Category Archives: Meditation

The Power of Freedom Reborn

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

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

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

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Vladamir Kush

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

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

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

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

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

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Jim Leasure

POD (Poem Of the Day)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lazure Workshop with Nancy Melvin 

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

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

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

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

for more info. contact  Nancy Melvin

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

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

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

Come face the Fates & meet the Sibyls in the Light of Anthroposophy & ask: Does Fortune smile? Is Justice blind? How can I Co-Create with Destiny, to spin the thread of my life with integrity, to heal and clear the collective karma, & achieve my True Becoming?

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

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch

$60 nonmembers $50 members $70 at the door

Register here

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

The dark space between the stars

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

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

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~hag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Current Festival Events

The Watcher Awakes

5 December 2017 – Astro-Weather: Now the waning gibbous Moon doesn’t rise until well after dark. Look for Pollux to Her left, & Castor above Pollux. Later into the night, you’ll find Procyon rising farther to Bella Luna’s lower right.

Hans Feyerabend

Mars stands out in the southeastern sky before dawn this week. The Red Planet rises nearly four hours before the Sun as twilight starts to paint the sky. It resides among the background stars of Virgo, to the left of the Maiden’s brightest star, Spica. Notice the stark color contrast between the orange-red planet & the blue-white star.

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 Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

Barbara Lea

“HEALING WILL COME TO OUR AGE when the thoughts and ideas that are applied to social conditions and political life are in living contact with spiritual reality”. ~ Rudolf Steiner

 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Saint Nicholas’ Eve – Sinterklaas – a mythical figure with legendary, historical & folkloric origins based on Saint Nicholas. Other names for the figure include De Sint (“The Saint”), De Goede Sint (“The Good Saint”), & De Goedheiligman (“The Good Holy Man”) Sinterklaas is celebrated annually with the giving of gifts on 5 December, the night before the feast of Saint Nicholas – the primary source of the popular Christmas icon of Santa Claus

Antonio Molinari

Feast Day of Abigail (Hebrew: “my father’s joy”) the wife of Nabal; she became a wife of David after Nabal’s death (1 Samuel 25) She was the mother of Daniel. The Talmud regards her as one of the seven female prophets, the other six being Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Sarah, Huldah, & Esther.

304 – Deathday of Saint Crispina  – a martyr of Africa who suffered during the Diocletian persecution. She was born at Thagara (now an archaeological site in Tunisia near the town Taoura) in the Roman province of Africa. She died by beheading at Theveste, in Numidia. Crispina belonged to a distinguished family and was a wealthy matron with children. At the time of the persecution she was brought before the proconsul Annius Anullinus; on being ordered to sacrifice to the gods she declared she honoured only one God. Her head was shaved at the command of the judge, & she was exposed to public mockery, but she remained steadfast in the Faith & was not moved even by the tears of her children. When condemned to death, she thanked God & offered her head with joy for execution.

The Acts of her martyrdom, written not long after the event, form a valuable historical document of the period of the persecution. The day of St. Crispina’s death was observed in the time of Augustine of Hippo; in his sermons Augustine repeatedly mentions her name, as well known in Africa & worthy to be held in the same veneration as the names of Saint Agnes & St. Thecla.

400 – Deathday of Nicetas, a Greek philosopher of the Pythagorean School. He was born in Syracuse. Like his fellow Pythagoreans he believed that the daily movement of permanent stars was caused by the rotation of the Earth around its axis. Copernicus referred to him in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium as having been cited by Cicero as an ancient who also argued that the earth moved.

532 – Feast day of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified, a Cappadocian-Syrian monk, who lived mainly in Palaestina Prima. He was the founder of several monasteries, most notably the one known as Mar Saba. The Saint’s name is derived from Aramaic meaning “old man”. Journeying to Alexandria on military matters, his parents left their five-year-old son in the care of an uncle. When the boy reached eight years of age, he entered the nearby monastery of Bishop Flavian of Antioch. The gifted child quickly learned to read & became an expert on the Holy Scriptures. In vain did his parents urge Sabbas to return to the world & enter into marriage.

When he was seventeen years old he received monastic tonsure. After spending ten years at the monastery of Bishop Flavian, he went to Jerusalem, & from there to the monastery of Saint Euthymius the Great. But Euthymius sent Sabbas to Abba Theoctistus, the head of a nearby monastery with a strict cenobitic rule. Sabbas lived in obedience at this monastery until the age of thirty.

