Category Archives: Insight

In the Blood

14 April 2018 – Astro-Weather: After dark, Leo walks horizontally across the meridian high in the south. His brightest star is Regulus, the bottom star of Leo’s Sickle. The Sickle forms his front leg, chest, mane, & part of his head.

Not far from Regulus, the red long-period variable star R Leonis this week should still be near its maximum brightness,

There’s also the tiny Frosty Leo Nebula nearby to hunt out, & galaxy groups to explore.

Saat Chion

Everybody should be reminded by the Easter festival, that there will be the resurrection of the spirit out of the present darkened nature of the human being”. ~Rudolf Steiner, The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

Barbara Lea

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

215 – Birthday of Mani the prophet & founder of Manichaeism – see Rudolf Steiner’s lectures GA 104 & 113

Rudolf Steiner: “…Mani was the founder of a spiritual movement which although at first only a small sect, became a mighty spiritual current. The Albigenses, Waldenses and Cathars (Note 5) of the Middle Ages are the continuation of this current, to which also belong the Knights Templar, of whom we shall speak separately, (Note 6) and also — by a remarkable chain of circumstances — the Freemasons. Freemasonry really belongs to this stream, though it is connected with others, for instance with Rosicrucianism. (Note 7)

What outer history has to say about Mani is very simple. (Note 8)

It is said that there once lived a merchant in the Near East who was very learned. He compiled four important works: first, Mysteria, secondly, Capitola, thirdly, Evangelium, and lastly Thesaurus. It is further related that at his death he left these writings to his widow who was a Persian. This widow, on her part, left them to a slave whose freedom she had bought and whom she had liberated. That was the said Mani, who then drew his wisdom out of these writings, though he was also initiated into the Mithraic mysteries. (Note 9) Mani is called the ‘Son of the Widow’, and his followers are called the ‘Sons of the Widow.’ However, Mani described himself as the ‘Paraclete’. (Note 10) the Holy Spirit promised to mankind by Christ. We should understand by this that he saw himself as one incarnation of the Holy Spirit; he did not mean that he was the only one. He explained that the Holy Spirit reincarnated, and that he was one such reincarnation. ~The Temple Legend 

1126 – Averroes, a medieval Spanish polymath. He wrote on logic, Aristotelian & Islamic philosophy, theology, the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence, psychology, political & Andalusian classical music theory, geography, mathematics, & the mediæval sciences of medicine, astronomy, physics, & celestial mechanics. Averroes was a defender of Aristotelian philosophy against Ash’ari theologians led by Al-Ghazali.

Rudolf Steiner:  Through Avicenna and Averroes, something was introduced that was to enter human civilization with the beginning of the fifteenth century, namely, the struggle for the consciousness soul.”~Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy

“…In Spain it was taught by the Moorish scholars and above all by such an individuality as Averroes, that the Intelligence holds sway everywhere. The whole world, the whole cosmos is filled with the all-pervading Intelligence. Human beings down here on earth have many different properties, but they do not possess a personal intelligence of their own. On the contrary, every time a human being is active on the earth, a drop of Intelligence, a ray of Intelligence proceeds from the universal Intelligence, and descends as it were into the head, into the body of the single human being. So that the human being as he walks about on earth, shares in the universal Cosmic Intelligence which is common to all. And when he dies, when he passes through the gate of death, the Intelligence that was his returns to the universal Intelligence, flows back again. Thus all the thoughts, conceptions and ideas which man possesses in the life between birth and death flow back into the common reservoir of the universal Intelligence. One cannot therefore say that the thing of outstanding value in man’s soul, namely his Intelligence, is subject to personal immortality. Indeed it was actually taught by the Spanish, Moorish scholars that man does not possess personal immortality. True, he lives on, but, said these scholars, the most important thing about him during his life is the fact that he can unfold intelligent knowledge, and this does not remain with his own being” ~Karmic Relationships, Volume III: Lecture XI: Evolution of the Michael Principle Throughout the Ages. The Split in the Cosmic Intelligence

 

On this day in 1561 it was Good Friday, Around dawn there was a mass sighting of celestial phenomena over Nuremberg, residents of Nuremberg saw what they described as an aerial battle, followed by the appearance of a large black triangular object & then a large crash outside of the city. According to witnesses, there were hundreds of spheres, cylinders & other odd-shaped objects that moved erratically overhead.

A broadsheet news article was printed later that month, describes objects of various shapes including crosses, globes, two lunar crescents, a black spear & tubular objects from which several smaller, round objects emerged & darted around the sky at dawn.

