Today & everyday, dear friends, we must be like the groundhog & look for our shadow.
The Cross-quarter betwixt the Winter Solstice & the Vernal Equinox is not only intuited & out-pictured in nature, but is determined by a cosmic conversation. Using the Sidereal zodiac which shows us what is actually being said in the heavens right now, not 2000 years ago, This cross-quarter happens when the Sun comes to 15 degrees of Capricorn, (the same sign that the Jupiter & Saturn conjunction happened in last year) & that hits tomorrow. But most folks celebrate today on the fixed date of Feb. 2nd which in our modern age we call Groundhogs day, when the fate of winter rests on the shoulders of a furry rodent.
Feast of the Bear – From antiquity to the Middle Ages, bears were a cult symbol of the Germans, Scandinavians & the Celts. On this day they celebrated the end of hibernation – when the bears would leave their dens to see if the weather was mild. The celebrations of the bear & the return of the light was celebrated with bonfires & other torchlight processions. Pope Gelasius I in the fifth century instituted the feast of candles, or Candlemas to bring this tradtion back to the Church. From the twelfth to the eighteenth century, Candlemas was called “chandelours” which means bear in French, in many areas (including the Alps, Pyrenees, Ardennes) where the memory of the cult of the bear was still very present. There is also the Aosta Saint-Ours, (which means “bear”) & Saint Blaise. Candlemas is also the beginning of the carnival period; the bear is the carnival animal par excellence.
But in the time of the ancient Mystery Schools it was a time of initiation, a time of purification & re-dedication.
For the Celtic tribes, who were very much in touch with the cycles of the season, this is called Imbolc – which means in the belly – it’s the lambing season. After the cold dark winter where folks barely survived by eating their store of root vegetables, now the milk begins to flow, the butter was churned & the cruds gave much needed nourishment; they call it Celtic Spring – the time of year when the belly of the great mother quickens with the growing light.
And it is dedicated to the Triple Goddess Brigid, holding the power of the Maiden, Mother, Crone, & associated with the mysteries of the sacred well connected to purification & the fires of the forge, to call in the will of the Sun.
Here is a presentation about Brigid I did a few years back at the Theosophical Society Called: ‘The Mysteries of the Celtic Goddess.’
Later, of course, Brigid’s tradition was adopted by the Church & attached to Candlemas & the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The 40th day of the Christmas-Epiphany season, commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Joseph & Mary brought the child into the Temple, & when Simeon & Anna the prophetess, saw Him, they knew the prophesy of ‘The Chosen One’ had been fulfilled.
We see the connection between the Buddha & Jesus of Nazareth in the stories of Asita & Simeon. When Asita, the great Indian sage, saw Siddhartha as a young child, before he had reached Buddhahood, he was able to recognize what the child would become. It was Asita’s heart’s desire to see the Buddha before he died, so he wept because he was an old man & would not live to see him become the Buddha. This wise seer was then reborn in the time of Jesus as Simeon introduced in Luke 2:29-30 as the temple priest who waits for the Messiah. He recognizes the Buddha in the Nathan Jesus, so he praises god & says now he can die happy, having fulfilled his heart’s desire.
In ancient Greece this cross-quarter was connected to The Festival of Persephone & Demeter, celebrated exclusively by the woman, in an elaborate 3 day ritual, called Thesmophoria.
In addition, the Festa candelarum in Rome commemorated the search for the Spring Goddess Persephone, by her mother the Goddess of Life, Demeter. This festival symbolizes the return of the Light.
The myths of Sleeping Beauty or Theseus & Ariadne, for example, relate to the release or liberation of the light (Dawn of the year) by the “solar knight”.
Spiraling down the line, the ancient romans called it Lupercalia a feast day that was very much like Mardi Gras. The ancient Romans celebrated this festival in honor of Lupercus, & Feralia the god & goddess of fertility & shepherds. A theme of purification was also present. And there was a custom of the Vestal Virgins offering cakes made with wheat from the old crop so that the following crop would be fruitful.
At the time of the Full Quickening Moon of February, in the Jewish mystical tradition, we celebrate Tu’B’Shvat – the time of the rising of the sap, The New Year for the Tree – An opportunity to repair the breech when the the unripe fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil was prematurely eaten.
