--- In email@example.com, "elfuncle" <coolvibes@...> wrote:
> Draumkvedet was brought to Rudolf Steiner's attention in 1910, when the
> young lady author Ingeborg Møller (1878-1964) translated it for him
> line by line. Steiner took a deep interest in the song and recognized it
> as a description of a real initiation. Later on, it was Steiner who made
> this song well-known in the rest of Europe, and he talked about it in
> several lectures.
Happy New Year!
It is remarkable that during the centuries of Christendom, wherever powers of spiritual sight developed in the right way, it was known to seers that vision penetrated most deeply during the period of the Thirteen Holy Nights at the time of the winter solstice. Many a seer either schooled in the mysteries of the modern age or possessing inherited powers of clairvoyance makes it evident to us that at the darkest point of the winter solstice the soul can have vision of all that man must undergo because of his alienation from the Christ Spirit, how adjustment and catharsis were made possible through the Mystery enacted in the Baptism by John in the Jordan and then through the Mystery of Golgotha, and how the visions during the Thirteen Nights are crowned on the 6th of January by the Christ Imagination. Thus it is correct to name the 6th of January as the day of Christ's birth and these Thirteen Nights as the time during which the powers of seership in the human soul discern and perceive what man must undergo through his life in the incarnations from Adam and Eve to the Mystery of Golgotha.
During my visit to Christiania last year it was interesting to me to find the thought which in rather different words has been expressed in so many lectures on the Christ Mystery, embodied in a beautiful saga known as `The Dream Legend.' Strange to say, it has come to the fore in Norway during the last ten to fifteen years and has become familiar to the people, although its origin is, of course, very much earlier. It is the legend which in a wonderfully beautiful way relates how Olaf Åsteson is initiated, as it were by natural forces, in that he falls asleep on Christmas Eve, sleeps through the Thirteen Days and Nights until the 6th of January, and lives through all the terrors which the human being must experience through the incarnations from the earth's beginning until the Mystery of Golgotha. And it relates how when the 6th of January has come, Olaf Åsteson has the vision of the intervention of the Christ Spirit in humanity, the Michael-Spirit being His forerunner. I hope that on some other occasion we shall be able to present this poem in its entirety, for then you will realise that consciousness of vision during the Thirteen Days and Nights survives even to-day, and is in fact, being revivified. A few characteristic lines only will now be quoted. The poem begins:
Come listen to me and hear my song
The song of a wonderful youth,
I'll sing you of Olaf Åsteson
Who slept many days 'tis the truth.
'Twas Christmas Eve when down he lay
And slept so long all unknowing,
He never woke till the thirteenth day
When to Church the people were going.
Yes, it was Olaf Åsteson
Who lay so long a-sleeping.
(Translated from a German version
of The Dream Legend, by E.C.M.)
And so the poem goes on, relating how in his dream during the Thirteen Days and Nights, Olaf Åsteson is led through all that man must experience on account of Lucifer's temptation. A vivid picture is given of Olaf Åsteson's journey through the spheres where human beings have the experiences so often described in connection with Kamaloca, and of how the Christ Spirit, preceded by Michael, streams into this vision.
Thus with the coming of Christ in the Spirit, it will become more and more possible for men to know how the spiritual forces weave and hold sway and that the festivals have not been instituted by arbitrary opinions but by the cosmic wisdom which so often lies beyond the reach of men's consciousness yet works and reigns throughout history. This cosmic wisdom has placed the festival of the birth of Jesus at the beginning of the Thirteen Days. While the Easter Festival can always be a reminder that contemplation of the cosmic worlds will help us to find within ourselves the strength to conquer all that is lower, the Christmas thought if we understand the festival which commemorates man's divine origin and the symbol before us on Christmas Day in the form of the Jesus Child says to us ever and again that the powers which bring peace to the soul can be found within ourselves. True peace of soul is present only when that peace has sure foundations, that is to say, when it is a force enabling man to know: In thee lives something which, if truly brought to birth, can, nay must, lead thee to divine Heights, to divine Powers. The lights on this tree are symbols of the light which shines in our own souls when we grasp the reality of what is proclaimed to us symbolically on Christmas Night by the Jesus Child in its state of innocence: the inmost being of the human soul itself, strong, innocent, tranquil, leading us along our life's path to the highest goals of existence. May these lights on the Christmas Tree say to us: If ever thy soul is weak, if ever thou believest that the goals of earth-existence are beyond thy reach, think of man's divine origin and become aware of those forces within thee which are also the forces of supreme Love. Become inwardly conscious of the forces which give thee confidence and certainty in all thy works, through all thy life, now and in all ages of time to come.(-- Rudolf Steiner: The Birth of the Sun-Spirit as the Spirit of the Earth -- The Thirteen Holy Nights, Hanover, 26th December, 1911, GA 127 )