…And a flower shall rise up out of this root

8 December 2017 – Astro-Weather: Bright Vega still shines well up in the west-northwest after dark at this time of year. The brightest star above it is Deneb, the head of the big Northern Cross, which is formed by the brightest stars of Cygnus. At nightfall the shaft of the cross extends lower left from Deneb. By about 11 pm the cross plants itself more or less upright on the northwest horizon.


 Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 


Ashee Brunson

“Art is a continuous setting free of the human spirit; it also educates humanity about how to act out of love. ” ~Rudolf  Steiner


The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

3 – Deathday of Saint Eucharius, venerated as the first bishop. He lived in the second half of the 3rd century. According to an ancient legend, he was one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, & was sent to Gaul by Saint Peter as bishop, to preach the Gospel. He came to the Rhine where Maternus his companion died. St. Peter gave his pastoral staff to Eucharius, & upon being touched with it, Maternus, who had been in his grave for forty days, returned to life. Among other miracles related in the legend, an angel announced to him his approaching death & pointed out Maternus as his successor. Eucharius died on December 8, having been bishop for twenty-five years, & was interred in the church of St. John outside the city. The staff of St. Peter, with which Maternus had been raised to life, was preserved at Cologne until the end of the 10th century when the upper half was presented to Trier, & was afterwards taken to Prague by Emperor Charles IV to become ever after the staff of the Pope.

1542 – Birthday of Mary, Queen of Scots

1765 – Birthday of Eli Whitney, American engineer, invented the cotton gin

1813 – Premiere of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Domenico Tiepolo

1854 – In his Apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX proclaims the definition of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived free of Original Sin

1941 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares December 7 to be “a date which will live in infamy”, after which the U.S. declares war on Japan

1953 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his “Atoms for Peace” speech, which leads to an American program to supply equipment & information on nuclear power to schools, hospitals, & research institutions around the world

1963 – Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707, is struck by lightning & crashes near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 181 people on board

1966 – The Greek ship SS Heraklion sinks in a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200

1969 – Olympic Airways Flight 954 strikes a mountain outside of Keratea, Greece, killing 190 people in the worst crash of a Douglas DC-6 in history

1972 – United Airlines Flight 553, a Boeing 737, crashes after aborting its landing attempt at Chicago Midway International Airport, killing 145.

1980 – Former Beatle John Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York City. Earlier that day, photographer Annie Leibovitz had been to the Lennons’ apartment to do a photo shoot for Rolling Stone magazine. Delayed by a late limousine, they left their apartment to mix the song “Walking on Thin Ice” (an Ono song featuring Lennon on lead guitar) at the Record Plant Studio. As Lennon & Ono walked to a limousine, shared with the RKO Radio crew, they were approached by several people seeking autographs. Among them was Mark David Chapman. It was common for fans to wait outside the Dakota to meet Lennon and ask for his autograph. Chapman, a 25-year-old security guard from Honolulu, Hawaii, had previously traveled to New York to murder Lennon in October (before the release of Double Fantasy), but had changed his mind & returned home. Chapman silently handed Lennon a copy of Double Fantasy, & Lennon obliged with an autograph. After signing the album, Lennon asked, “Is this all you want?” Chapman smiled & nodded in agreement. Photographer & Lennon fan Paul Goresh took a photo of the encounter. Chapman had been waiting for Lennon outside the Dakota since mid-morning, & had even approached the Lennons’ five-year-old son, Sean, who was with the family nanny, Helen Seaman, when they returned home in the afternoon. According to Chapman, he briefly touched the boy’s hand.

The Lennons spent several hours at the Record Plant studio before returning to the Dakota. Lennon had decided against dining out so he could be home in time to say goodnight to his son, before going on to the Stage Deli restaurant with Ono. Lennon liked to oblige any fans who had been waiting for long periods of time to meet him with autographs or pictures, once saying during an interview with BBC Radio’s Andy Peebles on 6 December 1980: “People come and ask for autographs, or say ‘Hi’, but they don’t bug you”. The Lennons exited their limousine on 72nd Street instead of driving into the more secure courtyard of the Dakota.

The Dakota’s doorman, Jose Perdomo, & a nearby cab driver saw Chapman standing in the shadows by the archway. As Lennon passed by, he glanced briefly at Chapman, appearing to recognize him from earlier. Seconds later, Chapman took aim directly at the center of Lennon’s back & fired five hollow-point bullets at him in rapid succession from a range of about nine or ten feet away. Lennon, bleeding profusely staggered up five steps to the security/reception area, saying, “I’m shot, I’m shot“. He then fell to the floor, scattering cassettes that he had been carrying. The concierge, Jay Hastings, first started to make a tourniquet, but upon ripping open Lennon’s blood-stained shirt & realizing the severity of his multiple injuries, he covered Lennon’s chest with his uniform jacket, removed his blood-covered glasses, & summoned the police.

