Monthly Archives: December 2011

Seventh Day of Christmas: Ye Shall Know the Truth

A happy and joyous New Year to you all! Before presenting the Christmas meditation for today, I’d like to start out with a prayer for the new year, from the Lectionary of the Ecclesia Gnostica, which I find to be very beautiful:

“O Omnipotent God, who fillest and dost govern the immensity of worlds which have come forth from Thee; Thou verily art the eternal new-born Child, and yet Thou art the Ancient of Days! Thou hast veiled Thine ineffable glory and splendor in the garment of time, and the cloak of space; Thou wilt transform all things so that they might return unto Thee, to Thy timeless essence. We dedicate our lives to Thee, and we resolve to so live throughout this year, that Thy glory might increase, and fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. Amen.”

The Seventh Day of Christmas
Evening of December 31st

Tonight we meditate on the qualities of Libra: Justice, Charm, Perception, Idealism, Refinery, and Diplomacy; and on the negative side, narcissism, bossiness, desire for popularity.  This day is also associated with St. Jude Thaddeus, minister of the beautiful, and patron of impossible cases.  While meditating, feel free to visualize the symbol of Libra displayed below, focus on an icon or holy card of St. Jude, or simply light a dark red candle.

Read the following scripture, and then focus on the negative qualities of Libra that you recognize in yourself.

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8: 32

Knowing that you can move beyond these aspects of yourself, read the following scripture, and meditate upon the positive qualities of Libra you possess.  Always see the beauty in the world, even when it may be obscured – it’s always there.  As is written in the Gospel of Thomas: “Cleave a piece of wood and I am there, lift up a stone and you will find me there,” and “The kingdom of heaven is spread out upon the earth, but men do not see it.”  Just as St. Jude has accomplished impossible miracles, you too are capable of seemingly impossible feats, and transforming the world so that its inner beauty may shine forth.

“Most blessed sight were it, my son, to see all these beneath one sway – the motionless in motion, and the unmanifest made manifest; whereby is made this order of the cosmos and the cosmos which we see of order.” – Corpus Hermeticum, 5:5

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Sixth Day of Christmas: He That is Greatest Among You Shall Be Your Servant

The Sixth Day of Christmas
Evening of December 30th

Tonight we meditate on the qualities of Virgo: purity, service, diligence, self-sufficiency, freedom-loving, order, modesty; and on the negative side, materialism, hypochondria.  This day is also associated with St. James the Just, brother of Jude and Simon.  St. James represents purity of character, and consecration to selfless service, a theme which can be easily seen in his epistle.  While meditating, feel free to visualize the symbol of Virgo displayed below, focus on an icon or holy card of St. James, or simply light a gold candle.

Read the following scripture, and then focus on the negative qualities of Virgo that you recognize in yourself.

“But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” – Matthew 23:11

Knowing that you can transform these aspects of yourself, read the following scripture, and meditate upon the positive qualities of Virgo you possess, and how they apply to your life.  After having “put off the old man” yesterday, we can dedicate ourselves to purity and selflessness by following the example of James, “for whose sake heaven and earth came into being” (Thomas 12).

Gnosis of Joy hath come to us, and on its coming, son, sorrow will flee away to them who give it room. The Power that follows Joy do I invoke, thy Self-control. O Power most sweet! Let us most gladly bid it welcome, son! How with its coming doth it chase Intemperance away!”Corpus Hermeticum, 13:8

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Fifth Day of Christmas: Love is the Fulfilling of the Law

The Fifth Day of Christmas
Evening of December 29th

Today we meditate on the qualities of Leo: Honesty, Generosity, Self-motivation, Charisma, Enthusiasm; and on the negative side, vanity, stubbornness, melodrama, narcissism, promiscuity.  This day is also associated with (Saint) Judas.  Yes, that Judas.  Now, whether you believe that Judas betrayed Christ, or that he was simply following Christ’s instructions – there is a deep significance attached to the fact that Judas, after turning Jesus over to the Romans, took his own life.  This suggests that the personality must always wane, so that the spirit may wax strong; or as St. Paul put it, putting off the old man and putting on the new.  While meditating, feel free to visualize the symbol of Leo displayed below, focus on an icon or image of Judas Iscariot, or simply light a green candle.

Read the following scripture, and then focus on the negative qualities of Leo that you recognize in yourself.

