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 throughout 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
December 24-25 – Capricorn
Christmas Eve, when Christ is born in the soul. The soul asks: Can I, with all my weaknesses, deficiencies and passions, be heard?
Symbol: The stable of Bethlehem, where the Light of the World is born in humility and poverty. The Voice of Silence penetrates the soul and teaches to joyfully affirm the good in us and in others.
Capricorn. The Divine Spirit is born in Matter. Spirit and Matter, the Alpha and Omega touch and life comes into being.
Mystery: The seeking soul in the darkness of a pathless forest.
Rudolf Steiner’s indications for the Holy Nights given to Herbert Hahn
Google translation from German adjusted by Laura Zanutto and Kristina Kaine 2015
1. Heilige Nacht in Bezug auf Januar
24./25. Dezember – Steinbock
Der Heilige Abend, an dem Christus der Seele geboren wird. Und die Seele fragt: kann ich mit all meinen Schwächen und Mängeln und Leidenschaften erhört werden? Symbol: Der Stall von Bethlehem, in dessen Niedrigkeit und Armut wurde das Licht der Welt hineingeboren. Die Stimme der Stille dringt zur Seele und lehrt sie, das Gute in uns und den Anderen freudig zu bejahen. Steinbock. Göttlicher Geist wird im Stoff geboren. Geist und Stoff, das A und O berühren sich und es entsteht Leben.
Mysterium: die suchende Seele im Dunkel eines weglosen Waldes.
First Contemplation: by Kristina Kaine
How is it possible to listen to the Voice of Silence? We live in such a noisy world it is hard to imagine such a thing. Unless we work out how to listen to the Silent Voice we cannot give birth to the Anointed One in our soul.
This birth process is a walk in the trackless forest, and if we become aware of the steps we can take we will hear this Voice clearly. We must start with silence. The kind of silence that accompanies the soul entering into life on earth. The Jesus who was born on this night is described by St Luke, not St Matthew. This soul had never incarnated before and the silence that accompanied his birth was a cosmic silence. It was as if the whole universe, and all the spiritual beings within it, held their breath.
This is an all powerful moment which when tasted must be laid aside. It is in the giving up of our will and becoming powerless that we can rest in the feeling of this event. It was an event that had never taken place before in the evolution of mankind. To get some idea of this feeling, think of the first time you looked upon a newborn child who has just left its mother’s womb. Its perfect body, shining like a star fills us with wonder. In this moment, we don’t think, we don’t express our will, we just feel with awe.
Then, if we can set aside this overwhelming feeling, we know, we hear the Voice. The Voice of Silence is the Word, the Logos. This is the knowing that comes from nowhere, it speaks when “the Alpha and Omega touch and creates life.” What do we know? We know that this child has waited eons for this moment to join us on the earth and in this way gives us the gift of gifts. What will we do with this gift? Will we leave it wrapped within the depth of our being or will we begin to unwrap it and stand in this universe as I Am beings to honour the mighty birth of the Luke Jesus at the turning point of time?
Inspired by these words from The Esoteric Class 12 January, 1906 “Learn to be silent and you’ll get power; give up power and you’ll get will; give up will and you’ll get feeling; give up feeling and you’ll get knowledge. An esoteric must place these occult propositions before his soul in all work and action.” Rudolf Steiner
Image: Nativity, North transept, Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi Giotto
This image was chosen by Pope Francis for this Christmas Card in 2016 – I wonder if he realized that there were 2 Jesus’?