The Hidden Holy Night-Cosmic New Year

Toni Carmine Salerno

Deeply embedded in our cultural tradition of ‘Ringing out the old & Ringing in the new’ on the eve of the New Year, lives many celestial synchronicities, which change every year, but for the last 70 years, with 30 more to go – at Midnight, we are directly ‘downstream’ from the star Sirius.

Because Sirius is the brightest star in our sky, next to the Sun, in antiquity it was known as ‘The Shining One’. The ancient Egyptians called Sirius ‘Isis’ (Sothis) & built their calendar around the rising & setting of this magnificent star. It is interesting to note that our time now is a recapitulation of ancient Egypt (the 3rd cultural epoch) What can we take from that time & make it new?

 Nassa Lemit

The Egyptians believed that Sirius had a tremendous effect upon life on our planet. In particular, they felt that Sirius could open a portal into the spiritual world, so they oriented the pyramid at Giza to the Sirius light.

The Sirius system is directly “upstream” of our solar system within the galactic arm of our Milky Way Galaxy (the Orion arm). And of all the stars in our skies, only Sirius exactly matches the length of our solar year, 365.25 days. This exact correlation has led some to surmise that Sirius is related to our Sun as a binary star. Sirius imprints upon us, like the Sun, a realignment of our own vibrational patterns, touched by the perfection of this Golden Proportion.

Our magical midnight of New Beginnings marks the moment when the energies of Sirius, directly overhead, & the forces of the Sun shining thru the earth from the other side, bring transformational re-alignment. The Golden mean holds the codes of perfection which are eternal. To be in conscious attendance of the positional relationship of the Sun & the star Sirius in the mid-heaven at midnight -visualizing the Earth – & all life – in its ultimate perfection – enables us to receive the empowerment of the Spiritual world directly into our consciousness

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Behold the Sun
At the midnight hour;
Build with stones in the lifeless ground,
Thus in decay and in the night of Death
Find the Creation’s new beginning,
Young morning’s strength;
Glory in the heights the eternal Word of Gods;
Shelter in the depths the Powers of Peace.
In darkness dwelling, create a Sun.
In matter weaving, know the joy of Spirit”! ~Rudolf Steiner Schmidt Number: S-1456

On New Year’s Eve our folk soul briefly releases us & consequently what we then think is perceived by the highest hierarchies & has the power in it to be brought into reality” ~Rudolf Steiner in conversation with H. Hahn, reported in Das Goetheanum, # 3, Jan 4, 1990

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“It is really the case that what was taught the Mystery-pupils at Ephesus concerning the primeval Word lies in the opening sentences of the John Gospel. It is indeed very fitting for Anthroposophists to turn their attention today, on this Cosmic New Year’s Eve, to these secrets which rest in the lap of time; for in a certain sense, that which stood here on the Dornach hill as the Goetheanum had become the centre of anthroposophical activity. The pain we feel today must continue to be pain, and will do so in everyone who was able to feel what the Goetheanum was intended to be. But to one who is striving upwards in his knowledge towards the spiritual all that takes place in the physical world must be for him an external manifestation, a picture of the spiritual which lies behind it. We as human beings striving after spiritual knowledge must be able to turn what has caused this pain into an opportunity for looking spiritually into a revelation which leads us into greater and greater depths. This Goetheanum was to have been a place in which one hoped to have spoken, and in which we have spoken again and again of those things which are connected with the opening words of the John Gospel:

In the Primal Beginning was the Word — the Logos — and the Word was with God, and a god was the Word.”

Then the Goetheanum was destroyed by fire. This terrible picture of the burning Goetheanum arises before us. The pain may give birth to the summons to look ever more deeply into that which lives in the power of our thought, into this burning Goetheanum of New Year’s Eve. That is an experience, painful though it is, which leads us into greater and greater depths. That which we wished to have founded in this Goetheanum, which is connected with the John Gospel, these already form an enclosure within these burning consuming flames. And it is an important impulse which we may grasp: Let these flames be for us the occasion to look through them to other flames, those flames which once long ago consumed the Temple of Ephesus. Let us look upon them as a summons to us to try and fathom that which stands at the beginning of the John Gospel. Urged by this painfully sacred impulse, let us look back from the John Gospel to the Temple of Ephesus — which once was also burned down — and then in the Goetheanum flames, which speak indeed so painfully we shall receive a monition from that which streams into the Akasha with the burning flames of the Ephesian Temple.

