Category Archives: Soul to Soul

Elderberries in Chicago – Ceremony of the Desire of Birth

1st December 2017 – Astro-Weather: You can still catch Saturn & Mercury deep in the bright afterglow of sunset.

The waxing gibbous Moon shines in the east this evening. Look upper right of Bella Luna for the two brightest stars of Aries, left of Her for the little Pleiades cluster, & below the Pleiades for orange Aldebaran.

Mars meets Spica by Johnathon Hilton of the Astrosophy Center

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 Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1834 – Slavery is abolished in the Cape Colony in accordance with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

1862 – In his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.

1865 – Shaw University, the first historically black university in the southern United States, is founded in Raleigh, North Carolina.

1913 – The Buenos Aires Metro, the first underground railway system in the Southern Hemisphere and in Latin America, begins operation.

1913 – Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.

1919 – Lady Astor becomes the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom

1947 – Deathday of Aleister Crowley, an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, & mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life.

1952 – The New York Daily News reports the news of Christine Jorgensen, the first notable case of sex reassignment surgery.

1955 – American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man & is arrested for violating the city’s racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to that city’s bus boycott.

1958 – The Our Lady of the Angels School fire in Chicago kills 192 children & 23 nuns

1964 –President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.

1969 –The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II.

1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport, killing all 92 people on board.

1974 – Northwest Airlines Flight 6231, another Boeing 727, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing 92 people!

1981 – Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80, crashes in Corsica, killing all 180 people on board.

1984 – NASA conducts the Controlled Impact Demonstration, where an airliner is deliberately crashed in order to test technologies & gather data to ‘help improve survivability of crashes’.

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Sonya Treever

POD (Poem Of the day)

~Doves nest in my hair & spit fire from my head…
My heart beats like a bee tongue among the withered roses
As the Avatar winds of Sophia speak Wisdom into our bones
~hag

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When the Sun Moves Northward: Being a Treatise on the Six Sacred Months  ~Mabel Collins (edited with revised pronouns by hag)

In honor of the official signing of the lease with Elderberries Three-Fold Cafe in Chicago!

 

December: The Birth Month

December 1st: The Ceremony of Desire of Birth

 Karen Venter

The aspirant is aware that the human being is a part of Nature, & that the mysteries are revealed to us when we enter into the secret & sacred life of the heavens & the earth. For us the yearly season of material birth is preceded by the spiritual state of desire of birth. The ancients knew, what we must remember, that the sun must will to die, or lose his fertilizing energy, in the autumn & early winter, so that all Nature can begin life anew; & the month of December is devoted to the preparation for this fresh life.

The sun being is depicted at that period of the year as a little child. Humanity’s spiritual being is indissolubly associated with this little child, this light-bringer; & as the disciple attains consciousness they become aware of the mystic recurrence of that miracle which is described in the religions as birth, death, & resurrection. As they move up the steps of consciousness, they learn that the spiritual light-bearer must endure the martyrdom of crucifixion in time & space, & must descend into the tomb of matter. And as the Great Ones in their bright succession endure this, so must their followers.

Timothy Michael Foley

The yearly initiations begin with that desire of rebirth into matter which brings the human spirit into the condition of suffering under the rule of the pairs of opposites; heat & cold, pleasure & pain, love & hate, male & female – these opposing conditions assail us continually. It was the work of the Christ to show the meaning of the Cross, & to teach the great lesson of sacrifice which means that none shall seek Freedom till all are saved. He promised to remain with us always, renouncing His Nirvana until the end of the world, & dwelling with His beloved children – the publican & the sinner – in the mysterious inner places of consciousness.

 Annael A. Pavlova

And those who follow Him must do likewise, & must enter into the state of the desire of birth each year with a yearly increase of the will to help the world. Thus the desire changes its character by degrees, & becomes selfless instead of selfish. The soul of the human being & the soul of the world, the soul of Nature & of sub-Nature, all pass alike through the birth-throes.

Salvador Dali

In December, the birth month, there are seven great & vital Ceremonies, filling the whole month with their observances. The first is the Desire of Birth, the commencement of the mystic story. It is so remote from human & material life that it is impossible to describe it in human language. It is witnessed consciously only by the spiritual being before its descent into matter. The disciple who seeks to take part in it while living in the body, must endeavour to recall to their psychic memory the litany which they heard chanted in the spiritual sphere from which they came when they sought the experience of human life.

 Roku Sasaki

The Ceremony of the Desire of Birth lasts for four days & nights, beginning on 1st of December. During this time it is necessary for the disciple to contemplate all that is implied in its litany. At each midnight, & at the hour of dawn, we should meditate upon the words of the litany, endeavouring to obtain understanding in respect to them. They are very difficult & obscure, so much so as to seem meaningless in material life if tested only by the light of the intellect. But the disciple who desires to become a conscious part of the Divine whole, must enter into the life of the world at this sacred season, & apprehend from year to year more & more of the mystery of the divine life within our self, in union with the material.

LITANY for the Ceremony of the Desire of Birth:

  1. I desire birth.
  2. I am ready to be burned and consumed; for that is what birth is.
  3.  I am ready to be naked and unprotected, and to suffer from my nakedness; for that is what life is.
  4. I am ready to make the pilgrimage through matter in darkness and in fire,  so that the circle of the uncreated shall  become one with the circle of the created.

James Christensen

The ordeal of fire which comes upon the soul immediately that the desire for birth is experienced, & continues while the human being remains human, is the burning out & consuming of all alloy in the nature. When this is accomplished, the ego can effect the miracle of resurrection & rebirth into a higher state, & can begin to form a regenerated shape which shall be worthy of immortality.

The instinct of the animal nature is to avoid suffering & to seek protection from it. But the Spirit of Humaity has sought birth in matter with the object of obtaining purification, & wishes, therefore, not only to enter the ordeal of fire but to enter it unprotected. Therefore does it utter these two stanzas of the litany which follow the expression of desire of birth.

