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Capricorn Solstice and Full Moon 2004

By Phillip Lindsay
December 2004

Friends and fellow students of Esoteric Astrology,

The Solstice, Time and 'No Time'

The Capricorn solstice period is December 21, 2004, followed by the full moon on December 27, hence Christmas sits between these two important festivals.

As mentioned in other newsletters, 'solstice' means 'sun stands still' because the Sun appears to rise in the same place for three days - having reached its maximum declination between the equator and the ecliptic.

The ecliptic represents time, as its invisible circle describes the year it takes for the Earth to move around the Sun. The equator represents space, as it is the division that is made between hemispheres, and extends out to the celestial equator.

Therefore, the intersections between these two circles, the equinoxes and solstices, represent where space and time meet, yet the possibility of the illusion of space-time being transcended. They represent doorways where alignment can take place with the inner, timeless realms.

As the Sun is a measurer of time and as time is an illusion, especially when the Sun 'appears' to 'stand still', the solstice period is an opportunity to transcend time as we know it; to move into 'no time' or the eternal now — quite a tall order for us busy westerners caught up in the most frenetic part of the year when time seems to be speeded up and there never seems to be enough of it. Yet the opportunity to transcend time is the perfect way to balance these opposites — through the cultivation of an inner poise, of a listening, meditative reflectiveness. Indeed, making the space for meditation per se will always pay dividends during this period.

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the Lord of Time, so it is most appropriate to be discussing his subject. Saturn reaps in his harvest at the end of the cycle (sickle) whether it is the year just elapsed or a life just lived — hence also his association with death. This has faint echoes of when Capricorn was the last sign of the zodiac in ancient times — before Aquarius and Pisces were added to the zodiac. The holidays (holy days) give many an opportunity to reflect on the year and think about the year to come. Much of what we see in Capricorn is a furious winding up of business activities and the biggest money spending period of the year; this is the bottom line expression of Capricorn — money, security, ambition, power.

The three-day solstice period is a time for inner reflection and is most symbolic of an initiatory period — three days in the tomb whilst the candidate for initiation is out of the body under instruction by the Hierophant. The tomb and death is again another reference to Capricorn whilst the womb and birth is the symbol of its opposite sign Cancer — whose energies are powerfully invoked at Christmas when families come together.

The three-day solstice period is also symbolic of the Third Initiation, regarded by the Masters as the first true initiation because, among other things, the complete conquering or 'transfiguring' of the personality has been successfully brought about. Who of us can declare that we have reached such an exalted stage of unfoldment? Jonah's three days in the belly of the whale is another allegory for this initiation as was Paul's blindness for three days on the road to Damascus.

Hence after the three day period of 'trials and tribulations', Christmas day is celebrated — we access our Christmas 'presence'; the Sun no longer appears to be 'standing still' — it is moving 'northward'.

The symbolism of the (northern winter) solstice tells us that just after the hour of humanity's greatest darkness (the longest night of the year), there follows the waxing light toward the next quarter of the year at the spring equinox in Aries.

Jesus and the Jewish Dispensation

Hence on Christmas day, Jesus is celebrated as the Sun God or Spirit who has reached into the depths of matter at the Capricorn solstice, to be reborn to the increasing light or 'raised from the dead to life'. Spirit has incarnated into matter and matter has been raised into spirit.

This latter symbology is played out again just after the following Aries equinox through the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Easter, it must be remembered, is the time of the full Moon during Aries, celebrated as Passover in the Jewish faith; hence we can see the astrological nature of the Judaic festivals, some of which continued into Christianity under different guises.

Easter or Aries is a sign of beginnings, and that which has been initiated or conceived at that time completes its gestation nine months later in Capricorn; that which begins in Aries finds perfection in Capricorn, the tenth sign - the number of perfection.

Jesus' 'real' date of birth (for which there are several)1, shows a Virgo Sun ('born of the Virgin') closely conjunct Pluto the destroyer. ('I come not to bring peace but a sword') His revolutionary Aquarian Moon square Mars and Neptune in Scorpio hints at his future Chohanship of the Sixth Ray, not to mention such acts as his violent clearing of money-lenders from the temple.

Jesus' transfiguration experience on the mountain was symbolic of him taking the Third Initiation, whilst his crucifixion experience was the Fourth Initiation, also known as the Great Renunciation.

