Yep, the harvest season is upon us once again…The Jewish New Year has begun, Sweet with the seal of At-One-ment…& now, the ancient celebration of Sukkot comes, to bring community together for a unique opportunity to experience an amazing blend of Honoring the Ancestors, Giving Thanks, & opening to receive prosperity’s blessings…
“When you sit in the Sukkah, ‘the shade of faithfulness,’ the Shechinah spreads Her wings over you…”
When our daughter was in 3rd grade we started celebrating Sukkot – In the Waldorf pedagogy this age is all about leaving the garden of paradise, The children live into stories about Moses & the wandering in the desert, & learn to build shelters. Her class was very close, so we had gatherings in our sukkah every year to share food, tell stories, create Autumn art, Invite in the Matriarchs of the Torah, & many other loving ancestors, & perform the ancient ritual of waving the Lulav, for blessings of abundance…
The Festival of Sukkot is quite a drastic transition, from one of the most solemn holidays in our year- Yom Kipper, to one of the most joyous. This festival is sometimes referred to as the ‘Season of our Rejoicing’. Sukkot begins at Sunset tonight when the Full Hunters Moon starts to rise, & lasts for seven days.
The word “Sukkot” means “booths,” & refers to the temporary dwellings that we build to celebrate this holiday. The name of the holiday is frequently translated as “The Feast of Tabernacles,” & Like Passover & Shavu’ot, Sukkot has a dual significance: Historical & Agricultural.
The holiday commemorates the forty-year period during which the Hebrew People were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Sukkot is also a harvest festival, & is sometimes referred to as the ‘Festival of Ingathering’.
The Gospel of John Chapter 7 gives a powerful account of ‘The Festival of Tabernacles’:
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”
41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”
This is harvest time, so we decorate the sukkah with the bounty of autumn, dried squash & corn, pumpkin & gourds, all the vegetables that make you think of Halloween & Thanksgiving. Building & decorating a sukkah is a fun, family project, much like decorating the Christmas tree.
Another observance related to Sukkot involves what are known as The Four Species, etrog (a citrus fruit, representing the heart), a palm branch (in Hebrew, lulav, representing the spine of the upright human being), two willow branches (arava, representing our eyes) & three myrtle branches (hadas, representing our lips & tongue). We take these four plants & use them to “rejoice.” The six branches are bound together & referred to collectively as the lulav. The etrog is held separately in the left hand. With these four species in your right hand, one recites a blessing & waves the species in all six directions (east, south, west, north, up & down, symbolizing the fact that the Divine is everywhere).
Ushpizot is an Aramaic word meaning guests. According to Jewish tradition, each night of Sukkot, a different set of guests is invited to rejoice with us in the Sukkah. While the custom of inviting Ushpizin, seven biblical male leaders, has been widely celebrated, there are also medieval sources that suggest inviting the seven female prophetesses: Sarah (Genesis 16,21), Miriam (Exodus 2:1-9; 15:20-21), Deborah (Judges 4-5), Hannah (I Samuel 25), Huldah (II Kings 22:10-20), and Esther (Book of Esther).
So come join us in spirit, with thoughts of World Peace, & be part of this experiential celebration…What great leaders, proud Matriarchs or daring Daddies would you like to invite into the sukkah…? Let this ancient tradition made new, empower you…
Blessings & Peace
RUDOLF STEINER’S CALENDAR OF THE SOUL
translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler
my depths of being
arouses longing, ardently divining,
that I, self-contemplating, find myself
as gift the summer sun’s bequeathed
my autumn mood in germinating seed,
warm spring of strength to motivate my soul.
Karl König descibes how the spirit-germ of the self is a reflection of the Michael being, which illumined by the Sun of Christ begins to develop and grow in Christ light. “The more conscious this seed is of itself, the more graciously will the Sun of Christ shine upon it. For it is in the growing darkness of autumn and winter that the dawning of His Spirit-Sun begins. The self of man, which has now arisen, has to find it.”
It is the turning point of the Soul Calendar’s year.
The soul’s attention now turns inward, longing to know herself.
In last week’s mirror verse a fiery Michaelic will power expressed itself.
Natura, in the being of my will
I bear thy soul of motherhood
and in my will enkindled firepower
my spirit impulses are tempered, steeled,
that feeling of the selfhood formed from them
bear I in me.
This is the summer’s gift and can be compared to each night’s gift of sleep
when higher beings implant a moral purpose in us. May this motivate our winter souls.
9 October 2022 – “Speaking with the Stars”: The Full Hunters Moon next to Juipter! A full moon is always opposite the sun. So all full moons rise in the east around sunset. And all full moons set in the west around sunrise. But full moons have different characteristics, mostly related to their paths across the sky. And, shortly after they rise, full moons closest to the autumnal equinox follow a path across the Northern Hemisphere sky that makes a narrow angle with respect to the eastern evening horizon. So – in the early autumn you might see a bright moon in the east shortly after sunset for several evenings in a row.
POD (Poem Of the Day)
a cackle of joy
in the throat of a wild goose
swallowing cloud stuff
in a dizzy triangle
above the lake…