Walter Crane

The mystic union is expressed in the last stanza; it is beyond the understanding of the human intellect. We can only dimly apprehend it by degrees as we follow the occult ceremonies, & obtain more & more illumination in respect to them. Autumn, winter, spring, & summer repeat themselves duly every year, because the Divine Spirit of Nature descends continually upon Nature, & passing through matter returns to itself. The drama is enacted afresh every year. The story of the pilgrimage of the spirit of humanity is contained within this yearly drama, & is the basis of the legends which form the groundwork of the great religions.

Kari Marie Olson

Desire, marriage, birth, these bring us hither: love, death, resurrection, these carry us hence; just as the green leaves come with every springtide, so does the inner meaning of the green leaves reveal itself to the disciple in perpetual recurrence.

The ancient Egyptians were the first to institute a sacred calendar, in which every day had its special religious ceremony. The Egyptian initiate, who gave fragments of the Birthday Litany & the Resurrection Litany from the ancient Ritual to the author of the Story of the Year, has now outlined the rites & vigils of the months between Christmas & Easter. The sacred months are those in which the sun moves northwards.

(Rudolf Steiner brought this work into the age of the Conscious Soul in relation to the modern human being, in his Calendar of the Soul, which begins at Easter)

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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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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

Gnaw the Scroll of Mythos

31 October 2017 – Astro-Weather: The Orionid meteor shower remains active until November 7.

For this Halloween evening, a bright waxing gibbous Moon shines in the southeast, just lower right of the Great Square of Pegasus at dusk, & directly below it later in the evening.

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Margaryta Yermolayeva

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

All-and-tide (Cornwall)

Halloween (Ireland, Canada, United Kingdom, United States etc…)

Hop-tu-Naa (Isle of Man)

Samhain in the Northern Hemisphere, Beltane in the Southern Hemisphere; begins on sunset of October 31 (Gaels, Welsh people & Neopagan Wheel of the Year)

The first day of All-hallows-tide, observed until November 6 (Western Christianity)

The first day of the Day of the Dead, celebrated until November 2 (Mexico)

683 – During the Siege of Mecca, the Kaaba, catches fire & burns down. The literal meaning of the Arabic word ka`bah (كَعْبَة) is “cube”, or “House of God”, considered the most sacred site in Islam, a similar role to the Tabernacle & Holy of Holies in Judaism.

500 years ago, on Oct. 31, 1517, the story goes, that the small-town monk, Martin Luther, marched up to the castle church in Wittenberg & nailed his ‘95 Theses’ to the door, lighting the flame of the Reformation — the split between the Catholic & Protestant churches. Luther’s act is one of the cornerstones of world history, & remains a lasting symbol of resistance.

Nearly all of American history bears the imprint of that act of protest. Luther’s challenge, the protection he obtained, & the reformers he inspired laid the foundation for the establishment of colonial America.

In 1934, an African American pastor from Georgia made the trip of a lifetime, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, through the gates of Gibraltar, and across the Mediterranean Sea to the Holy Land. After this pilgrimage, he traveled to Berlin, attending an international conference of Baptist pastors. While in Germany, this man — who was named Michael King — became so impressed with what he learned about the reformer Martin Luther that he decided to do something dramatic. He offered the ultimate tribute to the man’s memory by changing his own name to Martin Luther King. His 5-year-old son was also named Michael — and to the son’s dying day his closest relatives would still call him Mike — but not long after the boy’s father changed his own name, he decided to change his son’s name too, & Michael King Jr. became known to the world as Martin Luther King Jr.

Another dynamic measure of the influence of Martin Luther is the quintessentially modern idea of the individual — of our personal responsibility before ourselves & our God, rather than before any institution, whether church or state. This was as unthinkable before Luther. The contemporary idea of “The People,” along with the democratic impulse that proceeds from it –  The more recent ideas of pluralism, religious liberty, & self-government all entered history through the door that Luther opened.

Luther’s second unyielding act of courage was at the ‘imperial diet’ held in the city of Worms in 1521, when he made it clear that he feared God’s judgment more than the judgment of church leaders in that room.

And suddenly the individual had the freedom & possibility of thinking for themselves.

Martin Luther was not inclined to tilt at papal windmills. In fact, until about 1520 he was a vigorous champion of the church. He desired desperately to help Rome elude the fate it ended up experiencing. In fact, in a case of Oedipusian irony he became the very man who brought about everything he had hoped to avoid. As his story illustrates, it was a sublime & ridiculous decoction of forces that created the perfect storm that burst over the European continent, creating what we now call the Reformation.

Today the Catholic & Lutheran churches are taking the memory of 1517 in hand. Pope Francis joined leaders of the Lutheran World Federation in Sweden to hold a joint service in a spirit of unity after 500 years of division.

Thomas Aquinas by Fra Bartolommeo.

1517 – Deathday of Fra Bartolomeo, Italian artist

1984 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two Sikh security guards. Riots break out in New Delhi & other cities – 4,000 Sikhs are killed.

2015 – Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 is bombed over the northern Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board

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POD (Poem Of the day)

Vera Pavlova

~My soul duels with worms
Hidden in the clay of being
That would gnaw the scroll of mythos
Witch i carry in my heart whole
& speak thru the living word…
No worries
I will cut bait & continue singing…
~hag

***

Daniel Maclise

On All Hallows-tide, the eve of All Saints’ Day, it was a Medieval Christian tradition for the poor to go to wealthy homes offering to pray for the recently departed in that household, since folks knew that prayers could help the dead on their journey in the after-life. And as a token of their appreciation, the rich would give them food & beer.

Many Halloween customs come from this same ritual. Visitors would show up holding lanterns made of hollowed-out turnips with candles inside, which represented souls in purgatory. Masses were held so that souls wouldn’t feel neglected & haunt believers. There were costumes & masks, & mummers plays to depict the various stages of the after-life.

