Thirteen holy nights

From Anthroposophy

The period of twelve days or Thirteen holy nights between Christmas and Epiphany is a special and unique period, each year. It is said that in this period, the windows of the heaven are open and there is a special connection between the spiritual hierarchies and Man on Earth.

Aspects

  • historically, the birth of Christ in the body of Jesus of Nazareth was celebrated on 6th January. Rudolf Steiner confirms this as a 'great truth' and says that later "the birth of Christ was placed thirteen days earlier and envisaged as coincident with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth". This day, the 24th of December is the day dedicated to Adam and Eve. (1913-01-07-GA158)
  • In this period of 12 days or 13 holy nights, mineral and plant consciousness interpenetrate at the turn of the year (first read 1911-12-26-GA127, then 1915-12-31-GA165)
    • In spring the plant kingdom is really asleep, even though the etheric effects happen and are plainly visible in nature (even though the plant being asleep). In a similar way, the human being is conscious-wise also asleep now, even though the etheric Christ effect is happening.
  • there is a yearly meeting of the White Lodge at Christmas, in which they send out their strength to people who want to entirely devote themselves to them (1905-12-13-GA266/1)
  • mapping of the holy nights to the zodiac signs as basis for meditation
    • several authors and sources have come up with (totally different) mapping sequences of the zodiac (a similar situation as with the mapping to zodiac signs of the apostles on the Last Supper painting by Da Vinci) as well as the months of the years. These mappings are sometimes also dephased, a.i. they all don't start the same day or night.
      • The most well known is the sequence in the materials that are said to have been indications given by Rudolf Steiner to Herbert Hahn (see Schema FMC00.360), indications which a short paragraph and a mystery to contemplate each day.
      • Examples of other and different documented mappings are from oa Mary Stewart Adams, Melanie Reinhart, Sergei Prokofieff (Libra to Pisces or reversed between Christmas and Epiphany), Yuriy Yurchenko , etc. See more in the 'Further reading' section below.
  • see also the link with the Three meetings, and the yearly connection point of one's life-spirit with Christ around Christmas
  • scientific explanation for these thirteen nights, see Ernst Uehli's statement below in the context of (Schema FMC00.384 on) Lemniscatory timespace
  • see Rhythm of a year for the twelve nights (and twelve months) as a symbol for the 12.000 earth-year-cycle of the 'cosmic year' of Zarathustra

Illustrations

  • the 'Dream Song' story by Olaf Åsteson who slept through this period, this is a folk-poem in the old Norwegian language (1913-01-07-GA158)
    • this folksong only came to light around 1850 in Norway, it is an ancient epic narrative telling the story of a young man who slept for twelve nights in the depths of winter, and then awoke to share the wondrous sights he had seen
  • Joan of Arc is an example of someone who received the Christ Impulse in the period between Christmas and Epiphany (1915-01-30-GA161, 1915-03-13-GA159, see more on the Maid of Orleans covered on The Christ Impulse from the 1st to the 20th century)
  • Iwer Thor Lorenzen reported his writings to have been inspired in the period of the twelve days between Christimas and Epiphany (quote below)

Inspirational quotes

1907-12-25-GA098

In those nights, now fixed by the festival of Christmas, the Mystery-pupils were prepared for the experience of inner spiritual vision, so that they could see inwardly, spiritually, that which at this time withdrew its physical power from the earth most completely. In the long Christmas winter night the novice was far enough advanced to have a vision at midnight. The earth was then no longer a veil for the sun, which stood behind the earth. It became transparent for him. Through the transparent earth he saw the spiritual light of the sun, the Christ-light. This fact, which marks a profound experience for the mystery-novice, was recorded in the expression: To see the sun at midnight.

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.360 provides a calendar overview to the thirteen holy nights between Christmas and Epiphany.

