There is a profound spiritual significance to the winter solstice. The winter solstice has formed a central part of spiritual beliefs throughout the world since the beginning of history—in ancient Egypt as the birth of Horus, ‘The Birth of the Unconquered Sun’ in ancient Rome, Yule in old Europe, Yalda in Persia as the birth of Mithras, in ancient Neolithic sites such as Newgrange in Ireland, at the pyramid of the feathered serpent in Chichen Itza Mexico, and as the birth of Jesus at Christmas, etc. All these sites and celebrations share common symbols even though some have been separated by vast distances and time. This gives us a clue that the time of the winter solstice has a deeper spiritual significance that is more universal than most could ever imagine.
This post is one in a series that explores the real spiritual significance of the winter solstice and Christmas to revive a lost spiritual knowledge that is beyond time, culture, and religion, and is just as relevant for us today than it has ever been. The time of winter solstice signifies a stage in the work of spiritual enlightenment, veiled in esoteric symbols, yet at its core is found unified the spirituality of the whole of humankind.
As Above, So Below
It is easy to write ancient spiritual people off as simple-minded nature worshippers. But there is a reason why natural principles are found throughout sacred texts and ancient sites—this is because there are universal principles that govern all of creation, including all life in the largest to the smallest of scales. Thus we can see the same principles of the macrocosmic movement of the planets, in the microcosmic structure of an atom. Mathematically, in the spiral of a galaxy, we see the spiral of a shell, and the unfolding of a fern. The principles that govern all life above us, also govern life here below on earth.
Going further, not only do the principles of life and creation govern the outer world, but they also govern the inner, spiritual world, which can’t be seen, yet is felt and experienced nevertheless. Spirituality exists in the very fabric of life. Thus when someone studies natural principles, they find spirituality and the supernatural, and why scientists are now discovering other dimensions, parallel universes, and the inexplicable realm of possibilities, energy, and matter, from the study of the behavior and structure of minute particles. The sun in its movement throughout the course of the year then, becomes a symbol of something much, much greater than a physical object bringing the change of seasons.
This movement of the sun speaks to us and reveals incredible mysteries on many levels, which we’ll explore below.
The Process of Creation
The dawning of the sun on the winter solstice, arising out of the darkest point of the year, tells us of the dawning of the light out of darkness on the first day of creation.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)
This process of creation goes right throughout the whole of the universe, above, below, outward, and inward. The same process of creation gives birth to our universe, to our world, to all life, and also to the spirit. No wonder this was the most important celebration of the year for many spiritual peoples—it signified the creative process that underpins everything, and which leads us to the source of where we really come from, how we came to be, why we exist, and where we’ll return.
This is why the ancient Egyptians aligned their Temple of Karnak, the largest temple in the world, dedicated to the supreme creator god Amun, to the winter solstice sunrise. Even the temple was expanded upon according to the Fibonacci sequence, revealing the comprehension of the expanse of all life from this symbolic solar event.
Creation itself is a profound and vast topic which you can read about in a post we’ll link to soon.
The Link Between the Winter Solstice and Spirituality
Every spiritual teaching throughout the world had some word for attaining enlightenment, whether it was awakening, self-realization, salvation, or immortality. Most still have remnants of a divine savior associated with the sun, and many associated the birth of this savior with the winter solstice. This divine savior always taught humanity how to achieve enlightenment, to become a ‘son of God’.
Although now an external religious event, or worse, a corporate money making scheme and time of selfish indulgence, the birth of the savior brought to earth a profound spiritual message. This was always a divine message intended for humanity, which gave the teaching of spirituality anew as previous teachings became old and obscure. These teachings were always turned into a religion that became seen as the “exclusive property” of a certain group who then fought to wipe out “competing religions” – when really they were just the same universal teaching given in different times and circumstances.
For those who are working toward enlightenment now and have done throughout history, the teaching of these divine saviors had a dual aspect—they taught the work to enlightenment in what they said, but also in the events of their lives.
