Life Craft

POD (Poem Of the Day)

Life Craft
Sculpted by The Word
Shaped by desire
Fired by deed
Standing poised between fate & will…
& from the suck of breath & the pull of space
In my rhythmic heart
Verses for the future fly
There where
A glimmer caught
My eye I
Turned to see the primal warmth
In the fires of perhaps
A beacon of mortal possibility
Etched in the bones of my skull
At the edge of
Peripheral vision
That I might
Recollect my
Self divine

15 February 2023 – “Speaking with the Stars”

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day


Portrait of Galileo by Justus Sustermans

1564 – Birthday of Italian astronomer, mathematician and physicist Galileo Galilei. Galileo grew up in a musical family in Florence, where he began his education in a monastery. He studied medicine at the University of Pisa. Due to financial problems, he didn’t finish his degree, but his years at the university introduced him to mathematics and physics, & Aristotle’s philosophy. As Dante had put it some centuries before, Aristotle is “the Master of those who know”

Galileo published “La Bilancetta” (The Little Balance), his first scientific book, which gained him a reputation. The book commented upon the story of how the king of Syracuse asked Archimedes to verify whether his crown was made of pure gold or a mix of metals.

Galileo quickly figured out the mechanics of the spyglass, improving the original design into a telescope that magnifies normal vision up to 20 times.

He drew the moon’s surface, showing that its surface is bumpy and rocky. In January 1610, he discovered the four most massive moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Today, we know them as the Galilean moons. He laid out all of his findings in his book “Sidereus Nuncius” (The Starry Messenger). Galileo observed that Venus went through phases, just as the moon does.

In 1618, Galileo found himself in a controversy about the nature of comets. earning him the anger of the Inquisition part of the Roman Catholic Church. They declared him suspect of heresy, but he recanted & was able to live comfortably & continue his work.

From THE PRINCIPLE OF SPIRITUAL ECONOMY, GA 109 – I. The Principle of Spiritual Economy in Connection with Questions of Reincarnation: An Aspect of the Spiritual Guidance of Mankind
Heidelberg, January 21, 1909

When a pioneering personality dies, his or her etheric body is always preserved, and occult schools have always known the artifical methods by which this was accomplished. Considering now another characteristic case, we can say that it was important for certain purposes in the more modern age that the etheric body of Galileo was preserved. He was the great reformer of mechanical physics whose accomplishments were so tremendous that one can say many of the purely practical accomplishments of the modern age would not have come about without his discoveries, for all technical progress rests on Galileo’s science of integral and differential calculus, mechanics, and so on. With regard to Galileo, it would have been a waste in nature’s economy had his etheric body, the carrier of his memory and talent, been lost. And that is why his etheric body was transferred to another human being: Michail Lomonosov, who came from a poor Russian village and was later to become the founder of Russian grammar and classical literature. Lomonosov, however, is not the reincarnated Galileo, as might be supposed as a result of superficial investigation. ” ~Rudolf Steiner

1781 – Deathday of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist & art critic – an outstanding representative of the Enlightenment era. His plays & theoretical writings substantially influenced the development of German literature.

The circumstances of Lessing’s life, I may say, have always interested me to an extraordinary degree. Lessing is really the founder of the better sort of journalism, the journalism that has substance and is really out to accomplish something. Before Lessing, poets and dramatists had taken their subjects from the aristocracy. Lessing, on the other hand, is at pains to introduce bourgeois life, ordinary middle-class life, into the drama, the life concerned generally with the destinies of men as men, and not with the destinies of men in so far as they hold some position in society or the like. Purely human conflicts — that is what Lessing wanted to portray on the stage. In the course of his work he applied himself to many great problems, as for example when he tried to determine the boundaries of painting and of poetry in his Laocoon.

But the most interesting thing of all is the powerful impetus with which Lessing fought for the idea of tolerance. You need only take his Nathan the Wise and you will see at once what a foremost place this idea of tolerance has in Lessing’s mind and life. In weaving the fable of the three kings in Nathan the Wise, he wants to show how the three main religions have gone astray from their original forms and are none of them really genuine, and how one must go in search of the true form, which has been lost. Here we have tolerance united with an uncommonly deep and significant idea…

We begin to get an impression of Lessing when we observe, shall I say, the driving force with which he hurls his sentences against his opponents. He wages a polemic against the civilisation of Middle Europe — quite a refined and correct polemic, but at every turn hitting straight home. You must here observe a peculiar nuance in Lessing’s character if you want to understand the make-up of his life. On the one hand we have the sharpness, often caustic sharpness, in such writings as The Dramatic Art of Hamburg, and then we have to find the way over, as it were, to an understanding, for example, of the words used by Lessing when a son had been born to him and had died directly after birth. He writes somewhat as follows in a letter: Yes, he has at once taken leave again of this world of sorrow; he has thereby done the best thing a human being can do. (I cannot cite the passage word for word, but it was to this effect.) In so writing, Lessing is giving expression to his pain in a wonderfully brave way, not for that reason feeling the pain one whit less deeply than someone who can do nothing but bemoan the event. This ability to draw back into himself in pain was characteristic of the man who at the same time knew how to thrust forward with vigour when he was developing his polemics. This is what makes it so affecting to read the letter written when his child had died immediately after birth, leaving the mother seriously ill.

