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
- 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
The sword symbolizes the will, and at this present stage in the evolution of consciousness our will is our most unconscious activity. Our thinking is fairly conscious, our feeling is usually semi-conscious, and we are working to make our will more conscious. When we can consciously work with our will we will be able to reveal the power of Christ within us.
If we understand this fully, we will realize that unless we are completely conscious of the power of our will it is better that we don’t reveal our inner power of Christ. Christ is so powerful that it took the high initiate Jesus three and half years to integrate Christ into his body. This was only fully achieved when he was nailed to the cross, when his body was immobilized. Every detail about Jesus’ life reveals to us what will take place within us over many lifetimes.
While we can accept that it is a work in progress, this doesn’t mean that we should delay the work. Each step we take moves us closer to the realization of our purpose. These steps involve the re-setting of our understanding, and understanding spiritual truth is a continually deepening process. As we move through this process we see how we can understand ideas on many levels. We can think we fully grasp an idea only to have a deeper understanding of it later on. Then, sometimes our understanding of spiritual truth is hard to express in the physical world but we experience it ourselves as truth. This is all part of our development.
What do we understand about the statement “the tongue speaks the truth, without being able to wound?” We know how easy it is to wound others if we are not careful with our words. Yet, we readily criticize others when we think they could feel, think, or act differently. If we examine these criticisms carefully we may be able to see that in our criticism of them, we recognize our own deficiencies. It is as if we search for the adversaries in the world which we really feel within ourselves; we want to control others rather than ourselves. When we recognize this pattern we will speak from a position of compassion, both for ourselves and for others, and no wounding happens.
From these ideas we can see that if we pay closer attention to our own inner development, in all its detail, we will contribute to the sacrifice which is necessary if earthly evolution is to progress.
Art: The Crucifixion by Pietro Lorenzetti