A study of the events of the lives of the divine savior in different times and cultures, such as Jesus, Mithras, Horus, etc., reveal that their lives match the progress of the sun throughout the year, and the zodiac. Literally, the work of enlightenment is found written in the cosmos in the movement of the sun and stars. This is what life is created for, so no wonder we find it reflected to us from the heavens, and intrinsic to everything around us. This is so we can always discover our true purpose for being here, and realize our own spiritual potential when we choose to search for it.
At the autumn equinox day and night were equal, but from that the autumn equinox onwards there is more darkness than light—this is the time of the descent into the underworld, the seed bed of all life. This is why we find many of these deities descending into Hades at this time of year. At the winter solstice, darkness is at its maximum, but there is hope in the winter sunrise from which the light gradually increases—this is the time of spiritual birth, and why we find so many deities born at the time of winter solstice. In the spring equinox day and night are once again equal, but from that time onwards light is greater than darkness—this is the time of resurrection, and why these deities defeat their enemy, the darkness, at this time of year. At the summer solstice, the light was at its greatest—this is the time of the Ascension, and why at this time of year these deities return to their eternal abode. From the ending of the summer solstice, the days get shorter to begin the eternal cycle again, the eternal path to enlightenment that does not belong to any religion, time, or culture, but exists throughout the universe.
The creative process which gives birth to the universe, also gives birth to the spiritual within a human. Thus the divine savior is not just born into the world, they can be born within us—into the symbolic stables, prison, or cave, which is the spirit coming into the humble and limited fleshly vehicle of the physical body (explained further below).
The Birth of the Divine Savior
It is well known that the lives of Jesus, Horus, Mithras, Attis, Dionysus, and Krishna, have many similarities. Most strikingly, each of their birthdays is celebrated at or 3 days following the winter solstice. Many theorize this happened because the different religions borrowed from one another. Others point to the fact that each of these deities was closely associated with the sun, and therefore were merely representing the astrological worship of the sun to simple-minded sun worshippers, waiting for their crops to grow etc.
But there is another explanation for this incredible similarity. Often this explanation was only known by the initiates of esoteric schools who encoded the knowledge of it in the symbols of sacred sites. To the public these often complex symbols look obscure and even nonsensical, therefore protecting the knowledge from those who would deride and destroy it. This mechanism has helped to preserve much of the knowledge found in sacred sites up unto this day.
Each of these deities was known as a savior of mankind, and a beloved and sacred divine child. Each of these deities was associated with the sun, and all of them born at the winter solstice in a miraculous virgin birth. The lives and stories of these deities tells us of a great mystery, which in the case of Jesus, he came to earth with a mission to reveal both in the events of his life and his teachings.
Every human being is a latent spiritual potential, like a seed. We live asleep to the greater realities of existence, and to the greater reality of who we are and what we came here to do. We live out our lives in the darkness of our own subconscious which we dream in at night, many following the external worship of spiritual things, yet never becoming spiritual themselves.
Whether we choose to realize it or not, each of us has the potential to become an awakened self-realized being. This is why sacred texts from ancient times and still today, always point towards enlightenment as the ultimate goal of life.
The Physical Sun and the Spiritual Sun
The rising sun of the winter solstice has been celebrated for so long in so many different parts of the world, not just because it’s a time of optimism for the coming spring, but because the physical sun symbolizes the spiritual sun.
The sun worship of the past in the more advanced societies was the worship of the spiritual sun not the physical sun.
In understanding the spiritual sun, there are some important things to consider. The physical sun is a blazing fire – it gives light and life to all things physical. From the physical sun, all creation comes into being. Literally, science has discovered that all matter burst forth from the “big bang” – from within the fiery furnace of the stars.
But life is multi-dimensional. Mystics have known this throughout time – that there is more to our word that what we perceive with our five senses. With improvements in technology, there are now hundreds and hundreds of compelling accounts of life beyond the physical body in other dimensions from near-death experiences (these dimensions can be explored without dying through out-of-body experiences). Now, even leading scientist Michio Kaku has discovered from the behavior of particles existing in multiple places at the same time (in the field of quantum physics), that there a multiple dimensions.
Therefore, the creation from the physical sun is only the physical representation of creation. Creation also occurs in higher dimensions.
