Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

It’s 🎼 beginning ♫ to ⛄️ smell 🎄 a 🎶 lot 🛷 like…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Yup… Xmas is just a few days away.

Fourteen, to be exact, as this is being written.

And Americans have done what Americans do best — commercialize and capitalize upon the sacred.

I mean, what would Xmas be like without Satan Claws, the Ishtar Bunny, Abdominable Snowman, or Rudolph the Brown-Nosed Reindeer, eh?

Maybe that’s too much mixture of metaphones.

But, “merii Kurisumasu,” to you, anyway.

“Kurisumasu” is Japanese, being, of course, the phonetic pronunciation of Christmas, and “merii” being the phonetic pronunciation of the term recognizing the Virgin of Paloma; combine the two, and you have yourselves a merry little Christmas, dear. No more running of the bulls in Pamplona… which should not be confused with melanoma, nor with Oklahoma. Thank you, Will Rogers — the Sooner State’s Favorite Son… who was a Cherokee, a literal honest Injun, a Red Man — not to be confused with the chewing tobacco. And to you too, Fred McFeely Rogers. What would Big Bird be without you? Kentucky Fried Chicken. And Doumo Arigatou (どうもありがとう) to you, Harlan Sanders. And to Komatsu, and John Deere, we send mounds of earth. Now, get moving.

So, what’s the meaning of all this hegemonic, cacophonic, histrionic, mesenteric, miasmatic mess?

Creativity — pure and simple. It’s something made up in the crevices of my creative cranium using things we know about. It’s the use of reality to make a surreality, a phantasy — a thing like the real, somewhat resembling the real, though its most defining characteristic is that it is unreal… very unreal. And we know it.

But seriously, our Japanese brethren have taken a shining to Xmas (but not The Shining), a virtual twinkling of an eye, and/or lights, and/or toes, candy canes, little tin soldiers, and stockings hung by the chimney with care in the hopes that Saint Nick soon will be there, even though Japan is a predominately Shinto and Buddhist nation, just like Middle Eastern nations are predominately Muslim. Seems they like having something to celebrate in the dead of winter, besides soy sauce, saki, and Sony. Now they have Santa. What would a Buddhist Santa look like?

Maybe something like this?

For the Christian faithful, it’s now the Advent season, an annual celebration which consists of the four Sundays before Christmas, or in Eastern Orthodox churches, the 40 days before Christmas, which will then become Christmastide (being the festival observed from December 24 which is Christmas Eve, Christmas Day is the First Day of Christmas, until January 5, the 12th Day of Christmas, which is the eve of Epiphany), then followed by Epiphany.

Got it?

In other words, it’s the season for some of the holiest, and most important days of the year for many orthodox and Catholic Christians, though some Protestant denominations also acknowledge them. And then comes Lent (which is a 40-day period of fasting and penitence observed by many Christians in preparation for Easter, which in Western churches, lasts from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday — which is the day before Easter Sunday — excluding Sundays, in which time the observant commemorate the fasting done by Jesus of Nazareth while in the wilderness) and Eastertide referring to the Easter season, which occurs from Easter Sunday to Ascension Day, sometimes also called Whitsunday, or Trinity Sunday, which is 40 days in duration, initiating with Easter Sunday. Easter is ALWAYS on a Sunday, because that’s when many Christians think Jesus of Nazareth was resurrected from death, following his execution by the government, and subsequent entombment.

As the story is told, He was never “properly buried,” per se — which as many now consider it, is to have the mortal remains placed in a casket, which is then inserted inside a concrete vault, which is placed in a hole dug into the ground, then covered with soil — and rather, His body was placed in a cave, the entrance to which reportedly had a large rock placed in front of the entrance as a blockade. Archaeologists, experts and others who’ve scoured the area around Jerusalem have found only 4 round disc-type rolling rocks used as tomb covers/blockades among the 900-plus Second Temple-period burial caves, all of which were examined by examined by archaeologist Amos Kloner, and those were reserved for the very wealthy and/or royalty. Much more likely, and much more common, was a stone, which may have been hewn, used as a type of plug, in a manner somewhat similar to a cork in a bottle.

