“The stars bear for us the traces of the Deeds of the Gods which lead
through the Beings of the hierarchies to the frontiers of Divinity
Itself.” ~Elisabeth Vreed
Greetings friends – Today in 1943 was the Death day of Elisabeth Vreede.
She was born in Holland, at The Hague, on 16 July 1879. She was the second child of a mother, devoted to charitable work & her father, who was a lawyer,. She was a thoughtful sensitive person, very much her own person. After meeting Rudolf Steiner she
played an important part in the Anthroposophical life in Holland.
Elisabeth Vreede came into contact with Theosophy in her home growing up. She was interested early on in the starry sky, & while learning French, she read the works of Camille Flammarion, a French astronomer & author. Because of his scientific background, he
approached Spiritism & reincarnation from the viewpoint of the scientific method, writing, “It is by the scientific method alone that we may make progress in the search for truth. Religious
belief must not take the place of impartial analysis. We must be constantly on
our guard against illusions.”
At the University of Leyden she studied mathematics, astronomy, Sanskrit, & philosophy (especially Hegel). She was also actively involved in student life, founding a boat club & was a council member of the students’ union.
The first meeting with Rudolf Steiner took place early on at the Theosophical Congress in London in 1903. Her parents were also theosophists. Rudolf Steiner made a huge impression on her. A year later at the Congress of the Federation of European Sections of the Theosophical Society at Amsterdam in 1904, she heard a lecture on ‘Mathematics & Occultism’ that Steiner gave. The next European Congress was in 1906, where Steiner held a cycle of 18 lectures.
After receiving her diploma in 1906, she gave instruction at a higher girl’s school in mathematics until 1910. Then she lived in Berlin, worked on her dissertation, while also working as a secretary for Rudolf Steiner. In April 1914, she moved to Dornach to help in the building of the first Goetheanum & was often found there carving wood.
During the War years (1916/17) Elisabeth Vreede broke off from her residence in Dornach in order to work in Berlin as a coworker of Elisabeth Rotten, a Quaker, peace activist & educational progressive, looking after prisoners of war. She was very much aware of the life & sufferings of her contemporaries.
After the War, Rudolf Steiner developed his idea of the threefold social order & she too had an intense interest in this initiative & work. She was the first to bring this idea of a threefold social order to England.
Around 1918, Dr. Vreede began to construct the library & archive at the Goetheanum. Using her own means, she purchased the expensive lecture transcripts as soon as they were typed from notes. In 1920 she moved to Arlesheim, Switzerland, where she had built a little house for herself. It was the second house for which Steiner had given the model in 1919.
In 1924, Steiner appointed her to head the Mathematical-Astronomical Section of the School of Spiritual Science of the recently reestablished Anthroposophical Society, as well as standing in the Vorstand of the general Anthroposophical Society from 1925 to 1935.
Rudolf Steiner saw her in connection with the Platonic stream, & had indicated that she had incarnated earlier than planned in order to meet him on Earth.
Dr. Vreede gave a lecture on 3 January 1926, which was first publish in the Anthroposophical Movement in Vol. 6, Nos. 42 to 46, called The World of the Stars and Human Destiny. In it she addressed the appropriate use of Astrology in our time:
“You will now understand to what purpose we have a horoscope, and that it is not there in the first instance for our own sake. You will understand that when a horoscope is made for a person’s satisfaction, there is always a certain amount of egoism connected with it; for he does not possess it for this purpose! And if you take the passages in our literature where Dr. Steiner speaks about Astrology (there are passages in many of the cycles and lectures) you will find how he emphasizes again and again that Astrology must be something social, which pays no attention to the individual but has social aims. In a true Astrology only what is universally human is considered and not the satisfaction of the egoism of the human being. By considering it egoistically, that deed of Michael is undone whereby other beings ought to be saved from plunging into the abyss.
When Dr. Steiner asked the position of the stars at the moment of a birth, it was always with reference to children who lacked one or other of the forces just described. It was then possible to learn from it which of these forces was not there in the right sense; thus it could be gathered what this human soul lacked before birth. And then it might be possible under certain circumstances to find a cure. Here we see how the matter is carried away from what is egoistic and into the social, when such abnormal children may in this way find a cure, which otherwise might perhaps not be possible. But in those children in whom certain forces were not brought in at birth these influences
remain present. …Thus we see how Astrology can be used when it is kept in Michael’s sense, and not in the sense in which it is so often practiced today.”
In 1928 she invited Willi Sucher to come to Dornach & collaborated with him in working out the death asterograms of historical personalities, which was part of his substantial historic research, & which he further worked out in the late 30’s & 40’s, doing the charts & therapeutic research of special needs children in England & Scotland.
In 1935 the separation within the Anthroposophical Society took place & she was expelled from the executive council, her section passed to other leadership. She was excluded, along with her long-time friend & co-member, Dr. Ita Wegman, from Vorstand. She was also cut off from the observatory & archives that she herself helped assemble.
Rudolf Steiner is reputed to have said that Dr. Vreede understood his work more deeply than anyone else.
On the anniversary, in 1943, of Rudolf Steiner’s death, she spoke to the circle of friends & co-workers at the Ida Wegman clinic. They wanted to commemorate not just Rudolf Steiner but the many others who were leading Anthroposophists but were no longer known to most. She spoke in a devoted way about Edith Maryon, who also died in 1924, & Alice Sauerwein. She portrayed Count Keyserlingk & Louis Werbeck, Caroline von Heydebrand & Eugen Kolisko.