The sun that exists in the physical world as the fire we see in the sky, exists in the higher dimensions as a spiritual fire – as the spiritual source of all creation. This is why there is an overlap in the creation story in Genesis between natural and supernatural phenomenon, and in many accounts of creation in spiritual cultures. The natural phenomenon is the physical, tangible manifestation of the supernatural phenomenon. This is why we see spiritual cultures throughout the world venerating the sun – they knew of its supreme spiritual side.
Fire, the physical aspect of the spiritual sun, in the higher dimensions, has profound spiritual aspects (which we’ll explore further in an upcoming post). In the highest aspects it is living and divine.
The ancient sacred Indian text the Atharva Veda, states that divine fire exists within everything—within all the elements, in all life, and in the sun in its Hymn to the Earth:
There is a Divine fire in the Earth and in the plants. The Waters carry the fire and the same fire dwells in the rocks. There is a fire within human beings, within the cows and the horses are sacred fires.
The Divine fire shines from heaven as the Sun. The Divine fire extends the wide atmosphere through the wind. Mortals enkindle the Fire that carries their prayers, which loves clarity.
The most ancient scripture of the Zoroastrians, the Zend Avesta, states that fire is the son of God, in other words, is the Christ, drawing a connection between the celestial and earthly:
We worship the Fire, the son of God, the holy lord of the ritual order. And we worship all the Fires and the mountain that holds the light. And we worship every holy celestial spirit and every holy earthly spirit.
The spiritual sun is a living and divine fire, and the highest source of all creation. This spiritual sun has both a macrocosmic and microcosmic significance. On the macrocosmic scale, it represents the birth of the universal Christic fire, the neutral force in the original process of creation, which was the light of the first day and from which all creation manifests (as Brahm-anda). This neutral force is one of three – it is the symbolic divine son of the mother and father, who are the negative and positive, the waters and the creator god who moved upon it in Genesis. This is why we always find mother, father, and son, represented in all sacred teachings. It is the process of creation profoundly understood and embodied. These deities most often take on both a human and divine aspect – as sacred human figures in temple artwork, statues, and texts. This is because there is a relationship between divinity, this divine fire, and human beings.
On a micorcosmic scale, the spiritual sun is something much more personal. As the process of creation follows universal principles, the birth of the spiritual sun (the divine savior) also represents the birth of the neutral force of the Christic fire within an individual in the process of enlightenment.
It is born into the time of the highest darkness—the physical sun gives life to the external world, the spiritual sun gives spiritual life to the individual.
Why Christmas is Celebrated on the 25th of December, 3 Days After the Winter Solstice
The word solstice literally means “sun stands still.” At the winter solstice, the sun for the first time will begin to increase – both lengthening the amount of daylight and progressing North along the horizon after having reached its most Southerly point. For 3 days however, the sun does not visibly appear to move Northward along the horizon, thus appearing to “stand still” in its progression. In correlation, we find the winter solstice celebrated as the birth of the sun on the winter solstice on the 22nd of December (in the northern hemisphere), and the divine savior 3 days later on the 25th of December. Jesus, Horus, Krishna, Mithras, Dionysus, etc., are all said to have been born on the 25th of December.
There is a spiritual significance to this. The birth of the spiritual sun on the winter solstice is the birth of the Christ at the dawning of creation. From the Christ, comes all of creation, just as in ancient India, the golden womb created from the male and female forces at the dawning of creation, gives birth to Brahma, the creator god, and the entire universe, called Brahm-anda.
In the Vedas of ancient India, the supreme creator god Vishnu was known as the triple-strider (as Tri-vikrama and as Uru-krama). It is said that he created the universe, making the dwelling of humanity possibly, by taking three steps – one encompassing the earth, the other the air, and the third the heights of heaven, which is his supreme abode. This is because the Christic cosmic fire enters the universe in 3 steps. The 3 days where the sun stands still is the time of Christ entering creation. On the 3rd step, Christ has fully entered into creation – from out of his supreme above, down to the air, which are the higher dimensions, with his foot finally on the earth, which is the physical, material plane. This is why the actual birth of the divine son into the world is celebrated 3 days after the winter solstice (widely known as Christmas).
