In 2022 The ASA will work with the theme of Isis-Sophia. A group of us have been holding this intention, meeting monthly since the Holy Nights to prepare & share our personal biographies around how we came to know ‘The Sophia’. Since today is my 60th natal return, it seemed a fine time to do a bit of biography work, & I was grateful to have this powerful theme to focus on.
My 1st memory is when I was about 16 months old. My mother Betty Mae (she would have been 80 this 19 July) was pregnant with my sister, & I had the thought that she was going to give birth to me. When my sister was born, it was a huge shock. “That’s not me” I cried & ran out to the yard to sit under my weeping willow tree. I remember looking at my mother holding my sister & thinking over & over: “All people are different, but they all come from the mother”.
My next big memory was when I was 3. Our family met up with some friends to share a lake cottage at the Indiana dunes. I was curled up on the floor sleeping with all the other kids in a big puppy pile, when a bight moonbeam pierced my left eye like a laser & woke me up. I was enchanted; it was like a siren song calling me to get up & follow that bright shimmering path. So I walked out the sliding glass doors & followed that beam of light across the sand, to where it was singing on the water. I would have waded out into the slow glistening waves, if not for one of the dads who happened to be out smoking a cigar. He swooped me up & brought me into the room where the adults were playing cards. I ran to sit on my daddy’s lap & he told everyone that I was Moonstruck. They all laughed. I was confused, but enjoyed the attention.
(Many years later, after the complicated birth of my daughter, I had a similar experience with a shaft of sunlight, a true turning point, beginning my initiation into the Christ mysteries, but that’s another story)
When I was 9, I started spending a lot of time with my ‘Grandma Good-Witch’ my Father’s mother, who was a ‘Strega’ from the old country; very different from my Irish Tennessee Granny who made yummy buttermilk biscuits & doodle-soup from the roasted pig-in-a-pit. I helped my Strega-Nona craft healing potions from herbs, & she taught me the peasant’s version of ‘Candle Magic’ involving the Saints; & rites that invoked the ‘Goddess’ in her 3-fold forms. I took particular interest in Proserpina, & Sapientia or The Divine Sophia.
My Strega-Nona held ‘salons’ in her living room in Oak Park IL, where folks from different spiritual traditions would gather. I helped serve the snacks, & tried to understand what they were going on about. My Grandfather, who only spoke Italian, sang opera, & others recited from things like Goethe’s Faust, or read poems by Blake or Yeats. Everyone spoke loudly, with great enthusiasm, arguing with good cheer.
2 people from the S.R.I.A (The Societas Rosicruciana in America) took a shining to me, engaging me in conversation, & would often bring me little gifts. I still have the small ISIS statue they gave me. When I took it home I began to have dreams where I was serving like at my Grandmother’s, but in an ornate temple with a colossus of Isis. I won’t go into all the details, but my father was there: a shadowy version of Set/Typhoon. In one dream in particular, a Full Moon shone in from the sky-light, & Isis called to me, using a name I knew was mine, but which I cannot pronounce.
I told the two Rosicrucian’s of the dreams. They went over to talk to my Grandmother & the next thing I knew I was ‘working’ with them as ‘an apprentice’. They would come to the salon early (traveling in each time from Kingston New York!) & we would do certain exercises involving shapes & colors; or they would tell me stories; or show me beautiful pictures & ask what I saw.
Seven times a year at the Christian Festival times we set up elaborate tables with art & objects from nature. At the climax of these little ceremonies I was to sit & concentrate on a rose quartz crystal swinging on a golden chain. It was like I fell asleep & when I ‘awoke’ the atmosphere in the room was completely changed. I always felt enlivened; & we would have a big feast. This became my greatest joy, & went on month after month; until I got my moon-cycle, one of the last in my class, at around the age 15.
(This magical time was in counterpoise to the turmoil that was happening at home because of the ongoing incest with my father – another story, which of course relates, since this may have contributed to my ability to leave my body so easily.)
So when puberty hit, it hit hard & I questioned everything. I even rebelled against the SRIA. Not being able to remember anything during the ‘ceremonies,’ gave me a bad feeling, & I knew I had to get out of my home situation. So I worked extra hard at school, & took enough credits to graduate a year early.
Right after my 16th birthday I married a boy, left home – & went to do Summer Stock Theater in Tarkio, Missouri. Then we moved to Hollywood CA. Well that quickly ended & I started waitressing & going to college in Long Beach CA.
I transferred to San Francisco State, to study Philosophy, Comparative Religion & Women’s Studies while working at the Strand Theatre. It was there at Cal State that I discovered Rudolf Steiner, thru Owen Barfield – When I read ‘How to Know Higher Worlds’ I knew I was home. Yet at the time I had no idea that there was an Anthroposophical Society.
