12 December 2016 – Astro-Weather: On this eve of the Full Long Nights Moon, Bella Luna’s bright light occults Aldebaran. The bright orange star vanishes on the Moon’s narrow dark limb just beyond the brilliantly sunlit landscape
As darkness falls, you’ll see our satellite suspended against the stars of the Hyades, the cluster that forms the face of Taurus the Bull. As the evening wears on, the Moon edges closer to Aldebaran. The occultation occurs at roughly midnight
If the Moon looks a little bigger than normal set against the Hyades star cluster, it may not be your imagination. Luna reaches perigee, the closest point in its orbit around Earth, at 5:29 p.m. CST when it is 222,737 miles away from us
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
“…what man lives through historically, what he lives through socially, what he lives through in the ethical relationships between people, all this really has the value of a dream, of sleep…People will consider history in quite another way when this has reached their living consciousness; they will no longer consider as history the fable convenue that is usually called history today; but they will realize that historical life can only be understood when that which is dreamed and slept away in usual consciousness, and contains the influences of the deeds, impulses and activities of the so-called dead, is sought in this historical life. The deeds of the dead are interwoven with the impulses of feeling and will of the so-called living. And this is real history.”
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
1098 – First Crusade: Siege of Ma’arrat al-Numan: Crusaders breach the town’s walls & massacre about 20,000 inhabitants. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they reportedly resort to cannibalism
1408 – The Order of the Dragon, is created by Sigismund of Luxembourg, king of Hungary
1901 – Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal (the letter “S” [***] in Morse Code), at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland
1915 – President of the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai, announces his intention to reinstate the monarchy & proclaim himself Emperor of China
1935 – Lebensborn Project, was founded by Heinrich Himmler, an SS-initiated, state-supported association in Nazi Germany with the goal of raising the birth rate of “Aryan” children via extramarital relations of persons classified as “racially pure & healthy” based on Nazi racial hygiene & health ideology. Lebensborn encouraged anonymous births by unmarried women, & mediated adoption of these children by likewise “racially pure and healthy” parents, particularly SS members & their families. Lebensborn expanded into several occupied European countries with Germanic populations during the Second World War.
1941 – Adolf Hitler declares the imminent extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery
1942 – World War II: German troops begin Operation Winter Storm, an attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad
1950 – Paula Ackerman, the first woman to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, leads the congregation in her first services
1963 – Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom
1979 – The 8.2 Mw Tumaco earthquake shakes Colombia &Ecuador with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent), killing 300–600, & generating a large tsunami
1985 – Arrow Air Flight 1285, crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland, killing all 256 people on board.
1988 – The Clapham Junction rail crash kills 335 & injures hundreds after two collisions of three commuter trains
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~today Proud Mary said:
“Big wheel keep on turning”…
What comes around goes around
So let the great wheel spin
As we sit at the hub of the universe
& create the day…
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th. In 1531 a “Lady from Heaven” appeared to Saint Juan Diego, a poor Indian from Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City. She identified herself as the “Mother of the True God” & instructed him to have the bishop build a church on the site & left an image of herself imprinted miraculously on his tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth. The tilma should have deteriorated within 20 years but shows no sign of decay after 485 years. It to this day defies all scientific explanations of its origin.
In the earliest account of the apparition, the Nican Mopohua, the Virgin Mary tells Juan Bernardino, the uncle of Juan Diego, that the image left on the tilma is to be known by the name “The Perfect Virgin, Holy Mary of Guadalupe”.
Alternative names that sound similar to “Guadalupe”, Tecuatlanopeuh which translates as “She whose origins were in the rocky summit“, & Tecuantlaxopeuh “She who banishes those who devoured us.”
Following the Conquest in 1519–21, the Spanish destroyed a temple of the mother goddess Tonantzin at Tepeyac outside Mexico City, & built a chapel dedicated to the Virgin on the site. Newly converted natives continued to come from afar to worship there, often addressing the Virgin Mary as Tonantzin.
A Spanish version of the Nahuatl term, Coātlaxopeuh, which is interpreted as meaning “The one who crushes the serpent,” may be referring to the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl.
According to another theory the juxtaposition of Guadalupe & a snake may indicate a nexus with the Aztec goddess of love & fertility, Tonantzin (in Nahuatl “Our Revered Mother“), who also went under the name of Coatlícue (“The Serpent Skirt“). This appears to be borne out by the fact that this goddess had a temple dedicated to her on the very Tepeyac Hill where Juan Diego had his vision, the very temple which had recently been destroyed at the behest of the new Catholic authorities.