The Birth of the World Teacher
Christmas is really the celebration of Christ’s entrance into form and matter, but more specifically his entrance into the physical human body of the person working towards enlightenment. As above, so below – Christ enters into a person working towards enlightenment in 3 steps. But Christmas is not only the celebration of the birth of the divine savior into the human – it is also a celebration of the birth of the Christ into the world as the world teacher. Jesus, Horus, and Mithras, were all referred to as a “divine savior”. The divine savior has a dual meaning – Christ both saves the individual by entering into them and transforming them spiritually, and also works to save humanity by teaching through the individual that is entered into. The mission of the Christ within a person, and thus in the world, is to save. Christ is the neutral force of creation. In Persia Mithras is known as “the Mediator”. This is because the Christ within a person acts to reconcile us with divinity; and as the world teacher acts as the intermediary between humanity and divinity, becoming a link between heaven and earth so that humanity can be taught the sacred universal knowledge.
In the legends of the pre-Inca and Inca people, the creator god Viracocha who is depicted with a crown of the sun and whose image appears in a cliff in the Urubamba Sacred Valley whose mineral content reflects and refracts the rays of the sun on the winter solstice when it strikes his profile, rose from Lake Titicaca (or sometimes the cave of Pacaritambo) during the time of darkness to bring forth light. Viracocha made the earth, the stars, the sky, and mankind (again, the light emerges from the primordial waters, or the cave which is a symbol of the womb, and precedes to make creation). It was said that he wandered the earth disguised as a beggar, teaching his new creations the basics of civilization, as well as working numerous miracles (just as Jesus did, who had the Christ within). He wept when he saw the plight of the creatures he had created.
The ancient Indian creator god Vishnu is said to incarnate in different avatars (the most famous of which are Rama and Krishna) throughout the various ages, and that these incarnations take place in all Yugas and cosmic cycles. The Bhagavad Gita mentions their purpose as being to rejuvenate Dharma and vanquish negative forces, the forces of evil that threaten Dharma, as also to display His divine nature in front of the conditioned/fallen souls.
This divine savior is always said to one day return. It was thought that Viracocha would re-appear in times of trouble (just as other Christic saviors such as Jesus, Mithras, and the avatars of Vishnu etc., are believed to). This is the return of the Christ within the individual to teach humanity the way toward enlightenment. There are many, many men and women who have incarnated the Christ and taught humanity throughout history – many of whom are completely unknown to history. However, there are others who are born awakened, like Jesus, who come with a mission from the Absolute, to show the way to enlightenment in the events of their life.
Unfortunately however, each time Christ returns the teaching eventually becomes a religion where people await the literal return of Jesus, Viracocha, etc., whilst the real Christ returns within a person because of their spiritual work (not their religious beliefs) and is rejected by the world and society, teaching the real esoteric wisdom unbeknownst to and even hated by religious believers who lack the understanding of the real esoteric meaning of the teachings which formed the basis of their religion.
For more on the deeper meaning of Christmas see The Esoteric Meaning of Christmas
The 3 Steps into the 7 Dimensions
The neutral force of the Christ emerges at the dawn of creation, represented by the rising sun of the winter solstice. The 3 forces of mother, father, and son, which are negative, positive, and neutral, give rise to all of creation. Creation which is three needs organization, which unfolds through seven. 7 is the number by which creation is organized. Thus in Genesis, there are 7 days of creation, in the universe there are 7 dimensions, there are 7 serpents to raise in the 7 bodies (which must be created) of the initiate which correspond to the 7 dimensions, representations of which can be found in ancient Egypt, India, and Easter Island. In the secret initiatory schools of Mithrasim there were seven degrees of initiation. These degrees allowed the neophyte to proceed through the seven celestial bodies, allowing the reversing of the human soul’s descent into the world at birth. (source: Dr. Masoud Homayouri Origin of Persian Gnosis)
Likewise, in the process of initiation and awakening, the Christ must take 3 steps through the seven dimensions in order to enter into an individual, which is the birth of Christ within the physical body of person. The initiate must have created the 7 solar bodies (the “wedding garments” referred to by Jesus) by the time of the autumn equinox, symbolized by the 7 statues at Easter Island that align to the setting sun on the autumn equinox. Christ then takes 3 steps through the dimensions and these bodies, before entering or being “born” into the physical body of the initiate.
