The Christmas Tree as Symbol

Some thoughts on Christmas:

“THE Festival of Christmas which we shall soon be celebrating acquires new life when a deeper, more spiritual conception of the world is brought to bear upon it. In a spiritual sense the Christmas Festival is a Festival of the Sun, and as such we shall think of it to-day…

… Many to whom the Christmas Tree with its candles is a familiar sight to-day, believe that it is a very ancient institution — but this is not the case. The Christmas Tree is a very recent European custom, dating no further back than about a hundred years or so. Although, however, the Christmas Tree is a recent custom, the Christmas Festival is very ancient. It was celebrated in the earliest Mysteries of all religions, not as a festival of the outer sun but as one which awakens in men an inkling of the very wellsprings of existence.

It was celebrated every year by the highest Initiates in the Mysteries, at the time of the year when the sun sends least power to the earth, bestows least warmth. But it was also celebrated by those who might not yet participate in the whole festival, who might witness only the outer, pictorial expression of the highest Mysteries. This imagery has been preserved through the ages, varying in form according to the several creeds.
The Christmas Festival is the Festival of the Holy Night, celebrated in the Mysteries by those who were ready for the awakening of the higher Self within them, or, as we should say in our time, those who have brought the Christ to birth within them.”

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 96 – Signs and Symbols of the Christmas Festival – Berlin, 17th of December, 1906

We wish you all a peaceful and meaningful Christmas Season,
From The Committee of the Anthroposophical Society of Johannesburg

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