Herostratus burns  the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Even today, if we look back on that night of misfortune, to those fierce flames of the Goetheanum conflagration, do we not still find in them the molten metals of the musical instruments which speak a language so pure and holy? Do we not find in these molten metals those musical instruments which conjured into the flames those wonderful colours — variously speaking colours — colours closely connected with the metals? Through connection with the metals something arises like memory in the earth-substance. This memory we have of that which was consumed with the Temple at Ephesus. And just as these two conflagrations may be connected, so the longing to investigate the meaning of “In the Primal Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and a god was the Word” may be connected somewhat with the words which again and again were made clear to the pupil at Ephesus: “Study the mystery of man in the small word, in the micrologos; thereby thou shalt make thyself ripe to experience in thyself the mystery of the macrologos.”

Saat Chion

Man is the microcosm as contrasted with the world which is the macrocosm, but he also bears within him the mysteries of the cosmos, and we can decipher the cosmic mystery contained in the first three verses of the John Gospel if we bear in mind in the right sense that into which, as into many other things also, the flames of the Goetheanum condensed, as if in written characters:

Behold the Logos
In the burning fire
Seek the solution
In the house of Diana.”

 The Akashic Record of the fire of last New Year’s Eve speaks these words very clearly, together with many others; and they make on us the demand to establish in the microcosm the micrologos, so that man may gain the understanding of that out of which his whole being has been formed — the macrocosmos — through the macrologos. ~Rudolf Steiner, Mystery Centres, Lecture IV, Dornach, December 1923

Jean Mignon

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The Christmas Conference:

World History in the light of Anthroposophy, Lecture VIII: The Burning of the Ephesian Temple and the Goetheanum, Dornach 31st December 1923 Morning

The Envy of the Gods — The Envy of Human Beings

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Mieke Filmich.

“Our end-of-year festival will begin with Frau Dr. Steiner giving us a recitation of the beautiful Norwegian legend of Olaf Åsteson, of whom we are told that at the approach to Christmas he fell into a kind of sleep which lasted for thirteen days; the thirteen holy days that we have explored in various ways. In the course of this sleep he had significant experiences, that he was able to narrate when he awoke.

Olaf Åsteson, Olaf the son of earth, experiences various secrets of the cosmic All whilst he is transported into the macrocosm during the thirteen shortest days. And the nordic legend which has recently been extricated from old accounts, tells of these experiences Olaf Åsteson had between Christmas and New Year up till the 6th January. We often have reason to remember this former manner in which the microcosm took part in the macrocosm, and we can then take these things further. First of all, however, let us hear the legend of Olaf Åsteson, the earth son, who during the time in which we are now, experienced the secrets of cosmic existence in his meeting with the earth spirit. Let us listen to these experiences.