"It has been occultly said that a vision of these powers and their many weaving lines (seen as rivers and streams of light) is given to the initiate from the mountain top of Capricorn, once that summit has been reached. It is at the Transfiguration initiation that this vision appears before the eyes of the astounded disciple.
The great experiences upon the various mountain tops as related in the Bible have all to do with Capricorn. Moses, the Lawgiver on Mount Sinai, is Saturn in Capricorn imposing the law of karma [ten commandments] upon the people The Mount of Transfiguration in the New Testament is Venus in Capricorn when love and mind and will meet in the person of the Christ, and 'He was transfigured' before all men. At the same time, He received the vision of the Father and of what He had to do as He 'went up to Jerusalem,' the place of death and likewise the city of peace.
This Jerusalem is Pisces. In Aquarius, Christ put His disciples in touch with the 'man, bearing a pitcher of water,' Aquarius, and in the upper room introduced them to union and unity under the symbolism of the communion feast. For that feast, humanity is today preparing, as we saw when studying the last constellation. The astrological significance of the New Testament is as yet little understood. Christ [not Jesus] was born in Capricorn, fulfilled the law under Saturn, initiated the era of intelligent brotherhood under Venus and is the perfect example of the Capricornian initiate who becomes the world Server in Aquarius, and the world Saviour in Pisces, thus completing the round of the zodiac and able to say triumphantly in Pisces 'It is finished.' " 2

It is also said:

"It was the 'angel, born under Capricorn' which came to Christ [who overshadowed his disciple Jesus] in the garden of Gethsemane and fused His individual will into the divine Will and thus enabled Him to carry out His mission to completion." 3

Capricorn is the most materialistic sign of the zodiac and yet arguably the most spiritual. It represents the most material nature of humanity and also the summit of spiritual achievement where initiation can be taken. Capricorn is the downward pointing five-pointed star (matter) interlaced with the upward pointing five-pointed star (spirit) to form the ten-pointed star of perfection:

"The earthly influence of Capricorn made their activity [Nazis] possible; they themselves have been evoked out of their evil past by the material side of humanity itself and the potency of the massed selfishness of mankind ..." 4

In fact, out of the seven major players in the Nazi regime, including Hitler, no less than five had Capricorn Moons, an extraordinarily high coincidence:

"But as evolution proceeds, the power of the Moon [in Capricorn], which is the symbol and ruler of form, grows less and less, and the man upon the reversed wheel is steadily freeing himself from the control of matter. The attractive lure of that which is material wanes increasingly." 5
"Capricorn is related, as you have been told, to initiation; it is also the sign of the coming world Saviour and these higher aspects of the Capricornian influences can be potently demonstrated if humanity so wills it and will take advantage of the Venusian influence [hierarchical ruler of Capricorn] to use the mind as the reflector of soul purpose." 6

Capricorn is the sign which celebrates the birth of Jesus-Christ, yet it is also the personality expression of the Jewish Race who rejected their Messiah. In this respect, the Capricorn Jewish personality is a microcosm of the human race, representing on the one hand the most materialistic and avaricious nature of humanity, whilst on the other the pinnacle of creative achievement and brilliance in science, the arts and spirituality. Also of interest is that the soul of the Jewish Race is ruled by Virgo, the same sign as Jesus' proposed Sun.

The expression 'scapegoat' came from the Jewish faith in the Age of Aries which finished over 2,000 years ago. In ancient Jewish ritual, the goat was sent into the wilderness after the chief priest on the Day of Atonement had symbolically laid the sins of the people upon it . Hence the meaning of scapegoat as one who is made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place. The Jews (and St Paul, himself a Jew) made a scapegoat of their Messiah that they recognised not — and have themselves been made scapegoats for the past 2,000 years — culminating in the horrors of the Holocaust.

The 'scapegoat' term has interesting connotations for Capricorn as it is a zodiac sign which represents responsibility; yet scapegoating actually avoids responsibility by blaming something or someone else — hence collective 'sins' are somehow magically atoned.

The Jewish Race also has a Third Ray personality, the ray of Active Intelligence. This third ray works beautifully with the Capricorn part of the personality as the third ray is one of the three rays that pass through Capricorn. (1,3,7) One of the blind spots (glamours) of this ray is 'artful and clever manipulation' and it seems that the ritual of scapegoating is just that — a clever third ray way of avoidance. The right integration of this third ray personality is one of the major obstacles to the solving of the Jewish and Israeli problems today.

