Jan 1 – Jan 31 January/Janus – Dedicated to Old Roman God-Goddess Janus – Jana, who knows both past and future.
Jan 2 thru 3 Feast of Old Greek Goddess Hekate / Hecate– who guides all through transitions and crisis.
Jan 3 or 4 Earth Perihelion – when the Earth is closest to the Sun. (It is farthest from the sun on the 4th of July). Peri means near, and Helion is for Helios, the sun god. The sun god is closest to us on this day, thus it is his “birth” day. We kind of have a sun-god / Light of the World birth “week”, or “season” every year this time, if you haven’t noticed, thanks to all the Festivals of Lights, Hanukkah, Yule, Christmas all based on the Winter Solstice of Dec. 21 and the Perihelion on Jan 3 or 4. In 2015 the perihelion occurs at exactly: January 4, 2015 at 6:36 UTC (01:36 EST)
In January 2015, the full moon occurs on January 4. Most charts will tell you the moon is in Cancer when it goes full this month, but if you were to look in the sky you would see it’s actually physically located in front of the constellation Taurus, not Cancer. (Our Mystery School always uses Sidereal measurements, based on the literal star constellations)
Jan 6 Original Christmas Day. Now January 6 is called Epiphany in the mainstream church, with January 5 being Epiphany Eve. In the original Church for the first 325 years of Christianity, January 6 was celebrated as Jesus / Yeshua’s birthday. Then Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity, followed a few years later by making it the official state religion of Rome. He couldn’t resist moving Yeshua’s birthday to his own god, Sol Invictus’ birthday. That was Dec. 25 on the Roman Calendar, which was the Winter Solstice back then, now in our modern calendar taking place on Dec. 21. Many early Kristian churches continued to celebrate Jan 6 as Yeshua’s birthday up into the 600’s AD even though Constantine had changed the date. Some rare Christian sects still celebrate Jan 6, calling it “Old Christmas”.
When Christmas was Against the Law explains all the dates primitive Christians originally celebrated Jesus’ birthday, and why Saturnalia (pagan holiday) and Solstice influenced the final choice.
Christianity Today lists the possible dates for Jesus birthday as: “May 20, April 18, April 19, May 28, January 2, November 17, November 20, March 12 and March 25 — and … December 25 probably didn’t emerge as the favored date until late in the third century.”
CNN goes on to say, “That, intentionally or not, grafted the new Christmas onto the old Saturnalia, the most popular celebration of Roman times. The seven-day festival that started December 17 to honor the god Saturn and welcome the winter solstice gave us today’s tradition of holiday greenery, gift giving and the office party (or variations thereof), for the Saturnalia was a time of much drinking, some carousing, certainly unrestrained revelry.”
It’s interesting that the Jewish Sabbath, the 7th day, was also named for the god Saturn (still is). Saturn was kindofa fierce mean father-god, wasn’t he? He got turned into Father Time and we used to draw him as the “Old Year” every new Year’s Eve, and the baby he’s often depicted with was called the Baby New Year. (There’s a dark side to that story, that he “devours” the baby, and we also see Saturn depicted by ancient artists with baby cupid on his lap, cutting off his wings).
The Greeks and Romans originally thought the Jews worshipped Saturn since they revered the 7th day, Saturn’s day.
Winter Solstice, the Sun-God’s Birthday is today — at 6:03 p.m. Eastern Time to be precise.
Here’s a photograph of the Egyptian Temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt where for 6000 years people have gathered on this day to watch the sun rise on Winter Solstice. Even though it’s a Muslim country, people still gathered there in southern Egypt this morning. It’s an awesome sight to see all the people standing there. Probably Moses attended this sunrise service once upon a time.
The Reason for the Season, some people call today, the Winter Solstice, because it’s when the Light of the World returns, marked by several ancient religions, including the one we know most, Christianity. You may wish to check out our information on this Judeo-Christian-Pagan holiday and observances on our Esoteric Kristmas Holiday page.
The article where I found the photo explains the Winter Solstice perfectly, why the sun stands still on this day, etc.
Teaching the Ancient Wisdom Mystery Traditions online since 1999