Ok, so this is extremely personal, & may be triggering & traumatic, as real life often is. It has been cathartic for me to open up this last year in sharing some biographical insights in light of anthroposophy. Look away if you must…
A few days before Holy Week while indulging in some delicious dried mango I noticed my front tooth was loose. Having had a hellish history with teeth issues throughout my life, I was concerned it would fall out just when I was about to embark on a very public Holy Week initiative. Not able to get a dentist appointment, I drank shakes & soup & hoped for the best. I actually felt it enhanced the experience to be on a semi-fast during that sacred time.
I finally got to go in for an emergency checkup with a new dentist, & while she was prodding around in my mouth, a suppressed memory came up like a slap in the face. When I was a young woman in my early 20’s I had a toothache; the wife of a dentist who I knew in passing gave me the number of her husband who she said would treat me on a sliding scale. Having no money & no dentist I called & got in right away. It must have been off hours because there was no one else in the office, no receptionist or other patients. It didn’t really register, I was in pain & he was so nice & said ‘O don’t worry Doctor Smile will take care of you no charge’. That’s what he called himself, Doctor Smile. He insisted on giving me sleeping gas right away ‘to help with the pain’ & as he was administering it he began to try & rape me. I struggled & he became quite stern telling me I needed a root canal which he proceeded to do in a hurried & gruff way, all the time saying ‘I need to give you more gas to help the pain’. This part is still blurry, I think he did indeed put me under & when I awoke I was very groggy & threw up. He said the root canal went fine & that I should go with him to get some tea to help my stomach, & then he would give me a ride to the train station. Like a sleep walker I went with him to a diner down the street where 3 of his dentist buddies were sitting at a table. We joined them & it was like he was making a point of showing me off to them. I sat there in a daze while they talked about how root canals were the new wave of the future. He told them he had just experimented by doing his 1st root canal on a front tooth, & I got the feeling that I probably didn’t really even need a root canal! I got sick to my stomach again & just ran out of there.
This all came up yesterday as I sat in the dentist’s chair some 35 or so years later. She took an ex-ray & said she didn’t know for sure if the tooth with the root canal was cracked or decayed or if the cement came loose or what, but that she didn’t have time to take off the cap as it was a whole procedure, so I’d have to come back next month. I went home in a daze with that old memory & my head throbbing.
So now I am asking myself, what is this tooth karma that I am battling with in this life? From buck teeth, to braces, to gum disease, to multiple extractions & implants etc…Of all the horror stories, this experience, which has laid dormant for all these years, is up there with the worst, & part of a pattern of sexual abuse I have had to endure as well…I see now why I have such a problem with authority figures. I have never had a good doctor or dentist or even a cherished teacher; abused by the minister at Sunday school & at home…As a child & as a young woman it is all so confusing when it is happening.
I often wonder why I would sign up for this? Am I working something off? I never seem to be able to get to the other side of the trauma. What am I supposed to learn from these painful experiences? How can I forgive the abusers, & how can I forgive myself? What do I do with it all?
~Ever living into the questions, now as the potentially toothless hag
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
“Where do the Dead come from? The Living. Where do the Living come from? The Dead.” ~ Plato
The Feast Day of St. Magdalen of Canossa. Born in northern Italy in 1774, Magdalen knew her mind—and spoke it. At age 15 she announced she wished to become a nun. After trying out her vocation with the cloistered Carmelites, she realized her desire was to serve the needy without restriction. For years she worked among the poor & sick, & with delinquent or abandoned girls. In her mid-twenties Magdalen began offering lodging to poor girls in her own home. In time she opened a school, which offered practical training & religious instruction. As other women joined her in the work, the new Congregation of the Daughters of Charity emerged. Over time, houses were opened throughout Italy. They focused on the educational & spiritual needs of women, which continues to this day.
Feast Day of Fulbert of Chartres, Bishop of Chartres from 1006 to 1028. A highly esteemed teacher – his pupils called him “venerable Socrates”. He was a strong opponent of the rationalistic tendencies which had infected some dialecticians of his time. Letters he wrote from 1004–1028 gave much insight into life in his day. He also wrote poetry & many sermons on the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was responsible for the advancement of the Nativity of the Virgin’s feast day on September 8. When, in about 1020, the cathedral of Chartres burned down, Fulbert at once began to rebuild it in greater splendor.
