5 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: The waxing crescent Moon appears to the right of Saturn this evening; & lower look for Antares. The two stand high in the southwest an hour after sunset & remain on view past 8 pm CDT
Ruddy Mars continues to put on a nice show in October’s evening sky. The Red Planet shines brightly & appears high in the south-southwest once twilight fades to darkness.
Also after dark, look just above the northeast horizon, far below high Cassiopeia for bright Capella on the rise.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
International World Teachers’ Day
610 – Coronation of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, responsible for introducing Greek as the Eastern Empire’s official language. The year Heraclius came to power, the empire was threatened on multiple frontiers. Heraclius drove the Persians out of Asia Minor and pushed deep into their territory, defeating them decisively in 627 at the Battle of Nineveh. Then peaceful relations were restored to the two deeply strained empires.
Heraclius soon experienced a new event, the Muslim conquests. Within a short period of time, the Arabs conquered Mesopotamia, Armenia & Egypt.
Heraclius entered diplomatic relations with the Croats & Serbs in the Balkans. He tried to repair the schism in the Christian church by promoting a compromise doctrine called Monothelitism. Eventually, however, this project of unity was rejected by all sides of the dispute.
Heraclius was long remembered in the Western church for his reputed feat in recovering the True Cross, which had been captured by the Persians.
After a tour of the Empire Heraclius returned the cross on March 21, 630. For Christians of the Western Medieval Europe, Heraclius was the “first crusader”. The iconography of the emperor appeared in the sanctuary at Mont Saint-Michel. The story was included in the Golden Legend, the famous 13th century compendium of hagiography, and he is sometimes shown in art showing scenes of Heraclius & Constantine I’s mother Saint Helena, traditionally responsible for the excavation of the cross.
The scene usually shown is Heraclius carrying the cross; according to the Golden Legend he insisted on doing this as he entered Jerusalem, against the advice of the Patriarch. At first, when he was on horseback (shown above), the burden was too heavy, but after he dismounted & removed his crown it became miraculously light, & the barred city gate opened of its own accord
6th Century – Feast day of Saint Placidus & Saint Maurus, disciples of Saint Benedict. Legend has it that Saint Maurus was sent a dream – an order from Saint Benedict’s to rescue Placidus from drowning. Maurus ran across the surface of the lake below the monastery, & drew Placidus safely to shore.
1789 – French Revolution: Women of Paris march to Versailles to confront Louis XVI of France about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, & have the King & his court moved to Paris.
1793 – French Revolution: Christianity is disestablished in France
1864 – The Indian city of Calcutta is almost totally destroyed by a cyclone; 60,000 die
1948 – The 1948 Ashgabat earthquake kills 110,000, equivalent to almost 10% of the USSR’s Turkmen population. Due to censorship by the national (Soviet Turkmen) government, the event was not widely reported in the USSR’s media. Historians tend to agree that the ban on reporting the extent of the casualties & damage did not allow the central Soviet government to allocate enough financial resources to adequately respond
1966 – Near Detroit, Michigan, there is a partial core meltdown at the Enrico Fermi demonstration nuclear breeder reactor
1970 – The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is founded
1982 – Chicago Tylenol murders: Johnson & Johnson initiates a nationwide product recall in the United States for all products in its Tylenol brand after several bottles in Chicago are found to have been laced with cyanide, resulting in seven deaths
1986 – Israeli secret nuclear weapons are revealed. The British newspaper The Sunday Times runs Mordechai Vanunu’s story on its front page under the headline: “Revealed — the secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal”
My POD (Poem Of the Day)
The driving force present in my soul depths…
When I look within, I find a strong yearning
A powerful force living as a seed
Gestating future development
As we press on into the Autumn…
Part 5, From the Michaelmas 30 September 2016 Lecture: Heart-Thinking: Michael Beckoning by ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg
Remember that picture of the 9 Angelic Realms? Spiritual Science says we have a cosmic aim within world evolution linked with the further development of the elemental beings. These spirits behind nature, dwelling in the mineral, plant, & animal kingdoms, seek to rise to a higher existence in the evolutionary process, just as we do, BUT for them, this can only be accomplished by passing through conscious human beings!
When we enter into a right relationship with them, (that’s what the true meaning of morality is: right relationship) when we use heart-thinking to awaken consciously to our experience of nature, enlivening our sense perceptions with wonder, awe & reverence, the elemental beings can attain to this higher stage of evolution.
Rudolf Steiner tells us that we can develop a Gemüt content to our thinking, which shows us how every blossom bears testimony to the existence of an enchanted elemental being within it; & that thru our Heart-Thinking we can learn to feel the longing in this elemental being hoping to be released by us, instead of being delivered up to the Dragon.
