December 12th is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, unborness, and a new understanding of the Logos.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is unlike any other apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. First, it is the only apparition where Our Lady left a miraculous image of herself unmade by human hands. Second, it is the only universally venerated Madonna & Child image where Our Lady appears pregnant instead of holding the Infant Jesus.
The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to an Aztec peasant, Juan Diego, in the 16th century near Mexico City. Juan Diego saw an apparition of the Blessed Virgin as he walked along Tepeyac Hill, on December 9, 1531, which happened to be the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. He began to hear beautiful strains of music, & he saw a beautiful lady, who called his name: “Juanito, Juan Dieguito.” He approached, & she said, “Know for certain, least of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, the true God, through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of Heaven and earth. It is my earnest wish that a temple be built here to my honor. Here I will demonstrate, I will manifest, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, and of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities, and misfortunes.”
She told Juan Diego to go tell Bishop Zumarraga of her desire for a church to be built at the site. Tradition holds that Juan Diego asked our Blessed Mother her name. She responded in his native language of Nahuatl, “Tlecuatlecupe,” which means “the one who crushes the head of the serpent” (a clear reference to Genesis 3:15 & perhaps to the prominent symbol of the Aztec religion). “Tlecuatlecupe” when correctly pronounced, sounds remarkably similar to “Guadalupe.” Consequently, when Juan Diego told Bishop Zumarraga her name in his native tongue, he probably confused it with the familiar Spanish name “Guadalupe,” a city with a prominent Marian shrine.
The bishop asked him to bring back a sign from Mary to prove the story. Juan Diego reported the matter to our Blessed Mother, who told him to return the next day to receive “the sign” for the bishop.
On December 11, Juan Diego couldn’t go to see the Lady, he had to spend the day caring for his very sick uncle, Juan Bernardino, who asked Juan Diego to go & bring a priest who would hear his confession & administer the last rites. On December 12, Juan Diego set out again, but avoided Tepeyac Hill because he was ashamed that he had not returned the previous day as our Blessed Mother had requested. While making his detour, the Blessed Mother stopped him & said, “Hear and let it penetrate into your heart, my dear little son: let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you. Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Also, do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?” Mary reassured Juan Diego that his uncle would not die; in fact, his health had been restored.
As for the sign for the bishop, Mary told Juan Diego to go to the top of the mountain & pick some flowers. He went up to the hill which was dry & barren, a place for cactus, but there he found roses, which are foreign to Mexico. He gathered them in his tilma, a garment like a poncho. He brought them to Mary who arranged them & said to take them to the bishop.
Upon opening the tilma to reveal the miraculous roses to the bishop, there was something even more miraculous present in the tilma–a striking image of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In the image Our Lady wears the traditional garments of an Aztec princess. A black sash around her waist was a cultural tradition among the Aztec women that indicated pregnancy.
A church was built at Our Lady’s request on the Hill of Tepeyac to mark the apparition site, & today it is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage shrine in the world. Venerated in this cathedral is the original tilma of St. Juan Diego, which still displays the miraculous Our Lady of Guadalupe image.
THE MIRACULOUS IMAGE
Here are just a few from a long list of interesting facts about the Our Lady of Guadalupe image itself:
- The image is proven to not be painted by human hands
- The image and fabric have miraculously lasted in its original condition for nearly 500 years
- The weak cactus fiber, of which the tilma was made, should have decomposed within 15-20 years of being woven
- No natural or animal mineral colorings, or paint, are found on the image
- The image itself is iridescent, which cannot be produced by hand
- Mary stands on a crescent moon, the same crescent moon in the sky on the day of her apparition
- Mary’s mantel is a constellation map, the same constellations in the sky as on the day of her apparition
- These constellations tell the story of the Gospel with the arrangements of Leo in the womb of Virgo
- On her rose garment is a topographic map of the geographic location of her apparition
- Over her womb on her dress is a four-petal flower, the Aztec symbol of life and deity
- In the image Mary is “clothed with the sun” with “the moon at her feet” as described in Revelation 12:1
- A doctor once heard a heartbeat coming from the image through a stethoscope over the womb
- The eyes of the image have the refractory characteristics of human eyes
- The eyes, when examined through a microscope, reflect the images of the witnesses present at its unveiling, including Juan Diego and the bishop
St. Juan Diego’s original tilma as it hangs today in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City
Many parishes, who have a special feast day Mass, will also host a reception or party in honor of the feast day. If not, hold your own celebration of Our Lady by inviting friends & family to your home for a traditional Mexican meal. Decorate your table with colorful roses in bright reds & pinks, blues & greens, along with your advent candles for a festive remembrance.
During this time of Advent, may we all gestate an immaculate conception that we bring to birth through our collective will for the good.
12 December 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars:” Dear friends we are geting an astral sweeping – The Geminid meteor shower – always a favorite among the annual meteor showers – is expected to peak tonight & tomorrow, December 13, going into Tuesday, December 14. This year, a waxing gibbous moon will be above the horizon during peak time for viewing. It’ll set shortly afterward. So the best time to watch for Geminid meteors is after moonset around 3am to dawn.
RUDOLF STEINER’S CALENDAR OF THE SOUL
translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler
Towards The Winter Solstice
My heart-annointed impulse strives
to carry spirit light into world-winter-night
that shining seeds of soul
take root in cosmic ground
and in the senses’ dark
God’s all-transfiguring Word resound.
Next week’s verse, 38, is always in Christmas week,
so this verse is only in the week of the Winter Solstice
when Christmas is between Sunday and Wednesday,
but this impulse to carry the Spirit Light, the Christ Light, into the world
with heightened consciousness for our spiritual work is shining in our hearts
in the days before the solstice for the world’s need at the turning of its time.
