4 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: Venus & Mars are in conjunction in early dawn tomorrow, forming a tight pair. Look low in the east to distinguish the dazzle of Venus from the dimmer lights of Mars & nearby Sigma Leonis.
The night sky’s most conspicuous harbinger of winter now rises in the east around midnight. The constellation Orion the Hunter appears on its side as it rises, with ruddy Betelgeuse to the left of the three-star belt & blue-white Rigel to the belt’s right. As Orion climbs high in the south before dawn, the figure rotates so that Betelgeuse lies at the upper left & Rigel at the lower right of the constellation pattern.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
“To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world.” Rudolf Steiner
Feast Day of Crispus & Gaius, Martyrs baptized by St. Paul at Corinth, Greece. Crispin headed the local Jewish synagogue. Gaius served as St. Paul’s host & was praised by St. John. Before being martyred, Crispin served as the bishop of the Aegean Islands, & Gaius served as bishop of Thessalonica, Greece.
1 Corinthians 1:14 – I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius
Acts 10:48 – So he ordered that Crispus and Gaius be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.
Acts 18:8 – Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his whole household believed in the Lord. And many of the Corinthians who heard the message believed and were baptized.
Romans 16:23 – Gaius, who has hosted me and all the church, sends you greetings. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends you greetings, as does our brother Quartus.
3 John 1:1 – The elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth
1515 Birthday of Lucas Cranach the Younger, He is known for portraits & mythical scenes
1582 – Deathday of Saint Teresa of Ávila, a prominent Spanish mystic, saint, Carmelite nun, theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer & author during the Counter Reformation.
Her books, which include her autobiography (The Life of Teresa of Jesus) & her seminal work El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle), are an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism & Christian meditation practices. She also wrote Camino de Perfección (The Way of Perfection).
Teresa of Avila was born in 1515. Her paternal grandfather, was a marrano (Jewish convert to Christianity) & was condemned by the Spanish Inquisition for allegedly returning to the Jewish faith. Her father, bought a knighthood & successfully assimilated into Christian society. Teresa’s mother, was especially keen to raise her daughter as a pious Christian. Teresa was fascinated by accounts of the lives of the saints, & ran away from home at age seven with her brother Rodrigo to find martyrdom among the Moors.
When Teresa was 14 her mother died; this resulted in Teresa becoming grief-stricken. This prompted her to embrace a deeper devotion to the Virgin Mary as her spiritual mother. Along with this good resolution, however, she also developed immoderate interests in reading popular fiction (consisting, at that time, mostly of medieval tales of knighthood) & caring for her own appearance. Teresa was sent for her education to the Augustinian nuns at Ávila.
In the monastery she suffered greatly from illness. Early in her sickness, she experienced periods of religious ecstasy through the use of the devotional book the Third Spiritual Alphabet. This work, consisted of directions for examinations of conscience & for spiritual self-concentration (known in mystical nomenclature as oratio recollectionis). She also employed other mystical ascetic works.
She claimed that during her illness she rose from the lowest stage, “recollection”, to the “devotions of silence” or even to the “devotions of ecstasy”, which was one of perfect union with God. During this final stage, she said she frequently experienced a rich “blessing of tears.”
The kernel of Teresa’s mystical thought throughout all her writings is the ascent of the soul in four stages (The Autobiography Chs. 10-22):
The 1st Devotion of Heart, is mental prayer of devout concentration or contemplation. It is the withdrawal of the soul from without & especially the devout observance of the passion of Christ & penitence
The 2nd Devotion of Peace, is where human will is surrendered to God. This is by virtue of a charismatic, supernatural state given by God, while the other faculties, such as memory, reason, & imagination, are not yet secure from worldly distraction. While a partial distraction is due to outer performances such as repetition of prayers & writing down spiritual things, yet the prevailing state is one of quietude
The 3rd Devotion of Union, is absorption in God. It is not only a supernatural but an essentially ecstatic state. Here there is also an absorption of the reason in God, & only the memory & imagination are left to roam. This state is characterized by a blissful peace, a sweet slumber of at least the higher soul faculties, or a conscious rapture in the love of God
The 4th Devotion of Ecstasy, is where the consciousness of being in the body disappears. Sense activity ceases; memory & imagination are also absorbed in God or intoxicated. Body & spirit are in the throes of a sweet, happy pain, alternating between a fearful fiery glow, a complete impotence & unconsciousness, & a spell of strangulation, sometimes by such an ecstatic flight that the body is literally lifted into space. This after half an hour is followed by a reactionary relaxation of a few hours in a swoon-like weakness, attended by a negation of all the faculties in the union with God. The subject awakens from this in tears; it is the climax of mystical experience, producing a trance. Indeed, she was said to have been observed levitating during Mass on more than one occasion.
