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Appalachian Pagan Alliance Newsletter Dec. 2008

Editress Ginger Strivelli

Hope everyone had a blessed yuletide season and the 
Holly king brought you just what you wished for!

Also hope y'all educated a few of the muggles out 
there about the YULE tree and YULE gifts and YULE feast,
 and The Holly king (AKA Santa Claus. ) ....Not to 
mention the Saturnalia, and Natalis Sol Invictus. 
Too many people do not know the Pagan roots of 'Xmas.' 
For there education:


Yuletide's Pagan history

The Roman Emperor Aurelian, in the 2nd century CE declared 
Dec 25th as “Natalis Sol Invictus” or Birth of the Invincible 
Sun. That was the origin of the Dec. 25th date being 
celebrated the Christians turned it into the birth of 
the sOn but they hijacked it s they often did saints 
(i.e. Brighid, Nicholas.. who were also really Pagan Gods.) 

Saturnalia- was the Roman feast week (ending on Winter 
Solstice) of the God Saturn. Schools were out for 'break' 
during this time...Gifts were given...families and friends
 gathered at parties and feasts.

Evergreens were Yuletide symbols in even earlier times 
in Europe, as they were the only trees that didn't 'die' 
each winter, but stayed green promising that the others 
would be reborn green again in the spring. Evergreens 
were decorated with fruit and nuts and other harvest items 
to use symbolic magic to bring about those items being 
again grown on the other trees being 'reborn' in the coming 
year. It was a simple abundance fertility spell to deck the
halls. Mistletoe was sacred as a fertility charm, and a charm 
of peace..fighting in the presence of ti was against the law...
and a symbol of immortality. Druid priests cut mistletoe from 
holly trees with a gold sickle, never letting it touch the 
ground as it was harvested during the week after the Winter 
Solstice new moon each December. 

The Holly king (along with his Light half of the year 
counterpart the Oak-king) was the king of the dark half of 
the year ending on Winter Solstice. He was the origin of the 
Old Man Winter, Jack Frost, Father time (Cronos-the Greek God 
of time) and Santa Claus archetype long before modern 
Christians based their gift-bring upon Him and other Pagan 
Gift bringers of Winter solstice like the only female 
of the archetype La Belfona the Italian Gift bringing 
Witch of Winter, who likely developed form the Roman 
Goddess, Strina.

Winter Solstice of course being one of the solar calendar 
quarter days was celebrated by all ancient Pagans all 
over the earth for hundreds of thousands of years, even 
before and more far-flung than the Romans and Celtics of 
Europe. From the Aztecs, and Mayans and Hawaiians to the 
Egyptians, and Hindu, and Aboriginal Australians....most 
tribal people of the ancient world celebrated the solar 
calendar and it's holidays.

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