When I graduated, I moved to NYC, took some poetry classes with Audrey Lord, continued my research into the ancient mystery schools, & got into some bands in the vital music scene on the Lower East Side (Health Hen, Baby Boom, The Valkyries, Heal…)
The guitar player & I were part of the ‘squatters movement’ – we took over an abandoned building, where we lived for 4 years in between tours. Another long story, but what is relevant is that I would go up on the roof & watch the night sky. Bella Luna was my teacher, unveiling for me in living pictures the secrets of the stars.
As soon as I arrived in NYC I started having dreams about the SRIA, & sure enough they contacted me thru a friend I just happened to meet at ‘Ahimsa’ the Organic Restaurant where I was chef. I told them ok, yes, I wanted to take up the initiatory path, but this time in full consciousness, no trances. They agreed, & besides my daily mediations & study, I stated traveling to The ‘Mother House’ in Kingston New York, a few hours upstate, carpooling with a small group of contemporaries, every month. (These practical teachings, the rituals, & the community dynamics are a whole saga in itself.)
The band broke up (Reagan era politics & drugs…) The guitar player, Philip, always wanted to play ‘The Blues’, & my uncle was dying of AIDS, so we moved to Chicago.
I felt called to take my years of esoteric teachings out into the world, which I believed was in desperate need of the Divine Feminine. So I created empowerment circles for woman; we called ourselves ‘She Drums’. Gathering every New Moon, we followed the seasonal energies to invoke the many faces of the ‘Goddess’, exploring thru sound vibration, art & ritual, a journey to ‘Know Thyself’.
After marrying ‘CG the Solar King’ (which facilitated my experience with the ‘shaft of sunlight’) I created the ‘We Drum Tribe’ for the whole community to gather on the Full Moons, to resonate with, & out-picture the mystery of the union between Love (Christ) & Light (Sophia).
It wasn’t until my daughter UVA, was in 3rd grade, did I find out that there was such a thing as the Anthroposophical Society; with a Branch within walking distance from my house no less. It took another 2 years before I even heard about the ‘1st Class’; & another year till I found the Christian Community.
Why was everyone at the Branch so cold & off-putting; treating these important initiatives as an elite clandestine society, I wondered? – For Steiner himself said the time of secrets had passed. Why didn’t the Waldorf School ever talk about Rudolf Steiner; & why didn’t anyone want to mention ‘The Christ’ or The Sophia?
Before I came to be the ‘Festivals Coordinator’ at the branch, I felt called to bring a lecture about ‘Columbia as the Spirit of America’, for the 4th of July, but the program director at the Branch told me NO; ‘it was not Anthroposophical, too pagan’.
Put off, but undaunted, a year after I was ‘in charge’, I started our annual conscious NYE gathering, & gave a program entitled: ‘Isis Redeemed’ – a kind of performance piece with art collages around the telling of the ‘New Isis Myth’ by Rudolf Steiner.
Since then, along with my service to the community in the practical work of the Festival life; the Bio-dynamic Preps to spiritualize the Earth; the active research into what Steiner calls ‘Cognitive-Ritual’; ‘The 2 Streams’; the Esoteric Youth Circle; & The Foundation Stone Meditation; my primary focus is in exploring & co-creating experiential programs around the connection between Michael, The Christos & The Isis-Sophia, in the New Mysteries of Anthroposophia.
~Hazel (Laura Dee Lucchesi) Archer-Ginsberg, born Tuesday 12 July 1960 at 4:57 am CDT in Elmhurst IL.
I will be off-line until 16 July.
Interesting that this new comet discovered in March during the call of the Corona, is named ‘Neowise’. It makes me think of Neo the wise fool from the Matrix. His journey holds many hallmarks of classic myth – He is the reluctant hero, the Chosen One, the savior, & the one who will lead the people to freedom. In order to do that, he must sacrifice himself, & rise from the dead. He faces progressively greater challenges, & as he begins to believe in himself, he is able to overcome all obstacles, including the ultimate adversarial powers.
“The Comet represents an element that does not wholly enter the usual sphere of cosmic law. Although they still contain a trace of the direct working of spiritual powers, indeed, of the very highest — the Seraphim and Cherubim. Before ordinary law may be broken through, the very highest power and insight is required. The various comets, indeed, are agents of a very special nature in our planetary system, their polar antithesis being in the moons.
Just as the moons are a kind of corpse which the planetary system trails along with it, so, on the other side, the comets may be spoken of as constant purifiers of the spiritual atmosphere within the solar system.
In earlier times men thought of them as the “scavengers of God,” and many superstitions have gathered around them. To the eye of Spirit, too, the mission of the comets is perpetually to expel impure astral forces from the Cosmos or to introduce new impulses.” ~ From an article by Dr Elizabeth Vreede
12 July 2020 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Last-quarter Moon (exactly so at 6:29 p.m. CDT). Bella Luna clears the Eastern horizon around Midnight tonight, with Mars now shining to her upper right.
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