Epiphany 2020 - A Personal Walk to Bethlehem
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Follow the journey of the magi with this epiphany practice.
Epiphany in the Christian tradition means manifestation. It is used to describe the miraculous manifestation of Light brought through Jesus (Emmanuel) to help humans progress spiritually and is associated with the journey to meet this Emmanuel (God with us). The Three Wise Men or Magi, following a prophecy, came from the east to bring gifts to the baby Jesus in honor of his birth. I imagine they travelled across desert and plains, over mountains and rivers, through heat and cold to make their way to Bethlehem by following the North Star. You can take this trip yourself (or lead a class with it) and offer the gift of your heart to the baby Jesus. You can also download a printable version of this practice.
We are the Magi, searching resplendent in this world’s accouterments of knowledge and wealth and achievement. But we search for something more. And – of all the unlikely places – in a stable the Diety appears. The borning of our Lord bursts in upon our ordinary lives like fireworks in the snow. Only God would send a little baby king. And we are on our knees, where we are within reach of our full personhood.” — Ann Weems
A creche or photo of the manger
A mat or open area on the floor or outside
Blanket to kneel on if you can or a chair
Optional journal to write or draw afterwards
Optional music in background (e.g. Drummer Boy, Three Kings, Christmas Carols)
Prepare yourself for a journey. Get grounded; feel the calling, sense the fulfillment of a prophecy. Perhaps ponder: Where do you feel unhealed? What is left unfinished? What do you still want to manifest this winter, this year, in your life? Set an INTENTION for the journey. Now imagine you will be travelling at night via the North Star through mountains and desert stopping each day to rest among trees and (hopefully) water. If you are using a mat, the long ends of the mat are night and short ends are day. Move clockwise 2X around.
The Epiphany Walk Practice
Stand at short end of mat facing the cresh
Step Right to long end. Begin the Journey. Pose: wide legs North Star, Half Moon at dawn (both sides)
Step Right to short end. Rest. Pose: Lean forward with hands on thighs Cat/Cow 3X then Rest
Step Right to long end. Traverse the mountains. Pose: North Star +Triangle Pose (both sides)
Step Right to short end. Rest in the shade of the trees Pose: Tree Pose (both sides)
Step Right. Feel the blessed rain. Pose: North Star + Lightening (chair pose). Then open arms and chest wide to welcome the rain.
Step Right. Rest in the shade of the trees. Pose Tree pose, both sides
Step Right. Honor Mary, giving birth Pose North Star + Goddess Pose
Step Right. Arrive at the manger Pose: kneel in body or spirit.
Meditation (begin standing or kneeling) Notice the family of humans and animals. Smell the barn, listen to the sounds; take in the scene. Linger here aware of God’s mysterious presence. Gaze at the child, Christ Emmanuel – God with us – born into flesh. Experience the power of this birth event. … of light, the mystery, the majesty.
Now, imagine you are holding a gift. What is it? (i.e. your heart, your devotion, a desire to be your ‘best self’) With arms extended offer your gift.
Then lean forward with your forehead at the manger (or sit if that is better for you).
Recall your intention (regarding your life – what needs attention, what is unfinished, what are your desires for this winter, this year, your life?). Ponder what truths God has ready to reveal to you. Receive a gift.
Bring it back to your heart and breathe it in. Feel connected, healed by the light. Let it inform you….Let the light shine into the dark places in your heart. Become aware that you are radiating too. Stay as long as you like then when you are ready to end, begin to notice your external surroundings. Open your eyes, yet hold on to any insights.
When the Holy child is born into our hearts there is a rain of stars, a rushing of angels, a blaze of candles…. God bursts into our lives. Love is running through the streets. — Ann Weems
Closing You may want to write or draw insights or perhaps make a list of the gifts you have received or write about what still needs to be healed in you.
Let the light shine into the dark places in your heart. Peace to you.