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      MYTHIC TIMES INTERNATIONAL

It’s the first day - of the New Year
The first day - of the New Year
It’s the first day of the New Year, the first day.
All the circles are meeting
And together we’re greeting
The New Day – The New Day - The New Day!

It’s the birthday of the spirit of the Sun And the rebirth of the light in everyone.
And in the songs we are singing
We all thank God for bringing
A New Day – A New Day - A New Day!

In a circle of love we are a-joining
To ring in the light of this glad morning And in the new dawn that’s breaking All our souls are awaking A New Day – A New Day - A New Day!
As we wipe away the dust of last year’s lies We see our brothers and our sisters with new eyes And you can tell by our faces That a new light has graced us, A New Day – A New Day - A New Day!

Oh the evil enchantment will be broken
In the New Day that’s dawning – it’s been spoken For a new star is risen, To release Love from prison.
A New Day – A New Day - A New Day!

- The First Day, lyrics by Steve Nelson

MYTHIC TIMES INTERNATIONAL
**************************
A Newsletter of Mythological Astrology, Celebrations, Event Analysis & Prediction
Steve Nelson, editor & chief writer
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
MYTHIC TIMES: WINTER SOLSTICE, YULE, A 2005 PRELUDE ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

DECEMBER 2004
Newsletter Contents

1) Letter to Readers, a Mythic Times World View
2) Winter Solstice, the Druid Festival of Liberation
3) Soyal, the Winter Solstice Celebration of the Hopi
4) Bringing Back the Holiday Magic
5) Christmas: Deis Invictus Solis
6) Truth about Santa Claus and the North Pole
7) The Origin of the Christmas Tree
8) The Christian / Druid Connection
9) Yule and 12 Days of Christmas Key to Prediction
10) Kwanzaa, 7 Days of Blessing Dec 26 - Jan 1
11) Epiphany, 3 Kings Day, 12th Day of Yule, Jan 6
12) Prophetic Date Dec 8, Portents for the New Year
13) 2005: The Year of the Aquarian Phoenix


Dear Friends,
This is a lengthy newsletter so please save to file and print only what is needed. All who receive this letter are welcome to share as you wish in whole or in part. My request is that you please read through before forwarding and send selectively to friends you feel will be open to receiving.

Light returns at Winter Solstice for a New Year on Earth.   The nature of this new light depends on global invocation.
Those who most feel need invoke most strongly. So it is the last become first and the first become last in each new cycle.

Winter Solstice and Yule are magical times for reforming our inner world and opening to new life and light. Winter Solstice is both a moment in time (7:42 am EST, 12:42 pm GMT Tuesday Dec 21) and a 7 day period (Dec 18-24) when the Sun appears to rise and set at the same points on the horizon. Solstice means "still standing Sun."

The first full day of Winter, the Druid Festival of Liberation occurs on Wednesday December 22nd this year.
The Druids call this the Day Out of Time as it belongs to none of their 13 tree months but is instead the Day of Mistletoe. The 'Golden Bough' is gathered this day, a clever way to have people be at a power place at this power time. (Mistletoe only grows in places of power.)

When the Sun begins moving again on Dec 25th, the new cycle begins, hence the magic of Christmas. Winter Solstice /Christmas are to the year as midnight is to the day, hence the peculiar magic of midnight Christmas Eve when the light of the new cycle is born. Note: Ringing a bell at midnight may well help release the old and open to the magic of the new as suggested in the movie Polar Express.

The Season of Yule is the 12 day period after Christmas Day when the essential nature of the New Year is revealed.
(You might want to write down your dreams and make note of daily synchonicities). Yule means "wheel." The 12 Days of Yule or Christmas symbolize the New Year in microcosmic form with each day representing a zodiacal month in the year to be. Here's wishing everyone a happy new turn of the wheel!

During Yuletide on New Year’s Eve many years ago while in Montana for the holidays I experienced a life changing out of body experience in which I flew to the North Pole.
After what seemed a long journey over frozen tundra of Canada I became aware of a great light in the far north and there came to a tall white mountain that I had to ascend, this took what seemed to a long time. Atop this mountain on a plateau was a beautiful city circled by a rainbow of light.
At the center of the city was a column of light that took the form of a giant tree and when I looked up there at the top of it was a brilliant five-pointed star like those that top Christmas trees only this one was/is more ethereal.
Zodiacal lines appeared to radiate from the column of light at the center of the city and spread out over the world. I thought of the City of Revelation described in Revelation and saw the first degree of each zodiacal sign representing "a stone of the foundation" in the city of light. Eight lines of energy shone most prominently though, these were the seasonal ingress points or cardinal degrees and the fixed sign midpoint lines. The great tree at the center of the City appeared to have four "roots" of white light stretching out over the Earth along the midlines of the zodiac’s fixed signs. Creatures with the faces of these signs could be seen at the corners of the city. All seemed to revolve around the center tree and the brilliant five pointed star. I felt the presence of people in the city but could see no body.

The most amazing part of this for me was to see how this City of Light links to other cities on Earth by lines of energy like 'nadis', the chi lines in the human aura. Each of these lines looked like an umbilicus of light, a curved column rising up from the pole and down to a city. Every city could then be seen as a - more or less - "turned on" city of light with a column of light or tree of light at its center and a zodiac radiating outward from the center always it seemed with the 0 Aries or Spring Equinox point east and 0 Cancer south. Because of the way the light torus flows the zodiac around each city goes in reverse order to the one around the pole. Around the zodiacal wheel of each city move the Sun, Moon and planets.

