Santa Claus was named after the Greek Saint Nicholas, who was known for his secret gift giving to children and people in need. Saint Nicholas’s feast day is December 6th, which means that Santa Claus is a Child of Jupiter. Jupiter is known as the great “benefic” in Astrology (Venus is the “lesser” benefic), so people born under this planet are generous, good-humored, and famously optimistic—as long as you stay on their good side. Otherwise they can be very judgmental and swift to take you down a peg or two. The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of how the Roman gods Jupiter and Mercury visited a small town disguised as beggars. They were looking for a place to spend the night and were turned away from every door, but one. Jupiter and Mercury were welcomed into the home of Baucis and Philemon—an elderly couple who lived in poverty. Nevertheless Baucis and Philemon offered the strangers what little they had—which was a bowl of olives and some wine. As the evening wore on the couple began to notice that the bowl of olives never emptied as their guests ate and that the goblets of wine miraculously refilled themselves. This is when they realized that they were in the presence of gods and fell upon their knees in awe and fear. Jupiter told them that there was nothing to worry about. In fact he promised to reward his hosts for their generosity by making them immortal while burying the rest of the town beneath a wall of water. Jupiter is the planet of hospitality and guest-friendship in Astrology and one of his guises is that of the mysterious stranger who comes bearing gifts. He’s the very model for Santa Claus. Although Santa Claus doesn’t exactly wipe out towns with flash floods (like Jupiter did), he’s still famous for knowing which children have been naughty or nice. Subscribe for more features. Only 1.99 a month!
Philemon and Baucis by Rembrandt