Teresa is one of the foremost writers on mental prayer, & her position among writers on mystical theology is unique. In all her writings on this subject she deals with her personal experiences. Her deep insight & analytical gifts helped her to explain them clearly. Her definition was used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Contemplative prayer in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.” She used a metaphor of mystic prayer as watering a garden throughout her writings.
Around 1556, various friends suggested that her newfound knowledge was diabolical, not divine. She began to inflict various tortures & mortifications of the flesh upon herself. But her confessor, the Jesuit Saint Francis Borgia, reassured her of the divine inspiration of her thoughts. On St. Peter’s Day in 1559, Teresa became firmly convinced that Jesus Christ presented himself to her in bodily form, though invisible. These visions lasted almost uninterrupted for more than two years. In another vision, a seraph drove the fiery point of a golden lance repeatedly through her heart, causing an ineffable spiritual-bodily pain.
I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it…
This vision was the inspiration for one of Bernini’s most famous works, the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa at Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome.
The memory of this episode served as an inspiration throughout the rest of her life, & motivated her lifelong imitation of the life & suffering of Jesus, epitomized in the motto usually associated with her: Lord, either let me suffer or let me die.
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
~Teresa of Ávila
1582 – Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, & Spain, October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15
1669 – Deathday of Rembrandt
1927 – Gutzon Borglum begins sculpting Mount Rushmore
1957 – Space Race: Launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth
1960 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 375, a Lockheed L-188 Electra, crashes after a bird strike on takeoff from Boston’s Logan International Airport, killing 62 people (out of 72 onboard).
1963 – Hurricane Flora kills 6,000 in Cuba & Haiti
1970 – Deathday of Janis Joplin
1992 – El Al Flight 1862: An El Al Boeing 747-258F crashes into two apartment buildings in Amsterdam, killing 43 including 39 on the ground
2001 – Siberia Airlines Flight 1812: A Sibir Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 crashes into the Black Sea after being struck by an errant Ukrainian S-200 missile. Seventy-eight people are killed
2004 – SpaceShipOne wins Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight, by being the first private craft to fly into space
2006 – Wikileaks is launched by Julian Assange
2010 – The Ajka plant accident in western Hungary releases 35 million cubic feet of liquid alumina sludge. Nine people are killed & 122 injured, & the Marcal & Danube rivers are severely contaminated
My POD (Poem Of the Day)
~We are beastly
Forms made beautiful in the growing moonlight
Beheld by the Goddess –
Healed by Her many eyes – Held up
By the air streaming from Her full lips – Together
We are twilight & dawn –
I am the left eye – She is the right…
Beneath the old man’s eyebrows we make a fine sight...
Meditation as antidote to the madness
Clear your mind of what fills it now & hear my words…Make yourself comfortable, as we share the air…taking a deep breath…filling your belly…Thrilling your lungs…Let your body sink deep & Relax…set the rhythm with your breath…/& as your awareness is internalized, fully connected with the Breath of Life, gently moving through you…Make all your senses alert to this life force…Enjoy its power & perfect simplicity…feel the sustaining energy behind every molecule of oxygen in every breath… Feel the life force coursing through your cells & thoughts…& when you are ready, become a channel open to the abundant potency pouring into this planet from the Heart of the Sun that we all share…feel the honey-gold radiance of the sun infusing your will with the power to manifest love…Reach out with your heart-self & let your thoughts attract & connect with the radiant-golden healing energy of our Day Star, as its power merges with your ripening heart…
Feeling balanced in this loving energy, let your feet sprout thick strong roots that pull this pure illuminated Love deep into the core of this planet, infusing all life with the brilliance of connective intelligence, healing all hate…oxidizing all dis-ease in the root rays of the solar power harmonizing with our planet made sacred…/
Remember that you are unique in the light that fuels your gifts…& when we all add our divine sparks together, we fuel the fires of transformation to create positive change…/as we find ourselves intertwined in this circle of life, forming the wholeness in the sun-heart beating in rhythm with the pulse of our Mother Earth…we know we are all beacons of this vivid starburst of evolution…Look around this amazing world, with your minds eye, & see the fields, ripe with the end of summer’s abundance…
Find yourself in the center of this abundance holding a large willow basket, eager to begin your autumn harvest…Step first into an expanse of sweet corn…See the tall, regal, green stalks…
