The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see – and to see we have only to look.
— Fra Giovanni Giocondo, 1433-1515 C.E.
We are now in the deepest darkness of the year, with Winter Solstice only a few days away. So we are taking some time to receive a most ancient gift of the Gods, called the Halcyon Days.
At this time of year, when you look towards the Sun, directly behind it is the center of our cosmic home, the Milky Way galaxy. In fact, Kelley Hunter, an astrologer who did her Ph.D. on the psychological and spiritual meaning of dark matter, notes that the tip of the arrow of Sagittarius points right to the Galactic Core, which some consider to be our celestial birthplace.
While it may seem that the shortening of the daylight in the Northern Hemisphere, or the crass marketing of consumer Christmas are responsible for our feelings of intensity or sadness at this time of the year, she and others suggest that this alignment with our celestial birthplace may also influence our consciousness in subtle, but powerful ways.
Astrologer Eric Francis theorizes, “The Solstice is, precisely, the Sun aligning with the Galactic Core. It’s also the Sun aligning with the Tropic of Capricorn, the southernmost tropic.. So there is a purely local (for our planet) solar event, as the Sun reaches its southernmost latitude; and there is a stellar event, with the Sun making a conjunction to the Galactic Core at the same time.”
The Galactic Core is the massive cluster of stars at the center of the Milky Way, which is our local region of space. Our Sun is part of a massive spiral of stars in space, which spreads out from a bulge in the galaxy’s center. And at the very center of that bulge, there is a hidden element.
Deep in the heart of our galaxy is a mass more than 2 million times that of our own Sun, but contained in a small stretch of only 93 million miles. Whatever it is, it is extremely compact and dense. It emits so much gravity that it seems to hold the whole galaxy together. The only explanation is that it is a supermassive black hole.
In other words, at the dead center of our island of light is dark matter: the heart of our galaxy is the blackest darkness beyond imagining. To astrologers, the influence of the Galactic Core has to do with the sub- or super-consciousness, and is the source of information accessed by artists and visionaries.
And every year at this time, it is in alignment with our Sun, activating its influence on us in similar ways that the Sun’s presence in the signs of the zodiac affects us, like the way that the Sun is now in Sagittarius.
Today astronomers tell us that about ninety-five percent of the Universe is comprised of dark matter, which seems to be the only way to explain discrepancies in how visible matter moves throughout the galaxy. And it is dark matter, in the form of that supermassive black hole, that holds together the very heart of our own galaxy.
So, it turns out that the Universe is, first and foremost, comprised of darkness. And it is from this darkness that all light (and life) is born. So maybe, knowing this, we can be more open to exploring our own darkness, both within and without. Perhaps we need not fear the dark or label it as evil. It need not, and should not be defeated, or replaced with light only. It is the dark core, the black heart, that is the very seed of who and what we truly are.
I hope that as we now descend into the deepest darkness, we will honor its teachings. As T. Thorn Coyle has said, “The dark is powerful, not evil.”