Our journey to the Cross-Quarter began at an artist’s retreat center on the San Joaquin River in Stockton CA. generously held by a young pediatrician, who is an Emily Dickinson scholar & anthroposopher. My beloved CG & I joined a handful of young people, which included our daughter Ultra-Violet Archer & Lucien Dante Lazar of Velsum Voices, who had arrived a week before to workshop their music.
The monsoon rains from a few weeks before had enlivened the rolling hills with a striking lush greening. Waterfalls & feathered friends were abundant; our hikes accompanied by frog song & mud. We shared communal meals & explored many deep relational conversations & social world themes, while the seals barked & sang in the channel.
Making our way North/East thru the stunning landscape we arrived next at the craggy coast of Bodega Bay CA. We marveled at the tide pools full of bright star fish & colorful sea anemones in hidden coves amidst the crashing waves.
Our hikes in the shaded canopy of old growth redwood forests, a powerful contrast in Natura’s palette, were awe inspiring.
We met Willow & Lew Summer of 3 Springs Community Farm & some of their local farmer friends at a cool supper club called Casino near them in Bodega that was having a themed dinner in honor of the Chinese New Year.
Their 50 acre biodynamic farm is nestled between vineyards & dairy ranches. They have goats, pigs, chickens, & a donkey living among the vegetable fields. New apprentices were arriving for the year, & some were working with Lew to refurbish the communal kitchen area in time for our gathering to bless the land & celebrate the Cross-Quarter.
The day of the Festival, many folks, young & old came out to gather round the campfire; families setting up on blankets in the South, our altar in the East, bright with candles & the elements, was adorned with farm tools. The gathering had an ‘As Above, So Below’ approach – ‘As the Spirit, so the Soul’ – working with head, hands & heart – exploring the Macro/Microcosm – the inner Self & outer world, thru singing, movement, drawing, looking at our place on the wheel of the year, a time of preparation – igniting the spark of Spring with the passion of our purpose, thru storytelling & the exploration of various cultural celebrations. We consecrated the farm tools: ‘Spirit to Matter – Matter to Spirit’ – as well as our own personal working tools. We did a group version of Rudolf Steiner’s Seed Meditation, & brought in the power of the Alchemical Celtic Triple Goddess Brigid, while sculpting with beeswax…
At the potluck it was great to get to know many folks who I had ‘met’ over the last years on zoom or thru the RR site – Such deep discussions around the content of the Festival, & life in the current world situation. I am so grateful to Willow for bringing me to the farm for such a powerful & significant time together.
That same night Velsum performed at the Christian Community of Sacramento sponsored by the Faust Branch of Fair Oaks, who graciously changed their regular programing to bring the Velsum concert: ‘New Nightingale, New Rose’ as their West Coast Premier. Lucien & Ultra both have a deep connection to Anthroposophy & to the Christian Community so this was a blessing not only for the 40 folks who saw the show, but for their souls as well.
The next night at the monthly Spiritual Science gathering in Sebastopol, Willow & Lew spoke about Farming & Finance outlining the 3-folding model they strive to use at 3 Springs.
It was great to meet old & new friends there as well…
I will share the next leg of the journey to White Feather Ranch in another essay.
For today I wanted to share some of the many indications we worked with at our Farm Festival so you can tune into this potent milestone too.
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; & that hits on Sunday Feb. 5th. But most folks celebrate 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.
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.
This time is dedicated to the Triple Goddess Brigid, holding the power of the Maiden, Mother, Crone, & is associated with the mysteries of the sacred well connected to purification, & the fires of the forge, to call in the will of the Sun.
Later, of course, it was adopted by the Church & attached to Candlemas & the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Interesting how many traditions mix & overlap.
In antiquity starting as early as the time of the cave people, it was known as the Feast of the Bear. From antiquity to the Middle Ages, bears were a cult symbol of the Germans, Scandinavians & the Celts. On this Cross-Quarter day they celebrated the end of hibernation – when the bears would leave their dens to see if the weather was mild enough to forage. 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 ‘f’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, who blesses the throat with 2 crossed candles.
Candlemas is also the beginning of the carnival period; the bear is the carnival animal par excellence. O & Remember that movie with Darrel Hanna, The Clan of the Cave Bear…?
In ancient Greece this Threshold time was connected to The Festival of Persephone & Demeter, celebrated exclusively by the woman, in an elaborate 3 day ritual, called Thesmophoria.
