Warm greetings from your Editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry. We wish you every blessing during this magical holy-day time of year, the time of the Winter Solstice. In 2023 the Winter Solstice takes place on Wednesday, December 21, at 10:27 pm Eastern Standard Time.
Those who wish to participate in the Esoteric Mysteries, especially the Wisdom School Teachings of the Mystical Masters of the West during this Christmas season, are encouraged to call upon Archangel Gabriel, the Archangel who presides over The Winter Solstice and the winter season at this most sacred time of year.
Great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn:
Jupiter with three cloud bands and the great red spot, Jupiter's four Galilean moons, Saturn with rings and the shadow of Saturn on those rings, and Saturn's largest moon Titan.
Steven Rieder, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
In 2020 during Winter Solstice week we celebrated the Triple Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction in Aquarius, ushering in a 20 year cycle of Aquarian outer planet energy and a 200 year supercycle of Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions in Air signs. We can expect accelerated transformations in consciousness and in our global civilization that will make the last breath taking 200 year supercycle in Earth signs, which spawned the Hydrocarbon Civilization and the Second Industrial Revolution, seem slow and limited in scope by comparison.
In 2021, Jupiter and Saturn appeared in the sign of Aquarius, though too far apart for a true conjunction. Attentive souls would do well to attune themselves to Gabriel's Winter Solstice announcement of a New Age of Aquarius, which will dawn in decades to come and reach its fulfillment in the next 200 years, as we reach the flowering of the Aquarian 2000 year mega-cycle. This New Age of Aquarius will be characterized by the evolution of humanity's Group Consciousness.
Humanity has the opportunity to resolve the adolescent manifestations of global conflict that characterize our present environment through the development of more mature, harmonious relations governed by inspired goodwill and informed by hard won loving wisdom.
Gabriel is the Archangel known as the Messenger of the Lord. As Messenger of the Lord, Gabriel is the Archangel of Vision, because he brings illumination and revelation and inspires intuitive creativity.
In his role as Divine Herald Gabriel is portrayed with a horn, which he plays to announce a New Age for humanity. Christian tradition tells us that Gabriel will sound his horn at the time of the Last Judgement, prior to the Second Coming of Christ. Gabriel is the Archangel of mathematical, musical, metaphysical harmony and also of mathematical paradox.
Gabriel's horn, also called Torricelli's trumpet, is a geometrical figure that paradoxically displays infinite surface area and finite volume. At the time of the Last Judgement the infinite joins the finite, the Universal Consciousness enters historical time and humanity is released from its constraints conditioned by the space-time continuum.
Human consciousness partakes of the Eternal and the Infinite Unconditioned Self. When Gabriel blows his horn, humanity enters the realm of Unity Consciousness, the realm of the Great Silence. This is perhaps the ultimate metaphysical paradox.
Archangel Gabriel imparts the Harmonies of Loving Wisdom paradoxically embodied in the realm of Unity Consciousness, which exists beyond time, space and sound.
Gabriel and his heavenly hosts are masters of the mystic mantras that create the universal harmonics that underlie and structure the Macrocosmos. Gabriel and his legions emanate the fundamental wave patterns manifest in the Universe generating mantra AUM.
Gabriel and his messenger angels are Maestros of the Music of the Celestial Spheres, and thus also communicate to humanity knowledge of the mathematical ratios and constants that govern the movements of the planets and the magic of the musical intervals that create harmony and melody. Gabriel is the Archangel inspiring musicians and astrologers alike. Gabriel's horn sounds at the cusp of the Zodiacal Ages, announcing the ending of an era and the advent of a New Age.
On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, Gabriel and his legions reside in the Sephira Yesod, located midway between earthy Malkuth and the Solar Sephiroth called Tiphareth, the site of Christ Consciousness. Yesod is the domain of the Moon, the astral realms. Gabriel and his messenger angels reside in the upper astral realms of Yesod, where Divine creativity flourishes, and these angels favor music, art and beauty as pathways to experience the Divine on planet Earth.
Gabriel is known in the Bible as the messenger who brings good news from Divine realms. In the Old Testament, in the Book of Daniel, verses 8 and 9, Gabriel appeared to interpret Daniel’s dream vision of the future of Israel to the prophet.
Jewish sacred tradition says that Gabriel inspired Moses to write the Book of Genesis, and that Gabriel taught Joseph 70 languages he needed to rule in Egypt.
