Category Archives: Meditation

Thig an nathair as an toll

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

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

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


Darlene Davis

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day


Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary- The 40th day of the Christmas-Epiphany season, commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Joseph & Mary brought the child into the Temple, & when Simeon & Anna the prophetess, saw Him, they knew the prophesy of ‘The Chosen One’ had been fulfilled.

We see the connection between the Buddha & Jesus of Nazareth in the stories of Asita & Simeon. When Asita, the great Indian sage, saw Siddhartha as a young child, before he had reached Buddhahood, he was able to recognize what the child would become. It was Asita’s heart’s desire to see the Buddha before he died, so he wept because he was an old man & would not live to see him become the Buddha. This wise seer was then reborn in the time of Jesus as Simeon introduced in Luke 2:29-30 as the temple priest who waits for the Messiah. He recognizes the Buddha in the Nathan Jesus, so he praises god & says now he can die happy, having fulfilled his heart’s desire.

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


Imbolc – Among the Celts, the pagan celebration of Imbolc honors the Triple Goddess Brigid, associated with purification & the fires of the forge to call in the sun. Folks would carry torches & cross the fields in procession, praying to the goddess to purify the ground before planting.

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

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

Doris Planter

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

Crêpes with their round form & their golden color are made, reminiscent of the sun, an appropriate symbol during Candlemas, as this is the time of the year when the days get longer. It is also the time of year when the roots begin to stir.

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

Willa Frigit

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

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

Meditate upon what you would like to see grow in health & strength this year: for yourself, your family, your community, the Earth, & ask for Bride’s blessing upon your prayers.

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


Thesmophoria: The Festival of Persephone & Demeter – In addition, the Festa candelarum in Rome commemorated the search for the Goddess of Light Persephone, by her mother the Goddess of Life Demeter, kidnapped by the King of the Other World Hades,. The festival of candles symbolizes the return of the Light. The myths of Sleeping Beauty or Theseus & Ariadne, for example relate to the release or liberation of the light (Dawn of the year) by the “solar knight”.

Bart Linder

Feast of the Bear – From antiquity to the Middle Ages, bears were a cult symbol of the Germans, Scandinavians & the Celts. On this day they celebrated the end of hibernation. This was around the time when the bears would leave their dens to see if the weather was mild. For a long time, the Catholic Church sought to eradicate these pagan practices. To do this, it instituted the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple which is celebrated on February 2, which corresponds to the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. However, the celebrations of the bear & the return of the light continued, with bonfires & other torchlight processions. Pope Gelasius I in the fifth century therefore instituted the feast of candles, or Candlemas. From the twelfth to the eighteenth century, Candlemas was called “chandelours” which means bear in French, in many areas (including the Alps, Pyrenees, Ardennes) where the memory of the cult of the bear was still very present. There is also the Aosta Saint-Ours, & Saint Blaise (which means “bear”). Candlemas is also the beginning of the carnival period; the bear is the carnival animal par excellence.

 Gerbrand van den Eeckhout

Feast day of Cornelius a Roman centurion. He is depicted in the New Testament as a God-fearing man who always prayed & was full of good works & deeds.  Cornelius receives a vision in which an angel of God tells him that his prayers have been heard, he understands that he’s chosen for a higher alternative. The angel then instructs Cornelius to send the men of his household to Joppa, where they will find Simon Peter, who is residing with a tanner by the name of Simon (Acts 10:5ff).

The conversion of Cornelius comes after a separate vision given to Simon Peter (Acts 10:10–16) himself. In the vision, Simon Peter sees all manner of beasts & fowl being lowered from Heaven in a sheet. A voice commands Simon Peter to eat. When he objects to eating those animals that are unclean according to Mosaic Law, the voice tells him not to call unclean that which God has cleansed.

When Cornelius’ men arrive, Simon Peter understands that through this vision the Lord commanded the Apostle to preach the Word of God to the Gentiles. Peter accompanies Cornelius’ men back to Caesarea. When Cornelius meets Simon Peter, he falls at Peter’s feet. Simon Peter raises the centurion & the two men share their visions. Simon Peter tells of Jesus’ ministry & the Resurrection; the Holy Spirit descends on everyone at the gathering & they all begin speaking in tongues, praising God

1786 – Birthday of Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, a French mathematician, physicist & astronomer. Binet’s Formula expressing Fibonacci numbers in closed form is named in his honour.

Delphine Lebourgeois

1882 – Birthday of James Joyce, Irish novelist, short story writer, & poet

1971 – Idi Amin replaces President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda

1972 – The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest at Bloody Sunday

1976 – The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States & south-eastern Canada, killing 1,122

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


Shelby McQuilkin

POD (Poem Of the Day)

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


Devon Blake

Holy water…Sacred flame
Brigid we invoke your name
Bless my hands, my head, my heart
Source of healing, song & art.

