30 September 2017 – Astro-Weather: Bella Luna’s absence from the morning sky these next few days provides an excellent opportunity to view the zodiacal light. From the Northern Hemisphere, early autumn is the best time for viewing this elusive glow before sunrise. It appears slightly fainter than the Milky Way, so you’ll need a clear moonless sky & a site site located far from the city. Look for a cone-shaped glow that points nearly straight up from the eastern horizon shortly before morning twilight begins (around 5:30 am CDT). The Moon remains out of the morning sky until October 4, when the waxing gibbous returns & overwhelms the much fainter zodiacal light.
Arcturus shines in the west these evenings, sinking as twilight fades away. Equally-bright Capella is rising lower in the north-northeast, as bright as Vega high overhead.
By mid-evening Arcturus & Capella shine at identical heights. When it happens, turn around and look low in the south-southeast (well to the lower left of the Moon tonight). There you’ll find Fomalhaut at the same height too.
When we look up to the wonder of the starry world, when we contemplate the whole process of the universe with its glories and marvels, then we are led at last to the feeling that all the glory that lies open to our view in the whole universe that surrounds us only has meaning when it is reflected in an admiring human soul. -~Goethe
TODAY is Yom Kippur*
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
395 – John the Evangelist settles in Patmos to write the Apocalypse
420 – Deathday of St. Jerome also called Hieronymus, Roman priest, theologian, patron saint of translators, librarians & encyclopedists. Rudolf Steiner speaks of him in From Jesus to Christ lecture 4, saying he had to ‘falsify’ the Gospel of St. Matthew, because it was too esoteric for folks at the time:
When we know this, we understand that the original Gospel of Matthew could not be imparted without further preparation because men were not ripe to receive what was in it. For if Jerome, a Father of the Church, was himself not ripe for what it contained, then certainly other men were not. Those who were originally in possession of these communications, the Ebionites, did not impart them because, if received by unripe persons, they would have been so distorted that they must have led to what Jerome meant when he said that they would serve not for edification but for destruction. Now Jerome understood this; yet he allowed himself to impart in a certain way the Gospel of Matthew to the world. ~Rudolf Steiner
1207 – Birthday of Rumi, Persian mystic & poet
1791 – The first performance of The Magic Flute, the last opera by Mozart to make its debut, took place at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria
1791 – The National Constituent Assembly in Paris is dissolved; Parisians hail Maximilien Robespierre & Jérôme Pétion as “incorruptible patriots”
1882 – Thomas Edison’s first commercial hydroelectric power plant (later known as Appleton Edison Light Company) begins operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin
1914 – Birthday of Johannes Tautz – a Historian, Religious scholar, Anthroposophist, Author & Waldorf teacher. After the German capitulation, Tautz was imprisoned by the Czechs, Americans & Russians but managed to escape in the summer of 1945 back to his family in Bad Boll. He was soon approached by Erich Gabert in Stuttgart to join the Waldorf School that was about to be opened as its German & History teacher. On 1 November 1945 he stood before his first 9th grade at the Free Waldorf School, Uhlandshöhe.
Soon Johannes Tautz decided to look up his “predecessor”, the first history teacher at the Waldorf School, Walter Johannes Stein. The conversations with Stein provided an orientation & inspiration for all of his further work as a teacher, lecturer & writer; in his lecturing work at national & international conferences and in the “Hague Circle”, a coordinating international group of Waldorf teachers.
He likewise received particular guidance from Emil Bock regarding a Christological view of world history & from Jürgen von Grone about the destiny of Germany &in particular to the figure of Helmuth von Moltke.
In 1966 Tautz held three lectures about the spiritual background to National Socialism, which later appeared in print under the title Attack of the Enemy – The Occult Inspiration Behind Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in 1976. In it he looks at a number of personalities connected with questionable occult practices with which leading Nazis had been close during the time of the movement’s growth.
In 1979 he edited a collection of biographical portraits together with Gisbert Husemann of the circle of founding Waldorf teachers around Rudolf Steiner.
Together with a young friend, Thomas Meyer, he visited the daughter of Walter Johannes Stein, Clarissa Johanna Muller, in Ireland where she was living in order to look through her father’s literary estate. They found the typescript of Stein’s dissertation annotated by Rudolf Steiner, letters & meditations of Steiner for Stein, his mother & for his brother, who fell in a mysterious manner in WWI. Letters & notes of Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, Eliza von Moltke, Ita Wegman, D.N Dunlop & many other personalities were discovered & formed the basis of Tautz’s biography of Stein in 1989
In 1993 he initiated the editing of a collection Rudolf Steiner’s letters & notes to Eliza von Moltke together with the post mortem communications & the letters of Helmuth von Moltke himself. The decision to publish these was to prevent or anticipate a partial publication without an appropriate commentary on the subject that had been announced. A previous instance of this content being used had been in the book The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft which, in the opinion of Tautz had been written “without the necessary protection of background knowledge for the deeply-penetrant & difficult to understand material.” Further reading
1938 – The League of Nations unanimously outlaws “intentional bombings of civilian populations”
1962 – Labor leader César Chávez founds the National Farm Workers Association, which later becomes United Farm Workers
1982 – Cyanide-laced Tylenol kills six people in the Chicago area. Seven are killed in all
1993 – The 6.2 Mw Latur earthquake shakes Maharashtra, India with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) killing 9,748 & injuring 30,000
1999 – The Tokaimura nuclear accident causes the deaths of 2 technicians, many others affected by radiation poisoning, in Japan’s second-worst nuclear accident
2009 – The 7.6 Mw Sumatra earthquake shakes central Sumatra with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). 1,115 people dead, many injured & left homeless
“Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript of a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face.
This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want,
you are already that.”
*Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which began last night at sunset, falls 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.
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?”
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.”
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 & 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 –