After the death of the Elder Theoctistus, his successor blessed Sabbas to seclude himself in a cave. On Saturdays, however, he left his hermitage & came to the monastery, where he participated in divine services & ate with the brethren. After a certain time Sabbas received permission not to leave his hermitage at all, & he lived in isolation in the cave for five years.

Euthymius attentively directed the life of the young monk, & seeing his spiritual maturity, he began to take him to the wilderness with him. They set out each January 14 & remained there until Palm Sunday. Euthymius called Sabbas a child-elder, & encouraged him to grow in the monastic virtues.

When Euthymius died (c. 473), Sabbas withdrew from the lavra (a cluster of cells or caves for hermits, with a church & a refectory at the center) & moved to a cave near the monastery of St. Gerasimus of Jordan. After several years, disciples began to gather around Sabbas, seeking the monastic life. As the number of monks increased, the Great Lavra sprang up.

Sabbas founded several more monasteries. It is claimed that many miracles took place through the prayers of Sabbas: at the lavra a spring of water welled up, during a time of drought they received abundant rain, & there were also healings of the sick & the possessed.

The relics of St. Sabbas were in the main church  of Mar Saba monastery, West Bank. They were taken by Crusaders in the 12th century & remained in Italy until Pope Paul VI returned them to the monastery in 1965 as a gesture of good will towards the Orthodox

1784 – Deathday of Phillis Wheatley, Senegal-born slave, American poet who wrote: His Excellency General Washington –

Celestial choir! enthron’d in realms of light,
Columbia’s scenes of glorious toils I write.
While freedom’s cause her anxious breast alarms,
She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms.
See mother earth her offspring’s fate bemoan,
And nations gaze at scenes before unknown!
See the bright beams of heaven’s revolving light
Involved in sorrows and the veil of night!

The Goddess comes, she moves divinely fair,
Olive and laurel binds Her golden hair:
Wherever shines this native of the skies,
Unnumber’d charms and recent graces rise.

Muse! Bow propitious while my pen relates
How pour her armies through a thousand gates,
As when Eolus heaven’s fair face deforms,
Enwrapp’d in tempest and a night of storms;
Astonish’d ocean feels the wild uproar,
The refluent surges beat the sounding shore;
Or think as leaves in Autumn’s golden reign,
Such, and so many, moves the warrior’s train.
In bright array they seek the work of war,
Where high unfurl’d the ensign waves in air.
Shall I to Washington their praise recite?
Enough thou know’st them in the fields of fight.
Thee, first in peace and honors—we demand
The grace and glory of thy martial band.
Fam’d for thy valour, for thy virtues more,
Hear every tongue thy guardian aid implore!

One century scarce perform’d its destined round,
When Gallic powers Columbia’s fury found;
And so may you, whoever dares disgrace
The land of freedom’s heaven-defended race!
Fix’d are the eyes of nations on the scales,
For in their hopes Columbia’s arm prevails.
Anon Britannia droops the pensive head,
While round increase the rising hills of dead.
Ah! Cruel blindness to Columbia’s state!
Lament thy thirst of boundless power too late.

Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side,
Thy ev’ry action let the Goddess guide.
A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine,
With gold unfading, WASHINGTON! Be thine.

1791 – Deathday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer & musician. Mozart’s final year

1848 – California Gold Rush: In a message to the United States Congress, U.S. President James K. Polk confirms that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California

1931 – Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow was destroyed by an order of Joseph Stalin

1932 – German-born Swiss physicist Albert Einstein is granted an American visa

1941 – World War II: Great Britain declares war on Finland, Hungary & Romania

1943 – World War II: Allied air forces begin attacking Germany’s secret weapons bases in Operation Crossbow

1952 – Great Smog: A cold fog descends upon London, combining with air pollution, killing at least 12,000

1955 – The American Federation of Labor & the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge to form the AFL–CIO

1955 –Rosa Parks lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott

1978 – The Soviet Union signs a “friendship treaty” with Afghanistan

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Debra Banke

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~That quivering star is Her blue eye
The watcher, awake in the darkening world…
~hag

