Greetings on this the official start of the Michaelmas Season. The arrival of autumn always signifies a test. Are we willing to breathe in, after the out-breath of Summer? Are we willing to consciously harvest all the sense perceptions we have gathered? Are we willing to preserve & begin to digest all these life forces which we have received, giving us the reserves we need to courageously go into the dark of the year?
Around the Fall Equinox, when the Sun enters the constellation of Virgo, our morality is tested – & in Libra; the sign of the scales, human beings are indeed weighed on that stern measure. Will our inner strength hold up, when the support of nature is withdrawn?
During the growing season nature supports our human consciousness, it’s a gift given to us from the cosmos; but for the harvest we must work to fashion our own self-consciousness, if we are to remain inwardly awake.
Spiritual Science tells us that human consciousness is ever evolving. Less than 150 years ago, 143 to be exact, humanity experienced a huge shift in consciousness.
And so it was, around the end of the 19th century, that the fixed date of September 29th came to be called: ‘The Feast Day of St. Michael & All the Heavenly Hosts’.
The old legends always preface the famous story of the battle against the dragon, with an enumeration of the 9 angelic realms, with Michael standing before us as the King & herald of all the hierarchies.
And so as we strive to create the Festival of the future – which we call Michaelmas, we are invited to stand in balance between the light & the dark, to look back to the fruits of the past, & to prepare by looking to what is coming toward us from the future.
To look where we have been, & to where we are going. To contemplate the angelic choirs – that we may look to our future selves – that we may think, here & now, that step by step, we can courageously build our own strong & steady rung on the ladder of evolution, teaching us to count the human being as the 10th hierarchy. It is to this that the mighty Sun-Being Michael directs our gaze.
But who is this powerful spiritual being? Rudolf Steiner has given us many indications. For day let’s start by looking at the name. Michael, is a question, for it means ‘Who is like god’? Questions are good, they help us think. But how can we possibly experience this earnest Sun-Being?
Well, we can sense his forces in the meteor showers that start in late August & go thru November. We can witness the power of Michael behind the shooting stars, strengthening our blood with cosmic iron, waging war there against anxiety, fear & hate, creating an inner process that penetrates our earthly thoughts with cosmic Thoughts – that our hearts may begin to have thoughts. And so it is that today I want to make a small attempt at understanding what spiritual science calls Imaginative cognition, or Heart-Thinking.
And we can start by asking a question. How can humanity, the Earth citizen, become once more a citizen of the Cosmos? – Well, it certainly won’t be by head-thinking alone. For in the intellect we are isolated from the world, isolated from the cosmos, because everyone has their own head; & in that head, their own thoughts. But In Heart-Thinking it’s not like that. Imaginative cognition takes us further in our evolutionary journey. The mysterious German word, Gemüt, which Steiner uses to describe Heart-Thinking- means something like: ‘the mind warmed by a loving heart & stimulated by the soul’s imaginative power’.
It is not dependent solely on the head, but on the rhythmic system, bringing us back to where we belong, as a being in the cosmos. For in the cosmos rhythm holds sway. You’ve heard of the ‘Music of the Spheres’ right? -Everything in sync, harmonious, in perfect balance. Until…
Once upon a time, another high spiritual being stood in his appointed place in the choir, looking up the ladder to the highest hierarchies with the thought, ‘hmm it sure would be nice to be god. It would be easy to enslave all these do-gooders. Maybe I’ll just cut the line’.
So with some other minions this being endeavored to storm the gates of heaven. Well needless to say, Michael, along with other Sun-Beings, felt the commotion coming from this agitated thinking. So Michael, as choir master, guardian of the Cosmic Intelligence=the power or intelligence that keeps the rhythms of the cosmos intact – had to hold the fort; & with the help of the other righteous angels, they cast the trouble makers out of heaven, in order to keep the Music of the Sphere’s harmonious.
And ironically because that high being wanted to rise higher, before its time, he actually fell back, becoming more hardened & densified, taking on what we would call, using the language of imagination, the super-sensible form of a serpent or dragon.
So there’s our famous story. But, you may ask, where is the dragon now?
Spiritual Science tells us that the dragon now lives within the human being. The outer cosmic conflict of Michael & the Dragon was transferred to the inner human being, because only in human nature can the Dragon now find his sphere of action. But fear not my friends, because of that, Michael now works with us to fight the dragon within our human nature. Michael has given humanity the opportunity to take up the cosmic intelligence into our heart-thinking.
