Category Archives: Lecture

Be Come a Polished Mirror

18 September 2017 – Astro-Weather: The predawn fireworks appear even more spectacular this morning. A wafer-thin crescent Moon hangs below Venus & above the Mercury-Mars pair. Less than 1° separates brilliant Venus & tiny Regulus as dawn brightens Tuesday & Wednesday mornings September 19th and 20th. Look low in the east.

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Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction. ~ Ray Bradbury

Lectures by Rudolf Steiner on this date

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Dierec Bouts the Older

900- Feast Day of Saint Richardis, was the Holy Roman Empress, born in Alsace. She married Charles the Fat & was crowned with him in Rome by Pope John VIII The marriage was childless.

Charles’ reign was marked by internal and external strife, caused primarily by the constant plundering of Norman raiders on the northern French coast. By 887, Charles appears to have succumbed to fits of madness. During this crisis, Richardis attempted to rule in her husband’s stead, but was unsuccessful. In an effort to bring down the over-powerful and hated Liutward, Charles’ archchancellor, he & Richardis were accused by Charles of adultery. Charles asserted that their marriage was unconsummated & demanded a divorce.

In a bid to assure him of her innocence, she finally assented to an ordeal by fire. Barefoot, & wearing a shirt covered in wax, the flames nevertheless refused to touch her. Disheartened by her husband’s continued mistrust, Richardis left the imperial palace & wandered into the forest. There she was visited by an angel, who ordered her to found a convent in a certain spot, which a bear would indicate to her. In Val d’Eleon, at the banks of the river, she saw a bear scratching in the dirt. There she built the abbey of Andlau.

An alternative legend recounts that Richardis found the mother bear grieving over her dead cub in the forest. When Richardis held the cub, it returned to life. After the working of this miracle, both mother & cub remained devoted to the saint for the rest of their lives.

1793 – The first cornerstone of the Capitol building is laid by George Washington

1812 – The 1812 Fire of Moscow dies down after destroying more than three-quarters of the city. Napoleon returns from the Petrovsky Palace to the Moscow Kremlin, spared from the fire.

1850 – The Fugitive Slave Act passed by the United States Congress as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern slave-holding interests & Northern Free-Soilers. It required that all escaped slaves were, upon capture, to be returned to their masters & that officials & citizens of free states had to cooperate in this law. Abolitionists nicknamed it the “Bloodhound Law” for the dogs that were used to track down runaway slaves

1851 – First publication of The New-York Daily Times, which later becomes The New York Times

1873 – Panic of 1873: The U.S. bank Jay Cooke & Company declares bankruptcy, triggering a series of bank failures.

1882 – The Pacific Stock Exchange opens.

1895 – Booker T. Washington delivers the “Atlanta compromise” address. The agreement was that Southern blacks would work &submit to white political rule, while Southern whites guaranteed that blacks would receive basic education & due process in law. Blacks would not agitate for equality, integration, or justice, & Northern whites would fund black educational charities

1906 – A typhoon with tsunami kills an estimated 10,000 people in Hong Kong

William-Adolphe Bouguereau

1909 – 1st mention by Rudolf Steiner of the two Jesus Children. GA 114

1910 – In Amsterdam, 25,000 demonstrate for general suffrage

1916 – 1st lecture by Rudolf Steiner on the Mexican Mysteries

1919 – The Netherlands gives women the right to vote

1927 – The Columbia Broadcasting System goes on the air

1936 – Deathday of Konrad Burdach, author of Faust and Moses

1939 – The Nazi propaganda broadcaster known as Lord Haw-Haw begins transmitting.

1940 – The British liner SS City of Benares is sunk by German submarine U-48; those killed include 77 child refugees

1943 – The Jews of Minsk are massacred at Sobibór

1944 –  The British submarine HMS Tradewind torpedoes Jun’yō Maru, 5,600 killed

1947 – The National Security Council & the Central Intelligence Agency are established in the United States under the National Security Act

1960 – Fidel Castro arrives in New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations

1962 – Deathday of Therese Neumann, mystic, stigmatic

1988 – End of pro-democracy uprisings in Myanmar after a bloody military coup. Thousands, mostly monks & civilians (primarily students), are killed

2001 – First mailing of anthrax letters from Trenton, New Jersey in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

2007 – Buddhist monks join anti-government protesters in Myanmar, starting what some call the Saffron Revolution

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POD (Poem Of the Day)

~Over the open face of light
Some sober trails of vapor creep
Enticing a vortex in the somber cosmic night…
Inward I turn my rays of hope
To be come a polished mirror
Hard Obsidian & black silver
Lead into gold
~hag

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Ideas are for Anthroposophy
Vessels, formed out of love,
Into which the being of humanity, spiritually,
Is brought from the spiritual worlds.
Clothed in thoughts formed with love
The light of true humanity
Shall shine through Anthroposophy.
And knowledge is but the form
In which through humanity
It shall be possible
That the true spirit from the widths of the world
Will focus in human hearts
It may enlighten human thought.
And as Anthroposophy
Really can only be grasped through love,
Therefore it is love creating
If it is grasped by the true being of humanity.
Therefore, in the midst of furious hatred
A place of love could be built in Dornach.
And words
Will not be coined in the Anthroposophical realm
As they are usually coined today.
Words are formed
That are all intrinsically pleas.
Every word in Anthroposophy
If it is spoken in the right sense
Is fundamentally a plea
A reverent plea:
A plea
That the spirit may come down to humankind.
~ Rudolf Steiner, From the 1922 The Christmas Foundation; Beginning of a Cosmic Age

May Human Beings Hear it…XOX ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg 

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Dear Friends –

What is it you need? What would you like? What can you share? What is your legacy?

Important questions to ponder on this 100 year anniversary of the 3-fold Social Organism; one of the many legacies given to us by Rudolf Steiner, waiting to be fulfilled by us now.

The Economic Life needs our Brother & Sisterhood

The Cultural/Spiritual/Educational Realm calls for Freedom

In the Political or Rights Realm we must foster Equality

“His social theory, based on his profound understanding of the human being, drew upon the ideals of the 1784 French Revolution—liberté (freedom), egalité (equality), fraternité (brotherhood)—yet applied in an unprecedented way…This threesome of practice is the foundation for organizing an empowered self-governing citizenry that would find its authority, responsibility, and accountability through active civic engagement. Further, such a threefold practice would assure that every person matters, and what matters to each person matters to the whole.”*

The Elderberries 3-Fold Café is coming to Chicago in the spirit of Brother & Sisterhood.

Are we willing to meet them?

Go to this link to find out more & donate if you will 

https://igg.me/at/michaelgrailroad/x/17233652

Thanks for supporting the future!

*John Bloom, One Hundred Years: In Recognition of Rudolf Steiner’s

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Michaelmas & the Horn of Plenty – Fall Festivals Ancient and New

Saturday September 23rd, 2017 – 4 pm – 6 pm at the Rudolf Steiner Branch,4249 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL.

