Category Archives: Spring

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20 March 2017 – Astro-Weather: For those of you tired of winter weather, good news: Today is the Spring equinox. Earth’s vernal balance occurs at 11:15 am CDT, which marks the moment when the Sun crosses the celestial equator traveling north. The Sun rises due east & sets due west today.

After dark Leo strides up the eastern sky, with his brightest star Regulus in his forefoot & the Sickle of Leo extending upper left from there.

About two fists lower left of Regulus are the two stars of Leo’s rear end & tail: Delta Leonis & below it, slightly brighter Beta Leonis, or Denebola, the tail tip

As evening grows late & this scene rises higher, look left of Denebola, by a fist or a little bit more, for the big, dim Coma Berenices star cluster. Its brightest members form an upside-down, tilted Y. It’s visible even through some light pollution.

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Kirsty Mitchell.

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

I turn to history not for lessons but to confront my experience with the experience of others and to win for myself a sense of responsibility for the state of the human conscience”. ~ Zbigniew Herbert

Today is the Illinois Primary – Don’t forget to VOTE

Nowruz (Persian: literally “New Day”) the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year. Nowruz is partly rooted in the traditions of Mitraism & Zoroastrianism. In Mitraism, festivals had a deep linkage with the sun light. The Iranian festivals such as Mehrgan (autumnal equinox), Tirgan, & the eve of Chelle ye Zemestan (winter solstice) also had an origin in the Sun god (Surya). Among other ideas, Zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion that emphasizes broad concepts; such as the corresponding work of good & evil in the world,& the connection of humans to nature. Zoroastrian practices were dominant for much of the history of ancient Iran.

Although having Iranian & religious Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethno-linguistic communities for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians

Bethany Roberts

OSTARA (pronounced O-STAR-ah) is celebrated on the Vernal or Spring Equinox. The name for this Sabbat actually comes from that of the Teutonic lunar Goddess, Eostre. Her chief symbols are the bunny (for fertility & because the Ancient Ones who worshiped her often saw the image of a rabbit in the full moon), & the egg (representing the cosmic egg of creation). This is where the customs of “Easter Eggs” & the “Easter Bunny” originated.

Ostara is a time to celebrate the arrival of Spring, the renewal & rebirth of Nature herself, & the coming lushness of Summer. It is at this time when light & darkness are in balance, yet the light is growing stronger by the day. The forces of masculine & feminine energy, yin & yang, are also in balance at this time. At this time we think of renewing ourselves. We renew our thoughts, our dreams, & our aspirations. We think of renewing our relationships. This is an excellent time of year to begin anything new or to completely revitalize something. This is also an excellent month for prosperity rituals or rituals that have anything to do with growth.

Customs such as the lighting of new fires at dawn for healing, renewed life, & protection of the crops still survive in the Southern Americas as well as in Europe. Eggs were gathered & used for the creation of talismans & also ritually eaten. The gathering of different colored eggs from the nests of a variety of birds has given rise to two traditions still observed today – the Easter egg hunt, & coloring eggs in imitation of the various pastel colors of wild birds. It is also believed that humankind first got the idea of weaving baskets from watching birds weave nests. This is perhaps the origin of the association between colored Easter eggs & Easter baskets.

There is much symbolism in eggs themselves. The golden orb of its yolk represents the Sun God, its white shell is seen as the White Goddess, & the whole is a symbol of rebirth. The Goddess Eostre’s patron animal was the hare.

The Spring Equinox is a time of new beginnings, of action, of planting seeds for future grains, & of tending gardens. Spring is a time of the Earth’s renewal, a rousing of nature after the cold sleep of winter. As such, it is an ideal time to clean your home to welcome the new season. “Spring cleaning” is much more than simply physical work. It may be seen as a concentrated effort to rid your home of the problems & negativity of the past months, & to prepare for the coming spring and summer. To do this, we may approach the task of cleaning our homes with positive thoughts. This frees the home of any negative feelings brought about by a harsh winter. A common rule of thumb for Spring cleaning is that all motions involving scrubbing of stains or hand rubbing the floors should be done “clockwise”. This custom aids in filling the home with good energy for growth.

