Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December

Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December

Last Updated on January 23, 2024 by Avia

Since the first calendars were created, this month has a kind of “countdown” feel to it. Maybe that’s why there are so many hard-core party opportunities to enjoy this month. Maybe not. In truth, the symbolic and spiritual meaning of December is linked to tons of cultural color, vibrant myths, and so much more.  Beyond its significance on the calendar, this captivating month is steeped in rich history, mythology, and symbolism that ignite our imaginations and stir our souls. Intrigued? If so, keep reading for super-duper insights into this marvelous month. 

The History and Origins of December

December is the twelfth and final month of the year, and the name itself comes from the Latin word “decem,” meaning ten, which is rather puzzling considering its placement as the last month. This can be attributed to the fact that December was originally the tenth month in the Roman calendar until January and February were added later.

The roots of December’s significance lie in various ancient cultures and civilizations. In ancient Rome, it marked a time of celebrations known as Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, their god of agriculture and harvest. It was a time for feasting, gift-giving, and revelry.

In Nordic traditions, December brought Yule or Winter Solstice celebrations. It symbolized rebirth and renewal as people rejoiced in anticipation of longer days ahead after enduring months of darkness.

Additionally, many cultural festivals are celebrated during this festive season around the world such as Hanukkah (Jewish Festival of Lights), Christmas (Christian celebration), Kwanzaa (African-American holiday), Boxing Day (observed in some Commonwealth countries), among others.

Potential Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December

One potential symbolic meaning of December is transformation. The winter solstice occurs during this month, marking the year’s shortest day and longest night. This natural phenomenon symbolizes darkness turning into light, reminding us that even in our darkest moments, there is always hope for brighter days ahead.

Spiritually, December can be seen as a time for inner growth and introspection. With the end of the year approaching, it presents an opportunity to reflect on our experiences and lessons learned throughout the year. It encourages us to let go of what no longer serves us and embrace new beginnings.

In addition to its symbolic significance, December also holds various spiritual meanings across different belief systems. In Christianity, December is associated with Advent – a period of preparation leading up to Christmas – symbolizing anticipation for the birth of Jesus Christ.

Mythology Surrounding the Month of December

Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December Mythology

In mythology from various cultures around the world, this month is often associated with important celestial events and powerful deities.

Norse

In Norse mythology, December marks the beginning of Yule, a festival celebrating the rebirth of the Sun. It is believed that during this time, Odin would lead a wild hunting party through the skies accompanied by other gods and spirits. This event symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness.

Roman

In Roman mythology, December was dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture and abundance. The festival known as Saturnalia was held in his honor for several days leading up to the winter solstice. During this celebration, social norms were reversed, slaves were temporarily freed, and people indulged in feasting and merriment.

Greek

Similarly, in ancient Greek mythology, December was associated with Dionysus or Bacchus -the god of wine and revelry. The Lenaia festival also took place during this month to honor him.

Native American

The Hopi tribe believed that their kachinas (spiritual beings) returned to earth in December to bring their people blessings for crops and prosperity.  

Gods and Goddesses of December

Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December Goddesses and Gods

The month of December has long been associated with various gods and goddesses from different mythologies. 

Poseidon

In Greek mythology, one of the most prominent deities associated with December is Poseidon, the god of the sea. Known for his power and authority over water, Poseidon represents strength and transformation – qualities that resonate with the changing tides of life as we approach a new year.

Saturn

In Roman mythology, Saturn takes center stage during this time. Saturn was seen as a god of agriculture and harvest, symbolizing abundance and prosperity. As we gather to celebrate the holiday season in December, it’s fitting to honor Saturn’s energy by expressing gratitude for all that we have received throughout the year.

Freyja

In Norse mythology, Freyja is often linked to December. She is a goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, and magic. As winter settles in and nature lies dormant beneath blankets of snow, Freyja reminds us to nurture our inner light and find joy even in darkness.

Cernunnos

December also holds significance in Celtic mythology, with Cernunnos being a key figure during this time. Cernunnos represents the forest deity or “Lord of Wild Things.” He embodies nature’s life–death–rebirth cycles, reminding us that even when things seem bleak or stagnant externally and internally, there is always potential for growth.

Gemstones Associated With the Month of December

Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December Gemstones

Gemstones have long been associated with different months of the year, and December is no exception. This month is linked to not just one but three beautiful gemstones: turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon.

