Category Archives: Lecture

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

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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

 

 

Our Bones Grow Roots

14 April 2017 – Astro-Weather: Arcturus shines brightly in the east these evenings, well to the left or upper left of even brighter Jupiter (by about three fists at arm’s length). Arcturus forms the pointy end of a long, narrow kite asterism formed by the brightest stars of Bootes, the Cowherd.

 

Orion the Hunter stands out in the western sky as darkness falls this week. The conspicuous constellation appears slightly askew compared with its appearance in winter’s evening sky. Now, the three-star belt is aligned parallel to the horizon while blue-white Rigel hangs directly below the belt & ruddy Betelgeuse stands directly above.

Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun at 1 am CDT. From our earthly perspective, this means the distant planet lies behind the Sun & so is out of sight. Uranus will return to view in the morning sky in late May

***

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 

5th Night of Passover

 Arid Rosenkrutez

Good Friday 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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

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.

1561 – On 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

***

On Good Friday, 1857, Wagner was sitting in the Retreat, “the sanctuary on the green hill.” Looking out over the fields watching the plants come to life, sprouting from the earth, an inkling arose in him of the Power of the germinating force emerging from the earth in response to the rays of the sun: a driving force, a motivating force that permeates the whole world and lives in all beings; a force that must evolve, that cannot remain as it is; a force that, to reach higher stages, must pass through death. Watching the plants, he felt the force of sprouting life, and turning his gaze across the Lake of Zürich to the village; he contemplated the opposite idea, that of death — the two polar concepts to which Goethe gives such eloquent expression in his poem, Blessed Longing.

And until thou truly hast,
This dying and becoming,
Thou are but a troubled guest
O’er the dark earth roaming.

Goethe rewrote the words in his hymn to nature saying: “Nature invented death to have more life; only through death can she create a higher spiritual life.”

On Good Friday, as the symbol of death came before mankind in remembrance, Wagner sensed the connection between life, death and immortality. He felt a connection between the life sprouting from the earth and the Death on the Cross, the Death that is also the source of a Christian belief that life will ultimately be victorious over death, will become eternal life. Wagner sensed an inner connection between the sprouting life of spring and the Good Friday belief in Redemption, the belief that from Death on the Cross springs Eternal Life. This thought is the same as that contained in the Quest for the Holy Grail, where the chaste plant blossom, striving towards the sun, is contrasted with human desire filled nature. On the one hand Wagner recognized that human beings steeped in desires; on the other he looked towards a future ideal — the ideal that human beings shall attain a higher consciousness through overcoming their lower nature, shall attain a higher fructifying power, called forth by the Spirit.

Looking towards the Cross, Wagner saw the blood flowing from the Redeemer, the symbol of Redemption, being caught in the Grail Chalice. This picture, linked itself within him to the life awakening in nature. These thoughts were passing through Wagner’s soul on Good Friday, 1857. He jotted down a few words that later became the basis from which he created his magnificent Good Friday drama. He wrote: “The blossoming plant springs from death; eternal life springs from the Death of Christ.” At that moment Wagner had an inner awareness of the Spirit behind all things, of the Spirit victorious over death.

For a time other creative ideas pushed those concerned with Parsifal into the Background. They came to the fore once more near the end of his life, when, clearer than before, they conveyed to him a person’s path of knowledge. Wagner portrayed the path to the Holy Grail to show the cleansing of a human beings’ desire nature. As an ideal this is depicted as a pure holy chalice whose image is the plant calyx’s chaste fructification to new creation by the sunbeam, the holy lance of love. The sunbeam enters matter as Amfortas’ lance enters sinful blood. But there the result is suffering and death. The path to the Holy Grail is portrayed as a cleansing of the sinful blood of lower desires till, on a higher level, it is as pure and chaste as is the plant calyx in relation to the sunbeam. Only he who is pure in heart, unworldly, untouched by temptation, so that he approaches the Holy Grail as an “innocent fool” filled with questions of its secret, can discover the path.

Wagner’s Parsifal is born out of his mystical feeling for the Holy Grail. At one time he meant to incorporate the idea into his work Die Wibelungen, an historical account of the Middle Ages. He wanted to elevate the concept of Emperor by letting Barbarossa journey to the East in search of the original spirit of Christianity, thus combining the Parsifal legend with history of the Middle Ages. This idea led to his wonderful artistic interpretation of the Good Friday tradition, so that it can truly be said that Wagner has succeeded in bringing religion into art, in making art religious. 

In his artistic new creation of the Good Friday tradition, Wagner had the ingenious idea of combining the subject of faith with that of the Holy Grail. On the one hand stands the belief that mankind will be redeemed, and on the other, that through perfecting its nature humanity itself strives towards redemption; the belief that the Spirit permeating mankind — a drop of which lives in each individual as his higher self — in Christ Jesus foreshadowed humanity’s redemption. All this arose as an inner picture in Wagner’s mind already on that Good Friday in 1857 when he recognized the connection between the legend of Parsifal and Redemption through Christ Jesus.

