It is almost Christmas and everything will now come to a rest now, at least this what we may hope for. As always this last post of the year will therefore not be about some actual event, but about an “actual” symbol. A symbol that we place in our houses without too much thinking and in which a whole cosmology can be seen, the Christmas tree. This cosmology is of direct relevance for a clear understanding of astrology, unfortunately this kind of basic stuff is not given too much attention any more in our days. As a form of knowledge, astrology has its roots in traditional cosmology with at the background traditional metaphysics and not in some form of fanciful modern psychology.
Christmas is of course the returning of the light, at the darkest point of the year, thank God, the process reverses, from now on the days will be longer and longer. It is the time of the birth of Christ, quite approriately He is “the light of the world”, and it is the time of the wintersolstice. Astrologically this is one of the four important turning-points of the year, the other three are the summer solstice and the two equinoxes. The Sun enters Capricorn now and a few days later we celebrate Christmas. The circle of the four turning-points has the form of a cross, that important symbol of material manifestation.
But what does this have to do with the Christmas tree? The tree is a an ancient symbol and its essence is the connection between below and above, it shows the structure of the diverse layers of the cosmos. The tree has an important role in Siberian shamanism, but also in other traditions the world tree it is found, for example as Ygdrasil in Nordic mythology. The tree shows the connection through three worlds between above and below. The first and lowest world is the material concrete one we live in of tangible subtance. This world is constantly in decline, it is instable, it cannot exist on its own, therefore a snake is gnawing at the roots of the world tree. When the snake finishes its work, Ragnorok will arrive, the fall of the gods, the Nordic version of the Apocalypse, after which a new orld will be born.
The second level of the cosmos is what we call the astral world, the intermediate layer between below and above. Within the human being this is the psyche, but it is much larger than only that, this level functions like a cosmic “serving-hatch”. The creative impulses from high above, from God reach our material world through this intermediate level. Now to make it concrete, the root of the tree refers to the world of matter, the branches with their lights and decorations to the intermediate level and the peak points up to the highest level, to God. The lights and the decorations are also the planets and the stars as the creative impulses from above reach our world through the forms and the energies of the planets and the stars. Even the festoons are symbolic, they emphasize the connection nature of the tree.
In this way you can clearly see the essence of a planet, but it also works in reverse: you know, no you see that the world and the human being are necessarily connected to the highest level (this is the essential function of astrology) . And this is precisely what we need in these dark days, the reassurement that the light will not go out and that there are more things beteen heaven an earth than are dreamt of in modern, materialistic philosophies.
We wish you a blessed Christmas and a sparkling 2020!