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An Xmas Thread To Share

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      Season’s greeting everyone! During all the gloom of Covid I thought it might be a good thing to start a thread like the tradition we had on the old forums that moderator Michael Lambert; (aka: Clemsy); started back in 2002; and share a few holiday thoughts with one another. A YouTube clip; a verse, a story, or a song you like that you might want to post that speaks to you. Our old thread was something very special and this might be a good time to start something like that here that’s speaks of our common bonds. So to start this off here is one I think really talks not so much about the religious aspect of the season but about the: “Peace On Earth Good Will Towards Men” kind of thing. We could sure use a little of that human interconnected warmth right about now; and this is a true story that really happened back during the first World War.


      What a sweet idea, James. Alas, I’ve been stuck in the netherworld of cyberspace (forgive me for mixing my metaphors), in limbo between an archaic, dying MacBook at its last gasp, and a brand new laptop with all the bells and whistles, trying to prep and load and transfer files and info and apps and such from old to new, right as so many end-of-the-year tasks raise their head and demand attention (and that’s not not even counting the holiday vortex we all tend to fall into).

      So I have nothing profound or inspirational to share. However, this is what I did this weekend:

      Yggdrasil, the Yule Tree

      Raising and decorating a Christmas Tree is a ritual so many share this time of year, even those who aren’t particularly religious, or particularly Christian.  But I grew up in a rigid Christian cult that viewed Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween, as pagan in origins (true enough) and hence satanic (lots of shadow projection there!). So our family never celebrated Christmas during my childhood; I couldn’t participate in Christmas activities (or Valentine’s, Easter, etc.) at school, which included coloring Santa Clauses, cutting  Christmas Trees out of construction paper, singing Christmas carols, drinking Christmas punch and eating Christmas cookies – and the last day of school before the holiday vacation I always had to leave early while the rest of the class enjoyed a Christmas party. And, or course, we couldn’t accept Christmas presents; relatives who forgot and sent gifts anyway had them returned.

      It took a few years after leaving home before I got the hang of Christmas. It had always seemed no big deal to me – can’t miss what you’ve never had – but I found I enjoyed the happy music, the good cheer, the pretty lights, the excitement and joy of children, the fun of giving gifts, and all sorts of things I missed out on as a kid.

      So when it comes to decorating the tree I tend to overcompensate for my childhood.

      I really celebrate the Solstice – Yule (from  the Old English geol, derived from *quelo-, an Indo-European root related to “wheel,” or “turn” – the turning point for the wheel of the year (which, from the position of the tomb at Newgrange and so many other ancient sites, of course including Stonehenge, that are aligned with the rising sun on the solstice, is the oldest, longest lasting ritual, celebrated by humankind for at least 5,000 years). Names and details differ among the many   iterations, depending on one’s culture, of the ancient myth of the birth / rebirth of the Sun God (or Son of God) – that time when the Sun’s light begins to wax again.

      On the Solstice – this year on December 21 – I engage in reflection and perform a few simple, yet poignant personal rituals. This is the moment when the sun stands still (Solstice – from Sol, “the Sun,” and stit – “make stand”); then, on the 25th, is more for participation in the joyful collective ritual celebrating new birth (this is generally the first day after the solstice that the change in the sun and the growth of the light is visible to the naked eye, which is why so many solar gods are born on December 25, including the Christ Child).

      Tends to place one’s self in perspective, part of a mythic tradition celebrated by all humanity across millennia – and then to realize the cosmic cycle we all participate in, whether we want to or not, with the change of season and the eternal return of the light.

      Decorating a solstice tree with lights and sparkling spheres and little tableaus tucked away deep within the boughs of the tree, pays homage to and participates in that stream stretching back into the distant past and on past the horizon into the future, and spreading out in this moment to encompass so many billions around the globe, whatever their professed faith, celebrating our unity – peace on earth and good will to all.

