From Christmas on Dec 25 until the dawn of January 6th when Epiphany is celebrated, exists a sacred circle of time. These 12 nights arise from the gap between the lunar and solar calendars and are therefore considered holy and beyond time. This is often the ‘dead of winter’ phase when there is a strange, quiet lull. Habitual routines are released and there is more down-home time for being quiet and reflective.  For our earth-centric ancestors, this period was about staying warm inside by the fire, perhaps telling stories, doing crafts and playing music or games.

During this very cold and dark cycle, nature’s energy goes back to its roots for rest and renewal in preparation for spring growth. We would be wise to follow nature’s example and do the same and use this time to regenerate our energy and gestate creative projects for the coming year in a laid-back organic way.  Just put aside busyness and enter into a slower, more contemplative inward lifestyle as a spiritual commitment for these 12 nights. Deep inner work is possible now along with the healing and rejuvenation of mind, body, and soul in long winter sleeps. Gift yourself with permission to hibernate.

In the metaphysical understanding of the Holy Nights festival, this is a period of cultivating a deeper connection with your soul’s calling for the new year. The contemplative structure for doing this inner work is the wheel of the Zodiac. If you choose to explore this practice, you can start on Christmas eve with a meditation on Pisces and then move on to Aries on Christmas night, following with Taurus on the 26th and proceeding sequentially until Jan. 6th, Epiphany, which means vision or manifestation. Many countries celebrate Christmas on this date. It is also called Three Kings Day, for it is believed that the Magi finally found the baby Jesus on Epiphany by following their Destiny Star. Esoterically speaking, the Holy Nights are the birth canal of our inner divine child.

The soul qualities to contemplate on each of the Holy Nights according to the western esoteric tradition and also Anthroposophy are as follows: Divine Love * Discernment * Courage * Self-discipline * Patience * Contentment * Kindness * Compassion * Empathy * Perseverance * Inner Balance * Devotion and finally Integration on January 6th.