In a few days it will be Christmas again. If you are active in the occult and Pagan communities you hear a lot of people assuring you that this is “just another solar re-birth holiday”. I hate the propensity to view ANY myth or diety as “just another” anything. Yes, there are archetypes that get represented over and over again in multiple gods and mythologies. It is good to see the common threads between them and grasp those universal mysteries. I sometimes feel that people forget it is equally important to see the differences between them, and to search the individual characteristics that make each example unique, and which hold their own mysteries.
Whether you are Christian or not, if you live in Europe or America you experience Christmas to some degree. Some resent this, and understandably so. You didn’t land on Christmas, Christmas landed on you! Still and all, you get bombarded with it. Rather than viewing it as just another Solar Gods holiday, I like to take a look at what I see as the mystical keys of Christmas.
Specifically, when it comes to Christmas, there are three things to the story that I think are important. Three sacred keys to understanding what the story of the nativity is really trying to communicate. They have fuck-all to do with accepting Christ, or proclaiming yourself a Christian, or anything at all about what you believe.
Since I do not have the time to delve supply multiple sources, I will confine myself to one passage from the most holy and sacred Christmas scripture in existence, one that reveals all three of the keys. I am speaking of course of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”*.
”And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”
Here are the three mysteries. The three things about Christmas that I think are important.
1. ”The Glory of the Lord shone round about them”. This is HUGE, and very few people get it. The Glory of the Lord is the Shekhinah. It is not figurative, but a literal light that indicates the lords presence. Until this point in Jewish history, the Glory of the Lord shone in the temple and only in the temple. It was the response to the efforts of the hereditary line of High Priests. Now, it is appearing to lowly shepherds in a field! Christ is not of this priestly line, which is why Paul refers to him as being of the Order of Melchizedek – the Priest King who Abraham paid tribute to in ancient times.
2. I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. The key words here are “all people“. In our age it is easy to lose sight of how territorial religions were at the time. Gods were the god of a particular people – not of everyone. Buddhism was one of the first religions that was for anyone that wanted in – no race, culture, or caste requirement needed – the truth was for anyone or it was not the truth. This statement is saying the same thing. Divinity is too big to be contained in such a small vessel as a race or culture. It is beyond that or it is not divinity.
3. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. This is not just instruction on where to go find the child, it is a SIGN. Divinity manifested in one of the quietest, meekest, and lowest possible manners: as a defenseless child laying in an animals feeding trough. The idea here is that Divinity is not the providence of kings or priests or even the well off. The highest possible level of divinity can manifest in the poorest and meekest.
These three keys are not just for those that call themselves Christian. Christ never drilled people on belief . They are sacred keys of understand a truth. Divinity is accessible not only to a select lineag or special vocation – it is available to everyone, even lowly shepards. Divinity is for all people, not just a single group or race. Divinity manifests from the highest to the lowest in status or stature. Becoming “Christian” is about the least important thing you can take away from it.
Anyway, that’s my Christmas message this year.
*Ok, its a quote from the Gospel of Luke, but I always hear it in Linus’s voice.