This experience inspired me to research the Earth Zodiac, myths of the world tree and the 'celestial city.' Results of my research were first published in an annual astrology and cross cultural celebrations guide, The New World Cycle of Celebrations.
The last of this series was published in 1990. The Earth Zodiac chapter has diagrams showing the relationship of this zodiac to the Becker-Hagens world grid with its dodecahedral and icosahedral energy flows. The 36 decan star signs, 24 runes, 64 hexagrams and
13 Druid tree months are all laid out on the zodiacal year and the world. The Egyptian prophetic system of fixed solar dates was also included. The Egyptian cycle entry for September 11th is “The Day Horus Battles Seth.” I've meant to update this work but haven't yet.
A few dozen copies of the 1990 book are available. Send a check for
$11 if you would like a copy.

Myths of all time are now coming to life, often in surprising ways. This time has been called "the end time", "the quickening,"
and "the rapture." It is the end of the Piscean Age and quickening of the Aquarian when all souls are lifted up and we enter the "upper room." This is the Nordic Ragnarok, the age of fire and ice, when the Fenris Wolf is set loose and the dragon comes down from the pole to shake the world. Still despite all these earth shaking and often frightful changes a positive outcome has been assured. How positive and how soon may well depend on what we do. This is the time of “the war in heaven and earth”. War in heaven simply means conflict on the psychic or spiritual plane. It is a magical war reflected in Star Wars, the Harry Potter books and movies and the Lord of the Rings.

I've been rereading JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarilion in preparation for this New Year. I believe these books reflect the goings on in the world just now. A film reviewer was recently asked why this holiday season there is no big blockbuster movie like a Lord of the Rings or a Harry Potter. The answer, I believe, is we're still living out the Return of the King and the script of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is just unfolding. During this Solstice the new Return of the King DVD (with 50 additional minutes) has been released and the movie Flight of the Phoenix is playing.

Many are ready to believe in miracles and wonder, others are not and don't. Duke University psychic researchers JB and Louisa Rhine showed how the ability of a psychic is inhibited by presence of a skeptic as the skeptic unconsciously uses psychic power to prevent occurrences that shake his (usually
his) world view. This is why I've requested we remember to share with others as we feel they are open. This is not difficult to do, it just means putting our self in the other's place before sharing our point of view. Then we will know what is right to say and do.

Times of greatest challenge are times of greatest opportunity.
When things are most uncertain they are most subject to change.
As old patterns of belief and being are challenged, the way is opened to greater understanding and more enlightened living.
The old zeitgeist based on 19th century Newtonian physics is slowly giving way to the new magical order of Aquarius.

A Great Renaissance occurs every 500 years, the traditional lifespan of the Phoenix. Every Great Renaissance first brings a struggle between the old way and the new. Spirit and Nature conspire to bring us into a new Age of Light. We enter the new era as we surrender to Spirit and remember how to breathe free.

Wishing All A joyful Solstice, Merry Christmas and a magical Yule,
Steve Nelson

<><><><><><><><><><>

THE SEASON OF YULE

In her heart is born a Light
during Gaia’s darkest night.

On this Evening in the north
the star of Uriel shines forth.

In the second evening blessed
Gabriel greets us from the west.

As the third seed day arrives,
Michael’s fires embrace our lives.

Through the fourth day Raphael
Earth’s renewal does foretell.

Angels on their corners stand
as the Light of Love is born again.

In light of the still standing Sun
Christ and natural world are one.

Wreaths of Holly, holy tree,
prick the dark from you and me.

Cedar burning Christmas day
drives the old year’s cares away.

From the Yule log lit anew
feel the Sol light shining through.

Here in our heart of hearts aglow
forms the New Year’s embryo.

Then Kwanzaa’s seven days unfold
the deepest qualities of soul,

And in lights on tree of green
are the fruits of healing seen.

Join we now in Love’s bright circle:
template of the future world.

- Steve Nelson

THE SEASON OF YULE, complete lyrics posted by Liz Magnus
at http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~lzmagnus/yule.htm Also,
see Sun Attunement in the Esoteric Astrology section http://www.btinternet.com/~seamaid/AttunementofSun.htm



2) WINTER SOLSTICE Dec 21-24, DRUID FESTIVAL OF LIBERATION Dec 22nd

The magic moment of Winter Solstice: the time when the Sun reaches its maximum point south, is 7:42 AM US Eastern Time Tuesday Dec 21st.
An astrological chart of this moment and at midnight New Year's Eve determine how the future year will be.

The Solstice (“still standing Sun”) lasts for several days during which time the Sun appears to rise(and set)at exactly the same point on the horizon. This continues until Christmas Day when the Sun starts moving again. The Romans called this day Dies Invictus Solis, the Day of the Unconquerable Sun.

December 22nd is the first full day of Solstice, the first day after the Sun aligns with the tropic of Capricorn. This is the Druid Day Out of Time which is also called the Festival of Liberation.