Remember that picture of the 9 Angelic Realms? Spiritual Science says we have a cosmic aim within world evolution linked with the further development of the elemental beings. These spirits behind nature, dwelling in the mineral, plant, & animal kingdoms, seek to rise to a higher existence in the evolutionary process, BUT this can only be accomplished by passing through human beings!
When we enter into a right relationship with them, (that’s what the true meaning of morality is: right relationship) when we use heart-thinking to awaken consciously to our experience of nature, enlivening our sense perceptions with wonder, awe & reverence, the elemental beings can attain to this higher stage of evolution.
Rudolf Steiner tells us that we can develop a Gemüt content to our thinking, which shows us how every blossom bears testimony to the existence of an enchanted elemental being within it; & that thru our Heart-Thinking we can learn to feel the longing in this elemental being hoping to be released by us, instead of being delivered up to the Dragon.
And so, my dear friends, this is what I wanted to bring to you today: The idea that Heart-Thinking, is the modern antidote to the dragon – Heart-Thinking which empowers our will to consciously receive sense impressions, to let in the Spiritual Sun; the source of the Resurrection-forces; which enable the human intelligence to unite again with the cosmic intelligence.
In the spirit-realms, Michael’s battle with the dragon has been concluded victoriously. It is here on earth that humanity still has to complete it, in alliance with Michael – Whose gesture is no longer only that of battle. He raises his hand beckoning. The hand that was stretched out aggressively, in a threatening manner against the adversarial forces, has changed in our time, & is now beckoning. We don’t kill the dragon folks, we tame it.
Our work today is to begin to feel this transformation reflected in Michael’s gesture. As Guardian of Cosmic Intelligence, Michael counts on us to become free human beings, that we may return this gesture in kind.
I leave you now with a question, Could this someday lead to a true healing of the adversarial forces? And finally: Who is like god?
Tomorrow I will continue with part 2 of ‘The Festival of Life Tour’.
29 September 2022 – “Speaking with the Stars”: As twilight fades, look southwest for the waxing crescent Moon — now with its horns fairly near vertical. Orange Antares is off to her left. Between them is white Delta Scorpii, second in brightness to Antares.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
The Feast Day of St. Michael & All the Heavenly Hosts, also called MICHAELMAS
1227 – Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, is excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for his failure to participate in the Crusades. A man of extraordinary culture, energy, & ability Frederick II was called stupor mundi (the wonder of the world), by Nietzsche, also the first European, the first modern ruler – by many historians, Frederick established in Sicily & southern Italy a modern, centrally governed kingdom with an efficient bureaucracy.
He was a King of Germany, of Italy, & Burgundy. His other royal title was King of Jerusalem by virtue of marriage & his connection with the Sixth Crusade.
He was frequently at war with the Papacy, hemmed in between Frederick’s lands in northern Italy & his Kingdom of Sicily (the Regno) to the south. Pope Gregory IX went so far as to call him an Antichrist.
Speaking six languages (Latin, Sicilian, German, French, Greek & Arabic, Frederick was an avid patron of science & the arts. He played a major role in promoting literature through the Sicilian School of poetry. His Sicilian royal court in Palermo, saw the first use of a literary form of an Italo-Romance language, Sicilian. The poetry that emanated from the school had a significant influence on literature & on what was to become the modern Italian language.
He was also the first king who explicitly outlawed trials by ordeal as they were considered irrational.
1571 – Birthday of Caravaggio, Italian painter
1717 – An earthquake strikes Antigua Guatemala, destroying much of the city’s architecture & making authorities consider moving the capital to a different city
1812- Birthday of Caspar Hauser, grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell. Theories link him with the grand ducal House of Baden.These claims, & his subsequent death by stabbing, sparked much debate & controversy.
