All posts by Hazel

The Origins of St. Valentines’ Day

14 February 2019 The Origins of Valentines’ Day

The eve of the ides of February is the time when St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated. 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?

Image result for lupercalia wolf

The festival of Lupercalia was celebrated on the ides of February (the 15th)…& name ‘February’ comes from the Latin word ‘februare’, meaning tools 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 this 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…~hag

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Image result for Richard Dancey

And so it is that now it is two years since Richard Dancey died, & Valentine’s Day has taken on another deeper dimension. He comes up in my thoughts at all the obvious times, when I’m at the Christian Community where his picture graces the sacristy, & many times when I am writing my blog. He always encouraged me to write & inspired me so much over the years with his amazing storytelling. Here is one of my favorites, a short piece called: “The Crack in the Liberty Bell”

“In Philadelphia, birthplace of the constitution, home of Ben Franklin, there is the Liberty Bell, a cherished, close to holy relic of our story. In the Liberty Bell there is a crack, a large, long crack. It has its special significance. It speaks out a truth. It is a revelation. What does it reveal? One response can be this: it reveals we are very far from a perfect union. In fact, this land of liberty throughout its whole story has been and is riddled with flaws, contradictions, tragedies, and crimes against our striving to reach the promised land, the beloved community, a fair and vital society of free, healthy human beings, respecting and supporting one another, working together, inclusive of all the wide diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and persuasions. At this moment in the story the crack in the Liberty Bell can feel like a deep wound, that is not healed, that is open and raw.

But the crack in the Liberty Bell could be revealing something more. Two weeks ago the songwriter, Leonard Cohen, died. In his song, ”Anthem,” the chorus sings:

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.

It is a trembling, yet amazing thought— It is where there is a wound, a fracture, a broken heart; Where there is a trespass, violation, betrayal – There – is Christ!

May we be there too. We can forget our perfect offering. We can be who we are, with all our flaws and weaknesses. But just be there: present, conscious, standing, living, working, celebrating there. With Him. In the Light.” ~Richard Dancey

Friday 22 February 2019 – Ita Wegman’s Birthday

The Social Impulse of Ita Wegman and Karl Konig – 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 is…

“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.

 Become a member of the Anthroposophical Society in America, then you are invited to Become a  member of the Rudolf Steiner Branch 

 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.

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HOLY WEEK 2019

Begins 14 April Palm Sunday 2pm – 4pm

Then every evening 7pm – 9pm

& Easter Sunday 2 pm – 4 pm

For our study this year, we will take up the Mystery of Kaspar Hauser

In the New Mysteries we follow the path of the Christian initiation thru the Holy Week before Easter – With every step, from the recognition of the old Sun on Palm Sunday, thru to the meeting of the Saturn-Spirit and The Harrowing of Hell, which sparks the rising of the New Sun of Easter.

For our study we will take up: ‘Kaspar Hauser: The Struggle for the Spirit’ byAnthroposophical researcher Peter Tradowsky

I have ordered 5 copies to be given out on a 1st come basis at cost: $23

Come to any or all of the gatherings:

14 April Palm Sunday, 2pm – 4pm

Holy Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Good Friday &Holy Saturday, 7pm – 9pm

& Easter Sunday, 2 pm – 4 pm – The Festival of Resurrection

***

Sat. 25 May 2019 –  7 pm – 9 pm

Climbing Jacobs Ladder: Celebrating the Feast of Ascension

Leading Thoughts original art-collage projections with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Eurythmy with Mary Ruud

Social Art with Nancy Melvin

$10 Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged

***

Friday 21 June 2019, 7 pm – 9 pm

Rudiger Janisch:

The 3 fold human being, the foundation stone & the 3 fold social organism

Friday 21 June 2019, 7 pm – 9 pm & Saturday 22 June 2019, 10 am – 1 pm

Rüdiger has been working in Curative Education and teaching in professional training programs in Germany and the United States for over 40 years. A long-time student of anthroposophy, he serves on the Collegium of the School for Spiritual Science in North America. His contributions to adult education methods were recognized in the context of an international research project sponsored by the European Union. He has been a member of the core faculty of a joint ‘Training for Trainers’ program supporting Curative Education and Social Therapy in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member of the M.S. Ed program in Waldorf Remedial Education at Antioch University N.H. Having taught many different aspects of anthroposophy and Curative Education, he currently is focused on action research and the development of artistic and experiential approaches to the spiritual scientific study of the human being.

