What does December Mean?
December Birthstone, Zodiac Sign, Flower, Number & More!
The name December comes from the Latin word decem, or ten. The Julian calendar featured December as the 10th month, but it is the 12th month by Gregorian standards. For quite some time there was no such thing as months after Decmber until January and February were added. The month of December contains the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the north, the day with the least amount of daylight hours for the year.
The Romans had several celebrations throughout December, each of which honored different deities. December 11th was sacred to Sol Indiges, a solar God that historians feel influenced Mithraic traditions. It may well be that this festival hoped to invoke the Sun’s favor. On December 15th Consuales Ludi took place, paying respect to the harvest God (Consus) who protected grain storage. He shared this observance with the Lars, familial gods that people worshipped privately in the home (often near the hearth).
Saturnalia from December 17-23 is a fairly recognizable “party”. This holiday belonged to Saturn. There were banquets, gifts and libations in pageant-like fashion. Gambling was permitted today, and some slave owners offered their servants a seat at the high table.
Astronomers taking to the hills enjoy the Canis-Minorids from December 4th until the 15th. The best viewing time for this meteor shower is December 10th. Alternatively the Coma Berenicids peak around December 16th, the Monocerotids peaking on December 9th, the Phoenicids shimmering on December 5th and the Ursids lighting up the sky on the 22nd.
Symbolically December represents both endings and beginnings. It is a month for gathering with family and friends to reminisce about the completed year and think hopefully about what’s to come. December presents difficulties for many Northerners as it’s the time when SAD really starts kicking in. Thankfully Yule (Winter Solstice) stands as a bright point in dark days. Spiritually many people use this time for personal reflection and cleansing.
December Birth Stone: Turquoise, Zircon & Tanzanite
People around the world valued Turquoise as a symbol of prosperity, healing and wholesomeness. Turquoise got its name from a French phrase that meant “Turkish stone.” It was thanks to the Asian and Turkish trade roots that Turquoise made it to major markets like Venice.
Among Native Americans it represents living waters and protection. As a result warriors often added Turquoise beads to their weaponry. Early Persians used Turquoise as a physical reflection of Heaven. Maidens in Greece wore this stone to protect their virtue. Tibetan monks see this gem as a stone of wisdom and serenity and many Shamans used Turquoise for divinatory efforts.
Carry Turquoise with you in travels to safeguard your passage. Wear this sacred stone when establishing congenial relationships. Give Turquoise to a friend or loved on as a talisman of good fortune, especially with investments.
An ancient mineral, Zircon contributes heavily to the sands of our beaches. Zircon comes from a Persian term equating to “gold-colored”. That is somewhat of a misnomer in that Zircon has a wide range of color including red, blue, green, clear and orange.
People in the middle ages used Zircon for sleep disorders and as a amulet that attracts prosperity (use yellow Zircon for this purpose). Zircon opens the Heart Chakra and inspires self-love and compassion toward others. It also works cooperatively with the Base Chakra for grounding.
Tanzanite as a spiritual gemstone is fairly new to public awareness. It comes from a mineral family that was named in the early 1800s. It wasn’t until 1967, however, that a prospector unearthed Tanzanite in Tanzania (go figure!). At first the green and blue stones fooled everyone into thinking they were sapphires. Once the truth was known, retailers started seeking out this gem, which is one of the most popular stone in the market.
There isn’t a lot of folklore behind Tanzanite. We know that some people used it as a protective stone for newborn babies. Metaphysically it is a high-vibration crystal useful for increasing psychic aptitude. When working with delicate spiritual processes (like walking between the worlds) it becomes a protective ally.
December Zodiac Signs: Sagittarius Capricorn
We begin the month of December in the Zodiac sign of Sagittarius the Archer. People born under this sign use that arrow as a truth-seeker, often hitting a bulls’ eye. The Archer is innately curious, flirtatious and intelligent, with a broad view of life in general. Opinionated, the Sagittarius sometimes seems aggressive. Don’t let that fool you. They will listen closely especially if you have needed information.
The Sagittarian makes a gracious leader who have both the knowledge and comprehension that inspires others. The Archer is also rather lucky, and if they don’t procrastinate they can hop on fantastic opportunities at the front of the line. The Element of Fire rules Sagittarius. Like sparks the Archer often moves this way and that from one adventure to another with tremendous optimism.
Capricorn comes in completing December’s Zodiac round up. The Goat is a very hard worker (think Type A personality). Between determination and ambition there are few challenges Capricorn can’t overcome. Practicality is in Capricorn’s nature. Every goal has a means that must make sense. Goat rarely rushes in any process, after all they are climbing those dangerous precipices so safety first. Once Capricorn reaches the top of the mountain they revel in the success that brings.
Capricorn’s patience knows no limits. They understand that not everyone has the same drive and focus. Such people can, however, make good support systems. Saturn rules Capricorn. This is a regal planet, and Capricorn likes that kind of status. Thankfully as they mature the imperial presentation mellows. The Elemental correspondence for Capricorn is Earth, keeping them grounded and focused.
What sort of holidays would you like to celebrate at any time in December? Well it’s National Egg Nog Month and Fruit Cake Month in the US. It is also No-Gender December internationally. Movable holidays in December include Green Monday (2nd Monday of the month), the UK celebrates Black Friday with a plethora of parties (last Friday before Christmas) and the Roman Catholic Feast of the Holy Family (the Sunday after Christmas).
There are numerous other festivals to consider that fall on specific dates annually. You can participate in Rosa Park’s Day or World Aids Day on December 1. December 4th marks National Cookie Day in the US followed by World Soil Day December 6th. On December 8 the Festival of Lights takes place in Lyon as well as Pansexual Pride Day. International Human Rights Day falls on December 10, National Ice Cream Day – December 13th, and International Monkey Day – December 15th. December 25th marks Christmas, December 27th – Wren Day in Ireland, December 30th – National Bicarbonate of Soda Day (thank goodness after all that revelry) and New Year’s Eve December 31st.