“Be not fearful of the flesh, nor love it.  If you fear it, it will become master over you.  If you love it, it will swallow and paralyze you.” – Gospel of Philip

Knowing that you can transform these aspects of yourself, read the following scripture, and meditate upon the positive qualities of Leo you possess.  Remember that the key to putting off the old and putting on the new is not to completely avoid the flesh, nor completely indulge – but to seek balance, and find the middle path.  Loving and fearing the flesh are two sides of the same coin, and either way it will control you.  But understand that our bodily life is transient, and our lower nature must die, just as Judas did, so that our personality becomes subject to the spirit, not the flesh.

“Love is the fulfilling of the law.”Romans 13:10

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Fourth Day of Christmas: Walk in the Light

I apologize for the lateness of today’s post, but here is the meditation for the fourth day of Christmas.  Keep in mind that these meditations actually start the day after Christmas, with the last one being done on Epiphany itself  however, holy days traditionally begin at sunset the evening before the calendar day.  In my posts, I’ve been indicating the proper evening on which to perform the meditation, for the sake of simplicity; but the truth is, by saying the “Evening of December 28th”  I actually mean that the day to which the meditation is assigned is the 29th, which begins at sunset on the 28th.  If evening meditations do not work for you, feel free to perform the meditation the following day (before sunset) at a time that is most convenient for you.  And now that I’ve thoroughly confused you, here is the meditation for this evening!

The Fourth Day of Christmas
Evening of December 28th

Today we meditate on the qualities of Cancer: kindness, romanticism, imagination, intuition, family ties; and on the negative side, moody, pessimistic, suspicious. This day is also associated with St. Bartholomew (Nathaniel), a mystic in whom there is no guile.  While meditating on the following suggestions, feel free to visualize the symbol of Cancer displayed below, focus on an icon or holy card of St. Bartholomew, or simply light a green candle.

Read the following scripture, and then focus on the negative qualities of Cancer that you recognize in yourself.

“But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another.” – 1 John 1:7

Knowing that you can transform these aspects of yourself, read the following scripture, and meditate upon the positive qualities of Cancer you possess.  Know that even in your moodiness, you can still be kind; and while a certain amount of pessimism can be fine, to walk in the Light we first must trust in It.  Follow St. Bartholomew’s example, and know that the path of the true mystic means being honest with yourself and others, balancing the positive and negative aspects of yourself to walk the middle path, and always having faith in the Light.

“I am the Light that shineth forth, and giveth joy to the souls.”Come to Me, My Kinsman

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Third Day of Christmas: Be Still and Know that I am God

The Third Day of Christmas
Evening of December 27th

Today we meditate on the qualities of Gemini: youth, communication, wit, courage and adaptability; and on the negative side, lack of commitment, tendency toward gossip, easily bored. This day is also associated with St. Thomas, known for his Gnosis – his doubts, natural to the human mind, were transcended.  While meditating on the following suggestions, feel free to visualize the symbol of Gemini displayed below, focus on an icon or holy card of St. Didymos Judas Thomas, or simply light a light blue candle.

Read the following scripture, and then focus on the negative qualities of Gemini that you recognize in yourself.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Knowing that you can transform these aspects of yourself, read the following scripture, and meditate upon the positive qualities of Gemini you possess.  Know that the path of Gnosis requires steadfast dedication, in spite of the tendency the human mind has to wander.  And never cease to question, for it is through doubt that we can discover the light, just as St. Thomas did.

Look upon me, you who reflect upon me; and you hearers, hear me. You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves. Thunder, Perfect Mind

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Second Day of Christmas: He that Dwelleth in Love Dwelleth in God

You might ask why I would choose to share a Christmas practice focused on the signs of the zodiac.  What place does the zodiac have in the Gnostic tradition?  The Pistis Sophia talks extensively of the Rulers of Fate, archons that rule the signs of the zodiac, and the planetary spheres.  In this book, Jesus explains that he who has been baptized is released from the power of Rulers of Fate, such that any prediction astrologers might make of the future become irrelevant to the one who has been baptized.

As Epiphany is a time when Baptism is offered, the Twelve Days of Christmas are an appropriate time to confront the Rulers of Fate, and begin to loosen the bonds the archons have upon us, which will be completely cast off through the Sacrament of Baptism.  Even those of us who have already been baptized can benefit from this inner spiritual practice:  just as we are offered blessed Epiphany water to take home with us as a reminder of our own baptism, it is also good practice to annually remind ourselves of what baptism has done for us – it releases us from the power of the archons, so that we can say to them with confidence, “Take to yourselves your destiny!”

