Those who work with the Original indications in the Calendar of the Soul know that Rudolf Steiner lists the birth & death days, as well as other significant occurrences of various individualities, along with the dates in the calendar. He said of this: “What is presented here can be useful to those who wish to follow the path of mankind’s spiritual development” ~Rudolf Steiner
TODAY 31 August in 1943 – Deathday of Elisabeth Vreede, a Dutch mathematician, astronomer & Anthroposophist – one of Rudolf Steiner’s closest co-workers, part of the the original Vorstand in Dornach
Elisabeth Vreede was born in Holland, at The Hague, on 16 July 1879. She was the second child of her father, who was a lawyer, & her mother, who was devoted to charitable work. She was a sensitive person, & later on in her life she played an important part in the Anthroposophical life in Holland.
Elisabeth Vreede came into contact with Theosophy in her home growing up. She was interested early on in the starry sky, & while learning French, she read the works of Camille Flammarion, a French astronomer & author. Because of his scientific background, he approached spiritism & reincarnation from the viewpoint of the scientific method, writing, “It is by the scientific method alone that we may make progress in the search for truth. Religious belief must not take the place of impartial analysis. We must be constantly on our guard against illusions.”
At the University of Leyden she studied mathematics, astronomy, Sanskrit, & philosophy (especially Hegel). She was also actively involved in student life, founding a boat club & was a council member of the students’ union.
After receiving her diploma in 1906, she gave instruction at a higher girl’s school in mathematics until 1910. From 1910, she lived in Berlin, worked on her dissertation, & occasionally worked as a secretary for Rudolf Steiner. In April 1914, she moved to Dornach to help in the building of the first Goetheanum & was often found there carving wood.
During the War years (1916/17) Elisabeth Vreede broke off from her residence in Dornach in order to work in Berlin as a coworker of Elisabeth Rotten, a Quaker, peace activist & educational progressive, looking after prisoners of war. She was very much aware of the life & sufferings of her contemporaries.
Her first meeting with Rudolf Steiner took place at the Theosophical Congress in London in 1903. Vreede was leader of the mathematics & astronomy sections in the Goetheanum in Dornach from 1926 till 1935. In her capacity as leader of the Mathematical-Astronomical Section she wrote a monthly letter, then available by subscription, about both modern astronomy & classical astrology in the light of spiritual science. The letters included explanations of the fundamentals of astronomy & discussions of astrology in the modern world, with reference to such topics as the procession of the equinoxes, comets, solar & lunar eclipses, & the meaning of the Christian holidays such as Easter & Whitsun. The Letters in English translation were published in 2007 with the title Astronomy and Spiritual Science.
Rudolf Steiner said of her: ‘this individuality does not wish to be recognized …’ Elisabeth Knottenbelt in her memoirs describes statements about her: that ‘she incarnated too early’ for the sake of serving Rudolf Steiner. “for this task [the work with Rudolf Steiner] she had assumed the sacrifice of a premature incarnation. One who, for the sake of a spiritual mission, comes in this way to earth too early must forego a lot. To a great extent one leaves one’s karmic circle of human beings behind in the spiritual word. Her life was thus really a quite lonely one, only a few persons were grouped around her without any real connection.”
After the War, Rudolf Steiner developed his idea of the threefold social order & she too had an intense interest in this initiative & work. She was the first to bring this idea of a threefold social order to England.
Around 1918, Dr. Vreede began to construct the library & archive at the Goetheanum. Using her own means, she purchased the expensive lecture transcripts as soon as they were typed from notes. In 1920 she moved to Arlesheim, Switzerland, where she had built a little house for herself. It was the second house for which Steiner had given the model in 1919.
In 1924, Steiner appointed her to head the Mathematical-Astronomical Section of the School of Spiritual Science of the recently reestablished Anthroposophical Society, & she belonged to the board of directors of the general Anthroposophical Society from 1925 to 1935.
In 1935 the separation within the Anthroposophical Society took place & she was expelled from the executive council & excluded along with her long-time friend & co-member, Dr. Ita Wegman from the board of directors. She was also cut off from the observatory & archives that she herself helped assemble.
The last years of her life became more lonely. She was cut off from her friends abroad by the War. The death of Ita Wegman at the beginning of March, 1943, was a great shock for her.