FMC00.360.jpg

Schema FMC00.360A is a work version to illustrate the various mappings and lack of unanimous consistency, as this topic raises natural interest for anyone who wants to plan and meditate during this special period. The work table is not meant to be a reference, rather it is intended as illustrative, and it will be improved incrementally. See also Discussion Topic

FMC00.360A.jpg


Lecture coverage and references

1905-12-13-GA266/1

.. captures that Rudolf Steiner explained that ..

.. at Christmas the Sun stood at its lowest point in the year and on the 25th began to ascend, and that in this night the Masters of the White Lodge had a conference, in which they send out the power of the Sun of the coming year to those people who wanted entirely to devote themselves to them, to surrender entirely their personality and ask them for strength. If one celebrates Christmas this way, asks the Masters in this way, then they send their strength into these people on this December 25, so that the power of the Master works through them

1911-12-26-GA127

.. (SWCC) gives more background on the deeper meaning of the dates

The hearts and minds of those who in the early centuries of our era understood the true import of Christianity turned to the Baptism in the Jordan of Jesus of Nazareth into whom Christ descended, Christ the Sun-Earth-Spirit. It was the birth of Christ that was celebrated as a Mystery in the early Christian centuries. ... What the Gnostics were able to teach trickled through into the world and although what had actually come to pass in the event indicated symbolically by the Baptism in the Jordan was not widely understood, there was nevertheless an inkling that the Sun Spirit had been born at that time as the Spirit of the Earth, that a cosmic Power had dwelt in the body of a man of earth. And so in the early centuries of Christendom the festival of the birth of Christ in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, the festival of Christ's Epiphany, was celebrated on the 6th of January.

But insight into this deep Mystery faded away more and more as time went by. The age came when men could no longer comprehend that the Being called Christ had been present in a physical human body for three years only. .. From the fourth century onwards, with the approach of the materialistic age, the powers of the human soul — then still at the stage of preparation — were not strong enough to grasp the deep Mystery which from our time on will be understood in ever greater measure. And so it came about that to the same extent to which the outer power of Christianity increased, inner understanding of the Christ Mystery decreased and the festival of the 6th of January ceased to have any essential meaning.

The birth of Christ was placed thirteen days earlier and envisaged as coincident with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. But in this very fact we are confronted by something that must always be a source of inspiration and thanksgiving. Actually, the 24th/25th of December was fixed as the day of Christ's Nativity because a great truth had been lost.

And yet ... although the error would seem to point to the loss of a great truth, such profound meaning lay behind it that — although the men responsible knew nothing of it — we cannot but marvel at the subconscious wisdom with which the festival of Christmas Day was instituted. Verily, the working of Divine wisdom can be seen in the fixing of this festival. Just as Divine wisdom can be perceived in outer nature if we know how to decipher what reveals itself there, so we can perceive Divine wisdom working in the unconscious soul of man when the following is borne in mind.

In the Calendar, the 24th of December is the day dedicated to Adam and Eve, the following day being the Festival of Christ's Nativity. Thus the loss of an ancient truth caused the date of Christ's birth to be placed thirteen days earlier and to be identified with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth — but in a most wonderful way the birth of Jesus of Nazareth was linked with the thought of man's origin in earth-evolution, his origin in Adam and Eve. All the dim feelings and experiences connected with this festival of Jesus' birth which were alive in the human soul — although in their upper consciousness, men had no knowledge of what lay behind — all these feelings that were astir in the depths of the soul speak a wondrous language.

and

But for one whose eyes of spirit are opened the Thirteen Days and Thirteen Nights between the 24th of December and the 6th of January are a time of deep spiritual experience.