The Dream Song
I
Come listen to my song!
The song of a nimble youth.
Of Olaf Åsteson will I sing,
Who lay and slept so long.
II
He laid him down on Christmas Eve
And soon lay deeply sleeping.
Nor could he awaken
Until the people went to church
Upon the thirteenth day.
Of Olaf Åsteson will I sing,
Who lay and slept so long.
He laid him down on Christmas Eve
And he slept long indeed!
He could not awaken
Until the bird was on the wing
Upon the thirteenth day.
Of Olaf Åsteson will I sing,
Who lay and slept so long.
Olaf could not awaken
Until the sun shone o’er the peaks
Upon the thirteenth day.
Then saddled he his nimble horse
And rode in haste to the church.
Of Olaf Åsteson will I sing,
Who lay and slept so long.
The priest was at the altar
Reading holy mass
When Olaf alighted at the gate
To tell the many dreams
That had passed through his soul
When he did sleep so long.
Of Olaf Åsteson will I sing,
Who lay and slept so long.
Then old and young they all gave heed,
To Olaf’s words they harkened
That told them of his dreams
Of Olaf Åsteson will I sing,
Who lay and slept so long.
III
‘I laid me down on Christmas Eve
And soon lay deeply sleeping.
Nor could I awaken
Before the people went to church
Upon the thirteenth day.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
I was borne up into the clouds
Thrown down to the ocean’s depths,
And whosoever will follow after
Good cheer he will not find.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
I was borne up into the clouds
Then hurled into murky swamps,
And I saw the horrors of hell
And also heaven’s light.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
I had to go through deep, dark clefts
Where heaven’s rivers rushed and roared.
The power to see them was not mine
Yet I could hear their roaring.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
My coal-black horse he did not neigh,
Nor did my good hounds bark,
The bird of morning did not sing
For a wonder lay on all.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
I had to travel in spiritland
Through stretch on stretch of thorny heath,
My scarlet mantle was torn to shreds
The nails of my feet likewise.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
Then I came to the Gjallar Bridge
Suspended in the windblown heights,
Studded it is with rich red gold
And the nails thereon have sharp points.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
The spirit snake he struck at me
The spirit hound bit me,
And lo! the bull did bar the way.
These are the three beasts of the bridge,
Most wicked are they all.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
The hound he is a snappish beast
The serpent waits to strike,
The bull is ready to attack!
And no one may pass o’er the bridge
Who will not honour truth!
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
I passed o’er the Gjallar Bridge
On dizzy heights and narrow.
I who had waded in the swamps . . . .
Behind me now they lie!
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
I had waded in the swamps
There seemed no foothold I could find
As I passed o’er the Gjallar Bridge
Earth did I feel within my mouth
As the dead who lie in their graves.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
To the waters then I came,
’Twas where the icy masses gleamed
Like unto flames of blue. . . .
And God did guide me in my steps
That I did not come close.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
So I went on the wintry way
And saw on my right hand:
Like unto paradise it was,
Light shining far and wide.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
God’s Holy Mother then I saw
Amidst most wondrous glory!
‘Now take thy way to Brooksvalin,
the place where souls are judged!’
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.

IV
In other worlds I tarried then
Through many nights and long;
And God alone can know
The suffering I saw there —
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
I could see a young man
Who in life had killed a child.
Now he must carry him always
And stand in mud to his knee
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
Also I saw an old man
Wearing a cloak of lead;
Thus was he punished,
The miser on earth,
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
And men appeared before me
Wearing apparel of fire;
So does their dishonesty
Weigh on their poor souls
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
Children I also saw,
Glowing coals beneath their feet,
In life they did their parents ill,
Now must their spirits feel it
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
And to a house I had to go
Where witches toiled in blood;
This was the blood of those
Who had enraged them whilst on earth,
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
Now there came riding from the North
Wild hordes of evil spooks,
Led by the Prince of Hell,
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
This horde riding from the North
Was the wickedest ever seen;
And the Prince of Hell rode out in front,
And he rode on his coal-black steed
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
Yet now came a host from the South
Bringing holy calm,
And at their head rode Saint Michael
At the side of Jesu Christ
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
The souls weighed down by sin
Had to tremble in anguish and fear!
Their tears ran down in streams
To hear of their wicked deeds
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.
Michael stood in majesty
And weighed the souls of men
Upon his heavenly scales,
And near him, judging, stood
The Lord of Judgment, Jesu Christ
In Brooksvalin, where souls
World judgment undergo.

V
Blessed is he who in earthly life
Gives shoes unto the poor;
He does not need, with naked feet,
To walk on the heath of thorn.
Thus speaks the Balance,
And World truth
Sounds forth in spirit heights.
Blessed is he who in earthly life
Unto the poor gave bread!
For nothing of harm can come to him
From the hounds of spiritland.
Thus speaks the Balance,
And World truth
Sounds forth in spirit heights.
Blessed is he who in earthly life
Gave corn unto the poor!
The horns of the bull are no threat to him
When he crosses the Gjallar Bridge.
Thus speaks the Balance,
And World truth
Sounds forth in spirit heights.
Blessed is he who in earthly life
Unto the poor gives clothes!
He need not fear the freezing wastes
Of ice in Brooksvalin.
Thus speaks the Balance,
And World truth
Sounds forth in spirit heights.

VI
And young and old they all gave heed,
To Olaf’s words they harkened
That told them of his dreams.
You have slept long indeed. . . .
Awaken now, O Olaf Åsteson!

