Exoterically the sun has been worshiped as the giver of life from time immemorial, because the multitude was incapable of looking beyond the material symbol of a great spiritual truth. But besides those who adored the heavenly orb which is seen with the physical eye, there has always been and there is today a small but increasing minority, a priesthood consecrated by righteousness rather than by rites, who saw and see the eternal spiritual verities behind the temporal and evanescent forms which clothe these verities in changing raiment of ceremonial, according to the times and the people to whom they were originally given. For them the legendary Star of Bethlehem shines each year as a Mystic Midnight Sun, which enters our planet at the winter solstice and then commences to radiate from the center of our globe Life, Light, and Love, the three divine attributes. These rays of spiritual splendor and power fill our globe with a supernal light that envelops everyone upon earth from the least to the greatest without respect of persons. But all cannot partake of this wonderful gift in the same measure; some get more, some less, and some, alas! seem to have no share in the great love offering which the Father has prepared for us in His only begotten Son, because they have not yet developed the spiritual magnet, the Christ child within, which alone can guide us unto the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
What profits it the Sun doth shine
Had I not eyes to see?
How shall I know the Christ is mine
Save through the Christ in me?
That soundless voice within my heart
Is earnest of the pact
'Twixt Christ and me-it does impart
To faith the force of Fact.
This is a mystic experience which will no doubt ring true to many among our students, for it is as literally true as that night follows day and winter follows summer. Unless we have the Christ within ourselves, unless that wonderful pact of blood brotherhood has been consummated, we can have no part in the Savior, and so far as we are concerned it would not matter though the Christmas bells never ring. But when the Christ has been formed in ourselves; when the immaculate conception has become a reality in our own hearts; when we have stood there at the birth of the Christ child and offered our gifts, dedicating the lower nature to the service of the Higher Self; then, and then only, the Christmas feast is spread for us from year to year.
And the harder we have toiled in the Master's vineyard, the more clearly and distinctly shall we hear that soundless voice within our hearts issue the invitation: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you...for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Then we shall hear a new note in the Christmas bells such as we have never heard before, for in all the year there is no day so glad as the day when the Christ is born anew into the earth, bringing with Him gifts to the children of men-gifts that mean the continuance of physical life; for without that vitalizing, energizing influence of the Christ Spirit the earth would remain cold and drear, there would be no new song of spring, no little woodland choristers to gladden our hearts at the approach of summer. The icy grip of Boreas would hold the earth fettered and mute forever, making it impossible for us to continue our material evolution, which is so necessary to teach us to use the power of thought in the proper creative channels.
The Christmas spirit is thus a living reality to all who have evolved the Christ within. The average man or woman feels it only around the holidays, but the illumined mystic sees and feels it months before and months after the culminating point on Holy Night. In September there is a change in the earth's atmosphere-a light begins to glow in the heavens. It seems to pervade the whole solar uni-verse. Gradually it grows more intense and seems to envelop our globe. Then it penetrates the surface of the planet and gradually concentrates itself in the center of the earth where the group spirits of the plants make their homes. On Holy Night it attains its minimum size and maximum brilliancy. Then it begins to radiate the concentrated light and gives new life to the earth wherewith to carry on the activities of nature during the coming year.
This is the beginning of the great cosmic drama "From the Cradle to the Cross," which is enacted annually during the winter months.
Cosmically the sun is born on the longest and darkest night of the year when Virgo, the Celestial Virgin, stands upon the eastern horizon at midnight to bring forth the immaculate child. During the months next following, the sun passes through the violent sign of Capricorn where, mythically, all the powers of darkness are concentrated in a frantic endeavor to kill the Light-bearer, a phase of the solar drama which is mystically presented in the story of King Herod and the flight into Egypt to escape death.
When the sun enters the sign Aquarius, the Waterman, in February, we have the time of rain and storms; and as the baptism mystically consecrates the Savior to his work of service, so also the floods of moisture that descend upon the earth soften and mellow it so that it may yield the fruits whereby the lives of those who dwell here are preserved.
Then comes the sun's passage through the sign Pisces, the Fishes. At this time the stores of the preceding year have been almost consumed and man's food is scarce. Therefore we have the long fast of Lent which mystically represents for the aspirant the same ideal as that cosmically shown by the sun. There is at this time the carne-vale, the farewell to the flesh, for everyone who aspires to the higher life must at some time bid farewell to the lower nature with all its desires and prepare himself for the passover which is then near.
In April, when the sun crosses the celestial equator and enters the sign Aries, the Lamb, the cross stands as a mystic symbol of the fact that the candidate to the higher life must learn to lay down the mortal coil and begin the ascent of Golgotha, the place of the skull; thence to cross the threshold into the invisible world. Finally, in imitation of the sun's ascent into the northern heavens, he must learn that his place is with the Father and that ultimately he is to ascend to that exalted place. Furthermore, as the sun does not stay in that high degree of declination but cyclically descends again toward the autumn equinox and winter solstice to complete the circle again and again for the benefit of humanity, so also everyone who aspires to become a Cosmic Character, a savior of mankind, must be prepared to offer himself as a sacrifice again and again for his fellow men.
This is the great destiny that is before every one of us. Each one is a Christ-in-the-making, if he will be, for as Christ said to His disciples: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater.'' Moreover, according to the maxim "Man's necessity is God's opportunity," there never was so great an opportunity to imitate the Christ, to do the work that He did, as there is today when the whole continent of Europe is in the throes of a world war, and the grandest of all Christmas carols, "On earth peace, good will toward men," seems to be further than ever from its realization. We have the power within ourselves to hasten the day of peace by talking, thinking, and living PEACE. For the concerted action of thousands of people does carry an impression to the Race Spirit, when it is there directed, especially when the moon is in Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces, which are the three great psychic signs best suited to occult work of this nature. Let us use the two and one-half days during which the moon is in each of these signs for the purpose of meditation upon peace-peace on earth and among men good will. But in so doing let us be sure that we do not take sides for or against any of the battling nations. Let us remember at all times that every one of their members is our brother. One is entitled to our love as much as another. Let us hold the thought that what we want is to see Universal Brotherhood lived upon earth; namely, peace on earth and among men good will, regardless of whether the combatants were born on one side or the other of an imaginary line drawn upon the map, regardless of whether they express themselves in this, that, or the other tongue. Let us pray that peace may come upon earth, everlasting peace, and good will among all men, irrespective of all differences of race, creed, color, or religion. In the measure that we succeed in voicing with our hearts, not with our lips only, this impersonal prayer for peace, shall we further the Kingdom of Christ, for remember that eventually that is where we are all bound for-the kingdom of the heavens where Christ is "King of kings and Lord of lords."
--Rays from the Rose Cross Magazine, November/December, 1995