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Past, Present & future Beltane

1 May 2017 Beltane/May DayAstro-Weather: This week provides skywatchers with a grand opportunity to get a good view of Sirius, the night sky’s brightest star, before evening twilight swallows it. This luminary twinkles brightly in the southwestern sky through the thick layers of turbulent air that lurk near the horizon

Sirius Grey

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

George de la Tour

The feast of ‘Joseph The worker’ Joseph was a “tekton,”‘translated as carpenter, woodworker, craftsman, handyman, or even day laborer. Jesus worked as a “tekton” for upwards of 18 years.

1886 – Rallies are held throughout the United States demanding the 8 hour work day, culminating in the Haymarket affair in Chicago, celebrated on May 1st as International Workers’ Day in many countries.

1893 – The World’s Columbian Exposition opens in Chicago

1900 – The Scofield Mine disaster kills over 200 in Utah in a mining accident

1929 – The 7.2 earthquake shakes the Iran–Turkmenistan border region killing over 3,800 & injuring 1,121.

1930 – The dwarf planet Pluto is officially named

1945 –Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels & his wife Magda commit suicide in the Reich Garden outside the Führerbunker. Their children are also killed by having cyanide pills inserted into their mouths by their mother, Magda

Also on May 1, 1945, hundreds of people committed mass suicide in the town of Demmin, Germany. The suicides occurred during a mass panic that was provoked by atrocities committed by soldiers of the Soviet Red Army, who had sacked the town the day before. It is acknowledged to be the largest mass suicide ever recorded in Germany.

Nazi officials, the police, the Wehrmacht & a number of citizens had left the town before the arrival of the Red Army, while thousands of refugees from the East had also taken refuge in Demmin. The retreating Wehrmacht had blown up the bridges over the rivers, which enclosed the town trapping the remaining civilians. The Soviet units looted & burned down the town, & committed rapes & executions.

Over 2, 500 inhabitants & refugees then committed suicide, with many families committing suicide together. Most bodies were buried in mass graves, & after the war, discussion of the mass suicide was tabooed by the East German Communist government.

Origins of the Workers May Day

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POD (Poem Of the Day)

~My mouth is
My hands are
Hard green seedlings
No longer innocent
Yet pliable by grace
An active hive of Bees
Stirred by Sun mysteries
& service

~hag

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some Ancient Origins of Beltane

May 1st, called Beltane by the ancients, is the cross-quarter on the wheel of the year, between the Spring Equinox & the Summer Solstice, which marks a joyful festival of growth & fecundity, heralding the promise of Summer. This is a time when nature blossoms & felicity & fertility return to the land.

Beltane is the festival of the ‘Good Fire’ or ‘Bel-fire’, named after the solar deity Bel. “Bright and Brilliant Regenerator”, “Protective Shepard”, “The Fiercely Shining One”, & “The Hospitable Boar Chieftain”. All hearth fires were extinguished on Beltane Eve & then kindled again from the sacred “need fires” lit on Beltane. People would leap through the smoke & flames of Beltane fires & cattle were driven through them for purification, fertility, prosperity & protection. Bel was a Pan-Celtic & Gaulish god of light who was revered in such widespread locals as Aquitaine, Austria, Britain, northern Italy. Bel was also known as Bile in Ireland, meaning ‘tree of Life’. Besides being a solar god, Belenus was also known to be a rainbow rayed healer & there are healing springs that were associated with him.

Rudolf Steiner, when lecturing about the Mystery Schools, speaks of this time as being ruled by the Archangel Raphael.

In terms of the Archetypal cycle, Beltane marks the union of female & male polarities, bringing new life to the earth. It is a traditional time for Handfastings (marriages), & was a time for couples to make love outside to bless the crops & the earth.

Maypoles were often danced around at Beltane to bring fertility & good fortune. The later addition of ribbons which were wrapped around the pole by the dancers brought a further sense of the integration of male & female energies, mirroring the union between the God & the Goddess.

Beltane is a time to devote energy to growth & integration. It is a time of celebration, exuberance & hope, when we can enjoy & appreciate the gifts of nature.

Julie Wise

It is believed that Beltane is a Celtic reinvention of an even older Sabine festival, Floralia, which celebrated the goddess Flora & the flowering of spring into summer, especially associated with vines, olives, fruit trees & honey-bearing plants.

Cernnunos, the earthly god-force present at Beltane, is a Triple God who is Green Man, Great Father, & Nature Deity. “Antlered Horned Forest Lord”, “Leaf Faced Greenery Father”, & “Primal Landscape Goddess Consort”, he was known by many names throughout the ages on the European continent & the British Isles.

The keeper of the archetypal bag of “fertility coins”, he carried a mighty club that symbolized his authority as master of the hunt, & protector of nature –

A creative mentor of animals, nature spirits, & woodlands, Cernnunos is also a magickal craftsman & Mysteries initiator, considered an Otherworld threshold guardian.

Originally a movable feast controlled by the condition of the crops & flowers, It is believed to have been instituted in 238 BCE under the command of an oracle in the Sibylline Books, with the purpose of gaining from the goddess the protection of the blossoms.

Games were instituted in honor of Flora; with pantomimes, & street theatre. The people of all classes wore their brightest clothes, all decked out in flowers – even their animals were garlanded. Goats & hares were let loose as they represented fertility.

Odilon Redon

Rome must have looked particularly beautiful at this time.

Gift-giving for the season included vegetables as tokens of sex & fertility. (Use your imagination) In fact, the origins of the Floralia are associated in Greece with Aphrodite in her aspect as the goddess of Love & flowering plants (Antheia) before the festival found its way to Italy.

