For thousands of years, carvings on temples, cave walls, monuments and artefacts have honoured the sun, bringer of warmth, security, life and light. The ancient zodiac wheel with its four cardinal points traces the passage of the sun as it moves through each of the 12 constellations marking the four seasons, the spring and autumn equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices. Our ancestors personified the sun, worshipping it as the light of the world, the sun god, the saviour of mankind. It is no coincidence that our principal day of worship is called Sun Day.
‘Zeitgeist’, a movie produced by Peter Joseph in 2007, was created to inspire people to start looking at the world from a more critical perspective. In his movie, Joseph tackles what he believes is the astrological symbolism behind the story of the birth and death of Jesus, whom he views as one of the many sun gods of the ancient world.
The Bible tells us that three wise men came from the east, following a star that led them to Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Messiah. Joseph claims that the star in the east was Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, which on December 24th aligns with the three brightest stars in the constellation of Orion (Orion’s belt). The stars were referred to by many ancient cultures as the Three Kings. You may recall from earlier articles that the great pyramids of Egypt were built in exact alignment with these three stars, to channel the star energy on the earthly plane. And when Sirius (the brightest star) lined up with the Three Kings, they pointed to the place of sunrise on December 25th – the symbolic birth place of the sun or son.
So why December 25th? As the days grow shorter in the period leading up to the winter solstice, the sun appears to stop moving south or north (depending on which hemisphere you are in) and stay still for three days – the 22nd, 23rd and 24th December in the northern hemisphere and the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of June in the southern hemisphere. This is the meaning of the word ‘sol-stice’ – sun standing still. To our ancestors this period symbolised the death of the sun god (son of god) and when three days later on the 25th December the sun started moving again, the sun was reborn – hence the birth of Jesus at this time – the sun god or son of god.
During this three day period, Joseph tell us that the sun resides in the vicinity of the Southern Cross constellation and appears to ‘hang’ on the cross, hence the story of the crucifixion. However the resurrection of the sun or son is celebrated three months later at the spring equinox (Easter) when once again the forces of light defeat the forces of darkness and the days grow longer than the nights.
And why was Jesus born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary? The Virgin Mary is the personification of the constellation Virgo – Virgo has represented the great female deities (the Goddess) since time immemorial. The Divine Mother and her Consort/Saviour Son is a strong theme in goddess mythology, making the Virgin Mary/Mary Magdalene a likely composite. The name "Mary" is etymologically related to water, the element of birth and the astrological glyph for Virgo is an ‘M’.
The Virgo portion of the heavens was known as the House of Bread because the Sun is in the house of Virgo in August-September - harvest time in the northern hemisphere. Virgo is usually depicted as a woman holding a sheaf of wheat like the great goddess Demeter/Ceres. The words ‘bet lehem’ (Bethlehem) in Hebrew translate into House of Bread. So on the night of the 24th December, Virgo the great maiden/mother of Bethlehem rises in the northern hemisphere night sky from 10 pm to dawn, heralding the birth of the new-born sun, three days after the winter solstice.