Category Archives: Festival

Thig an nathair as an toll

Thig an nathair as an toll
The serpent will come from the hole

2 February 2018 – Today is Groundhogs Day, where the fate of winter rests on the shoulders of a furry rodent, for those muggles who believe in a more modern folklore.  If he the sticks his head out of his burrow this morning & sees his shadow, we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter. But if the weather is cloudy, it means spring is right around the corner.

What does this have to do with astronomy? Groundhog Day celebrates one of the 4 cross-quarter days, which mark the midpoints between the solstices & equinoxes. February 2 is the traditionally celebrated date betwixt the winter solstice & the vernal equinox. (The actual cosmic alignment happens tomorrow when the Sun reaches 15 degrees Aquarius & is called by some, Candlemas, still others Brigid’s Day or Imbolc – the lambing season – the time of year when the belly of the great mother quickens with the growing light)

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Darlene Davis

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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.

1372 – Mariä Lichtmess – Candlemas, Christian Churches bless the candles to be used for the New Year.

 

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.

Brigid, whose name means “The Exalted One,” The Triple Goddess of poetry (fire in the head), healing, & smith-craft. She was born at sunrise while her mother was walking over a threshold, & so “was neither within nor without.” This is the state known as liminality, from the Latin, limen: a threshold – the state of being “in between” Space & Time.

Saint Brigid was renowned for her gift of healing. She wove the first piece of cloth in Ireland & wove into it healing threads which kept their power for centuries. Many healing wells & springs were named after her

Doris Planter

The legend of Brigid portrays the archetypes of the Maiden, Mother & Crone.

Crêpes with their round form & their golden color are made, 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.

This is traditionally a time of purification — so clean your house! If you have any Christmas greenery lingering, burn it now.

Willa Frigit

Make your own Brigid’s crosses & hang them up, especially in the kitchen where her influence can bless your food. The cross of Saint Brigid is a fiery sun-wheel turning.

Leave a silk ribbon on your doorstep for Brigid to bless: It can then be used for healing purposes.

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.

Lupercalia – The ancient Romans celebrated this festival in honor of Lupercus, & Feralia the god & goddess of fertility & shepherds. A theme of purification was also present. There was a custom of the Vestal Virgins offering cakes made with wheat from the old crop so that the following crop would be fruitful.

 Francis-Davis-Millet

Thesmophoria: The Festival of Persephone & Demeter – 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”.

Bart Linder

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.

 Gerbrand van den Eeckhout

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

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.

Delphine Lebourgeois

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 1,122

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

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Shelby McQuilkin

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~Let the crystals be bright & bitter
To add form to the light
Thru the cold I will see
The single star that calls to me
The waning moon falls away so that I may live
Free to stumble
Free to fly with my fallen angel
Listening, waiting, willing
The sap to rise
~hag

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Devon Blake

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 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 drums 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’…

 Keely Brinder

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…

Berttie Lyn

A time to purify & get fertile…So let’s, come together & charm the plow…Kiss the candle…& beat the drum 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 circle, now…

Sulamith Wulfing

Our circle…which is open & ever changing…for we have a lot to honor in ourselves today…as we stand on the waning side of the full moon…Whispering the promise of passion like a communal chant 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 Earth Dog of Chinese New Year February 16th 2018…

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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Transient by Chris Bodame

The Karma Project – A Western Approach to Reincarnation & Karma – Zoom Call open to All – February 7, 2018 – 7:15 pm CST

“…The body is subject to the laws of heredity; the soul is subject to self-created destiny or, to use an ancient term, to its karma; and the spirit is subject to the laws of reincarnation or repeated Earth lives.” ~Rudolf Steiner, A Western Approach to Reincarnation and Karma, Chapter 8, “Reincarnation of the Spirit and Destiny” (from Theosophy, Chapter 2) … This chapter is the focus of the February 7 meeting.

The Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to join our ongoing study conversation. The study has been divided amongst 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.