"It is interesting to remember that when the Buddha came, approximately five hundred years before Christ (for the exact date of Christ's birth remains debatable), the first dim influences of the Piscean Age could be felt, impinging upon the powerful quality of the age of Aries, the Scapegoat or the Ram. It was the influence of this age—persisting throughout the Jewish dispensation—which led eventually to the distortion of the simple teaching of the Christ when He came.
He was erroneously presented to the world as the living Scapegoat, bearing away the sins of the people, and thus originating the doctrine of the vicarious at-one-ment. It was St. Paul who was responsible for this emphasis. A paralleling instance of a similar distortion was also of Jewish origin and appeared in the early stages of the cycle of Aries, the Ram.
We are told that the Children of Israel fell down and worshipped the golden calf, the symbol of Taurus, the Bull; this was the preceding astronomical cycle. These are astronomical cycles and not a presented astrology. In the early stages of Aries, the teaching reverted to that of Taurus and in the early stages of Pisces, it reverted to that of Aries and thus set the seal of retrogression upon the teaching which now controls so many orthodox Christians they [Jewish race] have yet to pass into the sign (again speaking symbolically) of Pisces, the Fishes, and recognise their Messiah when He again comes in the sign Aquarius." 7

Anyway, that's enough 'scapegoating' for now! Readers familiar with these writings know that the author is most definitely not anti-semitic, having written extensively on esoteric Jewish history. 8

The reason for mentioning this now is that the state of Israel is coming up for its second Saturn return in August 2006, mentioned in previous newsletters. Not only is the second Saturn return important from the point of a view of any maturing entity, it is relevant as it rules the Jewish Capricorn personality.

All of the motives for establishing the state of Israel in 1948 have their roots at the period of Christ and earlier. Hence the next couple of years will be momentous for Israel as she is home to half of the world's Jewish population. One of the most prominent points in the Saturn return chart is the Moon in Cancer, indicating the homeland.

Esoterically, the scapegoat is a stage of evolution within the sign Capricorn:

"The Ram, the Scapegoat and the sacred Goat are Three in One and One in Three. The Ram becomes the second and the second is the third. The Ram that breeds and fertilises all; the Scapegoat, in the wilderness, redeems that all; the sacred Goat that merges in the Unicorn and lifts impaled upon his golden horn the vanquished form—in these the mystery lies hid." 9

Duality is transcended and the goat becomes the one-horned (one-pointed) Unicorn upon the mountain top of achievement-initiation.

Paris, France and Joan of Arc

Like the Jewish Race, another entity, Paris, is also a Virgo soul and Capricorn personality (as are Greece and Australia). The nation of France as a whole, has a third ray personality which finds one of its main expressions through the Capricorn personality of Paris:

"The forces of crystallisation pour through Paris which is ruled by Capricorn in its personality and yet the soul of the French nation is nurtured in that great capital through the soul of the city, energised by Virgo and, forget not, that Virgo is the polar opposite of Pisces [soul ruler of France] and the infant Christ in Virgo comes to full flower in Pisces. Here lies the hope of France. Capricorn, ruling Paris, signifies both death and initiation into the spiritual life, and here lies the choice for France." 10

One of France's great heroines, Joan of Arc, was a Capricorn Sun. Her Leo rising sign matched the personality sign of France and her Sun sign the personality sign of Paris — hence a strong resonance with her mother country.

Here was an advanced soul, a woman who led men into physical, face-to-face armed combat! There is the courage and leadership of Leo with revolutionary Uranus opposite; the executive and strategic qualities of her Capricorn Sun. (Boxers Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman are all Capricorn Suns — Capricorn is the 'school of hard knocks'!) Her Libran Moon conjunct Jupiter held a strong sense of justice and fairness, whilst her Mercury in Capricorn opposing Neptune in Cancer allowed her to be a medium and act, in her words, 'under divine guidance'.

Other Capricorn Suns at the 'top of their game' are Benjamin Franklin, Ramana Maharshi, Yogananda, Stephen Hawking, Albert Pike, Bernadette of Lourdes and Cleopatra.

Key words for Capricorn on the 'ordinary wheel' are "Let ambition rule and let the door stand wide." Worldy ambition is eventually satiated and the worthlessness of earthly gratification is discovered. "Gradually then spiritual ambition and a desire for liberation take the place of worldly ambition, and become an impelling impulse, until finally the moment arrives when a true sense of reality supersedes both earthly and spiritual ambition. The man can then say with truth "Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back." For him there remains now no goal but service." 11

  1. The proposed chart of Zipporah Dobyns is the one with which this author most closely resonates. (Sept 5, 07 BC, Bethlehem, 11.56 pm)
  2. Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p. 157.
  3. Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p. 632.
  4. Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.544.
  5. Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. pp.170-1. See also Destiny of the Races and Nations, P. Lindsay.
  6. Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.544.
  7. The Reappearance of the Christ, Alice A. Bailey. p.106. Rays and Initiations, A. Bailey. p.534.
  8. See author's Destiny of the Races and Nations, "History of the Jewish Race: From the First Solar System to Israel". Books/2 Varunas New.htm Various articles also at
  9. Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.156.
  10. The Destiny of the Nations, Alice A. Bailey. p. 73.
  11. Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.174.
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