The Symbolism Of The Snowman

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Gift Bag Snowman

Gift Bag Snowman

On Christmas Eve I got some gifts in a wonderful gift bag.  I found the gift bag quite interesting.  This gift bag is copyrighted by Kim Martin / London Portfolio.   I wonder who this artist is?  I think unique art, even on a gift bag, should have a signature. 

Observing this gift bag, I thought of the symbolism presented by the artist’s snowman imagery.   This bag is presenting a spiritual viewpoint that is not exactly Christian.  It seems to sway to the pagan side of Christmas.  During Christmas paganism walks side by side with Christianity.   Since gift bags and cards are usually spiritually neutral (not to offend anyone), corporate generated art often uses imagery from popular culture.  Like Santa, reindeer and snowmen.

Looking at this image we see fairies bringing gifts to the snowman.  What do fairies have to do with the birth of Christ?  Well, Santa has his elves, and maybe the snowman fairies are Santa elves?  I suppose.

The snowman is wearing a sweater covered in pentagrams/stars.  An interesting touch.  The snowman’s sweater reflects the night sky, the heavens.  His green plant-like scarf matches the evergreens in the background.  His stick hands mirror the naked branches that are hovering above and below him.  In the gift stocking on his branch-hand appears to be mistletoe.

The image suggests the tragedy of being a snowman.  Snowmen are temporary beings…and last but for a season and then melt away, alone in the snow.  Yet, the fairies arrive to offer the lonely snowman gifts on Christmas Day.  Nobody else cares; he is by himself.  This is a statement of the mortality of human life.  We are snowmen.  We are born alone and die alone, like the snowman.  Yet we are never truly alone, for there is a spiritual reality awaiting us.  The snowman symbolizes mortality, and the fairies symbolize the gift of immortality.  On second thought, maybe the artist does offer a Christian message!

I wonder if the artist intended such a message?  Like the snowman, his or her work will vanish like snow in the spring.  But I have recorded one gift bag’s message. 

Merry Christmas all!

Knecht Ruprecht, Santa’s scary companion

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Knecht Ruprecht

Knecht Ruprecht

In America there is a Christmas character that is largely unrecognized.  Knecht Ruprecht.  This character is a scary, even sinister companion to Saint Nicholas.   Here in America our Santa Claus is a child friendly fellow who has Christmas elves as his servants.  But in Europe they have a different tradition.  Carrying a sack and rod, Servant Ruprecht accompanies the European Saint Nicholas.  What does Ruprecht do with that rod?  He beats children who have been bad children, naughty and not nice! 

Krampus

Krampus

Traditional processions often include versions of Knecht Ruprecht, who has different personas in different nations.  In some eastern European countries Ruprecht is called Krampus who takes the form of a horned devil who is said to snatch naughty children, carrying them away in his sack to drown them in the river.  I suppose these characters were used to instill/scare proper behavior in children.  Today these stories would NOT be politically correct, at least not in America. 

What to make of Knecht Ruprecht?  Was he just a fairy tale to scare children?  The character does sound like some other fearsome elves from Christmas fairy folklore.  The Kallikantzaroi are deformed Greek fairies that appear during the 12 days of Christmas.  At night they make a procession through the streets riding on animals or chickens.  They are the size of small children, but monstrous with oversized heads, tusks and other attributes of animals.  They will torment those they encounter.  They finally leave at the Epiphany, to return next at next year’s Christmas.

knecht-ruprechtAmerica’s Santa Claus has been watered down.  From an Odin archetype, we now have a jolly old elf.  His frightening assistant has become a harmless elf toy maker.  Yet there is something primal about the combination of the original version of the European Saint Nicholas and Knecht Ruprecht.  There is a true-life message behind the folklore.  It is what gives fairy tales their power.  Children are taught that life does not always provide gifts and joy.  Side by side with happiness is desperation and despair.  One day we have plenty to eat one day, then next we may be starving.  Appreciate it when there is plenty, for hard times are always lurking nearby, like Ruprecht with his rod of punishment.  The duality of life is a hard lesson.

The Secret Meaning Behind Christmas Lights

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Stars and Christmas Lights

Stars and Christmas Lights

 Many people have a Christmas custom.  On a night before Christmas, they gather the family in the car and drive around in the evening admiring people’s front lawn Christmas displays.  Snow covered lawns decorated with Christmas lights and decorations are beautiful.  Yet, have we ever wondered why we put up Christmas lights to celebrate Christmas?  Is it just for fun, a tradition, merely a colorful addition to the bleak winter? Is there any other meaning…a secret, even occult meaning behind Christmas lights we are unaware of?

Christmas lights are a modern invention.  In the past people lit Christmas trees with candles, but until Thomas Edison appeared, we were unable to decorate outside with lights.  Then suddenly a new Christmas tradition became a standard for the holiday.  Something about these colorful lights immediately appealed to everyone.  When we see a front lawn marvelously decorated with light, what do we see?  The beauty of these displays is visible only at night.  During daylight they are invisible.

I’d suggest the lit yard and house represent the starry sky.  In the cities the stars of the sky are barely visible, and the Milky Way is rarely seen in the illumination haze of urban areas.  In rural settings, on a clear night one can see the sky brimming with nature’s own Christmas lights.  If we could see both the star filled night above contrasted with a light decorated home, the connection would seem obvious.  We are recreating the heavens at our front door.

Celestial Realm

Celestial Realm

Humanity may have an instinctual feel for the stars of night.  Throughout our evolution, the stars have always been overhead, and eventually our species came to contemplate the sky.  Primitive man did not understand the sky, but they recognized it.  Eventually we associated the celestial sky as the home of the gods, and later developed arts such as astrology to discover meaning in them.  Mankind never grasped how truly vast the sky was, being nearly infinite with billions of galaxies each containing billions of stars.  The truth was more fantastic then our imagination.

as-abiove-so-below

Milky Way and Christmas Lights

Look at a home decorated with lights, and you will see we are trying to bring down the heavens and replicate them before us.  There is spiritual significance in this.  We are paying homage to a Creator God.  

“As is above, so below” is central to occult thinking.  The word “heaven” shows the connection in our collective thought between the sky and the spirit world.  The majesty of the star-filled night sky is a metaphor to describe the spiritual dimension, a realm outside of time and space.  Just like the sky, we cannot enter this spiritual realm.  We look but cannot touch.  We only glimpse it from afar (as if driving by in a car!).  To celebrate Christmas we use our homes to recreate models of the starry night, which in turn symbolizes the dimension of Spirit.  And we don’t even realize it!

Typical Christmas lights

Typical Christmas lights

The Star Tarot Card

The Star Tarot Card

Tarot card number 17 is “The Star”.  The meaning of this card is essentially similar to the symbolism of Christmas lights.  Here we have great stars blazing overhead while a woman pours water both on soil and pond.  This represents the same principle of “As Above, So Below”.  She is drawing down…pouring…the influence of the heavens into physical reality.

The top half of the card signifies the cosmos, not only the celestial but also the spiritual cosmos.  The bottom half of the card represents the physical world we live in.  The woman bridges both worlds, her head is in the stars and her feet touch both the earth and water.  In the card water symbolizes subtle spiritual energies.  She is nourishing the earth with spiritual waters from above.  The card symbolizes the unification of spirit and matter in harmony.  Unfortunately a rare thing in real life.