Over the course of this series, we have observed how the themes of generosity and goodwill displayed by a man living in 3rd century Asia Minor have progressed through the centuries via the oral traditions of story telling and legend. The generous acts made by this one individual would eventually in turn be elevated to reflect the deeds of a venerated Saint.
Astoundingly, the final factor which transforms a Turkish bishop named Nicholas from a saint to the timeless icon of holiday cheer known today as Santa Claus is the archetype-like astrological symbolism associated with his good deeds and generous nature.
Not coincidentally, the qualities and aspects associated with Nicholas’ saintly patronship are the very same things which fall beneath the domain of astrological rulership assigned to both the sign of Sagittarius and its ruling planet, Jupiter. Along with the themes of Generosity, Faith, and the Law, Nicholas’ patronage includes things of an unabashedly Sagittarian nature. Nicholas is the patron saint not only of Archers (Sagittarius is represented by the glyph symbol of the archer’s arrow) but of long distance travel as well (an area of Life that lies within Jupiter’s expansive domain of the 9th House).
Nicholas is venerated by long distance travelers due to a legendary heroic tale where the good bishop single-handedly saved a sinking ship filled to over capacity with passengers while on pilgrimage to Rome, as depicted by the 1416 painting by The Limbourg Brothers, “St. Nicholas Saving Sea-Farers”.
Along with all things straightforwardly Sagittarian, Nicholas’ saintly self is associated with aspects not so well known that also lay beneath Sagittarius’ domain such as the uncle-like or in-law-esque approach the bishop took with the three sisters and their dowries. (Sagittarius’ 9th house deals with benevolent aunts and uncles and also is considered the House of one’s in-laws, as well.)
The Astrological Symbolism of the 9th & 3rd House Polarity Associated with Nicholas’ Generous Deeds
In order to understand the full significance of something astrologically, one must always look to the polar opposite point in order to get a most holistic view. The polar opposite point of the 9th House of Sagittarius is the 3rd House attributed to the sign which rules over both siblings and duality, Gemini.
The merger of Sagittarius’ polar opposite sign of Gemini to the already established Jupiterian traits associated with the saint is what makes the essence of St. Nicholas truly mythic. His legendary good deeds deal with the Gemini themes and images of siblings and mirrored duality with the 3 sisters’ dowries and the resurrection of the 3 brothers. The number associated with Gemini is the number “3”, given the sign of the Twins is the third of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. As we have seen, the number “3” is mystically repeated through each of the bishop’s saintly actions with the 3 sisters’ dowries, the 3 brothers being raised from the dead, and the saving of the 3 unjustly condemned men. When stepping back a bit from the Nicholean details, we once again find the number “3” by virtue of there being three legendary tales associated with the pious man’s generosity of heart overall.
How Do You Make an Early Christian Saint a Modern Icon that’s well loved and accepted by All? Eat, Nicholas, Eat!
Little factual documentation exists regarding the actual man who was St. Nicholas, leaving much to do with his life and actions left to personal interpretation and story telling. As stated earlier, the astrological significance brought forth by the merging of the polar opposite forces of Gemini and Sagittarius is the primary astrological impetus behind Nicholas’ morphing into jolly old St. Nick but what catapults the Turkish bishop into THE icon of Christmas joy that we all know and love today is the influence of the planet associated with both saints and expansion……of the waistline and other places – Jupiter.
Why and how should a rather svelte Turkish man balloon into a borderline obese but infectiously cheerful large male presence with a booming laugh?
The answer is literal, metaphysical, and thoroughly Jupiterian.
Astrologically, every planet rules over an area of the human body. The largest planet of the Solar System physically oversees that which is most sizable, beginning with the biggest concentrated organ, the liver, and ending with those microscopic physicalities that really know how to expand to sizable proportions, the fat cells.
Unlike modern society’s current views, for many a century people who were plump were also considered to be pleasant, or “jolly”, and were thought to possess a cheery and optimistic demeanor due to the abundance of Jupiterian cells in them.
