Greetings friends –
I am still re-acclimatizing after an intensely stimulating retreat with the General Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America. We met for the 1st in-person gathering since the onset of the Corona-Crisis, at the Rudolf Steiner House in Ann Arbor, MI, the home of the ASA with its offices, including the work of the prison outreach program. It also houses the Great Lakes branch; & it’s only a few steps from the amazing Nichols Arboretum.
The beautiful brick building was built as the ‘Acacia Fraternity’, in 1923, for the sons of Masons attending the University of Michigan. A plaque engraved on the corner stone reads: “For the good of humankind” in Greek.
I was asked by Helen-Ann, the Chair of the Council, to bring 2 sessions of artistic activity for our retreat. I thought it would be engaging & powerful to explore the ‘Two main streams in Anthroposophy’ through a short theatrical-piece of famous quotes. So we all took on characters speaking in the voices of some famous Platonic & Aristotelian individualities from the past.
Besides being enlivening, the goal of this recitation was to help us contemplate where we may stand in these streams. It is always my hope that we will look to how we can learn from & appreciate the other tributaries; remembering that just as with the temperaments, none are ‘better or worse – right or wrong’; we are called to balance them all within us.
Clues as to your ‘original stream’ might be characters from history that you may feel drawn to. Being conscious of our sympathies & antipathies can reveal a lot. Do you relate more toward inner development or service? Do you resonate to the tales of Arthur & the Round Table or those of Parzival & the Holy Grail? Which of the original Vorstand members do you have an affinity with? Which panel of the FSM is your fav? It might also help to think which of the 6 basic exercises is easiest, which hardest for you; or what your favorite basic book is…?
We began with singing a song I learned when I presented at the “YIP Initiative Forum: Are You Listening?” And ended with a song written by Ultra-Violet Archer that was perfect: ‘You & Me, we are the leaves of the same tree, growing anew, & falling, side-by-side, come along for the ride’…
Then we worked with a piece i called: A Play on Words, complied by ~hag from Quotes by: Rudolf Steiner/Aristotle/Aquinas; Christian Rosenkreutz/Lazurus-John; Plato/Hroswitha; Alanus ab Insulis/ Lievegoed; Alexander the Great/Ita Wegman; Goethe; Schiller; Fichte; Schelling; Hegel; Marie Steiner; Willem Zeylmans van Emmichoven; Sergei O. Prokofieff.
We switched off playing the different parts, & thru Nathaniel’s encouragement, had fun making gestures & connecting. It was an enlivening time, a wonderful way to loosen up while still doing deep anthroposophical exploration.
The spirit of place still holds the aura of Dr. Ernst Katz, a professor of physics at the University of Michigan, who together with his wife, Katherine, fostered the growth of anthroposophy in Ann Arbor for sixty years. Folks in the community regaled him thru many stories of how he touched their lives during a potluck-initiative-sharing with the GC on Saturday evening.
The long weekend was all about embodying initiative, which has become the driving force behind the General Councils’ focus & worldview. As a person of initiative myself, this is very exciting.
Before I left for the retreat my husband CG & some friends who own a biodynamic cranberry marsh met with Farmer John & Haidy Peterson of Angelic Organics, for a brainstorming session on how to create a ‘Community Farm Initiative’ to support biodynamic farmers working to ‘Spiritualize the Earth’, & to bring ‘Culture back to Agriculture’.
It seems, dear friends, that we are all being called to waken to our will.
Will you wkae for heavens sake?
“Be a person of initiative, and take care that the hindrances of your own body or hindrances that otherwise confront you do not prevent you from finding the center of your being, where the source of your initiative lies. Likewise, you will find that all joy and sorrow, all happiness and pain, depend on finding or not finding your own individual initiative” ~Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume III, The Karmic Relationships of the Anthroposophical Movement, 1 August 1924, Dornach, GA 237
The calling of Anthroposophia & Michael is to become human beings of initiative – an unfolding of our karma. What meets us in this life depends on the extent to which we can become actively & willingly, conscious of it.
“…the Vorstand declares that it places itself within the Society in the freest manner possible: it wants nothing else but to be a group of people with initiative for the cause of Anthroposophy. To live fully in initiative for the cause of Anthroposophy will have to be the heart’s blood of this Vorstand. It is not a representative of people in the abstract; it is a representative of the anthroposophical cause here at the Goetheanum…The membership and the Vorstand, and their relationship with one another, is thought of as being quite generally human in an entirely free way in the future. We have not achieved this as yet; we must make it obvious to all the world...” ~ The Christmas Conference, Part Two: The Proceedings of the Conference – Rudolf Steiner’s Opening Lecture and Reading of the Statutes, 24 December, 11.15 a.m.
