The Summer of Love was a cultural and sociological phenomenon that occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area from June through early October of 1967. The prelude to the Summer of Love was a celebration known as the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967 to promote a peaceful celebration of personal empowerment, cultural and political decentralization, communal living, ecological awareness, higher consciousness, and liberal activism.
The First Summer of Love Music Festival
While the highly documented Monterey International Pop Festival continues to be remembered by most historians of the ’60s Counter Culture Revolution as the first of a series of San Francisco area cultural events known as the Summer of Love, the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival took place one week before Monterey, and is considered to have been America’s first rock festival.
The Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival was held June 10th and 11th, 1967 at the 4,000-seat Sidney B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheater high on the south face of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. At least 36,000 people attended the two-day concert and fair. The festival represented a sea of change in musical preferences among the emerging Baby Boomer generation that was coming of age in the San Francisco Bay Area as the hippie culture fully arose in mid-1967.
The event was announced by the Haight-Ashbury’s underground hippie newspaper, The San Francisco Oracle:
“A new concept of celebrations beneath the human underground must emerge, become conscious, and be shared, so a revolution can be formed with a renaissance of compassion, awareness, and love, and the revelation of unity for all mankind.”
Summer of Love Event Horoscope
The Uranus-Pluto Alignment
The predominate outer planetary configuration in the Fantasy Fair event horoscope is the Uranus-Pluto alignment. The general tenor of Uranus-Pluto cycle is revolution – the Dionysian (Pluto) impulse for revolutionary empowerment of the masses, and the Promethean (Uranus) thrust for radical change and innovative reform for the establishment of a new social order. Scholar, author, and cultural historian Richard Tarnas has stated that periods during Uranus-Pluto alignments have correlated with “widespread radical and political social change and often destructive upheaval, massive empowerment of revolutionary and rebellious impulses, and intensified artistic and intellectual creativity.” (pp. 143-144, Cosmos & Psyche).
A Libertine Subculture Phenomenon
The stellium of planets in the 12th House of the Fantasy Fair event horoscope signifies the social spectacle of the Summer Love was essentially a libertine subculture phenomenon of the hippie counter-culture that held social egalitarian beliefs and rejected consumerist values, with artistic (music, painting, poetry) and religious (Eastern mysticism and meditative practices) interests that was at variance with the larger middle-class parent culture of America.
The Moon-Uranus-Pluto-Neptune configuration in the horoscope encouraged the exploration of connecting to something higher than themselves through the use of psychedelic drugs and the embracing of Eastern philosophy, Western mysticism, and New Age spiritual concepts the essentially that defined the Hippie counterculture movement that inspired thousands of young people from all over the world to travel to San Francisco during the Summer of Love.
The Grand Idea of Love
The Venus-Jupiter in the Fantasy Fair event horoscope symbolizes the grand idea of love and augurs a mood of optimism, generosity that inspired, pleasant social interaction, beauty, love, artistic expression, cultural celebration, and indulgent festivity.
Light My Fire
Fantasy Fair was also The Doors’ first large show and happened during the rise of the group’s first major hit, “Light My Fire”, to the top of the charts and that launched them to stardom.
The Venus-Jupiter conjunction in the fire sign of Leo in the 12th House, galvanized and popularized hippie culture through “Light My Fire” that became one of the signature songs during the Summer of Love, that exemplified the Utopian dream of coming to a place where one can indulge and experience more in life beyond the ordinary grind of reaching out to others turning them on to “turn on, tune in, drop out”, personal experimentation, communal living, and abandoning their education or jobs for a summer of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.
Released nearly month prior to the Summer of Love on May 13, 1967, the song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” written by musician John Phillips of the band The Mamas & the Papas served to promote both the upcoming Monterey Pop Festival (June 16, 1967) and to popularize the flower children of San Francisco. By the week ending July 1, 1967, it scored number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, where it remained for four consecutive weeks.
Hippie Movement and Flower Power
The Fantasy Fair natal Sun is conjuncts the AS/MC midpoint of the event horoscope and squares the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. These mundane testimonies signify both the popularization of hippie life in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco due to growing mainstream media coverage, that drew the attention of youth from all over America and the peak of “Flower Power.” A movement of passive resistance to the establishment and non-violence ideology that was rooted in the opposition movement of the deployment of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.