Mandy Pullish

Choosing a May Queen & King is part of celebrating May Day. A young girl dressed in white represented the Goddess in her maiden aspect. The merry month of May & the word maiden both come from the same source, a word which simply means young.

In Piedmont Italy, the Bride of May carries the maggio, a green branch garlanded with ribbons, fresh fruits & lemons.

In some English Villages, the maiden is called Maid (or May) Marian & this is considered Robin Hood’s holiday.

Anyone who went out into the woods & found a branch of flowering hawthorn would bring it triumphantly into the village (thereby bringing in the May) & announcing the start of planting season. However there were warnings about bringing hawthorn into the house, since it would invite the fairies in.

Sometimes flowers were given as messages: plum for the glum, elder for the surly, thorns for the prickly, pear for the popular.

In Eastern Europe, a young man would go into the woods on May Eve, dig up a young flowering tree, decorate it with ribbons & colored eggshells, & plant it outside the bedroom window of his sweetheart.

In Scandinavia & Germany, May trees are important for both people & animals, & are set up beside the door, sometimes one for each animal in a stable.

In Italy, May Day was celebrated by tying lemons & ribbons around flowering branches. Maypoles are called alberi della cucagna (trees from the land of milk & honey). These Maypoles would have prosciutto, mortadella cheeses & money dangling from the top. The men try to get these prizes by climbing the pole which is greased with lard. Eventually the grease wears off & someone gets the prize. A similar custom is found in Wales.

In English villages, the Maypole is often decorated with a broom or bush & brought in from the woods with girls riding astride it.

The Maypole dance is a circle dance of alternating male & female dancers, weaving in & out in a maze movement, plaiting ribbons as they go. Maypole dances fulfilled social & sacred functions. They helped people flirt & mingle socially. They also raised energy in a patterned & focused way.

In ancient Ireland there was a Sacred Tree named Bile, which was the center of the clan, or Tuatha. As the Irish Tree of Life, the Bile Pole, represents the connection between the people & the three worlds of Bith: The Skyworld (heavens), The Middleworld (our world), & The Otherworld.

barb saler

Today in some towns & villages a mummer called Jack in the Green (drawing from the Green man), wears a costume made of green leaves as he dances around the May pole. Mumming is a dramatic performance of exaggerated characters & at Beltane the characters include Jack in the Green & the Fool.

The Fool, & the Fool’s journey symbolism can be understood in relation to Beltane as it is the beginning of beginnings, the emergence from the void of nothingness (winter), as one can also see the role of the green man as the re-greening of the world.

In England, May Day was also an occasion for Morris dancing & mummer’s plays. Scholars have speculated that the exaggerated leaps of the Morris dancers serve as charms to show the crops how high to grow (similar dances are reported from early Roman times) & the clashing of their sticks may represent a ritual battle between summer & winter.

The mummer’s plays feature odd character including Green (or St) George, a hobbyhorse, cockhourse (or dragon), a male/female, a teaser, a jester & chimney sweeps with their brushes. Sometimes the hobbyhorse has coal under his skirts & he tries to trap young women under them. Only those who are marked with coal can dance around the maypole. Sometimes when the play portrays a battle between summer & winter, Summer squirts Winter with water & seizes the garland from winter & presents it to the May Queen.

Beltane, is still a precarious time, the crops are still very young & tender, susceptible to frost & blight. As was the way of ancient thought, the Wheel would not turn without human intervention. People did everything in their power to encourage the growth of the Sun & His light, for the Earth will not produce without the warm love of the strong Sun, & the nourishing, healing powers of rain.

Water has special properties on May Day. A Mother Goose rhyme tells us:
The fair maid who, the first of May
Goes to the fields at break of day
& washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be.

Other sources suggest using the dew found under oaks or on ivy leaves. Make a special wish as you wash your face in it or as you drink from a well before sunrise. The first Sunday & first Monday in May are traditional days for dressing (decorating & honoring) wells.

This is an important association of Beltane, for water is refreshing & rejuvenating, it is also imperative to life. It is said that if you bathe in the dew gathered before dawn on Beltane morn, your beauty will flourish throughout the year. Those who are sprinkled with May dew are insured of health & happiness.

May wine is made by flavoring wine with herbs, berries, fruits or flowers. The traditional May wine is white wine flavored with sweet woodruff (soak the sprigs of woodruff in the wine for only 15 minutes or so to flavor the wine).

Elihu Vedder

At Beltane the Pleiades star cluster rises just before sunrise on the morning horizon, (whereas winter begins when the Pleiades rises at sunset) The Pleiades is a cluster of seven closely placed stars, the seven sisters, in the constellation of Taurus, near his shoulder. When looking for the Pleiades with the naked eye, remember it looks like a tiny dipper-shaped pattern of six moderately bright stars (the seventh can be seen on very dark nights) in the constellation of Taurus. It stands very low in the east-northeast sky for just a few minutes before sunrise.

For as we stand on the earth bringing our prayers & intentions for new growth into our actions, we must also remember to rise in our thoughts to meet the cosmic forces, the inspiration & origin of our fertility…

See you in the grove

xox ~hag

 

 

 

 

A rhythmic state of grace

23 April 2017- Astro-Weather: The waning crescent Moon appears to the right of Venus before dawn. The two approach each other as the morning progresses.