“In the morning of April 14, 1561, at daybreak, between 4 and 5 a.m., a dreadful apparition occurred on the sun, and then this was seen in Nuremberg in the city, before the gates and in the country – by many men and women. At first there appeared in the middle of the sun two blood-red semi-circular arcs, just like the moon in its last quarter. And in the sun, above and below and on both sides, the color was blood, there stood a round ball of partly dull, partly black ferrous color. Likewise there stood on both sides and as a torus about the sun such blood-red ones and other balls in large number, about three in a line and four in a square, also some alone. In between these globes there were visible a few blood-red crosses, between which there were blood-red strips, becoming thicker to the rear and in the front malleable like the rods of reed-grass, which were intermingled, among them two big rods, one on the right, the other to the left, and within the small and big rods there were three, also four and more globes. These all started to fight among themselves, so that the globes, which were first in the sun, flew out to the ones standing on both sides, thereafter, the globes standing outside the sun, in the small and large rods, flew into the sun. Besides the globes flew back and forth among themselves and fought vehemently with each other for over an hour. And when the conflict in and again out of the sun was most intense, they became fatigued to such an extent that they all, as said above, fell from the sun down upon the earth ‘as if they all burned’ and they then wasted away on the earth with immense smoke. After all this there was something like a black spear, very long and thick, sighted; the shaft pointed to the east, the point pointed west. Whatever such signs mean, God alone knows. Although we have seen, shortly one after another, many kinds of signs on the heaven, which are sent to us by the almighty God, to bring us to repentance, we still are, unfortunately, so ungrateful that we despise such high signs and miracles of God. Or we speak of them with ridicule and discard them to the wind, in order that God may send us a frightening punishment on account of our ungratefulness. After all, the God-fearing will by no means discard these signs, but will take it to heart as a warning of their merciful Father in heaven, will mend their lives and faithfully beg God, that He may avert His wrath, including the well-deserved punishment, on us, so that we may temporarily here and perpetually there, live as his children. For it, may God grant us his help, Amen”. Art by Hanns Glaser, letter-painter of Nurnberg

 

1759 – Deathday of G.F. Handel – composer

1865 Abraham Lincoln is shot in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth; Lincoln died the next day

1900 – The Exposition Universelle – a world’s fair held in Paris, France, from 14 April to 12 November 1900, to celebrate the achievements of the past century & to accelerate development into the next. The fair, visited by nearly 50 million, displayed many machines, inventions, & architecture that are now nearly universally known, including the Grande Roue de Paris Ferris wheel, Russian nesting dolls, diesel engines, talking films, escalators, & the telegraphone (the first magnetic audio recorder)

1912 – The sinking of the Titanic

1935 – Exclusion from the General Anthroposophical Society of Ita Wegman, Elisabeth Vreed & other members also 2 national societies

1939 – The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck is first published

2010 – Over 2,700 are killed in a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture

2014 – 276 schoolgirls are abducted by Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria 

***

Agostino Arrivabene

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~The combustion 
Becomes ash
& the seed is cooked in salt
As our bones grow roots
In the Earth-Womb
~hag

***

Agostino Arrivabene

I don’t know about you…but I have a powerful hunger…A spiritual hunger…that rattles my bones, stirs my loins, tugs at my belly, pounds in my heart, gets caught in my throat, burns in my eyes, & taps on the top of my head…

A hunger for roots, that go back before zero…A hunger to re-member, that life is a divine dance…pulsing in the bloodlines of a billion stars…connecting us all…A knowing that goes beyond heredity…A truth, in the blood of the I Am, earned & then shared…A striving for the living proof that Love is our mother tongue…A hunger to embrace the Goddess & the God within…A hunger for respect, & adoration…for acknowledgment, of our spirit…& so much more, that has been buried in the forgotten beat…burned at the stake…& bought & sold by the media…A hunger to heal…& reclaim the true expression of our essence…A hunger to undertake the hero’s journey that re-awakens our destiny, replacing the hunger, with a taste of our divine spiritual heritage…Calling the beat back into our cosmopolitan hearts…

& so if this rings true for you, let us make this our communal intention…along with each of our personal aspirations for this growing season of Spring, which we have an opportunity to program right here, right now…We can create sacred space most any time, most anywhere, with our intention…by connecting to the soft steady unified rhythm of our collective heartbeat…This is the cosmic rhythm of the eternal made manifest in the now…Let it awaken us…Let it harmonize us…Let it transform us…As we Become, Our Highest Self…As we begin…To balance our bones, Fulfill our selfless desire, Feed our belly with gratitude, Open the heart, Vibrate the throat, Expose our eyes, & Transcend our heads…in the many rhythms of our divine birthright…The circle is complete, yet forever open & always changing…Expand it now…To let the healing begin…

~hag

Born in magic made manifest

3 April 2018 – Astro-Weather: The waning gibbous Moon points the way to Jupiter. They appear more prominent as they climb higher & edge closer after midnight. Jupiter, the benevolent King, is easy to find all week because he shines so brightly, against the faint backdrop of Libra.

Jeremiah Briggs

Capella is the bright star high in the west-northwest during & after dusk. Its pale-yellow color matches that of our Sun, meaning they’re both about the same temperature. But otherwise Capella is very different. It consists of two yellow stars orbiting each other rather closely every 104 days

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

3 April 33 – The death day of Jesus Christ. At the same time in Mexico Vitzliputzli crucified a powerful black magician. “Now at a certain time a being was born in Central America who set himself a definite task within this culture. The old, original inhabitants of Mexico linked the existence of this being with a definite idea or picture. They said he had entered the world as the son of a virgin who had conceived him through super earthly powers, inasmuch as it was a feathered being from the heavens who impregnated her. When one makes researches with the occult powers at one’s disposal, one finds that the being to whom the ancient Mexicans ascribed a virgin birth was born in the year 1 A.D. and lived to be thirty-three years old. These facts emerge when, as stated, one examines the matter with occult means. This being set himself a quite specific task.

