27 February 2017 – Astro-Weather: New Moon, exact at 8:07 pm CST. At its New phase, the Moon crosses the sky with the Sun & so remains hidden in our star’s glare.
One of the biggest asterism in the heavens right now is the Winter Hexagon. It fills the sky toward the east & south after dinnertime. Start with brilliant Sirius at its bottom. Going clockwise from there, march through Procyon, Pollux & Castor, Menkalinan & Capella very high, Aldebaran over to Capella’s lower right, down to Rigel in Orion’s foot, & back to Sirius. Betelgeuse shines inside the Hexagon, off center.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Chinese Lunar New Year of the Red Fire Rooster*
1756 – Birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in full Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. A prolific & influential composer of the Classical era. Born in Salzburg, he showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard & violin, he composed from the age of 5 & performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless & traveled in search of a better position. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security.
Mozart’s physical appearance described him as “a remarkably small man, very thin and pale, with a profusion of fine, fair hair of which he was rather vain, except for his large intense eyes, he gave no signs of his genius.” His facial complexion was pitted, a reminder of his childhood case of smallpox. He loved elegant clothing. Of his voice his wife later wrote that it “was a tenor, rather soft in speaking and delicate in singing, but when anything excited him, or it became necessary to exert it, it was both powerful and energetic”.
Mozart usually worked long & hard, finishing compositions at a tremendous pace as deadlines approached. He often made sketches & drafts; unlike Beethoven’s these are mostly not preserved, as his wife sought to destroy them after his death.
Mozart lived at the center of the Viennese musical world, & knew a great number & variety of people: fellow musicians, theatrical performers, fellow Salzburgers, & aristocrats, including some acquaintance with the Emperor Joseph II. He enjoyed billiards & dancing, & kept pets: a canary, a starling, a dog, & a horse for recreational riding. He had a startling fondness for scatological humor, which is preserved in his surviving letters, notably those written to his cousin Maria Anna Thekla Mozart around 1777–1778, & in his correspondence with his sister & parents. Mozart also wrote scatological music, a series of canons that he sang with his friends.
During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, & operas, & portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze & two sons. He composed more than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, & choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, & his influence is profound on subsequent Western art music
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Beware the seduction of talk,
The many nonsense words,
Thorns & faded flowers
Speak instead the language of the Sun
The yawn & shudder of the newborn
Speak for the gods hidden in things that cry
Uncover their faces…
Thru your own light
Vibrate the Word in love
*Celebrations start tonight on the New Moon for the Chinese New Year, considered a “Spring Festival“, & goes for 15 days, ending with the Full Moon on the Lantern Festival, February 10-11th. This is based on the ancient Chinese calendar that existed when the Shang Dynasty was in power during the 14th Century B.C. The Chinese calendar is a complex timepiece; its parameters set according to the lunar phases as well as the solar solstices & equinoxes. The Chinese calendar also follows the Chinese zodiac, meaning each year is represented by one of 12 signs of the Zodiac.
2017 is a Fire Rooster Year. According to Chinese astrology, each year is associated with one of five elements as well as an animal, including gold (metal), wood, water, fire or Earth. The element, combined with the zodiac animal, set the astrology for the year. This year is a fire year, & so those born in 2017 are Fire Roosters. The last Fire Rooster Year was 1957.
This Lunar festival is centuries old, it is a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. According to tales & legends, the beginning of the Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called the Nian, who had the reputation of eating the villagers, especially children. One year, all the villagers decided to go hide from the beast. Then an old man appeared & said that he was going to stay to get revenge on the Nian. All the villagers thought he was insane. The old man put up red papers & set off firecrackers. The day after, the villagers came back to their town to see that nothing was destroyed. They assumed that the old man was a deity who came to save them. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red & loud noises. When the New Year was about to come, the villagers would wear red clothes, hang red lanterns, or scrolls on windows & doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. And the legends say that eventually the Nian was captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk.
The first day of this festival is for the welcoming of the deities of the heavens & earth, officially beginning at midnight. It is a traditional practice to light fireworks, & burn bamboo sticks to make as much of a din as possible to chase off the evil spirits. Many people, abstain from meat on the 1st day because it is believed this will ensure longevity. Some consider lighting fires & using knives to be bad luck on New Year’s Day, so all food is cooked before hand. It is also considered bad luck to use the broom on New Year’s day, so It is traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, the day before, on the eve, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune & to make way for good incoming luck. Windows & doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts & couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, & “longevity”. Dumplings are often created to resemble gold & silver ingots to represent riches & foods like hard-boiled eggs, fish & chicken are all associated with prosperity. Spring rolls tend to represent wealth & sweet rice balls represent family togetherness.
Most importantly, the 1st day of Chinese New Year is a time to honor one’s elders, so families visit the oldest & most senior members of their extended families, usually their parents, grandparents & great-grandparents.
For Buddhists, the first day is also the birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva the Buddha-to-be.
