Today & everyday, dear friends, we must be like the groundhog & look for our shadow. The Cross-quarter betwixt the Winter Solstice & the Vernal Equinox is not only intuited & out-pictured in nature, but is determined by a cosmic conversation. Using the Sidereal zodiac which shows us what is actually being said in the heavens right now, not 2000 years ago, This cross-quarter happens when the Sun comes to 15 degrees of Capricorn, the same sign that the Jupiter & Saturn conjunction happened in, & that hits on Sunday Feb. 7th. But most folks celebrate today on the fixed date of Feb. 2nd which in our modern age we call Groundhogs day, when the fate of winter rests on the shoulders of a furry rodent.
But in the time of the ancient Mystery Schools it was a time of initiation, a time of purification & re-dedication.
For the Celtic tribes, who were very much in touch with the cycles of the season, this is called Imbolc – which means in the belly – it’s the lambing season. After the cold dark winter where folks barely survived by eating their store of root vegetables, now the milk begins to flow, the butter was churned & the cruds gave much needed nourishment; they call it Celtic Spring – the time of year when the belly of the great mother quickens with the growing light.
And it is dedicated to the Triple Goddess Brigid, holding the power of the Maiden, Mother, Crone, & associated with the mysteries of the sacred well connected to purification & the fires of the forge, to call in the will of the Sun.
Later, of course, it was adopted by the Church & attached to Candlemas & the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Interesting how many traditions mix & overlap: in antiquity starting as early as the time of the cave people, it was known as the Feast of the Bear, a celebration of the end of hibernation. We can see how the Jewish custom of a woman’s 40 day confinement after childbirth, & then the presentation of the Child in the Temple, can be like a thread from the world of hibernation in the animal kingdom. Remember that movie with Darrel Hanna, The Clan of the Cave Bear…?
In ancient Greece this cross-quarter was connected to The Festival of Persephone & Demeter, celebrated exclusively by the woman, in an elaborate 3 day ritual, called Thesmophoria.
Spiraling down the line, the ancient romans called it Lupercalia a feast day that was very much like Mardi Gras. And I’ll talk about that more when we come to Valentine’s Day
And as was mentioned in an earlier post, in the Jewish mystical tradition of Tu’B’Shvat, It is known as the time of the rising of the sap, The New Year for the Tree – An opportunity to repair the breech when the the unripe fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil was prematurely eaten.
Here in Chicago we just got 2 feet of snow, so it’s harder to remember when the skies are steel grey, & the ice crystals bite, that stirring in the wind, is the promise of spring – waiting, to be ignited by the passion of our purpose
Can you feel the energy of the earth…Quickening…I feel it groaning & stretching in the earth of my body…Like a snake trying to shed its skin…I just want to be a molting bird…Dancing in the silent belly of February… So much to do…So much to Be…Can you feel the growing rhythms…
A time to plan your garden, for the roots are stirring under the snow. A time to purify & get fertile. So let’s charm the plow – Kiss the candle, & gather the wood to kindle a need-fire, as a welcoming beacon, to call back our dormant power, to heat up, our potential, & re-seed our creativity – as we add fuel to the fire of our community. One spark warms us all – A purifying fire, that burns clean & opens the way to the true power of love & light from deep within us.
From the ancient & immortal tribes – from all the quarters of the cosmos – to come & warm our circle – to bring, their respected dimensions, into the eternity, of our lives, now. Our reality, which is open & ever changing – for we have a lot to honor in ourselves today, as we stand on the waning side of Bella Luna. Whispering the promise of passion like a communal prayer that builds -Into the arrows of Eros, embracing our true heart in the eternal now of Valentine’s Day coming up.
And as we call in the Golden Ox of Chinese New Year on the New Moon. So, let us open to the power of our striving. Together may we will thaw the coldness in the world & rouse the mysteries growing within…
THE CALENDAR OF THE SOUL, by Rudolf Steiner, translated with added titles by Roy Sadler.
MINDFUL OF THE SPIRIT’S BIRTH FULFILLED
(this is the only trochaic line in the Soul Calendar;
the rest are iambic, the natural rhythm for the soul
to relate to the world. It is as if this one line,
‘Eingedenk vollzogener Geistgeburt’, balancing
the other 334, would render them meaningless without it.
And when I grasp the senses’ new allure
the clarity of soul,
mindful of the spirit’s birth fulfilled,
imbues the world’s bewildering,
fresh sprouting growth
with my creative will of thinking.
the mirror verse, v9, Trinity, Corpus Christi
LOSE YOURSELF IN LIGHT
And when I let my own will go
the summer’s coming fills my soul
and spirit life with cosmic warmth;
my spirit vision is commanding me
to lose myself in light, and ardently
my foresight’s calling: lose yourself
to find your Self.
‘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