At this same time in Central America another man was born who was destined by birth to become a high initiate of Taotl. This man had in his previous earthly incarnations been initiated as described above and through the fact that he had many, many times repeated the procedure involving the excision of the stomach, which has been described to you and which there is no need to recapitulate, he had been gradually equipped with a lofty earthly and super-earthly knowledge. This was one of the greatest black magicians, if not the greatest ever to tread the earth; he possessed the greatest secrets that are to be acquired on this path. He was faced directly with a momentous decision as the year 30 A.D. approached, namely whether or not, as a single human individual, to become so powerful through continuous initiation that he would come to know a certain basic secret. Through knowledge of this secret he would have then been able to give such a shock and impetus to the coming evolution of man on earth that humanity in the fourth and fifth post-Atlantean epochs would have been thrown into terrible darkness, with the result that what the ahrimanic powers had striven for in these epochs could have come into existence.

Then a conflict began between this super-magician and the being to whom a virgin birth was ascribed, and one finds from one’s research that it lasted for three years. The being of the virgin birth bore a name that, when we try to transpose it into our speech approximates Vitzliputzli. He is a human person who, among all these beings who otherwise only moved about in spirit form and could only be perceived through atavistic clairvoyance, in actual fact became man, so the story goes, through his virgin birth. The three year conflict ended when Vitzliputzli was able to have the great magician crucified, and not only through the crucifixion to annihilate his body but also to place his soul under a ban, by this means rendering its activities powerless as well as its knowledge. Thus the knowledge assimilated by the great magician of Taotl was killed. In this way Vitzliputzli was able to win again for earthly life all those souls who, as indicated, had already received the urge to follow Lucifer and leave the earth. Through the mighty victory he had gained over the powerful black magician, Vitzliputzli was able to imbue men again with the desire for earthly existence and successive incarnations.” ~ Rudolf Steiner, The Mexican Mysteries and the Knights Templar Inner Impulses of Evolution lecture 3

José de Ribera

Feast Day of Mary of Egypt. In Goethe’s Faust Mary of Egypt is one of the three penitent saints who pray to the Virgin Mary for forgiveness for Faust. Her words are set by Mahler in his 8th Symphony, as the final saint’s appeal to the Mater Gloriosa.

Feast Day of Saints Agape, Chionia, & Irene (Greek: Αγάπη, Χιονία και Ειρήνη meaning Love, Purity, & Peace, born in Thessaloniki) 3 virgin sisters who, were martyred for their faith in the year 304 AD. The story of their martyrdom is the subject of Dulcitius, a 10th-century medieval Latin drama by the secular canoness, Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, the first known female playwright.

1897 – Death day of Johannes Brahms, German pianist & composer

1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1925 – The Cremation of Rudolf Steiner at the Horburg cemetery in Basel

1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. He was assassinated the next day

***

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~Spring breaks thru
The diaphanous weave of Her dress
Nipples hard against the cold stone…
I am concealed
In the shimmering curtain
Of her fragrant hair –
In a spell of my own casting
Entwined in arms of splendor
About to blossom
Engendered on the in-breath of Her dreaming
Born in magic made manifest
Whirling in love outpouring
Peace & Noise…
~hag

***

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green”.

Our beloved Rudolf Steiner speaks about Easter as a spiritual event that takes place on the stage of humanity. The physical body of Jesus of Nazareth was the mediator through which the powers of the cosmos were united with the Earth aura. With the sacrifice on Golgotha, when the life-blood of the Cosmic Heart penetrated the Earth and its forces flowed down, even to the very core, the Earth became illuminated from within. The Resurrection took place, 1st at the gates of the underworld for the souls of the dead who had lost their divine nature. And with the dawn on Easter Sunday, the opportunity was then given to every single human individuality to experience this light within the self. And the seed was planted for the reunion of Sun and Earth.

The Mystery of Golgotha is the pivotal event of the whole divine process of creation, of the whole process of human evolution from its beginnings in the womb of the Spirit, to its consummation in humanity as the 10th hierarchy.

The Christian Festivals were never meant to be merely the commemoration of great historical events or simply truths of the Christian revelation, as great as these are. The Festivals in themselves, are, each year, spiritual events, carrying a significance that grows and deepens with the developing phases of human evolution, ever evolving as we do.  This is especially true of the Easter Festival, with its answer to humanity’s deepest needs, its quickening of our highest hopes; with its message of the victory of good over evil, of light over darkness, of life over death.

Again and again, from all points of view, Rudolf Steiner spoke about the deep meaning of the Easter Festival in the eternal working of the divine worlds upon humankind, in the prefiguring myths and symbols of the ancient Mystery religions, in its relation to the world of nature and the cosmic universe, in which the date of this moveable feast contains a unique mystery. For it is determined by a cosmic alignment. Right, So, as many of you know, 1st the sun must enter into the sign of Spring, then it waits, for the moon to come into its vernal fullness…then the planetary beings whose names correspond with the days of the week come into play. Holy Week.