It is the first of the seven appearances of the heart between now and verse 48.
The mirror verse was in the third week of July as the sun entered the sign of Leo
and the soul acknowledged its gift from the summer sun, which can now become
the soul’s shining seeds the world needs in its darkness. Leo’s eurythmic gesture is
The Enthusiasm Of The Year
My foresight now demands
I harbour well the spirit’s dower
that its divine gift ripen
and bear the fruit that will endow
my ground of soul with who I am.
Holiday Market at the Rudolf Steiner Branch
4249 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
18 December 2021 – from 11 am – 4 pm
Handcrafted gifts, décor & toys
Featuring Live Music, Puppetry & Candle Dipping!!!
Dear friends – Please Join Us as move toward the Winter Festival Season:
Thursday 23 December 2021 – The Eve of the Eve –
11 am PT / 12 pm MT / 1 pm CT / 2 pm ET / 7 pm UTC
A Christmas Festival with Heart-Opening Movement by Lucien Dante Lazar
& a talk by our Christian Community Priest Rev. Jeana Lee
‘Divine Love and the Holy Child Within’
This will be a hybrid in-person & Zoom event
Featuring our 2 camera technology with Mary Spalding
Doors open at 12:30 pm (Zoom Room open 12:45 pm for Social time)
Snacks to Share Encouraged
Suggested donation $15.00
cash payment at the door or via the Rudolf Steiner Branch PayPal donation site –
*Please make a note on the first line – type in: “Christmas Fest”!
The Festival will be recorded
Time: Dec 23, 2021 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 705 293 1041
For more info. Contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Storytelling during the Holy Nights 2021-2022
Hosted by the Anthroposophical Society in America
”The purpose of a story is to be an ax that breaks up the ice within us.”
~ Franz Kafka
Click to Register!
All around the world the season of midwinter is the traditional time for community bonding through storytelling. In laying the groundwork for the 100-year anniversary of the Christmas Conference, we bring the ancient Sumerian saga “The Epic of Gilgamesh” to life. Rudolf Steiner explored this story in Occult History during the Holy Nights of 1910; and again with the lectures “World History in the Light of Anthroposophy” given during those fateful Holy Nights in 1923 for the re-founding of the Society.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is perhaps the oldest written tale on Earth. The Sumerian version dates from around 3000 B.C. Later it was compiled from 12 clay tablets written in Akkadian cuneiform.
It is the “Hero’s Journey” of human evolution, a story of friendship, and a quest for the meaning of life – revealing Steiner’s core mission of bringing karma and reincarnation to the west.
Myths, fairytales, historical epics, and sagas open us up to powerful archetypes behind the human condition, revealing clues to ourselves – from the past, the present, and the future. What will we uncover about ourselves and each other during this year’s Holy Nights adventure in storytelling?
Tune in for any or all of the episodes of this dramatic reading, re-worked by Hazel Archer from various translations, and featuring friends from around the world.
What: The Epic of Gilgamesh: Story Telling during the Holy Nights hosted by the ASA, Hazel Archer, and friends.
Time: 22 minutes daily at 9 am PT / 10 am MT / 11 am CT / 12 pm ET / 5 pm UTC
Dates: December 24, 2021- January 5, 2022 for 13 consecutive days
Can’t join us live? No problem. Each gathering will be recorded and posted on our Holy Nights page (link will be emailed upon registration).
How: Register Here! Then check your email for confirmation with the Zoom registration link.
Eurythmy for the Holy Nights with Jan Ranck
‘Tuning to the Stars’:
Sacred Geometry, the Planets and the Zodiac
LIVE IN-PERSON 26-30 Dec. 2021
at the Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago 4 pm – 5 pm
And at 7pm on 31 Dec. as part of our Annual NYE Gathering (details below)
$100 for all 6 sessions, or $22 for each individual session.
Cash at the door, or send a check to:
Rudolf Steiner Branch
4249 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618-2953
For more info. Contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
* Jan Ranck – Born in the USA, Jan Ranck studied music and comparative arts at Indiana University in Bloomington. She accompanied the London Stage Group on their 1976 USA tour and went on to study eurythmy at the Eurythmeum in Dornach with Lea van der Pals, where she subsequently taught. In 1984 she joined the faculty of The London School of Eurythmy. She left there to complete her eurythmy therapy training in Stuttgart in 1989, moving afterward to Israel, where she founded and directed the Jerusalem Eurythmy Ensemble (1990) and the Jerusalem Academy of Eurythmy (1992) and was an instructor in the Jerusalem Waldorf Teacher Bachelor Program in David Yellin Academic College from 1999. Jan has held Master Classes at various venues worldwide, including the Goetheanum and the MA Program in Eurythmy held at Emerson College and Spring Valley. She is the representative for Israel in the International Eurythmy Therapy Forum.
Friday 31 December 2021
Doors open at 6:30 pm
Join us for our Annual NYE Conscious Community Gathering –
The Theme for 2022 is Cabaret – a Cultural Sharing!
All are invited to take the stage with an offering.
Circles Edge & other Waldorf alum will also perform
Please bring Festival Food & Drink to share
$20 Cash at the door or Make your payment using the Rudolf Steiner Branch PayPal or QuickPay with Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Please indicate in the notes that it is for the “NYE”)
8 pm – Potluck Social
8:30 pm – Circles Edge & Friends warm the stage & host the open mic
10:10 pm – Thought-Seed Circle
10:30 pm – Clean-up…;)
For more info. Contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator