Winter Solstice: the Festival the Church the People
by Lutz Barz
All rights reserved
'...tis the season to be jolly...' goes the tune.
The lead up to the festive season really does generate a palpable sense of well being. In part because we all know what is coming: the greatest feast of the year. For which we simply cannot wait. Which is not of recent vintage either.
In Europa children get an Advent Kalender. Stuck onto the window. With its winter setting, reindeer in the sky, the sledge loaded with colourfully wrapped gifts, lots of glitter, fir trees covered in snow and the man-in-red with a paunch to set the mood of who he is. 24 tiny doors. The first opened on the first of December. To begin the process to let in the light. A day at a time. Now there are advent calendars full of special brews of beer. A daily tipple is a joy to indulge in.
Along with the Advents-kranz. Intertwined fir cuttings. More often loose cuttings are placed in a special bowl with a little water. Around are placed four candle holders. The first candle lit four Sundays prior to the 24th. Encouraging, celebrating the return of the light.
In the ancient city centres of Europa traditional festive markets covered with lights, glowing colours offering specially prepared delights aplenty. Lebkuchen small ginger spices and nuts in tiny cakes covered in chocolate or icing sugar. Some with a soft centre. Stolle, sweet bread, spices, bits of nuts, dusted with icing sugar, filled with yeast for taste. Just add the butter. Nuts, many various chocolates bite sized, individually wrapped in gold silver and all things that glitter. Tiny chocolate bottles with a smidgin of yummy liqueur. Purely for taste.
The crown of achievement has to be Feuerzangenbowle. Hot mulled red wine in a large bowl. Meant for more than just one. With a special tong holding a compressed tall sugar hat it is drenched copiously with brandy, lit so that the combined flaming sugar collapses piecemeal into the receptacle with the spiced mulled hot red wine beneath. Served with a special ladle into your waiting glass.
Tipsy revellers aplenty at these markets, more so at home. Merriment by imbibing is practically de rigueur. And of course the further east of this cheerful season, the people, their culture indulge even more so. Bring out the vodka and champagne. We've done drinking beer.
Even my non drinking parents brought beer, champagne and brandy. We children allowed tiny amounts of this specially made mulled wine. The aroma alone memorable to this day.
Comes the 24th. In the anglicized countries spread around the globe everybody goes to the pub. DownUnder definitely. To stay for a good session.
On the continent meanwhile, the night: full of expectation and enchantment awaits the coming of the Weihnachts-Man: either Nikolas or knight Ruprecht. Symbolizing, solemnising this one night when things are all manifest mystery. After Santa has done his good deeds the presents are opened, a special festively decorated party plate filled with chocolates, nuts, Stolle Lebkuchen and whatever else takes your fancy are enjoyed. Bottles opened. A little while later a cold collation is served.
In Europe since the beginning of what is known of the customs of its people the winter solstice has always been a time of celebration. A veritable and continuing tradition happily maintained. The early Christians were known to chop down trees in sacred groves. Whilst today the tree has, since a few centuries ago returned into the home instead. Covered in silver strands of glitter mimicking the snow, colourful baubles, the electric candles symbolising the return of the light and on top, upon the pinnacle an electric lit star. The centre of the universe. Beneath the gifts. Emblematic, this tree of life its gifts beneath encouraging nature, the Earth to once more retrieve out of the dark below her the bounty to sustain life again.
For this celebration is known in German as: Weihnachten. From the ancient middle high German: Wihe[n] naht[en]. 'Weihe' has a plurality of folk meanings: sanctification. To witness as an act of inner-spiritual alignment with the forces of nature, of the cosmos. To make something magical happen. Or to give a gift. 'Weihe' comes from 'Wiha' indicating something holy-magical. There is the 'Weihe-stunde' -hour- of reflection. Weihe-voll [full, fulfilled, into it] is to be very festive. The Weihe-geschenk [gift] is for the original gods: for -in thanks- as supplication or contrition.
