Monthly Archives: February 2017

Fastnacht

28 February 2017 – Astro-Weather: Catch the thin crescent Moon below Venus after sunset. The Moon is only a few days old & as the Moon thickens it forms a triangle with bright Venus & fainter Mars

Tonight will also be a great time to get to know Lepus the Hare, one of the sky’s lesser-known constellations. Approximately a dozen medium-bright stars form Lepus, which sits directly below (that is, south of) Orion the Hunter. Lepus has two named stars, Arneb (Alpha Leporis) &  Nihal (Beta Leporis)

Astrology is astronomy brought down to earth and applied to the affairs of man.’ ~R.W. Emerson

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

History is the essence of innumerable biographies.” ~ Thomas Carlyle, “

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) *see essay below

1525 – Aztec king Cuauhtémoc is executed on the order of conquistador Hernán Cortés

1621 – Deathday of Cosimo II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people & freight

1849 – Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, four months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor

1885 – The American Telephone & Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone

1933 – Gleichschaltung: In Nazi terminology, was the process of Nazification by which Nazi Germany successively established a system of totalitarian control & coordination over all aspects of society, “from the economy and trade associations to the media, culture and education. The Reichstag Fire Decree is passed in Germany a day after the Reichstag fire, issued by German President Paul von Hindenburg on the advice of Chancellor Adolf Hitler in direct response to the Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933. The decree nullified many of the key civil liberties of German citizens. With Nazis in powerful positions in the German government, the decree was used as the legal basis for the imprisonment of anyone considered to be opponents of the Nazis, & to suppress publications not considered “friendly” to the Nazi cause. The decree is considered by historians to be one of the key steps in the establishment of a one-party Nazi state in Germany

1942 – The heavy cruiser USS Houston is sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait with 693 crew members killed, along with HMAS Perth which lost 375 men

1953 – James Watson & Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA

1954 – The first color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public

1958 – A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck & plunges down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork river. The driver & 26 children die in what remains one of the worst school bus accidents in U.S. history

1975 – In London, an underground train fails to stop at Moorgate terminus station & crashes into the end of the tunnel, killing 43 people

1985 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army carries out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry, killing 9 officers

1986 – Olof Palme, 26th Prime Minister of Sweden, is assassinated in Stockholm

1997 – An earthquake in northern Iran is responsible for about 3,000 deaths

1997 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way

1998 – First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace

2004 – Over one million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand rally form a 310 mile long human chain to commemorate the ‘February 28 Incident’ in 1947: an anti-government uprising in Taiwan that was violently suppressed by the Kuomintang-led Republic of China government, which killed thousands of civilians beginning on February 28, 1947. Estimates of the number of deaths vary from 50,000 or more. The massacre marked the beginning of the White Terror period, in which tens of thousands more inhabitants vanished, died, or were imprisoned. This incident is one of the most important events in Taiwan’s modern history, & was a critical impetus for the Taiwan independence movement

2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigns as the pope of the Catholic Church, becoming the first pope to do so since 1415

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Judson Huss

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~The house fills with birds
As i enter the circle of sun
I vibrate the lyrics to their song
As the hawk pauses
Before the eggs in my nest
I call the sparrow
& become a sliver star hanging,
Swift water running,
A lowing cow,
The thought of myself,
In my mother’s forehead
~hag

***

*Mardi Gras, Carnival, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Fastnacht

The date of Mardi Gras varies based on the moveable feast of Easter, the Full Moon & the Spring Equinox.

The history of a Mardi Gras celebration existed many years before Europeans came to the New World. Sometime in the 2nd Century, usually the ides of February the 15 according to the Julian calendar, Ancient Romans would observe what they called the Lupercalia, a circus-type festival which was, in many respects, quite similar to the present day Mardi Gras. This festival honored the Roman deity, Lupercus, a pastoral God associated with Faunus or the Satyr. Although Lupercus is derived from the Latin Lupus meaning “wolf”.

When Christianity arrived in Rome, the dignitaries of the early Church decided it would be more prudent to incorporate certain aspects of such rituals into the new faith rather than attempt to abolish them altogether. This added a Christian interpretation to the ancient custom & the Carnival became a time of abandon & merriment which proceeded the Lenten period (a symbolic Christian penitence of 40 days commencing on Ash Wednesday & ending at Easter).

During this time, there would be feasting which lasted several days & participants would indulge in voluntary madness by donning masks, clothing themselves in the likeness of specters & generally giving themselves up to Bacchus & Venus. All aspects of pleasure were considered to be allowable during the Carnival celebration & today’s modern festivities are thought by some to be more reminiscent of the Roman Saturnalia rather than Lupercalia, or to be linked to even earlier Pagan festivals.

From Rome, the celebration spread to other European countries. In medieval times, a similar-type festival to that of the present day Mardi Gras was given by monarchs & lords prior to Lent in order to ceremoniously conscript new knights into service & hold feasts in their honor. The gentry would also ride through the countryside rewarding peasants with cakes (thought by some to be the origin of the King Cake), coins (perhaps the origin of present day gifts of Mardi Gras doubloons) & other trinkets.

In Germany, there still remains a Carnival similar to that of the one held in New Orleans. Known as Fasching, the celebrations begin on Twelfth Night & continue until Shrove Tuesday. (In German-America, special “doughnuts” are sold for this holiday, called Fasnachts.)

To a lesser degree, this festival is still celebrated in France & Spain. A Carnival season was also celebrated in England until the Nineteenth Century, originating as a type of “renewal” festival that incorporated fertility motifs & ball games which frequently turned into riots between opposing villages, followed by feasts of pancakes & the imbibing of alcohol. The preparing & consumption of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is a still a tradition in the United Kingdom, where pancake tossing & pancake races (during which a pancake must be tossed a certain number of times) are still popular. One of the most famous of such competitions, which takes place in Olney, Buckinghamshire, is said to date from 1445. It is a race for women only & for those who have lived in the Parish for at least three months. An apron & head-covering are requisite. The course is 415 yards & the pancake must be tossed at least three times during the race. The winner receives a kiss from the Ringer of the Pancake Bell & a prayer book from the local vicar. “Shrove” is derived from the Old English word “shrive,” which means to “confess all sins.”

It is generally accepted that Mardi Gras came to America in 1699 with the French explorer, Sieur d’Iberville. The festival had been celebrated as a major holiday in Paris since the Middle Ages. Iberville sailed into the Gulf of Mexico &, from there, launched an expedition along the Mississippi River. By March 3, 1699, Iberville had set up a camp on the West Bank of the River, about 60 miles South of the present day City of New Orleans in the State of Louisiana. Since that day was the very one on which Mardi Gras was being celebrated in France, Iberville named the site Point du Mardi Gras in honor of the festival.