But after the Protestant Reformation — which can be traced back to a different Oct. 31 event (exactly 500 years ago today): Martin Luther’s 1517 publication of his 95 theses — the idea that souls could be saved in this way began to lose popularity in many of the new denominations.

Some Catholics kept up the practice of going door-to-door on the eve of All Saints’ Day, which became known as “Souling.” By the 1840s, when a wave of Irish & Scottish immigrants brought the custom to the U.S., it was basically a pagan/secular pastime. Young people danced outside tenement apartments in exchange for gifts. Costumes were made out of old clothes, & faces painted with burnt corks, while tricks included stuffing cabbages in chimneys & whacking each other with bags of flour.

Although the Irish Catholics faced widespread prejudice, the celebration having been stripped of its Catholic underpinning, quickly proved to be popular. As those immigrants began to assimilate, newspapers reported the custom trending among 19th century college students. In the early 1900s, high schools, rotary clubs & charities began to throw Halloween parties. By the 1930s, North America had a new term for the old tradition: Trick-or-Treating. And as suburban swelled in the 1950s, Trick-or-Treating grew into the kid-friendly practice seen today.

Beth Alpole

Here in America, Halloween calls for an interaction with spooky strangers, that come out of the night, knocking on our door, shouting, give me a treat or you’ll get a trick. On a spiritual level, trick-or-treat, can be seen as a demand that strangers, a symbol of the unfamiliar parts of ourselves, give up their gifts to us. There is a lot of energy that gets locked up in the dark, & Halloween is an opportunity for us to dialogue with the dark, the shadow side of The Self, & call that energy back.

Light & dark are not opposites, but 2 parts of the same cycle. In order to fully appreciate the festivals of light, which return with the Winter Solstice, we must 1st grow in the dark womb of our perennial inward journey. With the veil between the worlds so thin, great transformations are possible, since the power of all the dimensions are available to us.

It is not only the veil between the physical & spiritual worlds that thin, it can also be the division between any 2 polarities, like the left & right hemispheres in our brains for instance, or between any 2 realities that are struggling to coexist, like war & peace for instance. This dark night can represent a resolution of paradox, a respectful meeting of the different sides of the same coin, witch can initiate the healing transformation required, in order to let the light back into our lives, once we’ve come to understand & own our side of the dark…

Look for me there, in the dark…

xox

 ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg   

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All Souls Retreat Agenda
All events at the Minnesota Waldorf School, 70 County Rd B East, St Paul, MN

Cost $75 (registration required, click here)

Friday evening – 11/3/2017
5:45 Registration and light buffet supper
7:00 Verse: May Love of Hearts
Tone of the Day Improvisation on lyres and Singing
7:15 Introductions – Dennis/CRC
7:30 Triads
7:45 Picture of the week-end
8:00 Eurythmy
8:20 Remembrance Ritual – A time to remember our loved ones across the threshold
9:00 Closing verse

Saturday – 11/4/2017
9:00 Verse
Tone of the Day Improvisation on lyres and Singing
9:15 Journey of the Soul: Moon and Mercury
10:00 Study of themes/leading thoughts from The Influence of the Dead on
Destiny in small groups and sharing of gestures from each group
10:45 Break
11:00 Journey of the Soul: Venus and Sun
11:40 Triads
11:55 Singing
12:00 Lunch – cleanup helpers needed
1:30 Journey of the Soul: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn
2:15 Journey of the Soul: The Zodiac, Midnight Hour, Return to Earth
2:45 Break
3:00 Staying Connected exercise
4:00 Preparation for Festival
5:30 Dinner – get cleanup helpers
6:30 Final Set-Up for Festival, welcoming guests
7:00 Festival
9:00 Close – eurythmy

Sunday – 11/5/2017 REMEMBER: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS BEGINS TODAY – SET YOUR CLOCKS BACK!
9:00 Verse
Tone of the Day improvisation on lyres and Singing
9:15 Talk and Conversation with Ann Burfeind
9:45 Triads: Time of Reflection
10:00 Closing Circle
10:30 Eurythmy
11:00 Closing Verse
For those who wish to stay there will be a Christian Community Act of Consecration service at 11:30 AM. The service will be held at the Minnesota Waldorf School in the kindergarten cottage.

smash the tail of false history

24 October 2017 – Astro-Weather: Now, at dusk, Saturn appears to the lower right of the thickening Moon.

Go out around 8:30 pm tonight, look toward the northeast, & find the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Feast day of Archangel Raphael, Healing symbol of Mercury. Time Spirit from 850-1190

1260 – Chartres Cathedral is dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France

1601 – Death day of Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer & alchemist. Rudolf Steiner speaks about him here in Karmic Relationships, Volume IV: Lecture VI: “We were tracing the thread of evolution which enters into the spiritual life of the present time, and we left off with the individuality of Julian the Apostate. I told you that this individuality was next incarnated in one who is only known by legendary accounts, whose secret is contained in the Parsifal legend, in the name of Herzeleide. In this life as Herzeleide, the soul of Julian the Apostate entered into a far deeper inner life. The soul-life of the individuality was deepened, as was indeed necessary after the many storms and inner moods of opposition which he had undergone in his life as Julian the Apostate.

But this later life of which I told you — this life as Herzeleide — spread itself out over the former life as Julian the Apostate like a warm embalming cloud. Thus the soul grew more intense and deep and inward, and grew richer, too, in manifold impulses of the inner life.

Now this soul was among those who had carried over something of the ancient Mysteries. Julian had lived within the substance of the ancient Mysteries at a time when their light was still radiant in many ways. Thus he had received into himself much spirituality of the cosmos. All this had been as it were pressed back during the incarnation as Herzeleide; but it was none the less pressing forth in the soul, and thus we find the same individuality again in the 16th century; we find arising in him once more, in a Christianised form, what he had undergone as Julian the Apostate. For the same individuality reappears in the 16th century as Tycho de Brahe, and stands face to face with the Copernican world-conception which emerges within Western civilisation at that time.”