This collection of lectures has been republished by Anthroposophic Press under the title: “A Western Approach to Reincarnation and Karma” The following is the link to Chapter 2 of Theosophy (from e.Lib):
http://wn.rsarchive.org/…/G…/English/AP1971/GA009_index.html

This will be a “Zoom” conference call allowing us an opportunity to see one another while conversing (or audio only if you prefer). To connect to the audio/video-conference:
Option 1. Click link below if you wish to connect through your computer (a headset is recommended)
https://zoom.us/j/831956619
Option 2. Call in using your telephone.
United States: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Access Code: 831-956-619
Option 3. You can use a combination of Options 1 and 2 (computer and phone). If you use the phone, please turn off the audio on your computer to avoid audio feedback.

Please join us!

Agenda for our Study Call
7:15 Verse
7:18 Welcome and Introductions
7:25 Study led by six volunteers
Marianne – page 117 to 120
David – page 121 to page 124
Lisa – page 125 to page 128
Hazel – page 129 to 132
Alberto – page 133 to end
8:05 Conversation
8:20 Identify volunteers for the next study call, April 4
8:25 Share plans re: Speaker for March 7th 2018 – Fred Amrine!
8:28 Close with verse

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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?

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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

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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

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…’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

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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

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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

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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

The power of Peace-The Birth of Love-The Light of Wisdom

20 December 2016 – Astro-Weather: TONIGHT is the eve of the Winter Solstice.

Mars stands out in the southeastern sky before dawn this week. The Red Planet rises before the Sun & appears as twilight starts to paint the sky. It currently resides among the background stars of eastern Virgo, though it will cross into neighboring Libra later this week.

You are remembered, Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996)

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Those who work with the Original indications in the Calendar of the Soul know that Rudolf Steiner lists the birth & death days, as well as other significant occurrences in history & of various individualities, along with the dates in the calendar.  He said of this: “What is presented here can be useful to those who wish to follow the path of mankind’s spiritual development” ~Rudolf Steiner

O Clavis David (Samuel anointing David):
O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Isaiah had prophesied: “I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.” Isaiah 22:22

His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore.” Isaiah 9:7

“…To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.“Isaiah 42:7.

69 – Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor. While Vespasian besieged Jerusalem during the Jewish rebellion, emperor Nero committed suicide & plunged Rome into a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Rudolf Steiner speaks about Vespasian & Nero in Mysteries of the Sun and of the Threefold Man (you will find quite a lot about Nero in Steiner’s Karmic Relationships lectures)

1192 – Richard I of England (Richard the Lionheart) is captured & imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after the Third Crusade

1522 – Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle on Malta & become known as the Knights of Malta.

1552 – Deathday of Katharina von Bora the wife of Martin Luther

1699 – Czar Peter I introduced a new calendar in Russia based on the birth of Christ

1916 –The battle of Verdun in WW1 results in a French victory after more than 9 months of intense fighting

1917 – Cheka, the first Soviet secret police force, is founded

1924 – Adolf Hitler is released from Landsberg Prison

1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs

1971 – The international aid organization Doctors Without Borders is founded by Bernard Kouchner & a group of journalists in Paris, France

1987 – In the worst peacetime sea disaster, the passenger ferry Doña Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker Vector in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people

1995 – American Airlines Flight 965, a Boeing 757, crashes into a mountain in Colombia killing 259

International Human Solidarity Day

***

POD (Poem Of the Day)

The power of Peace-The Birth of Love-The Light of Wisdom

Energizing Hope for the Sun’s return & the Earth’s renewal 
We make a ‘spiritual manger’ – a sacred space – 
In the cold black frozen places, 
That seem devoid of life, but they are really just a sterilized palate –
A clean slate, fresh & ready 
For the newly conceived light to be born into & fill
~hag

***

Kirsty Mitchell

When all seems dead & barren on the earth, below the surface the inner life is strengthened. Under the ice-covered exterior, a rich black loom embraces the kernel of our rebirth. And if we can let go of the false hustle & bustle imposed from without, & sit in the stillness of the dark, we will find that inner strength to let go of our fear of the dark, to let our eyes adjust to the dark, & soon we will see quite clearly in the dark, & then we can begin the work of re-patterning…

The hag has gone to seed & become bone…a fresh soul-frame for the new year.

