- Christmas Day, From The Christmas and Holy Nights Journal
On this day we celebrate the birth of the Jesus child and
contemplate our own birth experience. With this looking back to the
previous evening, we can also begin to anticipate the soul journey we
have been preparing for during the four weeks of Advent. On Christmas
day, we can contemplate what we encountered on Christmas eve within
our own soul life. Have you created a vessel to meet the birth of our
spirit-self at Epiphany? What do you intend to do to strengthen
yourself for the inner temple initiation you are about to enter into?
How is your earthly consciousness prepared to meet your spiritual
being? Can you make a place for the guest who is coming?
The following meditation is suggested for contemplation on Christmas
I feel the Spirit-Child
Set Free from spell in womb of soul;
The holy Word of worlds
Has in the heart's clear light
Begotten Heaven's own fuit of hope,
Which joyous grows toward farthest worlds
Out of my being's godly ground.
The Calendar of the Soul - Rudolf Steiner
The Twelve Virtues
During the Holy Nights we will work with twelve virtues that provide
a fabric for weaving a life bestowing soul garment and the foundation
for developing inner morality. Working with virtue meditations is a
powerful transformative exercise in soul development. There is one
for each day of Christmas which corresponds to the upcoming twelve
months. These virtues come transformed from Rudolf Steiner's
indications in response to a request for a modern soul calendar, but
have their root in the medieval Christian story of Parzival. Working
compassionately and objectively with the virtues morning and evening
through the Holy Nights can begin to create soul capacities, inner
strength and fortitude for the whole upcoming year! This will
continue to deepen if we resolve to work with the virtues through the
The virtues are a tool we can use to individually build moral
awareness to meet that which streams toward us in our everyday
encounters. To begin each day during the Holy NIghts by taking up one
of these virtues in our hearts and envisioning them permeating our
deeds, we then have some inner substance to meet what comes toward us
in our daily encounters. Each day will offer a glimpse into the
reality of the coming year and the opportunity to take some
responsibility in co-creating our futures and transform our inner
disposition. These virtues can arise as soul helpers, if at the
beginning of the day, or perhaps before a difficult encounter, we
take a few minutes to deeply steep ourselves in an IMAGINATION OF THE
LIVING QUALITIES that they engender. Rudolf Steiner ascribed a virtue
to each of the months as we pass through the course of a year. During
the days and nights of the Holy Nights we have a janus-head
experience of looking back through the year we have just experienced
as well as looking forward to the months ahead. Each night we may
review our day and year through the perspective of the virtue
meditation. By working with the virtues in the morning and the
evening we can begin to glimpse the many sided qualities that we are
called to work upon in any given year.
Proclamation of the Year to Come
The Holy Nights are a time for us to practice spirit rememberance, to
acknowledge our past, personally as well as historically, forgivw,
give blessings, accept where we are, and then open to envisioning the
highest heart-felt possibilities for ourselves, our families, our
community, and our earth for the coming year.
The encounters of each day of Christmas and the dreams during the
Holy Nights can be a proclamation of upcoming months, if we liken our
soul to a receptive seed gathering potential life forces for its
growth in the coming year. For example, December 25, the first day of
Christmas, can be a proclamation of the virtue, qualities, and
activities of the forthcoming month of January. But, just as the seed
is a concentrated form and vessel for the evntual blossoming plant,
it also carries the remebrance and signature of the previous year's
existence - its fragrance, color, form, how the wind, rain, pollen,
insects, and heat affected what it became. We carry within us life
experiences, shared memories with others, the impacts that helped
shape our destiny and the inner work and decisions that brought
glimpses of being a co-creator in our lives.
This journal provides blank pages to write and review the past year
and to bring spirit vision to the year ahead. This is an activity
that can be done individually or with friends or family members.
What did I do last Christmas Day? Last January? What has changed? How
do I envision this January? What are the goals for the coming months?
How did the virtue, "Courage Becomes the Power to Redeem", manifest
itself in my life this past year? How do I envision working with it
in the year ahead? As a yearly ritual, a sharing of this kind can
kindle a historical remembering and develop compassionate listening
and helpful insight in holding the best for one another throughout
the coming year.
Christmas Day - Envisioning January - Reviewing past January
Virtues and Meditation
Preparing for Sleep
Candle Light and Oil
Retrospection of Month
Retrospection of Day
COURAGE BECOMES THE POWER TO REDEEM
Parzival's courage to speak the question, What ails thee, uncle?
leads to the redeeption and healing of Amfortas.
Courage fosters love. We find courage by understanding the past,
which leads to faith in contemplating the futuer. In our life between
going to sleep and awakening, past and future meet. With the help of
the spiritual world, we weave understanding of our past day(s)
experiences with a foreshadowing of encounters of the day(s) to come.
In this striving to understand the past in anticipation of the
future, we encounter courage. As courage fosters love, each
individual we meet becomes a part of our awareness of our past
beckoning to our future. We are able to redeem each moment from this
vantage point. Thus courage becomes redemptive power.
As you go through your day, imagine that every person you encounter
has made an appointment with you and you with them. Imagine that each
meeting was prearranged. Listen for the intent of this destiny
meeting. Stand back from the meeting and observe as though you were a
compassionate witness to this holy moment. Feel the love that streams
from your courage to witness the unfolding of your life's path.