The Origins of St. Valentines’ Day

14 February 2019 The Origins of Valentines’ Day

The eve of the ides of February is the time when St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated. Have you ever wondered where this hearts & flowers frivolity came from? Well it wasn’t always about chocolates & sappy hallmark cards. Let’s look back to the origins of this Holiday & set the record straight. For one thing, Valentinus was a very common Roman name meaning strong, effective fertility. Please excuse me if I must commit a little history here, but basically the church fathers were trying to replace a very potent ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia with a Christian martyr named Valentinus, to usurp the power of this rite of great antiquity. Now don’t get me wrong, frivolity has its place, & so it was in the festival of Lupercalia, a ritual of purification & fertility, sacred to the Wolf-Goddess Rumina. Maybe you’ve heard of Her, the She-Wolf & founder of Rome?

Image result for lupercalia wolf

The festival of Lupercalia was celebrated on the ides of February (the 15th)…& name ‘February’ comes from the Latin word ‘februare’, meaning tools of purification.

The rite began in the cave of the She-Wolf, where legend has it, the founders of the city, Romulus & Remus, were suckled by the Wolf-Goddess. As fate would have it a sacred fig tree (symbol of the feminine sex) grew outside the cave & vestals would come, with cakes made from the corn of last year’s grain harvest, laying them beneath the fig tree as offerings.

Meanwhile Rumina’s priests would preside over the sacrifice of a goat. Now this was a pretty big deal since this was the only time of year a goat was used as a sacrifice. It was an offering given to the guardian angels associated with the crops, & the ancestral guardians, as well as the guardians of the city & community. The priests would  mark their foreheads with its blood, which was then ritualistically wiped clean with a ‘Februare’ or tool of purification, which was, in this case, wool, dipped in the milk of the goat. The priests would then dress themselves in the skin of the sacrificial animal, & using strips of the hide they would fashion a scourge, another tool of purification. They would then jog around in their little loincloths, running up & down Rome’s seven hills, wielding their strips of hide, ‘purifying’ anything & anybody in their path.

Women seeking pregnancy & easy childbirth lined the streets, extending hands, or baring their bodies, to afford a better target, to be briefly & symbolically ‘purified’ as they passed by.

Fertility, of course, is worthless without sex, so as time passed, sex became the festival’s primary focus for the average Roman citizen, & the occasion took on a character much like carnival.

When the church tried to ban it, the people needless to say, stubbornly resisted. Hence the substitute of St. Valentine’s Day emerged, with its more innocent version of love.

And let’s face it folks, the real Cupid was not the cute little cherub he is today, but rather, a very randy Roman God responsible for a more tangible fertility.

So all the frivolous frivolity aside, let’s take ourselves back to the days when the Wolf Goddess Rumina, was at the heart of this time of celebration, as we purify & purge all of our afflictions & ills before we begin to plant the new seeds of creativity. For by the ancient calendars, Winter is ended by the ides of February, & Spring, a season of new beginnings, has arrived.

So on Valentine’s Day, let’s remember the potent powers of the Wolf, asking Her to spare the herds, taking only what She must, to keep us free & fertile & abundant, like the crops – as fruitful, & as wild as we want to be.

Peace & Blessed Bee…~hag

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Image result for Richard Dancey

And so it is that now it is two years since Richard Dancey died, & Valentine’s Day has taken on another deeper dimension. He comes up in my thoughts at all the obvious times, when I’m at the Christian Community where his picture graces the sacristy, & many times when I am writing my blog. He always encouraged me to write & inspired me so much over the years with his amazing storytelling. Here is one of my favorites, a short piece called: “The Crack in the Liberty Bell”

“In Philadelphia, birthplace of the constitution, home of Ben Franklin, there is the Liberty Bell, a cherished, close to holy relic of our story. In the Liberty Bell there is a crack, a large, long crack. It has its special significance. It speaks out a truth. It is a revelation. What does it reveal? One response can be this: it reveals we are very far from a perfect union. In fact, this land of liberty throughout its whole story has been and is riddled with flaws, contradictions, tragedies, and crimes against our striving to reach the promised land, the beloved community, a fair and vital society of free, healthy human beings, respecting and supporting one another, working together, inclusive of all the wide diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and persuasions. At this moment in the story the crack in the Liberty Bell can feel like a deep wound, that is not healed, that is open and raw.