Some describe her as the Woman of the Apocalypse from the New Testament’s Revelation 12:1, “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” She is also described as a representation of the Immaculate Conception.
In 1929 & 1951 photographers claimed to have found a figure reflected in the Virgin’s eyes; upon inspection they said that the reflection was tripled in what is called the Purkinje effect, commonly found in human eyes. An ophthalmologist, later enlarged an image of the Virgin’s eyes by 2500x & claimed to have found not only the aforementioned single figure, but images of all the witnesses present when the tilma was first revealed before Zumárraga in 1531, plus a small family group of mother, father, & a group of children, in the center of the Virgin’s eyes, fourteen people in all.
In 1936 biochemist Richard Kuhn analyzed a sample of the fabric & announced that the pigments used were from no known source, whether animal, mineral or vegetable. Dr. Philip Serna Callahan, who photographed the icon under infrared light, declared from his photographs that portions of the face, hands, robe, & mantle had been painted in one step, with no sketches or corrections & no visible brush strokes.
The image has layers of meaning for the indigenous people of Mexico who associated her image with their polytheistic deities, which further contributed to her popularity. Her blue-green mantle was the color reserved for the divine couple Ometecuhtli &Omecihuatl; her belt is interpreted as a sign of pregnancy; & a cross-shaped image, symbolizing the cosmos & called nahui-ollin, is inscribed beneath the image’s sash. She was called “Mother of maguey,” the source of the sacred beverage pulque. Pulque was also known as “The milk of the Virgin.” The rays of light surrounding her are seen to also represent maguey spines.
On 14 November 1921 a bomb hidden within a basket of flowers brought by an anti-Catholic secularist damaged the altar, but left the tilma unharmed. A brass standing Crucifix, bent in the explosion, is now preserved at the shrine.
Her message of love & compassion, & her universal promise to help & protect all humankind, as well as the story of the apparitions, are described in the “Nican Mopohua,” a 16th century document written in the native Nahuatl language.
Accounts state that The Virgin Mary appeared four times before Juan Diego & one more before Juan Diego’s uncle. According to these accounts the first apparition occurred on the morning of December 9, 1531, when a native Mexican peasant named Juan Diego saw a vision of a maiden at a place called the Hill of Tepeyac, which would become part of Villa de Guadalupe, a suburb of Mexico City. Speaking to Juan Diego in his native Nahuatl language (the language of the Aztec empire), the maiden identified herself as the Virgin Mary, “Mother of the very true deity”& asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor.
Based on her words, Juan Diego then sought out the archbishop of Mexico City, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, to tell him what had happened. As the bishop did not believe Diego, on the same day, Juan Diego saw the Virgin Mary for a second time (the second apparition); she asked him to keep insisting.
On Sunday, December 10, Juan Diego talked to the archbishop for a second time. He instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill, & ask the lady for a miraculous sign to prove her identity. That same day the third apparition occurred when Diego returned to Tepeyac &, encountering the Virgin Mary reported the bishop’s request for a sign; she consented to provide one on the following day (December 11)
By Monday, December 11, however, Juan Diego’s uncle Juan Bernardino had fallen sick & Juan Diego was obliged to attend to him. In the very early hours of Tuesday, December 12, Juan Bernardino’s condition having deteriorated overnight, Juan Diego set out to Tlatelolco to fetch a priest to hear Juan Bernardino’s confession & minister to him on his death-bed.
In order to avoid being delayed by the Virgin & ashamed at having failed to meet her on the Monday as agreed, Juan Diego chose another route around the hill, but the Virgin intercepted him & asked where he was going (fourth apparition); Juan Diego explained what had happened & the Virgin gently chided him for not having had recourse to her. In the words which have become the most famous phrase of the Guadalupe event & are inscribed over the main entrance to the Basilica of Guadalupe, she asked: “No estoy yo aquí que soy tu madre?” (Am I not here, I who am your mother?). She assured him that Juan Bernardino had now recovered & she told him to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill, which was normally barren, especially in December. Juan followed her instructions & he found Castilian roses, not native to Mexico, blooming there. The Virgin arranged the flowers in Juan’s tilma, or cloak, & when Juan Diego opened his cloak before archbishop Zumárraga on December 12, the flowers fell to the floor, & on the fabric was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The next day, on December 13, Juan Diego found his uncle fully recovered, as the Virgin had assured him, & Juan Bernardino recounted that he too had seen her, at his bed-side (fifth apparition); that she had instructed him to inform the bishop of this apparition & of his miraculous cure; & that she had told him she desired to be known under the title of Guadalupe.
