Io Saturnalia! Shed your Toga

The War on Saturnalia

During this traditional winter festival, one hears whining about  “the war on Christmas”.  Imagine how painful it must be  for  Fundies when someone smiles and wishes them Happy Holidays.  I am sure some of them would rather be kicked in the nuts.  I consider this more sensitive course of action, when they spurn my good wishes.

But then I Remember they started the war, and pull back my willing leg at the last moment.

Saturn was the God of Agriculture and had the oldest temple in Rome.  Gifts of candles (to symbolize the return of the light), and fruit (an industry grew up making items that looked like fruit) were exchanged.  Doorways were decorated with pine boughs and pine trees decorated with sun and star symbols.  The list of customs we still observe is a long one.

The winter festival is about the solstice and always has been.  Saturnalia was so wildly popular in the Roman world, it seriously hampered Christian recruitment for folks to be asked to give it up.  In the year 350 Pope Julius I appropriated Saturnalia by declaring  December 25th to be Jesus Birthday and pretty much promised the celebration would continue in the old ways.  This was brilliant marketing and you gotta love a Pope who was not above whoring for Jesus.

Then the Church started the War on Saturnalia;  a revisionist smear campaign exaggerating the whole festival into one long drunken sex orgy punctuated with projectile vomiting and human sacrifice.

Christians have been loud since the get go.  All that running, yelling and screaming at the coliseum over a few oversized kitties…  I suppose that was understandable, but they haven’t shut up since.  One thing I have learned: if you have known someone for a year or two and wonder about their spiritual beliefs, be confident they are not Christian. Christians have had a few thousand years now to mellow and mature.  Ain’t happened yet.   Perhaps spiritual evolution is an individual process?

No war was ever fought in the name of Saturn.

Io saturnalia, shed your toga and dance in the streets.   The days will now grow longer and warm our homes, our bodies and our fields.

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18 Responses to Io Saturnalia! Shed your Toga

  1. God says:

    Happy Yule, my child. Thanks for the memories of the good old days and the celebrations we (Myself and my lesser dieties) used to enjoy before the self proclaimed Christians decided they would define me, do a Today Show makeover on me, and decide they’d rather send monthly payents to the credit card companies rather that paying respect and homage to Me.
    Keep spreading the word, OK?

  2. Projectile vomiting and human sacrifice?
    Amateurs!

    Out here in The Real World (San Francisco), Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists and whatever other religious strain I have forgotten to mention, all live together in relative harmony. Somewhere in the early 1970’s in America was born the idea that Christians had to tell everyone about their faith instead of quietly keeping that to themselves. They then began to get “born again” so as to Gorilla-Glue their devotion to their Jezuz publicly, only succeeding in making their presence just that much more of an annoyance. Personally speaking, it is THEM who need to be shoved back in their lonely closets.

    “The War On Christmas” is simply a tool that FOX came up with that they whip out at this time of the year. I say Happy Holidays as a way of honoring whatever type of celebration you are currently enjoying. As an atheist, I could care less about Xmas, so my fun is in studying people around this time of the year.

    Happy Holidays to whatever that may mean to you. Go to parties. Decorate the dogs in tinsel. Install a heater in your outhouse. The world is your oyster.

    • osolynden says:

      Perhaps you are the one who sent me this quote? “Religion is like a penis, in public it is best to keep it in your pants”. Words to live by my wonderful friend. Little and I will make a bonfire and drag the walker around it in imitation of dance to celebrate the coming of longer days. e-hugs to my sister in spirit.

  3. Robert C. Goble says:

    “One thing I have learned: if you have known someone for a year or two and wonder about their spiritual beliefs, be confident they are not Christian.” I see truth in this statement. Merry Christmas, eh. I say it and I mean it, however, for me, Christmas is a secular holiday in which I share gifts with my loved ones and a fantastic meal with my family. As you know, I am not Christan.

    Perhaps we should develop a “new” holiday and shout that Fox “News” has declared war on our holiday. Yes. I just developed my new holiday and it is March 6- The Day of Wonderful Gayness.!!!

    🙂

    • osolynden says:

      Love ya “Robbie” 😉 Really I do. I just wish peoples “God” could stop being the source of imposing Totalitarianism and war. That cannot be what it all means. Nope!

  4. Mel Avender says:

    Bear. This is tailor-made for my younger brother and his wife living outside Atlanta where they celebrate the solstice with glee. Gotta love a good heathen. Cheers to you and your quadrupeds.

  5. Somehow, as an ex-Christian, your tale does not offend me. You may have to work on that. More wonderful writing Lynden, though I don’t know where you pull it from.

    Merry Christmyth (stolen from B).

    • Well, of course, we all DO know where he pulls these stories from, but this being the holy season when the baby jezuz slithers off of his manger and sees his shadow, not to mention the horrid gifts the Wiseman’s left for him, and we get to watch his pointless self destruction after 33 uneventful years and his fan club simply will not shut up and leave us all the hell alone.

      Where was I? Lynden is a literal trove of information that the world so desperately needs to hear.

    • osolynden says:

      And here I thought we were friends…. I have not offended you? I will study that soft underbelly harder. My family taught me you only hurt the ones you love. Except that wasn’t true either… 😉 They were pretty free with the hurt.

      Please note all my tales have that sepia tinge. It would be a clue as to source.

      Christmyth? LOVE it… SENDING DAME EAR SCRITCHES AND NOSE KISSES. Sending you hugs.

  6. Little Sun says:

    I’ll try to refrain from giving you a mini-course on all the non-Sun-god matrifocal heathen people and ways that were, to put it gently, supplanted by the pagan Romans and other Sun-god blood thirsty patriarchies who also killed in the names of their divine after the inception of the Bronze Age when exiled sociopaths found one another and bred, broke the taboos against playing with toxic heavy metals, and war became a Value 😉

    … and just say, Lovely blog.

    Let’s dance. I’ll hop on one foot behind you with your walker. Shall I bring firewood?

    • osolynden says:

      Since you completely refrained 😉 So shall I. I am not a huge fan of Roman culture. But it would seem that many of the modern traditions can be traced back to that melting pot of cultures who stole it all.

      So yes, let’s dance. At least in spirit.

  7. Mel Avender says:

    Bear. My favorite seasonal tradition comes from the old TV show “I Remember Mama” where Dagmar waits up until midnight on Christmas Eve to hear the animals speak. About what, I was never certain, but it intrigued a little guy like me who wanted to believe so badly. I once almost caught the Woofie Bear whispering to a neighborhood cat, but she saw me coming and they both pretended they were really about to duke it out.

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