24 December 2019 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Look for the Christmas star within; & then look up & out to see Orion shining in the East, his three-star Belt is nearly vertical, pointing down to where Sirius, the brightest star of the night, will rise around 7 pm. When Sirius is low next to the horizon it often twinkles miraculously, flashing the vivid sacrifice of the color beings.
1st Holy Night: Christmas Eve, Adam & Eve’s Day
Constellation of Pisces, The 2 Fishes
The Sphere of the Human Being (ruling the feet)
Virtue: Magnanimity Becomes Love
‘From the light, thru the darkness, into new light’ – this is the path of human evolution symbolized by the region of the 2 Fishes. One fish swims down into the physical, where we are graced with 2 feet to walk upright upon the earth, until we are ready to swim back up to spirit.
It’s thought-provoking to remember that each epoch is ruled by a prevailing constellation, guided by a particular Time Spirit. Right now we are in the age of Pisces, guided by Michael. For our contemplation of the Holy Nights, it is interesting to think back to the last time the forces from this region of the Zodiac were raying down their influence. Rudolf Steiner’s research tells us it was when the Sun separated from the earth. The Christ-Being left the Earth with the Sun. The light that was within, began to shine from outside us.
And this constellation will be active again when the Inner Spiritual Sun, won thru individual freedom, begins to rise out of the darkness in the human soul. This is possible because Christ made the descent & united Himself with earthly evolution thru the mystery of Golgotha, gradually awakening the higher Sun-Self in humanity, making us worthy to become the 10th Hierarchy.
This has been the work of the Mystery schools since Lemurian times, referred to as the initiation of the Fishes. We see this reflected in many cultural legends: The great Manu learns of the impending flood from the Fishes. While in the Gilgamesh epic Enkidu is called ‘Son of the Fish’. The Guardian of the Grail receives the name the Fisher-King…etc…
John the Baptist had the task of preparing Jesus of Nazareth for the Fish-initiation which he performed at the Baptism in the Jordan. And of course the closest disciples of Christ-Jesus were fishermen (Luke 5:10). Later the ancient symbol of the Fishes came to be associated with those that could be called the Bearer of the Christ.
How striking it is to think that at the 1st Christmas, the symbol of the Fishes pointed, not only back, to the epoch when Christ left the Earth together with the Sun; but also prophetically, to our time now, (since the 1930’s) where humanity has the possibility to experience the ‘Second Coming’ of Christ in the etheric; & then to the future time, when Christ will shine fully once again within the free & conscious human soul.
So here on the 1st Holy Night, in the constellation of Pisces, we find the Alpha & Omega of human evolution, expressing the very essence of Anthropos.
On this night what would it be like to hold a picture of our past selves, informing our present & future selves?
Blessings & Peace ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg
Christmas Eve = Adam & Eve’s Day – the start of the 13 Holy Nights which are especially fruitful for mystical deepening.
Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italian Americans)
Juleaften (Denmark)/Julaften (Norway)/Julafton (Sweden)
Nittel Nacht (certain Orthodox Jewish denominations)
Nochebuena (Spain and Spanish-speaking countries)
1818 – The first performance of “Silent Night” takes place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria
1851 – The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., burns.
1865 – Jonathan Shank & Barry Ownby form The Ku Klux Klan.
1905 –Birthday of Howard Hughes, American businessman, engineer, & pilot
1914 – Deathday of John Muir, Scottish-American geologist, botanist, & author, founded Sierra Club
1914 – the Wedding of Rudolf Steiner to Maria Von Shivers
I feel as from enchantment freed
The spirit-child within the womb of soul,
In clear serenity of heart
The holy Cosmic Word has now begotten
The heavenly Fruit of Hope,
Which grows rejoicing into worlds afar
Out of my being’s Godly ground.
The 12 days of Christmas or 13 Holy Nights fall between Adam & Eve’s day & 3 Kings Day, exemplifying 2 paths, one of a god towards humanhood & the other, of a human toward godhood.
The Paradise Play, the Shepherds’ Play & the 3 Kings’ Play are known as the Oberufer Christmas Plays, ancient tales 1st collected by Rudolf Steiner’s teacher Karl Julius Schroer, named after the Austrian village of Oberufer, an island in the Upper Danube. This river’s source begins in the Black Forest of Germany & flows through Bavaria & Austria. It was from this magical region that these powerfully symbolic plays came.