Psychedelic Drugs – Exploration, Expression, Existence
The Uranus-Pluto conjunction in close sextile to the Neptune correlates with the mass consumption and recreational use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD for a psychedelic experience (a temporary Holotropic state of consciousness) for personal development, mind revealing self-discovery, and religious & mystical revelations. Psychologist Stanislav Grof described the LSD experience as: “complex revelatory insights into the nature of existence… typically accompanied by a sense of certainty that this knowledge is ultimately more relevant and ‘real’ than the perceptions and beliefs we share in everyday life.”
Psychedelic drug use became commonplace during the Summer of Love in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco as Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir commented:
“Haight Ashbury was a ghetto of bohemians who wanted to do anything—and we did but I don’t think it has happened since. Yes, there was LSD. But Haight Ashbury was not about drugs. It was about exploration, finding new ways of expression, being aware of one’s existence.”
The Hippie Code
On July 7, 1967, Time magazine featured a cover story entitled, “The Hippies: The Philosophy of a Subculture.” The article described the guidelines of the hippie code:
“Do your own thing, wherever you have to do it and whenever you want. Drop out. Leave society as you have known it. Leave it utterly. Blow the mind of every straight person you can reach. Turn them on, if not to drugs, then to beauty, love, honesty, fun.”
Summer of Love Funeral and Aftermath
After many young people left at the end of summer to resume their college studies, those remaining in the Haight wanted to commemorate the conclusion of the event. A mock funeral entitled “The Death of the Hippie” ceremony was staged on October 6, 1967 at sunrise, and organizer Mary Kasper explained the intended message:
“We wanted to signal that this was the end of it, to stay where you are, bring the revolution to where you live and don’t come here because it’s over and done with.”
It is estimated that around 100,000 people traveled to San Francisco in the summer of 1967.
The Aftermath of the Summer of Love
Shortly after, the rock musical drama Hair, a product of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, which told the story of a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the “Age of Aquarius” living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against the draft into the Vietnam War, began its Off-Broadway premiere on October 17, 1967 at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York City’s East Village.
June 11, 1776:
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston appointed to a committee to draft a declaration of independence.
June 12-27, 1776:
Jefferson, at the request of the committee, drafts a declaration, of which only a fragment exists. Jefferson’s clean, or “fair” copy, the “original Rough draught,” is reviewed by the committee. Both documents are in the manuscript collections of the Library of Congress.
June 28, 1776:
A fair copy of the committee draft of the Declaration of Independence is read in Congress.
July 1-4, 1776:
Congress debates and revises the Declaration of Independence.
July 2, 1776:
Congress declared the sovereign status of the United Colonies the following day, during the late afternoon of July 2 as the British fleet and army arrive at New York. The Committee of the Whole then turned to the Declaration, and it was given a second reading before adjournment.
July 3, 1776:
The Committee of the Whole gave the Declaration a third reading and commenced scrutiny of the precise wording of the proposed text. Two passages in the Committee of Five’s draft were rejected by the Committee of the Whole. One was a critical reference to the English people and the other was a denunciation of the slave trade and of slavery itself. The text of the Declaration was otherwise accepted without any other major changes.
July 4, 1776:
Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence in the late morning (around 11:00 am LMT) on a bright, sunny, but cool Philadelphia day. After the final vote by the Committee of the Whole, the draft document was then referred back to the Committee of Five in order to prepare a fair copy document to be redrafted-as-corrected for delivery to the broadside printer. And so convened later in the day to complete the task. The final redraft of the fair copy document was signed by John Hancock who was was president of the Continental Congress (around 2:00 pm LMT)* and was sent a few blocks away to the printing shop of John Dunlap.
Dunlap was an Irish immigrant then 29 years old, who was tasked with the job; he apparently spent much of the night of July 4 setting type, correcting it, and running off the broadside sheets. Through the night, Dunlap printed about 200 broadsides for distribution. These prints are now called “Dunlap Broadsides.” Twenty-four copies are known to exist, two of which are in the Library of Congress. One of these was Washington’s personal copy.
“There is evidence it was done quickly, and in excitement—watermarks are reversed, some copies look as if they were folded before the ink could dry and bits of punctuation move around from one copy to another,” according to Ted Widmer, author of Ark of the Liberties: America and the World. “It is romantic to think that Benjamin Franklin, the greatest printer of his day, was there in Dunlap’s shop to supervise, and that Jefferson, the nervous author, was also close at hand.” John Adams later wrote that, “We were all in haste.”