Here is a quote from a letter written by her prior to her removal from the executive council: “The Being of Anthroposophy – I myself have always felt it as a spiritual being newly created by Dr. Steiner, as it were the first hierarchical Being that men have begotten, quite young and still underdeveloped, as is the case with a child—a Being that must now begin to develop further through our common work as a ‘community of knowledge’, and with the cooperation of its creator from the spiritual world. Just for this reason I find it so painful when attacks are continually made against part of the active members such as to exclude them from the work, from creating together the Being of Anthroposophy.”
Rudolf Steiner saw her in connection with the Platonic stream, & had indicated that she had incarnated earlier than planned in order to meet him on Earth.
Rudolf Steiner is reputed to have said that Dr. Vreede understood his work more deeply than anyone else.
Dr. Vreede gave a lecture on 3 January 1926, which was first publish in the Anthroposophical Movement in Vol. 6, Nos. 42 to 46, called The World of the Stars and Human Destiny. In it she addressed the appropriate use of Astrology in our time:
“You will now understand to what purpose we have a horoscope, and that it is not there in the first instance for our own sake. You will understand that when a horoscope is made for a person’s satisfaction, there is always a certain amount of egoism connected with it; for he does not possess it for this purpose! And if you take the passages in our literature where Dr. Steiner speaks about Astrology (there are passages in many of the cycles and lectures) you will find how he emphasizes again and again that Astrology must be something social, which pays no attention to the individual but has social aims. In a true Astrology only what is universally human is considered and not the satisfaction of the egoism of the human being. By considering it egoistically, that deed of Michael is undone whereby other beings ought to be saved from plunging into the abyss.
When Dr. Steiner asked the position of the stars at the moment of a birth, it was always with reference to children who lacked one or other of the forces just described. It was then possible to learn from it which of these forces was not there in the right sense; thus it could be gathered what this human soul lacked before birth. And then it might be possible under certain circumstances to find a cure. Here we see how the matter is carried away from what is egoistic and into the social, when such abnormal children may in this way find a cure, which otherwise might perhaps not be possible. But in those children in whom certain forces were not brought in at birth these influences remain present. …Thus we see how Astrology can be used when it is kept in Michael’s sense, and not in the sense in which it is so often practiced today.”
In 1928 she invited Willi Sucher to come to Dornach & collaborated with him in working out the death asterograms of historical personalities, which was part of his substantial historic research, & which he further worked out in the late 30’s & 40’s, doing the charts & therapeutic research of special needs children in England & Scotland.
On the anniversary, in 1943, of Rudolf Steiner’s death, she spoke to the circle of friends & co-workers at the Ida Wegman clinic. They wanted to commemorate not just Rudolf Steiner but the many others who were leading Anthroposophists but were no longer known to most. She spoke in a devoted way about Edith Maryon, who also died in 1924, & Alice Sauerwein. She portrayed Count Keyserlingk & Louis Werbeck, Caroline von Heydebrand & Eugen Kolisko.
At the beginning of May 1943 she spoke once more on the 400th anniversary of the death of Copernicus. At the lecture it was noticed that only by exceptional exertion could she keep herself upright. Just a few days later on 6 May, she had to take to her bed. She had never been ill nor depended on people until that point. Thanks to the devoted care of Frau Schunemann, she was treated at home until her passing on 31 August 1943 in Ascona.
“The stars bear for us the traces of the Deeds of the Gods which lead through the Beings of the hierarchies to the frontiers of Divinity Itself.” ~Elisabeth Vreede
31 August 2022 – “Speaking with the Stars” – from AstrosopherJonathan Hilton:
I want to call to your awareness the steady permeation of the sphere around the Earth with small satellites which communicate with ground receivers to provide a global internet web network around our planet. The larger company creating this web of internet satellites is SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk. Starlink is the name of this particular component of the SpaceX corporation. Their goal is to create a network of up to 30,000 small satellites in low orbit around the Earth to form a complete internet web for global access on all parts of the Earth. As of July, 3,000 satellites have been put into orbit. Today is one of five launches in August of about 60 satellites per launch, adding another 300 satellites.
Astronomers are objecting to these satellites because they create light pollution in space obstructing astronomical viewing. The white lines are trails of light from 25 of 60 recently launched Starlink satellites.
The deeper issue is of course the permeation of the sphere around the Earth with 30,000 communication satellites forming this electronic web! Starlink satellites are in what is called “low orbit” which means they are as close to the Earth as possible without being in an atmospheric layer which will cause them to burn up like meteors do on entering a certain layer of our atmosphere. So they orbit at about 340 miles (550 km) altitude which is above the life ether sphere in what is called the thermosphere, which covers a long range of distance and can also be called the cosmic warmth ether layer. The lower levels of this layer are where we find the aurora events.
