Monday, January 5, 2009

January 6 - Epiphany

An epiphany is a revelation. Something new and vital has come to consciousness.

In the Christian festivals, Epiphany celebrates the coming of the Three Kings or Magi. It falls on January 6th. The Epiphany that follows Inner Christmas and the Twelve Holy Nights lasts throughout the year.

Each of the Twelve Inner Christmas messages was written to initiate an epiphany in your consciousness. Each begins a process in your soul and as you let the process unfold some unexpected insight, release, healing, liberation, or transformation occurs. This unfolding may occur immediately or may take days, weeks or months to appear. Remember the Three Magi and their long and patient journey following the Star. You will find your way to the manger in your soul and the manifestation of wonder and wisdom.

Here are the twelve needs. I’ve put them in three categories for Three King’s Day.

The Four Mirrors
You need all four reflections to have a deep sense of who you are.


The Four States
You need to maintain all four states to have a clear, creative and productive soul life.


The Four Perspectives
Building imaginations from these perspectives brings
health and freedom into your soul.
Tree Image

I must laugh at this list because it is so different from what I had written down as possible topics before Inner Christmas began. I was surprised by the messages as I wrote them. After doing this for five years, I truly trust this spiritually inspired process.

After the Holy Nights

What happens to our souls when the Holy Nights come to an end? Do the veils between human souls and the Spiritual World begin to thicken again?

Yes, the veils begin to slowly thicken as earthly light grows. It is not a curtain quickly closing, just a gentle fading into slightly blurry shadows. It is not that we are less spiritual, or less connected to the Spiritual World, rather it is the graceful and creative cycle of our soul's attention through the Inner Year. Our renewed and re-purposed souls begin to refocus on the sensory world and our journey as earthly beings.

But after the experience of the Twelve Holy Nights, we see ourselves more clearly. We feel our relationships more dearly. Our ability to engage with our inner lives and our outer lives is stronger. We have evolved, grown, developed.

Remember to revisit the twelve messages of Inner Christmas 2008 throughout the year. Read them with wonder and new wisdom will appear.

The Inner Year

Each year our souls’ earthly journey offers way stations for rest, contemplation and inspiration. These are the seasonal and spiritual (or religious) festivals throughout the year. They create the rhythms and gifts of our Inner Year.

In the First Holy Night we looked at the mirror of nature. We can think of the seasons of the soul reflecting the seasons of the year- Inner Winter, Inner Spring, Inner Summer, and Inner Autumn. Or imagine the cycle of an apple tree - in the deep dark and cold of Inner Winter, the activity in the roots of our soul trees is very intense. We are gather the spiritual warmth and astral forces to put forth our budding thoughts, feelings and deeds this Inner Spring.

In a few days, I will write again and share with you the ways I will support your journey through the Inner Year.

Meanwhile, thank you so much for celebrating Inner Christmas, for your thoughtful comments, and for your generous donations. I do believe the Spiritual World delights in our work together.

I wish you a rich and fulfilling Inner 2009, abundant with meaning, miracles and mysteries.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 5 - The Twelfth Holy Night - The Need for a Tree Image

I went to bed with a topic planned for the Twelfth Message. Not surprisingly, I woke in the morning with a quite different inspiration - a tree.

Our souls need an image of a Tree. A trunk, simple, straight and solid. Branches and roots, twisted, reaching deep and high, weaving, feeding and nourishing, budding, leafing and fruiting. Sanctuary to birds, bugs, serpents, squirrels, spirits and sleeping possums. Source of great myths and mysteries. The tree of knowledge and the tree of life. The Bodhi Tree of Buddha. Your Soul’s Tree.

Jen Delyth©1990

I googled for tree images and found these two beautiful drawings by Jen Delyth, Welsh artist. Her website, is filled with amazing Celtic Art.

Jen Delyth©1990/2002

What thrilled me, and I hope thrills you, is the way the branches and the roots weave together. In our souls, spirit weaves into matter and matter weaves into spirit, especially when your core, your I am I, is strong like a tree trunk.

The Tree has been an archetypal image through the ages. Now it is an archetypal image for the individual. Imagine your own soul's tree image.