The Christ moves from the world of the spirit of the seventh dimension into the soul of the sixth dimension and then to the body. These are the three steps.
And I went into the realm of darkness and I endured till I entered the middle of the prison. And the foundations of chaos shook. And I hid myself from them because of their wickedness, and they did not recognize me.
Again I returned for the second time, and I went about. I came forth from those who belong to the light, which is I, the remembrance of the Pronoia. I entered into the midst of darkness and the inside of Hades, since I was seeking (to accomplish) my task. And the foundations of chaos shook, that they might fall down upon those who are in chaos and might destroy them. And again I ran up to my root of light, lest they be destroyed before the time.
Still for a third time I went – I am the light which exists in the light, I am the remembrance of the Pronoia – that I might enter into the midst of darkness and the inside of Hades. And I filled my face with the light of the completion of their aeon. And I entered into the midst of their prison, which is the prison of the body. And I said, ‘He who hears, let him get up from the deep sleep.
~ Jesus, in the Apocryphn of John from the Nag Hammadi Library
In each of these steps he enters into the chaos of man, which is the foundation of the human psyche, the inferior-dimensional regions of the mind and inner structure of the human being; and is born from the sexual waters of the divine mother, which are the chaos and womb of creation within a person. The body itself is multi-dimensional and in an initiate who has completed the first of the three mountains, goes from the physical world into the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh dimensions.
In the process of self-realization, there are three major stages called three mountains (represented in ancient Egypt as the 3 Great Pyramids that align to the 3 stars in Orion’s belt – Orion is Osiris), and the aspects that compose the inner structure of a self-realized person are of three parts which are to be forged within a person.
Firstly, the physical, astral, and mental body, with the vital body as an aspect of the physical, must be formed as solar bodies. Secondly Atman (the divine spirit in the 7th dimension), Buddhi (the divine soul in the 7th dimension), and Manas (the human soul in the 6th dimension) must be incarnated. These four solar bodies, plus the first Trinity, create the 7. When these 7 are formed, the Christ can enter into the initiate in 3 steps, firstly into the 7th dimension from out of the mother and father, secondly into the first Trinity of Atman, Buddhi, Manas, and thirdly into the 4 solar bodies, which are the physical, astral, mental, and vital bodies where Christ is “born” in the physical person, the tangible, physical world – and the real Christmas.
From here, the Christ will reunite the initiate with the mother and then father, so that the Trinity of creation is incarnated. With the 3 original forces of creation together again, they return to being whole as the first androgynous being which emerged from the Absolute, divided into male and female, and gave birth to the son. Whole again but now totally conscious of their own existence, the initiate can return to the Absolute, the original source of the 3 forces of creation, celebrated at the summer solstice. Thus the 3 days of the sun standing still at the summer solstice are the 3 steps on the return to the final abode of Vishnu.
The Four Arms of Vishnu
There is only one Maoi statue on Easter Island that has four hands – it is the one that faces the rising sun on the winter solstice. Vishnu is depicted with four arms. The ancient Mayans sometimes depicted the sun as “Ah Kin,” which is “He of the Sun.” He is represented as a human carrying the glyph of the Kin, which is a flower with four petals.
The number four is that which forms the foundation of life and encompasses the bounds of creation. It is found in the 4 cardinal directions; the 4 points of the year which are the two solstices and equinoxes; the dimensions of our physical world which are length, width, height, and time; the 4 solar bodies which the Christ enters into; and the 4 sides of the philosophers stone upon which the work of awakening is built. The 4th dimension is time, which is needed for beings to be able to become conscious of their own existence. Within our three-dimensional world, we find life manifest in form and substance in the flow of time. Thus, in creation, the Christ who is one of the 3 forces of creation, establishes the 4, which is the foundation of life and found in the movement of the sun, which forms a symbolic cross of 4 points. In the work to awakening, the initiate must establish the 4 within themselves as the foundation of the inner spiritual work.
