Where did the name December come from?
The name of this month comes from the Latin word ‘Decem’. In the Roman calendar, December, was the tenth month after March.
This month is also known as, “The Cold Moon”, to some of our Pagan Ancestors. According to Celtic beliefs, this is the time to keep the, “light”, alive in the present Darkness. In order to do this, they made sure to keep the fires burning especially for the disconnected or lost family members or friends. According to our ancestors, the light from those fires had the power to lead them home.
Do you have a family member who is in the Military? Who is homeless? Who has lost their way? Who needs help? Light a candle throughout December, each day, just for them.
December is the second month of Samhain. This is a time to remember your past, learn by it, or cherish it. Then, set it free.
That’s right, let it go. By letting go, you can focus on what it is you wish for in the future to come. But the only way you can focus and visualize what you desire for the New Year is by allowing the past to die. Lay it to rest. Let it go. Finding closure.
Then, you clear the foundation for rebirth to happen—something new can be rebuilt or born.
It’s also a time to reconnect with the Mother Earth…know your place in her cycle of things so that you can better receive your blessings and spiritual bliss from that.
Feel your connection with her….
December is the time for Christmas, Winter Solstice, or Yule. Christmas is December 25th. Yule or the Winter Solstice is on December 21st.
Now to many Pagans, this is the time that our sacrificial God, sometimes known as the Sun God or even Christianity’s, Jesus, dies but like putting the past to bed, is then reborn. There is a certain lesson in Paganism that we come to see and accept. Everything must die but not forever. Our energy is immortal. We trade one life or phase of life only to be reborn again. The old must be allowed to fade so that the new can rise from it. And we see this in our history, like now, with the Sun God.
When the first Full Moon comes, after Yule, that is considered the most powerful time of the entire year. It is on that day that we welcome the rebirth of the Sun God. Now, who will become the Child of the Sun, into the world. We recognize the Great Goddess as our Mother because it is through her that he becomes anew and that we become anew. Life begins again…as each year, each season, each passing phase does exactly that.
Many Pagans will light as many candles as they can on this day or night (depending on when they do their rituals or praise of respect) because the light is particularly important…again…remembering the light in the darkness. The light of the Sun God…the light of the coming year…the light of life–as you can see, this can represent so many things.
December 21 was a celebration in Ancient Egypt for the return of Osiris, but it is on December 25th, 3 days later that I find the most interesting. On that day, Ancient Egypt would have celebrated the birth of their beloved Horus…son of Osiris. While Christians will celebrate their Jesus, Pagans have long since celebrated their own Sacrificial Gods and births. The similarities of Horus, Isis, and Osiris, and between that of Mary and Jesus are remarkable.
But that’s another article for another time.
There are dozens of similar Holidays for the Month of December represented by various Pagan Cultures and deities. Too many, in fact, for me to list here. But I will make note of them on the Pagan Days or Pagan Holidays, which are posted daily.
Astrology, the Gods, and how it all fits together….
This month belongs to Sagittarius & Capricorn.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) is governed by Jupiter. Jupiter is the God of all Gods according to Rome. Known by many names, Shepard of the Stars, Prince of Light, Optimus Maximus, just to name a few. Since this month belongs to the Sun God and of light, I thought this an interesting link.
Capricorn (December 20- January 20) What’s interesting about Capricorn that most people don’t know is, it’s known for being the gate of Death. I find this suiting since Sagittarius represents a God of Light and this month represents a God dying and then being reborn. Death is but a doorway (Gate) into the next…
Capricorn is the 10th sign of the Zodiac and was once represented by the God Ea—a Babylonian deity that was called the Antelope of the Sea. This is a time when the Sun enters into the 10th phase of its journey and becomes a time of fresh wisdom, new life, and new phases. According to Babylonian lore, Ea would rise up from the waters, embrace man and give him divine wisdom.
The Planet Saturn rules over Capricorn and again, this suits the month for as Capricorn is the last phase of this month, it brings with it…
Wisdom –What have we learned from our past?
Responsibility — Remember what I said above about reflecting on ones past? Taking responsibility for what we have learned, what we have done, what we are about to do…
Determination — Possibly, what you are determined to see happen in the future or to do differently.
Since Saturn is also recognized as the Lord of Saturday, we know him as the Lord of Time, and, Kronos.
Time, being another key feature of this month because once this phase has past…once the old year dies…a new year is born…a new time begins.
For more information concerning the moons, the holidays, the deities, customs and celebrations of December, remember to check the Pagan Days and Holidays posted daily.
Casey Harris — aka CH SCARLETT