Appropriate Deities for Ostara include all Youthful and Virile Gods and Goddesses, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, Love Goddesses, Moon Gods and Goddesses, & all Fertility Deities. Some Ostara Deities to mention by name here include Persephone, Blodeuwedd, Eostre, Aphrodite, Athena, Cybele, Gaia, Hera, Isis, Ishtar, Minerva, Venus, Robin of the Woods, the Green Man, Cernunnos, Lord of the Greenwood, The Dagda, Attis, The Great Horned God, Mithras, Odin, Thoth, Osiris, & Pan.

Key actions to keep in mind during this time in the Wheel of the Year include openings & new beginnings. Work for improving communication & group interaction are recommended, as well as fertility & abundance. Ostara is a good time to start putting those plans and preparations you made at Imbolc into action. Start working towards physically manifesting your plans now

43 BC – Birthday of Ovid, Roman poet

Nikolai Bodarevsky

303 – Birthday of Saint Alexandra of Rome, wife of the Emperor Diocletian who secretly converted to Christianity. While Saint George was being tortured, Alexandra went to the arena, bowed before him & professed her faith openly. When she questioned whether she was worthy of paradise & of martyrdom without being baptized, Saint George told her “Do not fear, for your blood will baptize you.” She was denounced a Christian & imprisoned on her husband’s orders in Nicomedia, then sentenced to die. Her husband was so outraged by her conversion that he is said to have uttered “What! Even thou hast fallen under their spell!”

1602 – The Dutch East India Company is established

1616 – Sir Walter Raleigh is freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment

1726 – Deathday of Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, & philosopher

1760 – The Great Boston Fire  destroys 349 buildings

1815 – After escaping from Elba, Napoleon enters Paris beginning his “Hundred Days” rule

1828 – Birthday of Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian poet, playwright, & director

1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published

1861 – An earthquake completely destroys Mendoza, Argentina

1915 – Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity

1922 – The USS Langley is commissioned as the first United States Navy aircraft carrier

1923 – The Arts Club of Chicago hosts the opening of Pablo Picasso‘s first United States showing, entitled Original Drawings by Pablo Picasso, becoming an early proponent of modern art in the United States

1928 – Birthday of Fred Rogers, American television host & producer

1933 – Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered the creation of Dachau concentration camp as Chief of Police of Munich & appointed Theodor Eicke as the camp commandant.

1995 – The Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo carries out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, killing 12 and wounding over 1,300 people.

2003 – Invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries (the UK, Australia and Poland) begin military operations in Iraq

2012 – At least 52 people are killed and more than 250 injured in a wave of terror attacks across ten cities in Iraq

2015 – A Solar eclipse, equinox, & a Supermoon all occur on the same day

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POD (Poem Of the Day)

~ TODAY I AM
Cupped in the hands of beggars
Yawning on every street corner,
& in the small dark mouth of a bird…
~hag

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Paul Bond

“Spring is coming, spring is coming
birdies build your nest.
weave together straw and feather
doing each your best.
spring is coming, spring is coming
flowers are waking, too.
daisies, lilies, and daffodils
now are coming through.
spring is coming, spring is coming
all around is fair.
shimmer, glimmer on the meadow,
joy is everywhere.”

Equinox means “equal night” when the sun is positioned above the equator & day and night are about equal in length all over the world. This is the start of the Astrological year. Many ancient cultures built structures to point directly toward the rising Sun on this day every year. The celebration of the Vernal Equinox is about new life & hope, the planting of seeds & the activation of the fertility cycle.

A look into the ancient Mystery Schools honoring The Vernal Equinox: The Spring Equinox is also called: Alban Eilir, Eostar, Eostre, Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Festival of Trees, Lady Day, NawRuz, No Ruz, Ostara, Ostra, Rites of Spring. The Old Testament heroine of Spring was the goddess Ishtar- Persian for ‘star'(Esther is the Aramaic word for Ishtar).  So Ishtar was the goddess of the morning & evening star, as well as being the Great Mother, Shining One, Lady of Visions, Priestess of Priestess’, she was the source of the Oracles of Prophesy, & Possessor of the Tablets of Life’s Records.Her symbols were the eight pointed star, the pentagram, dove, serpents, & the double axe. Her planet was Venus. She wore a rainbow necklace. The Persians converted this necklace (the rainbow) into a razor-sharp bridge that led to the Mount of Paradise. In ancient Sumeria, she had 180 shrines where women gathered daily for prayer, meditation, & socializing. The night of the full moon, known as Shapatu, saw joyous celebrations in her temples.

