I’ve written about the Hermetic Mysteries of Christmas before — here and here. What’s a “mystery?” In the religious sense, “mysteries” are the wondrous things we feel when we put ourselves inside a myth and allow ourselves to fully experience it as if we are there. The word mystery comes to us from Greek musterion and Latin mysterium where it means “a secret rite or ritual.”
Within Catholic and Orthodox Christianity we see embedded the esoteric methods and essential nature of the Greco-Roman mysteries — updated to serve the goal of Christian salvation.
Four Ways to Seek the Christmas Mysteries This Year
- Gospel Reading Meditation. Get out your Bible and turn to the gospel of Luke. Read Luke 2:1-20. Then close your Bible, shut your eyes, and regulate your breathing to a steady rhythm. Imagine that you are one of the shepherds, sitting by the fire with your friends and brothers, watching over the flocks, when an angel appears. Allow the story to unfold in your mind’s eye.
- Go to a live Nativity Scene. Try, despite the presence of the other viewers, to imagine you are one of the shepherds as outlined above.
- Experience the Joyous Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Click here for instructions. If you have never prayed the Rosary before you are in for a treat. The basic idea is that you repeat certain prayers while you meditate on the Joyous Mysteries — the Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary, the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, the Nativity of Jesus, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple.
- Watch this amazing lecture by Jonathan Pageau. See below. Jonathan is an Orthodox Christian icon carver, a skilled artisan who understands Christian symbolism as deeply as any churchman — perhaps even more deeply — having spent so many intimate hours carving these sacred images.
Experiencing the Christmas Mysteries as if we are fully present within them is the greatest Christmas “present” we could ever hope for.