William Etty

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

History, if thoroughly comprehended, furnishes something of the experience which a man would acquire who should be a contemporary of all ages, and a fellow-citizen of all peoples.” ~Joseph Roux, Meditations of a Parish Priest

Martorell

303 – Death day & feast of Saint George, Roman soldier & martyr. One of the ‘14 Holy Helpers’ immortalized in the myth of Saint George & the Dragon. In the legend a dragon or crocodile makes its nest at the spring that provides water for the city of Lydda in the Holy Land. Consequently, the citizens have to dislodge the dragon from its nest to collect water. So, each day they offer the dragon at first a sheep, then a maiden. The victim is chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happens to be the princess. The monarch begs for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She is offered to the dragon, but then Saint George appears on his travels. He faces the dragon, protects himself with the sign of the Cross, slays the dragon, & rescues the princess. The citizens abandon their ancestral paganism & convert to Christianity

Oleg Shuplyak

1616 – Deathday of William Shakespeare, English poet, playwright, & actor. He is often called England’s national poet, & the “Bard of Avon”. Shakespeare was born & brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, & they had 3 children: Susanna, & twins Hamnet & Judith.

His extant works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, 2 long narrative poems, & a few other verses. His plays remain highly popular & are constantly studied, performed, & reinterpreted in diverse cultural & political contexts throughout the world- translated into every major living language & are performed more often than those of any other playwright

1869 – Birthday of Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz – was born in Prague (then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire) to an aristocratic family with royal connections. Polzer-Hoditz was one of Rudolf Steiner’s most valued, independently-minded colleagues. Leaving behind his background traditions, he would become a key player in Steiner’s regenerative threefold social impulses, working tirelessly for a genuinely unified, free Europe. He also fought to protect Rudolf Steiner’s esoteric legacy & the integrity of the Anthroposophical Society.

Following Steiner’s untimely death, Polzer-Hoditz fostered a broad range of friendships & alliances with key figures such as D.N. Dunlop, Walter Johannes Stein, & Ita Wegman. In a bid to avoid further division & conflict, he made significant interventions to alter the tragic course of events that consumed the Anthroposophical Society, although he was unable to stop the major split within the membership that followed. In the final decade of his life, he concentrated his energies on world issues & on influencing events, especially in Europe, while lecturing widely & writing books. In contrast to the destructive special interests of the national & religious groups that craved dominion & power, Polzer-Hoditz sought to build a true understanding between Central & Eastern Europe & to cultivate a spiritual connection with the West.

According to anthroposopher T.H. Meyer, Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz had an experience that brought to the surface one of his past incarnations as Hadrian, 76 AD – 10 July, 138 AD, who was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He is known for building Hadrian’s Wall, which marked the northern limit of Britannia. He also rebuilt the Pantheon & constructed the Temple of Venus & Roma. He is considered to have been a humanist, & he is regarded as one of the ‘Five Good Emperors’.

Hadrian was born into a Hispano-Roman family. During his reign, he traveled to nearly every province of the Empire. An ardent admirer of Greece, he sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire and ordered the construction of many opulent temples in the city. He used his relationship with his Greek lover Antinous to underline his love of Greek culture leading to the creation of one of the most popular cults of ancient times. He spent extensive amounts of time with the military; he usually wore military attire & even dined & slept amongst the soldiers. Late in his reign he suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea, renaming the province Syria Palaestina

1891 – Birthday of Russian composer, & conductor Sergei Prokofiev,  egarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. A graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory, Prokofiev initially made his name as an iconoclastic composer-pianist, achieving notoriety with a series of ferociously dissonant & virtuosic works for his instrument.  Prokofiev’s greatest interest, however, was opera.

After the Revolution, Prokofiev left Russia & resided in the United States, then Germany, then Paris, making his living as a composer, pianist & conductor. During that time he married a Spanish singer, Carolina Codina, with whom he had two sons. In the early 1930s, the Great Depression diminished opportunities for Prokofiev’s ballets & operas to be staged in America & western Europe. Prokofiev, who regarded himself as composer foremost, resented the time taken by touring as a pianist, & increasingly turned to Soviet Russia for commissions of new music; in 1936 he finally returned to his homeland with his family. He enjoyed some success there – notably with Lieutenant Kijé, Peter & the Wolf, Romeo & Juliet, & above all with Alexander Nevsky.

The Nazi invasion of the USSR spurred him to compose his most ambitious work, an operatic version of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. In 1948 Prokofiev was attacked for producing “anti-democratic formalism”, so with his standing compromised & his income severely curtailed, he was forced to compose Stalinist Soviet music, such as the cantata On Guard for Peace.

Prokofiev died at the age of 61 on 5 March 1953, the same day as Joseph Stalin. He had lived near Red Square, & for 3 days the throngs gathered to mourn Stalin, making it impossible to carry Prokofiev’s body out for the funeral service at the headquarters of the Soviet Composers’ Union. He is buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow. He was an atheist

1919 – Opening of the 1st Waldorf School, Stuttgart Germany. Waldorf education, is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy. Its pedagogy emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, & artistic development of pupils.

Steiner’s division of child development into three major stages is reflected in the schools’ approach to early childhood education, which focuses on practical, hands-on activities & creative play; to elementary education, which focuses on developing artistic expression & social capacities; & to secondary education, which focuses on developing critical reasoning & empathic understanding.

The overarching goal is to develop free, morally responsible, & integrated individuals equipped with a high degree of social competence.

Qualitative assessments of student work are integrated into the daily life of the classroom, with quantitative testing playing a minimal role in primary education & standardized testing usually limited to that required for college entry. Individual teachers & schools have a great deal of autonomy in determining curriculum content, teaching methodology, & governance

1945 – Deathday of Albrecht Georg Haushofer (a German geographer, diplomat, author & member of the German Resistance to Nazism. Haushofer was born in Munich, the son of the retired World War I general.

Obtaining an insight in Nazi politics, Haushofer approached to German resistance circles. Following the outbreak of World War II.

