6 March 2017 – Astro-Weather: Around 7pm CST the brightest star in the night sky — Sirius (Alpha Canis Majoris) dazzles due south. Sirius triples the light output of Orion’s brightest star, blue-white Rigel (Beta Orionis). Sirius comes from the Greek term for “sparkling” or “scorching” & is attributed to the Greek poet Hesiod, who lived in the latter half of the 8th century BC. Although Sirius ranks number one among stars, both Venus & Jupiter outshine it tonight. Jupiter appears twice as bright, & the light of Love from Venus surpasses them both.
“When we look up into the starry heavens, the feeling of our soul’s home awakens in us. The feeling awakens: Before you came down to earth to a new incarnation you yourself were in those stars, and out of the stars , the moral law was imparted to you.” ~Rudolf Steiner
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
12 BC – The Roman Emperor Augustus is named Pontifex Maximus, incorporating the position into that of the Emperor.
632 – The Farewell Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada’) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad
845 – Execution of the 42 Martyrs of Amorium at Samarra
1251 – Deathday of Rose of Viterbo, Italian saint, known for her mystical gifts of foretelling the future & having miraculous powers. Born of poor & pious parents, even as a child Rose had a great desire to pray & to aid the poor. When she was 3 years old, she allegedly raised to life her maternal aunt. At the age of 7, she had already lived the life of a recluse, devoting herself to penances. She prayed much for the conversion of sinners. Rose was not yet 10 years old when the Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have instructed her to enter the Third Order of St. Francis & to preach penance in Viterbo.
In January 1250, her native city was in revolt against the pope. When Rose took the pope’s side against the emperor, she & her family were exiled from the city & took refuge in Soriano nel Cimino. When the pope’s side won in Viterbo, Rose was allowed to return.
Rose foretold the speedy death of the emperor, a prophecy fulfilled on December 13, 1250. Soon afterwards she went to Vitorchiano, whose inhabitants, were affected by a bad sorceress. Rose secured the conversion of all, even of the sorceress, reportedly by standing unscathed for three hours in the flames of a burning pyre
1475 – Birthday of Michelangelo, Italian painter & sculptor
1619 – Birthday of Cyrano de Bergerac, French author & playwright
1665 – The first joint Secretary of the Royal Society, Henry Oldenburg, publishes the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
1806 – Birthday of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English-Italian poet & translator
1820 – The Missouri Compromise is signed into law by President James Monroe. The compromise allows Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state, brings Maine into the Union as a free state, & makes the rest of the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase territory slavery-free
1857 – The Supreme Court of the United States rules in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case -a landmark decision, it held that “a negro, whose ancestors were imported into the U.S., and sold as slaves”, whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court”, & that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States. Dred Scott, an enslaved man of “the negro African race” who had been taken by his owners to free states attempted to sue for his freedom. In a 7–2 decision written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the court denied Scott’s request. The decision was only the 2nd time that the Supreme Court had ruled an Act of Congress to be unconstitutional.
Although Taney hoped that his ruling would finally settle the slavery question, the decision immediately spurred vehement dissent from anti-slavery elements in the North, especially Republicans. Many contemporary lawyers, & most modern legal scholars, consider the ruling regarding slavery in the territories to be dictum, not binding precedent. The decision proved to be an indirect catalyst for the American Civil War. It was functionally superseded by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 & by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1868, which gave African Americans full citizenship.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford is unanimously denounced by scholars, it “stands first in any list of the worst Supreme Court decisions.” “The Court’s greatest self-inflicted wound”. “Universally condemned as the U.S. Supreme Court’s worst decision “Unquestionably, our court’s worst decision ever”
1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society
1888 – Deathday of Louisa May Alcott, American novelist & poet
1943 – Norman Rockwell published Freedom from Want in The Saturday Evening Post with a matching essay by Carlos Bulosan as part of the Four Freedoms series
1986 – Deathday of Georgia O’Keeffe, American painter
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~ The words I spell
Make the worlds I think –
May the rhythm of my heart stir music
To rouse the seed from the darkness –
A witness to what open hands can create
As we ride together into the fresh Spring
Toward destiny divined
MARCH in like a lion…Out like a lamb
March is abundant with ‘Holy Days’, finding voice through many cultural expressions.
The Full Storm Moon of March brings the Jewish Festival Purim, a joyful spring holiday that features a festive meal, gift-giving, costumes, & noisemakers. The word “Purim” means “lots,” & refers to Haman’s casting of lots in the story of Esther. It is customary to hold carnival-like celebrations. Americans sometimes refer to Purim as the Jewish Mardi Gras.
The 15th is the famous Ides of March; which we all know is the day Julius Caesar was warned by the soothsayers to beware; the day he was assassinated. But did you know that according to the ancient Roman calendar, the Ides of March was considered New Year’s Day, & marked the 1st day of Spring?
March 17, brings us the ‘wearing of the green’ for St. Patrick’s Day. This former pagan used the shamrock to teach folks about the Trinity.
The 20th happens to be the Iranian New Year celebration, Norooz, or ‘New Day’.
In 622 AD, Mohammed led his followers from Mecca to Medina to escape assassination. According to the story, when his pursuers reached the cave where Mohammed & his followers had taken shelter for the night, they found a dove nesting in front of it & the entrance covered by a spider’s web. So the pursuers passed on, leaving them in peace. Mohammed continued on to Medina, where he & his followers were able to worship freely. Muslims consider this flight — or Hijrah — to be the beginning of their calendar year. People worship quietly on this day, which begins with the 1st sighting of the crescent moon, & in keeping with the rebirth of nature is also considered the 1st day of Spring.
Here on this side of the globe we call it the Spring or Vernal Equinox, also known as: Alban Eilir, Eostar, the Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lady Day, Festival of Trees, NawRuz, Ostara, & the Rites of Spring – when the Sun enters the 1st sign of fiery Aries, as opposed to the lunar cycle used by the ancients.
Day & night are equal, poised & balanced, but about to tip over to the side of light. It is sacred to the twilight time of dawn, youth, the morning star & the east. The Saxon goddess, Eostre (from whose name we get the direction East & the holiday Easter) is a dawn goddess, like Aurora & Eos. Just as the dawn is the time of new light, so the vernal equinox is the time of new life.
The Equinox is all about harmony & balance – that brief yet eternal time of equilibrium, when day & night are of equal length. In the fall, the darkness holds sway, but now for the spring season the light is triumphant.
What a perfect opportunity to tap into this celestial energy as it intersects our earthly ecliptic, a perfect opportunity to bring balance into our lives, harmony into our bodies.
We all have a mixture of yin & yang, darkness & light, female & male energies within us. Do they both have equal say? Or is one force overshadowing the other? Perhaps we are consciously putting more emphasis on one, to help develop that side, or maybe we just feel unbalanced & we don’t know why? Are we thinking too much, are we too sensitive, too busy doing, to just be? Is your left side tighter or looser than your right? Which side do you part your hair? Ah ha…! These are questions only you can answer for your Self.
Two other holidays also get mixed up in this ancient symbolism of Spring’s fertility. March 25th is called the ‘Annunciation of Mary.’ – the day that the Angel Gabriel announced that Mary, the Christian version of The Sophia, was pregnant with the son of god ; who is born 9 months later, on Dec. 25th. How’s that for a nice little spring fertility symbol.
It is also fitting that March is International Women’s month, since this is the time of the rebirth of nature. It’s a gentle reminder that we give birth to the future. The future is in our hands, the hands of the midwife, the lap of the mother, & the hands of the Peacemaker.
So let’s honor ourselves & thank the powers of love & light, knowing, March may come in like a lion, but it goes out like a lamb – As we re-conceive of ourselves in alignment with the powers of Spring…
Peace & Blessed Bee…~ Hazel Archer Ginsberg