Members of the family who are married also give red envelopes containing cash known as ‘lai see’, to junior members of the family, mostly children & teenagers; to suppress aging & the challenges associated with the coming year. Business managers also give bonuses through red packets to employees for good luck, smooth-sailing, good health & wealth. The amount of money doesn’t matter as it is only symbolic, however, it is usually an even number. The numbers 8 & 88 are considered especially lucky because “eight” sounds like a word that means “prosperity.”
New Year in China is the largest period of human migration on earth. Everyone goes back home to visit their families, & with so many migrant workers, this equates to hundreds of millions of people!
Praying in a temple during Chinese New Year is said to be a particularly blessed activity, & will lead to a smooth coming year. In Shanghai, China’s biggest city, thousands flock to Longhua Temple, the city’s biggest temple, to pray for good fortune.
At temple fairs in many Chinese cities, traditional performances can be seen: dragon dances, lion dances, & imperial performances like an emperor’s wedding. In North China people perform various versions of the Rice Sprout Song.
As Chinese people believe that the year’s start affects the whole year, are many superstitions & taboos for the Spring Festival season. These taboos usually apply up to a month before the festival & continue to the end of the festival (day 15, the Lantern Festival). Some Chinese people believe that they shouldn’t wash their hair in the first three days because that will wash away good luck. A cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family, so the young are placated fastidiously. Another interesting thing is red underwear…You will see red underwear sold at supermarkets & street markets. Also no begging: To ask for a loan is a big “no-no”.
Xīnnián de zhùfú, píngrì de xījì, yuàn nǐ xīnjìng xiánghé, chōngmǎn ài yì, yuàn nǐ de shìjiè quán shì měimǎn, yuàn nǐ yīqiè chènxīn rúyì, kuàilè wúbǐ.
At New Year and always, may peace and love fill your heart, beauty fill your world, and contentment and joy fill your days.
“I am alert
Ready to take action
The first on the scene
The last to leave
I take chances
But I am precise
I know where things belong
I am orderly and fastidious
Nothing escapes me
I am always prepared
I never give up or in
I AM THE ROOSTER”
The Bridging Project – Between Life and Death from Soul to Soul
Audio/Video Conference – February 1, 2017 – 7:15 pm CST
The Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to our conversation with special guest Mark Miller. Mark is a registered architect in the states of Illinois and Michigan, and is a member of the Passive House Alliance US and co-founder of the Chicago chapter of the organization (Passive House is the world’s highest energy efficiency standard). www.phaus.org
Mark’s talk is titled: “Spirit Parks, an Alternative to Cemeteries”. Mark will be discussing the spiritual intentions of traditional western cemeteries; overview of how different cultures embrace memorialization and creating a “place” for connecting with the dead; and he will present his thoughts on what the next evolutionary step in places of memorialization may look like and why.
Mark has published various articles and delivered lectures on Zen Architecture, Passive House and Green Design. Mark’s spirituality includes past and current practices in western and eastern traditions; Mark is an active member of the Chicago Waldorf School community, where his children have attended for 13 years. Mark has designed several projects for the school incorporating Steiner’s philosophy within the architectural design wherever possible. www.zenplusarchitecture.com
This will be a “go-to-meeting” 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) https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/490464125
Option 2. Call in using your telephone.
United States: +1 (571) 317-3116
Canada: +1 (647) 497-9372
Access Code: 490-464-125
Option 3. You can use a combination of Options 1 and 2 (computer and phone)
Please join us!
Agenda – 7:15 Verse
7:18 Welcome and Introductions
7:25 Introduce guest speaker
7:30 Guest Speaker: Mark Miller (45 minutes)
8:15 Q&A – state your name & location before asking a question
8:28 Close with verse
The Madonna Sequence
Presented by Debra Barford & Christine Culbert
The Madonna Pentagram, was first recommended by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in 1911 as an enlivening, curative therapy. Raphael’s paintings of the Madonna express secret truths. These images invite us to look into the deeper significance of the flow of energy stimulated within us as our attention is guided through the five-pointed-star-like movement of the images in relation to one another, accompanied by the appropriate tones on the lyre. Rudolf Steiner described the healing effects of Raphael’s Madonna’s in August 1908, and between 1908 and 1911 he directed Dr. Felix Peipers to arrange fifteen images as a therapeutic meditation. Sometimes called the Raphael Madonna Series, these fifteen pictures invite our active contemplation. Each image can awaken inner pictures that lift us into communion with realms beyond the physical world, stirring our feelings of wonder and reverence and opening our souls to divine mysteries.