17 August 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars”: After nightfall, look far below Bella Luna for the Cat’s Eyes in the tail of Scorpius – Lambda and Upsilon Scorpii, canted at an angle; the cat is tilting its head to the right. And the cat has a bleary eye; Upsilon is fainter than Lambda.
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day
“Nescire autem quid antequam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. (To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.)” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1560 – The Roman Catholic Church is overthrown & Protestantism is established as the national religion in Scotland
1585 – A first group of colonists sent by Sir Walter Raleigh under the charge of Ralph Lane lands in the New World to create Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island, off the coast of present-day North Carolina
1586 – Birthday of Johann Valentin Andrea, who wrote: The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz
1687 – Deathday of Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen , kidnapped at the age of 10 by Hessian soldiery, – in their midst tasted the adventures of military life in the Thirty Years’ War. He was made Schultheiss (magistrate) at Renchen in Baden where he devoted himself to literary pursuits. Greatly influenced by previous utopian & travel literature, he wrote the Simplicissimus series, inspired by the events & horrors of the Thirty Years’ War which devastated Germany from 1618 to 1648, it is regarded as the first adventure novel in the German language & the first German novel masterpiece. The full subtitle is “The life of an odd vagrant named Melchior Sternfels von Fuchshaim: namely where and in what manner he came into this world, what he saw, learned, experienced, and endured therein; also why he again left it of his own free will.” It attained a readership larger than any other seventeenth-century novel
1668 – A magnitude 8.0 earthquake causes 8,000 deaths in Anatolia, Ottoman Empire
1798 – The Vietnamese report a Marian apparition in Quảng Trị, an event which is called Our Lady of La Vang
1807 – Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat leaves New York City for Albany, New York, on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world
1911 – The 1st performance of Rudolf Steiner’s 2nd Mystery Drama, The Trial of the Soul, in the Gardener’s Place Theatre in Munich. In all 4 four plays. Steiner showed how spiritual development might manifest in a freely formed, but karmically-knit group of people. The experiences of the main characters of the play, particularly Johannes, Capesius & Strader, represent 3 different aspects of the path of initiation – “differing according to the karma of the respective individualities.” Steiner described his process of artistic creation as “images that grew like the leaves of a plant”.
1918 – Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky is assassinated
1924 – Rudolf Steiner visits Tintagel, mystery center & court of King Arthur.
On his final visit to Britain, Rudolf Steiner’s schedule of lecturing was hectic. He delivered three lectures a day during the Anthroposophical Society’s Summer School at Torquay (11-22 August 1924) – but that is another story…Steiner took one day out of that busy schedule, to go as far west as he ever ventured in that lifetime – to the west coast of Cornwall.
Tintagel is the legendary home of King Arthur, Merlin, the sword Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake, the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot, Queen Guinevere, & the court of Camelot.
Midway through the Torquay Summer School, on Sunday August 17th, Rudolf Steiner declared “I want to go to King Arthur” (see Eleanor Merry, 1956, in Villeneuve, 2004, p.1051). A cavalcade of three cars ventured forth from the southern beachside resort town of Torquay, across the verdant moors of Dartmoor, to the spectacularly positioned Tintagel, on the west coast of Cornwall.
Eleanor Merry & D.N. Dunlop were the two organizers of the Torquay Summer School. Both were part of the entourage to Tintagel. Merry reports that: “At last we came again to the sea, and straight ahead of us, at the top of a green cliff, were the last fragments of King Arthur’s castle of Tintagel. A deep rocky chasm divided this from a second rugged cliff, where still other remains could be seen” (quoted in Villeneuve, 2004, p.1052) Merry continues: “Dr. Steiner was at first silently absorbed in the wonderful view. All around was sunshine, and fleeting cloud-shadows and little hurrying rainbows – and a stormy and angry sea”.
The entourage included at least two of the 11 attendees of Steiner’s Agriculture Course at Koberwitz, namely Dr. Elisabeth Vreede & Guenther Wachsmuth. That course (7-16 June, 1924) laid the foundations for the development of biodynamic agriculture.