We are invited to connect to the Solar forces, so when the first Sun-day after the full moon of spring arrives, then it is time to celebrate the Easter festival.

And there is deeper meaning still in this alignment. It indicates how through the Christ Impulse, humanity is to be set free from the forces of earth-evolution, pure and simple.

It contains a call to humanity to lift ourselves up to the worlds beyond the earth; to once again speak with the stars. It contains a promise, that in the course of world-history,

it will be possible, through the working of the Christ Impulse, for humanity to once again be united with the cosmos, in the New Jerusalem. It is for this that we strive when we celebrate the Easter Fest.

Its consequence, must be looked for in all human history, in the arts, in human thinking, in all social relationships, and even in the materialistic triumphs of modern science.

~hag

Anthroposophy itself must become like an inner festival of Resurrection for the human soul. It must bring an Easter mood into man’s world-conception.” – Rudolf Steiner, The Easter Festival in relation to the Mysteries.

 *** 

Christian Rosenkreutz: ‘Granum Pectori Jesu Insitum’ Interactive Art Projections & Lecture with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Social Art, Group Eurythmy with Mary Ruud & Singing 

$10 Donation to support Eurythmy & Art Supplies,

Snacks to Share Encouraged – Hazel will bring the Pascal Lamb

For more info. contact festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer Ginsberg

 

 

 

Pour it out

28 March 2018 – Astro-Weather: Before the first hint of dawn tomorrow morning, look for Mars & Saturn glowing just 2° apart in the south-southeast. They’re above the Sagittarius Teapot.

 

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

“Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

1483 – Birthday of Raphael,(Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino) Italian painter & architect. In Rudolf Steiner’s last address he speaks about this individualities’ previous lives as John the Baptist & Elijah.

1515 – Birthday of St. Teresa of Ávila, From the Pastoral Medicine lecture #5: “In the case with such personalities as St. Teresa there is continuous healing coming from the spirit. When we study these individuals, we find that as a first stage the ego organization separates from the rest of the human organism. It then draws the astral body closely to it, in a certain sense away from the physical-etheric organism. This is in the waking state. What is the consequence of this? You can easily see that this puts the individual into a kind of dream condition. From a spiritual-scientific point of view the ego, by drawing the astral body to itself, is not allowing it to enter the physical and etheric bodies completely, and this brings about a kind of dream condition. But because of the special karmic density, both ego and astral body are strong, and they bring into the dream condition receptivity for the perception of the spiritual world. Dream is transformed into a state in which the individual is really able to see into the spiritual world and to feel the presence of spiritual beings.” ~Rudolf Steiner

1592 – Birthday of John Amos Comenius, Czech bishop Pansophia educator. Rudolf Steiner speaks of him as an adviser to Harun-al-Rashid in the Karmic Relationships Vol. 6 lecture 8. “…Haroun al Raschid and his wise Counsellor passed through the gate of death. But after their life between death and rebirth they continued to pursue their earthly aims in remarkable ways. It was their aim to introduce Arabian modes of thinking into the European world with the help of the rudiments of the Intelligence now spreading in Europe. And so after Haroun al Raschid had passed through the gate of death, while his soul was traversing spiritual, starry worlds, we see his gaze directed unswervingly from Baghdad across Asia Minor, to Greece, Rome, Spain, France and then northwards to England. Throughout this life between death and rebirth his attention was directed to the South and West of Europe. And then Haroun al Raschid appeared again in a new incarnation — becoming Lord Bacon of Verulam. Bacon himself is the reincarnated Haroun al Raschid who in the intervening time between death and rebirth had worked as I have just described.

But the other, the one who had been his wise Counsellor, chose a different direction — from Baghdad across the Black Sea, through Russia and then into Middle Europe. The two individualities took different paths and directions. Haroun al Raschid passed to his next earthly goal as Lord Bacon of Verulam; the wise Counsellor during his life between death and a new birth did not divert his gaze from the sphere where influences from the East can be increasingly potent, and he appeared again as Amos Comenius (Komenski), the great educational reformer and author of “Pan-Sophia.” And from the interworking of these two individualities who had once been together at the Court in Baghdad there subsequently arose in Europe something which unfolded — more or less at a distance from Christianity — in the form of Arabism derived from influences of that past time when the Intelligence had first fallen away from Michael on the Sun.

Here we have indicated something that lies as sub-strata of the soil into which we to-day have to sow the seeds of Anthroposophy. We must ponder deeply over the inner and spiritual reality behind these things”.

1941 – DeathDay of Virginia Woolf, English novelist, essayist, short story writer.

1943 – DeathDay of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian pianist, composer, & conductor

1985 – Deathday of Marc Chagall, Russian-French painter & poet

1994 – DeathDay of Eugène Ionesco, Romanian-French playwright & critic

***

POD (Poem Of the Day)]

~I have burnt the old palms
To release the phoenix
This Dies Cinerum
Will raise the Lenten veil
Just enough
That I may enter
The house of Lazarus
As friend & sister
To pour the precious oil
~hag

***

NO STUDY AT THE BRANCH TONIGHT (I have a CRC meeting)

 

Greetings Friends on this Holy Wednesday, ruled by Mercury, who for the Greco-Roman world was both the god of healing & also the god of merchants & of thieves.