The Birth of the Spiritual Sun Within
For the birth of the spiritual sun within to occur, we must undergo the timeless process of spiritual awakening shown in the lives of deities, such as Horus, Jesus, and Mithras, and in the movement of the heavens. We are born as physical beings, but in order to become spiritual we must be born as spiritual beings. It is through the birth of the Christ (a name which should not be understood as belonging to any religion but the word that describes a universal spiritual force), the cosmic fire symbolized by the sun, that this potential can be realized, and this is what Jesus meant when he said that we must be “born again.”
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (John 3:1-7).
This is not a matter of adopting or changing beliefs—for anything to be born, it must follow the same process of creation which we see on the largest of scales, right to the very smallest. Above Jesus refers to the waters and the spirit that moves upon it, as found in Genesis, which gave rise to the birth of the sun on the first day. The waters is the female force, found symbolized in Mary, and Isis, etc. and the spirit moving upon it is the male force, symbolized by the Holy Spirit from the Father, and Osiris etc.
The male and female forces are what gives birth to all life. At the dawn of creation, their union gave birth to the sun and the entirety of creation. This birth of the sun, on an esoteric level, is the birth of the spiritual sun—the birth of the force of the Christ within.
Spiritual Birth From Alchemical Union
Physically, we know that sex between a man and a woman creates a child. Out of a tiny egg, an unmanifested potential springs forth almost miraculously becoming an entirely new human being that grows just as a plant from out of a tiny little seed. Thus we see within man and woman, the primordial forces of the Egyptian father god Amun and his wife, the Egyptian mother goddess Mut, which give rise to all creation. These three forces have been symbolized time and again, as Osiris, Isis, and their son Horus; Father, Mary, and Jesus; Zarathustra, Anahita, and Mithras; and many, many others.
This incredible power of creation we each have is mentioned in Genesis, where it says that we are created in the image of God:
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
But this power to create is not limited to the creation of a physical child. Within the human being we also find the materials of spiritual creation. From this union of male and female, not only can children be born, but also the Christ within, just as the Christ is born from the union of these forces at the dawning of creation.
This process has been referred to in many esoteric traditions as tantrism, the bridal chamber, and alchemy, in which man and woman in sexual union are depicted as spiritual co-creators. It involves the purification of the waters, which are the sexual energies, in preparation for creation; the awakening of the sacred fiery energy called kundalini symbolized as the serpent raising up the spine in ancient India, and crowning the forehead in Egypt; the creation of the wedding garments, referred to by Jesus; and many other spiritual processes which must be gone through, until the initiate has reached a spiritual level required for the Christ to be born within.
Just as physical fire has the ability to destroy and create things, so does this inner Christic fire have the same ability to destroy the negative aspects of ourselves and allow us to be completely “born again” as a spiritual being, which eventually ascends (celebrated at the summer solstice) to the source of creation, the Absolute (the Brahman of ancient India), as an enlightened and awakened Deva, a son of God.
We find this referenced in John where he speaks about Christ as the true Light (which is the light of the spiritual sun) and the potential we each have to become a “son of God”, and that this happens through being born of God, which is the sacred process of creation that occurs in alchemy.
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:9-13)
The Meaning of the Cave and Stables Where the Christ is Born
The winter solstice sun is “born” at the darkest point of the year. The sun is at its lowest, most southerly point in the sky. This is because all creation takes place from out of darkness and chaos, as it did on the first day in Genesis and in the verses of the Rig Veda.
The cave symbolizes the womb from which all of creation is born and emerges, the primordial chaos. This is why Mithras was born in a cave, and why Jesus was also said to be born in a cave in the Gospel of James. In Armenian tradition, Mithras was believed to shut himself up in a cave from which he emerged once a year, born anew. The pre-Inca and Inca creator god Viracocha, who was crowned with the sun, was also said to be born in a cave to bring light into the darkness.