According to some sources, however, the Mardi Gras of New Orleans began in 1827 when a group of students who had recently returned from school in Paris donned strange costumes & danced their way through the streets. In this version, it is said that the inhabitants of New Orleans were swiftly captured by the enthusiasm of the youths & promptly followed suit.

Other sources maintain that the Mardi Gras celebration originated with the arrival of early French settlers to the State of Louisiana. Nevertheless, it is known that from 1827 to 1833, the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations became more elaborate, culminating in an annual Mardi Gras Ball. The Carnival was well-established by the middle of the Nineteenth Century when the Mystick Krewe of Comus presented its 1857 Torchlight Parade with a theme taken from “Paradise Lost” written by John Milton.

In French, “Mardi Gras” literally means “Fat Tuesday,” so named because it falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, the last day prior to Lent – a 40-day season of prayer & fasting observed by the Church which ends on Easter Sunday. The origin of “Fat Tuesday” is believed to have come from the ancient Pagan custom of parading a fat ox through the town streets. Such Pagan holidays were filled with excessive eating, drinking & general bawdiness prior to a period of fasting.

Since modern times Carnival Season is sandwiched between Christmas & Lent. Easter always falls on a Sunday, but it can be any Sunday from March 23 through April 25, its actual date being the Sunday which follows the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox. Mardi Gras is always 47 days prior to this allotted Sunday (the 40 days of Lent plus seven Sundays).

The beginning of the Carnival Season itself, however, is also fixed, being January 6, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, otherwise known as Little Christmas or Twelfth Night. Since the date of Mardi Gras varies, the length of the Carnival Season also varies from year-to-year. The origin of the word “Carnival” is from the Latin for “farewell to the flesh,” a time when one is expected to forego earthly pleasures prior to the restrictions of the Lenten Season, & is thought to be derived from the feasts of the Middle Ages known as carnis levamen or “solace of the flesh.”

In New Orleans in 1833, Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville, a wealthy plantation owner, solicited a large amount of money in order to help finance an organized Mardi Gras celebration. It was not until 1837, however, that the first Mardi Gras Parade was staged. Two years later, a description of the 1839 Parade noted that it consisted of a single float. Nonetheless, it was considered to be a great success & apparently, the crowd roared hilariously as this somewhat crude float moved through the streets of the city. Since that time, Mardi Gras in New Orleans has been an overwhelming success, continuing to grow with additional organizations participating each year.

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple (symbolic of royalty & justice), green (symbolic of fertility & faith) & gold (symbolic of grace & power). The accepted story behind the original selection of these colors originates from 1872 when the Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff of Russia visited New Orleans. It is said that the Grand Duke came to the city in pursuit of an actress named Lydia Thompson. During his stay, he was given the honor of selecting the official Mardi Gras colors by the Krewe of Rex.  These colors also become the colors of the House of Romanoff. (The vestments worn by Catholic bishops & priests on Ash Wednesday are purple & gold, so that may have influenced the choice?)

Today, Louisiana’s Mardi Gras is celebrated not only in New Orleans, but in most American cities on some level. Similar celebrations are also held in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, arguably the world’s most elaborate Carnival location with its Samba Dromo parades, which annually attract a huge number of tourists from all corners of the globe. Regardless of where the festivals take place, however, all share a common party atmosphere inherently associated with the celebrations.

Mardi Gras is always followed by Ash Wednesday, it’s polar opposite in character. May your fasting be as glorious as your feasting

Xox~ Hazel Archer Ginsberg

***

Anthroposophy speaks to every thinking human being, each individual with a feeling heart, all who would put good will into action. Every one of us, in our uniqueness, is destined to play a part in the transfiguration of the universe.

By committing to transforming ourselves we change society & are better able to put the riddles of existence into perspective. Anthroposophy is a Spiritual Science, & a path of initiation into the ‘New Mysteries’ appropriate to our modern era. We learn to be aware of our Higher Self in such a way that a feeling of responsibility fills us.

Let us experience this feeling pouring into our souls as the warm, glowing, spiritual life blood of a new culture. Let us recognize that in our time human beings need new moral, intellectual, & spiritual impulses. Let us feel how fresh concepts of duty & of love arise & take hold of our souls. The destiny of humanity requires our conviction. So let us put into practice this new spiritual revelation.

The insights given to us by Rudolf Steiner’s work, brings into focus the essential nature of the human being, & the evolution of consciousness in connection with spiritual guidance. Turbulent times are ahead of us. Much of the old is used up or worn out, & the new is wanting to be poured into humanity from the spiritual world.

Do you feel called to receive these inspirations – to take on the responsibility – to join with other kindred souls – to explore & walk together on the road to knowledge, which leads the spiritual part of the human being to the spirit of the universe?

Come join Hazel Archer Ginsberg – Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, and the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society. Founder of Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year– Presenter, Poet, & Trans-denominational Minister.

 

What is Anthroposophy? & The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity’

March 3-4, 2017
An Evening Discourse & Full Day Workshop

Friday Evening: What is Anthroposophy? A hands-on discourse.

What can the human being (anthropos) of today do to recognize our inherent wisdom (sophia) to access the source of spiritual knowledge, for our own inner development, and for the evolution of the earth and all of humanity?

What would it be like to support each other in community, as we strive to penetrate the mystery of our relationship with the spiritual world?

How does this ‘Spiritual Science’ built on the research of Rudolf Steiner, speak to the riddles of existence: our artistic needs, the truth of karma, the mystery of evil, life after death and so much more?

Saturday: An Experiential Three Part Workshop* 
‘The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity: Some Results of Spiritual-Scientific Research into Human History and Development’ is a translation of Die geistige Führung des Menschen und der Menschheit: Geistes wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse ueber die Menschheits-Entwickelung published by Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach, Switzerland, 1974. This short book consists of three sections. Each section was originally a lecture (6, 7, and 8 June 1911) but was subsequently reworked by Steiner and cast into the form of an essaySome of the topics treated in this book are: the nature of the brain, the development of speech, angelic beings, ancient language, Zarathustra, Buddha, and Christ. It is available without a fee online at Rudolf Steiner Archives.

Session #1 – 10 am – 12 noon:
• Introductions
• The divine wisdom working in the human being in the 1st three years of life.
• Through inner striving, we can contact again and consciously build on this wisdom which is connected to the Christ impulse.
• Activity- Biography work: Our 1st conscious memory – a preview of the “I”.

