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The Gnostic Cycle: ‘A time of regognition of the cycle of the Green Man, a time of sharing life with others’

The Mid-Winter Festival, the Solstice or Yule marks the time of the shortest day; a time when the return or rebirth of the Light is acknowledged by cultures from all around the world. Folks gather together on this day to welcome in the Light, whether physical or metaphysical, from the aspects of their various traditions, in reality having no connection with the birth of a Christ (Jesus) figure.

YULE FOLK CUSTOMS:

WINTER GREENERY: Way before modern times people would decorate their homes at Yule with beautiful greenery; Holly, Ivy and boughs of Fir were bought in fresh from nature, a tradition followed today by many folks, especially by followers of modern-day Pagan or older Craft traditions, with each acknowledging the Winter-Festival or Yuletide customs. Bringing greenery indoors can completely change and uplift the energies inside one’s home, taking one back to a timeless place beyond the bright tinsel, gaudy baubles and glitz of today’s modern celebrations; allowing folks to find a much deeper and subtle connection to the season. The greenery we bring indoors at the mid-winter festival has many connections to folk traditions and cultures all over the earthly plain, both ancient and modern and throughout all time there have been many myths and legends associated with our winter festival customs.

THE HOLLY: The bright red berries and sharp thorns of the Holly are thought of as a tree traditionally sacred to the ‘God of Winter’ and yet interestingly within the Gnostic teachings Holly is aligned with the Goddess and in particular has close sacred associations with Mary Magdalene. Often wands and staffs were, and still are made of Holly and used in the recurring ritual battle still followed by the pagan traditions, between the Holly and Oak, the winter and summer tree-kings. The Oak King, representing the light half of the year, rules from midwinter to midsummer and the Holly King, representing the dark half of the year, rules from midsummer to midwinter. Many pagan folk in their solstice/yule rites will re-enact this enduring tale and will take part in the re-telling of the battle between these two mighty kings; the Oak King and the Holly King. Before the Yule tree was born, those of Craft would hang a large ball of evergreen and Holly within their homes at Yule. From the ball would be draped red, white and black ribbons (the Craft colours) and paper roses, apples and oranges.

THE IVY: The Ivy is known as a goddess tree, being green in midwinter, and so also used for home decorations; it was also used as a magical wand when twined around a suitable host. The Holly and Ivy do have further symbolism associated with them, for they represent man and woman, going on forever; the Lord and the Lady, and it is said that the true sexual implications of Holly and Ivy carols can be discovered in the many recreated pagan versions of the present day carols.

THE FIR: The Fir is also a goddess tree and is linked with twelfth night or Epiphany, when the three wise men (Magi), ‘supossedly’ came bearing gifts for Mary, Joseph and their babe. In the pagan year however, this was when the young god now aged twelve was armed with his weapons and was sent forth by the goddess. The fir/pine cones carried by the priestess in many religious rites and also depicted in many ancient carvings and paintings were said to be a masculine symbol to endow the young god with virility and power. Yet also the pine cone is a metaphysical representation of the pineal gland; the third eye, as is the ‘pine’ apple, often depicted in paintings and sculptures. Interesting and intriging facts that clearly show our ancestors had far more knowledge than has been credited to them, or had teachers and a knowledge source now lost in time to us or maybe simply kept hidden in plain sight? Fir trees themselves were believed to be spirits of fertility, being evergreen and undying.

MISTLETOE: Mistletoe is an ancient fertility symbol and everyone secretly, more so in the past than now i think, hopes to share in the custom of stealing a kiss under the mistletoe. It is the god tree of the winter solstice, green when many other trees are dead, its green and gold leaves indicate life and the sun, and its pearly white berries are symbols of the seeds of the sun and the semen of men. It has strong Druid associations and was/is used for magical and healing purposes and was banned from all Christian purposes. It is said that in druid ‘traditions’ one must always cut the mistletoe with a copper sickle blade. But beware though, next time you steal that kiss under the mistletoe – you might just get more than you bargained for!

So from all the various customs and myths involving greenery may have sprung forth the familiar Yuletide tradition of ‘Decking our homes with Boughs of Holly!’

