Greetings on 4th Night — 4th Dawn — 4th Day of Christmas.
The entire 13 Days of Christmas — following the pattern of the Celts’ Winter Solstice Festival — is dedicated to the mysteries and necessities of birth. What are the qualities that bring about true birthing?
Fourth Day focuses on the strength needed to be an adequate parent with the necessary wisdom to protect and shelter the young.
This day in the Celtic cycle had a strange ritual. Parents lightly struck their children with an evergreen bough. The Celts believed that beating a child helped them to be resilient — prepped to take life’s blows. Let us hope we have psychologically matured and outgrown this idea and its practice.
In the Christian cycle, today is the known as the “Feast of the Holy Innocents.” This is the horrific story of King Herod who orders the execution of every boy under 2 years of age — in an effort to do away with the newborn king. However, for safety, Joseph takes Mary and the child and flees to Egypt. In this story, we see two fathers: one destructive and one protective.
On this day, reflect on the gifts and challenges of being an adequate parent. And celebrate the Joseph figures in your life who act — not in their own best interest — but in that of their child and the next generation.
Blessed Be All who do the Work of True Parenting.
And a Holy Fourth Day of Christmas to You!