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December by Vanessa Barklay

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December, lucky last month of the year, the name still signifying when it was the tenth month in the old Roman calendar. The first month of Summer for folk under the Southern Cross while Winter brings the cold for the North.

It’s hard to escape Christmas during the month of December, so had to include some holly and it has had an impact on this time of the year for thousands of years. Originally a time to greet the Solstice and light the Yule Log it became the time of Jesus’ birthday, a time of celebration and gift giving.
Santa, in fact, has an ancient history and started off quite different. You really can find Santa in Lapland, along with his elves and many other strange characters of the Saami’s ancient folklore. Be warned, reindeer slaughter and skull crushing wildmen might scare you off Christmas forever more…check it out, if you dare HERE – Lapp of the Gods

December, a time of the Archer, a Centaur archer, in the Heavens, guiding us with his arrows to the new year. Sagittarius is said to be Chiron, the wisest of the Centaurs. Like the satyrs, centaurs were notorious for being wild and lusty, overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, given to violence when intoxicated, and generally uncultured delinquents.

Chiron, by contrast, was intelligent, civilized and kind. He was known for his knowledge and skill with medicine. According to an archaic myth he was sired by Kronos (Cronus) when he had taken the form of a horse and impregnated the nymph Philyra, Chiron’s lineage was different from other centaurs, who were born of sun and raincloud, rendered by Greeks of the Classic period as from the union of the king Ixion, consigned to a fiery wheel, and Nephele (“cloud”), which in the Olympian telling Zeus invented to look like Hera. Myths in the Olympian tradition attributed Chiron’s uniquely peaceful character and intelligence to teaching by Apollo and Artemis in his younger days.

Chiron’s haunts were on Mount Pelion; there he married the nymph Chariclo who bore him three daughters, Hippe (with a daughter Melanippe, the “Black Mare” or Euippe, “truly a mare”), Endeis, and Ocyrhoe, and one son Carystus.

A great healer, astrologer, and respected oracle, Chiron was said to be the first among centaurs and highly revered as a teacher and tutor. Among his pupils were many culture heroes: Asclepius, Aristaeus, Ajax, Aeneas, Actaeon, Caeneus, Theseus, Achilles, Jason, Peleus, Telamon, sometimes Heracles, Oileus, Phoenix, and in one Byzantine tradition, even Dionysus: according to Ptolemaeus Chennus of Alexandria, “Dionysius was loved by Chiron, from whom he learned chants and dances, the bacchic rites and initiations.”

The centaurs are a part of the ancient landscape and realms of the days of Gods, by classical Greek times they were described as Celtic men on horseback who washed their long wild hair in limewater then threw it back so it resembled a thick, white horse name, wild as they came and barbarians of the worst kind. Tiny terracotta statues of centaurs have been found in Mycenaean ruins and they also feature on the Greek Parthenon in Athens from scenes called the Battle of the Lapinths. This war was a fight against the ways of the uncivilized and uncultured ways of old and it is on the Parthenon as a reminder of what the Athenians bought to the world.

December, the last month of the year, itself divided into 12 pieces, each representing a special part of the Universe, the Heavens, our earth and us. The month of December is a time of celebration and giving, of spiritual growth and imagination, to travel and to indulge…as the goat swims into sight before you know it, the Yule, the Solstice, the presents, the Carols, the tree, the baby Jesus, the Christmas Cake are all gone, until next year, when December with it’s Centaur Archer in tow, gallops into place again…

Chiron info from Wiki

Thanks to LinzStock for Daven and centaur body stock and Wyldraven for background.

Vanessa Barklay is RavenMadd, accomplished digital artist who has sold work on and off Red Bubble, lives in Far Nth Queensland, Australia – specializing in Fantasy, Mythology, History and Space inspired artworks.

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Comments

  • michellerena
    michellerenaabout 4 years ago

    Brilliant work Vanessa

  • Thanks Michelle, it was a little of this and that, lol but it all matches the calendar, soon to be released :O)

    – Vanessa Barklay

  • greenstone
    greenstoneabout 4 years ago

    fabulous V!!! Si is a saggi!!!

  • Yeah! My Rachel is too, such an honest bunch :O)

    – Vanessa Barklay

  • virgosun
    virgosunabout 4 years ago

    Splendid finish to the calendar (doesn’t it feel good, a great achievement!). He’s a lovely centaur, peaceful rather than rampaging. Great work!

  • Thank you! Yes, feels very good! lol :O)

    – Vanessa Barklay

  • Aileen David
    Aileen Davidabout 4 years ago

    I love all the little detail and Chiron himself on Mt. Pelion. Very interesting read too, as usual :)
    Nevermind that it took 12 months to make; things we love doing deserve the time we put in. Magnificent work my friend!

  • Thank you dear Aileen!!! Yes, I was determined to keep going lol, I just remade June, same but updated, it was too small res. to fit in the calendar…bummer, but it was fairly easy one so lucky and am very happy with the whole thing now as tricky as Chiron was to make, all great learning and fun! :O)

    – Vanessa Barklay

  • rain-dogs
    rain-dogsabout 4 years ago

    What a great finish to whats been a real journey of the months i love the somber tone of this and the way youve scattered your stars and lightning is great like a cosmic garnish and the depth you manage to show and the info from lapp of the gods was wild stuff too (hadnt read that before) all the info was of special interest….i can still see a little book the making of or the story of the months…..cheers and congrats on completion !!!!!

  • Mate, thank you so much! I like this one, even though I couldn’t quite get something in the colour right, but maybe sombre is right and what it actually is…suits the male character, which I originally planned to have more of, so it was right to finish with him. The sombre offsets the little touches of fun in it, the swooning fairy, the holly sprig, couldn’t leave out Chrissy and I do love the dragon being fried, even though it basically means zippo… I’m glad you read that Lapp article. lol.
    All just a wonderful escapism into a fantasy land of my mind of mythical wonderment in history and being able to now be able to create this kind of work digitally etc is just such a release for me, so glad it has been appreciated and enjoyed, a big thank you again rain-dogs!! :O)

    – Vanessa Barklay

  • © Kira Bodensted
    © Kira Bodenstedabout 3 years ago
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