Let us stand in uprightness at the door & dare to open the portal to face the abyss – To release ourselves, in consciousness, from the outer world for a sacred moment, that we may invoke our own immaculate conception – That we may surrender to the ‘Waking Dreaming’ – To celebrate the dark, where the inner life is honored & nurtured by the many Marys within…

Let the Power of faith lead us from the darkness into the birth of our own unique inner light…

The Darkness is coming…
But never fear…
The darkness is coming…
But the light is near…
The darkness is coming…
The darkness is here

Together we can meet it with hope & peace

~Hazel Archer Ginsberg 

***

Ludwig Emil Grimm

The Story of Being Human – Holy Nights 2017-2018 

at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society, 4249 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago. All gatherings are Pay-What-You-Will, no one turned away for lack of funds.

$10 Suggested Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged (your generous donation goes to support the artists, buys supplies & if there is any left over, it goes into the Branch ‘Furnace Fund’ to help get a new heating & cooling system)

Tuesday 26 December 2017, at 7 pm – The Dream Song of Olaf Asteson. with Mary Tom & Debbie Barford on Lyre

“Olaf Åsteson, Olaf the son of earth, experiences various secrets of the cosmic All whilst he is transported into the macrocosm during the thirteen shortest days. And the Nordic legend which has been extricated from old accounts, tells of these experiences Olaf Asteson had between Christmas and New Year up till Epiphany… Let us hear the legend of Olaf Asteson, the earth son, who during the time in which we are now, experienced the secrets of cosmic existence in his meeting with the earth spirit. Let us listen to these experiences.”

***

Catherine Molland

27-30 December 2017 – at 7pm

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

The Fairy-tale leads us to our true humanity, where great kingdoms preside within, filled with ancient forests, remote castles, giants, witches, lovers, dreams & visions of Star Beings & the Earth Herself.

Shepherded by Joen Dealande & a series of guest artists, we will use Drama, Eurythmy, Painting, Needle-Felting, & Sculpting, to live into the gesture of our Human karma & Destiny.

Heinrich Vogeler

Wednesday, 27 December at 7 pm – Grimm’s Fairy Tale ‘Star Money’ – Guest Artist: Deborah Rogers, Needle Felting.

Thursday, Friday & Saturday 28-30 December 2017 at 7pm – Grimm’s The Queen Bee. Guest Artist: Nancy Melvin Bees Wax sculpting

***

 NYE Sunday December 31st (The 13th Hidden Holy Night) 8pm – 1am

Our annual Family Friendly Community Gathering with music by Jutta & the High Dukes, Games with Kris & Alex Boshell, Interactive Speech Formation with Joen Dealande, Lead Casting, Crafting, Singing & more TBA

$20 – ($10 goes to the band & $10 goes to the Branch ‘Furnace Fund’)

***

NO gathering 1 January 2018

 ***

Image result for the enchanted pig iron shoes

2 – 4 January 2018 at 7pm – The Fairy-Tale Trail Continues with The Romanian Tale – The Girl with the Iron Shoes (also called The Enchanted Pig) Guest Artists: Singing with Elisabeth Swisher & Painting with Nancy Melvin

***

Friday January 5th Eve of Epiphany (3 Kings) 7pm – 9 pm  – A special 12th Night Gathering, The Foundation Stone Meditation: Eurythmy & Speech with Mary Ruud & Joen Dealande…

For more info. Contact Festivals Coordinator: Hazel Archer-Ginsberg Hazel@ReverseRitual.com

Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society, 4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (map) Check out our Web site! Chicago, IL (Anthroposophical Society in America)

***

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)

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

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

***

 

 

Like a satellite streaking

19 December 2017 – Astro-Weather: The five brightest stars of Cassiopeia are usually called a W. At dusk the W stands nearly on end very high in the northeast. It soon turns over to become a flattened M even higher in the north.

Although Uranus reached opposition exactly two months ago, it remains a commanding presence. The outer planet climbs highest in the south around 7:30 pm CST when it appears two-thirds of the way to the zenith, in southeastern Pisces, just west of the star Omicron Piscium.