Is your tree like an oak, a willow, a cedar, a gingko, a cherry, a walnut, a birch, a dogwood? Why? Or is your tree something fantastic - your own special tree. How deep do the roots go? How high do the branches reach? Do the roots and branches spread out wide? What lives in your tree? Does your tree tell a story, a myth or offer certain gifts? Does it bring life? Does it bring knowledge? Does it set you free? or provide an embrace of compassion?

Tonight, imagine your Soul’s Tree. It is the source of the growth of your wonder and your wisdom. Tend to your tree with love. Feed it with freedom. Burrow into the roots and build nests in the branches.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 4 - The Eleventh Holy Night - The Need for Self-Parody

We often take ourselves too seriously. It doesn’t matter if we are working with our strengths or our weaknesses. We tend to get overly concerned with how we see ourselves. We become self-conscious. We get gripped by the image in the mirror. We obsess over our soul boxes. We spend hours in our balloon, drawing the most accurate maps of our feelings.

Inner Christmas honors the admonition: O Human Soul, Know Thyself!! But asks us to do it with innocence and wisdom, not self-criticism or self-obsession. I’ve used the word soft in these messages and need to use it again. Know Thyself Softly!

For those moments, hours, days when the self-seriousness overtakes your innocence and your wisdom, there is a remedy. It’s brilliant and it always works. I learned about it reading Rudolf Steiner, who spoke and wrote with breathtaking innocence and wisdom revealing the meaning of the great mysteries of the Cosmos and the human soul.

Steiner suggested the practice of self-parody. Whenever you take any aspect of your soul life too seriously, exaggerate it. Big time.

If you get filled with doubt or fear, arrogance or pride, exaggerate it. Be ridiculous. Yes, this takes the courage. You must make a fool of yourself. Once you have done this a couple of times, you will be surprised at how much freedom it provides.

Here is how I suggest you develop the wonderful spiritual practice of self-parody.

Find a time and a place where you will not be interrupted for 10 or 15 minutes. Get a clear picture of what you are overly concerned about - the grand talent or the devastating flaw, the horrific mistake or the brilliant achievement - then picture its opposite.

Step into the middle of the room. Stand tall. Breath deeply. Center your energy on your heart. Feel your spine. Relax your muscles. You are in perfect balance.

Now step to the right. The right is the place of overwhelming, prideful and wicked strength. Using your voice, your words, your body language to act out a larger than life expression of this strength. Go far beyond normal. If you feel shy about this, just give it a try. After a minute or two of this parody, go back to the center and repeat the centering, relaxing and balancing. Feel the energy of your heart and the straightness of your spine.

Now step to the left. The left is the place of fear, doubt, frailty, confusion and weakness. You don’t feel safe or likable in this place. Do a self-parody of this mood for a couple of minutes. Again, be ridiculous and exaggerated. Then, go back to center.

Repeat this process several times. You will find that the center experience increases and the two extremes weaken. From the center you will reconnect with your innocence and your wisdom. You will feel the essence of your self balanced elegantly between spirit and matter. Self-parody is a paradox - the further you exaggerate your imbalance, the more balanced you become.

If you do your Inner Christmas work right before falling asleep, wait until tomorrow to experience this exercise. Otherwise, give it a courageous effort. You may find yourself laughing.

If you have a trusted friend, plan a parody date. Nothing helps this exercise be successful, like an encouraging friend with a wild sense of humor and a great love for you. You may want to do this self-parody on a regular basis. Your soul will thrive.

All our Inner Christmas work during the Twelve Holy Nights is supported by our Angels. Self-parody is a very human capacity and the Spiritual World is amazed at this. When they experience us disappearing into the darkness of our extremes, and then see the light return as we center ourselves, they applaud with delight. They love when we laugh at ourselves with self-compassion. Make your angel happy, give self-parody a "serious" effort.

Friday, January 2, 2009

January 3 - The Tenth Holy Night - The Need for Balloons

We are at the Tenth Holy Night. We are contemplating the tenth need of the soul. I do not begin the Inner Christmas messages with a set of specific topics. The theme is always clear, but the twelve topics are always a surprise and a delight. The topics reveal themselves to me and then I begin to work with them, find the meaning and then the reason for the topic. Yesterday I had planned to write about the need for boundaries and limitations and suddenly, it was “boxes.” I tried to focus on boundaries and limitations, but boxes kept pushing them out of the way. So I wrote about boxes and learned so much about the need the soul has for these ordering containers.

