Last night with the Quarter Moon lighting our way, folks gathered for a Merry Prep-Stir. It was the start of the Jewish festival Shavuot, & all were in a celebratory mood of gratitude & reverence. I began with a few antidotes & a dedication, & then everyone stepped forward one by one to add a pinch of BD 500 to the stirring bucket – uniting individual prayers with the collective intention of spiritualizing & healing all life. And then the stirring began! And we sang “Spirit to matter, matter to spirit…” Such joy as the vortex was spun & the thrill of the chaos was welcomed in the leminscate between rhythm & commotion.
As the stars came out, Bella Luna rose higher in the southwest, below the belly of Leo’s stick-figure lion pattern, forming a nearly equilateral triangle with Leo’s Regulus & Gamma Leonis (Algieba). We saw Mercury, & Capella, but Venus was already low in the West behind the tree line, on her way to the underworld for a time before she rises again as the evening star…
The young folks played music, cello, guitars, bass, hand drums & shakers, singing galore! – Adding the power of sound vibration to the forces entering the stir. The garden was lush from lots of rain & the bonfire was blazing, warming & highlighting the power of all the elementals.
As the evening wore on I spoke about Shavuot, called by various names: Feast of Weeks, Feast of The First Fruits & Feast of the Giving of the Law.
It celebrates the spring harvest. In olden times as each fruit ripend, 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 where they would be shared with the wider community. This joyful occasion was celebrated with the music of fifes, timbres, & drums.
To commemorate, for the 3 nights during Shavuot, folks light candles, decorate with greenery, eat dairy food, study Torah, attend prayer services, & read the Book of Ruth. (I will tell this amazing story of Ruth & Naomi tomorrow as part of my Whitsun festival)
Along with being a Harvest holiday & celebrating the spiritual journey of Ruth, Shavuot celebrates the Revelation of Torah.
Many of the traditions & customs of Shavuot have evolved from the legends & stories describing the experiences of Moses at Mount Sinai. According to tradition the people actually overslept on the morning when Moses returned from the mountain. To compensate for this, folks hold an all-night vigil on the eve of Shavuot. They stay awake from dusk to dawn, singing to the spirits of nature.
It was getting late, so we took a break from the music & everyone grabbed a jar of the potentized prep & aspurged the neighborhood. Our friend next door, who was having his 1st experience as a Merry Prep-stir, told all that he could tell that his garden was changed thru our previous sprayings. What a delight to see our Merry band fliting about on the city streets with our buckets & jars spreading droplets of magic on the lawns, gardens & parkways.
The young folks made good on the all-night vigil. And this morning there is a perceivable presence in the air surrounding our property. The bees are happy, the bird song responding with thanks & praise.
~Vitae Sophia~ A Whitsun Festival of United Soul Endeavor with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Online Whitsunday, 31 May 2020 from 10 am–11:15 am EDT Zoom Call*
Through leading thoughts and conversation we are called to redeem the ether spheres to create an Ecclesia, a chalice for The Sophia. Then the spirit flame can spread out to become what Steiner called a “World Whitsun”, which began in earnest at the Christmas Conference. The Whitsun Festival highlights one of the greatest challenges of being human: placing our individual gifts, in right relationship within the social realm. This challenge is especially strong now during this ‘pandemic’. Our groups striving to know Spiritual Science must work together as a community, to have the possibility to create a new culture where a sacrament is possible in every encounter. Our individual strength is enhanced by weaving our gifts together, kindling our social world in conscious community.
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Meeting ID: 859 2790 7854
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Hazel Archer-Ginsberg – Founder of Reverse Ritual Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year. Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Trans-denominational Minister, ‘Anthroposopher’, working as the Festivals Coordinator of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, The Traveling Speakers Program, & the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society.
Sponsored by the Anthroposophical Society in New Hampshire
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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
1431 – Deathday of Joan of Arc, French martyr & saint, burnt at the stake by the British under Duke of Bedford.
Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as St. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch. During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men’s clothes. The English resented France’s military success–to which Joan contributed.
On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure. Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life “offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action” because her spiritual insight is that there should be a “unity of heaven and earth.” Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies. “Joan of Arc is like a shooting star across the landscape of French and English history, amid the stories of the Church’s saints and into our consciousness. Women identify with her; men admire her courage. She challenges us in fundamental ways. Despite the fact that more than 500 years have passed since she lived, her issues of mysticism, calling, identity, trust and betrayal, conflict and focus are our issues still.” (Joan of Arc: God’s Warrior, by Barbara Beckwith)
1593 – Deathday of Christopher Marlowe, English poet & playwright
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
Friday 19 June 2020 – Front Range Anthroposophical Café presents:
The New Mysteries of St. Johns-Tide with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
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 mysterious Archangel of Summer?
- Who is John the Baptist? What do his sayings “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” And “He must increase, but I must decrease.” really mean?
- What is the secret to healing the ‘soul-fever’ so prevalent in society today?
- What is the mystery of the Dragon-fly, & other elemental beings?
- How can we understand the ‘Cycle of the Year as Breathing Process of the Earth’?
Together we will work to strengthen our true “I”, enlivening our will forces.
We look forward to seeing you on Friday 19 June 2020 shortly before 7 PM (Mountain time.) Here is the link to our Anthroposophical Café and all you need to do to join us is click on it: https://zoom.us/j/294724669.
Warmly, Karen vann Vuuren, Tom Altgelt, Jamie York, and our growing circle of Café Friends – It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.