Category Archives: Chicago Event

Wishing for warmth among bent feathers

13 January 2018 – Astro-Weather: Vega still twinkles quite low in the northwest after dusk. It’s sometimes called the Summer Star, but its way out of season now! It’ll soon be gone, to return to the evening sky next spring.

At dawn on tomorrow morning the 14th Bella Luna hangs above Mercury & Saturn. What does this speaking say?

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Faye Hall

History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of the human being”. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

1090 – Birthday of Bernard of Clairvaux, Mystic, Theologian, Co-Founder of the Order of the Templars

1497 – Deathday of St. Veronica of Milan. Being very poor & having no formal education, she attempted, , to teach herself to read.  While making this effort one night, the Virgin Mary appeared to Veronica, &taught her in the form of three mystical letters:

The first signified purity of intention; the second, abhorrence of murmuring or criticism; the third, daily meditation on the Passion. By the first she learned to begin her daily duties for no human motive, but for God alone; by the second, to carry out what she had begun by attending to her own affairs, never judging her neighbor, but praying for those who did wrong; by the third she was enabled to forget her own pains & sorrows in those of her Lord, & to weep hourly, but silently, over the memory of His wrongs.

Veronica became accustomed to nearly constant apparitions & religious ecstasies. She saw scenes from the life of Christ, yet these never interrupted her work. She joined an Augustinian lay order at the convent of Saint Martha in Milan at the age of 22. This community was very poor; Veronica’s job was to beg in the streets of the city for food.

She received a vision of Christ in 1494, & was given a message for Pope Alexander VI, so she traveled to Rome to deliver it. After a six-month illness, Veronica died on the date she had predicted, 13 January 1497.

Tjugondag jul (“Twentieth Day Yule”), or Tjugondag Knut (“Twentieth Day Knut”),  a traditional festival celebrated in Sweden & Finland on 13 January. Christmas trees are taken down on Tjugondag jul, & the candies &cookies that decorated the tree are eaten. In Sweden, the feast held during this event is called a Knut’s party (Julgransplundring, literally “Christmas tree plundering”)

1898 – Émile Zola’s J’accuse…! exposes the Dreyfus affair – an open letter published in the newspaper L’Aurore where Zola spoke about President of France Félix Faure & accused the government of anti-Semitism & the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer who was sentenced to lifelong penal servitude for espionage. Zola pointed out judicial errors & lack of serious evidence. The letter was printed on the front page of the newspaper & caused a stir in France & abroad. Zola was prosecuted for libel & found guilty. To avoid imprisonment, he fled to England, returning home in June 1899.

As a result of the popularity of the letter, even in the English-speaking world, J’accuse! has become a common generic expression of outrage & accusation against someone powerful.

1915 – The Avezzano earthquake shakes the Province of L’Aquila in Italy with a maximum intensity of XI (Extreme), killing over 32,610 people.

2001 – An earthquake hits El Salvador, killing more than 1800

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POD (Poem Of the Day)

 Irakli Dolidze

~O my soul
A winter sparrow that won’t rest
Wishing for warmth among bent feathers
Seized-songs rush
Shrill in my throat
Spreading sparks off my wings
Love forming a note
Flowing thru
Hollow bones I fly
From yesterday
The sun caught in the amber
O my hazel eye
~hag

***

Denise Yocco

Try to find groups, smaller or bigger, who work together not only to study, but to carry out responsible work in the world. Stand with each other so that those who are standing know they are not standing alone, that each is trusted, and that he can trust the others.” — Bernard J. Lievegoed, MD (1905–1992), Doctor of Medicine & Psychiatry, Psychiatrist, Consultant for Organizational Development, Author

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SAVE THE DATE:  Lazure Workshop with Nancy Melvin – January 20-21 9am-5pm 

 $100 for the weekend (1/2 the proceeds go toward the ‘Furnace Fund’ for the Branch)

Lazure is a technique for applying several layers of transparent color washes on walls, enlivening interior spaces with breathing, light filled color.  We will Lazure the Branch’s newly renovated areas in anticipation of the Elderberries Cafe moving into the space.  We will look to Steiner’s indications for public spaces in Urban areas for color schemes.  The two day workshop will begin Saturday morning January 20th with color samples and participants can learn the brush technique which is radically different from painting with flat opaque paints.  Then right away on the first day we will test color layers and apply the first several washes on the walls.  There will be down time in between layers for participants to break for morning tea, for lunch and afternoon tea.  The next day will add layers and depth to the colors as needed.  By the end of the workshop you will learn all you need to know to go home and do this work in your home or office.

