12/25/2008

"Bona Saturnalia!"


Welcome to the Saturnalia!
The Circle of the Year is cut in fourths,
and in the ancient lands of Greece and Rome
the darkening time from autumn equinox
to winter solstice was the time to plow
and plant the ground, to store away the seeds.
When this was done the people rested through
the winter months, until the Sun returned.
Three ancient Gods are honored at this time:
Saturnus, Ops and CĂ´nsus are Their names.
Now listen to the Myth of Saturn's reign: Before the mighty Gods that rule the world
from high Olympus' snowy peak were born,
Saturnus was the king of all the Gods
and Ops, His sister, was His wife and queen.
But when the time had come to yield His throne
in favor of a younger God, His son,
then Father Saturn would not step aside.
A fight ensued between the old and new,
Till Jove had thrown Saturnus from the sky.
He tumbled down to Earth, and with His wife
He made a ship and sailed to this, our land.
He taught the people many useful arts,
to save the seeds and sow them in the ground,
so we need never have to search for food.
He showed us how to breed our animals
so we might always have their meat and fur,
so they would help to plow the fertile Earth.
Saturnus first taught folk to strike bright coins
from shining silver, glittering gold and bronze.
He showed how money might be put away,
and saved, and put to use another day.
In these and other ways Saturnus made
our lives much easier and free.
His happy reign was called the Golden Age,
when there was food enough for everyone,
and people shared the bounty that they had,
and no one ever stole or fought or lied.
But when the end had come to Saturn's reign,
He wisely chose to set aside His crown.
He sailed away beyond the Northern Wind,
to Hyperborea, where He now sleeps,
upon a hidden island at the Pole,
where He awaits another Golden Age.
But till that happy time is come again,
in this, the coldest season of the year,
we go in thought to Saturn's snowy realm
to wake from sleep the ancient kindly king,
and ask Him once again to walk with us,
and let us live for this short time with Him,
enjoying blessings of His Golden Age.
I wish you, "Bona Saturnalia!"
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