High-ranking members of the Nazi Party looked disapprovingly upon his half-Jewish mother. Incarcerated in Berlin Moabit Prison, he wrote his Moabit Sonnets, posthumously published in 1946. In the night of 22/23 April 1945, as Red Army troops already entered Berlin, Albrecht Haushofer & other inmates were shot in the neck by SS troopers. His body was discovered by his brother Heinz on 12 May 1945.

One of the sonnets, titled Schuld or “Guilt”, was on his person at the time of his execution. It reads as follows:

Guilt
I am guilty,
But not in the way you think.
I should have earlier recognized my duty;
I should have more sharply called evil evil;
I reined in my judgment too long.
I did warn,
But not enough, and not clearly enough;
And today I know what I was guilty of.
~ Albrecht Haushofer

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Daniel Gale

POD (Poem Of the Day)

Even day & night dance
Making sunset & dawn between them
A rhythmic state of grace…
Even now
The earth envelops the seed
Pushing it into the darkness
Before it arises into fruit…
~hag

Brigid’s Quickening Comet Eclipse

10 February 2017 – Astro-Weather:

Tonight is the Full Quickening Moon, Sacred to the Celtic Goddess Brigid – powered this evening by the constellation of Leo; with the Sun in Aquarius. It is also a Lunar Eclipse, which occurs at 6:43pm CST. This ‘Penumbral’ Eclipse can be understood as a ‘shadow eclipse’. And there is a lot of power hidden in the shadow. Yes, the shadow knows! We all have a shadow side lurking within, a term used by Carl Jung to describe our unconscious self. The Shadow follows us everywhere, there’s no getting away from it. It’s hard to grasp & yet we must strive to embrace this part of ourselves & bring the dark into the light, to release the energy locked up in the illusions of fear.

This shadow eclipse is the kick-off for ‘The Great American Eclipse’ on August 21, 2017 – a Total Solar Eclipse that will sweep across the mainland of the US for the first time in 137 years.

We have 2 pairs of eclipses this year – one pair this month, the other in August. So tonight’s eclipse is the opening act in a 4-act play:

1. Penumbral Lunar Eclipse Full Moon: 10 February 2017
2. Annular Solar Eclipse New Moon: 26 February 2017
3. Partial Lunar Eclipse Full Moon: 7 August 2017
4. TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE: 21 August 2017, ‘The Great American Eclipse’

Act Two will occur two weeks from now, on 26 February 2017, when we will have an Annular Solar Eclipse New Moon.

Rudolf Steiner was born on 25 February 1861, but because he almost died, they baptized him on 27 February, which was ‘officially’ recorded as his birthday. So this middle day 26 February in Steiner’s birth story is significant. The Solar eclipse, on Sunday February 26th 2017 indicates a new phase of Steiner’s influence, which is especially potent for the next six months! We will celebrate Steiner’s birthday along with the solar eclipse by analyzing his horoscope.

Astrologer Victoria Martin will expound on some classic interpretations of Rudolf Steiner’s Birth chart – For instance did you know he was born on a Full Moon, near the zenith of the sky aligned to Saturn? Victoria will also go further by adding the fixed stars, which according to Brian Gray at Steiner College, are basic components in Astrosophy.

Victoria will also do 3-minute readings for each participant to see where their birthdays fit in Steiner’s horoscope!

This can be even more precise if the entire horoscope of participants is available, so please email your date, time, and place of birth to viccimartin@gmail.com.

We can also look into the 2017 trends if there is interest! And Hazel Archer Ginsberg will give a brief overview of the phases in Rudolf Steiner’s life.

 $10 Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP

There is another celestial event taking place this evening – we will have a cosmic visitor – Comet 45P –- showing up in the heavens at the same time as the lunar eclipse/full moon. Comet 45P is a short-period comet discovered by the team of Minoru Honda on 3 December 1948. It revolves around the Sun every 5.25 years. We have experienced 13 visits from 45P since its discovery.

Think back  about 5 years ago to 2011-2012 – pivotal years to be sure. What was going on for you then? How have you changed since then? Another key time period associated with this comet is 1995-1996.

Also think back to 31 December 2016 which is when Comet 45P reached exact contact with its star (& ours), the Sun. Because of this timing, it was dubbed ‘the New Year Comet’. This clearly makes Comet 45P a bringer of energies that will affect all of 2017 – a critical year for humanity, similar to the turning point of 2012, which also included a visit from Comet 45P.

It will return in 2022. What will life on earth be like then?

Comet 45P is GREEN in color, which resonates with the green of the Earth as well as the heart chakra. It’s about connecting the core of earth with the center of our heart in light & love.

Comet 45P is in front of the constellation Hercules now & will be in Hercules on the day of its closest approach on February 11. Then it will fade as it passes through the constellations Corona Borealis, Boötes, Canes Venatici & Ursa Major, moving into Leo by the end of February. The myth of Hercules will have special meaning now & for the rest of the year.

From an article by Dr Elizabeth Vreede:

“The Comet represents an element that does not wholly enter the usual sphere of cosmic law. Although they still contain a trace of the direct working of spiritual powers, indeed, of the very highest — the Seraphim and Cherubim. Before ordinary law may be broken through, the very highest power and insight is required. The various comets, indeed, are agents of a very special nature in our planetary system, their polar antithesis being in the moons.

Just as the moons are a kind of corpse which the planetary system trails along with it, so, on the other side, the comets may be spoken of as constant purifiers of the spiritual atmosphere within the solar system.
In earlier times men thought of them as the “scavengers of God,”
and many superstitions have gathered around them. To the eye of Spirit, too, the mission of the comets is perpetually to expel impure astral forces from the Cosmos or to introduce new impulses.”

Click here for a video of the Comet 45P’s path through the constellations.

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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

547 – Death day of St. Scholastica, foundress of the women’s branch of Benedictine Monasticism. The patron saint of nuns, & convulsive children. She is invoked against storms & rain. The most commonly told story about her is that she would go & visit her twin brother Benedict of Nursia near his abbey once a year, They would spend the day praying & discussing sacred texts. Sensing the time of her death was drawing near, Scholastica asked him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their discussions. Not wishing to break his Rule, Benedict refused, insisting that he needed to return to his cell. At that point, Scholastica closed her hands in prayer, & after a moment, a wild storm started outside. Benedict asked, “What have you done?”, to which she replied, “I asked you & you would not listen; so I asked my God & he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me & return to your monastery.” Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, & they spent the night in discussion. Three days later, from his cell, her twin saw her soul leaving the earth & ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove

630 – Feast Day of St. Austrebertha. A popular legend states that one day, while looking for the donkey whose task it was to carry the laundry of the monks to the convent, she came across a wolf. The wolf admitted to killing the donkey & begged for forgiveness. Austrebertha forgave the wolf but commanded him to carry the laundry himself, a task that the wolf performed for the rest of its life

1258 – Baghdad falls to the Mongols, & the Abbasid Caliphate is destroyed

1306 – In front of the high altar of Greyfriar’s Church in Dumfries, Robert the Bruce murders John Comyn sparking revolution in the Wars of Scottish Independence

1355 – The St Scholastica Day riot breaks out in Oxford, England, leaving 63 scholars & 130 locals dead

1567 – Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, is found strangled following an explosion at the Kirk o’ Field house in Edinburgh, Scotland, a suspected assassination

1763 – French & Indian War: The Treaty of Paris ends the war & France cedes Quebec to Great Britain

1814 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Champaubert ends in French victory over the Russians & the Prussians

1920 – Józef Haller de Hallenburg performs a symbolic wedding of Poland to the sea, celebrating restitution of Polish access to open sea

1940 – The Soviet Union begins mass deportations of Polish citizens from occupied eastern Poland to Siberia

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Geraldine Balen

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~May I stand in the midst of celestial fire
Until my heart is molten golden
May I walk on earth radiant in thought
My body curve toward the will of heart
A heliotropic dance propelling
My breath in calm waters
Toward destiny
~hag

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Some thoughts about eclipses :

In “Human Questions and Cosmic Answers” Rudolf Steiner states: “An eclipse of the sun is due to the fact that the moon comes between the sun and the earth, cutting off the rays of the sun.” At the time of a solar eclipse, something totally different takes place on the earth. Usually the rays of the sun penetrate down to the earth & the forces or rays of our will stream out to meet the sun. At an eclipse, our will forces radiate out into the darkness, & there is a period of time, short as it is, in which all that is of the nature of human will, good will as well as ill intention etc, flows out into universal space in an abnormal way since it is not met & offset by the sun. Ordinarily, the physical sunlight unites with the radiations of human will streaming towards it. When there is an eclipse, the forces of will flow unhindered into cosmic space.

Steiner describes this as a ‘safety valve’ a way to ‘let off steam’. All those human will forces, the beautiful as well as the ugly, are able to leave the earths atmosphere.

The old initiates knew these things. They saw that at such a moment all the unbridled impulses & instincts of humanity surge out into the cosmos. And they gave their pupils the following explanation. They said: “Under normal conditions the evil impulses of will which are sent out into the cosmos by human beings are burned up and consumed by the rays of the sun, so that they can injure only man himself, but can do no universal harm. When, however, there is an eclipse of the sun, opportunity is given for the evil which is willed on earth to spread over the cosmos. An eclipse is a physical event behind which there lies a significant spiritual reality”.

And again, when there is an eclipse of the moon, the man of today merely says: ‘Now the earth comes between the sun & the moon; so we see the shadow cast on the moon by the earth.’ That is the physical explanation. But in this case also the ancient initiates knew that a spiritual reality was behind this physical fact. They knew that when there is an eclipse of the moon, cosmic thoughts stream through the darkness down to the earth; & that such thoughts have a closer relationship with the subconscious  or shadow side than with the conscious side of the human being.

The old initiates often made use of a certain simile when speaking to their pupils. “Visionaries and dreamers love to go for rambles by moonlight, when the moon is full. There are, however, certain people who have no wish to receive the good thoughts coming to them from the cosmos, but who, on the contrary, are desirous of getting hold of evil, diabolical thoughts. Such people will choose the moment of a lunar eclipse for their nocturnal wanderings”.

So as Steiner said, eclipses of the sun & moon, recurring as they do in the course of every year, can be looked at as “safety-valves” -there to avert danger, to provide an outlet at the right moment. One of the safety-valves which makes its appearance in the cosmos is the solar eclipse, which serves the purpose of carrying out into space in a ‘Luciferic way‘, the ‘evil’ that spreads over the earth, in order that ‘evil may work havoc in a wider, less concentrated sphere’.

The other safety-valve, the lunar eclipse, exists for the purpose of allowing the evil thoughts which are present in the cosmos to approach those human beings who are desirous of being possessed by them. People ruled by their unconscious selves. These facts are just as real as the attraction of a magnet for small particles of iron. Such are the forces at work, in the cosmos.

Rudolf Steiner also gave us hints as to how to come to terms with ‘evil’. He reveals that the gods themselves called their opponents into being. Lucifer is an Archangel which has stayed behind in evolution & Ahriman is a retarded member of the Archai.

Humanity, striving toward Freedom, stands as the 10th Hierarchy & has the task of integrating the gifts of Nature & Spirit, while accepting the responsiblity & finding the strength to lead evil (i.e.: Lucifer & Ahriman) back to the good.

