December is the twelfth and final month of the Gregorian calendar and the first month of winter. It derives it's name from the Latin word decem, meaning ten, as December was the tenth month of the oldest Roman calendar. The Latin name is derived from Decima, the middle Goddess of the Three Fates who personifies the present.
The Franks call it Heilagmanoth, or Holy Month, because of its large number of sacred festivals.
On the old Tibetan calendar, December 1 was the beginning of the new year.
This month the Wheel of the Year is turned toward Yule (the Winter Solstice), one of the four Lesser or Minor Sabbats for many pagans, celebrated each year by most modern witches and occultists.
Ramadan, an Islamic observance which takes place on the ninth month of the Muslim year, observed as a month of fasting during which Muslims abstain from eating and drinking, between sunrise and sunset. The Ramadan fast, is one of the five pillars, or basic duties, of Islam. Ramadan will last for 30 days and ends with the festival of Id-al-Fitr, which will be in January 1998.
Astrological Signs:Sagittarius, Capricorn.
Spirits:Snow faeries, storm faeries, winter tree faeries.
Herbs:Holly, English ivy, fir, mistletoe.
Colors:Blood red, green, white and black.
Flowers:Holly, poinsettia, Christmas cactus.
Scents:Violet, patchouli, rose, geranium, frankincense, myrrh, lilac.
Stones::Blue zircon, turquoise, serpentine, jacinth, peridot.
Trees:Pine, fir, holly.
Animals:Mouse, deer, horse, bear.
Birds:Rook, robin, snowy owl.
Deities:Athene, Attis, Dionysus, Fates, Frey , Freyja, Hathor, Hecate, Ixchel, Kris Kringle (as the Pagan God of Yule), Lucina, Minerva, Neith, Norns, Osiris, Woden, and the Wiccan Horned God (Consort of the Wiccan Goddess).
December is also a possible time for: Bah Humbug Day, as celebrated by Lauranz of the Zee, Bah Humbug Day is any day EXCEPT Christmas: We used to celebrate this one in Dec or Jan, but now that Meri has moved to New Hamstervania* and we feel nervous about travelling in the winter, we do it in spring or summer. It can happen any time: A number of years ago, Meri was having an awful time and a lot of things were going wrong for her. She called and said, "I feel so bad, I am so miserable, I wish I could be with you, and it would be like it was when I was a kid, and I would come down on Christmas morning, and there would be a stocking for me, and you would tell me it was from Santa, but I knew it was really you, and it felt so good and safe." So we started Bah Humbug Day. Since xmas was thoroughly trashed by my inlaws we have it any other day. We decorated the jade plant (now we decorate the grapefruit tree as well), put out our stockings, play HORRENDOUS EGREGIOUS Elvis xmas music, hang around in our 'jammies, yell "Bah Humbug!", and Insanity Claws comes down the chimney and makes a hell of a mess and ruins the stove and fills the stockings and we are loving and happy and comforting, and it's When You Need Your Mother No Matter How Old You Are, and it's really groovy.
(*New Hamstervania: Meri was working as a nanny on The Isle of Long, and she gave the little four year old boy too much information at once: She is from Pennsylvania, she would soon be moving to New Hampshire, and she had a pet hamster. The little boy put it all together into New Hamstervania, and by now I have forgotten the real name of the state.)
The festival of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. Poseidon is also the god of rebirth.
Also, the Goddess Athena was honored annually on this day with a religious festival called the Day of Pallas Athena.
December 1 is the time for young girls in some parts of the world, to perform the ancient art of cromniomancy (divination by onion sprouts) to find out the name of their future husbands. To find out who your future husband will be, take some onions and carve upon each one a different man's name. Place the onions near a fire and the man whose name is on the onion that sprouts first will be the one.
The world's oldest and most sacred tree (planted in the year 282 B.C.E. and believed to be an offshoot of the Bodhi or Bo-tree that the Buddha sat under when he achieved enlightenment) is honored annually on this date in what is now known as Bodh Gaya, India, by Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims with prayers, chants, and brightly colored flags.
An annual women's festival called Hari Kugo (Broken Needles) takes place on this day in Tokyo, Japan. It commemorates women's crafts and is dedicated to all patron Goddesses of Japanese craftswomen.
Women's rites were performed annually on this date in ancient Rome, in honor of Bona Dea, the Good Goddess. All males were barred from the ceremonies which were conducted by vestal virgins.
This day was sacred to the Goddess Cybele and also to Rhea, the Great Mother of the Earth in ancient Greece.