They reported that Chapman had dropped the revolver to the ground & was holding a paperback book, J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.

Realizing the extent of his injuries, the policemen decided not to wait for an ambulance & immediately carried Lennon into their squad car & rushed him to St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Dr. Stephan Lynn, head of the Emergency Department, who had been called in again after having just returned home after a 13-hour-long work shift, received Lennon in the emergency room at Roosevelt Hospital a few minutes before 11:00 pm.

When Lennon arrived, he had no pulse & was not breathing. Dr. Lynn, two other doctors, a nurse & two or three other medical attendants worked on Lennon for ten to 15 minutes in a desperate attempt to resuscitate him.

Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival in the emergency room at the Roosevelt Hospital at 11:15 pm by Dr. Lynn.

The surgeon also noted—as did other witnesses—that, at the moment Lennon was pronounced dead, a Beatles song (“All My Loving”) came over the hospital’s sound system.

1987 – An Israeli army tank transporter kills four Palestinian refugees & injures seven others – one of the events which sparked the First Intifada

1988 – A United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II crashes into an apartment complex in Remscheid, Germany, killing 57 people & injuring 50 others


Catherine Daze

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~Here Where
The Sun & sorrow stop
I sit long by the water, letting it flow
Thru my fingers like hertory
While I conjure root-full dreams
& eat honeyed visions…

El Greco

TODAY – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception:
The Blessed Virgin Mary in this aspect, as well as in Her aspect as the Virgin of Guadalupe, has been called the patroness of the Americas. 8 December is nine months before her birth, celebrated on 8 September. Although it is not officially part of Advent, in celebrating this feast we can easily enter into the spirit of Christmas-tide, for it is like the hope & truth of the dawn that grows within us all. Mary is our guide, & mother along the path of the Sun.

The vigil of the Immaculate Conception is an opportune time to light a special Advent candle in Mary’s honor expressing symbolically the words of Isaias, “There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of this root.”

I usually put a beeswax candle in a candle holder covered with white silk, tied with red & blue ribbon. I place this before my statue of Our Lady & speak the verses from Luke 1:28-36: 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

From the womb of Our Lady, comes the light of the world. The candle represents Christ, who dispels all darkness.

I also love to sing or listen to the German Advent carol “Behold, a Branch Is Growing.”

“Behold a branch is growing
Of loveliest form and grace.
As prophets sung, foreknowing;
It springs from Jesse’s race.
And bears one little flower.
In midst of coldest winter,
At deepest midnight hour.
Isaiah hath foretold it In words of promise sure,
And Mary’s arms enfold it,
A Virgin meek and pure.
Through God’s eternal will,
This Child to her is given
At midnight calm and still.

The Ave Maris Stella, is another vesper hymn for the feast of the Immaculate Conception:

“Hail, Star of the sea,
Great Mother of God
and always a Virgin,
joyous gate of Heaven.
By welcoming that “Hail”
from Gabriel’s mouth,
grant us peace,
changing Eve’s fame.
Undo wicked people’s bad deeds,
give light to the blind,
drive away our pains,
give us every good.
Show Thyself to be a Mother,
let this prayer be welcomed through Thee
by He who was born for us
and made Himself Thy Son.
Holiest Virgin unique,
among the humblest,
forgive our trespasses,
and make us humble and chaste.
Give us a pure life,
guard our paths,
let us see Jesus,
always joyful.
All praise be to God the Father,
to the Highest Christ, the Lord,
and to the Holy Ghost,
only honor to the Trinity”.

The kitchen, one of my fav. sacred spaces, an be part of this octave of the Immaculate Conception, for it is traditionally the time to make Moravian Spritz -gingerbread cookies, since Mary, too, “gave forth a sweet fragrance like cinnamon and aromatic balm and yielded a scent like the best myrrh.”

The cookies must stand for ten days in the refrigerator before baking, & are then shaped into Christmas figures, especially hearts & stars.

The Immaculate Conception as the Patroness of the United States reminds us that the hope of peace in the world does not lie in force of arms, but rather in prayers & social action & with recourse to the intercession of Our Lady.

