1 January – the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – As we celebrate this great feast we are called to join Mary in contemplating the gift of her Son – allowing the grace of these Holy Nights to change us. To call Mary the Theotokos, the “God-Bearer,” is to celebrate the unique role that she has played—& continues to play—in the Cosmic & Earthly evolution. And as we honor the Theotokos, on the 1st day of the New Year, we also celebrate the Octave Day of Christmas, recalling the naming of Jesus on the 8th day after his birth (Luke 2:21).
The iconic Christmas image of Mary holding her infant Son embodies the mystery of the sacrifice of birth, bringing together the human & divine elements of the Incarnation. And yet, in honoring Mary as the Mother of God, we are also invited to consider another image of the Pieta -The same arms which held the Prince of Peace in a stable in Bethlehem, received the body of the crucified god on the hill of Golgotha.
January 1st is also celebrated as the World Day of Peace reminding us that the Prince of Peace must reign in our hearts if it is to rule in our world
8th Holy Night: Solemnity of Mary – Constellation of Leo, LION (ruling the heart & upper back) The Sphere of the Thrones, Spirits of Will –
2 Chronicles 9: 17: Then King Solomon made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with pure gold. 18 The throne had six steps, and a footstool of gold was attached to it. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. 19 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom
This picture of Solomon’s temple gives us insight into the Spirits of Will in the realm of Leo the Lion which fortifies the Thrones. The sacrifice enacted by these Spirits of Will on Old Saturn was the impetus for all further evolution. In the countenance of the Lion we have the transition from Sacrificial Will to the heart-forces of courage – a readiness to fulfill the design of the Divine Will, & become thru its own inner forces, an external reality, which we see embodied in the 12 petals of the human heart. We are gifted with 6 Petals which relate to Buddha’s 6 fold path & we have to earn the other 6 petals thru our work with the 6 basic exercises, to evolve & create a fifth chamber, which Rudolf Steiner calls an Etheric Heart – pictured in the Arthurian Legends as the Holy Grail – the fountain of love pouring forth the Waters of Life.
Rudolf Steiner calls the heart ‘the seat of the will’ spiritualizing the blood, working into the physical body to engender ‘eternal life’. The warmth accompanying this alchemical Sulphur process becomes the new ‘blood sacrifice’ for as it dies away from the heart, to nourish the muscles & limbs, it encourages the human being to acts of Good Will.
The Spirits of Will on Old Saturn bring a connection with The god Saturn as Chronos, the Father of Time – associated with looking into the Past, reading there the Karmic Laws that apply to the present. (A perfect contemplation for New Year’s Day!)The forces of inner courage bounding from the region of the Lion can help us create a right relationship to our karma, giving us the fortitude to deal with all the trials of destiny, to learn to carry it, & work thru it consciously.
The 12 tribes of Israel are related to the Zodiac. So it’s interesting to note that the Solomon Jesus of the Matthew Gospel was from the Tribe of Judah-the Lion, related to the constellation of Leo. We see this quality strongly in the individuality of Zarathustra, (the soul behind the Matthew Jesus) who had once been the pupil of Melchizedek, along with Abraham, who was given the task of preparing the human vessels for the 2 Jesus children –working thru 42 generations! We see how Leo’s connection to Old Saturn, with its genesis of the physical body, relates to this process of creating in the Matthew Jesus wisdom & an understanding of the Law. It also shows Courage & the Will to Sacrifice – for remember: this individuality sacrificed himself when he merged with the Nathan Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem, & again at the baptism. Thru the spiritual research of Rudolf Steiner we also learn that in earlier times he sacrificed his etheric body to Moses & his astral body to Hermes!
The 4 pre-earthly deeds of Christ (the last being the deed on Golgotha)made it possible for The Christ as ‘the Lord of Karma’ to take upon himself the ‘sins’ or karma of humankind, bringing the old Saturnian Laws of necessity to an end, & inaugurating the new Sun Karma – in freedom. Since the Mystery of Golgotha, these forces of The Christ Live in the Heart-Sun of every human being, & also in the Earth’s etheric realm.
In the earthly cycle of the year, the time of Leo is at the end of July into August, when the strength of the sunlight begins to wane, yet its often the time of greatest warmth. This hottest time in the seasonal round preserves an echo in natures memory of the conditions on Old Saturn, & of the sacrificial streaming forth of warmth-substance thru the Spirits of Will – The Thrones great gift.
May we foster that warmth in our lion-heart, during the dark winter-tide time, to activate our will for good in the world.
Ever Roaring in Love for Peace –
Virtue: Compassion Becomes Freedom