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
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.
Image: Lorenzo Monaco, The Nativity, 1405-10, Tempera on wood, gold ground