July 5, 1776:
John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, dispatches the first of Dunlap’s broadsides of the Declaration of Independence to the legislatures of New Jersey and Delaware.
July 6, 1776:
Pennsylvania Evening Post of July 6 prints the first newspaper rendition of the Declaration of Independence.
July 8, 1776:
The first public reading of the Declaration is in Philadelphia.
July 9, 1776:
Washington orders that the Declaration of Independence be read before the American army in New York
July 19, 1776:
Congress orders the Declaration of Independence engrossed (officially inscribed) and signed by members.
* Biography: Herbert S. Alan, “John Hancock, Patriot in Purple,” 1940, p.228, “At last, about 2 o’clock in the afternoon of the 4th, the great white paper was reported … and immediately ratified.”
Note: President Gerald Ford decreed that the bicentennial celebration on 1976 would be held on July 4, 1976 and the ringing of the bells would occur at 2:00 PM.
Many modern and church historians are in agreement that Christ began his ministry during the month of October in 29 A.D. -“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is Near”, during in the 15th year of the Emperor Tiberius’ reign. Second Century Christian scholars, such as Irenaaus, said that Jesus “was beginning to be about thirty years of age” [Against Heresies h, II, xxii, 5]. The generally assumed date range for when John the Baptist was active, based on the reference to the reign of Tiberius in Luke 3:1-2, is from about 28-29 A.D., with Jesus beginning to preach shortly thereafter.
This satisfies the statement in Luke 3:23 “And when He began his ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age…” Based on the reference in John 2:13 to the Temple being in its 46th year of construction, scholarly estimates for Jesus’ Temple visit in John 2:20 are around 28-29 A.D., when Jesus was “about thirty years of age.” By working backwards from this date, it would appear likely that Jesus was born in 2-3 B.C.E.
The Birth of the King of the Jews and His Star In the East
Herod the Great (74 – 1 B.C.E.) was a Roman client king of Judea, referred to as the Herodian Kingdom. After the birth of Jesus, some astrologers (magi) from Babylon visited Herod to inquire the whereabouts of “the one having been born king of the Jews”, because they had seen his star in the east (or, according to certain translations, at its rising) and therefore wanted to pay him homage (Matthew 2:1-12). Herod, as King of the Jews, was alarmed at the prospect of an usurper. Herod assembled the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the “Anointed One” was to be born. The astrologers answered, “In Beit-Lechem of Y’hudah,” citing the prophesy of the birth of a Jewish king from Micah 5:2, “because the prophet wrote, ‘And you, Beit-Lechem in the land of Y’hudah, are by no means the least among the rulers of Y’hudah; for from you will come a Ruler who will shepherd my people Isra’el.'” (Matthew 2:4-6)
Herod therefore sent the magi to Bethlehem, instructing them to search for the child and, after they had found him, to “report back to me, so that I too may go and worship him”. However, after they had found Jesus, they were warned in a dream not to report back to Herod. Similarly, Joseph was warned in a dream that Herod intended to kill Jesus, so he and his family fled to Egypt. When Herod realized he had been outwitted, he gave orders to kill all boys of the age of two and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity. Joseph and his family stayed in Egypt until Herod’s death, then moved to Nazareth in Galilee to avoid living under Herod’s son and successor Archelaus.
In 4 B.C.E. around that age of 70 years, Herod became very sick with chronic kidney disease complicated by Fourier’s gangrene. Herod’s sons, between whom his kingdom were to be divided, were printing his coins as early as 4 B.C.E. to ensure their succession of rulership in Judea, with Archelaus exercising royal authority during Herod’s final years of rule.
Herod’s Death and Jesus’ Birth
The Roman historian Josephus tells us that Herod died after a lunar eclipse. He gives an account of events between this eclipse and his death. A Lunar Eclipse took place on January 10th, 1 B.C.E., about 18 days after the Eclipse. Jesus therefore most likely born in 3 B.C.E. — as confirmed by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Africanus, Hippolytus of Rome, Hippolytus of Thebes, Origen, Eusebius, and Epiphanius.