***

Odilon Redon

 

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Looking at the past to see the present, co-creating the future: “History, historical life, will only be seen in the right light when a true consciousness of the connection of the so-called living with the so-called dead can be developed” ~Rudolf Steiner – The Living and the Dead

Rembrandt
Abraham and the Three Angels, c. 1630s – early 1640s

According to Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual research in the original Calendar of the Soul today is the Birthday of Abraham interestingly regarded as the father of the faithful by all 3 monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, & Islam

Abraham and Lot by Wenceslaus Hollar

Birthday of Lot, nephew of Abraham

Also celebrated today: O Radix Jesse

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

Isaiah had prophesied: “A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isaiah 11:1 “On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10 Jesse was the father of King David, & Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David & be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). see Also: Isaiah 45:14, Isaiah 52:15 & Romans 15:12

150 – Deathday of Clement of Alexandria. His parents were educated pagans, having rejected paganism as a young man due to its perceived moral corruption, he travelled in Greece, Asia Minor, Palestine & Egypt. In his Protrepticus he displays an extensive knowledge of Greek mythology & mystery religions, which could only have arisen from the practice of his family’s religion. In Greece, he encountered the Ionian theologian, Athenagoras of Athens; while in the east, he was taught by the Assyrian, Tatian, & a Jew, Theophilus of Caesarea. In around 180, Clement reached Alexandria, where he met Pantaenus, who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Clement studied under Pantaenus, & was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Julian before 189.

As his three major works demonstrate, Clement was influenced by Hellenistic philosophy to a greater extent than any other Christian thinker of his time, & in particular by Plato & the Stoics. His secret works, which exist only in fragments, suggest that he was also familiar with pre-Christian Jewish esotericism & Gnosticism. In one of his works he argued that Greek philosophy had its origin among non-Greeks, claiming that both Plato & Pythagoras were taught by Egyptian scholars. Among his pupils were Origen & Alexander of Jerusalem. Clement is regarded as a Church Father & is venerated as a saint in Coptic Christianity, Ethiopian Christianity & Anglicanism

1776 – Thomas Paine publishes a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal entitled “The American Crisis“. The first was released during a time when the Revolution was still viewed as an unsteady prospect. The opening lines are as follows: “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman”.

The pamphlet, read aloud to the Continental Army on December 23, 1776, three days before the Battle of Trenton, attempted to bolster morale as well as shame neutrals & loyalists toward the cause: “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph”.

Along with the patriotic nature of The American Crisis, it displayed Paine’s strong deist beliefs, inciting the laity with suggestions that the British are trying to assume powers that only God should have. Paine states that he believes God supports the American people, “that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent“.

Paine believes that Britain is essentially trying to enslave America. See The American Crisis – Common Sense pamphlet – The Age of Reason

1848 – Deathday of Emily Brontë, English novelist & poet

1907 – 239 coal miners die in the Darr Mine Disaster in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania

1915 – Birthday of Édith Piaf, French singer-songwriter & actress

1927 – Three Indian revolutionaries, Ram Prasad Bismil, Roshan Singh & Ashfaqulla Khan are executed by the British Empire

1932 – BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service

1941 –Adolf Hitler appoints himself as head of the Oberkommando des Heeres

1972 –The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, & Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth

1974 – Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the United States under President Gerald Ford under the provisions of the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution

2012 – Park Geun-hye is elected the first female president of South Korea

***

Clavis Artis

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~I have come
To this dark world
Like a satellite streaking —
I am the open eye gleaming —
A laser, sculpting, reality
With precise rays of promise
Sparking eternity —
Come Beloved, bring forth your art
& let us co-create the heart…
~hag

***

Liba WS

We swiftly sidle toward the midnight hour of the year. All of Creation is holding its breath at this deep time, anticipating the birth, within each human heart, of wonder, & a willingness to cooperate in a living way with everything & everyone.

May we kindle the warm glow of good will to transform our emotional default setting to one of peace & kindness. Each moment awaits our imaginative dedication.

So let’s toss all that is neither beautiful nor useful into the roiling cauldron of re-birth, that Time is so kindly providing us. Let us compost all past-patterns of self-sabotage, personal & collective. And let us humbly bow at the threshold of this New Year, to release & redeem all that we do not wish to take with us through the new door of Epiphany (20 KMB 18).