I didn’t mention this yesterday, but perhaps a good conclusion to this daily Christmas practice would be to recite the Renunciation of the Archons following your meditations.  This, of course, is optional, but it is a bold way to proclaim your freedom from their tyranny.

Renunciation of the Archons

Rulers of the Midst, hear me: Ye usurpers of the rightful Realms of Perfection, I renounce you and your works, deeds, images. Take to yourselves your destiny! I come not to your regions from this moment onwards. I have become a stranger unto you forever, being about to go unto the region of my inheritance. Rulers of the Midst, hear me: I renounce you and your servants, and commend my whole self to the Realms of Truth, now and forever. Amen.

The Second Day of Christmas
Evening of December 26th

Today we meditate on the qualities of Taurus: practicality, ambition, affection, and slowness to anger; and on the negative side, stubbornness, materialism, sensuousness, capability of raging when pushed. It is also associated with St. Andrew, known for his humility. While meditating on the following suggestions, feel free to visualize the symbol of Taurus displayed below, focus on an icon or holy card of St. Andrew, or simply light a red candle.

Read the following scripture, and then focus on the negative qualities of Taurus that you recognize in yourself.

For the sake of the race of men, because it is material, I have torn myself asunder and brought unto them all the mysteries of the Light, that I may purify them, for they are the refuse of the whole matter of their matter; else would no soul of the total race of men have been saved, and they would not be able to inherit the kingdom of the Light, if I had not brought unto them the purifying mysteries.” – The Pistis Sophia

Knowing that you can transform these aspects of yourself, read the following scripture, and meditate upon the positive qualities of Taurus you possess.  Focus on cultivating these qualities further, keeping a humble and loving heart, in emulation of St. Andrew.

He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God.” – 1 John 4:16

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First Day of Christmas: Behold, I Make All Things New

A common belief prevails that December 25th brings the Christmas season to a close – however, this has never been the case in the history of Christianity.  Within the Christian Mysteries, this day is the first day of Christmas, a season of twelve holy days leading up to Epiphany on January 6th (which is itself one of the most powerful days of the year).  The Twelve Holy Days of Christmas are a period of deep esoteric significance: a time when the Divine Light is manifesting itself more fully in the world, building and building, until its power can be effectually released at Epiphany.

There have been many traditions surrounding the Twelve Days of Christmas throughout history, including the somewhat superstitious belief that each day corresponds to one month of the following year, thereby allowing us to predict the weather for the year, by observing the weather patterns of each of these 12 days.  This is, of course, not a terribly spiritual practice.  A more esoteric historical belief has been that each day is under the direct influence of one of the twelve zodiacal hierarchies.  From the time when the Light of the Christ enters the heart of the world, the planet is swept by powerful solstitial currents which continue throughout the twelve holy days.  Many wondrous workings are possible on the interior plane at this time, and this inner work is perfect preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism offered at Epiphany: the first, and some may say the most important of rites of initiation.

Another tradition has been to associate each of the 12 days with one of the apostles, meditating on that particular apostle’s life and mission, as well as the qualities they possessed.  With these two ideas in mind – the zodiacal influence, and the apostolic focus – let’s celebrate the Christmas season by focusing on our own inner Light, that it may shine ever more brightly each day.

The First Day of Christmas
Evening of December 25th

This is a day for mediation on the qualities of Aries: Active, energetic, courageous, self-reliant, open to new experiences; and on the negative side, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, impatience. It is also associated with St. James the Greater, brother of John – a pioneer and the first disciple. While meditating on the following suggestions, feel free to visualize the symbol of Aries displayed below, focus on an icon or holy card of St. James, or simply light a white candle.

Read the following scripture, and then focus on the negative qualities of Aries that you recognize in yourself.

Behold, I make all things new.” – Revelation 21:5

Knowing that you can transform these aspects of yourself, read the following scripture, and then meditate upon the positive qualities of Aries you possess.  Focus on cultivating these qualities further, and being open to new experiences, just as St. James the Greater was open to the call of our Lord.

My beloved! Behold, I shall reveal to you those things that neither the heavens nor their archons have known.” – 2 Apocalypse of James

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