1911 – Orville Wright remains in the air nine minutes and 45 seconds in a Wright Glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

1926 – Harry Houdini’s last performance takes place at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit. Harry Houdini was born Ehrich Weisz on 24 March 1874 in Budapest, Hungary. The son of a Rabbi, he relocated with his family to America in 1876.  By the age of 17 he was known as Harry Houdini & left his family to pursue his career in magic. Booked for a two-week engagement in Detroit at The Garrick Theatre, he arrived in pain, but decided to perform the opening show on October 24th.  With much difficulty he performed, but cut the show short & was admitted to Grace Hospital.  It had been determined that he had a ruptured appendix. Surgery was not enough to spare Houdini’s life & he died on 31 October 1926 from peritonitis.

1929 – “Black Thursday” stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

1945 – Founding of the United Nations.

1946 – Deathday of Emil Grosheintz – a dentist who had a practice in Basel, was an early anthroposopher, when the society was still connected to the theosophical movement. Rudolf Steiner loved him because of his sacrificial & conscientious work. His professional career as a dentist allowed him to accompany Steiner on many of his lectures. Like a leitmotiv, his life runs through the fact that he was always present as a witness in important moments of anthroposophy.

In 1906, Emil Grosheintz co-founded the Paracelsus branch in Basel. In 1907 he took part in the Munich Congress & became a member of the German section of the Theosophical Society in 1908.

In 1912, during a visit of Rudolf Steiner to his estate in Dornach, Grosheintz decided to make his land on the Dornach hill available for the construction of the first Goetheanum, & organized the purchase & donation of some further eastern plots.

In 1913 he became chairman of the Johannesbauverein. Because of his excellent organizational abilities & his experience, Emil Grosheintz became co-founder of the anthroposophical branch at the Goetheanum on September 12, 1920, & until May 9, 1943, he served as its first chairman &remained honorary chairman until his death

On 24 December 1914, Emil & Nelly Grosheintz-Laval were witnesses at the wedding ceremony of Marie & Rudolf Steiner.

On September 20, 1913, Emil Grosheintz & his wife Nelly Grosheintz-Laval took part in the laying of the foundation stone for the first Goetheanum. In the same year he moved with his wife & the two sons Hansi & Pierre into the Duldeck house designed for him by Rudolf Steiner on the Dornach hill near the Goetheanum.

Image result for 1975 – In Iceland, 90% of women take part in a national strike, refusing to work in protest of gaps in gender equality.

1975 – In Iceland, 90% of women take part in a national strike, refusing to work in protest of gaps in gender equality.

Image result for 1980 – The government of Poland legalizes the Solidarity trade union

1980 – The government of Poland legalizes the Solidarity trade union

2008 – “Bloody Friday” saw many of the world’s stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history

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POD (Poem Of the Day)

Lynnette Shelley

~”Look”
Cried the crow leaning darkly at my window
I follow the call –
Outside the afternoon falls in soundless clumps
2 candles dance upon 1 wick
Filling the sky with shadow
I spin & dive thru smoke
I smash the tail of false history
Opening the way to change
& make the shadow dance
~hag

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From Occult History: Lecture 4 
by Rudolf Steiner

During the 16th century, in the year 1546, a remarkable man was born of a noble house of Northern Europe, and in his very cradle, so to speak, everything was laid — including family wealth — that could have led him to positions of great honour in the traditional life of that time. Because, in line with his family traditions, it was intended that he should occupy some eminent political or other high position, he was marked out for the legal profession and sent with a tutor to the University of Leipzig to study jurisprudence. The tutor tormented the boy — for he was still a boy when he was forced to study law — all day long. But at night, while the tutor was sleeping the sleep of the just and dreaming of legal theories, the boy stole out of bed and observed the stars with the very simple instruments he had himself devised. And very soon he knew not only more than any of the teachers about the secrets of the stars but more than was to be found at that time in any book. For example, he very soon noticed a definite position of Saturn and Jupiter in the constellation of Leo, turned to the books and found that they recorded it quite erroneously. The longing then arose in him to acquire as exact a knowledge as possible of this star-script, to record as accurately as possible the course of the stars. No wonder that in spite of all his family’s resistance he soon extracted the permission to become a natural philosopher and astronomer, instead of dreaming his life away over legal books and doctrines. And having considerable means at his disposal, he was able to set up a whole establishment.

This was arranged in a remarkable way. In the upper storeys were instruments designed for observing the secrets of the stars; in the cellars there was equipment for bringing about different combinations and dissolutions of substances. And there he worked, dividing his time between observations carried out on the upper floors of the building and the boiling, fermenting, mixing and weighing which went on in the cellars below. There he worked, in Order to show, little by little, how the laws that are written in the stars, the laws of the planets and fixed stars, the macrocosmic laws, are to be found again microcosmically in the mathematical numbers underlying the combinations and dissolutions of substances. And what he discovered as a living connection between the heavenly and the earthly he applied to the art of medicine, producing medicaments which were the cause of bitter animosity around him because he gave them freely to those he wanted to help. The doctors at that time, intent upon extorting high fees, raged against this man who was accused of perpetrating all sorts of “horrors” with what he endeavoured to bring down from the heavens to the earth.