The Eleusinian Mysteries – Art & Mythos by Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Song of Proserpine by Percy Shelley – Eurythmy with Mary Ruud 

Michaelmas ‘The Festival of the Future’ – Art & Leading Thoughts by Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Copper Rod Eurythmy with Mary Ruud

Singing with Elisabeth Swisher

$10 Donation* & Snacks to Share Encouraged * goes to support eurythmist Mary Ruud

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Dear Friends – Please join us for : An Open Conversation with John Bloom, our new General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America

Sunday September 24th, 1 pm – 2:30 pm at the Rudolf Steiner Branch

All are Welcome to discuss the fate of the Branch Building, the Elderberries Initiative; the state of the Anthroposophical Society today; as well as explore how we can best serve the ‘Being of Chicago.’

John Bloom was appointed General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America in October 2016. He is Vice President, Organizational Culture at RSF Social Finance. As part of his work at RSF he has been developing and facilitating conversations and programs that address the intersection of money and spirit in personal and social transformation. He writes frequently for RSF’s Reimagine Money blog and has fostered collaborative dialogues on the challenging social aspects money. As part of his work he has helped develop awareness of issues of land and biodynamic agriculture across the US. John has written two books, The Genius of Money, and Inhabiting Interdependence, both published by SteinerBooks. He lives in San Francisco.

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Saturday September 30th 10:30 am – 4:30pm at the Theosophical Society 1926 N Main St, Wheaton, IL. 60187 – Pre-registration (630) 668-1571 

Come join our Experiential Workshop celebrating the Autumnal Equinox to prepare us for the journey into the dark of the year. We will look back to the fruits of the past, & prepare for what is coming toward us from the future. Our ancestors called this Sabbath – Harvest Home or Mabon. The Hebrew folk count this as part of the High Holy Days. In Greece & Rome it is dedicated to The Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter & Persephone.  Today, we are invited to stand with the powerful Archangel Micha-el, in balance, between the light & the dark, as we create the ‘festival of the future’, which we call ‘Michaelmas’. Forging confidence through Heart-Thinking, Michael strengthens our Will & reinforces our higher “I” so that we have the Courage to find the Spirit behind the living cosmos.

10:30am –The Eleusinian Mysteries, Art & Mythos

11 – Group Eurythmy with special guest Mary Ruud – ‘Song of Proserpine’ by Percy  Shelley

11:20 – Break

11:40 – The High Holy Days – ‘Atonement’ & a Sweet New Year

12pm – Ho‘oponopono an artistic Forgiveness Exercise

12:30 – 1:30 Picnic Lunch

1:30 –  ‘Mabon’ Harvest Home Fest

1:45 – Circle of Intuition: Questions as we go into the Dark of the Year

2:15 – Break

2:30 –Michaelmas, The festival of the future NOW,  Art & Leading Thoughts

3:30 – Iron Rod Eurythmy with special guest Mary Ruud

4  – Open Conversation – 4:30 pm – Close

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg – is a Spiritual Midwife, and Trans-denominational Minister, working in an eclectic style that inspires connections – initiating us into the magic, waiting to be revealed, in the cycle of the seasons.   Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, and the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society. Founder of Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy Through the Rhythms of the Year

 

Midsummer Mysteries

20 June 2017 – Astro-Weather: This is “Midsummer’s Night,” the Longest dayshortest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Astronomical summer begins at the solstice, 11:24 pm CDT.

The term “Midsummer’s Night” is left over from when the seasons were commonly defined as beginning & ending around the cross-quarter days.

Summer Solstice comes at the precise moment when the Sun’s power is at its peak. Solstice means ‘sun stands still’, & it is the longest day of the year.

But as we all know, what goes up, must come down, & so after ‘standing still’ for 3 days, the Sun begins to wane…& the journey into the harvest season begins. After the expansive outbreath we must begin the conscious in-breath – this is the celebration of St. Johns- Tide.

But before we ‘decrease’, as John the Baptist did, we can recall that ‘Midsummer’ has always been an important Solar event throughout the evolution of humankind. The axis of Stonehenge, & The Temple of the Sun in Mexico, are both oriented in the direction of the Midsummer sunrise.

Salvine Malkel

Even our dear Shakespeare knew that Midsummer’s eve is a magical time, when we can see beyond the sense world to  communicate with the plant & faeiry spirits.

Megan Dally

It is after all the time of the herb harvest, all plants gathered around this time, especially on this the shortest night are considered exceptionally potent for healing & ritual purposes.

This is traditionally the time when the herb St. John’ wort reaches its full potency & since it is a solar herb, it is used to bring the power of the Sun to people who suffer from depression.

The wise women of old would place St. John’s Wort & other healing herbs around the home for protection as they dried;  They threw the stalks into the Midsummer bonfire, & when the coals had cooled down the ashes were mixed with water & sprinkled on the fields, the 4 corners of the home & the on the head & feet of the children.

Royal fern seeds gathered at midnight on the eve were said to make you invisible. Rub the blossoms on your eyelids to see the wee folk which will also make you wealthy & wise; but be sure & carry a bit of rue in your pocket or you might be ‘pixie-led’. Can’t find the rue, then turn your clothes inside out & follow the old ‘Ley-Lines’, which will keep you from getting lost in faeiry land.

Divination on matters of love are especially powerful on Midsummer’s Eve; young women around the globe place yarrow or other herbs & flowers native to their part of the world peaking at this time, under their pillows, to dream of their future mates.

Sally Gelder

The ancient Druids celebrated the Summer Solstice as the Wedding of Heaven & Earth. The Goddess manifests as Mother Earth & the God, as the Sun King.

Raphael

This quarter day is also called St. John’s Eve by the church, for they knew that John the Baptist was born around the Summer Solstice, 6 months earlier than Jesus, who was born at Winter Solstice.

Chris Manvell

Plant Spirits, Faeiry Folk, thank you for sharing your gifts, continue to teach us how to live in harmony with the essence of your healing magic.

But remember dear sisters & brothers, that at the zenith of the Sun’s climb skyward, the brightest light casts the deepest shadow, so let us gather to bring the sacred Elements of Life into balance, as we celebrate the powers of Midsummer.

Dawn will come soon enough — when you’ll see Venus over the crescent Moon. Although Venus reached her greatest elongation from the Sun earlier this month, she now rises earlier, shortly after 2 am & climbs higher in the east before dawn, to stand above the horizon an hour before sunrise. It’s hard to mistake the inner planet for anything else —The Goddess of Love shines brighter than any other point of light in the sky. And this morning, you’ll see it paired with a lovely crescent Moon, to Venus’ right.

See you in the Sun

xox

~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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Chris Manvell

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

453 – Rome & the Goths defeat Attila the Hun at Catalunian Palins

935 – Birthday of Pope Sylvester , originally known as Gerbert of Aurillac. He was a prolific scholar & teacher. He endorsed & promoted study of Arab & Greco-Roman arithmetic, mathematics, & astronomy, reintroducing to Europe the abacus & armillary sphere, which had been lost to Latin (though not Byzantine) Europe since the end of the Greco-Roman era. He is said to be the first to introduce in Europe the decimal numeral system using Arabic numerals. He was the first French Pope.