Nancy Melvin will lead the workshop, a former Waldorf Grades Teacher and teacher of wet on wet painting to children.  She has lazured many Waldorf classrooms, most recently the EC extension of CWS in Lincoln Square and the foyer of CWS’s EC area.

 for more info. Contact Nancy Melvin melvinstudiochicago@gmail.com

***

Spinning Destiny with the Fates

An Experiential Workshop with Hazel Archer Ginsberg

Saturday, 10 February 2018 – 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

At the Theosophical Society 1926 N Main St, Wheaton, IL 60187

Come face the Fates & meet the Sibyls in the Light of Anthroposophy & ask: Does Fortune smile? Is Justice blind? 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?

Through the insights of Rudolf Steiner,  the power of Myth-Telling, & Ritual-Tasks, such as interactive drumming, & Socratic questioning; we will journey into our soul-depths to stand before the “Daughters of Necessity” that we will transform to meet our true calling; asking: ‘What is my Highest Purpose?’

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch

$60 nonmembers $50 members $70 at the door

Register here

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg  –Spiritual Midwife, Trans-denominational Minister, Essayist, Lecturer, Blogger – Anthroposopher, working as the Festivals Coordinator for the Rudolf Steiner Branch of Chicago.

Founder of  www.reverseritual.com

 

Ripple

12 January (my ½ birthday) 2018– Astro-Weather: Sirius, the Dog Star, rises in the east-southeast around the end of twilight now. Procyon — left of Sirius, by 2½ fists at arm’s length — precedes it up; “Procyon” is from the ancient Greek for “before the dog.”

But if you’re as far south as San Diego, the Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, or Cairo, Egypt, they rise almost at the same time.

Sky Party at Dawn Tomorrow Saturday the 13th, the waning crescent Moon hangs far to the lower left of Jupiter & Mars & upper left of Antares. Far to Bella Luna’s lower left, near the southeast horizon, find Mercury & Saturn. They’re in conjunction.

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do”. ~Leonardo da Vinci

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1908 – A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time

Baron Arild Rosenkrantz

1910 – Rudolf Steiner gives the 1st lecture ever on the Etheric Reappearance of The Christ, to members in Stockholm Sweden. At the same time as the “initiation” of Krishnamurti in Adyar. True Nature of the Second Coming – Preparation for this Event through the Development of Etheric Vision ~RS Then on January 25th Rudolf Steiner begins the series The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric for the members in Dornach

1915 – The United States House of Representatives rejects a proposal to require states to give women the right to vote.

1918 – The Minnie Pit Disaster coal mining accident occurs in Halmer End, Staffordshire, in which 555 men & boys die

1932 – Hattie Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate.

1942 –President Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the National War Labor Board.

2010 – An earthquake in Haiti occurs, killing over 100,000 people & destroying much of the capital Port-au-Prince

***

POD (Poem Of the Day)

ROSIE OSMUN

~I tremble…
a leaf’s life, like a thought, passes from me
on the ripple of it’s own vibration…

~hag

***

Beowulf said: “Light holds you, Grendel. Light has you in its power. You, who have shunned the Sun, meet me, once stung by bees that drank the Sun. There’s honey in my veins, Grendel, a liquid sunlight that can kill you quite. These fingers that you feel are ten great stars. Stars have no fear. I do not fear you, Grendel. I do not fear, therefore I do not fight. I only hold you, child of Cain. I only fix you fast in your own evil, so that you cannot turn it out on any other. It is your own evil, Grendel, that undoes you. You must die, creature of night, because the light has got you in a last embrace.”

From Astrologer Victoria Martin

***

SAVE THE DATE:  Lazure Workshop with Nancy Melvin – January 20-21 9am-5pm 

 $100 for the weekend (1/2 the proceeds go toward the ‘Furnace Fund’ for the Branch)

Lazure is a technique for applying several layers of transparent color washes on walls, enlivening interior spaces with breathing, light filled color.  We will Lazure the Branch’s newly renovated areas in anticipation of the Elderberries Cafe moving into the space.  We will look to Steiner’s indications for public spaces in Urban areas for color schemes.  The two day workshop will begin Saturday morning January 20th with color samples and participants can learn the brush technique which is radically different from painting with flat opaque paints.  Then right away on the first day we will test color layers and apply the first several washes on the walls.  There will be down time in between layers for participants to break for morning tea, for lunch and afternoon tea.  The next day will add layers and depth to the colors as needed.  By the end of the workshop you will learn all you need to know to go home and do this work in your home or office.

