Hung with the frosty veils of Winter, the Sun has 2 more days to wane, before the return of the light. In Sidereal Astrology we know that soon the scorpion will hand the reigns over to the centaur of Sagittarius– a catalyst for the transformation into the longest night of the Winter Solstice.
In this time of the dark before the dawn, the image of the centaur stands before us like the forces of gravity seeking to pull the human being down. It speaks to the danger inherent in this final chapter of Advent, reflecting Herod’s fearful animal instinct to preserve himself by the killing the innocents. This evil act precedes the birth of the light.
Yet ancient myths tell of the hidden wisdom of the centaur. They speak of the struggle of the hero to overcome the bondage of the animalistic drive. It is the eternal drama that plays out in the depths of the human soul.
Inspired by this struggle Goethe has his character Faust carried thru the night on the back of Chiron the centaur, past the turbulent waters of the Peneios, to seek out the secluded sanctuary of wise Manto, who is to show Faust the way to Helena, the lost archetypal image of the Divine Feminine. Faust praises Chiron as a doctor & tutor.
The riddle of this strange contradiction of the centaur – the wildness & wisdom living so close together, is rooted in the tragicomedy of human incarnation.
On the way to becoming human we had to be bound to the forces of our animal nature which have attached us for so long to the lower materiality –
Until we can find our way to liberation. The truth hidden behind the consumerism of Christmas is the mystery of the incarnation of Christ – holding the key to this healing of the human being.
“O, thou slumber’s turning, O, thou sorrow’s ending!” ~Christian Morgenstern
Peace dear friends on this 4th week of Advent
19 December 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Venus (occult Mercury) & Jupiter continue to shine brightly during twilight in the southwest. As twilight fades, watch for dimmer Saturn emerging between them. Jupiter & Saturn are far past opposition yet they are still in conversation.
Venus retrograde today at 26° Capricorn and ends on 29 January 2022 at 11° Capricorn.
Edgar Allan Poe – an amateur astronomer since boyhood, used the sighting of Venus as the central event in his poem “Ulalume” (1847) near the end of his life. Before dawn, a bereaved lover roams a misty woodland accompanied by “Psyche, my soul.” Ahead of them low in the east, they witness the new-risen Venus, star of romantic love in Roman mythology, coming “up through the lair of the Lion.” Poe refers to the planet as Astarte — the wilder, more wanton Greek version of the Romans’ Venus goddess:
And now, as the night was senescent,
And star-dials pointed to morn —
As the star-dials hinted of morn —
At the end of our path a liquescent
And nebulous lustre was born,
Out of which a miraculous crescent
Arose with a duplicate horn—
Astarte’s bediamonded crescent
Distinct with its duplicate horn.
Poe compares its passionate brilliance to cooler, more composed Dian, the horned crescent Moon, and urges Psyche forward:
Let us on by this tremulous light!
Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
But Psyche, who knows better, is terrified, and this being Poe, the adventure doesn’t end well…
RUDOLF STEINER’S CALENDAR OF THE SOUL
translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler
ADVENT IV… CHRISTMAS
The Birth Of The Spirit Child, Our Higher Self
I feel the Spirit Child set free
from spell in womb of soul;
in heart’s bright radiance
from seed of Holy Cosmic Word
the heaven’s fruit of hope
is growing into farthest worlds
rejoicing from my being’s ground in God.
Thinking was first mentioned in verse 28, when its radiance
‘solves life’s riddles, and lifts the wish-fulfilling wings, left lame by hope’.
Conception for the Spirit Child in heaven’s fruit of hope came in mid July.
The Spirit’s Gift
Enchanted in the glory of the world
I feel the weaving of the spirit;
it’s veiled my own being
in drowsiness of sense
to give to me the strength
that in my narrow bounds
I’m powerless to give myself.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
According to Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual research in the original Calendar of the Soul today is the Birthday of Abraham interestingly regarded as the father of the faithful by all 3 monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, & Islam
Birthday of Lot, nephew of Abraham
Also celebrated today: O Radix Jesse
O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.