Islam teaches that the Archangel Gabriel revealed the 114 chapters of the Koran to Mohammed.
Gabriel is often pictured with a trumpet, because he is expected to return at the Second Coming of Christ to announce the Turning of the Ages, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Last Judgement.
Gabriel figures prominently in the Sacred Tarot, the repository of the Wisdom Teachings of the West during the time of the Inquisition and thereafter, appearing in Trump 20, known as Judgement, which is also called The Aeon in the Thoth Tarot Deck.
All the people, places and events pictured in the Tarot are not just archetypical figurations of chapters in the world’s history, they are, perhaps more importantly, representations of archetypical stages in the evolution of the Soul on its journey from animalistic instinctual behavior to rationalistic egoistic mentality and eventually to achievement of the ultimate goal, Unity consciousness and Self-realization. For more information on the Tarot and the true Mystery Teachings of the East and West, see my article, Tarot: The Yoga of the West.
Tarot Trump XX, Judgement, Waite-Rider Tarot Deck
The Judgement or Aeon card is about transformation of the egoistic personality, and awakening to a higher consciousness. It represents the birth of the Higher Mind, the dawning of the Higher Self, and represents the final preparations before the disciple can attain Christ Consciousness, aka Cosmic Consciousness, Buddha Mind, or Self-Realization.
In the Waite deck, Judgement pictures the Archangel Gabriel blowing his trumpet, as three figures, a man, a child and a woman, rise from coffins in the lower foreground. The man represents the conscious, rational egoistic mind, the woman represents the unconscious powers of instinctual wisdom, and the child represents the infant born of their union, the intuitive consciousness residing in the Higher Mind.
Gabriel’s golden horn delivers the sacred sound that triggers our awakening from the living death and spiritual imprisonment represented by consciousness dominated by the egoistic personality and the instinctual impulses of the unconscious mind.
The energy signature of Gabriel’s horn is a sacred tone, or mantram, which also exists as a vision – a frequency of golden light.
This golden light of inner awakening, which emanates from Gabriel’s horn at his command, appears in the mind’s eye on a field of deepest indigo blue during the meditative state at the moment of initiation and realization.
In the Western Mystery School Tradition, the Winter Solstice is traditionally the time when the initiate strives most intensely to attain this Gabriel initiation, which comprises the inner nativity, the birth of the Higher Mind and the Higher Self, the moment when the Inner Christ manifests to us offering us at least a transitory glimpse of Higher Worlds.
For students of the Ancient Wisdom, Gabriel’s role as bringer of visions makes him the Archangel who reveals the truth of one’s unique role in the world – which is known as the Higher Purpose or the Soul’s true calling. Gabriel empowers one to pursue that Higher Purpose successfully. Gabriel provides the knowledge and wisdom, guidance and intuitive understanding needed to achieve our spiritual goals in life.
Thus the time of the Winter Solstice is the time for those walking the arduous path of Spirit to seek a vision of their Higher Purpose, to connect with the Divine Wisdom as revealed by Archangel Gabriel, and to connect with Higher Self and Higher Mind through the intercession of Gabriel, who interprets the super-rational wisdom found in Higher Realms into words and symbols that can be understood by the rational mind and by the heart's intuition.
Through Gabriel’s intercession, we can gain understanding of the mysteries of our own life’s journey, and of the larger mysteries surrounding the evolution of our spiritual brothers and sisters, our nation, and humanity as a whole.
The Gabriel Initiation
To prepare for the Winter Solstice Gabriel Initiation that leads to The Vision of the Inner Sunrise, it's important to engage in a process of purification prior to December 21st.
Gabriel’s element is water and his chakra is the throat chakra, which is associated with the color blue, with creativity, and with communication.
Traditionally, the opening of the throat chakra represents the beginning of the attainment of Higher Consciousness, and can only take place after the heart chakra is opened in meditation and compassion is expressed in the outer life through right human relations.
The opening of the heart chakra and the subsequent energizing of the throat chakra is a long, arduous process, which depends upon the purification of the emotions, which are associated with the element of water, and the Sephiroth Yesod, where Gabriel and his angels dwell.
Yesod is the astral realm, and the home of the entire range of experienced emotions.