It is “Mitt-woch”. The balance of Holy Week, is sought, as the drama turns inward.

Both Judas & Mary Magdalene are typical Mercury people – active & temperamental; something is always happening round them. Mary Magdalene transforms her restlessness into peaceful devotion, & the capacity for love. She anoints the head of Christ with precious spikenard oil, a spiritual act. Christ accepts what this woman does as a fulfillment of the Last Anointing.

Judas declares her deed extravagant & becomes indignant. He pretends to want something for the poor; yet it is only self-deception, his own inner restlessness, not a genuine social impulse. His unrest springs from a deeply hidden fear, opening him to the adversarial power which leads him to betray Christ. A soul driven by fear & hate cannot show devotion; above all, it cannot love.

So, in the two figures, Mary Magdalene & Judas, we stand at a crossroads. One leads to the realization of the imminence of Christ; the other into the dark night.

All the individuals taking part in the scenes of Holy Wednesday – Mary, Martha, the risen Lazarus, & Judas, show us unique approaches in the expression of the mysteries.

Join us on March 29th Holy Thursday 7 pm – 9 pm as we continue the compelling saga of The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz 

Also Good Friday, March 30th, Rudolf Steiner’s DeathDay 7 pm – 9 pm

Then: Holy Saturday March 31st & Easter Sunday, April 1st 2018 – 4 pm – 6 pm

***Please print your own copy of the text***

4 pm – 6 pm Easter Sunday April 1st 2018

Christian Rosenkreutz: ‘Granum Pectori Jesu Insitum’

with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Social Art, Group Eurythmy & Singing

$10 Donation to support Eurythmy & Art Supplies,

Snacks to Share Encouraged – Hazel will bring the Pascal Lamb

for more info. Contact  Festivals coordinator 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)

The Elderberries 3-Fold Space is currently available for rental on PEER SPACE for classes, events, meetings, retreats, art exhibits, family parties, etc…

 

Vote

20 March 2017 – Astro-Weather: For those of you tired of winter weather, good news: Today is the Spring equinox. Earth’s vernal balance occurs at 11:15 am CDT, which marks the moment when the Sun crosses the celestial equator traveling north. The Sun rises due east & sets due west today.

After dark Leo strides up the eastern sky, with his brightest star Regulus in his forefoot & the Sickle of Leo extending upper left from there.

About two fists lower left of Regulus are the two stars of Leo’s rear end & tail: Delta Leonis & below it, slightly brighter Beta Leonis, or Denebola, the tail tip

As evening grows late & this scene rises higher, look left of Denebola, by a fist or a little bit more, for the big, dim Coma Berenices star cluster. Its brightest members form an upside-down, tilted Y. It’s visible even through some light pollution.

***

Kirsty Mitchell.

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

I turn to history not for lessons but to confront my experience with the experience of others and to win for myself a sense of responsibility for the state of the human conscience”. ~ Zbigniew Herbert

Today is the Illinois Primary – Don’t forget to VOTE

Nowruz (Persian: literally “New Day”) the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year. Nowruz is partly rooted in the traditions of Mitraism & Zoroastrianism. In Mitraism, festivals had a deep linkage with the sun light. The Iranian festivals such as Mehrgan (autumnal equinox), Tirgan, & the eve of Chelle ye Zemestan (winter solstice) also had an origin in the Sun god (Surya). Among other ideas, Zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion that emphasizes broad concepts; such as the corresponding work of good & evil in the world,& the connection of humans to nature. Zoroastrian practices were dominant for much of the history of ancient Iran.

Although having Iranian & religious Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethno-linguistic communities for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians

Bethany Roberts

OSTARA (pronounced O-STAR-ah) is celebrated on the Vernal or Spring Equinox. The name for this Sabbat actually comes from that of the Teutonic lunar Goddess, Eostre. Her chief symbols are the bunny (for fertility & because the Ancient Ones who worshiped her often saw the image of a rabbit in the full moon), & the egg (representing the cosmic egg of creation). This is where the customs of “Easter Eggs” & the “Easter Bunny” originated.

Ostara is a time to celebrate the arrival of Spring, the renewal & rebirth of Nature herself, & the coming lushness of Summer. It is at this time when light & darkness are in balance, yet the light is growing stronger by the day. The forces of masculine & feminine energy, yin & yang, are also in balance at this time. At this time we think of renewing ourselves. We renew our thoughts, our dreams, & our aspirations. We think of renewing our relationships. This is an excellent time of year to begin anything new or to completely revitalize something. This is also an excellent month for prosperity rituals or rituals that have anything to do with growth.

Customs such as the lighting of new fires at dawn for healing, renewed life, & protection of the crops still survive in the Southern Americas as well as in Europe. Eggs were gathered & used for the creation of talismans & also ritually eaten. The gathering of different colored eggs from the nests of a variety of birds has given rise to two traditions still observed today – the Easter egg hunt, & coloring eggs in imitation of the various pastel colors of wild birds. It is also believed that humankind first got the idea of weaving baskets from watching birds weave nests. This is perhaps the origin of the association between colored Easter eggs & Easter baskets.