This legend brings us tidings of ancient knowledge and insight into the spiritual worlds, which we shall regain once more through what we call the spiritual-scientific world outlook.

The human soul has slept long indeed, but world spirits will approach and call to it, ‘Awaken now, O Olaf Asteson!’ — Only we have to prepare ourselves in the right way, so that it does not happen that we are faced with the call, ‘Awaken now, O Olaf Åsteson!’ and have not the ears to hear it. That is why we are engaged in spiritual science, so that we shall have the ears to hear, when the call to be spiritually awake sounds in human evolution.

~Rudolf Steiner, Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom, Lecture 4, COSMIC NEW YEAR, Dornach, 31st December 1914

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“…Two cycles interpenetrate at this time of the year, approximately around New Year’s Eve.

The approach of New Year’s Eve may therefore appear to us like the approach of a messenger from the spiritual world, revealing to us the mysteries connected with the end of the year and bringing us the following message: The secret of existence consists in the fact that cycles INTERPENETRATE

“Behold, in the midst of the dark cold winter season the vegetable consciousness unites with the mineral consciousness of the earth. Let this be a sign to you that the earth too has its own cycle, namely the great cosmic year mentioned by Zarathustra, which goes from one Cosmic New Year’s Eve to the other, and which we must understand if we wish to grasp the course of human development.”

Zarathustra speaks of twelve thousands of years. He described the course of one Earthly Year, and divided it into four seasons representing the course of human evolution upon the earth. This is deeply rooted in the spiritual mysteries.

The thirteen days from the 24th of December to the 6th of January are the days in which the plants’ consciousness unites with the mineral consciousness. If the human being can transfer himself into the consciousness of the plants, he can see and dream of many mysteries which pass through his heart in many forms — he can have dreams such as that of Olaf Åsteson.

If we develop such feelings and moods, we obtain the right attitude towards the aims of our spiritual knowledge; these warm feelings which stream through our heart are a preparation for the New Cosmic Year, and they enable us to await it worthily, to look forward to that cosmic New Year’s Eve which brings a new cosmic year. In future incarnations, when our souls will pass through the great Cosmic New Year, we shall experience it in the right way if the end of the year which closes the small cycle of twelve months becomes a symbol for the great end of the year which closes a cycle of twelve thousand years.

This is the secret of our existence. The things which take place upon a small scale always correspond to the things which take place upon a large scale, and upon a large scale the things are the same as upon a small scale. The small scale, the course of one year, can only be grasped if it becomes a symbol for the great cosmic course, for the cycle which encompasses thousands of years.

The year is an image for the Aeons. And Aeons are the reality of symbols which we encounter in the course of one year. If we really understand the year’s course, our hearts will be deeply moved to the mysteries of the cosmos, at this time of the year which marks the beginning of a new year. Let us try to attune our soul so that it can look into the new year conscious of the fact that it can bear within it the year’s course as a symbol for the great COSMIC course, which encompasses all the mysteries pursued by spiritual Beings who surge and weave through the universe from aeon to aeon, in the same way in which the Lesser Gods pursue the mysteries connected with the development of the vegetable and mineral Kingdoms during the course of one year. ~Rudolf Steiner THE YEAR’S COURSE AS A SYMBOL FOR THE GREAT COSMIC YEAR 31st of December, 1915.

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On New Year’s Eve it is always fitting to remember how past and future are linked together in life and in the existence of the world, how past and future are linked in the whole life of the Cosmos of which man is a part, how past and future are linked in every fraction of that life with which our own individual existence is connected, is interwoven through all that we were able to do and to think during the past year, and through all that we are able to plan for the coming year

What we are striving for in Anthroposophical Spiritual Science is this: To receive with goodwill all that is seeking to enter through spiritual revelation from another world — from a world, however, which bears within it this world of ours — and to clothe these revelations in terms by which they can be communicated to humanity. These revelations are nothing less than that which definitely (in a certain respect) guarantees the future of mankind.

As long as questions of this kind are not considered with due earnestness, we have not arrived at the right understanding of the Cosmic New Year’s Eve. At the present moment, it is essential to reach this right understanding. It is essential for us to extend our sympathies — alas, our sympathies often arise from egoistic sources — to the great human relations, and to feel for the whole of mankind that human sympathy which impels us to make a spiritual movement like this effectively fruitful for the evolution of mankind.

