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Winter Solstice

For centuries the winter season, in the Northern Hemisphere, has been inaugurated by the winter solstice, which occurs on or about December 21 and is the longest night of the year. At this time the light of the sun is at its lowest point on the southern horizon. The light available now must shine from deep within each of us. The outer darkness allows us to focus on an inner spiritual journey that can give rise to our own Divine Light.

Once we come in contact with our personal darkness, accept it, and enlighten it, we can experience a virgin birth of our inner sun. Now is the time that the Light of Life must shine forth in a world of dark. The period between the winter solstice and the summer solstice is known to be the soulic time of the year because there is more spiritual light available than physical light. The night sky also reveals the truths of the many stars, which are otherwise veiled by our closest one star, the sun. The inner work that is done now will later manifest in the outer physical world as the sun's light fully returns.
[ Night Sky Winter Solstice ~ Planetary Solstice Meditation ]
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Heart of the Galaxy

At the time of Christmas, from the position of the Earth, the sun in the constellation Sagittarius appears to be moving through the great heart of our galaxy. It is in this heart or glowing core of the galaxy where the greatest concentration of stars ~ and matter ~ exists. From this heart in the eastern sky issues humanity's dawning enlightenment. The Christ is also said to appear in the east with myriads of angels.

People unconsciously respond to this energy with the need to gather in groups around the hearth and share gifts and renew spiritual ties. Each year at this time the Earth conjuncts the Dog or God star Sirius, known as the Christ star. "We have seen His Star in the east and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2:2)

With the sun conjunct this heart area opposing both the Earth and Sirius, they are also therefore in direct alignment with it. We celebrate Christmas at a time when the Earth is celestially stimulated by the heart of our galaxy through the sun, and directly by the Christ star, Sirius.
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Capricorn, the Mountaintop

Christmas occurs with the sun in the sign of Capricorn. For ages Capricorn has been associated with two different energies: that of the valley or hell, and that of the mountaintop ~ heaven. In this sign, through struggle with darkness, the valley ~ our material nature ~ can rise above itself and aspire to spiritual heights. Now our materialistic side expresses itself through buying and getting of things, and giving them out as gifts.

 

The spiritual side expresses itself as we willfully aspire to the mountaintop of human compassion and understanding. Receiving visions and insights there, we will come down from our Capricorn mountain, and in Aquarius, we give of our self in the new year. After bathing in the Heavenly Light, we return to the world and give away its divine gifts. In the time of the greatest darkness we can become the Light returning ~ the Lighted Way. The sign Capricorn, being the lowest on the eastern horizon, represents the depths or valley, while overhead stretches the glowing path of stars in the Milky Way. This path leads to Monoceros ~ the Unicorn. In the starry heights directly above us, we have pictured the valley and the mountaintop experience all at once.
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Three Wise Men

On Christmas eve, the Kings or Three Wise Men can be seen if one looks at the three bright stars that make up Orion's belt. These beautiful white stars form a straight line pointing to the nearby star of the Christ, Sirius. The Three Wise Men also represent our three lower energy centers: the will to be or survive, the creative generative center, and our emotional-desire center. These centers, when dedicated to spiritual aspiration, become as wise men: and give up or surrender themselves to the heart center or the Christ energy. They give the best of who they are. They embody the devotional energies of these lower centers rising up to the heart.

 

 

The gifts the three wise men offered are also symbolic. Gold represents the material nature, consecrated to the service of God and humanity. Frankincense symbolizes the emotional nature ~ its aspirations, wishes and longings, and this aspiration must rise as incense to the feet of God. Incense is also a symbol of purification, of that burning which removes all dross and leaving only the essence for the blessing of God.

Myrrh or bitterness relates to the mind. It is through the mind that we suffer as human beings. As we progresses, the more the mind develops, greater is the capacity for suffering. Suffering seen in its true light , dedicated to divinity, can be used as an instrument of approach nearer to God. We can offer to God the rare and wonderful gift of a mind made wise through pain, and a heart made kind through distress and difficulty overcome.

As we study the meaning of these three gifts brought by the disciples of old to the infant Jesus, and as we see their meaning as it applies to our individual situation, it becomes equally apparent that today humanity, as a race, stands before the infant Jesus at the end of a long journey, and can now offer, if it so will, the gifts of material life, of purification through the fires of adversity, and of the suffering to which it has been subjected.

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Santa Claus, Auriga

Exactly overhead on Christmas night we find the constellation Auriga. It represents Hephaestos, fashioner and bearer of gifts for the Gods, who is riding a chariot ~ a sleigh ... pulled by four horses ~ reindeer ~ and appears as if he were flying out of the celestial North Pole! This Santa has a she-goat and two lambs nestled in his arms and seems to be lovingly nurturing them. The four horses drawing this sleigh are those of the apocalypse, and are bringers of retribution or blessing. "You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I'm telling you why. Santa Claus ~ Auriga ~ is coming to town! He's making a list and checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa Claus is coming to town!" It's all about whether you've been good or bad: Auriga ~ Santa Claus ~ is bringing something for you, And it will be exactly what you deserve, whether sticks or coal, or the perfect gift you've always wanted! See Santa? ... Look Up!
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How St. Nicholas came to be known as Santa

 

 

The Helium Cone

As our sun moves through the galaxy, it interacts with the hydrogen cloud of gas, dust, and material that is in front of it. The sun, with planets in tow and its magnetic fields pressing up against the cloud, moves through and interacts with it. As a result the field in front of the sun becomes flattened, depressed and shortened.