According to Rudolf Steiner’s Calendar of the Soul, this is the Birth Day of the prophets Daniel & Ezekiel. As well as the day Wagner received the inspiration for Parsifal in Zurich, 1857.
Daniel – Hebrew “God is my Judge” hero of the Book of Daniel who interprets dreams & receives apocalyptic visions. Daniel & his friends Hananiah, Mishael, & Azariah were among the young Jewish nobility carried off to Babylon following the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. The four are chosen for their intellect & beauty to be trained in the Babylonian court, & are given new names. Daniel is given the Babylonian name Belteshazzar, while his companions are given the Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego. Daniel & his friends refuse the food & wine provided by the king of Babylon to avoid becoming defiled. They receive wisdom from God & surpass “all the magicians & enchanters of the kingdom.” Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a giant statue made of four metals with feet of mingled iron & clay, smashed by a stone from heaven. Only Daniel is able to interpret it: the dream signifies four kingdoms, of which Babylon is the first, but God will destroy them & replace them with his own kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a great tree that shelters all the world & of a heavenly figure who decrees that the tree will be destroyed; again, only Daniel can interpret the dream, which concerns the sovereignty of God over the kings of the earth.
When Nebuchadnezzar’s son King Belshazzar uses the vessels from the Jewish temple for his feast, a hand appears & writes a mysterious message on the wall, which only Daniel can interpret; it tells the king that his kingdom will be given to the Medes & Persians, because Belshazzar, unlike Nebuchadnezzar, has not acknowledged the sovereignty of the God of Daniel. They overthrow Nebuchadnezzar & the new king, Darius the Mede, appoints Daniel to high authority. Jealous rivals attempt to destroy Daniel with an accusation that he worships God instead of the king, & Daniel is thrown into a den of lions, but an angel saves him, his accusers are destroyed, & Daniel is restored to his position.
In the third year of Darius, Daniel has a series of visions. In the first, four beasts come out of the sea, the last with ten horns, & an eleventh horn grows & achieves dominion over the Earth & the “Ancient of Days” (God) gives dominion to “one like a son of man”. An angel interprets the vision.
In the second, a ram with two horns is attacked by a goat with one horn; the one horn breaks & is replaced by four. A little horn arises & attacks the people of God & the temple, & Daniel is informed how long the little horn’s dominion will endure.
In the third, Daniel is troubled to read in holy scripture (the book is not named but appears to be Jeremiah) that Jerusalem would be desolate for 70 years. Daniel repents on behalf of the Jews & requests that Jerusalem & its people be restored. An angel refers to a period of 70 sevens (or weeks) of years.
In the final vision, Daniel sees a period of history culminating in a struggle between the “king of the north” & the “king of the south” in which God’s people suffer terribly; an angel explains that in the end the righteous will be vindicated & God’s kingdom will be established on Earth.
The Prophet Ezekiel describes his calling to be a prophet by going into great detail about his encounter with God & 4 living creatures or Cherubim with four wheels that stayed beside the creatures. For the next five years he incessantly prophesied & acted out the destruction of Jerusalem & its temple, which was met with opposition.
According to the midrash Canticles Rabbah, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego asked for his advice as to whether they should resist Nebuchadnezzar’s command & choose death by fire rather than worship his idol. At first God revealed to the prophet that they could not hope for a miraculous rescue; whereupon the prophet was greatly grieved, since these 3 men constituted the “remnant of Judah”. But after they had left the house of the prophet, fully determined to sacrifice their lives to God, Ezekiel received this revelation: “Thou dost believe indeed that I will abandon them. That shall not happen; but do thou let them carry out their intention according to their pious dictates, & tell them nothing”
Ezekiel’s statement about the “closed gate” (Ezekiel 44:2–3) is understood as another prophecy of the coming Incarnation of Christ : the “gate” signifying the Virgin Mary & the “prince” referring to Jesus. This is one of the readings at Vespers on Great Feasts of the Theotokos in the Eastern Orthodox & Byzantine Catholic Churches. “No one can enter Heaven unless by Mary, as though through a door.” The imagery provides the basis for the concept that God gave Mary to mankind as the “Gate of Heaven” (thence the dedication of churches & convents to the Porta Coeli), an idea also laid out in the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) prayer.
