The mystical meaning of Christmas

Why do we celebrate Christmas at the beginning of Winter? The reply can be found in the book of nature. All life begins as a seed, a seed buried in the darkness of the earth or deep within a woman’s womb. Winter is the season when, in the seeds planted in the earth, the long work of germination takes place; and this work ends in springtime, when a multitude of new existences burst into life. An identical work takes place in the psyche of each human being: in the dark earth, representing his lower nature, the seed of the divine Self, the Christ, must begin to germinate. This is the event which Christians celebrate on Christmas night…yes, exactly then, during the night, at midnight, the moment of greatest darkness.

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov    Sons and Daughters of God


We celebrate the birth of the master Jesus at Christmas, but just as important as the commemoration of this historical event, is the opportunity  we all have to prepare for the birth of the Christ child within our own heart and soul. At the time of the Winter Solstice a tremendous cosmic event takes place each and every year. The light, the love and the life forces of the Cosmic Christ (which Jesus manifested perfectly two thousands years ago) are poured down upon the earth and can be received by all those who have prepared themselves to receive this spirit.

Mary prepared herself to become the mother of Christ through her devotion and obedience to God, and so symbolically she represents the purified heart and soul of all human beings. The historical Mary bowed to God’s will for her even though she risked being stoned to death for conceiving a child out of wedlock. Joseph was clearly also an exceptional being- instead of casting her off, he protected her and her unborn child. In this  Joseph represents the human intellect submitted to the Spirit. Ordinarily, the intellect is scornful and even jealous of anything that is beyond its understanding or capabilities but Joseph was guided by the spirit as communicated through his dreams. His dreams instructed him to marry the pregnant Mary and later on, return home from Bethlehem through Egypt therefore preventing Herod from killing the newly born Christ child:


For the Christ Child to be born there must be parents, a father and a mother: the father, Joseph, is the mind, the spirit; the mother, Mary, is the heart, the soul. When the heart and soul are pure, then the Christ child is born, not of the mind and spirit, but of the Universal Soul, the Holy Spirit, in the form of Fire, or Divine Love… a pure flame that invades and fertilizes the human heart and soul. The soul and heart represent the feminine, receptive principle, whereas the mind and spirit represent the masculine principle and together they prepare the conditions for the Holy Spirit, the Universal Soul or Fire, to take possession of the soul of Mary. That is when the child is born.

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov  Christmas and Easter in the Initiatic Tradition


The Gospels say that Jesus came to bring life to human beings. And the mystical birth of Christ within the human soul brings life, the life of a new, joyful consciousness:

When the soul and spirit unite, they bring a seed into the world which develops into a new consciousness. This consciousness manifests itself as an inner light which chases away all darkness, as a warmth so intense that even if the whole world abandons you, you are not alone. You feel an abundant life springing forth from you wherever your feet take you, an incoming strength and force which you consecrate to the construction of the kingdom of God on earth. You also feel joy, an extraordinary joy at being connected to the whole universe, with all evolved souls, at being part of this vastness. You have the certainty that no one can ever take your joy away from you. In India this is called the Buddhic consciousness; Christians call it the Birth of Christ.

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov  Christmas and Easter in the Initiatic Tradition

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It is interesting that ‘Beth’ is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet and that letter corresponds to the feminine principle! Here’s the complete lyric to my favorite carol, ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ (SJJ)

O Little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.


O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

Words by Philip Brookes (1835-1900)

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