30 September 2016 – Astro-Weather: Humans have always had a fascination with lunar events—& with the rise of the Internet, all kinds of moon moments have become media sensations. Consider super moons, harvest moons, & the rare super blood moon total eclipse.
Today sky-watchers may be tempted to add another lunar moniker to the list: a “black moon,” popularly defined as the second new moon in a month. However, it’s not exactly going to make for good sky-watching.
New moons occur when the moon’s orbit takes it between Earth & the sun, leaving the lunar orb’s unilluminated side facing Earth. At night, this phase of the moon is impossible to see: Since new moons are in the same part of the sky as the sun, they rise and set with the sun & are overwhelmed by its glare.
New moons can be readily seen only when they pass directly in front of the sun, causing solar eclipses. Otherwise, sky-watchers must look to the days before or after a new moon, when just a sliver of the moon’s sunlit side is visible from Earth. (The Noble Qur’an categorically requires physical Moon sighting (with the naked eye) to confirm the beginning & ending of the Islamic months such as Ramadan & Zil-Hajjah. The Qur’anic term for the Crescent Moon is al-Hilal which means “the sighted Moon.”)
Usually, new moons occur only once a month, but because there’s a slight disjunct between the moon’s phases—a 29.5-day cycle, on average—& the Gregorian calendar, some months can have two new moons: one at the beginning & one at the end. This double-dipping occurs once every 32 months or so.
In this sense, a black moon is like the blue moon, conventionally understood as the second full moon in a month. But let’s be clear: This new moon—like any astronomical event—doesn’t bring ill tidings or herald the end of days, despite the astrological fear-mongering that has been seeping through the web.
If anything, this black moon is a harbinger of new beginnings & festivities: On the evening of October 2, the barely visible waxing crescent moon will shine on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. And on October 3, the growing crescent will mark the beginning of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic lunar calendar.
New Moon occurs at 7:11 pm CDT
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
395 – John the Evangelist settles in Patmos to write the Apocalypse
420 – Deathday of St. Jerome also called Hieronymus, Roman priest, theologian, patron saint of translators, librarians & encyclopedists. Rudolf Steiner speaks of him in From Jesus to Christ lecture 4, saying he had to ‘falsify’ the Gospel of St. Matthew, because it was too esoteric for folks at the time:
When we know this, we understand that the original Gospel of Matthew could not be imparted without further preparation because men were not ripe to receive what was in it. For if Jerome, a Father of the Church, was himself not ripe for what it contained, then certainly other men were not. Those who were originally in possession of these communications, the Ebionites, did not impart them because, if received by unripe persons, they would have been so distorted that they must have led to what Jerome meant when he said that they would serve not for edification but for destruction. Now Jerome understood this; yet he allowed himself to impart in a certain way the Gospel of Matthew to the world. ~Rudolf Steiner
1207 – Birthday of Rumi, Persian mystic & poet
1791 – The first performance of The Magic Flute, the last opera by Mozart to make its debut, took place at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria
1791 – The National Constituent Assembly in Paris is dissolved; Parisians hail Maximilien Robespierre & Jérôme Pétion as “incorruptible patriots”
1882 – Thomas Edison’s first commercial hydroelectric power plant (later known as Appleton Edison Light Company) begins operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin
1914 – Birthday of Johannes Tautz – a Historian, Religious scholar, Anthroposophist, Author & Waldorf teacher. After the German capitulation, Tautz was imprisoned by the Czechs, Americans & Russians but managed to escape in the summer of 1945 back to his family in Bad Boll. He was soon approached by Erich Gabert in Stuttgart to join the Waldorf School that was about to be opened as its German & History teacher. On 1 November 1945 he stood before his first 9th grade at the Free Waldorf School, Uhlandshöhe.
Soon Johannes Tautz decided to look up his “predecessor”, the first history teacher at the Waldorf School, Walter Johannes Stein. The conversations with Stein provided an orientation & inspiration for all of his further work as a teacher, lecturer & writer; in his lecturing work at national & international conferences and in the “Hague Circle”, a coordinating international group of Waldorf teachers.
He likewise received particular guidance from Emil Bock regarding a Christological view of world history & from Jürgen von Grone about the destiny of Germany &in particular to the figure of Helmuth von Moltke.
In 1966 Tautz held three lectures about the spiritual background to National Socialism, which later appeared in print under the title Attack of the Enemy – The Occult Inspiration Behind Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in 1976. In it he looks at a number of personalities connected with questionable occult practices with which leading Nazis had been close during the time of the movement’s growth.
In 1979 he edited a collection of biographical portraits together with Gisbert Husemann of the circle of founding Waldorf teachers around Rudolf Steiner.
