Friday, December 24, 2010

A Metaphorical Meaning of Christmas


For today’s post I thought it would be interesting to use the methods we’ve been using to look at personal dreams on a dream that belongs to our culture: Christmas. This day has been observed as a Christian holiday for over 2000 years. Christianity paired its celebrations with those of older religions, so the birth of the Christian deity was celebrated on the night of the Solstice. Symbolically this dark time of year creates the dark cave of the unenlightened soul, a cave which may be seen behind the Virgin Mary in Orthodox Christian nativity icons. The virgin birth symbolizes the soul’s rescue from this unenlightened dwelling: the spirit is born and becomes incarnate in our previously animal nature. In other words, the birth of the deity to a human mother reenacts the historical moment in our evolution—and the actual moment in each and every life--when we become capable of consciousness.

4 comments:

David said...

I always found it interesting that Mary was celebrated is the one to which to pray privately in both the Western and Eastern Churches. Probably vestiges of Astarte and other female gods of the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Old Testament God is male (pronoun He), vengeful (The Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah), and capricious (Job). The New Testament God, although still male, is feminine leaning: Peaceful (Turn the cheek), Loving (all humankind), Forgiving (Cast the first stone) and Nurturing (support the poor).

Men are godlike in that they tend to be violent and destroy. Women are godlike in that they can truly create life.

I ramble on...

Carla Young said...

Keep rambling, David; it's interesting! The connections between the gods of different eras and religions are fascinating to contemplate.

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion. Let us not forget Sophia, who was with the Old Testament God when he created the earth (Proverb 8). Of course, there's a lot of controversy about this passage, and whether or not Sophia is a separate goddess or a part of god, thus making god both feminine and masculine. Some say Mary replaced Sophia, or the feminine side of god. This reminds me of an explanation I recently read regarding the first person god made. This being was both male & female. He/she was cut in half (I believe by god), thus separating woman and man. Go figure! emily

Carla Young said...

Jung says in "The Red Book" that god is the totality and as such must encompass not only male and female but also good and evil. That's hard to square with (aha!--notice the word "square," another Jungian metaphor for the totality)with the traditional theological viewpoint that god is only the good. However, even in this framework room is made for evil by the creation of the devil.

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