Remorse is said to be the highest of the negative states – that sinking feeling that can grip us when we fall for the compelling illusion of separateness, & forgot that we are all in one large, pulsing, shape-shifting-according-to-collaborative-intent-reality-dream. How will your thoughts add to this picture?

The Sufi say: “Estafirahlah”  “forgiveness of self and others.” And part of what “to forgive” means is “to give energy for change.”

The protoplasm of reality is particularly susceptible to imprint now, by the power of word, story & metaphor – Allowing ourselves one true hyperbole: Never before has the power of human story-telling been so essential in determining what dies & what lives.

Let us dedicate ourselves to animating a truly desirable story –  A love story.

We are here to re-dedicate ourselves to the responsibility of manifesting the highest qualities of the human being.

So, wherever we are, at this time of the Solstice, let us visualize & dedicate our unique & absolutely necessary Medicine, into the collective cauldron, to ladle ourselves up a big heaping cup of All-Heal.

‘The Medicine that makes whole’, brings into bubbling accord the elixir of Divine, Dynamic, Reverent, Integrity & Ingenuity.

See you there

Xox ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

***

The Story of Being Human – Holy Nights 2017-2018

at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society, & Elderberries Chicago. All gatherings are Pay-What-You-Will, no one turned away for lack of funds $10 Suggested Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged

Tuesday 26 December 2017, at 7 pm – The Dream Song of Olaf Asteson with Mary Tom & Debbie Barford on Lyre

“Olaf Åsteson, Olaf the son of earth, experiences various secrets of the cosmic All whilst he is transported into the macrocosm during the thirteen shortest days. And the Nordic legend which has been extricated from old accounts, tells of these experiences Olaf Asteson had between Christmas and New Year up till Epiphany… Let us hear the legend of Olaf Asteson, the earth son, who during the time in which we are now, experienced the secrets of cosmic existence in his meeting with the earth spirit. Let us listen to these experiences.”

***

27-30 December 2017 – at 7pm – The Story of Being Human: Fairy-Tales for adults – a Journey thru the Holy Nights

The Fairy-tale leads us to our true humanity, where great kingdoms preside within, filled with ancient forests, remote castles, giants, witches, lovers, dreams & visions of Star Beings & the Earth Herself.

Shepherded by Joen Dealande & a series of guest artists, we will use Drama, Eurythmy, Painting, Needle-Felting, & Sculpting, to live into the gesture of our Human karma & Destiny.

Wednesday, 27 December at 7 pm – Grimm’s Fairy Tale ‘Star Money’ – Guest Artist: Deborah Rogers, Needle Felting.

Thursday, Friday & Saturday 28-30 December 2017 at 7pm – Grimm’s The Queen Bee. Guest Artist: Nancy Melvin Bees Wax sculpting

***

 NYE Sunday December 31st (The 13th Hidden Holy Night)

8pm – 1am

Our annual Family Friendly Community Gathering with music by Jutta & the High Dukes, Games with Kris & Alex Boshell, Interactive Speech Formation with Joen Dealande, Lead Casting, Crafting, Singing & more TBA

 $20 – ($10 goes to the band & $10 goes to the Branch ‘Furnace Fund’)

This is the eve of the Full Wolf Moon which happens to be a Super Moon

***

NO gathering 1 January 2018

 ***

2 – 4 January 2018 at 7pm – The Fairy-Tale Trail Continues

with The Romanian Tale – The Enchanted Pig. Guest Artists: Singing with Elisabeth Swisher & Painting with Nancy Melvin

***

Friday January 5th Eve of Epiphany (3 Kings) 7pm – 9 pm  

A special 12th Night Gathering, The Foundation Stone Meditation: Eurythmy & Speech with Mary Ruud & Joen Dealande…

For more info. Contact Festivals Coordinator: Hazel Archer-Ginsberg Hazel@ReverseRitual.com

 

Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society, 4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (map) Check out our Web site! Chicago, IL (Anthroposophical Society in America)

***

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)

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

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