Noon – 1:30 pm – Lunch

Session #2 – 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm:
• The childlike condition of humanity in ancient times, directed by higher spiritual beings.
• A look into the evolution of these guiding spirits –progressive as well as regressive –
• Revealing the necessity of the ‘two kinds of evil’.
• The importance of Spiritual Science to avoid error.
• Activity – Labyrinth Walk

3:30 pm – 4 pm – Break

Session #3 – 4 pm – 6 pm:
• A survey of the Post-Atlantean age, our present epoch.
• The Christ connection with the progressive spiritual beings
• Modern science as the work of the regressive spiritual beings
• A peek into the future
• Activity – The Golden Legend & The Rose Cross Mediation: An artistic rendering

Come Explore this Modern Path of Initiation with: Hazel Archer-Ginsberg – Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, and the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society. Founder of Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy Through the Rhythms of the Year–Presenter, Poet, & Trans-denominational Minister.

*Workshops can be taken as a whole or individually, see registration options.
*Bring your own lunch on Saturday or choose the catered option.
Sign up now!  A minimum number of registrants are needed for this weekend workshop.

For more info click HERE

Location: Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy
Workshop Fee: $25 for each individual session or register for all 4 sessions for $80. Additional $15 fee for catered lunch (optional).
Price is $35 per session at door (day of class).

REGISTER ONLINE HERE

The 156th Anniversary of Rudolf Steiner’s Birthday

25 February 2017 – Astro-Weather: Many of us have been following the dance between Venus & Mars these past 3 weeks,

but also blazing high in the south on the meridian by about 8 or 9 pm right now, is the dazzling Sirius. And have you ever seen Canopus, the second-brightest star after Sirius? In one of the many interesting coincidences Canopus crosses due south just 21 minutes before Sirius does.

When to look? Canopus is precisely due south when Beta Canis MajorisMirzam the Announcer, the star about three finger-widths to the right of Sirius — is at its highest point due south around 7 -8 pm now. Look straight down from Mirzam, the brightest star to the right of Sirius.

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day (his Birthday!!!)

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

138 – The Roman emperor Hadrian adopts Antoninus Pius, to be his successor

777 – Deathday of Saint Walpurga The earliest representation of Walpurga, in the early 11th-century Hitda Codex, made in Cologne, depicts her holding stylized stalks of grain. The grain attribute represents the older pagan concept of the Grain Mother. Peasant farmers fashioned her replica in a corn dolly at harvest time & told tales to explain Saint Walpurga’s presence in the grain sheaf. St. Richard, when starting with his two sons on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, entrusted Walburga, then 11 years old, to the abbess of Wimborne. Walpurga was educated by the nuns of Wimborne Abbey, Dorset, where she spent 26 years as a member of the community. She then travelled with her brothers, Willibald & Winebald, to Francia to assist Saint Boniface, her mother’s brother, in evangelizing among the still-pagan Germans. Because of her rigorous training, she was able to write her brother Winibald’s vita & an account in Latin of his travels in Palestine. As a result, she is often called the first female author of both England & Germany. Walpurga became a nun in the double monastery of Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm, which was founded by her other brother, Willibald, who appointed her as his successor. Following his death in 751, she became the abbess

1631 – François de Bassompierre, a French courtier, is arrested on Richelieu’s orders

1848 – Provisional government in revolutionary France, by Louis Blanc’s motion, guarantees workers’ rights

1856 – A Peace conference opens in Paris after the Crimean War

1861 – Birthday of Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner

 1866 – Miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull – human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed

1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is sworn into the United States Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress

1901 – J. P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation.

1921 – Tbilisi, capital of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, is occupied by Bolshevist Russia

1928 – Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a broadcast license for television from the Federal Radio Commission

1932 – Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident

1948 – The Communist Party takes control of government in Czechoslovakia & the period of the Third Republic ends

1956 – In his speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union denounces the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin

1968 –135 unarmed citizens of Hà My village in South Vietnam’s Quảng Nam Province are killed & buried en mass in the Hà My massacre

1986 – People Power Revolution: President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos flees the nation after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino becomes the Philippines’ first woman president

1991 – Gulf War: An Iraqi scud missile hits an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 U.S. Army Reservists from Pennsylvania

1991 – The Warsaw Pact is declared disbanded

1992 – Khojaly massacre: About 613 civilians are killed by Armenian armed forces during the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan

1994 – Mosque of Abraham massacre: In the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, Baruch Goldstein opens fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers & injuring 125 more before being subdued & beaten to death by survivors

February 23–March 1:  Fasching/Fasnacht – a German carnival season, celebrations, dances, & parades in the nights leading up to Ash Wednesday

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~May the rhythm of my heart stir music
That dances darkness into the light…
May my heart witness what my hands create
The words I utter, the worlds I think…
May my flesh be a sail propelled by the breath of truth
As I ride in calm waters toward destiny
~hag

***

 

We will celebrate the 156th Anniversary of Rudolf Steiner’s Birthday 

on the New Moon/Solar Eclipse

Sunday February 26th 2017, 3 pm – 5 pm

 Astrologer Victoria Martin will analyze his horoscope in the most respectful manner, expounding on some classic interpretations of Rudolf Steiner’s Birth chart – For instance did you know he was born on a Full Moon, near the zenith of the sky aligned to Saturn? Victoria will also go further by adding the fixed stars, which according to Brian Gray at Steiner College, are basic components in Astrosophy.

The Solar eclipse, on Sunday February 26th 2017 indicates a new phase of Steiner’s influence, which is especially potent for the next six months!

Victoria will also do 3-minute readings for each participant to see where their birthdays fit in Steiner’s horoscope! This can be even more precise if the entire horoscope of participants is available, so please email your date, time, and place of birth to viccimartin@gmail.com.

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg will give a brief overview of the phases in Rudolf Steiner’s life.

We can also look into the 2017 trends if there is interest!

$10 Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP

For more info. contact Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

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A timeline of the Life of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)  –

25 February 1861 – Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was born in Kraljevec, an insignificant Hungarian village in what is now Northern Croatia. So it came that he was born in a Slav environment & not in a German-speaking one, a fact which he considered essential for his life’s work. He was the first-born child of the railway telegrapher Johann Steiner & his wife Franciska Blie . He received Roman Catholic baptism two days later, because they thought he might die. This is why the 27th of February 1861 commonly has been considered to be his birthday. It was mainly his mother, a quiet friendly woman, who looked after him in the first years of his life. His father was often doing a shift for three days & nights in a row, relieved of his duties for 24 hours in a state of total exhaustion.

1862 – When Rudolf Steiner was 1½ years old, his father was transferred to Moedling near Vienna.

