8th Holy Night applied to August

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: Kristina Kaine  2017-18

The sword of sacrifice is a great mystery. Jesus, who represents the I Am, and who is in the process of assuming the Christ Spirit, speaks to his disciples saying,

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Mt 10:14

What is this sword he brings? Why a sword? Questions to ask Christ as we move even more deeply into the path of the Holy Nights.

John wrote powerfully about the sword in his Revelation, or Apocalypse, as Rudolf Steiner explains in a lecture in 1908.

“Thus in every field of life the “I” will become the apple of discord; and hence we may say that it can lead on the one hand to the highest and on the other hand to the lowest. For this reason it is a sharp two-edged sword. And he who brought the full Ego-consciousness to man, Christ Jesus, is, as we have seen, symbolically and correctly represented in the Apocalypse as one who has the sharp two-edged sword in his mouth.” 25th June, 1908

This extraordinary gift of the “I” given to us at the turning point of time just over two thousand years ago means that we have access to freedom. If we are honest we don’t really want to be free. We are always wary of every decision we face, we do not want to make a false step. We ask those around us for advice, or we inform ourselves as much as we can through reading and discussion. How often do we turn to Christ within us and ask, “What would you do?” Why wouldn’t we ask him? He is the one who has done it?

“Christ Jesus brought the “I” in all its fullness. Hence this “I” must be expressed by the sharp two-edged sword which you already know from one of our seals. And the fact that this sharp two-edged sword proceeds from the mouth of the Son of Man is also comprehensible, for when man has learnt to utter the “I” with full consciousness it is in his power to rise to the highest or sink to the lowest. The sharp two-edged sword is one of the most important symbols met with in the Apocalypse. Rudolf Steiner, 25th June, 1908

The only way we can be confident that we will rise to the highest is if we are consciously in the company of Christ. Nothing is more important for us than to cultivate our relationship with this Being. We must set aside all the religious ideas we have heard about him and find our own unique relationship with him. As we stand on the two edges of the years 2017 and 2018 we can confidently pick up the sword and step forward with the resolution to know Christ in reality, within us and within the world.

Illustration from Revelation 1 in the Ottheinrich Bible which is the earliest surviving illustrated manuscript of the New Testament in the German language. The work was commissioned around 1430.

Additional Quote

One draws the lower nature out of the body like a sword from the scabbard, which then remains alone. The lower nature comes forth appearing almost gruesome. When it was still mingled with the higher nature, nothing was noticeable. But once separated, all evil, negative properties come into view. People who previously appeared benevolent often become argumentative and jealous. This characteristic had existed earlier in the lower nature, but was guided by the higher. You can observe this in many who have been guided along an abnormal path. A person may readily become a liar when he is introduced into the spiritual world, because the capacity to distinguish between the true and the false is lost especially easily. Therefore, strictest training of the personal character is a necessary parallel to occult training. What history tells us about the saints and their temptations is not legend but literal truth. – See more at: http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/EsoDevel/19051207p01.html#sthash.6J1gvHNw.dpuf

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