During this time of Advent we must face trials that make us worthy to receive the sacred birth of the Nathan soul, around the time of the Winter Solstice; which then guides us into the precession of the 13 Holy Nights; which culminates in the birth of Christ on the Epiphany.
In the 1st week of Advent we meet the mineral kingdom to see our relationship with issues relating to our physical needs. We recognize that death & mineralization in the physical world of nature at this time helps us step into the karmic unfolding of ourselves & of humanity as a whole. Here we face the Fire trial, where we must rise to the challenge of cultivating a sense of justice. Fire meets earth. Our task is to burn away the dross of what does not serve so that we can stand upright in the face of what we are meeting in ourselves & in the world.
Now we enter the 2nd week, related to the plant kingdom, where the etheric realm comes into play. Here we encounter the trial by water. Discretion & Self-restraint will help us meet these challenges. Water meets air. Practicing selflessness will help us build truthfulness in the face of the societal temptation to accept & perpetuate the blind lie. In the water trial we encounter our feeling life which is still quite dreamy, so we are called to bring thought into this realm, so we can judge our feelings objectively, working to understand what inspires them. And we are also challenged to bring Will into our feelings. Then we are able to control them & practice equanimity.
These trials help us develop new spiritual organs – This week we practice breathing under water! See you in the pool.
Pod (Poem Of the Day)
~Let us lift the clouds that guard the secret –
The miracle is happening
Let aspirations rise & speak:
The Peace of Wisdom is coming back
To give birth to Love
Again & yet again Sing Life
Stirring below the surface of skin,
Anoint the pain of mortality, the loss & suffering
The misunderstandings that prick
Consciousness & prod us toward truth…
Bless the body
Where Love in Wisdom is gathering…
Today is the Feast Day of Old St. Nick, a bishop wearing his red mantle & mitre hat, sporting a long, white beard & carrying his golden shepherds crook. Legend has it that he helped the poor & calmed the seas; & on his feast day gives children who are good sweets or gifts.
But beware if you are bad for black Pete, or Knecht Ruprecht, will put you in his bag & take you away to the black forest until you learn your lesson… So on the night of December 5th set out your boots & leave a carrot for his horse then go to bed & dream of doing good deeds like St. Nichplas once did…
In Waldorf schools St. Nick comes into the classroom of the lower grades & shakes the hand of each child telling them what they have done well, & what they have not done so well & need to improve. This always made quite an impression on the young children to receive this gentle reckoning.
The one we know of as St. Nicholas was born in 271 AD & died around December 6, 342 or 343 AD near the Asia Minor (Turkey) town of Myra, where he later became Bishop. He performed many good deeds & was a friend to the poor & helpless. Upon his death, myths soon sprang up about him all around the Mediterranean Sea. He was reputed to be able to calm the raging seas, rescue desperate sailors, & save children. He was soon named as the patron saint of sailors, & when Myra was overthrown, his bones were transported by sailors to Bari, a port in Italy, where a tomb was built over the grave & became the center of honor for St. Nicholas. From here the legend spread on around to the Atlantic Coast of Europe & the North Sea to become a European holiday tradition regardless of religion.
In the Netherlands, legend has it that Sinterklaas (Dutch name for St. Nicholas) arrives in the Netherlands by way of steamboat from Spain 2 weeks before his traditional birthday, December 6th, along with his helper, Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), who will help disperse the gifts & candy to all the good children. Referring to his book that lists all the good & bad children, Sinterklaas will deliver presents to all the good children, but watch out if you’ve been bad! The Low Countries (Belgium & Luxemburg) have basically the same traditions surrounding St. Nicholas, but not to the extent of the Netherlands. Children in Luxemburg call him Kleeschen, & his helper is Hoseker (Black Peter). Belgian children know him as Sint Niklaas.
For families with older children & adults, different twists are added to the gift giving & may include gag gifts or the drawing of gift ideas or names, & most times are accompanied by poems with a “personal touch” that poke fun at the recipient in a gentle way (or not, depending on the families ). Wrapping the presents up in odd packages & planting a trail of clues is also part of the general fun, & can sometimes be pretty tricky to get to, depending on the squeamishness of the recipients.
