11 February 2019 – “Speaking with the Stars”:
Mars and Uranus pass close by each other this evening through Wednesday evening.
Right after nightfall tonight, find Mars to the lower right of Bella Luna. Uranus is located to the left of Mars, a touch higher. To help orient yourself, you’ll see the brighter star Omicron Piscium, a little farther below Uranus &a bit left.
Meanwhile, late this evening Comet Iwamoto passes very close to Eta Leonis, in Leo’s Sickle. The timing of this passage is especially good for late-evening observers in the Eastern & Central time zones. When you look for the comet, expect to see a fuzzy glow.
This is a rare visit. The comet comes from the realm of ‘Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects’, a distant region of the solar system inhabited by strange objects such as “Sedna” and “the Goblin.”
Every year produces a handful of comets, & this is first one for 2019. Discovered by Japanese amateur Masayuki Iwamoto as a +12thmagnitude fuzzball moving through the constellation Hydra the Water Serpent on the night of December 18th, 2018, Y1 Iwamoto is a fast mover. It’s great to see that amateur astronomers can still discover comets.
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 as by his words, & by 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 and 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
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 – Traditional date for the founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu
AD 55 – Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman emperor-ship, 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 and phonograph
1858 – Bernadette Soubirous’s first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France. ‘I Am the Immaculate Conception’ – Today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, & we celebrate her message of peace, & healing. In 1858, a 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 – 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
~Walk willingly between fire & ice…
Where the shadows of forever
& the light of Now
Clutch & release the world…
The empty filling & the full emptying…
So live with the certainty
That your Yin loves your Yang
Over & over, in to the out…
& dance the joy of movement ever changing…
From an article by Dr Elizabeth Vreede
“The Comet represents an element that does not wholly enter the usual sphere of cosmic law. Although they still contain a trace of the direct working of spiritual powers, indeed, of the very highest — the Seraphim and Cherubim. Before ordinary law may be broken through, the very highest power and insight is required. The various comets, indeed, are agents of a very special nature in our planetary system, their polar antithesis being in the moons.
Just as the moons are a kind of corpse which the planetary system trails along with it, so, on the other side, the comets may be spoken of as constant purifiers of the spiritual atmosphere within the solar system.
In earlier times men thought of them as the “scavengers of God,” and many superstitions have gathered around them. To the eye of Spirit, too, the mission of the comets is perpetually to expel impure astral forces from the Cosmos or to introduce new impulses.”
May we use these cosmic opportunities to “Speak with the Stars”
Friday 22 February 2019 – Ita Wegman’s Birthday
The Social Impulse of Ita Wegman and Karl Koenig – The future they inspired,
with Frank Agrama, Elizabeth Roosevelt, and Dottie Zold
Community Potluck at 5:30 pm
Presentation 7 pm
8 pm Conversation: Seeding Circles for a Renewal of Culture
for more info. contact Hazel Archer Ginsberg
AGM Sunday 24 February 2019,
2 pm – 4 pm
Our local Annual General Meeting of the Rudolf Steiner Branch, Chicago.
All members in good standing invited to attend.
Not a member? This is the perfect time to join or re-up by paying this year’s dues.
“Anthroposophy opens its wellsprings, and the human will, carried by love, may draw from the waters. It brings to life love for humankind and thereby works creatively in impulses for moral action and true social interaction.” ~Rudolf Steiner
EXPLORE HUMANITY’S PATH AND YOUR OWN.
Membership is $50 (or pay what you can afford) per year – (That’s less than 14 cents a day! Please consider offering your support)
23-24 March 2019
‘May Human Beings Hear It’
with APO founder Fred Janney from Ann Arbor
Sat. 23 March, 7 pm – 9 pm
& Sun. 24 March, 1 pm – 4 pm
Saturday March 23, 2019, 7:00-9:00 p.m: Personality and spiritual biographies of the original Vorstand members and group healing meditation.
Sunday March 24, 2019, Identifying your spiritual stream and recognizing its opposite stream with directions for bringing cohesion and direction for members on both sides of the threshold.
Minimum contribution $25 with proceeds donated to APO.
2019 marks the reinstatement of Ita Wegman and Elisabeth Vreede back into the General Anthroposophical Society after 84 years. This 12×7 combination is a very important number combination in microcosmic and macrocosmic dynamics. Their return from banishment is only a first step in healing the karma of our organization and embracing the ongoing leadership of Rudolf Steiner into the future. Long standing and exacerbating problems have ensued since the ouster of these two leading lights chosen esoterically by Rudolf Steiner.
It is essential and imperative in our time to reconcile and forge harmony with these and other members on both sides of the threshold so that anthroposophy can flourish.
Sergei Prokofieff through his research tells us that all the original Executive Council members were chosen representatives and archetypes of the different and divergent karmic streams that came together under the direction of Rudolf Steiner for the esoteric tasks required well into the future.
The birth and development of the New Mysteries that was initiated at the Christmas Conference at the end of 1923 called on the free and active participation of these individuals.
On many occasions Rudolf Steiner called on each member of the Anthroposophical Society to uncover and research the spirituals stream for which he/she came to earth. Then, in order to heal the individual and group karma of the General Anthroposophical Society, members were urged to reach out to members of conflicting spiritual streams, so as to find ways to harmonize the conflicts.
In our time, these steps in self and social development are essential as we seek future work together for the development of humanity.
References: May Human Beings Hear It (2004) by Sergei Prokofieff. Chapter Five: The Esoteric Archetype of the Original Council.
https://www.rudolfsteiner.org/articles. Anthroposophical Society: What Ails Thee (2017) by Fred Janney
Fred Janney in 1999 joined with six other members of the Anthroposophical Society from around the country to start what soon became known as Anthroposophical Prison Outreach. We are celebrating twenty years of service to incarcerated individuals based on the good will and donations of our member.