Christmas and Spiritual Evolution
In only just a few days, we will be celebrating Christmas, supposedly the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. December 25th is often associated with the pagan feast of Saturnalia, which always coincides with the winter solstice. It is the day when people cease to work and just have fun and exchange gifts. While this is true, the celebration of Christmas has a profound esoteric and spiritual meaning, especially it has something to do with initiation among Christian magicians and mystics. The Eastern Star, which happens to be in Virgo, reminds us of the light that dwells in all of us as spiritual beings, created in the very image of God — Imago Dei.
The term imago Dei refers most fundamentally to two things: first, God’s own self-actualization through humankind; and second, God’s care for humankind. To say that humans are in the image of God is to recognize the special qualities of human nature which allow God to be made manifest in humans. In other words, for humans to have the conscious recognition of their being in the image of God means that they are the creature through whom God’s plans and purposes can be made known and actualized; humans, in this way, can be seen as co-creators with God. The moral implications of the doctrine of imago Dei are apparent in the fact that if humans are to love God, then humans must love other humans, as each is an expression of God. The human’s likeness to God can also be understood by contrasting it with that which does not image God, i.e., beings who, as far as we know, are without self-consciousness and the capacity for spiritual/ moral reflection and growth. Humans differ from all other creatures because of their rational structure — their capacity for deliberation and free decision-making. This freedom gives the human a centeredness and completeness which allows the possibility for self-actualization and participation in a sacred reality. However, the freedom which makes the human in God’s image is the same freedom which manifests itself in estrangement from God, as the myth of the Fall (Adam and Eve) exemplifies. According to this myth, humans can, in their freedom, choose to deny or repress their spiritual and moral likeness to God. The ability and desire to love one’s self and others, and therefore, God, can become neglected and even opposed. Striving to bring about the imago Dei in one’s life can be seen as the quest for wholeness, or one’s “essential” self, as pointed to in Christ’s life and teachings.
As we are enveloped by darkness, the Star of the East that led the Wise Kings (read: Magi) to where the Son of God was born. “Thyself and mind, like twins upon a line, the star which is thy goal, burns overhead,” says the Voice of the Silence as translated by one of the founders of Theosophical Society, H. P. Blavatsky.
The winter season in the northern hemisphere is a period of long rest for nature. It is when everything seems to be lifeless and will only resurrect during the time of spring. In the Philippines, where there is no winter, December is considered as one of the leanest months, since the harvest season is almost over and vegetable frost often wreaks havoc in the highest region of the country, the Cordilleras. While the image that this season portrays to be glum, it is the otherwise.
In December, so happens the greatest miracles associated with Christmas and of course, the Day of St. John the Evangelist, to which the Book of Revelations is often attributed. Moreover, St. John the Evangelist is also known as the beloved apostle of Christ, and the one to which Christ has shared His chalice, together with St. James, both sons of Zebedee for them to drink. (Cf. Matthew 20:23)
In the Philippines, the nine-day novena before the birth of Christ (Christmas Day) is considered one of the most powerful devotions in the Catholic liturgy. It has been said that even just completing the Christmas Triduum will help you achieve or get the things that you are wishing for. Since December in itself is considered a magical month, its atmosphere and energy can assist you with your spiritual work, particularly shadow work. Furthermore, it is also an opportune time to rediscover the Self by meditating on the humble message of the Child born in a manger, some 2,000 years ago: Love one another as I have loved you.
May you not only enjoy the occasion from a materialist perspective (giving gifts, partying) but also in its most profound esoteric and spiritual sense. Amen.
 Just to clarify, it has nothing to do with the traditional mysticism of the Church. It has something to do with the incorporation of esoteric teaching and magickal practices, founded over the doctrine of Christianity.