21 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: Our cosmic conversation continues: The Orionids – Peak these next few days Oct 20-22 2016. The meteor shower of the Mighty Hunter Orion is underway, with the earth traveling once again through the trail of cosmic dust left by Halley’s Comet.
From an article by Dr Elizabeth Vreede: ” Comets represent an element that does not wholly enter the usual sphere of cosmic law, although they still contain a trace of the direct working of spiritual powers, indeed, of the very highest — the Seraphim and Cherubim. Before ordinary law may be broken through, the very highest power and insight is required. The various comets, indeed, are agents of a very special nature in our planetary system, their polar antithesis being in the moons. Just as the moons are a kind of corpse which the planetary system trails along with it, so, on the other side, the comets may be spoken of as constant purifiers of the spiritual atmosphere within the solar system. In earlier times men thought of them as the “scavengers of God,” and many superstitions have gathered around them. To the eye of Spirit, too, the mission of the comets is perpetually to expel impure astral forces from the Cosmos or to introduce new impulses.”
5 things you need to know about the Orionid meteor shower:
- The meteors are actually debris from the Comet Halley – The Comet Halley hasn’t paid Earth a visit since 1986, but pieces of the famous space rock still show up every fall. Each year, around October 20-22, our planet intersects with the comet’s orbit, according to Earth Sky. Pieces of Halley disintegrate in Earth’s upper atmosphere nearly 60 miles above the planet’s surface, but not before creating quite the spectacle for those down below.
- Let’s be honest, watching this thing is a commitment. Experts agree that the shower will take place before dawn on October 21 or 22, but can’t pinpoint an exact date.
- 10-20 Meteors Could Fall Each Hour – The Orionid Meteor Shower is a “modest shower.” That means you won’t see a constant stream of glowing rocks plummeting toward Earth at any given moment. Don’t let that fool you. Those watching from dark or rural locations will still have a front row seat for the kind of spectacle that only comes from space.
- …And They’ll Be Traveling At 41 Miles Per Second – You read that right. 41 miles per second. These rocks are literally scorching across the sky as they enter Earth’s atmosphere. Roughly half of these blazing fast meteors will leave gas trails behind them that are visible for a few seconds after the meteor is gone.
- From. Every. Direction.- The Orionids flying from the sky this month are named after the constellation Orion, where they appear to radiate. The thing is, these meteors generally aren’t visible until they’re at least 30 degrees from that radiant point. This means they can appear any & everywhere in the night sky. If watching with a party, focus on different areas of the night sky & be sure to call out the meteors as you see them.
Saturn & Antares now form a more compact, right triangle with bright Venus low in the southwest at dusk
As the sun relates to the constellations during the course of the year, there are contemplations that correspond to these relationships. Bringing these meditations into daily practice is a moral activity that brings a conscious change that everyone may experience. Here is such a practice from the Calendar of Virtues: For Scorpio – (October 21 – November 20.) Patience becomes Insight [Opposite: Loss of Temper]
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1097 – First Crusade: Crusaders led by Godfrey of Bouillon, Bohemund of Taranto, & Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, begin the Siege of Antioch
1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Trafalgar: A British fleet led by Vice Admiral Lord Nelson defeats a combined French & Spanish fleet under Admiral Villeneuve
1833 – Birthday of Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist & engineer, invented dynamite & founded the Nobel Prize
1867 – The Medicine Lodge Treaty is signed by southern Great Plains Indian leaders. The treaty requires Native American Plains tribes to relocate to a reservation in western Oklahoma
1879 – Thomas Edison invents the first commercially practical incandescent light bulb
1892 – Opening ceremonies for the World’s Columbian Exposition are held in Chicago, though because construction was behind schedule, the exposition did not open until May 1, 1893
1945 – Women’s suffrage: Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time
1959 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring Wernher von Braun & other German scientists from the United States Army to NASA
1965 – Comet Ikeya–Seki approaches perihelion, passing 279,617 miles from the sun
1969 – Deathday of Jack Kerouac
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Break my ache –
Still my agitate
Rip thru my restless skin
Rubbed raw – pity full & late to the gate
Re-heat my half-bake
While I conjugate
Immediately following the seven-day festival of Sukkot comes the festival of Shemini Atzeret, The holiday at the end of Sukkot, during which are recited prayers for rain, & Simchat Torah (October 23-25, 2016) when we conclude — & begin anew — the annual Torah reading cycle. The holiday is marked with unbridled rejoicing, especially during the “hakafot” procession, as we march, sing & dance with the Torah scrolls.
“On Simchat Torah,” goes the chassidic adage, “we rejoice in the Torah, & the Torah rejoices in us; the Torah, too, wants to dance, so we become the Torah’s dancing feet.”
As the month of Tishrei comes to a close, we have experienced & celebrated the most powerful moments of the Jewish year. As the Torah reading cycle comes to an end, & we start reading the Torah all over again, what new lessons, insights, & inspiration will we derive this time around?
