18 Dec The Birth of the Sun ~ December 19th-25th, 2016
“Christmas is a door opening and reminding us forever of the soul within us. It is reminding us of the beauty, and truth, and wonder, and love that are locked within each one of us, and which can be brought out by proper care and nurturing.”
– Manly P Hall
The holidays have arrived, and by holidays, I mean holy-days. Hopefully last week’s quietude was well spent in soul-searching and contemplation because this week is the time for celebration! Beginning with Mercury’s retrograde in the sign of Capricorn and ending with the festivities of Christmas, expect some very magical moments in the coming days!
Astrology derives its conception of the seasons from the perspective of the northern hemisphere. Thus, the celebration of Christmas correlates with the archetypal symbolism of the winter solstice, which is the day that the Sun moves into the sign of Capricorn.
Though Christmas is celebrated all over the Earth regardless of location, it is important to study the holiday’s origins by focusing on the seasonal attributes of the northern hemisphere.
In the most fundamental way, Christmas, is the continuation of an ancient feast for the winter solstice that celebrates the return of the Sun’s light from out of the darkness.
This celebration is a natural response to the rhythms of life on Earth. After the autumnal equinox, as the days grow darker and colder, life begins to recede, to shrivel and to hibernate. Branches grow bare and the Earth becomes hard and unyielding. The chilled hand of death rests upon the world.
With such a lack of vivifying warmth, it should be no wonder that there is burst of joy felt when the light begins to return. It is psycho-spiritual and biological to be overtaken by a spirit of mirth as the promise of new life is made manifest! Even a dogmatic materialist can appreciate the herald of the Sun’s return to full strength.
As a Christian holiday, Christmas tells the story of the return of the light through the story of the birth of Christ.
As Manley P. Hall put it, Christ’s birth represents the “day when divine love was made flesh”.
The Son of God is the indeed the divine Sun and no matter what your cultural background or religious preferences may be, Christmas is a holy day worth celebrating!
As all Christians and pagans know, the story of the birth of Christ was blended with previously existing winter solstice festivals to create the state religion of Rome! Thus, the date of December 25th is well known to have originally belonged to a very ancient diety called Mithra, the Lord of Light.
Mythologically speaking, the birth of Christ and the birth of Mithra both took place in a cave, amongst the goats. (Capricorn)
According to Joseph Campbell:
“[The cave] is associated particularly with the winter solstice, when the sun has traveled to its farthest point away from the tilted earth and the light is in the nadir of the abyss.
That is the date of the birth of the god Mithra, who is lord of light. He was born—we recall that his mother is the Earth…” – Thou Art That
This cave at the nadir of the abyss is also referred to in esoteric studies as the Cave of the Nymphs, the place of the soul’s generation into physical being.
In ancient writings, human souls were described as being a bit like clouds, which condensed, rained down upon the Earth and then eventually evaporated back up into heaven.
In esoteric philosophy, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn represent the two entrances to the Cave of the Nymphs.
Note that the Tropic of Capricorn and its opposite the Tropic of Cancer represent the exact latitudes where the Sun (sol) reaches its solstices.
This Cave of the Nymphs illustrates a kind of metaphysical distillation process: the soul (sol) descends from Heaven into Earthly life and then from Earthly life back up to Heaven.
Through the gate of the water sign of Cancer, the non-corporeal Nymphic souls go through the process of descending into physical matter, growing heavy with desire and drunk on oblivion.
As Greek philosopher, Heraclitus wrote,
“moisture appears delightful and not deadly to souls; but the lapse into generation is delightful to them.” All souls, “are profoundly steeped in moisture as the spirit becomes moist and more aqueous through the desire of generation.”
The winter solstice arrives after the cold hand of death has descended upon the Earth, drying out the moisture that had attracted the soul to the Earth.
“a dry soul is the wisest.”
Capricorn is just that: a dry soul, ready to leave behind sentiment and clinging desires for a wider vision and a greater purpose.
Thus, at the winter solstice, the soul begins moving away from Earthly desire, concerned now with its ascent back into the realm of the divine.
