18 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: Be sure to keep an eye on the Moon tonight. The waning gibbous rises around 8:30pm CDT in the company of the Hyades star cluster in Taurus. Observers can see Luna pass in front of Theta1 & Theta2 Tauri. Watch the two stars reappear from behind the Moon’s dark limb around 11pm CDT.
The main event, however, starts more than two hours later. Observers can then watch as Aldebaran dips behind the bright limb of our satellite. This eye-catching occultation occurs from 12: 37am CDT to 1:20am CDT. It happens every 27 or 28 days, once per lunar month, in a long series that began on January 29, 2015, & ends on September 3, 2018
“When we look up to the wonder of the starry world, when we contemplate the whole process of the universe with its glories and marvels, then we are led at last to the feeling that all the glory that lies open to our view in the whole universe that surrounds us only has meaning when it is reflected in an admiring human soul”. ~Goethe
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast Day of Luke the Evangelist. The early church fathers ascribed to him authorship of both the Gospel according to Luke & the book of Acts of the Apostles. The New Testament mentions Luke a few times, & the Pauline epistle to the Colossians refers to him as a Greek doctor; so he is thought to have been both a physician & a disciple of Paul. He is believed to have been a martyred, hung in an olive tree.
The Roman Catholic Church & other major denominations venerate him as Saint Luke the Evangelist & as a patron saint of artists, (He was the first icon painter. He painted pictures of the Virgin Mary & Child) physicians, surgeons, students & butchers.
Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on The Gospel of St. Luke, provides the solution to the riddle of the contradictions in the accounts of the genealogy & childhood of Jesus in Matthew & Luke when he unveils for the first time the secret of the two Jesus children. He also describes the workings of Zarathustra, the relation between the Buddha & Jesus child, & more
320 – Pappus of Alexandria, Greek philosopher, observes an eclipse of the Sun & writes a commentary for The Great Astronomer (Almagest)
1009 – The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church in Jerusalem, is completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacks the Church’s foundations down to bedrock
1356 – Basel earthquake, the most significant historic seismological event north of the Alps, destroys the town of Basel, Switzerland, over 500 die
1648 – Boston Shoemakers form first American labor organization
1914 – The Schoenstatt Marian Movement is founded in Germany, founded by Father Joseph Kentenich as a means of spiritual renewal in the Catholic Church. Schoenstatt means “beautiful place, it emphasizes a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, upholding her as a perfect example of love & purity
1922 – The British Broadcasting Company (later BBC Corporation) is founded by a consortium, to consolidate the British Empire
1929 – The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council overrules the Supreme Court of Canada in Edwards v. Canada when it declares that women are considered “Persons” under Canadian law. The case, put forward by the Government of Canada on the lobbying of a group of women known as the Famous Five, began as a reference case which ruled that women were not “qualified persons” & thus ineligible to sit in the Senate. The Persons Case was a landmark, 1st it established that Canadian women were eligible to be appointed senators. Second, it established what came to be known as the “living tree doctrine“, that says that a constitution is organic & must be read in a broad & liberal manner so as to adapt it to changing times
1931 – Deathday of Thomas Edison
1939 – Birthday of Lee Harvey Oswald
1954 – Texas Instruments announces the first transistor radio
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Sober on the gusty draft
Of the moist darkness gathering need
I eat the bread of life & die…
I know myself in a field enduring…
I am ever-after
Changing, while the eye of the watcher shines & takes me in…
Sukkot is the third of four Jewish Autumn holidays – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot & Simchat Torah. The theme of these holidays in a nut shell is to prepare ourselves for the next year. Rosh Hashanah is the seed of the New Year – we celebrate the New Year & put ourselves on the right path.
At Yom Kippur, we clear ourselves of the old with forgiveness.
With Sukkot, we shelter & protect our new ideas & new ways of living to give them a chance for success. Traditionally, we build a temporary shelter & eat meals in it for seven days – some people even sleep in the sukkah!
We hear the story of Manna from Heaven, which reminds us that we will be cared for & protected if we are open to it. And of course there is a feeling of joy because we are celebrating the fall harvest. This holiday is like an early Thanksgiving.
In ancient times, people would spend all day in the fields during the harvest season to get the work done & would shelter themselves from the midday sun in a temporary dwelling, the sukkah. Just like our ancestors who wandered in the desert.
And the last of these festivals is Simchat Torah, this year it falls on Oct. 24th, & it’s the holiday in which we come to the end of the Torah scroll, which is partially read each week, & it all begins again at the beginning.
Sukkot comes during the month of “Elul” which means “search.” Elul is a time to search our hearts.
The mazal (constellation) for Elul is Virgo (betulah) a young, independent woman.
It is taught that the Hebrew letters for ELUL (aleph, lamed, vav, lamed) are an acronym for the verse from Song of Songs: I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine.
Elul arrives when the plums are purple & ripe & the pears were ready for picking. So Elul is called the time of the “Flaumen un die Beren” (the plums & pears).
In Yiddish these two words have additional meanings: “Flaumen” means flames, & “Beren” means to burn. So this is a time to search our hearts, & to seek The Divine with fiery, burning intensity. While Enjoying plums & pears as you do so!
Recite Psalm 27 every day “God is my light and my helper, whom shall I fear?”
Visit the graves of loved ones throughout the month in order to remember & honor those people in our past who inspire us to live more fully in the future.
Begin all letters written during the month of Elul with wishes that the recipient have a good year. The standard blessing is K’tiva V’Chatima Tova (a good writing & sealing), meaning that the person should be written & sealed in the Book of Life.
Tomorrow I will share about Ushpizot, the tradition of inviting the spirits of our ancestors to join us.