The First Recorded Christmas

Recently on Facebook astrologer William Stickevers posted a chart for the first recorded celebration of Christmas.  According to William:

“When was Christmas first celebrated?  In an old list of Roman bishops, compiled in A.D. 354 these words appear for A.D. 336: “25 Dec.: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae.” December 25th, Christ born in Bethlehem, Judea.  This day, December 25, 336, is the first recorded celebration of Christmas.”

William also posted a chart cast with Placidus houses for sunrise on the day of the celebration.  Since Placidus would not be born for several centuries, I have recast the chart with Whole Sign Houses which were more commonly used in Hellenistic times.  Here is the chart cast for Rome at sunrise on the first recorded celebration of Christmas.

First recorded Christmas, Whole Sign Houses, Sunrise in Rome.

First recorded Christmas, Whole Sign Houses, Sunrise in Rome.

Does this chart presage the modern celebrations of Christmas in the West?  Perhaps Saturn ruling the Ascendant and the 2nd house of money and possessions foreshadows the crass commercialism of the holiday, especially with Saturn as the most elevated planet rising toward the MC in Scorpio.

Neptune in Sagittarius in the spiritual 12th conjunct the North Lunar Node characterizes the sacrificial quality of the new religious with its message of universal love and the value of suffering.

Mars in Sagittarius, closely conjunct the ASC, well describes Christian proselytizing as well as the propensity of the Church to torture and murder non-believers, as it did during the Inquisition, the Crusades and the conquest of the Americas.

Uranus in Aries at the start of the 4th house is a marker of the radical break with tradition, which the new religion represented.

Perhaps Moon conjunct Pluto in Pisces in the 3rd house of communication signifies the powerful message of the new religion along with the tendency to use such power to manipulate and control the masses.


About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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4 Responses to The First Recorded Christmas

  1. Nick Sceusa says:

    I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but I do not think the Greeks or Romans used houses. Firmicus Maternisl, if I remember, does not mention this but had a lot of other ways of finding aspects and interactions. such as drawing parallel lines across and up an down the chart to see if the planets matched one another either horizontally or vertically. Today the only carry over is the parallel aspect that Firmicus would recognize as used also in his times.

    With respect to Christmas, in 354 AD, the most likely venue would have been Byzantium, not Rome. However, depending upon what the reference says, it might have been in another city altogether. I would appreciate having the citation, if you can email it to me at



  2. Nick Sceusa says:

    Excuse me. I meant 336, the date given in the post. I am also not sure about the houses used in ancient times, but if they were, they would most likely be equal house. This is because they believed that the Cosmos was perfectly round.

  3. Nick,
    Thanks for your comments. Since the quote was from Roman bishops, I chose Rome for the chart. It is a sunrise chart and would look the same if cast for Byzantium (Constantinople, Istanbul). The houses would also be the same since they are Whole Sign Houses in which all the houses are of equal size because they are 30-degree signs.

  4. Silverseale says:

    Mars at the anaretic degree of Sagittarius, heading into Capricorn… says to me that the free thought and religious tolerance which were characteristic of Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius were about to be discarded in favor of a taskmaster (Saturn-ruled Capricorn) who would insist on conformity to structure and obedience to authority. And then you have the Sun–the “Son”–direct on the AC… a very literal representation of the Christ. That Sun in Capricorn, with Rome as the chart location, may also speak to the the papacy grounding (Saturn) and structuring (Saturn) itself as an institution. Very interesting chart.

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