Against All Odds

14 September 2018 – “Speaking with the Stars”: It’s the last week of summer!

In twilight this evening, catch the crescent Moon in the southwest with Jupiter on her lower right. A line from the Moon through Jupiter points toward Venus, much lower.

Once nightfall is complete, the two brightest stars (not planets) are Vega high overhead & Arcturus in the west.

Draw a line down from Vega to Arcturus. A third of the way down you cross the dim Keystone of Hercules. Two thirds of the way you cross the dim semicircle of Corona Borealis with its one modestly bright star: Alphecca, the gem of the crown.


Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day


We are the echo of the future ~W. S. Merwin (Thanks to Chris Manvell)

Feast of the Cross – According legend the True Cross was discovered in 326 by Saint Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, during a pilgrimage she made to Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was then built at the site of the discovery, by order of Helena & Constantine. The church was dedicated nine years later, on this same date, with a portion of the cross placed inside it.

Other legends explain that in 614, that portion of the cross was carried away from the church by the Persians, & remained missing until it was recaptured by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in 628. Initially taken to Constantinople, the cross was returned to the church in 629.

326 – Helena of Constantinople discovers the True Cross & builds the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

629 – Emperor Heraclius enters Constantinople in triumph after his victory over the Persian Empire

Sandro Botticelli

1321 – Deathday of Durante degli Alighieri – known as Dante

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1486 – Birthday of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, German Occultist, theologian, astrologer, & alchemist

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1723 – Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena lays down the first stone of Fort Manoel in Malta. de Vilhena, a Portuguese nobleman was the 66th Prince of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Unlike many other Grand Masters, he was benevolent & popular with the Maltese people

1741 – George Frideric Handel completes his oratorio Messiah

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1752 – The British Empire adopts the Gregorian calendar, skipping eleven days (the previous day was September 2)

Image result for 1901 – U.S. President William McKinley dies


1901 – U.S. President William McKinley dies after an assassination attempt on September 6, & is succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt

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1940 –The  Ip massacre: The Hungarian Army, supported by local Hungarians, kill 158 Romanian civilians in Ip, Sălaj, a village in Northern Transylvania, an act of ethnic cleansing

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1943 – World War II: The Wehrmacht starts targeting several Greek villages death toll over 500 people

1959 – The Soviet probe Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach it?

1960 – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded

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1960 – Congo Crisis: With CIA help, Mobutu Sese Seko seizes power in a military coup, suspending parliament & the constitution

Image result for 1969 – The US Selective Service selects September 14 as the First Draft Lottery dateImage result for 1969 – The US Selective Service selects September 14 as the First Draft Lottery date

1969 – The US Selective Service selects September 14 as the First Draft Lottery date

2008 – All 88 people on board Aeroflot Flight 821 are killed when the plane crashes on approach to Perm Airport


My POD (Poem Of the Day)

Sir Edward Coley

~I burn & radiate
In the empty space
Where fire appears blue
A jolt of essence
A glow of ether
A passion for stars & stones


How We Will: Bare Bones Organizing – Threefolding Our Cultural Revolution

Review by Kait Ziegler

How do we stand deeply in spiritual space and also be of service in a social justice movement?” This question resonated throughout the space, weaving through the breaths of the individuals who came to How We Will with their own deep questions and capacities. It cascaded down the brightly hued, Lazure walls of the second, emerging Elderberries Threefold Cafe in Chicago, the Aquarian Heartland of the country. In this Heartland, our second forum was a beating heart with many different veins of communities connecting into a shared source of life, with two essential streams of spirituality and inner work intersecting with activism and social justice. The meeting of these two seemingly disconnected life journeys–inner and outer healing of ourselves and the world–sparked the moral imagination of how to build a meaningful bridge between the communities, and ask “how to build it?” and “why to build it?” There is also a question of if these two streams are really disconnected at all, and if they are not binary realms opposing one another, how do we locate the bridge which is already there as a fused, inseparable gesture?

