The 2018 December Solstice and the Return of the Light

Lohri Bonfire celebrating the Return of the Light. - WikiCommons
Lohri Bonfire celebrating the Return of the Light. - WikiCommons

[Sri Aurobindo] has opened the doors,
… when we are able, we will go through those doors.

– The Mother, The Mother’s Agenda, 18 September 1964

Before I discuss what I find to be significant about the 2018 December Solstice in relation to Sri Aurobindo's Supramental Yoga and Thea's Supramental Cosmology, first I want to cover some basics about what the Solstice signifies in the Earth’s Year.

Solstice Basics
The December Solstice marks the day of the Earth's Solar (i.e. Tropical) Year with the least amount of day light and consequently the most amount of darkness in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the entrance (Sankranti) into the sign and 0° of Capricorn (Makar) and into the fourth and last quadrant of the Solar (Tropical) Year. In terms of the relationship between the Earth and the Sun, it is the point in the Earth's yearly orbit when the Earth's axis (tilted at approximately 23.5° in relation to the Earth's orbital plane around the Sun) is tilted furthest away from the Sun and the direct or vertical rays of the Sun arrive at the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere.
The axial tilt of the Earth, and the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer in relation to the Sun and Ecliptic plane.From that point the direct rays of the Sun begin a six-month journey northward. After three months the Sun’s most direct rays fall on the Earth’s Equator (the March Equinox) creating nearly even hours of light and dark throughout the day in both hemispheres; and after six months the Sun’s most direct rays fall upon the Tropic of Cancer (the June Solstice), creating the longest day of the year in terms of hours of light in the Northern Hemisphere. From this point in the Earth’s Solar/Tropical Year (0° Cancer), the direct rays move southward for six months. National Geographic has a good explanation of the Solstices for anyone who wants to read more on the subject.

The Solstices and the Zodiac
The Equinoxes and Solstices mark out the 4 Cardinal Points of the Zodiac. (Image by Patrizia Norell-Bachelet (Thea).
This image (by Thea) shows the fixed relationship between the 4 Equinoxes and Solstices
and the 4 Cardinal Points of the Zodiac - the Earth's Sacred/Solar Year.

Thea has written much on the importance of celebrating and measuring the entrance into Capricorn (Makar Sankranti) on the December Solstice. She frequently discussed and exposed the error of Indian astrologers and calendars which measure and celebrate the entrance into Capricorn some 23 days late via adherence to the Sidereal Year rather than the Solar (Tropical) Year. The Sidereal (Nirayana) measure of the 12-month Zodiac entirely rejects the fixed equivalence between the four seasons of the Earth's Solar Year (as created/marked out by the Earth's Solstices and Equinoxes) and the four quadrants of the Zodiac. Thea recognized that this widespread rejection  mistakenly called "Vedic" astrology – is a perversion of the ancient Vedic Year and thus undermines the Eternal Truth (the Sanatana Dharma) which is at the heart of India's ancient culture and eclipses the Ancient Light that India is meant to share with the World.

According to Thea, this (post-Vedic) error of separating the Solstices and Equinoxes from the Cardinal Points of the Zodiac (the Sacred Year/Yajna of the Ancient Rishis) crept into India via the Arab scholar-traveller Al Biruni, “who in the 12th century planted the damaging seeds that later flowered into the full-blown Nirayana system of astrological computations and ritual timings in use today.” [Thea, “Those Unsettling New Paradigms”, 23 July 2015] Many of Thea’s writings on the importance of correcting the Indian error of separating the Solstices from the Zodiacal Year (the Sacred Year of the Ancient Rishis) are found on Aeon Centre of Cosmology’s website. Another article on this topic is “The New Order Is Born” (September 2015) where in Thea quotes India’s Prime Minister Modi extolling the Nirayana mismeasure of Makar Sankranti (entrance into Capricorn) on 14 January.
‘Friends, Makar Sankranti was celebrated on 14 January. It is an important festival. It is the beginning of Uttarayan, which is considered to be a punya kaal (auspicious time). The Lohri festival also coincides with it. On this day the sun begins its journey north. This marks the transition from winter to spring…’. – Narendra Modi at the The Economic Times Global Business Summit, 16 November 2015  [bold emphasis added]
For those that paid attention to the first section of this post, you will recognize the error highlighted in bold above. The Sun does not begin its journey or movement North (Uttarayana) on 14 January. This happens every year on the December Solstice, which as Thea wrote cannot be separated from either the Sun's vertical rays stationing upon the Tropic of Capricorn or from the entrance into the sign of Capricorn (Makar Sankranti).

