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, comes 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.”
Our names are inscribed into the Mother Earth at the time of our birth. And thruout our many lives we add to this imprinting – Thru our thoughts, words & deeds – thru our interactions with other people, we create a trail that we traverse. And this pathway makes its mark.
So what happens to all that we inscribe into the Earth?
I think of the tale of ‘Eros & Fable’ by Novalis. In it there is a wise woman, named Sophia of course, who has a bowl of oracle water. When a scroll is immersed in it, all the nonessential writing is dissolved, leaving only what has lasting significance. Then this inscription is set into the great book.
But what happens to the rest? Does it become food for the adversary?
At this time of year we can imagine that our life story is dipped into this chalice. Our true name, our true eternal Self is not dissolved. But everything that must dissolve represents how we didn’t live up to our true name – How we missed the Mark.
And so it is that the question arises for each of us: How much of us is junk food & how much of our divine nature can be inscribed in the Book of Life?
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.
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, a 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 –
RUDOLF STEINER’S CALENDAR OF THE SOUL
translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler
I may, belonging to myself now,
begin to shine a dawning inner light
across the darkening of space and time.
To sleep is nature’s urge;
the depths of soul shall wake
and bear the sun’s warm glow
through winter storms and snow.
The Equinox was on Saturday. I align the verses so that v38 is always
at Christmas, so this Equinox verse is a week late… until next year
when Christmas will be on Tuesday and the Autmn Equinox on Sunday.
This week’s mirror verse can be a meditation every morning on awakening.
I can, revived within,
now feel my own wide breadth of being,
my strength of sun-empowered soul
whose radiance of thinking solves life’s riddles
and lifts the wish-fulfilling wings
left lame by hope.
24 September 2023 – “Speaking with the Stars”: The bright gibbous moon moves into the constellation Capricornus on the evenings of September 24 and 25. Comet Nishimura, has now moved from the morning sky to the evening sky. The comet is in bright twilight!
According to the Calendar of the Soul today is the Festival of Persephone, part of The Eleusinian Mysteries, held annually in honor of Demeter & Persephone. The most sacred & revered of all the ritual celebrations of ancient Greece. They were instituted in the city of Eleusis, just west of Athens, possibly as far back as the early Mycenaean period, & continued for almost two thousand years. Large crowds of worshippers from all over Greece (& later, from throughout the Roman empire) would gather to make the holy pilgrimage between the two cities & participate in the secret rites, generally regarded as the high point of Greek life.
622 – Muhammad & his followers completed their Hijra from Mecca to Medina to escape religious persecution. Rudolf Steiner tells us Muhammad was able to see into the etheric realm. Legend has it that the enemy was just seconds from capturing them when they ducked into a cave, where they surly would been found, except a spider wove a giant web & a dove made a nest at the entrance, so when the enemy come to the cave they thought – they can’t be here, since the web was so intricate & the nest so well established.
787 – Second Council of Nicaea: The council assembled at the church of Hagia Sophia
1046 – Deathday(drowned) /Feast of St. Gellert
1541 – Deathday (murdered) Theophrastus Paracelsus, a Swiss German philosopher, physician, botanist, astrologer, & occultist. He is credited as the founder of toxicology. He is also a famous revolutionary for utilizing observations of nature, rather than referring to ancient texts, something of radical defiance during his time. He is credited as the first to note that some diseases are rooted in psychological conditions.
Paracelsus’ most important legacy is his critique of the scholastic methods in medicine, science & theology. As a physician of the early 16th century, Paracelsus held a natural affinity with the Hermetic, Neoplatonic, & Pythagorean philosophies central to the Renaissance. Paracelsus rejected the magic theories of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa & Nicolas Flamel in his Archidoxes of Magic.
Astrology was a very important part of Paracelsus’ medicine & he was a practicing astrologer. Paracelsus devoted several sections in his writings to the construction of astrological talismans for curing disease. He also invented an alphabet called the Alphabet of the Magi, for engraving angelic names upon talismans.
1916 – Rudolf Steiner’s 2nd lecture on the Mexican Mysteries
1789 – The United States Congress passes the Judiciary Act which creates the office of the United States Attorney General & the federal judiciary system, & orders the composition of the Supreme Court of the United States
1869 – “Black Friday“: Gold prices plummet after Ulysses S. Grant orders the Treasury to sell large quantities of gold after Jay Gould & James Fisk plot to control the market
1896 – Birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald, novelist & short story writer
1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation’s first National Monument
1914 – World War I: The Siege of Poland begins
1948 – The Honda Motor Company is founded
1950 – Forest fires black out the sun over portions of Canada & New England. A blue moon is seen as far away as Europe
1957 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends 101st Airborne Division troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce desegregation
1960 – USS Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is launched
SUNDAY 24 September 2023
Community Prep-Stir / Potluck / Bon-fire
*The Autumnal Equinox
*World Eurythmy Day
6 – 8 pm at the Lucchesi-Archer-Ginsberg domicile
Please Bring Food & Drink to share, & a jar for the prep
30 September 2023 – Our Annual Michaelmas Festival & Zinniker Farm Day – Biodynamic preparation making and Michaelmas 2023 – Food for Thought
The time for biodynamic preparation making is upon us. We will be making and burying the chamomile, yarrow and dandelion compost preparations. This offers hands on activity. We will be walking through grass and working in the soil. Please dress accordingly and be ready to get dirty.
After the potluck join Hazel Archer-Ginsberg in an experiential activity at the bon-fire called: Food for Thought –
Bounty: What spiritual gifts have you harvested in your life so far this year?
Farewells: What no longer serves? What is over? Say good-bye/ thank you.
Preserves: What will you keep as seed for the future?
Date: September 30th, 2023 at the Zinniker Farm
Time: 1:30pm, potluck dinner
Please bring a dish to share
Suggested donation: $15-25 for more info.