In Ireland, the spring equinox was celebrated long before the arrival of the Celtic tribes. The best known of the ancient Irish equinox temples is Knowth, which is near to Newgrange (Brú na Boinne). Knowth has a 100-foot long passage that accepts the Sun on the morning of the Spring & Autumn Equinox. A second & older stone cairn equinox temple is found at Longhcrew & is given the name Cairn T. Both Knowth & Cairn follow a sunbeam on the morning of the Equinoxs to enter a passageway lighting up the sacred geometry on a back stone inside the temple. This precise timing from a period of over 6 thousand years ago still works today.

The German fertility Goddess was Ostara, who was associated with fertility. Ostara mated with the solar god on the Spring Equinox & nine months later she gave birth to a child at the Winter Solstice.

The Saxon name for the Germanic lunar goddess Ostara was Eostre. Her festival was held at the full moon after the Spring Equinox just like our Easter celebrations.

The Mayans of Central American have also honoured the spring equinox. For ten centuries they have held their unique celebration using their ancient knowledge of the Sunbeam. El Castillo is the name of their great pyramid of the Equinox & as the sunsets on its western face light & dark compliment each other creating a very special pattern of a diamond backed snake descending the pyramid. This solar magic has always been known as the “The Return of the Sun Serpent”.

For the Greeks the god-man of the Spring Equinox was Dionysus. He was associated with flowering plants & fruitful vines & he was always in pain during winter, symbolizing hibernation & the cessation of growth. He returned triumphant on the Spring Equinox & many researchers see direct parallels with the story of Jesus Christ.

Mesopotamia, Sumeria, Babylonia, Elam (5000 years ago) celebrated the start of their new year at the time of the spring equinox. Zoroastrianism was the religion of Ancient Persia until the advent of Islam 1400 years ago. “Nooruz,” their ‘new day’ or New Year was celebrated on the Spring Equinox. Many religious historians connect Judeo-Christian concepts to Zoroastrianism.

In Rome, about 200 years before the birth of Christ there was a wide range of what are today called “mystery cults”. Attis & Cybele held their Spring Equinox rituals at the location of today’s St. Peter’s on Vatican hill. Attis was also known under various names such as Osiris, Dionysus, Tammuz & Orpheus. The Attis & Cybele festival had a death or day of blood & three days of semi-death & then a return to life for the deceased. Attis‘s mother was called Nana & she was a virgin. Attis was crucified on a pine tree.  His blood was spilled to redeem the earth. Attis was both a sacrificial victim & a savior, his death & re-birth was intended to bring salvation to mankind. Most researchers will say that Attis is clearly a prefiguring prototype for The Christ.

In Judaism we can see that the Passover dinner was their spring fertility festival. It records the escape of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt – its main meal was of unleavened bread & lamb.

In America the native Indians honoured the Spring Equinox in landscape-sized temples such as Mystery Hill in Salem NH. Five standing stones & one recumbent stone are set in a linear alignment that connects the sunrise on both the Spring & Autumn Equinoxes.

March 20-23, is the mid-point of the Waxing Year. The spark of light that was born at Winter Solstice has reached maturity, & from this point forward, the days grow longer than the nights. This is the time of full Dawn, 6:00 a.m. on the Year Clock, & so was the time of the festivals of the Grecian Goddess, Eostre, & the Germanic Ostara, both Goddesses of Dawn. (It is from these Bright Ladies that the modern Easter holiday takes its name). This is the time that is often seen as the time of Kore’s return from the Underworld, where She (as Persephone) has ruled throughout the Winter. It is also the time of the celebration of the rebirth of Adonis the Beautiful.

Spring is the time for a celebration of planting & of the greening of the Earth. Folks start to talk about having ‘Spring Fever’ & doing ‘Spring cleaning’, as the brighter sunshine provides a needed morale boost.

