Today, 88 years ago, on 8 July 1932, Biodynamic champion Hugh Courtney, founder of The Josephine Porter Institute For Applied Bio-Dynamics was born in the Heartland of Chicago, my hometown. He now spiritualizes the Earth from across the Threshold. (15 June 2020)
Abby Porter asked me to write something up after he died. And Rand Carter entreated me to make a tribute today on his birthday.
I wasn’t surprised to know that he was born under the constellation of Cancer, for he certainly had a reputation of being crabby. But under that stubborn shell & those snappy claws was a deeply feeling heart, dedicated to the service of the Earth. If you look at The Beehive Cluster (also known as Praesepe (Latin for “manger”), in the constellation Cancer, you see the vortex – symbol of transformation – the reflection & goal of the prep-stir.
Hugh Courtney was in the room where the quality comparison samples were laid out. We were to go in during the breaks at the Fellowship of Preparation Makers Gathering at Michael Fields in February 2020. The theme was ‘BD 501 and 508: Tools to bring the cosmic light into the earth’, & I was asked to bring a ‘Candlemas Festival’ to ignite the weekend.
As a city girl I had only worked with the preps at the Zinniker Farm ( the oldest Biodynamic farm in America) over the years, so I was excited to learn more about them, especially since I am part of the Elderberries Biodynamic Outpost and 3-fold Cultural Hub here in Chicago.
When I came in Hugh didn’t even look up. We both walked around the table taking note of our impressions of the various prep samples. After a while Hugh made a kind of grunt, & I came over to where he was. I made a comment about how that one in particular had the quality of being touched by the Salamanders. He looked up at me for the 1st time, grunted again, staring into my eyes for a bit before he said, ‘O so you see it too’. He asked me what I thought about another sample. I sat with it for a spell & then replied, ‘Well this one is very different; it almost seems like the opposite, very watery. This got me a smile. The ice was broken. We sat down together & Hugh shared with enthusiasm some of his many experiences working with the Elemental beings.
I will never forget this singular encounter with Hugh Courtney. This brief hour of true connection has given me the key to continue our communication. as the fruit of his labor expands on into the spiritual world, & rains down on all of us who are willing to continue his life’s work of spiritualizing the Earth.
8 July 2020 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Tonight, look eastward during the evening hours -it’s hard to miss the season’s signature star formation, called the Summer Triangle. Vega, Deneb & Altair are the first 3 to light up the eastern half of sky after sunset, & their bright sparkling radiance is even visible from light-polluted cities or on a moonlit night.
Try looking first for the most prominent star in the eastern sky, which is Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp. Vega is blue-white in color. It’s sometimes called the Harp Star. And many people recognize its constellation, Lyra, as a triangle of stars connected to a parallelogram.
“History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man“. Percy Bysshe Shelley
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast day of Aquila & Priscilla, Companions of the Apostle Paul. When Paul came to Corinth (probably in the year 50), he met them as tentmakers who had just arrived from Rome, because the Emperor Claudius had recently expelled the Jewish community. They all went together to Ephesus. Aquila & Priscilla are mentioned six times in the New Testament (Acts 18:2,18,26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19), & the reader will note that in the odd-numbered mentions, Aquila’s name comes first, while in the even-numbered mentions, Priscilla’s comes first, as if to emphasize that they are being mentioned on equal terms.
Feast day of Saint Kilian an Irish missionary bishop & the Apostle of Bavaria. He was beheaded with 2 of his companions. Their skulls, inlaid with precious stones, have been preserved to this day. On St Kilian’s day, a glass case containing the three skulls is removed from a crypt, paraded through the streets before large crowds, & put on display in Würzburg Cathedral (dedicated to Kilian).
1099 – Some 15,000 starving Christian soldiers begin the siege of Jerusalem which took place from June 7 to July 15, 1099 during the First Crusade
1579 – Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, is discovered underground in the city of Kazan, Tatarstan
1625 – Birthday of Giovanni Domenico Cassini, an Italian mathematician, astronomer, astrologer & engineer. Cassini discovered four satellites of the planet Saturn & noted the division of the rings of Saturn; the Cassini Division was named after him.