Taking this further, we can speculate on the month of Jesus’ birth based on the conception story of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-25). John the Baptist was conceived during the period of time Eighth Course of Abijah, which was May 26 to June 1 in 4 B.C.E. (Leviticus 21:16–23). The human gestation period is about 280 days ― nine months and ten days. This indicates that the birth of John the Baptist occurred near March 10th, 3 B.C.E. Jesus was conceived sometime in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy (Luke 1:26, 36). Therefore, Jesus was born six months after, near September 11th, 3 B.C.E. [Tishri One on the Jewish calendar] during the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles, a very holy day in Judaism.
The First Christmas Celebration by the Early Christian Church
For the first three centuries of Christianity’s existence, Jesus Christ’s birth wasn’t celebrated at all. The religion’s most significant holidays were Epiphany on January 6, which commemorated the arrival of the Magi after Jesus’ birth, and Easter, which celebrated Jesus’ resurrection. The first Christmas celebration by the early Christian Church occurred 331 years after Christ’s Crucifixion in Jerusalem – April 3rd, 33 A.D. (during the Lunar Eclipse at 5:12 PM LMT) and Pentecost – which is considered to be the inception date of the Roman Catholic Church. In an old list of Roman bishops, compiled in 354 A.D., these words appear for 336 A.D.: “25 Dec.: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae.” Translation: December 25th, Christ born in Bethlehem, Judea.
Pope Julius I, the bishop of Rome (from February 6, 337 to his death in 352), declared the nativity celebration of Christ on December 25th because it coincided with the existing pagan festival honoring Saturn (the Roman God of Agriculture) that began several days before the Winter Solstice.
Horoscope of the First Christmas Celebration – 336 A.D.
Above is the horoscope of the first Christmas celebration that occurred in Rome on December 25th, 336 A.D. during the first Mass upon sunrise 7:30 AM Local Mean Time. In the First Christmas Celebration event horoscope, we note the placement of the Moon in Pisces. Many Christian symbols for Christ use the astrological symbol for Pisces, the fish. The twelve apostles were called the “fishers of men,” and early Christians called themselves “little fishes,” and a code word for Jesus was the Greek word for fish, “Ikhthus.”
We also note from the First Christmas Celebration horoscope, the ingress of Uranus on the cardinal axis at 0 Aries, and the Neptune-Pluto square alignment, both mundane astrological portents that augur Christianity’s remarkable rise to prominence from a tiny persecuted cult to the established religion that would dominate in the medieval West over the next 1,500 years.
The Neptune-Pluto alignment often coincides with profound historical transformations within the collective, that usher in the seeding of a new cultural worldview that sets in motion the destruction of the old one. During the Neptune-Pluto square alignment during the early 4th century, there was a”changing of the Gods”, as powerful archetypal subterranean forces were unleashed that led to the destruction the of the Roman Empire and the death of its Gods, as a nascent underlying matrix emerged based on the metaphysical beliefs and dogma of Christianity, that offered spiritual comfort and the prospect of salvation, decreed by the spiritual authority of the Church, that would later eclipse Roman authority and rule by the early 5th century.
Finally, the First Christmas Celebration by the early Church occurred within 40 years of the precessional shift into the sign of Pisces that occurred in 3rd century in 221 A.D. (based on the Fagan\Bradley Ayanamsa), which was the last year that the Sun last rose in the constellation of Aries in both the tropical and sidereal zodiac at the Spring Equinox. The Edict of Milan, an agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire, occurred in February 312 A.D., a mere 91 years after the precessional shift into the sign of Pisces.
The Celebration of Christmas – From Rome to Constantinople
The celebration of Christmas spread over the next several centuries throughout the Roman Empire, from the Western capital of Rome to the Eastern capital of Constantinople which acted as a gateway between East and West. Christmas was promoted in the Christian East as part of the revival of Nicene Christianity following the death of the pro-Arian Western Roman Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378.
Christmas festivities were introduced in the Eastern Roman Empire at Constantinople in 379, and at Antioch in about 380 AD. After the collapse Western Roman Empire in 411 AD, the celebration of Christmas ceased during the remainder of the 5th century. During the Dark Age (500 – 800 A.D.), Christmas Day was overshadowed by the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th), which focused on the visit of the magi. However, the medieval church calendar was dominated by Christmas-related holidays.