People are of many different mentalities. This makes evolutionary sense. Unfortunately among this diverse milieu is a type of retard who are a plague and a pest to the rest. The health fascist. Who redefine the celebration of life itself. As an abomination because of their unnatural fastidious abstinence. Denying themselves under the guise of unspoken moralizing superiority everything others enjoy whilst bleating fallaciously ever on and on how concerned they are about the health of those who are their targets of unwanted attention. Going so far as to try and criminalize that which offends their withered sensibilities. Summed up with that excellent moronic oxymoron to be a 'responsible drinker'. Going so, now in legions as to bribe, dupe, shanghai and even molest 'experts' who for reasons, all non scientific, of personal fame, expert exposure, egotistical ratification, pecuniary weakness or frustrated in being considered intellectually irrelevant until this opportunity to rise to abase themselves in the worst excesses of dubiously proven, conjured evidence to make their case -on the grounds of opportunist expediency. The triumph of hypocritical sophistry indeed is shallow but persistent.
Falling all over each other's bloated bombastic self selected assertions which thus far have never been empirically verified. Such as 'moderation'. Another blinding revelation of a flawed declaration by a presumptuous mentally deficient life denying despot, a noxious obsessive who being incapable of not minding their own business make their eviscerated senses the guide of their circumscribed expertise.
Whilst another recent add-on by the curiously weak of normal understanding of reality itself when, such as my local MP for the season solicitously invoked the admonition to have a 'safe Christmas'. Where is this danger? The very worst that can happen is to, well, pass out. What is frightening is when a politician -mine- is pronouncing this as some sort of revelation. So that one ponders: what does he know? Indeed: what? -if anything!
What did the Church know of this day of ancient celebration? When, in passing centuries they grafted their mythical hero and saviour onto and over this very date itself? Not much. Whilst pretending it had been written that -on this day, night was born, of a miracle birth a being in human form but of an alien spiritual infection to radically change the total future of humanity. Unlike the Buddha centuries before who knew how to let it be and still get his message across. No such lenience was ever envisaged by this self proclaimed messiah. Or so it was written. Though none witnessed his birth. Less even verified.
Frazer in his monumental study of magic and religion proved how little the people globally and especially in Europe were 'Christian' in their daily lives, if at all. Until the Industrial Revolution anyway, and even then folk memories persisted. The book caused when published in 1922 an outrage. That the truth was out. The hold of the Churches paper thin. A Church Militant. By the sword, by the trials of fire, by carnage, by enforced conversion in the name of the Cross upon which their Saviour had sacrificed his life to wash by his blood the sins of all humanity. From the very beginning of time. Blaming Eve. Or the serpent. Pagans. In league with demons.
Traditionally the 25th, the winter solstice was a time of the nativity of the Sun. Its ritual in Syria and Egypt had the celebrants rejoice at midnight that 'the Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing!' [Frazer,1978] Not only that but in Egypt the Sun was represented as the image of an infant.
A Syrian Christian wrote at the time: 'It was a custom of the heathen to celebrate on the same twenty-fifth of December the birth of the sun. At which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part.' [Frazer,1978]
Augustine however parried and 'exhorts his Christian brethren not to celebrate that solemn day like the heathen on account of the sun, but on account of him who hade the sun'[Frazer,1978]
Except that there was the matter of the Saviour's birth itself: 'The Gospels say nothing as to the day of Christ's birth and accordingly the early church did not celebrate it.'[Frazer,1978]
The message of peace, goodwill and harmony had been enshrined in the Roman Saturnalia. It was a period of license. Extravagant mirth and jollity, writes Frazer. In December to commemorate the merry reign of Saturn was a time when dwellers distant and near drew together in peace. Commemorating Saturn's Golden Age. No war, no slavery, no private property. It was all feasting and revelry, the pursuit of pleasure. As well as that, an overturning of traditional values: class distinctions were reversed. The servant became the master, the master served the whims of the servant. The meek became the mighty.
Adonis, Osiris, Mithras: all born of a virgin.
Whilst the singular, the One god in Assyria was Ashur.
Consider then Luke 10:1-22: 'No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son.'
Which though did not stop Matthew from pronouncing that Jesus had actually said this-Matthew 23-4: 'Jesus himself describes...the 'son of man' has come to destroy' 
Whilst cheerfully adding: '...they will deliver you unto punishment and will put you to death...' which to make certain this was understood: '...and then the end will come...and the earth and the sun will pass away.'
