhi tree.

Hanukkah (Chanukah) also takes place this month. For Jewish people around the world, Hanukkah celebrates a miracle that took place in the second century when the temple was recaptured. Although there was only enough oil for one day, the lamp burned for eight days. In the modern-day world, a candle is lit each day for the eight days of Hanukkah to commemorate this miracle.

A more modern-day holiday, Kwanzaa is celebrated in December.  First celebrated in the mid-1960s, Kwanzaa honors African heritage.

On the last day of December, the 31st, people of all religions and nationalities celebrate the end of one calendar year and the heralding of the new year January 1st. New Year’s Eve may be the time of partying, with recuperation on New Year’s Day for many, but for others it is experienced as the time to follow the cycle of death and rebirth, allowing the old patterns of the past to die and to be rebirthed in the new year with hope for a better life for the individual and all humanity.

There is no greater time than during December to use the high sacred energy of this month to do so.

To all Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Merry Christmas. May your celebrations be filled with joy and love.

 

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