Fortunately, as the result of a certain happening, he found favour with the Danish King, Frederick the Second, and as long as he retained this favour, all went well: tremendous insight was gained into the spiritual working of cosmic laws in the sense I have just described. This man did indeed know something about the spiritual course of cosmic laws. He dumbfounded the world with things which admittedly would no longer find the same credence to-day. On one Occasion, when he was at Rostock, he prophesied, from the constellation of the stars, the death of the Sultan Soliman, which came true within a few days of the date he had foretold. The news of this made the name of Tycho Brahe famous in Europe. To-day the world at large knows hardly anything more of Tycho Brahe, whose life lies such a short time behind us, than that he was somewhat of a crank and never quite reached the lofty standpoint of modern materialism. He recorded a thousand stars for the first time in the maps of the heavens and also made the epoch-making discovery of a type of star, the “Nova,” which flares up and vanishes again, and described it. But these things are mostly passed over in silence. The world really knows nothing about him except that he was still “stupid” enough to devise a plan of the cosmos in which the earth stands still and the sun together with the planets revolve around it. That is what the world in general knows to-day. The fact that we have to do here with a significant personality of the 16th century, with one who accomplished an infinite amount that even to-day is still useful to astronomy, that untold depths of wisdom are contained in what he gave — none of this is usually recorded, for the simple reason that in presenting the system in detail, out of his own deep knowledge, Tycho Brahe saw difficulties which Copernicus did not see. If such a thing dare be said — for it does indeed seem paradoxical — even with the Copernican cosmic system the last word has not yet been uttered. And the conflict between the two Systems will still occupy the minds of a later humanity. — That, however, only by the way; it is too paradoxical for the present age.

It was only under the successor of the King who had been well-disposed towards him that the enemies of Tycho Brahe arose an all sides. They were doctors and professors at the University of Copenhagen, and they succeeded in inciting the successor of his patron against him. Tycho Brahe was driven from his fatherland and was obliged to go south again. It was in Augsburg that he had originally set up his first great planisphere and the gilded globe on which he always marked the new stars he discovered — finally amounting to a thousand. This man was destined to die in exile in Prague. To this very day, if we turn, not to the usual textbooks, but to the actual sources, and study Kepler, let us say, we can still see that Kepler was able to arrive at his laws because of the meticulous astronomical observations made by Tycho Brahe before him. Here indeed was a personality who again bore the stamp, in a grand style, of what had been great and significant wisdom before his time; one who could not reconcile himself to the kind of knowledge that became popular immediately afterwards in the shape of the materialistic view of the world. Truly it is a strange destiny, this destiny of Tycho Brahe!

And now, placing both personal destinies side by side, think how endlessly instructive it is when we learn from the Akasha Chronicle that the individuality of Julian the Apostate appears again in Tycho Brahe, that Tycho Brahe is, so to say, a reincarnation of Julian the Apostate. Thus strangely and paradoxically does the law of reincarnation take effect when the karmic connection of the single individual are modified by world-historic karma; when the cosmic Powers themselves use the human individuality as their instrument.”

***

It is with deep sadness that I must report that our friend, Cynthia Trevillion was tragically killed on Friday October 13th 2017. Cynthia and John were walking to meet friends for dinner when they were caught in the crossfire of a shooting.

On Saturday, October 28 at from 2:00-5:00pm there will be a Celebration of Cynthia at the Chicago Waldorf School.

The Cynthia Trevillion Funeral Fund has now raised over $29,000.  If you have given to this fund, thank you very much for your generous and loving support.

***

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

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

3 pm – break

3:15pm – a Bridging Between Life & Death from Soul to Soul

Group Eurythmy with Elena Baba

Circle of Remembrance

~ Lyre Music by Debra Barford

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

***

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

“The Gate is Opened”

19 October 2017 – Astro-Weather: Exact at 2:12 p.m. CDT –  New Moon

Dan Matutina

The modest Orionid meteor shower is active for the next few nights in the early-morning hours. The shower’s radiant is near Orion’s Club, low in the east after midnight & high in the south by the beginning of dawn. Bella Luna is exploring the underworld, so the sky will be free of moonlight.

***

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1512 – Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology

1781 – At Yorktown, Virginia, representatives of British commander Lord Cornwallis handed over Cornwallis’ sword & formally surrendered to George Washington & the comte de Rochambeau. The Revolutionary War Ends

1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Austrian General Mack surrenders his army to the Grande Armée of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Ulm. 30,000 prisoners are captured & 10,000 casualties inflicted on the losers

1812 – Napoleon Bonaparte retreats from Moscow

1813 – The Battle of Leipzig concludes, giving Napoleon Bonaparte one of his worst defeats

1893 – Deathday of Lucy Stone, a prominent American orator, abolitionist, & suffragist, & a vocal advocate & organizer promoting rights for women. In 1847, Stone became the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She spoke out for women’s rights & against slavery at a time when women were discouraged & prevented from public speaking. Stone was known for using her maiden name after marriage.

Stone’s organizational activities for the cause of women’s rights yielded tangible gains in the difficult political environment of the 19th century. Stone helped initiate the first National Women’s Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts & she supported & sustained it annually, along with a number of other local, state & regional activist conventions. She assisted in establishing the Woman’s National Loyal League to help pass the Thirteenth Amendment & thereby abolish slavery, after which she helped form the American Woman Suffrage Association AWSA, which built support for a woman suffrage Constitutional amendment by winning woman suffrage at the state & local levels.

In the long-running & influential Woman’s Journal, a weekly periodical that she founded & promoted, Stone aired both her own & differing views about women’s rights. Called “the orator”, the “morning star” & the “heart & soul” of the women’s rights movement, Stone influenced Susan B. Anthony to take up the cause of women’s suffrage. Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote that “Lucy Stone was the first person by whom the heart of the American public was deeply stirred on the woman question.

1897 – Deathday of George Pullman, an American engineer & industrialist. He designed & manufactured the Pullman sleeping car & founded a enslaving ‘company town’ for the workers who manufactured it.

