25 December 2016 – Astro-Weather: This year provides a stunning “Christmas Star” for early evening viewers. Head outside during the deepening twilight & look to the southwest for the brilliant light of Venus, the planet of Love. She shows up nicely from half an hour past sundown until it sets after 8 pm CST.
The Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point in its orbit around Earth, at 11:55 am CST. It is then 252,196 miles from Earth’s center
“With Christmas there should pour into our hearts the fundamental human feeling of love — the fundamental feeling that says: compared with all other forces and powers and treasures of the world, the treasures and the power and the force of love are the greatest, the most intense, the most powerful.” ~Rudolf Steiner
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
The birth of the Luke Jesus
The 2nd night of Hanukkah
304 – Deathday of Saint Anastasia – “Anastasia the Deliverer from Potions”, “Anastasia the Healer” or “Anastasia of Sirmium – venerated as a healer & exorcist. Her relics lie in the Cathedral of St. Anastasia in Zadar, Croatia. She is one of seven women, who along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass
336 – 1st documented celebration of Christmas in Rome
1156 – Death day of Peter the Venerable, French abbot of Cluny. Despite his active life & important role in European history, Peter’s greatest achievement is his contribution to the reappraisal of the Church’s relations with the religion of Islam. He was well known for collecting original sources on & writing about Islam & also as the author of vast amounts of correspondence, reflecting his almost encyclopedic knowledge of theological questions. His writings are counted as some of the most important documents of the 12th century. He took a long sabbatical journey to Spain to study with Islamic scholars of all ranks & published the first Latin edition of the Koran
1642 – Birthday of Isaac Newton, English physicist & mathematician
1923 – Laying of the Foundation Stone in the hearts of the General Anthroposophical Society
1977 – Deathday of Charlie Chaplin
2nd Holy Night: Christmas Day
Constellation of Aquarius, (Ruling the calves, & ankles of the human body)
Symbol: The Water-Bearer
The Sphere of the Angeloi, also called ‘Sons of Life’ or ‘Sons of Twilight’
Just as the constellation of Pisces is connected with the physical realm, the region of the Water-Bearer is linked with the etheric or Life-body, & with the Hierarchy of the Angels. In Occult Science they are referred to as the ‘Sons of Life’, as the etheric body is the lowest member of their being. They can find form in water. This goes back to Old Moon when they had their human stage. At that time the task of the angels was to pour into humanity (then in the animal stage) the fluid substances of blood & lymph. On earth Angels are entrusted with the mission of guiding individual human beings during their successive earthly lives. They preserve the memory of former incarnations, until we can do this for ourselves. In the future time of the ‘Jupiter epoch’ when humans will be as Angels, water will be the densest element.
The etheric body has 2 major qualities: Life or formative forces & Memory. We encounter these qualities in stories, legends, & in the image of ‘the living water’ or ‘the water of life’ – a symbol of the life giving forces of the cosmic ether. We find this in Dante’s Divine Comedy, when crossing from the Soul-world to the Spirt-land, Dante has to bathe in the waters of Remembrance & Forgetfulness – in Lethe (goddess of water) & Eunoe (a river nymph). In the book ‘How To Know Higher Worlds’ Rudolf Steiner speaks about these waters as 2 draughts that the pupil must take to be initiated.
In the circle of the zodiac the sign of the Water-Bearer represents the image of the ideal, spiritualized human being -humanity when it reaches the stage of the Angelic Being.
For now, the angels, our role-models, work to reveal to us this spiritual ideal, hoping to stimulate our highest strivings. We can look up to & learn from their ability to govern their astral body. We see this pictured in the symbol of the Water-Bearer, pouring forth pure water in perfect peace & harmony. This will be us – especially in the 6th cultural epoch when we are under the sign of Aquarius. Then we will be completely imbued with Manas-substance, which the Angelic beings will send down as a gift from the heavenly world.
John the Baptist had a special initiation connected to the spiritual teachers in the Moon-Sphere, which relates to the cosmic realm of Aquarius. At night he could look thru the earth, to this constellation, to see the ‘Midnight Sun’ (something we will contemplate further on the 13th hidden Holy Night) And as a consequence of this exceptional initiation, a spiritual being from the Hierarchy of the Angels was able to work thru him when he baptized. This power loosened their etheric body when dunked in the waters of the Jordan, giving them a direct experience of their guardian angel, who could then direct them to the Christ-Being as He approached Earth. (Mark 1-11)
Our job tonight (& every night), is to develop a direct, intimate relationship to our Angel, stating now in this age, to prepare for this. Thru inner study & the spiritualizing of our thinking, working to make our Heart-Thinking alive & fluid, we can grasp the Angelic impulses that can lead us into the world of imaginative cognition, giving us the password into the etheric surroundings of the earth (the moon-sphere) & like the Water-Bearer, pour forth Christened good will & peace
Virtue: Discretion Becomes the Power of Meditation
May you drink freely from the Waters of Life & never thirst