Nancy Melvin will lead the workshop, a former Waldorf Grades Teacher and teacher of wet on wet painting to children.  She has lazured many Waldorf classrooms, most recently the EC extension of CWS in Lincoln Square and the foyer of CWS’s EC area.

 for more info. Contact Nancy Melvin melvinstudiochicago@gmail.com

***

John Collier

Spinning Destiny with the Fates

An Experiential Workshop with Hazel Archer Ginsberg

Saturday, 10 February 2018 – 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

At the Theosophical Society 1926 N Main St, Wheaton, IL 60187

Come face the Fates & meet the Sibyls in the Light of Anthroposophy & ask: Does Fortune smile? Is Justice blind? 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?

Through the insights of Rudolf Steiner,  the power of Myth-Telling, & Ritual-Tasks, such as interactive drumming, & Socratic questioning; we will journey into our soul-depths to stand before the “Daughters of Necessity” that we will transform to meet our true calling; asking: ‘What is my Highest Purpose?’

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch

$60 nonmembers $50 members $70 at the door

Register here

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg  –Spiritual Midwife, Trans-denominational Minister, Essayist, Lecturer, Blogger – Anthroposopher, working as the Festivals Coordinator for the Rudolf Steiner Branch of Chicago.

Founder of  www.reverseritual.com

The Power of Freedom Reborn

11 January 2018 – Astro-Weather: After dinnertime the dim Little Dipper hangs straight down from Polaris, the end of its long handle — as if from a nail on the cold north wall of the sky. In warm June, by contrast, the Little Dipper’s bowl floats up from Polaris, like a helium balloon escaped from a summer party, trailing its string.

In the early dawn of Friday the 12th, the waning crescent Moon hangs to the lower left of Jupiter & Mars. It’s above Antares by a fairly similar distance.

Very far to their lower left, near the southeast horizon, find Mercury & Saturn as dawn brightens. They’re only about 1° apart. Mercury, on the right, is the brighter of the two.

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Vladamir Kush

If you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor.” ~Joseph Campbell

1825 – Birthday of Karl Julius Schroer, professor of German literature & language. Political developments in 1860 forced Schröer to leave Hungary for Vienna. In the following years, Schröer researched the folklore of the ethnic Germans, or Danube Swabians, of Hungary. As part of his research, Schröer discovered a Medieval cycle of Danube Swabian mystery plays in Oberufer, a village since engulfed by the Bratislava’s borough of Ružinov. Schröer collected manuscripts, made meticulous textual comparisons, & published his findings in the book Deutsche Weihnachtspiele aus Ungarn (“The German Nativity Plays of Hungary”) in 1857/1858. Several scholars later extended this work.

In Vienna, Schröer became a major figure in Goethe scholarship. He was a founding member of the Goethe Society of Vienna in 1878 & edited the society’s official publication, “Die Chronik”, from 1886 to 1894.

Schröer was especially devoted to Faust scholarship, editing the work & providing a commentary in a two-volume edition of that play. In 1884 he published one of his most well-known works, a text dedicated to Goethe’s biography, manner of poeticizing, & relation to women: “Goethe und die Liebe” (Goethe and Love). Schröer also edited a six-volume edition of Goethe’s dramas. He campaigned for the erection of a Goethe monument in Vienna, which was approved in 1894 with a design by Edmund Hellmann. Schröer died on 16 December 1900, one day after the monument was unveiled.