Incredibly, at the ancient Neolithic site of Newgrange, the winter solstice sunlight enters an otherwise giant dark mound precisely at sunrise. The ray of light travels up and illuminates the chamber which is in the shape of a cross. Here the cross is associated with the birth of Christ on the winter solstice, thousands of years before Jesus. The cross is an alchemical symbol showing the union of the phallus and uterus, of male and female, which give birth to all creation and the Christ. The Christ is born as the sun into the mound, which acts as the womb. Also inside the chamber are found spiral designs, showing the spiraling nature of creation, along with a tri-spiral design, which possibly represented the mother, father, and son of creation and the nativity.
In the nativity scene of the Gospels, Jesus is also said to be born in stables amongst animals. The stables symbolize the physical body of the initiated human being, and the animals represent the egos which we have within and are animalistic in nature, such as anger, pride, envy, hatred, etc. This shows that although someone must have reached a spiritually prepared enough level for the Christ to be born within, before the Christ comes they are still in darkness and with the egos. The force of the Christ within then works to destroy these egos, and spiritually transform the initiate.
Stone murals of Mithras found in once secret chambers beneath Rome show Mithras emerging from a rock holding a flaming torch, again associating the divine son with fire and light. The Christ brings light to our inner darkness. Mithras is also depicted holding a sword as he emerges, and this shows how the Christ comes into the initiate to fight the darkness of the subconscious and the world, to overcome it, transforming the initiate into total light, into a totally awakened conscious being.
Krishna is born at the winter solstice into a prison. This symbolizes the birth of the Christ into the physical body of the initiate, which is a temporary vehicle that is to the divine as a limited prison.
Christ is born as a baby at the winter solstice as all things that are born must start small and grow. The sun at this time is small and weak, as it is just beginning to grow, so Horus and Jesus were depicted at this time as babies in a manger. This is a representation of the birth of the spiritual within, because just as a baby is born as something that feels and perceives but is not able to do much, the birth of the Christ within someone is as a new feeling and new way of perceiving, but yet to become something much more, which Christ within develops into just as Jesus in the Gospels grows to become an adult, progressing through other symbolic events in his life.
Although the light is born at the winter solstice, giving hope, it is still born into darkness and has yet to grow.
The Spiritual Treasure Found in the Depths of Darkness
The winter solstice is one point of four in the wheel of the year. Each point symbolizes a stage in the process of a human being undergoing a transformation to reach enlightenment, as this is what all of life is created for.
At the autumn equinox, the initiate, symbolized by John the Baptist, must descend into the darkness of himself and of Hades/hell. He descends the 9 layers of the underworld to uncover the darkness of his own subconscious in order to transform it into consciousness, and incarnate the Christ within. This stage is explained in depth in The Spiritual Meaning of the Autumn Equinox
At the pyramid dedicated to the feathered serpent (symbol of the union between the earthly and heavenly, human and divine) in Chichen Itza, Mexico, a feathered serpent created by patterns of light on the temple’s 9 terraces appears to descend at the autumn equinox. This symbolizes the descent of the initiate into the underworld, and the dark regions of their own psychology. Then, at the winter solstice, the sun appears to ascend the 9 terraces before shining momentarily at the temple atop the pyramid’s peak.
Similarly, at Glastonbury Tor during the winter solstice, the sun appears at the base of the constructed mound, rises up 7 terraces and clips the pinnacle of the tower. Incredibly, the constellation Orion, which is associated with Osiris, the male of creation, and the star Sirius, associated with Isis, the female, also both align with the Tor at the winter solstice, as if the nativity scene is recreated in the sky. This site symbolizes creation (the 7 dimensions of the universe) which Christ creates and comes into comes into, and also on a personal level, the 7 solar bodies of the initiate (the “wedding garments” Jesus refers to) which the Christ comes into.
