December, the twelfth and final month of the Gregorian calendar and the first month of Winter, derives its name from the Latin word ‘decem’, meaning ten, as December was the tenth month of the oldest Roman calendar. It was changed to twelve months with the monthless and undated winter period was divided into January and February. In Finnish, December is called joulukuu, meaning “month of Christmas,” since around the 18th century. Before that it was called talvikuu, meaning “month of winter.” Decima, was the middle Goddess of the Three Fates who personifies the present. Decima is a goddess of childbirth, her sisters are Nona and Morta. Called Aerra Geola, “the month before Yule,” or Wintermonat, “winter month,” by the Anglo-Saxons, the Franks called it Heilagmanoth, ” holy month,” and Wolfmoon is the Asatru name. Míí na Nollag or an Dubhlachd is December in Ireland, the dark season.
Astrologically speaking December begins with the sun in the sign of Sagittarius and ends in the sign of Capricorn. Astronomically, however, the month begins in the constellation of Ophiuchus, which is the only constellation on the zodiacal belt which is not counted as an astrological sign, and ends in the constellation of Sagittarius.
December is as full of events as any other month in the year, even with the cold. The United Nations designated a global holiday on December 10th as Human Rights Day. The winter solstice brings a myriad of winter and rebirth celebrations in nearly every faith to experience this season. On the old Tibetan calendar, December 1st was the beginning of the new year. And a bit for the trivia buffs, December always begins on the same day of the week as September.
- Modern Birthstone (officially adopted in 1912): Blue Topaz, Turquoise
- Traditional Birthstone (herald back to the 15th century):Zircon, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli
- Mystical Birthstone (Tibetan origin): Onyx
- Ayurvedic Birthstone (Ayurvedic Indian Medicine): Ruby
- Other Birthstone (alternative birthstone): Sapphire, Amethyst
Magickal Correspondences for December
- Astrological Signs: Sagittarius, Capricorn
- Nature Spirits: Snow faeries, storm faeries, winter tree faeries
- Herbs: Holly, English ivy, fir, mistletoe
- Colors: Blood red, green, white and black
- Flowers: Holly, poinsettia, Christmas cactus, narcissus, daffodil, jonquil
- Scents: Violet, patchouli, rose, geranium, frankincense, myrrh, lilac
- Stones: Blue zircon, turquoise, serpentine, jacinth, peridot
- Trees: Pine, fir, holly
- Animals: Mouse, deer, horse, bear
- Birds: Rook, robin, snowy owl
- Deities: Athene, Attis, Dionysus, Fates, Frey, Freyja, Hathor, Hecate, Ixchel, Kris Kringle (as the Pagan God of Yule), Lucina, Minerva, Neith, Norns, Osiris, Woden, and the Horned God (Consort of the Goddess)