This is the time of the Holy Nights, which we try to respect both for our own inner selves, but also for the offerings we can make to our farm animals. During these Holy Nights, the Earth recalls the archetypal impulses received at St. Johnstide (24 June) when there is the greatest cosmic expansion, impulses that are now re-elaborated in the heights of winter consciousness and internalization. The 13 Holy Nights start on December 24th with the impulse of Aries and end with the impulse of Pisces on January 5th. Within the cycle there is a double night, the night of Libra.
According to the astronomical agricultural calendar we work with, the entire course of the year is divided into a series of cycles of 13 nights (28 in total), of which the Christmas Nights are the most central and essential for the whole year to come, the true heart of this circulation. As a heart, we can characterize the 13 Nights from December 24 to January 5 as the Nights of Feeling, preceded by 13 nights related to Thinking that begins with Santa Lucia who is linked to the Light on December 13. And finally there are the 13 Nights linked to the Will, which end on 18 January.
From January 18, the cosmic impulses learned at St. Johnstide and held in our consciousness over the Christmas period become available for the kingdoms of nature for their growth and evolution, starting from the Mineral Kingdom. This is the period of the year in which crystals grow in the Earth.
A main activity we offer to the animals at the dairy is to come to them on Christmas Eve, in the darkness, with candles to light our way. We tell them the Christmas story from St. Luke as an offering to gift them confidence of our commitment to care for them through the coming year. We gather around a bonfire and sing Christmas Carols to them. The cows and donkeys all come to us and stand near our circle seeming to take in what we gift to them. It is a small offering in gratitude for all they share with us throughout the year.