December 27-28 – Aries
Consciously purify the astral body: antipathy and sympathy are converted into universal love. Passions and desires keep silent.
The power of Christ penetrates with his light and his strength what is Luciferic in us.
Mystery: The work on ourselves serves the best interests of the whole. The Archangel Uriel holds up a mirror in which we see ourselves as we are.
Rudolf Steiner’s indications for the Holy Nights given to Herbert Hahn
Google translation from German adjusted by Laura Zanutto and Kristina Kaine 2015
4. Heilige Nacht
27./28. – Widder
Bewusst den Astralkörper reinigen: Antipathie und Sympathie wird in All-Liebe umgewandelt. Leidenschaften und Begierden schweigen. Die Christuskraft durchleuchtet und durchkraftet in uns, was luziferisch ist.
Mysterium: Die Arbeit an uns selbst dient dem Wohl des Ganzen. Der Erzengel Uriel hält uns den Spiegel vor, in dem wir sehen, wie wir sind. ~Rudolf Steiner
Fourth Contemplation: Kristina Kaine
There is no more important task than for us to consciously purify our astral body. Just as we can’t clean our bathroom of mold unless we know where it is, and how to clean it, so we cannot purify our astral body.
First of all we turn our attention to the fact that it is through our astral body that we are consciously awake and aware; we recognise this when we observe the difference between a plant and an animal. We also recognise this when we compare the difference between being asleep and awake. We cannot fall asleep while our astral body remains connected to us.
Then we observe that our astral body gives us sentience; the capacity to feel, perceive and experience things subjectively. Through our astral body things become personal and egos are active. We need this sense of self to keep us safe, nourished and comfortable. This self-centredness is good on the one hand, but on the other hand we mustn’t be absorbed by it. It is the self-absorption that must be purified, and, it is the work of purification not the end result that matters.
The third observation we can make of our astral body is to see how, through it, we combine all the ideas stored in our etheric body. We know the bath is hot because the amount of heat registers in our astral body. Then our etheric body remembers that for next time so we don’t burn ourselves.
The lowest regions of our astral body rest in the faculty of feeling, when feelings are refined they are raised to the region of our soul where they combine with our capacity to think, the more refined the feelings, the clearer the thinking. Finally we arrive at the forces of will, where feeling and thinking influence our intentions and motives.
Now we can see how the astral body refines itself to become the human soul. It is when we begin to work consciously with feeling, thinking and will, that we can begin to purify our astral body. Otherwise we operate instinctively. Purification always involves a certain amount of pain as Archangel Uriel holds up the mirror. As we are able to bear the pain, this is when the work starts to move beyond self and our perspective broadens.
This commitment to purifying the way we feel, think and will is the signal to Christ that we are ready to be enlightened and fortified by him. With great relief we begin to realise that we don’t have to do it on our own. Finally we reach the stage where we experience universal love and we know that “every encounter between one person and another will from the outset be a religious rite, a sacrament.” Rudolf Steiner 9 October, 1918
Image: Uriel, right, in the Virgin of the Rocks (Louvre version) LEONARDO DA VINCI