Reflections from the ‘Great American Eclipse’ & the CRC ‘Speaking from Soul to Soul with the solar eclipse’ Retreat.
It was a destiny moment. And we all knew it. We had chosen, to incarnate at this time in history. We had chosen, to gather in a karmic knot at this Threshold Moment, to stand together as human beings, united with a common purpose; to explore the spiritual significance of this cosmic/earthly event with Christ Consciousness. Had we stood together like this in lives past, we wondered?
I felt honored to be in a circle with these kindred spirits, 37 intrepid souls, coming from all around the United States, & as far away as the Philippines & Germany, to work & witness & hold the light.
When our Chicago caravan arrived in St. Louis, we saw, not just 1 rainbow, but a sheet of rainbows melting in & out of the clouds as we circumambulated the Mother-House.
And work we did; embodying the New Mysteries of the Will, thru folk eurythmy, song, powerful verses, including the Foundation Stone, & deep discussions, as insights arose within us. Together we envisioned, co-created & staged the pageant: ‘From Light Through Darkness Into New Light’.
All the while we held the picture of the larger cycles, acknowledging the 100+ year rhythm of Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Dramas, the 3-Fold Social Organism, and lectures involving the ‘double’, & the ‘Occult Background of World War I’; actively exploring ‘Cosmic & Human Metamorphoses’ & the Mystery of Golgotha.
In thinking of the eclipse as a ‘living being that comes into & out of incarnation’ (from Astrosopher Elizabeth Vreed), it was interesting to contemplate the past, present & future thru the Saros cycle of this eclipse series, which was born on January 4th 1639, repeating every 18 years, 11 days. This ‘eclipse being’ will bring 77 eclipse events. The ‘Great American eclipse’ was its 22nd pass over the sun. The series ends on April 17, 3009. (The longest eclipse will occur on June 25, 2522, with a maximum duration of totality for 7 minutes, 12 seconds!)
We all felt the pressing import from the fact that this eclipse would touch only America, especially at this time in history, creating a need in us to be fully conscious. We asked ourselves: Could this solar eclipse be a herald to the Western incarnation of Ahriman – or an occasion calling for another sacrifice of the Christ, like the pre-earthly deeds, the Mystery of Golgotha, & the 2nd crucifixion in the etheric? We wanted to name the adversary, but we did not dwell there, & these beings were not part of the pageant.
In the evening – we immersed ourselves in a meditation envisioning our human heart as an expanding Sun, (from Peter Seleg’ book: The Ensouled Sun of Man: A Heart Meditation, which was given to Ita Wegman’s mother Henriette for her 73rd birthday by Rudolf Steiner) Then we stood together in freedom, holding the reigns in the 3-Fold Social organism of the Cultural Realm, with its emphasis on education & spirituality, to meet our own ‘Portal of Initiation’. With thanks to our dear Dr. Steiner, we dedicated our pageant to our beloved dead, to the spirit of the Mississippi River, & all of America, our angels & all the spiritual beings working for the light. After quoting Dickens:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . .”
We presented our pageant to the spiritual world. (for the photo album click here)
On the morning of the eclipse we arrived early at Bee Tree Park, & while we circled up, 8 hawks circled above us. It was blazing hot & dripping humidity, & the sky was crystal clear, as we stood on the deck overlooking the River. Some of us lay in the partial shade so we could comfortably look up at the dazzling sky as the moon slowly slid over the sun. We watched the quality of the light change around us & in nature. The trees provided a lightshow, imprinting crescent-shapes thru the leaves onto the steamy grass. Someone said the people looked transparent, like angels. The energy was very dis-incarnating, folks were giddy or overwhelmed with emotion, others chatting away. I had wanted to stay at the Mother-House during the eclipse so we could be contemplative & undisturbed in our spiritual scientific activities, but my colleagues on the CRC team wanted to be there in that lovely public setting, & so it was. And even though we had reserved the overlook, a small crowd of local families had also gathered. Some of us did speak out Steiner’s Sun-Heart Verse, & The Michael Meditation; we held onto the Lord’s Prayer & sang a-bit, but it was clear, the group was dispersed in the crowd, & we each stood alone, with only our personal double & the guardian at the Threshold. It was as if the sound was pressurized, & yet at the same time, it was being sucked up & out, dissipating in the growing dark.
But even as the light slowly waned into an odd twilightish glow, there came a nod from the heavens, & I knew the stars were waiting for us to speak to them, encouraging us to stand with them to hold the light ensouled in our Human Heart-Sun. And as the eclipse was coming closer to totality I knew I WAS “speaking to the stars” with Michael, The Christ-Messenger, at my side, courageously holding the Consciousness Soul, contributing Heart-Thinking to create a positive evolution for humanity & for Mother Earth.