May you experience, my dear friends, at this very time, that it is the Spirit of the Cosmos itself, which has been seeking entrance. May you experience during the coming night, that this Spirit which seeks to enter humanity, shall here so be served that the souls of those, who will to feel with and who will to think with Anthroposophical Spiritual Science, may feel their union with this new Spirit which wills to enter the world — the Spirit which alone can bring to the earthly world, the world that is destroying itself — the new upbuilding impulse out of Heaven. In this hour, a symbolic hour every year, demanding that we experience it as the decisive hour between past and future — in this hour may you unite your souls with the new Spirit; may you so experience in your souls the contact of the past year with the coming year, that the Cosmic Year which is passing away, may contact itself with the dawning Cosmic Year.

But the passing Cosmic Year will still send many an after-effect into the future; destructive forces into the spheres of Spirit, of Equity, of Economics. Therefore it is all the more needful, that as many men as possible shall be seized in the innermost depths of their souls by the New Year of the Spiritual Future, and shall develop a Will which may be the foundation of a new spiritual world, a world to be built into the future evolution of mankind”.

~Rudolf Steiner The Cosmic New Year, lecture 4, 31st December, 1919

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Van James

May we all meet in consciousness the spiritual powers that avail themselves to us on this Cosmic New Year’s Eve

In Peace, Unconditional Love & Good Will

 ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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10 thoughts on “The Hidden Holy Night-Cosmic New Year

  1. yes, In Peace and Unconditional Love,
    I listen to the Interpenetrating cycles of these years
    I am blessed to have all the wisdom and truth you offered here in these Holy Nights.
    I hold you as a member of my circle.
    I am grateful for this moment to begin again with you.
    Lorene

    1. Yes, we human beings can learn so much thru the contemplation of this interpenetrating – we add to this energy thru our thinking.
      Our circle can be strengthened & expanded blessing all the worlds!
      May we be like the god Janus during these Holy Nights – gazing with insight into the past, to inform the present & form the future.
      May every ending be a new beginning!
      see you in the circle
      Happy New year
      xox

  2. whew ! this is the heaviest , most revelatory blog yet ! you definitely were infused with the energy to express it from God knows where . loved the olaf song . keep up the good work .

    1. Steiner’s lectures thruout the different New Year’s eve gatherings are remarkable, so much to think about.
      The thing that stuck out the most is this look into the akashic records about the burning of the Goetheanum:
      “Behold the Logos
      In the burning fire
      Seek the solution
      In the house of Diana.”
      what do you think it means?
      My 1st thought is to see the similarity with the burning of the Temple of the Goddess in Ephesus, how they were both set by arsonists, by folks that had a hatred for the power of spirit.
      So that is the past.
      When i use the Janus head to look to the future, i think of how in our time we must bring a redemption of the Goddess Isis – in the form of Wisdom – to bear in our understanding of the Christ Impulse.

      1. Yes, food for thought and I appreciate what you have just shared. And speaking of head, I appreciated seeing the image of Goetheanum in your post too–I imagined the resemblance of the doorway to the nose of a face. I live in Greenbelt, MD and am heading out now for the evening. Blessings be.

        1. May the new Year bring more insights into the life of the mind, the opening of the heart & the doing of Divine Will
          xox

  3. Dear Hazel,
    What a beautiful gift from Steiner and ftom you. Thank you. May we all hold the prayers and praise tonight.

    1. The many insights Steiner gives us is so inspiring!
      Blessings as we continue to take these concepts into our thinking actively
      in the New Year…xox

  4. Thank you so very much. I am here and grateful for your gift to help prepare me for this eve. Blessings to you and Happy New Year!

    1. The Gnostics always sought to greet the New Year in Silence, we have replaced that with the ringing of the bells. The last decade or so i usually feel inclined to do the same.
      Steiner’s words thruout the many New Year’s Eve’s lectures he gave really speak to me. Especially where he reveals what the akashic records say about the burning of the Goetheanum.
      “Behold the Logos
      In the burning fire
      Seek the solution
      In the house of Diana.”
      i will be pondering that for some time
      Any thoughts?

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