Rosemary McMullen’s Full Presentation created for ‘Reclaiming The Spirit of America‘ 24 January 2021
Allegheny Monongahela Ohio – I am speaking to you from the place where the Allegheny River comes from the northeast and the Monongahela comes from the south to form the Ohio, which runs west to finally join the Mississippi. I have invoked the four directions, as we do daily in the Foundation Stone Meditation. I hope to inspire you to create another ceremony for our land and all our relations.
Let’s call up our ancestors of the last five six generations. If we have first nations among our ancestors let us give thanks. We can provide to this circle our centuries of continuity with the land we share with so many from other parts of the world.
In the important lecture “Geographic Medicine and the Double” (St Gallen 16 November 1917) Rudolf Steiner made an eco-social-spiritual statement that fits well with our theme today:
The earth is really something that must be called a “living being.” In accordance with geographical differentiations, the most varied forces stream up out of the various territories. Therefore people must … receive from one another what is good and great in each territory and what can be produced just there. Hence a spiritual scientific world view is intent upon creating something that can really be accepted by all nations in all regions. For people must advance in the mutual exchange of their spiritual treasures.
We know our parents and grandparents directly. Now ask the following questions about your home as well as theirs. Where had they grown up? Have you been there? What was their community and region? What was the weather? The scenery? How did people earn a living? Did they own property? Did they work for others or employ others? Was it an urban or a rural setting? Was there economic justice?
We envision their forebears arriving to this continent. From out of circumstance and karma they elected to cross the great water and came to the Americas. What century was it? How did they travel? When they arrived, did they immediately find work? Did they head out into the wilderness? Did they take the subway uptown? Were they alone? Did they bring their children?
Let us remember that African American ancestors were abducted from their homelands and families, put in shackles, and shipped on slave ships to American auction sites, where they were sold as property. Probably few of these newly arrived knew the Americas were the place where the Ahrimanic double exerts strongest influence “where the ranges primarily run, from north to south.” As I understand it the first nations had developed symbiotic relationships with all these forces spiritual and natural whereas the newcomers were unprepared. Wherever colonists and immigrants came to live, first nations were living or had lived before – had been killed or removed, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes recently.
As children growing up playing freely in the forests, fields, plains, hills – our imaginations often included the Indians, as they were called. Children were aware of them. The place names indicated them.
Steiner’s words: “Today the human being should not move blindly through earthly evolution; he must be able to see through such relationships… “ Today’s gathering is a conscious step we take together to do just that.
Land Acknowledgement is being used formally in some former colonial countries. It is recommended by the US Department of Art and Culture. Key components: History and Language. Put in the time necessary to research the following topics:
• The Indigenous people to whom the land belongs.
• The history of the land and any related treaties.
• Names of living Indigenous people from these communities. If you’re presenting on behalf of your work in a certain field, highlight Indigenous people who currently work in that field.
• Indigenous place names and language.
• Correct pronunciation for the names of the Tribes, places, and individuals that you’re including.
There are many types of land acknowledgments. Don’t expect to find a specific formula or template. Land acknowledgments that come from Indigenous people vs. non-Indigenous people look different, too.
Land acknowledgment alone is not enough. It’s merely a starting point. Ask yourself: how do I plan to take action to support Indigenous communities? Some examples of ways to take action:
• Support Indigenous organizations by donating your time and/or money.
• Support Indigenous-led grassroots change movements and campaigns. Encourage others to do so.
• Commit to returning land. Local, state, and federal governments around the world are currently returning land to Indigenous people. Individuals are returning their land, too. Learn more about your options to return your land.
Starting somewhere is better than not trying at all. We need to share in Indigenous peoples’ discomfort. They’ve been uncomfortable for a long time. Dr. Kate Beane (Flandreau Santee Dakota and Muskogee Creek) says, “We have to try. Starting out with good intentions and a good heart is what matters most.”