While I was writing about boxes, tonight’s topic floated into my consciousness - Balloons! I argued with this impulse - balloons hardly seem profound - but as I explored the image of balloons, I realized it was another inspiration from the Spiritual World that I could not ignore.

With soul boxes, we focused on the details and categories of our soul lives. Tonight, we grab on to balloons and let them carry us high up in our consciousness where we can expand the horizon and see the vast landscape of our souls.

In a sense, the Holy Nights are a 12 day trip in a balloon. Inwardly our consciousness naturally drifts close to the spiritual world. Filled with the lightness of the spirit, we rise to heights of self-awareness. We see vistas of our inner life from a new perspective. Like a hot-air balloon in the air, we are carried by the spiritual currents in surprising directions. Spiritual forces want us to see our souls from a particular point of view and from a special distance.

From the balloon, we can see mountaintops in relations to valleys, arid deserts in relationship to rain forests, wheat fields to corn fields. In our soul balloon, we can see the relationship of sorrows to joys, questions to answers, forgiveness to resentment, loneliness to friendships, seeking to wisdom and so on.

We can see the course of the river of life as it meanders through the years. We can see the tributaries and riverbanks, the waterfalls and rapids.

Tonight, imagine yourself in a wonderful hot air balloon floating high above your soul life. First, describe your balloon. What does it look like? What is in the basket with you. Do you have guidebooks to the soul’s landscape? A camera or sketchbook. Is your cell phone with you? Who are the people you would call? Or are you taking a solitary flight?

Now look below. What do you see. It would be great to draw the vista. Make a map of your soul life. I have included some of Saul Steinberg’s maps and vistas as examples.

This drawing exercise will help you put your life in perspective. You might put a river running through it to see the course of your life. Enjoy this exercise, let the drawing just happen. If you don’t know what to draw, close your eyes and go back into the balloon flight. Draw what you see.

You can draw from a vertical perspective and make a map of your soul life so far. Or you can draw what you see from an oblique perspective and include the horizon and sky in reverence to the mystery of the future, or look in the opposite direction to the horizon and sky of the past.

You can do a map of all your relationships with others, a map of your work life or your spiritual life. Draw quickly as in a sketch or use this drawing exercise as an active meditation for a few days or a few months. Be inspired and be curious.

And most of all, be willing to be surprised. Find the acres of anger suddenly transform to pastures of love. See suffering become wisdom. Watch hurt become forgiveness. This all happens because from this new perspective, everything falls into place and finds new meaning.

Throughout the year, go for a balloon ride in your soul life often. You will be amazed at what you can see from high in your soul.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 2 - The Ninth Holy Night - The Need for Boxes

Yes, boxes. Our souls need boxes.

Boxes bless our souls with boundaries and limitations. Boxes are containers for everything in our souls.

Boxes have six sides. Top, Bottom, North, South, East, West.

We can build our own boxes or we can let others build our boxes.

We can take everything out of a box or put everything into a box.

We can wonder what’s at the bottom of a box.

We can have a box of things to keep, a box of things to give away, a box of things to throw out.

We can have a Jack-in-the-Box that plays music and surprises us.

We can have music boxes, toy boxes, button boxes, tool boxes and treasure boxes.

We can have junk boxes.

We can have gift boxes.

We can have magical, mysterious, miraculous boxes.

Boxes organize our soul life and keep our souls from getting overwhelmed with clutter and chaos.

You can build a box big enough to live in, to be your hut, or your tabernacle.

On this ninth Holy Night, contemplate your soul’s need for boxes. Your soul does not come with limits, boundaries or containers. It is up to you to find or create the boxes your soul needs.

Remember, boxes surround volume, a space to fill. Do you build your soul boxes, large enough for all your soul needs to contain in them? Or small enough to keep the contents from rolling around dangerously?

How do you label your soul boxes?

Do you have a box labeled Questions, Thoughts that seem True, Feelings that seem Harmonious, Deeds that seem Good, Relationships that seem Karmic, My Regrets, My Prejudices, My Addictions, My Destiny and so on?

Tonight and through the year - build boxes, label boxes, open boxes, close boxes. Pay attention to your boxes.