Many traditions associated with Spring Equinox have been retained over the years & grafted onto the Easter celebration. Even today, people arise early on Easter morning to attend ‘Sunrise Service’. (Remember Eostre, the Dawn Goddess?)

May this time of new beginnings bring you the fresh start you need, as you begin to plan & to plant the seeds for the future you want to see grow with the light.

Xox ~Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

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Our Monthly Community Conversation

Friday March 23rd 2018 – 7 pm – 9 pm

Come be part of our ongoing Goethean Conversation about the future of Anthroposophy and its cultivation here in Chicago.

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The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz –

Our Holy Week Study & Easter Festival 

Palm Sunday, March 25th – 2 pm – 4 pm,

Holy Monday – Good Friday, March 26- 30th – 7 pm – 9 pm

Holy Saturday March 31st & Easter Sunday, April 1st 2018 – 2 pm – 4 pm

This primary Rosicrucian text provides a 7 stage initiation, which we will traverse together on each of the days of Holy Week. We will discuss the symbolism & render some of the images from the text using various artistic mediums.

Please print your own  PDF copy

for more info. Contact  Hazel (at) ReverseRitual.com 

Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society, 4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (map) Check out our Web site! Chicago, IL (Anthroposophical Society in America)

The newly renovated (& lazured) Elderberries 3-Fold Space is currently available for rental on PEER SPACE for classes, events, meetings, retreats, art exhibits, family parties, etc…

Warmth

3 June 2017 – Astro-Weather: Look for the morning star Venus west of the Sun today, in Her greatest elongation today. She rises around 2:30 am CDT & appears brilliant in the east before dawn

.Neil Hauge

The goddess serves as a guide pointing to distant Uranus.

The waxing gibbous Moon passes north of Jupiter this evening. The pair dominates the sky from shortly after sunset until well past midnight

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Elisabeth Rose

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Julia Stege

“Greek philosophy beautifully compared the human soul with a bee. The world of colour and light offers the soul honey which it brings with it into the higher world. The soul must spiritualize sense experience and carry it up into higher worlds.” ~Rudolf Steiner 1906

545 – Deathday of Saint Clotilde – patron saint of Les Andelys, Normandy. Wife of the Frankish king Clovis I, & princess of the kingdom of Burgundy. In 511, the Queen founded a convent for young girls. The natural spring there is known for healing skin diseases. Queen Clotilde’s cult made her the patron of queens, widows, brides & even those in exile. In Normandy she was venerated as guarding the lame & those who suffered violent death from ill-tempered husbands.

1924 – Deathday of Franz Kafka a German novelist & short story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work, which fuses elements of realism & the fantastic, typically features isolated protagonists faced by bizarre or surrealistic predicaments & incomprehensible social-bureaucratic powers, & has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, & absurdity. His best known works include “Die Verwandlung” (“The Metamorphosis”), Der Process (The Trial), & Das Schloss (The Castle). The term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe situations like those in his writing.

Kafka was born into a middle-class, German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today part of the Czech Republic. He trained as a lawyer, & after completing his legal education he was employed with an insurance company, forcing him to relegate writing to his spare time. Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote hundreds of letters to family & close friends, including his father, with whom he had a strained & formal relationship. He became engaged to several women but never married. He died in 1924 at the age of 40 from tuberculosis.

1943 – The founding of the Nachlassverein by Marie Steiner

1989 – Deathday of Ayatollah  Khomeini, Iranian religious leader & politician

2013 – The trial of United States Army private Chelsea Manning for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks begins in Fort Meade, Maryland

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Burt Hessen

POD (Poem Of the day)

~Look, I have light
In my eyes
& on my skin…
The warmth of a star…
& everything alive is turning
Into something else
Deep in the alchemical Heart
Of some annihilating
Ever creative fire
That is burning unnoticed
Waiting to touch
Me & you
~hag

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Jim Walen

Whitsun thoughts part 2

Whitsun presents us with a remarkable & dramatic picture of spirit-filled individuals, anointed & enkindled with the impulse to speak out of individual freedom regarding the truth & healing power of the Spirit…Speaking the Language of the heart, that all can understand.

Dolore CeVelde

The intense rush of spirit planted in the hearts of human beings highlights one of the greatest challenges of being human: placing our individual gifts, our individual ego, in right relationship within the social realm. This challenge is strongly felt during this time of the consciousness soul era.