Patching Pieces of St. Nick Together to Make One, Big, Fat, Jolly Santa
Let’s take the red from Nicholas’ bishop robes, expand them into a tent like suit with matching white trim to go with the saint’s hoary hairs, add another person’s worth of weight in fat cells to fill up said suit, and lastly apply some of that bishop’s red to the cheeks and nose associating Jupiter’s rulership over the liver by making Nick appear toasted in as many ways possible during his lengthy evening sleigh ride around the globe and VOILA!
The Heavens are Telling…Each of us are Saints All the Year Round
And here is where all things related to Christmas and Mr. Claus come full circle in part due to my discovery of a mystical link regarding St. Nicholas that would convince even the staunchest of Scrooges that yes, Virginia there IS a Santa Claus.
Jupiter is the planetary ruler of the sign of Sagittarius but the King of Planets is “exalted” or its energies work best in the sign of Cancer. Why? Who better than Mom, the embodiment of the maternal energies of Cancer to be as effectively benevolent to others by generously sharing the abundance bestowed upon her. Upon seeing all the Jupiterian symbolism and meaning associated with the man historically known as St. Nicholas, I theorized the actual person born in 3rd century Turkey would have a prominent Jupiter at the time of his supposed birth. I based the determination of the bishop’s natal Jupiter on a very thin factual margin considering there is no documentation or definite date of St. Nicholas’ birth, but the year is presumed to be 270 A.D.
The Nether Countries of Holland and Belgium celebrate the feast day of St. Nicholas, otherwise known in Dutch and Flemish as Sinterklaas, on both December 6th, the traditional date but also on the previous day as well, since they believe December 5th to be the actual birthday of the saint. Using December 5th as the date of birth, and 270 AD as the year, I consulted an Ephemeris, or listing of where each of the planets of the Solar System were positioned in the sky during that time long past.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear but Nicholas’ natal Jupiter at the pinnacle of exaltation, I, ummmm….hear.
On December 5th in the year 270 the planet of Saints and Santa, goodwill and good cheer otherwise known as Jupiter was at its most concentrated point of blessed planetary influence within the Heavens by being placed at the very center of its exaltation at 15 degrees Cancer on that ancient day. Furthermore, the orbital path of the heavenly body known as The Great Benefic was in retrograde, or backwards motion, signifying a person being born at that time would be endowed with a naturally giving nature and openness of heart but more often than not would have a tendency to exercise their generous tendencies with humility from behind the scenes so as not to be directly accountable and thus praised for them.
Astronomers have recently theorized the phenomenon known as the Star of Bethlehem (the image which shines down upon this article at the top) did indeed occur but that it wasn’t an actual “star”. A good portion of today’s astronomical community shares the belief the “star in the east” that “to the Earth gave great light and so it continued both day and night” was actually a conglomeration of the planets Venus, Mars, Mercury and Neptune around a never before witnessed, far brighter than usual, brilliantly illuminated Jupiter. The King of Planets positioned in such a unique state of radiance was interpreted by many as a sign from the Heavens that the world of Man had been forever changed by the arrival of a Messiah. How wondrous the Great Benefic should once again play such a prominent role a few centuries later by heralding the birth of a man who would transcend his mortal form by representing that which is inherently good in all of us.
Seeing this glorious fact did, very much like the Grinch make my heart grow 2 and ½ sizes, because it dawned on me that it didn’t matter whether St. Nicholas was an actual person or not. Discovering that this icon of modern commercialism and some would say even capitalism was based upon a person whose birth supposedly took place during a time when the planet of blessings was positioned in the sky at its most effectively powerful point of influence told me all I needed to know.
Our collective, ancient selves placed this man to enter this plane of existence at that period of time for him to always represent not only Goodwill towards others but Hope for ourselves throughout the ages regardless of what year it is, which war we are fighting, or the totalitarian regime we are living under.
Be they factual or mythological, St. Nicholas and Santa Claus remind the residents of this planet with yearly regularity that we are all saints of whatever creed and at any time of year each of us have within ourselves the ability to approach Life and each other with optimistic cheer and a generosity of heart befitting the King of Kings.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
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.