Karl Julius Schroer was Rudolf Steiner’s professor & the son of the educator & writer Tobias Gottfried Schröer. Steiner speaks about these 2 individualities in their former incarnations. Tobias as Socrates & Karl as the nun Hroswitha & Plato. See Karmic Relationships, Volume IV: Lecture X

***

Jim Leasure

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~Today I invoke:
The Lady of the pyre –
Lady of the heat who burns up transgression
Her flame is sharp, Her fingers are orange sparks
She speaks with a tongue of far-reaching flame
Her hands are quick; She burns flesh into ash & light
She is beyond necessity,
She is the power of Freedom reborn…
Today I am Hers…
~hag

***

The Anthroposophical Society’s annual theme for 2017/2018 asks the question: ‘How can the Foundation Stone Meditation promote peace-ability, a 100 years after the birth of the Social Three-folding Impulse’? (We worked with the Foundation Stone Meditation in speech & eurythmy on Epiphany this year)

Here are a few quotes from that correspondence sent out last year at this time:

Rudolf Steiner pronounced this “new Apollonian word” of the “Know Yourself” for the first time on 25 December 1923, when he presented the result of his spiritual investigation of the human being, after a maturation period of over thirty years, clothed in the mantric words of the Foundation Stone Meditation.

When we work meditatively with the Foundation Stone, a “light of thoughts shines towards us” and enables us to draw new inspiration for our actions from the “spirit holding sway in the radiant light of thoughts around the dodecahedral stone of love”.

it is essential today that each individual ‘I’ finds and experiences the original impulse anew. For this to happen, self-knowledge must not remain a subjective act, limited to the understanding of one’s own individuality, but we must seek to understand what is universally human in us and in others.

The objectivity of the Foundation Stone’s spirit light can transform the anthroposophical life. Rudolf Steiner saw the Foundation Stone as the ground on which individuals can erect a “building” together. In the years ahead we would like to use the three great exercises of “Spirit-Recalling”, “Spirit-Awareness” and Spirit Beholding” as the basis of our working together.

working on the Foundation Stone can inspire elements of a socially effective and healing culture of the Spirit-Self. The three exercises must not be misunderstood as fixed spiritual techniques, however. They inspire spiritual life in three spheres and help us to develop the individual and social dimensions of Spirit Recalling, Spirit Awareness and Spirit Beholding, each of which constitutes a separate whole. Next year (2018) we will focus on Spirit Recalling in particular. May the forces we can draw from the source be our guiding star!

The appeal to the “human soul” addresses us as human beings in a threefold way. The three dimensions, in which we learn to feel ourselves cosmically embedded, connect us with the “Father-Spirit of the Heights”, the “Christ-Will encircling us” and the “Spirit’s world-thoughts”. This sense of being connected can gradually evolve as we respond through practice to the threefold call.

The very first invocation, “practice Spirit-Recalling”, inspires a wealth of questions, moods and exercises. Remembering is the central soul activity of the ‘I’.

In the cycle that accompanied the Christmas Conference (“World History and the Mysteries in the Light of Anthroposophy”) Rudolf Steiner looks at the memory of early humanity, inviting us to consider entirely different soul configurations. (We worked with these lectures 2 years ago during the Holy Nights)

Anthroposophy asks us to give a spiritual direction to our memory through practicing. In the context of the Christmas Conference Rudolf Steiner mentioned exercises for the enhancement of memory. In the lecture cycle “Mystery Knowledge and Mystery Centres” he recommends that we meditate on an event in our childhood or youth. (We have & will continue to explore this in our Biography work at the branch & with the Central Regional Council thru our new theme: Karma & Reincarnation)

In extending our gaze beyond the boundary of birth we enhance memory. We may ask ourselves what decisions were made before birth that have led to our present incarnation…awakening to other origins and destinies, because they determine our work, our encounters and relationships in an essential way and confront us with challenges as we try to live and work together, especially when we meet people with whom we don’t seem to “gel” or feel an affinity. Within the Anthroposophical Society we are called upon to work together as a community. A rightly cultivated memory can make us open for new ways of working together, for a new “sun karma” that will be a precondition for us to create a new culture of humaneness.

The review asks us to develop our will and our thinking at the same time.

We are not meant to dwell on our own thoughts and views when we look back, but on what comes to meet us in the outside world, in reverse order, so that our will can tear itself away from the physical. We expand into the world around us and experience how this world has formed us and what we have become through it. This kind of review, which can gradually become spirit-recalling, enables us to meet others in an imaginative way. The will effort involved in the review exercise promotes spirit-beholding. Because we have cultivated spirit-recalling, others can become image in us and express themselves imaginatively in spirit-beholding. And more than that: we find in this activity the foundations of the modern initiation experience.

