Thig an nathair as an toll
The serpent will come from the hole
2 February 2018 – Today is Groundhogs Day, where the fate of winter rests on the shoulders of a furry rodent, for those muggles who believe in a more modern folklore. If he the sticks his head out of his burrow this morning & sees his shadow, we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter. But if the weather is cloudy, it means spring is right around the corner.
What does this have to do with astronomy? Groundhog Day celebrates one of the 4 cross-quarter days, which mark the midpoints between the solstices & equinoxes. February 2 is the traditionally celebrated date betwixt the winter solstice & the vernal equinox. (The actual cosmic alignment happens tomorrow when the Sun reaches 15 degrees Aquarius & is called by some, Candlemas, still others Brigid’s Day or Imbolc – the lambing season – the time of year when the belly of the great mother quickens with the growing light)
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary- The 40th day of the Christmas-Epiphany season, commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Joseph & Mary brought the child into the Temple, & when Simeon & Anna the prophetess, saw Him, they knew the prophesy of ‘The Chosen One’ had been fulfilled.
We see the connection between the Buddha & Jesus of Nazareth in the stories of Asita & Simeon. When Asita, the great Indian sage, saw Siddhartha as a young child, before he had reached Buddhahood, he was able to recognize what the child would become. It was Asita’s heart’s desire to see the Buddha before he died, so he wept because he was an old man & would not live to see him become the Buddha. This wise seer was then reborn in the time of Jesus as Simeon introduced in Luke 2:29-30 as the temple priest who waits for the Messiah. He recognizes the Buddha in the Nathan Jesus, so he praises god & says now he can die happy, having fulfilled his heart’s desire.
1372 – Mariä Lichtmess – Candlemas, Christian Churches bless the candles to be used for the New Year.
Imbolc – Among the Celts, the pagan celebration of Imbolc honors the Triple Goddess Brigid, associated with purification & the fires of the forge to call in the sun. Folks would carry torches & cross the fields in procession, praying to the goddess to purify the ground before planting.
Brigid, whose name means “The Exalted One,” The Triple Goddess of poetry (fire in the head), healing, & smith-craft. She was born at sunrise while her mother was walking over a threshold, & so “was neither within nor without.” This is the state known as liminality, from the Latin, limen: a threshold – the state of being “in between” Space & Time.
Saint Brigid was renowned for her gift of healing. She wove the first piece of cloth in Ireland & wove into it healing threads which kept their power for centuries. Many healing wells & springs were named after her
The legend of Brigid portrays the archetypes of the Maiden, Mother & Crone.
Crêpes with their round form & their golden color are made, reminiscent of the sun, an appropriate symbol during Candlemas, as this is the time of the year when the days get longer. It is also the time of year when the roots begin to stir.
This is traditionally a time of purification — so clean your house! If you have any Christmas greenery lingering, burn it now.
Make your own Brigid’s crosses & hang them up, especially in the kitchen where her influence can bless your food. The cross of Saint Brigid is a fiery sun-wheel turning.
Leave a silk ribbon on your doorstep for Brigid to bless: It can then be used for healing purposes.
Meditate upon what you would like to see grow in health & strength this year: for yourself, your family, your community, the Earth, & ask for Bride’s blessing upon your prayers.
Lupercalia – The ancient Romans celebrated this festival in honor of Lupercus, & Feralia the god & goddess of fertility & shepherds. A theme of purification was also present. There was a custom of the Vestal Virgins offering cakes made with wheat from the old crop so that the following crop would be fruitful.
Thesmophoria: The Festival of Persephone & Demeter – In addition, the Festa candelarum in Rome commemorated the search for the Goddess of Light Persephone, by her mother the Goddess of Life Demeter, kidnapped by the King of the Other World Hades,. The festival of candles symbolizes the return of the Light. The myths of Sleeping Beauty or Theseus & Ariadne, for example relate to the release or liberation of the light (Dawn of the year) by the “solar knight”.
Feast of the Bear – From antiquity to the Middle Ages, bears were a cult symbol of the Germans, Scandinavians & the Celts. On this day they celebrated the end of hibernation. This was around the time when the bears would leave their dens to see if the weather was mild. For a long time, the Catholic Church sought to eradicate these pagan practices. To do this, it instituted the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple which is celebrated on February 2, which corresponds to the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. However, the celebrations of the bear & the return of the light continued, with bonfires & other torchlight processions. Pope Gelasius I in the fifth century therefore instituted the feast of candles, or Candlemas. From the twelfth to the eighteenth century, Candlemas was called “chandelours” which means bear in French, in many areas (including the Alps, Pyrenees, Ardennes) where the memory of the cult of the bear was still very present. There is also the Aosta Saint-Ours, & Saint Blaise (which means “bear”). Candlemas is also the beginning of the carnival period; the bear is the carnival animal par excellence.
Feast day of Cornelius a Roman centurion. He is depicted in the New Testament as a God-fearing man who always prayed & was full of good works & deeds. Cornelius receives a vision in which an angel of God tells him that his prayers have been heard, he understands that he’s chosen for a higher alternative. The angel then instructs Cornelius to send the men of his household to Joppa, where they will find Simon Peter, who is residing with a tanner by the name of Simon (Acts 10:5ff).
The conversion of Cornelius comes after a separate vision given to Simon Peter (Acts 10:10–16) himself. In the vision, Simon Peter sees all manner of beasts & fowl being lowered from Heaven in a sheet. A voice commands Simon Peter to eat. When he objects to eating those animals that are unclean according to Mosaic Law, the voice tells him not to call unclean that which God has cleansed.