In Germany, St. Nicholas is also known as Klaasbuur, Sunnercla, Burklaas, Bullerklaas,& Rauklas, & in eastern Germany, he is also known as Shaggy Goat, Ash Man, or Rider & is more reflective of earlier Norse influences that were blended in with the figure of St. Nicholas, when Christianity came to Germany. After the reformation, St. Nicholas’s attire began to change, maybe as a reflection of the change from the Roman church, & he started to wear a red suit with fur. Although he still visits many homes on Dec 5th/6th & leaves candy and gifts in the children’s shoes, more recently St. Nicholas has begun showing up on Christmas Eve in Germany & is called Father Christmas.
In France, he is also called Pere Noel (Father Christmas) & he travels in the company of Pere Fouettard. Pere Noel leaves presents for good children, while Pere Fouettard disciplines bad children.
St. Nicholas day was celebrated formerly in Russia, but under Communism he was changed to Grandfather Frost & wore blue instead of red. In Sicily, he comes on Dec 13th with Santa Lucia.
6 December 2020 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Bella Luna dangles like a bauble below Venus, then Saturn, then lower right of Jupiter, which is just outside the top left of this frame.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
During the Feast of Saint Nicolas in 1273, Saint Thomas Aquinas had a mystical vision that made writing seem unimportant to him. At mass, he reportedly heard a voice coming from a crucifix that said, “Thou hast written well of me, Thomas; what reward wilt thou have?” to which Saint Thomas Aquinas replied, “None other than thyself, Lord.”
When Saint Thomas Aquinas’s confessor, Father Reginald of Piperno (an earlier incarnation of Ita Wegman) urged him to keep writing, he replied, “I can do no more. Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to be like straw” Thomas Aquinas never wrote again.
1926 – Deathday of Claude Monet
1959- Deathday of Emil Bock, Priest & co-founder of the Christian Community
RUDOLF STEINER’S CALENDAR OF THE SOUL
translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler
The Cosmic Word,
mysteriously urging to be heard,
is speaking in my depths of being:
Inspire your life’s endeavour
with spirit light of mine
to sacrifice yourself through Me.
The Soul Calendar’s 4 quarters represent the movements
of sense perception conceiving spirit,
imaginative insight incarnating spirit,
threefold inspiration for the spirit’s Christmas birth,
and intuitive love for a new spring world.
I gave last week’s verse the title of ‘Can True Being Inspire Me’,
and in these 2 mirror verses of the Cosmic Word
I’ve incorporated the words, not present in the original, of imagine and inspire.
Advent is a path that leads from the ordinary earthly self to the higher self
that the Nathan Child can bring us. To set the Christmas Spirit Child free
in our womb of soul we need threefold inspired thoughts, feelings and will.
The Cosmic Word
I’ve had the grace to lead
through senses’ gates to soul ground speaks:
Imagine in your spirit depths my world expanse
to find in future Me in you.
Holiday Market at the Rudolf Steiner Branch
4249 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
18 December 2021 – from 11 am – 4 pm
Handcrafted gifts, décor & toys
Featuring Live Music, Puppetry & Candle Dipping!!!
Dear friends – Please Join Us as move toward the Winter Festival Season:
Thursday 23 December 2021 – The Eve of the Eve –
11 am PT / 12 pm MT / 1 pm CT / 2 pm ET / 7 pm UTC
A Christmas Festival with Heart-Opening Movement by Lucien Dante Lazar
& a talk by our Christian Community Priest Rev. Jeana Lee
‘Divine Love and the Holy Child Within’
This will be a hybrid in-person & Zoom event
Featuring our 2 camera technology with Mary Spalding
Doors open at 12:30 pm (Zoom Room open 12:45 pm for Social time)
Snacks to Share Encouraged
Suggested donation $15.00
cash payment at the door or via the Rudolf Steiner Branch PayPal donation site –
*Please make a note on the first line – type in: “Christmas Fest”!