Wachsmuth remembered: “On that unforgettable day Rudolf Steiner went with us to the place on the rough rocky western coast of Cornwall, Tintagel, where the castle of King Arthur had once stood … That strangely densified spiritual atmosphere we shall never forget, so intensely to be felt as Rudolf Steiner climbed the strange projecting cliff on the lonely coast of Cornwall where the last walls of the castle of King Arthur towered over the roaring sea … He spoke there, standing on the cliff, about the experience of the Knights of King Arthur … He spoke of the teachings of Merlin … The immediacy of the spiritual vision in this place was so intense that, during his descriptions, the entire reality, the external life and action … of King Arthur’s knights, stood before us as actual experience” (Wachsmuth, 1989, pp.563-4)
The Tintagel visit occurred just two months after Steiner’s Agriculture Course & less than six weeks before Rudolf Steiner retreated from public life entirely. On this, his tenth visit to Britain, Steiner taught about Anthroposophy & Waldorf education. An opportunity for agriculture lectures in Britain did not arise, & there had been no British attendees at the Koberwitz course. We can speculate that the attendance of Wachsmuth & Vreede, who had attended at Koberwitz – as well as Tintagel, in this case along with Marna Pease – may have seeded the early interest in Britain in Anthroposophic agriculture which evolved into biodynamics.
Marna Pease went on to be the secretary of Britain’s Anthroposophical agricultural Foundation which was founded in 1928. Elizabeth Vreede attended, in London, as a guest at the first Annual Meeting of the Anthroposophical Agricultural Foundation.
Despite the intensity with which Rudolf Steiner engaged with his missions, including the Torquay Summer School, he was, by this time terminally ill from being ‘poisoned’ eight months earlier. Wachsmuth described this final visit to Britain: “During … the last trip of Rudolf Steiner in his life on earth, he suffered tragically from the destructive illness. Outwardly, nothing of this could be observed. He met daily all the requirements of the comprehensive program & his lecturing activity. He spoke introductory words at artistic programs, had numerous conferences, & took part in the excursions, but every meal caused in his ill condition renewed suffering, which he bore courageously without a word of complaint … He permitted nothing to be known by those at the conference regarding his illness” (Wachsmuth, 1989, p.563).
Just a month after this tenth visit to Britain, Rudolf Steiner retreated entirely from public life (on 28 September, 1924), & he died on 30 March 1925
AAF. (1929). Annual Meeting of the Anthroposophical Agricultural Foundation, Minutes: 3 pp. typescript.
Ashley, M. (2010). A Brief History of King Arthur. London: Constable & Robinson.
Collison, H. (1925). Rudolf Steiner. X a.m. 30th March, 1925, R.I.P. Anthroposophical Movement, 2(13), 101.
Kolisko, L. N. (1936). The Moon and the Growth of Plants (M. Pease, Trans.). London: Anthroposophical Agricultural Foundation.
Paull, J. (2011a). Attending the First Organic Agriculture Course: Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture Course at Koberwitz, 1924. European Journal of Social Sciences, 21(1), 64-70. Paull, J. (2011b). Biodynamic Agriculture: The journey from Koberwitz to the World, 1924-1938. Journal of Organic Systems, 6(1), 27-41.
Pease, M. (1937). A New Farming and Gardening: For Enquirers (Leaflet No. 2, 2nd Series). Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire: Anthroposophical Agricultural Foundation.
Steiner, R. (1924a). On the conduct of this news-sheet, & the share members should take in it. Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain Monthly News-Sheet for Members, January, 8. Steiner, R. (1924b). To all members: Our summer courses in Torquay. Anthroposophical Movement, 1(24 August), 81-83.
Steiner, R. (1933). Nine Lectures on Bees: Given in 1923 to the workmen at the Goetheanum (M. Pearse, Trans.). London: Anthroposophical Agricultural Foundation.
Villeneuve, C. (2004). Rudolf Steiner in Britain: A Documentation of his Ten Visits, Volume 11, 1922-1925. Forest Row, UK: Temple Lodge.
Wachsmuth, G. (1989). The Life and Work of Rudolf Steiner
Wannamaker & R. E. Raab, Trans. 2nd edition; first published in German 1941). Blauvert, NY: Spiritual Science Library.
Whitehead, A. (2010). Rudolf Steiner: Journey of a Grail Knight Warrior. Blackheath, NSW: Golden Beetle Books
Blessings & Peace ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg
Festival Gathering: Tuesday 28 September on the eve of Michaelmas with Rev’s Jeana Lee & Victoria Capon
Potluck at 5:30
Talk at 7pm
At the Rudolf Steiner Branch, 4249 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Meeting The Dragon With Our Four Fold Being – A talk and collaborative sculptural creation
and then transformation – Bring your found objects to help build the dragon!
Then our inspiration can come to life through our collaboration.