Mystifying glamours, misleading apparitions and energetic shells of the souls of the restless deceased inhabit lower astral realms, while the upper astral realms are home to Gabriel's hosts and the souls of many spiritual aspirants of all Wisdom School traditions, both Eastern and Western.
The astral realm is "the heavenly realm of light and indestructible life, the realm of vibratory life energy hidden behind the veil of the gross material universe," explains Paramahansa Yogananda. "From the astral world we come at birth, and there we shall return at death. Someone asked me why we should try to connect with the astral world now. To this I reply, 'Because that is where you will realize the freedom of your true nature. You were there as a soul cloaked in an astral form to start with; and because you are not there now and have lost that memory is why all your misery persists.' By entering that other world, we learn the causes and healing of all suffering and diseases. We discover the secret of our existence—what happens after death, and where we were before birth, and how to live in the material world without losing our divine connection."
"The astral world is not the ultimate liberating experience; the soul attains complete ascension only through realization of its oneness with the Creator Himself," Yogananda continues. "Nevertheless, soul progress begins with the effort to disengage from the delusion of material bondage into the higher awareness of one's finer astral existence. Learn to be more transcendent now; identify with the life of your astral self and its connection with the astral world."
When we have successfully established a connection to the astral realms, we will be sensitive to both our positive and negative karma. We can find in these astral realms, the sources of many of our negative emotions, such as jealousy, greed, lust and anger.
We can begin to perform practices designed to release the old energies of past emotional traumas and failed relationships. We can transcend the negative emotions and behavior patterns originating in these ancient wounds and karmic imbalances. This is the most powerful form of purification, which clears our astral body of its samskaras, the seeds of karma.
We need not be past life regression therapists, Reiki Masters, or shamanic practitioners to engage in a meaningful practice of purification that will enable us to connect more powerfully with the higher astral realms, with Archangel Gabriel, and the legions of Messenger Angels in the Sephiroth of the Moon, Yesod.
Many New Age practitioners utilize the purifying Violet Flame of Alchemical Transmutation in their spiritual practices. To learn more, and to get the instructions for a powerful Violet Flame Meditation, see our article entitled "The Purifying Violet Flame of Alchemical Transformation". You'll learn about the Violet Flame, alchemical transformation, and the Ascended Master Count St. Germain, who is the Master associated with Violet Flame Meditations.
Austerities such as fasting and abstinence are also simple practices anyone can perform that are designed to purify the physical body, and to cleanse the negative emotions from the lower astral body. After purification we will benefit much more fully as we turn our attention away from material concerns and toward the summits of spiritual attainment at the time of the Winter Solstice and Christmas.
This is why the season of Advent, prior to the Solstice and Christmas, is traditionally a time of purification, and Christians are encouraged to perform acts of penance, fasting, and abstinence during the forty days prior to Christmas.
Those who wish to pursue the path leading to the Winter Solstice Gabriel Initiation are encouraged to spend the three day period of the Winter Solstice through Christmas Eve in a spirit of wakeful awareness, open and waiting for a revelation, and to perform their normal spiritual practices in a relaxed, yet determined manner, in an attitude of certainty born of faith, for Gabriel is also the Archangel of Faith.
On these three sacred days of the Solstice Festival, especially on Christmas Eve, the aspirant is encouraged to seek the Vision of the Inner Sunrise in a late night meditation session. If the preparation is adequate, and if the disciple’s spiritual evolution has brought the individual to a moment of inner awakening, and if the individual’s karma allows it, the disciple will receive an initiation.
To best prepare to receive this initiation, the disciple is encouraged to identify with the shepherds in the field near Jerusalem.
As Messenger of the Lord, Gabriel appeared to the Shepherds in the Fields near Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, and announced to them the Nativity of Jesus Christ.
As it says in the second chapter of Luke, ". . . there were . . . shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
"And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
During the three days prior to the Winter Solstice, quiet the mind, and enter into a meditative state using whatever practices have been taught to you by your Teachers and Guides. Call upon the Archangel Gabriel to illuminate your mind, to elevate your Soul, and to grant you a Vision of the Birth of the Christ Child manifest as Unity Consciousness, through a connection to your own Higher Self and Higher Mind.
Allow the indigo blue of a clear, cold starry night to permeate your consciousness.
Ideally, you will see a field of deep midnight blue in your mind’s eye. Maintain an attitude of watchful wakefulness, expectant but open and relaxed.