When Cornelius’ men arrive, Simon Peter understands that through this vision the Lord commanded the Apostle to preach the Word of God to the Gentiles. Peter accompanies Cornelius’ men back to Caesarea. When Cornelius meets Simon Peter, he falls at Peter’s feet. Simon Peter raises the centurion & the two men share their visions. Simon Peter tells of Jesus’ ministry & the Resurrection; the Holy Spirit descends on everyone at the gathering & they all begin speaking in tongues, praising God
1786 – Birthday of Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, a French mathematician, physicist & astronomer. Binet’s Formula expressing Fibonacci numbers in closed form is named in his honour.
1882 – Birthday of James Joyce, Irish novelist, short story writer, & poet
1971 – Idi Amin replaces President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda
1972 – The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest at Bloody Sunday
1976 – The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States & south-eastern Canada, killing 1,122
1990 – Apartheid: F. W. de Klerk announces the unbanning of the African National Congress & promises to release Nelson Mandela
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Let the crystals be bright & bitter
To add form to the light
Thru the cold I will see
The single star that calls to me
The waning moon falls away so that I may live
Free to stumble
Free to fly with my fallen angel
Listening, waiting, willing
The sap to rise
Holy water…Sacred flame
Brigid we invoke your name
Bless my hands, my head, my heart
Source of healing, song & art.
I know, it’s easy to forget at this time of year when the skies are steel grey that stirring in the wind, is the spark of spring – waiting, to be ignited by the passion of our purpose…Can you feel the energy of the earth…Quickening…I feel it groaning & stretching in the earth of my body…Like a snake trying to shed its skin…I just want to be a molting bird…Dancing in the silent belly of February…
We know, She drums in the womb of her slumber…So much to do…So much to Be…Can you feel Her growing rhythms…Her song ever sung…‘Being is Becoming’…
She…has many names…Today we call Her Brigid…Goddess of the forge, of creativity & poetry…Great Goddess of healing…whose feast-day marks the waxing light…called by some, Candlemas, others, groundhog’s day, still others, Imbolc…the lambing season…the time of year when the belly of the great mother quickens with the growing light…
A time to purify & get fertile…So let’s, come together & charm the plow…Kiss the candle…& beat the drum to kindle, a need-fire…as a welcoming beacon…to call back, our dormant power…to heat up, our potential, & re-seed our creativity…as we add fuel to the fire of our community…One spark warms us all…A purifying fire, that burns clean & opens the way to the true power of love & light from deep within us…from the ancient & immortal tribes…from all the quarters of the cosmos…to come & warm our circle…to bring, their respected dimensions, into the eternity, of our circle, now…
Our circle…which is open & ever changing…for we have a lot to honor in ourselves today…as we stand on the waning side of the full moon…Whispering the promise of passion like a communal chant that builds…Into the arrows of Eros, embracing our true heart in the eternal now of Valentine’s Day…And as we call in the Earth Dog of Chinese New Year February 16th 2018…
So, let us sing in the forces…Coming up from the center of our true free will, & call the power of our striving humanity into our rhythm of growing light…Together may we will thaw the winter & rouse the mysteries growing within…
The Karma Project – A Western Approach to Reincarnation & Karma – Zoom Call open to All – February 7, 2018 – 7:15 pm CST
“…The body is subject to the laws of heredity; the soul is subject to self-created destiny or, to use an ancient term, to its karma; and the spirit is subject to the laws of reincarnation or repeated Earth lives.” ~Rudolf Steiner, A Western Approach to Reincarnation and Karma, Chapter 8, “Reincarnation of the Spirit and Destiny” (from Theosophy, Chapter 2) … This chapter is the focus of the February 7 meeting.
The Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to join our ongoing study conversation. The study has been divided amongst five volunteers who will summarize their section to rebuild it as a foundation for our conversation. Please familiarize yourself with the lecture if possible so you will feel comfortable sharing your reflections and thoughts with the group.
This collection of lectures has been republished by Anthroposophic Press under the title: “A Western Approach to Reincarnation and Karma” The following is the link to Chapter 2 of Theosophy (from e.Lib):
This will be a “Zoom” conference call allowing us an opportunity to see one another while conversing (or audio only if you prefer). To connect to the audio/video-conference:
Option 1. Click link below if you wish to connect through your computer (a headset is recommended)
Option 2. Call in using your telephone.
United States: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Access Code: 831-956-619
Option 3. You can use a combination of Options 1 and 2 (computer and phone). If you use the phone, please turn off the audio on your computer to avoid audio feedback.
Please join us!
Agenda for our Study Call
7:18 Welcome and Introductions
7:25 Study led by six volunteers
Marianne – page 117 to 120
David – page 121 to page 124
Lisa – page 125 to page 128
Hazel – page 129 to 132
Alberto – page 133 to end
8:20 Identify volunteers for the next study call, April 4
8:25 Share plans re: Speaker for March 7th 2018 – Fred Amrine!
8:28 Close with verse
Spinning Destiny with the Fates
An Experiential Workshop with Hazel Archer Ginsberg
Saturday, 10 February 2018 – 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
At the Theosophical Society 1926 N Main St, Wheaton, IL 60187
Come face the Fates & meet the Sibyls in the Light of Anthroposophy & ask: Does Fortune smile? Is Justice blind? 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?
Through the insights of Rudolf Steiner, the power of Myth-Telling, & Ritual-Tasks, such as interactive drumming, & Socratic questioning; we will journey into our soul-depths to stand before the “Daughters of Necessity” that we will transform to meet our true calling; asking: ‘What is my Highest Purpose?’
Please bring your own vegetarian lunch
$60 nonmembers $50 members $70 at the door
Hazel Archer-Ginsberg –Spiritual Midwife, Trans-denominational Minister, Essayist, Lecturer, Blogger – Anthroposopher, working as the Festivals Coordinator for the Rudolf Steiner Branch of Chicago. Founder of www.reverseritual.com