Jeana Lee was recently ordained as a priest of the Christian Community Movement for Religious Renewal and sent to the congregation in Chicago. Previously she taught chemistry and math at Green Meadow Waldorf high school. She enjoys swimming in the lake and is interested in questions of sin and redemption.
Victoria hails from the east coast and is new to Chicago. Before attending seminary she taught at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod. Now she is happily settling into serving the chicago CC congregation and exploring the Windy City
Join us for the Applied Anthroposophy Course 2021-2022!
October 13, 2021 – May 25, 2022
I will be leading a ‘Chrysalis Group on Thursday mornings 8am PT / 10 am CT / 11am ET /
We invite you to join us as we explore big, essential questions together…
What is contemporary culture asking for now?
What are you being called to bring to the world?
How will Anthroposophia assist you in the task?
The Applied Anthroposophy Course (AAC) brings transformative online content to the alchemy of individual and group inner work.
The mission is to explore the urgent issues of our time and awaken meaning through the lens of spiritual philosophy, inner reflection, and outer action. Visit appliedanthroposophy.orgfor more information!
How much does it cost?
FULL PROGRAM YEARLY TUITION*
- Standard Rate: $750
- Supporter Rate: $900
- Youth Rate: $450
- Equity Rate: $450
SEED SERIES YEARLY TUITION
- Weekly Presentations Only: $300
*Monthly payment options are also available.
What is included?
- Inspiring keynote speakers
- Highlights from the anthroposophical movement
- Themed discussion groups on diverse topics
- Recordings of all presentations
- The warmth of a shared learning community with participants from all over the world
We look forward to an exciting and memorable year of exploration and growth.
See you there!
The Applied Anthroposophy Organizing Team
Angela Foster, Tess Parker, and Jordan Walker
13 thoughts on “Initiative”
I would encourage everyone to read Ernst Katz’s esoteric biography of Rudolf Steiner, which graces the halls of the ASA in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Given some 17 years ago, it still resonates its message about a life before its time. But, thank God for that.
ps – Hazel, was that John Bloom to the immediate left in the picture? Maybe that had to do with your own style in presenting left in your gesture. Yet, there is much more to Rudolf Steiner than RSF, or Rudolf Steiner Foundation, which John supports. The money is only a gratuity in this endeavor. I hope he knows that, as well as you.
Yes, Katz’s imagination of CR & RS is stunning.
Yes, John Bloom has brought a healthy, harmonious energy to the Council of which his serves without gratuity.
He is recently retired from RSF. His work with money as a new mystery is potent.
Thanks so much for this. Is there any way you could share what you brought to
the AS with all of us in detail. You have just whetted my appetite which was already
Hi Janet –
What I can say is a new way of working is unfolding – a true conectiong of art, science & spirit.
I will continue to sahre as I am able…I think it’s important for folks to know that the GC is alive with initiative & good will…
Hooray…a new way of working that’s great!!
As I don’t have a firm grasp of which stream each of those questions pertains to,
could you possibly let me know what answers belong to each group, or where else
I can find this information?
Also, could you let me know which of the individuals you mentioned in the play reading and on the council with Steiner belong to which stream?
Thanks for any help you can give me.
First off – I appreciate your interest in this theme which has fascinated me for many years.
I also want to say that while Steiner’s core mission was bringing Karma & Reincarnation to the Western world, we are not meant to put ourselves or each other in any kind of neat tidy box, because the point is to embrace both in service of the Christ/Sophia/Michael – the Shepherds must become Kings & the Kings, Shepherds… Working with these concepts is like doing biography work.
In the evening lectures of the Christmas Conference Steiner told the story of Gilgamesh & Eabani, & then he gave the 82 karmic relationships lectures where Steiner spells out the different streams.
As I said in my post: Clues as to your ‘original stream’ might be characters from history that you may feel drawn to.
Being conscious of our sympathies & antipathies can reveal a lot.
Do you resonate to the tales of Arthur & the Round Table = North Western Stream
or those of Parzival & the Holy Grail = South Eastern Stream?
Which of the original Vorstand members do you have an affinity with?
Marie Steiner (Eurythmy) = Northern
Ita Wegman (Medicine) = Southern
Elisabeth Vreede (Mathematics & Astronomy)& Albert Steffen (Literature) = were said to be ‘outside anthroposophy’ although working with Michael, perhaps in the future Vidar & Manichean streams
Guenther Wachsmuth (Natural Science) = Northern
Rudolf Steiner = A balance
Which panel of the FSM is your fav?
1st panel = Northern / 2nd = Rosicrucian / 3rd = Southern
It might also help to think which of the 6 basic exercises is easiest, which hardest for you; Thinking = Northern – Willing = Southern
or what your favorite basic book is…?