According to the legend, Gerbert, while studying mathematics & astrology in the Muslim cities of Córdoba & Seville, was accused of having learned sorcery. Gerbert was supposed to be in possession of a book of spells stolen from an Arab philosopher in Spain. Gerbert fled, pursued by the victim, who could trace the thief by the stars, but Gerbert was aware of the pursuit, & hid hanging from a wooden bridge, where, suspended between heaven & earth, he was invisible to the magician.

Gerbert was supposed to have built a kind of robot head. This “Brazen” head would answer his questions with “yes” or “no”. He was also reputed to have had a pact with a female demon called Meridiana, who had appeared after he had been rejected by his earthly love, & with whose help he managed to ascend to the papal throne (another legend tells that he won the papacy playing dice with the Devil).

According to the legend, Meridiana (or the bronze head) told Gerbert that if he should ever read a mass in Jerusalem, the Devil would come for him. Gerbert then cancelled a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but when he read mass in the church Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (“Holy Cross of Jerusalem”) in Rome, he became sick soon afterwards &, dying, he asked his cardinals to cut up his body & scatter it across the city. In another version, he was even attacked by the Devil while he was reading the Mass, & the Devil mutilated him & gave his gouged-out eyes to demons to play with in the Church. Repenting, Sylvester II then cut off his hand & his tongue.

The inscription on Gerbert’s tomb reads in part Iste locus Silvestris membra sepulti venturo Domino conferet ad sonitum (“This place will yield to the sound [of the last trumpet] the limbs of buried Sylvester II, at the advent of the Lord”, mis-read as “will make a sound”) & has given rise to the curious legend that his bones will rattle in that tomb just before the death of a Pope.

1819 –It is the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrives at Liverpool, United Kingdom.

1877 – Alexander Graham Bell installs the world’s first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

1887 – Victoria Terminus, the busiest railway station in India, opens in Bombay

1943 – The Detroit race riot breaks out and continues for three more days

1970 – Deathday of Herbert Hahn, an anthroposopher who joined the society in 1912.  In 1919 he was called by Rudolf Steiner to teach at the first Waldorf School in Stuttart, becoming a Class Teacher between 1921 & 1927 & finally History & German language teacher in the high school. Steiner entrusted him with the task of giving “free religion lessons” (for those children who did not belong to any of the denominations) & within this context he held the first “Sunday Service” in 1920. From 1931 until 1939 he taught at the Vrije School in The Hague.

During WW II he was deployed as interpreter. In 1943 he married his teaching colleague Maria Uhland. After the war, he returned to the Stuttgart Waldorf School, re-founded after the Nazi period & served as its unofficial director until his retirement in 1961.

Of his numerous works as an author especially his recollections of Rudolf Steiner, & his main work, Vom Genius Europas, his outline of an anthroposophical cultural psychology, was ground breaking. He was also one of the founding members of the Esoteric Youth Circle.

Here is a quote about the circle by HH: “Among the many presentations Rudolf Steiner gave concerning our being in modern culture & the world civilization, one very earnest appeal rises up as special in my memory. Rudolf Steiner warned us not to build up our initiatives & activities, which are directed toward great goals, on forms that exist in the outer world & are created out of routine. He said that these forms had grown old & brittle; they cannot be saved from perishing. We must see that we achieve a new basis & ground upon which we can move, borne by the spirit.

This comment, like all of the others he made in connection with the foundation of the community, was brought into a very large perspective. The largest perspective that opened up may well have been, as he said in view of the future of the community: “When this is founded, then you can think of it as determined for a wide-reaching working. It could, for instance, be the case that, at a given time, none of the members of the community are living on Earth; in the ordinary sense, the community would count as having died out. Yet, it will not be wiped out. With the 1st community members who reincarnate, the community returns to Earth.”

The final comment given, answers in a totally satisfying manner, a question that was often asked by those joining the community later. The question was whether the Esoteric Youth Group were not to be considered dissolved by the Christmas Conference.

Aside from the fact that Rudolf Steiner again confirmed & gave the call to the community thru a new, essential meeting during the Christmas Conference, what was said above removes any doubt. The indication of the carrying of the community impulse thru the incarnations speaks for itself. More precise is the idea that the founding of the Esoteric Youth Group community in October 1922, may be considered to be one of the preparatory steps for the Christmas Conference of 1923. And still more certain is that this community is given an inner obligation for the carrying thru of the great impulse of the Christmas Conference”. ~Herbert Hahn, Copenhagen-Charlottenlund August 12-14, 1963

1990 – The 7.4 Mw Manjil–Rudbar earthquake hits northern Iran with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme), killing 35,000–50,000, & injuring 105,000

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Gallo Organico

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~I expand out
To my star-self
Like a wild reed
Brushing the clouds with seeds-
A solid stalk in the rising humidity
As light spews
Thru misting vapors
& the fruit of my striving ever ripens...

~hag

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Midsummer Mysteries:

“The teachers in the Mysteries said: “Every year at Midsummer, an offering must be made to the spiritual beings of the cosmos in gratitude for the thoughts they bestow on humanity; & for the gift from the Sun of our Higher “I”.  If we forget to give this recognition, if we forget that we are connected to source, it is all too easy for the Luciferic powers to invade our thinking & we are then permeated by these powers.

We can avoid this if, every Summer, we are mindful of how the Upper Gods have given us our altruistic thoughts & inspirations, & at the Midsummer season we let our thoughts flow back again, like a song of gratitude to the Gods.” In this way the folk of olden times tried to safeguard themselves from Luciferic influences.

The leaders of the Mysteries called together their pupils & enacted a fervent rite at the culmination of which the thoughts that had been revealed by the Upper Gods were now offered back up to them in upward-streaming feelings.

The external rite consisted in solemn words being spoken into the rising smoke of a bonfire, which then set the smoke into waves. This offering made by their inmost soul to the Upper Gods was being inscribed into an outer medium — the rising smoke — through form-creating words.

The words of the prayer inscribed into the rising smoke the feelings which the soul desired to send upwards to the Gods as an offering for the thoughts they had revealed.” ~Rudolf Steiner, The Spiritual Communion of Mankind  http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/19221223p01.html#sthash.wBDzuZDX.dpuf

“…Now, humanity must learn to know consciously the etheric & astral elements outside ourselves. This we can do only through the reverent deepening of spiritual science…This is what Anthroposophy intends when it speaks of a renewal of the festivals…

We must come once more to an inner understanding of what the cycle of the year can mean to humanity in this connection; it can then be something even loftier than it was for us long ago”…~Rudolf Steiner, The Cycle of the Year as Breathing-Process of the Earth http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA223/English/AP1984/19230403p01.html

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Greetings Friends – Have you ever wondered about the evolution of consciousness? Thru Spiritual Science we can understand how the ancient initiates worked. Thru an understanding of karma we can begin to realize that WE were those ancient people, & that our work today is to strive to bring the essence of these teachings into the renewed form of the New Mysteries with awakened consciousness.

