Greetings Friends –
During this time after the Autumnal Equinox & the beginning of the Michaelmas Season, a shift occurs within us, echoing outside of us in nature, & reflected in various cultural expressions & traditions.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which begins tonight at sunset, falls 10 days after Rosh Hashanah, & is the culmination of the entire High Holy Day drama. It is the holiest day of the Jewish year or, as the Bible describes it, the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”. During the 24 hours of Yom Kippur, the biblical commandment to fast from food & water, while engaging in intense soul-searching, & praying for forgiveness is practiced. Yom Kippur is a day of inner purification & of reconciliation with the creator & with our fellow human beings. It is a reminder of the frailty of human existence & our duty to act charitably toward the less fortunate. This ancient tradition is just as important now as it was for our ancestors, maybe even more so.
The inspiring, yet sobering, words of Isaiah 58 are read publicly in the synagogue on Yom Kippur “This fasting I have chosen,” says the prophet Isaiah, “Is it not done to loose the chains of injustice & untie the cords of bondage? To set the oppressed free & break every yoke? Are we not meant to share our food with the hungry & to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, you must clothe him, & not turn away from your fellow man?”
It is the moment in time to dedicate mind, body, & soul to reconciliation – with God, our fellow human beings, & ourselves; a time to turn to those whom we have wronged, acknowledging the pain we might have caused. At the same time, being willing to forgive & to let go of certain offenses & the feelings of resentment they provoked in us. This journey for both seekers & givers of pardon mirrors the journey a soul takes after death.
There are number of customs & traditions associated with the Holy Day of Yom Kippur. For example: the mikvah, or ritual bath. The scripture says “You shall immerse yourselves in water & be purified.” This practice, from which Christian baptism originated, symbolizes purification & regeneration, as well as new birth, through repentance. Another custom is to greet each other by saying ‘May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life’ Gmar Chatimah Tova.
The High Holy Days are divided into two parts: The first is the inscribing which begins on Rosh Hashanah & finishes on Yom Kippur when the final “sealing” of fate takes place for the year. Parents customarily bless their children with the priestly benediction: “May it be the will of our Father in Heaven to put into your heart love & reverence. May your eyes be directed, may your mouth speak wisdom, & your heart strive for holiness. May your hands be occupied with good deeds & your feet hasten to do the will of the divine. May He grant you sustenance without stress & with profit, out of His hand that is open wide. May you be inscribed & sealed unto a good, long life. And so shall it be. Amen.”
It is also customary to give extra charity before the holiday, & to light memorial candles for departed family members.
As with all Jewish festivals, the woman formally ushers in the holiday by lighting the candles at sundown. Evening services commence with the recitation of the Kol Nidrei prayer, a plea for absolution from any & all unfulfilled vows a person may have made in the course of the year.
According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into the ‘Book of Life’ on Rosh Hashanah, & waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict. “May you be sealed for a good year in the Book Of Life” – is the traditional greeting on Yom Kippur.
Contrary to popular belief, Yom Kippur is a day of hope & optimism in addition to a solemn day of soul-searching. The Day of Atonement provides a unique awareness of one’s own character & track record, as well as the opportunity to upgrade relationships with relatives, friends, associates & the community at-large. Yom Kippur’s focus on forgiveness, highlights humility, fallibility, compassion, soul-searching faith, thoughtfulness, being considerate, & accepting responsibility
Cabalistic tradition states that the first human being, Adam, was created on Rosh Hashanah. And so it is that Human-beings are given an opportunity to recreate themselves spiritually, each year, on Yom Kippur. This holiday is celebrated when the constellation of the scales give way to the virgin as herald in the heavens. Libra & Virgo symbolize key themes of Yom Kippur: Justice, balance, truth, symmetry, wholeness.
Libra is ruled by the planet Venus which reflects the beauty of love, & Virgo is ruled by Mercury the god of communications.
During this season it is customary to walk to a body of fresh water & recite a special prayer, symbolically casting bread crumbs into the waters, a symbol of our sins: those actions that have missed the mark.
And now, at the risk of mixing metaphors, I’d like us to put into practice the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness, called Ho‘oponopono – It stems from an understanding that everything in the world is connected, in spite of our feelings of ‘separateness’.
What we do to ourselves & others has repercussions. Because of this unity everything that occurs in our own little world creates a resonance in others & in society as a whole. To heal the planet we first have to heal ourselves; to do this, we will rely on four magic sentences: I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you. x4
In earnest wakefulness & practiced Peace –
The Michaelmas Soul Calendar verse by Rudolf Steiner, Translated by Roy Sadler
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 last verse of the first half of the Soul Calendar,
which from Easter united with the spirit through the senses
and in the Calendar’s 2nd Movement, v14-26,
has incarnated the spirit’s vision with imaginative insight
for the coming months to have an inspired feeling for the spirit’s birth at Christmas.
my depths of being
arouses longing, ardently divining,
that self-observing I discover, in a seed
of who I am, the summer sunlight’s gift
that in a warm autumnal mood in me
is germinating as a spring force in my soul.
