20 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: Jupiter appears in the morning sky this week. It rises as morning twilight begins & climbs high in the east 45 minutes before sunrise. You won’t mistake the giant planet for any other object, it’s brighter than any other morning object besides the Moon
After dark, spot the W of Cassiopeia standing on end high in the northeast. The third segment of the W, counting from the top, points almost straight down. Extend it twice as far down and you’re at the Double Cluster in Perseus. This pair of star-swarms is dimly apparent to the unaided eye in a dark sky
Buddha – On thought sprung from love:
The thought manifests as the word.
The word manifests as the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
And the habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love, born out of concern for all beings…
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day – One of the many for today is : Dornach, 20 October 1917 – Excerpt from: Fall of the Spirits of Darkness LECTURE 10 – The Influence of the Backward Angels
The masses of humanity go through life as if asleep, without thought; they are completely unaware of what is going on in groups, some of them quite large, which may be right next door. Today, more than ever, people are much given up to illusion. Just consider the way in which many people keep saying today: ‘lt is amazing how effective modern communications are and how this brings people together!
I have spoken of this to show that it is entirely possible today for the mass of people to know nothing of radically new developments which are right on their doorstep.
The ahrimanic powers will also thrive if people nurture the elements which they desire to spread among people today: prejudice, ignorance and fear of the life of the spirit. There is no better way of encouraging them.
Just think how many people there are today who actually make it their business to foster prejudice, ignorance and fear of the spiritual powers.
So you see, the people who consider themselves to be the most enlightened today are living with entirely unrealistic ideas.
Since 1879 the situation is like this: people go to school and acquire scientific attitudes and thinking; their philosophy of life is then based on this scientific approach and they believe only the things which can be perceived in the world around us to be real, whilst everything else is purely imaginary. When people think like this, and infinitely many people do so today, Ahriman has the upper hand in the game and the ahrimanic powers are doing well. Who are these ahrimanic powers which have established their fortresses in human minds since 1879? They are certainly not human. They are angels, but they are backward angels, angels who are not following their proper course of evolution and therefore no longer know how to perform their proper function in the spiritual world that is next to our own. If they still knew how to do it, they would not have been cast down in 1879. They now want to perform their function with the aid of human brains. They are one level lower in human brains than they should be. ‘Monistic’ thinking, as it is called today, is not really done by humans. People often speak of the science of economics today, a science in which it was said at the time when the war started that it would be over in four months — I mentioned this again yesterday. When these things are said by scientists — it does not matter so much if people merely repeat them — they are the thoughts of angels who have made themselves at home in human heads. Yes, the human intellect is to be taken over more and more by such powers; they want to use it to bring their own lives to fruition. We cannot stand up to this by putting our heads in the sand like ostriches, but only by consciously entering into the experience. We cannot deal with this by not knowing what monists think, for example, but only by knowing it; we must also know that it is Ahriman science, the science of backward angels who infest human heads, and we must know about the truth and the reality.
It is indeed true, and initiates have always said so: ‘When human beings are filled with spiritual wisdom, these are great horrors of darkness for the ahrimanic powers and a consuming fire. It feels good to the ahrimanic angels to dwell in heads filled with ahrimanic science; but heads filled with spiritual wisdom are like a consuming fire and the horrors of darkness to them.’ If we consider this in all seriousness we can feel: filled with spiritual wisdom we go through the world in a way which allows us to establish the right relationship with the ahrimanic powers; doing the things we do in the light of this, we build a place for the consuming fire of sacrifice for the salvation of the world, the place where the terror of darkness radiates out over the harmful ahrimanic element.
Let those ideas and feelings enter into you! You will then be awake and see the things that go on in the world. ~Rudolf Steiner
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1941 – World War II: Thousands of civilians in Kragujevac in German-occupied Serbia are murdered in the Kragujevac massacre
1944 – Liquefied natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland & then explodes; the explosion & resulting fire level 30 blocks & kill 130
1947 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevents some from working in the industry for years
1976 – The ferry George Prince is struck by a ship while crossing the Mississippi River between Destrehan & Luling, Louisiana. 78 passengers & crew die, &only 18 people aboard the ferry survive
1982 – During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow & HFC Haarlem, 66 people are crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster
1991 – The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 & destroys 3,469 homes, causing more than $2 billion in damage
1991 – A 6.8 Mw earthquake strikes the Uttarkashi region of India, killing more than 1,000 people
2011 – Libyan Civil War: National Transitional Council rebel forces capture ousted Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte & kill him shortly thereafter
MY POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I festoon the grey day
With laser eyes & fierce cackles that call the wind to deliver me
Like a seed blown home
To fertile caverns…
I smell a change coming
A shape turning leaves into souls
Sheathed in paper hats torn from the mundane head
Born anew to the eternal flesh
Of freedoms reign
Another observance related to Sukkot involves what are known as The Four Species.
The “Etrog,” a Citron, resembles the heart, the driving force behind all our actions, the place of understanding & wisdom.
The “Lulav,” a Palm Branch, resembles the spine, symbolizing uprightness.
The Myrtle Branches, resemble, in their almond-shape, the eyes, with which we behold the World. Symbol of enlightenment.
The Willow Branches, resemble the lips, with which we give expression to our thoughts &feelings, Thru prayer.
By holding these four together in a tight bond we represent the unity that is the goal for all the People of this one world. The bond represents the conversion of a set of separate individuals into one human family.
The four species must be taken together as a unit. So too, to achieve happiness, we must use all our gifts in unison. We can’t say one thing & do another. We must unify our feelings, our actions, our speech & our intentions.
The four species also represent the Name of God, Yud Heh Vav Heh. Again, the key here is unity. God may have many names but She is One. Whether things may appear to us as good or evil, we must realize that it all comes from The Divine. In life we must deal with the good & the bad for true growth.
“How can the lulav sing if its leaves do not rustle?”
The motion of the wavings is highly significant. On a basic level it simply expresses our joy, thanks-giving & praise of Nature at the time of the harvest. It represents the fertility of the land, abundance & prosperity, & the desire for rain.
The waving also represents our complete immersion in the holiday. On one level, we are surrounded by the sukkah. On another level, through this motion (of bringing in toward us), the protection of the sukkah & all that the festival of Sukkot represents enters us.
The lulav becomes a conduit of peace & the presence of the Divine that comes from every direction – Transcendence & immanence.
We gather in & then we ourselves are gathered in & interwoven beautifully—redemption, universal peace , brotherhood, & completion.
Can I get an Amen?
& remember: “How can the lulav sing if its leaves do not rustle?”
ALL: a song for the elements –“Air I am, fire I am water, earth & spirit I am”.
Or Harvest Blessing Chant
“Our hands will work for peace & justice
Our hands will work to heal the land
Gather round the harvest table
Let us feast & bless the land”
With joy, I end this series of offerings on Sukkot