The 2018 December Solstice
Where I live (on the West Coast of the United States) the 2018 December Solstice and entrance into 0° Capricorn, falls during the afternoon of 21 December 2018. Given the difference in time zones, the date of the Solstice and entrance into 0° Capricorn in India falls on 22 December 2018. The numerological power of 22.12.2018 (as written in India with the day before the month) reduces to 4.3.2 (2 + 2 = 4, 1 + 2 = 3, and 2 + 0 + 1 + 8 = 11 = 1 + 1 = 2, and further to 9 (4 + 3 + 2 = 9). In Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom I thoroughly discussed the importance of the numbers 432, or more specifically the number 432,000, in the measure of the Rig Veda, the Vedic/Zodiacal Year, the Kali Yuga and the 25,920-year Great Year of the Precession of the Equinoxes. With this in mind, I find it immensely fortuitous that the number power of the 2018 Makar Sankranti/December Solstice in India is 9 via the sacred numbers 4, 3 and 2. To celebrate this date and number power, on the Solstice I posted OM Chanting at 432hz which conveys the power of the Sacred Word and sacred measure of the Vedic Rishis. As I have discussed in my book, the Sacred Word of the Vedas is intimately connected to the 432,000" measure (sacred geometry) of the Vesica Piscis within the 360 Circle.

The 2018 December Solstice also happens to correspond to a Full Moon with the Moon at 0° Cancer opposite the Sun at 0° Capricorn, stressing the importance of the Cancer-Capricorn axis and the two feminine Cardinal Points of the Zodiac precisely on the Solstice/Makar Sankranti. This Full Moon Solstice is also accompanied by the peak of the Ursid meteor shower.

Thea's Gnostic Circle, from her book 'The Gnostic Circle'.
Thea's Gnostic Circle.
Whereas I find all of the above features of the 2018 December Solstice to be an beautiful display of cosmic harmonies, the most notable feature of the Solstice for me is that on 21 December, Saturn began transiting through 10° Capricorn corresponding to the 7 Point of the Circle of 9. Saturn’s transit of the 7 Point will last about a week. According to Thea’s Gnostic Circle the 6th planet of our solar system, Saturn, is equivalent to the 6 Point of the 360° Circle (0° Sagittarius) and the 7th planet Uranus is equivalent to the 7 Point (10° Capricorn). Both Saturn and the 7 Point figure significantly in the second half my book (whose length is 432 pages).

Saturn is associated with Chronos – the God of Time, who is often portrayed eating his own children. The association of Saturn and Time with Death and its portrayal as a ‘malefic’ planet is a reflection of humanity’s mental egoic and mortal consciousness. As Thea taught, Saturn represents either a collapse upon the crystalized falsehoods of the Mortal-Mental-Egoic consciousness or a birth out of that hard shell and expansion into higher ranges of consciousness and into a more wholistic understanding and experience of the Self and consequently of the Self in Time and Space. The sign of Capricorn (ruled by Saturn) represents the realization of the Divine Manifestation, i.e. of the Divine Feminine, the Divine Cosmic Matrix or Womb, the Divine Earth and the Divine Self manifested on Earth.

The Tower card in the 1909 Rider-Waite tarot deck.
The 7 Point (10° Capricorn) and the corresponding 7th planet Uranus represent the revolution or upheaval that comes with the realization or birth of one’s Truth/Light within this Divine Matrix. 10° Capricorn falls on 31 December/1 January, marking the birth of the New Year in the Gregorian calendar currently in use across the globe. In the Tarot deck, this revolution or upheaval, and the number power of 7 (via 16 or 1 + 6) is portrayed as lightning striking a Tower, wherein the Tower symbolizes the well-established and long-standing falsehood that must be dismantled. It takes Saturn approximately 29.5 years to return to any particular point in the Zodiac, so it is already a very small window of time when it transits the 7 Point (280°) of the 360° circle. The fact that Saturn’s transit of this powerful point in the Zodiac happens to coincide with the December Solstice this year is a powerful display of supramental precision, reminding me to better appreciate the tumultuous times we live in as a necessary evolutionary process of dismantling humanity’s narrow Mental-Egoic consciousness.