During an 1894 downturn in manufacturing demand, he lowered wages & required workers to spend longer hours at the plant, but did not lower prices of rents & goods in his company town. He gained presidential support by Grover Cleveland for the use of federal military troops which left 30 strikers dead in the violent suppression of workers there to end the Pullman Strike of 1894. A national commission was appointed to investigate the strike, which included assessment of operations of the company town. In 1898 the Supreme Court of Illinois ordered the Pullman Company to divest itself of the town which became a neighborhood of the city of Chicago

Image result for Founding of the German Section of the Theosophical Society in Belin with Rudolf Steiner as the General Secretary

1902 – Founding of the German Section of the Theosophical Society in Belin with Rudolf Steiner as the General Secretary

1915 – J.P. Morgan arranges the biggest foreign loan in history – a $500 million war loan to Britain & France – passing global financial control from the UK to the US

1936 – Deathday of Lu Xun, a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writing in Vernacular Chinese as well as Classical Chinese, Lu Xun was a short story writer, editor, translator, literary critic, essayist, & poet. After the May Fourth Movement, Lu Xun’s writing began to exert a substantial influence on Chinese literature & popular culture. Though sympathetic to socialist ideas, Lu Xun never joined the Communist Party of China

1937 – Deathday of Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand physicist & Nobel Prize laureate, who came to be known as the father of nuclear physics. Encyclopædia Britannica considers him to be the greatest experimentalist since Michael Faraday

He conducted research that led to the first “splitting” of the atom in 1917 in a nuclear reaction between nitrogen & alpha particles, in which he also discovered & named the proton

1950 – Deathday of Edna St. Vincent Millay, poet & playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, & was also known for her feminist activism. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work

1950 – Iran becomes the first country to accept technical assistance from the United States under the Point Four Program, a technical assistance program for “developing countries” announced by President Harry S. Truman in his inaugural address

1984 – Roman Catholic priest from Poland, Jerzy Popiełuszko, associated with the Solidarity Union, was murdered by three agents of the Polish communist internal intelligence agency

***

MY POD (Poem Of the Day)

~O the beauty & terror of it all…
The crying of the gods & Her children
The red flowers withered in the last golden light…
The names of all the Powers shout out
From the bent blades of yellow grass,
By clouds, by rocks underwater, by the darkness in the mouths
Of caves, by dead boys & teachers slain
Under the chilled asphalt,
& in the swirling sands of eternity
~hag

***

Rise Up! Life As A Labor Of Love

The call 1st came in as the General Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America was being introduced on the opening night of the AGM in Phoenix.

The date was Friday October 13th 2017. We were wishing John Bloom, our beloved General Secretary a joyful Happy Birthday.  I remarked that this date was highly charged, since it was also the 710th anniversary of the arrest & torture of the Templars. *  I later came to realize that it was also exactly 100 years ago in 1917, when over 100,000 people in Fátima, Portugal witnessed The “Miracle of the Sun”.  *

All through the dinner reception my phone was ‘blowing up’ with reports. But it was during the Prison Outreach Poetry & Open Mic Art Session that it was confirmed: Cynthia Trevillion, long time teacher at the Chicago Waldorf School, had been killed – shot in the head & neck by a stray bullet.

She was walking with her husband John, also a teacher at CWS, to meet friends for dinner. The Trevillion’s were always hosting AWSNA colleagues coming in from Detroit or elsewhere to do evaluations, since they live around the corner from the Chicago Waldorf School. They were only four blocks from home when they were caught in gang crossfire. Someone in a black SUV opened fire on two young men standing on the street near the CTA’s Morse & Glenwood Red Line station.

Just 30 minutes before Cynthia Trevillion’s death, a 15-year-old boy was also shot a few blocks away.

To announce this news after hearing the poetry from the Anthroposophical Prison Outreach Program, some on death-row for murder, was significant. Together we did the eurythmy Hallelujah, which we continued to offer throughout the conference.

We pondered the hidden karma of this ‘perfect storm’: the ‘auspicious’ date; the connection between these seemingly unrelated individualities; was Cynthia helping these young men in death as she had helped her students in life? Why the head & neck? What could this mean for her next life? And what of her death stars? – The particular cosmic configuration at the time of her passing held the dramatic picture of a pre-dawn alignment of Regulus, the ‘Kingly Star’ at the heart of Leo the Lion, sitting in the upturned chalice of the waning crescent moon; with Venus & Mars on the horizon!

This is the “Grail Moon” which Rudolf Steiner references: “…the name of the Grail is found in the stellar script…in the gold-gleaming sickle of the moon…the dark part of the moon emerges…and there, in occult writing…is to be found the name of Parsifal.

“…what we see at rest in the golden vessel of the moon is actually the spiritual power of the Sun…it appears to us as the bearer of the Sun-Spirit…within the moon’s vessel in the form of the wafer-like disc.” *

So much to contemplate, as we send Cynthia our love in her journey now in the life between death & a new birth; for this is a big part of the practical work of Anthroposophy, to connect the living with the ‘so-called-dead’ – to Enter the Spiritual World consciously – To take to heart the words we heard on the morning of Friday the 13th from of the Guardian at the Threshold; “The Gate is Opened”.

Back home in Chicago, there have been various memorials at the beach & a local restaurant. The vigil & wake were conducted at the Christian Community Church. The school canceled classes so students, teachers & staff could attend the service. CWS will also host a ‘Celebration of Cynthia’ where we will be sure to have plenty of wholesome food, as Cynthia was a proponent of the Weston A. Price, Wise Traditions Diet. I will miss exploring the alchemy of a good bone-broth, the merits of cultured butter & trading batches of sauerkraut with this dear friend. But I will stay connected with her through my Thresholds work. The Central Regional Council has been working with this theme for the last year in our “Bridging Project: Between Life & Death – From Soul to Soul”.

Through Spiritual Science I am consoled by the thought that a death in the physical world is a birth in the Spiritual World.  Cynthia is strongly held by many communities around the world, as she was at this year’s AGM, giving a deeper dimension to the title: “Rise Up! Life as a Labor of Love”.