Parallel with the experience of the plant-seed in the depths of the natural earth, there is a spiritual experience in the earth's spirit-depths — verily a parallel experience. And the seer for whom this experience is possible either as the result of training or through inherited clairvoyant faculties, can feel himself penetrating into these spiritual depths. During this period of the Thirteen Days and Nights, the seer can behold what must come upon man because he has passed through incarnations which have been under the influence of the forces of Lucifer since the beginning of earthly evolution. The sufferings in Kamaloca that man must endure in the spiritual world because Lucifer has been at his side since he began to incarnate on the earth — the dearest vision of all this is presented in the mighty Imaginations which can come before the soul during the Thirteen Days and Nights between the Christmas Festival and the Festival of the 6th of January, the Epiphany. At the time when the seed of the plant is passing through its most crucial period in the depths below, the human soul is passing through its deepest experiences. The soul gazes at a vista of all that man must experience in the spiritual worlds because, under Lucifer's influence, he alienated himself from the Powers by whom the world was created. This vision is clearest to the soul during these Thirteen Days and Nights. Hence there is no better preparation for the revelation of that Imagination which may be called the Christ Imagination and which makes us aware that by gaining the victory over Lucifer, Christ Himself becomes the Judge of the deeds of men during the incarnations affected by Lucifer's influence. The soul of the seer lives on from the festival of Jesus' birth to that of the Epiphany in such a way that the Christ Mystery is revealed. It is during these Thirteen Holy Days and Nights that the soul can grasp most deeply of all, the import and meaning of the Baptism by John in the Jordan.

.. during the centuries of Christendom, wherever powers of spiritual sight developed in the right way, it was known to seers that vision penetrated most deeply during the period of the Thirteen Holy Nights at the time of the winter solstice. Many a seer — either schooled in the mysteries of the modern age or possessing inherited powers of clairvoyance — makes it evident to us that at the darkest point of the winter solstice the soul can have vision of all that man must undergo because of his alienation from the Christ Spirit, how adjustment and catharsis were made possible through the Mystery enacted in the Baptism by John in the Jordan and then through the Mystery of Golgotha, and how the visions during the Thirteen Nights are crowned on the 6th of January by the Christ Imagination. Thus it is correct to name the 6th of January as the day of Christ's birth and these Thirteen Nights as the time during which the powers of seership in the human soul discern and perceive what man must undergo through his life in the incarnations from Adam and Eve to the Mystery of Golgotha.

1913-01-07-GA158

is where Rudolf Steiner tells us he translated the old Norwegian folk poem into German verse, the lecture contains the full text of the poem.

Olaf Oesteson is a type of those people living in the North who, even in the Middle Ages, about the middle of that period, were able to experience literally, one might say, the things mentioned in this poem.

and (SWCC)

.. parallel with the seasons of the year, spiritually ..

  • in the spring the plants spring forth the earth, everything wakens, the days grow longer .. we have to recognize what may be called a sort of sleeping of the elementary and higher spirits connected with the earth. When outwardly the earth awakens, we see that spiritually this is connected with a sort of falling asleep of the earth
  • when outer nature dies down again it is connected with an awakening of the spiritual nature of the earth
  • when about Christmas time outer nature is as though asleep, it is the time when the spiritual part of the earth is most active, and includes elemental, less important beings, as well as great and mighty beings connected with earthly life. It is only when it is observed outwardly that it seems as though we must compare spring with the awakening of the earth and winter to its going to sleep. Seen occultly it is the reverse. The “Spirit of the Earth” which however, consists of many spirits, is awake in winter and asleep in summer.

Just as in the human organism the organic and plant activities are most active during sleep, as these forces then work even into the brain, and as the purely organic activity is subdued while the person is awake, so is it also with the earth. When the earth is most active, when everything has sprouted forth, when the sun has reached its zenith about St. John's Day, the Spirit of the earth is asleep. In accord with this the festival of Christmas, of the awakening of the spirit, was fixed in winter.

Now one who knows how to live with the spirit of the earth celebrates, for example, the festival of St. John in summer, for this festival is a kind of materialistic festival; it celebrates that which is revealed in an outward materialistic form. One who is connected with the Spirit of the Earth, with what lives spiritually in the earth, awakens in his inner being — that is, he sleeps outwardly like Olaf Oesteson — best at Christmas time, during the “Thirteen days.”