Contact rjanisch@camphill.edu

Saturday 22 June 2019, 10 am – 1 pm

Rudiger Janisch: The 3 fold human being, the foundation stone & the 3 fold social organism

Rüdiger has been working in Curative Education and teaching in professional training programs in Germany and the United States for over 40 years. A long-time student of anthroposophy, he serves on the Collegium of the School for Spiritual Science in North America. His contributions to adult education methods were recognized in the context of an international research project sponsored by the European Union. He has been a member of the core faculty of a joint ‘Training for Trainers’ program supporting Curative Education and Social Therapy in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member of the M.S. Ed program in Waldorf Remedial Education at Antioch University N.H. Having taught many different aspects of anthroposophy and Curative Education, he currently is focused on action research and the development of artistic and experiential approaches to the spiritual scientific study of the human being.

Contact rjanisch@camphill.edu

Stay Tuned to Details on the Weekend!

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Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society, 4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (map

Check out our Web site!  (Anthroposophical Society in America)

The Elderberries 3-Fold Space & the Flex Space are available for rental on PEER SPACE for classes, events, meetings, retreats, art exhibits, family parties, etc..

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Anthroposophy Atlanta Welcomes Hazel Archer-Ginsberg* for a weekend of Spiritual Science, Art, Community & Sharing March 8, 9, 10, 2019

Spinning Destiny with the Fates – Friday, March 8, 2019 with *Hazel Archer-Ginsberg 6:30 pm refreshments, 7:00 pm talk, Decatur, GA (location details TBA)
Through an exploration into the evolution of human consciousness, we will explore the legends of the Greek Moirae and the Nordic Norns,  the Orphic Hymn and the Prose Poem Edda. Hazel* will share some of her original art & song, and group discussion will be encouraged.
From Necessity to Freedom – The Evolution of Human Consciousness, Social Sculpture & Experiential Discourse with *Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Saturday, March 9
, 2019 10am – 3pm,Decatur, GA (location details TBA)
How can I co-create with Destiny, to spin the thread of my life with integrity, to heal and clear the collective karma, & achieve my True Becoming? We will we stand before the “Daughters of Necessity” that we will transform into “Freedom Fighters” to meet our true calling; asking: “What is my Highest Purpose?” From the vaporous cleft of Mount Parnassus, and the birthplace of Greek Philosophy, to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and the Holy Grail – From Prophecy to Warning, from Fate to Karma, From Destiny to Free Will!
❖         10 am –11 am – The ever-evolving Human Consciousness – Scrying with the Sibyls – The Hebrew Prophets and the Sistine Chapel ❖         11:30 – Socratic Questioning – You have to ask the right question to get the right answer❖         12:30 pm – Lunch  (light lunch provided)❖         1:30 pm – Once Upon A Time NOW – The new story❖         2:00 pm – Weaving Past, Present and Future❖         2:30 – 3pm –  Open Discussion – Rudolf Steiner’s poem: “Destiny”*Come as you can–all are welcome to attend any part, or all of the workshop!
The Golden Legend and The Rose Cross Meditation – Leading Thoughts & Discourse – Sunday 10 March 2019, 3 pm – 5 pm, with *Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Social Art with Angela Foster.
Using our head, hands & heart we will enact this powerful Rosicrucian tool given to us by Rudolf Steiner, as a soul path of initiation, using imaginative cognition to build spiritual etheric forces; a Metamorphoses of Self & of World evolution.

 Location: Decatur GA (details TBA). No set fee to attend. Suggested donation $0-100

Please RSVP to Angela so we can plan the space & refreshments: ARC@thirdbody.net

*Hazel Archer-Ginsberg is the founder of the website and blog Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year (www.reverseritual.com)She is an Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Trans-denominational Minister, and “Anthroposopher.” She works as the Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch as well as with the Traveling Speakers Program, and she serves on the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society.

Atlanta March 2019

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Whitsun: A Festival of United Soul Endeavor with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

3 pm – 6 pm Saturday 8 June 2019 -4804 Sewanee Road, Nashville, TN 37220. for more info. contact Cathy Green cgreen@grasslandaquatics.com

12 Noon Potluck Program 1 pm -4 pm Whitsunday 9 June 2019, In Knoxville, TN. for more info. contact William Rogers wmerogers@gmail.com

Eurythmy: AUM = A – I stand for myself, U- I stand for humanity, M – I stand for Life

Social Sculpture: Steiner’s ‘Blue Dot Exercise’: Through Art, the bridge between science & spirit, we warm the ‘I’, to open the heart, in support of healthy community.

Leading Thoughts with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg*

What are my gifts-What are my tools? How can I place them in right relationship within the social realm? How can I hone them to strengthen and enhance the world?

Enter the Labyrinth of Vitae Sophia: Human hearts, once warmed, can rise up to meet the source of wisdom, like flowers turning toward the sun.

Living into the Foundation Stone of Love: How can we take our individual Inner Whitsun & expand it, into what Steiner calls the “World Festival of Knowledge” a path leading from ‘Sprit Recollection’, to ‘Sprit Sensing’, to ‘Sprit Beholding’?

