Mine Eyes Have Seen My Shadow!

3 Feb

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In honor of Groundhog Day I went outside and saw my own shadow…and it was shivering so I went back inside. This told me that it is still winter! I’m sure that’s what the poor marmot in Pennsylvania was thinking when those silly Punxsutawnians  took him out of his home and held him in the light of a freezing day.

We have some strange and weird commemorative days in our calendar and I just had to look this one up.  The 2nd of February was once (and I’m sure still is) a Christian holiday traditionally known as Candlemas. It is also known as the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord.

According to the gospel of Luke, Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days  after his birth to complete Mary’s ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the Law of Moses. When they got to the temple the Gospel also records that they encountered  Simeon who had been promised by the holy spirit that “he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ”

So once upon a time 40 days after Christmas Simeon saw the baby Jesus and today 2 thousand and some odd years later a groundhog sees his shadow and then Spring comes!…eventually…like it always does.

Really the whole thing was about the celebration of light and it’s return. The days are getting longer and that’s always a good thing especially in times when electricity hadn’t been encountered yet. And metaphorically speaking Jesus is also known as the “light of the world” and his birth is often viewed as the shedding of light upon the human soul and condition. So let’s celebrate!

I have no idea why all of these religious icons and ideas have all been replaced by cute animals, parties and jolly old elves etc…but isn’t it curious that many pagan celebrations and festivals which began with the worship of earthly places and deities in the pre-Christian era morphed into religious holidays and the celebration of personal icons during the advent of Christianity and now thousands of years later have morphed again into celebrations of cartoon-like characters, who seemingly have nothing to teach us except that we should have a party and buy things.

Speaking of which, we now celebrate the Superbowl at this same time of year, a truly pagan festival  which commemorates the end of the barbaric football season and the thankful return of the light of baseball, a truly civilized sport of Spring, warm weather and safely returning home.

So…Happy Imbolc, Candlemas, Groundhog Day and Superbowl Sunday!

Some things just never change…even though they always do.

9 Responses to “Mine Eyes Have Seen My Shadow!”

  1. Monica February 4, 2013 at 1:53 am #

    I like this a lot. So many pagan practices garbed with a later religion, or all religions. And that barbaric football – our modern religion which one dare not criticize. It’s better than war – that’s the best thing I can say about it. Thanks for rattling our closet of assumptions.

  2. momshieb February 4, 2013 at 2:31 am #

    My born again pagan daughter has been saying these same things to me for years!
    Great post, thank you!

  3. TamrahJo February 4, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    A paraphrased quote, from the documentary, “The History of God” –
    “We yearn for that connection – we need it – and yet, we simply cannot connect or understand the same way as our ancestors did. And so, not only do we, but our rituals as well as our deities continually change.”

    I pick Baseball over Football too – :>)

  4. Liz February 4, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    you’ve made some good points–we don’t do a good job with leaving the sacred to be sacred:-( then we wonder why society has the problems it does…. I admire you for tackling the tough issues on your blog.

  5. ontyrepassages February 4, 2013 at 5:02 am #

    Let us all take a sound bite to kneel before the commercialism and consumption that we hold so dear. It’ll make a great photo op and perhaps we can spin it into a reality program where we watch others live the life we’re trying to forget we avoided living.

    Such is my moment of cynicism in the wake of your thought-inducing post.

  6. TreeHugginVamp February 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    A return to the original spiritual and earthly beliefs is just what this world needs. Whichever one you want, Hindu, Native American, Druid, Celtic. Etc..They all did what was good for the earth and also thier spirit. They worshipped the sun, moon, stars, earth, seas and so on. All tangible things that give us life. Without one we.would all perish. Great post 🙂

  7. emmylgant February 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    It was impossible to kill all pagans… much wiser to entice them by renaming their holidays and celebrations and dressing them up in Christian rituals. The funny thing is –and you are right–we can’t seem to forget the pagan roots although we neither believe nor know them ! What does it say aboutthe collective unconscious… if anything?:-/

  8. emmylgant February 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    It was impossible to kill all pagans… much wiser to entice them by renaming their holidays and celebrations and dressing them up in Christian rituals. The funny thing is –and you are right–we can’t seem to forget the pagan roots although we neither believe nor know them ! What does it say about the collective memory or unconscious… if anything?:-/

  9. patriciaddrury February 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    thank you for sharing… 🙂

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