December Flower: Narcissus
The December birth flower is the Narcissus known to most of us as Daffodils. The golden color of this flower gently reminds us that Winter will not last forever. Bringing Narcissus into the house attracts luck and wealth.
Narcissus flowers have six petals. In Numerology Six is the number of love, being governed by Venus. The traditional yellow hue aligns with the Solar Plexus Chakra that governs our energy levels. At first glance Narcissus looks like a trumpet as if to announce the grand holiday season ahead. Herbalists value the Narcissus’ aroma as a means of helping people with anxiety and “busy minds”. It decreases stress.
December Month Number: 12
In Numerology the number Twelve brings us to completion, much like December ends the year. In the Zodiac, 12 belongs to the very spiritual Pisces. If you look at Twelve, it comprises the energies of both 1 and 2. One begins something new and two brings partnership into the equation. Understanding this duality is key to moving forward in our soul’s journey.
12 is an ideal number for December because it gives you a chance to start something new. Clean out the old, put your dealings in order and start readying for a New Year. Twelve resonates with motivational energy, honesty and support.
December Colors: Red, White, Gold, Silver
December’s Red reminds us of our physical nature and the importance of self-care.
Pay attention to your physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Don’t let them languish.
Red gives birth to self-confidence, courage and an awareness of our personal power. Red coupled with Green sings of the Yule decorating scheme.
White is pure, fresh and new. It brings clarity and sincerity to your efforts this month. White is also the hue associated with “good guys” who come to the rescue. You may be that person or discover such a person before month’s end. White counsels us to keep things as simple as possible, especially with all the fuss and fanfare. Keep it cool and clear: put thought into action.
With glittery Gold we move into metallics. Gold indisputably represent wealth, accomplishment, excellence and abundance ready to be shared. It is a happy hue. Wear gold accents for wisdom, success and well-being. Silver is Gold’s stepsister. It still speaks of refinement but not as stuffy as Gold can become. Silver is the color of technology, mysticism, sensitivity and psychic clarity. Wear silver items for expressiveness.
December Symbol: Pine
There are several trees with correspondences for December. The Pine, however, wins out as an adored bower. It shows gracefulness and vital life even in the harshest of weather. Pine as an aromatic relaxes and soothes stressed minds.
Native Americans say that Pine represents long life and wisdom. Sprinkling Pine needles in any space safeguards it from malevolent spells. The Six Nations call Pine the Tree of Peace.
Koreans regard Pine as a virtuous tree. In some areas Pine holds standing as a god in its own right. Praying to the Pine opens the path for health, wealth and good fortune. Pine is the favored wood for Korean coffins in the belief that the tree’s spirit safely transports the deceased person’s soul to Heaven.
Some Taoists in China use Pine as part of their diet with hopes of achieving a longer life. In Japan Pine embodies the sacred Masculine. Pine bundles bless homes during New Years celebrations. Among the ancient Greeks Pine was a common site at any ceremony for Dionysus. Romans decorated Pines with images of Bacchus during Saturnalia. And of course Pine remains the favored tree for holiday adornments.
December Full Moon
The Long Nights Moon is the last full moon of the Year. Other names include Big Winter Moon or Cold Moon. This lunar cycle think about where you’ve been and where you hope to go in the future. Also consider how you might make someone’s path a little easier by sharing from what you have.
December’s full Moon marks a perfect time for ritual and physical cleaning. Get rid of the clutter that impedes the flow of energy through your personal space. In the spirit of giving, find new homes for that which you no longer use or need.
- The first manned Air Balloon takes to the sky in Paris (1783).
- The first sexual reassignment surgery takes place (1952).
- The Game Show Network debuts (1994).
- The New York Municipal Airport (later renamed LaGuardia) opens (1939).
- EPA begins operation (1970).
- The first human heart transplant takes place in South Africa (1967).
- Smog kills 4,000 people in Longdon (1952).
- Pioneer 10 reaches Jupiter (1973). Galileo follows in 1995.
- The Grateful Dead break up (1995).
- Nobel Prizes awarded for the first time (1901).
- Muhammad Ali takes to the ring for the last time (1981).
- Saddam Hussein captured (2003).
- Henry VIII excommunicated (1538).
- Slavery abolished by the 13th amendment (1865).
- The first crossword puzzle appears in the New York World (1913).
- The Lincoln Tunnel opens to traffic (1937).
- Lennon Sisters appear on Lawrence Welk (1955).
- The personal computer becomes Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” (1982).
- The Endangered Species Act passes (1973).
- The first New Year’s Eve celebration in what is now known as Times Square (1907).
“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December; A magical thing and sweet to remember.” ~ Oliver Herford
“A long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.” ~ Counting Crows
“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time and flewn. How did it get so late so soon.” ~ Dr. Seuss
“God gave us memories so we might have roses in December.” ~ J.M. Barrie
“It’s just not December without a movie in my house.” ~ Tom Hanks
“It’s too early. I never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January.” ~ Lucy
“December being the last month of the year cannot help but make us think of what is to come ~ Fennel Hudson
- Britney Spears (12/2)
- Walt Disney (12/5)
- Eli Whitney (12/8)
- Emily Dickinson (12/10)
- Dick Van Dyke (12/13)
- Nostradamus (12/14)
- Beethoven (12/16)
- Steven Spielberg (12/18)
- Joseph Stalin (12/21)
- Sir Isaac Newton (12/25)
- Mary Tyler Moore (12/29)
- Sir Isaac Newton (12/25)
- Tiger Woods (12/30)