This is illustrated by the mountain which Capricorn is always envisioned climbing upon.
So Christmas is a celebration of the Sun’s journey through the Tropic of Capricorn, which calls the soul(sol) to climb back into the light of divinity, beyond the realm of cloying desires and drunken oblivion.
Thus there is no better time of the year to contemplate your eternal soul.
Just as Christ’s birth once heralded the promise of salvation, the Sun’s journey through the Tropic of Capricorn illumines the story of the Soul’s ascent.
“Many streams have flowed together; many quaint practices and curious rites have met and mingled.”
This week of Christmas, whether you exalt the Sun… Mithra…or Jesus Christ, feel the joy that comes with your Soul’s ascent into the light of the divine!
Monday/Tuesday: For Behold, I Bring You Tidings of Great Joy!
On Monday, Mercury will turn retrograde in the sign of Capricorn. It might be best to start your week off slowly, using great care to give yourself the time and space you need to handle everything that will be expected of you this week.
As the messenger of the gods, Mercury’s shifting motions may offer you some profoundly insightful spiritual insights this season.
As you meditate upon all that has happened over the last twelve months, the lace of black branches shivering against the winter skies may turn your thoughts towards dark imaginings of what the New Year may hold.
Also on Monday, Mars will enter the sign of Pisces where the decisively competitive edge that Mars uses to push an agenda will become subverted by an even more primal urge to feel in tune with the soul of the universe.
Expect to well up with feelings of connection and compassion. Expect to overflow with poems and paintings. As long as the mystical realms of Pisces are occupied by Mars, you may expect to feel soulful and contemplative.
Remember, it takes Mars two years to travel through the zodiac, and thus this represents a blissful period of integration and purification for the next cycle of energies that you wish to project into the world.
Wednesday/Thursday: For Unto You Is Born This Day
On Wednesday, the Sun moves into Capricorn and the celebration of the Winter Solstice commences! This great turning point in the year recognizes the relationship between the (sol) Sun’s return and the Soul’s regeneration!
Find some way to ritualize this moment for yourself! Acknowledge your unity with the cycles of light and the miracle that is your love for life.
As the Sun continues to travel through the sign of Capricorn, the soul’s growing momentum of ascension will begin to inspire all manner of ambitious and tenacious expressions.
But this week, just glorify in the celebration!
On Saturday, Christmas Eve, Saturn in Sagittarius will trine Uranus in Aries. This is an aspect that will inspire an energizing shift in your attitude or in your traditions. However, rather than representing something destructive or impulsive, this shift will be nicely supported by Saturn’s stabilizing influence.
Sunday is Christmas Day and the great enjoyment of a beautiful holiday will be well supported by three lovely aspects involving Venus.
Venus in Aquarius trined Jupiter in Libra is the rosiest embodiment of the Christmas spirit, for it will magnify your best qualities and attract beauty, generosity and good cheer!
Whether you find yourself with family or friends, you should feel a flourishing of both comfort and joy. Conversations should remain quite light and smooth, with arising conflicts easily uplifted back towards harmony.
The excesses of merriment that Venus and Jupiter might inspire can be curtailed due Venus’ sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius. When Venus and Saturn braid together in harmonious aspect, the qualities of both beauty and discipline are summoned as one great strength.
The urge to say too much, drink too much, or eat too much may actually be avoided, allowing you the full breadth and depth of remembrance and delight.
And finally, lest you think Christmas might be dull and redundant, Venus’ sextile to Uranus in Aries will add to Saturn’s recent trine which adds a lot of stimulation and excitement. Within the solid framework of tradition, there is much experimentation that can be done!
The possibilities are endless. You might meet inspiring new people at a party, or receive an astounding gift that changes your perspective. You might even discover that you have affections for someone that you did not understand before.
However your life opens up to you on Christmas day, know that it represents the return of your soul’s light.
“Christmas is a mystical experience made flesh. It is something that reminds us of experiencing which cannot be entirely put into words.”