This is an occult fact, which to occultism signifies exactly the same as the fact of the outer solstitial point to ordinary materialistic science.

.. Therefore to one who wishes to strengthen his soul's powers it may come about that he can have his best experiences during the thirteen days after Christmas. At that time, without noticing it, experiences come forth from the soul, — although the modern man is emancipated from outer processes, so that occult experiences can come at any time, but in so far as outer conditions can have an influence, the time between Christmas and New Year is most important.

1915-01-30-GA161 (SWCC) on Maid of Orleans

The soul of the Maid of Orleans had to be kindled for a great historic mission. There had to be present in her soul the impulses that surge and weave their way throughout the world with the Christ-Impulse. How should they enter her? They could indeed have entered her, if at some time in her life she had undergone an experience .. [during] the thirteen days after Christmas and .. 6th of January. And so indeed it was. .. in a certain sense she underwent in sleep this time which is so favourable to Initiation.

She underwent it in the last thirteen days of her embryonal life. She was borne by her mother, so as to pass through the Christmas season in the body of her mother in the last thirteen days of her embryo life. For she was born on the 6th January. That is the birthday of Joan of Arc. Thus she passed through the very time in which the spiritual forces weave and work most strongly in the Earth's aura.

Therefore we need not wonder, if even outer documents relate that on that 6 January 1412, the villagers ran hither and thither, feeling that something momentous had happened .. what it was that happened on that 6th of January they did not know until a later time, when the Maid of Orleans fulfilled her mission. For one who penetrates into the spiritual facts, it is of great significance to find it recorded in our calendar of births that Joan of Arc was born on the 6th January.

1915-03-13-GA159 on Maid of Orleans

.. before investigating anything historically, one should take for granted that the Christ-Impulse must have worked subconsciously for thirteen days also in the soul of a character such as the Maid of Orleans; she too must have experienced, as it were, what Olaf Asteson experienced in a sleeping condition during those thirteen days and nights; her sub-conscious soul-forces must, have been enlightened by the Christ-Impulse. In that case, the Maid of Orleans must once have been in a kind of sleeping condition during the thirteen days which lie between December 25th and January 6th, and on January 6th the Christ-Impulse must have taken hold of her soul, after a sleep-like state of existence.

What we may thus take for granted, really exists in a strange way, but during a special period, when the human being lives in a kind of sleep. Before he draws his first breath in earthly life, before he leaves his mother's body and is able to receive the first earthly-physical ray of light, he passes through a state of development which is really a sleeping state of experience. When we are within our mother's body, we live in a dreamlike sleep, a state of existence into which we enter at night when we fall asleep, and the last days of existence within our mother's body are those which are, so to speak, most accessible to the unconscious influences coming from the spiritual world.

In the Maid of Orleans these must have been the days chosen to implant the Christ-Impulse into her being, the days before she opened her physical eyes to the physical sunlight and before she drew her first breath outside her mother's body. This was indeed the case, for the Maid of Orleans was born on January 6th. On that day something occurred which caused a stir in her whole village; there was something undefined in its aura. This is a historical fact. The villagers did not know what had happened; they did not know that the Maid of Orleans had been born.

A great deal lies concealed in such facts. Only when these mysterious things are seen in their true light will it be possible to understand what is really taking place below the surface of the external physical world. The divine forces seek many different ways of entering human souls. Of course, the Karma of the Maid of Orleans had to be suited to these events. Because her Karma brought about the fact that she was born on January 6th, it provided the historical basis which enabled the Christ-Impulse to influence history in a special way through the Maid of Orleans. This fact gave Europe a completely new form.