But the crack in the Liberty Bell could be revealing something more. Two weeks ago the songwriter, Leonard Cohen, died. In his song, ”Anthem,” the chorus sings:

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.

It is a trembling, yet amazing thought— It is where there is a wound, a fracture, a broken heart; Where there is a trespass, violation, betrayal – There – is Christ!

May we be there too. We can forget our perfect offering. We can be who we are, with all our flaws and weaknesses. But just be there: present, conscious, standing, living, working, celebrating there. With Him. In the Light.” ~Richard Dancey

Friday 22 February 2019 – Ita Wegman’s Birthday

The Social Impulse of Ita Wegman and Karl Konig – The future they inspired,

with Frank Agrama, Elizabeth Roosevelt, and Dottie Zold

Community Potluck at 5:30 pm

Presentation 7 pm

8 pm Conversation: Seeding Circles for a Renewal of Culture

for more info. contact Hazel Archer Ginsberg

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AGM ​​​​​​​Sunday 24 February 2019,

2 pm – 4 pm

Our local Annual General Meeting of the Rudolf Steiner Branch, Chicago.

All members in good standing invited to attend.

Not a member? This is the perfect time to join or re-up by paying this year’s dues.

Anthroposophy is…

“Anthroposophy opens its wellsprings, and the human will, carried by love, may draw from the waters. It brings to life love for humankind and thereby works creatively in impulses for moral action and true social interaction.” ~Rudolf Steiner

 EXPLORE HUMANITY’S PATH AND YOUR OWN.

 Become a member of the Anthroposophical Society in America, then you are invited to Become a  member of the Rudolf Steiner Branch 

 Membership is $50 (or pay what you can afford) per year –  (That’s less than 14 cents a day! Please consider offering your support) 

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23-24 March 2019

‘May Human Beings Hear It’

with APO founder Fred Janney from Ann Arbor

Sat. 23 March, 7 pm – 9 pm

& Sun. 24 March, 1 pm – 4 pm

Saturday March 23, 2019, 7:00-9:00 p.m: Personality and spiritual biographies of the original Vorstand members and group healing meditation.

Sunday March 24, 2019,  Identifying your spiritual stream and recognizing its opposite stream with directions for bringing cohesion and direction for members on both sides of the threshold.

Minimum contribution $25 with proceeds donated to APO.

2019 marks the reinstatement of Ita Wegman and Elisabeth Vreede back into the General Anthroposophical Society after 84 years.  This 12×7 combination is a very important number combination in microcosmic and macrocosmic dynamics.  Their return from banishment is only a first step in healing the karma of our organization and embracing the ongoing leadership of Rudolf Steiner into the future.  Long standing and exacerbating problems have ensued since the ouster of these two leading lights chosen esoterically by Rudolf Steiner.

It is essential and imperative in our time to reconcile and forge harmony with these and other members on both sides of the threshold so that anthroposophy can flourish.

Sergei Prokofieff through his research tells us that all the original Executive Council members were chosen representatives and archetypes of the different and divergent karmic streams that came together under the direction of Rudolf Steiner for the esoteric tasks required well into the future.

The birth and development of the New Mysteries that was initiated at the Christmas Conference at the end of 1923 called on the free and active participation of these individuals.

On many occasions Rudolf Steiner called on each member of the Anthroposophical Society to uncover and research the spirituals stream for which he/she came to earth.  Then, in order to heal the individual and group karma of the General Anthroposophical Society, members were urged to reach out to members of conflicting spiritual streams, so as to find ways to harmonize the conflicts.

In our time, these steps in self and social development are essential as we seek future work together for the development of humanity.