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Blake Edwards

Beloved Friends – Let us take our circle into the secret reaches of our inner sanctum – To Penetrate to the heart of the core of the root – To Peer down through the cracks in the surface, all the way to the center – To Treat the darkness there, as the source, of light…a cleverly disguised treasure, waiting to be discovered, a repository of raw material that will fuel the fires of inspiration…a place where we can go to practice the high art of redemption…

Will we dare to be curious about the amazing sacraments that lie beneath the obvious questions – To open that mysterious door, that leads to the even more mysterious door, that will take us to the most private, yet inclusive, fertile oasis of all…As we aspire to wrestle tenderly with the unripe side of our nature, until it agrees to share its hidden treasures with the rest of us…

Then the immediate future, the eternal now, will bring cathartic revelations leading to spiritual orgasms & ingenious changes in the way we dance our life…

You are potentially a genius, we all are…Perhaps not in the same way that Einstein & Beethoven were, but still: We possess some brilliant capacity or set of skills that is exquisitely unique…We are a masterpiece unlike any other that has ever lived…& you know what?…The precise instructions we need to ripen into that glorious Genie have always been with us…The master plan…Our special mission…Our personal soul code…Our secret song, that says, it’s our birthright to dance daily with the Divine Intelligence…

We have the power & the privilege to ask ‘The Source’ very specific questions about what we need to do NOW in order to activate more of our soul’s code, & to then receive a very specific answer…

So what question will you ask the Divine Intelligence tonight, as you commune in the sacred dance of yourself? …

Breathe in the Q…Breathe out the answer…Open to receive it…Breathe in the Q… As you embody your answer in the healing moment of the now…

The Question is love & love is the answer…

Breathe in the Q…Breathe out the answer…

& as you let yourself hatch & become the answer…Just breathe & Be…

& slowly come, slowly come back into the body of this now…Breathe in the now…& begin to renew your connection to the circle…Bring your awareness back to the unity of your community…Come join the ring…with the milk & manna still lingering on our lips…Mingling with the salt of our skin…Ready to be turned into honey-mead…

We take the marriage feast back to the ring, into the circle that never stops…

Out into the world to feed our lives, with loves healing mystery…Grounded in every cell of our bodies…Connected to the stars in our eyes…Lived with every breath…As we take in the power we’ve raised here to fuel & feed our ‘Balance in Change’…

& so it is…Xox ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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A Pop Up Art Exhibition in the newly renovated Elderberries 3-Fold Space, 4251 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

Opening: Saturday December 9th 2017 – 2pm – 7pm 

“Trees and Water” – NEW Paintings by  Lisa Villa Moser

Closing Sunday December 10th Noon – 5pm

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Pop Up Christmas Mart

Sunday December 17th Noon till 9pm at the Elderberries Three-Fold Chicago space 4251 N. Lincoln Ave.

Locally Hand-Crafted items, Various Fair-Trade Wares, Health-Food Supplements, Baked Goods, Chili & HippocraTeas…

20 per cent of sales goes to help Elderberries at the Branch

In the evening the seniors from CWS will do performances to raise $ for their 12th grade trip…

Would you like to be a vender? contact Hazel@ReverseRitual.com

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Opening the Holy Nights: The Dream Song of Olaf Asteson with Mary Tom & Debbie Barford on Lyre

Tuesday December 26th 7 pm at the Branch

“Olaf Åsteson, Olaf the son of earth, experiences various secrets of the cosmic All whilst he is transported into the macrocosm during the thirteen shortest days. And the nordic legend which has recently been extricated from old accounts, tells of these experiences Olaf Asteson had between Christmas and New Year up till the 6th January. We often have reason to remember this former manner in which the microcosm took part in the macrocosm, and we can then take these things further. First of all, however, let us hear the legend of Olaf Asteson, the earth son, who during the time in which we are now, experienced the secrets of cosmic existence in his meeting with the earth spirit. Let us listen to these experiences.”

$10 donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged

Catherine Molland

Holy Nights Gatherings 2017-2018  

December 27th– 30th – 7 pm – 9 pm  $10

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

The Fairy-tale leads us to our true humanity, where great kingdoms preside within, filled with ancient forests, remote castles, giants, witches, lovers, dreams & visions of Star Beings & of the Earth Herself. Shepherded by Joen Dealande & a series of guest artists, we will use Drama, Eurythmy, Painting, Needle-Felting, & Sculpting, to live into the gesture of our Human karma & Destiny.