The question then is in what ways this web of satellites and their accompanying electro/magnetic activity affects the spiritual layers of our Earth, even the capacities for spiritual thoughts to ascend and descend from the heavens. One must not see this strictly spatially but that the spatial is an image of a consciousness which seeks to consume, so to speak, or perhaps subsume, spiritual consciousness into its realm.
So how do we respond to a technological process enveloping our Earth in a web of internet? One can only meet it by first being full awake to what is happening and second by meeting this technological consciousness with spiritual consciousness. One way to do this through astrosophy is to realize that our picture of the cosmos as a spatial realm of matter is false. Rather is the cosmos a great realm of consciousness of beings of ascending ranks, who wish to participate with humanity in its evolutionary process, as well as human beings ascending and descending from death and into birth, bringing the will of the divine into Earth existence and carrying the fruits of life into the cosmos.
The higher beings do not interfere in our freedom but do await our conscious union with them as co-creators in building the new cosmos of spiritual substance born out of our transformative working in the Earth.
When we work out of astrosophy to not picture the planets as material bodies, or “energies”, but rather as spheres of higher consciousness which we can, through a path of cognition, hear and unite ourselves with, then we break through the web of electronic ahrimanic deception into the realm of true being.
With warm greetings, Jonathan Hilton, Astrosophy.com
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (commons,rsarchive.org, Astrosophy.com)
Feast Day of Joseph of Arimathea & Nicodemus. Rudolf Steiner speaks about these individualities as initiates many times. Here are a few examples: http://www.rsarchive.org/Search.phphttp://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA103/English/AP1962/19080525p01.html
1528 – Deathday of Matthias Grünewald a German Renaissance painter of religious works who ignored Renaissance classicism to continue the style of late medieval Central European art into the 16th century. Only ten paintings—several consisting of many panels—& thirty-five drawings survive, all religious, although many others were lost at sea in the Baltic on their way to Sweden as war booty. His largest and most famous work is the Isenheim Altarpiece
1740 – Birthday of Johann Friedrich Oberlin, mystic, philanthropist, social Christian. Rudolf Steiner spoke about him in his lectures on Occult History http://wn.rsarchive.org/GA/GA0126/19101227p01.html
1803 – Meriwether Lewis & William Clark start their expedition to the west
1869 – Deathday of Mary Ward, Irish astronomer & entomologist, killed when she fell under the wheels of an experimental steam car built by her cousins. She was the world’s first person known to be killed by a motor vehicle
1886 – The 7.0 Charleston earthquake hits South Carolina. Sixty people were killed & damage is estimated at $5–6 million
1888 – Mary Ann Nichols is murdered. She is the first of Jack the Ripper’s confirmed victims
1895 – German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his Navigable Balloon
1897 – Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector
1907 – The Anglo-Russian Convention between the United Kingdom & Russia. The agreement led to the formation of the Triple Entente, linking the Russian Empire, the French Third Republic, & the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland – igniting the Great War.
1939 – Nazi Germany mounts a staged attack on the Gleiwitz radio station, creating an excuse to attack Poland the following day thus starting World War II in Europe
1943 – Deathday of Elisabeth Vreede, a Dutch mathematician, astronomer & Anthroposophist – one of Rudolf Steiner’s closest co-workers, part of the the original Vorstand in Dornach (see above)
1957 –Malaysia gains its independence from the United Kingdom
1980 – Flood in Ibadan after 12 hours of heavy downpour, killed over 300 people & properties worth millions destroyed
1986 – Aeroméxico Flight 498 collides with a Piper PA-28 Cherokee over Cerritos, California, killing 67 in the air & 15 on the ground
1986 – The Soviet passenger liner Admiral Nakhimov sinks in the Black Sea after colliding with the bulk carrier Pyotr Vasev, killing 423.
1987 – Thai Airways Flight 365 crashes into the ocean near Ko Phuket, Thailand, killing all 83 aboard
1997 – Deathday of Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Fayed & driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris
1999 – A LAPA Boeing 737-200 crashes during takeoff from Jorge Newbury Airport in Buenos Aires, killing 65, including two on the ground
2005 – The 2005 Al-Aaimmah bridge stampede in Baghdad kills 1,199 people
2012 – A 7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes the Philippine province of Eastern Samar
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Greetings, Three Springs Community Farm Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program is now accepting applications for the 2023 Season (program starting February 1st, 2023)
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