The bishop kept Juan Diego’s mantle first in his private chapel & then in the church on public display where it attracted great attention. On December 26, 1531 a procession formed for taking the miraculous image back to Tepeyac where it was installed in a small hastily erected chapel. In course of this procession, the first miracle was allegedly performed when an Indian was mortally wounded in the neck by an arrow shot by accident during some stylized martial displays executed in honour of the Virgin. In great distress, the Indians carried him before the Virgin’s image & pleaded for his life. Upon the arrow being withdrawn, the victim made a full & immediate recovery.
Juan Diego’s tilma has become Mexico’s most popular religious & cultural symbol, & has received widespread ecclesiastical & popular support. In the 19th century it became the rallying call of American-born Spaniards in New Spain, who saw the story of the apparition as their own Mexican origin & infusing it with a sense of mission & identity –also legitimizing their armed rebellion against Spain.
The earliest mention of the miraculous apparition of the Virgin is a page of parchment (the Codex Escalada) which was discovered in 1995 &, according to investigative analysis, dates from the sixteenth century. This document bears two pictorial representations of Juan Diego & the apparition, several inscriptions in Nahuatl referring to Juan Diego by his Aztec name, & the date of his death: 1548, as well as the year that the Virgin Mary appeared: 1531. It also contains the glyph of Antonio Valeriano; & finally, the signature of Fray Bernardino de Sahagun that was authenticated by experts.
An incredible list of miracles, cures & interventions are attributed to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Each year an estimated 10 million people visit her Basilica, making her Mexico City home the most popular Marian shrine in the world. Altogether 24 popes have officially honored Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Juan Diego was canonized in 2002, under the name Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin.
May we be worthy of the miraculous
The Bridging Project – Between Life and Death from Soul to Soul
Audio Conference December 14, 2016 – 7:15 pm CST (8:15 pm EST)
“The dead and the living are embedded in the same way in something that the spirits of time weave as an unceasing stream of cosmic wisdom and cosmic will activity. What the spirits of time weave is history — the ethical-moral life of an age, the social life of an age.”
Rudolf Steiner, Historical Necessity and Freewill, Lecture 3, Our Life with the Dead (focus of our study for the December 14 meeting).
The Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to join our second study conversation. The study has been divided among five volunteers who will summarize their section to rebuild it as a foundation for our conversation. Please familiarize yourself with the lecture if possible so you will feel comfortable sharing your reflections and thoughts with the group.
Option 1. Click link below if you wish to connect through your computer (a headset is recommended) https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/520692669
Option 2. Call in using your telephone.
United States: +1 (571) 317-3116
Canada: +1 (647) 497-9372
Access Code: 520-692-669
Option 3. You can use a combination of Options 1 and 2 (computer and phone)
Agenda for our Study Call
7:18 Welcome and Introductions
7:25 Study led by five volunteers
8:20 Identify volunteers for the next study call
Lecture 4 – The Rhythmical Relationship of the Human Being Dec 11 2017
8:28 Close with verse
FLOWERS AND LANDSCAPES
New Works by
Lisa Villa Moser
Friday December 2nd, 2016
5 pm – 8 pm
Sunday December 18th, 2016
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.
Mysteries of the Celtic Goddess
Brigid by Helena Nelson Reed
Thursday February 9th 2017 -7 pm
at the Theosophical Society in America
1926 North Main Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
Invoking the Practical Alchemy of the Celtic Triple Goddess Brigid
To Purify, Awaken, & Galvanize Your Head, Heart, and Hands
Brigid’s festival is the 1st of the cross-quarter days in the wheel of the year, a time of spiritual re-dedication and initiation. Brigid invites us to forge and shape ourselves, as the tools of our own destiny. Come Renew Yourself. Together we will thaw the winter & rouse the mysteries growing within…
Hazel Archer Ginsberg is a Spiritual Midwife, and Trans-denominational Minister, working in an eclectic style that inspires connections – initiating us into the magic, waiting to be revealed, in the cycle of the seasons. Festivals Coordinator of the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society. Lecturer, Promoter, Blogger, Poet & Performance Artist. www.ReverseRitual.com.
$10 nonmembers $5 members