Hey Animated World!
I’ve returned from my vacation! It was great to disconnect from everything for a bit, but I’m glad to be back! 🙂
Welcome to Animated Bells Week! Starting today through Monday, posts will be themed for Christmas and the holidays! I wanted to do a mini theme of the month for December, while I’m still looking at ways to improve the Theme of the Months for 2018. So with that, time to get all cozy into the holiday spirit!
Now, backstory! We were putting up our Christmas tree like usual this year. Yes, I still try to place my favorite ornaments toward the front of the tree. (I know, I’m like 5 when it comes to Christmas traditions.) Well, we’ve had the same Angel on the top of the tree for years now. It kind of reminded me of Taiga’s Star from Toradora. Which made me think, is there a difference between putting a Star or an Angel at the top of a Christmas Tree? Well you know what they say, curiosity adds a new post into drafts. (Just kidding, I don’t think anyone says that…..but it sounded nice in my head…) So, I thought I’d give the Angel and the Star the top of this post to share a little history about the two.
….Get it… Angel…. Angelbeats…. 🙂
Well let’s start with the basics. The Greek meaning of angel is messenger. Angels are considered pure, immortal, and spiritual. Believe it or not, their are actual ranks of Angels. You know kind of like each Angel has an Overwatch SR? Although their are nine different rankings within three different spheres, we’re going to focus in on the third sphere. The third sphere includes Archangels. It derives from the Greek word archein meaning first in rank or power, and angelos meaning messenger. You might see where I’m heading with this. The popular interpretation around the angel at the top of a Christmas tree lies in the archangel Gabriel’s bringing of the divine news. The archangel, the messenger, that brought the divine news.
Which believe it or not, their is actually a pretty large controversy about Archangels. More so, about who is one and who is not one. So much so, the writing of Archangel to archangel can have a significant meaning. It’s not my position to rank angels here, but I thought it was an interesting note.
Anyways I digress…
So yes, if you were thinking you knew the belief before reading this, it’s probably what you expected. However, I’ll add on to it just a tiny bit. Within this third sphere of angel hierarchy is the “angel” rank. The lowest order of the angels, however the most recognized. Why so? Within the angel order are guardian angels. Another interpretation on putting an angel atop a Christmas tree is to recognize a guardian angel protecting and blessing a home. Kind of like the first, just different in rank…. literally.
…Get it…. Star….. Lucky Star…… I know, hold your applause, I’m two for two. 😉
I’ll get into the meaning of this one pretty quickly mainly because I want to talk a little science in this section. The star at the top of Christmas tree has the popular interpretation of symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem. Also known as, the Christmas Star. It is said to be the star that led the wise men, or magi, to Bethlehem. However, I want to talk a bit about the star itself. Remember that angel controversy mention in the first segment? Well the star comes with a bit of it as well, and it is fascinating.
In 1614, a German Astronomer determined that a planetary conjunction could create a nova. Specifically one in the year 7BC of the planets Jupiter and Saturn. This was a theory behind the Star of Bethlehem, however it did get proven incorrectly based on calculations deeming this conjunction would have not been “visually impressive”. Basically they deemed this “nova” would have shown in the night sky like any other star. However, in the 20th century, it was argued that a triple conjunction did take place between Saturn and Jupiter. Pretty much it’s a matter of how bright it was. Although the conjunction theory still hasn’t been completely disproved, it is believed the conjunction would have been seen in the west at sunset. Slightly different from the south direction the magi took from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
Some theories believe the star was actually a comet. Halley’s Comet believed to be visible in 12BC is believed to be linked with another comet from 5BC. What disproves this theory is the belief that the Star of Bethlehem stood over the manger. Comets tend to travel along the night sky. However, this theory has picked up quite a bit of interest and is still being looked into.
Their are a few other theories behind the star such as a Supernova or the Heliacal Rising, but I found these two theories to be the most fascinating.
Again much like it was not my position to determine ranks of angels, it is not my positon really take a side of these theories. I just simply find the studies fascinating and like to share them. 🙂
Now you’ll know a little extra backstory when you decide to put your star or angel on the Christmas tree this week. Again, these are just the popular historical interpretations of the meaning behind the star and angel. Which you decide, how you decide, and why you decide are completely personal to you. Like Taiga’s star, a star or angel can take on a whole new extra meaning that personally suits you.
What’s important is that it shines brightly, and you shine along with it!
Any who, hope you enjoyed this little history lesson! Animated Bells continues until Monday! Stay Tuned! 😉