This time of year invokes a variety of different feelings and emotions. Some see it as the “most wonderful time of the year”; a time for happiness and family and giving and good will towards men. Others see it as the epitome of the commercial consumer society we have become. Still others may have issues of seasonal depression coupled with “ghosts” of Christmas disappointments past. Whatever your feelings (and many have a combination of the above or more), it is no doubt that during this time we are being compelled to feel a bit more than we may normally. There is good reason for this and this reason stretches back into humanity’s ancient past.
Our ancestors lived a life that was very reliant on the changing of the seasons and the weather patterns these changes brought. Without the convenience of supermarkets and indoor heating, the time of winter was seen as a dark time; a time to get “comfortable” with death (see my post on Samhain). With this intimate connection and dependence on the land and the seasons, our ancient ancestors knew how to read the stars and the patterns of the sun and moon so as to know what to expect. They had a deep understanding of how these celestial bodies effect life on this planet in a way that has been largely forgotten in today’s society.
The longest night of the winter solstice was a time when the sun appeared to “die”. During a three day period (which ends Christmas eve), the sun resides in the vicinity of the Southern Cross constellation and appears to ‘hang’ on the cross until it then would “rise again”, or be “born”; gaining in strength and intensity until the summer solstice. This “birth” or “rebirth” of the sun heralded to the ancients that the time of darkness and death was inevitably going to be on its way out. Their savior had been born.
This also coincides with astrology and the 12 houses of the zodiac, which guide the procession of each “age”. During the spring equinox, the sun rises in the constellation of the zodiac that “rules” the age (it has currently been rising in the constellation of Pices for the past 2000+ years). The zodiac also has a “cross” that coincides with the mysteries of spring and Easter. We would do well to realize that the stars and planets are not just balls of gas and rock in the sky, but rather multi-dimensional bodied beings with a consciousness so vast it is like nothing we can even fathom.
This is the solar pattern that is etched into the physical world by the primary physical manifestation of the Christ Light in this sphere, the sun. I’m sure some folks may be saying, “But what about Jesus?”; I will explain this in part 2, but first let us talk about the Christ and for this we will go to John chapter 1:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In him was Light, and the Light was the life of men. And the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not”.
Interestingly, there is a verse by Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism that mirrors this verse. He speaks of the Clear Light, which is described as the “child of Rigpa”- Rigpa being the primordial ground of creation and awareness. This “Clear Light” is pure and “unborn”, yet it is ours inherently to find within ourselves. Through my initiations into the priesthood I have come to realize and understand the following about the nature of the Christ:
- It is Light, it brings Life and it emanates Love.
- It is the primordial Light that is behind ALL forms and manifestations of light in all physical, semi-physical, and non-physical planes or “realms” of existence.
- It is the primordial vibration that sings all things into existence (remember that the physical world is composed of light vibrations).
- In our realm of existence, the prime form of the Christ is the conscious being known as the Sun.
- The Light encompasses ALL of creation and dwells within everything; including you and me.
- This indwelling Christ Light has a physical location: it lies just beneath the heart in the area known as the solar plexus. When you bring your attention to and focus on this area in periods of meditation, you will see and more importantly, feel It.
While there is an external astrotheology (“religious” stories based upon the movements and transitions of the sun, moon, planets and stars) to the story of the birth of Christ, there is also the internal story that plays out as well. The “cave” where the savior is born has been known by many adepts to be the human skull. Mary and Joseph within us are known to represent the pituitary and pineal glands within the brain, as well as the feminine “receptive” and masculine “active” portions of consciousness. When these are brought into harmony through deep meditation, the two appear to create an area of reflective light, which can almost seem to be akin to light bouncing off two mirrors.
This creates the “manger” within where the child of Light is born in the solar plexus. When the child is born, the animals in the manger; our animal natures; are tame and brought to peace. And it is the simplicity of the shepard who is first to come to it; by simplifying our lives and our nature, we come to Christ and reach a point of being truly “wise men”. At least this has been my experience. I encourage all to practice and experience this phenomenon for themselves.
We are all affected by the forces of the sun and other celestial bodies that surround us, regardless of how detached from the natural world our species has become and regardless of whatever belief system we subscribe to. This being said, this process of the “death” and “rebirth” of the sun affects our internal feelings and emotions. We are reflections of the “external” world and the “external” world is a reflection of our “internal” world (in truth, they are both the same). When we approach this time of transition consciously, understanding the processes that are happening, we can utilize these “external” and “internal” forces to achieve great spiritual growth and transformation. When we open ourselves to fully experiencing the birth within us, we are further purified and are allowing the Great Work of “spiritualizing” the material plane to be done through us.