January 3-4 – Scorpio
The eleventh night: the struggle with the Guardian of the Threshold.
Mystery: building up the Grail Castle in ourselves. Confessing ourselves more and more in faithfulness to the highest!
Rudolf Steiner’s indications for the Holy Nights given to Herbert Hahn
Translation from German by Laura Zanutto 2015 and Mark Willan 2016
11. Heilige Nacht
3./4. Januar – Skorpion
Die elfte Nacht: Der Kampf mit dem Hüter der Schwelle.
Mysterium: Die Gralsburg in uns aufbauen. Sich immer mehr in Treue zum höchsten bekennen! R. Steiner
Eleventh Contemplation by Kristina Kaine
We might wonder why this Holy Night directs our attention to the Guardian of the Threshold and the Grail Castle. These are monumental symbols in human spiritual development. They are at the same time things to inspire us and to caution us.
The Guardian of the Threshold is the one who reveals to us our true nature. This Guardian makes sure we have the strength to face who we really are before we can enter into the spiritual worlds. This requires such a level of honesty on our part to be able to see all our foibles. It means that we have to be able to look impartially at all the lower aspects of our character.
The Grail Castle is the place where Parsifal saw many strange things but asked no questions. When he resolved to ask the questions all the strange things he saw had disappeared. He then rode away on a horse in search of answers.
In Lecture 6 of “Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy” Rudolf Steiner said that we must discover the Grail by inner soul work, noting that it is a task of cognition, a social task, and at present it is a hated task.
In this same lecture he says,
“This I, which discovers itself through the physical organization, must in turn raise itself up by its own power in order to behold itself where, even in the early Greek culture, this self was still beheld, in super-sensible worlds. The I must first lift itself up in order to recognize itself as something super-sensible.”
Here we see the similarity between the Grail and the Guardian. On the Eighth Holy Night we considered how “The lower nature comes forth appearing almost gruesome.” It is on this earth we must engage in the quest to use our lower nature, our constructed self, to reach our true self.
It is a personal journey which requires great commitment on our part. Rudolf Steiner explains further:
“There is no way of approach to the Grail through words of any kind, or through philosophical speculations. The only way is by changing all these words into feeling, by becoming able to feel in the Grail the sum of all that is holy,” Christ and the Spiritual World: The Search for the Holy Grail Lecture 6 January 2, 1914
Grail Castle by Hermann Hendrich