Which had Eusebius in raptures of what the Saviour really came for: ''For there shall be a great tribulation as was not since the beginning of the world to this time...in accordance with the prophesies of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.'
Because: ' he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent me.'
Which in case of need to point it all out states the Qumran: Messia: 'The great God...will give people into His hand and all of them will be cast down before Him. His sovereignty is everlasting.'
So to better explain what this 'to be cast down' actually entails was ever so eloquently elucidated by Tertullian: 'How I shall admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult when I behold...groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness...so many sage philosophers blushing in red hot flames with their deluded scholars; so many celebrated poets trembling before the tribunal not of minds but of Christ.'
Today as ever as then, priests insist on these confabulations with their arrogant assumptions delivered from the pulpit for the deceived who want to believe the untruths so divinely revealed that unless this dead Jew [He's alive! It's a miracle!] is inside of you. Or your soul is wasted, your life prey to Satan, your worth as a human being forfeit according to the rant from above. That such heinous assertions, divinely verified, accepted with sacred submission and insisted upon by the Father of the Redeemer who coincidentally both affirm with awful majesty the wrath to descend upon you should you choose to ignore their holy summons.
If this thaumaturgy, this insistence of the Son no different from the Father to invade your life, your being, your mind did actually come about your mental health would be up the spout. Worse yet. Beginning with a split minded personality. Leading to an infusion of the Paraclete's delusions. Leading to extreme schizophrenia. Under the spell. Under duress. Of blessed divine manias overwhelming you so totally your capability of any remaining real discernment, of discriminating between the insanity induced and the remnant detritus of your soul your essence would if you could but exercise your will lead to a monumental conflict until submission was complete. The truly afflicted, now victims of this attrition have often murdered those closest and dearest to them. Believing their victims to be possessed by the Evil One. This does not occur in isolation. Asylums testify this homicidal eruption of the schizophrenic's soul's evisceration.
Yet cometh the event, reasonable conjurers of beguiling reasonableness pontificate humbly upon a spurious message proclaiming for the gulled that all will be well if we only were kind then the best of humanity - which humanity had successfully exercised long before their contumely assumption that prior the arrival of this thus disrupting usurper of all human values -as malign, corruption spewed forth by demonic tricksters who had to be annihilated. Or exorcised. Or failing that removed to a place of eternal punishment: Hell. Along with any who were through with the demented deception. Condemning by Holy Decree billions to eternally suffer for the glory of an almighty spawned in monomaniacal minds. Malicious maleficent. Acrimonious when challenged. Ferociously pitiless in asserting their virulent will. Perfidious whilst manipulating those to be influenced through imprecation and anathema.
Hidden behind smiles of beguiling benevolence. Eager to get their hands on the innocent.
So dear celebratory, convivial, feasting, drinking, indulging reveler life is indeed merriment at this time of the year. Exchanging gifts and good will is the beneficent act of natural human behaviour through gratification. Reaffirming with charitable benevolence an evocation of the very best life indeed does offer. Not arraigned or threatened by a deleterious religion truly bent out of mind whilst promulgating that which hides their true intent. Totally alien to the pagan life affirming mind set. Whilst unmentioned whereby instead Christianity longs for the coming Apocalypse. Always curiously missing from their missives.
It is fitting therefore to leave you to ponder what two insiders, both popes have ruminated upon what they not so much preached but thought:
Bonafice: 'A man has as much hope of surviving after death as that roast fowl on the dining table here.'
But wait! There is more. Indeed there is hope!
Pope Leo X: 'How very profitable this fable of Christ has been to us through the ages.'
 Weihnachten definitions: Gerhard Wahrig: Deutsches Worterbuch[sic]Mosaik Verlag Munich 1986
 J.G.Frazer: The Golden Bough. Macmillan1974
 J.Atwill: Caesar's Messiah: CreateSpace 2011 p241
 Ed D A Saunders: The Portable Gibbon, Penguin 1978 p286
 I actually knew a woman whose schizophrenic son had indeed tried too murder her whilst on home leave.
 M Chamberlain: The Bad Popes. Sutton Publishing. 2003 p 111
 Ibid, p 223