Unlike his Greek counterpart, the ancient Roman King of the Gods otherwise known as Jupiter was an exemplary role model of upstanding morals and impartiality. Many depictions of Jupiter (as seen above) show the Roman god accompanied by an eagle, a symbol of high mindedness and wisdom.
Jupiter – The Power Source behind Santa & Saints, Alike
As stated in Part I, the time of year associated mainly with both Christmas and Santa Claus falls within the Zodiacal period allotted to the sign of Sagittarius, whose planetary ruler is the Head Honcho of all heavenly bodies which orbit our Sun better known as Jupiter. Astrologically, the largest planet of our Solar System is also called “The Great Benefic” due to the mighty gas ball literally shielding the Earth from a constant barrage of exploding asteroids and disintegrating comets on a regular basis with its massive magnetic belt.
In the summer of 2009 astronomers noticed a significant change had occurred on Jupiter’s surface. A large indentation hole became suddenly visible, leading scientists to theorize the King of Planets had been a direct hit by an asteroid the size of the Pacific Ocean! Imagine if our fragile blue marble of a planet was the bullseye of this gigantic hurdling space rock instead of the Great Benefic……moving right along.
Size comparison between the Earth and its planetary protector, Jupiter.
Jupiter, Ancient Rome’s Righteous Ruler
Mythologically, Jupiter’s name is derived from the King of Gods from ancient Roman myth. Unlike his philandering Greek counterpart who would drop all kingly duties whenever any woman and/or occasional boy of above average looks crossed his field of vision, Jupiter was revered by the Romans as a paragon of goodness, whose actions were based in benevolence and mercy versus any kind of vindictive thunder bolt throwing or seductive shape shifting.
Our modern judicial system is based largely on the foundational framework established by the ancient Romans (as in this article’s backdrop picture of Jupiter and Abraham Lincoln seated side by side of each other). Their courts and Senates were established to serve as reflections of their kingly god’s actions. Whenever Jupiter passed judgement on either god or mortal, the Romans believed their King did so with total impartiality and in consideration of the better good for all parties involved.
The Romans took Jupiter’s “democratization of goodness” and applied it to both their laws and their courts. Thus astrologically, Jupiter oversees the Law at large, as well as the “democratization of goodness”, or said in more familiar terms, “goodwill towards men”.
Since Jupiter is so astoundingly larger in scale than any of the other planets of the Solar System, its rulership extends over the traits of amplification and expansion. With that in mind, the term “Goodwill towards men” is nice and all, but suffices when applied to merely some random cherub or run of the mill force of fortune. When referring to the King of the Gods, positive traits are both amplified and expanded upon, thus goodwill is elevated to also include benevolence and actions that are considerate of others uplifting the standard of goodness to the heightened state of saintliness. Hence, the King of Planets bearing its additional title of loftier significance – “The Great Benefic”.
The Marking of a Saint
Because of The Great Benefic’s massive size, the sunlight reflected from its surface is illuminated so brightly that Jupiter isn’t considered just a planet. The King of heavenly bodies orbiting around the Sun is also categorized as a star in its own right due to its magnitude of brightness. Thus The Great Benefic’s “light” comes into play with the marking of saints and holy people at large.
The Hindus were the first to incorporate the image of the “halo” as a cosmic marking of a person who was seen as blessed or whose actions were considered holy. A halo is theorized to be a person’s aura radiating from their third eye, or mid-forehead and tinged a rich gold color that encircles the perimeter of the head . The Hindus depicted their gods and high priests with halos as an indication of directly receiving the shine, or light from “The Great Benefic”, Jupiter. A few centuries later the early Christian Church incorporated the halo in their depictions of Jesus Christ to show that He was marked as the Son of God. They then expanded upon the imagery of the halo to indicate any Christian who acted out of saintliness. Thus holy men and women deemed to be saintly in action were immortalized in Christian iconography with halos shining around their heads as captured in the image of the Santa-esque saint seen below.
A Christian Orthodox image of the saint whom Santa Claus is based in – St. Nicholas. A common trait seen with nearly every depiction of the Turkish bishop is the prominence of his saintly marking, the shine of Jupiter’s benevolent light or halo. With titles tagged to his name like “The Wonder Worker of Myrna” as in the picture above there had better be a halo of significant proportions to match.
Although Santa Claus is accepted and received by both Christians and non-Christians, his name alone implies saintliness (Santa = Saint). In order to fully comprehend how the wildly popular Mr. Claus became as such, we must first examine the saint whose life is the foundation behind this icon of holiday cheer that represents both generosity and goodwill with yearly regularity right through to the present day.
Part III and the life of the real St. Nick up next!
Brad Kronen’s book “Love in the Stars” published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Inc. is available for purchase at your local book seller or online at amazon.com at the link listed below.