1863-1869 – 6 months later, his father took up a position as station Manager in Pottschach on the Semmerling line – which for those days was one of the technological most advanced railways. To the end of his life Rudolf Steiner looked at that period with joy & gratitude. It was also in this period that Rudolf Steiner’s sister Leopoldine (1864 – 1924) & his brother Gustav (1866 – 1941) were born. “The scenes amidst which I passed my childhood were marvellous. The prospect embraced the mountains linking Lower Austria with Styria. I lived in this area from the age of two to the age of eight. The most beautiful landscape embedded my childhood“.In contrast to this experience of nature stands the fact that the environment in which he grew up was dominated by his father’s employment. The family lived in the station house, directly in front of the railway tracks.

1866 – Rudolf Steiner’s early clairvoyant experiences must have lead to a feeling of isolation. He described only the first of theses events: My mother’s sister who lived in some distance from our family home committed suicide. Nobody knew about this at the time and my parents didn’t have any message about the tragic death. I saw in a vision the whole event whilst sitting in the station’s waiting room. Later I made some remarks when my parents were around. Their reaction was to say: “You are a stupid boy”. Some days later I noticed when my father becoming very thoughtful whilst reading a letter he had received. Another couple of days later he talked alone with my mother. My mother cried for days after this conversation. It was only some years later when I was informed about the tragic death of my aunt. For the boy this was the beginning of a living in the soul. I distinguished between things and beings “one can see” and such “one can’t see”

 1869 – Rudolf Steiner was eight years old when his father was transferred to Neudoerfl in Hungary, now part of Lower Austria. The family lived a isolated live troubled by sorrow for his younger brother Gustav who turned out to be hearing-impaired, dumb, & learning disabled. It was only through long walks in the surrounding area that the young Rudolf Steiner got to know the inhabitants of the village. The Monks of a nearby monastery particularly fascinated him: “It was at the age of nine when the idea established in my mind that there must be important things I have to learn about in context of the tasks of these monks.Rudolf Steiner’s childhood was influenced by many unanswered questions he carried within himself: Yes, these questions about all kind of things made me a lonely boy.”

1872 – He visited the village school in Neudorfle until 1972. He remained an outsider & never integrated in the class community: “In autumn, everyone would just talk about who harvested how many nuts. The one with the biggest bounty would be the person with the highest status. I found myself at the bottom of this hierarchy. Being the ‘foreigner in the village’ I had no right to be part of this pecking order”. Guidance & help for Rudolf Steiner came through an assistant teacher at the school in Neudoerfl. It was not the man’s outstanding teaching skills that were helpful; through this teacher Rudolf Steiner had access to a geometry book, which he was allowed to study in depth for many weeks: As a child, I felt, without of course expressing it to myself clearly, that knowledge of the spiritual world is something to be grasped in the mind in the same way as geometrical concepts. To understand concepts that are of a pure spiritual nature gave me inner contentment. I know it was through geometry when I experienced happiness for the first time”. Beside the assistant teacher it was the priest who made a lasting impression on the 10-year-old boy. Once he came to the school, gathered a group of the more mature students, which I was considered to belong to, in his little study and explained the Copernican system (…). I was completely taken in by the whole thing (….).Through the station’s telegraph I learned the theory, principles and laws of electricity. Still a boy I learned how to use the telegraph machine.” Following this are the first studies of History, Literature & Mathematics.

October: pupil at the secondary modern school (Realschule) in Wiener Neustadt. Steiner perceives the orderliness & transparency in the scientific & mathematical disciplines as invigorating in view of his first super sensible & childhood clairvoyant experiences whose unfamiliarity triggered many questions.

1876 – Summer: Rudolf Steiner teaches himself shorthand. Autumn: “I gave extra lessons to fellow pupils… The College of Teachers gladly supported this by sending me students since I was considered a ‘good pupil’.”

1877 – Study of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason during mind-numbing history lessons.

1879 – July: Steiner passes his school living examination with distinction. August: His father’s transferred to Inzersdorf near Vienna to enable the 18-year-old Steiner to study at the Polytechnic. Self study of Kant, Schelling, Hegel, Fichte, Darwin 7 others. The study of Fichte inspires Steiner to first philosophical essays.

1879-1883 – October, 1879: Begin a study course of 8 Terms at the Polytechnic in Vienna, financial support through a student grant. As bread study he decides to aim for secondary school teacher. Nevertheless he visits a variety of philosophical lectures. “At the time I felt obliged to find the truth through philosophy“. While most of the people in his environment regard philosophy as something abstract, for Steiner the spiritual world is a ‘visible’ reality’. “And this is how my view of the spiritual world was received in most places. No one wanted to hear about it“. History of physics, physics, chemistry, mechanics, geology, mineral logy, botany, mathematics, literature & history of literature, politics, zoology, medicine, philosophy are a selection of the of the areas Steiner chose to study. He passed the exams in these disciplines with excellence or distinction. As a penny-less student coming from the country side Steiner found his way into the life of Vienna only step by step & not in all areas. He had no access to the circles of the aristocracy entrepreneurs, industrial workers or the world of opera or big society events. Rudolf Steiner fulfilled his until now unsatisfied thirst for “pure music that wants to be nothing but music by visiting concerts & chamber music. Beethoven became his favored composer, the deadly boring music Wagner’s resenting as barbaric. He followed the political life by visiting public parliament sessions & he also becomes member of a politically orientated student organisation. The sad destiny of some of his fellow students showed him how the dominating public spirit at the time caused strong feelings of hopelessness & pessimism destroyed many lives. “At the time all this could be experienced as the seed that later in Austria lead to the crumbling of the empire”.

Karl Julius Schroer, the professor lecturing German Literature, deeply honored & admired by him, introduced Steiner in a very special way to the ‘German Classic‘ generally & especially to Goethe. For all his life Steiner looked at Goethe as a great personality & idol for the people of his time. In addition he was engaged with philosophical questions & increasingly with questions regarding the theory of recognition, inspired by Fichte‘s research regarding the relationship between spirit (I) & nature Through his intensive work on Schelling‘s contemplations about the essence of a human being, certainty grows within him regarding the ability, “to see the eternal within us in the form of the unchangeable” (quotation by Schelling). Steiner reports about this time (he was 21): “A spiritual view appeared in front of my me that was not based on a dark mystical emotions.It rather was a spiritual activity fully comparable in it’s clarity to the thinking in mathematical terms.I approached a condition of mind that gave me the certainty that I would be able to justify the view of the spiritual world I carried within me in the light of modern scientific thinking.” 

