24 January 2019 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Saturn the ringed planet begins a year-long appearance in the morning sky, growing more prominent as it approaches a spectacular peak in July. The King of Time rises more than an hour before the Sun, but it won’t be easy to pick out of the bright twilight. To find it, scan to the lower left of Venus & Jupiter.
With the waning gibbous Moon now gone from the early evening sky, is your sky dark enough for you to see the winter Milky Way? After dinnertime it runs vertically & across the zenith: from bright Canis Major low in the southeast, up between Orion & Gemini, through Auriga and Perseus almost straight overhead, & down through Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Cygnus, including the Northern Cross to the northwest horizon.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
AD 41 – Roman Emperor Caligula, known for his eccentricity and sadistic despotism, is assassinated by his disgruntled Praetorian Guards. The Guard then proclaims Caligula’s uncle Claudius as Emperor.
AD 76 – Birthday of Hadrian, Roman emperor. He is known for building Hadrian’s Wall, which marked the northern limit of Britannia, yet he visited almost every province of the Empire. Hadrian energetically pursued his own Imperial ideals & personal interests. He encouraged military preparedness & discipline, & fostered, designed or personally subsidized various civil & religious institutions & building projects. In Rome itself, he rebuilt or completed the Pantheon, & constructed the vast Temple of Venus & Roma. In Egypt, he rebuilt the Serapeum of Alexandria. An ardent admirer of Greece, he sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire & ordered the construction of many opulent temples there. His intense relationship with the Greek youth Antinous, who he adopted & named his successor, on the condition that he adopt Marcus Aurelius & Lucius Verus as his own heirs, led to Hadrian’s establishment of an enduring and widespread popular cult. Hadrian died & Antoninus had him deified, despite opposition from the Senate. Hadrian has been described as enigmatic & contradictory, with a capacity for both great personal generosity & extreme cruelty, driven by insatiable curiosity, self-conceit, & above all, ambition.
Hadrian had an abiding & enthusiastic interest in art, architecture & public works. Rome’s Pantheon (temple “to all the gods”), originally built by Agrippa & destroyed by fire in 80, was restored under Hadrian in the domed form it retains to this day. Hadrian’s Villa at Tibur (Tivoli) provides the greatest Roman equivalent of an Alexandrian garden.
Hadrian was familiar with the Stoic philosophers Epictetus, & Favorinus, & with their works. Shortly before the death of Plotina, Hadrian had granted her wish that the leadership of the Epicurean School in Athens be open to a non-Roman candidate.
Hadrian had a great interest in astrology & divination & had been told of his future accession to the Empire by a grand-uncle who was himself a skilled astrologer.
Hadrian wrote poetry in both Latin & Greek; one of the few surviving examples is a Latin poem he reportedly composed on his deathbed:
Animula, vagula, blandula
Hospes comesque corporis
Quae nunc abibis in loca
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis iocos…
~P. Aelius Hadrianus Imp.
Roving amiable little soul,
Body’s companion and guest,
Now descending for parts
Colourless, unbending, and bare
Your usual distractions no more shall be there…
There may be a connection between the individuality known as Hadrian & Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, one of Rudolf Steiner’s most valued & independent-minded colleagues, who was born in Prague – in the midst of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – to an aristocratic family with royal connections. Leaving behind the traditions of his background, he was to become a key actor in Rudolf Steiner’s regenerative ‘threefold’ social impulses, working tirelessly for a genuinely unified & free Europe. Polzer-Hoditz also fought to protect Rudolf Steiner’s esoteric legacy & the integrity of the Anthroposophical Society that had been founded to further his work. Following Steiner’s untimely death, Polzer-Hoditz fostered a broad range of friendships & alliances with key figures such as D.N. Dunlop, Walter Johannes Stein & Ita Wegman. In the final decade of his life he concentrated his energies on world issues, seeking to influence events in Europe in particular, lecturing widely & writing a number of books & memoranda. Polzer-Hoditz sought to build a true understanding between Central & Eastern Europe & to cultivate a spiritual connection with the West.
1939 – The deadliest earthquake in Chilean history strikes Chillán, killing approximately 28,000 people.
1961 – Goldsboro B-52 crash: A bomber carrying two H-bombs breaks up in mid-air over North Carolina. The uranium core of one weapon remains lost.
1965 – Death-day of Winston Churchill, English colonel & politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nobel Prize laureate.
1978 – Soviet satellite Kosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor on board, burns up in Earth’s atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada’s Northwest Territories. Only 1% is recovered.
1993 – Death-Day of Thurgood Marshall, American lawyer & jurist, 32nd United States Solicitor General.
1991 – Deathday of René Maikowski, member of the Esoteric Youth Circle. Born in Berlin of a Russian-Polish father & a Franco-Swiss mother, he spoke all these languages fluently. Fighting in WW1 awakened in him a longing for a meaningful & humane way of life, which sparked an interest in social issues, politics, history & economics. He was drawn to Rudolf Steiner because of his views on the 3 fold social organism.
Steiner appointed him secretary of the ‘Association for Anthroposophical University Work’, in 1920, a confederation advocating anthroposophy in the universities. With Steiner he organized Higher education courses. He worked with Ernst Lehrs, Albrecht Strohschein & Fritz Kubler to help with the East-West Conference in Vienna in 1922. These 4 young men went to Dornach with the purpose of asking Rudolf Steiner to help them form the ‘Pedagogical Youth Course’, which Steiner held in Stuttgart in Oct. 1923.
Maikowski, traveled with Steiner all that year, & helped him form the ‘Free Anthroposophical Society’ mainly for the youth. He was part of the executive committee with Maria Roschl, Wilhelm Rath, & Hans Buchenbacher.
In GA 259 Rudolf Steiner calls him “Theoretician of Youth’ as he was doing a lot of the programming. Steiner loved Maikowski because he was always full of questions; & he revealed to him that as an initiate Steiner could only do something if it was asked of him. Once when they were entering a city where Steiner had never been, he called for quiet saying: “I want to see if anyone is meditating, because if there is even one person who meditates, it changes the aura of the city”.
Steiner commissioned him to set up various Waldorf Schools. When the National Socialists began to harass the Waldorf schools, Maikowski tried to use the influence of his brother who was an SA officer, but it was no use, the authorities shut down the school anyway. He stepped down as the head of the Confederation. (Many anti-Waldorf sites mention Maikowksi saying he was a Nazi, which he wasn’t)
René Maikowski was much missed by his students, who called him: Die Flamme due to his ardor & enthusiasm in the classroom. After the war he worked to rebuild many of the schools, traveling as far as Russia & Israel. He died at the age of 92.
2003 – The United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation.
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Eyes blazing love lasers…
Mona Lisa mouth…
Meeting your smiling recognition…
Welcome to the World of Rot & Regeneration…Each one of us is a blend of life & death – hot & cold – light & dark…In the most literal sense our bodies always contain old cells that are dying & new cells that are emerging as replacements. From a more metaphorical perspective, our familiar ways of thinking & feeling & willing are constantly evolving, hopefully, as fresh modes emerge.
Both losing & winning are woven into every day; sinking down & rising up; expanding & contracting…In any given phase of our lives, one or the other polarity is usually more pronounced.
What would it be like to be lovingly conscious of these contrasts, while working to make balance our intention?
See you in the striving