References: May Human Beings Hear It (2004) by Sergei Prokofieff. Chapter Five: The Esoteric Archetype of the Original Council.

https://www.rudolfsteiner.org/articles.  Anthroposophical Society: What Ails Thee (2017) by Fred Janney

Fred Janney in 1999 joined with six other members of the Anthroposophical Society from around the country to start what soon became known as Anthroposophical Prison Outreach.  We are celebrating twenty years of service to incarcerated individuals based on the good will and donations of our member.

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HOLY WEEK 2019

Begins 14 April Palm Sunday 2pm – 4pm

Then every evening 7pm – 9pm

& Easter Sunday 2 pm – 4 pm

For our study this year, we will take up the Mystery of Kaspar Hauser

In the New Mysteries we follow the path of the Christian initiation thru the Holy Week before Easter – With every step, from the recognition of the old Sun on Palm Sunday, thru to the meeting of the Saturn-Spirit and The Harrowing of Hell, which sparks the rising of the New Sun of Easter.

For our study we will take up: ‘Kaspar Hauser: The Struggle for the Spirit’ byAnthroposophical researcher Peter Tradowsky

I have ordered 5 copies to be given out on a 1st come basis at cost: $23

Come to any or all of the gatherings:

14 April Palm Sunday, 2pm – 4pm

Holy Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Good Friday &Holy Saturday, 7pm – 9pm

& Easter Sunday, 2 pm – 4 pm – The Festival of Resurrection

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Sat. 25 May 2019 –  7 pm – 9 pm

Climbing Jacobs Ladder: Celebrating the Feast of Ascension

Leading Thoughts original art-collage projections with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Eurythmy with Mary Ruud

Social Art with Nancy Melvin

$10 Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged

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Friday 21 June 2019, 7 pm – 9 pm

Rudiger Janisch:

The 3 fold human being, the foundation stone & the 3 fold social organism

Friday 21 June 2019, 7 pm – 9 pm & Saturday 22 June 2019, 10 am – 1 pm

Rüdiger has been working in Curative Education and teaching in professional training programs in Germany and the United States for over 40 years. A long-time student of anthroposophy, he serves on the Collegium of the School for Spiritual Science in North America. His contributions to adult education methods were recognized in the context of an international research project sponsored by the European Union. He has been a member of the core faculty of a joint ‘Training for Trainers’ program supporting Curative Education and Social Therapy in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member of the M.S. Ed program in Waldorf Remedial Education at Antioch University N.H. Having taught many different aspects of anthroposophy and Curative Education, he currently is focused on action research and the development of artistic and experiential approaches to the spiritual scientific study of the human being.

Contact rjanisch@camphill.edu

Saturday 22 June 2019, 10 am – 1 pm

Rudiger Janisch: The 3 fold human being, the foundation stone & the 3 fold social organism

Rüdiger has been working in Curative Education and teaching in professional training programs in Germany and the United States for over 40 years. A long-time student of anthroposophy, he serves on the Collegium of the School for Spiritual Science in North America. His contributions to adult education methods were recognized in the context of an international research project sponsored by the European Union. He has been a member of the core faculty of a joint ‘Training for Trainers’ program supporting Curative Education and Social Therapy in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member of the M.S. Ed program in Waldorf Remedial Education at Antioch University N.H. Having taught many different aspects of anthroposophy and Curative Education, he currently is focused on action research and the development of artistic and experiential approaches to the spiritual scientific study of the human being.

Contact rjanisch@camphill.edu

Stay Tuned to Details on the Weekend!

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Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society, 4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (map

Check out our Web site!  (Anthroposophical Society in America)

The Elderberries 3-Fold Space & the Flex Space are available for rental on PEER SPACE for classes, events, meetings, retreats, art exhibits, family parties, etc..