Here in Chicago we are experiencing snow, so it’s harder to remember when the skies are steel grey, & the ice crystals bite, that stirring in the wind, is the promise of spring – waiting, to be ignited by the passion of our purpose.
And yet if you are listening perhaps you can feel the energy of the earth…Quickening…I feel it groaning & stretching in the earth of my body…Like a snake trying to shed its skin…I just want to be a molting bird…Dancing in the silent belly of February… So much to do…So much to Be…Can you feel the growing rhythms…
This is the time to plan your garden, for the roots are stirring under the snow. A time to purify & get fertile. So let’s charm the plow – Kiss the candle, & gather the wood to kindle a need-fire, as a welcoming beacon, to call back our dormant power, to heat up, our potential, & re-seed our creativity – as we add fuel to the fire of our community. One spark warms us all – A purifying fire, that burns clean & opens the way to the true power of love & light from deep within us.
From the ancient & immortal tribes – from all the quarters of the cosmos – to come & warm our circle – to bring, their respected dimensions, into the eternity, of our lives, now. Our reality, which is open & ever changing – for we have a lot to honor in ourselves today, as we stand on the waning side of Bella Luna. Whispering the promise of the Light like a communal prayer that builds -Into the arrows of Eros, embracing our true heart in the eternal now of Valentine’s Day coming up.
And as we call in the Water Tiger of the New Year which began on the New Moon – let us open to the power of our striving. Together may we will thaw the coldness in the world & rouse the mysteries growing within…
2 February 2022 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Waxing Bella Luna passes south of Jupiter tonight – one of the last best views of this beneficent planet before it becomes hard to spot by next week. Turn west as soon as the Sun sets and the sky starts growing dark to find the pair in Aquarius. Jupiter is hard to miss in the twilight. The Moon, which appears to Jupiter’s lower left in the sky,
Sunrise: 7:08 A.M.
Sunset: 5:21 P.M.
Moonrise: 8:27 A.M.
Moonset: 7:09 P.M.
Moon Phase: Waxing crescent (3%)
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast day of Cornelius a Roman centurion. He is depicted in the New Testament as a God-fearing man who always prayed & was full of good works. Cornelius receives a vision in which an angel of God tells him that his prayers have been heard, he understands that he’s chosen for a higher alternative. The angel then instructs Cornelius to send the men of his household to Joppa, where they will find Simon Peter, who is residing with a tanner by the name of Simon (Acts 10:5ff).
The conversion of Cornelius comes after a separate vision given to Simon Peter (Acts 10:10–16) himself. In the vision, Simon Peter sees all manner of beasts & fowl being lowered from Heaven in a sheet. A voice commands Simon Peter to eat. When he objects to eating those animals that are unclean according to Mosaic Law, the voice tells him not to call unclean that which God has cleansed.
When Cornelius’ men arrive, Simon Peter understands that through this vision the Lord commanded the Apostle to preach the Word of God to the Gentiles. Peter accompanies Cornelius’ men back to Caesarea. When Cornelius meets Simon Peter, he falls at Peter’s feet. Simon Peter raises the centurion & the two men share their visions. Simon Peter tells of Jesus’ ministry & the Resurrection; the Holy Spirit descends on everyone at the gathering & they all begin speaking in tongues, praising God
1786 – Birthday of Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, a French mathematician, physicist & astronomer. Binet’s Formula expressing Fibonacci numbers in closed form is named in his honour.
1882 – Birthday of James Joyce, Irish novelist, short story writer, & poet
1971 – Idi Amin replaces President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda
1972 – The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest at Bloody Sunday
1976 – The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States & south-eastern Canada, killing 112
1987 – After the 1986 People Power Revolution, the Philippines enacts a new constitution
1990 – Apartheid: F. W. de Klerk announces the unbanning of the African National Congress & promises to release Nelson Mandela
2007 – The worst flooding in Indonesia in 300 years begins. Death toll 804
2012 – The ferry MV Rabaul Queen sinks off the coast of Papua New 300 dead
|“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.