26 December 2016 – Astro-Weather: The brightest star in the sky (after our Sun, of course) puts on quite a show on December evenings. Gleaming Sirius is nearly 4x’s brighter than the next brightest star – Arcturus in the constellation Boötes. Sirius rises before 6:30pm CST & ascends in the southeast throughout the evening hours
Before 2017 even begins, you can catch the very beginning of the apparition of Saturn & Antares which will culminate in the summer. In the early dawn tomorrow, the 27th, if the air is clear, go out & look very low in the southeast. Saturn is below the thin waning crescent Moon, & twinkly Antares is off to their right
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day
“The soul of the seer lives on from the festival of Jesus’ birth to that of the Epiphany in such a way that the Christ Mystery is revealed. It is during these Thirteen Holy Days and Nights that the soul can grasp most deeply of all, the import and meaning of the Baptism by John in the Jordan.” ~ The Birth of the Sun-Spirit as the Spirit of the Earth – THE THIRTEEN HOLY NIGHTS, Hanover, 26th December, 1911
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast of St. Stephen venerated as the Proto-martyr or first martyr of Christianity. According to the Acts of the Apostles he was a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy, at his trial he made a long speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him & was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who would later himself become a follower of Jesus
3rd day of Hanukkah
Mummer’s Day, or ” Darking Day” is an ancient Cornish midwinter celebration that occurs every year on Boxing Day in Cornwall. It was originally part of the pagan heritage of midwinter celebrations that were regularly celebrated, where people would take part in the traditional custom of guise dancing, which involves disguising themselves by painting their faces or wearing masks
Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day on which post-men, errand-boys, & servants of various kinds expect to receive a ‘Christmas-box’. It originated in the United Kingdom, but is very popular in Canada, where this was the day to exchange gifts, or return the ones not wanted
1st Day of Kwanzaa – a week-long celebration that honors African heritage, culminating in a feast & gift-giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–67. Seven candles in a candelabra symbolize the seven principles of Kwanzaa:
Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle
1799 – Four thousand people attend George Washington’s funeral where Henry Lee III declares him as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen”
1991 – The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union meets and formally dissolves the Soviet Union
2003 – The 6.6 Mw Bam earthquake shakes southeastern Iran leaving more than 26,000 dead & 30,000 injured
2004 – The 9.1–9.3 Mw Indian Ocean earthquake shakes northern Sumatra. One of the largest observed tsunamis follows, affecting the coastal areas of Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, & Indonesia; death toll is between 230,000–280,000
2006 – An oil pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria explodes, killing at least 260 people
2009 – China opens the world’s longest high-speed rail route, which links Beijing & Guangzhou
3rd Holy Night: Boxing Day – Feast of St. Steven, Constellation of Capricorn, The Goat (ruling the knees & bones) The Sphere of the Archangel, Fire-Spirits
The birth of Jesus could only occur in the seasonal round during the influence of Capricorn, when the Earth is frozen & dark, ie. purified of the Ahrimanic forces, with the light of the outer Sun, focused into Spiritual Sun within. These forces were gifted to us from the Archangels on Old Sun. So whenever we perceive light, with our eyes, or with our hearts, the Archangels are behind it.
So today, here in Chicago, with the weather in the 50’s – I can’t help thinking of this Steiner quote from The Cycle of the Year: “While the summer out-breathing occurred, the Earth was ahrimanized. Woe if Jesus had been born into this ahrimanized Earth! Before the cycle is completed again and December approaches, which brings about the birth of the Christ Impulse in the ensouled Earth, the Earth must be purified by spiritual forces, from the Dragon, from the Ahrimanic forces. And the purifying force of Michael, which subdues the evil Ahrimanic forces, must unite itself, from September into December, with the in-flowing earth breath, so that the Christmas festival may approach in the right way, and the birth of the Christ Impulse take place in the right way…”
Is this global warming a sign of the coming incarnation of Ahriman in the West?
This push of activity from Ahriman manifests itself every year in the sphere of the Goat, where he is the chief antagonist of the 12 Archangels. Ahriman hopes ever & again at this darkest & coldest time of the year to prevent the rising of the spiritual sun in the earthly sphere. And every year he is overcome by the Archangel Michael so that the Christ Sun may rise for the earth. How can we as Michaelites help in this endeavor?
We see this image of Ahriman depicted, especially in the Middle Ages, thru the imagination of ‘Satan’ portrayed with the horns & lower body of a goat -all the negative characteristics of the animal nature – a tradition followed by Goethe in his character of Mephistopheles with cloven feet.
Interesting to think that the 7th American cultural epoch will stand under the sign of the goat. How can we prepare the way in the purity of the ideal?
The 12 Archangels were the 1st beings to receive the Christ into themselves during the epoch of Ancient Persia. The Persians knew that the 12 Archangelic Beings, operating from the 12 signs of the Zodiac, work thru the 12 main nerves that connect the human brain with the rest of our body, in order to gradually summon forth what appears today as our intelligence. And Human intelligence is most awake, most light filled, precisely at the time of the year which stands under the rulership of the cosmic forces proceeding from the region of the goat.
Zarathustra (who later became the Matthew Jesus) called them the 12 Amshaspands, the envoys of the great Sun-Spirit Ahura-Mazdao, & described them as a kind of cosmic aura surrounding the Sun, holding the Christ-Impulse that was to be born in the sphere of Earth.
Capricorn is connected to the knee. So when we kneel in prayer, we spiritualize our speech. Bending the knee is a sign of reverence, helping us draw near to the Archangels who rule the element of speech.
According to spiritual science, in the Venus epoch there will arise from the knee-cap, the outer form of the human head.
The Archangels worked thru the 12 disciples as their representatives. In our time these Beings are the inspirers of the Holy Nights.
Each of the Archangels have their own qualities. The Archangel Gabriel had the task of bringing the divine forces to bear in the womb of Mary
May we bend our knee to speak from spirit-fired, christened heads & hearts
Virtue: Courage becomes the power of redemption