It is said to never begin with an apology. I would like to apologise for this Northern Hemisphere-centric post. Hopefully, no one noticed that.
Some have recently celebrated Yule, others are preparing for Christmas, and there may be some who have just celebrated Saturnalia. Recently there was Hanukkah, and before that Diwali. Oh well, in for a penny, I once again apologise for any other recently celebrated festivals I may have missed.
A common thread here is light. And in the next day or so, many in the UK, will be celebrating Christmas, just after the Mid-winter solstice and just before the New Year.
Myth and legend
At this time I think about what was real, what actually happened.
What are the facts? A quick look at Christmas can reveal some interesting things. No donkey is mentioned in the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth… and, I am afraid to let you know… there isn’t even a stable. And as for the date? What may or may not have happened has been… let’s be nice here, embellished.
If the facts around Christmas have been elaborated to make a nice tidy celebration, can we find more meaning in the pre-Christian traditions? Was Christmas just a synchronistic replacement of the ancient ways?
There might be some or even a lot of truth in that, but to be honest there is very little evidence as to what were the ancient ways. Most of our knowledge has been built on myth and legend by modern-day sages.
The point here is that many, or in fact, most of our traditions are built on myth and legend… but, does that make them any less relevant?
Fact and truth
Even a quick and cursory look reveals that most of our Winter Festivals are based on… well, winter. Or more precisely, mid-winter. There is continuity with the season, with beliefs and with traditions:
- It gets darker
- We miss the light
- We call upon the light to return.
- We wait for rebirth and new life.
- We celebrate what has been and wait for the blessings of the new.
- From the Christ child to pantheons, or to simply good intentions and peace for all.
A Creative Blessing
But what has this to do with creativity? I relate to seasonal times and changes and cycles. And have my own rituals… myths and legends attached to them. During this dormant and dark and even frozen time, how can I prepare creatively?
- I can plan a way ahead.
- I can clear the dead leaves.
- I can celebrate what I have made.
- I can call upon creative inspiration to bring light to future projects.
Whatever your beliefs and rituals, may this time bring creative peace and joy to you.
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