December is a month full of closing dates, closings and celebrations. Not only New Year, also celebrations of the religious calendar as Christmas and until the day of the Three Kings have become an occasion of festive gathering to give and receive gifts. The children prepare grass and water for the camels and leave their shoes ready for the next morning to find gifts or charcoal in them, according to how they behaved during the year.
“The Day of the Epiphany” refers to a divine manifestation or revelation: the presentation of Jesus Christ to the world in his human presence, symbolized by the arrival of the Magi bringing their gifts and worshiping him. The epiphany is one of the oldest Catholic liturgical feasts, even older than Christmas.
Epiphany as a philosophical concept, it is a deep sense of fulfillment, feeling deeply in the heart the release of fear or ignorance, acceptance, knowledge, an instant of true connection. Those of us who are Astrologers also celebrate our day on January 6. They seem to be only coincidences, but in reality the day of Kings has a deep mystical meaning, full of esoteric symbols that brings together like no other date to several ethnic groups and schools of spiritual knowledge. Analyzing them can lead us to a deeper meaning of the sacredness of this ritual time of the year, and synchronize ourselves with the stars.
The Three Wise Men Astrologers
There is not much written in the Bible nor is it specified that there were three. However, in the ancient traditions that were not recorded in the Bible, such as the so-called Gospel of Pseudo Thomas, or Gospel of childhood, of the second century, are rich in detail: they were three Kings, representing the three ages of man and from all the places until that moment known: Africa, Asia and Europe, and their races: white, yellow and black.
The symbolism of number three is the overcoming opposites, the number of the Holy Trinity. It breaks with the dualistic conflict affirming the diversity of roads that come together in the same place.
The word “magician” comes from a caste of Persian priests specialists in religion. It is Herodotus who first speaks of them describing them as “experts in gods”, a secret sect responsible for sacrifices, funeral rituals, divination and the interpretation of dreams. The story of these three characters began to be written three centuries after the birth of Christ, in a document known as the Opus Imperfectum in Mattheum that does not describe them physically, but specific that their ages were between 20 and 60 years, and that they belonged to the only breeds admitted at that time: white, black and yellow.
Everything seems to indicate that Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar, as they are known in Western culture, were three Persian sages who belonged to a sect of astronomers dedicated only to wait for the appearance of a star that would announce a divine event. And it is that in the oriental culture, each one has his star and there his fate rests.
According to ancient writings such as the Book of Set these sages climbed, once a year, to the top of a mountain called Mount Victoria, and for three days waited, between prayers and praises to God, the appearance of that star. The star, for Judaism is a symbol of the angels, of the messengers of God. One fine day, it shone in the sky in the form of a child and with an intensity never before contemplated by those wise men, and he asked them to set out for Judea. According to a scientific explanation that today is given to the appearance of that “star” is that it could be the product of a phenomenon of rapprochement between the planets Jupiter, which in ancient times was considered a real star; Saturn, symbol of the Jewish nation; and Mars. Other theories say that the star in the East is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, which, on December 24, is aligned with the three brightest stars in the Orion Belt: the Three Kings or The Three Marys, pointing all to the place where the sun rises. That is why the Three Kings “follow” the star in the East, in order to locate the sunrise: the birth of the sun, God on Earth.
It is said that Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar were astrologers, since they came to God through the stars. The “Liber de infantia Salvatoris” (childhood book of the savior) or Book of the Nativity of Mary is one of the so-called Apocryphal Gospels and says “this star is the word of God, since there are as many words of God as stars are. And the word of God (like himself) God, is ineffable. Just as this star is untold, it was our traveling companion in the march (which we undertook) to come to the Christ. “A profoundly intercultural, supra-religious, spiritual, epiphanic teaching in itself. There are as many words to say God as there are stars in Heaven. There is no reason to fight.
Characterization of the Kings and their gifts:
Melchior: An old white man with white beards. His gift to Jesus is gold, representing his real nature. The Camel transports him. It represents the line of Vedic knowledge of India, the oldest. Gold is traditionally considered the most precious metal, because of its color it relates to the sun, to God, to perfection, to enlightenment and, for its value, to the power proper to sacred royalty, the king who rules in consonance with the Eternal Law. Christ is King, Melchior shows us, highlighting the Real Function of Jesus. It is the perfect sun that comes to illuminate the darkness with its light and to rule as our sovereign our lives with the authority of Truth and Love, showing us the way to our own perfection.
Gaspar: Young with reddish hair. The animal that mounts is the Horse, a symbol of human intelligence that can domesticate impulses. The tradition that represents is the Persian Zoroastrianism, in force at the time of the Jewish captivity in Babylon. His gift is incense, which represents the divine nature of Jesus, as an offering represents the air, the intelligence of the heavens and the science of nature. The incense, that aromatic substance typical of the temples of worship, is the symbol of the offering of oneself, of purification by fire, of the prayer that ascends to the heavens like smoke, of perfume, peace and tranquility that produces to the human being the connection with the divine. Gaspar, with his present, recognizes Christ as High Priest, as a bridge, as a path that unites the top with the bottom, the matter and the spirit, the divine and the human.
Balthazar: Of black race. He was riding a camel. Its tradition is that of North Africa, Middle Egypt. His gift to Jesus is myrrh, symbol of water. Myrrh is a fragrant resin face that was used in the embalming of the bodies of the deceased. A somewhat unfortunate gift if it’s symbolic nature is ignored: Balthazar records that Christ the King, the High Priest, will be subjected to the sufferings and death of human nature.
On the night of January 5, when you go to bed, think about what you have worked on you this year. The lessons, the learnings, the gifts received, the love given and received. If you were sufficiently compassionate, empathetic, sensitive. If you gave the best of you in fulfilling your tasks, if you were generous with others, aware of your privileges and how much life gave you. It is a night to offer to God, to the Cosmos, to the rising Sun, to the small and innocent powerful child that we carry inside, everything we received and built that year. It is an emptying to be able to be refilled. Delivering what we value most: our bright and worked golden heart, raise our thoughts to the astral and heal our wounds.