NYE Sunday December 31st (The 13th Hidden Holy Night) 8pm – 1am – Our annual Community NYE party with music by Jutta & the High Dukes, Lead Casting, Eurythmy, Crafting, Games & more TBA $20

 Ludwig Emil Grimm

January 2018, 1st – 4th from 7pm – 9 pm – The Fairy-Tale Trail Continues $10

Friday January 5th Eve of Epiphany (3 Kings) 7pm – 9 pm – A special 12th Night gathering, Performances & Eurythmy with Mary Rudd more TBA $10

All events at the Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

For more info. contact Hazel@ReverseRitual.com

I take the sword I was given & winnow well

20 November 2017 – Astro-Weather: While twilight is still bright, look low in the southwest for the waxing crescent Moon. Just left of baby Bella Luna is Saturn. About 30 minutes after sunset, hunt for Mercury below them.

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 Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

The best Anthroposophers are those who take what is said as a stimulus in the first place, and then place it at the service of life, so as to prove it by life itself.” ~Rudolf Steiner, ‘The Mission of the Folk Souls’ lecture 11

 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1805 – Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, premieres in Vienna.

1945 –Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals start at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg

1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis ends: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation

1910 – Deathday of Leo Tolstoy, Russian author & playwright

“In 1828, Leo Tolstoy is born in a family of Russian counts about which he himself says that the family immigrated originally from Germany. Then we see Tolstoy losing certain higher goods of life. Hardly he is one and a half years old, he loses the mother, the father in the ninth year. Then he grows up under the care of a relative who is, so to speak, the embodied love, and from her spiritual condition, the marvellous soul condition had to flow in his soul like by itself. However, on the other side, another relative who wants to build up him out of the viewpoints of her circles, out of the conditions of time as they formed in certain circles influences him. She is a person who is completely merged in the outward world activity which later became very odious to Tolstoy and against which he fought so hard. We see this personality striving from the outset to make Tolstoy a person “comme il faut,” a person who could treat his farmers in such a way, as it was necessary in those days, who should receive title, rank, dignity, and medals and should play a suitable role in the society.

Then we see Tolstoy coming to the university; he is a bad student as he absolutely thinks that everything that the professors say at the University of Kazan is nothing worth knowing. Only oriental languages can occupy him. In all other matters, he was not interested. Against it the comparison of a certain chapter of the code of Catherine the Great (1729–1796) with The Spirit of the Laws (1748) by Montesquieu (Charles de Secondat, Baron de M., 1689–1755) attracted him. Then he tries repeatedly to manage his estate, and we see him almost getting around to diving head first into the life of luxury of a man of his circles, diving head first into all possible vices and vanities of life. We see him becoming a gambler, gambling big sums away. However, he has hours within this life over and over again when his own activities disgust him, actually. We see him meeting peers as well as men of letters and leading a life, which he calls a worthless, even perishable one at moments of reflection. However, we also see — and this is important to him who looks with pleasure at the development of the soul where this development manifests in especially typical signs — particular peculiarities appearing with him in the development of his soul which can disclose us already in the earliest youth what is, actually, in this soul.

Thus, it is of immense significance, what a deep impression a certain event makes on Tolstoy at the age of eleven years. A friendly boy once told him that one has made an important discovery, a new invention. One has found — and a teacher has spoken in particular of the fact — that there is no God that this God is only an empty invention of many human beings, an empty picture of thought. Everything that one can know about the impression that this boy’s experience made on Tolstoy shows already how he absorbed it that in him a soul struggled striving for the highest summits of human existence.” ~ Rudolf Steiner, Where and How Does One Find the Spirit? Tolstoy and Carnegie, Berlin, 28th January, 1909

see also Origin and Goal of the Human Being, Lecture V, Theosophy and Tolstoy  

1976 – Deathday of Lili Kolisko, who developed the Capillary Dynamolisis method (Steigbildmethode), testing the idea that not only the moon, but the other planets as well, have an influence over earthly fluids. To test this, she dissolved metals classically associated to each planet & observed the pictures left by their absorption over a filter paper. She noticed consistent differences of the patterns according to the position of the planets in relation to sun & earth. Lilly Kolisko also worked on the development of a remedy for foot and mouth disease.