1882 -Autumn: Prof Joseph Kurschner invites Steiner on recommendation by Prof. Karl Julius Schroer, to edit Goethe’s scripts about natural science within ‘German National Literature‘ edited by Kurschner. For Steiner this means the beginning of 1½ decades of Goethe research.

1883 – October: Steiner leaves the Polytechnic without final exam & without finishing his studies despite having successfully past all intermediate examinations. His hope was to lay the foundation for a career in literary studies with his work about Goethe’s natural science scripts. This hope was not fulfilled. 

1884 –The literature experts positively acknowledge the First volume of Goethe’s Scripts About Natural Science, first published in March. April: On request Kurschner’s Steiner agrees to edit articles in the field of mineralogy and later in general natural science in Kurschner’s Conversation Dictionary.

June: Steiner is entrusted with the role of an educator in the household of Ladislaus Specht. This is an important practical educational task that becomes for Steiner a rich source of learning. He becomes friend with the lady of the house, Pauline Specht. She becomes a confidant with whom he can talk about all the things important to him. His position gave him time to establish & maintain social contacts & to pursue out his own work and studies.

1885 – Study of Eduard von Hartmann’s  other philosopher’s work. Rudolf Steiner continues his studies & the editorial work on Goethe’s Scripts about Natural Science. Friendship with RadegundeWalter Fehr.

1886 – By making the acquaintance with the poet Marie Eugenie Delle Gracie, a new circle of society opens up to Steiner. Some of the personalities he meets are lecturers of theology at the University of Vienna who recommended to Steiner to study the philosophies of Aristotle & Thomas of Aquinas. April: The book Baselines of a Theory of Knowledge of Goethe’s Philosophy of life is concluded. It already contains important basic ideas of Steiner’s freedom philosophy.

June: Steiner  accepts a position offered by the Director of the Goethe Archive in Weimar.

1887 – By the beginning of the year severe illness forces Steiner to stop all his activities. The Specht Family however gives all the attention & love he needs for his recovery. Since summer Steiner thoroughly concerns himself with the questions of aesthetics. He especially studies the philosophical aestheticians of the 19th century, under it Eduard von Hartmann with whom he gets in contact. (by letter). The book Baselines of a Theory of Knowledge of Goethe’s Philosophy of life is praised in professional circles, but also criticized – in a fair way –.

Autumn: The beginning of a friendship with Fritz Lemmermayer, who brings him in contact with numerous poets.

1888 – Without neglecting the work he was engaged in previous years, Steiner becomes the editor (informally) for the German Weekly Revue. This gives him the opportunity to discuss publicly questions of politics, literature, philosophy i.e. A review by Steiner of Robert Hamerling’s Epos Homunculus, published in the German Weekly Revue, rejected by the majority of readers as a grotesque work of literature, causes astonishment within the Specht family, since the statements regarding the position of Judaism, understood by Steiner in an objective way, have been considered as a special kind of anti-Semitism. This doesn’t change his friendly relationship with the Specht family. Hamerling expresses his gratitude for the ‘understanding and the excellent article about ‘Homunculus’.

1889 –In this year it is for the first time that Steiner undertakes extensive travelling. It is also his first journey to Germany. In spring he visits Budapest, Weimar in the summer. His work-schedule for the position at the Goethe-Archive is established during this visit to Weimar. He further travels to Berlin (meeting with Eduard von Hartmann), Stuttgart, Munich & Eisenach. At Christmas he visits Hermannstadt where he also gives some lectures. For the first time he encounters Nietzsche’s Work: Beyond Good and Evil’ was the first of Nietzsche’s books I read. I was at same time captivated and repelled by his views. I found it hard to relate to Nietzsche’s way of thinking. I loved his style and courage; what I didn’t like at all was the way he talked about the deepest problems without connecting himself with a conscious spiritual experience”.By the end of the year Steiner gets in contact with the Theosophists in Vienna. Although considering the time spent in this circle as valuable throughout, he doesn’t really endorse the kind of Theosophy practiced, which he characterizes as a ‘spiritual weakness’ that influences the spiritual development in a negative way. Soon afterwards he turns his back to Theosophy & Mystics in order to further his freedom philosophy. Later (1891) he mentioned the “mystic element in which I submerged for a while in a disturbing way in Vienna. At this time questions regarding the riddles of reincarnation take on a more tangible shape. I did struggle with the riddles of repeated lives of a human beings on earth. Some revelations came to me when having met personalities who’s habits of live an characters revealed traces of an essence, entity that couldn’t possibly be explained by their genetic inheritance and the way life experience has shaped them since they where born.”

1890 – March: His acquaintance with the poet Rosa Mayreder leads to a deep friendship & a mutual understanding that allows exchanging his freedom philosophical thoughts & ideas. She shares some of his loneliness in which he fell (already at 1882) caused by the deviation of his views from the usual way of thinking. “I had nobody at the time I could talk too about my views. Another source of redemption from his loneliness originates Goethe’s work in which he finds his own thoughts expressed. During the summer Steiner starts to work on his Thesis, later extended & published with the title Truth and Science. September: Steiner moves to Weimar to commence work at the Goethe – Schiller Archive. Weimar will be his residence until 1897. “I received a warm welcome”. 

1891 – First he appreciated the attractive side of his work: the discovery of new, important or unknown facts. Already in April 1991 it says: The viewing, sorting and classifying in the archive dulls my mind and causes a spiritual discomfort, that almost destroyed any urge to write myself. He considers his Goethe work as a skin, a shell that has become lifeless, and that he wants to leave behind for onceOtherwise my whole existence is going to become a lie and a nuisance: my work and my achievements will not be my own anymore, but those of a miserable puppet”. In October, Steiner begins to work on the Philosophy of Freedom, his major philosophical work. 26th of October: Doctor of Philosophy officially awarded. His thesis, later extended and published under the title: ”Truth and Science”, considered by Steiner as the prelude for a “Philosophy of Freedom”, has the theme: “The basic question of the Science of Cognition in special consideration of Fichte’s Theory of Science”. November: Steiner studies the philosophy of the middle age, “the area in which I considered my knowledge still to be incomplete. Once I feel confident here, the gap between the profound knowledge I have about the ancient time and the newer times will be closed, and only then I may claim to be on solid ground“.

December: In a letter to Pauline Specht (Vienna), Steiner characterizes the mood caused by the circumstances as so powerful to cause him the feeling of ongoing disgust. His working conditions might have contributed to this feeling – the archive was limited to only a few rooms within the castle of Weimar, & his superior was the pettiest of the pettiest- “a real ‘philister’ with the nature of a ‘schoolmaster’, incapable of taking a wider point of view”. – as well as his uncomfortable 2-bedroom flat, & the fact, “to have no one with an understanding I could talk with”.

