The Twelve Holy Nights





Basic Instructions


While this process can be done at any time for the purpose of study, the 'Twelve Holy Nights' (December 24th - January 6th) offer a special sacred energy which opens our intuition and anchors meaning deep in the soul.


  • It is good to allow one 'preparation day', usually December 24th, and then a 'closure' day at the end, after the 12th day..
  • Decide ahead of time how deeply you want to engage with the process so you can plan any social activities accordingly.
  • If you intend to do the retreat intensively and 'solo', do be sure to let friends and family know what you are doing so they don't worry if you don't respond to phone calls or emails!


Be sure to open and close each daily working session properly ...

with a period of quiet. Take your time. Settle your mind and your energy. Perhaps ring a meditation bell, light a candle, burn incense.


On your preparation day ...

  • Prepare yourself and your space, and collect what you'll need in terms of drawing or writing materials, music, etc.
  • Take care of practical needs in terms of food needed and seeing to tasks so your time can be as free as possible from unnecessary distractions.
  • Take some time to review the previous year. Using your journal, make some brief 'timeline' notes. As you do this, bless and release 'the outgoing', or pause anywhere that you feel your energy 'caught up' ... and then see what's needed there. You can ask for healing, clarity, forgiveness ... to be granted to you as you do this 'Twelve Holy Nights' work.
  • Set personal intentions, as relevant for you.


Try working with the whole Zodiac on the preparation day ...

(Simply get a feeling of the Zodiac like a protective 'aura' around the Earth, for example ... draw, paint, write, move... or just sense and feel inwardly ...)



Once you begin, start with the sign of Capricorn, contemplate one sign per day, in forward sequence,
in whatever way you choose.

(For example, use the Johfra images or focus on the glyphs only ...

draw, paint, write, move ... browse the notes below for ideas.)



On your closure day ...


  • Review the process, give thanks ...


  • Return to 'normal life' as gracefully as possible ...


  • Be discerning about who you speak to about these experiences.


  • Bring with you any benefit which has come to you, dedicating it to the good of all.




Working with the Johfra images

Click here to enter the online gallery


Here are a few ideas to help you study these inspiring pictures. An excellent way to learn about the signs of the zodiac is by cultivating a personal  and experiential relationship with each one of the cards and the images they contain.


Or first study only the actual glyphs, for an evocative and spacious focus. Contemplate the glyphs, and perhaps make notes as you go, or record your experience. Meditate, write, draw, paint, sing, make music ... And then look at the Johfra images afterwards. Use your intuition, and be creative with it!


If you have the physical cards, try dividing them into different groupings, 
then study each sub-group. If you don't have the cards, use the online gallery,
or create your own cards!

Click here.


1. The cards representing the 4 Elements:


FIRE - Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

EARTH - Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

AIR - Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

WATER - Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces


2. The cards representing the 3 Modes:


CARDINAL - Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn

FIXED - Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius

MUTABLE - Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces


3. The 6 Polarities:


The pairs of signs which are opposite each other in the zodiac.








Look for similarities, differences and themes which recur:


  • Explore ... colour, shape, symbol, geometrics ... take your time.


  • While you explore the detail, make notes and also allow yourself to attune to the 'space' in which this entire process of discovery is being held.


  • Let your 'Higher Mind' inform you and bring an additional, totally personal level of meaning into play.


  • Pay attention to your own feelings, thoughts, intuitions and sensations ...


  • Let yourself free-associate to each card on its own special day, bringing whatever astrological knowledge you have to the process, whether that's a lot or a little ... don't fret about 'what it means', but just let the cards 'speak' to you.




To facilitate inspirational writing:


  • Pick one card. Either one which has 'called you', or pick 'blind' like a divination.


  • Let yourself respond to it by listing SINGLE WORDS ONLY, for a few minutes.


  • Do it quickly to support your spontaneity.


  • Repeat this procedure, to allow time for more words to come.


  • Now write a poem, using as many of the words as possible from your list.  Add no new words, except perhaps link-words like 'and' or 'then'.


  • Again, do it quickly. This prevents the 'monkey-mind' from taking over!




Planetary domicile


  • If you have studied some astrology, follow the trail of planetary rulership of the signs: dignity, detriment, exaltation and fall.


  • How are these various conditions of 'domicile' are expressed in the images?




(Alice Bailey)

SUN Leo Aquarius Aries Libra Sun
MOON Cancer Capricorn Taurus Scorpio Virgo





Aquarius (?) - Aries





Pisces Virgo Gemini





Capricorn Cancer Scorpio





Cancer Capricorn Aquarius





Libra Aries Capricorn
URANUS Aquarius Leo Scorpio (?) Taurus (?) Libra
NEPTUNE Pisces Virgo     Cancer
PLUTO Scorpio Taurus     Pisces