The festival of Bona Dea, a Roman fertility goddess.
The Goddess Minerva was honored with an annual festival on this date in ancient Rome. Minerva (the Roman counterpart of the Greek Athena) is a Goddess of battle and also a patroness of the arts and wisdom.
St. Barbara's veneration was suppressed by the Roman Catholic church, along with St. George and St. Christopher, in 1969. She is patroness of Santa Barbara in California, protects against lightning strikes, and has been identified with Pallas Athena.
This day is sacred to the Yoruban God Chango in West Africa. He is a God of lightning bolts, and the son of the deities Yemaya and Orungan.
Another date given for celebration of the Poseidea, an annual seaside festival, was celebrated on this date in ancient Greece to honor Poseidon.
The First Feast of Saint Lucia is hold on this date each year in Italy. She was originally worshipped as Lucina before being Christianized into a Saint, a Pagan Goddess of light who also presided over childbirth.
In former times, on the Eve of St. Nicholas, children put out carrots, hay, and straw, supposedly for his horse, to be exchanged for presents at night.
The Nicolaites, the Gnostic followers of St. Nicholas, taught that the only way to salvation lay through frequent sexual intercourse.
St. Nicholas was treated by Northern Europeans as an aspect of Woden (Odin), chief of the wild hunt, who rides through the sky with reindeer and forty-two supernatural huntsmen.
St Nicholas is the saint upon whom the modern 'Santa Claus' or 'Father Christmas' is based, who he has been merged with since the Reformation, bearing elements of Thor, traditionally depicted riding a goat and carrying a wassail bowl.
An annual rite called the Haloia of Demeter was performed in ancient Greece on this date. Each year the Goddess Demeter wanders the earth in search of her stolen daughter Persephone. The Goddess' sorrow brings Winter to the world and all trees and flowers cease to bloom; Spring returns however, when Persephone is allowed to temporarily leave the darkness of the Underworld and Demeter once again rejoices.
On this night in southern Mexico, the ancient Mayan Goddess Ixchel is still honored with the Festival of Ixchel, which includes processions and rituals that bless boats and fields. She was also known as Lady Unique Circular Darkness, Lady Splotch of Blood, Lady of the Night, and Lady All Embracer. Her worship at one time extended through southern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, and as far as El Salvador.
Christians celebrate the 8th of December as the date of the Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.This day honors the belief that the virgin mary from the moment of her conception was free from sin. In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed this as a Catholic dogma. It is widely observed thoroughout South America and many European countries.
The Festival of Neith is celebrated annually in Egypt on this day to honor the Earth-Goddess of the Delta.
The birth of the ancient and powerful Goddess of the Sun (Amaterasu) is celebrated annually at Shinto temples throughout Japan.
Buddha's Enlightenment Day. May All Beings Be Illuminated, May All Beings Be Enlightened. Thank you, Siddhartha Gautama Shakya, for your message, and for the help you gave me on my way. - Lauranz
Sacred to Astraea, a Greek Goddess of justice.
The Optalia, the festival of Ops, the Roman goddess of harvest.
The ninth day of the last month of the year (along with the sixth and eleventh days) is considered to be an extremely unlucky time, according to Grafton in his Manuel (a sixteenth century book of unlucky days as determined by professional star-gazers).
The virgin-Goddess Tonantzin is honored on this day in Mexico, with an annual festival called the Fiesta of the Mother of Health.
The ancient Roman festival called Lux Mundi (Light of the World) was held annually on this day in honor of the Goddess of Liberty. In France, a similar festival takes place on this same date.
On this night (approximately), Innuit hunters in the far north begin an annual five-day series of purification rites, followed by a propitiation ceremony under the full moon, for the souls of the animals they had hunted in the last year. The December Moon Festival has been performed in the Arctic coastal regions of North American for hundreds of years.
Sacred to Arianrhod ,the Snow Queen Goddess, and Yuki Onne.
On this date, the ancient Roman Goddess of the winter season was honored with an annual festival known as the Day of Bruma.
The Zorastrian Fire Festival of Sada celebrates the victories of good over evil and light over darkness annually at sunset on this date (approximately).
On this day in Mexico, the annual Our Lady of Guadalupe religious festival takes place. It is a sacred day to the Goddesses Coatlique , Tonantzin , and the Black Madonna .
The Sementivae, the second festival of Tellus, the Roman earth goddess.
