Video: ‘The Truth about Valentine’s Day’ starts at 9:24
A Love Storytelling on the ‘I Think Speech Podcast’
Beloved Heart-throb – Yep, here we are again on the eve of the ides of February – the time when St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated. Have you ever wondered where this hearts & flowers frivolity came from? Well it wasn’t always about chocolates & sappy hallmark cards. Let’s look back to the origins of this Holiday & set the record straight. For one thing, Valentinus was a very common Roman name meaning strong, effective fertility.
Please excuse me if I must commit a little history here, but basically the church fathers were trying to replace a very potent ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia with a Christian martyr named Valentinus, to usurp the power of this rite of great antiquity. Now don’t get me wrong, frivolity has its place, & so it was in the festival of Lupercalia, a ritual of purification & fertility, sacred to the Wolf-Goddess Rumina. Maybe you’ve heard of Her, the She-Wolf & founder of Rome?
The festival of Lupercalia was celebrated on the ides of February (the 15th)…& the name ‘February’ comes from the Latin word ‘februare’, meaning tool of purification.
The rite began in the cave of the She-Wolf, where legend has it, the founders of the city, Romulus & Remus, were suckled by the Wolf-Goddess.
As fate would have it a sacred fig tree (symbol of the feminine sex) grew outside the cave & vestals would come, with cakes made from the corn of last year’s grain harvest, laying them beneath the fig tree as offerings.
Meanwhile Rumina’s priests would preside over the sacrifice of a goat. Now this was a pretty big deal since this was the only time of year a goat was used as a sacrifice. It was an offering given to the guardian angels associated with the crops, & the ancestral guardians, as well as the guardians of the city & community. The priests would mark their foreheads with its blood, which was then ritualistically wiped clean with a ‘Februare’ or tool of purification, which was, in this case, wool, dipped in the milk of the goat which had just starting to flow around the Crossquarter time. The priests would then dress themselves in the skin of the sacrificial animal, & using strips of the hide they would fashion a scourge, another tool of purification. They would then jog around in their little loincloths, running up & down Rome’s seven hills, wielding their strips of hide, ‘purifying’ anything & anybody in their path.
Women seeking pregnancy & easy childbirth lined the streets, extending hands, or baring their bodies, to afford a better target, to be briefly & symbolically ‘purified’ as they passed by.
Fertility, of course, is worthless without sex, so as time passed, sex became the festival’s primary focus for the average Roman citizen, & the occasion took on a character much like carnival.
When the church tried to ban it, the people needless to say, stubbornly resisted. Hence the need for the substitute of St. Valentine’s Day emerged, with its more innocent version of love.
But let’s face it folks, the real Cupid was not the cute little cherub he is thought of today, but rather, a very randy Roman God responsible for a more tangible fertility.
So all the frivolous frivolity aside, let’s take ourselves back to the days when the Wolf Goddess Rumina, was at the heart of this time of celebration, as we purify & purge all of our afflictions & ills before we begin to plant the new seeds of creativity. For by the ancient calendars, Winter is ended by the ides of February, & Spring, a season of new beginnings, has arrived.
So on Valentine’s Day, let’s remember the potent powers of the Wolf, asking Her to spare the herds, taking only what She must, to keep us free & fertile & abundant, like the crops – as fruitful, & as wild as we want to be.
Peace & Blessed Bee…~hag
14 February 2023 – “Speaking with the Stars”
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
And so it is that today it has been 6 years since Richard Dancey died – & Valentine’s Day has forever taken on a deeper dimension. He comes up in my thoughts at all the obvious times, when I’m at the Christian Community where his picture graces the sacristy, & many times when I am writing my blog. He always encouraged me to write & inspired me so much over the years with his amazing storytelling. Here is one of my favorites, a short piece called: “The Crack in the Liberty Bell”
“In Philadelphia, birthplace of the constitution, home of Ben Franklin, there is the Liberty Bell, a cherished, close to holy relic of our story. In the Liberty Bell there is a crack, a large, long crack. It has its special significance. It speaks out a truth. It is a revelation. What does it reveal? One response can be this: it reveals we are very far from a perfect union. In fact, this land of liberty throughout its whole story has been and is riddled with flaws, contradictions, tragedies, and crimes against our striving to reach the promised land, the beloved community, a fair and vital society of free, healthy human beings, respecting and supporting one another, working together, inclusive of all the wide diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and persuasions. At this moment in the story the crack in the Liberty Bell can feel like a deep wound, that is not healed, that is open and raw.
But the crack in the Liberty Bell could be revealing something more. In 2016 the songwriter, Leonard Cohen, died. In his song, ”Anthem,” the chorus sings:
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
It is a trembling, astonsihing thought—that where there is a wound, a fracture, a broken heart; Where there is a trespass, violation, betrayal – There – is Christ!
May we be there too. We can forget our perfect offering. We can be who we are, with all our flaws and weaknesses. But just be there: present, conscious, standing, living, working, celebrating there. With Him. In the Light.” ~Richard Dancey
The Categories of Aristotle – a process of contraction…
Is there a path to expansion…..?
PUBLIC LECTURE AND EURYTHMY WORKSHOP WITH CLAUDIA FONTANA
Does one have to be a philosopher of great erudition to understand Aristotle’s gift to humanity – his Categories? Let us explore a path to an experience supported by Eurythmy.
Friday 24 March 2023 – Lecture 7 pm CT – 8:30 pm – Purchase tickets at the door or pay online
Saturday 25 March 2023 – Workshop – 9 am – 12 noon CT– Purchase tickets at the door or pay online $50
For more info contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
Claudia Fontana saw a Eurythmy performance when still a teenager. Unbeknownst to her at the time, that performance was the gate to her destiny path. Soon thereafter she studied Eurythmy in Vienna and subsequently spent fourteen years as a performer with the Dornach, London and Stuttgart Eurythmeum ensembles. Teaching became the next challenge which she happily met in the United States, Europe. Before Covid, she spent seven years teaching all levels in Thailand, Malaysia and China. She resides in Ann Arbor, MI still performing and teaching.
The Women at the Tomb – A Festival of Resurrection
with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg,
Insights about Mary Magdalene with Faith DiVecchio,
Song-Circle with Velsum,
Eurythmy – & an artistic break out session
Holy Saturday 8 April 2023
1 pm – 3pm CT a hybrid event in-person at the Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago & on zoom
Meeting ID: 705 017 4041
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.
~Vitae Sophia~A Whitsun Festival of United Soul Endeavor
with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Velsum Voices & Eurythmy
Saturday 27 May 2023 a Hybrid event in person* & on zoom
We are called to redeem the ether spheres to create an Ecclesia, a chalice for The Sophia. Then the spirit flame can spread out to become what Steiner called a “World Whitsun”, which began in earnest at the Christmas Conference. The Whitsun Festival highlights one of the greatest challenges of being human: placing our individual gifts, in right relationship within the social realm. This challenge is especially strong now during this ‘pandemic’. Our groups striving to know Spiritual Science must work together as a community, to have the possibility to create a new culture where a sacrament is possible in every encounter. Our individual strength is enhanced by weaving our gifts together, kindling our social world in conscious community.
Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83663366670?pwd=L292UzlOR1pkZjBXSWpxK1B2b0o1dz09 Meeting ID: 836 6336 6670 / Passcode: 397593