Starry Sky and Perseid Meteor Shower,
2015, Courtesy of NASA
Then, cast your consciousness through the center of the Earth, and into deep space on the other side of the globe, where the Sun is shining, radiant and golden. Imagine a ray of illumination, extending from your third eye, and penetrating through the depths of the Earth, and imagine that as this illuminating ray penetrates the Earth, your consciousness penetrates and illuminates the roots of your own personality, your own egoistic mind, your own human nature.
Allow images of the high and low points of your life, and of your past lives, if they are granted you, to appear as you penetrate deeper and deeper into your own Earthly nature. Maintain your inner equilibrium, and remain identified with the Inner Watcher who sees all without becoming emotionally involved, no matter how turbulent or difficult or painful or delightful those images of your inner lifetimes become as you envision them within your mind’s eye.
As each vision appears before you, simply observe what happens. Observe the emotions attached to these actions. Simply observe your own emotional reactions, and identify with that watchful presence within you rather than with the visions or the emotions they release.
Continue this practice in your meditation until you reach a point where you achieve inner stillness.
The Sacred Sound of the Word of God reverberates in the Realm of the Great Silence.
Although Gabriel’s element is water, his inner nature is Fire, and his Word which is a mantric blast from his trumpet is a brilliant Light. You will know you have achieved this inner stillness when the inner visions of your own Earthly nature dissipate and your field of vision is filled with the indigo blue of the starry night of Bethlehem.
Feel the peace that passes all understanding, for this is what the shepherds felt on that Nativity Night so long ago. Relax into this peaceful indigo blue energy. Allow the mind to completely relax.
Let go of all thoughts, emotions and mental considerations. If you like, you may again call upon Archangel Gabriel to grant you his initiation or to grant you an initiation into the mysteries of the Birth of the Christ Child at this time.
Archangel Gabriel by Jane Sherry,
Magic Lantern Drawing, Oil sticks on Arches Paper
If you are successful in this meditation, you will see a small, brilliant globe of golden light appear within the field of midnight blue in your mind’s eye and this golden globe will grow until a brilliant light fills your field of vision and you will have a sensation similar to that of being in an open field on a summer’s day, but without the heat – you will sense a downpouring of this brilliant light from above the crown of your head, streaming into your being, filling you with a brilliant, golden light.
This is the golden dawn of the invincible sun within you, the Vision of the Inner Sunrise. Know that this is the Gabriel Initiation, the announcement to you of your own inner awakening to Higher Consciousness. Whether or not you see everything described here in this meditation, it is highly productive spiritually to repeat this meditation as often as possible during the period between the Solstice and Epiphany.
Consecrate this time as a time of your own personal Vision Quest. Concentrate during this period of inner questing upon your own strong, heartfelt desire to receive an understanding of your own Higher Purpose, and of the best path forward for you to achieve that Higher Purpose during the upcoming year.
Open yourself to receive messages from the Universe in meditation, and in your daily life as synchronicities and in the form of meaningful coincidences of all kinds. Remain observant day and night.
Jane and Curtis on Old Salem Covered Bridge at Night
with Moravian Stars
Jane and I ask that the Archangel Gabriel favor you with a Vision of your path forward in life during this High Holy Season, and that the Archangel’s trumpet blast penetrate your inner ear, awakening you to the Life Divine that dwells within you.
May you be present this year and every year to come at the Nativity of the Christ Child, and may his birth signal a birth of Unity Consciousness within you that will connect you ever more closely to the Spirit of the Invincible Sun.
Meditation Moment: The Invincible Sun
Photo of Sun, courtesy NASA
"In reality, the light we see is the materialization of primordial light. And this primordial light, the first emanation of God, is the Christ, the cosmic Sun.
Yes, the spirit which manifests and speaks to us through the sun is the spirit of Christ, and if we learn to unite with it, we will receive all its blessings: light, warmth, life, beauty, purity and health.
But for this it is not enough to expose ourselves to the sun instinctively, without conscious participation, as many people do: the few rays they receive at such moments are of little benefit.
To receive elements from the sun that are truly divine, our spirit must touch it, enter into relationship with it, penetrate it and dissolve in it.
Yes, our spirit, not merely our skin! To expose yourself physically to the sun is good in itself, but if your consciousness, your intelligence and your spirit participate in this encounter, the sun will give you a great deal more than health and vitality: it will give you understanding and enlightenment."
-- Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov