The traditional greeting at a Saturnalia celebration is, “Io, Saturnalia!”, with the “Io” being pronounced as “Yo.” So next time someone wishes you a happy holiday, feel free to respond with “Io, Saturnalia!” After all, if you lived in Roman times, Saturn, not Jesus was the reason for the season!
What is wrong with us? Why are we so fanatical? Why don’t we celebrate Christmas? Why do we not see the whole pagan history as some crazy myth? Years ago while researching the roots of Christmas, we stumbled across the following poem. It deeply affected us because we wanted no part in keeping alive a pagan god’s festival. The Spirit of Elohim convicted us of any further participation in the holiday and the season. To those who would scoff, the very next year we received our first Saturnalia card.
Saturnalia, by Selena Fox
It is the middle of December
The nights are long the weather is colder, winter comes.
Celebration is at hand.
Renewing bonds of friendship.
Visiting with family and friends.
Exchanging gifts with loved ones.
Candles, Dolls, Cookies, Sweets, Holly, Wreaths of Green.
Courts close. Battles stop.
Time off from school and work.
Singing, Dancing, Games, Merry-Making.
Food … Lots of Food and Drink.
Great Feasts and Parties.
To celebrate the Sun, the Land, the Ancient Ones, the great Circle of Nature.
To welcome in the Winter and the New Year.
To bring forth renewal, peace, and joy.
Solstice Present … Solstice Past.
This is the legacy of Saturnalia.
Weeklong Pagan Winter Solstice Festival of Ancient Rome.
Saturnalia, your spirit and these traditions live on
in the world today
in Christmas feasts and New Year’s parties,
in our Winter Solstice celebration tonight.
Bless our connection with the ancients.
Bless our connection with each other.
Bless our connection with future generations.
Selena first publicly shared this poem on Solstice night 1994 during Circle’s public Winter Solstice Celebration in Madison, Wisconsin.
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