1892 – January: Today the only thing left to say is, that my book (The Philosophy of Freedom) makes good progress. The disposition and the arrangement of the content are now determined”. Besides his work in the archive, Steiner is also engaged as a writer. He often writes essays & reviews. Not seldom he criticizes in his articles the preaching of moral that is done without any basis of knowledge. Because of this he made himself a number of enemies, but was supported by Ernst Haeckel. His moral views (ethical individualism) may be characterized by the following quotation: A general prescription from the big pharmacy of moral remedies can only be rejected by all those, who really work towards a better future”At the same time he committed himself to edit the work of Schopenhauer & Jean-Paul for the publishing house Cotta. By the middle of the year, Steiner moves to a flat at the place of Anna Eunike, “soon a close friendship developed. In 1899, Steiner married Anna Eunicke. They were later separated; Anna died in 1911. December: Steiner explains to Haeckel something that was also significant for all his later work: “Since I am a writer, I am fighting against any dualism, and I consider it as a task of philosophy, to justify monism scientifically by means of a strictly positive analysis of our cognitive capacity, and also to proof, that all results gained by natural science are the real truth”.

 1893 – While aiming for a teaching position in philosophy at the Polytechnical School in Vienna with increasing enthusiasm, he continues with the previous’ years activities. Also Steiner’s popularity as a lecturer grows also in other towns & cities. On the 15th of June, the election for the ‘Reichstag’ takes place. Steiner comments: “I experience the increase in roughness and ignorance that has shown in the last election as really frightening”. After the completion and the publishing of his Philosophy of Freedom, Steiner asks many personalities under his friends & in the circle of professionals for their opinions & for reviews.

December: “It is now more than three years since I arrived in Weimar, and in the three summers so much strain was laid on me, not allowing me even two weeks to relax without having to work“.

 1894 – Meeting with Haeckel; beginning of correspondence with him.

 1896 – Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche asked Steiner to set the Nietzsche archive in Naumburg in order. Förster-Nietzsche introduced Steiner into the presence of the catatonic philosopher & Steiner, deeply moved, subsequently wrote the book Friedrich Nietzsche, Fighter for Freedom.

 1897 – Steiner left the Weimar archives & moved to Berlin. He became owner, chief editor, & active contributor to the literary journal Magazin für Literatur, where he hoped to find a readership sympathetic to his philosophy. His work in the magazine was not well received by its readership, including the alienation of subscribers following Steiner’s unpopular support of Émile Zola in the Dreyfus Affair. The journal lost more subscribers when Steiner published extracts from his correspondence with anarchist writer John Henry Mackay. Dissatisfaction with his editorial style eventually led to his departure from the magazine.

 1899 – Instructor at the Berlin “Workers’ School of Education” (Arbeiter-Bildungsschule). Steiner  meets the Mystery of Golgotha

1900-Beginning of activities as a lecturer on various Anthroposophic themes under the invitation of the Berlin Theosophic Society, transmitting only the results of his own original esoteric research.

1902Nominated the General Secretary of the German Theosophical Society. In the same day, gives a lecture with title “Anthroposophy“.

1902-1912-Intensive activity as a lecturer in Berlin & in whole Europe. Marie von Sievers becomes his constant cooperator.

1903-Foundation of the Luzifer journal, later Luzifer-Gnosis (GA 10-12, 34)

1905-First writings on the threefold social organization (in GA 34)

1906-Meeting with Edouard Schuré; Marie von Sievers had translated some of his works.

1907-Organizes the world conference of the Theosophical Society in Munich, where he introduces artistic activities for the first time.

1910-1913-Writes & directs his 4 Mystery Dramas, one each year, in Munich (GA 14)

1912-Introduction of the new art of Eurythmy (GA 277a) & Speech Formation (GA 281)

1912 -13Separation from the Theosophical Society & foundation of the Anthroposophical Society.

1913-1923Construction of the first Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, a true work of art hand carved in wood

1914Marriage with Marie von Sivers

1914-1924-In lectures in Dornach, Berlin & many cities all over Europe, gives indication for the renewal of many areas of human activity: art, education, sciences, social life, medicine, pharmacology, therapies, agriculture, architecture & theology.

1919-Intensive activities as a writer & lecturer on his ideas on social renewal, the Threefold Commonwealth (GA 23, 328-341) mainly in Southern Germany. Foundation of the Free Waldorf School (Freie Waldorfschule) in Stuttgart (GA 293-295), directed by him up to his death

1920-1st course for physicians (GA 312), beginning the application to what became Anthroposophical Medicine.

1921Foundation of the “Das Goetheanum” weekly, with his regular contributions (GA 36, 260a). Foundation of the first Anthroposophical Clinic, in Arlesheim by Ita Wegman

1922– Foundation of the religious renewal movement “The Christian Community”, by clergymen under his orientation. On NYE the Goetheanum burns down.

1923– The Christmas Conference, foundation of the new General Anthroposophical Society (Allgemeine Anthroposophische Gesellschaft).Beginning of the design & gypsum modeling of the 2nd Goetheanum, to be built in 1925-28 after his death, in reinforced concrete.

1923-1925-Publishes every week in Das Goetheanum his autobiography (GA 28), which would remain unfinished (covers his life up to 1907). In cooperation with Dr. Ita Wegman, writes the book on Anthroposophical Medicine (GA 27).

1924Course on agriculture in Koberwitz (GA 327), beginning of bio-dynamic farming. Course on Curative Education (GA 317A)Last lecture Sept. 9 beginning of his fatal disease.

1925Death in Dornach on March 30. His published work, including lecture cycles, comprises more than 350 titles.

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Gathering Fragments

Martian Piller

Greetings Beloveds –

~I carry the tectonic plates
Of my skull
& the bones of my back
That I might recollect myself,
That I may become
A pillar, a watchtower, a hermits lantern…
I gather my opposites, my fragments
& walk on…

I’ll be off-line till Feb. 27th, 2017
Send smoke signals & loving prayers
For I follow the path of the lightning flash
Leaping to form
Between 2 worlds
I will re-awaken Her in the ebb
& feel Her in the flow
In every mountain, city & tree
Over the ocean into the sea
Of me
See you there –
xox
~hag

An Evening Discourse & Full Day Workshop Friday Evening: What is Anthroposophy? A hands-on discourse. Saturday: A Experiential Three Part Workshop ‘The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity’ Weekend Workshop at Michael Fields Agricultural institute 

Events page

Raphael is Coming

14 February 2017 – Astro-Weather: In what seems a fitting tribute, the planet named after the Roman goddess of love shines brilliantly in the evening sky on Valentine’s Day. Venus gleams in the west-southwest within a half-hour after sunset. It grows even more prominent as darkness settles over the landscape. The planet lies among the background stars of Pisces the Fishes.