These sites, separated by vast distances and time, symbolize the same process at the same time of year—the winter solstice. They illustrate the birth of the sun, the Christ, which appears from the lowest point, the womb of the earth, and rises through the 9 terraces, which are the 9 layers of the underworld (as described by Dante in his esoteric work The Divine Comedy and by the ancient Mayans), or through the 7 dimensions of creation to crown the pyramid and tower. This tower also represents the neck and head of the physical body, so it’s as if the sun rises to crown the head of the initiate. This is one of the reasons why Jesus, and many other divine figures, are shown with a golden halo. The number 9 not only represents the 9 layers of the underworld, but also the sexual work of alchemy, which is referred to esoterically as the work in the 9th sphere.
At the winter solstice, in the womb of the earth, in the midst of darkness and chaos, the spirit is born – the Christ. This is the fabled treasure said to exist in the very lowest chamber beneath Glastonbury Tor, known in ancient Greece as the golden fleece.
The Word Penetrates Chaos
Chaos is a very important aspect of creation, as all of life emerges from chaos and as it expands, gradually establishes order, which forms laws, harmony, beauty, and intelligence.
As it happens in creation, this same process also happens internally when working toward enlightenment—the old must be dissolved into chaos before the spiritual can be born within, and this is why the initiate has to descend into darkness at the autumn equinox and chaos, the underworld where is found the womb of the earth, before the birth of the Christ occurs.
This same principle is found in a study of sound. Cymatics is the study of how sound affects matter, and shows the relationship between matter and vibration (vibration itself a result of sound). Swiss doctor and scientist Hans Jenny conducted experiments where he subjected various powders, pastes, and liquids to frequencies of sound. As a result, the substance would form various patterns (like those found in nature, such as snowflakes, the spots of a leopard, etc.) and behave in certain ways, according to the sound. It was discovered that as the sound moved to higher and higher frequencies, the patterns formed became more complex. However, at a critical pitch, the pattern would first dissolve into chaos, before reforming into the more complex pattern. This shows that rather than morphing into the new, matter dissolves into chaos before reforming.
This power of sound to transform matter relates back to Genesis, where God famously created with the word by saying “Let there be light,” and in the first line of John “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The ancient Indians who wrote the Vedas said that the famous mantra “Aum” (also known as “Om”) was present at the beginning of creation, and is the sound of the primordial cosmic vibration. This is why mantras are used in spiritual practice, as they harness this power of sound to transform. However, mantras alone are not a means to reach enlightenment, as it is only from the union of male and female creative energies that the powers of creation are unleashed and the spiritual is born.
The Children of the Sun
The birth of the spiritual sun within has been symbolized in every truly spiritual culture and teaching of the world, as it is one of the greatest spiritual goals, and an integral part of the reintegration and return to divinity. This is why so many ancient cultures, such as the Indians, Sumerians, Egyptians, Peruvians, the Indians of North and Central America, the Inca and the Maya, all referred to themselves as the “Children of the Sun” or “Children of the Light.” As Jesus, Mithras, Krishna, Horus, etc. showed us, we too can become children of the sun. This is the eternal cosmic message vibrating in everything around us.
While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.
~ Jesus, Gospel of John from the Bible
The Light of the World is Born to Give Hope to the World
From the time of the winter solstice, like the sun and the seed beneath the ground, the Christ grows to emerge from out of the darkness and the chaos. The initiate descends into the darkness, but will emerge at the spring equinox as a union of human and divinity – a “son of man” and “son of God”, a “child of the sun”. We can realize our enormous spiritual potential, just as the seed buried in the earth at autumn, germinates at the winter solstice, and grows into the flower of beauty and fragrance at spring.
The Christ symbolizes the hope of humanity, saving us from the darkness of ourselves, and reuniting us with divinity. This is why the deities born at the time of the winter solstice were known as the light of the world and the divine savior.
This knowledge is written in the stars, in the universe. Celebrating the winter solstice, offers us the time to reflect on the greatest mysteries of all – of how we came to be, why we are here, and how we can become truly spiritual. “Simple-minded sun worshippers” were really people who had a profound spiritual wisdom that we as a humanity have completely lost touch with. Yet as always, the message of the sun is there ever-present in our lives, and comes to earth to teach humanity in self-realized people, for those who wish to be born as the children of the sun.