In Sweden and Norway, the Sun Goddess Lucina is still honored with a traditional festival of light on St. Lucia's Day (also known as Little Yule) each year on this date. At daybreak, the first-born daughter of the house wears a candle crown in obvious reference to the Pagan symbols of fire and life giving light, and serves her family cakes. There are processions and treats. Young girls often wear white dresses and many of the men dress as elves, who are known as Lucina's helpers.
Lucia was actually a woman from Italy who was burned as a witch, but the fire did not touch her. She was later sainted by the Catholic Church. She was later Sainted by the Catholic Church.
French prophet and astrologer Michel de Nostradamus was born in Saint Remy de Provence on this day in 1503 C.E. He experienced many psychic visions during his childhood, and he later studied the Qabalah, astrology, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics. The first collection of his uncannily accurate visions, written in the form of rhymed quattrains, was published in the year 1555. Three years later, a second larger collection of his prophecies-reaching into the year 3797 was published. Nostradamus died July 1, 1566.
The Greek Goddess Alcyone, who was symbolized by the kingfisher, is honored beginning on this day with the Halcyon Days festival which begins seven days before and continuing until seven days after. According to legend, these days are a special time of tranquility and calm, due to the magical powers of the Halcyon (a fabled bird much like a kingfisher, who nested on the sea and calmed the wind and waves during Winter Solstice. Interestingly, the kingfisher's eggs hatch at this time of year, but only if tides are low and the sea is calm.
In Puerto Rico, the Yule Child is honored with a religious festival called Navidades, which begins annually on this day. It is celebrated until the sixth of January.
The second festival of Consus, the Roman god of good council.
In ancient Rome on this day, the festival of the Goddess of wisdom, Sapientia was held annually on the eve of Saturnalia, a day when wisdom may not be the ruling quality. She was also known as Sophia In Greece, and Sapientia-Sophia in medieval times.
The Yule Child is honored on this day in Mexico, by a religious festival known as Posadas , which begins annually on this day. It is celebrated until the twenty-fourth of December.
The Native American tribe of the Hopi in the southwestern United States celebrate the Soyal ceremony annually on this date (approximately). The rites of the Soyal celebrate the return of the Sun (Life) and commemorate the creation and rebirth of Spider Woman and Hawk Maiden .
This day is also sacred to these wisdom-Goddessess: Athena, Kista, Maat, Minerva, and the Shekinah.
In Bhutan this day is honoured as the Meeting of Nine Evils.
The God Saturn was honored on this, the Roman festival of Saturnalia. He was pictured with a half-bare chest and a sickle or ears of corn in his hand. His consort was the Goddess Ops, Goddess of fertility. This was a week of feasting, merriment, charades, gift-giving, and the lighting of torches and candles. The festival ran for seven consecutive days, and can best be described as festival of extravagant decadence. Slaves were allowed to meet their masters on equal terms. On this day of goodwill to all, the common greeting was "Bona Saturnalia!" This festival is the origin of most all carnivals and revels we still observe today. The modern celebration of Christmas is somewhat a continuation of this midwinter festivity.
Saturn was associated in Roman times with fertility and wealth, and in recent times has been known as a god of Chaos.
On this second day of the Saturnalia, ancient Romans celebrated the Eponalia; a feast dedicated to Epona, the Celtic Mother-Goddess and a patroness of horses.
The birth of the God Diev and the rebirth of the Sun is celebrated annually in Latvia with a four day winter festival. Houses are festively decorated and traditional feasts are prepared to welcome the four gift-bearing celestial beings who are the heralds of the winter solstice.
The Romans celebrated the Opalia , a feast dedicated to Ops (Abundance), the harvest Goddess of fertility and success, and consort of Saturn, on this, the third day of the Saturnalia.
An annual Hindu Solstice celebration honoring the Goddess Sankrat, called Pongol, took place on this day.
The Mother Night, Yule Eve
On this night (approximately), a Germanic/Scandinavian Midwinter festival known as The Mother Night (or Modresnach) was observed. It was believed that dreams on this night foretold events in the upcoming year. Many of its traditions live on modern Christmas celebrations. The decorated evergreen tree was a symbol of the Tree of Life, or World Tree. The star atop the tree represented the pole star of the Star Goddess. The dinners and gifts were in honor of the food and prosperity given by the Mother Goddesses to their human children. The elves connected with our current Santa Claus are remnants of the supernatural Nature folk of the Old Religion. The reindeer are symbols of old shamanic abilities used by the people. The mistletoe is said to have first been picked and used to collect kisses by the Goddess Frigg, before it became a weapon to kill her son.
