The Green Renewal
Winter Solstice marks the rebirth of the Sun: the moment when the light begins to return from the south and days grow longer. In northern climes, this heralds the return of moisture and vegetation. I’ve spent many winters in Prague, where the Green Man appears on nearly every ancient edifice. He is the god of renewal, like the Green Knight who “loses his head” but still lives, in the Arthurian-Celtic ballad of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. A great book on this topic is John Matthews’ The Winter Solstice. I also recommend my friend David Fideler’s classic work: Jesus Christ, Sun of God, about Jesus as a solar figure, replacing more ancient deities like Mithras, Apollo, and Ahura Mazda.
US Presidential Cycle: Now is the Winter of our Discontent…
In America, ever since World War, II, we’ve changed presidents every Eight years, an important cosmic number. The number EIGHT is the number of years when the solar (western) and lunar (eastern) calendars cycle together (8 solar years = 100 lunar months) — as described in my book The Eight. In the Celtic world, and earlier, every eight years the “Solar King” was sacrificed (deposed or even killed) to make way for a new organic cycle. Our president is changed just after Solstice, in winter, at the turning point between Capricorn, the old year, and Aquarius, the new year. This solar/lunar cycle was still known in Shakespeare’s time:
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York…
The Solar Eight
If we take a picture of the sun at noon, every day throughout the year, due to the tilt of Earth on its axis, the pattern the sun makes would form a figure Eight — in Greek called an Analemma, or “support,” the name for a pedestal for a sundial. I love these pictures, because they remind me that whenever and wherever we’ve lived on Earth, we can still share the same fascinating patterns in the cosmos.
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