The Moon rises around 10 pm, with Jupiter following up below it 40 minutes later. Then only 10 or 15 minutes later, fainter Spica follows Jupiter (look to Jupiter’s lower right). By dawn on the 15th the trio has moved over to the high southwest, as shown above.

***

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Feast Day of St. Valentinus – English 18th-century antiquarians Alban Butler & Francis Douce, noting the obscurity of Saint Valentine’s identity, suggested that Valentine’s Day was created as an attempt to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia. Many of the current legends that characterize Saint Valentine were invented in the fourteenth century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer & his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds paired in mid-February. This was then associated with the romance of Valentine. (see more in the essay below)

Loose Company by Leon Battista Alberti

1404 – Birthday of Leon Battista Alberti an Italian humanist author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher & cryptographer; he epitomised the Renaissance Man

1502 – Spanish Inquisition: The Catholic Monarchs issue a decree forcing Muslims in Granada to convert to Catholicism or leave Spain

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for the telephone, as does Elisha Gray

1920 – The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago

1945 – World War II: On the first day of the bombing of Dresden, the British Royal Air Force & the United States Army Air Forces begin fire-bombing Dresden.

1945 – World War II: Navigational error leads to the mistaken bombing of Prague, Czechoslovakia by an American squadron of B-17s

1989 – Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal disaster

1990 – 192 people are killed when Indian Airlines Flight 605 crashes in Bangalore, India

1998 – An oil tanker train collides with a freight train in Yaoundé, Cameroon, spilling fuel oil. One person scavenging the oil created a massive explosion which kills 120

2005 – YouTube is launched by a group of college students

2008 – Northern Illinois University shooting: A gunman opened fire in a lecture hall of the DeKalb County, Illinois university resulting in 16 fatalities (including gunman) & 21 injuries.

2011 – As a part of Arab Spring, the Bahraini uprising begins with a ‘Day of Rage’

2017 – Prayers for a life well lived on this Deathday of our beloved Richard Dancey – Christian Community Priest. This morning at 6:30 am I got a call from Carol Kelly with the shocking news that Richard had passed away at 4:30AM. He had just come down with the flu two days ago, and Margaret lamented that when he gets the flu he usually gets really sick. Early this morning he was having trouble breathing and was experiencing pain in his shoulders/lungs/chest. Margaret called 911 but by the time they arrived he had already passed and they were not able to revive him. They did not take him in to the hospital, and they were able to avoid his receiving an autopsy.

Richard will be laid up at the house on Colesville Road in Silver Spring for the coming days and I can let you know the time and place of the funeral when that is arranged. It will not be able to be in the chapel for space reasons.

Please talk with one another to make sure people have heard the news. I will also call those who do not have email. Please call me with any other questions and I will send out funeral information when I hear.

We had a scheduled talk on Wednesday night in Chicago. Please come to the church at 6:30 that we can be together to share and remember this earthly life of Richard and help him to begin his tremendous new journey.

With love to you all, Rev. Ann Burfiend

‘May my heart-love reach to soul-love.
May my love’s warmth shine to spirit-light.
Thus, I draw near to you.
Thinking spiritual thoughts WITH you,
Feeling cosmic love IN you,
Willing in spirit THROUGH you –
Weaving with you
One in experience’.

~Rudolf Steiner

***

 POD (Poem Of the Day)

~The sigh encircles my spine
As the snakes entwine the caduceus
Releasing I open to their healing
My heart a hidden fire
Burns a hole in the mountain
For I Know
With mercy in his wings
Raphael is coming
~hag

***

The Truth about Valentines’ Day
~According to hag

Have you ever wondered where this hearts & flowers frivolity came from? Well it wasn’t always about chocolates & sappy hallmark cards. Let’s look back to the origins of this Holiday & set the record straight. For one thing, Valentinus was a very common Roman name meaning strong, effective fertility. Please excuse me if I must commit a little history here, but basically the church fathers were trying to replace a very potent ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia with a Christian martyr named Valentinus, to usurp the power of this rite of great antiquity. Now don’t get me wrong, frivolity has its place, & so it was in the festival of Lupercalia, a ritual of purification & fertility, sacred to the Wolf-Goddess Rumina. Maybe you’ve heard of Her, the She-Wolf & founder of Rome?!? The festival of Lupercalia was celebrated on the ides of February (the 15th)…& February comes from the Latin word ‘februare’…meaning tool of purification.

The rite began in the cave of the She-Wolf, where legend has it, the founders of the city, Romulus & Remus, were suckled by the Wolf-Goddess. As fate would have it a sacred fig tree (symbol of the feminine sex) grew outside the cave & vestals would come, with cakes made from the corn of last year’s grain harvest, laying them beneath the fig tree as offerings.

Meanwhile Rumina’s priests would preside over the sacrifice of a goat. Now this was a pretty big deal since it was the only time of year a goat was used as a sacrifice. It was an offering given to the guardian angels associated with the crops, & the ancestral guardians, as well as the guardians of the city & community. The priests would mark their foreheads with its blood, which was then ritualistically wiped clean with a ‘Februare’ or tool of purification, which was, in this case, wool, dipped in the milk of the goat. The priests would then dress themselves in the skin of the sacrificial animal, & using strips of the hide they would fashion a scourge, another tool of purification. They would then jog around in their little loincloths, running up & down Rome’s seven hills, wielding their strips of hide, ‘purifying’ anything & anybody in their path.

Women seeking pregnancy & easy childbirth lined the streets, extending hands, or baring their bodies, to afford a better target, to be briefly & symbolically ‘purified’ as they passed by. Fertility, of course, is worthless without sex, so as time passed, sex became the festival’s primary focus for the average Roman citizen, & the occasion took on a character much like carnival.

When the church tried to ban it, the people needless to say, stubbornly resisted. Hence the substitute of St. Valentine’s Day emerged, with its more innocent version of love.

And let’s face it folks, the real Cupid was not the cute little cherub he is today, but rather, a very randy Roman God responsible for a more tangible fertility.

So all the frivolous frivolity aside, let’s take ourselves back to the days when the Wolf Goddess, Rumina, was at the heart, of this time of celebration, as we purify & purge all of our afflictions & ills before we begin to plant the new seeds of creativity. For by the ancient calendars, winter is ended by the ides of February, & Spring, a season of new beginnings, has arrived.