Lily Kolisko: Workings Of The Stars In Earthly Substances by Allan Balliett

Kolisko Agriculture of Tomorrow

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Peter Fich Christiansen

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~I take the sword I was given & winnow well

~hag

***

Trudy Wilde

Chicago in November –
Once upon an autumn day, cut thru with the thought of Winter, a little leaf was heard to sigh, as leaves often do when a blustery wind is swirling about. A nearby twig asked: “What is the matter, little leaf?” And the leaf said, “The wind just told me that one day it would pull me off & throw me down to die!”
 
The twig told this to the branch & the trunk told it to the bark, & when the roots heard it, the tall tree rustled all over, & sent back word to the leaf, “Do not be afraid, you shall not go until you want to.”
 
And so the leaf stopped sighing, but went on nestling & singing. Every time the wind spoke, the tree shook itself & stirred up all its leaves, the branches bobbed, the thin twig twittered, & the little leaf danced merrily up & down, as if nothing could ever pull it off. And so it was all thru the month of October. And then November came, & it grew colder still.
 
And as the outer light faded, the little leaf noticed that all the leaves around it became brighter. Some were yellow & some scarlet, & some striped with gold or curled with brown. The little leaf asked the tree what this change meant. And the tree said, “All these leaves are getting ready to fly away, & they have put on these beautiful colors to celebrate.”
 
Then the little leaf began to want to go, too, & grew very beautiful in thinking of it, & when it was bright orange, like the wings of a butterfly, it noticed that the branches that held it to the tree, had no color in them at all; & so the leaf said, “O branches, why are you so leaden-colored & we so golden?”
 
And the tree answered:“I must keep on my work-clothes, for my time has not yet come – but your clothes are for holiday, since your task is almost complete.”
 
Just then a stiff gust of wind came, & the leaf let go, without worry, & the wind took it up & turned it over & over, & whirled it like a spark of fire in the air…
 
& then it dropped gently down under the edge of the tree, among hundreds of other brightly colored leaves. There the little leaf lay dreaming of the sun & stars.
 
And when the child picked it up & held it to the light, it flew out again
& became the light.
 
~hag, adapted from a children’s story

Sir John Everett Millais

~hag

Orion’s Club

20 October 2017 – Astro-Weather: The modest Orionid meteor shower continues in the early-morning hours for the next couple of nights. The radiant point is near Orion’s Club, low in the east after midnight & high in the south by the beginning of dawn. The morning sky is free of moonlight, since Bella Luna is having Her monthly time in the Underworld. The Orionid Meteors Max Out Sunday Morning.

Look for Capella sparkling low in the northeast after dinnertime this week. Then find the 7 sisters of Pleiades in a cluster to its right by about three fists at arm’s length. They rise higher as evening grows late, harbingers of the cold months to come.

Upper right of Capella, & upper left of the Pleiades, the stars of Perseus stand astride the Milky Way. To the upper left of Perseus, the Milky Way runs through Cassiopeia.

 Ashee Brunson

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day – One of the many for today is : Dornach, 20 October 1917 – Excerpt from: Fall of the Spirits of Darkness LECTURE 10 – The Influence of the Backward Angels

The masses of humanity go through life as if asleep, without thought; they are completely unaware of what is going on in groups, some of them quite large, which may be right next door. Today, more than ever, people are much given up to illusion. Just consider the way in which many people keep saying today: ‘lt is amazing how effective modern communications are and how this brings people together!

I have spoken of this to show that it is entirely possible today for the mass of people to know nothing of radically new developments which are right on their doorstep.

The ahrimanic powers will also thrive if people nurture the elements which they desire to spread among people today: prejudice, ignorance and fear of the life of the spirit. There is no better way of encouraging them.

Just think how many people there are today who actually make it their business to foster prejudice, ignorance and fear of the spiritual powers.

So you see, the people who consider themselves to be the most enlightened today are living with entirely unrealistic ideas.

