Hail to the King, Baby

On this longest night of the year, I look into the darkness and await the dawning of the light.

The lord of this world, literally the Light of the World, returns at dawn from this, the longest night of the year.

This is a time celebrated by many of our ancestors, both cultural and actual, over the generations back into the mists of time.

I’m not so much a Buddhist that I forget our pagan roots, just as the Thai, Japanese, Chinese and the other peoples of Asia have never forgotten their own non-Buddhist heritage.

At this moment, I will quote that hoary white and imperialist bard, Rudyard Kipling.

A Song to Mithras

(Hymn of the XXX Legion: circa 350 A.D.) Mithras, God of the Morning, our trumpets waken the Wall! ‘Rome is above the Nations, but Thou art over all!’ Now as the names are answered, and the guards are marched away, Mithras, also a soldier, give us strength for the day! Mithras, God of the Noontide, the heather swims in the heat. Our helmets scorch our foreheads, our sandals burn our feet. Now in the ungirt hour—now ere we blink and drowse, Mithras, also a soldier, keep us true to our vows! Mithras, God of the Sunset, low on the Western main— Thou descending immortal, immortal to rise again! Now when the watch is ended, now when the wine is drawn, Mithras, also a soldier, keep us pure till the dawn! Mithras, God of the Midnight, here where the great bull dies, Look on thy children in darkness. Oh take our sacrifice! Many roads thou hast fashioned—all of them lead to the Light, Mithras, also a soldier, teach us to die aright!