Introduction: The 12 Holy Nights sow a seed for our progress through the year ahead. Our sole purpose on this earth is to become aware our I Am, our True Self. By applying each of the 12 Holy Nights to each of the 12 months through the year we come closer to knowing ourselves more completely. In its highest expression our I Am becomes one with Christ who accompanies us each step of the way.
“The true name of Christ is “I Am”; who does not know or does not understand this and calls Him by another name does not know anything about Him. “I Am” is His only name.” Rudolf Steiner 27 May 1909
Indications given by Rudolf Steiner to Herbert Hahn for the Twelve Holy Nights
On December 24th the 12 holy nights begin.
The 12 holy nights are symbols for the 12 forces of the soul that live in us. And so this indication is valid forever, not only for the 12 holy nights.
On January 1 at noon we have the Sun as close as possible to the Earth and that is why there are just five and half days before and five and a half days later, which is the time of the 12 holy nights.
On these nights, the darkest of the year, we are closest to the Sun’s Spirit and this means that the Spiritual Sun shining from inside the Earth makes it translucent and illuminates everything from the inside, not as it is afterwards when the Sun illuminates the Earth from above, from the outside.
You have to enter these 12 holy nights wide awake and very conscious. It is important that the first night (Dec. 24th) we only stay awake until one or two in the morning. On the other nights, if possible, try to go to bed regularly at the same time, it is of principal importance to live in a regular rhythm at this time, if this is not possible in the active life, one has to try to do so internally; Those who cannot be silent in the external life should seek constantly to be inwardly aware of the sanctity of the time. It is important to perform daily duties without losing sight of this realization, of the sacredness of the time, allowing nothing unhealthy, no ugly movement to enter the soul, remaining always attentive and severe on oneself in this regard.
During the experience of Christmas, with its 12 holy nights, we sow the seed for the next 12 months. Therefore these 12 days are important, if for example we make mistakes on the first day, we lay a seed, which, in the first month, will germinate negatively in the blood.
We must try to pass the 12 holy days properly, according to the Law, because we need each year to work on our rebirth and we cannot lose any year.
Holy Night 1
December 24-25 – Capricorn
This Holy Night is the night Christ is born in the soul and the soul asks: “Can my soul become liberated, saved, redeemed with all my weaknesses and flaws and passions?”
Symbol: The stable of Bethlehem in poverty and humility in which would be born the Light of the World. The voice of silence enters the soul and teaches one to affirm with joy the good that is found in ourselves and in others.
The soul seeks the mystery in a dark and trackless forest.
The Divine Spirit is born in Matter; the Alpha and Omega touches and creates life.
First Contemplation: by Kristina Kaine
This is the night we are shown the mystery of who we really are. Do we dare to look upon the dazzling purity of the Christ child? The angels surround us to give us the courage and immediately we realize how far we are from this perfection. Yet it is this experience of powerlessness that awakens us so that we can hear the reassuring voice of silence.
No matter how small and insignificant we feel we can know with all certainty that Christ lives within our soul. As we contemplate the infant in the manger so we are contemplating our own soul in all its glory. The child waits for us to acknowledge his presence within us. In fact, we could ask if he has really been born at all if we do not acknowledge him in our soul in every moment of our lives. Whatever we face in life, whatever encounters we have, we can be sure that Christ is within us and within everyone we meet. This Divine Spirit is born in matter and dwells here like a seed; the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.
Through the twelve holy nights we plant the seeds for the coming year. May this holy birth be a reality in each one of us, and if so, we will change the world as He did 2000 years ago.
The Nativity by Lorenzo Monaco 1406-10