Famous psychic Uri Geller was born in Tel Aviv, Israel on this date in 1946. His psychokinetic ability to bend metal objects by stroking them with his fingers and to stop clocks simply by gazing at them earned him much renown. His metal-bending and mind reading abilities developed at the age of five when he was accidentally shocked by his mother's electric sewing machine. He began his career as a full-time professional stage performer in 1969, although why anyone should give a shit about this is beyond me.
The festival of Angerona, the Roman goddess of secrecy.
Winter Solstice, known as Yule. The shortest day and longest night of the year. Yule is widely celebrated by many varieties of modern pagan.
It is also known as Winter Rite, Midwinter, and Alban Arthan. Yule is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Yula, which means Wheel of the Year.
In many cultureds it is symbolised in religion by a Virgin mother giving birth to sacred offsprin: Rhiannon to Pryderi; Isis to Horus; Demeter to Persephone.
It is the festival of the Sun's rebirth, and a time for many pagans to honor the Horned God. The aspect of the God many pagans invoke at this Sabbat is Frey, the Scandinavian fertility God and a deity associated with peace and prosperity. Love, family togetherness, and accomplishments from the past year are also celebrated. On this Sabbat, witches bid farewell to the Great Mother and welcome the reborn Horned God, who rules the dark half of the year.
An old tradition many pagans still observe in this season is bringing in the Yule Log, wishing on it, and lighting it from the remains of last year's log. Once, the Yule log was the center of the celebration. It was lit on the eve of the solstice (it should light on the first try) and kept burning for twelve hours, for good luck. Riddles are posed and answered, magic and rituals are practiced.
In the past, wild boars were sacrificed and consumed along with large quantities of liquor. Corn dollies were carried from house to house while carolling. Fertility rites were practiced (girls standing under a sprig of mistletoe were subject to a bit more than a kiss in these times), and divinations were cast for the coming Spring. Many of these customs, in have been adapted and are celebrated in the mainstream Christian Christmas celebration, though most celebrants do not realize their origins.
In Slavonic cultures, the festival of Koleda began at Winter Solstice and lasted for ten days. In Russia, this festival was called Kutuja, which was later applied to Christmas Eve. Although the Slavonic name comes from the God Kolyada, it was in honor of Lada, the Goddess of love, Spring, youth and fertility. She was said to be reborn each year at this time. Each family burned a Yule log and invited their personal household Gods to join in the festivities. Groups of children went from house to house singing; as a reward, they were given little gifts.
Lauranz of the Zee writes: Winter solstice, December 20, 21, 22: Well, shucks, the sun is reborn today, but nowadays, all sorts of people are celebrating the solstice. Good Lord, you can now even buy commerially made cards in stores. So it's not really our holiday any more.
The Larentalia (Larentinalia), festival of Acca Larentia the Roman goddess who gave the early Romans their land.
Asshole Day,celebrated by Lauranz ov the Zee and invented by the aforementioned Mary (not Meri) of purification fame. This, as well as the holiday to follow, comes from the fact that in many families, holidays bring out the absolute WORST in everyone, and become an occasion for bickering, recrimination, abusive behavior, name calling, injustice collecting, manipulation, and generally horrid behavior all around. So on December 24th, everyone behaves like a TOTAL ASSHOLE and gets it out of their system, so they can enjoy xmas. (Except that Meri and I don't celebrate xmas. My sainted mother-in-law destroyed xmas [and thanxgiving as well] beyond any possible hope of repair.)
The birthday of Mithra (also known as Mithras), the Persian god of light and wisdom.
Also Christmas day, a Christian religious observance celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, a character in their mythology which they believe to be the son of their god..The practice of celebrating Christmas on December 25th began in the early 4th century. It was a Christian substitute for the pagan festival held on that date to celebrate the birth of the unconquered Sun. Christmas customs such as Christmas trees, holy and mistletoe have pagan origins - such as celebrating the midwinter festival of Yule. The term Xmas refers to the first letter (chi) of the Greek word, Christos.
St. Stephen's Day, a Catholic (Christian) religious observance. This date is the commemoration of one of the seven deacons named by the apostles of Jesus Christ to distribute alms.
Boxing Day, the first day after the Christian festival of Christmas, the name of this day come from a tradition started in the United Kingdom which spread to many other countries under British rule. On this day, gifts from boxes placed in church were distributed to the poor.
Moon of Hecate the Crone(Roman)
New Year's Eve in the Gregorian Calender.