We can begin to sense the presence of the Christ within mankind’s spiritual environment when, with sensitivity and understanding, we absorb the story of the Holy Grail. And it can deepen to concrete inner spiritual experience when we sense the transition from the midnight of Maundy Thursday — events of Maundy Thursday — to those of Good Friday, which symbolize the victory of nature’s resurrection.

Wagner’s Parsifal was inspired by the festival of Easter. He wanted new life to pour into the Christian festivals, which originally were established out of a deep understanding of nature. This can be seen especially in the case of the Easter festival, which was established when it was still known that the constellation of sun and moon affected human beings. Today people want Easter celebrated an an arbitrarily chosen date, which shows that the festival is no longer experienced as it was when there was still a feeling for the working of nature. When the spirit was regarded as a reality it was sensed in all things. If we could still sense what was bequeathed to us through traditions in regard to the festivals, then we would also have a feeling for how to celebrate Good Friday. Richard Wagner did have that feeling, just as he also perceived that the words of the Redeemer: “I am with you to the end of the world,” called human beings to follow the trail that led to the lofty ideal of the Holy Grail. Then people who lived the Truth would become redeemers.

Mankind is redeemed by the Redeemer. But Wagner adds the question: “When is the Redeemer redeemed?” He is redeemed when He abides in every human heart. As He has descended into the human heart, the human heart must ascend. Something of this was also felt by Wagner, for from the motif of faith he lets sound forth what is the mystical feeling of mankind in these beautiful words from Parsifal:

Greatest Healing Wonder
Redemption for the Redeemer!

These words truly show Wagner’s deep commitment to the highest ideal a person can set himself: to approach that Spiritual Power that came down to us and lives in our world. When we are worthy, we bring what resounds at the dose of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal: Redemption for the Redeemer” ~ Rudolf Steiner, Supersensible Knowledge, Lecture XII, Richard Wagner and Mysticism  From death comes life

From death comes life ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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Lucas Cranach the Elder

Good Friday From Emil Bock’s The 3 Years John 19: 1-27

As the “still” week really enters into stillness, the bearing of Jesus changes. His fiery fighting will is no longer evident. When between midnight and sunrise the band of soldiers’ lays hand upon Him Whom Judas has kissed, He does not oppose them. Rather, he opposes Peter who wants to fight for Him. Then he is seized by rough hands, dragged through the city, from one end to the other. He is apparently delivered, helpless, to those who scourge Him, press the crown of thorns on His brow, spit upon Him and strike Him in the face. The witnesses of the tragedy are overcome with anguish as He Who has no physical strength is forced to carry the heavy cross and is nailed upon it by the executioners with pitiless cruelty. What has become of the fighting power which blazed in Him during the week? Has He abandoned the battle against the blindness and wickedness of men? No – the fight which was waged on the human level on the previous days is now carried on in a higher sphere, and so takes on still more powerful dimensions. The Christ is not fighting against flesh and blood, but against the invisible demonic powers from whose tyranny He will deliver mankind.

He fights against the Luciferic powers, the glittering beings of deceptive light, who want to estrange man from the earth, and likewise against the Ahrimanic powers who want to harden and fetter man to death matter. As Christ seems to lay down the weapons, He is really following the satanic powers into their hiding – places in order to overcome them there.

Ahriman displays his power over men most triumphantly when he approaches in the form of death. In humanity’s evolution up to the “turning-point of time”, death which had formerly been a friend of man had taken on more and more the features of Ahriman. The dark power knew how to use man’s destiny of death to make it his sharpest weapon. The power of death is not only that we must die: it becomes really manifest only after death. When we have laid aside our earthly body it must then be proved whether we can still maintain a connection with what takes place on Earth among those whom we belong. Here lies death’s actual power – that it can wrest us from earthly things and thrust us out into the unbridgeable exile of life on the other side. The Ahrimanic power of death uses the Earth to mock at man. During earthly life it binds him to the world of matter; it makes all sorts of promises of earthly fulfillment, which are no longer kept after death. The more a man is attached to the things of “this side” during life, the more inexorably he is affected by “other-sidedness” after death. Only those people who have gained a firm foothold in the life of the Spirit during life on Earth can after death remain helpfully united with those who are still living on Earth. After death we have only as much spiritual command over matter as we have gained upon Earth.

When on Maundy Thursday Christ dispenses the Holy Supper to the disciples in the peace of the Coenaculum, there seems to be no conflict. And yet what a wonderful victory over the spirit of dead matter is shown when the Christ takes in His hand the earthly substances of bread and wine, and makes them luminous through the sun-force of His heart. He wrests the terrestrial creature from the powers of darkness and makes it the body and blood of His Being of Light. As He is able during His life to ensoul the earthly elements so that these become radiant, He will have all the more power to do so after death.