At the beginning of May 1943 she spoke once more on the 400th anniversary of the death of Copernicus. At the lecture it was noticed that only by exceptional exertion could she keep herself upright. Just a few days later on 6 May, she had to take to her bed. She had never been ill nor depended on people until that point. Thanks to the devoted care of Frau Schunemann,
she was treated at home until her passing on 31 August 1943 in Ascona.
The Initiative to Rehabilitate Ita Wegman and Elisabeth Vreede was accomplished during the 2018 Annual General Meeting in Dornach. 75 years after her death.
The Spiritual Science of Rudolf Steiner has bequeathed to us a cosmology of Spirit which gives man once again a place within the world-picture and links Heaven and Earth together in unity.
“Fräulein Vreede,” said Rudolf Steiner, “is among those individuals who best understand my lectures.”
Sixty-six years after Elisabeth Vreede’s death, the Ita Wegman Institute published a monograph that bore witness to the greatness of her individuality, a greatness that was evident even when she was confronted their a tragic failure to understand her. The monograph contains many previously unpublished documents.
Rudolf Steiner once said of Elisabeth Vreede: Frl. Dr. Vreede is tirelessly active in bringing anthroposophy into the field of the mathematical sciences….She unites rigorous anthroposophical insight with an outstanding clarity about how anthroposophy should be brought into the various fields of knowledge.
See here the connections ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast Day of Joseph of Arimathea & Nicodemus. Rudolf Steiner speaks about these individualities as initiates many times. Here are a few examples: http://www.rsarchive.org/Search.phphttp://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA103/English/AP1962/19080525p01.html
1528 – Deathday of Matthias Grünewald a German Renaissance painter of religious works who ignored Renaissance classicism to continue the style of late medieval Central European art into the 16th century. Only ten paintings—several consisting of many panels—& thirty-five drawings survive, all religious, although many others were lost at sea in the Baltic on their way to Sweden as war booty. His largest and most famous work is the Isenheim Altarpiece
1740 – Birthday of Johann Friedrich Oberlin, mystic, philanthropist, social Christian. Rudolf Steiner spoke about him in his lectures on Occult History http://wn.rsarchive.org/GA/GA0126/19101227p01.html
1803 – Meriwether Lewis & William Clark start their expedition to the west
1869 – Deathday of Mary Ward, Irish astronomer & entomologist, killed when she fell under the wheels of an experimental steam car built by her cousins. She was the world’s first person known to be killed by a motor vehicle
1997 – Deathday of Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Fayed & driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris
With the Sun in my I
See me rise above the crescent Moon
To mingle with the seven stars
Our speaking –
Beyond mechanistic cyphers & spells that bind
A living conversation
Communicating the past & future into today
So are you coming?
Join us at the Rudolf Steiner Branch in Chicago
- 1st make sure you are registered at https://www.anthroposophy.org/fallconference and have indicated that you will be attending in person at the RSBranch Chicago.
- Then Register by October 1st with the Chicago Branch using PayPal (this requires that you have a PayPal account of your own).
- Register and write a check and it mail by October 1st to: Rudolf Steiner Branch, Attn: Jenny Doty 4249 N Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60618
Details for the in-person conference:
- $75 will cover the expenses for facilities, 3 lunches and 3 dinners, snacks, and printing.
You will enjoy a pre-AGM dinner on Thursday Oct. 7 Doors open at 5 pm (AGM starts promptly at 6:3opm CT)
Lunch and Dinner on Fri.and Sat.
and Lunch post-conference on Sunday.
As well as Snacks/Coffee-Tea during the breaks.
- $40 will cover only the bare expenses – no meals
- Be a Master Builder Patron for $100 or more, to help pay for the tech costs!
- For any other questions, please contact Jenny Doty at email@example.com
Hey friends, Maybe you didn’t get this far in the post. If you did – Please help support the Anthroposophical Prison Outreach DANCE-A-THON 2021
Greetings kindred souls – This year for the APO fund raiser I plan to hold a Dance-A-Thon & Biodynamic Prep-stir on Friday 24 September 2021 at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society in America – Chicago
DJ’s TBA – It’s a potluck community gathering, so please bring food & drink to share – Along with your donation to this amazing program.
We also plan to read some poetry from some of the inmates who are working with Anthroposophy!
If you live out of town you can dance in your neck of the woods in solidarity with us. Please show your generous support…
Xox ~hag, firstname.lastname@example.org
Festival Gathering: Tuesday 28 September on the eve of Michaelmas with Rev’s Jeana Lee & Victoria Capon
Potluck at 5:30
Talk at 7pm
At the Rudolf Steiner Branch, 4249 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Meeting The Dragon With Our Four Fold Being – A talk and collaborative sculptural creation
Bring Food & drink for the potluck & a found objects to help build the dragon!
Then our inspiration can come to life through our collaboration.
Jeana Lee was recently ordained as a priest of the Christian Community Movement for Religious Renewal and sent to the congregation in Chicago. Previously she taught chemistry and math at Green Meadow Waldorf high school. She enjoys swimming in the lake and is interested in questions of sin and redemption.
Victoria Capon hails from the east coast and is new to Chicago. Before attending seminary she taught at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod. Now she is happily settling into serving the chicago CC congregation and exploring the Windy City