*Hazel Archer-Ginsberg is the founder of the website and blog Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year (www.reverseritual.com)She is an Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Trans-denominational Minister, and “Anthroposopher.” She works as the Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch as well as with the Traveling Speakers Program, and she serves on the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society.

Between Fire & Ice

11 February 2019 – “Speaking with the Stars”:

Mars and Uranus pass close by each other this evening through Wednesday evening.

Moon and Mars, Feb. 9-11, 2019

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.

art by Ayse Domeniconi

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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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

Image result for St. Gobnait

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.

Image result for founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu

660 BC – Traditional date for the founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu

Image result for Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus

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

Image result for Henry VIII of England

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

Related image

1650 – Deathday of René Descartes, French mathematician & philosopher

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

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

Image result for 1858 – Bernadette Soubirous's first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary i

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

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

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

Image result for 1990 nelson mandela

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

***

Image result for fire & ice painting

~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

~hag

***

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”

xox

Hazel Archer Ginsberg

***

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 is…

“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.

 Become a member of the Anthroposophical Society in America, then you are invited to Become a  member of the Rudolf Steiner Branch 

 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.

***

Promise

2 February 2019 – “Speaking with the Stars”: The biggest star formation is the Winter Hexagon. It fills the sky in the east & moves south these next few evenings. Start with brilliant Sirius at its bottom. Going clockwise from there, march up through Procyon, Pollux & Castor, Menkalinan & Capella on high, down to Aldebaran, then to Rigel in Orion’s foot, and back to Sirius. Betelgeuse shines inside the Hexagon, off center.

***

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary The 40th day of the Christmas-Epiphany season, commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Joseph & Mary brought the child into the Temple, & when Simeon & Anna the prophetess, saw Him, they knew the prophesy of ‘The Chosen One’ had been fulfilled. We see the connection between the Buddha & Jesus of Nazareth in the stories of Asita & Simeon. When Asita, the great Indian sage, saw Siddhartha as a young child, before he had reached Buddhahood, he was able to recognize what the child would become. It was Asita’s heart’s desire to see the Buddha before he died, so he wept because he was an old man & would not live to see him become the Buddha. This wise seer was then reborn in the time of Jesus as Simeon introduced in Luke 2:29-30 as the temple priest who waits for the Messiah. He recognizes the Buddha in the Nathan Jesus, so he praises god & says now he can die happy, having fulfilled his heart’s desire.

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Mariä Lichtmess – Candlemas, Christian Churches bless the candles to be used for the New Year.  

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Imbolc – Among the Celts, the pagan celebration of Imbolc honors the Triple Goddess Brigid, associated with purification & the fires of the forge to call in the sun. Folks would carry torches & cross the fields in procession, praying to the goddess to purify the ground before planting.

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In churches, the torches were replaced by blessed candles whose glow was supposed to take away evil & symbolize that Christ is the light of the world. They would then take the candles to their homes to bring protection thruout the New Year. In 1372 this celebration would also be associated with the purification of Mary at the Temple (similar to the churching of women).

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Crêpes with their round form & their golden color are reminiscent of the sun, an appropriate symbol during Candlemas, as this is the time of the year when the days get longer. It is also the time of year when the roots begin to stir.

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Feast of the Bear – From antiquity to the Middle Ages, bears were a cult symbol of the Germans, Scandinavians & the Celts. On this day they celebrated the end of hibernation. This was around the time when the bears would leave their dens to see if the weather was mild. For a long time, the Catholic Church sought to eradicate these pagan practices. To do this, it instituted the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple which is celebrated on February 2, which corresponds to the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. However, the celebrations of the bear & the return of the  light continued, with bonfires & other torchlight processions. Pope Gelasius I in the fifth century therefore instituted the feast of candles, or Candlemas. From the twelfth to the eighteenth century, Candlemas was called “chandelours” which means bear in French, in many areas (including the Alps, Pyrenees, Ardennes) where the memory of the cult of the bear was still very present. There is also the Aosta Saint-Ours, & Saint Blaise (which means “bear”). Candlemas is also the beginning of the carnival period; the bear is the carnival animal par excellence.

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Feast of Persephone  – In addition, the Festa candelarum in Rome commemorated the search for the Goddess of Light Persephone, by her mother the Goddess of Life Demeter, kidnapped by the King of the Other World Hades,. The festival of candles symbolizes the return of the Light. The myths of Sleeping Beauty or Theseus & Ariadne, for example relate to the release or liberation of the light (Dawn of the year) by the “solar knight”.

Feast day of Cornelius a Roman centurion. He is depicted in the New Testament as a God-fearing man who always prayed & was full of good works & deeds.  Cornelius receives a vision in which an angel of God tells him that his prayers have been heard, he understands that he’s chosen for a higher alternative. The angel then instructs Cornelius to send the men of his household to Joppa, where they will find Simon Peter, who is residing with a tanner by the name of Simon (Acts 10:5ff).

