Shavuot

30 May 2017 – Astro-Weather: Jupiter appears halfway to the zenith in the southern sky during twilight this week & doesn’t set until around 2 am CDT. The brilliant planet shines among the background stars of Virgo, northwest of the Maiden’s brightest star, Spica.

Johfra Bosschart 

Look for Cassiopeia as twilight fades out, down near the north horizon: a wide, upright W.

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Eugene Thirion

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

I turn to history not for lessons but to confront my experience with the experience of others and to win for myself a sense of responsibility for the state of the human conscience. ~ Zbigniew Herbert  (Poet) 1924 – 1998

François Chifflart

1431 – Deathday of Joan of Arc, French martyr & saint, burnt at the stake by the British under Duke of Bedford

1593 – Deathday of Christopher Marlowe, English poet & playwright

Paul Delaroche

1672 – Birthday of Peter the Great Czar of Russia.  He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist & medieval political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, based on The Enlightenment.

1778 – Deathday of Voltaire, French philosopher & author. Rudolf Steiner speaks of him as being a former pupil of the mysteries in Karmic Relationships Vol. 2.

1806 – Future U.S. President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel

1935 – Deathday of Daniel Nicol Dunlop , a Scottish entrepreneur, founder of the World Power Conference & other associations, a theosophist-turned-anthroposophist. Thought to have been a Templar in a former life. Dunlop saw Rudolf Steiner for the first time when he was still General Secretary of the German Section of the Theosophical Society, both of them expressed their intimate spiritual connection &respect for one another.  Dunlop started the anthroposophical “Human Freedom Group & anthroposophical Summer Schools. In 1928 he organized the first & only World Conference on Anthroposophy & in 1929 he was elected General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain. He had a deep friendship with Eleanor Merry, who supported his work, especially after the death of his own wife, Eleanor in 1932. As a result of conflicts & power struggles within the General Anthroposophical Society, leading to its splintering in April 1935, Dunlop was expelled together with a number of other leading members. He died shortly afterwards of an appendicitis. Dunlop enlisted the help of fellow anthroposophist Walter Johannes Stein in the hope of founding a World Economic Organization, but his death prevented this.

1936 – Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz resigns from the General Anthroposophical Society on the 1 year anniversary of his friend D.N. Dunlop’s death, in protest after many of his contemporizes were expelled from the Society.

1937 – Memorial Day massacre: Chicago police shoot & kill 10 labor demonstrators

1989 –The 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators

1998 – The 6.5 Mw Afghanistan earthquake killed over 5,000

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POD (Poem Of the Day)

~In the wind I hear what I see –
A low hum of vitality
The bell of flowers singing…
With the bright blade of spirit I turned new ground,
Planted seed & watched,
Beneath my hand things happened –
Grapes & wheat
In time I will serve
Wine & bread...
~hag

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Shavuot is a spring holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah, the first harvest, &the ripening of the first fruits. In the bible, Shavuot is called by various other names: Feast of Weeks, Feast of The First Fruits & Feast of the Giving of the Law. The festival begins this year at sunset May 30th thru June1, 2017.

The farmers of Israel begin their spring harvests with the barley crop at Passover. The harvest continues for seven weeks as the other crops & fruits began to ripen. As each fruit ripened, the first of each type would not be eaten but instead the farmer would tie a ribbon around the branch. This ribbon signified that these fruits were Bikkurim, or the first fruits.

At Shavuot the farmers would gather the Bikkurim into baskets & bring them to the city of Jerusalem where they would be eaten in the holy city. The farmers living close to Jerusalem would bring fresh fruits, while those who had to travel a long distance carried dried raisins & figs. This joyful occasion was celebrated with the music of fifes, timbres, & drums. As the pilgrims approached the city walls they were greeted by the inhabitants of the city.

Along with being a Harvest holiday & celebrating the spiritual journey of Ruth, Shavuot celebrates the Revelation of Torah.

On Shavuot, folks light candles, decorate with greenery, eat dairy food, study Torah, attend prayer services, & read the Book of Ruth.

The Legends and Customs of Shavuot:

Many of the traditions & customs of Shavuot have evolved from the legends & stories describing the experiences of the Israelites at Mount Sinai. According to tradition the Israelites actually overslept on the morning of G-d’s visit. To compensate for this negligence, Jews hold a vigil on the eve of Shavuot. They stay awake from dusk to dawn, keeping themselves busy with the readings of the Torah & the Talmud. A digest of readings has evolved called Tikkun Leil Shavuot, the “Restoration of Shavuot Eve,” which includes selections from the Torah, the Prophets, the Talmud, & the Zohar.

Another Shavuot custom is the eating of dairy foods. One explanation states that this comes from a passage in the Torah which reads: “And He gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey”.

Another explanation comes from a legend stating that before the visit from G-d the Jews did not keep kosher or follow the Kashrut (dietary) laws. It was on this first Shavuot that they found out that their utensils were nonkosher. So finding themselves without kosher meats or utensils the Israelites were forced to eat only dairy foods. Today Jews celebrate Shavuot by eating blintzes, cheesecake, & other dairy dishes.

Another legend tells the story of the Israelites finding Mount Sinai blooming and lush with greenery & flowers. From this legend grew the custom to decorate the Jewish home & synagogue with tree branches & flowers. Some temples decorate the Torah scrolls with wreaths of roses.

The Greek version of this festival is called Pentecost…meaning 50 days after the resurrection of the Christ…when the new law of, ‘love thy neighbor as thy self ‘, was engraved in the heart, with the fire of the holy spirit, among roaring winds & tongues of fire.(This year this moveable feast is on June 4th, 2017) It is also called Whitsunday after the white robes worn by those baptized with fire during this vigil…in Italy it was customary to scatter rose petals from the ceiling to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues resting on the heads of the prophets…in France they blow trumpets to suggest the sound of the mighty wind which accompanied the descent of the holy spirit…in Russia the congregation carries flowers & sheaves of barley…

We will explore this further as the week goes on…

Until soon ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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PDF Exploring the Mysteries of St John’s-Tide

Friday June 23rd 2017  – Zinniker Family Farm N 7399 Bowers Rd. Elkhorn, WI 53121

Pot Luck 6:30 pmBee & Stag Bon-fire & Drum Circle 8 pm

We begin with the setting Sun, in the dark of the New Moon.  Thru the drumming of our collective heart-beat, circle dancing, singing to the stars, & blessing the earth, we will celebrate the bright reflection of the Divine within ourselves & each other.

$10 – All Donations go to the Zinniker farm – Bring a folding-chair & your drum, shaker or music maker (or borrow one of ours)

For more info.  Hazel (at) ReverseRitual.com

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St. John’s Festival: Cosmic Rapture Grounded in Jubilant Hearts

Understanding the evolving human consciousness, we move ecstatic-ritual into Heart-Thinking

SATURDAY June 24th 2017, 1 pm – 4 pm – at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP

To pass the test of Summer we will explore many questions:  

  • How do we stand wakefully within the sublime mysteries of the Summer-Tide, to consciously embody ‘the spiritual wisdom of the gods’?
  • Who is the ‘John’ of St. John’s-Tide?
  • What is the mystery of the Bee & Stag? The Dragon-fly, & other elemental beings?
  • Who is the mysterious Archangel of Summer?

Together with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg & Karen Hartz. We will work to strengthen our true “I” – Enlivening our Will Forces, with Social-Artistic Exercises

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The  Center of Anthroposhopyis holding a PDF foundation year training at Urban Prairie this summer

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The Central Regional Council is hosting a Bridging to the ‘Great American Eclipse’ in St. Louis – August 19-22, 2017 stay tuned for details

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