Monthly Archives: December 2021

Ancient Christian Magic

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men (Gk. MAGOS, meaning “magicians”) from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For … Continue reading

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The Magi’s Blessing: Chalking the Door

I came across a wonderful tradition which I will have to research further to learn a little more about it’s origins. According to Pagan Christmas, “Even today, priests go from house to house in the Black Forest on January 6, … Continue reading

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La Befana: Ancient Goddess, Santa’s Precursor, or Christmas Witch?

I was hooked the first time I heard about her: La Befana, the “Christmas Witch.” The first figure I saw of her while traveling in Italy was an elderly “nonna” (grandmother) who was dressed in peasant clothing with a kerchief … Continue reading

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Frankincense: Universal Magical Resin

The LORD said to Moses: Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (an equal part of each), and make an incense blended as by the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy; and you … Continue reading

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December Full Cold Moon

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, December’s full moon, which occurs on Saturday December 18, is known as the Full Cold Moon. The name comes from Native American, Colonial American, or other traditional sources passed down through generations. It’s a Mohawk name that … Continue reading

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The Christians and the Pagans

While strolling through YouTube looking for Solstice/Yule carols, I came across a delightful song by Dar Williams entitled “The Christians and the Pagans” that recalls a somewhat tense but hopeful December family gathering. The first version of the chorus goes … Continue reading

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Coping During the Holidays

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”—Chinese Proverb As we approach the Winter Solstice, the days continue to get darker and darker. Likewise, the world around us feels like a darker place as well. The … Continue reading

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In Praise of the Invincible Light

“The light shines in the darkness, And the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5, NRSV) While writing a sermon on the first chapter of John, I came across this interesting observation from Karoline Lewis in her Fortress Preaching Commentary … Continue reading

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