Thank My Lucky Stars, It’s My Birthday!

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

Candles spell out the traditional English birthday greeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any good narcissist knows that their birthday is the most self-serving day of the year.

You give everyone an excuse to eat and drink in your honor.

You get birthday cake at the office. Sometimes you get presents.

Your Facebook page gets flooded with birthday wishes: proving your popularity and general relevance as a human being.

But why do we celebrate birthdays? What is the impetus behind this global tradition of honoring the day each individual was born?

The anthropological impetus for this ritual is actually an astrological one…and has everything to do with “luck”.

Here is an excerpt from an article from an astrology website ( http://www.jeremysilman.com/astrology/why_celebrate_birthdays.html ) that explains the social origin of birthdays from this perspective:

Do you know why we celebrate birthdays? This social custom is really an astrological event – one that has been with us for millennia. In fact, birthdays – and the annual observance of these times both as a society and for individuals – is the oldest of celebratory rites, and one that arose in every culture as soon as they had any sort of calendar.

Naturally, the first real calendar has to do with the sun and the moon’s position – the fundamental tools of astrologers today.

The ancients celebrated not because some edict said, “celebrate,” but because of practical everyday experience, like all astrological lore. The wise men (and women) noticed that when the sun hit the same spot in the heavens (against the zodiac backdrop) that it held on a person’s birthday … well, that day turned out to be extremely fortunate.

Maybe a woman found a husband, a shepherd saved his sheep, a merchant sold his goods or an illness vanished. Plus, people gave to the birthday person instinctively. So presents were bestowed – both from others and from the universe. The wise elders saw this phenomenon happening all the time. And just as most basic astrological information came about based on these days, the astrologer/priests saw that a “pattern” was occurring.

This lucky pattern brought joy, and thus the birthday person wanted to celebrate. His or her friends naturally gave to them (thus the idea of presents) and the birthday celebrant wanted to share his or her pleasure, so a big gathering was held.

That’s the reason that we celebrate birthdays today – as a tradition that came about because of repeated observations of luck on this day. The same kind of luck you can have right now

So, wish me luck today. The same website says you should focus on one thing you want for the year and ask the universe. I will be asking the universe for some readers.

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Categories: Anthropology, Rituals | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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