Today on the eve of the Full ‘Worm’ Moon of Spring comes the two day celebration of the Jewish Festival Purim.
On Purim nothing is as it seems…& all that is hidden shall be revealed…
One of the meanings of the name Esther, the star of the Purim story, is concealment – that hidden level of divinity beyond our awareness.
The book of Esther called the ‘Megillah’ has the opposite meaning = revelation.
Put the two together & we get the paradoxical reality of life – which often seems like mission impossible – yet every trial is a spiritual reality hiding the essence of the Divine in the everyday world…
Purim is traditionally a masquerade. One of the reasons to dress up is to ‘hide’- an allusion to the hidden hand of G-d in the Purim miracle, The name of G-d is never spoken & yet is made manifest thru a woman named Esther (= Ishtar = where we get our name for Easter – A fertility goddess of Spring, She is a warrior, yet a goddess of love, marriage & childbirth, & of fate)
On Purim we can live into an act of faith – which demonstrates that even when the presence of the Divine is hidden from us, it is always there – often working thru us!
Spiritual powers have a hand in pulling the strings, even when things seem to be ‘just happening.’
Although the name of G-d is never mentioned In the Book of Esther = The “Gantze Megillah” – The Divine plan was just disguising itself in this palace soap opera:
It all began in Ancient Persia. The Holy Temple that had stood in Jerusalem was destroyed more than 50 years earlier, & the Jews were subjects of the mighty Persian empire which extended over 127 lands. Three years after King Ahasuerus ascended the Persian throne, when he felt secure in his new position, he celebrated by throwing a grand 180 day-long party for all his subjects.
Following this extravagant gala, The King hosted a smaller week-long party for the favored residents of the capital city.
In the women’s quarters, his wife Queen Vashti, hosted her own party for the womenfolk.
On the seventh day of this party, The King “was merry with wine,” & he commanded his wife Queen Vashti to appear before all the drunk men—he wanted to show off her exquisite beauty. But Queen Vashti balked at this request. So the men became angry & the drunken King ordered Queen Vashti’s execution.
She was beheaded, (like John the Baptist), her head presented on a platter to the drunken mob. (There is much we could say in commentary around this sacrifice which often goes unexamined in this story about a woman’s right to body sovereignty & the deep connections to the stories of Demeter & Innana, etc…)
When the King sobered up, he was lonely for a wife. His advisors suggested that he orchestrate a beauty pageant. Officers were appointed in all the king’s lands, & all beautiful girls would be brought to the King, & the girl who found favor in the king’s eyes would be the new queen.
The leader of the Jews at that time was named Mordechai. He had a cousin, Esther, who was orphaned as a young girl. Mordechai raised her & treated her as a daughter. Though she had no desire to be the queen, Esther, like many others, was forcibly taken to the king’s harem, to participate in the contest…
While all the other contestants beautified themselves with perfumes & lotions, Esther did nothing. But as fate would have it when she appeared before the king, he immediately liked her best, & Esther became the new Queen of Persia.
Mordechai begged Queen Esther not to divulge her nationality – even to the king…
Shortly after Esther became queen, Mordechai overheard two of the king’s chamberlains discussing a plot to assassinate the king. So Mordechai had them reported, & the two traitors were hanged…
Meanwhile, Haman, a virulent Jew hater was promoted to the position of Prime Minister. Immediately after his promotion, he got the King to issue a decree ordering everyone to bow down whenever Haman appeared as an extension of the King. So Haman would walk around with a large idol on his head…
When Mordechai, refused to bow down, Haman was infuriated. He resolved to take revenge against all the Jews & threw lots to determine the day when he would implement his plan. The lot fell on the 13th day of the Hebrew month of Adar (March)…
Haman approached King Ahasuerus & told him the Jews were planning an uprising against the King. So the King told Haman “the nation is yours to do with as you please.” Haman immediately sent proclamations to all the King’s land, sealed with the royal signet ring, ordering the people to rise up against the Jews & kill them all – men, women, & children – on the day the lot declared…
When Mordechai became aware of the decree, he rent his garments & put on sackcloth. He sent a message to Queen Esther, imploring her to approach the king & beg him to spare the Jewish people. Queen Esther reminded him that according to the rules anyone who entered the king’s presence un-summoned would be put to death—unless the king extended to that person his golden scepter. “And as it is, I have not been summoned by the king for thirty days” -Queen Esther said…
Mordechai sent another message: “Perhaps you were made Queen for just this purpose”. So Queen Esther prayed & then agreed to approach the king. But 1st she asked Mordechai to gather all the Jews & have them fast with her for 3 days & 3 nights.
Mordechai gathered all the Jews of the city & they fasted, repented & prayed…
After the 3 days, Queen Esther put on royal garb & entered the chambers of the King. The King softened & extended his scepter. “Why have you come?” he asked. “What is your request?”
Queen Esther responded: “I would like to invite you O King & your advisor Haman to a small feast I have prepared.”
So King Ahasuerus & the puffed up Haman joined Queen Esther for a wine-feast. During, the king again asked Queen Esther whether she had anything to request. Queen Esther responded “Yes, come again tomorrow, with Haman to join me for another feast, & then I will tell you my request”…
Haman left the party with grandiose ideas of himself as the King’s right hand man invited to the most honored occasions with the King. This made him think that he himself should be king. In this high mood he saw Mordechai standing at the king’s gate– who still refused to bow to him – this enraged the evil man. When he arrived home, he brooded, & decided to erect a gallows, to show Mordechai his power by hanging him in front of all. Then while talking with his servants he hatched a plan to usurp the King, promising his minions grand positions when he was ruler.