Isaiah had prophesied: “A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isaiah 11:1 “On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10 Jesse was the father of King David, & Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David & be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). see Also: Isaiah 45:14, Isaiah 52:15 & Romans 15:12
150 – Deathday of Clement of Alexandria. His parents were educated pagans, having rejected paganism as a young man due to its perceived moral corruption, he travelled in Greece, Asia Minor, Palestine & Egypt. In his Protrepticus he displays an extensive knowledge of Greek mythology & mystery religions, which could only have arisen from the practice of his family’s religion. In Greece, he encountered the Ionian theologian, Athenagoras of Athens; while in the east, he was taught by the Assyrian, Tatian, & a Jew, Theophilus of Caesarea. In around 180, Clement reached Alexandria, where he met Pantaenus, who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Clement studied under Pantaenus, & was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Julian before 189.
As his three major works demonstrate, Clement was influenced by Hellenistic philosophy to a greater extent than any other Christian thinker of his time, & in particular by Plato & the Stoics. His secret works, which exist only in fragments, suggest that he was also familiar with pre-Christian Jewish esotericism & Gnosticism. In one of his works he argued that Greek philosophy had its origin among non-Greeks, claiming that both Plato & Pythagoras were taught by Egyptian scholars. Among his pupils were Origen & Alexander of Jerusalem. Clement is regarded as a Church Father & is venerated as a saint in Coptic Christianity, Ethiopian Christianity & Anglicanism
1776 – Thomas Paine publishes a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal entitled “The American Crisis“. The first was released during a time when the Revolution was still viewed as an unsteady prospect. The opening lines are as follows: “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman”.
The pamphlet, read aloud to the Continental Army on December 23, 1776, three days before the Battle of Trenton, attempted to bolster morale as well as shame neutrals & loyalists toward the cause: “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph”.
Along with the patriotic nature of The American Crisis, it displayed Paine’s strong deist beliefs, inciting the laity with suggestions that the British are trying to assume powers that only God should have. Paine states that he believes God supports the American people, “that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent“.
Paine believes that Britain is essentially trying to enslave America. See The American Crisis – Common Sense pamphlet – The Age of Reason
1848 – Deathday of Emily Brontë, English novelist & poet
1907 – 239 coal miners die in the Darr Mine Disaster in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania
1915 – Birthday of Édith Piaf, French singer-songwriter & actress
1927 – Three Indian revolutionaries, Ram Prasad Bismil, Roshan Singh & Ashfaqulla Khan are executed by the British Empire
1932 – BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service
1941 –Adolf Hitler appoints himself as head of the Oberkommando des Heeres
1972 –The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, & Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth
1974 – Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the United States under President Gerald Ford under the provisions of the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution
2012 – Park Geun-hye is elected the first female president of South Korea
Special Free 30 minute Online Winter Solstice Festival – Monday, 20 December 2021
9 am PT / 10 am MT / 11 am CT / 12:00 ET
Join us as we gather for 30 minutes to honor the Solstice – and give thanks to the good spirits that guide our Spiritual Practice group = 6BE (Steiner’s 6 Basic Exercises)
Welcome & lighting of the candle by Angela Foster
Leading Thoughts & a reading for 5 voices: CHAOS & THE COEL COETH INCANTATION by Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, with Rosemary, Timothy, Angela, Julie
Art by Kristena West – 8 minutes of silence to turn our collective attention to the spiritual world offering our gratitude for the guidance and love that is woven throughout our practice group.
We’ll end the silence with music brought by Julie Morris before we close the call.
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 Christian Community Priest Rev. Jeana Lee,
Movement with Lucien Dante Lazar
‘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 –
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
LAST DAY TO REGISTER 21 December
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 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”)
All proceeds go to support the Rudolf Steiner Branch – the young People hosting & The Band (Can’t make it? send a $ gift PayPal)
7 – 8 pm – Holy Nights Eurythmy with Jan Ranck (separate fee $22 see above)
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