The first, called The Paradise Play, tells the story in the book of Genesis of the creation of the world, & of Adam & Eve’s expulsion from the garden of Eden after they succumbed to the temptation to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge too soon, the tree of Good & Evil. It is from this primordial tree that we get the modern tradition of the Christmas tree; in the olden days they called it the Paradise Tree. And Christmas Eve, used to be referred to as the Feast of Adam & Eve. Since the fall from paradise represents that point in human evolution, which precipitated the necessity for the incarnation of Christ.
The Shepherds’ Play, tells the story of the proclamation of the Birth of Nathan Jesus to the shepherds in the field. This is the nativity story told in the Gospel According to Luke.
The third of the Oberufer Plays is the Kings Play, which tells of the visit of the 3 wise men, the Magi, to the birthplace of the Zarathustra Jesus child, & of the murderous atrocities of Herod in his attempt to destroy the New born King. This is the nativity story told in the Gospel According to St Matthew, usually performed on the 5th or 6th of January, 12th night, the feast of Epiphany, or 3 Kings day.
The knowledge of these 2 Jesus Children given to us to consider by Rudolf Steiner as early as 1909, is also revealed in many examples of Renaissance art. This open secret is supported in many of the apocryphal gospels, in Gnostic texts & especially in the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in a cave by the Essene enclave near Nazareth, some 40 years after Steiner spoke about these mysteries.
The Kingdom of the New Jerusalem will be able to come into the world when “The Two Become One, & the Outer Becomes as the Inner’. This quote expresses the occult reality of the coming together of the 2 Jesus children to create the perfect human vessel for the Christ. And so it came to be that the prophesy was fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.
& Now my friends, the rest is up to us.
Holy Nights 2019-2020 – The New Mysteries of the ‘Christmas Conference’ Renewed! Dear Friends – Join us this year for an Extra Ordinary Holy Nights. We will gather at the Branch from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm CST to attend a new initiative with folks from around the world; ‘May Human Beings Hear It: An Online Holy Nights Gathering – Hosted by the Anthrophosophical Society in America with Organizers: Laura Scappaticci, Angela Foster, and Hazel Archer-Ginsberg.
Each gathering will begin with an opening verse and acknowledgment of the zodiac constellation corresponding to that night. Then a special offering will be shared by different friends representing many North American groups, branches, and regional councils. These unique contributions will range from meditative readings and thoughtful poems, to enlivening eurythmy and artistic activities, to insight into the cosmic script of the zodiac. This will be followed by work with the Foundation Stone Meditation and conclude with a closing verse.
December 24 12 noon CST
December 25 – 30 6:30 PM CST
December 31 “Hidden Night” – No Meeting
January 1 – 5 6:30 PM CST
The gatherings will be recorded for later viewing if you are not able to join us live. Register using the button above to access both the live presentations and recordings.
Then from 7:30pm – 8:30pm CST we will take up our own study of the ‘Laying of the Foundation Stone’ from The Christmas Conference 1923/1924. (There are copies of ‘The Red Book’ in the Library)
Most Nights are from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm CST except:
24 Dec. Zoom Call at NOON CST, afterwards we will decorate the tree with the signs & symbols
*26 Dec. The Rudolf Steiner Branch is Hosting this Nation-wide event. Meet in the Upper Room at 6 pm CST.
*28 Dec. Olaf Åsteson practice 3 pm – 5 pm CST – Performance at 7 pm CST.