Rudolf Steiner explained the transition from thinking to vision through will application…if we learn to behold the spiritual world through our will being, once it has become transparent, our thinking will become vision. By practicing spirit-recalling we will become able to achieve spirit-beholding and receive impulses for our actions from the spiritual world. In taking this step of working on the Foundation Stone Meditation together, out of the whole of anthroposophy, we hope to bring these fundamental exercises to life. ~Christiane Haid, Goetheanum Leadership and Jaap Sijmons, General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands.

***

Lazure Workshop with Nancy Melvin 

January 20-21, 2018, 9 am-5 pm Come to any or all of the sessions

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

Lazure is a technique for applying several layers of transparent color washes on walls, enlivening interior spaces with breathing, light filled color.  We will Lazure the Branch’s newly renovated areas in anticipation of the Elderberries Cafe moving into the space.  We will look to Steiner’s indications for public spaces in Urban areas for color schemes.  The two day workshop will begin Saturday morning January 20th with color samples and participants can learn the brush technique which is radically different from painting with flat opaque paints.  Then right away on the first day we will test color layers and apply the first several washes on the walls.  There will be down time in between layers for participants to break for morning tea, for lunch and afternoon tea.  The next day will add layers and depth to the colors as needed.  By the end of the workshop you will learn all you need to know to go home and do this work in your home or office.

Nancy Melvin will lead the workshop, a former Waldorf Grades Teacher and teacher of wet on wet painting to children.  She has lazured many Waldorf classrooms, most recently the EC extension of CWS in Lincoln Square and the foyer of CWS’s EC area as well as at the Angelic Organics Farm.

for more info. contact  Nancy Melvin

***

 Spinning Destiny with the Fates – An Experiential Workshop with Hazel Archer Ginsberg

Saturday, 10 February 2018 – 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

At the Theosophical Society 1926 N Main St, Wheaton, IL 60187

Come face the Fates & meet the Sibyls in the Light of Anthroposophy & ask: Does Fortune smile? Is Justice blind? 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?

Through the insights of Rudolf Steiner,  the power of Myth-Telling, & Ritual-Tasks, such as interactive drumming, & Socratic questioning; we will journey into our soul-depths to stand before the “Daughters of Necessity” that we will transform to meet our true calling; asking: ‘What is my Highest Purpose?’

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch

$60 nonmembers $50 members $70 at the door

Register here

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg  –Spiritual Midwife, Trans-denominational Minister, Essayist, Lecturer, Blogger – Anthroposopher, working as the Festivals Coordinator for the Rudolf Steiner Branch of Chicago. Founder of  www.reverseritual.com

The dark space between the stars

22 December 2016 – Astro-Weather: As twilight fades away this evening, you’ll find the waxing crescent Moon in the southwest. Bella Luna is far left of Fomalhaut, & Altair, farther right.

Even with winter officially here, the big Summer Triangle remains up in the west after nightfall. Altair is the first of its stars to go. Start by spotting bright Vega in the northwest. The brightest star above Vega is Deneb. Altair is the Triangle’s third star, farther to Vega’s left or lower left. How late into the evening, & into the advancing winter, can you keep Altair in view?

***

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” ~Aldous Huxley

304 – Deathday of Saint Florian a Christian holy man, and the patron saint of Linz, Austria; chimney sweeps; soapmakers, & firefighters. The “Florian Principle” (known in German language areas as “Sankt-Florians-Prinzip”) is named after a somewhat ironic prayer to Saint Florian: “O heiliger Sankt Florian, verschon’ mein Haus, zünd’ and’re an”, equivalent to “O Holy St. Florian, please spare my house, set fire to another one”. This saying is used in German much like the English “not in my back yard“, when the speaker wants to point out that some person tries to get out of an unpleasant situation by an action that will put others in that very same situation. The name Florian is considered synonymous with fireman in the German speaking world. In some cases call for a fireman will actually be spoken as calls for Florian.

856 – Damghan earthquake kills an estimated 200,000 people, the sixth deadliest earthquake in recorded history

1808 – Ludwig van Beethoven conducts & performs in concert at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, with the premiere of his Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto (performed by Beethoven himself) & Choral Fantasy (with Beethoven at the piano)

1851 – India’s first freight train is operated in Roorkee, India

1890 – Cornwallis Valley Railway begins operation between Kentville &Kingsport, Nova Scotia.

1891 – Asteroid 323 Brucia becomes the first asteroid discovered using photography

1937 – The Lincoln Tunnel opens to traffic in New York City

1942 –Adolf Hitler signs the order to develop the V-2 rocket as a weapon

1989 – Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East & West Germany

1989 – Deathday of Samuel Beckett, Irish author, poet, & playwright, Nobel Prize laureate

2010 – The repeal of the Don’t ask, don’t tell policy, the 17-year-old policy banning homosexuals serving openly in the United States military, is signed into law by President Barack Obama

***

It’s the Sun-@-Midnight time on the wheel of the year…
in the long-term cycle this phase invites us to throb in luminescence
with soft vitality & active silence,
peppering the cold acoustic with our hot breath…
Come Celebrate the unseen powers that sustain the world…
Pay reverence to what’s underneath:
the elusive, the uncanny & the darkly delicious…
Your inner vitality is heading toward peak levels,
& your body is as smart as it gets…
act as if every move is a dance…
explore the righteous blending of grace & power..
Give yourself permission to be a fluid bolt of ingenious fun,
Play hard & sweet, with sublime ferocity…

~hag

***

…’The wine dark sea’…
…The active dark womb… 
…The dark space between the stars…
Wrap this darkness gently about you like a comfortable blanket…Float gently now in its depths…Grow here, nourished by an invisible cord that connects you to the Source of all life…Floating gently in the dark…Softly rocking in the dark…And although it is dark, we realize that what surrounds us is not empty, but – like the womb – full of life. Take a moment now to sense the swirling, nurturing energy of the dark.

And now, as the energy increases, there is a spark…& the  dark gives birth…See that spark now as it glows, watch that spark now, watch it as it grows. Glowing brighter & brighter, it grows into a flame. And as you look at this flame, its light fills you with warmth…the light fills you with love. And as you feel the increased love & warmth within you, the visible intensity of the flame slowly diminishes & as it does, in its place, slowly coming to light, is the outline of a present. A gift…becoming more solid, until you can see its form clearly. Look how it is wrapped in a glistening filament of light.

This gift has your name on it, inscribed in the glimmering material. Is your name written in a special color? Is the inscription special in any other way? Approach your wrapped present now more closely. What shape is it? How big is it? What color is its wrapping? Pick it up: is it light? heavy?

And now you unwrap your gift. How easy or difficult is it to unwrap?

You finish opening your present….now receive your gift. What is it? Look at it carefully. Experience it fully. Accept it. Accept your gift with joy. Feel your heart warm with the love with which this gift is given to you.

And now, from your heart, send out gratitude for this gift, send out thanks for this gift, send it out like light, like a beacon back to the Great Mother, back to the Father Ground, out to the Universe- both the dark & the light. Send out your thanks for this gift.

Now, if you wish, find a place for this gift, a safe place where you can access this gift, a place to put this gift to work, that it may bless the world & give you the strength you need during the whole of the New Year.

Lighting a candle:
Deep in the ground of the human soul 
Of victory assured 
The Spirit-Sun is living
All through the winter of the inner life 
The faithful heart divines it

See you in the dark
Find you in the light
Xox ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

***

Current Festival Events

See the Sun at Midnight

21 December 207 – Astro-Weather: The Ursid meteor shower peaks tonight. The shower’s radiant — the point from which the meteors appear to originate — lies in the constellation Ursa Minor, near the Little Dipper’s bowl. The radiant is visible in the north all night, but it climbs higher as dawn approaches. The waning crescent Moon won’t interfere much after it rises around 2 am tomorrow morning, though your best views likely will come between 11 pm & 1am. Observers with clear skies should be able to see 5 to 10 Ursid meteors per hour.

Earth’s Winter Solstice occurs at 6:44 am CST. At that moment, the Sun reaches its farthest point south in the sky. The solstice marks the official beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, & tonight has more hours of darkness than any other. From mid-northern latitudes, however, the earliest sunset occurred about two weeks ago & the latest sunrise won’t happen until early January.

Step out at the beginning of dawn Thursday morning the 22nd, & high in the south you’ll find Jupiter, fainter Spica, & the waning crescent Moon in a line.

