20 Dec The Birth of the Sun ~ Winter Solstice
The true meaning of Capricorn season asks you to look within, draw strength from the marrow of your bones and reach for the sky.
The mythos of Capricorn is the story of the spirit’s descent into matter, when light was condensed into physical form and bound to the earth by the forces of space and time.
The traditional holidays of this season, including Christmas, correlate with the symbolism of the winter solstice, the day that the Sun returns to its path of ascent.
Capricorn begins as a celebration of the light’s return. Christmas is an exemplary solstice holiday that clearly tells the story of the Sun’s return through the birth of Christ.
As the great esoteric scholar Manly P. Hall said Christ’s birth represents the “day when divine love was made flesh”.
The Son of God is the divine Sun.
The story of Christ was blended with previously existing solstice festivals. Historically, the date of December 25th originally belonged to an ancient Sun god called Mithra, the Lord of Light.
Mythologically speaking, both 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…”
This cave at the nadir of the abyss is also referred to in ancient mythology as the Cave of the Nymphs, the place of the soul’s generation into physical being. In ancient writings, human souls in heaven were described as being like clouds, wispy, vaporous and floating.
And like clouds, these souls condensed through desire and poured themselves like rain upon the Earth.
And to complete the cycle, these souls on earth would eventually evaporate back up into the heavens.
In esoteric philosophy, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn represent the two entrances to a place called 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 distillation process for souls: the soul (sol) descends from Heaven into Earthly life and then from Earthly life back up to Heaven.
In ancient cosmology, Capricorn season represented the soul’s desire to leave the Earth and ascend back up to Heaven: to return to divine origin.
As Heraclitus said, “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 that Capricorn is always envisioned climbing.
Capricorn season will offer you the instinct and the tenacity to push the soul towards its ascent back into the light of divinity.
As the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry says, the pathways opened in Capricorn are filled with “souls ascending to the Gods. On this account, the poet does not say that they are the avenues of the Gods, but of immortals; being also common to our souls, which are essentially immortal.”
The season of Capricorn opens a gateway for your soul’s journey of ascent. The Romans honored this with the name for the month of January, derived from the word janua meaning gateway.
The gateway of ascent was also the sole purpose behind the Roman celebration of Saturnalia, a holiday in which slaves were served by their masters and great feasts were shared by rich and poor.
The wisdom in this festivity was to uplift the souls of the enslaved by letting them taste freedom and to uplift the souls of the masters by letting them taste humility.
Capricorn is the sign that honors the hard work undertaken by each soul that is incarnated upon earth, from spirit’s heavy descent into matter and onward into matter’s ascent into spirit. This is the place in the zodiac where struggle becomes strength.