To our ancient ancestors this was a day of mourning and celebration; mourning for the death of the sun who was falling closer to the horizon making each day shorter and giving less light. But also a time of celebration when the sun resurrected himself and began climbing into the winter sky and giving more light through the following days.
Our ancient ancestors had a number of rituals and traditions to celebrate this day. And here at the Palmer’s Almanac we love celebrating history and tradition. With that in mind we’ll show you how to celebrate solstice like the true pagan that you are. We owe it to our ancient ancestors who lived without the light and love of the one true God to celebrate just as they did on this, the most sacred of days.
“But I’m a Christian,” you might say, “I can’t celebrate like a pagan.” Oh don’t worrry about that, the Bible is just chock full of references to pagan worship. It’s pleasing in the sight of the Lord.
So, with that in mind let’s start celebrating solstice the pagan way. First you’ll need a few things that you most likely already have laying around the house.
To the ancient pagans tree worship was the way to go. So, if you don’t already have a tree inside your house go get one. A fragrant evergreen tree works best. To the ancient pagans evergreen trees symbolized everlasting life and the return of the sun into the sky. Pagans had many rituals regarding evergreen trees and one of these rituals involves sniffing the evergreen as spoken of in the biblical Book of Ezekiel.
In the book of Ezekiel, chapter 8, the Old Testament prophet describes a Scrooge-like supernatural journey into the Jewish temple where he is shown the temple elders burning incense and worshiping carved idols. Infuriated the spirit of God says “Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do."
They went further into the temple and, “behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz,” Ezekiel says. In ancient Babylonian mythology Tammuz was a shepherd born to a virgin mother. He died violently and was reborn a sun god on December 25, just days after the winter solstice. And to worship Tammuz the ancients bowed down to the sun and sniffed fragrant palm leaves that symbolized the reborn Tammuz. Ezekiel saw men bowing to Tammuz and sniffing trees inside the Jewish temple and the spirit of God spoke to Ezekial. “Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.”
After you bring that fragrant tree into your house you must next decorate it with silver and gold ornaments. Affix it firmly so it doesn’t fall down. In the Book of Jeremiah he gives direction on how to do this. “For the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move.”
Next in our day of pagan worship have the children gather some wood and the fathers should build a big fire with that wood. And have the lady folk of the house cook some ginger bread men. in Jeremiah 7:9 God is especially pleased with this pagan holiday practice.
“"Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.”
At this point you may be thinking that all these Christmas traditions that you and your family are practicing must be ancient pagan rituals. Don’t be confused. These rituals and Christmas Trees have nothing to do with pagan worship. In fact many Christian churches today have Christmas trees inside the church near the alter. In the eyes of God it’s perfectly alright.
And remember if we didn’t follow these ancient Pagan rituals there would be no Christmas, because in the Bible not one word is spoken about the date of Jesus’s birthday nor are we commanded to celebrate it. So Happy Tammuz Day everyone. Enjoy the solstice. We here at Palmer’s Almanac are going off to sniff some evergreen trees and remember that shepherd who died on the solstice and was reborn on December 25th thousands of years before Christ in ancient Babylon.