On 16 November 2018 (in the sign of Scorpio) a cyclone hit Southern India at 10° 22′ N, 79° 51′ E, corresponding to the 7 Point of the Globe, BOTH in terms of longitude and latitude. [1] [2] The cyclone was aptly named Gaja, meaning Elephant. Gajanan (gaj = elephant, aanan = faced) is a name of the God Ganesh – the Remover of Obstacles in Indian mythology. Cyclone Gaja charged across Tamil Nadu, felling trees and power lines all the way into the Palani Hills and the hill station of Kodaikanal. In my mind, the 7 Point position of Gaja’s strike is another recent symbol of the force and pressure that is bearing down on humanity. Ten days after Gaja’s landfall, NASA’s InSight lander landed on the surface of Mars on 26 November [2:52pm ET], a date which the Mother dubbed “Immortality Day” in 1926 and which Thea saw as the date of Sri Aurobindo’s rebirth and as the principle of Mars (the War God/the Divine Son Agni/Kartikeya) becoming victorious over Falsehood and Death. [3] As discussed in The New Way, Volumes 1&2, Thea’s first realization of Sri Aurobindo’s rebirth fell in the year 1976, coinciding with the first Mars landing (Viking 1). [4] Those familiar with Thea’s writings on this matter should be duly impressed by the timing of this year’s Mars landing on a day which symbolizes the Victory of Mars/Agni (the Divine Son) over the forces of Darkness/Ignorance. In astrological lore, Mars is known to be exalted in the sign of Capricorn.
“Capricorn is the sign of the Divine Mother’s victorious son, the War God – Mars exalted and enhanced.” [Thea, "Puranic Cosmology Updated - 20", June Solstice 2010]
Those familiar with Thea’s supramental cosmology should also be able to appreciate that the power of the 2018 December Solstice (marking the Return of the Light and the entrance into the sign of Mar’s exaltation) is intimately linked with the extraordinary coincidence or divine synchronicity of the NASA Mars landing on Immortality Day. The entire journey (or Yajna) and field of the Zodiac is the unified field or womb of Time and Space by which the Immortal Soul (the Divine Son, Warrior or Hero, aka Mars) is born forth in creation victorious over Falsehood. Immortality Day and the December Solstice both celebrate the birth of the Divine Truth, Immortal Light or Flame of the Soul of Creation no longer hidden under whatever layers of Self-Ignorance.

The Victory of the Light and the Destruction of the Old Consciousness
It is important to keep in mind when celebrating the return and victory of the Light (the Light of the Soul, the Light of Agni/Mars, the Divine Son or however one conceptualizes or celebrates this ancient prophecy and potentiality in the course of evolution) this time of year, we are simultaneously (whether actually conscious of it or not) celebrating the eventual destruction of the World’s (and simultaneously our own) long-entrenched Darkness or Ignorance. We are, in essence, celebrating “the apocalypse” which connotes the removal of that which is eclipsing the Light of the World’s Soul and Truth.

The Return or Victory of the Light on Earth is not portrayed as a pleasant process in St. John’s Revelation, or in the ancient Vedas. It is depicted as a tremendously violent process of striking down the imposing structure (or TOWER) of humanity’s most cherished and most pervasive misconceptions and errors. As if to underscore this point, the 22.12.2018 (4.3.2) Solstice was marked by the violent volcanic eruption of Anak Krakatau ("the Child of Krakatoa") in Indonesia that sent ash 55,000 feet into the Earth’s atmosphere and unleashed a deadly tsunami upon the coastal areas of the Sunda Straight which came with no warning.

My colleague Robert Wilkinson recently sent me the following quote (accompanied by an essay by a 2017 article by Chris Hedges entitled “The Reign of Idiots”):
“The end of a stage of evolution is usually marked by a powerful recrudescence of all that has to go out of the evolution.”  – Sri Aurobindo, 1909-1910
I am immensely grateful for Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s evolutionary perspective, wherein the current collapse of Life on Earth as we know it, is simply par for the course for the evolutionary shift from the Mental consciousness to the Supramental or Truth Consciousness that is being born forward our world. I am equally grateful for Thea’s teachings which provide the necessary keys by which it is possible to at least verify (prove to oneself) the reality of this higher consciousness and higher harmonies of existence in the course of one’s Yoga or Yajna.

