Some Musings on Light

Unlike Hamlet the question that might well occupy the astrologer is, “To have light, or not to have light!”

At this time of the year, particularily at northern latitudes above 45 degrees, the quality of light around the winter solstice is quite noticeable! On a clear day the Sun is quite low even at midday. The shadows are long and the light reflected is yellowish-orange. It is already dark at 4 o’clock and by 8 o’clock one is inclined to think that it is already very late.

During Advent the latin phrase: “Illumina oculus meos, domine.” (Illuminate my eyes, oh Lord) caught my attention. The phrase brings with it the questions, “Which eyes?” and “Where is the source?” It also brings with it a strong reminder of the famous Goethe quotation:

“Wär nicht das Auge sonnenhaft,
Die Sonne könnt es nie erblicken;
Läg nicht in uns des Gottes eigne Kraft,
Wie könnt uns Göttliches entzücken?”

“Were the eye not sunlike,
How could we behold the light?
If God’s might were not within us,
How could the divine not delight us?”
(the meaning is more or less so :-))

Which eyes? Both the outer and the inner! The eyes, to use Goethe’s language, that are formed by the light for the light and the eyes of Understanding that are formed by the Light for the Light.

Now what does this have to do with astrology?
Ever consider the differences in the quality of light, say between sunlight during different times of the year or of moonlight or the light of the stars on a clear night up in the mountains? We experience all of them in similar fashion but yet there is a qualitative difference. It is not a big jump to the different qualities of light that are shown in a chart. Many debilities have to to with a lack of quality in light or, in a certain sense, through incompatability. Think of combustion. The light of the planet in question is burned away or overpowered by the sun. The combust planets light is so weakened that it can be more or less considered without any light at all. Or the incompatability of light when a planet is in Fall or Detriment. Or think of a Grand Conjunction when the light of Jupiter and Saturn are mingled!

I’ll leave you to muse on light and wish you a lightfilled and lighthearted New Year.

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