Dear friends, Here is what I am thinking today: What is a truly modern spiritual school? What is the essence of the New Mysteries of initiation? – It is the Social Realm – it is the creative meeting place of those people who strive to learn how to work & grow together honestly & creatively. There are of course conditions: We must root out envy & enmity, gossip & ill will. Our hearts & minds must be on fire with enthusiasm for real creative becoming, which inspires us to mutually support, empower, awaken, & stimulate each other. This means that the participants in this fluid independent school have to develop forces of love & trust, by 1st of all truly knowing ourselves, & then working to know each other. Cultivating totally new kinds of spiritual forces, because we will most certainly experience their reversals daily – It is part of our task in the school of life where we meet our initiators in each personal relationship, to experience consciously the fact that in every anthroposophical community profound ideas & ideals are constantly being reversed to their opposites; idealistic love into mutual hatred, trust into mistrust & hope into despair. Only thru a lifelong willingness to cross this deep abyss, together, in positivity, with courage; to repeatedly, create a new & robust kind of mutual love, trust, loyalty – uplifting sisterly-&-brotherly support, can we hope to make progress. And this mutually suffered, joyfully harvested & actualized love is the only real Foundation Stone of the future orientated Independent School of Spiritual Science, that we are meant to co-create.
11 February 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars’: New Moon, exact at 1:06 pm CST.
Sirius the Dog Star blazes high in the southeast after dinnertime, the brightest star of Canis Major. In a dark sky with lots of stars visible, the constellation’s points can be connected to form a convincing dog profile. He’s currently prancing on his hind legs; he wears Sirius on his chest.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
According to Mabel Collin’s Path Calendar, Today if the Feast Day of The Wise Crone, Hecate.
According to Rudolf Steiner’s Calendar of the Soul today is the birthday of Shadur the Great – Zoroastrian Persian King – Protector of Mani
Feast Day of Saint Blaise. From being a healer of bodily ailments, he became a physician of souls, then retired for a time to a cavern where he remained in prayer. As bishop of Sebastea, Blaise instructed his people as much by his example & words, as by his many miracles. From all parts, the people came flocking to him for the cure of bodily & spiritual ills. He is said to have healed animals (who came to the saint on their own for his assistance) & to have been assisted by animals.
The governor was jealous, Blaise was arrested. When he was led away, the story goes, they met a poor woman whose pig had been seized by a wolf. At the command of Blaise, the wolf restored the pig to its owner, alive & unhurt. When he had reached the capital & was in prison awaiting execution, the old woman whose pig he had saved came to see him, bringing two fine wax candles to dispel the gloom of his dark cell.
In 316, Agricola, the governor of Cappadocia sent to kill the Christians, arrested the bishop Blaise. As he was being led to jail, a mother set her only son, choking on a fish-bone, at his feet, & the child was cured straight away. Regardless, the governor, unable to make Blaise renounce his faith, beat him with a stick, ripped his flesh with iron combs, & beheaded him. Consequently, Saint Blaise is invoked for protection against injuries & illnesses of the throat.
In many places on the day of his feast the blessing of St. Blaise is given: 2 burning candles, blessed on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord (“Candlemas”), are held in a crossed position by a priest over the heads of the faithful or the people are touched on the throat with them. At the same time the following blessing is given: “May Almighty God at the intercession of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, preserve you from infections of the throat and from all other afflictions“. Then the priest makes the sign of the cross over the faithful.
Blaise is considered one of the ‘Fourteen Holy Helpers’. His cult became widespread in Europe in the 11th & 12th centuries & his legend is recounted in the 14th-century Legenda Aurea. Saint Blaise is the saint of the wild beast.