My Land Acknowledgement: I grew up in the Chicago area, where the Council of Three Fires (united tribes of Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi) lived in the basin of the Illinois and Milwaukee rivers. Lake Michigan was a centerpiece of my sense of home. My paternal line includes a Mohawk of the Lake Ontario region who married into my Irish ancestors who settled in the 1790s living peacefully with the first nations. We still have that land. I currently live in Pittsburgh, where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers become the Ohio. This water route was used by Delaware, Iroquois, Shawnee, Creek, and Lanape among others. The meeting of the three rivers was considered sacred. No permanent settlement existed before Fort Duquesne was built by the French in 1754. As global karma would have it, this sacred place became the fire pit, the hell hole of US industry for two hundred years. The dismantling and clean up were nearly complete when I moved here in 2005. Rivers can be cleaned up. I see it.
In 2020 we have seen a big shift toward awareness of the atrocities of colonialism and slavery four hundred years and ongoing. Look at these three descriptions I came up with of our contemporary fellow humans responding to this current social climate in the USA.
Numb “Woke” Systems Changer
Asleep; traumatized rage and blame 4-fold consciousness; heal trauma
Autohypnosis “cancel culture” social field activation; future emergence
Shadow, karma, and trauma are terms that often come up together and sometimes have been lumped together. Each term indicates forces reverberating from the unconscious, including ancestors, that effect people without their volition or knowledge. Were our ancestors Indian killers, slave holders, bystanders, accomplices? Maybe. Maybe not. But people and places around us carry that karma and trauma. Lingering spiritual ethers and beings are palpable.
President Biden brought up systemic racism and soul healing several times in his inaugural address. Cultural historian Jacob Needleman said in 2002 that America will not heal its soul until a critical mass of people do the following:
One needs to try to enter into the position not only of the victim, but of the oppressor. It is not hard to imagine, up to a certain point, of course, the suffering of the slave or the brutalized Indian. What is in its way much harder, but absolutely essential, is to let oneself feel what it was like to murder and brutalize wrapped in a sure sense of self-justification. And if we have worked to understand the greatness of the humanity we have destroyed and the greatness of the culture we have annihilated, and if we then can imagine ourselves as the agents of those actions, we may catch a glimpse of this deep-rooted phenomenon of autohypnosis, the sleep of conscience, the sorrowful capacity, of fallen man to hide from our profound betrayal of the good in our actual and potential actions.
It is imperative that the seeker confront this aspect of oneself in the midst of everyday life as well as in one’s place as part of mankind’s actions in the sweep of history. We need myths, symbols and stories that make us both raise our heads in the vision of authentic human dignity and lower our heads in the vision of authentic remorse—and that then prepare us to live our lives with eyes and head straight forward, stepping into the future of the new America we may discover in ourselves and of the old Earth, which is yearning for all of us to become genuine men and women of the soul. (Jacob Needleman, The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders New York 2002 p 353-4).
Perhaps you hear like I do in Dr. Needleman’s words our work with the Ahrimanic double, because, in Rudolf Steiner’s words (from “Geographic Medicine”): “the human being must be exposed to what is harmful in order to overcome it and thereby gain strength.”
The healing social life is found
When, in the mirror of each soul
The whole community finds its reflection,
And when in the community
The virtue of each individual is living. ~Social Motto given to Edith Maryon by Rudolf Steiner
I have long felt respect and warmth toward indigenous lore, but only recently it dawned on me: many contemporary indigenous people have kept alive and continue to live the healing social life presented as an ideal in the Social Motto. The community includes “all our relations”.
Relationship with the spiritual world and the harmony of earth systems echoes in the indigenous languages, rituals, daily life. I went on a nature walk through the cypress forests of North Florida with a Seminole whose words and presence changed me profoundly in reverence for nature. I learned from Stan Padilla, a Yaqui a little younger than I am, to receive the first morning sun on my face, make sacred and present the first sip of water I take, the first words I speak each morning. “All our relations” include the stars, all spirits, including our human ancestors, animals, trees, stones, river beings, mountain beings, local and global. I look at the map with all the first nations’ naming of states, cities, rivers, lakes. I can feel the difference in those surviving who carry thousands of generations of reverent attention.
I want to bring to your attention Sherri Mitchell, an American lawyer Weh’na Ja’mu’ Kwasset (She Who Brings the Light), a contemporary Penobscot teacher on the subject of social healing and renewal. Her view has close alliance with Steiner’s threefold social organism. Late November 2020 the Social Science Section of the Goetheanum held an online panel where Joan Sleigh announced that ecology has been added as one of the “folds”, even though it has been present implicitly all along. Land, an essential component of economy, must be sustained, and air, food and water are essential for life; rights and culture presuppose living human beings. This is evident looking at the platform Sherri Mitchell holds for social renewal that will last into the next seven generations.