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

***

John Stolfo

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

Triumphant in man’s deepest soul
Lives the Spirit of the Sun;
Quickened forces, set astir,
Awake the feelings to His presence
In the inner winter life.
Hope, impulse of the heart,
Beholds the Spirit victory of the Sun
In the blessed Light of Christmas,
The sign of highest life
In the winter’s deepest night. ~Rudolf Steiner

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

What is to be the starting force & impulse for events in social & ethical life must come out of the spiritual world.” Rudolf Steiner, New Spiritual Impulses in History” December, 1917

Winter Solstice or Yule

 

Blue Christmas, also called the Longest Night in the Western Christian tradition, is a day in the Advent season marking the longest night of the year. On this day, some churches hold a church service that honors people who have lost loved ones in that year. There is an interesting convergence for this day as it is also the traditional feast day for Saint Thomas the Apostle. This linkage invites making some connections between Thomas’s struggle to believe the tale of Jesus’ resurrection, the long nights just before Christmas, & the struggle with darkness & grief faced by those living with loss

Caravaggio

72 – Deathday of Thomas the Apostle, called Didymus which means “the twin” one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament. He is informally called doubting Thomas because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection when first told (in the Gospel of John account), followed later by his confession of faith, “My Lord and my God“, on seeing Jesus’ wounds.

Traditional legend written centuries later claim he travelled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, travelling as far as Tamil Nadu & Kerala in present-day India. According to tradition, he baptized many people, founding what today is known as Saint Thomas Christians or Nasranis. After his death, the relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were enshrined as far as Mesopotamia in the 3rd century. In 1258, some of the relics were brought to Abruzzo in Ortona, Italy, where they have been held in the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle. He is often regarded as the Patron Saint of India, & the name Thoma remains quite popular among Christians in India

1804 – Birthday of Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

1907 – The Chilean Army commits a massacre of at least 2,000 striking saltpeter miners in Iquique, Chile.

1910 – An underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery No. 3 Pit in Over Hulton, Westhoughton, England, kills 344 miners.

1913 – Arthur Wynne’s “word-cross“, the first crossword puzzle, is published

1919 – American anarchist Emma Goldman is deported to Russia

1940 – Deathday of F. Scott Fitzgerald, American novelist & short story writer

1945 – Deathday of George S. Patton, American general

1946 – An 8.1 Mw earthquake & subsequent tsunami in Nankaidō, Japan, kills over 1,300 people & destroys over 38,000 homes

1963 –”Bloody Christmas” begins in Cyprus, resulting in the displacement of 25,000-30,000 Turkish Cypriots & destruction of more than 100 villages

1967 – Louis Washkansky, the first man to undergo a heart transplantdies in Cape Town, South Africa, having lived for 18 days after the transplant

1968 –Apollo 8 is launched placing its crew on a lunar trajectory for the first visit to another celestial body by humans

1973 – The Geneva Conference on the Arab–Israeli conflict opens

1988 – A bomb explodes on board Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270

1992 – A Dutch DC-10, flight Martinair MP 495, crashes at Faro Airport, killing 156

1994 – Mexican volcano Popocatépetl, dormant for 47 years, erupts

2004 – Iraq War: A suicide bomber killed 22 at the base next to the main U.S. military airfield, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers

***

Baron Arild Rosenkrantz.

 

SOL INVICTA { THE FEAST OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN }

THE BREATH OF NATURE IS SUSPENDED
IN THE VAST & HOLY NIGHT
WE WAIT WHILE WITHIN
THE DARK KING IS TRANSFORMED
INTO THE INFANT LIGHT

THE MOTHER
SLUMBERING THRU THE WINTER OF HER LABOR ABIDES…
HER COLD VELVET CHAOS
INDUCING THE IMMACULATE PROMISE OF LIGHT

HER BODY IS SALT
SAVOR ITS PATIENT SONG OF DEATH IN LIFE
PLUNGE INTO HER DORMANT SERUM
& RISE WITH THE MIDNIGHT SUN

PAY YOUR PENNY –
RECONCILED PROCEED –
COMMENCE THE JOURNEY STEEP
OF THE CARDINAL EARTH 
FROM SOUTH TO NORTH
IN ADVENT DEEP
WE ARE AWAKE IN THE NIGHT
TO FEAST ON CAKES OF CARAWAY SOAKED IN CIDER…
PASS THE SPARK TO THE NEW WISHING LOG
FOR THE ALL NIGHT VIGIL 
FIRE OAK ROOTS IN A CIRCLE
LET THEM BURN UNTIL DAWN