Iris Sullivan

Our groups striving to know Spiritual Science, working together as a community, have the possibility to create this type of culture, & the opportunity is here for each of us to meet, human to human, where a sacrament is possible in every encounter.

Our individual strength comes from our personal development & is enhanced by weaving our gifts together with others, knitting our social world in conscious community.

Dale Blenden

During the Christmas Conference the time had come to take up this new evolutionary task, that of transforming or spiritualizing the human social sphere. This mighty impulse was given inspiration by the foundation stone meditation along with the daily rhythms as presented during the conference.

It was Rudolf Steiner’s hope that a “spiritual foundation stone of Love” would be laid in the etheric hearts of all people, providing a bridge between the macro & microcosmic streams in the world & in human beings striving to create a conscious Michaelic community.

Ian Turbitt

This Sophia inspired Michaelic community can be seen as a vessel in which the Christ Being can unite with humanity. Rudolf Steiner created the Anthroposophical Society so that striving individuals can meet to continue this work of evolution. We get a foreshadowing of this through the Whitsun experience of the 1st apostles.

Now let me ask you this, as seekers on the path, have you ever felt utterly alone, overwhelmed, or even a bit lost? Perhaps when you 1st began to know anthroposophy? Steiner speaks of this in ‘How to know higher worlds’ & in the 5th Gospel. You see, we have an opportunity to recognize & acknowledge the isolation that can come from our striving, a mirroring of the experience of the apostles those 10 days between Ascension & Whitsun. That uncomfortable feeling when waiting feels like wrestling.

Stephen B Whatley

The Ascension picture tells us that the deed of Golgotha was fulfilled for the physical & etheric body in the universal human sense.

Whitsun tells us that each single human being must make this deed bear fruit by personally receiving the Holy Spirit, a challenge to strive towards spiritual knowledge.

More will be revealed…

Until soon ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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Current Festival Events

 

“You shall know the truth – & the Truth shall make you free.”

2 June 2017 – Astro-Weather: Brilliant Venus rises in the east around 2:30 am CDT. Although stunning in Her own right, Venus serves as a guide to distant Uranus. The outer planet is very close to  the Goddess of Love for the next 3 mornings.

Also this evening The Moon, Jupiter, & Spica form a gently curving arc in the southwest

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

“The Master said, “A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive, is also able to understand the present.” (Analects 2.11)” ~Confucius

455 – Sack of Rome

1098 – First Crusade: The first Siege of Antioch ends as Crusader forces take the city; the second siege began five days later

1692 – Bridget Bishop is the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts; she was found guilty and later hanged

1882 – Deathday of Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian general & politician. Spoken of as a high initiate in the Hibernian Mysteries in ‘Karmic Relationships’ Vol 1, lec. 11 by Rudolf Steiner ( June 2nd is also Festa della Repubblica -The Italian National Republic Day)

1922 – Start of the Whitsun Conference  or West-East Congress in Vienna, opened by Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz. At this conference Rudolf Steiner gave his last lecture on Threefolding (1917 – 1922)

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POD (Poem Of the Day)
~With simple sandals
I walk before my Beloved
But in the house of heaven my feet are still…
My breast is a lyre that hums,
My lungs fill with living fire,
A cool breeze encircles me,
There is no need for haste…
~Hag

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Liane Collot d’Herbois

Thoughts for Whitsun 2017

Many are called, but few are chosen…Will you elect of their own free will, to gather in the upper room…?

I have boiled down the fruits of my spiritual research on this potent festival into an introductory essay which I hope will set the tone of the day & perhaps engender a fruitful discussion & inspire further mediation on the essence of the subject.

As we move deeper into the glories of Spring, the elementals awaken & we experience in nature signs & images of the Earth-soul in ascension. The sense of arising spreads all around us. And in the play of the elements, fire seems to have the last word in the essential dialogue between the heights & depths. From above resounds the fiery word & the other elements follow the creative call with joy & the beauty of ascent.

Whitsun has been called a festival of flowers. We see this, out among the buds opening under the increasing power of the sun, under the etheric & astral influences.