Observe a ripe golden ear which seems to be reaching out to you…Under its wispy silk, kernels sparkle like precious gold shining through…Let it remind you of your own riches, both tangible & intangible…Reach out and pick this ear of corn and put it into your basket…/
Leave the corn field, & enter an apple orchard…See the beauty of these trees…these majestic symbols of the Great Goddess Herself…Feel the fullness of her boughs…the ripeness of her ruby red apples, the fruit of knowledge…Reach up, way up, & pick two…Put one in your basket & eat the other…Taste & enjoy this perfect fruit…For in this gracious garden, tasting the fruit of knowledge is never forbidden…
Now move toward an onion field, which beckons to you…Once green, now browning spikes, point up to you, tempting you to dig below…Pull gently & the ground gives birth to an iridescent, opal bulb, full of body & character & strength…A vegetable with the power to make you feel the beauty of your tears of joy…Add this to your growing harvest…/
Notice ahead thick bushes of ripened raspberries, Sharp brambles protecting their precious, succulent garnets…The juicy nectar of these berries reminds you of your own sensuality, your own ability to feel, express, extend all that is sweet & loving & honest to others…Take your time here, & pick plenty of these supple jewels for your basket…/
Step away now & look around you, Find a patch of fruit or vegetables that appeals to you…Enter it, admire its offerings, select a precious jewel of your own to harvest…Choose a resource that will sustain you in the upcoming time of cold & darkness…glean some warmth & light & savor its presence…/
With your arms now laden with this basket of bountiful treasures, it is time to rest…Take your harvest to a clover covered knoll in the still warm sun, just beyond, to sit & bask in the glory of its healing heat…Rest in contentment knowing you have gathered in all that you need, to give you strength & balance, peace & nourishment in the winter days to come… /
Put yourself back in the sky now…Become the sun once again…Shine down upon yourself & your hardy harvest…Absorb the energy of the fruits of your labors, bless the seeds you planted in the Spring & nurtured to fruition through the summer…
Be the sun…Shine down upon all that is good & giving…spread the light of hope & peace, love & understanding, to all you shine upon…/Everything you have touched with your luminous rays is vibrating in harmony, in the eternal truth of our authentic selves…/& as we begin to integrate & Cultivate these blessings received…opening to the vision of our Divine-self, in the wholeness of our heart soul, we can Resolve to act on our own unique life-purpose & make it ever more real…ever more whole…/
Gradually bring your experience to the present once again, to the here and now…Feel your body refreshed & renewed, here & now, in your room, in your sacred space…know you are sacred…know you are here for a reason…
& Gently, joyfully, when you are ready, open your senses…to see the unity of your community… know in your heart of hearts that the journey we have taken together, wheather near or far in the flesh, is full of effulgent effective power which we manifest within ourselves & for the planet, a healing harvest of love’s light…remember to give peace a dance everyday as we live our lives, in balance & joy…blessed be…
Two Anthroposophical Events to which you are warmly invited!
The Central Regional Council invites all members in the central region to consider participating in the ASA’s Annual General Meeting and conference in October. The focus of the year’s event is on taking action, and working inwardly and outwardly to help humanity evolve. The work we have undergone in the central region has often been developed toward this aim of taking action and responding to the world in a meaningful way.
Rise Up! Life as a Labor of Love – Anthroposophical Society in America
Annual General Meeting and Conference – Fri, Oct 13 at 1:00 pm to Sunday, Oct 15 at 1:00 pm at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ
Wednesday and Thursday ‘How We Will Rise Up! Youth and Youthful Gathering’ at Desert Marigold. Email for more information.
Also: at the Heard Museum Friday morning, October 13, from 9:30-11:30 am for members of the School for Spiritual Science. Bring your blue cards!
Please register online through www.anthroposophy.org!
All Souls Festival and Retreat
At the Minnesota Waldorf School in the Twin Cities, MN.
Week-end Retreat including Festival
Fri, Nov 3 at 7:00 pm to Sunday, Nov 5 at 11:00 am
Cost $75 (registration required, click here)
Journey of the Soul Festival – Saturday, Nov 4 at 7:00 to 9:00 pm -Suggested Donation $10 at the door – All are welcome
Walk the pathway of our beloved across the threshold, being present for them, and preparing for our own journey.
“Life after death
Life before birth
Only by knowing both
Do we know eternity”
~ Rudolf Steiner
Culmination of “The Bridging Project: Between Life and Death from Soul to Sou
Sponsored by: Central Regional Council (CRC) and Twin Cities Branch of the Anthroposophical Society
Questions: Dennis Dietzel email@example.com, Marianne Dietzel firstname.lastname@example.org, Linda Bergh email@example.com