One of my family’s traditions: In Italy, the Moon was represented by a mirror, so during a lunar eclipse, we would cloud the mirror with our breath, a very old tradition. It was believed that a wolf swallowed the Moon during an eclipse & that by breathing on the mirror we would cause the wolf to cough it up & return it to the sky.

Many cultures have these kind of imaginations. The Vikings tell a tale about two wolves who wish to eat the Sun & Moon. Skoll (repulsion) goes after the Sun & Hati, running ahead of the Sun, goes after the Moon. When either are caught, there is an eclipse. When this happens, the people on Earth rush to rescue the Sun or Moon by making as much noise as they can in hopes of scaring off the wolves.

Today in the modern world, we must take up the active sword & protective shield of Michael, & stand as warriors against the dark.
See you there
xox

~ Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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DIGITAL Pandora: Imaging HOPE by Gretchen Steele

Art Opening 7 pm – 9 pm Friday February 17th, 2017 at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP

A Performance Art Exhibit & Gallery Reception with an opportunity for participants to create their own collage art to be shown at the Closing exhibit March 31st, 2017

DIGITAL Pandora: Imaging HOPE is a multi-media art exhibit including work inspired by the myth of Pandora as a narrative of hope – by Gretchen Steele

The exhibit includes multi-media collages on paper, large-scale (5’ x 5’) collaged fabric prayer cloths, a performance art piece titled Embodied Compass ll: Reliquary Immersion, and a participatory SEA (Socially Engaging Artwork) inviting viewers to collaborate in a collaged community mural using a images (from the artist’s photo bank of the previous performance piece, Embodied Compass l: Digital Pandora) and marker-based drawing materials.

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An evening Discourse &  Full day Workshop with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg at

Fostering Sustainable Agriculture through Research, Education and Policy since 1984

What is Anthroposophy?

Friday March 3rd 2017,  Potluck Social 5:30 pm  Lecture –7 pm – 9 pm

A Hands-on Discourse with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

What can the human being (anthropos) of today do to recognize our inherent wisdom (sophia) to access the source of spiritual knowledge, for our own inner development, and for the evolution of the earth and all of humanity?

What would it be like to support each other in community, as we strive to penetrate the mystery of our relationship with the spiritual world?

How does this ‘Spiritual Science’ built on the research of Rudolf Steiner, speak to the riddles of existence: our artistic needs, the truth of karma, the mystery of evil, life after death and so much more?

Come Explore this Modern Path of Initiation with:

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg – Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, and the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society. Founder of Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy Through the Rhythms of the Year– Presenter, Poet, & Trans-denominational Minister.

Register here

Also:

 Saturday March 4th 2017 –

A Experiential Three Part Workshop* with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity

Some of the topics treated in this experiential workshop are: The nature of the brain, the development of speech, angelic beings, ancient language, Zarathustra, Buddha, & Christ.

‘The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity: Some Results of Spiritual-Scientific Research into Human History and Development’ consists of three sections. Each section was originally a lecture (6, 7, & 8 June 1911) but was subsequently reworked by Steiner & cast into the form of an essay.  It is available without a fee at Rudolf Steiner Archives 

Session #1 – 10 am – 12 noon:
• Introductions
• The divine wisdom working in the human being in the 1st three years of life.
• Through inner striving we can contact again and consciously build on this wisdom which is connected to the Christ impulse.
• Activity- Biography work: Our 1st conscious memory – a preview of the “I”.

Noon – 1:30 pm – Lunch

Session #2 – 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm:
• The childlike condition of humanity in ancient times, directed by higher spiritual beings.
• A look into the evolution of these guiding spirits –progressive as well as regressive –
• Revealing the necessity of the ‘two kinds of evil’.
• The importance of Spiritual Science to avoid error.
• Activity – Labyrinth Walk

3:30 pm – 4 pm – Break

Session #3 – 4 pm – 6 pm:
• A survey of the Post-Atlantean age, our present epoch.
• The Christ connection with the progressive spiritual beings
• Modern science as the work of the regressive spiritual beings
• A peek into the future
• Activity – The Golden Legend & The Rose Cross Mediation: An artistic rendering

*(Workshops can be taken as a whole or individually, details to follow)

Register here

Michael Fields W2493 County Rd ES
East Troy, WI 53120, USA

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The Comforter, awake in the darkening world

8 December 2016 – Astro-Weather: The Geminid meteor shower gets underway this week. Although the shower doesn’t peak until the night of December 13/14, you may get a better view now because the Full Moon will share the sky on the peak night. For the best views, observe after the waxing gibbous Moon sets — around 11:30 pm CST, then about 70 minutes later each successive day — & before twilight begins around 5:30 am. To tell a Geminid meteor from a random dust particle burning up in Earth’s atmosphere, trace the streak of light’s path backward. A shower meteor will appear to originate from the constellation Gemini the Twins.

geminids

The left side of the Great Square of Pegasus points down past the gibbous Moon early this evening. Below the Moon is Deneb Kaitos, tail of the sea monster, about as bright as the stars of the Great Square.

pegasus

 Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

“We understand only the very smallest part of human history and of our own life if we consider it in its external aspect, I mean in that aspect which we see from the limited view-point of our earthly life between birth and death. It is impossible to comprehend the inner motives of history and life unless we turn our gaze to that spiritual background which underlies the outer, physical happenings”. ~Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships, Volume IV: Lecture III

st-eucharius

3 – Deathday of Saint Eucharius, venerated as the first bishop. He lived in the second half of the 3rd century. According to an ancient legend, he was one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, & was sent to Gaul by Saint Peter as bishop, to preach the Gospel. He came to the Rhine where Maternus his companion died. St. Peter gave his pastoral staff to Eucharius, &, upon being touched with it, Maternus, who had been in his grave for forty days, returned to life. The Gentiles were then converted in large numbers. Among other miracles related in the legend, an angel announced to him his approaching death & pointed out Maternus as his successor. Eucharius died on December 8, having been bishop for twenty-five years, & was interred in the church of St. John outside the city.

