Thank you Stephen for illustrating the Archetypes that underpin the celebration of Winter Solstice amongst all humanity.
Your brilliant exposition of multiple motifs alive in different civilizations, but sourced from the same Archetypal idea, reminds me of a piece written by Clemsy a couple of years ago . I believe he touched upon the similarities between Egyptian as well as Zoroastrian religious beliefs to Christs story, but the involvement of Saturnalia and the Father God Saturn is indeed new knowledge to me as well as intriguing.
I was racking my brain to find a parallel in Indian Mythos and to me there seem to be many motifs of light emerging victorious in a battle with darkness.
But it all falls in Autumn . In fact Autumn seems to be the season for festivals and thanks to diffusion brought about by globalization, it is funny to see people celebrate the victory of the Mother Goddess over the Dark Demon and the return of the Hero Ram , alongside the ghoulish makeover of a Halloween party.
But the myth of Amaterasu emerging from her rocky confinement has brought forth a flood of related stories to the mind.
The first story and the most intriguing is the story of the daughter of the Father of the Sky in Rig Vedas. Goddess Ushuss – The Dawn. She is liberated from the Vala cave by Indra. The Titaness Eos is the Hellenic equivalent derived from the Old Indo Aryan word for dawn – Heosus.
What is intriguing is that Japanese language and Vedic/ProtoVedic languages are totally unrelated from a Linguistic or philological point of view.
The annual ritual of freeing Amaterasu from her cave is enacted in a Shinto temple the Kamikura Shrine. Women are forbidden to go up the shrine.
And the first fire of the New year is passed on by the Shinto priest to a crowd of 200 merry men, who rush down the hill – many breaking their leg – in the process to bring the 🔥 of the living to the World…. a la Prometheus!
Curiously enough in my home state the end of the month of winter solstice is celebrated with great pomp . It marks the new year in a few Indian provinces.
In my State, There is a shrine atop a high hill dedicated to a God where women under 50 and girls who have attained puberty aren’t allowed . On the day that marks the end of the month of Winter solstice ((Makara Sankranthi) , a fire lights up the sky from a distant hill. Lit by the tribals in the forest who had been ritually enacting a myth the transcends the sphere of the Known and binds us all to the cradle of Human civilization – nay, our consciousness!.
The lighting of the fire coincides with the rising of Sirius Star..So thats another exciting loose end to follow😀
Merry Warmth to all