Come join us in community as we put Anthroposophy into practice in the world

 Exploring the Mysteries of St John’s-Tide

Friday June 23rd 2017  – Zinniker Family Farm N 7399 Bowers Rd. Elkhorn, WI 53121

Family Friendly Pot Luck 6:30 pm – Bee & Stag Bon-fire & Drum Circle 8 pm

$10 – All Donations go to the Zinniker farm – Bring a folding-chair & your drum, shaker or music maker (or borrow one of ours)

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St. John’s Festival: Cosmic Rapture Grounded in Jubilant Hearts 

Understanding the evolving human consciousness, we move ecstatic-ritual into Heart-Thinking

SATURDAY June 24th 2017, 1 pm – 4 pm – at the Rudolf Steiner Branch 

Dulcimer – Dr. Elaine Wagner

Tone of the Day with original art (collaged slides) by Hazel Archer Ginsberg

To pass the test of Summer we will explore many questions:  

  • How do we stand wakefully within the sublime mysteries of the Summer-Tide, to consciously embody ‘the spiritual wisdom of the gods’?
  • Who is the ‘John’ of St. John’s-Tide?
  • What is the mystery of the Bee & Stag? The Dragon-fly, & other elemental beings?
  • Who is the mysterious Archangel of Summer?

Then we will work to strengthen our True “I” – Enlivening our Will Forces, with Social-Artistic Exercises:

  • In the ‘gallery’ with Karen Hartz, we will speak together the Calendar of the Soul, Verse #12 – the St John’s Mood
  • Render our impressions from the verse with pastels
  • View & discuss our impressions
  • Eurythmy, “I Think Speech” (and more if Elena Baba joins us!?!)
  • Thoughts on the Elementals of Summer
  • Questions to the Universe with Victoria Martin
  • Sing with Elisabeth Swisher
  • End with the last panel of the Foundation Stone
  • Refreshments

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Current Festival Events

Festival of United Soul Endeavor

Whitsun Verse by Rudolf Steiner:
There first
Where sense can know no more,
Stands the portal, which discloses
Life-reality
To Soul-being;
This portal’s key the Soul may fashion
If she herself grow strong within the strife
By World-Powers waged on their own ground
With human forces;
If of her own accord she puts to flight
The sleep, which at the frontier of her senses
Cloaks the forces of knowledge
In spirit-night. (Translated by Owen Barfield)

Kip Decker

Beloved Friends –

During our time together on this Whitsun day, we will work with the Whitsun imagination to creatively explore how we may engage in the lifting out of the ‘me’ into the ‘we’, out of opinion into wisdom; warming the I, to open the heart, in support of healthy community. We will endeavor to strengthen our individual soul forces to collectively open the portal into the Spirit worlds.

Leonor Fini

As Steiner’s Whitsun verse states: “This portal’s key the Soul may fashion If she herself grow strong within the strife” …  

We will create an Ecclesia, a vessel, a chalice, a sheath for the Spirit. Then the spirit flame can spread out to become what Steiner called a “World Whitsun”, which began in earnest at the Christmas conference, where the inverted Whitsun, was born, the idea of moving the spirit that has flowed through the head into the heart, transforming it into wisdom to redeem our intelligence, & then back out as a gift to humanity.

Iris Sullivan

Our work is to take our individual Inner Whitsun & expand it, into what Steiner calls the “World Festival of Knowledge” a path leading from ‘Spirit Recollection’, to ‘Spirit Sensing’, to ‘Spirit Beholding’.

In this sense the Christmas Conference, in all its spiritual reality reveals itself as the true Whitsun for  anthroposophers. Those who strive to take into their souls the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit concerning the human being – Anthropos-Sophia, which is the knowledge of the grail held aloft by Michael in this present age of the consciousness soul.

Let’s think about it. The foundation stone was formed by Rudolf Steiner at the Christmas conference out of the Father-forces rising from the depths, gravity, unconscious will, the Son-forces working in the periphery, warmth, creative love, & the Spirit-forces descending from the heights, consciousness, wisdom.

Thru Steiner’s profound mystery deed, an altogether new relationship of the macrocosmic forces working within man – the thoughts of the Spirit revealed in the human head, Christ working in the heart, & the will of the Father fulfilled in the deeds of the limbs, was made openly manifest.

David Newbatt

When Steiner took on the karma of the society he gave the Michaelic impulse the possibility of flowing directly into the earth sphere & into those active in the Anthroposophical society.

El Greco

Here we see a direct relationship with the original Pentecost, which was the 3rd & final stage of Christ, the Sun Being’s union with the stream of Earthly Being, & the mission of Anthroposophy, as the Proclamation of World Pentecost.

Larry Young

Yes, we live in a potent time, when divergent karmic streams have the possibility of coming together-‘That Good May Become,’ a time when, some say, the Platonist’s of the School of Chartres & the Aristotelian-Dominicans, The Arthur & Grail streams with true Rosicrucianism, meet the new Michaelic Grail imagination arising in the human soul. A renewed chalice whose substance is Love, whose form is Imagination & whose light of thought which radiates, is redeemed Michaelic Intelligence. This transforms the stone of the wise, into the dodecahedral foundation stone of love.

Sally Furner

For Michael frees thoughts from the realm of the head, opening a path to the heart, bringing forth that shining, raying-out of the divine chalice, that celestial light of redeemed intelligence, which like the radiance of the spiritual sun, can unite into a single whole the Spiritual substance of love & human love, in the Holy Grail that was set into our souls at the Christmas conference.  Calling ever & again for a renewal of the spiritual quest.

May this ‘Festival of United Soul Endeavor’ enkindle us in the true kinship of conscious community

with fellowship & love   ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

 

Current Festival Events

Destiny Unfurling

29 April 2017 – Astro-Weather: Venus revealing Herself as the morning star appears brilliant in the eastern sky from the time it rises around 3:30 am CDT, until close to sunrise 90 minutes later. She stands above the horizon 45 minutes before the Sun comes up.

Georges Rouault

Now the curve of the crescent Moon next to the horns of Taurus, Zeta & Beta Tauri, points down toward Aldebaran & Mars at dusk

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Feast Day of Saint Endelienta, a Cornish saint of the 5th century. She is believed to be a daughter of the Welsh King Brychan, & legend says that she was a goddaughter of King Arthur. She lived as a hermit at Trentinney where she subsisted on the milk of a cow

Giovanni di Paolo

1380 – Death Day of Catherine of Siena, Italian mystic, philosopher, a Scholastic philosopher & theologian & saint. She is believed to have had miraculous visions & felt herself to be united in marriage with Jesus.