Sunrise and Sunset are important times during the days of Solstice; megalithic structures throughout the world align with these times.
Only during Winter Solstice does the rising Sun illumine the interior of New Grange, a megalithic chamber north of Dublin. Only on Winter Solstice does the rising Sun fully illumine the interior of Calendar One, a megalithic chamber in southern Vermont. In Washington DC the Winter Solstice Sun rises exactly along Pennsylvania Avenue to illumine the Capitol Dome. The light of the Summer Solstice Sunrise is conducted to the Dome by Maryland Avenue. These alignments were created more for energetic effects than astronomical symbolism.

The Druid calendar is thirteen months of twenty eight days. 13X28 = 364.
This calendar appears as 13 stars with 28 rays above the eagle on the US dollar bill. Much of the symbolism of the Americas comes from Masonic traditions and many of the principles of Masonry are derived from the Druids. Jesus learned foot washing from Druid tutors when he was taken as a youth to England by his wealthy uncle Joseph of Arimethea.

The day left over at the end of the Druid year is called the Day Out of Time and the Festival of Liberation. Each of the 13 months was named for a sacred tree, the Day Out of Time (December 22nd) was named Mistletoe.
Birch, Queen of the Forest, follows beginning on 23 Dec and ending 20 Jan.

Mistletoe is best gathered on Winter Solstice according to ancient custom.
Mistletoe will only grow at places of natural power, Winter Solstice is a time of power. A key principle of the ancient celebration tradition is to arrange for people to be in places of power at times of power. So we gather mistletoe on its day, Wednesday December 22nd, and put ourselves in a location where soul liberation can more readily occur and the path before us be made clear. Such is the ancient way of gnosis coded into our western world. In truth the Druid wisdom was not vanquished but internalized in our culture and we know that the internal is closer to the eternal than are external forms.

Mithras, the Persian god of Light and guardian against evil, was born in a rocky cave at Winter Solstice. King Arthur was born in a great stone castle high on a bluff on this darkest of nights. Arthur's Round Table of 12 Knights has become a template for the evolution of egalitarian societies, and national aggregates (e.g. 12 Nations of the new South American union). The Round Table of King Arthur is the prototype of a Round Table of nations to be.

Just before Winter Solstice each year the Sun conjuncts the center of the Milky Way. Astronomers have discovered a giant black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy. The Mayans called the deity at the heart of our galaxy Hunab Ku. The Earth spirit Itzamna is the child of Hunab Ku. Like the Navaho Whirling Rainbow Woman, Itzamna is thought of as a unity and also as four separate deities with a face to each compass direction. Rainbow Woman Ix Chel is the partner of Itzamna in Mayan mythology. The Whirling Rainbow, the turning Medicine Wheel, the Earth twirling round its polar center, and the galaxy revolving around its core share a commonality. The nature of this relationship, this transcendent reality, is becoming more relevant as we are entering the 21st century. The 21st card in Tarot is a woman encircled by greenery dancing within a spiraling swath of purple cloth. The four creatures of Ezekiel's vision (the fixed signs of the zodiac) appear at the four corners of this card. As above, so below. As without, so within.

Winter Solstice is a gate to the garden where the Tree of Life grows.
Silent communion opens the way. "In silence the soul gives instruction.”
-William Judge, Theosophical Society founder


3) SOYAL, WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION OF THE HOPI {18 Dec 04 -3 Jan 05}

Hopi means "peace." The Hopi celebrations and prophecies reveal the way to a peaceful world. Hopi Indians live on high mesas in the Four Corners area of the US Southwest. The eastern boundary line of the Hopi reservation is the exact 0 Taurus line of the zodiac projected on Earth. World attention is focused here in 2005 as the North Node aligns with this area at the turning of the year.

"Soyal, so [all] and yal [year], accepts and confirms the pattern of life development for the coming year. It is one of the most important of all ceremonials, being often referred to as Soyalandwul [Establishing Life Anew for All th World]...Now, out of dawn-darkness, germinated life is about to make its appearance. The Sun, reaching the southern end of its journey at Winter Solstice, is ready to return and give strength to budding life. To all this Soyal is dedicated to give aid and direction... Soyal is scheduled to take place during Soyala [Time of the Winter Solstice] between the first-quarter Moon
(18 Dec this year) and the last-quarter Moon (3 Jan '05)...Soyal in its full form lasts twenty days: an eight-day period of purifications and preparation, followed by an eight-day period of rituals, and concluding with a feast and blessing rites lasting four days more."
- Book of the Hopi, pp 154 by Frank Waters

The four directions of the Native American Medicine Wheel symbolize the four races. Native teachers of the Southwestern United States have long prophesied a gathering of the four great (all) races of the world in the Four Corners when the Rainbow Nation will be born.

Mayans call the deity at the heart of our galaxy "Hunab Ku" and the Earth spirit Itzamna is the child of Hunab Ku. Like the Navaho Whirling Rainbow Woman, Itzamna is thought of as a unity and also as four separate deities with a face to each compass direction.
The Hopi believe the arrival of Bohana (the first enlightened ones of the adolescent white race)at Oraibi during the Soyal celebration will signal the birth of the Rainbow Nation. Bohana will be wearing a red pointed cap and carrying wooden staff or "planting stick."

