February 01, 2013

...and He shall be called Yeshua

Do you have your candles ready?

It is Candlemas, Imbolic.  Today is the day (or tomorrow if you prefer) the ancients lit candles to welcome the light. The days were getting lighter. I believe Imbolic is Celt for "in the belly".  Many farm animals would be gestating at this time. Plows would be blessed. Longer days celebrated and homes blessed. It is the Festival of the Lights! A time of hope and faith and and looking forward.

Tomorrow is also the Purification of the Virgin celebration.   Women who had just given birth couldn't go into the church for 40 days. They were unclean!  It will be the anniversary of Yeshua or Jesus being named. In the time of his birth babies were not formally named for 40 days because they couldn't go into a church for 40 days. Can you imagine, Mary, the mother of Christ being considered unclean? It will be 40 days since His birth; December 25.

So, tomorrow will also be the anniversary of when the baby Jesus could be exorcised and the Virgin Mary could be purified and again, enter the church.  Babies could not be named until they had received an exorcism.

If that little bit of news hasn't torked your sensibilities, maybe this will. If a woman gave birth to a girl baby, she was unclean for 80 days!

I try understand this ancient way of thinking. I can see how frightened men in ancient times would fear a woman who was bleeding with out a wound and surviving. A man could not bleed unless he was sorely wounded, nor could he bleed as much without becoming gravely ill. But I don't understand why churches today observe the view of women being unclean for 40 days after birth and not being allowed to bring a new baby or herself into the church for 40 days. I believe that Eastern Orthodox still practice this  tradition. It surprises me that Eastern Orthodox churches have any women left attending but I, for one, would have moved on to a tradition that honored the birth and newborn babies. But, hey, that's just me.

I am a Christian and yet there are times it is easier for me to understand and respect neo-Pagan or ancient Celtic traditions and ideas than I can Christian traditions and ideas.

I am thankful that the days are longer.
I am thankful for the buds on my lilacs.
I am thankful for mid-day naps in the sun.
I am thankful for the aroma of chicken soup from the kitchen.
I am thankful for Friday evenings with my granddaughters.

1 comment:

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