The octave of the Immaculate Conception furnishes an occasion for a renewal of true love for our country. St. Thomas Aquinas associates the virtue of piety with the cardinal virtue of justice.

May all our concepts be immaculate
xox ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg


A Pop Up Art Exhibition in the newly renovated Elderberries 3-Fold Space, 4251 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

Opening: Saturday December 9th 2017 – 2pm – 7pm 

“Trees and Water” – NEW Paintings by  Lisa Villa Moser

Closing Sunday December 10th Noon – 5pm


Pop Up Christmas Mart

Sunday December 17th Noon till 9pm at the Elderberries Three-Fold Chicago space 4251 N. Lincoln Ave.

Locally Hand-Crafted Items, Clothing, Art, Fair-Trade, Supplements, Crystal Jewelry, Soy Candles, Essential Oils, Face Painting for Young & Old, HippocraTeas…

20 per cent of sales goes to help Elderberries at the Branch

In the evening the seniors from CWS will do performances to raise $ for their 12th grade trip…

Would you like to be a vender? contact Hazel@ReverseRitual.com


Wednesday December 20th 2017 at the Elderberries Urban 1st Aid – Art is Medicine Space 4251 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago.

Craft Golden Straw Stars with Elizabeth Beunaiche, a self-taught artist in the glyptic arts of gem carving, & an accomplished crafts woman: working with embroidery, weaving, cordage, pocket making, as well as bow & spoon carving. She grows, hand dyes, & creates oat straw stars for the Christmas-tide.

3 sessions 6pm, 7pm, 8pm 

$20 per person or $60 for a family of 4.


Opening the Holy Nights: The Dream Song of Olaf Asteson with Mary Tom & Debbie Barford on Lyre

Tuesday December 26th 7 pm at the Branch

“Olaf Åsteson, Olaf the son of earth, experiences various secrets of the cosmic All whilst he is transported into the macrocosm during the thirteen shortest days. And the nordic legend which has recently been extricated from old accounts, tells of these experiences Olaf Asteson had between Christmas and New Year up till the 6th January. We often have reason to remember this former manner in which the microcosm took part in the macrocosm, and we can then take these things further. First of all, however, let us hear the legend of Olaf Asteson, the earth son, who during the time in which we are now, experienced the secrets of cosmic existence in his meeting with the earth spirit. Let us listen to these experiences.”

$10 donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged

Catherine Molland

Holy Nights Gatherings 2017-2018  

December 27th– 30th – 7 pm – 9 pm  $10

The Story of Being Human: Fairy-Tales for adults – a Journey thru the Holy Nights

The Fairy-tale leads us to our true humanity, where great kingdoms preside within, filled with ancient forests, remote castles, giants, witches, lovers, dreams & visions of Star Beings & of the Earth Herself. Shepherded by Joen Dealande & a series of guest artists, we will use Drama, Eurythmy, Painting, Needle-Felting, & Sculpting, to live into the gesture of our Human karma & Destiny.

NYE Sunday December 31st (The 13th Hidden Holy Night) 8pm – 1am – Our annual Community NYE party with music by Jutta & the High Dukes, Lead Casting, Eurythmy, Crafting, Games & more TBA $20

 Ludwig Emil Grimm

January 2018, 1st – 4th from 7pm – 9 pm – The Fairy-Tale Trail Continues $10

Friday January 5th Eve of Epiphany (3 Kings) 7pm – 9 pm – A special 12th Night gathering, Performances & Eurythmy with Mary Rudd more TBA $10

All events at the Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

For more info. contact Hazel@ReverseRitual.com


Lazure Workshop with Nancy Melvin –  

January 20-21 9am-5pm  

$100 for the weekend (1/2 the proceeds go toward a new heating & cooling system for the branch)

Learn the secrets of the Lazure painting method from an expert, while helping to beautify the Elderberries 3-Fold Cafe!

for more info. contact  Nancy Melvin





New Works by

Lisa Villa Moser


Closing Reception

Sunday December 18th, 2016

12-3 pm




at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP








Start your New Year on the right foot at our annual New Year’s Eve Celebration!


Our evening will be spent in community, with various offerings and activities. Jutta & the Hi-Dukes ™ will play their exciting, unique blend of world music, for your family-friendly dancing pleasure. Everyone can take part because members of the band lead you through the traditional dances they present.


Doors open at 8:00 pm and the music will start around 9:00 pm. Your Donation of $10goes to the band (You are always welcome to give more to support the branch as well)


Additional offerings and activities for the evening to be announced soon.


Please bring a favorite delectable dish to share.


at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP