Greetings friends – I am just now re-acclimatizing after our General Council of the ASA retreat in Austin TX – such a vibrant city. We were blessed to have eurythmy with Barbara Bresette-Mills which helped enliven us after many hours of intense work – the perfect invigorating impulse that came each day after lunch.
Eileen Bristol, a woman of heart in action, who works deeply with Kathy Serafin for APO – the Anthroposophical Prison Outreach program, joined us to give an update on this powerful initiative that is thriving in the hearts & souls of many human beings whose karma has brought them to Anthroposophy thru their work. Eileen stayed for lunch & was in my eurythmy breakout group which was a joy.
She generously offered the large backyard space for our community gathering, where folks from near & far came to nosh, socialize & meet the GC, amongst the kitschy Texas antiques & welcoming picnic tables. My dear friend & CRC colleague Lisa Dalton drove 3 hours from Fort Worth TX, helping to extend the invitation for collaboration with the Novalis Branch, which is part of our Central Region. Besides taking in many local sites after the GC retreat, like the river walk & the Elizabeth Ney museum, Lisa & I must have hit every thrift store in Austin!
After going to Black’s BBQ for some down home southern hospitality, a few of us went back to the Sahara Lounge for Eileen’s famous Africa Night, which draws in a hugely diverse crowd & offers a free buffet along with the amazing live music. We danced to the Joshua Thomson World Jazz Trio which featured sax, drums & an Ud – the 12 stringed instrument central to Arabic music, which originated over 3,500 year ago in Persia. Some friends came for the second band playing Latin Jazz, but couldn’t quite stay up for the late show with the Sahara Allstars featuring Eileen on bass & I believe her son Topaz McGarrigle on guitar…Next time!
I am in awe of the innovative impulsing stirring in the GC – a will toward initiative – The striving for engagement between point & periphery – a movement toward the next 100 years that calls us all to action, as we co-create a New Turning Point in Time, together.
Today on this New Moon – Lunar New Year of the Water Tiger – on the Eve of the Cross Quarter between Winter Solstice & Spring Equinox – Imbolc – Brigid’s Day – Candlemas – HERE is a video from a program I did for the Theosophical Society called: ‘Mysteries of the Celtic Goddess Brigid’ ENJOY!
1 February 2022– “Speaking with the Stars”: The sky’s biggest asterism is the Winter Hexagon. It fills the sky toward the east and south these evenings. Start with brilliant Sirius at its bottom. Going clockwise from there, march up through Procyon, Pollux and Castor, Menkalinan and Capella on high, down to Aldebaran, then to Rigel in Orion’s foot, and back to Sirius. Betelgeuse shines inside the Hexagon, off center.
New Moon – exact at 11:46 am
THE CALENDAR OF THE SOUL
translated – with added titles – by Roy Sadler
Easter is very late this year on April 17th, and Ash Wednesday not till March 2nd.
Verse 46 must always begin in the first week of Lent, so verses 44 & 45 have to extend through the whole of February. I’ll come to v44 next week. Today I’m going to concentate on the verse I posted for last week, verse 43, the Imbolc verse, which usually reaches February, buit not when Christmas, always verse 38, has been on a Friday or as it was last year on a Saturday.
Imbolc, meaning literally “in milk”, the beginning of the lactation period of ewes after bearing their young, was originally a customary thanksgiving festival, pouring milk onto the earth as an offering of nurturing, to assist in the return of fertility and the earth’s generosity to its people, for whom it was the return of Spring. It is the first of the four Gaelic fire festivals, and was conceived in honor of the goddess Brigid in her maiden aspect, pregnant with the seed of the Sun, ripe with the promise of new life as the earth seeds deep within the soil begin to awaken, and was regarded as the beginning of spring. It was followed by the Beltane marriage festival for the beginning of summer, the Lammas harvest feast festival, a beginning of autumn, and the Samhain wise woman festival, a gateway to winter that became Halloween. They were originally full moon festivals and celebrated at the 4 turning points of the day: Imbolc, a lantern procession from midnight; Beltane at dawn; a midday feast for Lammas (Anglo-Saxon ‘hlaf-mas, “loaf-mass”); & a sunset Samhain celebration.
The 4 quarters of the Soul Calendar, in their physical, etheric, astral and ego realms, can be described as the senses uniting with the spirit from Easter to July, the imagination to incarnate the spirit for Michaelmas, the inspiration for the spirit’s birth at Christmas, and the intuitive love for the new spring world. I had already incorporated the word ‘imagine’ into verses 17 (verse 43’s opposite) and ‘inspire’ into verse 36 (the mirror of v17).
The Cosmic Word
I’ve had the grace to lead
through senses’ gates to soul ground speaks:
Imagine in your spirit depths my world expanse
to find in future Me in you.
The Cosmic Word,
mysteriously urging to be heard,
is speaking in my depths of being:
Inspire your life’s endeavour
with spirit light of mine
to sacrifice yourself through Me.