The prominence of Christmas Day increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope in Rome on Christmas Day in 800 which marked the transition period from the Medieval Dark Age to the Early Middle Age (800-1066).
Also, William the Conqueror, the first King of England, was crowned on Christmas Day 1066, which marked the transition of the Early Middle Age to the High Middle Age (1066 – 1307).
Christianization of Europe
After the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D., the Christianization of the Germanic peoples began. Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the celebration of Jesus’ birth, with many elements having origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations throughout Europe who were later converted to Christianity from 300 – 600 A.D.
English historian Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum contains a letter from Pope Gregory I (Pope from September 3rd, 590 to his death in 604) to Saint Mellitus, who was then on his way to England to conduct missionary work among the pagan Anglo-Saxons. Pope Gregory I, suggested that converting heathens would go easier if they were allowed to retain the outward forms of their traditional pagan practices and traditions, while recasting those traditions spiritually towards the Christian God instead of to their pagan “devils”: “to the end that, whilst some gratifications are outwardly permitted them, they may the more easily consent to the inward consolations of the grace of God.”
Many pre-Christian elements, such as the Yule Log (a specially selected log burned on a hearth as a Christmas tradition in a number of countries in Europe) and the gift giving from the ancient Roman Festival of Saturnalia, became integrated into Christmas over the centuries. The burning of the Yule Log, the decorating of Christmas trees, the eating of ham, the hanging of boughs, holly, mistletoe, etc. are all historically practices associated with Yule.
Church missionaries from Rome found it convenient to provide a Christian reinterpretation of popular pagan holidays such as Yule and allow the celebrations themselves to go on largely unchanged, versus trying to confront and suppress them. The Scandinavian tradition of slaughtering a pig at Christmas (Christmas ham) is probably salient evidence of this. The tradition is thought to be derived from the sacrifice of the boar to the god Freyr at the Yule celebrations. Halloween and aspects of Easter celebrations are likewise assimilated from northern European pagan festivals.
The main Jul event for Norwegians is on Julaften on December 24th, the evening of the main feast, is served and gifts are exchanged. Almost all Norwegian breweries produce traditional beer, juleøl, and a special soda, julebrus. Jul dishes are also served on Julebord, where people from work gather around early December to feast and drink alcoholic beverages. Also, seven types of cookies, julekaker, traditionally baked by the mother of the house, are prepared. There is also the Julebukk or Nyttårsbukk tradition of which it is common for children to pay visits to neighbors where they are given candy, nuts, and clementines. The children may dress up and go out every day between Juleaften and New Year’s Eve. Adults also dress up later in the evening and Drammebukk by paying visits to neighbors in much the same way as the children, but the main difference is that adults are given drinks instead of candy. (Source: Wikipedia)
In Denmark, Jul is celebrated on December 24th, which is referred to as Juleaftensdag. An elaborate dinner is eaten with the family consisting of either roast pork, roast duck or roast goose with potatoes, red cabbage and gravy. For dessert rice pudding is served, traditionally with an almond hidden inside. The lucky finder of this almond is entitled to a small gift. After the meal is complete, the family gather around the Juletræ and sing Christmas carols. When the singing is complete, the children often hand out the presents. They are opened and this is followed by candy, chips, different kind of nuts, clementines and sometimes the traditionally Gløgg (mulled and spiced wine with almonds and raisins), which is served hot in small cups. (Source: Wikipedia)
As in many other countries in northern Europe, Jultomten brings the presents on julafton (Yule Eve), December 24th, the day generally thought of as the main Jul day. Many swedes watch Kalle Anka och hans vänner, a compilation of Disney films. Almost all Swedish families celebrate with a julbord. The common part of almost all julbord is the julskinka (baked ham). The julbord is served with beer or julmust and snaps, the dishes of the julbord may vary throughout Sweden. Businesses traditionally invite their employees to a julbord dinner or lunch the weeks beforehand, and people go out privately to restaurants offering julbord during December, as well. Swedes also enjoy glögg like in many other countries of Scandinavia. After the julbord, the presents are distributed, either by Jultomten or a family member, and usually from a sack or from under the Christmas tree where they have been laying all day or for several days. In older days a julbock (yule goat) was an alternative to Jultomten, nowadays it is used as an ornament, ranging from sizes of 10 cm to huge constructions like the Gävle goat. The next morning, some people attend the julotta, an early morning church service on jul day. (Source: Wikipedia)
Shetland Islands: Yules