Economically speaking, since the colonists took the land and access to food and water, we who arrived later are beneficiaries after the fact. How conscious are we of this ongoing process of resource grabbing? How can we rectify a system of economic inequality centuries established? One way is to become a systems changer following so many regenerative techniques coming to the fore, such as ULab and collective sense making.
Another action, in Sherri’s words, is to “become a tuning fork for an elevated consciousness and a more equitable reality. We do this by investing in higher emotional currency: supporting one another and valuing one another’s gifts and the gifts offered to us by the Earth. …By choosing to feed higher vibrational thought and emotions, we elevate our own frequency, we contribute greatly to the elevation of the planetary vibration, and we open ourselves and the world around us to greater creative possibilities.”
…If we hope to create a new reality, we have to shift our emotional energy away from the reality being presented and focus on the reality that we wish to create. ….This doesn’t mean that we stop paying attention to what is going on around us… We can’t create change if we are unwilling to look at the things that need changing. We must be willing to look poverty, pain, injustice, environmental destruction, and all forms of bigotry and hate squarely in the eye. As we do so, we must learn to limit the mental, emotional and energetic investment that we make in those images. That is what I call the 80-10-10 rule. We invest 10 percent of our energy looking at what needs to be changed, another 10 percent holding back that tide of harm that has been created by previous bad investments, and the final 80 creating a reality that offers compassion, safety, justice, equality, and sustainability for all life…
80 create future 10 Look at what needs changing 10 mediate ongoing harm
Sherri Mitchell Weh’na Ja’mu’ Kwasset (She Who Brings the Light) Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change Berkeley, California North Atlantic Books, 2018
I believe the covid crisis has provided a worldwide opening to reckon with these inner and social challenges at a higher level of attunement. More people are ready to rise and work together in new ways to accord with the natural order of life. Zoom brings more of us together, inspiring new collective efforts.
Now to transition into the artistic gesture with colors or pencils;
From Chickasaw poet Linda Hogan: ”Suddenly, all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World (New York: Norton 2007) 145.
From Rosemary: we are our ancestors as well as the children of the future.
30 January 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars”
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
516 BCE – The Second Temple of Jerusalem finishes construction
1128 – Birthday of Alanus ab Insulis, Teacher at Chartres. Rudolf Steiner speaks about him in many of his Karmic relationships lectures:
“…By the twelfth century a certain School had come into being — as it were through inner necessity — a School in which the afterglow of the old Platonic seership lit up once again. It was the great and illustrious School of Chartres. In this School were great teachers to whom the mysteries of early Christianity were still known and in whose hearts and souls this knowledge kindled a vision of the spiritual foundation of Christianity. In the School of Chartres in France, where stands the magnificent Cathedral, built with such profusion of detail, there was a concentration, a gathering-together, as it were, of knowledge that only shortly before had been widely scattered, though confined to the small circles of which I have spoken. ..There, for example, we find Bernard of Chartres, Bernardus Sylvestris, John of Salisbury, but above all the great Alanus ab Insulis. Mighty teachers indeed! When they spoke in the School of Chartres it was as if Plato himself, interpreting Christianity, were working in person among them. They taught the spiritual content and substance of Christianity. The writings that have come down from them may seem full of abstractions to those who read them to-day. But that is due simply to the abstract trend that characterises modern thinking. The impulse of the Christ is implicit in all the descriptions of the spiritual world contained in the writings of these outstanding personalities. I will give you an idea of how Bernardus Sylvestris and Alanus ab Insulis, above all, taught their initiated pupils. Strange as it will seem to the modern mind, such revelations were indeed given at that time to the pupils of Chartres.
It was taught: New life will come to Christianity. Its spiritual content and essence will be understood once again when Kali Yuga, the Age of Darkness, has come to an end and the dawn of a new Age breaks. And with the year 1899 this has already come to pass for us who are living at the present time; this is the great and mighty change that was to come for humanity at the end of Kali Yuga, the mighty impulse given two decades previously through the advent of Michael. This was prophetically announced in the School of Chartres in the twelfth century, above all by Bernardus Sylvestris and Alanus ab Insulis. But these men did not teach in the Aristotelian way, they did not teach by way of the intellect. They gave their teachings entirely in the form of mighty, imaginative pictures — pictures whereby the spiritual content of Christianity became concretely real. But there were certain prophetic teachings; and I should like by means of a brief extract to give you an indication of one such teaching.