Note: The 8 days of purification preceding the 8 day ritual period of Soyal in its long form coincides with the 8 days of Channukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights that celebrates the purification of the temple. This celebration parallels Advent, a period of purification preparing way for the rebirth of light. The “circle cross” formed by this wreath and its four candles is a symbol of the Earth. On Christmas the fifth candle is lit to symbolize the renewal of Sol / soul. Four elements combine in a fifth, the quintessence or the 5th essence, rather like the 4 faces of the Channukah dreidl center at it's 5th "point." More will participate in these celebrations during coming years as we come to see how wonderfully effective they can be.

"Eight candles we’ll burn and a Ninth one too Every New Year that comes and goes..." - Woody Guthrie http://www.woodyguthrie.org/Lyrics/Many_and_the_Few.htm


4) BRINGING BACK THE HOLIDAY MAGIC

Celebration traditions evolved over millennia show us how to let go the shadow of the old year and make way for the spirit of the New.
As year 2004 has brought out the shadow of the old Piscean era it is important that we get into this New Year’s holiday spirit. We need more than ever to engage in celebration to break the spell of the old cycle and clear our way forward.

It might be remembered that the mythic realm is a magical realm in which the “new physics” works freely. Harry Potter is not just for children though young souls coming in will more readily understand the meaning of the mythic drama now unfolding. All are capable of enlightenment though we elders may need to make a little more effort than the young. And we may find our way easier if we include these enlightened children (they all are) in our celebrations.

The beauty and magic of the season can be lost if we get too busy to celebrate. Celebration, simple folk customs and practices can help open hearts to the purity, love and beauty of this season.
Here are a few celebration suggestions:

*Spend time with family and friends around a fireplace or candlelit table. Whether for “bringing back the Sun” or warming bodies and hearts, gathering around fire is a universal tradition. Solar fire stored in wood through photosynthesis released now powers seed intentions for the new cycle.

*Deck the halls with boughs of holly to clear homes of astral shades.
Many present day holiday customs are inherited from the Druids, the nature technologists of the ancient world. At the end of every cycle nonassimilable psychic energies come up to be transformed, recycled or dispelled. These may appear to the psychic eye as over stuffed astral uglies which, strangely seeming, have an inexorable urge to cast themselves onto any sharp points, e.g. holly. Folkways encode more esoteric wisdom than our books can easily hold. Many of these customs are easier to do than explain but due to a modern bane we have to know why in order to do.

*Ringing bells to break spells, stuck patterns of thought and open to new spirit. It isn’t enough to have bells around, they have to be jingled.

*Gather together with friends at the center of town or at a natural place of power and celebrate.

*Wear holiday colors, maybe a sprig of holly and jingle bells.

*Dance in circle. Carol literally means “circle dance song.” Christmas songs were originally sung by people dancing in Sunwise circle to aid the return of the Sun. (Of course the ancients knew this dancing and the fires of Yule season weren’t literally bringing back the Sun, but rather clear way for us to receive the new light.)

*Exchange physical gifts at Epiphany January 6th (see below).

Noel means “mind of God.” The root words are noos - with (..) over second “o” – and “el” = god. French philosopher Pierre de Chardin coined the term “noosphere” for the higher planetary mind. This reinspiriting collective consciousness comes through groups singing in circle. To sing together is to breathe and to inspire together.
The group angel or deva formed above the center of the group in song connects each one with their highest good. So there’s reason to do this besides the shear fun of it. And really any song with which all are familiar or can be learned easily will work for the purpose of group inspiration. Any song sung in unison will do. Row, Row, Row Your Boat is a great song to sing in circle. Remember, circle dancing is done clockwise/Sunwise at least in the beginning, this for energy clearing and opening the way to the light above which is the light above. Following sufficient clockwise movement dancing counterclockwise brings the energy down.


5) CHRISTMAS: "DIES INVICTUS SOLIS"

Christmas Day, December 25th, was celebrated by the Romans as Dies Invictus Solis, the Day of the Unconquerable Sun. This is the day when the Sun begins to move again after the days of Winter Solstice (literally “still standing Sun”). The Solstice lasts for 3-4 days and then the Sun begins to move northward again on Christmas Day.
The Light of the World is born anew at midnight on Christmas Eve.
This new light becomes manifest on Epiphany January 6th, the last spoke of the wheel of Yule, the New Year to be.

The Christ Spirit born on Christmas is the “zeitgeist,” the spiritual light or collective soul of the coming year. Christ is the Spirit of the Sun reborn anew each Christmas Day. Jesus, an initiate prepared as a vessel for the Christ, was born January 6th according to America's prophet Edgar Cayce.

Along with the Christ, Christmas day celebrates the birth of the Egyptian god Horus, the Phrygian god Attis (resurrected March 25th) and the Neareastern god Mithras whose wisdom tradition influenced all of Europe in earlier times. Mithras is born to slay the demon bull of materialism and overcome the dark shadow god Ahriman, Saraman, Sauron.

In Arthurian tradition, a sword appeared in the church yard stone on Christmas Day. Drawing this sword from the stone symbolizes drawing forth the essential from the stone of old tradition, this is a challenge for our time.


6) TRUTH ABOUT SANTA CLAUS AND THE NORTH POLE

"The key to Santa's travels is a relativity cloud that bends space, time and light and slows clocks down."
- a scientific expert commenting on NPR Dec 24th

Santa Claus is a Mercurial figure much like the Norze wizard Odin who travels between worlds on his 8 legged horse Sleppnir.
Santa brings gifts from the North Pole, Odin hangs suspended from the World Tree (north pole) to bring the magical gift of the runes.

Odin's horse and Santa's 8 fleet footed deer represent 8 turning times of year marked by solstices, equinoxes and cross quarters.
Fires lit at these times quicken creative spiritual forces.

Santa Claus is real and lives at the north pole. The spirit of St Nicholas travels throughout the world on Christmas Eve to bring special gifts to good boys and girls. (All are good in their way, all receive gifts according to need and wish).
Santa enters homes through chimneys, through the heart, through the fire place.

Santa is an anagram for "Sanat." Sanat Kumara is a spirit of the Earth who resides at the North Pole in an etheric city called Shamballa. This is the City of Revelation (Rev.21) on its "sea of glass" surrounded by the rainbow of the northern lights (Rev.4). The humans in Lord of the Rings call their capital the White City. The North Pole, the spiritual center pole of the world, is the Irminsul Pillar of the Norse. This is our Christmas Tree with its star of promise, it is the White Tree of Middle Earth with its 7 Stars. The Tree of Life bears "twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month" (Rev.22). The twelve stones of the foundation, twelve angels and twelve tribes are the twelve signs of the Earth Zodiac. The 360 degrees of longitude converge at the North Pole in a locus of Self realizing Dane Rudhyar termed "aeonic consciousness."

The deer is sacred to Winter Solstice because the deer is a creature sacred to the Moon, the mediator of solar light.
Santa's 8 deer symbolize 8 annual fire festivals and corresponding hours of the day, canonical hours when bells are rung and candles are lit in prayer. Santa's reindeer all have a necklace of bells.

Around the north pole World Tree are the proverbial "seven spirits before the throne", the Seven Kumaras of Hindu
tradition: The White Tree and Seven Stars of Tolkien.
Sanat/Santa is the biblical Ancient of Days. Sanat Kumara is anciently wise and yet eternally young, "the Youth of Sixteen Summers." (There are 16 rays on the mandala at the top of the world in The Polar Express movie). Compare J.R.R.
Tolkien's description of King Elessar (Aragorn) with the Santa Claus of Polar Express: "Tall as the Sea-Kings of old, he stood above all that were near; ancient of days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom set upon his brow, and strength and healing were in his hands, and a light was above him." - Lord of the Rings, Return of the King p266

Love enters the world through the Anima Mundi or feminine soul of the world and alignment between Sanat Kumara and the Christ. (Initiation Human and Solar p. 44, AA Bailey).
Love is Lord of this creation. The spring of love is refreshed each Christmas. This revitalising spirit travels from its polar source and - like as a subtle energetic charge - alights in responsive hearts and on high places, mountain tops, holy sites, and chimney tops. The new spirit of love moves from these anchoring points through fire elementals and human souls to cover the whole world. Hearts opening and responding one with the other will always have a Merry Christmas.

As each soul is anchored through the light above the crown (the soul star), so the feminine soul of the world (“anima mundi”) appears as a spiritual light above the North Pole of the world.
The North Pole is the pivot round which turns the mandala of creation. Spinning around the personal center puts one in sync with the soul. Meditation and prayer facing north or lying with head north aids alignment with world soul. This practice can help center each of us in our own soul's purpose for this new cycle of creation. It also helps to ring a bell, preferably silver but any will do.

"Yggdrasill, the great Ash tree, the World Tree, omphalos or navel of the world, is 'Yggr's steed'. Yggr is Odin; his steed, an eight-leffed horse (Sleipnir) that he rides to the underworld. The eight limbs of Sleipnir are the eight spokes of the Wheel, the steed upon whieh he rides is then one of the many runes found in an ancient rock carving at Hallristingnot in North Italy, as a Circle of Law. As Plato suggests, the 8 spheres of heaven are fastened to a spindle that 'turns on the knees of Necessity", all things birthed by Nature revolving about the World Tree.." (An 8-spoked wheel is illustrated)
- Fruits of the Moon Tree, p 77 by Alan Bleakley


7) ORIGIN OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Our Christmas tree tradition, originating in Germany, was inspired by the Norse myth of a world tree in the far north, the Irmensul pillar around which the world turns and through which the Winter Solstice light of Sun/son & Sol/soul returns.

Twin symbols of tree and serpent appear together in a number of mythic traditions. The Iroquois Peace Tree is a towering pine of the far north under which all nations of the world shelter in peace. Four great white roots go out from four directions and around these roots a great serpent coils.
The constellation Draco circles the pole star in the heavens.
Draco is the great serpent Ladon, a creature set by Aphrodite to protect her golden apple tree.

The Midgard Serpent circles the World Tree Yggdrasil in Norse tradition. Ragnarok is the war between gods and giants at the end of the age. During Ragnarok “the Dragon of the North comes down and shakes the world.”


8) THE CHRISTIAN / DRUID CONNECTION


"The Druids had a great number of feast days. The new and full moon and the sixth day of the moon (1st quarter) were sacred periods. It is believed that initiations took place only at the two solstices and the two equinoxes. At dawn of the 25th day of December, the birth of the Sun god was celebrated.
The secret teachings of the Druids are tinctured with Pythagorean philosophy. The Druids had a Madonna, or Virgin Mother, with a Child in her arms, who was sacred to their Mysteries; and their Sun God was resurrected at the time of the year corresponding to that at which modern Christians celebrate Easter.
Both the cross and the serpent were sacred to the Druids, who made the former by cutting off the branches of an oak tree and fastening one of them to the main trunk. This oaken cross became symbolic of their supreme Deity. [A Druid initiate was suspended from this oaken cross for 3 days after which he/she was cut down and declared a Druid.
Caesar made a travesty of this sacred Druid ritual by instituting the practice of crucifixion.]
Their [the Druids'] chief deities were reducible to two - a male and a female, the great father and mother - HU and Cerridwen, distinguished by the same characteristics as belong to Osiris and Isis, Bacchus and Ceres, or any other supreme god and goddess representing the two principles of all Being."
- The Secret Teachings of All Ages p 23-24, Manly P. Hall


9) YULE & THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Dec 26 - Jan 6, A KEY TO PREDICTION


Yule is from the Norse Iul, “wheel”. This is the wheel of the zodiac and of the year to be.

The wheel of Yule is a microcosm of the year to be. Yule, the Twelve Days of Christmas, begin December 26th and conclude with Epiphany, January 6th.
In the old tradition Jan 26th, the day following Christmas Day, is called the 1st Day of Christmas, Jan 6th is the 12th.

The Spirit born in the heart of the world on Christmas Eve ascends and illumines the surface of the Earth on New Year’s Day. This is the day Arthur first drew the sword from the stone to reveal the spirit of the new cycle.

The folk symbol of a babe carried by an old man with a scythe (Saturn, ruler of Capricorn) symbolizes the the new spirit of this time. Each year brings a new divine being that is christened on Christmas Eve, becomes illumined on New Year’s Day, and finds Earthly expression, “manifestation of divinity”, on Epiphany.

Each of the Twelve Days of Christmas or Yule (Old English for “wheel”) corresponds to a zodiacal sign in the coming year beginning with Aries on December 26th followed by Taurus on the 27th, and so on around the wheel. The partridge in the pear tree image derives from the Egyptian phoenix in the World Tree and refers to physical rebirth/resurrection that occurs in star sign Aries. The two turtle doves relate to Taurus because the dove is the bird of Venus, planetary ruler of Taurus and Venus is goddess of love...

The nature of the new year can be foreseen by noting weather conditions, signs and gifts that come and other special happenings on these twelve days. This is a special time to attend to portents and dreams.

Dreams that come during the Twelve Holy Nights are believed to hold portents for their respective time periods in the year ahead. There is a Norwegian myth about a man named Olaf Astesen who went to sleep for these twelve nights of Yule and dreamed all of what would be in the year to come. This is recounted in Rudolph Steiner's writings.

Remember to write down your dreams these next twelve nights!

In old Britain celebrants kept a Yule fire burning through the twelve nights of the season. The old year was released by burning cedar boughs; wishes were made while touching the fire with sticks.

Aries 26 Dec The Partridge in a Pear Tree - renaissance Benu bird.
Taurus 27 Dec Two Turtle Doves - Dove is the bird of Venus, Taurus.
Gemini 28 Dec Three French Hens - Gemini is the Lovers in Tarot.
Cancer 29 Dec Four Calling Birds - Cancer brings soul reflection.
Leo 30 Dec Five Golden Rings - gold is metal of the Sun and Leo.
Virgo 31 Dec Six Geese a-laying - Virgo, sign of birth / creation.
Libra 1 Jan Seven Swans a-swimming - Libra / Venus, planet of grace.
Scorpio 2 Jan Eight Maids a-milking - Scorpio, sign of extraction.
Sagitarius 3 Jan Nine Ladies dancing - Sag the sign of joy & celebration.
Capricorn 4 Jan Ten Lords a-leaping - Capricorn, sign of Lords of Light.
Aquarius 5 Jan Eleven Pipers piping - musical air sign Aquarius .
Pisces 6 Jan Twelve Drummers Drumming - the sign & time of Patrick
with his drum. The 12th Day of Christmas is the last spoke in the Wheel
of Yule. Twelve Drummers ring around the light reborn on Epiphany.
http://www.12days.com/library/carols/12daysofxmas.htm

Yule Celebration Sourcebook: THE WINTER SOLSTICE - THE SACRED TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS ~ John Matthews A chapter is given to each of the 12 days of Christmas and to Christmas Day itself which is numbered "0", this being a day out of time much like the old Druid Festival of Liberation. "Since Christmas Day itself is not counted as one of the Twelve Days, we shall call it 0 and for this day begin with a meditation..." ~ John Matthews

The 1st Day of Christmas begins at Sunset on the evening of December 25th.
Then it is that the Fellowship of the Ring sets off and new year journey begins. Dreams of this night portend what will be in the zodiacal month of Aries 04, March 20th - April 19th.


