January 4-5 – Sagittarius
During the 12th night the crowns won are placed at the feet of the divine, because we have struggled against ourselves, but what we have wrung from it is grace, is the law of the spirit. Because grace is a stream from a source that a human being cannot reach with human power. Now is the start and end of a spaceless time – timeless space. Now everything is eternal and holy! Sagittarius’ power striving towards the goal must be directed in this way, so that it can take up the spiritual Good it receives.
We must now take on into our lives what we have recognized and received in the twelve holy nights, and spiritualise matter and the soul.
Rudolf Steiner’s indications for the Holy Nights given to Herbert Hahn
Translation from German by Laura Zanutto 2015 and Mark Willan 2016
12. Heilige Nacht
4./5. Januar – Schütze
In der 12. Nacht wird die errungene Krone zu Füssen des Göttlichen niedergelegt, denn wir haben sie zwar selbst erkämpft, aber daß wir sie erringen durften ist Gnade, ist Gesetz des Geistigen. Denn Gnade ist Zustrom aus einer Quelle, die der Mensch mit menschlicher Kraft nicht zu erreichen vermag. Nun wird Anfang und Ende eines, raumlose Zeit – zeitloser Raum. Alles ist ewiges, heiliges Jetzt! Die zielstrebigen Kräfte des Schützen müssen so eingesetzt werden, daß er geistiges Gut in Empfang nehmen kann.
Das, was wir in den zwölf Heiligen Nächten erkannt und empfangen haben, müssen wir nun in das Leben hineintragen und die Materie und das Seelische durchgeistigen. R. Steiner
Contemplation 12: Kristina Kaine
Through these Holy Nights we have focused on the lower and higher aspects of ourselves; the constructed self and the Higher Self or I Am. On this twelfth night our attention is drawn to the capacity called grace. We are told that it streams “from a source that a human being cannot reach with human power.” If we take human power to mean our constructed self then we can place grace into the proper perspective in our lives.
I have written about grace in this way.
“Grace, charis, is the ability to have full control over all our feelings, thoughts and actions. Grace is the ability to see God or the highest in everyone and everything. Then all our inner responses are graceful, dissolving our inner disturbances. If we can allow these spiritual processes to work within us we make way for Sophia who brings with her the spiritual gift of Imagination and the ability to give birth to the I Am which can receive into itself the Christ.” Who is Jesus : What is Christ? Vol 1
Rudolf Steiner spoke in detail about grace in his lecture called “The Concepts of Original Sin and Grace” on 3rd May, 1911. He explained that our astral body deteriorated through the Original Sin. This means that sin is part of living on the earth through our constructed self. Then through this constructed self we can reach up in full consciousness and experience grace, not as something given to us but as something we earn.
“Therefore to speak of the existence of Original Sin and of Grace does not denote misunderstanding of the idea of karma. For in speaking of the idea of karma we are speaking of the reincarnation of the ego in the different earth-lives. Karma is inconceivable without the presence of the ego: Original Sin and Grace, impulses which lie below the surface of karma, [are] in the astral body. We can say with truth that human karma was first brought about because man had burdened himself with Original Sin. Karma flows through the incarnations and before and after there are happenings which introduce and subsequently expurgate it. Before karma — Original Sin; and after — the victory of the Christ Impulse, the fullness of Grace.”
These words I wrote in the same book mentioned above will add to our understanding.
“Grace is a very misunderstood quality. Grace is not something bestowed on us if we relinquish our will; grace replaces the external law and is therefore something we experience when we are fully able to act with moral acuity in every situation in our lives. Grace is all about knowing what to say and do in every moment of the day, especially when we face difficulties. These difficulties which are the effects caused by our actions in previous lives, in other words, our karma. The modern use of the word grace suggests effortlessness e.g. “There but for the grace of God go I” which could not be further from the truth. When we understand that we have lived other lives on this earth we would change this statement to: There but for the results of my own actions in past lives go I.”
May we all walk through this new year with Grace.
Galahad and The Holy Grail by Edwin Austin Abbey