And this last week, observing the potential of the first new tree buds and the new daffodil shoots, I added ‘intuit’ in v43. A literal translation could be ‘to give to cosmic glory through the heart’s force the power to exist’ but my free translations are an attempt to bring a meaningful new poetic impulse to these wonderful meditations.
The Consecration Of The World
In winter’s depths
true spirit presence warms,
makes new appearance real
and through the heart’s force
intuits earthlife’s rise to glory;
the soul’s revitalising fire in the human core
defies world cold.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1462 – Birthday of Johannes Trithemius, German polymath, lexicographer, historian, and cryptographer
1861 – American Civil War: Texas secedes from the United States.
1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
1884 – The first volume (A to Ant) of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
1893 – Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey
1895 – Fountains Valley, Pretoria, the oldest nature reserve in Africa, is proclaimed by President Paul Kruger.
1896 – La bohème premieres in Turin at the Teatro Regio (Turin), conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini.
1960 – Four black students stage the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1972 – Deathday of Valborg Werbeck-Svärdström, a Swedish singer, voice teacher, & anthroposophist. When she was ten, her family moved to Stockholm, where the music educator Alice Tegnér discovered her talent. She was already performing at the age of eleven. After completing school & her studies at the Conservatory, she gave her debut & was received into the Ensemble of the Royal Swedish Opera. She was hailed as the new Jenny Lind” – the Swedish nightingale. As a concert & opera singer she experienced enormous success in many of the European countries. In 1906 she married Louis Michael Julius Werbeck, the German writer & musician from Hamburg & moved with him to Germany.
In 1908 she met Rudolf Steiner and received from him indications for her work & encouragement not to give up her successful singing career, but rather to pursue it against her original intentions. Her studies with experienced teachers had certainly guided her to a successful operatic career, but it had shown her that these methods of instruction also endangered her natural voice. She began searching for new methods of developing the voice, & remained in close contact about this with Rudolf Steiner until his death. At the same time she began to build up a method of singing therapy that she later was later to develop further together with Eugen Kolisko, who took singing lessons with her from time to time, & with Ita Wegman. In 1938 her book ‘’Uncovering the Voice: The Cleansing Power of Song’’ appeared in German. The rise of National Socialism in Germany made her work increasingly difficult. Eventually she had to close her school & spent the War years in semi-isolation in Silesia. The years following the War she devoted totally to her therapeutic work & to the instruction of a circle of young musicians that had gathered around her.
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~my footsteps imprint possibility
on the unique shapes that gather together as fallen snow
that which is
follows in stride
& that which is not yet
flows in front
with the wind…
|“Out of the substance of soul and spirit, human beings have to fashion the tools with which to plough a way, the soul-way leading to the castle of the Grail, to the mystery of the Grail, to the mystery of bread and blood, to the fulfilment of the words ‘This do in remembrance of me’. This is, truly, in remembrance of the mighty event of Golgotha, if the symbol of the bread — of what, in other words, develops from the earth through the synthesis of cosmic forces — is understood. It is done in full remembrance if we understand once again how to grasp the world through a spiritualized cosmology and astronomy, and if we learn to comprehend the human being in terms of his essence: the element where the spiritual directly enters him — the mystery of the blood. The path that leads to the Holy Grail must be found through inner work in human souls. This is the task of cognition and the social task.”~Rudolf Steiner, |
The Mysteries of the Holy Grail, Chapter 8, “The Lapse into Matter”, and Chapter 9,
“Piercing the Thicket”, excerpts from Steiner’s lectures given at Dornach on 16 & 17 April 1921 …
focus of the February 2 meeting.
Chapters 7, 8 & 9 in the book can be found online at the CRC’s website by clicking this link
A transcript of the 16 April, 1921 lecture can be found on the RS Archive by clicking this link
A transcript of the 17 April, 1921 lecture can be found on the RS Archive by clicking this link
The Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to join our ongoing study conversation. The study has been divided among two volunteers who will summarize their section to rebuild it as a foundation for our conversation. Please familiarize yourself with the lecture if possible so you will feel comfortable sharing your reflections and thoughts with the group.This collection of lectures has been republished by Rudolf Steiner Press under the title: “The Mysteries of the Holy Grail — from Arthur and Parzival to Modern Initiation.” The book was compiled and edited by Matthew Barton, published by Rudolf Steiner Press in 2010.
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|Agenda for this meeting (CST)|
7:15 Welcome and Introductions
7:25 Study led by volunteers
Note: CRC team will ID volunteers
Michael – Chapter 8
Camille – Chapter 9
8:25 ID volunteers for next meeting
8:28 Close with verse
There is a knighthood of the 21st century
whose riders do not ride through the darkness of physical forests as of old,
but through the forest of darkened minds.
They are armed with a spiritual armor and an inner sun makes them radiant.
Out of them shines healing, healing that flows from the knowledge of the human being
as a spiritual being. They must create inner order, inner justice, peace and conviction in the darkness
of our time.