Born as the Black Death-ravaged in Siena, Italy, to Lapa Piagenti, the daughter of a local poet, & Giacomo di Benincasa, a cloth dyer who ran his enterprise with the help of his sons. Lapa was about forty years old when she gave premature birth to twin daughters Catherine & Giovanna. She had already borne 22 children, but half of them had died. Giovanna was handed over to a wet-nurse & died soon after. Catherine was nursed by her mother & developed into a healthy child. She was two years old when Lapa had her 25th child, another daughter named Giovanna. As a child Catherine was so merry that the family gave her the pet name of “Euphrosyne”, which is Greek for “joy” & the name of an early Christian saint.

Catherine had her first vision of Christ when she was five or six years old: She & a brother were on the way home from visiting a married sister when she is said to have experienced a vision of Christ seated in glory with the Apostles Peter, Paul, & JohnAt age seven, Catherine vowed to give her whole life to God.

When Catherine was sixteen, her older sister Bonaventura died in childbirth; already anguished by this, Catherine soon learned that her parents wanted her to marry Bonaventura’s widower. She was absolutely opposed & started a massive fast, & cut off her long hair as a protest.

“Build a cell inside your mind, from which you can never flee.” In this inner cell she made her father into a representation of Christ, her mother into the Blessed Virgin Mary, & her brothers into the apostles. Serving them humbly became an opportunity for spiritual growth. She chose to live an active & prayerful life outside a convent’s walls following the model of the Dominicans. Eventually her father gave up & permitted her to live as she pleased.

Her custom of giving away clothing &food without asking anyone’s permission cost her family significantly, but she demanded nothing for herself.

In about 1368, age twenty-one, Catherine experienced what she described in her letters as a “Mystical Marriage” with Jesus. Catherine received, not the ring of gold & jewels that her biographer reports in his version, but the ring of Christ’s foreskin.” Catherine herself mentions the foreskin-as-wedding ring motif in one of her letters, equating the wedding ring of a virgin with a foreskin; she typically claimed that her own wedding ring to Christ was simply invisible

As social & political tensions mounted in Siena, Catherine found herself drawn to intervene in wider politics. She began travelling with her followers throughout northern & central Italy advocating reform of the clergy & advising people that repentance &renewal could be done through “the total love for God.” In Pisa, in 1375, she used what influence she had to sway that city & Lucca away from alliance with the anti-papal league whose force was gaining momentum & strength. It was in Pisa that she received the stigmata.

She received the Holy Eucharist almost daily. This extreme fasting appeared unhealthy in the eyes of the clergy & her own sisterhood. Her confessor ordered her to eat properly. But Catherine claimed that she was unable to, describing her inability to eat as an infermità (illness). From the beginning of 1380, Catherine could neither eat nor swallow water. On February 26 she lost the use of her legs. St Catherine died in Rome, on 29 April 1380, at the age of thirty-three, having suffered a stroke eight days earlier

Cover for Friedrich Schiller Play The Maid of Orleans

1429 – Joan of Arc – the Maid of Orléans, defeats the English which begins the process that ended with England’s complete expulsion from the continent.

It was necessary that the Maid of Orleans went through a kind of unaware initiation to fulfill her historical mission.

It concerned an initiation that could take place in the time of the thirteen nights between the 25th December and 6th January.

In the last time before birth the human being is especially accessible to unaware influences from the spiritual world.

On the 6th January the Maid of Orleans was born, to whom the Christ Impulse was implanted just before she saw the physical sunlight.

The Maid of Orleans intervened in the course of history in such a way that everything that happened later was determined through it.

The whole map of Europe would be different, also the spiritual life if the English had won.

The Maid was a servant of St. Michael. She was a warrior of his Will and brought this spiritual will to Earth by her determination and actions.

In the Central European civilisation were the springs for the whole spiritual culture of the future, the foundation of the ego-culture.

The human ego had to enkindle itself in the outside world, to be awake and realised internally. Thus the ego-culture of Central Europe was aroused from the objective events, the heroic sacrifices, that have brought the changes into etheric bodies and continue to do so, through the recorded memory.

It is necessary that, there would be souls, who send thoughts into the spiritual world like extending arms and bring down the consciousness from the spiritual world, souls conscious of spirit.

The proper purpose of all our endevours is to gain a living connection between the physical and spiritual worlds.

From the courage of the fighters,
From the blood of the battles,
From the grief of the bereaved,
From the nation’s sacrifices
Will grow up the fruits of spirit
If souls aware of spirit turn
Their senses to the spirit land.

~Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Science, a Necessity for the Present Time, The Relation of Man to his Folk Soul – Nuremberg, March 13, 1915, GA 159

“In order to throw a little light on the occult understanding of history, we may ask the question: What would the development of modern Europe have been if at the beginning of the 15th century the Maid of Orleans had not entered the arena of events? Anyone who thinks, even from an entirely external point of view, of the development that took place during this period, must say to himself: Suppose the deeds of the Maid of Orleans were erased from history … then, according to the knowledge obtainable from purely external historical research, one cannot but realise that without the working of higher, super-sensible Powers through the Maid of Orleans, the whole of France, indeed the whole of Europe in the 15th century, would have taken on an altogether different form. Everything in the impulses of will, in the physical brains of those times, was directed towards flooding all Europe with a general conception of the State which would have extinguished the folk-individualities and under this influence a very great deal of what has developed in Europe during the last centuries through the interplay of these folk-individualities would quite certainly have been impossible.

Imagine the deed of the Maid of Orleans blotted out from history, France abandoned to her fate without this intervention, and then ask: Without this deed, what would have become of France? And then think of the role played by France in the whole cultural life of humanity during the centuries following! Add to this the facts which cannot be refuted and are confirmed by actual documents concerning the mission of the Maid of Orleans. This young girl, certainly not highly educated even by the standards of her time, suddenly, before she is twenty years old, feels in the autumn of 1428 that spiritual Powers of the super-sensible worlds are speaking to her. True, she clothes these Powers in forms that are familiar to her, so that she is seeing them through the medium of her own mental images; but that does not do away with the reality of these Powers. Picture to yourselves that she knows that super-sensible Powers are guiding her will towards a definite point — I am speaking to begin with, not of what can be told about these facts from the Akasha Chronicle, but only of what is confirmed by documentary evidence.

We know that the Maid of Orleans confided her vision first of all to a relative who — one would almost say, by chance-happened to understand her; that after many vicissitudes and difficulties she was introduced to the Court of King Charles who, together with the whole French Army, had come to his wit’s end, as the saying goes. We know too, how after every conceivable obstacle had been put in her way, she finally recognised and went straight to the King, who was standing among such a crowd of people that no physical eye could have distinguished him. It is also known that at that moment she confided to him something— he wanted to test her by it — of which it can be said that it was known only to him and to the super-sensible worlds. You also know from ordinary history that it was she who, under the unceasing impulse and urge of her intense faith — it would be better to say, through her actual vision — and in face of the greatest difficulties, led the armies to victory and the King to his crowning.

Who intervened at that time in the course of history? — None other than Beings of higher Hierarchies! The Maid of Orleans was an outer Instrument of these Beings, and it was they who guided the deeds of history”.

~Rudolf Steiner, Occult History, Lecture 2, Stuttgart, 28th December 1910

1862 –The Capture of New Orleans by Union forces in the American Civil War

1899 – Birthday of Duke Ellington, American pianist, composer, & bandleader

1901 – Birthday of Hirohito, Japanese emperor

1910 – The Parliament of the United Kingdom passes the People’s Budget, the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of redistributing wealth among the British public

1945 –The German army in Italy unconditionally surrenders to the Allies.

1945 –Führerbunker: Adolf Hitler marries his longtime partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker they both commit suicide the following day

1945 – Dachau concentration camp is liberated by United States troops

1991 – A cyclone strikes the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 155 miles per hour killing at least 238,000 people &leaving as many as 10 million homeless

1991 – The 7.0 Mw earthquake affects Georgia with a maximum intensity killing 370 people

1992 –Riots in Los Angeles, following the acquittal of police officers charged with excessive force in the beating of Rodney King. Over the next three days 53 people are killed & hundreds of buildings are destroyed

***

Kathrine Walters

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~What mystery is unfolding
In the heart-fires we are holding
In our hand we our molding
A new destiny
~hag

Chrysalis

15 April 2017Holy Saturday

Fra Angelico.

Here is an Easter lecture I did a few years ago speaking to Holy Saturday & the “Harrowing of Hell” Encountering the Inner Layers of the Earth as a Rosicrucian Christian Initiation, in relation to the Beatitudes and the 9 fold human being.

The Day of Archangel Raphael

1452 – The Birthday of Leonardo da Vinci – According to the spiritual scientific research of Rudolf Steiner this individuality incarnated before as Augustine, Judas Maccabee & then as Judas Iscariot .

“What is inscribed in the Akasha Chronicle between the earth and the moon is of special importance because it is there that among other things all imperfections are recorded. It should be realized that the inscribing of these imperfections is governed by the view that every record there is of significance for the individual’s own evolution, either furthering or hindering his progress. Because it is there inscribed in the Akasha Chronicle between earth and moon, it also becomes significant for the evolution of the earth as a whole. The imperfections of really great men are also recorded in that sphere. One example of tremendous interest for clairvoyant observation is Leonardo da Vinci. He is a spirit of greatness and universality equaled by few others on earth, but compared with what he intended, his actual achievements in the external world in many respects remained incomplete. As a matter of fact, no man of similar eminence left as much uncompleted as Leonardo da Vinci. The consequence of this was that a colossal amount was inscribed by him in the Moon sphere, so much indeed that one is often bound to exclaim, “How could all that is inscribed there possibly have reached perfection on the earth!”

At this point I want to tell you of something that seemed to me quite significant when I was studying Leonardo da Vinci. I was to give a lecture about him in Berlin and a particular observation made in connection with him seemed to be extremely important. It fills one with sadness today to see on the wall of the Church of Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan the rapidly disappearing colors that now convey no more than a faint shadow of what the picture once was. If we remember that Leonardo took sixteen years to paint this picture, and think of how he painted it, we gain a definite impression. It is known that he would often go away for a long time. Then he would return to the picture, sit in front of it or many hours, make a few strokes with the brush and go off again. It is also known that many times he felt unable to express what he wished in the painting and suffered terrible fits of depression on this account. Now it happened that a new prior was appointed to the monastery at a time when Leonardo had already been working at the picture for many years. This prior was a pedantic and strict disciplinarian with little understanding of art. He asked impatiently why the painter could not finish the picture, reproached him for it and also complained to Duke Ludovico. The Duke repeated the complaint to Leonardo and he answered, “I do not know whether I shall ever be able to complete this picture. I have prototypes in life for all the figures except those of Judas and Christ. For them I have no models, although in the case of Judas, if no model turns up I can always take the prior. But for the Christ I have no prototype.” That, however, is digressing.

What I want to say is that when one looks today at the figure of Judas in the picture that has almost completely faded, a shadow is to be seen on this figure, a shadow that cannot be explained in any way, either by the instreaming light or by anything else. Occult investigation finds that the painting was never as Leonardo da Vinci really wanted it to be. With the exception of the figures of Judas and the Christ he wanted to portray everything through light and shadow, but Judas was to be portrayed in such a way as to give the impression that darkness dominated the countenance from within. This was not intended to be conveyed by external contrasts of light and shadows. In the figure of Christ the impression was to be that the light on His countenance was shining from within, radiating outwards from within. But at this point disharmony beset Leonardo’s inner life, and the effect he desired was never produced. This affords a clue when one is observing the many remaining inscriptions made by Leonardo in the Moon sphere. It is an example of something that could not be brought to fulfillment in the earth sphere.

When the period following that of Leonardo da Vinci is investigated, it is found that Leonardo continued to work through a number of those who lived after him. Even externally there can be found in Leonardo’s writings things that later on were demonstrated by scientists and also by artists. In fact, the whole subsequent period was under his influence. It is then discovered that the inscribed imperfections worked as inspirations into the souls of Leonardo’s successors, into the souls of men who lived after him.

The imperfections of an earlier epoch are still more important for the following epoch than its perfections. The perfections are there to be studied, but what has been elaborated to a certain degree of perfection on the earth has, as it were, reached an end, has come to a conclusion in evolution. What has not been perfected is the seed of the following divine evolutionary process. Here we come to a remarkable, magnificent paradox. The greatest blessing for a subsequent period is the fruitful imperfection, the fruitful, justifiable imperfection of an earlier period. What has been perfected in an earlier epoch is there to be enjoyed. Imperfection, however, imperfection originating in great men whose influences have remained for posterity, helps to promote creative activity in the following period. Hence, there is obviously tremendous wisdom in the fact that imperfections remain in the neighborhood of the earth, inscribed in the records of the Akasha Chronicle between earth and moon.