The conversion of Cornelius comes after a separate vision given to Simon Peter (Acts 10:10–16) himself. In the vision, Simon Peter sees all manner of beasts & fowl being lowered from Heaven in a sheet. A voice commands Simon Peter to eat. When he objects to eating those animals that are unclean according to Mosaic Law, the voice tells him not to call unclean that which God has cleansed.

When Cornelius’ men arrive, Simon Peter understands that through this vision the Lord commanded the Apostle to preach the Word of God to the Gentiles. Peter accompanies Cornelius’ men back to Caesarea. When Cornelius meets Simon Peter, he falls at Peter’s feet. Simon Peter raises the centurion & the two men share their visions. Simon Peter tells of Jesus’ ministry & the Resurrection; the Holy Spirit descends on everyone at the gathering & they all begin speaking in tongues, praising God

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1786 – Birthday of Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, a French mathematician, physicist & astronomer. Binet’s Formula expressing Fibonacci numbers in closed form is named in his honour.

1882 – Birthday of James Joyce, Irish novelist, short story writer, & poet

1971 – Idi Amin replaces President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda

1972 – The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest at Bloody Sunday

1976 – The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States & south-eastern Canada, killing 112

1987 – After the 1986 People Power Revolution, the Philippines enacts a new constitution

1990 – Apartheid: F. W. de Klerk announces the unbanning of the African National Congress & promises to release Nelson Mandela

2007 – The worst flooding in Indonesia in 300 years begins. Death toll 804

2012 – The ferry MV Rabaul Queen sinks off the coast of Papua New 300 dead

***

This is a time of blessing the seeds…
of calling forth & rekindling the sacred fires…
our ancient symbol of invigoration…
of becoming…of rebirth…
So let’s rise in our thinking to inspire Brigid…
Goddess of the forge, of poetry & healing…
to come & inspire us…
that we may heal ourselves & each other…
that we may see our creativity become fertile…
enflaming us with the passion of our purpose…
making us fertile ground for the promise of spring…

***

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Holy water…Sacred flame
Brigid we invoke your name
Bless my hands, my head, my heart
Source of healing, song & art.

I know, it’s easy to forget so soon after the ‘polar vortex’, that at this time of year when the skies are steel grey, that stirring in the wind, is the spark of spring – waiting, to be ignited by the passion of our purpose…Can you feel the energy of the earth…Quickening…I feel it groaning & stretching in the earth of my body…Like a snake trying to shed its skin…I just want to be a molting bird…Dancing in the silent belly of February…

We know, She awakens in the womb of her slumber…So much to do…So much to Be…Can you feel Her growing rhythms…Her song ever sung…‘Being is Becoming’…

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She…has many names…Today we call Her Brigid…Goddess of the forge, of creativity & poetry…Great Goddess of healing…whose feast-day marks the waxing light…called by some, Candlemas, others, groundhog’s day, still others, Imbolc…the lambing season…the time of year when the belly of the great mother quickens with the growing light…

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A time to purify & get fertile…So let’s charm the plow…Kiss the candle…& gather the wood to kindle a need-fire…as a welcoming beacon…to call back  our dormant power…to heat up, our potential, & re-seed our creativity…as we add fuel to the fire of our community…One spark warms us all…A purifying fire, that burns clean & opens the way to the true power of love & light from deep within us…from the ancient & immortal tribes…from all the quarters of the cosmos…to come & warm our circle…to bring, their respected dimensions, into the eternity, of our lives, now…

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Our reality…which is open & ever changing…for we have a lot to honor in ourselves today…as we stand on the waning side of Bella Luna…Whispering the promise of passion like a communal prayer that builds…Into the arrows of Eros, embracing our true heart in the eternal now of Valentine’s Day…And as we call in the Yin Pig of Chinese New Year on the new Moon.

So, let us sing in the forces…Coming up from the center of our true free will, & call the power of our striving humanity into our rhythm of growing light…Together may we will thaw the winter & rouse the mysteries growing within…

~hag

***

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Click HERE to see a video from a program called: ‘Mysteries of the Celtic Goddess Brigid’ that I did at the Theosophical Society

***

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Anthroposophy Atlanta welcomes Hazel Archer Ginsberg for a weekend of Spiritual Science, Art, Community, and Sharing, March 8th – 10th, 2019

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Spinning Destiny with the Fates – Friday, March 8, 2019 
6:30 pm refreshments, 7:00 pm talk, Decatur, GA 

Through an exploration into the evolution of human consciousness, we will explore the legends of the Greek Moirae and the Nordic Norns, the Orphic Hymn and the Prose Poem Edda. Hazel will share some of her original art & song, and group discussion will be encouraged.