Since 1879 the situation is like this: people go to school and acquire scientific attitudes and thinking; their philosophy of life is then based on this scientific approach and they believe only the things which can be perceived in the world around us to be real, whilst everything else is purely imaginary. When people think like this, and infinitely many people do so today, Ahriman has the upper hand in the game and the ahrimanic powers are doing well. Who are these ahrimanic powers which have established their fortresses in human minds since 1879? They are certainly not human. They are angels, but they are backward angels, angels who are not following their proper course of evolution and therefore no longer know how to perform their proper function in the spiritual world that is next to our own. If they still knew how to do it, they would not have been cast down in 1879. They now want to perform their function with the aid of human brains. They are one level lower in human brains than they should be. ‘Monistic’ thinking, as it is called today, is not really done by humans. People often speak of the science of economics today, a science in which it was said at the time when the war started that it would be over in four months — I mentioned this again yesterday. When these things are said by scientists — it does not matter so much if people merely repeat them — they are the thoughts of angels who have made themselves at home in human heads. Yes, the human intellect is to be taken over more and more by such powers; they want to use it to bring their own lives to fruition. We cannot stand up to this by putting our heads in the sand like ostriches, but only by consciously entering into the experience. We cannot deal with this by not knowing what monists think, for example, but only by knowing it; we must also know that it is Ahriman science, the science of backward angels who infest human heads, and we must know about the truth and the reality.

It is indeed true, and initiates have always said so: ‘When human beings are filled with spiritual wisdom, these are great horrors of darkness for the ahrimanic powers and a consuming fire. It feels good to the ahrimanic angels to dwell in heads filled with ahrimanic science; but heads filled with spiritual wisdom are like a consuming fire and the horrors of darkness to them.’ If we consider this in all seriousness we can feel: filled with spiritual wisdom we go through the world in a way which allows us to establish the right relationship with the ahrimanic powers; doing the things we do in the light of this, we build a place for the consuming fire of sacrifice for the salvation of the world, the place where the terror of darkness radiates out over the harmful ahrimanic element.

Let those ideas and feelings enter into you! You will then be awake and see the things that go on in the world. ~Rudolf Steiner

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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1941 – Thousands of civilians in Kragujevac in German-occupied Serbia are murdered in the Kragujevac massacre

1944 – Liquefied natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland & then explodes; the explosion & resulting fire level 30 blocks & kill 130

1947 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevents some from working in the industry for years

1991 – A 6.8 Mw earthquake strikes the Uttarkashi region of India, killing more than 1,000 people

2011 – Libyan Civil War: National Transitional Council rebel forces capture ousted Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte & kill him shortly thereafter

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POD (Poem Of the Day)

~Today: call me Janus
I am where
I begin & begin again…
To my left stands She
Who is my great grandmothers song
To my right is She, who will be,
The aroma of my great granddaughters bread...
~hag

***

Autumn: A Guided Meditation

You float…you feel a gentle breeze began to dance you through the air like a leaf in the fall. This is a very comforting feeling, like being carried in your mother’s arms. There is no fear. You spin through the sky, flying over fields & forests…

As the wind gently releases, you slowly begin to sink down toward a wilderness of trees. Gently, Gently…You reach the ground landing on a well-trodden path.

You begin, now, to walk the path heading in a familiar direction. As you walk, you notice the 1st hint of color changing the trees…& the silence, broken only by the gentle breeze…the song of birds & other animals. Ahead of you, the path opens up to a larger area. You arrive at this place, & know that it is a Sacred Place.

It may be a grove, or a shady spot under a large tree. It may be a clearing, or a meadow. It may be a stone-circle, or a temple. However it appears to you, you know this is a Sacred Place, it feels safe & powerful.

Enter this Sacred Place…You may wish to remove your shoes because the ground is holy…You may wish to make an offering, or sing a blessing…As you enter this place, you see the bright figure of a woman ahead of you. She looks very familiar. She calls your name, & asks you to come forward. You are unable to make out her face, as she is engulfed in a brilliant glow. She leans forward; you close your eyes, & embrace. As you stand in the arms of this bright woman, she whispers a truth to you. It is a well-reasoned, logical truth. It may be something you already know, but are unaware of. It may be something which makes wonderful sense to you, & makes your mind open with wonder. It may be a mystical teaching which will require further thought. Whatever it may be, you know you are blessed by this amazing teaching…

Then the bright woman braids a chain of flowers into your hair…you touch your fingers to your head knowing your mind has been forever changed, opened, to all the possibilities of positive thinking that will transform your thoughts into things…

You spin with joy, noticing all at once, that the bright woman has vanished & now, standing before you, is a dark figure, looking strangely familiar. Again, you are unable to make out her face. But you notice she is carrying a bundle over her shoulder. She lays her burden down on the ground at your feet. The dark woman speaks to you, with a voice that resonates in a similar way as the first figure; yet deeper, more mellow & mysterious…She calls you by name, & asks you to come forward. You do so. You close your eyes, & embrace this dark woman…Your embrace is a full of compassion & warmth.