Turquoise

Known for its stunning blue-green color, turquoise has been revered for centuries across various cultures. It is believed to bring good fortune and protection from harm. In Native American folklore, turquoise is seen as a symbol of wisdom and healing.

Tanzanite

Alternatively, tanzanite was discovered relatively recently in Tanzania in 1967. Its mesmerizing violet-blue hue makes it an enchanting stone that captures attention effortlessly. Tanzanite is thought to enhance spiritual insight and promote profound transformation.

Zircon

To complete this trio of December gemstones, zircon makes the scene with its wide range of colors, including blue, red, yellow, green, and brown. It symbolizes prosperity and self-confidence while possessing calming properties that soothe the mind and body.

Animals Associated With December

Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December Animals

Animals have long been intertwined with symbolic meanings in various cultures. In the case of December, several animals hold significance and are associated with this winter month.

Reindeer

One animal often associated with December is the reindeer. These majestic creatures are known for their ability to navigate through snowy landscapes (why do you think they pull Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, haha). Reindeer symbolize strength, adaptability, and resilience – qualities that can be especially important during the cold winter months.

Owl

Another animal linked to December is the owl. Owls are often seen as wise and mysterious creatures in many myths and folklore. Their nocturnal nature aligns them with darkness and introspection – aspects that resonate with the longer nights of winter.

Also on Whats-Your-Sign:

Snow Leopard

The snow leopard is also connected to December due to its affinity for high-altitude environments where snowfall is prevalent. This elusive big cat embodies gracefulness, independence, and perseverance – traits that can inspire us as we navigate through life’s challenges during this time of year.

Squirrel

The squirrel has its place among animals associated with December. Known for their resourcefulness in gathering food for winter hibernation, squirrels symbolize preparation and foresight – reminding us to be diligent in our own preparations for the coming year.

Plants and Flowers Associated With December

Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December Plants and Flowers

Plants and flowers have long been associated with different months of the year, including December. As winter settles in, we may think that there aren’t many plants or flowers to be found during this time. However, nature has its own way of surprising us.

Holly

One plant commonly associated with December is the Holly. Its vibrant green leaves and bright red berries add a festive touch to holiday decorations. Holly symbolizes protection and hope during the dark days of winter.

Mistletoe

Another plant often seen in December is the Mistletoe. This parasitic evergreen plant holds special significance in many cultures. It is believed to bring good luck and fertility while also symbolizing love and romance.

Poinsettia

The poinsettia is another plant closely linked to December – especially around Christmas time. These colorful plants, with their striking red bracts, represent joy and celebration.

Snowdrops

In colder regions, you might come across Snowdrops peeking through the snow-covered ground in December. These delicate white flowers signify hope and renewal as they bloom even amidst harsh weather conditions.

Pine Tree

Let’s not forget about pine trees! Although they are more commonly associated with Christmas rather than December, these evergreen power trees represent longevity and resilience during winter months.

Prominent Dates and Holidays of December

Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December Holidays

December truly brings various festivities catering to different cultures and beliefs. It’s a time when people come together to celebrate love, light, renewal, remembrance, hope – all underpinned by a sense of unity despite our differences. Here are a few noteworthy dates and holidays in December.

Christmas

December is a month filled with joyous celebrations and meaningful observances. One of the most widely recognized holidays in December is Christmas, celebrated on the 25th. It is a time when families come together to exchange gifts, share meals, and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Hanukkah

Another significant holiday in December is Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. This eight-day Jewish celebration commemorates the miracle of oil that lasted for eight days in the ancient temple.

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is another important holiday observed from December 26th to January 1st. It honors African heritage and culture through various rituals, including lighting candles on a Kinara (candle holder) and sharing stories.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is celebrated worldwide on December 31st as people bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new one with fireworks, parties, and resolutions for personal growth.

Aside from these well-known holidays, there are other notable dates in December. On December 7th, many countries commemorate Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day to honor those who lost their lives during World War II. And let’s not forget about the winter solstice on or around December 21st – it marks the shortest day and longest night of the year in terms of daylight hours.

December Full Moon Names and Their Meanings

Full moon names of December and their meanings

Did you know that each month has its own unique full moon name? December is no exception, with its full moon being a significant celestial event. The names given to the December full moon vary across different cultures and traditions, but they all carry symbolic meanings.