***

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From Necessity to Freedom – The Evolution of Human Consciousness, Social Sculpture & Experiential Discourse  Saturday, March 9, 2019 10am – 3pm,* Decatur, GA

How can I co-create with Destiny, to spin the thread of my life with integrity, to heal and clear the collective karma, & achieve my True Becoming? We will we stand before the “Daughters of Necessity” that we will transform into “Freedom Fighters” to meet our true calling; asking: “What is my Highest Purpose?” From the vaporous cleft of Mount Parnassus, and the birthplace of Greek Philosophy, to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and the Holy Grail – From Prophecy to Warning, from Fate to Karma, From Destiny to Free Will!

❖ 10 am –11 am – The ever-evolving Human Consciousness – Scrying with the Sibyls – The Hebrew Prophets and the Sistine Chapel
❖ 11:30 – Socratic Questioning – You have to ask the right question to get the right answer
❖ 12:30 pm – Lunch (light lunch provided)
❖ 1:30 pm – Once Upon A Time NOW – The new story
❖ 2:00 pm – Weaving Past, Present and Future 
❖ 2:30 – 3pm – Open Discussion – Rudolf Steiner’s poem: “Destiny”

*Come as you can–all are welcome to attend any part, or all of the workshop!

***

The Golden Legend and The Rose Cross Meditation – Leading Thoughts & Discourse Sunday 10 March 2019, 3 pm – 5 pm with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Social Art with Angela Foster
Using our head, hands & heart we will enact this powerful Rosicrucian tool given to us by Rudolf Steiner, as a soul path of initiation, using imaginative cognition to build spiritual etheric forces; a Metamorphoses of Self & of World evolution.

Location: Decatur GA (details TBA). Suggested donation $0-100. Please RSVP to Angela Foster so we can plan the space & refreshments: ARC@thirdbody.net 
https://anthroposophyatlanta.org/…

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg is the founder of the website and blog Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year (www.reverseritual.com). She is an Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Trans-denominational Minister, and “Anthroposopher.” She works as the Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch as well as with the Traveling Speakers Program, and she serves on the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society.

Link to Atlanta Poster

‘Art is Science Made Clear’

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~Let the crystals fall
To add form to the light
Thru the white I will see
The single star that calls to me
The gibbous moon falls away so that I may live
Free to stumble
Free to fly with my snow angel
Listening, waiting, willing
The sap to rise

~hag

***

On this Eve of Imbolc – the Cross-Quarter between Winter Solstice & the Vernal Equinox: A Glimpse into Brigid, the Alchemical Triple Goddess  of the 4 fires & the purifying waters which gives birth to healing.

A long time ago, nigh at the beginning, near the waters of a sacred well, at the first slice of pink in the young morning of the Cross-Quarter between Winter & Spring, at the very threshold – the goddess Brigid slipped into the world, & the waters of the world rippled with joy.

Up rose a column of fire – out of the head of the new goddess – that burned to the very sky. Brigid reached up & broke away a flaming plume from her crown & dropped it on the ground before her. There it leapt & shone, creating a new hearth.

Then from the fire of her hearth, Brigid used both hands to draw out a leaping tongue of heat – swallowed it, & felt the fire burn straight to her heart.

There stood the goddess, fire crowning her head, fire leaping inside her heart, glowing & shooting from her hands, & dancing on the hearth before her.

The waters of the sacred well quickened as Brigid built a chimney of brick about her hearth. Then she formed a roof of thatch & walls of stone. And so it was that by the waters of the sacred well the goddess built the forge in which she keeps the 4 fires which have served the world evermore.

Out of the fire in Brigid’s hands baked the craft of bending iron. Out of the fire on Brigid’s hearth & the waters of her sacred well came the healing potions, teas, & tinctures. Out of the fire on Brigid’s head flared out writing & poetry. Out of the fire in Brigid’s heart spread the warmth of compassion.

Word of the gifts of Brigid’s fire traveled deep & wide. People flocked to learn from Brigid the secret of using fire to soften iron & bend it to the shape of their will. The people called it smith-craft, & made wheels, pots, & tools that did not break.

All the medicine plants of the earth were gathered & brought to the house of the goddess. With their leaves, flowers, bark, & roots, they offered themselves to the waters of her sacred well. Brigid made healing brews. She gave a boy with weakness an infusion of the dandelion root. She gave a young woman the decoction of raspberry leaf to help her womb carry a child. An old bent man took from Brigid wintergreen bark for his ache, & black cherry juice for the gout. She gave comfrey to a girl with a broken leg & blue cohosh to another to bring her moon-blood without pain. Brigid infused motherwort, licorice root, & dried parsley for a woman who was becoming a crone. “Cup a day,” said Brigid, “that you stay supple & strong.”