ROMAN & PERSION CONNECTIONS:
The Romans also celebrated their own festival of Saturnalia from December 17th to December 24th. It was a time of merry-making, feasting and the giving of gifts and they too would decorate their abodes with greenery and lights. The Romans also practiced the ‘Mithraic Mysteries’ and some sources say they celebrated the birthday of Mithras on the 25th December, although not everyone agrees with this. It is interesting to note that Azazel‘s cherub was known by the Persians as Mithras, the God of Light, with there being origins to confirm Mithraism was indeed of Persian origin. Firmicus Maternus tells us Mithraism was based on the Persian rituals of the Magi (See the Error of the Pagan Religions). The Magi, such as the three Magi (wise men) of popular christian culture who sought Jesus at his birth, were Zoroastrians. The cult of Mithras was embraced by Roman Legionaries; it being a contemporary religion to the early Roman Catholic Church, by whom was adopted the ‘Mithraic Sacrament’. The worship of Mithras (Azazel) in subterranean chambers was done to symbolise his entrapment within the earth. Mithras (aka Azazel‘s cherub Behemoth, the disk) was at times referred to under the religious title of Sol Invictus

RETURN OF THE LIGHT:
The popular reason believed for lights and candles at Yule/the winter solstice is aptly found in the welcoming of the returning light; the return of the sun, heralding in the lighter days to come. The return of the sun or the birth of the Light is often thought to have symbolically metamorphorsized into the ‘birth of the son’ and given birth to many ancient myths and customs around the world. Although a time of celebration, many folks struggle with this dark time of year, the dark can seem even darker, the nights can seem even longer and the days can seem oh so cold, especially if folks have had issues in their lives that are hard to come to terms with. It can be a time of being alone for so many people, and because of loneliness, many folks simply hibernate during the dark months, awaiting the return of the light. This welcome return of the Light can connect us to the Sun, Moon and Star of our past, present and future. In our Solstice prayers we can pray for inner guidance and request for the fire within our souls to be re-ignited as we ask that the eternal Light will guide us through any challenging days that lie ahead.
In connecting to the guiding Light, we are of course connecting to the Goddess whom the Knight Templars acknowledge as personified on earth, as their lady, the Lady Mary Magdalene, known in ancient scriptures by the name of Kiam, “for she may shine upon all who wish it and guide us to that inner place of peace and sanctuary, that special ‘nous’ within our souls”. She will bless all those who ask guidance of her, will bestow her blessings upon all, of whatever path or spirituality we follow, for we are all blessed and divine in the eyes of the Goddess.
Within the Knights Templar teachings/degrees, Yule is a celebration of ‘Ilu’ or Nabu’; a God festival. It is a time of recognition of the cycle of the ‘Green Man’, a time for sharing life with others. The future is developing within the womb of the earth, and the energy begins to shape and map the cycles of the future. It is a time to change habits and reduce negative thoughts around us. We give praise to the ‘Light upon the Earth’, in the knowledge that the lines of life will continue. The Crescent Moon of Ansar is featured in the Templar 21st degree, so does this crescent moon and it’s star have a direct connection to the holy star of Christian mythology; the ‘star’ that guided the three (sacred 3) wise men or Magi towards the son of god? (son of the G.O.D; son of the Universe?) Within the Templar path are further hidden meanings to this story and to the meaning of the moon and star, and thinking along those lines one can now discover the sun, moon and star hidden in the well know story of the birth of the Jesus, for it is certainly a star of the east in its Ansar form.

THE LIGHT BEHIND THE VEIL:
Many people who have trod a modern pagan path have, over the years realised that there was and is so much more to the Jesus and Mary, and Mary and Joseph tellings than ever met the public eye, or had previously been taught. Many like myself held on long and hard for a truth, realising that it was there somewhere, yet it was not being taught; one knew instinctively that something was hidden, something was missing… It is quite common knowledge these days to acknowledge that Jesus/Malak/The Messenger was not actually born in December; that this particular date was ‘borrowed’ by those whom deemed it necessary to keep the people of the earthly plain forever in darkness, away from true knowledge. Yet what a very clever act of disguise for the ‘weavers of the dark webs’ of old to simply hide the real truths (that they of course knew), displaying them for the peoples of the Earth as riddles for all to see (should of course they choose to) hidden so very purposefully within the old pagan mythologies. They hid the real truths of the universe, the real L.i.g.h.t. from the people and wove a new false history onto the old customs and tellings. Meanwhile the faithful, unquestioning ‘Christian’ folks went along with these false tellings and as we all know, the story has endured over centuries, but one only needs to take a tiny peak behind the veil of illusion to see the real truths behind this so-called birth of the son of G-d. So thus the Christians (and pagan folk too) have been preserving Templar/Ninasian truths in a very well-told tale for hundreds of years without realising it. It’s all there hiding in all the riddles and codes, hidden in plain sight, reiterating once again that the seen really can become the unseen and yet in these current days more and more people are awakening to the truths and the messages which the returning L.i.g.h.t. will thus bring forth…

