Christmas today has little in common with what was understood by the mystical tradition of Gnosticism. However, there are still many symbols in the Christmas story which, on closer inspection, point to these esoteric meanings and can reveal to us an archetypal pattern (primal pattern) of the soul.
Christmas – The Child Jesus in the manger in the stable of Bethlehem is an image of the symbolic birth of light in the darkest season, in the deepest darkness, in the longest night of the year. In a dark place, new life is born, which, like a candle, illuminates the darkness – a light that is rekindled within us.
This birth of light takes place at a time when the forces of darkness are at their peak. There is also an astrological and astronomical turning point at this time: the winter solstice (Christmas). After this birth of the new light-filled consciousness, the forces of light will grow stronger day by day, gradually pushing back the influence of darkness in the annual cycle. Light is therefore to be found in the deepest darkness of the first winter’s night and not in the bright sunshine of a summer’s midday.
The Child Jesus in the manger is a symbol of this new consciousness that is emerging. This consciousness was not there before. In the Hermetic Kabbalah, this newborn child in the manger is one of the symbols of the Sephirah Tiphareth in the Tree of Life. It represents this new higher consciousness, the Christ Consciousness, the Sun Consciousness, which is conceived and born within us.
It is only when this birth takes place within us, when this Sun Consciousness or Christ Consciousness is born within us, that we have contact with the Higher Self. The true path to enlightenment begins with the birth of Christ Consciousness. But this is only the first stage of the great work of alchemy.
This child is not born in a cosy and closed inn, also a subtle symbol of the ego, but in a stable open to the wind (breath of life) on all sides. The old must die, the tower of the closed ego must be destroyed so that the new can emerge. So before this higher Christ Consciousness can move into a house, it is necessary to at least partially overthrow and dethrone these selfish tendencies. Only when we are open like the stable can the descending spiritual forces move into their new temple.
In order for this young seed of light to survive and grow, and eventually mature into a true king with full authority, a “Herod” must also die, who is a symbol of the false king, wearing a closed crown.
The shepherds and the three “holy” kings (wise men from the East) find their way together to the manger, the birthplace of light. The kings wear a crown that is open at the top, symbolising man’s developed and hard-won spiritual and intellectual powers. However, it is necessary for these powers to unite with the heart powers of the shepherds.
The Trinity in the crib, with Mary, Joseph and Jesus, shows in a powerful symbolic image an anticipation of the Chymical Wedding, the union of the subconscious, the self-conscious and the superconscious, the action of the Sun, the Moon and Mercury, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Heavenly Triad, to mention but a few symbols of the Christmas Mystery (Christmas).
Christmas must therefore take place symbolically in us, otherwise we will be like the Angelus Silesius: “Even if Christ were born a thousand times in Bethlehem, but not in you, you would remain lost forever”.
Why does Christmas exist?
Christmas today has little in common with what it meant in the mystical tradition of Gnosticism. However, there are still many symbols in the Christmas story that, on closer inspection, point to these esoteric meanings and can reveal to us a primal pattern of the soul. Christmas is the birth of Christ.
When does the Christmas season end?
Christmas Eve is the 24th of December. Christmas Day is the 25th of December. For some, Christmas ends a day later, while others celebrate until 2 February.
Why is Christmas celebrated on the 24th of December?
25 December is Christmas Day, while 24 December is Christmas Eve.
What is Christmas Eve?
The birth of Jesus is celebrated on Christmas Eve, also known as Christmas.