$10 donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged
Mysteries of the Celtic Goddess
Thursday February 9th 2017 -7 pm
at the Theosophical Society in America
1926 North Main Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
Invoking the Practical Alchemy of the Celtic Triple Goddess Brigid
To Purify, Awaken, & Galvanize Your Head, Heart, and Hands
Brigid’s festival is the 1st of the cross-quarter days in the wheel of the year, a time of spiritual re-dedication and initiation. Brigid invites us to forge and shape ourselves, as the tools of our own destiny. Come Renew Yourself. Together we will thaw the winter & rouse the mysteries growing within…
Hazel Archer Ginsberg is a Spiritual Midwife, and Trans-denominational Minister, working in an eclectic style that inspires connections – initiating us into the magic, waiting to be revealed, in the cycle of the seasons. Festivals Coordinator of the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society. Lecturer, Promoter, Blogger, Poet & Performance Artist. www.ReverseRitual.com.
$10 nonmembers $5 members
DIGITAL Pandora: Imaging HOPE by Gretchen Steele
A Performance Art Exhibit & Gallery Reception with an opportunity for participants to create their own collage art to be shown at the Closing exhibit March 31st, 2017
DIGITAL Pandora: Imaging HOPE is a multi-media art exhibit including work inspired by the myth of Pandora as a narrative of hope – by Gretchen Steele
The exhibit includes multi-media collages on paper, large-scale (5’ x 5’) collaged fabric prayer cloths, a performance art piece titled Embodied Compass ll: Reliquary Immersion, and a participatory SEA (Socially Engaging Artwork) inviting viewers to collaborate in a collaged community mural using a images (from the artist’s photo bank of the previous performance piece, Embodied Compass l: Digital Pandora) and marker-based drawing materials.
The 156th Anniversary of Rudolf Steiner’s Birthday on the New Moon/Solar Eclipse
Sunday February 26th 2017, 3 pm – 5 pm
We will celebrate Steiner’s birthday and the solar eclipse by analyzing his horoscope in the most respectful manner. Astrologer Victoria Martin will expound on some classic interpretations of Rudolf Steiner’s Birth chart – For instance did you know he was born on a Full Moon, near the zenith of the sky aligned to Saturn? Victoria will also go further by adding the fixed stars, which according to Brian Gray at Steiner College, are basic components in Astrosophy.
The Solar eclipse, on Sunday February 26th 2017 indicates a new phase of Steiner’s influence, which is especially potent for the next six months!
Victoria will also do 3-minute readings for each participant to see where their birthdays fit in Steiner’s horoscope!
This can be even more precise if the entire horoscope of participants is available, so please email your date, time, and place of birth to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can also look into the 2017 trends if there is interest! And if time allows Hazel Archer Ginsberg will give a brief overview of the phases in Rudolf Steiner’s life.
For more info. contact Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
An evening Discourse & Full day Workshop with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg at
Fostering Sustainable Agriculture through Research, Education and Policy since 1984
What is Anthroposophy?
Friday March 3rd 2017, Potluck Social 5:30 pm Lecture –7 pm – 9 pm
A Hands-on Discourse with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
What can the human being (anthropos) of today do to recognize our inherent wisdom (sophia) to access the source of spiritual knowledge, for our own inner development, and for the evolution of the earth and all of humanity?
What would it be like to support each other in community, as we strive to penetrate the mystery of our relationship with the spiritual world?
How does this ‘Spiritual Science’ built on the research of Rudolf Steiner, speak to the riddles of existence: our artistic needs, the truth of karma, the mystery of evil, life after death and so much more?
Come Explore this Modern Path of Initiation with:
Hazel Archer-Ginsberg – Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, and the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society. Founder of Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy Through the Rhythms of the Year– Presenter, Poet, & Trans-denominational Minister.
Saturday March 4th 2017 –
A Experiential Three Part Workshop* with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
‘The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity’
Some of the topics treated in this experiential workshop are: The nature of the brain, the development of speech, angelic beings, ancient language, Zarathustra, Buddha, & Christ.
‘The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity: Some Results of Spiritual-Scientific Research into Human History and Development’ consists of three sections. Each section was originally a lecture (6, 7, & 8 June 1911) but was subsequently reworked by Steiner & cast into the form of an essay. It is available without a fee at Rudolf Steiner Archives
Session #1 – 10 am – 12 noon:
• The divine wisdom working in the human being in the 1st three years of life.
• Through inner striving we can contact again and consciously build on this wisdom which is connected to the Christ impulse.
• Activity- Biography work: Our 1st conscious memory – a preview of the “I”.
Noon – 1:30 pm – Lunch
Session #2 – 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm:
• The childlike condition of humanity in ancient times, directed by higher spiritual beings.
• A look into the evolution of these guiding spirits –progressive as well as regressive –
• Revealing the necessity of the ‘two kinds of evil’.
• The importance of Spiritual Science to avoid error.
• Activity – Labyrinth Walk
3:30 pm – 4 pm – Break
Session #3 – 4 pm – 6 pm:
• A survey of the Post-Atlantean age, our present epoch.
• The Christ connection with the progressive spiritual beings
• Modern science as the work of the regressive spiritual beings
• A peek into the future
• Activity – The Golden Legend & The Rose Cross Mediation: An artistic rendering
*(Workshops can be taken as a whole or individually, details to follow)
Michael Fields W2493 County Rd ES
East Troy, WI 53120, USA