In the Shetland Islands of Scotland the Yules are considered to last a month beginning on December 18th and ending January 18th. The main Yules celebration occurs in between, on December 31st. The rest of Scotland eventually adopted “Hogmanay” (the name of the New Year’s presents) as the festival’s name. (Source: Wikipedia)
As forms of Neopaganism can be quite different and have very different origins, these representations can vary considerably despite the shared name. Some celebrate in a manner as close as possible to how they believe that the Ancient Germanic pagans observed the tradition, while others observe the holiday with rituals culled from numerous other unrelated sources, Germanic culture being only one of the sources used. (Source: Wikipedia)
Germanic neopaganism: Yule
In Germanic Neopagan sects, Yule is celebrated with gatherings that often involve a meal and gift giving. Further attempts at reconstruction of surviving accounts of historical celebrations are often made, a hallmark being variations of the traditional. However, it has been pointed out that this is not really reconstruction as these traditions never died out – they have merely removed the superficial Christian elements from the celebrations. Groups such as the Asatru Folk Assembly in the U.S. recognize the celebration as lasting for 12 days, beginning on the date of the winter solstice. (Source: Wikipedia)
In general, many Wiccan-based sects favor a plethora of sources on winter solstice holidays to recreate a type of Yule holiday. While the name “Yule” is used, it is not a reconstruction of the historical holiday. Wreaths, Yule logs, decoration of trees, decorating with mistletoe, holly, and ivy, exchanges of presents, and even wassailing are incorporated and regarded as sacred. The return of the Sun as Frey is commemorated in some groups. In most Wiccan sects, this holiday is also celebrated as the rebirth of the Great God, who is viewed as the newborn solstice sun. (Source: Wikipedia)
Wassail: Yuletide Beverage
Wassail is a hot beverage of mulled punch associated with Yuletide. Historically, the drink was a mulled cider made with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and topped with slices of toast. Modern recipes begin with a base of wine, fruit juice, or mulled ale, sometimes with brandy or sherry added. Apples or oranges are often added to the mix. While the beverage typically served as “wassail” at modern holiday feasts with a medieval theme most closely resembles mulled cider, historical wassail drinks were completely different, more likely to be mulled beer, or mead. Sugar, ale, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon would be placed in a bowl, heated, and topped with slices of toast. Some recipes also call for beaten eggs to be tempered into the drink. (Source: Wikipedia)
Here we come a-wassailing
among the leaves so green.
Here we come a-wand’ring
so fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
and to all your wassail, too,
may the gods bless you, and send you
a Happy New Year,
the gods send you a Happy New Year. Good master and good mistress,
as you sit beside the fire,
pray think of us poor children
who wander through the mire.
Love and joy come to you,
and to all your wassail, too,
may the gods bless you, and send you
a Happy New Year,
the gods send you a Happy New Year. Bring us out a table fine
and spread it out with cloth;
Bring us out a farmer’s cheese,
and some of your Christmas loaf.
Love and joy come to you,
and to all your wassail, too,
may the gods bless you, and send you
a Happy New Year,
the gods send you a Happy New Year.
Druids: The Solstice, Mistletoe, and the Oak King Battling Holly King
On the Solstice, druids would gather by the oldest Mistletoe clad Oak. The Chief Druid would make his way to the mistletoe to be cut whilst below, other Druids would hold open a sheet to catch it, making sure none of it touched the ground. With his Golden Sickle, and in one chop, the Chief Druid would remove the mistletoe, to be caught below.
The early Christian church banned the use of mistletoe because of its association with Druids. The holiday is observed in a manner that commemorates the death of the Holly King identified with the wren bird (symbolizing the old year and the shortened sun) at the hands of his son and successor, the robin redbreast Oak King (the new year and the new sun that begins to grow) (Farrar & Farrar  1998: 35-38). The Battle of the Holly King and Oak King is re-enacted at rituals, both open and closed. The battle is usually in the form of words but it has been known for there to be sword battles. The scene above depicts the Oak King’s final strike against his brother, the Holly King and to ultimate victory, at least for the next six months. (Source: Wikipedia)
Eggnog: Post-Revolutionary America
In the early days of the United States, celebrating Christmas was considered a British custom and fell out of style following the American Revolution (1775-1783). It wasn’t until 1870 that Christmas became a federal holiday. However, Eggnog is traditionally consumed throughout the United States from American Thanksgiving through the end of the Christmas seasons every year. The word eggnog seems to have been an American invention, first appearing in the late 1700s. However, no one is sure where it came from. It may have evolved from nog, an old English name for a variety of strong beer, or from noggin, a small wooden mug used to serve drinks in taverns.