The staff of St. Peter, with which Maternus had been raised to life, was preserved at Cologne until the end of the 10th century when the upper half was presented to Trier, & was afterwards taken to Prague by Emperor Charles IV to become ever after the staff of the Pope.

mary-queen-of-scots

1542 – Birthday of Mary, Queen of Scots

1660 –a woman, Margaret Hughes, appears on an English public stage for the first time, in the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare’s play Othello

eli-whitney

1765 – Birthday of Eli Whitney, American engineer, invented the cotton gin

1813 – Premiere of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

1854 – In his Apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX proclaims the definition of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived free of Original Sin

1941 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares December 7 to be “a date which will live in infamy”, after which the U.S. declares war on Japan

1953 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his “Atoms for Peace” speech, which leads to an American program to supply equipment & information on nuclear power to schools, hospitals, & research institutions around the world]

1963 – Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707, is struck by lightning & crashes near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 181 people on board

1966 – The Greek ship SS Heraklion sinks in a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200

1969 – Olympic Airways Flight 954 strikes a mountain outside of Keratea, Greece, killing 190 people in the worst crash of a Douglas DC-6 in history

1972 – United Airlines Flight 553, a Boeing 737, crashes after aborting its landing attempt at Chicago Midway International Airport, killing 145.

john-lennon-dead

1980 – Former Beatle John Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York City. Earlier that day, photographer Annie Leibovitz had been to the Lennons’ apartment to do a photo shoot for Rolling Stone magazine. Delayed by a late limousine, they left their apartment to mix the song “Walking on Thin Ice” (an Ono song featuring Lennon on lead guitar) at the Record Plant Studio. As Lennon & Ono walked to a limousine, shared with the RKO Radio crew, they were approached by several people seeking autographs. Among them was Mark David Chapman. It was common for fans to wait outside the Dakota to meet Lennon and ask for his autograph. Chapman, a 25-year-old security guard from Honolulu, Hawaii, had previously traveled to New York to murder Lennon in October (before the release of Double Fantasy), but had changed his mind & returned home. Chapman silently handed Lennon a copy of Double Fantasy, & Lennon obliged with an autograph. After signing the album, Lennon asked, “Is this all you want?” Chapman smiled & nodded in agreement. Photographer & Lennon fan Paul Goresh took a photo of the encounter. Chapman had been waiting for Lennon outside the Dakota since mid-morning, & had even approached the Lennons’ five-year-old son, Sean, who was with the family nanny, Helen Seaman, when they returned home in the afternoon. According to Chapman, he briefly touched the boy’s hand.

The Lennons spent several hours at the Record Plant studio before returning to the Dakota. Lennon had decided against dining out so he could be home in time to say goodnight to his son, before going on to the Stage Deli restaurant with Ono. Lennon liked to oblige any fans who had been waiting for long periods of time to meet him with autographs or pictures, once saying during an interview with BBC Radio’s Andy Peebles on 6 December 1980: “People come and ask for autographs, or say ‘Hi’, but they don’t bug you”. The Lennons exited their limousine on 72nd Street instead of driving into the more secure courtyard of the Dakota.

The Dakota’s doorman, Jose Perdomo, & a nearby cab driver saw Chapman standing in the shadows by the archway. As Lennon passed by, he glanced briefly at Chapman, appearing to recognize him from earlier. Seconds later, Chapman took aim directly at the center of Lennon’s back & fired five hollow-point bullets at him in rapid succession from a range of about nine or ten feet away. Lennon, bleeding profusely staggered up five steps to the security/reception area, saying, “I’m shot, I’m shot“. He then fell to the floor, scattering cassettes that he had been carrying. The concierge, Jay Hastings, first started to make a tourniquet, but upon ripping open Lennon’s blood-stained shirt & realizing the severity of his multiple injuries, he covered Lennon’s chest with his uniform jacket, removed his blood-covered glasses, & summoned the police.

They reported that Chapman had dropped the revolver to the ground & was holding a paperback book, J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.

Realizing the extent of his injuries, the policemen decided not to wait for an ambulance & immediately carried Lennon into their squad car & rushed him to St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Dr. Stephan Lynn, head of the Emergency Department, who had been called in again after having just returned home after a 13-hour-long work shift, received Lennon in the emergency room at Roosevelt Hospital a few minutes before 11:00 pm.

When Lennon arrived, he had no pulse & was not breathing. Dr. Lynn, two other doctors, a nurse & two or three other medical attendants worked on Lennon for ten to 15 minutes in a desperate attempt to resuscitate him.

Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival in the emergency room at the Roosevelt Hospital at 11:15 pm by Dr. Lynn.

The surgeon also noted—as did other witnesses—that, at the moment Lennon was pronounced dead, a Beatles song (“All My Loving”) came over the hospital’s sound system.

john-lennon-ono-annie-leibovitzphoto by Annie Leibovitz earlier that day

1987 – An Israeli army tank transporter kills four Palestinian refugees & injures seven others – one of the events which sparked the First Intifada

1988 – A United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II crashes into an apartment complex in Remscheid, Germany, killing 57 people & injuring 50 others

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virginmary_catherinedaze Catherine Daze

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~That quivering star
Her blue eye
The comforter, awake in the darkening world
~hag

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immaculate-conception-domenico-tiepoloDomenico Tiepolo

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception:

The Blessed Virgin Mary in Her aspect of The Immaculate Conception has been called the patroness of the United States, & 8 December is the octave of her feast for our country & for the virtue of piety, when we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 9 months before her birth celebrated on 8 September. Although it is not officially part of Advent, in celebrating this feast we can easily enter into the spirit of Christmastide, for it is like the hope & truth of the dawn that grows within us all. Mary is our guide, & mother along the path of the Sun.

