Epiphany, and Returning to Reality

January 6, 2014,
Claire Montanaro

th January, marks the ending of modern Christmas celebrations and, biblically, the visit of the Wise Men to baby Jesus, with gifts. Both events bring us back to the reality of our relationship with ourselves, our world, and what lies beyond. For many hundreds of years, the festival of Christmas began on Christmas Eve and ended, not on 12th Night  - though that date was marked – but at the end of January. The month was taken up with feasting, celebrating and keeping warm, communities coming together in thanks for the year gone by, taking advantage of the time of least daylight and with little to be done in the fields; it was an opportunity to be together in pleasure, and with thanks to God. Christmas was a perfect and natural period of time to be at rest and in religious observation too, according to the rhythms of the season and the land that guided the life of the people then, whatever their degree.  Even the Church calendar reflected the interconnectedness of man’s  relationship with nature. [caption id="attachment_2296" align="alignright" width="150"]Epiphany in the Book of Hours January Celebrations in a Book of Hours[/caption] Now, because warmth and light can be man-made, and food supplies are constant for the fortunate; because of the money involved for Christmas profit; because of the drive to work and produce constantly; and because we have chosen to forget, we have lost touch with the meaning of this time of year. It is ironic that, for many, January now is seen as a time for detoxification and abstinence, of goal-setting and work, whereas, before, the month was the key celebration of community and the gifts of the land, and of Spirit. It is not surprising that incidents of depression are said to be at their highest in January, for we are living a forced, false, unnatural reality. The Wise Men of the Great Story brought symbolic offerings of divinity, mortality and honouring in their gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold, all representative of the human journey of Jesus. These qualities apply, too, to the medieval beliefs about this time of year – the religious meanings, certainly, and the coming together of community, but linked so inexorably with the earth that must be thanked as it prepares to live again and give its harvest in the months to come, imbued with the blessing of God. The reality of Epiphany is far more than taking down the decorations.   [byline]  ]]>

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I am a spiritual teacher, channel and writer with a special interest in esoteric philosophy and the world in transition, who loves nature and wildlife.  My aim is to help your human and soul journey through spiritual wisdom, spiritual connection and the raising of consciousness.

2 comments on “Epiphany, and Returning to Reality”

  1. And for Orthodox Christians, Christmas has only just begun, right? What are those implications regarding your comments?

    1. The principle of my words applies still, I believe - to celebrate, and honour, the nature of January and of nature, as well as the religious significances, as they apply. Thank you, William.

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