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.
In 2015 Laura Zanutto acquired the original German text and translated it using Google, adjusted by Laura and tweaked by Kristina Kaine. In 2016 Mark Willan further sharpened the translation.
Holy Night 1
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
Translation from German by Laura Zanutto 2015 adjusted by Mark Willan
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
What happens when Christ is born in our soul on Christmas Eve? What images do we have about this? If we say, “I don’t know,” what affect will that have in our soul? These are important questions that face the whole of humanity regardless of beliefs.
Rudolf Steiner speaks of Christ in many different ways throughout his life. For example, he says,
“We fail to understand Christ if we do not recognise him as the cosmic power that completely unites with us when through questions and inner activity we work our way through to him.” 17.4.1921
So what questions do we have for him? We could probably ask why the world is in turmoil, why so many people are displaced, why so many children are suffering? Or we could ask, “How do I hear your voice and how will I know its you?”
Steiner tells us that we will know that Christ is active within us when we are full of energy.
“If we see Christ as an energy lying deep within us it will help us overcome the lack of energy we meet everywhere in the world.” December 26, 1920
If we want to have more energy and we want a real relationship with Christ then all we need to do is to begin our dialogue with him. Christ is listening and even though we feel we are in darkness once we form the questions he will answer. He doesn’t mind what questions we ask, as long as we ask them.
In fact, he is relying on us to ask questions. Each one of us has the freedom to decide to reveal the presence of Christ in this world. Not by preaching but by having a conversation with him.
“The Christ Impulse, however, is an impulse of freedom; its true activity does not reveal itself when it takes place outside the human soul. The true working of the Christ Impulse does not appear until it takes place within the individual human soul itself.” Whitsunday 1910
So it is up to us.