Alanus ab Insulis spoke to the following effect to a narrow circle of his initiated pupils: — ‘As we contemplate the universe to-day, we still regard the Earth as the centre, we judge everything from the Earth, as the centre. If the terrestrial conception which enables us to unfold our pictures and our imaginations… if this conception alone were to fertilise the coming centuries, progress would not be possible for mankind. We must come to an understanding with the Aristotelians who bring to humanity the intellect which must then be spiritualised so that in the twentieth century it may shine forth in a new and spiritual form among men. We, in our time, regard the Earth as the centre of the Cosmos, we speak of the planets circling around the Earth, we describe the whole heaven of stars as it presents itself to physical eyes as if it revolved around the Earth. But there will come one who will say: Let us place the Sun at the spatial centre of the cosmic system! But when he who will thus place the Sun at the centre of the spatial universe has come, the picture of the world will become arid. Men will only calculate the courses of the planets, will merely indicate the positions of the heavenly bodies, speaking of them as gases, or burning, luminous, physical bodies; they will know the starry heavens only in terms of mathematical and mechanical laws. But this arid picture of the world that will become widespread in the coming times, has, after all, one thing — meagre, it is true, yet it has it none the less. … We look at the universe from the Earth; he who will come will look at the universe from the standpoint of the Sun. He will be like one who indicates a “direction” only — the direction leading towards a path of majestic splendour, fraught with most wonderful happenings and peopled by glorious Beings. But he will give the direction through abstract concepts only.’ (Thereby the Copernican picture of the world was indicated, arid and abstract yet giving the direction…) ‘For,’ said Alanus ab Insulis, ‘everything we present through the Imaginations that come to us must pass away; it must pass away and the picture men now have of the world must become altogether abstract, hardly more than a pointer along a path strewn with wonderful memorials. For then, in the spiritual world, there will be One who will use this pointer — which for the purposes of world-renewal is nothing more than a means of directive — in order that, together with the prevailing intellectualism, he may then lay the foundations of the new spirituality … there will be One who will have this pointer as his only tool. This One will be St. Michael! For Him the ground must be made free; he must sow the path with new seed. And to that end, nothing but lines must remain — mathematical lines!’
A kind of magic breathed through the School of Chartres when Alanus ab Insulis was giving such teachings to a few of his chosen pupils. It was as if the ether-world all around were set astir by the surging waves of this mighty Michael teaching.
And so a spiritual atmosphere was imparted to the world. It spread across Western Europe, down into Southern Italy, where there were many who were able to receive it into themselves. In their souls something arose like a mighty Inspiration, enabling them to gaze into the spiritual world.
But in the evolution of the world it is so that those who are initiated into the great secrets of existence — as to a certain degree were Alanus ab Insulis and Bernardus Sylvestris — such men know that it is only possible to achieve this or that particular aim to a limited extent. A man like Alanus ab Insulis said to himself: We, the Platonists, must go through the gate of death; for the present we can live only in the spiritual world. We must look down from the spiritual world, leaving the physical world to those others whose task it is to cultivate the intellect in the Aristotelian way. The time has come now for the cultivation of the intellect. Late in his life Alanus ab Insulis put on the habit of the Cistercian Order; he became a Cistercian. And in the Cistercian Order many of these Platonic teachings were contained. Those among the Cistercians who possessed the deeper knowledge said to themselves: Henceforward we can work only from the spiritual world; the field must be relinquished to the Aristotelians.
These Aristotelians were, for the most part, in the Order of the Dominicans. And so in the thirteenth century the leadership of the spiritual life in Europe passed over to them.