So on Valentine’s Day, let’s remember the potent powers of the Wolf, asking Her to spare the herds, taking only what She must, to keep us free & fertile & abundant, like the crops – as fruitful, & as wild as we want to be.

Peace & Blessed Bee…

Hazel Archer Ginsberg

Question Everything

11 February 2017 – Astro-Weather: La Bella Luna shines below Regulus & the Sickle of Leo after dark. Saturn rises 3 hours before the Sun & climbs high in the southeast by the time morning twilight begins. The ringed planet shines among the much fainter background stars of Ophiuchus the Serpent-bearer.

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Feast Day of Saint Blaise. From being a healer of bodily ailments, he became a physician of souls, then retired for a time to a cavern where he remained in prayer. As bishop of Sebastea, Blaise instructed his people as much by his example & words, as by his many miracles. From all parts, the people came flocking to him for the cure of bodily & spiritual ills.  He is said to have healed animals (who came to the saint on their own for his assistance) & to have been assisted by animals.

The governor was jealous, Blaise was arrested. When he was led away, the story goes, they met a poor woman whose pig had been seized by a wolf. At the command of Blaise, the wolf restored the pig to its owner, alive & unhurt. When he had reached the capital & was in prison awaiting execution, the old woman whose pig he had saved came to see him, bringing two fine wax candles to dispel the gloom of his dark cell.

In 316, Agricola, the governor of Cappadocia sent to kill the Christians, arrested the bishop Blaise. As he was being led to jail, a mother set her only son, choking on a fish-bone, at his feet, & the child was cured straight away. Regardless, the governor, unable to make Blaise renounce his faith, beat him with a stick, ripped his flesh with iron combs, & beheaded him. Consequently, Saint Blaise is invoked for protection against injuries & illnesses of the throat.

In many places on the day of his feast the blessing of St. Blaise is given: 2 burning candles, blessed on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord (“Candlemas”), are held in a crossed position by a priest over the heads of the faithful or the people are touched on the throat with them. At the same time the following blessing is given: “May Almighty God at the intercession of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, preserve you from infections of the throat and from all other afflictions“. Then the priest makes the sign of the cross over the faithful.

Blaise is considered one of the ‘Fourteen Holy Helpers’. His cult became widespread in Europe in the 11th & 12th centuries & his legend is recounted in the 14th-century Legenda Aurea. Saint Blaise is the saint of the wild beast.

In iconography, Blaise is represented holding two crossed candles in his hand (the Blessing of St. Blaise), or in a cave surrounded by wild beasts, as he was found by the hunters of the governor. He is often shown with the instruments of his martyrdom, steel combs. The similarity of these instruments of torture to wool combs led to his adoption as the patron saint of wool combers in particular, & the wool trade in general

Joy McAllen

Feast Day of St. Gobnait, Irish patron Saint of BeeKeepers. She was born in County Clare in the 5th or 6th Century, & is said to have been the sister of Saint Abban. She fled a family feud, taking refuge in the Aran Islands. Here an angel appeared & told her that this was “not the place of her resurrection” & that she should look for a place where she would find nine white deer grazing. She found the deer at the place now known as St. Gobnet’s Wood.

Celtic lore held bees in high esteem, believing the soul left the body as a bee or a butterfly. Gobnait is said to have added beekeeping to her life’s work, developing a lifelong affinity with them. She started a religious order & dedicated her days to helping the sick. She used honey as a healing aid. She is credited with saving the people at Ballyvourney from the plague.

One story tells of how she drove off a brigand by sending a swarm of bees after him and making him restore the cattle he had stolen.

St Gobnait’s well is situated to the North of Ballyagran. It is said that a white stag can sometimes be seen at the well

660 BC – Foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu

AD 55 – Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman emperorship, dies under mysterious circumstances in Rome. This clears the way for Nero to become Emperor

1534 – Henry VIII of England is recognized as supreme head of the Church of England

1650 – Deathday of René Descartes, French mathematician & philosopher

1790 – The Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitions U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery

1847 – Birthday of Thomas Edison, American engineer and businessman, developed the light bulb & phonograph

1858 – The Feast of Our Lady of LourdesBernadette Soubirous’s first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France. ‘I Am the Immaculate Conception‘. We celebrate her message of peace, & healing. 14-year-old peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, was gathering firewood in the countryside when a beautiful woman, standing on a rock in a natural grotto, appeared to her. This began a series of 18 apparitions in which Bernadette spoke & prayed with the woman. On one visit, the mysterious woman instructed Bernadette to dig into the dry ground & drink from the spring that flowed there. Although no spring was visible, Bernatdette scratched at the ground & a spring began to bubble up. To this day, the waters continue to flow, which have a miraculous healing property. Lourdes is well-known for the many miracles of healing that have taken place there over the years

1861 – American Civil War: The United States House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state

1937 – A sit-down strike ends when General Motors recognizes the United Auto Workers

1971 – Eighty-seven countries, including the United States, United Kingdom,& Soviet Union, sign the Seabed Arms Control Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor in international waters

1978 – Censorship: China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare & Charles Dickens

1979 – The Iranian Revolution establishes an Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

1981 – Around 100,000 US gallons of radioactive coolant leak into the containment building of TVA Sequoyah 1 nuclear plant in Tennessee, contaminating 108 workers

1990 – Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner

2011 – The first wave of the Egyptian revolution culminates in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak & the transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 18 days of protests

***

Aurora Weaver

~Hail breath of Wisdom
Humming forth from
The throat of my beloved…
You thrill me
Like a seed bell calling spring
~hag

***

There are no right answers to wrong questions,” says science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin. All our efforts to hunt down solutions will be for naught unless we frame our teething troubles elegantly & accurately. And that’s why we must be conscientious about coming up with the very best questions.

And as I like to say:
The Question is Love
& Love is the Answer!

But it’s also important to remember this advice from filmmaker John Cassavetes: “All my best ideas come from having no answer, from not knowing.” I hope that testimony cheers you up, my friend. Because, as hard as it may be to imagine, we are on the verge of a breakthrough as we sit in the discomfort of unknowing. As we surf the chaotic flow & monitor the confusing hubbub, we are brewing the perfect conditions for an outburst of creativity. So rejoice in the blessing of not knowing!

Yet at the same time, we have a mandate to create our life story as a primordially eternal work of art – So head in the direction of quests that clear your mind of clutter & mobilize your gutsy brilliance, putting your trust in dreams that inspire & deftly sweep aside distracting worries.

See you there

Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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