A Guest Post from Phillip
In the Golden Dawn watchtower ceremony which I still have much fondness for there is the following: “The visible sun is the dispenser of light to the earth. Let me therefore form a vortex in this chamber that the invisible sun of the spirit may shine therein from above.”
Understanding of this phrase is improved by the fact that the earths orbit around the sun is not a perfect circle but rather a slight ellipse. An ellipse always has two separate foci. For the earth the sun is located at one foci point but if it were at the other, our planets orbit would still be the same. What I am suggesting is that there is an invisible spiritual sun located at the other foci of the earths elliptical orbit. Even though the earth is closer to the sun at the winter solstice; the northern hemisphere of our planet tilts away from the sun over this period reducing daily sunlight and this results in the season of winter in our northern hemisphere. At the winter and summer solstices these two foci and the earth are all in line, here is a freehand drawing exaggerating the earths elliptical orbit to illustrate.
So using my diagram two things are clear:
Firstly; at the winter solstice (21st December) the sun fully interposes itself so there is no line of sight from the earth to the 2nd foci of our planets elliptical orbit. That is to say that the sun occludes the other foci. To emphasise, at the winter solstice the 2nd foci point of our planets elliptical orbit may not be observed from the earth. The sun occults the other foci. My personal position is that the 2nd empty foci is the position of the invisible spiritual sun therefore at the winter solstice the spiritual sun is absent, blocked by the physical sun. In the Northern hemisphere the 25th of December, Christmas Day is the first day that our physical sun starts to rise higher as the daylight slowly starts to increase. This is in part due to the gradual change in our planets axial tilt. Also…and for me just as importantly the sun no longer occludes line of sight from the earth to the 2nd foci. The invisible spiritual sun once again shines directly on the earth, along side its physical counterpart. Secondly, at the summer solstice the other ‘empty’ foci is directly between the earth and the sun. Earth, sun and 2nd foci of the ellipse are all in line again. This for me is a significant time for magical work.
The visible sun shines through the 2nd foci and the rays of the invisible spiritual sun are present in the sunlight of our physical sun. The hot rays of the summer sun are the ‘carrier wave’, in union with the spiritual sun. My suggestion here is that the 25th of December is in effect New Years Day and brings the emphatic promise of warmer longer days and the wonderful summer solstice