Cold Moon

One of the most commonly known names for the December full moon is the “Cold Moon.” As winter settles in, this name reflects the chilly temperatures that envelop many parts of the world during this time. It serves as a reminder to bundle up and stay warm during these frosty nights.

Long Night’s Moon

In Native American traditions, another name for the December full moon is “Long Nights Moon.” This name acknowledges the year’s longest nights as we approach the winter solstice. It encourages us to embrace introspection and reflection during this period of darkness.

Holly or Oak Moon

In some cultures, such as Celtic or Pagan traditions, it may be referred to as “Oak Moon” or “Holly Moon,” connecting with nature’s cycles even amidst winter’s grasp. These names symbolize strength, resilience, and evergreen energy, even in times of adversity.

Cool Spiritual Practices to Try in December

Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December Meditations and Affirmations

Well, now that we’ve talked about the symbolic and spiritual meaning of December to great length, what’s next?  Getting in the thick of it and putting our knowledge into action! Here are a few practices and meditations to try this month.

Winter Solstice Meditation

Embrace the longest night of the year by engaging in a soothing winter solstice meditation. Find a quiet space, light candles, or use soft lighting, and focus on your breath. Allow yourself to let go of any tension or stress from the past year and set intentions for the coming months.

Gratitude Journaling

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude during this festive season by starting a gratitude journal. Each day, write down three things you are grateful for. This practice can help shift your perspective and bring more positivity into your life.

Nature Walks

Take advantage of the crisp winter air and go on mindful nature walks. Bundle up warmly and explore nearby parks or forests. Observe the beauty around you – bare trees, frost-covered leaves, or even snowflakes falling gently from the sky – while connecting with nature’s energy.

Sacred Bath Rituals

Create a sacred space in your bathroom by lighting candles and adding essential oils or bath salts to warm water for relaxation purposes. As you soak in the tub, release negative energies and visualize them being washed away, leaving you refreshed and renewed.

Candle Magic

Use candle magic as a way to manifest your desires during December’s spiritual energy peak moments like full moons or Winter Solstice ceremonies. Take some time alone with a lit candle; focus on what you want to attract or release, then speak words that represent those intentions as clearly as possible while visualizing their manifestation.

Affirmations to Try in December

Affirmations can be a powerful tool for personal growth and positive change. In the month of December, as we approach the end of the year, it is an opportune time to reflect on our experiences and set intentions for the future. Here are some affirmations to try in December:

1. “I am grateful for all I have experienced this year, and I embrace the lessons it taught me.”

2. “I release any negativity or limiting beliefs that no longer serve me, making space for new opportunities in my life.”

3. “I am open to receiving abundance in all areas of my life – financially, emotionally, and spiritually.”

4. “I trust in the divine timing of my journey and know that everything is unfolding perfectly.”

5. “I choose joy and happiness each day, spreading love and positivity wherever I go.”

6. “I honor myself by setting healthy boundaries and prioritizing self-care during this busy holiday season.”

7. “I am worthy of love, success, and fulfillment; I deserve all the good things that come into my life.”

The Last Word About Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of December

As we delve into the symbolic and spiritual meaning of December, it becomes clear that this month holds a special significance in various cultures and belief systems. From its historical origins to its association with gods, gemstones, animals, and plants, December is a time when the veil between worlds seems thin, inviting us to explore deeper realms of understanding.

However you choose to interpret the deeper meaning of December, I hope this season brings you peace, love, abundance, and enlightenment on your spiritual path. May each passing day in December fill you with wonderment as you uncover deeper truths about yourself and the world around you. As always, thanks for reading!

Mighty brightly,

© Copyrighted. All Rights Reserved.

Avia’s Amazon Picks for You

Observe Every Day With These Llewellyn Amazon Selections

Other Holiday-Inspired Articles You Might Like

Whats-Your-Sign.com (WYS) is a trusted Etsy affiliate & Amazon Associate. We also promote certain products we've tested and approved. As such, the website features sponsored products for Amazon or Etsy or other afiliates. Should you make a purchase from a link on this website, WYS may receive a small commission. This website also hosts advertisements. Please see our policy page for further information. Thank you for your purchases, as it contributes to keeping this website online and running.