“…It was the case of that human being, so enigmatic for many people, who was once placed into this city in a mysterious way, and who in just as mysterious a way met his death in Ansbach. An author, in order to indicate the mystery of his life, wrote that as he was carried out to burial the sun was setting on the one horizon and the moon was rising on the other. I speak, as you know, of Caspar Hauser. If you disregard all the pros and cons that have been asserted, if you look only at what has been fully verified, you will know that this foundling — who was one day simply there in the street, and who since he did not know whence he came, was called the Child of Europe — could neither read nor write when he was found. At an age of twenty years he possessed nothing of what is gained through the intellect but he had a remarkable memory. As they began to instruct him, as logic entered his soul, his memory disappeared. This transition in consciousness was accompanied by something else. He possessed at first an incredible, an entirely inborn truthfulness and it was precisely in this truthfulness that he went more and more astray. The more he nibbled, so to say, at intellectuality, the more it vanished. There would be many things to study were we to enter deeply into this human soul which had been artificially held back. It is not difficult for the student of Spiritual Science to credit the popular tradition, so unacceptable to the learned people of to-day, which relates that while Caspar Hauser still knew nothing, while he still had no idea that there were beings besides himself of different form, he exercised a remarkable effect upon quite savage creatures. Savage animals humbled themselves and became mild, something streamed from him that made such beasts gentle, although they savagely attacked anyone else. We could in fact penetrate deeply into the soul of this remarkable personality, so enigmatic to many, and you would see how things that cannot be explained from ordinary life are led back through Spiritual Science to spiritual facts. Such facts cannot be learnt by speculation but only by spiritual observation, though they are comprehensible to an unbiased and logical thinking.
All this has only been said in order to show you that the modern consciousness has evolved from another, an age-old-state when man was not in direct touch with outer objects in the modern sense, but on the other hand was in connection with facts and beings of the spiritual world.” ~Rudolf Steiner, The Apocalypse of St. John, Spiritual Science — The Gospel — The Future of Mankind
1902 – Deathday of Émile Zola a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, & an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France & in the exoneration of the falsely accused & convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J’accuse. Zola was nominated for the first & second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 & 1902. His death from carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected to have been murder
1924 – Ludwig Polzer holds his 1st First Class Lesson
1954 – The convention establishing CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) is signed
1957 – Twenty MCi of radioactive material is released in an explosion at the Soviet Mayak nuclear plant at Chelyabinsk
1981 – Deathday of Adolf Arenson, German composer & Anthroposopher. Arenson editied many of Rudolf Steiner’s works, & composed the music for many of the plays & productions. Steiner mentions him at the end of Wonders of the World lecture 1
2008 – Following the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers & Washington Mutual, The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 777.68 points, the largest single-day point loss in its history
Greetings friends – This is a dynamic moment in time…let’s strengthen and enkindle connections within our community and beyond. Last year’s annual conference theme was ‘Building the Temple of the Heart’ – now we can imagine entering this temple to connect with other striving souls around the World.
Join us in-person for a Community Gathering to celebrate Michaelmas as we stream the tour of the model of the first Goetheanum live from Dornach, Switzerland, followed by leading thoughts from Rev. Daniel Hafner, with Velsum Voices as the capstone, & a potluck meal to end the afternoon.
at the Rudolf Steiner Branch in Chicago 4249 N. Lincoln Ave. 60613
on 29 September 2022
the Feast Day of Saint Michael and All the Heavenly Hosts
Doors open at 11:30 am
Noon CT – Live stream
1:15 pm CT – Velsum: singing: ‘Enkindling Connections-& The Heart Rose’
1:30 pm – 3 pm Potluck – Please Bring Food & Drink to Share
for more info. contact the Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer
Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society
4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (map)
Dear friends –
The Michaelmas Season is here. The oblique angle of the Sun cuts across the shadows like a sword. The days grow shorter & the harvest has begun
Biodynamic agriculture has a keen focus on tuning into the natural rhythms of the Earth, & the cosmos. The alteration between night & day can be seen as the Earth breathing in & out, so it is with each turn on the wheel of year – there is a seasonal cycle in tune with the Earth’s journey around the Sun. Once a year in the Autumn the planet takes a deep breath in, as everything comes to harvest & slowly goes into a Winter dormancy.
So it’s time to gather on the land for the Fall Prep Day at the Zinniker Farm.
October 1st, 2022.
Suggested donation: $20 per person in support of the Stewardship of Zinniker Farm
We’ll start at 1:30pm.
Dress for comfort with layers.
Please bring a dish to pass for the evening potluck & bonfire.
As always in the fall we will be filling horns for the BD 500 Horn Manure Preparation:
It is a powerful means for structuring the soil
It stimulates soil microbial activity of the soil and the production of humus
It regulates the pH balance of the soil
It stimulates seed germination and root development, in particular vertical growth, increasing depth of root systems
It improves the development of leguminous plants (Fabaceae) and nodule formation
It helps dissolve minerals even in deep layers (alios) and can helps counteract excessive salt levels.
We won’t need to make any of the compost preparations, so we will spend the remaining time with application of the preparations. We will learn how to add the preparations to the compost pile and stir and spray Horn Manure.
We are looking forward to seeing you soon. ~Petra & Mark Zinniker
N7399 Bowers Rd
Elkhorn, WI 53121