We celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December each year. History tells us that this was a made-up date to coincide with the Winter Solstice, and other pagan feasts. But was it?
From Jeffrey Furst’s book:Edgar Cayce’s Story of Jesus comes a description about the day Jesus was born.
“Yes, we have the information that has been indicated respecting some of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, the son of Mary, in Bethlehem of Judea.
“The arrival was in the evening — not as counted from the Roman times, nor that declared to Moses by God when the Second Passover was to be kept, nor that same time which was in common usage even in that land, but what would NOW represent January sixth.
“In the evening then, or at twilight, Joseph approached the Inn, that was filled with those who had journeyed there on their way to be polled for the tax as imposed by the Romans upon the people of the land. For, those had been sent out who were to judge the abilities of the varied groups to be taxed. And each individual was required by the Roman law to be polled in the city of his birth.
“Then there was the answer by the Innkeeper, ‘No room in the inn’, especially for such an occasion. Laughter and jeers followed, at the sight of the elderly man with the beautiful girl, his wife, heavy with child.
“Necessity demanded that some place be sought — quickly. Then it was found, under the hill, in the stable — above which the shepherds were gathering their flocks into the fold.
“Just as the midnight hour came, there was the birth of the Master.”
Why the 6th of January 6 BC?
Actually, the answer is quite simple: according to our present calendar, Jesus would have been born at the midnight hour of the 25th of December, which implies that we celebrate Christmas at about the right time, date-wise, but when the British calendar was converted from the Julian to the Gregorian 11 days were surpressed in 1752. It is probably this fact that accounts for our continuing to refer to the 12 days of Christmas. The Greek Orthodox Church still uses the Julian calendar and Christmas is celebrated by countries under its sway as the 6th of January.
The year is not as simple: evidently, the Star of Bethlehem must have been a conjunction of two visible planets, Jupiter and Saturn. The only year around that time in which this conjunction took place was 7 BC. I have a theory that the Star appeared after the Annunciation and carried on until a short time after Jesus’ birth, effectively the whole nine months of his gestation period.
In the chart I have erected, Jupiter and Saturn are still within 1.5 degrees, but, soon after this point in time, they separated further and to the casual observer the Star would have seemed to disappear.
The ‘proof’ of the correctness of the date (originally, 25th December 7 BC) can be shown through Numerology: the date adds up to 17, which, according to Linda Goodman, represents the Star of the Magi. When the digits are added together, the result is 8, the number of the Christ, seen as a man (head, feet together, and two outstretched arms) on an equal-armed cross.
The other point I should like to make concerns the Cardinal Cross which the Ascendant/Descendant and Midheaven/IC lines form.
“In traditional astrology, this is the cross formed in the zodiac by Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. However, in connection with the esoteric system proposed by (Alice) Bailey in her Intuitional Astrology, the cross is associated with the crisis of initiation, and with the life of spirit and the Monad. Bailey calls it the ‘Cross of Transcendance’, and traces in its sequence an evolutionary development. Aries is…the birthplace of ideas. What appears in Aries as spiritual energy meets the soul stage of Cancer, and finds incarnation for the first time in form. It reaches a point of equilibrium in Libra, in which soul and personality achieve a balance of co-operation, so that in Capricorn the will nature arrives at fulfilment, and a ‘visioned goal’ is reached.” (Dictionary of Astrology by Fred Gettings)
There is a modern take on this ancient idea that you can read here:
Jesus’ birth would ordinarily be something that we have to take on faith. But my feeling is that the celebration of an event like this over two centuries gives it a legendary effect. In the end it doesn’t matter when (or even if) he was born; what matters is that we believe it to be true.