Thru the Seasons

1
History of Christmas
2
19 New Year’s Traditions From Around the World
3
Hanukkah 2022: When is Hanukkah and Why Is It Celebrated?
4
Yuletide Blessings
5
Samhain Newsletter
6
“Mercury Retro on the FULL MOON as we approach Fall Equinox!”
7
Fall Equinox Newsletter
8
The last supermoon of the year ‘sturgeon moon’ is here
9
Lammas (Aug 2nd) newsletter
10
2022 Summer Solstice Newsletter

History of Christmas

 

Christmas is celebrated on December 25 and is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25—Christmas Day—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.

WATCH: Christmas Documentaries on HISTORY Vault

How Did Christmas Start?

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world.

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19 New Year’s Traditions From Around the World

 

Here’s how different countries are ringing in 2023.

As you make your plans to ring in 2023, consider partaking in one of the New Year’s traditions from around the world. The past few years have truly been unlike any other, but one thing has been clear: Certain practices are now more important than ever, as they keep us grounded and remind us of the future ahead (and what to look out for, if you’re following any New Year’s superstitions).

Travel isn’t an option for everyone around this time of year, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite New Year’s traditions from cultures all over the globe. Pick one that lends itself to virtual celebration, or ask a few friends to join in the fun.

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Hanukkah 2022: When is Hanukkah and Why Is It Celebrated?

 

When Does Hanukkah Start and More Facts

When is Hanukkah? In 2022, this eight-day “festival of lights” begins on Sunday, December 18, at sundown. Learn all about Hanukkah dates, customs such as the nightly menorah lighting, and special foods.

What Is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah (also spelled “Chanukah”) is an eight-day winter “festival of lights,” which begins each year on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev.

Because the Hebrew calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the dates of Jewish holidays according to the Gregorian calendar change from year to year. For this reason, the beginning of Hanukkah can range from late November to late December.

In short, Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying Greek armies.

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Yuletide Blessings

 

Yuletide Blessings my friends,

 

I send my heartfelt wishes for a meaningful holiday and a hope filled New Year to each and every one of you. December 21st is the longest night in the Northern Hemisphere. Since ancient times, Winter Solstice had been honored with ceremonies using some form of light. All over the world folks have gathered for bonfires, lit torches, candles, and oil lamps.  The traditions reassured them that the days of more light would be returning. Today, rarely do we appreciate what the effect of long dark nights would have been.

 

Yule has always been the time when tribes, clans, families and communities have gathered together. People often trekked many miles to spend time with kin, feasting, drinking, and telling stories around the huge hearths where the Yule log provided warmth and light.

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Samhain Newsletter

Samhain Greetings my friends,

 

The time period, between Oct. 31st and Nov. 2nd is one of the most widely celebrated ancient traditions honoring our ongoing connection with ancestors and loved ones who have passed. Samhain meaning ‘summer’s end’ heralds the thinning of the veil between the seen and unseen worlds. Most of us have heard of or participated in the celebration of the Day of the Dead in Mexico or here in the US. Connecting with our ancestors and expressing love and gratitude has always been the theme of this time for thousands of years. Samhain was celebrated at our ancestors’ graves and other gathering sites, long before ‘trick or treating’ as goblins and ghouls became popular.

 

In 2019, I had the honor of experiencing Taita Juanito (a 5th generation Indigenous Shaman) leading several Ayahuasca ceremonies in Costa Rica.

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“Mercury Retro on the FULL MOON as we approach Fall Equinox!”

Fall is near!   Sun enters Libra Sept 22, 2022!                                                                  FULL MOON in Pisces, September 10, 2022   

The planet Mercury– which rules the mind, communication, business, & transportation– has gone on another vacation and this one lasts from September 9th to October 2nd, 2022.  Mercury is Retrograde approximately 20% of the time.  I have moved into plod mode for this term, and suggest that you do the same!  It takes patience and perseverance, but you can do it! We can do it!!  We can get through this! As Al Manning would say, “This too shall pass.”

 

     Right after Mercury went Retro, the Moon was full in the sensitive and fertile sign of Pisces.  Full moons are always good times to make a wish.

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Fall Equinox Newsletter

 

Celebrate the Cycle of Life,

 

The Fall Equinox is the second of the three major harvest festivals. The Celtic name for it is Mabon: the season of storing food and preserving nature’s bounty for the coming winter months. This year it will be on September 22nd at 6:04 pm PDT just as the sun enters Libra, the sign of the balancing scales. The term Equinox refers to this balance of day and night. Fall is the time of plants shedding their seeds, going underground until new plants rise up in the Spring 

 

In ancient Greek and Roman traditions, during the Fall Equinox the Grain Goddess Demeter was honored. Originally, she was a triad: the Maiden (Kore or Persephone), Mother (Demeter), and Crone (Hecate) in the Pantheon that predated the Olympian myths. 

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The last supermoon of the year ‘sturgeon moon’ is here

Cover photo

SUPER MOON on 8-11-2022 rising over Durango Colorado at 1:30 am
Photo by Sam Rose
People across the world will be able to view the last supermoon of the year on Thursday and Friday. A “sturgeon moon,” as it is referred to in August, occurs when the moon is at its fullest during a time when it is also closest to the Earth, making it appear larger and brighter in the sky. Keep it here for images and updates.

If you haven’t seen a supermoon yet, Thursday night is your last chance in 2022!

For the fourth and final time this year, the supermoon, also known as the Spurgeon moon, will occur at 9:36 p.m. EDT (6:36 p.m. PDT) — and the next one won’t happen until June 14, 2023.

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Lammas (Aug 2nd) newsletter

 

Celebrate Abundance my friends,

 

August 2nd is Lammas, the first of three festivals celebrating Mother Earth’s bounty. For this first harvest festival, baking loaves from the first grains and offering them at a communal meal has always been central to these gatherings, going back to thousands of years before the Common Era. Harvest festivals celebrate the abundance of the Great Mother.

 

The Celts called this time Lughnasadh (loo-na-sa), Native Americans called it the Green Corn Festival and in Slavic Regions it is called the feast of the Big Glad Woman. Ireland celebrates Lammas as Big Sunday and farming communities gather at hundreds of traditional hilltop sites to set up craft fairs, feast, play games, and dance. A part of every one of these gatherings is a ceremonial meal where the first fruits of the harvest are shared in gratitude.

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2022 Summer Solstice Newsletter

 

Celebrate Midsummer my friends,

June 21st is the Summer Solstice this year as the Sun enters the sign of Cancer. Also known as Midsummer, it is one of the eight great spokes on the Celtic wheel of the seasons. The Solstice (meaning sun stands still) is universally recognized in all cultures as an important turning point—it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Sun energy is at its peak and we feel its primal creative force.  

Midsummer’s Eve is one of the three important spirit nights of the year; the other two are Beltane (May Day) and Samhain (Halloween). When the veils are thinnest between the worlds, we can communicate with the spirit world more easily.

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