Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Reason for the Season

Hey, it's Beckley.  Thought I'd post really quick as there's a lot to do today.  You'd think that this time of year, so over-exposed and commercialized in the past, would be toned down these days.  Not so much.

Though it makes sense when you think about it.  This time of year does host a number of religious holidays, and today is a holiday that has taken on major significance to a growing number of the (surviving) population.

Happy Yule everyone.  As I speak, a number of celebrants are building a bonfire and preparing a Yule feast.  And next week there will be another celebration for Christmas.  So spirits are pretty high right about now, particularly among the religious.  You'd think that current events would drive everyone towards atheism and a rejection of any benevolent power, but it hasn't.  Don't get me wrong, lots of people lost their faith in whatever religion they held.  By and large, though, as I talk to people, many who lost their faith seem to be the ones who were just attending their church, temple, mosque, what have you, out of form.  The ones that didn't seem to have the deepest understanding of what the religion actually meant, but rather were just there.  So it's really no surprise that once society crumbled and the pressures of attending an organized religious movement vanished, so to did their belief.  That said, there's still a number of people with a deep faith, the most visible being Haven's wandering chaplain.  He came here during one of Josh's early forays out into the world and he's made Haven his home.  More or less.  He still spends most of the year wandering the country, bringing aid and the Bible to the survivors of the world.

But with the thinning of the religious herds for the big religions, we've seen Paganism in general, and Druidism in particular, make a resurgence.  Something about an Earth-based religion seems to click with a lot of people in this world where we are forced to be back to nature.  Where nature is both a savior and a bitter, malignant foe.  I think the duality of light and dark, good and evil, also appeals since we see so much positive in our society, yet we've all seen such needless suffering as well.  All this to say, there's been a lot of converts and the Yule celebration is just as big as the Christmas one next week.

I think it's just a further demonstration that Humanity needs something to believe in.  And whether you celebrate or not, I think it's worth your time to meditate on the fact that the darkness of this world is slowly abating and light is returning to our lives.  It's a time of renewal, and that's a lesson we can all take with us.

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