Astrology – Mother of Religions

Astrology – the study of the correlation between the heavenly bodies and life on earth, is an ancient cross-cultural art form. It is also the body of wisdom that has given birth to many if not most of our religious celebrations. According to Buddhism, for example, the birth, death and moment of enlightenment of the Lord Buddha, took place on the Full Moon in May. It makes sense, after all, that the hero of the Buddhist tradition, Siddhartha, became enlightened, and astrology is no other than the study of light and its effect on human behavior.

Islam celebrates the month of fasting, Ramadan, on the ninth moon of the year, again, using Astrology formulations to mark the beginning and end of the fast. In Judaism, most of the holidays (Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Purim etc) are celebrated either on the New Moon or the Full Moon. In Christianity, Christmas is celebrated on the Winter Solstice and Easter, on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon of spring.

Let’s take a look at the current spring festivities, Passover and his younger sister, Easter. Scholars of Near-East studies suggest that Passover celebrations were borrowed from the Canaan barley festivities. Barley is one of the first crops to be harvested and the quickest to awaken from the slumber of winter and therefore symbolized the pioneer, the first to rebel against the cold hold of winter. 

The barley festival  was associated with the spring equinox, the beginning of the astrological year where day and night are equal, the first day of spring – when the sign Aries initiates the zodiac. The spring equinox is the alarm clock that wakes us from the long frozen winter of discontent. No wonder Aries folks are often pushy. They are supposed to be just that, shepherding us from winter into spring, from sleep to awakening, from nothing to something from night to day. This is the time of the savior, the superhero, the child of light.

Easter, which commemorates the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, is kind of an extension that was built on to the original Passover myth. After all, the Last Supper of Christ is the Passover Seder still celebrated every year by Jews around the world. Since Passover always happen on the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox, Easter Sunday (the day of resurrection) occurs on the Sunday after Passover.

So what is the meaning of Passover and Easter?

Stripped from the ceremonial and religious dressing, the two holidays share a common thread: Emergence from dark to light, from ignorance to wisdom, from death to life, from slavery to freedom. Both holidays exercise what is called “sympathetic magic,” creating a ritual that mimics (sympathetic) the magic of the seasons (astrology is the art of seasons). The celebrations bring into the spot light the change in nature’s mood, and give us practical tools to surf these waves. The Passover Seder reenacts the story of exodus through songs, food, poems, and games while Easter bunnies force us to go to nature and look for eggs, representing reproduction, the resurrection of life.

What Can I do?

Regardless of your faith or religion, as a citizen of planet earth, you too can benefit from this spring awakening. After a long winter (in the Northern Hemisphere), when the energies were governed by the Yin principle of assimilating, processing, integrating, editing, we are thrust into the Yang energies of initiation, doing, acting, hunting and emerging. Just as the seed begins its growth underground in the dark, so does your journey begin in the womb of Mother Winter. However, now, you can begin seeing the sprouts, as they emerge from the earth and reach the sun.  This is the time for Astrological New Year’s resolutions. By following the agricultural year, you will be able to manifest your wishes and your project will bear fruit more easily. Decide what you want to accomplish in the next twelve months, then break it down into 12 steps which you can begin every new moon.
Follow the Stories…

Just like the story of Exodus, when the salves were liberated by Moses and reached the Promised Land, you too have the opportunity to allow your higher-self (Moses) to liberate you from pharaoh (ego) and bring you to your State of Happiness. Now is the time to look deep and see who or what is your Pharaoh that shackles you and enslaves your true potential. Where can you find your Moses? Is it a new diet? Yoga? Cycling? A hobby? A partner? And where is your Promised Land? What do you strive for? What do consider success?
The story of the resurrection of Christ is very similar and echoes parallel questions. Jesus (the ego) is sacrificed, and buried in a cave so that three days later he can resurrect as Christ. It is the ego sacrificing itself to the higher-self.

Now is your spiritual spring-cleaning, where the old must make space for the new. In the next few weeks, you have a window of opportunity to reconnect to your higher-self, spirit, the One, God, or your full potential. So whether you like painting eggs, eating Matzos, or just smelling the Jasmine, enjoy the liberation of the season, clear out the clutter and resurrect as your own messiah. Halleluiah!