The people were healed & wanted Brigid’s recipes. “But we can’t remember which plants for which healings, where to gather them or how long to steep them,” they told Brigid. The fire on Bridget’s head blazed bright. She took up a blackened stick & made marks with it on a flat piece of bark. “These are the talking marks,” She said. “They are the way to remember what you don’t want to forget.” The talking marks also let the people write down the stories of her wisdom. Here is one that fits for us today:

Once 2 men, came to Brigid, both had a terrible case of leprosy. “Bathe yourself in my well.” said Brigid to the 1st man. And so it was that at every place the healing waters touched, the man’s skin turned whole again.

“Now bathe your friend,” said Brigid. Repulsed, the man backed away from his friend. “I won’t touch him,” he said. “Then you are not truly healed,” said the goddess. With that truth revealed, the 1st man’s leprosy returned & the goddess herself bathed & healed the 2nd man. “Return to me with compassion,” she said to the 1st man. “There find your healing.”

The folk hold the wisdom of the goddess close; & every year on Imbolc they thank Brigid for her well of wisdom & her fires of hand, hearth, head & heart.

Brigid is a Triple goddess holding the archetype of the Maiden, Mother & Crone. In her maiden aspect, she is said to charm new life into the cold heart of Winter, with her white birch wand, to help him open his eyes to the promise of Spring.

Imbolc literally means ‘in the belly’ it is the lambing season after all, when the milk begins to flow. Traditionally a time of purification — so clean your house! Brigid will thank you for it. If you have any Christmas greenery lingering, burn it now. And bathe with warm milk for health & beauty. Leave a silk ribbon on your doorstep for Brigid to bless: It can then be used for healing purposes.

Give an offering: cake, buttered bread & milk will do — outside your door: Brigid & her cow are said to walk through the neighborhood tonight. In the city it is proper to give food to the homeless.

Make your own Brigid Cross, a fiery sun-wheel & hang it up, especially in the kitchen where her influence can bless your food.

Meditate upon what you would like to see grow in health & strength this year: for yourself, your family, your community, the Earth, & ask for Bride’s blessing upon your prayers.

When my daughter was young, we would gather with other Waldorf families during this magical time to honor & explore the power of the Triple Goddess within us, through storytelling, crafting fiery Sun-Wheel’s around the fire, sharing a potluck meal, & making a scavenger hunt in the woods.

Now is the time of the stirring, when the sap begins to rise & the waters to flow. While frost still bites & winds still blow, the light is growing stronger, & life begins to wake. It is the time of year when the belly of the great mother quickens with the growing light, for this is the feast of Brigid – the midwife of the New Year who births the sun. Through the union of fire & water, we can work the magic to call in the spring.

“Thank you, Brigid, for the smith-craft of your forge, the soothing healing teas, the talking marks, & for the warmth of compassion”. May we use it wisely to prepare for growth & renewal, performing the ancient rituals of spring cleaning, purifying & anointing the body electric, awakening the spirit within…A time of spiritual re-dedication, of self-blessing & initiation, of affirming & energizing creative work…A time of blessing the seeds & consecrating the garden tools…

A time to purify & get fertile, so let’s charm the plow, & kiss the candle, to re-kindle, a need-fire, as a welcoming beacon, to call back, our dormant power, to heat up, our potential, & re-seed our creativity. As we add fuel to the fire of our community, one spark warms us all, a purifying fire, that burns clean & opens the way to the true power of love & light from deep within us all…

~hag

Click HERE to see a video from a program called: ‘Mysteries of the Celtic Goddess Brigid’ that I did at the Theosophical Society

***

Acrylic on canvas

Anthroposophy Atlanta welcomes Hazel Archer Ginsberg for a weekend of Spiritual Science, Art, Community, and Sharing, March 8th – 10th, 2019

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Spinning Destiny with the Fates – Friday, March 8, 2019 
6:30 pm refreshments, 7:00 pm talk, Decatur, GA 

Through an exploration into the evolution of human consciousness, we will explore the legends of the Greek Moirae and the Nordic Norns, the Orphic Hymn and the Prose Poem Edda. Hazel will share some of her original art & song, and group discussion will be encouraged.

***

From Necessity to Freedom – The Evolution of Human Consciousness, Social Sculpture & Experiential Discourse  Saturday, March 9, 2019 10am – 3pm,* Decatur, GA

How can I co-create with Destiny, to spin the thread of my life with integrity, to heal and clear the collective karma, & achieve my True Becoming? We will we stand before the “Daughters of Necessity” that we will transform into “Freedom Fighters” to meet our true calling; asking: “What is my Highest Purpose?” From the vaporous cleft of Mount Parnassus, and the birthplace of Greek Philosophy, to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and the Holy Grail – From Prophecy to Warning, from Fate to Karma, From Destiny to Free Will!