The hydrogen cloud in turn flows around the sides of the sun along its magnetic field toward the solar tail, and then is carried into the interstellar medium. During this cloud and sun interaction, some of the hydrogen is broken down and combined to form helium and other elements. Some of the helium finds its way into the tail that extends behind the sun as the sun continues on its path through the heavens.

This cone-shaped tail of helium reflects light along its length because it is composed of gas and dust spread out in the vacuum of space. This light is seen as a spike or spear of light which we call the zodiacal light, and is seen in the springtime right after the sun sets in the west, or in autumn in the east just before daybreak. We are able to see this heavenly light show during these seasons because the Earth is positioned at the sides of the sun, rather than in the front, therefore allowing the view of the cone.

At the winter solstice, the Earth enters the solar tail; here we are unable to see the zodiacal light as we are in the helium cone part of the tail, totally surrounded by it. The amount of helium cone produced is dependent on how active the sun is and how thick the hydrogen cloud is in front of the sun. At Christmas, the cone extends well beyond the orbit of the Earth; perhaps our many religious and joyous celebrations at this time are related to the lightness and openness of helium, which is enveloping us as our Earth passes through it.

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Vega New Year

A little after Christmas, but still within in its influence, the sun conjuncts the brilliant star Vega in the constellation Lyra, the harp.

Singing holiday songs, and Christmas carols, as well as the desire for harmony and good will, are expressions of Lyra energy. Making New Year's resolutions is associated with the Vega star.

Traditionally this star is known as the cosmic or royal judge, and the judge of the heavens. When the sun conjuncts this place in the sky, we make judgments about ourselves and our lives. Out of these judgments we begin to make resolutions about our future. Completing its rotational cycle around the sun, planet Earth too is ready to begin anew.
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The Unicorn, Monoceros

The unicorn is a fabulous animal whose spinal cord is presumed to extend beyond the medulla oblongata, through the pituitary gland and out between the eyes, after which it becomes hardened into a horn. The horn, emerging from the brain, indicates expression of the creative power, for the unicorn or horned horse is a symbol for the sublimated creative force in humanity.

In this sense the unicorn (a person's conjoined mind, emotion, vitality and physical body) is willing to serve. The horned animal (controlled personality) is to be trusted, it is also mighty in strength. The owner can believe in this unicorn / controlled personality, knowing it will "bring home the seed (the procreative power) and gather it into the barn" (the brain and the soul body).

 

 

The candidate for initiation must tame the previously wild donkey, so that thereafter, as a docile quaternary, it may bear the threefold personality onward to its goal, just as the ass bore the Holy Family and the Christ in triumph out of Egypt (the sanctuary of the greater mysteries) to Jerusalem (a higher state of consciousness).

The human quaternary presently finds its vestigial horn reappearing at the surface of the forehead, not as hardened tissue but as whirling creative fire. And as a symbol, the white and gleaming unicorn again roams the mountain sides. The Cyclopes are here on earth again, but no longer one-eyed. Rather they are endowed with three organs of vision, two physical and one super-physical. They are partly represented by the men and women of today who are already possessed of these intuitional faculties, which will be natural to later races.

Monoceros lies in the Milky Way, separating Orion's two dogs Canis Major and Canis Minor. Since it contains no prominent, named stars, it is not shown on many star maps. [ 1 ]

Another depiction of the Unicorn is associated as the evolved symbol of the sign during which Christmas occurs ~ Capricorn, otherwise regarded as the Goat.
Comprehesive discussion of this symbology

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The Seed

In winter we set goals for ourselves ~ New Year's resolutions. Deep within, we create a new seed. Coming out of the darkness into the light of spring, we stop talking and start acting. In the springtime we firmly plant and nourish this seed. We develop an environment in which our goals can actualize.

In summer we find time to relax and shine the light of who we are. There's some nurturing, yet mostly an allowing to just be. In autumn comes our harvest. We reflect to see if we've achieved our goals and begin anew to reflect inward. Again in the winter, we decide what worked and didn't. We go deeper within, make new goals and create new seeds for the grand cycle ahead.

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It's a Heavenly Christmas and Everyone's Invited!

 

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2016 Planetary Solstice Meditation
St. Nicholas~Santa Claus
The Christmas Star
Festivals of Light
The Christ Light
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Art: All images except for navigation map, Auriga, Monoceros and Helium Cone
from Essentia.com; Auriga and Monoceros are from the Royal Greenwich Observatory,
the star atlases of Bode and Flamsteed preserved there, and the Helium Cone is from
The Cambridge Atlas of Astronomy,
Second Ed., © 1988, Cambridge University Press.

(1) Unicorn information from The Hidden Wisdom in the Holy Bible, Vol. I
by Geoffrey Hodson, Theosophical Publishing House, © 1970
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