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Strays too far off topic too many times
on August 28, 2005
The Physics of Christmas by Roger Highfield.
This book starts off as a fascinating read into the history of Christmas, discussing things which most people have never considered, that Santa Claus was the Amanita muscaria mushroom, and the reindeer fly because of eating the mushrooms. This has been verified by many researches today including Patrick Harding of Sheffield, James Bursenos, James Arthur, Rogan Tyler and others. It's a great reference in regard to the history of Christmas and whom developed which Christmas icon when.
Unfortunately, Highfield, around page 109 at the start of Ch. 6, takes us on a detour of obesity, proper diet, genes, DNA, etc., using this as an opportunity to talk about this philosophy of diet for the next 20 pages, forgetting that he already stated Santa Claus is the mushroom, and "obesity" would then obviously be due to the mushroom's round shape. Never mind this detail. We're taken away on an excursion only indirectly related to the Christmas theme. It was also around this point that I noticed that the book also tends to repeat itself, and topics out of order, going back to things two or three times to talk about them with different concepts, while seeming to ignore those already discussed.
For the first 108 pages, the book was grippingly fascinating. Then on page 126 it happens. Highfield throws all logic out the window and takes us on a slide down the slippery path of literalism. At this point I was expecting him to say something juxtaposed to what he had already stated about Santa Claus and say that the man really did fly in a sleigh pulled by reindeer with a bag of toys.
I'll help Mr. Highfield for his search of the star Bethlehem here:
There were 7 planets, not including the earth, which was thought to be the center of the universe. The planets were Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon and the Sun. The sun was placed as the head of the sky god's penis, and Saturn, the highest planet, the "Most High God". He was called El, or Yahweh. All of the planets are depicted as their god names in our names of the days of the week.
Sonne's day (Sun-day) is Sunday; Mond's day (Moon-day) is Monday (Spanish: Lunes); Tiu's day (Mars) is Tuesday; Woden's Day (Mercury) is Wednesday; Thor's day (Jupiter) is Thursday; Freya's day (Venus) is Friday; and Saturn's day is Saturday, the Sabbath. This is where our names for the days of the week came from.
Jesus was the sun in the sky, worshiped on "sun-day" who is born annually on Dec. 25. He dies and is resurrected on the celestial cross, which is the cross of the solstices and equinoxes. Dec. 21/22 is the Winter Solstice (and the first day of winter), this is the shortest day of the year. Above the 66.5 degree latitude, the sun actually DISAPPEARS for three days...completely. Though it is still light outside. The sun dies, or does not change in degrees for three days, from Dec. 21 to Dec. 25, here, god's SUN is "in a tomb" (the chthonic realm/under world), from which he resurrects. The SUN is born of the VIRGIN called VIRGO on Dec. 25. The Three wise-men (the Belt of Orion) form the path to the star Sirius (Bethlehem). At midnight Virgo sticks her head over the horizon. Several hours later she steps on the head of the serpent (the constellation Serpens) with her right foot. Shortly after, the SUN, GOD's LIGHT and saving grace is born between her legs. We are "saved" for another year... the sun again begins heading north 1 degree each day for the next six months, saving us from the darkest, coldest time of year.
At the end of winter, we celebrate the return of GOD's sun by celebrating EAST STAR (Easter) fertility worship. The goddess Ishtar/Astarte, from which Easter is derived, was the fertility/star goddess celebrated at the death of winter, at the first day of Spring (= life, springs back to life), March 20/21. How do we know when to celebrate EAST-STAR SUN-Rise services on which Sun-Day? We wait for the vernal equinox, then wait for the next Pascal full moon, then we celebrate East Star Sun Rise on the following SUN-day. This day happens to be approx 9 months before the next BIRTH of the sun on the following Dec. 25.
For ancient people, this was a method of tracking time. Today we use clocks and caledars. Ancient times used the sky. To not know these very basic principles of the facts of our cosmos meant certain death. If you didn't understand these things, you didn't know when to plant, harvest, store, etc. It was survival to know this information or you DIED.
Some place along the path of history, some devious and deceitful people got the idea to MURDER people who refused to take the story as literal history. Eventually, all of the people who understood the astronomical truth of the story were killed. This time was called the Inquisition. Everyone who questioned the Church was murdered. Every time the Churched murdered, they got richer by acquiring the property of the "heretic". It was a win, win for the Church.
At this point the book got so thick that I just scanned it and jumped ahead to page 155 and read about snow. I put the book down when he began talking about alcoholism and the Christmas spirit (page 186 ch. 9)... I'd already seen how he took that detour on obesity and I'm not a drinker, so I'll skip it. I doubt I'll ever finish the rest of the book, though I do recommend it for reference purposes, and, to look up how to cook a turkey, or make pudding. If for nothing else, buy it just for the first 108 pages... that alone is worth the read.