27 September ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1066 – William the Conqueror begins the Norman conquest of England
1322- Consecration of Cologne Cathedral
1722 – Birthday of Samuel Adams, statesman, political philosopher, & one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As a politician in colonial Massachusetts, Adams was a leader of the American Revolution, & was one of the architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States. He was a second cousin to President John Adams
1822 – Jean-François Champollion announces that he has deciphered the Rosetta Stone
1825 – The world’s first public railway to use steam locomotives, the Stockton & Darlington Railway, is ceremonially opened
1854 – The steamship SS Arctic sinks with 300 people on board. This marks the first great disaster in the Atlantic Ocean
1875 – The merchant sailing ship Ellen Southard is wrecked in a storm at Liverpool. 400 die
1896 Birthday of Sigismund Von Gleich, German Anthroposopher. While serving in the army he became ill with lung disease, & during convalescence was given a book by Rudolf Steiner. He was soon immersed in Steiner’s philosophy, & became one of the most prolific lecturers & writers in the early years of the anthroposophical movement. He fled Nazi Germany in 1936, after publishing The Transformation of Evil, And the Subterranean Spheres of the Earth
1905 – The physics journal Annalen der Physik received Albert Einstein’s paper, “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?“, introducing the equation E=mc²
1908 – The first production of the Ford Model T automobile was built at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, Michigan
1917 – Deathday of Edgar Degas, French painter & sculptor
1940 – World War II: The Tripartite Pact is signed in Berlin by Germany, Japan & Italy
1959 – Typhoon Vera kills nearly 5,000 people in Japan
1962 – Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring is published, inspiring an environmental movement & the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1993 – The Sukhumi massacre takes place in Abkhazia, violent ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by the separatists perpetrated against Georgian civilians by militia forces, North Caucasian & Russian allies. 50,000 were killed
1996 – The Julie N- a tanker ship, spills thousands of gallons of oil after crashing into the Million Dollar Bridge in Portland, Maine
1998 – Birthday of Google
MY POD (Poem Of The Day)
~Making Peace I know
even night & day struggle,
but this is how magnificent sunsets & the stunning dawn are born…
We can call it a state of grace –
for unless the earth enveloped the seed
& the seed moved against the darkness, there would be no grain…
We take in the air & the air escapes us…
Call it the breath of life; not loss or disaster
it is the empty heart waiting to be filled…
Thanks to all who attended our Michaelmas 2020: Joan d’Arc – PURIFYING FIRE: The Power behind the Will – I will post the link for the recording & some pics from the farm tomorrow.
Dear How We Will friends, We will make our beginning for ALIANT Alliance, in the United States/North America, sister to ELIANT, on Michaelmas, September 29th, 2020. If you’d like to join us for our seed blessing please email Frank and Dottie at CirclesforaRenewalofCulture@gmail.com . If you have already sent us a message to join we will make sure you are on the zoom list. (Please see the zoom information below.)
‘As a Europe-wide platform for anthroposophical initiatives we want to engage in the social, cultural and political discussions of the EU and contribute the experiences and perspectives of Steiner/Waldorf Education, Demeter agriculture, anthroposophic medicine, curative education and patients’ initiatives. In this way we will be able to inform European decision makers more directly about the holistic projects and initiatives which so many citizens are participating in and promoting’
Meeting ID: 629 721 9642
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Meeting ID: 629 721 9642
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Tuesday, September 29 MICHAELMAS ‘Talisman for Courage’ Art Workshop with Victoria Martin 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
MICHAELMAS ‘Talisman for Courage’ Art Workshop in person at the Rudolf Steiner Chicago Branch 4249 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago. 6:30-8:30 PM Facilitated by Victoria Martin
RSVP – firstname.lastname@example.org 312-961-3380
6:30 (sunset) Doors open: orientation. Tea, nuts, and fruit are served
7 PM sharp Visual lecture and demonstration
7:15 PM –8:00 PM workshop – Pastels on flat canvas good for 100+ years (archival materials)
8:00– 8:30 PM discussion – We will learn all about symbols of The Michaelmas: Wings, Iron Meteorites/Stars, Scales of Judgment, Sword of Justice, and the Serpent/Dragon. There will be a wide selection of easy to render visual images in any/all of these 5 categories at each workstation. We will use a black charcoal pencil and the colors red, gold, and turquoise archival pastels on raw canvas size 11” x 11” this Talisman will be suitable for mounting on stretchers or framing (no glass needed).
Limited to 10 participants $15 tuition + $5 materials = $20 or pay what you will. Observers and guests are welcome at no charge, but please bring tree nuts, greens, fruit, or other paleo snacks.
Everyone: wear something RED: Michael’s color!