Spiraling down the line, the ancient romans called it Lupercalia a feast day that was very much like Mardi Gras. And I’ll talk about that more when we come to Valentine’s Day
In the Jewish mystical tradition of Tu’B’Shvat, It is known as The New Year for the Tree, the time of the rising of the sap – An opportunity to repair the breach in the Garden of Eden when the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil was eaten before it was ripe.
Here in Chicago it is bitter cold, with a few inches of 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
Can you 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?
A 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 quarters of the cosmos – a call comes – to 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 waxing side of Bella Luna. Whispering the promise of passion 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 have called in the Water Rabbit of Chinese New Year on the New Moon, so, let us also open to the power of our striving. Together may we will thaw the coldness in the world & rouse the mysteries growing within…
1 February 2023 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Venus (Occult Mercury) is the brightest planet. It appears low in the west shortly after sunset. Meanwhile, Jupiter – 2nd-brightest planet – shines above Venus. As the month proceeds, Jupiter will drop lower, while Venus will climb higher. By February’s end, these 2 bright worlds will be very close to each other. They’ll appear closest on the evening of March 1, 2023. Afterwards, Venus will remain in our evening twilight sky for some months. It’ll reach its greatest elongation – its greatest apparent distance from the sunset – on June 4, 2023. But Jupiter will drop into the sunset glare sometime in March.
also today: Comet C/2022 E3 aka the Green Comet reaches its perigee—it’s closest point to Earth—today 2/1! Don’t miss your chance to hunt for the Green Comet before it leaves on 2/8 as it may never return!
RUDOLF STEINER’S CALENDAR OF THE SOUL
translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler
EPIPHANY IV – IMBOLC
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.
ArtNight 3 February 2023
@ the Rudolf Steiner Branch 4251 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
Doors open at 7:30 pm
8 pm – Sharings Start – $12 (pay online)
YOU MUST RSVP at this Link
ArtNight has been described as a 21st-century Salon. We gather once a month in Chicago. People sign up to present and perform what they’re passionate about,
having facilitated discussions and activities, and enjoying food from local establishments.
What we’re trying to do.
- Establish spaces where doing what you love is normal.
- Promote passion instead of perfection. You don’t need to be famous, talented, attractive, virtuosic or wealthy – it’s meaningful and important to do what you love no matter who you are and you should be supported.
- Create genuine connections in substance-free environments.
- Encourage curiosity and learning.
- Be a place where you can have fun without shame or embarrassment.
Article about ArtNight
The ArtNight night starts off with a vibe. As people filter in, we hang out,
talk to strangers who’ll become our friends, and we settle down before we
settle in for the next couple hours.
The ArtNight itself starts off with a welcome activity. Don’t worry,
it’s not your classic, awkward high school ice breaker.
Now it’s time for the main event. The people who volunteered to share do their thing. We watch and listen and experience and ask questions
and fall in love with them, loving their passions.
In between the sharing, we take a break for that meaningful discussion
we keep mentioning. Every ArtNight has a specific discussion topic,
and everyone is encouraged to share their experiences.
It’s always a dialogue, never a debate.
The ArtNight closes out with a vibe. We eat, and we reconnect with the
people we met earlier. All of this was to get to know people
for who they actually are – so we keep doing it.
YOU MUST RSVP to attend
This course is available on Zoom. You will be emailed a Zoom link closer to the time of the class. The course will be recorded and you will receive a link to watch it. Go to the Infinity Foundation web site to enroll
Course Number 231154 / Zoom
Date: Thursday, May 11
Time 7:00 – 8:30 PM CST
Cost $33/23 payment 10 days in advance
When we tune into the Cycle of the Seasons, we experience that as the Earth breathes out in the Springtime, the beings of nature reach upwards towards the heights. The longing of the human soul also strives to meet this mood of ascension, which attunes all life to the cosmic expanses.
Together we will gain insights in how to rise up to our Higher Self by participating in this harmonizing spring-dialogue between the worlds.
This reconnection between heaven & earth was prefigured in the story of Jacob’s ladder from the Old Testament. Through his dream of the ‘stairway to heaven’, Jacob gave us a prophecy in the picture of a golden ladder on which choirs of Angels traverse between the ‘Above & Below’. The Mystery of the Ascension of Christ, 40 days after the Resurrection at Easter, fulfilled Jacob’s Prophecy. Christ as the Being of Love became the living bridge connecting us to the eternal.
Through this workshop we will learn how humanity will also be transfigured in the fullness of time. The company of the Angelic Hierarchies wait for us, their younger siblings, to ascend, first of all in our thinking, to meet them in fellowship, as they work all the while by our sides.