Tag Archives: December

Paganism: The Month of December

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

Pagan Holidays for December 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 2009

I am going offline (by the time this posts I will be lol) so sorry for posting so many at once.  These are the Pagan Holidays for the following days. I did not include the day’s information—just the holidays for that day. if you need information concerning what Tuesday, Wednesday and so forth means, then please check past Holiday posts. Thank you.

Wishing everyone a Happy Winter Solstice, Yule, & Christmas! See you when I get back on the 27th!

C.H. Scarlett

Tuesday, December 22

  • 6th day of Rome’s Saturnalia
  • Welsh—Today is Pryderi’s Birthday (Rhiannon’s son)
  • Celtic Tree Month of Ruis Ends

Wednesday, December 23

  • Irish—Secret of the Unknown Stone—a day of unpredictable potential & mystery—when nothing of the coming year can be seen or predicted.
  • Last Day of Rome’s Saturnalia
  • The only day In Celtic Culture where there is no Tree ruling
  • Acca Larentia –a Roman Observance is celebrated today as well.
  • Egypt honors Hathor
  • In Welsh tradition, this evening belongs to the Festival of Gwyl Nadolig Elder

Thursday, December 24

  • An extra day is added to Romes’ Saturnalia called Juvenalia. This was for children only and not adults.
  • Celtic Tree Month of Beth Begins

Friday, December 25

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!!!!!

image17

  • Christmas in many cultures around the world. This holiday is thought to be Christian but in all actuality, every symbol and or tradition can be traced to pagan roots.
  • Roman celebrate a day called “Dies Natalis Invicti Solis” which was the Birth of the Invincible Sun.
  • In many Teutonic Legends speak of two witches appearing on this day called Lutzelfrau & Perchta
  • Today is the birthday of Horus as prophesized and promised.

Saturday, December 26th

  • The Norse Yuletide
  • Today is the Hunting of the Wren
  • Egypt honors Neith
  • Goddess Month of Hestia Begins

December: Pagan Artist of the Month : Tom Brown

Something new here at The Pagan and the Pen is the Pagan Artist of the Month. We have been planning this for sometime and I am pleased to announce that our first is Tom Brown, a very creative artist that I personally dig.

To kick this whole thing off, I wanted to interview him and I have to tell you, after researching some past interviews on the net, and well, some posted here by Bryn Colvin, I knew that I was dealing with someone with a deep mind and intense talent. But don’t let me convince you…read and see for yourself….

I give to you, Tom Brown…

Brown_T_Annamarie_Nightshade

CH Scarlett : Tell us about the Pagan that lives inside of Tom Brown and do those beliefs inspire your fabulous art?

Tom Brown: Paganism is not as much about belief for me, as it is about experience and perception.Probably dating back to feelings I had in certain landscapes and situations as a child. The woods tended to wake something in me particularly. I’m currently on the druid path. (studying and exploring with Brynneth Nimue) The draw here is the sense of tradition, celebration and honor , mixed with a very non-dogmatic desire for exploration. Like Brynneth, I would describe myself as an agnostic with suspicions.

CH Scarlett : When did you first discover your talent?

Tom Brown: Oh. Difficult to say. I’ve been drawing as far back as I can remember, and as soon as I was able to write, the art was part of stories. Most of my early efforts were sequential. I studied comic books, fiction and illustration rabidly, and practiced for hours and hours – frequently when I was supposed to be doing other things like, paying attention in math class. Most of my homework was..erm..illuminated.

CH Scarlett : And I would have been the mindless twit sitting behind you in math class, peeking over your shoulder, sighing heavily over everything your pen drew.

Now with that admitted, what is the process behind most of your art? What mediums do you use?

Tom Brown: The technique I’m using now is a fairly recent development. I had been using watercolor and charcoal and pen quite a bit. Now it’s almost entirely reliant on pencil with some augmentation in Photoshop. There is something about working in graphite on Bristol board…very time consuming but you can get a range, depth and subtlety this way that’s nearly impossible otherwise (in my experience at least). I’m playing with combining other visual sources and bringing the digital painting and compositing in more recently. Sometimes I miss the impact and drama of black and white, so may return to ink some day.

The current process goes something like this.
1 Sketch lightly on Bristol board.
2. Rub and soften the sketch lines.

3. Redefine lines sharply (where appropriate) and begin shading.

4. Rub again and start picking out highlights with eraser.
5. Find and establish the darkest areas and boldest lines, work them until they are sharp.