The Festival will be recorded
Time: Dec 23, 2021 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 705 293 1041
For more info. Contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Storytelling during the Holy Nights 2021-2022
Hosted by the Anthroposophical Society in America
”The purpose of a story is to be an ax that breaks up the ice within us.”
~ Franz Kafka
Click to Register!
All around the world the season of midwinter is the traditional time for community bonding through storytelling. In laying the groundwork for the 100-year anniversary of the Christmas Conference, we bring the ancient Sumerian saga “The Epic of Gilgamesh” to life. Rudolf Steiner explored this story in Occult History during the Holy Nights of 1910; and again with the lectures “World History in the Light of Anthroposophy” given during those fateful Holy Nights in 1923 for the re-founding of the Society.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is perhaps the oldest written tale on Earth. The Sumerian version dates from around 3000 B.C. Later it was compiled from 12 clay tablets written in Akkadian cuneiform.
It is the “Hero’s Journey” of human evolution, a story of friendship, and a quest for the meaning of life – revealing Steiner’s core mission of bringing karma and reincarnation to the west.
Myths, fairytales, historical epics, and sagas open us up to powerful archetypes behind the human condition, revealing clues to ourselves – from the past, the present, and the future. What will we uncover about ourselves and each other during this year’s Holy Nights adventure in storytelling?
Tune in for any or all of the episodes of this dramatic reading, re-worked by Hazel Archer from various translations, and featuring friends from around the world.
What: The Epic of Gilgamesh: Story Telling during the Holy Nights hosted by the ASA, Hazel Archer, and friends.
Time: 22 minutes daily at 9 am PT / 10 am MT / 11 am CT / 12 pm ET / 5 pm UTC
Dates: December 24, 2021- January 5, 2022 for 13 consecutive days
Can’t join us live? No problem. Each gathering will be recorded and posted on our Holy Nights page (link will be emailed upon registration).
How: Register Here! Then check your email for confirmation with the Zoom registration link.
Eurythmy for the Holy Nights with Jan Ranck
‘Tuning to the Stars’:
Sacred Geometry, the Planets and the Zodiac
LIVE IN-PERSON 26-30 Dec. 2021
at the Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago 4 pm – 5 pm
And at 7pm on 31 Dec. as part of our Annual NYE Gathering (details below)
$100 for all 6 sessions, or $22 for each individual session.
Cash at the door, or send a check to:
Rudolf Steiner Branch
4249 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618-2953
For more info. Contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
* Jan Ranck – Born in the USA, Jan Ranck studied music and comparative arts at Indiana University in Bloomington. She accompanied the London Stage Group on their 1976 USA tour and went on to study eurythmy at the Eurythmeum in Dornach with Lea van der Pals, where she subsequently taught. In 1984 she joined the faculty of The London School of Eurythmy. She left there to complete her eurythmy therapy training in Stuttgart in 1989, moving afterward to Israel, where she founded and directed the Jerusalem Eurythmy Ensemble (1990) and the Jerusalem Academy of Eurythmy (1992) and was an instructor in the Jerusalem Waldorf Teacher Bachelor Program in David Yellin Academic College from 1999. Jan has held Master Classes at various venues worldwide, including the Goetheanum and the MA Program in Eurythmy held at Emerson College and Spring Valley. She is the representative for Israel in the International Eurythmy Therapy Forum.
Friday 31 December 2021
Doors open at 6:30 pm
Join us for our Annual NYE Conscious Community Gathering –
The Theme for 2022 is Cabaret – a Cultural Sharing!
All are invited to take the stage with an offering.
Circles Edge & other Waldorf alum will also perform
Please bring Festival Food & Drink to share
$20 Cash at the door or Make your payment using the Rudolf Steiner Branch PayPal or QuickPay with Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Please indicate in the notes that it is for the “NYE”)
8 pm – Potluck Social
8:30 pm – Circles Edge & Friends warm the stage & host the open mic
10:10 pm – Thought-Seed Circle
10:30 pm – Clean-up…;)
For more info. Contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator