27 April 2017 – Astro-Weather: Look for the thin crescent Moon low just after sunset. Gaze below Aldebaran & Mars there in the west-northwest in the twilight
Today the Moon also reaches perigee, the closest point in its orbit around Earth. Try to glimpse an ashen light faintly illuminating the Moon’s dark side. This is “earthshine,” – sunlight reflected by Earth that reaches the Moon & then reflects back to our waiting eyes
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast day of Our Lady of Montserrat – One of the Black Madonnas of Europe, (“the little dark-skinned one” or “the little dark one”)- Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early days of the Church. The Patron Saint of Catalonia, an honor she shares with Saint George. The famed image once bore the inscription ”Negra Sum Sed Formosa” (Latin: I am Black, but Beautiful).
The hymn to the Virgin of Montserrat, known as “el Virolai” is sung at noon on her feast day & begins with the words: “Rosa d’abril, Morena de la serra…” (April rose, dark-skinned lady of the mountain…). Therefore, this virgin is sometimes also known as the “Rosa d’abril”
Feast Day of St. Zita, the Italian patron saint of maids, often appealed to in order to help find lost keys. Born in Tuscany in the village of Monsagrati, not far from Lucca. At the age of 12, she became a servant in the Fatinelli household. For a long time, she was unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled, & often beaten by her employers & fellow servants for her hard work & obvious goodness. The abuse did not deprive her of her inward peace, & her love of those who wronged her. Her faith gradually moved the family to a religious awakening.
Zita often said to others that devotion is false if slothful. She considered her work assigned to her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family to pray.
One anecdote relates a story of Zita giving her own food to the poor. One morning, Zita left her chore of baking bread to tend to someone in need. Some of the other servants told on her & when they went to investigate, they claimed to have found angels in the kitchen, baking the bread for her.
St. Zita died peacefully in her sleep & a star appeared above the attic where she lay. After 150 miracles were proven, she was canonized in 1696.
Her body was exhumed in 1580, discovered to be incorrupt, but has since become mummified. St. Zita’s body is currently on display for public veneration in the Basilica di San Frediano in Lucca.
On her feast day families bake a loaf of bread in her honor.
470 – Birthday of Socrates – teacher of Plato. “Socrates gathers his pupils around himself, but how does he feel in relation to them? His manner of treating these pupils has been called the art of a spiritual midwife because he wished to draw out from the souls of his pupils what they themselves knew, and what they were to learn. He put his questions in such a manner that the fundamental inner mood of the souls of his pupils was stirred to movement. He transmitted nothing from himself to his pupils, but elicited everything from them. The somewhat dry and prosaic aspect of Socrates’ view of the world and the way he presented it comes from the fact that Socrates actually appealed to the independence and to the innate reasoning power of every pupil.” ~Rudolf Steiner, Gospel of Mark: Lecture 4
399 BC – Deathday of Socrates
711 – Tarik ibn Ziyad, (who according to the spiritual scientific research of Rudolf Steiner in Karmic relationships Vol. 1 Chapter 10, reincarnated as Darwin) leads his army into Gibraltar
1667 – John Milton, blind & impoverished, sells the copyright of Paradise Lost for 10 pounds
1882 – Deathday of R.W.Emerson essayist, lecturer, & poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism & a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, & he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays & more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.
Emerson gradually moved away from the religious & social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating & expressing the philosophy of transcendentalism in his 1836 essay “Nature”. Following this work, he gave a speech entitled “The American Scholar” in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. considered to be America’s “intellectual Declaration of Independence”.
Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first & then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays, Essays: First Series (1841) & Essays: Second Series (1844), represent the core of his thinking. They include the well-known essays “Self-Reliance”, “The Over-Soul”, “Circles”, “The Poet” &”Experience”. Together with “Nature”, these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson’s most fertile period.
Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, & the relationship between the soul & the surrounding world. Emerson’s “nature” was more philosophical than naturalistic: “Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul”. Emerson is one of several figures who “took a more pantheist approach by rejecting views of God as separate from the world.”
He remains among the linchpins of the American romantic movement, & his work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers & poets that followed him. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was “the infinitude of the private man.” Emerson is also well known as a mentor & friend of Henry David Thoreau, a fellow transcendentalist.
(Spoken of by Rudolf Steiner as Tacitus in Vol 2 lecture 5, of Karmic Relationships. Tacitus was considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature, & is known for the brevity & compactness of his Latin prose, as well as for his penetrating insights into the psychology of power politics )
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~The Moon gate is freshly oiled
A Scythe cutting a way
Reverberating in my swelling heart
With high notes of intention
& the will toward freedoms mind…