THE TRUTH…
So we have journeyed here to a perfect point in time in acknowledging that the birth of Malak to be the manifestation of the Universe made flesh; ‘The Word made Flesh’ or is it though? Or are there still layers of mistruths to peel away? We acknowledge the name of ‘Messiah’ or ‘Christ’ to mean the “anointed” but does this actually refer to Malak; the Jesus of the ‘Messenger Line’ or to something other? Who exactly was this Jesus, this Malak and which royal bloodline was he born into and why?  The secret then, that he kept which has been hidden so well, was that he was the ‘Keeper of the Secret’, but what was the actual secret? Most people are now very familiar, in varying degrees with the story of Mary and Joseph journeying to Bethlehem; Mary almost full-term pregnant with child. They were there, it is said, to register in an empire-wide census decreed by Rome and of course when they arrived, they found that Bethlehem was jam-packed full of visitors from all over the region, so henceforth no place to stay overnight. Joseph however was very resourceful and found temporary shelter in the stable of the inn they were supposed to be staying at and of course it is said that the young mother ‘supossedly’ gave birth to Jesus/Malak on December 25th.
The shepherds out in their fields and pastures now witnessed a stunning supernatural event; a great star in the heavens, a sign that the Christ Child was born. Also (and again supposedly) three ‘Wise Men’ from the east came to Bethlehem to honour the Jesus. Herod, Rome’s client king over Judea, felt threatened by the Jesus’ existence and since he could not find the child, Herod decided to massacre all baby boys that were estimated to be Jesus’ age. And so the account grew and grew over the centuries, weaving chapters from the Bible with old myths originating from the Babylonian mystery religions, practiced by idol worshippers since the tower of Babel times.
To understand the events surrounding the ‘Jesus Christ’s’ birth and his said early years; fact must be separated from fiction; for despite what billions believe today ‘the Jesus’ was NOT born on Dec 25th, or even in winter. He was in all likelihood born in early autumn. To make this fact clearer, it states in the Adam Clark Commentary, volume 5, page 370 New York Edition that it was customary among Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts at about the Passover (early spring), and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain. “The first rains began in early to mid-fall”. Continuing with the same quote… “During the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. The first rain began early in the month of ‘Heshaven’, co-inciding to part of our October and November (begining sometime in October), we find then that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole summer. And as these shepherds had not yet bought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that consequently our Lord was not born on the 25th December, when no flocks were out in the fields, nor could He have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the field by night. On this very ground, the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact… see the quotations from the Talmudists in Light-foot”
Luke 2:8 explains that when Christ was born there were in the same country “shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” Note that they were ‘abiding’ in the field. This could not have happened in December, or even close. Both and the Song of Solomon 2:11 show that winter was the rainy season and the shepherds could not reside in cold, open fields at night. Numerous encyclopaedias plainly state that Jesus/Malak was not born on December 25. Even the Catholic Encyclopaedia confirms this!
Then from where did the festival accounts associated with this date come from? The following quote can be found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, under ‘Christmas’; “In the Roman world, the Saturnalia (December 17th) was a time of merry making and exchanging of gifts. December 25th was also regarded as the birthdate of the Iranian mystery god, Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness. On the Roman New Year (January 1st), houses were decorated with greenery and lights as mentioned previously, and gifts were given to children and the poor. To these observances were added the German and Celtic Yule rites when the Teutonic tribes penetrated into Gaul, Britain and Central Europe. Food and good fellowship, the Yule log and Yule cakes, greenery and fir trees, gifts and greetings all commemorated different aspects of this festive season. Fires and lights; symbols of warmth and lasting life, have always been associated with the winter festival, both pagan and Christian”
Next is a quote from the December 1984 Toronto Star article; ‘We owe a lot to Druids; Dutch’, by Alan Edmonds: “The Reformation cast a blight on Christmas. By then of course, clever ecclesiastical politicians had adapted the pagan mid-winter festival as the alleged birth-date of Jesus, of Nazareth and thrown in a few other pagan goodies to make their takeover more palatable.” Why late December? Understand that December 25th was not selected because it was the birth of Jesus Christ or because it was near that date. It was selected entirely because the 25th of December coincided with the idolatrous pagan festival of Saturnalia! In any event we do not know the exact date of Jesus’ birth (though in all likelihood he was born in the autumn). While G-d certainly could have made it clearly known, He chose to hide it from the world’s eyes.
For years the birth of the Jesus has been shrouded in the old pagan trappings of the Christmas festival, whose traditions and practices predate Christ’s earthly ministry by thousands of years! Yet the path that ‘the Jesus’ followed was not what we know of as christian at all and goes back to a time much, much older than the pagan traditions. Billions around the world exchange gifts with each other every December 25th, believing they are following the ‘three wise men’s’ custom of giving birthday gifts to Jesus. Yet the ‘three wise men’ of the xmas myth are called ‘magi’ in the bible; magicians from the East and scripture does not even specify how many visited Jesus. Also, the magi gave gifts to the Christ Child out of respect and royal tradition. They acknowledged Him to be a king, and thus treated Him as such; practicing the custom of giving gifts to a royal ruler. These were in no sense birthday gifts, for by the time the magi visited Jesus it is said, He and His parents were no longer in the stable; they were in a house, and the bible refers to Christ as a ‘young child’ Matt.2:8, 11, not a baby.
Much time had passed since the Jesus had been born. When we separate fact from fiction, that is biblical truth from sadly, the lies and deceits of the old pagan myths and legends, we get a better, much clearer view of the true Jesus Christ; the messenger, and of his birth. In sifting through the pagan myths and legends we finally meet the truth and of course truth is knowledge, and knowledge is enlightenment (LIGHT). Thus we see that it is indeed the old pagan myths that are still being celebrated on the 25th, even by those professing to be followers of Christ, those who still buy into all the untruths and follow blindly. These days so many aspects of the Winter Festival, wrongly and sadly celebrated under the banner of the birth of Christ, do seem to be one huge festival of consumerism and consumption which so many folks just simply buy into without any question; blindly following that Neon God of man’s downfall.
So in essence if one breaks it all down and puts it simply; are the Chistians celebrating pagan myths on the 25th December whether they realise it or not, or can it be the other way around – are the pagans celebrating the true older ways, not generally known of? Thus the pagan folk themselves are celebrating something from a fabricated past that never ever existed anyway!

