The Esoteric Explanation behind the Solstices and the Equinoxes
The redemption of the earth, its status and its role in the future are part of the Cosmic alchemical work portrayed at the 9th Degree of the Lesser Mysteries, in many Arcane Schools. This degree is celebrated on the nights of the Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice at midnight, because this ritual cannot be accomplished at any other time. The solstices mark the moment that the ground base vibration is higher and that the Cosmic Rays of Christ-consciousness are entering more deeply: on the Winter Solstice and especially during the Summer Solstice.
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” ~Hamilton Wright Mabie
This esoteric tradition is confirmed by the ancient pagan rituals of the Mysteries, which the New Christian Mysteries came to replace in order raise the vibratory rate of these ancient rituals.
Many historians often invoke an old almanac called the Roman Chronograph, from the year 354 CE, authored by Philocalus, also known as Philocalus Calendar, and cites the year 336 as the first in which the Church celebrated the celebration of Christmas on December 25.
In the Armenian Church, the December 25 date was never fully accepted for Christmas, keeping the ancient tradition of celebrating the Initiation on January 6th, the Epiphany, considered the 12th Sacred Day of Mystery of the Christian tradition.
According to the Rosicrucian author Corinne Heline, the 12-day period that elapses after the Christmas solstice festivity between December 26th and January 6th is a period of profound esoteric significance and is the “spiritual heart” of the year that will follow. It is the most sacred place/time of each coming year, is called “The Twelve Holy Days” and is under the direct influence of the Twelve Zodiacal Hierarchies. These Zodiacal Hierarchies project themselves on planet earth, successively during each of these twelve days, as powerful archetypes so that the world will work together when the Twelve Hierarchies finally completes itself. The Twelve Holy Days of Christmas are a period of deep esoteric and spiritual significance: a time when the Divine Light is manifesting itself more fully in the world, building into a crescendo, until its influence can be effectually released at Epiphany.
According to some historians, there was an association of Christ with the “Sun of Justice”, which gave rise to the choice of connecting Jesus’ birth date with the winter solstice to celebrate the “Natalis Solis Invicti”, or “birth of the invincible sun”, a pagan ritual commonly called Saturnalia that celebrated with joy and rites exchanging gifts, from December 17th until the 25th, when the Sun “grows” or is “reborn” after the day it has reached its shortest duration on 21-22 December.
On this date, the Sun reaches its maximum southern declination on the ellipse, about 23 º 26 ‘, where it appears to “park” for three days before returning the “way of the North” from December 24th or 25th.
The date of 25 December was also the date of the birth of the god Mithras, according to the Iranian Mysteries. Mithras was also called the “Sun of Justice” or, closer, the “Sun of Righteousness”, probably by some influence of ancient Egypt.
It is said through an ancient legend that Moses was instructed and initiated at the great Mystery School of Heliopolis, near the holy city of Memphis. Not surprisingly therefore, the symbol of the “Winged Splendor”, has remained in the Jewish tradition and in related areas of the Middle East, as we witness the Prophet Malachi stating that “the sun will rise with Fairness salvation in his wings [or: in its rays]” (Malachi 3:20).
Thus, the route along the solar year marks the “initiatory steps” of the route of Christ and at the same time, marks the focal points of the liturgy throughout the year, in reference to the cyclical “evidence” because it has to expand all humans on their evolutionary path.
When the Sun, on 21 December, enters the astrological sign of Capricorn, a sign ruled by Saturn – hence the Saturnalia, the powers of darkness somehow take control of the “Giver of Life”, but cannot maintain and give it up for rebirth after three days of arrested motion. Solstice is derived from “sol”, or sun, and “stitium” or “sister”, meaning to halt or stop. Therefore, the 25th marks the end of the solstice cycle.
December 26th begins a second round of special initiations: between the 26 December, the 1st Holy Day, and 6 January, the 12th Holy Day, were realized the rituals of preparation where the catechumens were baptized at Epiphany, which is the First Initiation.
These “Twelve Holy Days’, accompanying the initial phase of the revival of “Invincible Sun” were like a summary of the zodiacal year following, and, as already noted, were under the protection of the Celestial Hierarchies that traditionally govern the 12 Signs of the Zodiac.
 Corinne Heline, New Age Bible Interpretation, vol. V, 5th ed. revised, New Age Press, 1984. pp. 87-88.
 The Chronography of 354, also known as the Calendar of 354, was a 4th century illuminated manuscript, which was produced in 354 CE for a wealthy Roman Christian named Valentinus. It is the earliest dated codex to have full page illustrations. None of the original has survived. The term Calendar of Filocalus is sometimes used to describe the whole collection, and also sometimes just the sixth part, which is the Calendar itself. Other versions of the names (“Philocalus”, “Codex-Calendar of 354″) are occasionally used.
 Corinne Heline, New Age Bible Interpretation, vol. VII: “Mystery of the Christos’ 6h printing. New Age Press, 1988. pp. 8-19
 In ecclesiology, a catechumen, from Latin catechumenus, is one receiving instruction from a catechist in the principles of the Christian religion with a view to baptism. The title and practice is most often used by Orthodox Christians and by Roman Catholics.