That is similarly attested to by researcher Dr. Urban Cammilus von Wahlde, PhD, of Loyola University, Chicago, IL, a Research Fellow Yale Divinity School, 1979, member Catholic Biblical Association American, Society Biblical Literature, Chicago Society Biblical Research, etc., who authored an article to that effect which was published in the March/April 2015 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Biblical Archeology Review, in a column entitled “A Rolling Stone That Was Hard to Roll,” in which he analyzed the Gospel accounts to determine how such a stone which was reported to have sealed the cave/tomb, and found in particular in the Gospel of John, in the original Greek, the grammar used yielded a detail which supports the idea that the cave/tomb in which Jesus of Nazareth was reportedly buried was sealed with stone in a cork-like manner. Here’s an image of such a type cave/tomb.

Very few tombs in Jerusalem from the late Second Temple period had round (disk-shaped) rolling stones, which were utilized by those of wealth and royalty, and it was much more common to seal tombs with cork-shaped stones, such as the one seen here. The archaeological evidence strongly suggests that the cave/tomb of Jesus — which the story says was the unused tomb of Joseph of Arimathea — would have been sealed with a cork-shaped stone. Photo: Tom Powers.

Before it seems like we’re getting all bogged down before making a point, please… bear with me, be patient. There’s a reason why, and it’ll be plainly evident soon enough. Very soon, in fact. And these religious holy days/holidays must be enumerated in order to understand what will be presented at that moment, when “the reveal” is made.

So, continuing…

Eastertide, sometimes also called Paschaltide, Paschaltime, or the Paschal season, focuses upon celebrating what the Christian faithful say is the resurrection from the dead of Jesus of Nazareth, whom they call Christ, which name is from the Latin word Christus, from the Greek khristos meaning “the anointed,” from the Hebrew mashiah (messiah), meaning “the anointed one,” which is a title given to Jesus of Nazareth.

Now, ironically, Easter itself is actually a holy day preceded by Pascha (a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew word pesach, meaning Passover) a day in Judaism, in which the Jewish faithful celebrate the exodus from Egypt — which, as that story is told, is a remembrance of the liberation of the Hebrew people from Egypt, where they were formerly enslaved to and by Pharaoh.

NOTE: That theme, one of enslavement of a people group, and their liberation, continues resonating strongly with our Black brothers and sisters in their practice of Christianity, for the very same reason — for they too (many of them), are descendants of the enslaved, and continue suffering the residual effects of such oppression to this day.

The timing of the Christian Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. The timing of the Jewish Pascha is based upon the Hebrew calendar, and is from the 15th day through the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Nisan. And in the Jewish calendar system, a day BEGINS with nightfall, rather than daybreak, as it does in the Julian calendar system. The Jewish month of Nisan is the seventh month of the civil year, or the first month of the ecclesiastical year. Nisan means a setting out, as in the initiation of a journey, or trek, and etymologically stems from the Babylonian word/name “nisanu” from the verb “nesu” which, again, means to move out, or to proceed. One authoritative source wrote further of the word Nisan that,

“A seminal article in the Journal of Biblical Literature, entitled “The Names of the Assyro-Babylonian Months and Their Regents” (1892), the name Nisan is a transliteration of the Babylonian name nisanu, which derives of a verb nesu, to move, move out, or proceed, which in turn is cognate with the Hebrew verb נסע (nasa’), to pull out or up [of tent pegs], or to set out [on a journey]. … The adoption of this name may have been lubricated by an association with the beginning of the plowing season. Otherwise, the names Nisan and Abib both obviously describe the appearing of the first green on the lands; the beginning of the journey that is the agricultural year.”

