Do You See What I See?
Revisiting the Christmas Star
Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky little lamb
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star!
Shining in the night
It will bring us goodness and light
It will bring us goodness and light!
“Do You Hear What I Hear?”
From far away we come
And farther we must go.
How far? How far?
My crystal star
“Amahl and the Night Visitors”
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,
The Star Prophecy, Book of Numbers
A stunning image of a waning crescent Moon shining upon the current Jupiter and Saturn conjunction along with the planet Mars over the Nevada hills ( photo by Circadianreflections@wordpress.com)
The night skies are putting on quite a show for us these days. Go outside about 45 minutes after dusk, and direct your view to just above the Horizon. Look towards the direction of Southwest and there you should see a light that is quite bright. Throughout 2020 this light has been showing up each night, but during December it has gotten even more illuminatedall this month. At first glance ,this light may be interpreted by many as being an unusually large star, but it is not. In fact, this highly illuminated point of light isn’t even a star, rather it’s a planet. And not just one planet, it’s the joining of the two of the largest heavenly bodies in our Solar System- the ringed planet Saturn and the King of Planets.also known as Jupiter. Although not an official term (as far as I know) the close conjunction of these two powerhouse planets occurring during this time of year is called ”The Christmas Star”
A term that hearkens back to an event that originally took place millenia ago otherwise known as the” Star of Bethlehem”.
The Great Conjunction
Don’t get me wrong, the current light show of which I speak does bear an official term used by both astrologers and astronomers alike, ”The Great Conjunction”. In Astrology,the term “conjumction”is used to describe whenever two heavenly bodies are within close distance of each other in the sky, usually between 8 and 10 degrees.2020’s Great Conjunction is highly unusual for a number of reasons.This year’s Great Conjunction will be occurring with Jupiter and Saturn aligning in exact conjunction with each other at 0 degrees, 33 minutes in the sign of Aquarius on December 21st, a date which also bears another official term, the Winter Solstice, also known as “the longest night of the year”.The Great Conjunction of 2020 will be one of the closest ever , occurring at 1/10th of a degree, or 0.1 degrees away from each other! The last time these two planets were this closely conjunct in the year 1623, which because of its close proximity to the Horizon was assumed to have been unobservable. The last time Jupiter and Saturn were this close to each other in conjunction AND was observable in the sky was during March in the year 1226!!
The Biblical Star of Bethlehem
Of the 4 writers of the Bible’s New Testament, only one mentions the supposed Star of Bethlehem- Matthew. Matthew does so in order to introduce rhree characters who play an active role in the life of Christ, The Magi, better known as The Three Kings or The Three Wise Men .People, think what you like about Astrology, but the Scriptures themselves reference these three men whose actions cannot be better categorized than being the diligent hard work of astrologers !In his narrative which tells of the life of Christ, Matthew initially discusses of the Star of Bethlehem with the following text:
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.’”
Herod wasn’t a King,,nor did he descend from royalty. He was appointed by the Roman Emperor Julius Ceasar to be the representative of Rome that oversaw the occupied lands and peoples of Judea and Galilee to make sure they followed and obeyed the laws of the Roman Empire. When Herod tells the Magi in Matthew 8 “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him” He does so not because some star has shown up in the sky but to save his Job and his hide. Thus when he hears of the Kings taking a different route back to their homelands and not informing him of the location of this newborn King of the Jews, his paranoid fears cojure up the worst.Both Herod and The Magi were aware of the prophecies which foretold of the arrival of a Messiah. Herod had many men who were well versed in the ancient traditions of the Jewish faith, which included the Book of Numbers that prophesized the King of Israel’s birth with the arrival of a star:
I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,
And batter the brow of Moab,
And destroy all the sons of tumult.
It is because of Herod’s immense fear of Jewish prophecy and the arrival of a new star that he decides to ensue upon the Massacre of the Innocents soon after meeting the Magi. Herod the Great’s life continues to be of further significance not just in determining the existence of the Star of Bethlehem,but also in calculating the real date of Christ’s birth since the demise of Judea’s representative of Rome is documented by the historian Josephus in the year 4 BCE.
Scientific and Archaeological Proof of Bethlehem’s Star
Scientists and astronomers have narrowed the Star of Bethlehm’s actual occurrence down to these 4 hypotheses:
2. a Supernova
3. a Nova
4.a Planetary \Conjunction or Conglomeration
1. A Comet
The Gospel of Matthew further talks about the Star ,but describes its behavior that is nearly cosmologically impossible:
“Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; 8 and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; 11 and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.“ Matthew 2: 7-13
The Wise Men’s 3 gifts indicated the Three Kings were dealing with someone of royal lineage since gold was given only to kings, frankincense was the most expensive incense in existence and the perfumed resin from the Commiphora Myrrha tree, or Myrrh (seen above) was probably the most costly thing in the world at that time since it was used in the burial of Egyptian Pharoahs.