Lessing had moreover this remarkable thing in his destiny — and it is quite characteristic, when one sets out to find the karmic connections in his case — that he was friends in Berlin with a man who was in every particular his opposite, namely, Nikolai.

Of Lessing it can be said — it is not literally true, but it is none the less characteristic — that he never dreamed, because his intellect and his understanding were so keen. On this account, as we shall see tomorrow, he is for the spiritual researcher such an extraordinarily significant personality. But there is something in the very construction of his sentences, something in the home-thrusts with which he lays his opponent in the dust, that really makes every sentence a delight to read.

With Nikolai it is just the opposite. Nikolai is an example of a true philistine. Although a friend of Lessing, he was none the less a typical philistine-bourgeois; and he had visions, most strange and remarkable visions.

Lessing, genius as he was, had no visions, not even dreams. Nikolai literally suffered from visions. They came, and they went away only after leeches had been applied. Yes, in extremity they actually applied leeches to him, in order that he might not be for ever tormented by the spiritual world which would not let him alone…

At the close of his life Lessing wrote the remarkable essay, The Education of the Human Race, at the end of which, quite isolated, as it were, the idea of repeated earth-lives appears. The book shows how mankind goes through one epoch of development after another, and how the Gods gave into man’s hand as a first primer, so to speak, the Old Testament, and then as a second primer the New Testament, and how in the future a third book will come for the further education of the human race. And then all at once the essay is brought to a close with a brief presentation of the idea that man lives through repeated earth-lives. And there Lessing says, again in a way that is absolutely in accord with his character (I am not quoting the actual words, but this is the gist of it): Ought the idea of repeated earth-lives to seem so absurd, considering that it was present in very early times, when men had not yet been spoilt by school learning? The essay then ends with a genuine panegyric on repeated earth-lives, finishing with these beautiful words: “Is not all Eternity mine?” ~ Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships: Volume 1, Lecture 11

TODAY in 1924 Rudolf Steiner founded the 19 step School of Michael on earth: The Esoteric Lessons for the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum in Dornach

The Categories of Aristotle – a process of contraction…
Is there a path to expansion…..?


Friday 24 March 2023 – Lecture 7 pm CT – 8:30 pm – Purchase tickets at the door or pay online

Saturday 25 March 2023 – Workshop – 9 am CT– (10:30 am 1/2 hour break – 11 am) 12:30 pm CT – Purchase tickets at the door or pay online $50

Does one have to be a philosopher of great erudition to approach Aristotle’s gift to humanity……his Categories?

Perhaps , YES! But an initial acquaintance with them can lead out of the confinement of the intellectual concept to an experience of expansion supported by Eurythmy.

In the evening lecture Claudia will introduce the life of the Categories before they became concepts – Bringing the symbols in a sequence of sounds  (called the Evolutionary Sequence ) out of their conceptual form, to life, supported by Eurythmy and examples of poetry.

During the workshop we will enter into the movement of the poetry presented  during the lecture. This will be accessible to Eurythmists as well as to anyone interested in the life of language, poetry and our alphabet.

at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of The Anthroposophical Society
4249 North Lincoln Avenue. Chicago, IL 60618 (map)

For more info contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Claudia Fontana saw a Eurythmy performance when still a teenager. Unbeknownst to her at the time, that performance was the gate to her destiny path. Soon thereafter she studied Eurythmy in Vienna and subsequently spent fourteen years as a performer with the Dornach, London and Stuttgart Eurythmeum ensembles. Teaching became the next challenge which she happily met in the United States, Europe. Before Covid, she spent seven years teaching all levels in Thailand, Malaysia and China. She resides in Ann Arbor, MI still performing and teaching.

The Women at the Tomb – A Festival of Resurrection

with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg,

Insights about Mary Magdalene with Faith DiVecchio

Song-Circle with Velsum, 

Eurythmy – & an artistic break out session

Holy Saturday 8 April 2023

1 pm – 3pm CT hybrid event in-person at the Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago & on zoom

Meeting ID: 705 017 4041

For more Info. contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618 (map)


The Mystery of Ascension with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

This course is available on Zoom. You will be emailed a Zoom link closer to the time of the class. The course will be recorded and you will receive a link to watch it. Go to the Infinity Foundation web site to enroll

Course Number 231154 / Zoom
Date: Thursday, May 11
Time 7:00 – 8:30 PM CST
Cost $33/23 payment 10 days in advance

Gerald Shepherd

When we tune into the Cycle of the Seasons, we experience that as the Earth breathes out in the Springtime, the beings of nature reach upwards towards the heights. The longing of the human soul also strives to meet this mood of ascension, which attunes all life to the cosmic expanses.