View the gallery of photos from the AGM

~Hazel Archer-Ginsberg Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy Through the Rhythms of the Year

Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of The Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago and the Central Regional Council of The Anthroposophical Society

  • October 13th 1307 – Hundreds of Templars in France are simultaneously arrested by agents of Phillip the Fair, to be later tortured into a “confession” of heresy. Once freed of the Inquisitors’ torture, many Templars recanted their confessions. Some had sufficient legal experience to defend themselves in the trials, but in 1310 Philip blocked this attempt, using the previously forced confessions to have dozens of Templars burned at the stake in Paris. With Philip threatening military action unless the pope complied with his wishes, Pope Clement finally agreed to disband the Order, citing the public scandal that had been generated by the confessions. At the Council of Vienne in 1312, he issued a series of papal bulls, which officially dissolved the Order. As for the leaders of the Order, the elderly Grand Master Jacques de Molay, who had confessed under torture, retracted his confession & insisted on his innocence. But he was declared guilty of being a relapsed heretic & was sentenced to be burnt at the stake in Paris on 18 March 1314. De Molay reportedly remained defiant to the end, calling out from the flames that both Pope Clement & King Philip would soon meet their end. Pope Clement died only a month later, & King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year
  • October 13th 1917 – The “Miracle of the Sun” is witnessed by an estimated 100,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal. The people had gathered because the 3 shepherd children, who originally claimed to have seen Our Lady of Fátim, had predicted that at high noon the lady who had appeared to them several times would perform a great miracle. According to many witnesses, after a period of rain, the dark clouds broke & the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disc in the sky. It was said to be significantly duller than normal, & to cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the people, & the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth before zig-zagging back to its normal position. Witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became “suddenly & completely dry, as well as the wet & muddy ground that had been previously soaked because of the rain that had been falling.” According to reports, a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, Our Lady of Sorrows, & of Saint Joseph blessed the people. The event lasted approximately ten minutes
  • from: Christ and the Spiritual World, The Search for the Holy Grail By Rudolf Steiner

***

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

***

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

I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  I love you. Thank you.

30 September 2017 – Astro-Weather: Bella Luna’s absence from the morning sky these next few days provides an excellent opportunity to view the zodiacal light. From the Northern Hemisphere, early autumn is the best time for viewing this elusive glow before sunrise. It appears slightly fainter than the Milky Way, so you’ll need a clear moonless sky & a site site located far from the city. Look for a cone-shaped glow that points nearly straight up from the eastern horizon shortly before morning twilight begins (around 5:30 am CDT). The Moon remains out of the morning sky until October 4, when the waxing gibbous returns & overwhelms the much fainter zodiacal light.

Arcturus shines in the west these evenings, sinking as twilight fades away. Equally-bright Capella is rising lower in the north-northeast, as bright as Vega high overhead.

By mid-evening Arcturus & Capella shine at identical heights. When it happens, turn around and look low in the south-southeast (well to the lower left of the Moon tonight). There you’ll find Fomalhaut at the same height too.

 

***

Belkis Melisa Krgn

When we look up to the wonder of the starry world, when we contemplate the whole process of the universe with its glories and marvels, then we are led at last to the feeling that all the glory that lies open to our view in the whole universe that surrounds us only has meaning when it is reflected in an admiring human soul. -~Goethe

TODAY is Yom Kippur*

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

Sigmund Gleismüller

395 – John the Evangelist settles in Patmos to write the Apocalypse

Caravaggio

420 – Deathday of St. Jerome also called Hieronymus, Roman priest, theologian, patron saint of translators, librarians & encyclopedists. Rudolf Steiner speaks of him in From Jesus to Christ lecture 4, saying he had to ‘falsify’ the Gospel of St. Matthew, because it was too esoteric for folks at the time:

When we know this, we understand that the original Gospel of Matthew could not be imparted without further preparation because men were not ripe to receive what was in it. For if Jerome, a Father of the Church, was himself not ripe for what it contained, then certainly other men were not. Those who were originally in possession of these communications, the Ebionites, did not impart them because, if received by unripe persons, they would have been so distorted that they must have led to what Jerome meant when he said that they would serve not for edification but for destruction. Now Jerome understood this; yet he allowed himself to impart in a certain way the Gospel of Matthew to the world. ~Rudolf Steiner

1207 – Birthday of Rumi, Persian mystic & poet

1791 – The first performance of The Magic Flute, the last opera by Mozart to make its debut, took place at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria

1791 – The National Constituent Assembly in Paris is dissolved; Parisians hail Maximilien Robespierre & Jérôme Pétion as “incorruptible patriots”

1882 – Thomas Edison’s first commercial hydroelectric power plant (later known as Appleton Edison Light Company) begins operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin

1914 – Birthday of Johannes Tautz – a Historian, Religious scholar, Anthroposophist, Author & Waldorf teacher. After the German capitulation, Tautz was imprisoned by the Czechs, Americans & Russians but managed to escape in the summer of 1945 back to his family in Bad Boll. He was soon approached by Erich Gabert in Stuttgart to join the Waldorf School that was about to be opened as its German & History teacher. On 1 November 1945 he stood before his first 9th grade at the Free Waldorf School, Uhlandshöhe.

Soon Johannes Tautz decided to look up his “predecessor”, the first history teacher at the Waldorf School, Walter Johannes Stein. The conversations with Stein provided an orientation & inspiration for all of his further work as a teacher, lecturer & writer; in his lecturing work at national & international conferences and in the “Hague Circle”, a coordinating international group of Waldorf teachers.

He likewise received particular guidance from Emil Bock regarding a Christological view of world history & from Jürgen von Grone about the destiny of Germany &in particular to the figure of Helmuth von Moltke.