THE TRUE MIDWINTER FESTIVAL:
So via the many tales, histories, mysteries, true or false of The Mid-Winter Festival, we have finally reached the teachings of The Priory, yet even so many mysteries still remain and many riddles within the tales still need to be solved. For around this time at the 21st December, at the time of the Solstice in its true form, is a short season when the veil still hangs thin enabling connection and communication between the dimensions, a time reserved for magic, yet also a time of much needed grounding. In the ‘old calendars’ it was a time of ‘mass’, a gathering of the ‘annointed’ (the christed ones) with connection to the ‘Mithraic Sacrement’of the early Roman Catholic church. A time that connects to much more than our earthly traditions; yet through the mists one can now at last clearly see how the confusions have come about over the years, and just how the pure truths have become so deeply buried within the ever perpetuating mythology of our modern society, that the myths are now accepted as the truths.
We can now see that a mass is a gathering of people and masses have long been held at holy places of worship. The inner sanctum of the Vatican for example has its own mass, its own ‘order of mass’. So the annointed ones attending a mass are the ‘christ/the christo’, the annointed ones and therefore the ceremony becomes, and is known as the christ mass ie Christmas; in our times a named festival associated mistakenly with the 25th December, proving that if one misleads or lies for long enough, the lies eventually fade into time and only the false truths remain. Which of course is happening so much within our modern world, but that is a story for yet another day….
Of course one can still celebrate the return of the Light on the 21st December because that is a fact, the light will return. Yet celebrate in a much simpler, sacred, deeper and more profound way by honouring the earth and the cycles of the land and of our place in the universe; honour if you wish, the truth of the real Ninasian teachings of the Priory. Embrace this time for sharing the ultimate, albeit fleeting joy of life with others and in doing so one is also honouring the true ‘Christ Mass’, and the real metaphysical reason for our Mid-Winter Festival

LOVE AND LIGHT:
A Poem for Yule/The Midwinter Festival

I heard the wind whispering.
I felt the cool breeze in my hair.
I saw the Star and followed.
I heard the eternal voice of the one who loves me.
If I leave no trace upon this land
I know her sweet laughter will forever guide me home
To the place where I belong.
The winter’s chill and the long dark nights are no more.
The forgotten shadows fade
And the Light within reveals the true beauty of Life.
I shall fear not the unknowing
I shall fear not life
I will embrace all,
My cherished journey.
The Light beckons me on this night
And I am led towards G.O.D. by her loving hand.

From ‘He Became Man’ by Frederick H. Haines: “Shall the story be told anew of the Christ-born? Words are but the glimmering tapers of an inner thought seeking to illuminate the darkness of a mind grasping it’s way towards the light. The ray of inspiration may exalt them to a higher efficiency and cast athwart the prosaic symbolism of our words some revealing power that will servw your present need.  Light from beyond the utmost province of man’s mentallity is needed in this great venture to impart forgotten truth; and faith in that light is our sole strenght, our caise, and our justification. For lo, we speak of God!”

Gi be Dag ma Dara bi Ar. Night to be day and dark to be light.

Written by yours truly (The Keeper of Scrolls) with exerts from the Templar Degree Scriptures, Priory Scriptures, my own thoughts and My Grand Prior’s invaluable guidance and teachings.

Yule in the Gregorian year of 2014
Updated Yule 2015/2018/Feb 2019/Dec 2019

To discover more on the real truths of who is who on earth, then and now; does the enigmatic royal ‘bloodline’ still exist on earth? Well maybe the truths are nearer than you thought and waiting to be discovered within the wonderful and profound teachings of The Priory (now Knights of the Red Order)