6. Using very sharp drafting pencil pick out fine details (tree branches/twigs, bits of architectural detail etc).

7. Scan and put a layer of color over all in Photoshop.
8. Erase color layer to define lighting and emphasize highlights.
9. Digitally paint opaque elements (Magic, glows, eye color, sharp highlights and so on).

10. (If it is a page) add balloons and text.

CH Scarlett : *sighs* SORRY, I was slobbering-eh-um-daydreaming over one of your art pieces! Told ya, I just dig your creations!

Knowing now my dark chocolate, I have to say that I am often moved by certain artists. When I’m writing, sometimes I will find a piece of art by an artist, place it on my desktop and use it when I need inspiration for the world I am about to create. I do the same thing with music. What artists and or musicians–and songs– if any, inspire you and why?

Tom Brown: I used to have music on constantly, while working but over the last year have been working without. No real idea why.  I do love and enjoy music. It’s certainly a source of inspiration. I seem to be in an between place with what music in particular just now though. My taste in music is…eclectic, to say the least.

For inspiration I have on my desktop, a photo of my partner, Brynneth. Her writing is also a major source of inspiration.

Visual artists who inspire me are myriad. I spend a lot of time on deviantart.com. The sheer amount of collective talent and skill represented there is overwhelming. Constantly inspired and frequently humbled by what I find there. Some of my all time favorites would be Bosch, Hayao Miyazaki, and Mike Mignola. Any attempt at a complete list though, would take hours (and be incomplete).

CH Scarlett : Well I have to admit, you and Brynneth working together (Copper Age) is absolutely explosive.  Her writing, your art—*sighs*

There I go again, so let me focus! lol

After exploration of a web site of yours, and seeing first hand a picture of you, I have to say my mind began to spontaneously combust with curiosity concerning the man behind the brush.

Brown_T_BioPic3-186x341 It made me think of  a movie I watched long ago called In the Mouth of Madness. I’m not sure if you have ever seen that, but in the movie, an author named Sutter Cane ends up creating a world of Horror that becomes reality. This happens because of all of the readers that come to believe in it. So I began to compare you with that storyline. If Tom Brown had the power of Sutter Cane, what would the world look like tomorrow when we woke up to see it with new eyes?

Tom Brown: Wow…! What a question! It would look very much the same as it does now most likely. It’s all about which parts you choose to pay attention to. (And which possibilities you are willing to explore and accept.)

I could go on here..but it would very likely turn into a story. The real answer is probably in the art as it is. Some things need to be set in the dark to shine properly.
Again, brilliant question!

Brown_T_queen_of_hearts

CH Scarlett : Judging by the picture above, that is so true.

Quote:

Some things need to be set in the dark to shine properly.

Thank you Tom for doing this interview, for kicking off our Pagan Artist of the Month, and for letting us decorate our posts here and there (for the month) with your fabulous creations. If someone would like to commission your talent, where can they find you? What are you open for—Book covers, Graphic Novels… what?

Tom Brown: It’s my pleasure, and thanks very much for the opportunity! Time permitting I’m open to nearly anything. I can be contacted at hopelessmaine@gmail.com & check out http://www.itisacircle.com/

Now remember everyone, I’ll be making posts here and or there showing off Tom’s art throughout the month of December. And believe me , no one will have to twist my arm to do it. There’s just something about the worlds he creates that keeps a dash of Goth girl such as me like a moth to flame. And mark my words when I say this…keep your eyes on Tom’s masterpieces because it doesn’t take a crystal ball to know that he will go far…very, very far!

*sighs* I am drooling again. I can’t help it! I just want to live in his pictures!!!!!

Free Christmas Calendar for the Kids!

Every year I make these for my kids and every year, I offer it up to the rest of the web. The idea of this is to either put it on your desktop, OR, as I do, print it out and hang it on the wall for your children. I make one for each of my kids and then every night before bed, they get to take a crayon and mark out the days until Christmas.

Now you know as soon as you put up the tree or a child catches wind that this is the month of Santa, they will bug you and bug you…” MOM WHEN IS XMAS???” lol Well this helps you with that. Your children get to figure it out for themselves. lol

 

This is something Free and easy to do. If you do not have children, well save it and email it to a friend that does. Or pass it onto your grandchildren or someone who has grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, whoever.

Christmas is all about memories, and for me this is all about making those memories with my kids. And as you can see by Santa in the calendar, he is having a good laugh at some of his …well…own memories.

 

So if you choose to save this…enjoy!

 

Preview:

The Calendar does not go past the 25th of December because, well, this is all about the kids and getting them to CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!! lol

 

If you would like to have this Calendar, CLICK HERE to get it full size. Don’t worry…the link is taking you to my Photo bucket album. Once you get there, just right click and save as.