How to know higher worlds – Southern
Philosophy of Freedom – Northern
My 1st study began with Hans Peter van Manen’s book “Twin Roads to the New Millennium” & then I went on to work with the Karma lectures. My current fav. is: “Mystery Streams in Europe & the New Mysteries by B.C.J. Lievegoed
Here is my list of go to resources for serious study
Rudolf Steiner: Freemasonry and Ritual Work, the Misraim Service: Letters, Documents, Ritual Texts, and Lectures from the History and Contents of the Cognitive Ritual Section of the Esoteric School: 1904-14. The Principle of Spiritual Economy. The East in the Light of the West. The Mission of Folk-Souls in Connection with Germanic-Scandinavian Mythology. Occult History: Historical Personalities and Events in the Light of Spiritual Science. The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric World. The Four Mystery Dramas. Wonders of the World, Trials of the Soul, Revelations of the Spirit. From Jesus to Christ. Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz. Reincarnation and Karma. Secrets of the Threshold. Earthly Death and Cosmic Life. Social and Anti-social Forces in the Human Being. Inner Aspect of the Social Question. The Search for the New Isis, Divine Sophia. Awakening to Community. Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts: Anthroposophy as a Path of Knowledge; The Michael Mystery. The Easter Festival Considered in Relation to the Mysteries. True and False Paths in Spiritual Investigation. Autobiography: Chapters in the Course of My Life. Rosicrucianism and Modern Initiation. Karmic Relationships, Volumes 1 to 8.
Emanuel Willem Zeylmans von Emmichoven: An Inspiration for Anthroposophy; A biography. The Foundation Stone: The Anthroposophical Understanding of the Human Soul
Peter Hans von Manen: Twin Roads to the Millennium
Bernard C. J.Lievegoed: Man on the Threshold: The Challenge of Inner Development. The Battle for the Soul: The Working Together of Three Great Leaders of Humanity
Alain de Lille: Anticlaudianus or The Good and Perfect
Pierre Morizot: The School of Chartres
Sergei O.Prokofieff: Rudolf Steiner and the Founding of the Mysteries. The Foundation Stone Meditation: A Key to the Christian Mysteries. May Human Beings Hear It: The Mystery of the Christmas Conference
I would be happy to do a presentation for your community with all the charts & collage material i have put together
I would so love to have you come; however, in Maine, we are so few and far flung, I doubt I could garner support for it. The nearest stronghold is Carrie’s at The House of Peace in Mass, abut two hours away, then a little further in the enclave in NH where you were going to come.
Thank you SO much for you kind generosity of time and attention to my questions. I have ordered Han Peter van Manen’s book and BCJL’s you and look forward to diving in to my studies. It makes the heritage come so alive!
I feel rather like an odd duck Anthroposophist, but maybe most of us feel that way being in the Consciousness Soul age.
But I know in my bones, head and heart this is my path. 41 years ago “Knowledge of Higher World” jumped off a bookstore shelf into my hands. Then I couldn’t made heads of tails of it 15 years later, I “met” Anthroposophy at Rudolf Steiner Institute in Waterville, Maine and six weeks after that was doing Foundation Studies at Sunbridge College and the work continues…
I am grateful for your blog, our Sunday Study Group, and now this more personal contact. Continued blessings on your work, dear Michaelic soul.
O Janet, you will love these books, they will become treasures you turn to again & again…
I am so grateful we found each other & are working together again in this life!
We have to get Carrie at House of Peace to see what we can do…
You are more than welcome to come & join us anytime in Chicago
Blessings on the work
So this is what you have been doing for the last few days; communing with the folks at ASA in Michigan. Good for you. I like your pose in the picture. You are always the photogenic one.
One item from August 17th, and it must have been written when Steiner said, “I want to visit Arthur”, which was then visited on Sunday August 17, 1924, is the first installment of the Michael Mystery. This also is dated August 17, 1924. I think this begins our Michael investigation. We should look very carefully at each of these 29 articles because they represent Rudolf Steiner’s final summation of his growing attribution to Michael.
Yes, they are connected, thanks for the link to these important leading thoughts
I liked today’s reading I like hearing about king Arthur and his achievements and adventures the holy grail and the search for it sad about Germany being at war for so long war machines are a economy itself and should not be a thing of the future going forward through corona virus and learning to cope and care and cope with the problem the best way we can.
Hi Rodney –
Thanks for interacting. I too resonate to that spirit of place.
The question of today still needs to be put in perspective, with urgent good will…