This brings us to the point where we can begin to understand the principle that perfection signifies for the different epochs the end of a stream of evolution, and imperfection, the beginning of an evolutionary stream. For imperfection in this sense men should actually be thankful to the gods.” ~Rudolf Steiner Life Between Death and Rebirth Man’s Journey through the Cosmic Spheres after Death

‘The Devil Presenting Saint Augustine with the Book of Vices’; painting by Michael Pacher, fifteenth century

Judah Maccabee by Arthur Szyk

“Among the five sons of Mattathias is one who is already called Judas in the Old Testament. He was the one who at that time fought more bravely than all the others for his own people. In his whole soul he was dedicated to his people, and it was he who was successful in forming an alliance with the Romans against King Antiochus of Syria (I Maccabees, Chap. 8). This Judas (Maccabeus =The Hammer) is the same who later had to undergo the test of the betrayal, because he who was most intimately bound up with the old specifically Hebrew element, could not at once find the transition into the Christian element, needing the severe testing of the betrayal. Again, if we look at the purely artistic aspect, how wonderfully do the two figures stand out: the grand figure of the Judas in the last chapters of the Old Testament and the Judas of the New Testament. It is remarkable that in this symptomatic process, the Judas of the Old Testament concluded an alliance with the Romans, prefiguring all that happened later, namely the path that Christianity took through the Roman Empire, so that it could enter into the world. If I could add to this something that can also be known but that cannot be given in a lecture to an audience as large as this, you would see that it was precisely through a later reincarnation of Judas that the fusion of the Roman with the Christian element occurred. The reincarnated Judas was the first who, as we might say, had the great success of spreading Romanized Christianity in the world. The treaty concluded by the Judas of the Old Testament with the Romans was the prophetic foreshadowing of what was later accomplished by another man, who is recognized by occultists as the reincarnation of that Judas who had to go through the severe soul-testing of the betrayal. What through his later influence appears as Christianity within Romanism and Romanism within Christianity is like a renewal of the alliance concluded between the Old Testament Judas and the Romans, but transferred into the spiritual.” ~Rudolf Steiner, Gospel of Mark: Lecture 2

“If we let his “Last Supper” work on us, we find two things of which we can say that they do not altogether agree with Leonardo’s view of the principles of painting. One is the figure of Judas. From the reproductions and also to a certain extent from the shadowy painting in Milan, one gets the impression that Judas is quite covered in shadow — he is quite dark. Now when we study how the light falls from the different sides, and how with regard to the other eleven disciples the lighting conditions are represented in the most wonderful manner in accordance with reality, nothing really explains the darkness on the face of Judas. Art can give us no answer as to the wherefore of this darkness. This is fairly clear as regards the Judas figure. If we now turn to the Christ Figure, approaching it not according to Spiritual Science but according to the external view, it only produces, as it were, something like a suggestion. Just as little as the blackness, the darkness of the Judas figure seems justifiable, just as little does the “sunniness” of the Christ Figure, standing out as it does from the other figures, seem to be justified, in this sense. We can understand the lighting of all the other countenances but not that of Judas nor that of Christ Jesus. Then, as if of itself, the idea comes into one’s mind: surely the painter has striven to make evident that in these two opposites, Jesus and Judas, light and darkness proceed not from outside but from within. He probably wished to make us realize that the light on the face of the Christ cannot be explained by the outer conditions of light, and yet we can believe that the Soul behind this Countenance is itself a light force, so that It can shine of Itself, in spite of the lighting conditions. In the same way the impression with respect to Judas, is, that this form itself conjures up a shadow which is not explained by the shadows around it.

This is, as already said, a hypothesis of Spiritual Science, but one that has developed in me in the course of many years and we may believe that the more we considered the problem the more we would find it substantiated. According to this hypothesis one can understand how Leonardo, who strove to be true to nature in all his work and study, worked with trembling brush to present a problem that could only be justified with respect to this one figure. We can then understand that he might well be bitterly disappointed, indubitably so, because it was impossible by means of the then existing art to bring this problem to expression with complete truthfulness and probability. Because he could not yet do what he wanted, he finally despaired of the possibility of its execution and had to leave a picture behind him which still did not satisfy him, and the question as to the feelings with which Leonardo left his picture can be answered in full accord with the whole figure and spiritual greatness of Leonardo. He left it with a feeling of bitterness, realizing that in his most important work he had set himself a task, the execution of which could never be satisfactory with the means available to man. If in the centuries to come no eye will see the picture Leonardo had conjured on to the wall at Milan — that, in any case, was certainly not what lived in his soul. If we picture him thus before his most important creation, we are indeed tempted to ask: What secret really lay behind this figure?”

“…We see very little of Leonardo by looking at his external creations; we get the idea that this soul has still to carry out something in a super-sensible existence and we say to ourselves: Oh! We understand! In order that this soul, in the whole course of its collective existence, which runs through many earth lives, could always reveal something to mankind, it had in its Leonardo existence to pass through a life in which it was only able to bring to expression the very smallest part of what lived within it. Such souls as Leonardo are world riddles and life riddles — world riddles incarnate… Leonardo’s greatness only becomes evident to us when we get an inkling of what he could NOT accomplish. ~RS, Leonardo da Vinci – His Spiritual and Intellectual Greatness At the Turning Point of the New Age

 

“When we ourselves penetrate into the spiritual worlds and come to know something about the life there, we encounter conditions altogether different from those prevailing in physical life on earth. That is why it is so very difficult to describe these conditions in terms of human words and human thoughts. Any attempt to speak concretely about them often seems paradoxical.

To take one example only, I am able to tell you of a human soul after death together with whom it was possible — because of his special knowledge — to make certain discoveries in the spiritual world about the great painter Leonardo da Vinci, particularly about his famous picture of the Last Supper, in Milan. When one investigates a spiritual fact in association with such a soul, this soul is able to indicate many things which ordinary clairvoyance might not otherwise have found in the Akasha Chronicle. The soul in the spiritual world is able to point them out, but can do so only if there is some understanding of what this soul is trying to convey. Something very noteworthy then comes to light.

Suppose that in company with such a soul one is investigating how Leonardo da Vinci created his famous picture. Today the picture is hardly more than a few patches of colour. But in the Akasha Chronicle one can watch Leonardo as he painted, one can see what the picture was once like — although this is not an easy thing to do. When the investigation is carried on in company with a soul who is not incarnate but has some connection with Leonardo da Vinci and his painting, one perceives that this soul is showing one certain things — for example, the faces of Christ and of Judas as they actually were in the picture. But one perceives, too, that the soul could not reveal this unless at the moment when it is being revealed there is understanding in the soul of the living investigator. This is a sine qua non. And only at the moment when the soul of the living investigator is receptive to what is being disclosed does the discarnate soul itself learn to understand what is otherwise merely vision. To speak figuratively. — After something has been experienced together with such a soul — something that can be experienced only in the way described — this soul says to one: You have brought me to the picture and I feel the urge to look at it with you. (The soul of the dead says this to the living investigator because of the latter’s desire to investigate the picture.) Numerous experiences then arise. But a moment comes when the discarnate soul is either suddenly absent or says that it must depart. In the case of which I have just told you, the discarnate soul said: Up to now the soul of Leonardo da Vinci regarded with approval what was being done, but does not now desire the investigation to continue.” ~Rudolf Steiner, Links Between the Living and the Dead

***

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~I make my changes in secret
Like an insect in its chrysalis
Like a lead mountain into gold
The mummy molding into ripeness
Sanity staring into madness…
My transformation is
Mind, will, purpose & desire directed by love…
I die to let the visible become invisible…
~hag