In iconography, Blaise is represented holding two crossed candles in his hand (the Blessing of St. Blaise), or in a cave surrounded by wild beasts, as he was found by the hunters of the governor. He is often shown with the instruments of his martyrdom, steel combs. The similarity of these instruments of torture to wool combs led to his adoption as the patron saint of wool combers in particular, & the wool trade in general
Feast Day of St. Gobnait, Irish patron Saint of BeeKeepers. She was born in County Clare in the 5th or 6th Century, & is said to have been the sister of Saint Abban. She fled a family feud, taking refuge in the Aran Islands. Here an angel appeared & told her that this was “not the place of her resurrection” & that she should look for a place where she would find nine white deer grazing. She found the deer at the place now known as St. Gobnet’s Wood.
Celtic lore held bees in high esteem, believing the soul left the body as a bee or a butterfly. Gobnait is said to have added beekeeping to her life’s work, developing a lifelong affinity with them. She started a religious order & dedicated her days to helping the sick. She used honey as a healing aid. She is credited with saving the people at Ballyvourney from the plague.
One story tells of how she drove off a brigand by sending a swarm of bees after him and making him restore the cattle he had stolen.
St Gobnait’s well is situated to the North of Ballyagran. It is said that a white stag can sometimes be seen at the well
1650 – Death day of René Descartes, Philosopher & mathematician. René Descartes is regarded as the father of modern philosophy for defining a starting point for existence, “I think; therefore I am.” Descartes was born on March 31, 1596, in La Haye en Touraine, a small town in central France, which has since been renamed after him to honor its most famous son. He was the youngest of three children, & his mother, Jeanne Brochard, died within his first year of life. His father, Joachim, a council member in the provincial parliament, sent the children to live with their maternal grandmother, where they remained even after he remarried a few years later. But he was very concerned with good education & sent René, at age 8, to boarding school at the Jesuit college of Henri IV in La Flèche, several miles to the north, for seven years.
Descartes was a good student, although it is thought that he might have been sickly, since he didn’t have to abide by the school’s rigorous schedule & was instead allowed to rest in bed until midmorning. He got his baccalaureate in law at the University of Poitiers. Some scholars speculate that he may have had a nervous breakdown during this time.
Descartes later added theology & medicine to his studies. But he eschewed all this, “resolving to seek no knowledge other than that of which could be found in myself or else in the great book of the world,” he wrote much later in Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences, published in 1637.
So he traveled, joined the army for a brief time, saw some battles & was introduced to Dutch scientist & philosopher Isaac Beeckman, who would become for Descartes a very influential teacher. A year after graduating from Poitiers, Descartes credited a series of three very powerful dreams or visions with determining the course of his study for the rest of his life.
Through his laws of refraction, he developed an empirical understanding of rainbows; & he proposed a naturalistic account of the formation of the solar system, although he felt he had to suppress much of that due to Galileo’s fate at the hands of the Inquisition. His concern wasn’t misplaced—Pope Alexander VII later added Descartes’ works to the Index of Prohibited Books.
Descartes never married, but he did have a daughter, Francine, born in the Netherlands in 1635. He had moved to that country in 1628 because life in France was too bustling for him to concentrate on his work, & Francine’s mother was a maid in the home where he was staying. He had planned to have the little girl educated in France, having arranged for her to live with relatives, but she died of a fever at age 5.
Descartes lived in the Netherlands for more than 20 years but died in Stockholm, Sweden, on February 11, 1650. He had moved there less than a year before, at the request of Queen Christina, to be her philosophy tutor. The fragile health indicated in his early life persisted. He habitually spent mornings in bed, where he continued to honor his dream life, incorporating it into his waking methodologies in conscious meditation, but the queen’s insistence on 5 am lessons led to a bout of pneumonia from which he could not recover. He was 53.
Sweden was a Protestant country, so Descartes, a Catholic, was buried in a graveyard primarily for unbaptized babies. Later, his remains were taken to the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest church in Paris. They were moved during the French Revolution, & were put back later—although urban legend has it that only his heart is there & the rest is buried in the Panthéon.