Together with a young friend, Thomas Meyer, he visited the daughter of Walter Johannes Stein, Clarissa Johanna Muller, in Ireland where she was living in order to look through her father’s literary estate. They found the typescript of Stein’s dissertation annotated by Rudolf Steiner, letters & meditations of Steiner for Stein, his mother & for his brother, who fell in a mysterious manner in WWI. Letters & notes of Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, Eliza von Moltke, Ita Wegman, D.N Dunlop & many other personalities were discovered & formed the basis of Tautz’s biography of Stein in 1989
In 1993 he initiated the editing of a collection Rudolf Steiner’s letters & notes to Eliza von Moltke together with the post mortem communications & the letters of Helmuth von Moltke himself. The decision to publish these was to prevent or anticipate a partial publication without an appropriate commentary on the subject that had been announced. A previous instance of this content being used had been in the book The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft which, in the opinion of Tautz had been written “without the necessary protection of background knowledge for the deeply-penetrant & difficult to understand material.” Further reading
1938 – The League of Nations unanimously outlaws “intentional bombings of civilian populations”
1962 – Labor leader César Chávez founds the National Farm Workers Association, which later becomes United Farm Workers
1982 – Cyanide-laced Tylenol kills six people in the Chicago area. Seven are killed in all
1993 – The 6.2 Mw Latur earthquake shakes Maharashtra, India with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) killing 9,748 & injuring 30,000
1999 – The Tokaimura nuclear accident causes the deaths of 2 technicians, many others affected by radiation poisoning, in Japan’s second-worst nuclear accident
2009 – The 7.6 Mw Sumatra earthquake shakes central Sumatra with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). 1,115 people dead, many injured & left homeless
“Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript of a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face.
This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want,
you are already that.”
Michaelmas is not just a day; it is a season that extends from September 29, the Feast of St. Michael & All The Heavenly Hosts, to October 31, All Hallows Eve. It is a time for harvest, a time for work, a time for storing away that which we need for the cold dark months to come.
The autumn is an exceptional time. In many parts of North America, the trees are ablaze with splendid color— the scarlet maples, the twittering yellow aspens, the orange sumac. The evening skies come alive as meteor showers streak across the dark canopy like blazing arrows. This cosmic metallic presence is absorbed into our blood from the very air we breathe, invigorating our blood with its homeopathic qualities of iron. Darkness starts to wrap around us & we are moved inside to the comfort of our homes. Our thought life also goes inward. The dreamy mood of summer is replaced by a new vigor that seems to aid us in our tasks. Beyond external observation, what does all of this mean?
An ancient intuitive wisdom placed a festival at each of the four turning points of the solar year. The autumn festival was named after the archangel Michael, the heavenly warrior. The name Michael is Hebrew, & its meaning is a question: “Who is like God?” Legend tells that Michael, along with Gabriel, Uriel & Raphael, were sent out into the cosmos by God to seek a name for man. With sublime spirit-power, Michael, as the messenger of God, proclaimed man’s earthly name: “Adam.”
There are many other legends of Michael, the most notable being of his confrontation in heaven with the rebellious angels, led by Lucifer, who sought to overthrow God. The forces of Michael cast them out of heaven & held them in control in their earthly form as dragons. Michael did not slay the dragon, but through inner forces was able to hold it in control, at the tip of his spear.
If we examine this story, we can begin to find the meaning of Michaelmas & the task of Michael. The dragon is not an external reality, but rather lives within all humankind, represented by cold, dead, rationalistic & pragmatic thinking.
It is alive within every mortal as a potentially evil force. Michael’s message to humanity is not to try to slay the dragon within ourselves, for we would not live in freedom if we did, but rather to overcome it with consciousness. It is the consciousness in our thinking which calls for exactitude & selflessness, as well as the strength of will needed to follow a moral path in life. Michaelmas is a festival of inner strength & initiative. It is a time when our higher being can conquer anxiety & fear, for it is the task of Michael to awaken humankind to the eternal within.
In earnest wakefulness & practiced Peace –
Michaelmas Festival: 7 pm –9 pm Friday 30 September, 2016
Optional Community Potluck Dinner 5pm – 6:45pm at The Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
7pm – The Midwest Eurythmy Group will perform the Michaelmas Verse from Rudolf Steiner’s Calendar of the Soul
Activating Our ‘Gemut’: The mind warmed by a loving heart & stimulated by the soul’s imaginative power – Hazel Archer Ginsberg
Verse for the Michaelic Age: ALL
We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what approaches us from the future. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future.
We must look forward with absolute equanimity to whatever may come. And we must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a cosmic guidance full of wisdom.
It is part of what we must learn in this age, namely, to live without any security in material existence and to live with pure trust in the ever-present help of the spiritual world.
Truly, nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail us. For this let us seek awakening to the reality of the spirit from within ourselves, every morning and every evening. ~Rudolf Steiner
Copper Rod Eurythmy: ALL
If I’m to be a valiant knight, Then there’s a battle I must fight , And I must choose right from the start, Not strength of arm But strength of heart, My sword shall of good steel be made, And love the keenness of the blade
Piano & Voice – Kristen Wray & David Wray performing Nacht und Träume + Ganymed – By Franz Schubert. Kristen Wray is a fiber and metal weaving artist, an energy healing practitioner, as well as a classically trained singer. David Wray is a classics professor at the University of Chicago specializing in ancient Roman poetry. Kristen and David regularly perform together in music student recitals on the university campus.
$10 Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged
For more info. Contact Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer Ginsberg Hazel@ReverseRitual.com