13 August 2016 – Astro-Weather:
Look overhead around 10pm CDT any day this week & your eyes will fall on the brilliant star Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp. Vega is the brightest member of the prominent Summer Triangle asterism. The Triangle’s second-brightest star, is Altair in Aquila the Eagle, southeast of Vega. The asterism’s dimmest member, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, stands northeast of Vega. Although the brightening Moon diminishes the luster of stars this week, the Summer Triangle remains conspicuous.
ALSO: About 45 minutes before the Sun comes up, look for a bright object hovering just above the horizon in the east-southeast. This is the night sky’s brightest star – Sirius in the constellation Canis Major. The return of Sirius to the predawn sky was an occasion for celebration in ancient Egypt. Around 3000 b.c., this so-called heliacal rising of Sirius heralded the coming flood of the Nile River, an event upon which agriculture — & all life in Egypt — depended
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
“Study the past if you would define the future.” ~Confucius
303 – St. Cassian of Imola, Patron Saint of Teachers, martyred during the reign of Julian the Apostate
1699 – Deathday of Marco d’Aviano, Capuchin monk. When he gave his blessing to a nun, bedridden for some 13 years, she was miraculously healed. The news spread far & wide, among those who sought his help was Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, whose wife had been unable to conceive a male heir. From 1680 to the end of his life, Marco d’Aviano became a close confidant & adviser to him. As the danger of war with the Ottoman Turks grew near, Marco d’Aviano played a crucial role in resolving disputes, restoring unity, & energizing the armies of the Holy League
1792 – King Louis XVI of France is formally arrested by the National Tribunal, & declared an enemy of the people
1802 – Birthday of Nikolaus Lenau, Austrian poet- wrote a version of Faust, Savonarola, Die Albigenser, Don Juan…etc…
1818 – Birthday of Lucy Stone a prominent American orator, abolitionist, & suffragist, known for using her maiden name after marriage. In 1847, Stone became the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She spoke out for women’s rights & against slavery at a time when women were discouraged & prevented from public speaking
1831 – Nat Turner witnesses a solar eclipse which caused the sky to appear a blue-green color, which he envisioned as a black man’s hand reaching over the sun. Eight days later he & 70 other slaves kill between 55-65 whites in Southampton County, Virginia
1860 – Birthday of Annie Oakley
1868 – A massive earthquake near Arica, Peru, causes an estimated 25,000 casualties, & the subsequent tsunami causes considerable damage as far away as Hawaii & New Zealand
1876 – The premiere of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the recently completed Bayreuth Festspielhaus
1898 – Carl Gustav Witt discovers 433 Eros, the first near-Earth asteroid to be found
1899 – Birthday of Alfred Hitchcock
1900 – Deathday of Vladimir Soloviev, a Russian philosopher, theologian, poet, pamphleteer & literary critic. It is widely held that Solovyov was one of the sources for Dostoyevsky’s characters in The Brothers Karamazov. Solovyov’s influence can also be seen in the writings of the Symbolist & Neo-Idealist writers of the later Russian Soviet era. His book The Meaning of Love can be seen as one of the philosophical sources of Leo Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata. It was also the work in which he introduced the concept of ‘syzygy’, to denote ‘close union’.
He influenced the religious philosophy of many including the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, (see War, Progress, and the End of History: Three Conversations, Including a Short Story of the Anti-Christ. Reprinted 1990 by Lindisfarne Books) Steiner speaks of Solovyov’s former incarnation as a visionary nun in the Middle Ages in his Karmic relationships Vol. 4 Lecture 8
1910 – Deathday of Florence Nightingale
1914 – The beginning of Rudolf Steiner’s Curative Education Course “For our Friends”
1926 – Birthday of Fidel Castro
1942 – Walt Disney’s fifth full-length animated film, Bambi, was released to theaters
1946 – Deathday of H. G. Wells
1961 – the Berlin Wall is erected
1969 – The Apollo 11 astronauts are released from a three-week quarantine to enjoy a ticker tape parade in New York City. That evening, at a state dinner in Los Angeles, they are awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Richard Nixon
1975 – Deathday of Kurt Henderwerk , veteran anthroposophical actor
1978 – One hundred fifty Palestinians in Beirut are killed in a terrorist attack during the second phase of the Lebanese Civil War
2004 – One hundred fifty-six Congolese Tutsi refugees are massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi
2015 – At least 76 people are killed & 212 others are wounded in a truck bombing in Baghdad, Iraq
International Lefthanders Day
My POD (Poem Of the Day)
~…& the quiet that settles on our skin,
A light rain rinsing the pastel dawn
Into pale grey, keeps company
With those whose dreams are troubled
& whose love is still asleep…
This morning I am thinking about “Compassion becomes Freedom” the Leitmotif for the month of August. As I awoke I noticed how the song birds seemed quieter – more demur then when I left for my ‘Faust Initiation’ in July. The soul of the Earth, after uniting with the world spirit in the heights of summer, is binding herself again to the earth with the inbreathing process, & the creatures of air are a barometer of this progression.
I imagine the lion-sun satiated, demonstrating a slowed rhythmic breathing, deepening into ripened power. The human being can only achieve this kingly power of inner mastery thru the test of freedom -To raise ourselves as “a splendid stranger made king of earthly nature” as Novalis puts it in his ‘Hymns to the Night’.
We strive for the inner harmony of the marriage of fire & water – where the lion-heart joins with the prudent head – then the “I” is transformed & baptized. This kingly power of overcoming the drives of the soul with sober wisdom goes hand in hand with the transformation of the blood, turning the fire into compassion, when we consciously take in the Michaelic iron from the stars. Only in this way can the human being free ourselves from the bonds of nature, converting rulership into courageous service.
The human being becomes free from the violence which binds all beings, when they can overcome themselves. And in this overcoming, we gain knowledge of the Self, as we walk the path to the Grail, just as Parzival took the path to freedom “through compassionate knowing” & understanding. This is what the tamed lion wisdom of this season teaches us.
“…See the sun-drenched vine, with its juice spiritualized to etheric sunlight! It is a picture of the purification & fermentation process of the “I”. It shows you how drives can be transformed when they are purified thru life’s bitter crisis, & flower as the wisdom of age. Your “I” bears the kingly power within itself thru which you can transform all that is lower within you & raise it to the heights. Without these drives you would not be a full human being, but you must tame & refine them in the crucible of the royal power of the “I”. Then they will bear for you the loveliest fruits which will ripen in the autumn of life to become saturated with the wisdom of life. You extend your soul beyond itself when, compassionately sharing in all that is human. You open your Self to the world. For human being means: transforming the kingly power of the “I” in sharing responsibility for all that is human! Then the thought that I am only a member of all mankind & am co-responsible for all that happens is no longer foreign to me. With such an attitude the human being’s whole way of thinking gradually changes…” ~Rudolf Steiner, Knowledge of Higher Worlds
Ripening with you
in Peace ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg