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Following Yonder Star - Was Jesus A Capricorn?

Jesus was a Capricorn
He ate organic food
He believed in love and peace
and never wore no shoes.
Long hair, beard and sandals
And a funky bunch of friends
Reckon we'd just nail him up
If he came down again
Kris Kristofferson

Yep... I have to admit that I agree with many of Kris Kristofferson's sentiments on the subject of Jesus... but was Jesus of Nazareth really a Capricorn and born on December the 25th?

It's not that I have anything against the sign of Capricorn or (for that matter) Kris' wonderfully iconic lyrics, however it's not likely that Jesus of Nazareth was born on December 25th... not likely at all...

Setting The Date
You see... back in the olden days when the ancient (4th century AD) Christian Church Fathers were looking around for an official date to celebrate the birth of historical Jesus, they were also busily engaged in the serious endeavor of winning over, proselytizing, and generally "christianizing" ancient Rome. Good luck with that...

Saturnalia?
Anyway... the ancient Romans conveniently enough happened to have a very popular pagan holiday (holy day) season called "Saturnalia." The holy day of Saturnalia, originally celebrated by the Romans each year on December the 17th, was a special day set apart for honoring the Roman god Saturn who ruled over agriculture and the harvest.

Saturnalia was a day set aside for nostalgically remembering the "Golden Age" of Saturn's beneficent rule. Gifts were exchanged in remembrance of the generous harvest bounty that Saturn had once upon a time bestowed upon the Roman people.

Yep! For the 4th century AD Romans, the holy day of Saturnalia was joyous celebration of "the good old days" when everything had "once-upon-a-time" been right in the world.

Saturnalia and the Rebirth of the Sun
At some mysterious (cloudly) point in time, the very popular holy Roman day of Saturnalia had also been tied into a celebration of the rebirth of the Sun - and, as such, Saturnalia was held each year at about the time of what we call the northern hemisphere "winter solstice."

What in the heck is the "winter solstice?" The winter solstice marks the beginning of winter. As the beginning of winter, the winter solstice is the day each year having the longest night and the shortest amount of sunlight hours. After the winter solstice, the daylight hours slowly begin lasting longer and longer with each passing day, with this trend of increasing sunlight continuing on until the "summer solstice" in June. The summer solstice is marked as being the day with longest amount of daylight hours and is the official beginning of summer.

Anyway, dear friend, the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere nowadays (using modern calendars) takes place each year around December the 21st to mark the rebirth of the Sun. In 4th Century AD, the Roman emperor at the time "officially" reset Saturnalia to be celebrated on December the 25th (there appear to be varying and sometimes contradictory resources regarding exactly how and why all this happened).

Not surprisingly... shortly thereafter, the Christian Church Fathers likewise - in a calculated move to placate Roman officials - set the official date for celebrating the birth of Jesus as being December the 25th.

Frankly, I can't think of a more appropriate symbolic day that the Christian Church Fathers could have "borrowed" for annually commemorating the birth of the Son, than the already extremely popular pagan holiday (Saturnalia) set apart annually for celebrating the birth of the Sun...

It's interesting to note that when looked at on a purely symbolic level, it's believed the esoteric (or hidden) Church placed John the Baptist's birth on the northern hemisphere's Summer Solstice (decreasing sunlight) and Christ's birth on the northern hemisphere's Winter Solstice (increasing sunlight). This was meant to symbolize the New Testament passage where John the Baptist told his followers that he (John) must decrease, while Jesus must increase.

So when was Jesus born and what did his birth symbolize?

Speculations on Christ's Birth
Astrologers have been speculating (and arguing) about the birth of historical Jesus for almost 2000 years now. What's truly fascinating, though, is that at the actual event there was one small group of Babylonian astrologers who got it right.

Remember the traditional Christmas story and the "wise men" or "magi" that were following a star? It's highly unlikely that there was any sort of supernova explosion in the sky that these "wise men" were following.

According to the Gospel of Matthew, only the so-called "wise men" were aware of the "star's" presence. Everyone else, knowing something special was going on, had been clued into the fact by the wise men, by angels, or by another source of divine revelation.

Only the most closed minded persons could possibly argue that these "wise men" from the East (following a star) were anything other than ancient Babylonian astrologers.

Truth is that the early church admitted these wise men were "star worshippers."