A wall tapestry by Edward Burne-Jones from 1894 depicting what awaited the Magi when they came upon the end of the Star of Bethlehem’s path.
Objects flying through outer space don’t “come to rest”in the sky as if in standstill motion…..unless it’s a comet whose tail of space dust and dissolved debris has temporarily fallen out of view by the Sun. Although scientifically plausible, sociologically, the spotting of a comet in the sky (such as Hailey’s in 11 BC) was seen by nearly every ancient culture as an omen of doom, that most certainly wouldn’t consider to be a joyful announcement from the Heavens proclaiming that a Messiah had been born.
2 &3. A Nova or A Supernova
Although they juxtapose one another in meaning, either the birth (nova) or death (supernova) of a star results in a colossal explosion of gas and dust taking place in outer space.These massive explosions can often appear as powerful bursts of light from the Earth’s surface ,leading many to believe a star had just been made through divine means. In 2005 Scientists theorized that a huge supernova appeared in the Andromeda galaxy located closest to our Milky Way roughly between the years of 4-6 BC. Astoundingly, both ancient Chinese and Babylonian texts recorded this event that coincides with a super nova occurring in 7 BC where it remained illuminated in the sky for seventy days, but unfortunately left over proof of such a violent interstellar event such as nebula have not been found in Andromeda or otherwise.
Which leaves us with a planetary conglomeration or conjunction.
Astronomers have recently deduced yet another incredibly rare event took place in the Heavens around
7 B.C.-a TRIPLE CONJUNCTION between the planets Jupiter and Saturn along with the additional planetary presences of the Moon along with Venus and Mars. Much of the time, the brightest object in the night sky is the Moon.but when Earth’s satellite crosses paths with the second brightest object that’s also called the “Morning/Evening Star”. aka Venus ,things can look rather divine, as with the photo below recently taken by Jeff Dai of Jupiter and Venus interacting with the Moon over Yamdrok Lake in Tibet.
A recent ploto taken of the skies over Tibet where Jupiter was in very bright conjunction with Venus and the Moon.(photo by Jeff Dai )
Interpreting A Triple Conjunction
Astronomers state that as with the event occurring in our present day skies at twilight in the sign of Aquarius, a triple conjunction took place in the constellation of Pisces between the planets Jupiter and Saturn in the year 4 BC. Also during that same time the Moon was eclipsed by Jupiter closely in conjunction with Venus and the “Royalty Star” Regulus, all in the sign of Aries.Appearing as if they had fused together,the joining of the King of Planets with the Evening Star has been described as a “rare and awe inspiring event” .Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac and represents new cycles in their earliest stages of beginning. The sign of Aries is represented by the image of the Ram and a baby ram is better known as a lamb. Jesus ‘entire reason for manifesting Himself in the world of Man was to be sacrificed in order to cleanse the sins of humanity. This divine purpose was innately understood by a choice few, as in the Gospel of John 1:29 when John the Baptist first sees Christ,he exclaims “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” As stated earlier the Star of Bethlehem’s remarkable brightness resulted from the largest heavenly body in our Solar System, Jupiter merging with the planet named after the goddess of Love, Venus along with the star which often marked the birth of kings, the royalty star Regulus. This highly rare conjunction was taking place in the sign which represents both the new along with that which is pure but is sacrificed, Aries. At the same time the King of Planets was moving back and forth in forward and retrograde (backwards) motion with the planet named “The Great Malefic”, Saturn, in the last sign of the Zodiac, Pisces,indicating that an entirely New Age of Man had begun whose foundation was based in the sacrifice of He who had died for our sins. Put all that together and place it directly over the sky in a tiny town in Israel called Bethlehem and there you have the original Christmas Star.
It must be mentioned that the planetary event taking place in the Here and Now of today between Jupiter and Saturn is quite noteworthy unto itself. The two planets meet up in conjunction once every 20 years. 2020’s Great Conjunction may not be the rarest, but for the past 200 years this conjunction has been taking place within the element of Earth that as of this year and for the next 200 or so shall be occurring in the element which represents all things mental and intellectual, Air.
The world may not be seeing the actual Star of Bethlehem. but after a year such as this, simply thinking so can infuse us with a renewed sense of Hope that could very well make the perfect Christmas gift indeed.
For as it is said in the Bible’s Book of Revelation:
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive Power, and Riches, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Honour, and Glory, and Blessing.”
Blessed Be and Merry Christmas.
*Dedicated to the memory of my brother, Edward Naylor Kronen, May 1965 – December of 2020