There is much symbolism in eggs themselves. The golden orb of its yolk represents the Sun God, its white shell is seen as the White Goddess, & the whole is a symbol of rebirth. The Goddess Eostre’s patron animal was the hare.

The Spring Equinox is a time of new beginnings, of action, of planting seeds for future grains, & of tending gardens. Spring is a time of the Earth’s renewal, a rousing of nature after the cold sleep of winter. As such, it is an ideal time to clean your home to welcome the new season. “Spring cleaning” is much more than simply physical work. It may be seen as a concentrated effort to rid your home of the problems & negativity of the past months, & to prepare for the coming spring and summer. To do this, we may approach the task of cleaning our homes with positive thoughts. This frees the home of any negative feelings brought about by a harsh winter. A common rule of thumb for Spring cleaning is that all motions involving scrubbing of stains or hand rubbing the floors should be done “clockwise”. This custom aids in filling the home with good energy for growth.

Appropriate Deities for Ostara include all Youthful and Virile Gods and Goddesses, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, Love Goddesses, Moon Gods and Goddesses, & all Fertility Deities. Some Ostara Deities to mention by name here include Persephone, Blodeuwedd, Eostre, Aphrodite, Athena, Cybele, Gaia, Hera, Isis, Ishtar, Minerva, Venus, Robin of the Woods, the Green Man, Cernunnos, Lord of the Greenwood, The Dagda, Attis, The Great Horned God, Mithras, Odin, Thoth, Osiris, & Pan.

Key actions to keep in mind during this time in the Wheel of the Year include openings & new beginnings. Work for improving communication & group interaction are recommended, as well as fertility & abundance. Ostara is a good time to start putting those plans and preparations you made at Imbolc into action. Start working towards physically manifesting your plans now

43 BC – Birthday of Ovid, Roman poet

Nikolai Bodarevsky

303 – Birthday of Saint Alexandra of Rome, wife of the Emperor Diocletian who secretly converted to Christianity. While Saint George was being tortured, Alexandra went to the arena, bowed before him & professed her faith openly. When she questioned whether she was worthy of paradise & of martyrdom without being baptized, Saint George told her “Do not fear, for your blood will baptize you.” She was denounced a Christian & imprisoned on her husband’s orders in Nicomedia, then sentenced to die. Her husband was so outraged by her conversion that he is said to have uttered “What! Even thou hast fallen under their spell!”

1602 – The Dutch East India Company is established

1616 – Sir Walter Raleigh is freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment

1726 – Deathday of Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, & philosopher

1760 – The Great Boston Fire  destroys 349 buildings

1815 – After escaping from Elba, Napoleon enters Paris beginning his “Hundred Days” rule

1828 – Birthday of Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian poet, playwright, & director

1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published

1861 – An earthquake completely destroys Mendoza, Argentina

1915 – Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity

1922 – The USS Langley is commissioned as the first United States Navy aircraft carrier

1923 – The Arts Club of Chicago hosts the opening of Pablo Picasso‘s first United States showing, entitled Original Drawings by Pablo Picasso, becoming an early proponent of modern art in the United States

1928 – Birthday of Fred Rogers, American television host & producer

1933 – Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered the creation of Dachau concentration camp as Chief of Police of Munich & appointed Theodor Eicke as the camp commandant.

1995 – The Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo carries out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, killing 12 and wounding over 1,300 people.

2003 – Invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries (the UK, Australia and Poland) begin military operations in Iraq

2012 – At least 52 people are killed and more than 250 injured in a wave of terror attacks across ten cities in Iraq

2015 – A Solar eclipse, equinox, & a Supermoon all occur on the same day

***

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~ TODAY I AM
Cupped in the hands of beggars
Yawning on every street corner,
& in the small dark mouth of a bird…
~hag

***

Paul Bond

“Spring is coming, spring is coming
birdies build your nest.
weave together straw and feather
doing each your best.
spring is coming, spring is coming
flowers are waking, too.
daisies, lilies, and daffodils
now are coming through.
spring is coming, spring is coming
all around is fair.
shimmer, glimmer on the meadow,
joy is everywhere.”

Equinox means “equal night” when the sun is positioned above the equator & day and night are about equal in length all over the world. This is the start of the Astrological year. Many ancient cultures built structures to point directly toward the rising Sun on this day every year. The celebration of the Vernal Equinox is about new life & hope, the planting of seeds & the activation of the fertility cycle.

A look into the ancient Mystery Schools honoring The Vernal Equinox: The Spring Equinox is also called: Alban Eilir, Eostar, Eostre, Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Festival of Trees, Lady Day, NawRuz, No Ruz, Ostara, Ostra, Rites of Spring. The Old Testament heroine of Spring was the goddess Ishtar- Persian for ‘star'(Esther is the Aramaic word for Ishtar).  So Ishtar was the goddess of the morning & evening star, as well as being the Great Mother, Shining One, Lady of Visions, Priestess of Priestess’, she was the source of the Oracles of Prophesy, & Possessor of the Tablets of Life’s Records.Her symbols were the eight pointed star, the pentagram, dove, serpents, & the double axe. Her planet was Venus. She wore a rainbow necklace. The Persians converted this necklace (the rainbow) into a razor-sharp bridge that led to the Mount of Paradise. In ancient Sumeria, she had 180 shrines where women gathered daily for prayer, meditation, & socializing. The night of the full moon, known as Shapatu, saw joyous celebrations in her temples.