1915-12-31-GA165

quote A

When we speak of the consciousness of the earth, we cannot perceive in its geological-mineralogical substance even the trace of anything that can be compared with man's muscles and the blood; we can only see the earth's skeleton, or the earth's solid substance, so that when we speak of the earth's consciousness, we must think of it as being contained in the whole earth, which does not only consist of a skeleton, or of solid parts, but also of water, air, etc., which correspond to the muscles, the blood, etc. of man. The whole earth is endowed with consciousness, with a consciousness which forms part of the mineral kingdom. We shall not speak of the change in the earth's consciousness during the course of the year in a definite region, but shall instead enter more deeply into the idea that the whole earth is endowed with consciousness. Let us now turn away our gaze from the whole mineral earth and observe the plants which sprout and blossom out of the earth.

If we study the vegetable kingdom from the standpoint of spiritual science we must first look upon it as an independent being in respect to the earth. The fact that the vegetable kingdom as a whole is an independent being in respect to the earth, becomes clearly evident if we study the consciousness of these two beings. We can speak of a consciousness pertaining to the whole mineral earth, but we can also speak of a consciousness pertaining to the whole vegetable kingdom which develops upon the earth. The laws which govern this consciousness of course differ from the laws which govern human consciousness. When we speak of the consciousness of plants, we can only bear in mind a definite region of the earth, because the consciousness changes according to the various regions of the earth.

As human beings we do not notice that there is a certain parallelism between our consciousness and, for instance, the consciousness of the vegetable kingdom of the whole earth, because our daytime consciousness, not our night-consciousness, is a fully conscious state. In order to simplify matters, let us say that during our waning daytime consciousness our Ego and our astral body are within our physical body. I have already explained to you that in reality this only applies to our blood and nerve system, but not to the other systems. For when the Ego and the astral body are, as it were, outside the head, they permeate all the more the remaining parts of our organism.

Parallel to this we have the fact that when, for instance, there is winter on one side of the earth, there is summer on the other side. This too is only a transformation of consciousness. It is the same with us human beings. But we do not notice it, because these two states of consciousness are not equally clear. They have different degrees of strength. The night-consciousness is a dulled state of consciousness, practically no consciousness at all, and the daytime consciousness is a full state of consciousness pertaining to the other side of our being. Our lower nature is awake during the night, when our higher nature is asleep, and this is also the case with the earth, for when it is winter on one side, it is summer on the other side. When there is a waiting state of consciousness in one part of our being, there is a sleeping state in the other and vice-versa.

As explained just now (this has frequently been dealt with in other lectures) this only applies to the vegetable kingdom. In the height of summer the vegetable kingdom sleeps, because it sprouts and grows; it sleeps, while it unfolds its physical part to the utmost. And it is fully awake at that time of the year when it does not pass through any external physical development. The vegetable kingdom is then awake. We therefore speak of all the plants upon the earth as a whole; and this whole is endowed with consciousness.

When we speak of this consciousness, which therefore constitutes a second state of consciousness permeating the earth's mineral consciousness, when we speak of this plant-consciousness; we can really say that in our part of the world this plant-consciousness is asleep during the summer and awake during the dark winter season.

But at this time of the year something else takes place. You see, these two states of consciousness, viz. the whole earth-consciousness pertaining to the mineral kingdom and the whole plant-consciousness are distinct and separate: throughout the year they are two separate beings. Yet they are not ONLY two beings, for they permeate each other, so that one is filled by the other during that time of the year in which we are now living.

When the old year passes over into the new year, the mineral objects and processes of the earth and the whole vegetable kingdom have ONE consciousness; that is to say, the two states of consciousness interpenetrate.

Of what kind is the MINERAL consciousness of the earth? To-day, however, we shall not consider its different stages in the same way in which we shall consider the consciousness of the plants, which is awake in the winter and asleep in the summer. What is the characteristic of the mineral consciousness, of the consciousness pertaining to the great being of the earth? Those who only rely upon their physical senses and upon the intellect which they think forms part of the physical senses, cannot know anything of this great consciousness of the earth. But spiritual science teaches us to observe the thoughts of the earth-consciousness, for the earth has thoughts, even as we have thoughts of minerals, plants and animals, of the air, the rivers and mountains. The earth has thoughts, in the same way in which we have thoughts concerning our environment, when we live in our ordinary daytime consciousness. What does the earth think? What thoughts live in its consciousness?