Descartes’ approach of combining mathematics & logic with philosophy to explain the physical world turned metaphysical when confronted with questions of theology; it led him to a contemplation of the nature of existence & the mind-body duality, identifying the point of contact for the body with the soul at the pineal gland. It also led him to define the idea of dualism: matter meeting non-matter. Because his previous philosophical system had given man the tools to define knowledge of what is true, this concept led to controversy, making philosophers of us all.
1858 – The Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honor of the Marian apparitions that occurred starting today in 1858 in the vicinity of Lourdes in France. The first of these is the apparition of 11 February 1858, when 14-year old Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a “lady” spoke to her in the cave of while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar apparitions of the “Lady” were reported on eighteen occasions that year, until the climax revelation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception took place.
On 11 February 1858, Soubirous went with her sister Toinette & neighbor Jeanne Abadie to collect some firewood. After taking off her shoes & stockings to wade thru the water near the Grotto of Massabielle, she said she heard the sound of two gusts of wind (coups de vent) but the trees & bushes nearby did not move. A wild rose in a natural niche in the grotto, however, did move. “…I came back towards the grotto and started taking off my stockings. I had hardly taken off the first stocking when I heard a sound like a gust of wind. Then I turned my head towards the meadow. I saw the trees quite still: I went on taking off my stockings. I heard the same sound again. As I raised my head to look at the grotto, I saw a lady dressed in white, wearing a white dress, a blue girdle and a yellow rose on each foot, the same color as the chain of her rosary; the beads of the rosary were white….From the niche, or rather the dark alcove behind it, came a dazzling light…”.
Soubirous tried to make the sign of the Cross but she could not, because her hands were trembling. The lady smiled, & invited Soubirous to pray the rosary with her. Soubirous tried to keep this a secret, but Toinette told her mother. After parental cross-examination, she & her sister received a spanking for their story.
Three days later, 14 February, Soubirous returned to the Grotto. She had brought holy water as a test that the apparition was not of evil origin/provenance: “The second time was the following Sunday…Then I started to throw holy water in her direction, and at the same time I said that if she came from God she was to stay, but if not, she must go. She started to smile, and bowed … This was the second time.”
Soubirous’s companions are said to have become afraid when they saw her in ecstasy. She remained ecstatic even as they returned to the village. On 18 February, she spoke of being told by the Lady to return to the Grotto over a period of two weeks. She quoted the apparition: “The Lady spoke to me the third time..She told me also that she did not promise to make me happy in this world, but in the next.”
Soubirous was ordered by her parents to never go there again. She went anyway, & on 24 February, Soubirous related that the apparition asked for prayer & penitence for the conversion of sinners.
Soubirous described the apparition as uo petito damizelo (“a tiny maiden”) of about twelve years old. Soubirous insisted that the apparition was no taller than herself. Soubirous was very small even by the standards of other poorly nourished children.
Soubirous described that the apparition as dressed in a flowing white robe, with a blue sash around her waist. This was the uniform of a religious group called the Children of Mary, which, on account of her poverty, Soubirous was not permitted to join (although she was admitted after the apparitions). Her Aunt Bernarde was a long-time member.
The next day, she said the apparition asked her to dig in the ground & drink from the spring she found there, that soon became a focal point for pilgrimages. Although it was muddy at first, the stream became increasingly clean. As word spread, this water was given to medical patients of all kinds, & many reports of miraculous cures followed. Seven of these cures were confirmed as lacking any medical explanations by Professor Verges in 1860. The first person with a “certified miracle” was a woman whose right hand had been deformed as a consequence of an accident. The government fenced off the Grotto & issued stiff penalties for anybody trying to get near the off-limits area. In the process, Lourdes became a national issue in France, resulting in the intervention of Emperor Napoleon III with an order to reopen the grotto on 4 October 1858. The Church had decided to stay away from the controversy altogether.