The heart of the human being as it opens to warmth & light is like the flower, aligning itself to the sun which permeates the earth. And what pours down from the sun, giving the flower, our image in reverse, the potency it needs, is like the tongues of fire descending upon the heads of the disciples, for us humans.

Rudolf Steiner calls this Holy Day ‘The festival of United Soul Endeavor’. He lectured a great deal about Whitsun. He spoke about Spiritual Science as a Whitsun gift.

Today we can see Whitsun as a festival of the 1st fruits of the Spirit. The festival of today is not bestowed on us by nature. It must be called forth

Some say it is a festival of the future, for we must grow ripe to withstand the surging of the Spirit. Whitsun is the festival of our true higher self, which as yet only hovers above us like a dove.

At the same time it is the festival of community, arising from the harmonizing of our higher selves which are ONE in the spirit –
The Cosmic Spirit of all pervading Love,
Healing Spirit, Spirit of Wisdom,
The Comforter,
Councilor,
Paraclete,
Sophia,
The Spirit of Truth..

“You shall know the truth – & the Truth shall make you free.”

Christ fulfilled His Deed for all mankind. And, to each human individual, in order that we may be able to understand this Deed, Christ sends the Healing Spirit, Fulfilling his promise that each person may have access to the effects of the Deed, which was accomplished for all.

Tomorrow we will delve deeper

Until soon ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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Current Festival Events

Shavuot

30 May 2017 – Astro-Weather: Jupiter appears halfway to the zenith in the southern sky during twilight this week & doesn’t set until around 2 am CDT. The brilliant planet shines among the background stars of Virgo, northwest of the Maiden’s brightest star, Spica.

Johfra Bosschart 

Look for Cassiopeia as twilight fades out, down near the north horizon: a wide, upright W.

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Eugene Thirion

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

I turn to history not for lessons but to confront my experience with the experience of others and to win for myself a sense of responsibility for the state of the human conscience. ~ Zbigniew Herbert  (Poet) 1924 – 1998

François Chifflart

1431 – Deathday of Joan of Arc, French martyr & saint, burnt at the stake by the British under Duke of Bedford

1593 – Deathday of Christopher Marlowe, English poet & playwright

Paul Delaroche

1672 – Birthday of Peter the Great Czar of Russia.  He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist & medieval political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, based on The Enlightenment.

1778 – Deathday of Voltaire, French philosopher & author. Rudolf Steiner speaks of him as being a former pupil of the mysteries in Karmic Relationships Vol. 2.

1806 – Future U.S. President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel

1935 – Deathday of Daniel Nicol Dunlop , a Scottish entrepreneur, founder of the World Power Conference & other associations, a theosophist-turned-anthroposophist. Thought to have been a Templar in a former life. Dunlop saw Rudolf Steiner for the first time when he was still General Secretary of the German Section of the Theosophical Society, both of them expressed their intimate spiritual connection &respect for one another.  Dunlop started the anthroposophical “Human Freedom Group & anthroposophical Summer Schools. In 1928 he organized the first & only World Conference on Anthroposophy & in 1929 he was elected General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain. He had a deep friendship with Eleanor Merry, who supported his work, especially after the death of his own wife, Eleanor in 1932. As a result of conflicts & power struggles within the General Anthroposophical Society, leading to its splintering in April 1935, Dunlop was expelled together with a number of other leading members. He died shortly afterwards of an appendicitis. Dunlop enlisted the help of fellow anthroposophist Walter Johannes Stein in the hope of founding a World Economic Organization, but his death prevented this.

1936 – Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz resigns from the General Anthroposophical Society on the 1 year anniversary of his friend D.N. Dunlop’s death, in protest after many of his contemporizes were expelled from the Society.

1937 – Memorial Day massacre: Chicago police shoot & kill 10 labor demonstrators

1989 –The 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators

1998 – The 6.5 Mw Afghanistan earthquake killed over 5,000

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POD (Poem Of the Day)

~In the wind I hear what I see –
A low hum of vitality
The bell of flowers singing…
With the bright blade of spirit I turned new ground,
Planted seed & watched,
Beneath my hand things happened –
Grapes & wheat
In time I will serve
Wine & bread...
~hag

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Shavuot is a spring holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah, the first harvest, &the ripening of the first fruits. In the bible, Shavuot is called by various other names: Feast of Weeks, Feast of The First Fruits & Feast of the Giving of the Law. The festival begins this year at sunset May 30th thru June1, 2017.

