6 January 2019 – “Speaking with the Stars”:
Orion stands in the east-southeast after dark, higher every week, but in early evening his three-star Belt is still nearly vertical. The Belt points up toward Aldebaran &, even higher, the Pleiades.
Down below, the Belt points to the horizon where Sirius rises around 6 or 7 PM CST. Just after Sirius clears the horizon, it twinkles faster as it gains altitude, & its flashes of vivid color blend into shimmering whiteness.
Venus is at greatest elongation on this date, west of the Sun in the morning sky.
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day
The Feast of Epiphany
TODAY – According to the original Calendar of the Soul:
33 – Three Kings Day – The Baptism in the Jordan: The Incarnation of the Christ in Jesus of Nazareth.
1412 – The Birthday of Joan of Arc
1828 – Birthday of Herman Grimm – Grimm’s father was Wilhelm Grimm, & his uncle Jakob Grimm, the philologist compilers of indigenous folk tales (“Brothers Grimm”). His other uncle was the painter engraver Ludwig Emil Grimm. Grimm’s reputation is that of the arch-Romantic, Gründerzeit art historian. He viewed himself as the intellectual successor of Goethe. His approach to art history was through the “Great Masters”, & arranging significance of art through a biographical account of art history. His tastes both typified & led German & continental taste. Homer, Dante & Shakespeare were the great writers of their age; in art, only Raphael & Michelangelo could compare. The nineteenth century’s adoration of Raphael is in large part Grimm’s doing.
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Doves nest in my hair & spit fire from my head…
My heart beats like a bee tongue among the withered roses
As the Avatar winds of Sophia speak Wisdom into our bones…
January 6th is The Feast of Epiphany, In Greek: epi-phanos which means shining forth, manifestation, striking appearance or vision of The Divine.
This day is also called: 12th night, Three Kings Day, The feast of La Bafana The Feast of Recognition, The Adoration of the Magi, The Manifestation of God, & Saturnalia.
In ancient Egypt the 6th of January was celebrated as the Festival of Osiris – revealing the mystery of the re-membering of the Sun-god. As you know, Osiris was overcome by his enemy Typhon or Set & the Goddess Isis, his beloved, seeks & eventually finds him. This notion of finding Osiris is a prefiguring of the Festival of The Three Kings, who also went looking for their representative of the Sun god. This ‘Epiphany’ was also celebrated by the Assyrians, the Armenians & the Phoenicians. Everywhere it is a Festival connected with a kind of universal baptism — a rebirth from out of the water.
In the Act of Consecration, in the Epistle at Epiphany, a word shines out like a star: Grace. 6 times it shines thru: ‘Star of Grace’, ‘Light of Grace’, ‘Grace appearance of the world’s light’…Proclaiming that the shining forth of the Grace of Christ is our Epiphany.
Epiphany, like Easter & Pentecost are holy days traditionally set aside for initiation rites, emphasizing the mysterious relationship between the elements of fire & water, which invokes the ability to see into the formative forces of the etheric realm.
In both the Eastern & Western churches the feast of Epiphany additionally commemorates the marriage at Cana (see John 2:1-11), at which Christ performed his first miracle, an allegory for the mixing of water & wine=liquid fire, changing water into fire, which the ancients called The Alchemical Marriage, or the Great Work…
Epiphany, has been observed since before AD 194, so it is much older than our Christmas celebrations. It has always been a profoundly esoteric festival of the highest rank.
At one time the Nativity & Epiphany were celebrated together & were referred to as the 1st & 2nd nativity; the 1st as the birth of the physical vessel prepared thru many generations from Adam down thru the House of King David; & the 2nd being Christ’s manifestation into that vessel, linked with the cosmic event of Christ’s baptism by John in the Jordan; & then moving with the blood into the earth in the death & resurrection of Easter.
The Three Kings from the East: Kaspar, Melchior & Balthazar, were wise men initiated into the mysteries of the stars by Zarathustra. They followed the starry script written in the heavens that was foretold by the ancient prophets, to Bethlehem, where they paid homage to the Christ-child & presented him with gold, frankincense & myrrh.
Gold reflects the kingship of The Christ as a ‘Solar King’. Frankincense, the incense of worship, for meditative & invocational purposes, symbolizes his priestly role, & myrrh, a purifying substance used in burial embalming, points to the crucifixion & resurrection.
“…K. M. B…. these letters represent the names of the Three Holy Kings: Kaspar, Melchior, Balthasar…these three wise men of the East who brought offerings of three human virtues: with the gold – self-knowledge; with the frankincense – self-piety, calling forth the higher “I”; & in the myrrh, self- development & surrender, & the preservation of the eternal in the self.
The 3 kings represent the evolution of humanity, & show in their inclusiveness that The Christ Impulse is for all of humankind.
The twelve days of Christmas ends with the Feast of Epiphany which comes with its own traditions, rituals & symbols for the common folk. Carolers go from house to house; & in many homes the Christmas Tree is taken down & burnt in a big bonfire.
For the children this is an especially joyous occasion because, when the tree is taken down they get to “plündern” (raid) the tree of the sweets – the chocolate ornaments wrapped in foil or cookies, which have replaced the sugar plums, & become the raiders’ rewards.
Another tradition is to sprinkle the doorways with holy water; & the mistress of the house would write with chalk K + M + B with the number of the year above the house or barn door & say: “Kaspar, Melchior, “Balthasar, behütet uns auch für dieses Jahr, vor Feuer und. ‘Protect our home from the perils of fire & water’.
Our modern family does this every year…
You may have seen it, especially if you’ve been to Germany or other parts of Europe – a mysterious series of letters & numbers, looking to all the world like an equation, inscribed in chalk over a doorway.
Epiphany (also known as Twelfth Night, Theophany, or Three Kings Day) marks the occasion of a time-honored Christian tradition of “chalking the doors.” The formula for the ritual — adapted for 2019 — is simple: take chalk of any color & write the following above the entrance of your home: 20 + K + M + B + 19…
The letters have two meanings: 1st they represent the initials of the Magi — Kaspar, Melchior, & Balthazar — who came to visit the Jesus of the Matthew Gospel.
The letters are also an abbreviate of the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat: “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross.
And the “20” at the beginning & the “19” at the end mark the year.
Taken together, this inscription is performed as a request that Christ bless the house & those who dwell therein throughout the entire year.
The chalking of the doors is a centuries-old practice throughout the world, though it appears to be someone less well-known in the United States. It is, however, an easy tradition to adopt, & a great practice where we can dedicate ourselves to the ideals of the Christ-Impulse from the very beginning of each year.
When I was growing up, all the old Italian ladies would do it after Epiphany Mass. It can be done at any church, home, or dwelling. In the very old days the blessing was done by either a priest or the head of the family, but here in the US, it’s usually the grandmothers or the children that want to do it! This blessing can be performed simply by just writing the inscription & offering an intention or short prayer, or more elaborately, including songs, prayers, processions, the burning of incense, & the sprinkling of holy water.
I remember the days when I would go to the Epiphany Mass with my grandma, & they gave out satchels of blessed chalk, incense, & containers of holy water blessed especially for Epiphany. Another common practice, that my Straga-ma always observed was to save a few grains of the Epiphany incense until Easter, so that it could be burned along with the Easter candle.
Practicing traditions like the chalking of the doors helps us to awaken to the mysteries behind the Holidays. It is a practical concrete way to observe & it serves as an outward sign of our dedication to being more conscious in our thinking, feeling & willing. To consciously take the time to bless our homes – the place where many of us will make the greatest strides in our spiritual growth, through observance of daily meditation, spiritual reading to the dead, & work offered freely with love – is vital.
It also serves as a reminder of the wise welcoming that the Magi gave to the Christ Child. We can also strive to be as welcoming to all who come to our homes. To greet the Christ within every body that crosses the threshold.
Blessings & Peace ~hag
Come explore the Spiritual Scientific insights of this powerful Feast Day, reminding us, like the moral of Shakespeare’s play, 12th night, that we must make the most of this moment; for the NOW is a present which shapes the future…
Sunday 6 Jan. Epiphany DAY, 2 pm – 4 pm
Eurythmy with Mary Ruud
Leading Thoughts & Storytelling with Ann Burfiend (Ann has been called to Vancouver & will be leaving in a few weeks!!!)
Social Art, Movement & Form Drawing with Nancy Melvin
$10 & Snacks to Share Encouraged
For more info. contact Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer Ginsberg
Starting Tuesday 8 January 2019
Mary Ruud will be holding Eurythmy Classes
7 pm – 8:30 pm every Tuesday Evening.
$15 or pay what you can afford
Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society, 4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (map)
Check out our Web site! (Anthroposophical Society in America)The Elderberries 3-Fold Space & the Flex Space are available for rental on PEER SPACE for classes, events, meetings, retreats, art exhibits, family parties, etc…