THE HUSHED CENTER THICK AS FRUITCAKE
& THE EVERGREEN CIRCUMFERENCE
A LIGHTED WREATH – ARE ONE – FOR ALL

A STATE VAST ENOUGH & STILL ENOUGH
TO ALLOW THE POWER OF LOVE 
TO RETURN AT LAST

LET THE TANG OF JUNIPER & HOLLY
SHOUT WITH INCENSE TO THE COMFORTER
& THE BELLS RING OUT THE WORD –

‘THE KING IS DEAD LONG LIVE THE KING’
WE CALL OUT EMMANUEL –
SHEPHERDS QUAKE & SERAPHIM SING
FOLLOWING THE STAR THAT SHOWS US THE HOMELESS AVATAR
OUR WINTER BORN KING

EAT PHOSPHORUS WITH THE IVY GIRLS –
AMULET SPRIGS ABOVE THE PORTALS –
TRANSMIT THE RIDDLE OF MISTLETOE WITH WASSAIL KISSES –
& PASS THRU THE GATE OF YULE-TIDE
TO SUCCEED THE ZENITH & CALL THE SUN RISE 
IN CRIMSON SASH & CANDLED CROWN
WITH LUCY BRIDE
SHE DANCES THE SILENT SPACE 
WITH OPEN HANDS
TO SPIN THE WHEEL THROUGHOUT THE LONGEST NIGHT
SINGING ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ SWEET SUN KING
SOON TO REVEAL LOVES PURE LIGHT

IN THE VAST & HOLY DARK
THE VAST & HOLY DARK
THE VAST & HOLY DARK
SOON TO REVEAL
LOVES PURE LIGHT

IN THE VAST & HOLY DARK
THE VAST & HOLY DARK
THE VAST 
& HOLY 
NIGHT
~hag

***

Entering into the Longest Night
Entering into the Birth of Light
Consecrating the expected Nativity
Of a New Solar Year
In Yule-Tide Exultation
In the light of Transformation…

The battle between old & new – Dark & Light…The winter solstice is the dark before the dawn, a time of renewal, giving us the most primordial myths of humankind: In Old Norse mythology, the Sun goddess was swallowed up by the wolf of darkness, but was reborn as her daughter, the maiden goddess of the underworld, who rose again to illumine the world. In Greece & Rome, midwinter marked the birth of gods, such as Mithras & Dionysus, who died & journeyed into the underworld, winning gifts for humankind before their miraculous rebirth. We must honor the dark before calling in the light.

The esoteric meaning of this time of year can be gleaned from the ancient mystery schools. In the Hellenistic world, initiates into the Mysteries of Isis had to undergo a ceremony of death & rebirth in which they entered the underworld to gaze upon the “sun at midnight.” This ceremony, which had its origins in ancient Egypt, speaks of the journey of the soul into the fecund depths of the subconscious mind, where we meet the Guardian at the gate, which opens to the dark sea of spirit from which all creation comes forth, purified & born anew.

To this day people gather at sacred sites as far apart as Newgrange in Ireland & the temple of Karnak in Egypt, to celebrate the miracle of the sun’s return at the darkest time of the year – In the pitch-black sanctuaries of caves & earth chambers, to wait for the birth of new light & life.

Of course when we strive to walk the modern path of initiation, working the 6 basic exercises every day, we don’t wait for the outward sun to shine, we must labor to give birth to the light within, for ourselves.

At a time when the fate of our planet & all her creatures hangs in the balance, let each of us journey down into the cave of the soul to drink from the secret well of wisdom & find the hidden flame within the dark — then return bearing our own unique gift of Light for the world.

The gift of the light (Gesture: Both hands scoop up light & bring it to your heart)
We thankfully take, But nothing may be, Just alone for our sake.
The more we give light (Hands move outward) The one to the other
It shines & spreads life (Arms move out horizontally, spreading light)
Growing still further, 
Till every spark is set aflame. (Right hand in front of chest shows the proof of a flame.)
Till every heart, Joy shall proclaim. (Eurythmy Ah — arms up, palms upward)

May the cave of your heart be ever bright –

~Hazel Archer Ginsberg