Soubirous, knowing the local area well, managed to visit the barricaded grotto under cover of darkness. There, on 25 March, she said she was told: “I am the Immaculate Conception” (“que soy era immaculada concepciou”). On Easter Sunday, 7 April, her examining doctor stated that Soubirous, in ecstasy, was observed to have held her hands over a lit candle without sustaining harm. On 16 July, Soubirous went for the last time to the Grotto. “I have never seen her so beautiful before,” she reported.
The Church, faced with nationwide questions, decided to institute an investigative commission on 17 November 1858. On 18 January 1860, the local bishop finally declared that: “The Virgin Mary did appear indeed to Bernadette Soubirous” These events established the Marian veneration in Lourdes, which together with Fátima & the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most frequented Marian shrines in the world, & to which between 4-6 million pilgrims travel annually.
In the early sixteenth century, a twelve-year-old shepherdess called Anglèze de Sagazan received a vision of the Virgin Mary near the spring at Garaison (part of the commune of Monléon-Magnoac), somewhat further away. Anglèze’s story is strikingly similar to that of Soubirous: she was a pious but illiterate & poorly educated girl, extremely impoverished, who spoke only in the local language, but successfully convinced authorities that her vision was genuine & persuaded them to obey the instructions of her apparitions. Like Soubirous, she was the only one who could see the apparition (others could apparently hear it); however, the apparition at Garaison’s supernatural powers tended toward the miraculous provision of abundant food, rather than healing the sick & injured.
Bernadette died in 1879. Her body remained uncorrupted. She was beatified in 1925 & canonized in 1933.
According to the “Schwarzer Brief”, The five prophecies imparted to Lourdes visionary Saint Bernadette Soubirous by the Blessed Mother, were written down before she died & given to Pope Leo XIII. The letters were never revealed by Leo, nor his successor Pope Saint Pius X. In fact, shortly before the turn of the century the letters were ‘misplaced’ & the Vatican ‘lost track’ of them. Bernadette´s letter remained in the Vatican Archives until 1997, when it was discovered by the French Father Antoine LaGrande who searched for material & correspondence on Lourdes. According to LaGrande, the letter consisted of five sheets, which were found in a metal box in the vaults of the Archives. On each sheet, a revelation was written down.
1. Described the development of the Lourdes sanctuary & predicted that it would become an important place of pilgrimage after Bernadette´s death. Many people would be healed by the water from the spring.
2. Mentioned important scientific discoveries including “the use of electric energy” & the invention of several types of machines.
3. Predicted the rise of an evil dictator in Germanywhich would cause “something horribly evil”. His rule of terror would end in a war in which “nearly all nations participate”.
4. Announced that man would fly into Outer Space & eventually land on the moon in or around 1970.
5. Was the most detailed text: “Your Holiness, the Holy Virgin told me that with the end of the 20th Century the end of the age of science would follow. A new era of the Faith will begin everywhere on Earth. Eventually the evidence is found that it was God who created the Earth and Man. This will be the beginning of the end of the sciences; the people will not believe in them any longer. Millions will turn back to Christ…” The Church, Bernadette said, would play a new, important role. The loss of trust in the Sciences, so the seer, was caused by the “haughtiness of the physicians who used their knowledge to create a monster, a creature which is neither man nor beast.” This would cause a public scandal. The people would realize that the scientists went too far – & “chase them like you chase a rapacious wolf.”
Furthermore, Bernadette warns that a new, big war could break out at the turn of the Millennium. “After the year 2000 a final clash between the followers of Mohammed & the Christian nations will happen. In a horrible battle, 5.650.451 soldiers will loose their life & a bomb with great impact will be thrown onto a city in Persia.”
If the original text indeed says “thrown onto”, it would be a remarkable prediction; only since World War 2, bombs were thrown on cities. Air raids were completely unknown in Bernadette´s time. The great number of casualties leaves no doubt that she referred to a Nuclear bomb. (Afganistan became independent only in 1919 – until 1751 it was a part of Persia, during the 19th century it was under both, Persian & British/Indian influence)
“At the end”, Bernadette continued, “the sign of the Cross will conquer and all Muslims will embrace the Christian Faith. Great wealth will follow and the Lord will pour out His blessings over the faithful.” Poverty, disease & hunger have an end, every tenth person will have the power to heal. “The 21st Century will be known as the Second Golden Age of mankind”, the seer concluded.
1990 – Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner
Weaving a non-gendered Feminist Reality with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg*
Friday 5 March 2021 – 6:30 am – 8 am Central Time as part of the The International Youth Initiative Program Initiative Forum
What are the qualities of the Divine Feminine? How can we use them to empower an innovative way of thinking, feeling & willing, to create a new world, where the human being is free?
Have paper & colored pencils at the ready for this hands-on workshop.
*Hazel Archer-Ginsberg – Founder of Reverse Ritual: Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year & the ‘I Think Speech’ Podcast. Trans-denominational Minister, Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Anthroposopher – working as the Festivals Coordinator of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, & the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society. Past Video Recordings
The 8-Fold Path to the Easter Elementals
Holy Week 2021 (March 28 – April 4): Starting on Palm Sunday then thru-out Holy Week including Easter Morning, we will meet every day on Zoom at 10:10 am (Central Time) to create together a Thought-Seed Egregore based on the Herbert Hahn Verse
“When I think light, my soul shines,
When my soul shines, the earth is a star,
When the earth is a star, then I am, a true human being”
& then we will take turns sharing the indications for that day from Rudolf Steiner / The Buddha’s 8 –fold Path, known as the ‘Weekday Exercises’ (let me know if you would like to lead one of the days? (5 min) Holy Week chart
Resolves or ‘RIGHT JUDGMENT.’ having been formed independently of sympathies and antipathies.
Talking – ‘RIGHT WORD.’
External actions- ‘RIGHT DEED.’
The ordering of life. – ‘RIGHT STANDPOINT.’
Human Endeavour. – ‘TO LET ALL THE EXERCISES BECOME A HABIT.’
The endeavor to learn as much as possible from life. – ‘RIGHT MEMORY.’ (Remembering what has been learned from experiences).
To pay attention to one’s ideas. – ‘RIGHT OPINION.’
The octave of the New Sun
To turn one’s gaze inwards –
Whoever is holding the leading thoughts for that day will tie it into some 5-10 min. artistic exercise based on the indications
Group sharing (5 min)
We close with the ‘reversed’ Hahn verse.
I am a True Human Being
For the Earth is a Star
The Earth is a Star
When I Think Light
When I think Light
My Soul Shines
Easter Sunday – 4 April 2021, in person at the Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago & online 2 pm – 4 pm Central Time.
Group Eurythmy with Mary Ruud
Hazel Archer – The octave of the New Sun
Keynote with Ines Katharina (Bee Keeper, Founder of the Biodynamic Emerald Honeybee Sanctuary, Waldorf Teacher) Ines will connect the Easter Thought with the Elemental Beings & the flight of the Queen Bee.
Mary Ruud will give us a performance of ‘Rock Spring Wonder’
We close with singing ‘Now the green Blade Riseth’
Potluck Social Time in the Schreinerei – Please bring food & drink to share
$10 Suggested Donation (can’t make it? or joining us online? please consider supporting this event, Thank you)
*Dear friends, please join the call at 10:05 am to get settled in so we can begin the Thought-Seed promptly at 10:10 am
Topic: The 8-Fold Path thru Holy Week 2021
Time: Starting on Palm Sunday Mar 28 – thru Easter Morning, 2021 10:10 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Every day, 8 occurrence(s)
Mar 28, 2021 10:10 AM
Mar 29, 2021 10:10 AM
Mar 30, 2021 10:10 AM
Mar 31, 2021 10:10 AM
Apr 1, 2021 10:10 AM
Apr 2, 2021 10:10 AM
Apr 3, 2021 10:10 AM
Apr 4, 2021 10:10 AM
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