In Gethsemane the fight against the power of death enters a decisive phase. Here in the quiet grove of the Mount of Olives, where He has so often been with His disciples for intimate teaching, He must now withstand the most dangerous attack of the enemy in utmost loneliness. The Community which He has just established in the Upper Room for the future well-being of humanity does not bring help and benefit to Himself. The consciousness of the disciples has not grown to the greatness of the moment. Judas has gone out into the night of betrayal, but the others, too, leave their Master in the lurch. They are absorbed in the twilight of their sleep in Gethsemane, out of which Peter will deny Christ.

It is not inner weakness and fear of death with which Christ has to wrestle in Gethsemane. One could not misunderstand more tragically the whole Passion of Christ than by thinking that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane that He might still be spared from death. Not fear of death, but death itself assails Him. Death, already apprehensive of losing control over Him, appears before Him to lay hold of Him. The Destroying Angel wants to possess Him. The secret of the conflict in Gethsemane lies in the fact that death wants to outwit Jesus. It wants to wrest Him away too soon, before He has ended His work and filled the last vestige of the earthly vessel with His Spirit.

For three years the Fire of divine Ego-hood has burned in the body and soul of Jesus. The human vessel – from within outwards – has thus already been consumed almost to ashes. What still has to be suffered and completed demands so much strength from the earthly sheaths that there is a real danger of premature death. Ahriman lies in wait and hopes to make use of this moment. Luke, the physician, describes with precise words what happens, when he says “And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly”. In the clinical sense of the term, the death-struggle had already come. When St. Luke adds, “and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground”, he adds exact symptoms of the agony of death.

But Christ is victorious and death is repulsed. With the mightiest force of prayer ever known on Earth He wrestles to remain in the body. It is an echo of this fight when He speaks on the Cross the words that seem to betray a weakness: “I thirst”. He still remains, even immediately before He breathes out His soul, true to the Earth. It is not His will to pass into the spiritual world simply through dying. It is His will to remain united with the Earth when He goes through death and it is this that will be His conquest over death. He wrestles to enter still more deeply into the earthly world of matter which He bears in Himself through His physical body. There is still a last remnant to be ensouled. This, too, He will not abandon to the Prince of this World, who has begun to count on the material realm of the earthly as being in his possession once and for all.

The drama returns to human scenes and conditions. On the morning of Good Friday Christ confronts the whole of humanity, as represented by the three figures of Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod. Then the way leads up to Golgotha. Nails are driven by the soldiers into the hands and feet of the Christ, and it seems as though He allows everything to come about quite passively. In fact through the medicine of bitter pain, His inmost Being has gained the ultimate power of spirit over matter, so that Death can no longer claim Him. The Ahrimanic death-powers realize this, and appear for their last effort, furious that their might has been of no avail. When the sun is darkened during the sultry midday hours of Good Friday, it is as though the demon of the sun were straining to the utmost against the God of the sun. And when the earth is shaken by the earthquake, all the demons of the earth seem to storm forward in and endeavour to help the satanic death-power to victory. Anti-Christ moves the earthly elements and even the forces of the heavens. However, death can strip nothing from the sovereignty of Christ’s spirit, from His authority over all earth existence. It is in accord with His own will that the cosmic powers rise up in the hour of Golgotha. He has said to the officers in Gethsemane, “But this is the hour and the power of darkness” (Luke 22, 23).

In the midst of the darkness a Mystery was manifested on Golgotha which may be mentioned only with great reserve. The Body which hung on the Cross began to radiate light. In many country districts of Europe, in a field or at the roadside, one can find crucifixes with a gilded figure on a black wood cross. A momentous secret of Good Friday is living here in the naïve wisdom of folklore. A mysterious brilliance broke through the dreadful noonday light. The Sun of Christ revealed itself as the physical sun suffered eclipse. A ray of Easter already wove itself into the darkness of Good Friday.

The last of the Seven Words from the Cross, “It is finished,” does not refer to the sufferings which have been surmounted, but to the complete conquest over the power of death which has been achieved. Whereas death casts into the banishment of “the other side” the soul of a man whom it has mocked during his lifetime with the power of earthly matter, the Christ, in dying, goes directly to the Earth. The blood streams from His wounds; His soul goes with it into the body of the Earth. When blood streams out from a dying man, the blood and the soul go different ways; here the soul goes with the blood. Later, the body is lowered into the grave; the Earth opens in an earthquake and takes into itself the body of Christ. When a human body given up by the soul is lowered into the grave, body and soul go different ways. Christ’s soul goes the same way, to the Earth. That is the great cosmic sacrifice of Love which Christ is able to accomplish for the whole of earth-existence, because death can no longer hinder Him. The Earth receives the body and the blood of Christ, the great Communion, and therewith the medicine for the spiritualizing of all material existence is incorporated into Earth existence – “the medicine that maketh whole”.

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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

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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 with Karen Hartz. 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