The vigil of the Immaculate Conception is an opportune time to light a special Advent candle in Mary’s honor expressing symbolically the words of Isaias, “There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of this root.” I usually put a beeswax candle in a candleholder covered with white silk, tied with red & blue ribbon. I place this before my statue of Our Lady & speak the verses from Luke 1:28-36: 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

From the womb of Our Lady, comes the light of the world. The candle represents Christ, who dispels all darkness.

I also love to sing or listen to the superb German Advent carol “Behold, a Branch Is Growing.”

Behold a branch is growing
Of loveliest form and grace.
As prophets sung, foreknowing;
It springs from Jesse’s race.
And bears one little flower.
In midst of coldest winter,
At deepest midnight hour.
Isaiah hath foretold it In words of promise sure,
And Mary’s arms enfold it,
A Virgin meek and pure.
Through God’s eternal will,
This Child to her is given
At midnight calm and still.

The Ave Maris Stella, is another vesper hymn for the feast of the Immaculate Conception:
Hail, Star of the sea,
Great Mother of God
and always a Virgin,
joyous gate of Heaven.

By welcoming that “Hail”
from Gabriel’s mouth,
grant us peace,
changing Eve’s fame.

Undo wicked people’s bad deeds,
give light to the blind,
drive away our pains,
give us every good.

Show Thyself to be a Mother,
let this prayer be welcomed through Thee
by He who was born for us
and made Himself Thy Son.

Holiest Virgin unique,
among the humblest,
forgive our trespasses,
and make us humble and chaste.

Give us a pure life,
guard our paths,
let us see Jesus,
always joyful.

All praise be to God the Father,
to the Highest Christ, the Lord,
and to the Holy Ghost,
only honor to the Trinity.
Amen.

Even the cook can be part of the octave of the Immaculate Conception, for it is time to make Moravian Spritz. These gingerbread cookies are made for the vigil of the Immaculate Conception since Mary, too, “gave forth sweet smell like cinnamon and aromatic balm and yielded a sweet odor like the best myrrh.” The cookies must stand for ten days in the refrigerator before baking, & are then shaped into Christmas figures, especially hearts & stars.

The Immaculate Conception as the Patroness of the United States reminds that the hope of peace in the world does not lie in force of arms, but rather in prayers & social action & with recourse to the intercession of Our Lady. The octave of the Immaculate Conception furnishes an admirable occasion for a renewal of true love for our country. St. Thomas Aquinas associates the virtue of piety with the cardinal virtue of justice.

 May all our concepts be immaculate

xox

~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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lisa-villa-moser-flowers

FLOWERS AND LANDSCAPES
New Works by
Lisa Villa Moser

Closing Reception
Sunday December 18th, 2016
12-3 pm

lisa-villa-moser-grasses

at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP

lisa-villa-moser-yellow-flowers

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hi-dukes-new-year-lucky-stars-branch-poster-8-5x11-web-2

Start your New Year on the right foot at our annual New Year’s Eve Celebration!

Our evening will be spent in community, with various offerings and activities. Jutta & the Hi-Dukes ™ will play their exciting, unique blend of world music, for your family-friendly dancing pleasure. Everyone can take part because members of the band lead you through the traditional dances they present.

Doors open at 8:00 pm and the music will start around 9:00 pm. Your Donation of $10goes to the band (You are always welcome to give more to support the branch as well)

Additional offerings and activities for the evening to be announced soon.

Please bring a favorite delectable dish to share.

at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP

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Mysteries of the Celtic Goddess

brigid-helena-nelson-reedBrigid by Helena Nelson Reed

Thursday February 9th 2017 -7 pm
at the Theosophical Society in America
1926 North Main Street
Wheaton, IL 60187

Invoking the Practical Alchemy of the Celtic Triple Goddess Brigid
To Purify, Awaken, & Galvanize Your Head, Heart, and Hands – A guided Meditation with Hazel Archer Ginsberg

Brigid’s festival is the 1st of the cross-quarter days in the wheel of the year, a time of spiritual re-dedication and initiation. Brigid invites us to forge and shape ourselves, as the tools of our own destiny. Come Renew Yourself. Together we will thaw the winter & rouse the mysteries growing within…

Hazel Archer Ginsberg is a Spiritual Midwife, and Trans-denominational Minister, working in an eclectic style that inspires connections – initiating us into the magic, waiting to be revealed, in the cycle of the seasons. Festivals Coordinator of the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society. Lecturer, Promoter, Blogger, Poet & Performance Artist.  www.ReverseRitual.com.

$10 nonmembers   $5 members

Live Webcast

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Test, Yes, there will always be tests

Greetings –

There have been some technical difficulties here on wordpress, my daily blogs have not been sent out via email as they usually are. So this is a test to see if it has gone thru. It’s also an opportunity for you to check out below the posts you missed.

Just an FYI, you can always go directly to the web site if something like this happens again.

www.ReverseRitual.com

Thanks

~~Hazel Archer Ginsberg 

 

What does not serve we burn- Thru the ashes we will learn

‘Carry wakefully Sun’s Glowing’

I hear the words that shatter space

Do you bee-lieve?

Birth of The BVM

Bee-Speak

Our Westering Daystar