Steiner teaches us about how our ancestors experienced the darkest time of winter. Since Steiner’s knowledge was gained through (often) unreliable sources and clairvoyance, I wouldn’t entirely trust him with facts, only with the occasional outburst of poetic feeling. Steiner:
‘So it can be said that Nature herself made it possible for these ancient European peoples to descend from life in the external world deep down into their own inmost being. When November came near this descent into death and darkness was felt for weeks to be a solemn season, to be a harbinger of the approaching dawn of what was called the Yuletide Festival. This mood was a clear indication of how long the remembrance of ancient clairvoyant faculties had persisted among all the peoples of Northern and Middle Europe. During the season following the period roughly corresponding to our months of January and February, men felt inwardly aware of the portents of renewed rejoicing, renewed resurrection in Nature. They were aware of a foretaste of what they would subsequently experience in the external world; but when the fields were still covered with snow, when icicles were still hanging from the trees, when outside in Nature nothing indicated a future state of exultation, there was a persistent condition of withdrawal into themselves, of inner repose which was ultimately transformed in the soul in such a way that a man was, as it were, liberated from his own selfhood.’
In Swedish, christmas is called ‘jul’, which means we can say ‘merry christmas’ (or: ‘god jul’) without connotations to christ or christianity.
The photo above was taken this past Sunday. I’m still coughing. Scaring away Santa’s reindeers, in particular the nervous Rudolf, mr Dog says, revealing his deepest worries. ‘Also’, he adds, ‘I can’t sleep properly with all this racket going on. What if I nod off just as Santa appears with all my stuff?’