Saturn’s Solstice transit of the 7 Point gives me some sense that the Return and Increase of the Light throughout this coming year will bring with it the necessary force and action towards the removal of some significant swath of that which needs to “go out of the evolution” as Sri Aurobindo put it. It needs to be acknowledged that our world’s transformation out of its current MESS is not a matter of simply removing or sacrificing that which needs to go OUT of our individual and collective fields. It is of course equally necessary to invite forth that which needs to be brought forward in our world – that Light of the Soul which is for the most part hidden or occult WITHIN our beings.

The current state of affairs on Earth shows to us the boundary lines or end of the road for a certain stage of evolution. At this juncture we can see that the divisive Mental-Egoic consciousness (the basis of our modern civilization) is collapsing its own future on Earth. This collapse is less alarming when viewed from the supramental and evolutionary point of view that our civilization's turmoil is akin to the contractions of a womb in the process of giving birth to an entirely new and higher order of creation on Earth. Many religions have long posited the idea that the solution to our Life’s challenges is to transcend Life on Earth via Nirvana, Moksha, Heaven or such. This long-standing and much cherished spiritual ideal sits before us as one of millions of ways humanity’s immature consciousness rejects Material Creation (the Divine Matrix) and its wonders. This idea or ideal – a clear projection of our own Ignorance onto material Creation – is one of the many assumptions of modern humanity that is marked for the evolutionary waste bin. In my mind, Saturn transiting the 7 Point of the Zodiac symbolizes the inevitability and the always-shocking nature of Higher Truth being born forth from the Womb of Ignorance (Self-Ignorance and Collective-Ignorance alike) and the inevitability of the collapse of the Womb of Ignorance once it has served its evolutionary or developmental purpose.
“[A]nything that disturbs the Inertia is, for Inertia, a catastrophe. In the world, the earthly world (it's the only one I can speak of with competence; of the others, I have only overall visions), in the earthly world, for Inertia (which is the basis of the creation and is necessary to fix, to concretize things), anything that disturbs it is a catastrophe. That is to say, the advent of Life was a monstrous catastrophe, and the advent of intelligence in Life another monstrous catastrophe, and now the advent of Supermind is the final catastrophe! That's how it is. And for the unenlightened mind, it really is a catastrophe!” – The Mother, The Mother’s Agenda, 28 November 1964
"Ultimately, there is only one comfort, it's that nothing will ever happen except what has to happen, so ... This is the consciousness in which I live – I don't worry at all, not in the least." – The Mother, The Mother’s Agenda, 17 October 1964 

[1] See Thea’s map of the Earth’s GeoCosmology as found in The New Way, Vols. 1&2.
[2] 10° N latitude happens to be the latitude of Thea’s seat of Yoga (Aeon Centre of Cosmology) in the Palani Hills (near Kodaikanal) from 1986 to the time of her passing in October of 2016.
[3] “[T]he Son—who represents the principle of Integration—was born under the third sign of the [third] quarter [of the Zodiac], Sagittarius. We must study his role more deeply against the backdrop of our solar system. We speak of him as the redeemer of the 4.5 Orbit. Indeed, born on Immortality Day (26 November] he is the conqueror of Death, Victorious Mars, the fourth planet. This orb stands on one side of the 4.5 Orbit, or the Asteroid Belt; but on the other stands Jupiter, ruler of his birth sign Sagittarius. He is Mars by his position as fourth in the Solar Line when measured in the Time Scale of 9--first being the 9, second the 6, third the 3, and finally fourth the 4.5 (or the resurrected 9).” – Thea, The New Way, Vols. 1&2, p. 290
[4] “In 1976 The Hidden Manna, a deciphering of John's prophecy, was written immediately after the knowledge had come of the Father's rebirth as the Son, or Agni. It was composed in July of that year, at precisely the time when the United States of America was sending its first space craft to Mars, the Conqueror-Son's planet. As explained in The Hidden Manna, though landing was scheduled to take place on July 4, 1976, thereby commemorating the 200th birthday of that nation, it was continuously delayed for one reason or another. Finally, sixteen days later,–the square of 4–, it was possible to set the space craft down on the red planet. All during that month the deciphering of John's Revelation was in progress. On July 20 the 19th Chapter which describes the entry of the Child in the form of Mars, the War God, was being deciphered. He is the Lamb, and the chapter begins by describing the rejoicing of the heavenly powers because the time has come for his marriage.” – Thea, The New Way, Vols. 1&2, p. 472