I know, it’s easy to forget at this time of year when the skies are steel grey that stirring in the wind, is the spark of spring – waiting, to be ignited by the passion of our purpose…Can you feel the energy of the earth…Quickening…I feel it groaning & stretching in the earth of my body…Like a snake trying to shed its skin…I just want to be a molting bird…Dancing in the silent belly of February…

We know, She drums in the womb of her slumber…So much to do…So much to Be…Can you feel Her growing rhythms…Her song ever sung…‘Being is Becoming’…

 Keely Brinder

She…has many names…Today we call Her Brigid…Goddess of the forge, of creativity & poetry…Great Goddess of healing…whose feast-day marks the waxing light…called by some, Candlemas, others, groundhog’s day, still others, Imbolc…the lambing season…the time of year when the belly of the great mother quickens with the growing light…

Berttie Lyn

A time to purify & get fertile…So let’s, come together & charm the plow…Kiss the candle…& beat the drum to kindle, a need-fire…as a welcoming beacon…to call back, our dormant power…to heat up, our potential, & re-seed our creativity…as we add fuel to the fire of our community…One spark warms us all…A purifying fire, that burns clean & opens the way to the true power of love & light from deep within us…from the ancient & immortal tribes…from all the quarters of the cosmos…to come & warm our circle…to bring, their respected dimensions, into the eternity, of our circle, now…

Sulamith Wulfing

Our circle…which is open & ever changing…for we have a lot to honor in ourselves today…as we stand on the waning side of the full moon…Whispering the promise of passion like a communal chant that builds…Into the arrows of Eros, embracing our true heart in the eternal now of Valentine’s Day…And as we call in the Earth Dog of Chinese New Year February 16th 2018…

So, let us sing in the forces…Coming up from the center of our true free will, & call the power of our striving humanity into our rhythm of growing light…Together may we will thaw the winter & rouse the mysteries growing within…



Transient by Chris Bodame

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

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

The Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to join our ongoing study conversation. The study has been divided amongst five volunteers who will summarize their section to rebuild it as a foundation for our conversation. Please familiarize yourself with the lecture if possible so you will feel comfortable sharing your reflections and thoughts with the group.

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

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

Please join us!

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


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

unbound & beauteous

22 January 2018 – Astro-Weather: Orion is now high in the southeast right after dark.  Orion is the brightest of the 88 constellations, but his main pattern is surprisingly small compared to some of his dimmer neighbors. The biggest of these is Eridanus the River to his west, enormous but hard to trace. Dimmer Fornax the Furnace, to Eridanus’s lower right, is almost as big as Orion! Even the main pattern of Lepus, the Hare cowering under Orion’s feet, isn’t much smaller than he is.


Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day


1905 – Bloody Sunday in Saint Petersburg – unarmed demonstrators led by Father Georgy Gapon were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard as they marched towards the Winter Palace to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Bloody Sunday caused grave consequences for the Tsarist autocracy governing Imperial Russia: the events in St. Petersburg provoked public outrage and a series of massive strikes that spread quickly throughout the industrial centers of the Russian Empire. The massacre on Bloody Sunday is considered to be the start of the active phase of the Revolution of 1905. In addition these events became one of the key events which led to the Russian Revolution of 1917.

1561 – Birthday of Francis Bacon, English philosopher & politician, Attorney General for England and Wales. Rudolf Steiner speaks of him as Harun al Rashid in Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume I lecture 10:

When we learn to know the individuality of Haroun al Raschid inwardly in the astral light, as we say, when we have him before us as a spiritual individuality in the 9th century, bearing in mind what he was behind the scenes of world-history and when what he was had been unfolded on the surface with the brilliance of which I have told you — then we can follow the course of time and find such an individuality as Haroun al Raschid passing through death, looking down from the spiritual world upon what is happening on earth, looking down, that is to say, upon the outward extermination of Arabism and, in accordance with his destiny, being involved in the process. We find such an individuality passing through the spiritual world and appearing again, not perhaps with the same splendour, but with a similar trend of soul.

And so we see Haroun al Raschid appearing again in the history of European spiritual life as a personality who is once again of wide repute, namely, as Lord Bacon of Verulam. I have spoken of Lord Bacon in many different connections. All the driving power that was in Haroun al Raschid and was conveyed to those in his environment, this same impulse was imparted by Lord Bacon in a more abstract form — for he lived in the age of abstraction — to the various branches of knowledge. Haroun al Raschid was a universal spirit in the sense that he united specialists, so to speak, around him. Lord Bacon — he has of course his Inspirer behind him, but he is a fit subject to be so inspired — Lord Bacon is a personality who is also able to exercise a truly universal influence.

