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The Psychic Spirit of Christmas
by Naomi Otley
Nobody can deny the importance of Christ’s birth in the spiritual history of the world. But what isn’t known—to the surprise of many—is the exact date his birth took place, or even the time of year. So why do we celebrate the birth of Christ on 25 December? Are there deeper, psychic reasons why this date is associated with the appearance of divinity on earth?

First, let’s look at what ancient cultures thought of this date. In Babylon, 25 December was recognised as the birthday of the queen of heaven’s son—in other words, the prince of heaven. In Egypt, 25 December was hailed as the birthday of Isis’s son. In ancient Arabia, the moon herself was born on 24 December.

Ancient Slavic peoples had their own interpretation. The observance of Velja noc or “Great Night,” which took place in late December, was a commemoration of Veles, the god of the underworld. Veles was known especially for sending spirits to the world of the living as his messengers. Sound familiar?

We’re not done yet—we can add the ancient Romans to the list. Their festival, widely considered one of the main influences on modern day Christmas, was called Saturnalia. It took place on 21 December, was celebrated in honor of the god Saturn. There were banquets, gifts, and loud parties. Incidentally, this is the day the sun moves into the constellation of Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn!

So where does the Christian tradition come in? It was the middle of the 4th century when Christ’s birth began its association with this mysterious, widely recognised date. There are many theories about why 25 December was chosen, but we’re not here to join that debate. What interests us is the universal spiritual symbol that this time of year represents—not only for ancient cultures, but for one of the most widely practiced religions of the modern age.

The common thread is plain to see. In late December, even though it’s barely perceptible, the days begin to grow longer. The scales tip toward the power of light. This “birth of light” is naturally associated with the birth of divine personages and the honoring of spiritual forces. It’s a moment where spiritual energies and natural rhythms are perfectly aligned, and it touches something deep in the core of our beings.

Christmas is truly a special time—not only because of the rich religious and pagan traditions associated with it, but because of our profound, intuitive recognition of the presence of spirit on earth.



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