❖ 10 am –11 am – The ever-evolving Human Consciousness – Scrying with the Sibyls – The Hebrew Prophets and the Sistine Chapel
❖ 11:30 – Socratic Questioning – You have to ask the right question to get the right answer
❖ 12:30 pm – Lunch (light lunch provided)
❖ 1:30 pm – Once Upon A Time NOW – The new story
❖ 2:00 pm – Weaving Past, Present and Future 
❖ 2:30 – 3pm – Open Discussion – Rudolf Steiner’s poem: “Destiny”

*Come as you can–all are welcome to attend any part, or all of the workshop!

***

The Golden Legend and The Rose Cross Meditation – Leading Thoughts & Discourse Sunday 10 March 2019, 3 pm – 5 pm with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Social Art with Angela Foster
Using our head, hands & heart we will enact this powerful Rosicrucian tool given to us by Rudolf Steiner, as a soul path of initiation, using imaginative cognition to build spiritual etheric forces; a Metamorphoses of Self & of World evolution.

Location: Decatur GA (details TBA). Suggested donation $0-100. Please RSVP to Angela Foster so we can plan the space & refreshments: ARC@thirdbody.net 
https://anthroposophyatlanta.org/…

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg is the founder of the website and blog Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year (www.reverseritual.com). She is an Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Trans-denominational Minister, and “Anthroposopher.” She works as the Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch as well as with the Traveling Speakers Program, and she serves on the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society.

Link to Atlanta Poster

Sub-Zero musings with Dr. Seuss

30 January 2019 – “Speaking with the Stars”: As dawn begins to brighten on Thursday morning, Antares, Jupiter, Venus, & the waning crescent Moon form a graceful arc in the southeastern sky.

But the stars of this show are Bella Luna & Venus, so close they could be kissing.

***

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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516 BCE – The Second Temple of Jerusalem finishes construction

1128 – Birthday of Alanus ab Insulis, Teacher at Chartres. Rudolf Steiner speaks about him in many of his Karmic relationships lectures:

“…By the twelfth century a certain School had come into being — as it were through inner necessity — a School in which the afterglow of the old Platonic seership lit up once again. It was the great and illustrious School of Chartres. In this School were great teachers to whom the mysteries of early Christianity were still known and in whose hearts and souls this knowledge kindled a vision of the spiritual foundation of Christianity. In the School of Chartres in France, where stands the magnificent Cathedral, built with such profusion of detail, there was a concentration, a gathering-together, as it were, of knowledge that only shortly before had been widely scattered, though confined to the small circles of which I have spoken. ..There, for example, we find Bernard of Chartres, Bernardus Sylvestris, John of Salisbury, but above all the great Alanus ab Insulis. Mighty teachers indeed! When they spoke in the School of Chartres it was as if Plato himself, interpreting Christianity, were working in person among them. They taught the spiritual content and substance of Christianity. The writings that have come down from them may seem full of abstractions to those who read them to-day. But that is due simply to the abstract trend that characterises modern thinking. The impulse of the Christ is implicit in all the descriptions of the spiritual world contained in the writings of these outstanding personalities. I will give you an idea of how Bernardus Sylvestris and Alanus ab Insulis, above all, taught their initiated pupils. Strange as it will seem to the modern mind, such revelations were indeed given at that time to the pupils of Chartres.

It was taught: New life will come to Christianity. Its spiritual content and essence will be understood once again when Kali Yuga, the Age of Darkness, has come to an end and the dawn of a new Age breaks. And with the year 1899 this has already come to pass for us who are living at the present time; this is the great and mighty change that was to come for humanity at the end of Kali Yuga, the mighty impulse given two decades previously through the advent of Michael. This was prophetically announced in the School of Chartres in the twelfth century, above all by Bernardus Sylvestris and Alanus ab Insulis. But these men did not teach in the Aristotelian way, they did not teach by way of the intellect. They gave their teachings entirely in the form of mighty, imaginative pictures — pictures whereby the spiritual content of Christianity became concretely real. But there were certain prophetic teachings; and I should like by means of a brief extract to give you an indication of one such teaching.