So, what we see, is an association with seasons, and in particular, the beginning of the agricultural season, per se, in which crops may be grown, and forms the very foundation of existence, insofar as it is, quite literally, the food supply, and food is associated, by default, with life, and its continuation, i.e., propagation — a multiplication and natural increase by reproduction. And the determining of that period of time came about by observation of celestial bodies in the evening. This seemingly minor fact is, in fact, a major one, insofar as the Hebrew/Jewish calendar is a lunar one, which is to say, it consists of 12 lunar months, each of 29, or 30 days, and is based upon the phases of the moon, in which a new moon is the beginning of each month, while the full moon occurs mid-month. Again, Nisan is the 7th month, and Passover, or Pascha, occurs on the 14th day of Nisan during the full moon.

In contrast, the Julian calendar uses the sun, and is therefore a solar calendar. However… determining the date and timing of Easter is strictly a lunar observation, just as much as the determination of Pascha is when the full moon occurs mid-month of Nisan.

Here’s how one source succinctly and explicity stated, and explained how Christians determine when Easter occurs:

“Easter is observed on the first Sunday following the full moon that comes on or after the vernal equinox (March 21). Thus Easter can take place as early as March 22 but no later than April 25. This full moon is normally the full moon which takes place on the 14th day of Nisan. Thus in most years Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following Passover.”

Continuing with that train of thought, it’s important also to include this notation, which is that:

“Every two or three years the Jewish calendar requires the adjustment of a leap year. During a Jewish leap year an additional month of 29 days is inserted before the month of Nisan. The additional month is needed because the Jewish calendar year has less days than the solar year and begins to slip out of gear with the seasons. The extra month thus realigns the Jewish calendar year with the seasons of the solar year. This is important because the Jewish holidays are closely related to the seasons. For example, the Torah commands that Passover be celebrated in the spring.

“Every so often the Jewish leap year will push Passover so far into April that a second full moon following the vernal equinox would appear before the Sunday following Passover. This happens anytime the Sunday following Passover falls later than April 25th on our calendar. On those rare occasions Easter is celebrated the month before Passover rather than the Sunday following Passover.

“…the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. eventually adopted the current system of celebrating Easter on the Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox.

“The Western Church (Catholic; Protestant) celebrates Easter based on the Gregorian Calendar, while the Eastern Church (Orthodox) follows the Julian Calendar. As a result, in most years the Orthodox Easter follows the Western Easter by one or more weeks, although in some years the dates coincide.”

Already, it ought to be plainly and readily observable that what we’re dealing with in BOTH these instances is the position of the sun, and more specifically, the phases of the moon, the timing of their occurrences, and the establishment of their dates of occurrences.

If your head is not spinning by now, let’s try just once more, from another source, an explanation about determining the timing and date of Easter:

“Although Easter is liturgically related to the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere (March equinox) and the Full Moon, its date is not based on the actual astronomical date of either event.

    • March 21 is the Church’s date of the March equinox, regardless of the time zone, while the actual date of the equinox varies between March 19 and March 22, and the date depends on the time zone.
    • The date of the Paschal Full Moon, used to determine the date of Easter, is based on mathematical approximations following a 19-year cycle called the Metonic cycle.

“Both dates may coincide with the dates of the astronomical events, but in some years, they don’t.”

These holy days to the religious faithful, Jewish and Christian alike, can, and do often overlap one another — including Ramadan for our Islamic brethren — which is by design, in a sense, because their dates are not “set in stone,” but rather, are determined by lunisolar (moon & sun) observation and relative position, meaning the position of the sun and the moon phase.


In other words, it’s astrology.

Seriously, that is NOT a joke.

Fundamentally, they are, at their core, religious celebrations based upon position of celestial bodies, i.e., a horoscope.

Oh yeah.

In fact, the etymology (the origin and derivation) of the word “horoscope” states:

horoscope (n.)

“observation or diagram of the heavens, showing the positions of planets, on any given day, used by astrologers,” mid-16c., from French horoscope, from Latin horoscopum/horoscopus, from Greek hōroskopos “nativity, horoscope,” also “one who casts a horoscope, one who observes the hour of a birth,” from hōra “hour; season; period of time” (see hour) + skopos “watcher; what is watched” (from PIE root *spek- “to observe”). The notion is of “observing the hour” (of someone’s birth, etc.). The word was in late Old English and Middle English as horoscopum, from Latin, but the modern form is considered to be a reborrowing. Old English glossed Latin horoscopus with tidsceawere (“time-shower”). Related: Horoscopic; horiscopal. Horoscopy “the casting of a nativity” is attested from 1650s, from Latin horoscopium, from Greek hōroskopeion, from hōroskopia.


Again, to be absolutely and utterly certain, let’s examine the etymology of the word “astrology” to determine if there’s any relationship to the word horoscope, and if so, what it might be.

astrology (n.)

late 14c., “calculation and foretelling based on observation of heavenly bodies,” from Latin astrologia “astronomy, the science of the heavenly bodies,” from Greek astrologia “astronomy,” literally “a telling of the stars,” from astron “star” (from PIE root *ster- (2) “star”) + -logia “treating of” (see -logy). Originally identical with astronomy and including scientific observation and description. The special sense of “astronomy applied to prediction of events” was divided into natural astrology “the calculation and foretelling of natural phenomenon” (tides, eclipses, dates of Church festivals, etc.), and judicial astrology “the art of judging occult influences of stars and planets on human affairs.” In Latin and later Greek, astronomia tended to be more scientific than astrologia.  In English, the differentiation between astrology and astronomy began late 1400s and by late 17c. this word was limited to the sense of “reading influences of the stars and their effects on human destiny.”

And consequently, an Astrology in the World before Astronomy, either in Name or Science. so that (Non obstante whatever any Astronomer shall oppose to the contrary) Astrology hath the right of Primogeniture. And all the Sober and Judiciously Learned must needs acknowledge the Truth hereof.—Howbeit, it were to be wished that the Astrologer understood Astronomy, and that the Astronomer were acquainted with Astrology: Although I do in truth despair of ever finding many to be so happily Accomplished. [John Gadbury, introduction to “Ephemerides of the Celestial Motions,” London, 1672]

It is … an extremely just observation of M. Comte, that [the study of astrology] marks the first systematic effort to frame a philosophy of history by reducing the apparently capricious phenomena of human actions within the domain of law. It may, however, I think, be no less justly regarded as one of the last struggles of human egotism against the depressing sense of insignificance which the immensity of the universe must produce. [W.E.H. Lecky, “History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe,” 1866]

Now, I wouldn’t suppose that the congregations to which some Protestant Evangelicals have aligned themselves — particularly, and especially the independent variety, which includes the Churches of Christ (which are so notoriously independent, that about the only thing they all agree upon, is no musical instruments are to be used in corporate worship), etc. — would celebrate anything but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But still, “baby Jesus,” the savior of humanity, as some say — who shat His holy diapers, suckled the teats of a woman, had wet dreams as a teen, and more, all which are 100% normal & natural events, as signs of a healthy male — would still fantasize about the Magi, and the birth of Jesus… which, as women know, is a very messy, bloody event, sometimes also occurring concurrently with defecation, and/or urination. Yeah. Messy… very messy.

I write “fantasize” precisely because that’s what much, or even most, of Christendom has done; they’ve manufactured a fantasy, which is so very far removed from reality, that it’s a stretch to swallow it all. And so, they don’t. They merely regurgitate it unthinkingly. Hence, the brief appearance of the trite, clichéd statement, “God said, it; I believe it; that settles it,” which makes about as much sense as the line in the original Doctor Dolittle movie (1967) starring Rex Harrison (1908-1990), and the song “My Friend The Doctor” in which is sung the following:

My friend the Doctor says the moon is made of apple pie
And once a month it’s eaten by the sun.
And that is why, up in the sky,
You’ll find as every month goes by;
Somebody in the sky is making another one.

My friend the Doctor says the sun is made of cheddar cheese.
The Doctor even knows the reason why.
The facts are these,
Try if you please,
Pretend that you’re a lonely cheese,
Wouldn’t you want to try finding an apple pie?

Maybe what the Doctor tells me
Isn’t altogether true,
But I love every tale he tells me.
I don’t know any better ones,
Do you?

“I love the tales he tells me. I don’t know any better ones. Do you?”

Clearly, there is some acknowledgement that the tales are fanciful, pure fiction, and utter hyperbole — but still, “I love the tales he tells me.” A non-critical-thinking regurgitation of the obviously fictitious tales constitutes the fullest part of the song, with the citation of the ludicrously absurd postulations.

And, in a very similar manner, that is the same phenomenon which has occurred in the Christian church.

Refocusing again on the matter of astrology and horoscopy (the art  of casting and interpretation of horoscopes, or divinations based upon the relative positions of heavenly bodies), let’s examine the most central character in the matter, and examine in more detail the story of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

As that story is told in the New Testament book of the Gospel of Matthew chapter 2, it plainly points to observation of the skies, specifically, the celestial bodies visible during the evening, as being some type of guidance for at least two, perhaps more, allegedly “wise men.” That account is only told in the Gospel of Matthew. There is no other description of it anywhere else in the New Testament, nor the Old Testament, for that matter.

1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2asking, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east⁽⁾ and have come to worship Him.”

7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and learned from them the exact time the star had appeared.

9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the Child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great delight.

The version above is the New International Version (NIV), which uses the term “Magi” to identify the characters which in the King James Version (KVJ) are called “wise men from the east.” The rendering of the term “wise men” to “Magi” in the NIV is consistent with the earliest known manuscripts as numerous papyri, the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and others, including the Textus Receptus, which is the earliest published collection of the earliest Greek writings, and others — all which are in the original Greek language in which it was written — which also uses the term “Magi.” The Greek word μάγοι is number 3097 in Strong’s Concordance, which states this about the word:

magos: a Magian, i.e. an (Oriental) astrologer, by impl. a magician

Original Word: μάγος, ου, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Transliteration: magos
Phonetic Spelling: (mag’-os)
Definition: a Magian, an (Oriental) astrologer, by implication a magician
Usage: a sorcerer, a magician, a wizard.

3097 mágos (plural, magi) – properly, belonging to “the Magoi, a Median tribe (so Herodotus); a Magian, one of a sacred caste, originally Median, who seem to have conformed to the Persian religion, while retaining some of their old beliefs (v. DB, I vol., 565 f.; DB, iii, 203 ff.): Mt 2:1,7,16; a wizard, sorcerer: Ac 13:6,8″ (Abbott-Smith)

Examining further, we see in verse 7, part b (the second portion) the phrase rendered as “τὸν χρόνον τοῦ φαινομένου ἀστέρος” in the Greek (literally “the time of the appearing star”), which the KJV translates as “what time the star appeared.” The Greek χρόνον is kronos, which is time, and in context refers to, or identifies a particular time, or season.

The Greek ἀστέρος is astér, which is a star. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon refers to the Strong’s number and writes the following about that word:

STRONGS NT 792: ἀστήρ

ἀστήρ, ἀστέρος, (from the root, star (probably, as strewn over the sky), cf. ἄστρον, Latinstella, German Stern, English star; Fick, Part i. 250; Curtius, § 205; Vanicek, p. 1146; from Homer down); a star:

So now, as you “do the math,” it’s quite plainly, and explicitly evident that astrologers, sorcerers, wizards, magicians, what have you, were the ones who — again, as the story is told — sought out the babe in a manger, and were said to be guided by some celestial sign.

Here’s where genuine science, astronomy, comes in handy.

Over a period of several years, even decades or more, numerous astronomers, researchers, scholars, and others, have made numerous efforts to connect the “star” to unusual celestial events, such as a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn or of Jupiter and Venus,[5] a comet, or even a supernova.[6] However, there are numerous modern scholars who do not regard the story to be observations of an actual historical event, but instead consider it a pious fiction, a superlative of sorts, added later to the primary gospel account, perhaps in an attempt to emphasize its importance.[7] In other words, there’s NO EVIDENCE to support the story told.