10) KWANZAA, THE SEVEN DAYS OF BLESSING December 26th - January 1st

Kwanzaa (Swahili for “first”) is an African American festival of unity and thanksgiving that begins on December 26th and culminates January 1st.
After dinner on each of the festival’s seven days, the family gathers in circle around a straw mat covered with symbols of the celebration:
a kinara (a holder for seven candles), a “unity cup,” a basket of fruits and vegetables, small wrapped gifts, and ears of corn. Each evening a new candle is lit, and the virtue associated with that day is invoked. The greeting “Habari gani?” (“What is the news?”) is answered with the day’s virtue. After discussion, songs, and stories, the cup is passed to each celebrant. As each sips, the group chants “Harambee!” (“We are pulling together!”). When all have shared, the family chants Harambee seven more times. On the seventh day, all seven candles alight, the gifts (often
handmade) are opened, and the family shares its hopes for the coming year.

The seven days of Kwanzaa are like the seven stones at the center of the medicine wheel (and seven stars over the white tree), the twelve days of Yule are like the outer stones.
http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/7principles.html


11) EPIPHANY, THREE KINGS DAY, 12TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, JANUARY 6TH

Jesus was born on Epiphany, Jan 6th, according to Eastern Orthodox tradition and Edgar Cayce's channeled teaching. The distinction between Christ and Jesus in esoteric teaching helps explain the differing views of Christians, Jews and Muslims. All these traditions are true and complementary.

Jesus was an initiate trained to be a vessel or channel for the Christ during those three years of his life from baptism to crucifixion.

The ideal time for physical gift giving is the 12th Day of Christmas, the Festival of the Three Kings. Epiphany means Manifestation of Divinity.    Waters or the world are blessed and physical objects are imbued with mystical powers on this day.

Epiphany, the Feast of Fools, is a time so effective for lampooning and disempowering the established order of church and state that it was banned in Medieval Europe. The Twelve Days of Christmas observances were outlawed because they were being used to recreate the order of things in ways undesirable to the established rulers. Our forgetting of the 12 Days of Yule / Christmas celebration has resulted in putting too much material emphasis on Christmas Day.

Epiphany is the day of gift giving in old tradition. This is when the Three Kings brought gifts. When gifts are exchanged this day everybody synchronistically gets the gift needed. Gift giving on Epiphany also allows Christmas to be a time for sharing spiritual gifts as originally intended.

Epiphany celebrates the birth of Jesus, the changing of water to wine at Cana, and the baptism in Jordan. All these events involve water, the sacred element of the season. Epiphany is called the Festival of Lights because balls of fire rolled on the river when Jesus was baptized.

Rituals for Epiphany (or 12th Night, January 5th) include water immersion, gathering round a bonfire (traditionally of old Christmas trees), and doing a magical gift exchange: Throw a party of Epiphany Eve and ask everybody to bring a wrapped "magical gift." Number these gifts and have a drawing at the end of the evening. All get just what is needed.

"The fires of 6 January, the last day of Yule, were regarded with the same reverence as were the January New Year fires. The emphasis at Twelfth Night was on public rather than domestic fires... These fires were believed to have a definite function in increasing the fertility of fields and orchards ...These blazes are often associated with mummers - people dressed up in strange clothes - who use the occasion for feasting."
- Shirley Toulsons celebration book The Winter Solstice pp67-68

In ancient Egypt, January 6th, was celebrated as the Korion. It is the day each year when Kore gives birth to the Aeon, the sacred child of the new cycle. Interesting details of this celebration are described by Carl Jung in his book Aion, p103-5. The wooden figure of a boy with crosses on hands and feet is brought up from a dark crypt and bathed in the Nile. This figure was very old by the time Jesus was born.

Immersion in the River Nile was customary this day when the waters of the world are believed to be imbued with special healing power.
Epiphany Eve in waters blessed;
Lights divine are manifest.

Gifts presented at this time fix a magic power sublime.

Join we now in Love’s bright circle: template of the future world.
http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~lzmagnus/yule.htm


12) PROPHETIC DATE DECEMBER 8, PORTENTS FOR THE NEW YEAR

Wednesday December 8th was the balsamic Moon of the lunar cycle giving birth to Winter Solstice and the New Year 2005.

December 8th was the first day of Channukah, the Jewish "Festival of Lights." Channukah always begins at the start of the last balsamic Moon of the old year. Balsamic Moon is the wishing Moon when light shines on inner nature, needs are felt and change is invoked.

The balsamic Moon is the last eighth of the lunar cycle when wishes are put on air for the new. The most powerful times of a lunar cycle are the turning times of the 8 phases. The precise time of the balsamic Moon on Dec 8 was 6:12 pm GMT, 1:12 pm EST. Exact Moon phase times are listed in Neil F. Michelsen's Tables of Planetary Phenomena through year 2020. The Moon phase table is accompanied by an insightful article by Maria Kay Simms that is titled The Eight-Fold Cycle of Transformation.

The eight annual, lunar and daily phase shift times are key to astrological timing. The 8 daily phase shift times, 'canonical hours' are local, the annual and lunar phases are global influencing all people simultaneously and therefore having more powerful effect.

Change invoked at balsamic Moon often occurs at 1st quarter or Full Moon of the lunar cycle.

The balsamic Moon of Channukah is powerfully invocative on the subtle planes for the world as a whole and for the year as a whole. Changes invoked by this balsamic Moon will occur during this lunar cycle and through the year.