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Anthroposophy Atlanta Welcomes Hazel Archer-Ginsberg* for a weekend of Spiritual Science, Art, Community & Sharing March 8, 9, 10, 2019

Spinning Destiny with the Fates – Friday, March 8, 2019 with *Hazel Archer-Ginsberg 6:30 pm refreshments, 7:00 pm talk, Decatur, GA (location details TBA)
Through an exploration into the evolution of human consciousness, we will explore the legends of the Greek Moirae and the Nordic Norns,  the Orphic Hymn and the Prose Poem Edda. Hazel* will share some of her original art & song, and group discussion will be encouraged.
From Necessity to Freedom – The Evolution of Human Consciousness, Social Sculpture & Experiential Discourse with *Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Saturday, March 9
, 2019 10am – 3pm,Decatur, GA (location details TBA)
How can I co-create with Destiny, to spin the thread of my life with integrity, to heal and clear the collective karma, & achieve my True Becoming? We will we stand before the “Daughters of Necessity” that we will transform into “Freedom Fighters” to meet our true calling; asking: “What is my Highest Purpose?” From the vaporous cleft of Mount Parnassus, and the birthplace of Greek Philosophy, to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and the Holy Grail – From Prophecy to Warning, from Fate to Karma, From Destiny to Free Will!
❖         10 am –11 am – The ever-evolving Human Consciousness – Scrying with the Sibyls – The Hebrew Prophets and the Sistine Chapel ❖         11:30 – Socratic Questioning – You have to ask the right question to get the right answer❖         12:30 pm – Lunch  (light lunch provided)❖         1:30 pm – Once Upon A Time NOW – The new story❖         2:00 pm – Weaving Past, Present and Future❖         2:30 – 3pm –  Open Discussion – Rudolf Steiner’s poem: “Destiny”*Come as you can–all are welcome to attend any part, or all of the workshop!
The Golden Legend and The Rose Cross Meditation – Leading Thoughts & Discourse – Sunday 10 March 2019, 3 pm – 5 pm, with *Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Social Art with Angela Foster.
Using our head, hands & heart we will enact this powerful Rosicrucian tool given to us by Rudolf Steiner, as a soul path of initiation, using imaginative cognition to build spiritual etheric forces; a Metamorphoses of Self & of World evolution.

 Location: Decatur GA (details TBA). No set fee to attend. Suggested donation $0-100

Please RSVP to Angela so we can plan the space & refreshments: ARC@thirdbody.net

*Hazel Archer-Ginsberg is the founder of the website and blog Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year (www.reverseritual.com)She is an Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Trans-denominational Minister, and “Anthroposopher.” She works as the Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch as well as with the Traveling Speakers Program, and she serves on the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society.

Atlanta March 2019

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Whitsun: A Festival of United Soul Endeavor with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

3 pm – 6 pm Saturday 8 June 2019 -4804 Sewanee Road, Nashville, TN 37220. for more info. contact Cathy Green cgreen@grasslandaquatics.com

12 Noon Potluck Program 1 pm -4 pm Whitsunday 9 June 2019, In Knoxville, TN. for more info. contact William Rogers wmerogers@gmail.com

Eurythmy: AUM = A – I stand for myself, U- I stand for humanity, M – I stand for Life

Social Sculpture: Steiner’s ‘Blue Dot Exercise’: Through Art, the bridge between science & spirit, we warm the ‘I’, to open the heart, in support of healthy community.

Leading Thoughts with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg*

What are my gifts-What are my tools? How can I place them in right relationship within the social realm? How can I hone them to strengthen and enhance the world?

Enter the Labyrinth of Vitae Sophia: Human hearts, once warmed, can rise up to meet the source of wisdom, like flowers turning toward the sun.

Living into the Foundation Stone of Love: How can we take our individual Inner Whitsun & expand it, into what Steiner calls the “World Festival of Knowledge” a path leading from ‘Sprit Recollection’, to ‘Sprit Sensing’, to ‘Sprit Beholding’?

*Hazel Archer-Ginsberg is the founder of the website and blog Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year (www.reverseritual.com)She is an Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Trans-denominational Minister, and “Anthroposopher.” She works as the Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch as well as with the Traveling Speakers Program, and she serves on the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society.