In Britain, the drink was popular mainly among the aristocracy. Those who could get milk and eggs mixed it with brandy, Madeira, or sherry to make a drink similar to modern alcoholic egg nog. The drink crossed the Atlantic to the British colonies during the early 18th century.
George Washington, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, one of the Founding Fathers, and first President of the United States, was a fan of eggnog. Washington had his own eggnog recipe and ordered his servants that it be prepared and served according to his specifications during his Christmas celebration events at his home and plantation at Mount Vernon and during his Presidency (1789-1797).
8:00pm – Guest arrival with eggnog served and dancing
10:00pm – Seated supper
Midnight – Dancing resumes
5:00am – The last guests leave
The first President’s brew wasn’t an eggnog for the fainthearted, given its alcohol content (Note the Mars-Jupiter Conjunction):
George Washington’s Eggnog Recipe
One quart of heavy cream
One quart of milk
One dozen tablespoons sugar
One pint brandy
½ pint rye whiskey
½ pint Jamaica rum
¼ pint sherry
Directions: Mix the liquor first, then separate the yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let sit in a cold place for several (3-5) days before serving. The recipe ends with a congenial “Taste frequently.” Nobody could tell a lie after having a few cups.
Great Britain: The English Christmas Revival
A Christmas Carol is a novella by Charles Dickens (1815 – 1870), first published in London by Chapman & Hall publishing company on December 19th, 1843. A Christmas Carol met with instant success and critical acclaim, telling a story of a bitter cold-hearted old miser named Ebeneezer Scrooge and his psycho-spiritual death-rebirth transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the three Ghosts of Christmas (Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) and the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley. The tale of Scrooge’s spiritual redemption since Christmas 1843 has become a defining tale of the Christmas holiday among the eighty-eight English-speaking nations throughout the world.
The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas Cards and Christmas Trees. Also, Christmas Carol singing took a new lease of life during this time. Dickens, being perfectly in-tune with British culture, published his story at precisely the right moment (Note: Mars-Jupiter-Neptune Conjunction Dec 1st, 1843), which reflected a widespread bourgeoisie interest and desire to reinvigorate Christmas and its ancient customs. Since 1843, A Christmas Carol remains popular—having never been out of print —and has been adapted many times to film, stage, opera, and other media. (Source: Wikipedia)
The United States: The Globalization of Christmas
On June 26th, 1870, Christmas was formally declared a United States federal holiday. Christmas is the most widely celebrated holiday of the year in the United States, commonly celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike with various traditions.
The first electric lights on a family tree were used in 1894 during the presidency of Grover Cleveland. It was placed in the second floor Oval Room of the White House. The Cleveland Family tree decorated with red, white and blue electric light bulbs, delighted the president’s young daughters.
In the 20th century during the onset of the Industrial Revolution (circa 1900 during the Uranus-Pluto Opposition), Christmas began to become peak selling season for retailers in the United States, along with many nations around the world. Sales increase dramatically as people purchased gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In the United States, the “Christmas shopping season” traditionally starts at the commencement of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at noon, with the arrival of Santa Claus who always closes out the parade, welcomed into Herald Square in Manhattan. The parade is presented and sponsored by the U.S.-based department store chain Macy’s.
During the Roaring ’20s – a period of dramatic economic expansion and social experimentation – many of Macy’s department store employees were first-generation European immigrants who quickly reached middle-class status and were proud of their new American heritage, and sought to celebrate the American holiday season of Thanksgiving with the type of festival their parents had loved in Europe. The tradition started in 1924 at 9:00 am in Manhattan, New York (Note Jupiter in Sagittarius rising in the Event Horoscope). With an audience of over 250,000 people, the parade was such a success that Macy’s declared it would become an annual event.