Events of December 8th 2004 portend what will be in 2005:

1) National Guardsman Thomas Wilson question to Donald
Rumsfeld about "hillbilly armor" for Iraqi soldiers
raises a firestorm of demands for Rumsfeld resignation.
2) News on Dec 8th of the removal of the red tail hawk nest
from a condo in NYC brought such response that supports
for the nest have now been replaced.
3) The break up of an crude oil freighter off Unalaska Island,
Alaska is causing a rethink of rules about shipping oil.
4) Rush Limbaugh speaking live on talk radio between noon
and 1 pm announced several times that the day's New
York Times included 5 editorials about how Democrats
could take back the White House. Is Rush a double agent?
5) Continuing news of Dec 6 Al Quaeda attack in Jedda, Saudi
Arabia is raising doubts of Americans safety abroad.
6) Heavy metal guitarist Dimebag was shot and killed during
a live concert in Columbus, Ohio 24 years to the day of
John Lennon's murder in New York City.
7) The South American Community of Nations declaration was
signed in Cuzco, Peru. This will be big news for 2005.

Everything came to a head this week as the old Moon cycle came to and end at same time the old Mercury cycle was ending - this was both balsamic Moon & balsamic Mercury. So all shadow of the past year and maybe more came to the fore. It is interesting to note that John Lennon and Dimebag were both killed in the Chinese year of the Monkey with Jupiter in Libra, both murderers were 25 years old and were wigged out, astrally possessed some would say
- and, interestingly, both occurred in locations just before midnight in their local Earth Zodiacs corresponding to time of year just before Winter Solstice when these events occurred.

There is light and shadow in every cycle and I believe we all fare better as we deepen understanding of both. Challenging events generally invoke more life changes than picnics. Perhaps though as we recall the ancient way of picnicing in places of power at times of power we will discover how to shift the scale back to life's joys.

Connecting Links to Events of 8 December 2004:

City hawks evicted from Fifth Ave. nest trying to return http://nydailynews.com/front/breaking_news/story/260120p-222776c.html
NYC Audubon Society call to action
http://www.nycaudubon.org/home/
SOUTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY OF NATIONS formed in CUZCO, Peru on 8 Dec 04
http://www.guerrillanews.com/headlines/headline.php?id=146
Rumsfeld under fire for 'hillbilly armour' used to defend army
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=591996
Abbott, 38, was shot to death in Columbus, Ohio, while performing ...
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-12-09-nightclub-shooting_x.htm?CSP=
N003
John Lennon was killed outside his Manhattan apartment 8 Dec 1980.
http://www.john-lennon.com/theassassinationofjl.htm
http://www.stariq.com/Main/Articles/P0001880.HTM

“You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one.”
-“Imagine” by John Lennon


13) 2005: THE YEAR OF THE AQUARIAN PHOENIX

Each year has a guiding theme that can be foreseen in its number, its planetary year ruler and the chart of the heavens at its birth.
Moon ruled year 2005 opens the world to the transforming energies of Aquarius and sets the stage for the next Moon year in 2012.

2005 begins with Pisces ruler Neptune at mid Aquarius passing the baton of spiritual power to the New Age ruler Uranus. 2005 is a 2+0+0+5 = 7 year, 7 is the ray number of Uranus. The Moon conducts the 7th Ray energy of Uranus particularly in Moon ruled years of the 7 year cycle of planets and rays. In 2005 7th Ray Ritual Order and synthesis supercedes the 6th Ray of Devotion and division that was highlighted in 2004. The 7th Ray brings exciting technological innovations and opportunities for joint commercial enterprise as well as opening the door to spiritual transformation.

Coincidentally, 2005 is the Year of the Phoenix in the Eastern lunar calendar. This Wood or Green Phoenix year of the 60 year Chinese cycle hearkens back to 1945 and the end of the second world war. How may the energies available in 2005 lead us to peace? A continuing challenge comes from Saturn in detriment in Cancer through the first half of 2005.
Saturn in detriment is shadow Saturn, J.R.R. Tolkien's dark lord Sauron whose rule is fear. Saturn in detriment is the "blackening" phase of psychic alchemy. Blackening refers to the dark night of the soul and depression symbolized by ashes. From these ashes rises the new Phoenix.
What lessons does J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix provide that can benefit us in this time? What do we need to know about the cycle of the Moon that can facilitate transition between old and new orders of life? What metaphysical principles will bring us success in 2005?

"The year of the Phoenix begins with the new moon of February 9,
2005. The rare and enticing Phoenix is a universal symbol of
transformation, rebirth and eternity because the Phoenix rises
anew from the flames of purification. In China, the beautiful
Phoenix is honored as a symbol of the Empress, the Earth and
feminine Yin energy. Some translations refer to Phoenix as
rooster. We use the term Phoenix because we find it a more
spiritual translation with the potential for personal
transformation." - We'Moon 2005

WINTER SOLSTICE
http://www.spaceweather.com/
Northern winter begins on December 21st when the sun dips to its southernmost altitude of the year. Astronomers call this the "winter solstice" and it happens at precisely 12:42 GMT (7:42 a.m. EST).

Winter Solstice Announcement: New Harry Potter on sale in summer http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/books/12/21/uk.potter.ap/index.html


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Happy Solstice!
Steve Nelson
Mythic Astrologer
Astrology in Jungian tradition for understanding personal myths and realizing natural talents.
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