In the consciousness of the earth there are to begin with, thoughts connected with the whole heavenly space pertaining to the earth. Even as our eyes look upon the trees and stones, so the consciousness of the earth looks out into the heavenly spaces and harbours thoughts of all that goes on in the stars. The earth is a being that thinks about the stars and the events connected with them.

The mineral consciousness thus contains the secrets of the whole cosmos in the form of thought. Whereas we human beings walk over the surface of the earth and only think of the stones on our path or of many other things in our surroundings which we perceive through our senses, the earth thinks of the cosmos outside; these are the things which live in the consciousness of the earth, and as we walk through space we pass through the consciousness of the earth. The earth has a far wider consciousness and far greater thoughts than we. And it is really an uplifting thought to know: “As you walk along over the surface of the earth, you do not only pass through its atmosphere, but you pass through the thoughts of the earth.”

Let us now envisage something else — let us consider the consciousness of the plants. You see, plants cannot have great thoughts like those of the earth, for their consciousness, the thinking consciousness of the vegetable world (of the WHOLE vegetable kingdom, not of single plants) is far more limited; throughout the year it embraces a far smaller sphere pertaining to the earth — EXCEPT IN THESE DAYS, for at this time of the year (end of December/early January) the consciousness of the plants permeates the consciousness of the earth. The vegetable kingdom becomes aware of the secrets of the stars, it comprehends the mysteries of the stairs and uses them, so that in the springtime the plants may unfold again and bear blossoms and fruits in accordance with the mysteries of the cosmos. For the whole mystery of the cosmos is contained in the way in which the plants bear leaves, blossoms and fruits.

But while the plants develop their leaves, flowers and fruits they cannot develop thoughts about these processes. They can think of these processes only at this time of the year, when the consciousness of the vegetable world unites with the consciousness of the mineral world.

In spiritual science we therefore say: Two cycles interpenetrate at this time of the year, approximately around New Year's Eve.

The secret of existence consists in the fact that cycles INTERPENETRATE, continue their development separately and again interpenetrate. How wonderful is this secret of life! Two streams of development — the vegetable consciousness and the mineral consciousness, which take their course separately throughout the year, unite when one year passes over into the next. Then they develop separately until the end of the year when they unite once more. This constitutes the cyclic course of history.

quote B

Twelve months of the year pass by from the union of the Earth's vegetable consciousness with the mineral consciousness, to another union.

Rudolf Steiner in conversation with H. Hahn

reported in Das Goetheanum No 3 of 4 Jan. 1990

On New Year’s eve our folk soul briefly releases us, and consequently what we then think is perceived by the highest hierarchies and has the power in it to be brought into reality.

Ernst Uehli in 'Atlantis und das Rätsel der Eiszeitkunst' (1936)

.. (freely translated here from Lazarides p 185, who provides a commentary)

The winter solstice was the key sun celebration of the year. As Earth passed through this place of the Sun's effect in the cosmos, it took with her all the forces that, when she rose in the skies, transformed in beneficial forces, in growth forces. In this encounter with the 'midnight Sun', Earth received beneficial health promoting forces for its new annual course. This encounter became a cosmic sacrament. These are the thirteen holy nights, counted from the winter solstice to the 6th of January. The holy nights indicate the time it takes for the Earth to cross the place of the solar action in the cosmos.

Willi Sucher

.. in a lecture on the topic (see 'Further reading and references' below)

We have to remember that the Moon holds profound secrets and is an immense factor in the universe.  But the Moon calendar of the ancient peoples is twelve days shorter than our solar calendar, and these twelve extra days represent the twelve Holy Nights that we are now commemorating. These twelve Holy Nights come in the heart of the winter for their celebration, when the visible Sun is at its lowest point, but when the inner spiritual Sun at the center of the Earth, which was united with the Earth, is at its most powerful.  Therefore, at this very time, there comes into arrangement a deep interconnection between the Sun and the Earth.  When the physical Sun is at its lowest, it has the least effect, but the spiritual Sun is then more radiant, according to the ancient Mysteries.

