The Holy Festival of Epiphany
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  • Post published:02/06/2021
  • Post last modified:02/06/2021

Epiphany is the Day of Light which falls every year on January 6. It’s also known as Epiphaneia, meaning a “manifestation or striking appearance.” Another name for this Christian holy day is Theophany or Τheophaneia, which translates as “Vision of God.” Epiphany closes the door on the 13 holy days and nights of the Christological festival that began on December 24. Traditional religious celebrations of Epiphany often center on house blessings. In the church, holy water sanctification is performed in honor of the symbolic sacred baptism. The celebration also includes a deep recollection of the magi who followed the star to the birth of their great teacher of old Zarathustra (Zoroaster), who reincarnated as the Solomon Jesus as described in the Gospel of Matthew.

In a recent article in the holiday edition of Starlight: Journal of Sophia Foundation, Anthroposophist Claudia McLaren Lainson depicts the thirteen days and thirteen nights as a time of profound spiritual experience. Christian Europe has called this period the Night of the Mothers, which is also the title of Lainson’s article. In my additional reading of the mystical Gnostics, Epiphany embodies a manifestation of the divine essence of the universal intelligence of God within the human being, which occurs in the initiate as the ascension of the Christ Consciousness from the Divine Mother through the spinal column into the brain’s pineal gland, which is known as the “epiphysis cerebri” or “Third Eye.”

Lainson portrays the Epiphany as a time of initiation: “We descend, as soul seeds, into the earthly depths to gather the spiritual forces we will need if we are to meet the trials that await us in the coming year. In these blessed nights we are reminded that all suffering is brought about by our false beliefs. Our hearts are granted new forces, engendering the courage we need to face our trials with equanimity of soul and stalwartness of spirit. By living into the wonders now unveiling within these new mysteries, we prepare ourselves to better serve peace in the world. In summer we ascend to the heavens; in winter the heavens descend to us. The Mother takes us in. Like the shepherds and the magi of old, we journey to the [heart of the Mother] in the manger, where we seek the Holy Child. In the manger, resting in the earthly depths, lies the holy child of each of us. For each of us is one spark from the one flame of innocence that the Mother guards on our behalf, until the time dawns when we can take up the truth of who we really are. For we are born from the divine, we come from the stars, and we are seeking to return to the stars…in these darkest nights of winter, our souls descend into the primal womb so that we can be reborn as the coming year unfolds.” (“Night of the Mothers,” pp 8-16 by Claudia McLaren Lainson: http://www.sophiafoundation.org/images/Starlight_Christmas_2015_Compresssed.pdf)

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