Evil mingled with the night air, & sleep eluded the King that night, so he asked his servants to read to him from the Royal Chronicles. They just happened to open the book to read of how Mordechai had saved the King’s life when 2 of his chamberlains were devising a plot to kill him…The King asked: “Was Mordechai ever rewarded for this fine act?” “No he was not,” the servants responded…
The next day Haman entered the king’s courtyard to ask the king’s permission to hang Mordechai! But before Haman could utter a word, the King addressed him: “My Haman, in your estimation, what shall be done to a person who the king wishes to honor”? Haman, was certain that the king wished to honor him, so he responded: “Bring royal garments & a royal horse, & let one of the king’s nobles dress the man & lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming: See what is done for the man whom the king wishes to honor!’…
“Let it be so,” the King responded. “Now, go get the garments & the horse and do so for Mordechai the Jew!” Haman shocked & angry as he was, had no choice but to comply. He went & honored Mordechai as the king had ordered, but he couldn’t hold his grumbling tongue, so that Mordecai heard Haman telling one of the servants that soon he would be giving the orders as king. Haman planned kill the king when the attack on the Jewish people was occurring in order to blame it on them.
Mordecai was able to tell the king of Haman’s plan & show him the gallows he had erected.
At the 2nd feast prepared by Queen Esther, the king asked Haman what he would do if he knew someone was not honoring the king? Haman thinking of how Mordecai had not bowed down to him said, “I would hang him from the highest gallows & leave his body there for 3 days to rot as an example” The king paused. Then he asked Queen Esther “What is your request?”
Queen Esther found the courage to reply saying: “If I have found favor in your eyes, O King, let the life of the Jewish people be saved, for they are my people.” Remembering the chronicles that listed Mordecai’s loyalty the king, & of Haman’s evil plan, ordered that Haman be hanged on the very gallows he had built for the Jew…
On that day, Haman’s estate was given to Queen Esther, & Mordechai was appointed Prime Minister in Haman’s place…
The evil one was dead, but his decree was still in effect. According to Persian law, once a king issues a decree it cannot be rescinded. So on the request of Queen Esther, the king promptly wrote up a decree that countermanded Haman’s edict to the effect that the Jews had permission to defend themselves against any attack. And since the guards all knew that the Queen & Prime Minister were both Jewish, many were saved.
After that, Mordechai & Queen Esther established the holiday called “Purim” which means lots, to commemorate these amazing events –
Snip, snap, snout, this tail is all told out…
And so yes dear friends, all that is hidden shall be revealed.
Blessings to all
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
12 BC – The Roman Emperor Augustus is named Pontifex Maximus, incorporating the position into that of the emperor.
632 – The Farewell Sermon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
1475 – Birthday of Michelangelo, Italian painter & sculptor
1619 – Birthday of Cyrano de Bergerac, French author & playwright
1806 – Birthday of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. – poet. She campaigned for the abolition of slavery & her work helped influence reform in the child labor legislation. Her prolific output made her a rival to Tennyson as a candidate for poet laureate on the death of Wordsworth.
1888 – Deathday of Louisa May Alcott, American novelist & poet, best known as the author of the novel Little Women. Raised by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May & Amos Bronson Alcott in New England, she also grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, & Henry David Thoreau. Alcott was an abolitionist & a feminist & remained unmarried throughout her life.
1893 – Birthday of Eleonore Clara Maria Lory Maier-Smits – the 1st Eurythmist
1943 – Norman Rockwell published Freedom from Want in The Saturday Evening Post with a matching essay by Carlos Bulosan as part of the Four Freedoms series
1964 – Boxing champion Cassius Clay takes the name Muhammad Ali
1975 – For the first time the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is shown
1986 – Deathday of Georgia O’Keeffe, American painter – the “Mother of American modernism”. In 1905, O’Keeffe began her serious formal art training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago & then the Art Students League of New York, but she felt constrained by her lessons that focused on recreating or copying what was in nature…The rest is herstory…
The Categories of Aristotle – a process of contraction…
Is there a path to expansion…..?
PUBLIC LECTURE AND EURYTHMY WORKSHOP WITH CLAUDIA FONTANA
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 CT– (10:30 am 1/2 hour break – 11 am) 12:30 pm CT CT– Purchase tickets at the door or pay online $50
The Categories of Aristotle: A process of contraction…exploring a path to expansion…
Does one have to be a philosopher of great erudition to approach Aristotle’s gift to humanity……his Categories?
Perhaps , YES! But an initial acquaintance with them can lead out of the confinement of the intellectual concept to an experience of expansion supported by Eurythmy.
In the evening lecture Claudia will introduce the life of the Categories before they became concepts – Bringing the symbols in a sequence of sounds (called the Evolutionary Sequence ) out of their conceptual form, to life, supported by Eurythmy and examples of poetry.
During the workshop we will enter into the movement of the poetry presented during the lecture. This will be accessible to Eurythmists as well as to anyone interested in the life of language, poetry and our alphabet.
at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society
4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (map)
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.
Mary Magdalene & the Women at the Tomb – A Festival of Resurrection
with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg,
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
For more Info. contact Hag@RSChicago.org Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618 (map)
The Mystery of Ascension with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
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
For more Info. contact Hag@RSChicago.org Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
*Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618 (map) www.rschicago.org/donate
Find a collection of the many RECORDINGS of Presentations, Programs & Festivals HERE