December 31 – January 1 – Leo
The cross on the sword pommel: the sacrifice. Girded with the sword of the power of Christ, the tongue speaks the truth, without being able to wound. It is the night of re-setting.
Mystery: The knight, the fighter with the lance of the will and the sword of knowledge. The dog as symbol of obedience, at his side. Behind him death and the devil! At a certain level of knowledge any false step leads to quicker ruin, and victory is won through fulfilling and being tirelessly true to Leo’s tasks.
Rudolf Steiner’s indications for the Holy Nights given to Herbert Hahn
Translation from German by Laura Zanutto in 2015 and Mark Willan in 2016
8. Heilige Nacht
31./1. – Löwe
Das Kreuz am Schwertknauf: Das Opfer. Umgürtet mit dem Schwert der Christuskraft spricht die Zunge die Wahrheit, ohne verletzen zu können. Es ist die Nacht des Ent-setzens.
Mysterium: Der Ritter, der Streiter mit der Lanze des Willens und dem Schwert der Erkenntnis. Der Hund als Symbol des Gehorsams, ihm zur Seite. Hinter ihm Tod und Teufel! Auf bestimmter Erkenntnisstufe führt jeder falsche Schritt schneller ins Verderben, der Sieg wird errungen durch das Erfülltsein und der unermüdlichen Treue gegenüber den Aufgaben des Löwen.
Eighth Contemplation by Kristina Kaine
We stand on the precipice between two rounds of time, 2016 and 2017. We stand here as a knight who has completed his courageous journey through the last round. This journey involved many sacrifices. How do we view sacrifices, are they opportunities for gain or something we gave up?
We usually see sacrifice as a loss but in fact a sacrifice is a great gift. In a lecture about “Inner Realities of Evolution” Rudolf Steiner explains the true nature of sacrifice as something necessary for evolution. The essence of what he says is captured in this quote.
Only a being living entirely in materiality thinks that it loses itself through sacrifice; no, a higher, richer development is linked with sacrifice in the service of universal evolution. October 26, 1908
In this lecture Steiner explains that the whole of creation is a continual offering of sacrifice. Then, when the sacrifice is offered, it is rejected. In this rejection, the one who is offering the sacrifice retains what they were prepared to offer up.* Furthermore, the rejection gives rise to longing for something greater, something higher. Then the pain of this longing leads us to seek satisfaction. Therefore we can see that if the sacrifice had been accepted it would have been our loss on several accounts; we would be less than we were, and without longing, unable to find satisfaction.
Does this mean that rejection is something to be valued? Yes, of course! It awakens our will enabling us to step into each new round, each new journey, longing for victory. This victory means to prevail over ourselves in our search for truth. It leads us to discover that we will never find truth without Christ. We re-set our consciousness, we take a step with full confidence, knowing that Christ permeates the entire universe, and we set out to discover who and what he really is.
If we falter for a moment, if we lack the courage of the lion, we cannot know the truth and we will never know freedom.
As St John quoted Christ Jesus in his Gospel:
“If you continue in my word (Logos) … you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Jn 8:31-2
*This situation is told in the story of Abraham offering his son Isaac to God.
The Crucifixion by Lorenzetti 1340s
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