She gently whispers a truth in your ear. It is a truth which you feel is right. The truth touches your heart & frees your soul. You feel like a bird, soaring through the skies, singing a song of joy. When you open your eyes you become aware that the dark woman has vanished, & the bundle she was carrying & left at your feet has transformed into a large piece of rich honey-colored amber. You pick it up & hold it in your hand…the sun calls you to lift the amber up…bring it up into the light…let the sunshine merge with this solid symbol of your vitality…breathe in the pranic life-force emanating from your true purpose made manifest…

Put this treasure in your pocket, as you leave the Sacred Place…forever knowing that the sacred place goes where your intention flows…Knowing that union is possible between the many parts of our beings…walk in confidence… balanced in the light & dark of your most authentic self…walk the path toward the wilderness.

You pass the trees, & notice that the colors of their leaves are becoming more pronounced. You see the squirrels busy collecting nuts, & the birds beginning their southward journey. You pass the point where you began walking on this path.

You begin ascending a large hill. You walk upward…upward…up the hill, until you reach the top. There you find that you can see the surrounding countryside all around you. You have an amazing view of your Sacred Place. As you stand there in the sun, you feel your mind & body as it begins to change. Knowing in every cell of your being that we all sink into the earth like a seed in its season, released into the fertile earth. Feel the last wave of the Summer heat vanish, you are in a warm blanket of earth, waiting, listening, waiting…feeling the loving arms of Mother Earth transforming you…

Put on the colors of autumn, & feel the breezes washing you. A glad gust takes hold of you, & floating in the air, you dance away from the wilderness…away from the Sacred Place…Back to yourself. As the wind loosens its grip…you land, back into yourself, grounded, renewed & ready to walk the talk…Ready to Be…Ready to Begin, the labor of love, called your life…

See you there

xox

 ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

***

Gustav Klimt

an All Souls Festival & A Lecture by Andrei Onegin on occasion of The 100th Anniversary of The October Bolshevik Revolution

Sunday October 29th 2017 – Doors open at 1:30 pm – Program begins promptly at 2 pm

Hallelujah in Eurythmy for Cynthia Trevillion & all our Beloved across the Threshold 

Overcoming Human Instincts with the Help of Spiritual Science by Andrei Onegin

3 pm – break

3:30pm – a Bridging Between Life & Death from Soul to Soul

Group Eurythmy with Elena Baba

Circle of Remembrance

Artistic rendering of the Calendar of the Soul Verse #30

Questions to the Universe – A Social Exercise

Open Community Conversation – The idea was shared at our 1st ‘Open Conversation’ in Sept. to meet once a month, to share biographies of great Chicagoans & to further our connection the Elderberries Initiative.

Close – 5 pm, Snacks & Social Time

To Add Your Dearly Departed to the list of those to be Remembered, Please contact Hazel Archer-Ginsberg Hazel@ReverseRitual.com

$10 Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged – Feel free to bring pictures & memories to share

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All Souls Festival and Retreat
At the Minnesota Waldorf School in the Twin Cities, MN. 

Week-end Retreat including Festival
Fri, Nov 3 at 7:00 pm to Sunday, Nov 5 at 11:00 am

Cost $75 (registration required, click here)

Journey of the Soul Festival – Saturday, Nov 4 at 7:00 to 9:00 pm -Suggested Donation $10 at the door – All are welcome

Walk the pathway of our beloved across the threshold, being present for them, and preparing for our own journey.

Life after death
Life before birth
Only by knowing both
Do we know eternity
~ Rudolf Steiner

Culmination of “The Bridging Project: Between Life and Death from Soul to Sou

Sponsored by: Central Regional Council (CRC) and Twin Cities Branch of the Anthroposophical Society

Questions: Dennis Dietzel dennis.dietzel@gmail.com, Marianne Dietzel mariannemdietzel@gmail.com, Linda Bergh hellolindabergh@gmail.com