1730 – A magnitude 8.7 earthquake causes a tsunami that damages more than 1,000 of Chile’s coastline, death toll unknown
1822 – Deathday of Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the major English Romantic poets, one of the most influential. A radical in his poetry as well as in his political & social views, Shelley did not see fame during his lifetime, but recognition for his poetry grew steadily following his death. Shelley was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets & writers that included Lord Byron, Leigh Hunt, Thomas Love Peacock, & his own second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, including his father-in-law, the philosopher William Godwin.
Shelley’s theories of economics & morality, for example, had a profound influence on Karl Marx; his early—perhaps first—writings on nonviolent resistance influenced both Leo Tolstoy & Mahatma Gandhi. Henry David Thoreau‘s Civil Disobedience was apparently influenced by Shelley’s writings and theories on non-violence in protest and political action.
Shelley became a lodestone to the subsequent three or four generations of poets, including important Victorian & Pre-Raphaelite poets such as Robert Browning and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He was admired by Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy, Bertrand Russell, W. B. Yeats, Upton Sinclair & Isadora Duncan. Shelley’s popularity and influence has continued to grow in contemporary poetry circles.
St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian: A Romance is a Gothic horror novella written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1810 was published anonymously as “by a Gentleman of the University of Oxford” while the Shelley was an undergraduate. The main character is Wolfstein, a solitary wanderer, who encounters Ginotti, an alchemist of the Rosicrucian or Rose Cross Order who seeks to impart the secret of immortality.
1831 – Birthday of John Pemberton, chemist & pharmacist, invented Coca-Cola
1838 – Birthday of Eli Lilly, chemist, & businessman, founded Eli Lilly a global pharmaceutical company
1838 – Birthday of Ferdinand von Zeppelin German general & businessman, founded the Zeppelin Airship Company
1839 – Birthday of John D. Rockefeller, founded the Standard Oil Company
1876 – White supremacists kill five Black Republicans in Hamburg, South Carolina
1908 – Birthday of Nelson Rockefeller, 41st Vice President of the United States
1926 – Birthday of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross a Swiss-American psychiatrist, pioneer in near-death studies & the author of the groundbreaking book ‘On Death & Dying’ where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief
1932 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22
1968 – The Chrysler wildcat strike begins in Detroit, Michigan.
2010 – The Solar Impulse completed the first 24-hour flight by a solar powered plane
2014 – Israel launches an offensive on Gaza
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I stand before the mirror looking back in time
Gazing into unbornness – the other side of eternity
I am roused
To walk the circuitous path of the unseen
From no-thing – I come to thought
August 8-18 ‘Classroom Alive’ Youth Open-Source Learning in Chicago
We’re starting up with Culture in our community – join young people here in Chicago for a 10 day walking journey – Classroom Alive Chicago!
Exploration & experiencial learning all over Chicagoland, starting at at Elderberries 3-Fold Bio-dynamic Outpost & Cultrual Hub 4251 N. Lincolon Ave. Chicago, IL. 60618
Details TBA #ClassroomAliveChicago2020
Thank you for forwarding this flier for any interested young people –
Co-sponsored in part by The Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Festival & Program Coordinator
August 20-23, 2020 Questions of Courage Youth Conference at Elderberries
Questions of Courage 2020 in Chicago – August 20-23 Elderberries Biodynamic Outpost and 3Fold Cultural Hub 4251 N. Lincolon Ave. Chicago, IL. 60618
August 20: Check-in, share conversation, build the ground for the journey together.
August 21-22: Travel to Wisconsin Move together towards the land, link up with Farmer John and Haidy Angelic Organics Biodynamic Farm, and also with Dana and Phil Burns at Healing Traditions and Alizur farm. Connect with the land, plants, animals, and one another, through creative explorations and “roughin’ it” type amendments. Sleep under the stars or indoors.
August 23: Return to Chicago Enter back into the metropolitan context, into the social questions of urban life, and close the gathering together at Elderberries, setting the ground for future work out of questions of courage that are present.
Other locations and collaborators are currently in dialogue, and will be updated here.
The gathering is essentially about stepping into the living natural element, step by step, making an integral connection, with one another, ourselves, and the elements that support us here on the Earth…”
Thank you Elderberries for giving us an anchor to build our heartland gathering around!
August 27-30, HOW WE WILL 2020
At Elderberries 3-fold Bio-Dynamic Outpost
Details TBA Co-sponsored in part by The Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago -Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Festival & Program Coordinator