...

The Moon forces remain silent on these twelve Holy Nights, because the Moon year has ended, and the pure Sun Being is wanting to stream out into the universe to the waiting cosmos of stars.  The real Being that is born can be experienced by us on these twelve nights, and He lives on into the future, as He accompanies humanity as their silent Brother, deeply concerned with human destiny.

The twelve Holy Nights throw open the gate of necessity into the realm of the real, for the Moon in slipping back and the Sun forces are temporarily unopposed. This twelvefoldness connects the Earth with the Zodiac in its events.  The path of the Sun and Moon and stars are each concentric rings around the Earth, as a kind of crude conception, which are marked by the constellations of the Zodiac.  Instead of our usual imagination of the spiritual forces streaming down upon the Earth from the Zodiac, let us see it during these twelve nights as the inner spiritual Sun of the Earth streaming forth into the universe to illuminate one constellation each night in turn.

Iwer Thor Lorenzen

.. writes in a short note about his work, although a modest person he was very sure of the inspiration he had received:

Every year during the christmas holidays I brought the harvest of the year together. In this period of the ‘holy nights’ I found again and again a wonderful spirit [or: atmosphere] for working. The first christmas day I started in the morning between seven and eight and only stopped for meals .. I felt as if wrapped or embedded into a world of light and a sea of thoughts, from which I created. That went on upto my birthday on 5th january. One year I wrote the last sentences on the morning of 6th of January before drinking my coffee and driving to school. As this book is not written from the intellect, it may be challenging to read, otherwise one does not enter into its substance. This is a spiritual scientific book and not an amateur's thoughts, it will still be read in the 21st century when much, what is currently held for valuable, has become wasted.

Discussion

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Willi Sucher: The twelve holy nights (unrevised lecture)
  • Frans Lutters: 'Twelve holy nights meditations on the Dream Song of Olaf Åsteson' (2018 in EN, 2013 in NL as 'The 12 heilige nachten: het droomlied van Olaf Asteson')
  • 'Instructions given by Rudolf Steiner to Herbert Hahn for the Four Weeks of Advent and the Thirteen Holy Nights'
    • The original text, stenographed in German, is without author, but is believed to have been transcribed by Herbert Hahn during a private conversation with Steiner for the biographical work.
    • Hahn instructions (PDF version)

Various

  • Martin Sandkühler: 'Das Wunder der Christnacht und die Zwölf Heiligen Nächte: Legenden, Gedichte, Brauchtum zwischen Heiligabend und Dreikönig' (2000)
  • Sergei Prokofieff:
    • The Cycle of the Year as a Path of Initiation (1991), Ch.5 p 107-112: 'The thirteen holy nights and their connection with the macrocosm'
    • 'Twelve holy nights and the spiritual hierarchies' (2004) in FR as 'Les douze nuits saintes et les hiérarchies spirituelles', in NL as 'De twaalf Heilige nachten en de geestelijke hierarchieen', in DE 'Die zwölf heiligen Nächte und die geistigen Hierarchien'
  • Janet Jordan: the Dream Song of Olaf Åsteson (2007) - illustrations
  • Mary Stewart Adams: In consideration of the holy nights of Christmas (PDF 2014-15)
  • Kristina Kaine: 'Meditations on the Twelve Holy Nights'
  • Adriana Koulias
    • Twelve Holy Nights: Contemplations (2017)
    • Advent and the Twelve Holy Nights: Part III (2018)
  • Guurtje Kieft: 'Dertien Heilige Nachten' (NL)
  • Mirjam van Donselaar: 'De Heilige Nachten door het donker naar het licht' (NL)