25 September 2018 – “Speaking with the Stars“: On Mars, the planet wide dust storm is abating. Altair, the brightest star in the constellation of Aquila the Eagle, also associated with the Summer Triangle, is straight above Mars right now.
When we look up to the wonder of the starry world, when we contemplate the whole process of the universe with its glories and marvels, then we are led at last to the feeling that all the glory that lies open to our view in the whole universe that surrounds us only has meaning when it is reflected in an admiring human soul. -Goethe
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Birthday of Cleophas, disciple on the road to Emmaus Luke 24:13-32. This occurs three days after the crucifixion, on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. The two have heard the tomb of Jesus was found empty earlier that day. They are discussing the events of the past few days when a stranger asks them what they are discussing. “Their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” He soon rebukes them for their unbelief & gives them a Bible study on prophecies about the Messiah. They ask the stranger to join them for the evening meal. When he breaks the bread “their eyes were opened” & they recognize him as the resurrected Christ, Who immediately vanishes. Cleopas & his friend hasten back to Jerusalem to carry the news to the other disciples, & learn that The Christ has also appeared to them. The same event is recorded in Mark 16:12-16:13.
810 – Birthday of John Scotus Eriugena, Christian mystic philosopher, translator, theologian & poet. John “of Ireland” (Eriugena means “Irish-born,” where the Scotti were an ancient & extensive tribe) is a major figure in the development of mystical spirituality in western European Christianity. He served as the primary translator-conduit for ideas from the great Greek Christian minds of the Middle-East & Near-East to come into Europe. ‘God is both immanently within and transcendentally beyond all beings’ Expanding richly on the idea of the apokatastasis or “universal salvation” of all souls in God’s all-saving Divine Love. Eriugena also wrote of the conscious Return (reditus) & merging of all beings into God. No souls (including the souls of animals & the demon-souls) would be left out of this grand return, no one would be damned to suffer forever in hell or wither away into oblivion. Eriugena’s enlightened view reveals an astonishingly positive scenario of a triumphantly compassionate, ever-loving God who is the Heart, Source & Substance of everyone.
“…we come across wonderful characters such as Scotus Erigena, a monk from Scotland called the Scottish St. John, who later lived at the court of Charles the Bald. He did not get on well with the Church, and it is told that the brothers of his order tortured him to death with pins. Of course, this is not to be taken literally, but it is true that he was tortured to death. A splendid book was written by him, On the Divisions in Nature which reveals a great profundity of thought… “. ~Rudolf Steiner, Occult Signs and Symbols, lecture 3, GA 101
1789 – The United States Congress passes the Bill of Rights
1849 – Deathday of Johann Strauss I, Austrian composer
1930 – Birthday of Shel Silverstein, American author, poet, illustrator, & songwriter
1970 – Erich Maria Remarque, a German novelist who created many works about the terror of war. His best known novel is All Quiet on the Western Front (1928). This made him an enemy of the Nazis, who burned many of his works
1978 – PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collides in mid-air with a Cessna 172 & crashes in San Diego, killing 144 people
“Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly
in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions
of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying
flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
Virtue of the month: Contentment Becomes Equanimity
At this time, the flowers wither, fruit & nuts fall from the trees & decompose, leaving their empty husks on the ground; grains are sorted or stored before being sown, to ensure a new cycle of growth. This process of decomposition & sorting also concerns the human being. Just as the fruit is separated from the tree & the seed from the fruit, so is the soul separated from the body, in sleep, in meditation, in death…The body is the envelope -the wrapping – & the soul is the seed that is planted in the soil of the spiritual world.
The human being is a fruit…& when we are ripe, we must not fall to the ground like the fruits & seeds of the earth, we must journey with consciousness into the spiritual world.
Autumn is the season for that separation of which Hermes Trismegistus speaks: ‘You shall separate the subtle from the gross, gently and with great skill.’
To separate the subtle from the gross is to separate the spiritual from the material, & the whole of nature undergoes this process of alchemy at autumn-tide, in preparation for the coming of new life. And yet most people have no idea what to cut out or re-cycle: they swallow everything whole, & yet are rarely content.