Together we will gain insights in how to rise up to our Higher Self by participating in this harmonizing spring-dialogue between the worlds.

This reconnection between heaven & earth was prefigured in the story of Jacob’s ladder from the Old Testament. Through his dream of the ‘stairway to heaven’, Jacob gave us a prophecy in the picture of a golden ladder on which choirs of Angels traverse between the ‘Above & Below’. The Mystery of the Ascension of Christ, 40 days after the Resurrection at Easter, fulfilled Jacob’s Prophecy. Christ as the Being of Love became the living bridge connecting us to the eternal.

Through this workshop we will learn how humanity will also be transfigured in the fullness of time. The company of the Angelic Hierarchies wait for us, their younger siblings, to ascend, first of all in our thinking, to meet them in fellowship, as they work all the while by our sides.

Nancy Poer

~Vitae Sophia~A Whitsun Festival of United Soul Endeavor 

with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Velsum Voices & Eurythmy

Saturday 27 May 2023 a Hybrid event in person* & on zoom

We are called to redeem the ether spheres to create an Ecclesia, a chalice for The Sophia. Then the spirit flame can spread out to become what Steiner called a “World Whitsun”, which began in earnest at the Christmas Conference. The Whitsun Festival highlights one of the greatest challenges of being human: placing our individual gifts, in right relationship within the social realm. This challenge is especially strong now during this ‘pandemic’. Our groups striving to know Spiritual Science must work together as a community, to have the possibility to create a new culture where a sacrament is possible in every encounter. Our individual strength is enhanced by weaving our gifts together, kindling our social world in conscious community.

Zoom: Meeting ID: 836 6336 6670 / Passcode: 397593

For more Info. contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
*Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618 (

6 thoughts on “Life Craft

  1. Hi Hazel,

    We have an interesting compare and contrast between Galileo’s birth in 1564, and Lessing’s death in 1781. Fortunately, Steiner gives the particulars in the respective assessments. Thanks for citing the relevant passages with these two very important icons of evolutionary progression.

    Now, with regard to the anniversary of the First Class, which began also this day of February 15, I wanted to ask about what appears to be seven additional lectures beyond the original 19. Steiner appears to have given these at the very same time that he was in the midst of Karmic Relationships, volume IV, and also the Priest Course on the Apocalypse. Thus, seven lectures as a recapitulation of the first series. That would make the total of First Class, some 26 lectures.

    Steiner was so thorough as to see the need to even give an echo of his Life Craft before it was all over. Then, he collapsed and it became very difficult.

    1. Yes, those recapitulation lessons are very important – They were the beginnings of what could have become the 2nd Class, having a more experiential quality – more cultic – inviting the members to make the sign of Michael for instance. When will more people take this more practical calling seriously & actualize it for themselves instead of sitting passively while the reader acts as the priest in Steiner’s place…?

      BTW: I would not recommend the translation given on the archives…

      1. Why not? Frank Smith. Is there a better version in appearance somewhere?
        My feeling is that First Class should never have been published in the first place because it was a sacred offering that needed to be worked for, and then received upon approval. Thus, the Readers were designed to convey the material, and the listeners to receive it. Thus, no problem in my book. It should really be that way today because Rudolf Steiner wanted a kind of earning in order to receive these lessons on a vocal level. His own voice he saw in the communication. Does that make sense?

        1. I agree that the 1st Class material should not be out willy nilly on the internet, which is what F.Smith did in his awful translation many years before it was put into the archives.
          As a 1st Class member I received the books by request to Dornach after providing my blue card # & they were shipped to me. I have worked with them for years, which along with Prokofieff’s books, which again I had to prove I was a member to receive, have been invaluable to my study of these important lessons.

          1. Yes, Smith also tried his hand at translating the Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts, which first came forth on February 17, 1924. His German to English translation is too literal, and therefore is experienced as “stiff”. George Adams, on the other hand, does a wonderful job. He was Steiner’s simultaneous translator on the trips to England in the 1920’s. The German language is very technical, and multi-syllabic, and I suspect that is why Spiritual Science comes from this culture. The best translators are those that know the subject in their own native tongue. I admire people who know and speak other languages. I used to speak a little Spanish, learned from middle school, but I found German much too intimidating. If I knew then what I know now, I would have most certainly endured the effort.

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