In 1966 Tautz held three lectures about the spiritual background to National Socialism, which later appeared in print under the title Attack of the Enemy – The Occult Inspiration Behind Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in 1976. In it he looks at a number of personalities connected with questionable occult practices with which leading Nazis had been close during the time of the movement’s growth.

In 1979 he edited a collection of biographical portraits together with Gisbert Husemann of the circle of founding Waldorf teachers around Rudolf Steiner.

Together with a young friend, Thomas Meyer, he visited the daughter of Walter Johannes Stein, Clarissa Johanna Muller, in Ireland where she was living in order to look through her father’s literary estate. They found the typescript of Stein’s dissertation annotated by Rudolf Steiner, letters & meditations of Steiner for Stein, his mother & for his brother, who fell in a mysterious manner in WWI. Letters & notes of Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, Eliza von Moltke, Ita Wegman, D.N Dunlop & many other personalities were discovered & formed the basis of Tautz’s biography of Stein in 1989

In 1993 he initiated the editing of a collection Rudolf Steiner’s letters & notes to Eliza von Moltke together with the post mortem communications & the letters of Helmuth von Moltke himself. The decision to publish these was to prevent or anticipate a partial publication without an appropriate commentary on the subject that had been announced. A previous instance of this content being used had been in the book The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft which, in the opinion of Tautz had been written “without the necessary protection of background knowledge for the deeply-penetrant & difficult to understand material.” Further reading

1938 – The League of Nations unanimously outlaws “intentional bombings of civilian populations”

1962 – Labor leader César Chávez founds the National Farm Workers Association, which later becomes United Farm Workers

1982 – Cyanide-laced Tylenol kills six people in the Chicago area. Seven are killed in all

1993 – The 6.2 Mw Latur earthquake shakes Maharashtra, India with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) killing 9,748 & injuring 30,000

1999 – The Tokaimura nuclear accident causes the deaths of 2 technicians, many others affected by radiation poisoning, in Japan’s second-worst nuclear accident

2009 – The 7.6 Mw Sumatra earthquake shakes central Sumatra with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). 1,115 people dead, many injured & left homeless

***

“Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript of a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face.
This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want,
you are already that.” 

~Rumi

***

*Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which began last night at sunset, falls 10 days after Rosh Hashanah, & is the culmination of the entire High Holy Day drama. It is the holiest day of the Jewish year or, as the Bible describes it, the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”. During the 24 hours of Yom Kippur, the biblical commandment to fast from food & water, while engaging in intense soul-searching, & praying for forgiveness is practiced. Yom Kippur is a day of inner purification & of reconciliation with the creator & with our fellow human beings. It is a reminder of the frailty of human existence & our duty to act charitably toward the less fortunate.

The inspiring, yet sobering, words of Isaiah 58 are read publicly in the synagogue on Yom Kippur “This fasting I have chosen,” says the prophet Isaiah, “Is it not done to loose the chains of injustice & untie the cords of bondage? To set the oppressed free & break every yoke? Are we not meant to share our food with the hungry & to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, you must clothe him, & not turn away from your fellow man?”

There are number of customs & traditions associated with the Holy Day of Yom Kippur. For example: the mikvah, or ritual bath.  The scripture says “You shall immerse yourselves in water & be purified.” This practice, from which Christian baptism originated, symbolizes purification & regeneration, as well as new birth, through repentance. Another custom is to greet each other by saying ‘May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life’ Gmar Chatimah Tova.

The High Holy Days are divided into two parts: The first is the inscribing which begins on Rosh Hashanah & finishes on Yom Kippur when the final “sealing” of fate takes place for the year. Parents customarily bless their children with the priestly benediction: “May it be the will of our Father in Heaven to put into your heart love & reverence. May your eyes be directed, may your mouth speak wisdom, & your heart strive for holiness. May your hands be occupied with good deeds & your feet hasten to do the will of the divine. May He grant you sustenance without stress & with profit, out of His hand that is open wide. May you be inscribed & sealed unto a good, long life. And so shall it be. Amen.”

It is also customary to give extra charity before the holiday, & to light memorial candles for departed family members.

As with all Jewish festivals, the woman formally ushers in the holiday by lighting the candles at sundown. Evening services commence with the recitation of the Kol Nidrei prayer, a plea for absolution from any & all unfulfilled vows a person may have made in the course of the year.

Contrary to popular belief, Yom Kippur is a day of hope & optimism in addition to a solemn day of soul-searching. The Day of Atonement provides a unique awareness of one’s own character & track record, as well as the opportunity to upgrade relationships with relatives, friends, associates & the community at-large. Yom Kippur’s focus on forgiveness, highlights humility, fallibility, compassion, soul-searching faith, thoughtfulness, being considerate, & accepting responsibility

Hildagard

Cabalistic tradition states that the first human being, Adam, was created on Rosh Hashanah.  And so it is that Human-beings are given an opportunity to recreate themselves spiritually, each year, on Yom Kippur.  This holiday is celebrated when the constellation of the scales give way to the virgin as herald in the heavens. Libra & Virgo symbolize key themes of Yom Kippur: Justice, balance, truth, symmetry, wholeness.

 

Libra is ruled by the planet Venus which reflects the beauty of love, & Virgo is ruled by Mercury the god of communications. During this season it is customary to walk to a body of fresh water & recite a special prayer, symbolically casting bread crumbs into the waters, a symbol of our sins: those actions that have missed the mark.

And now, at the risk of mixing metaphors, I’d like us to put into practice the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness, called Ho‘oponopono – It stems from an understanding that everything in the world is connected, in spite of our feelings of ‘separateness’.

What we do to ourselves & others has repercussions. Because of this unity everything that occurs in our own little world creates a resonance in others & in society as a whole. To heal the planet we first have to heal ourselves; to do this, we will  rely on four magic sentences: I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  I love you. Thank you. x4

In earnest wakefulness & practiced Peace –

~Hazel Archer Ginsberg