From the Preface of the Christmas and Holy Nights Journal by Henry and
Bonnie Passafero, Tamara Slayton, Galleria Natura 1993:
Nature has become our teacher. Her pleas awkaken us to our
responsibility for her well-being and role we each play in the
unfolding drama of human evolution. She asks primarily that we develop
the ability to discern her ever present wisdom. She asks specifically
that we understand the lessons within her cyclic and seasonal
unfolding. No longer are we relegated to the confines of cathedral,
chapel, or temple. The entire planet speaks to the unfolding of our
inner life. We stand, in full freedom, at the portal of each season and
prepare to enter the temple of the year awakening to the sacrament
between our soul life and that of the earth.
These are the new initiations-the seasonally orchestrated inward
communion that each being now partakes of. Can we awaken to our own
process within the rhythms of the natural world? We believe that it is
possible to become joyfully self-conscious, in partnership with the
spiritual world, as we partake of this season of birth and inner
From the Introduction:
Renewing the Festival of Christmas
Concealed within the festival of Christmas and shrouded in mystery, is
a two thousand year old story of a child born in primitive
surroundings, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. A
young woman of utmost purity, barly sixteen years old, alone with her
husband and in the company of animals in a stable, delivered to the
world her first born child. In the region were shepherds, who were
visited by a glorius angel who spoke to them of the birth of a Savior.
A great heavenly host then accompanied the angel who sang praises unto
God and blessings of peace to people of good will. The shepherds
hastened to the manger in wonder to find what they had been told and
left praising God and the angels and spreading the news to all people.
But the mother, Mary, kept all these things in her heart.
Within these simple images is veiled the most profound mystery of human
birth in the history of humanity. And the most recent in the lineage of
mystery gifts from the spiritual world.
We live in an age when many of us have a split between our spiritual
life and our material life. Historians and theologians look to the past
and try to piece together the stories of the Bible with modern
scientific, factually oriented consciousness. A sense for the LIVING
truths. from an imaginative perspective, has been lost. Many
individuals seeking a re-enlivening of their inner lives have looked to
the American Indian, old European, and Eastern traditions to bring new
meaning, ceremony, and meditation to their lives. The current
enthusiasm for archetypal psychology, astrology, Gnostic and Essene
wisdom, the goddess, angels, and a renewal of Christianity point to the
hunger for deeper spiritual realities that feed and activate the life
of the soul.
In this renaissance of the deeper mysteries of Christianity, we can
find a path of inner development that fosters a spirituality that
cooperates with the seasons and witnesses the activity of the spiritual
world behind all life. If we are willing to look behind the historical
face of Christianity, we will discover a living teaching that speaks to
our current condition of the human soul and its longing for spiritual
truth. It is through the awakening of our imaginative thinking
capacities-not mere fantasy-but a process of cognition, of knowing,
that slumbers inthe soul life of our modern consciousness. In the
streaming forces of our imaginative cognition, we will find a key to
unlock the door to our inner life.
By taking in the imaginations from the past and INWARDLY RECREATING
them so that they are GENERATED ANEW as living spiritual realities, we
find the possibility of a new golden birth from within during these
Holy Nights. To recreate and re-imagine takes innere ffort, but only a
remembering that is filled with light and life can serve as a thread
that is able to lead us in the right way to Christmas and through the
thirteen Holy Nights.
Nurturing the Inner Life
The temptation during this time of year is to get too busy and pulled
into outer affairs without creating the space for nurturing one's inner
life. If we remain busy and active, accelarating our outer
involvements, and rush into Christmas, our soul life will tend to stay
asleep and dream, or worse we will experience a tremendous let-down
after the usual one day Christmas celebration. But if we can set aside
quiet inner moments, time for reflection, prayer, and meditation; and
incorporate into our daily lives what our inner eyes begin to see and
our heart begins to hear, this can be the richest, most abundant time
of the year.
The emphasis in this journal will be with:
Developing inner strength and clarity to meet the challenges of our
Cultivating living thoughts and feelings to become a soul-chalice to
receive the spiritual blessings at this time of the year
Leading the birth of spirit-child to spirit-self within
Taking the time to note your experience during this time of year will
heighten your sensitivity to the subtle yet powerful currents that
weave within your soul's experience.