The organizers and forum community offered the idea of Social Threefolding as the reasons for “Why” and “How”. Social Threefolding, a separation of the political, cultural, and economic spheres, was dived deeply into and acted as the blood running through the different veins to make the heart of our forum pump with life. Through panels like “Building Bridges”, “Against All Odds”, and “Why I Stand”, along with Theory U sessions and Threefold Breakout Groups, we investigated the inner and outer qualities of Threefold–technically, emotionally, spiritually, logistically, and more–both intangible and tangible realities of a new system being brainstormed and vigorously worked with. Through hearing insights from individuals working in the Poor People’s Campaign, as well as leaders around the country active in social justice and organizing work, we also explored the reality that, just as Rudolf Steiner was a community organizer and activist, we must also pick up the baton of organizing our local communities, intersecting with social justice awareness, if we are to practically and holistically bring the impulse of Social Threefolding into the world.

As a ribbon threading through our intellectually rich sessions, Melody and Ianthe led the community through an embodied, creative journey of co-leading the story of Goethe’s, “The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily“. With different small groups taking portions of the tale, we used our bodies, props, and imagination to tell the story at different times of the days which mirrored the times of the story, midnight to midnight, until the prophecy had been fulfilled. Melanie offered an evening imagination of, “Who is the lily?” which boldly illuminated the creative power of the story and its purpose– to open deep questions and themes in which to resonate in our souls.

Each interpretation is different of Goethe’s tale, but the feeling of it somehow generated a correlating and empowering question around our purpose of coming to How We Will, and what might come next. Like the convening of the old man, old woman, maidens, lily, snake, young prince, four kings, will-o wisps, ferryman, and the hawk, what might happen when all of us come together that cannot be achieved if working alone? Like the separated worlds of the two sides of the great river, with a great prophecy waiting to be fulfilled of true leadership, bridging an abyss, and building a sacred space, what is our collective prophecy which we must pick up as our task to help serve humanity and bridge the gaps which are present in our society? How do the streams of inner and outer work connect to topple the pillars of racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy, as the work does of the Poor People’s Campaign?

Our answers to these questions varied. At the closing of the forum, people spoke of their ideas that want to be put into action: a localized Threefold organizing project with research and development; outreach to the older generations within Anthroposophy; a housing trust to crumble borders and increase accessibility; building an international sacred space for youth; connecting Brightmoor Maker Space and Free Columbia to the new cafe space, and much more. There is a lot of inner and outer work to be done, and this will certainly not be our last How We Will, yet we made beautiful progress together. Though our initiatives might be separate, the blood of their intention is of one source. Social Threefolding and its qualities of striving for deeper freedom, equity and equality, as well as kinship is coursing through all of the gifts manifested from the forum. We will have to work and see what emerges in our upcoming future, and invite you to set a benchmark that brings us and our communities back together in Philadelphia in 2019 for our third How We Will. A six month interval will happen for those wishing to be a part of the Organizing Research looking at two cities in Los Angeles as our map.

We offer gratitude to all who came to How We Will, all of the organizers, all which emerged and was shared, and acknowledge the courage it takes to stand against all odds for the sake of humanity.


Another review from Tom Grode!


Webster’s: “a story with improbable events leading to a happy ending”.

Once upon a time I flew from Los Angeles to Chicago for How We Will — a four day gathering the end of summer at the Rudolph Steiner Branch.

Steiner lived and worked in Germany during the days following World War I. From Conscious Society: “Delivered in the context of post-war culture and chaos, these lectures form part of Rudolf Stenier’s energetic efforts to cultivate social understanding and renew culture through his innovative ideas based on “threefolding”. Steiner develops a subtle and discerning perception of how social dynamics could change and heal if they were founded on real insight into our threefold nature as individuals, social beings, and economic participants in the world. He doesn’t offer a programmatic agenda for change, but a real foundation from which change can organically grow.”

I flew to Chicago stressed and excited about the chaotic circumstances in my life. I flew to Chicago not really sure what I was walking into. I flew to Chicago anticipating something important would happen.

