26 September 2016 – Astro-Weather: Although autumn began a week ago & the stars of winter’s Orion now rule the morning sky, the Summer Triangle remains prominent on early October evenings. Look high in the west after darkness falls for the brilliant star Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, the brightest member of the Triangle. The second-brightest star, Altair in Aquila the Eagle, lies southeast of Vega. The asterism’s dimmest member, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, stands east-northeast of Vega
Jupiter passes behind the Sun from our perspective, a configuration astronomers call conjunction, at 2 am CDT. Needless to say, our star’s glare makes it impossible to see the planet. Jupiter will return to view in the morning sky in about two weeks.
Arcturus shines in the west these evenings as twilight fades out. Equally-bright Capella is rising in the north-northeast.
Watch for Moon, Regulus, & Mercury at dawn, Sept. 27-29, 2016
As dawn brightens in the east, the crescent Moon wanes & steps lower past Regulus & Mercury on successive mornings
‘We must not be mere visitor’s on the Earth, but transform the Earth, spiritualise everything material; we must work the spirit into the Earth. Everything that we do to the Earth we do to the Godhead — no matter what we accomplish. Everything is part of one great chain. We are the messengers of the Godhead, and the Earth must one day pass into a Golden Age, must become a Paradise. In free, creative activity men must transform the Earth.’ ~Rudolf Steiner, from his lectures on the Gospel of Saint John
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast day of Saints Cosmas & Damian twin brothers, physicians, & early Christian martyrs. They practiced their profession in the seaport of Aegeae, then in the Roman province of Syria
46 BC – Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix in accordance with a vow he made at the battle of Pharsalus
340 – Birthday of Justina, who converted the magician Cyprian, (she was the model for the character Gretchen in Goethe’s Faust)
1687 – The Parthenon in Athens is partially destroyed by an explosion caused by the bombing from Venetian forces led by Morosini who are besieging the Ottoman Turks stationed in Athens
1687 – The city council of Amsterdam votes to support William of Orange’s invasion of England, which became the Glorious Revolution
1774 – Birthday of John Chapman called Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer gardener who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, & West Virginia. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, & the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. He was also a missionary for The New Church (Swedenborgian)& the inspiration for many museums & historical sites
1777 – American Revolution: British troops occupy Philadelphia
1789 – Thomas Jefferson is appointed the first United States Secretary of State, John Jay is appointed the first Chief Justice of the United States, Samuel Osgood is appointed the first United States Postmaster General, & Edmund Randolph is appointed the first United States Attorney General
1868 – Deathday of August Ferdinand Möbius, German mathematician & astronomer
1870 – Christian X of Denmark, the King of Denmark & the only king of Iceland.
During the German Occupation of Denmark he did become a popular symbol of resistance to German occupation, particularly because of the symbolic value of the fact that he rode every day through the streets of Copenhagen unaccompanied by guards. He threatened to don the Star of David if this was forced upon Danish Jews.
When you look at the inhumane treatment of Jews, not only in Germany but occupied countries as well, you start worrying that such a demand might also be put on us, but we must clearly refuse such this due to their protection under the Danish constitution. I stated that I could not meet such a demand towards Danish citizens. If such a demand is made, we would best meet it by all wearing the Star of David.
In addition, he helped finance the transport of Danish Jews to unoccupied Sweden, where they would be safe from Nazi persecution.
1888 – Birthday of T. S. Eliot, English poet, playwright, critic, Nobel Prize laureate
1889 – Birthday of Martin Heidegger, German philosopher & academic. “…widely acknowledged to be one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th century.” Heidegger is best known for his contributions to Phenomenology & Existentialism. His best known book, Being and Time (1927), though unfinished, is one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century
1898 – Birthday of George Gershwin
1914 – Deathday (Killed in action) August Macke, painter, one of the leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). Macke integrated into his painting the elements of the avant-garde. Macke’s career was cut short by his early death at the front in Champagne in September 1914, the second month of World War I
1914 – The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is established by the Federal Trade Commission Act
1918 – World War I: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the bloodiest single battle in American history, begins
1920 – Opening of the 1st Esoteric High School Course at the Goetheanum, Dornach by Rudolf Steiner
1934 – Steamship RMS Queen Mary is launched
1950 – United Nations troops recapture Seoul from North Korean forces
1954 – Japanese rail ferry Tōya Maru sinks during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait, Japan, killing 1,172.
1959 – Typhoon Vera, the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in recorded history, makes landfall, killing 4,580 people & leaving nearly 1.6 million others homeless
1960 – In Chicago, the first televised debate takes place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon & John F. Kennedy.
1969 – Abbey Road, the last recorded album by The Beatles, is released.
1973 – Concorde makes its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time.
1980 – At the Oktoberfest terror attack in Munich 13 people die & 211 are injured
1997 – A Garuda Indonesia Airbus A300 crashes near Medan, Indonesia, airport, killing 234.
1997 – An earthquake strikes the Italian regions of Umbria & the Marche, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi to collapse
2000 – Anti-globalization protests in Prague (some 20,000 protesters) turn violent during the IMF & World Bank summits.
2000 – The MS Express Samina sinks off Paros in the Aegean Sea killing 80 passengers
2002 – An overcrowded Senegalese ferry, MV Le Joola, capsizes off the coast of the Gambia killing more than 1,000
2009 – Typhoon Ketsana hits the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Thailand, causing 700 fatalities
2014 – A mass kidnapping & murder occurs in Iguala, Mexico, 120 miles south of Mexico City, 43 student teachers were rounded up after a day of protests, then marched into the hills & massacred by local police, who prosecutors say control the city & its officials
The Hollow Men
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
~ T. S. Eliot
Rudolf Steiner tells us that: “Michael awakens a spiritual fire, in such a way, that the human soul is able to experience inspiration, not thru a mystic twilight, but from a thought-illuminated clarity of soul. Thoughts which strive to grasp the spiritual in our time must proceed from hearts that beat for Michael, as the fiery Prince of World Thoughts.”
In these words lives the essence of our modern initiation. If spiritual science is allowed to live in us and extend its transforming influence to our heart-space, what enters us as thoughts, is then changed into the substance of light, into the purest light of thought. And in the living enthusiasm of the heart, this light of thought then rays out from our hearts into the macrocosm, as light of the redeemed intelligence of Michael; as enlivened human thought, which can be re-united with the world-thoughts of the gods.
Heart-Thinking is the essence of Michaelmas, as the festival of Enlightenment; where we can learn to experience an unfolding of our inner initiative & a free, strong, courageous will, opposing our love of ease. It’s easy to want to get cozy on the couch, to snuggle up with the dragon, flipping thru the channels, fighting over the remote…We can win this battle, when we change our thinking, which will in turn change our actions.
As my friend Mary Louise would say: ONWARD