And so this is what we have to learn from Michael: Discernment! – How to choose, & what to choose, how to separate the pure from the impure, the useful from the useless, the harmful from the beneficial. The absence of judgment in this respect is the cause of many misfortunes. Michaelmas is resplendently rich in meaning for those who understand that it can bring them the courage to cultivate true freedom & liberation. So put the sword of Michael to use, to bless & bestow, as well as to cut away what does not serve – To separate the wheat from the chaff -To sharpen the mind & protect the heart.
Stand as a peaceful warrior for change
Dear friends – I will be taking a break from the blog as I prepare for
AGM 2018 Friday, Oct 5 – Sunday, Oct 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana
I will leave 1 Oct. & return 11 Oct. Look for me in NOLA
First Grace United Methodist Church 3401 Canal Street, New Orleans (Check out their amazing history here!)
Pre-conference: Thursday, Oct 4: Living in the Branches National Branch and Group Gathering
Free event! $25 lunch/refreshments fee.
Some travel scholarships available.
Email with questions.
National Youth Conference (Wed pm, Thurs, Fri am October 3-4-5):
MY HEART’S VOCATION: Finding Ourselves within Community
$250 Early Bird (until September 5th), $275 Standard
$375 Sponsorship (supports financial assistance) $60 Youth
Includes Friday light reception, snacks, beverages, and Sunday light brunch! Limited financial assistance available. Email to find out more.
Thursday, October 4
9:00-3:30 First Grace Methodist Church
Living in the Branches: National Branch and Group Gathering
National Youth Conference (Details coming!)
4:00-9:00 Central Region Gathering
Friday, October 5
7:45-9:30 am – Bayou St. John Songtrail: meet under the McDonough Oak.
10:00-12:00 – Class Lesson and Conversation with Joan Sleigh
1:00 pm Opening
1:30-2:30 Keynote Conversation with Orland Bishop
2:30-2:45 Trio Sharing
2:45-3:30 Here and Now with the General Council
4:00-5:15 Concurrent Sessions (Choose on site)
Cain and Abel: Building a bridge between the Two Streams, with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Exploring Transformation Through Our Own Biography, with Janey Newton
5:30-6:15 Central Region Interactive Panel
8:00 Momento Mori Ritual (Stay tuned for details!)
Saturday, October 6
8:00-8:45 Singing or Speech
9:00-10:00 Keynote Discussion with Joan Sleigh
10:00-10:15 Trio Sharing
10:45-12:00 Concurrent Workshops (Choose on site)
Initation of the Heart: The Fifth Gospel, with Patrick Kennedy
General Council Annual Update Session
Transforming Community – Creating the Future: Young People Discovering Their Purpose and Place, with Bart Eddy
12:00-1:30 Lunch (Table Topic Discussions)
1:30-2:30 Youth-Led Panel
3:00-4:15 Participant Research and Initiative Sharing Sessions
(Click here to submit your research/initiative sharing proposal.)
3:00-4:15 Pageant Participant Preparation with Marianne Fieber-Dhara (Details at the conference!)
4:30-6:15 Concurrent Sessions (Choose on site)
Orland Bishop: The Seventh Shrine
House of Hope, with Thea Lavin
Anthroposophical Contemplative Practices in Everyday Life
8:00-9:30 Confluence of Karma: A Pageant Of Dedicated Service
Sunday, October 7
8:00-8:30 Group Speech
8:30-8:45 Trio Sharing
8:45-10:00 Now and Next (Art, Reflection, Closing Plenum, Singing)
11:00-12:30 First Grace Church Service, or Tour of Raphael Village [link]
Lunch on your own!
Post Sessions (Included in Conference Fee)
2:00-4:00 Lisa Romero: Contemplative Practices
2:00-4:00 John Bloom and Laura Scappaticci: “So That Good May Become”–Working with the Foundation Stone
Schedule subject to minor changes.
Limited Financial Assistance Available.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.