When with this knowledge of an historic karmic connection we turn to Bacon and his writings, we recognise why these writings have so little that is Christian about them and such a strong Arabic timbre. We discover the genuine Arabist trend in these writings of Lord Bacon. And many things too in regard to his character, which has been so. often impugned, will be explicable when we see in him the reincarnated Haroun al Raschid. The life and culture pursued at the Court of Haroun al Raschid, and justly admired by Charles the Great himself, become the abstract science of which Lord Bacon was the bearer. But men bowed before Lord Bacon too. And whoever studies the attitude adopted by European civilisation in the 8th/9th centuries to Haroun al Raschid, and then the attitude of European learning to Lord Bacon, will have the impression: men have turned round, that is all! In the days of Haroun al Raschid they looked towards the East; then they turned round in Middle Europe and looked towards the West, to Lord Bacon.

And so what may have disappeared, outwardly speaking, from history, is carried from age to age by human individualities themselves. Arabism seems to have disappeared; but it lives on, lives on in its fundamental trend. And just as the outer aspects of a human life differ from those of the foregoing life, so do the influences exercised by such a personality differ from age to age.

1729 – Birthday of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, German philosopher & author. Rudolf Steiner speaks about him at length in in Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume I lecture 11:

“.…At the close of his life Lessing wrote the remarkable essay, The Education of the Human Race, at the end of which, quite isolated, as it were, the idea of repeated earth-lives appears. The book shows how mankind goes through one epoch of development after another, and how the Gods gave into man’s hand as a first primer, so to speak, the Old Testament, and then as a second primer the New Testament, and how in the future a third book will come for the further education of the human race. And then all at once the essay is brought to a close with a brief presentation of the idea that man lives through repeated earth-lives. And there Lessing says, again in a way that is absolutely in accord with his character (I am not quoting the actual words, but this is the gist of it): Ought the idea of repeated earth-lives to seem so absurd, considering that it was present in very early times, when men had not yet been spoilt by school learning? The essay then ends with a genuine panegyric on repeated earth-lives, finishing with these beautiful words: “Is not all Eternity mine?”…”

1788 – Birthday of Lord Byron, English poet & playwright. In the same lecture that Rudolf Steiner speaks about Lessing, he also mentions Lord Byron. So interesting that they share the same birthday. Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume I lecture 11:

It was when, in another connection, I began to take a special interest in the life of Lord Byron. And at that same time I got to know some Byron enthusiasts. One of them was the poetess, Marie Eugenie delle Grazie, of whom I shall have much to say in my autobiography. During a certain period of her life she was a Byron enthusiast. Then there was another, a most remarkable personality, a strange mixture of all possible qualities — Eugen Heinrich Schmidt. Many of you who know something about the history of Anthroposophy will be familiar with his name…”

Gosta Adrian Nilsson


1849 – August Strindberg, Swedish novelist, poet, & playwright. Rudolf Steiner speaks of him as Julia, the daughter of Augustus in Karmic Relationships, Volume IV: Lecture II. So interesting that  Bacon, Lessing, Byron & Strindberg all share the same Birthday & were all researched by Rudolf Steiner, who looked into their former incarnations & reported this research in his Karmic Relationships lectures the focus of his life’s work right before he died.

This date was also the Deathday of Rudolf Steiner’s father Johann Steiner in 1910.


POD (Poem Of the Day)

~I greet teeth white with biting bitter heads…
Devour time, dear ally, to make my bread rise
& free my blood to be
Reborn of spirit unbound & beauteous...


Alfred Agache

The 3 Fates are celebrated & worshiped by many names, in many traditions: the Nordic Norns, the Greek Moirae, in Scandinavia we have the Wyrd Sisters, Wyrd=the Word, a prefiguring of The Logos. In mythology we hear about ‘the Daughters of Necessity’. In fairy tale we meet the Maiden Crones from Giant-Land. From Medieval Europe in Shakespeare’s Macbeth we have the 3 Witches, also called The Harsh Spinners. In the Judeo/Christian tradition this concept evolves into: Faith, Hope & Charity. In the Americas we see this image of the Triple Goddess, in a mountain in Oregon called the 3 Sisters, outpictured in the Native American legend of Squash, Corn & beans, the 3-sisters that work together to feed humanity. We will also look into what Spiritual Science reveals about the Sibyls…& so I invite you to come join us to receive the cyphers of their stories:

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


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 


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


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…


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.


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


 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

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?


Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 


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


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…



…’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


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.


 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


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


Debra Banke

POD (Poem Of the Day)

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


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


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


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


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