So my dear friends, when the flowers fade in the autumn, we can choose not to turn away in antipathy from the decay, instead we can enter into right relationship by warming our mind with a loving heart, & with a sense of wonder, stimulate our soul’s imaginative power; knowing that we are succeeding, thru our Heart-Thinking, in contributing to the progress of spirit in the world. We can enable, thru our awakened consciousness, the elemental beings to slip out of their blossoms when they wither & become seed. We can lead the elemental being up into the spirit for which it yearns, when we can permeate ourselves with the powerful strength of Michael.
To do this we must really live into & experience the cycles of the seasons. Some folks, (who may be overly fond of their intellects) may think that ‘the festivals are just for kids & old ladies’, but what a shame for them – since they will miss the opportunity to tread the initiatory path of the New Mysteries, laid out by Rudolf Steiner thru the working of the festivals.
Today we can stand, after the time of balance provided by the Fall Equinox, & look across the circle to the Spring Equinox, the time of sprouting, the time when the Resurrection forces of Easter-Tide grow in us. We can re-member what we took in then, & re-experience Spring as the birth of elemental beings longing for the spirit, & then in Autumn, we can call up in ourselves these Resurrection forces – because now, during the fall, is when we really need them, to activate the liberation of the elemental beings from the dying plants; & this in turn fortifies us for the dark of the year.
Does anyone else find it an open secret that we call Autumn, the fall? Doesn’t it remind you of the fall from paradise? No mere coincidence I think.
Spiritual Science tells us that the transformation of nature is part of our own destiny – Just as the blood circulation inside us is essential for our existence, the circulation of the elemental beings between earth & the heavens is indispensable for us as well. This is how we can be Michaelic warriors in the battle with the Dragon.
So can you see? That what leads to true a Michaelmas Festival must be a deed of human heart-thinking, a Gemüt event, that can experience the cycle of the seasons as a living reality.
Rudolf Steiner reminds us: “A person who looks out into space & sees the shooting stars should say to himself, with reverence for the gods: ‘What is happening in the great expanse of space has its minute counterpart continuously in myself. Out there are the shooting stars, while in every one of my blood corpuscles iron is taking form. My life is full of shooting stars, miniature shooting stars.”
This process is continuous, but it is especially important at the end of summer, because the sulphur process of the dragon is at its peak. When human beings are ‘shining like glow-worms saturated with sulphur’, then when autumn approaches, the counter-force of iron comes in from the cosmos to bring a balance. This is a good example of the connection between the inner human & the cosmos.
While the sulphur rises in bluish-yellow clouds from the lower part of the human being towards the head, the iron-forming process rays out from our head, & pours like a stream of meteors into the life of our blood.
This is a picture of the human being at Michaelmas. We must learn to make conscious use of this meteoric force in our blood. The ability to experience in our blood circulation the pulse-beat of the outer existence of the stars is the preparation needed for the Michael Festival.
In the sun circles of the Mithras & ancient Druid Mysteries, the great language of the heavens was deciphered, & then applied to earthly things. The disciple was taught to perceive the course of the seasons within, by means of the heart organization; they knew that the human heart was really a subconscious sense organ. What they studied when they looked at themselves thru their heart, was the spirit of the sun’s annual passage through the zodiac. In this way the disciples experienced themselves as a higher being, riding on their lower nature; (the Bull) & so it was fitting that the cosmos would be arranged in a circle around them; in this manner cosmic spirituality was experienced.
As modern spiritual scientists we can foster a spirit of reverence for the ancient cultures & work to rediscover how to apply the heart-science that is appropriate now.
And so, my dear friends, this is what I wanted to bring to you today: The idea that Heart-Thinking, is the modern antidote to the dragon – Heart-Thinking which empowers our will to consciously receive sense impressions, to let in the spiritual sun; the source of the Resurrection-forces; which enable the human intelligence to unite again with the cosmic intelligence.
In the spirit-realms, Michael’s battle with the dragon has been concluded victoriously. It is here on earth that humanity still has to complete it, in alliance with Michael-Whose gesture is no longer only that of battle. He raises his hand beckoning. The hand that was stretched out aggressively, in a threatening manner against the adversarial forces, has changed in our time, & is now beckoning. We don’t kill the dragon folks, we tame it.
Our work today is to begin to feel this transformation reflected in Michael’s gesture. As giver of Cosmic Intelligence, Michael counts on us to become free human beings, that we may return this gesture in kind.
I leave you now with a question, Could this someday lead to a true healing of the adversarial forces? And finally: Who is like god?
In service to love
I leave for the AGM early Tomorrow, 6 October, 2016. I will not have internet, so my posts will resume on Monday 10 October.