January 6th is a date on the Christian Calendar known as "The Epiphany" and it commemorates two different episodes in the life of Jesus Christ. If you are a member of a Western Church (such as the Roman Catholics or the Anglicans) the Epiphany commemorates the adoration of baby Jesus by the Magi. If you are a member of an Eastern Church like the Greek or Russian Orthodox, the Epiphany commemorates the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. In either case, the Epiphany commemorates an event which clearly showed to onlookers that Jesus was the Divine Lover that He is. It is not everyday, for example, that Kings from the East bring costly gifts to a Jewish infant because they "followed His star." Nor is it everyday that the sky splits open and the Holy Dove is sent down to alight on the shoulder of a peasant preacher as a booming Voice proclaims, "This is My Son, in Whom I am well pleased." The word "Epiphany" means Manifestation and it is above all, a day for making clear the fact that Jesus is the Darling of the Universe.
I did not always celebrate the Epiphany. Although I was raised Christian, I was raised in a church that did not observe a liturgical calendar. I did not even hear about the Epiphany until 2009, and I chose to celebrate it on my own that Year, in an individualized fashion that probably would not have made sense to other Christians. I reasoned that since the day commemorated the baptism of Christ, all the waters of the Earth would be charged on that day, as Holy Water -- how could they not be if the precious Body of the Lord had descended into the Jordan on that day? When a woman merely brushed against Him in the crowd He felt virtue come out of Him to heal her... it seems to me that a similar process would have remarkably cleansed and transformed the Planet's Waters when He took His sacramental dip. So on January 6th, 2009, and on every January 6th since, I have gone to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and drawn out a jar of water. I have kept this Holy Water of the Epiphany in my closet all Year long until I change it out for new water on the following Epiphany. When I have needed to specially anoint a place of prayer I have sprinkled a little holy water on the ground and then knelt in it as a symbol of partaking with Christ's baptism, as a boost to my prayer or an inspiration to my faith. Last year, January 6th, 2012, I introduced this practice to two friends of mine who live on the Pacific coast. I was touched to see that one of the applications of their holy water was a sprinkling upon the ground they stood on to get married that Summer.
These days I also set an intention with the drawing of the Holy Water that all the Planet's Oceans can be healed from the pollution and the overfishing that is crippling them. I discovered a wonderful blog called "Destiny of Nations" which is run by a Native American Christian. In his blog post called "Healing the Land Part 2" he describes having communion with a polluted body of water and then casting salt into it to ask for its healing. Check it out by clicking here! This is also part of what gave me the idea that physical actions could be coupled with our prayerful intentions to let a bit of Magic into the Good Work of Healing the World with Christ's Power.
When I went to occupy a biodynamic farm last Year, I was surprised to find that the Epiphany is of pretty big importance to biodynamic practitioners as well. Sometimes on biodynamic farms, the Epiphany is marked by a spraying of ground up gold, frankincense, and myrrh over the farm in a "preparation" that at once commemorates the gifts of the Magi to Jesus and also puts a powerful blessing on the farm. This "Three Kings spray" had dramatic effect, according to the Lady of the Garden, when she sprayed it the first Epiphany after her husband passed on. She said that the wind became suddenly fierce after it was sprayed, as if in response to the Gift, or as if there was some desire to whisk its effects out into the ever wider World.
I believe in the underlying Mysterious nature of Nature; I advocate for a sacramental attitude toward the elements and products of the Earth. I believe in joining prayer to farm work, prayer to environmentalism, prayer to community building and prayer to just about everything. I agree that Jesus is Alive, and Powerful, and that He (Love) can Transform our Planet if we just give Him the slightest Participation. Furthermore, I believe that His Purposes can be Manifested in Our World by the subtlest influence of microcosm over macrocosm. I invite You to think on these things as You set out into the New World of 2013, and begin to seek links of your own between Nature and Spirituality, between faith and practice. We are all of us agents of Salvation and Healing and it should not matter if we are not in charge of vast tracts of land or sums of money or political will. God has given to Individuals the Power to Transform the World around us.... The Planet is a Garden programmed to respond to a certain kind of Human. Become that certain kind of Human. Begin to believe in forces larger than the Cause & Effect relationship you can see.... Begin to account for the Spiritual Variable that is present and with us... Make your Plans with God.... Consider His Ability to be the actual Source for all your activity. In Christ one can do "all things," can affect the Destinies of Nations, can stand against spiritual wickedness in high places. Do you see yourself as a Spiritual Warrior? What you bind can be bound and what you loose can be loosed. Do not sit idly by and do nothing when you can Change the entire World in the course of one prayerful afternoon (I know, I have done it). This is the Secret of Sages.
This Epiphany I also attended my Church, which follows the liturgical Calendar (I am so blessed to have found a home Church that expresses Christianity in the way I have always longed to see it expressed). Our minister pointed out in her sermon that the Magi were "outsiders" to the Judaeo-Christian tradition. This is something I have pointed out to Christian friends in years past, as evidence that perhaps God's covenant is wider than they think. The very term "Magi" is connected to Mage, or Magic, and specifically to Zoroastrianism. They were astrologers, they were occultists. And yet they found the Current of Truth behind their own ancient religion which pointed them to the Hope of Every Race and Faith. They followed Secret Signs and were acquainted with dark sayings, extra-canonical prophecies. They spoke to spirits and received messages in dreams. And this tradition as well is alive and well, and capable of unleashing great goodness into the World. Wherever you find yourself in relation to Christianity, please at least glean this fact: the Stars point the way to PLACES ON EARTH, and it is THERE that Man must look, IN HIS MOTHER'S WOMB... the Eternal Child is born and we are born into Him and partake of His Nature. When this mystic event occurs, it will not matter what denominational stripe you wear... Rumi the Muslim was alike to Francis of Assissi the Catholic when he felt the rejuvenating Power of Jesus raising Plants like Martyrs from their Shrouds every newly beginning Spring... I pray that you learn to hear the Name of Christ and feel the Character and Promise of Jesus the Christ as you romp the Fields and Forests which give Him praise this coming Year. In both 2011 and in 2012 I counseled my Readers to TAKE PART IN THE COMING OF THE SPRING. This Year, as Earth slumbers in Her spiritual Sleep, ready to take off into the Fifth Dimension when She opens Her Eyes for 2013.... I counsel You not only to Take Part in the Coming of the Spring, but to Take Part in the Coming of the Christ... Let your Nature be wed to His Being as is the Nature of the Earth Herself.