Alanus ab Insulis spoke to the following effect to a narrow circle of his initiated pupils: — ‘As we contemplate the universe to-day, we still regard the Earth as the centre, we judge everything from the Earth, as the centre. If the terrestrial conception which enables us to unfold our pictures and our imaginations… if this conception alone were to fertilise the coming centuries, progress would not be possible for mankind. We must come to an understanding with the Aristotelians who bring to humanity the intellect which must then be spiritualised so that in the twentieth century it may shine forth in a new and spiritual form among men. We, in our time, regard the Earth as the centre of the Cosmos, we speak of the planets circling around the Earth, we describe the whole heaven of stars as it presents itself to physical eyes as if it revolved around the Earth. But there will come one who will say: Let us place the Sun at the spatial centre of the cosmic system! But when he who will thus place the Sun at the centre of the spatial universe has come, the picture of the world will become arid. Men will only calculate the courses of the planets, will merely indicate the positions of the heavenly bodies, speaking of them as gases, or burning, luminous, physical bodies; they will know the starry heavens only in terms of mathematical and mechanical laws. But this arid picture of the world that will become widespread in the coming times, has, after all, one thing — meagre, it is true, yet it has it none the less. … We look at the universe from the Earth; he who will come will look at the universe from the standpoint of the Sun. He will be like one who indicates a “direction” only — the direction leading towards a path of majestic splendour, fraught with most wonderful happenings and peopled by glorious Beings. But he will give the direction through abstract concepts only.’ (Thereby the Copernican picture of the world was indicated, arid and abstract yet giving the direction…) ‘For,’ said Alanus ab Insulis, ‘everything we present through the Imaginations that come to us must pass away; it must pass away and the picture men now have of the world must become altogether abstract, hardly more than a pointer along a path strewn with wonderful memorials. For then, in the spiritual world, there will be One who will use this pointer — which for the purposes of world-renewal is nothing more than a means of directive — in order that, together with the prevailing intellectualism, he may then lay the foundations of the new spirituality … there will be One who will have this pointer as his only tool. This One will be St. Michael! For Him the ground must be made free; he must sow the path with new seed. And to that end, nothing but lines must remain — mathematical lines!’

A kind of magic breathed through the School of Chartres when Alanus ab Insulis was giving such teachings to a few of his chosen pupils. It was as if the ether-world all around were set astir by the surging waves of this mighty Michael teaching.

And so a spiritual atmosphere was imparted to the world. It spread across Western Europe, down into Southern Italy, where there were many who were able to receive it into themselves. In their souls something arose like a mighty Inspiration, enabling them to gaze into the spiritual world.

But in the evolution of the world it is so that those who are initiated into the great secrets of existence — as to a certain degree were Alanus ab Insulis and Bernardus Sylvestris — such men know that it is only possible to achieve this or that particular aim to a limited extent. A man like Alanus ab Insulis said to himself: We, the Platonists, must go through the gate of death; for the present we can live only in the spiritual world. We must look down from the spiritual world, leaving the physical world to those others whose task it is to cultivate the intellect in the Aristotelian way. The time has come now for the cultivation of the intellect. Late in his life Alanus ab Insulis put on the habit of the Cistercian Order; he became a Cistercian. And in the Cistercian Order many of these Platonic teachings were contained. Those among the Cistercians who possessed the deeper knowledge said to themselves: Henceforward we can work only from the spiritual world; the field must be relinquished to the Aristotelians.

These Aristotelians were, for the most part, in the Order of the Dominicans. And so in the thirteenth century the leadership of the spiritual life in Europe passed over to them.

But a heritage remained from men such as Peter of Compostella, Alanus ab Insulis, Bernard of Chartres, John of Salisbury and that poet who from the School of Chartres wrote a remarkable poem on the Seven Liberal Arts. It took significant hold of the spiritual life of Europe. What had come into being in the School of Chartres was so potent that it found its way, for example, to the University of Orleans. There, in the second half of the twelfth century, a great deal penetrated in the form of teaching from what had streamed to the pupils of Chartres through mighty pictures and words — words as it were of silver — from the lips of Bernardus Sylvestris, of Alanus ab Insulis. ~Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships Volume VI, Arnhem, 18th July, 1924

1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed more than two years after his death, on the 12th anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.

1882 – Birthday of Franklin D. Roosevelt, American lawyer and politician, 32nd President of the United States

1889 – Deathday of Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, is found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in the Mayerling.

1933 – Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.

1945 – World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with German refugees, sinks in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, killing approximately 10,500 people

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1948 – Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist. A year earlier on this same date, W.J. Stein sent him Steiner’s Threefold Social Order

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1956 – Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

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1969 – The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

***

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~Beneath the crust of ice I hear
A ready roar
Rumble up from the tap root
Of the dogwood tree
It knows my secret name
Witch will rise with the sap
When Brigid-Bride calls me…

~hag

***

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Today as the temperatures drop below zero, I am turning to Dr. Seuss for help in formulating a few leading thoughts. I am remembering a story he told of dining in a restaurant with his uncle, who ordered a popover, which Dr. Seuss described as a ‘puffy muffin that’s hollow on the inside’. “To eat these things,” said his uncle, “you must exercise great care. After much chewing you may swallow down what’s solid, but you must spit out the hot air!”

Drawing a lesson from these wise words, I say thank you to the good Doctor; for that’s darned good advice to follow when partaking of the world’s bill of fare: digestion begins with the chewing; be careful what you swallow; masticate thoroughly; & be sure to spit out all the empty air!

& so it is, that today, (& everyday) I will work to apply these principles.

Stay cozy – relax with pep

~hag