837 – Halley’s Comet makes its closest approach to Earth
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~At dawn the thread of Time unfurls –
Sunlight streams across Space –
Time reaches in both directions
Knotted in the golden orb of the moment.
The Eye opens, the Heart unlocks, the Navel yawns
& takes the World in its belly
Living into the spheres of cosmic Life and cosmic Light: Easter, Ascension, Whitsun in the Calendar of the Soul with Luigi Morelli, Hazel Archer & Geoff Norris
13 May 2021 Ascension Thursday 5- 6:30pm PT / 6-7:30 pm MT / 7 pm – 8:30 pm CT / 8-9:30 pm ET / 1 am – 2:30 am GMT / 2 am – 3:30 am CET
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/7052931041?pwd=TStPVnpFRzlwZ0NpRURBZDNyYnpBQT09 Meeting ID: 705 293 1041 – Passcode: Ascension
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a961qZZhF
Verses & Group Speech – Geoff Norris
Ascension: The ‘secret teachings’, the Elementals, & The Etheric Christ w/ Hazel Archer
Calendar of the Soul – Luigi Morelli : For those who are familiar with the Calendar of the Soul we could say that during spring and summer we follow the ascent of cosmic life, cosmic light, cosmic warmth and cosmic Word as gifts bestowed upon the human being by the cosmos. By being receptive to them we strengthen our connection to cosmos and Self.
We will briefly explore the dynamics of the year, then look at what qualities of soul we need to develop as we move into spring and summer, most particularly from Easter to Ascension and Whitsun. We will look at the verses of the calendar in conjunction with the artistic renditions of Anne Stockton and Karl König, drawn for each of the verses.
We will ask ourselves: How can we live into and grow from this time of the year? How can we deepen our inner relationship to the event of Ascension? What can we receive and what can we give?
Luigi Morelli – Cultures have been a great part of my upbringing, since I’m American born, part Italian, part Peruvian, mostly grew up in Belgium, and have lived the longest in the US. I have long had a passion for social change from a cultural perspective. Professionally this has brought me to working with the developmentally disabled in the intentional, holistic, communities of Camphill International and L’Arche International, and also in the mainstream. Being a founding member of the Wavecrest L’Arche Community in Los Angeles was a memorable experience. I have lived in intentional cohousing for the last ten years; first in Ecovillage Ithaca, now at Headwaters Cohousing in Cabot, in both places actively involved in community building and process facilitation.
Since 1999 I have found a vocation in researching/writing both about American history and/or about cultural/spiritual change, which you can find at www.millenniumculmination.net. Only of late have I started writing on meditative material I have used for years, publishing an essay on the Foundation Stone Meditation (also onsite) and one upcoming on the Calendar of the Soul. I love outdoors in many forms, gardening, hiking, skiing, love singing and playing flute, and enjoy most kinds of social events.
Geoffrey Norris was born in Durban, South Africa on 07/09/1951. After extensive performing with the Rock Musical “Hair “in Southern Africa, Portugal and Spain in the early 70’s he continued his theatrical training at the London School of Speech Formation and Dramatic Art, graduating in 1978. He is an actor, storyteller and teacher of voice, movement and drama and has given courses and workshops worldwide integrating the approaches of Rudolf Steiner, Michael Chekhov, Viola Spolin (and others, his own included).and has performed extensively throughout Britain, Eire, Continental Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, Southern Africa, The United States, Canada, China, Taiwan, Japan, and New Zealand. He is a master teacher of Steiner Speech Drama and Movement, with over 46 years of experience in the field. www.speechanddramastudio.com
Norris’s “Noble Art of the Word” puts to shame our modern actors, who fear to bring colour to poetic, rhythmic language, making it monochromatic dull prose. May they learn from one of the best examples.
Theatre Critic – Olsztyn