***

Holy Saturday From Emil Bock’s “The 3 Years John 19: 28-42

«The body of Christ has been laid in the tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. Saturnine heaviness hangs in the air and the meaning of Saturn’s day is fulfilled. It has been the custom of the Sabbath, as Saturn’s day, for the adherents of the Old Covenant to observe it as a strictly ordained day of death-like rest. Today is the Sabbath of all Sabbaths. It is as though a fighter had gone into a dark cavern to overcome a dragon. Will he return victoriously to the light of day? In the dark midday hour of the previous day, when Christ on the Cross bowed His head and expired, the veil of the Temple “was rent in twain”. Vistas were opened into the interior of the world. Archetypal pictures formed themselves in the Saturnine twilight. Table and Cross summarize the events of the last two days. Now the Tomb is added as a third archetypal symbol. From times immemorial tombs also served as altars; all divine worship proceeded originally from the worship of the dead. People went to the tombs when they wanted to commune with the gods. The souls of the departed were intermediaries between men and the gods, for since the souls of the dead could appear at the tombs, other dwellers in the spiritual world could also be met there. This was so in far-distant ages, when Death was still the brother of Sleep and as yet had no terrifying power over mankind. Men were not so hopelessly bound to the substance of the earthly body during physical life. So after death they were not so separated from the plane of Earth. The communion of the earthly world with the spiritual world still happened like breathing in and breathing out.

In the course of millennia Man entered deeper and deeper into embodiment. The more he united with earthly substance, the less was it possible for him to remain in connection with the earth after death. The gap between “here and “there” became increasingly difficult to bridge. Existence after death became, as is said in the First Epistle of St. Peter, a prison. Humanity was in danger of being deprived of immortality, of consciousness enduring beyond death. In the realm of the dead the souls were spellbound in a state of numbness. When the Egyptians mummified their dead and prayed before the embalmed bodies, they expressed their urgent desire to hold fast to ancient conditions. It was an attempt, despite the ever-widening gulf, to unite the souls of men with the bodily remains of earthly life. But the downward trend of destiny could not be checked, and as the pre-Christian centuries advanced, dread of death took hold of mankind. The Greek world is filled with horror of the realm of the death; in the Old Testament the idea of immortality fades away altogether. A great religious current arose without a certainty of immortal life, and the belief of living on in one’s descendants took its place.

Yet in the pre-Christian centuries souls did not live nearly so heavily in the body as they do today. Hence those living on Earth felt the tragic fate brought on by death as an oppressive burden. Though people still went to the tombs, the souls no longer came, and the Gods were absent from the altars. The feeling of anxiety in pre-Christian times derived far less from external conditions than from distress of soul. The Earth seemed a dried up land that had had no rain for a long time. Death became a terrifying spectre. This feeling lay at the root of the expectation of the Messiah which inspired all the peoples of pre-Christian times.

It was now between Holy Saturday and Easter. The body had been taken from the cross and laid in the grave. Providence ordained that cross and grave should stand on a spot which thousands of years before had been experienced as the centre of the Earth. Between the rocky hill of Golgotha, which is a continuation of the lunar Mount Moriah, and the grave with its surrounding garden on Mount Zion, there was formerly a primary fissure in the Earth’s surface. Ancient Humanity saw in this the grave of Adam: here for the first time mankind was overcome by death. And so from very ancient times this primeval gorge, which splits Jerusalem into two parts, was believed to be the gate of the Underworld. In this place the cross was erected yesterday and there to-day the sepulcher stands.

When now we try once more to find the inner aspect of events, it is as though the veil were rent before another sphere. The realm of the shades opens. In the Saturnine darkness of this sphere an unexpected light is kindled. He who died upon the Cross has entered the Kingdom of the Dead. One has come Who is not subject to the magic compulsion of death, One who is free of all that dulls and deadens. He carries through death the full Glory of His Genius; and while on Earth the dark Sabbath of the grave prevails, in the realm of the dead the Sun rises. This is the meaning of Christ Descent into Hell. In the kingdom of the departed a glimmer of hope lit up. The spell of death was loosened, and the prospect opened towards a future victory of the human soul over the spell of the underworld. While it was still Holy Saturday on Earth, it was already Easter in the Kingdom of the Dead.

At the moment of Christ’s death on Good Friday the earthquake began and it was still rumbling in the early hours of Easter morning. It did not cease fully all through Holy Saturday, though the powers of nature may have adapted themselves to the spell of the silence of the grave which belongs to this day. Rudolf Steiner has imparted from his spiritual investigations a certain fact which may be hard to accept, but which could be verified from a knowledge of the geological secrets which lie in the soil of Jerusalem. As a cosmic climax to the Mystery of Golgotha, the earthquake tore open again the original fissure which had been filled up in the time of Solomon. And thus the whole Earth became the grave of the Christ. The Earth took deep into herself the Host that was administered to her. When with the words of the Creed as it is used in the Christian Community, we express the event of Holy Saturday, “He was lowered into the grave of the Earth”, we touch upon the cosmic aspect of the Mystery of Golgotha. It was the physical body and the physical blood of the human being, Jesus of Nazareth, which was the medicine received by the Earth. The sacramental stream which has gone through humanity henceforward is linked to Easter.

It has been a right and valid principle that in all parts of the Christian Church altars have been formed in the likeness of a tomb. Also the altars of the renewed Sacrament in the Christian Community have the form of a tomb. And when the members of the congregation are assembled round them, the principle of Holy Saturday is always present. We are the ones waiting round the sacred sepulchre, and at the Table and Tomb of the Lord our dead can also draw near again. Those who have inwardly united themselves in life with the renewed Sacrament can assuredly after death find their way to this Tomb more easily than to their own graves. Souls no longer have any intensive relation to the cast-off body. But when we are assembled round the altar, they can be in our midst, and thereby strengthen our relationship to the spiritual world. The new altars are surrounded with the same play of archetypal pictures as was once the grave in the precincts of the garden on Mount Zion. The gulf is closed between this world and the other. The Easter garden begins to bloom in which our soul, like Mary Magdalene, can behold the Risen One as the Gardener of a New World. The darkness of Saturn is lit up from within by the Sun of Easter.»

***

Our Easter-Tide Festival for 2017: 

15 April 2017, Holy Saturday –  
‘The Mystery of Golgotha – Then & Now’
2 pm – 4 pm

What was the Mystery of Golgotha?
What is the Mystery now?
What will it be for the future?
~Art Projections & Discourse with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Group work: Based on Baruch Urieli’s
Learning to Experience the Etheric World,
Empathy, the After-Image and a New Social Ethic’

ALSO:  A sneak Preview of our New Art Exhibition by Victoria Martin “I” See Heaven”

$10 Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged

***

16 April 2017, Easter Sunday – 4 pm – 6 pm

The Midwest Eurythmy Group will perform
The Easter Verse from the Calendar of the Soul by Rudolf Steiner & Bach Fugue Bb minor ‘5 Voices’ & Prelude #22

Then we will explore The Calendar of the Soul Verse for SPRING thru focused discussion & in an Artistic Activity. We will end with Group Eurythmy.

$10 Donation goes to support the Midwest Eurythmy Group
& Snacks to Share Encouraged
(Hazel will bring her famous slow cooked leg of lamb :

at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP