Rosicrucian Writings Online

Imperator's Monthly Message

[By H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Mystic Triangle December 1927]
AGAIN the holidays are here and of course the outstanding one is Christmas, although in America we have become accustomed to associating Christmas and New Year's Day as though they were the beginning and end of one solid week of festivity.
December 25th is not a new holiday; it is not exclusively a Christian holiday. As a sacred day or a day for rejoicing and the giving of gifts it is as old as any holiday known to man. The ancients--including the so-called heathens--used to hold a certain day, equivalent to our December 25th, as a day when the spirit of giving should be demonstrated. Prisoners were released, the poor and rich alike vied with one another in giving of their possessions to others, and at sunrise they celebrated the birth of the Babino by bringing out into the public squares a small stone figure of a holy child. This was the custom for centuries before the Christian era. Today the Babino is exhibited in Rome on Christmas morning, and in all civilized lands the spirit of giving, rejoicing and good will toward men on earth is made manifest, formally and informally, on Christmas Day.
The making of January first a holiday is a new institution, however. The beginning of each new year came about March twenty-second. In many Oriental countries this is still the custom. It is logical and reasonable. On or about the twenty-second of each March the Sun, in its annual course through the twelve signs of the zodiac of the heavens, enters again the first sign, Aries. This, then, is the new start of the Sun in its annual course. It is the beginning of new life in the world of nature--and we call it the beginning of Spring. The symbol of Aries is the Lamb. It is truly the start of fresh life after the winter period of rest and transition. For that reason the Rosicrucians in all lands celebrate their New Year on or about March 22nd with an annual ceremony, the installation of New Lodge officers, and a Sacred Feast in all Temples and Group assemblies.
But we must not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas and the modern New Year's Day. One is to keep fresh in our minds the birth of the Christ Spirit on earth, the other to remind us of the fact that life's existence on earth is made up of periods of time, of stages of progress. Both of these reminders afford us much food for thought and the wise man and woman will meditate and discover in them a world of Light.
To typify the Christmas Spirit let us not forget that it is not the simple act of giving that counts, but the thought and purpose behind the giving. To seek out some stranger who needs something, the suffering one who is unhappy, the stricken one who may not enjoy any of the Spirit, and give to these something that constitutes a sacrifice on your part--a share of what you have and could use; to give to friends who will return in gifts, or to give to those in the family, or where duty calls or publicity attends, is only partly demonstrating the Spirit. Do not forget those who have aided you, brought happiness into your life at some time, or who are dependent upon your aid to help others. This includes the churches, the Salvation Army, similar organizations, and humanitarian movements.
Make it a real Christmas and Happy New Year in your own life, as well as in the lives of others, by giving with consideration of the real spirit of Christ.
May we add our personal wish of a very merry Christmas and happy New Year for each of you?

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