"Your Nativity, O Christ our God,
Has shone to the world the Light of wisdom!
For by it, those who worshipped the stars,
Were taught by a Star to adore You,
The Sun of Righteousness,
And to know You, the Orient from on High.
O Lord, glory to You!"
Eastern Orthodox Troparion of the Nativity

Due to astrology's mixed and tarnished "reviews" in both the Old and New Testaments, it's rather satisfying to know that these ancient astrologers were given such an honored and respectful place in Matthew's version of the nativity story.

Speculation on the Date
Based on a combination of biblical and independent historical sources, the birth of historical Jesus took place between the years of 8 BC and 4 BC. Beyond that we're forced back into the darker, murky waters of speculation…

Many astrologers (dating back at least as far as Medieval times) have typically placed the year of Jesus' birth at 7 BC. 7 BC was a unique year when the two planets, Jupiter and Saturn, were "triple conjuncting" in the sign of Pisces.

A "triple conjunction" means that Jupiter and Saturn repeatedly met up with each other in the sky three different times in the sign of Pisces. Such a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the sign of Pisces is extremely rare, and it has not occurred again during the past 2000 years.

According to astrophysicist and astronomer Dr. Percy Seymour (The Birth of Christ; Exploding The Myth), both ancient Babylonian and Jewish astrologers associated the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn with the "passing of power" from one supernatural deity to another.

The Astrological Age of Pisces Begins
The exceptionally unique thing about this particular triple coming together of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces was that it took place while simultaneously aligned with the precessional dawning of the age of Pisces, the fishes.

Each astrological age lasts approximately 2,148 years. Jesus was (and is) traditionally thought to have ushered in the astrological age of Pisces (the fishes) symbolizing "salvation through suffering."

Furthermore, it is also thought by some that Jesus ushered in a new Great Year cycle. The precessional phenomenon of the Platonic "Great Year" occurs only once every approximately 26,000 years, and it signifies the beginning of a new 26,000 year cycle for humankind.

According to this particular view, each Great Year cycle has its beginning in the zodiacal age of Pisces (the fishes) and then cycles its way back through the other 11 zodiacal signs. (I should point out that others believe this Great Year cycle starts in Capricorn or Cancer.)

Regardless... combine the association of a rare triple Jupiter/Saturn Pisces conjunction (passing of power) with the dawning of a new astrological age in the sign of Pisces – and any ancient Babylonian astrologer will tell you that you're probably ripe for the birth of a messiah.

Some of the Main Theories
Obviously there are more theories, opinions, and speculations than what I've mentioned just above as to exactly what sort of astrological configuration the Christmas star might have consisted of. Examples of a few other ideas are:

  • Jupiter conjuncting Venus near the star Regulus in 3 BC - This is very popular with modern astronomers and Christmas television specials that deal with the Star of the Christ Child. While many modern astronomers like this configuration, most astrologers and certain astronomers, such as Dr. Seymour, feel this is highly unlikely. This very common configuration occurs frequently, and is no big "whoopee" astrologically and/or astronomically speaking.

  • The "acronychal rising" of planets - Known to be commonly used by ancient Babylonian astrologers and this possibility appears to have strong merit. Dr. Percy Seymour has combined this with the triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn and come up with the date of September 15, 7 BC New Style (September 19, 7 BC Old Style) at Sunset.

    What's fascinating is that... according to Oriental Orthodox Bishop K C Pillai (1900-1970) of India, in his unique, illuminating book Light Through An Eastern Window (1963), ancient Orthodox traditions placed the birth of Jesus in August or September. I have unfortunately been unable to confirm this tradition through any other Orthodox resource.

  • A helically calculated (Sun centered) "Star of David" configuration - This is generally thought to be the wildest astrological speculation of all.

The True Date?
It's always great fun to endlessly speculate about the true birth date of historical Jesus. There are several proposed charts giving Jesus the Sun in Pisces. There are also charts placing his Sun in Capricorn, in Leo, in Gemini, and (even one) in Scorpio.

Granted... these days I, myself, lean heavily toward Dr. Seymour's theory and proposed date. Among other things, it would give the chart of Jesus of Nazareth an Ascendant in the 23rd degree of Pisces with Jupiter and Saturn rising and would place his Sun in Virgo - symbolic of being "born of the Virgin."

But, will we ever know the true birth date (and thus the true birth chart) of Jesus Christ? No way, Jose!

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