Around seventy people came to Chicago. Several of us came from Los Angeles. Several came from an artists community in rural upstate New York. Some guys came from Detroit. A sprinkling came from other parts of the country and many from Chicago.

Two young Storytelling ladies from Europe on the first day broke us into seven groups to take turns with a section of The Green Snake and Beautiful Lily fairy tale by Goethe. I never heard of The Green Snake and Beautiful Lily before. The different groups would perform their section of the story over the course of the next few days so by the end we presented the full story to one another.

We had just established Community Agreements, one of which was Trust The Process and so I suppose I broke the agreement because I quickly went to Google to read the whole story. The Green Snake and Beautiful Lily tells of a river separating two lands and a snake that sacrifices itself to become a bridge so people can freely walk over the river from land to land.

The Los Angeles folks were connected to Moral Mondays held by a vegan café Elderberries 3Fold on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. Moral Mondays is rooted in the work done by Rev. William Barber in North Carolina who launched Moral Mondays and later re-launched the Poor Peoples Campaign first launched by Martin Luther King now under the name Poor Peoples Campaign: a national call for moral revival. Some of the Moral Mondays folks are now major leaders in the Poor Peoples Campaign for California.

I flew to Chicago carrying three things:

1) My Native American name is Woorypot Moompet and much of the Poor Peoples Campaign foundation laid by Dr.King at the time of his assassination was his growing relationship with Native American leaders.

2) I’ve lived in Skid Row downtown Los Angeles since 2013 and the essence of Skid Row mirrors the essence of the Poor Peoples Campaign: a national call for moral revival.

3) A few years ago while staying in Pasadena I had a vision of two lines moving in outer space where they would eventually intersect. One line was called Martin Luther King and the other line was called William Seymour. When they intersected there was an explosion and inside the explosion appeared the word “justice”. Preacher Seymour, the son of slaves, was the leader of the Azusa Street Revival of 1906 in downtown Los Angles that birthed Pentecostal Christianity. Time-Life in 2001 put the Azusa Street Revival, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and Shekinah Glory, as #68 on their list of 100 Most Important Events of the Past One Thousand Years 1000–2000AD. Azusa is a Tongva word, Native indigenous people of Los Angeles, and is usually translated as Blessed Miracle or Healing. .

The threefolding process of Rudolf Steiner is based on a simple premise: human society used to be centralized courtesy of the Pharoah and the King. But the great wave has been away from centralization and this movement has resulted in three separate yet overlapping realms — Rights (government), Cultural, Economic. That premise then becomes the basis for systemic reformation and creating new systems.

Steiner developed Anthroposofy as a scientific form of Theosophy, a relationship with God and the spiritual realm based on mystical insights, and followers of Steiner weave Anthroposofy into Threefolding as part of exploring the Rights, Culture, and Economic realms for a healthier humanity.

In this fairy tale are many characters: a Ferryman, two Will O’ The Wisps, the Green Snake, a Weak Giant with a Strong Shadow, the Gold King, the Silver King, the Bronze King, a Fourth King (composite of the other three Kings), Old Man with Lamp, Wife of Old Man, Beautiful Lily, Young Man, Maiden, Mops the Dog, two Maiden Servants. As the seven groups rehearsed their turn to tell their section of the story, one wall was painted as a Green Snake and Beautiful Lily mural.

The rural New York artists sang folk songs wearing rural New York folk song clothing. The Detroit guys were led by an old white guy who kept spitting out rhymes. Words from Motor City mostly very pretty.

Meals were shared — every possible tasty variation of beans and rice. During one lunch I spoke to one of the rural New York artist folk singers and he told me how a Mohawk leader walked with them for counsel as they developed a Native theater piece featuring giant puppets, Excerpts of the Journey of the Peacemaker.

The Chicago folks were mostly older and over the days they wrestled with how to support a vegan café based on the one in Los Angeles about to be built in much of their Rudolf Steiner Branch building.