And O was it beautiful!- astoundingly magnificent! – awesome in its might! – invoking wonder & awe! I gasped & shuttered, overcome with emotion & deep reverence. The diamond effect was glorious. At the maximum totality time stood still. A collective in-breath held for what felt like an eternity in those few minutes. And there in that strange twilight, Venus the Goddess of Beauty was laid bare, off to the right, with Regulus the heart of Leo the Lion beaming out on the left; 2 centennials of Love flanking the solar eclipse, revealed only as the veil of light was removed in the darkening. The image that flashed up in my mind was that the eclipse was a crater or black hole that took me into the center of the earth & then spit me out into cosmic spaces, where I touched the veil of Isis. Salt tears poured from my eyes & mixed with the sweat on my face. It was hard to catch my breath again & resume a steady rhythm. A dear one laid their hands upon my head.
When the diamond appeared again signaling the end of totality, & the slow beginning of the Sun’s return, I began to softly sing, ‘The Earth, the Air, the Fire the Water, Return, Return, Return, Return’… a song suggested by my dear CRC colleague…but I was told to ssshhh by a person who then promptly turned her back to the sky & started chatting. That shook me, it woke me up as if from a spell, & I came back fully into myself. I then knew I had to leave the public area & go off on my own. I followed the crescent-light from the leaves & walked into the trees. Soon I found I was on a path going down to the River. It was steep, so I walked slowly, willing with the hierarchies, moving my limbs with keen awareness. I came to a little rock outcropping where a dear member of our group, who had come all the way from the Philippines to join us, was sitting. She was like a sweet forest nymph there in the strange light. She spoke to me in kind whispers, a balm to my raw, open-heart, telling me, Yes, I was on a path to the River & that others were there. I slipped & slid on the steep hill, the bright russet dirt, dusting my slick skin. I had to cross a train track – just in time – I found a rope to help me climb the rest of the way down, before a train clicked & clacked by. And there on the shore were 4 lone pilgrims, each on their separate chosen spot by the Rivers edge. When I appeared from the cliff they all came together & we waded into the muddy water, singing ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘This little Heart of Mine’, & some other gospel spirituals while the moon continued to move off, making way for the Sun Renewed. Two more friends soon appeared & came down to the River asking to be baptized. Such joy in the returning light.
Soon I needed to ascend, back up from the bottom land at the River’s edge, up into the trees once more, to catch the crescent show before the eclipse had completely ended. On my way to the tracks I glanced down & found a piece of petrified wood that has rings which look like the progression of an eclipse. A dear one with pockets carried it up for me. I was surprised how easy the ascent was compared to the descent.
When I reached the overlook, only a few friends were still there. I was surprised that folks would leave before the completion of the eclipse; it was eerie to see the place so deserted. The 6 of us made a little altar of found objects from nature in the center of the overlook, & a dear one lead us in a spiraling contraction- expansion. Just as we finished, Thunder roared. And just as the eclipse was ending we saw a rainbow in the same direction the Moon had moved off into, & again the Thunder sounded, echoing in the distance. Just then my Chicago friends pulled up in the car, shouting ‘curb-side service for the Queen of the Sun’!
When we got back to the Mother-House, we showered, rested & broke bread with the sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who had created a diorama made-up of Oreo cookies showing the stages of the eclipse, & who served moon-pies for desert. Then we gathered to hear leading thoughts from Steiner’s 5th Gospel.
We shared the budding insights from our eclipse experience. I had come to realize that the woman who had ssshhhed me had given me a great gift, becoming a mirror to my double. At breakfast the next morning I was grateful that we were able to share perspectives with love. In the age of the Consciousness Soul we are meant to bump up against each other. Steiner made karma & reincarnation the focus of his work, & this must become our work as well. After sharing, we closed with the Foundation Stone Mediation & the Hallelujah in eurythmy, which we repeated upon awakening the next morning to end our retreat.
Driving home, our little caravan decided to stop at the Cahokia Mounds, to bring our radiant energy to the dead buried there in the remains of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization – one of the greatest cities of the world, larger than London in AD 1250. This was the perfect capper to our retreat, especially since it was part of our ‘Bridging Project’ working with the ‘so-called dead’. We sent them our love as we stood at the center of ‘Woodhenge’, a cosmic map aligned with the zodiac, cedar logs marking out the place of the Sun at the equinoxes & Solstices; then we climbed ‘Monks Mound’ the highest & most sacred of the 100’s of mound sites. The thunder clouds gathered & the wind, now chilly, brought us into balance between the past, the present & the future.
With reverence & wonder