*29 Dec. Mandaamin Institute’s 2019 Open House! 4-6pm Zoom call 6:30pm up there
1st Holy Night: Tuesday 24 December 2019 – Christmas Eve, Adam & Eve’s Day (no meeting at the branch) Zoom call at NOON CST – A Goethean Conversation
2nd Holy Night: Wednesday 25 December 2019 – Christmas Day. 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. 1st hour hosted by ‘The Sophia Holding Group’. Our study: Rudolf Steiner’ Opening Lecture. pg. 43
*3rd Holy Night: Thursday 26 December 2019 – Boxing Day – Feast of St. Steven. 1st hour hosted by us the Rudolf Steiner Branch, Chicago: “The Vast & Holy Night” a liminal performance of spoken word & eurythmy honoring the dark from which the light is born. Our study: The Laying of the Foundation Stone of the General Anthroposophical Society through Rudolf Steiner. Pg. 68
4th Holy Night: Friday 27 December 2019 – Feast of St. John -1st hour hosted by Mary Stewart Adams. Our study: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting pg. 98
*5th Holy Night: Saturday 28 December 2019 – The Dream Song of Olaf Åsteson with Debbie Barford & Mary Tom 3pm – 5pm practice 7 pm – 9 pm performance. Come gather to work with the Legend of Olaf Åsteson in the afternoon to be part of the community ensemble 3pm – 5pm with a dinner break returning for the performance open to all from 7 pm – 9 pm. $10 Donation Encouraged. Contact Debra Barford for more info.
or Zoom Call: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm hosted by The Dallas Maitreya Branch. Lisa Dalton
6th Holy Night: Sunday 29 December 2019 – 1st hour hosted by The Rockford TN. Group.William Rogers
4 pm – 6 pm You are invited to the Mandaamin Institute’s 2019 Open House! This year we intend to report on the great progress we have made with breeding, testing, and getting our high quality, nutrient efficient corn out together with our farmer, university, and company colleagues.
However, we also need now to consider, does it make sense to do research and to breed crops for organic farmers if the farmers are going out of business?
The last few years have been very tough for farmers and there is a real danger that we will lose the smaller scale farmers who practice biodynamic and organic farming. It is increasingly clear that farmers cannot do it alone. Consumer awareness and action are critical for ensuring the best food possible and a healthy planet.
Therefore, this year we will highlight Mark and Petra Zinniker, who run the oldest biodynamic farm on the continent in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. They will share with us the amazing things they have been doing to produce the healthiest food possible, while at the same time, saving the planet through their farming methods.
We will share with you our problems, our plans, and our hopes. Please forward this invitation and the attached flier to anyone who is concerned about food and water quality, climate, and planet health.
Sunday, December 29, 2019
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 7194 Madaus Street, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Drinks and snacks will be provided. Please RSVP by contacting Bente Goldstein at: (262) 642-9738 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Then dear friends, from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm We will hold the Holy Nights ‘May Human Beings Hear It: An Online Holy Nights Gathering hosted by ASA friends around the country’. Here is the link with info. for this free Zoom Call gathering. Here is the Link to Register
PLEASE CONTACT HAZEL IF YOU WANT TO CAR POOL
for those who opt to stay in the City – Our study: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting. pg. 110
7th Holy Night: Monday 30 December 2019 – 1st hour hosted by The Eastern Regional Council. Our study: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting. pg. 138
– NYE–The 13th Hidden Night Tuesday 31 December 2019-2020
7:30 pm – 1 am – $20 + Potluck Food & Drink to Share
Live Music & Folk Dancing with Jutta & the Hi-Dukes ™ 8 -9:30pm
Spacial Dynamics & the Loving Kindness Meditation with Deborah Rogers
Cut Away & Call in – A Ritual of Renewal
Seeking the Holy Grail Within – with Hazel Archer Ginsberg
Lead (Wax) Casting Divination for the NY
8th Holy Night: Wednesday 1 January 2020 – 1st hour hosted by Tess Parker & The Youth. Our study: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting. pg. 183
9th Holy Night: Thursday 2 January 2020 – 1st hour hosted by The Western Regional Council. Our study: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting. pg. 192
10th Holy Night: Friday 3 January 2020 – 1st hour hosted by The Portland Branch. Our study: Continuation of the Foundation Meeting. pg. 204
11th Holy Night: Saturday 4 January 2020 – 1st hour hosted by Brian Gray. Our study: The Envy of the Gods – the Envy of Human Beings, Looking back to the burning of the Goetheanum, by Rudolf Steiner. Pg. 231
*12th Holy Night: Sunday 5 January 2020 – Epiphany, ‘Three Kings’ – 1st hour hosted by The Central Regional Council. Alberto Loya, Marianne Fieber, Lisa Dalton, Hazel Archer Ginsberg. Our Study: On the Right Entry into the Spiritual World – The responsibility Incumbent on us, by Rudolf Steiner. Pg. 260
for more info. contact Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer-Ginsberg