How We Will included expert threefolding teachers with Q and A plus group discussion. We also had panel discussions. One panel was Against All Odds and I spoke about the intense still to be finished roller coaster in City Hall for Skid Row to create a Skid Row Neighborhood Council as an official part of City government.

We closed our gathering in a circle where folks could step forward to announce some brand new practical effort as an invitation for others to support their journey. One of the Storytellers from England who helped lead our Green Snake theater process stepped into the circle bursting into tears as she shared her vision of how affordable housing can help bridge gaps between people, ending with her crying saying: “Why is this happening, I don’t even know how to do a mortgage”.

Tears can be a form of intercession. Intercession is a gap between what should never have been separated, and you step into that gap. Tears nurture the coming together.

The common aftermath of a mountaintop experience is folks return to normal life in the valley. This gathering could be different as everyone can follow online or in person the process to turn much of the Chicago Branch building into a threefolding vegan café based on the community-building momentum of How We Will.

“Finally, the crowd gradually dispersed, pursuing its own course; and the bridge, to this day, continues to swarm with travelers, and the temple is the most frequented one on the entire earth”.


Dear Friends – A friendly reminder: The play “This War Is Not Inevitable” will be performed at Urban Prairie on Saturday night at 7 pm.  And at the Christian Community on Sunday Sept. 16th at 12:30 pm.

This two-actor performance is about Social Three-Folding in Middle Europe at the beginning of World War I and the beginning of the Waldorf School Movement.

It is acessable to all, and so relevant to the issues we are all facing today in the cultural, political and the economic realms, but refreshingly non-partisan.

Michael Burton, from New Zealand along with young Waldorf alumnus Christian Peterson, from Harlemville, will be performing.

We are so fortunate that they are able to stop in Chicago on their tour around the US!  So bring a neighbor or friend along!

All Contributions are appreciated. ?

~Johanna Rohde

PERFORMANCE OF THE PLAY Written by Michael Hedley Burton:Saturday, September 15th at 7 pm  Urban Prairie Waldorf School 1310 S. Ashland

PERFORMANCE CANCELED on Sept. 14th at Chicago Waldorf School

PERFORMANCE on Sunday, Sept 16th at 12:30 pm

At The Christian Community, 2135 West Wilson Ave, 60625

Suggested donation: $15, $25 or $40…depending on your circumstances.Books written by Michael Burton also for sale


 Poetic Imagination, Metamorphosis and the Evolution of Consciousness with Luke Fischer

Sunday 16 September 2018, 4 – 6 pm At the Branch

In this lecture, poet and philosopher, Dr Luke Fischer will discuss ways in which the poetry and thought of Goethe, Rilke, Barfield, and Steiner contribute to an understanding of the evolution of consciousness and of the particular significance of poetic imagination. He will also shed light on how his own poetic and philosophical writings have addressed these topics.

Also: a short Poetry Reading and Piano Recital with Ryan Senger


Veil Painting Workshop with David A. Dozier

Friday Sept. 21, 2018, 7 -9pm, Saturday Sept. 22, 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday Sept. 23, 10 am -1pm

Workshop fee: $135.00 for RSB members, $160.00 for non-members Supply fee: $135.00*


 Friday 28 September 2018 – COMMUNITY MEETING at 7 pm with Ann Burfeind 

Checking in on our local Anthroposophical Initiatives:

Are you a Waldorf Teacher, Branch Member, Christian Community Member, Involved with Anthroposophical Medicine, or Bio-Dynamics, Interested in serving the Being of Chicago…? Please come & bring a report, of the new school, or your Spiritual Scientific research…ETC…

We will also have a review of the How We Will Forum2

All in the spirit of Michaelmas


Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society, 4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (mapCheck out our Web site! Chicago, IL (Anthroposophical Society in America) 

The Elderberries 3-Fold Space is currently available for rental on PEER SPACE for classes, events, meetings, retreats, art exhibits, family parties, etc…


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