In Ireland, the spring equinox was celebrated long before the arrival of the Celtic tribes. The best known of the ancient Irish equinox temples is Knowth, which is near to Newgrange (Brú na Boinne). Knowth has a 100-foot long passage that accepts the Sun on the morning of the Spring & Autumn Equinox. A second & older stone cairn equinox temple is found at Longhcrew & is given the name Cairn T. Both Knowth & Cairn follow a sunbeam on the morning of the Equinoxs to enter a passageway lighting up the sacred geometry on a back stone inside the temple. This precise timing from a period of over 6 thousand years ago still works today.

The German fertility Goddess was Ostara, who was associated with fertility. Ostara mated with the solar god on the Spring Equinox & nine months later she gave birth to a child at the Winter Solstice.

The Saxon name for the Germanic lunar goddess Ostara was Eostre. Her festival was held at the full moon after the Spring Equinox just like our Easter celebrations.

The Mayans of Central American have also honoured the spring equinox. For ten centuries they have held their unique celebration using their ancient knowledge of the Sunbeam. El Castillo is the name of their great pyramid of the Equinox & as the sunsets on its western face light & dark compliment each other creating a very special pattern of a diamond backed snake descending the pyramid. This solar magic has always been known as the “The Return of the Sun Serpent”.

For the Greeks the god-man of the Spring Equinox was Dionysus. He was associated with flowering plants & fruitful vines & he was always in pain during winter, symbolizing hibernation & the cessation of growth. He returned triumphant on the Spring Equinox & many researchers see direct parallels with the story of Jesus Christ.

Mesopotamia, Sumeria, Babylonia, Elam (5000 years ago) celebrated the start of their new year at the time of the spring equinox. Zoroastrianism was the religion of Ancient Persia until the advent of Islam 1400 years ago. “Nooruz,” their ‘new day’ or New Year was celebrated on the Spring Equinox. Many religious historians connect Judeo-Christian concepts to Zoroastrianism.

In Rome, about 200 years before the birth of Christ there was a wide range of what are today called “mystery cults”. Attis & Cybele held their Spring Equinox rituals at the location of today’s St. Peter’s on Vatican hill. Attis was also known under various names such as Osiris, Dionysus, Tammuz & Orpheus. The Attis & Cybele festival had a death or day of blood & three days of semi-death & then a return to life for the deceased. Attis‘s mother was called Nana & she was a virgin. Attis was crucified on a pine tree.  His blood was spilled to redeem the earth. Attis was both a sacrificial victim & a savior, his death & re-birth was intended to bring salvation to mankind. Most researchers will say that Attis is clearly a prefiguring prototype for The Christ.

In Judaism we can see that the Passover dinner was their spring fertility festival. It records the escape of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt – its main meal was of unleavened bread & lamb.

In America the native Indians honoured the Spring Equinox in landscape-sized temples such as Mystery Hill in Salem NH. Five standing stones & one recumbent stone are set in a linear alignment that connects the sunrise on both the Spring & Autumn Equinoxes.

March 20-23, is the mid-point of the Waxing Year. The spark of light that was born at Winter Solstice has reached maturity, & from this point forward, the days grow longer than the nights. This is the time of full Dawn, 6:00 a.m. on the Year Clock, & so was the time of the festivals of the Grecian Goddess, Eostre, & the Germanic Ostara, both Goddesses of Dawn. (It is from these Bright Ladies that the modern Easter holiday takes its name). This is the time that is often seen as the time of Kore’s return from the Underworld, where She (as Persephone) has ruled throughout the Winter. It is also the time of the celebration of the rebirth of Adonis the Beautiful.

Spring is the time for a celebration of planting & of the greening of the Earth. Folks start to talk about having ‘Spring Fever’ & doing ‘Spring cleaning’, as the brighter sunshine provides a needed morale boost.

Many traditions associated with Spring Equinox have been retained over the years & grafted onto the Easter celebration. Even today, people arise early on Easter morning to attend ‘Sunrise Service’. (Remember Eostre, the Dawn Goddess?)

May this time of new beginnings bring you the fresh start you need, as you begin to plan & to plant the seeds for the future you want to see grow with the light.

Xox ~Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

***

Our Monthly Community Conversation

Friday March 23rd 2018 – 7 pm – 9 pm

Come be part of our ongoing Goethean Conversation about the future of Anthroposophy and its cultivation here in Chicago.

***

The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz –

Our Holy Week Study & Easter Festival 

Palm Sunday, March 25th – 2 pm – 4 pm,

Holy Monday – Good Friday, March 26- 30th – 7 pm – 9 pm

Holy Saturday March 31st & Easter Sunday, April 1st 2018 – 2 pm – 4 pm

This primary Rosicrucian text provides a 7 stage initiation, which we will traverse together on each of the days of Holy Week. We will discuss the symbolism & render some of the images from the text using various artistic mediums.

