26 August 2016 – Astro-Weather: Venus & Jupiter have closed to only 1° apart, very low in the west after sunset. That’s less than a finger-width at arm’s length. Tomorrow they reach complete conjunction
“To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world.” Rudolf Steiner
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast day of Samuel, literally meaning “Name of God” in Hebrew, is a leader & Judge of ancient Israel. He is also known as a prophet & is mentioned in the second chapter of the Qur’an. Aa a seer, Samuel is associated with the bands of musical ecstatic roaming prophets.
Feast Day of Melchizedek, (“God most high”) Priest & king of Salem mentioned in the 14th chapter of the Book of Genesis. He brings out bread and wine & blesses Abram. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, he is depicted as being “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.” Jesus Christ is identified as “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek”
“Even when some individual was to be the leader of a particular people he would be required to develop a measure of understanding for every human soul. This is indicated magnificently in the Old Testament in the passage describing the meeting between Abraham and Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High. Those who understand this passage know that Abraham, who was destined to become the leader of his people, underwent an Initiation at this time — even if not in full consciousness as is the case in later Initiations. Abraham’s Initiation was connected with realisation of the Divine element that can flow into all human souls. The passage which tells of the meeting of Abraham with Melchizedek contains a deep secret connected with the evolution of humanity. “~Rudolf Steiner, Between Death & Rebirth, Lecture 2
Feast Day of The Black Madonna of Częstochowa, The Virgin Mary is shown as the “Hodegetria” (“One Who Shows the Way“)The icon has been intimately associated with Poland for the past 600 years.
Its history prior to its arrival in Poland is shrouded in numerous legends which trace the icon’s origin to St. Luke who painted it on a cedar table top from the house of the Holy Family.
The same legend holds that the painting was discovered in Jerusalem in 326 by St. Helena, who brought it back to Constantinople & presented it to her son, Constantine the Great.
The legend concerning the two scars on the Black Madonna’s right cheek is that the Hussites stormed the Pauline monastery in 1430, plundering the sanctuary. Among the items stolen was the icon. After putting it in their wagon, the Hussites tried to get away but their horses refused to move. They threw the portrait down to the ground, as the robber struck the painting twice, the face of the Virgin Mary started to bleed; in a panic, the scared Hussites retreated & left the painting
Women’s Equality Day
1498 – Michelangelo is commissioned to carve the Pietà
1789 – The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is approved- directly influenced by Thomas Jefferson, working with General Lafayette. Also by the doctrine of “natural right“, held to be universal: valid at all times & in every place, pertaining to human nature itself. It became the basis for a nation of free individuals protected equally by law. Inspired in part by the American Revolution, & also by the Enlightenment philosophers, the Declaration was a core statement of the values of the French Revolution & had a major impact on the development of freedom & democracy in Europe & worldwide
1791 – John Fitch is granted a United States patent for the steamboat
1795 – Deathday of Cagliostro, the alias of the occultist Giuseppe Balsamo, an Italian adventurer & self-styled magician. He became a glamorous figure associated with the royal courts of Europe where he pursued various occult arts, including psychic healing, alchemy & scrying. His reputation lingered for many decades after his death. Steiner called him an initiate.
1883 – Eruption of Krakatoa
1910 – Birthday of Mother Teresa
1914 – Rudolf Steiner meets Helmuth von Moltke, Chief of the German General Staff, near Koblenz
1920 – The 19th amendment to United States Constitution takes effect, giving women the right to vote
1942 – The Holocaust in Chortkiv, western Ukraine, over 4000 die
1970 – The feminist movement, led by Betty Friedan, leads a nationwide Women’s Strike for Equality
1995 – Deathday of Daskalos, the Greek word for teacher, a Greek Cypriot mystic & healer. He set up the circle, “The Researchers of Truth.”
1999 – Russia begins the Second Chechen War
My POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Standing in the obvious
Plunging my hands
Into the oblique angles
Of the obscure…
“In Michelangelo we have a spirit who helped human evolution on its way because he had a maturity of soul which enabled him to imprint on the world of space and matter significant facts from the spiritual world. He stood wholly in the great current of his times yet his own inmost quality was not fully understood. A friend once wrote to him that even the Pope feared him; and yet in his soul there lived all the greatness of Christian impulses which flowed into his work. While he felt himself at one with the great Christian impulses he yet lived at the dawn of a later epoch — closely though it was still connected with earlier ages. The content of older Christian impulses still affected his soul and out of that he created something which in its form and artistic method was already part of the ties in which we ourselves live. Hence comes the mood of the poem which he wrote — probably during his last days as he looked back over his life — and which makes it clear what our relation is to him, and how we should allow his influence over us to work:
Now hath my life across a stormy sea like a frail barque reached that wide port, where all are hidden, ere the final reckoning fall of good and evil for eternity.
Now know I well how that fond phantasy, which made my soul the worshipper and thrall of earthly art, is vain; how criminal is that which all men seek unwillingly.
Those amorous thoughts which were so lightly dressed, what are they when the double death is nigh?
The one I know for sure, the other dread.
Painting nor sculpture now can lull to rest my soul that turns to His great Love on high Whose arms to clasp us on the cross were spread. ~ Michelangelo
Michelangelo was a great poet also, and the poems of his which survive show the same spirit which we have found in his sculpture and painting. The last three lines of this sonnet make it clear that he could never be at ease in the world, and that was fundamentally true of him all his life. He was a sort of hybrid, still part of the old but already living within the new. This is particularly evident in that work which he carried out at the instigation of one of the Popes: the tombs of Giuliani and Lorenzo dei Medici.
In this chapel: the four allegorical figures, arranged two and two: Day and Night, Dawn and Dusk. I have often gazed at them; in fact they are one of the things which by a sort of spiritual compulsion I always look at longest when I have had the privilege of being in Florence. These figures are not mere allegories without force and without vitality. Use every means that Spiritual Science gives you to look at them and think about them; then if we remember that what anthroposophy calls the ego and the astral body leave the physical and etheric bodies at night, and if we ask ourselves what qualities and gesture of the etheric body we should select to represent plastically the truth which Spiritual Science tells us — how, that is, we should picture the physical body of the sleeping human being if we really feel him to be what Spiritual Science describes him as being — we know that he should be represented in the form which Michelangelo has given to “Night”. It is not just a symbol of night but the true spiritual reality of man as he really is in sleep which we have before us in this female figure. Thus Michelangelo, who knew so well how to set the figures in his works within the same space in which we ourselves stand, was also well aware what it means if the soul and spirit leaves man’s physical body but leave it with life still within it. If we also study the other individual members of the human being and then look at the other figures in the tomb, we shall see how closely they run parallel with what I once called spiritual chemistry.” ~Rudolf Steiner, Michelangelo, Berlin, 8th January, 1914