Shemini Atzeret Rain Feast, this ritual reflects a theology wherein people help to carry out the work of God. The story of Ḥoni Ha-M’ageil:
Long ago, in the Land of Israel, there was a terrible drought. Usually the rain fell in abundance between Shemini Atzeret and Passover, but this year there hadn’t been a drop, and Passover was only a couple of weeks away! The people were almost ready to give up hope. Without rain, there would be no crops and no way to survive. In desperation, they turned to a man named Ḥoni Ha-M’ageil, Ḥoni the Circle Drawer, and asked him to pray for rain. Ḥoni had an especially close relationship with God and a strong desire to help others. He instructed the people to bring their ovens, which they kept outside in those days, into their homes, so that the ovens would not be destroyed by rain. And then he prayed for rain. The people were hopeful. But no rain fell.
Some people would have given up then, after praying to no avail, but not Ḥoni. He was a persistent man. Ḥoni then drew a circle in the sand and stood right in the middle of it and said, “Ribbono shel Olam! Master of the Universe, Your children have turned to me, because I am almost like a member of Your family. I swear by Your Great Name—I will not move from this circle until You take pity on Your children!”
Suddenly it began to drizzle. Some people would have stopped then, with their promise to bring rain fulfilled, but not Ḥoni. Ḥoni could hear his disciples saying, “We look to you to save us from death. This drizzle will not be enough.”
So Ḥoni said to God, “This is not what I wanted. I wanted enough rain to fill up every cistern, ditch, and cavern.” Then it began to rain violently. Some say that each individual raindrop was the size of a softball, if not larger. Most people would have stopped then, and gone inside to seek shelter from the storm, but not Ḥoni. Ḥoni could hear his disciples saying, “We look to you to save us from death. This storm is powerful enough to destroy the whole world!”
So Ḥoni said to God, “This is not what I meant either. I am asking You for the rain of blessing and graciousness.” Now it rained the right way, but there was still so much water that the Israelites had to head for high ground. They all gathered at the Temple Mount, the highest point then in Jerusalem.
Then Ḥoni’s disciples came up to him and said, “Just as you prayed for it to rain, now pray for it to go away!” Ḥoni prayed once again, “Ribbono shel Olam! Master of the Universe, Your children are a delicate people. They cannot endure too much or too little of anything. May it be Your will that the rain cease and there be relief for the world.”
The wind began to blow, the clouds dispersed, and the sun shone bright once again. The people went out into the fields and were able to gather fresh mushrooms and vegetation for a great and wonderful feast.
In the absence of Ḥoni Ha-M’ageil, we must come with a plan that cannot fail. We ask that You bless the earth with rain, But realize that action works as a chain, So we will pour the first few drops, & pray ‘til Pesach it never stops.
(Pass pitchers of water around for participants to pour (very lightly) in all directions outside of the circle. Once everyone has poured water, recite together:
So too, may Adonai shower us all with blessing and provide for the needs which are most pressing. We pray for all to enjoy a harvest of bounty, Here in the United States and in every county. May no one go hungry even once this year, Whether friend or stranger, far or near. Let our deeds reinforce our heartfelt prayers.Let us take action before taking our chairs.
Participants exit the circle & retrieve the food they brought to donate. Then participants pack the food into boxes, which will be taken to a local food pantry.
When all of the donations have been packed, recite together: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ הַמֵּכִין מָזוֹן לְכָל בְּרִיּוֹתָיו. Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, ha-mei-chin ma-zon l’-chol b’-ri-yo-tav. Blessed are You, Adonai, who provides enough food for all of Your creations.
After this part of the ritual, everyone can enjoy a festive meal in the sukkah.
The joyous climax of Simchat Torah is the dancing of hakafot (lit. “circles”), during which we dance & sing with the Torah scrolls.
chochmah velo k’silut, tevunah velo kalut rosh. Lamdeinu Torat chesed she’taachilenu bayamim haba’im uvechol sha’ah. Amen. Source of Life, every year you plant within us a new tree of life. May it be your will that this year our interpretations will blossom forth kindness and not cruelty, wisdom and not foolishness, awareness and not thoughtlessness. May you teach us a Torah of love that will nourish us in the coming days at every hour. Amen.
Or try this: During the hakafot let your dance be a reflection of the new wisdom you want to receive in the coming year.
Simchat Torah is also a symbolic move from death to life – the death of Moses & of the old year, the birth of the New Year & the newly created plants, animals, & humans. It is the rebirth of the Torah. That makes Simchat Torah a good time to celebrate all renewals & transformations.
If you have experienced a major change during the year, such as the loss of a loved one or a relationship, a wedding, conversion, coming out, or birth of a child, you can recite the following prayer as the Torah scroll used for Deuteronomy is exchanged for the Torah scroll used for Genesis (or as the Torah scroll is rolled from one place to another).
K’shem shehaTorah niglelet mimakom lemakom besimcha uveshalom, ken eglol mimakom lemakom berachamim uve’ratzon.
Just as the Torah is rolled from place to place amid joy and peace, so too may I roll from place to place surrounded by compassion and good will.
Tonight I begin a 10 day journey into a Tone Eurythmy Therapy Course with Jan Ranck, so I will be taking a sabbatical from the blog, until All Hallows Eve.
Blessings & Peace
For info. on the Tone Eurythmy Therapy Course, The Bridging Project –From Soul to Soul-Between Life and Death, October 26, 2016 – 7:15 pm CST & our Annual All Souls Festival click: http://reverseritual.com/festivals-2/festival-dates/current-festival-events/