It’s snowing here, and it’s the first ‘white Christmas’ that I can recall since I was a teenager. Winter is come, not just because it’s Saturn in Capricorn perhaps, but simply because it’s threatening to be the coldest winter in New England in thirty years… thirty years, huh? Well, maybe it’s just because I’m in Maine.
It doesn’t mean it’s not a season without jollity, though. The First Decan of Capricorn is the feast of the Headless One, as I learned while writing the poetry of The Sun’s Paces — and today, the Moon is in the 28th Mansion, Batn al-Hut, the Belly of the Fish. I made a decision to read through these poems this year, Mansions and Decans alike, as we progress through the year, to correct and edit them, but also to encounter again the forces of my last walk through these times.
When I look back a year, to Christmas 2016, I find the Sun in the First Decan of Capricorn again, as it will be for most of our lifetimes — the Headless One once again incarnating in matter, forgetting divinity and coming in contact with Earth, with all the joy and sensuality that entails. But the Moon was at 25° Scorpio 34′, in the nineteenth mansion called Al-Shaula, the demesne of the angel Amutiel, who besieges towns and fills the granaries and puts prisoners in chains and restrains ships in their home ports.
When I look back two years, to Christmas 2015, the Moon was at 21° Cancer 3′ — the ninth mansion of al-Tarf, the Eyes, where Barbiel spoke of wrath and divine disfavor, surveillance and disempowerment.
Today, the Moon stands in the twenty-eighth mansion — called Batn al-Hut, the manor of the angel Amnixiel, who stands for culmination, joy, completion, cohesion, attainment, and the end of the harvest. We’ve reached the end of a journey today, and the celebration and feasting marks the end of one project, and the start of another. We’ve gathered together, and we’re about to go on our separate ways.
A year from now, at Christmas 2018, the Moon will be at 15° Leo 41′ — the realm of the angel Neciel, who rules over the eleventh mansion al-Zubrah, where the majesty of the lion manifests as success in trade, stability and glory, reverence and mastery, and good leadership. And a year from that, at Christmas 2019, the Moon will be in the twenty-first mansion called al-Baldah, “the City”, a realm of destruction and conflict and trouble governed by the angel Bethnael.
It’s hard not to come to certain conclusions about Christmas as a marker for what’s gone before, and what might come after. Every year is slightly different than the year before or ten years before; every year is also mostly the same. It has a certain character of joy and celebration imparted to it by the Christian liturgical calendar; another character is imparted to it by the Sun’s position in the tropical Zodiac, which functionally makes it a winter day in the Northern Hemisphere regardless of whatever else happens; and a third character is imparted to it by the astrology that happens to govern the day.
Along these lines, I wish my readers a very joyful and completed journey through the past year, a culminating experience that coheres and connects them deeply to what has come before. May the year ahead bring them great success in trade, good leadership, and stability, too — and may you likewise be prepared for the troubles and conflict that may come in times to come.
For the tradition is certain — a holy child comes into the world this day, and the princes of the Earth shall seek to kill him. He hides among common folk and shepherds, though the heavens announce his birth to all who can read the signs. The announcement of his birth is heralded and sung by angel choirs, and his family shall hide in Egypt when the innocents are slaughtered.
And he will die, crucified and alone, the victim of a systematic and oppressive government, that shall carelessly murder him for casual treason.
But fear not — these are good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. The Light is coming into the world, and the Darkness shall not overcome it.