Here’s yet another “inconvenient truth” about Christmas and the birth of Jesus of Nazareth:
While Christmas is celebrated on December 25 in the western world, theologians, researchers, historians, and others well-versed in such matters, cannot conclusively agree upon a date, month, or season in which Jesus of Nazareth was supposed to have been born. And that includes not only Christians, but non-Christians, as well, such as Jews, Muslims, and atheists. And many, indeed, even most, agree however, that December 25 was most certainly NOT the date, nor month.

Some have suggested that Jesus’ birth was most likely sometime in the month we know as October, or even sometime in January, or even during the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles, or maybe on November 18 as Clement suggested, or as Hippolytus said, on a Wednesday, while yet another claimed somewhere in North Africa around A.D. 243, while yet another said March 28, to the end of September, or maybe it was January 2, January 6, March 21, March 25, April 18, April 19, May 20, May 28, or November 17. Further, many cannot even agree upon the birth location: Was it Nazareth, or maybe Jerusalem, or perhaps it was Bethlehem? The point is, as one researcher wrote, “the Bible doesn’t give us enough information to determine Jesus’ birthday, and the tradition in the Church Fathers is mixed, with different dates being proposed.” Further, as another source stated, “No doctrine of the Christian faith rests upon knowing the exact day and year of Christ’s birth. And no stress is put upon the date of his birth in the New Testament. No one is ever told to celebrate Christmas. The emphasis always rests on the fact of Jesus’ birth, not the date.” And so, that matter — the timing of the birth — is a red herring.

But the point, once again, is one to which we return:

Maybe what the Doctor tells me
Isn’t altogether true,
But I love every tale he tells me.
I don’t know any better ones,
Do you?

Now, you think about that. In a court of law, or in any scientific endeavor, or indeed, practically any classroom anywhere, if anyone was to assert, claim, or otherwise hold as true some event about which they could neither give documentary evidence, yet stated that what they believe was indisputable, inarguable, and incontrovertible fact — that a thing happened — despite the lack of evidence thereof supporting such a claim, they would be laughed out of court, held in contempt, and otherwise justifiably ridiculed, ostracized, criticized, and mocked endlessly for so doing.

As well, the modern lore is that there were three wise men, as evidenced by popular imagery and religious songs, but the account does not cite how many there were, nor does it enumerate them. It only uses the plural form which identifies any number greater than one. The only possible reference to the number 3 could be found in verse 11, where it concludes stating, “when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. There’s the three. But again, there’s NO MENTION of how many “wise men” or Magi (sorcerers) were present.

Again, more fiction, more fairy tale, more fantasy, more tall tales, more things made up in the crevices of others creative craniums using things we know about, the use of reality to make a surreality, a phantasy. Because why?

Who knows? There are numerous hypotheses, many of which rely upon an almost innate human desire for something greater, something external to the self, which is like the self in some way, yet in others, is very unlike it — a surreality, a fantasy.

Again, why?

Perhaps because there is something about ourselves which we cannot effectively deal with, or understand, and so we create a tool to help us understand, to allow us by using that tool, an opportunity for change, or growth.

And so, is it evil?

Yes… and no.

Once again, it’s a surreality, a hyperbole, if you will, that serves as a tool to allow us to perform some degree, type, or extent, of self-examination… because the unadorned plain truth is too much for us to bear, and it serves as an analgesic, or anesthetic of sorts — something to alleviate, ameliorate, eliminate, or reduce the pain and suffering we experience.

Is it hypocrisy?

Yes, of course it is.

But, as Benjamin F. Martin wrote in his book “France in 1938,” in the opening of chapter 2, that, “Hypocrisy is the art of affecting qualities for the purpose of pretending to an undeserved virtue. Because individuals and institutions and societies most often live down to the suspicions about them, hypocrisy and its accompanying equivocations underpin the conduct of life. Imagine how frightful truth unvarnished would be.”

That is what many have done, as many others will do also.

But the shiny and new will wear off that toy, soon enough.

And then, they’ll move along to something new, once their feelings of low self-esteem have been assuaged.

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