The farmers of Israel begin their spring harvests with the barley crop at Passover. The harvest continues for seven weeks as the other crops & fruits began to ripen. As each fruit ripened, the first of each type would not be eaten but instead the farmer would tie a ribbon around the branch. This ribbon signified that these fruits were Bikkurim, or the first fruits.

At Shavuot the farmers would gather the Bikkurim into baskets & bring them to the city of Jerusalem where they would be eaten in the holy city. The farmers living close to Jerusalem would bring fresh fruits, while those who had to travel a long distance carried dried raisins & figs. This joyful occasion was celebrated with the music of fifes, timbres, & drums. As the pilgrims approached the city walls they were greeted by the inhabitants of the city.

Along with being a Harvest holiday & celebrating the spiritual journey of Ruth, Shavuot celebrates the Revelation of Torah.

On Shavuot, folks light candles, decorate with greenery, eat dairy food, study Torah, attend prayer services, & read the Book of Ruth.

The Legends and Customs of Shavuot:

Many of the traditions & customs of Shavuot have evolved from the legends & stories describing the experiences of the Israelites at Mount Sinai. According to tradition the Israelites actually overslept on the morning of G-d’s visit. To compensate for this negligence, Jews hold a vigil on the eve of Shavuot. They stay awake from dusk to dawn, keeping themselves busy with the readings of the Torah & the Talmud. A digest of readings has evolved called Tikkun Leil Shavuot, the “Restoration of Shavuot Eve,” which includes selections from the Torah, the Prophets, the Talmud, & the Zohar.

Another Shavuot custom is the eating of dairy foods. One explanation states that this comes from a passage in the Torah which reads: “And He gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey”.

Another explanation comes from a legend stating that before the visit from G-d the Jews did not keep kosher or follow the Kashrut (dietary) laws. It was on this first Shavuot that they found out that their utensils were nonkosher. So finding themselves without kosher meats or utensils the Israelites were forced to eat only dairy foods. Today Jews celebrate Shavuot by eating blintzes, cheesecake, & other dairy dishes.

Another legend tells the story of the Israelites finding Mount Sinai blooming and lush with greenery & flowers. From this legend grew the custom to decorate the Jewish home & synagogue with tree branches & flowers. Some temples decorate the Torah scrolls with wreaths of roses.

The Greek version of this festival is called Pentecost…meaning 50 days after the resurrection of the Christ…when the new law of, ‘love thy neighbor as thy self ‘, was engraved in the heart, with the fire of the holy spirit, among roaring winds & tongues of fire.(This year this moveable feast is on June 4th, 2017) It is also called Whitsunday after the white robes worn by those baptized with fire during this vigil…in Italy it was customary to scatter rose petals from the ceiling to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues resting on the heads of the prophets…in France they blow trumpets to suggest the sound of the mighty wind which accompanied the descent of the holy spirit…in Russia the congregation carries flowers & sheaves of barley…

We will explore this further as the week goes on…

Until soon ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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PDF Exploring the Mysteries of St John’s-Tide

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

Pot Luck 6:30 pmBee & Stag Bon-fire & Drum Circle 8 pm

We begin with the setting Sun, in the dark of the New Moon.  Thru the drumming of our collective heart-beat, circle dancing, singing to the stars, & blessing the earth, we will celebrate the bright reflection of the Divine within ourselves & each other.

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

For more info.  Hazel (at) ReverseRitual.com

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

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

SATURDAY June 24th 2017, 1 pm – 4 pm – at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP

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

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

Together with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg & Karen Hartz. We will work to strengthen our true “I” – Enlivening our Will Forces, with Social-Artistic Exercises

***

The  Center of Anthroposhopyis holding a PDF foundation year training at Urban Prairie this summer

***

The Central Regional Council is hosting a Bridging to the ‘Great American Eclipse’ in St. Louis – August 19-22, 2017 stay tuned for details

***

 

Über die aesthetische Erziehung des Menschen

Dear Friends –

Here is my last installment for this year’s thoughts on Ascension, which I like to call the Festival of the Elements.

Josephine Wall

When we attune ourselves to beings such as Raphael, Archangel of spring, we can awaken to the way spiritual entities constantly interact with earth thru the elements.

Jose Hanmel

The messengers of cosmic warmth in the rays of the sun activate the ascension of the element of water. Through its union with air, clouds originate. In the cloud, between depths of earth & heavenly heights, in the sphere of the etheric realm, a mobile balance manifests.

Blossoms & fruits are in reality not just products of earth but heavenly forms filled with earthly substance, like us.

The phantom body of Christ is a reconstituted New Adam, & the Resurrection Body points us in the direction of our future evolution, not back to the garden, but going forward toward the New Jerusalem. Materializing & dematerializing at will.

The ‘ Resurrection Body’ encompasses the whole of humanity – Rudolf Steiner calls it a redeeming of the  group-soul of mankind. It is like a cell that is multiplying; growing ever more evident in the etheric realm.

The expression “Put on the resurrection body” used by the apostle Paul is a true picture of what can happen for us. An imaginative picture of this is secreted in the allegory of the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz .

Goethe’s Fairy Tale is another powerful imagination that captures the essence of the Ascension.

It’s been said that The Green Snake & the Beautiful Lily which is full of esoteric symbolism, was born out of Goethe’s reading of The Chymical Wedding .

Goethe’s Tale was written as a response to a work by Friedrich Schiller called ‘Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man’.  Über die aesthetische Erziehung des Menschen

One of the central ideas discussed so often by by Goethe & Schiller centered on the question of human freedom. Schiller was trying to build an inner bridge between reality & the ‘ideal human being’.

Schiller wrote his ‘Letters’ during the time of the French Revolution, which was driven by a desire for outer social changes, to enable human beings to become free.

But both Schiller and Goethe recognized that freedom cannot be ‘imposed’ from the outside, it must arise from within. So Goethe took this inspiration & set about writing a Fairy Tale that would show, in imaginative pictures, the way in which a human soul could become whole & free by bridging the abyss between the human & the divine within.

For 40 days Christ lived in the concentrated form of the Phantom & resurrection body, which was perceptible, to the apostles. The Concentration then changed into expansion, conveying to the universe the mystery of death, & the secret of death into life.  So Now, at the Ascension, the wisdom of the resurrection that had been brought forth in the depths, was made known in the heights, & the expansion fulfills the cycles of time.

Matter is spirit burst into visibility. The crucifixion was an undoing of this process.

The phantom or resurrection body of Christ is no longer purely human comprised as we are of the Imagination of the Spirits of Form, the Inspiration of the Spirits of Wisdom, with an aura by the Spirits of Will. It is the body of a reconstituted new Adam pointing us in a new direction of our future evolution, not back to the garden, but going forward toward the New Jerusalem. Materializing & dematerializing at will.

This ‘body’ encompasses the whole of humanity – Rudolf Steiner calls it the group-soul of mankind. It is like a cell that is multiplying. The expression “put on the resurrection body” used by the apostle Paul is a true picture of what can happen for us. This is really what is meant by the Chymical Wedding.

May we all called to the marriage feast as we prepare to receive the baptism by fire from the Holy Spirit

xox ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

***

PDF Exploring the Mysteries of St John’s-Tide

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

Pot Luck 6:30 pmBee & Stag Bon-fire & Drum Circle 8 pm

We begin with the setting Sun, in the dark of the New Moon.  Thru the drumming of our collective heart-beat, circle dancing, singing to the stars, & blessing the earth, we will celebrate the bright reflection of the Divine within ourselves & each other.

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

For more info.  Hazel (at) ReverseRitual.com

***

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

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

SATURDAY June 24th 2017, 1 pm – 4 pm – at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP

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

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

Together with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg & Karen Hartz. We will work to strengthen our true “I” – Enlivening our Will Forces, with Social-Artistic Exercises

***

The  Center of Anthroposhopyis holding a PDF foundation year training at Urban Prairie this summer

***

The Central Regional Council is hosting a Bridging to the ‘Great American Eclipse’ in St. Louis – August 19-22, 2017 stay tuned for details

***