Please print your own  PDF copy

for more info. Contact  Hazel (at) 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)

The newly renovated (& lazured) Elderberries 3-Fold Space is currently available for rental on PEER SPACE for classes, events, meetings, retreats, art exhibits, family parties, etc…

Beetles at the door

12 march 2018 – Astro-Weather: After dark, Orion‘s near-horizontal Belt points to the right toward orange Aldebaran in the west &, farther on, the little Pleiades star cluster subtly glittering. The Pleiades are heading down to a twilight rendezvous with Venus in six weeks. They’ll pass closest to Venus for a few nights around April 23rd.

Mars’ eastward motion relative to the background stars carries it from Ophiuchus into Sagittarius today. The Red Planet rises around 2 am CDT & climbs high in the south-southeast by the time twilight begins. Although the passage from Ophiuchus into Sagittarius is little more than a technical milestone, it does set up a series of pretty conjunctions with some of the Archer’s deep-sky gems starting next week.

 

Sun enters the constellation of The Fishes: “…We are still only about a third into our Age in which the spiritual soul will be developed. Thus we are still in the throes of shedding and transforming the forms inherited from the past and struggling to realize our true humanity and the tasks of our age.  We can see in the world around this battle to move out of the forms of the past: religions defined by dogma and the law rather than conscious human awareness of the spiritual;  social forms based on archaic hierarchical structures created out of the old mystery traditions;  a sense of selfhood defined out of the old Roman personality cult;  and a view of nature as devoid of spirit and separate from our humanity.  These old forms of the past seek to hold on in humanity because the very nature of evil is that it seeks to retain the past beyond it’s appointed time, thus preventing evolution into the future.  In this way the adversary powers work to hold humanity back from its spiritual development.  In this way they hinder the move towards the new experience of the etheric Christ which will be the only foundation for our forward evolution into the Aquarian future.

Pisces constellation carries this struggle, which contains both a kind of culmination of the past and the start of something new.  It is the challenge of the Consciousness Soul age.  The two fishes swim apart..the one towards the past, Greco-Roman Age, the other towards the future, the Aquarian Age..a polarity in need of resolution through the work of the ego.   The two spheres stand side by side  horizontally…the worlds of matter and spirit, faith and knowledge in need of resolution through the human being; the constellation of hands and feet, through which we take up the world of matter and shape it; through which we reach out to the other to build community and through which we learn to stand on our own two feet as free beings in the world.   In this constellation is carried now the mystery of Golgotha/Easter through which the great separation was healed. It is through this deed of love that we can realize what this age requires in order to stand as brothers with fellow human beings, with even our own double being, and with the world of higher divine beings.  No longer do we live in hierarchy as children of the gods…but since the deed of Christ, we can begin to work as brothers with Him.” ~Jonathan Hilton On behalf of the Astrosophy Center

***

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

6th Century – DeathDay of Pope Gregory the Great: “Non Angli, sed angeli” – “They are not Angles, but angels”.

1312 – Abolition of the order of Knights Templar

***

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~Blessings on the beetle sun
Which rolls into life humming a shining ball of song…
The world is a little patch of ground you travel
From your cosmic space with no haste
Sing us into spring...
~hag

***

Initially, the Knights Templar faced criticism from some religious leaders. But in 1129, the group received the formal endorsement of the Catholic Church & support from Bernard of Clairvaux, a prominent French abbot.

In 1139, Pope Innocent II issued a Papal Bull that allowed the Knights Templar special rights. Among them, the Templars were exempt from paying taxes, permitted to build their own oratories, & held to no one’s authority, except the Pope’s.

The Knights Templar set up a prosperous network of banks & gained enormous financial influence. Their banking system allowed religious pilgrims to deposit assets in their home countries & withdraw funds in the Holy Land.

The order became known for its austere code of conduct & signature style of dress, which featured a white habit emblazoned with a simple red cross.

Members swore an oath of poverty, chastity & obedience. Prayer was essential to their daily life, & the Templars expressed particular adoration for the Virgin Mary.

As the Knights Templar grew in size & status, it established new chapters throughout Western Europe.

At the height of their influence, the Templars boasted a sizable fleet of ships, owned the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, & served as a primary bank &lending institution to European monarchs & nobles.

The Fall of Acre in 1291 marked the destruction of the last remaining Crusader refuge in the Holy Land. European support of the military campaigns in the Holy Land began to erode over the decades that followed. Additionally, many secular & religious leaders became increasingly critical of the Templars’ wealth & power.

By 1303, the Knights Templar lost its foothold in the Muslim world & established a base of operations in Paris. There, King Philip IV of France resolved to bring down the order, perhaps because the Templars had denied the indebted ruler additional loans.

On Friday, October 13, 1307, scores of French Templars were arrested, including the order’s grand master Jacques de Molay. Many of the knights were brutally tortured until they confessed to false charges, which included heresy, homosexuality, financial corruption, devil worshipping, fraud, spitting on the cross & more.

A few years later, dozens of Templars were burned at the stake in Paris for their confessions. De Molay was executed in 1314.

Under pressure from King Philip, Pope Clement V reluctantly dissolved the Knights Templar TODAY 12 March 1312. The group’s property & monetary assets were taken by King Philip & King Edward II of England, seizing most of the Knights Templar’s wealth.

***