      May you have a wild, wyrd, wonderful Winter Solstice, James



        Greetings and Joy to One and All. Merry Christmas !!!! The search for meaning , the mixing of metaphors symbols analogies allegories myths is lots of fun !!! The search through history. The deconstruction. The edits. The redactions. The homilies. Where to begin where to end the narrative is The Greatest Story Ever Told about our species Journey and Quest along with the journey and quest of life and Light itself. The still point of the solstice is a great mnemonic device giving to us as a Christmas present or an Easter egg in this simulation we call reality. Silent Night Holy Night must be experienced abstractly within the human mind. Round young Virgin. Contemplate your place in the universe. Return from this point of view renew recharged bringing tidings of peace and great joy to all sentient beings of Life. Look to the Christmas Tree and Christmas lights as metaphors of geometry green vegetation with multiple entendre… Create a poetic narrative or two … Silence is Golden, often words elicit unintended consequences. Be the Light. Write a poem with action and stillness …

        Merry Christmas to All. May peace be upon your Heart and Art this season. May you be a light in the darkness.

        Robert R Reister

        That’s a lovely symbolic pyramidal pinnacled evergreen conical conifer spiraling vortex Burning Bush of Life Light and mind you’ve created Stephen . All hail the fiery stratified hierarchies of intellects logic and reason represented in artistic expression and mythic synaptical musings !!! It does give One access to the core of human existence… May we lay our gifts at its base as fertilizer for future generations … On the family tree of Life. I think books are great gifts. Darwin’s Origins of the species, Sagan’s Cosmos, Campbell’s Hero with a thousand faces , Skeletons Key, etc etc etc … “To the reading of books there is no end”


        Thanks, Robert, for that stream of associations – definitely resonates.

        I tend to think of this not so much as a Christmas tree, but homage / recreation of Yggsdrasil, the World Tree of Norse mythology (in touch with my forebears), though elements of every mythology appear in these branches. Rather than a Christmas star, topping the tree is a peacock feather, to watch over my home – the peacock, with its hundred eyes sacred to Hera, sister-wife to Zeus, and patroness of marriage and the domestic landscape.



          Yes the flow state of the Axis Mundis. The Tree an organic metaphor. Created by ??? The redundancy of the message grows out of every branch from root to bough in all of creation.  Nature’s first green is gold… the emerald verdant blade rises pierces eternal The Greenman . New growth sprouts builds on replaces the old. The solar cambium crucifixion is planted at the winter solstice to be raised at the vernal equinox. Personification of the seasons & ascent of humanity … God is dead , if you see the Buddha on the road slay … know it in your heart that life is eternal … Resurrection is only a motion away … for the Sol Invictus … For there is a Life and a Light that is perceivable in the mind that is a priori to the Big Bang !!! The syncretism between Odin hung on the Tree Yggdrasil and Christ hung on the Tree Cross is not lost to history or scholars . Ash Oak Pine Cedar Cypress Citrus Fruit et al all have their place in the Orchard of the imagination. All are sown propagated grafted fostered by minds of goodwill. Let them see and be the gardener in the garden. For we are the gardener we are the garden we are the Trees we are the woodsman we are the carpenter we are the slayer we are the slain we are the God we are the crucifier we are the crucified . The allegories the myths are all us and reflections of us in our multitude of masks 🎭 of good and evil in the drama and journey of the narrative of Life. We are wayfarers sojourners here for but one season. A Leaf on the Tree. Strangers In A Strange Land … Who is the Queen that illuminates the tree from within? Births the light on the Bough? But all this is trivial words … Be the Light !!! While still … dreaming of a white Christmas … 🎶May your days be merry and bright🎶 May the pure white milk from Hera’s bosom illuminate the Peacock’s tale of the Milky Way from where all is seen a focal point displaying Starry Starry Night. A background to the mating ritual of the Hierogamy.

          I do enjoy the Eddy. Comparison rune to word Logos. In the beginning was the alphabet. In the beginning was the Word !!!



          Hello all, Hey James. Well no Christmas tree photos from me (lazzzy) But I wish you all merry xmas and hope that Covid lockdown is not treating you too harshly.


            Season’s Greetings to you also James, and to Everyone here! James, thank you for sharing with us one of the most amazing times of “peace on earth” with us, when during WWI the war was put aside for the sake of peace among humankind. It is such a meaningful story and song and lovely at that. One thing that always meant so much to me throughout my life is the Charlie Brown Christmas. I will try to post a You Tube video or something from that here in the responses.