But a heritage remained from men such as Peter of Compostella, Alanus ab Insulis, Bernard of Chartres, John of Salisbury and that poet who from the School of Chartres wrote a remarkable poem on the Seven Liberal Arts. It took significant hold of the spiritual life of Europe. What had come into being in the School of Chartres was so potent that it found its way, for example, to the University of Orleans. There, in the second half of the twelfth century, a great deal penetrated in the form of teaching from what had streamed to the pupils of Chartres through mighty pictures and words — words as it were of silver — from the lips of Bernardus Sylvestris, of Alanus ab Insulis. ~Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships Volume VI, Arnhem, 18th July, 1924
1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed more than two years after his death, on the 12th anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.
1882 – Birthday of Franklin D. Roosevelt, American lawyer and politician, 32nd President of the United States
1889 – Deathday of Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, is found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in the Mayerling.
1933 – Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.
1945 – World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with German refugees, sinks in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, killing approximately 10,500 people
1948 – Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist. A year earlier on this same date, W.J. Stein sent him Steiner’s Threefold Social Order
1956 – Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
1969 – The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.
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
‘Tree of Life’ Feast & ‘Candlemas’ Festival 2 February 2021 – 5:30-7pm
In the Schreinerei of the Rudolf Steiner Branch 4248 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
The RSB Festivals Committee invites you to celebrate the Cross-quarter between Winter Solstice & Spring Equinox, called by some: Groundhogs Day, Brigid’s Day
or Imbolc – the lambing season, The Feast of the Purification of Mary, & Tu’B’Shavat*- the “New Year for the Trees”.
All are invited to a Potluck consisting of fruits & nuts & seeds-the gifts of the trees. And then Nancy Melvin will facilitate a beeswax candle making workshop – a Candlemas tradition.
*Tu B’Shvat offers a unique opportunity for insight into life & personal growth. Throughout the centuries, Kabbalists have used the tree as a metaphor to understand the One relationship to the spiritual & physical worlds. The higher spiritual realms are roots that ultimately manifest their influence through branches & leaves in the lower realms. In the 16th century, the Kabbalists compiled a Tu B’Shvat “Seder,” somewhat similar to the Seder for Passover. It involves enjoying the fruits & discussing philosophical & Kabbalistic concepts associated with the ‘Tree of Life’. Among other things, the Seder is a great way to appreciate the bounty that we so often take for granted, & to develop a good & generous eye for the world around us.
Suggestions for this special POTLUCK: lots of fruit! including: The seven species:
Figs, Dates, Pomegranates, Olives, Grapes (or raisins) wheat (Challah bread) &
Barley. Various nuts with the shells (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, coconut),
and fruits with peels (oranges, pomegranates, avocado)
Other fruits with edible seeds (e.g. blueberries)
Other fruits with inedible pits (e.g. peaches, plums)
Donations Welcome http://donate.rschicago.org/
For more info. contact Events & Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer-Ginsberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Invitation: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021, 6-8pm eastern (online using zoom)
“Candlemas Time with the Bee”
We will be celebrating a quiet and beautiful festival with the Bee. This ceremony will include artistic and meditative activity as we journey with the Bee into her connection to the Earth, the Cosmos, and the Human Soul.
Please have ready: some real honey and a spoon, a beeswax candle and matches, some seeds you plan to plant this year, paper and colored pencils.
Please email “email@example.com” before to register, and we will send you a zoom link. You may register any time before 5pm eastern on February 3rd.
May Humanity and Earth be Each Other’s Medicine
Celebrating Life during the nodal points of the seasons has given Humanity the opportunity to realign with the rhythms of Earth and the Cosmos for thousands of years… the “Festival Year” emerged, spanning all time and all cultures, traditions, and religions of the world. Today, possibly due to the increase in technology and fast pace, consumer-driven lifestyles, many people have found it difficult to connect with the seasons and rhythms of Life or have given up the culture of festival and ceremony altogether.
Yet we have entered a time during which our realignment with the Earth is more crucial than ever before… not only for our own health and wellbeing, but also for the renewal of the Earth herself. An opportunity for healing is created when we can hold in our conscious attention the nodal points of the year and the interconnected rhythms of Life… the animal, plant, and mineral beings.
These beings we share this planet with are ready for our consciousness and care. And when we create a space of openness and communication, we may just discover that they more than happily participate… for all of us do share the same “Festival Year” of Earth.
“May the Peace of the Heavens in our Earth-home we find… for all Stones, Plants, and Animals, and all of Humankind.”
Warmly, Ines Katharina Kinchen firstname.lastname@example.org