            James, what I thought of while watching your video was also all the people away from their family and friends this season over the holidays for whatever reason–being in the armed forces, being stationed overseas, being in a nursing home and faced with isolation as a result, people in quarantine, people doing social distancing…it seemed to me that your video was so timely also in the theme of isolation and it is so good to see the message of peace on earth and good will towards men/women/human/all living things–may we also extend our love towards all nature and all animal natural life. May we feel peace and love for all things on this earth, and feel peace for and within the cosmos.

            Merry Christmas, Winter Solstice, Yule, Hanukah, Kwanza, and New Year~ Wishing all a year of health and happiness.

            I tried linking the you Tube video below by the title but it did not work–you can copy and paste into search bar if you want to see/hear it.

            Vince Guaraldi Trio “Christmas Time Is Here” (vocal version from A Charlie Brown Christmas)


            Happy Yuletide, Stephen! I cannot see the image of the Yule tree you put up and decorated and can only at this point imagine it! I like hearing about the Yggsdrasil, the World Tree of Norse mythology, as you write. I celebrate the Winter Solstice/Yule and Christmas too, in my family’s Roman Catholic tradition. Both are meaningful to me; many people in my life have asked me if I find these things contradictory to one another but for me they are not–they are so much alike at their cores.

            I have no tree up yet, due to the laziness that Covid has brought into my home. Mostly we sleep and nap a lot in between meal times. But I thank gods that our quarantine is almost over! 🙂

            This is one time I could not resist including an emoji!


            Hi R3–sorry the 3 is not above the R here the way it should be–hopefully here it is the thought that counts. I enjoyed your free-floating word association as usual. Thank you for all the special holiday thoughts! Happy Holidays to you and yours, Robert,



            Stephen, I love hearing of the peacock feather above your tree! thank you for sharing your personal touches here in your World Tree~



            So glad you are feeling better after your dance with the Covid devil. Thanks for letting me know you can’t see the tree. Still trying to work out the sharing of images. I notice since this requires the URL of where the image lives on the internet that some photos I posted months ago I can no longer see – but I am curious why you can’t see the picture I just posted. I’ll investigate, and hope we learn enough to make the posting process easier .

            That does seem to be one area where Facebook and other social media are more user friendly, allowing people to instantly upload photos from their phone.We would need to build a much more muscular discussion platform to achieve that . . .



              I always enjoy your insights and contributions. Merry Christmas 🎄Happy Hanukkah 🕎 Happy New Year 🎆 Celebratory Solstice 🌞 Joyful Convergence 🌟 May you find Drops Of Jupiter in your hair during this Saturnalia Season !!!



              Thank you, Robert (R superscript 3!) Your poetic associations/word play/poetry offers insights I always enjoy–a different dimensional take on things–Like 3-D R3, or R3 in 3-D


              Back at you, Robert: Merry Christmas  Happy Hanukkah   Happy New Year   Celebratory Solstice   Joyful Convergence


              and yes, I do hope to catch drops of Jupiter in my hair this convergence and Yule-New Year! 🙂   You might already know that is one of my fave feel-good songs–!!!!!!!

              and now I am thinking about how these lyrics correlate to the Inner Reaches of Outer Space by Campbell—“as you are looking for yourself out there,” he sings…

              and great as “heaven” is/sounds/is imagined, there is a heaven right here on earth for sure! 🙂  there is heaven in a good friend, a soy latte, in the snowflakes falling, and in the ice to go skating on; there is heaven in the champagne on new year’s and in the wine on Christmas Eve or Day or sparkling apple or pear juice… There is heaven in understanding here on earth between people, in the eyes and hearts of our loved ones, there is heaven in our animal friends and tree and flower friends, in our flora and fauna friends, and heaven in our myths even when they are about hell—!

              for whoever wants to hear it, here is the cut and paste link to the song you probably know:

              Train–Drops of Jupiter (Official Video):




              Thanks so much Stephen! It is so nice to feel better and have more energy again! I do think that I first saw the photo of the tree and that then when I went to respond I no longer saw it. I will do some practicing also on the posting of pics in the forum–apparently I still have to learn more about posting links here too…so I have been trying to use just copy and paste of the addresses instead of direct links–


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