12 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: Although the Orionid meteor shower doesn’t peak until next week (the morning of the 21st), you should see a few “shooting stars” associated with it before dawn these next few days. The Moon-free observing conditions in the morning sky now offer better viewing prospects than the waning gibbous Moon will at the shower’s peak. These meteors appear to radiate from the northern part of the constellation Orion the Hunter
As evening grows late, below the Moon — about two fists at arm’s length — for Fomalhaut: the “Autumn Star” & the bright mouth of faint Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish
Those who work with the Original indications in the Calendar of the Soul know that Rudolf Steiner lists the birth & death days, as well as other significant occurrences of various individualities, along with the dates in the calendar. He said of this: “What is presented here can be useful to those who wish to follow the path of mankind’s spiritual development” ~Rudolf Steiner
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Fiestas del Pilar -Feast Day of Our Lady of the Pillar – the name given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in connection with an ancient Spanish tradition that she appeared to the Apostle James the Greater as he was praying by the banks of the Ebro at Zaragoza. Mary is often depicted carrying the Child Jesus on her arms resting above a pillar, sometimes carried by angelic cherubs. The Virgin Mary is invoked under this title as the Patroness of Spain
1279 – Nichiren Daishonin, a Japanese Buddhist monk founder of Nichiren Buddhism, is said to have inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon – a venerated calligraphic mandala image inscribed with Sanskrit and Chinese characters on a plank of Japanese camphorwood
1492 – Deathday of Piero della Francesca, Italian mathematician & painter
1582 – Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal & Spain.
1654 – The Delft Thunderclap (a gunpowder store exploded) devastating the Netherlands, killing more than 100 people & wounding over 2000
1692 – The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips
1845 – Deathday of Elizabeth Fry, an English prison reformer, social reformer &, as a Quaker, a Christian philanthropist. She has sometimes been referred to as the “angel of prisons”. She was depicted on the Bank of England £5 note
1875 – Birthday of Aleister Crowley, an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, & mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century.
Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family, Crowley rejected this fundamentalist Christian faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he focused his attentions on mountaineering & poetry, resulting in several publications. Some biographers allege that here he was recruited into a British intelligence agency, suggesting that he remained a spy throughout his life. In 1898 he joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in ceremonial magic by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers & Allan Bennett.
Moving to Boleskine House by Loch Ness in Scotland, he went mountaineering in Mexico with Oscar Eckenstein, before studying Hindu & Buddhist practices in India. He married Rose Edith Kelly & in 1904 they honeymooned in Cairo, Egypt, where Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema. Announcing the start of the Æon of Horus, The Book declared that its followers should adhere to the code of “Do what thou wilt” & seek to align themselves with their Will through the practice of magick.
After an unsuccessful attempt to climb Kanchenjunga & a visit to India & China, Crowley returned to Britain, where he attracted attention as a prolific author of poetry, novels, & occult literature. In 1907, he & George Cecil Jones co-founded a Thelemite order, the A∴A∴, through which they propagated the religion.
After spending time in Algeria, in 1912 he was initiated into another esoteric order, the German-based Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), rising to become the leader of its British branch, which he reformulated in accordance with his Thelemite beliefs. Through the O.T.O., Thelemite groups were established in Britain, Australia, & North America.
Crowley spent the First World War in the United States, where he took up painting & campaigned for the German war effort against Britain, later revealing that he had infiltrated the pro-German movement to assist the British intelligence services. In 1920 he established the Abbey of Thelema, a religious commune in Cefalù, Sicily where he lived with various followers. His libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press, & the Italian government evicted him in 1923. He divided the following two decades between France, Germany, & England, and continued to promote Thelema until his death.
Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual & an individualist social critic. He was denounced in the popular press as “the wickedest man in the world”. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism & the counter-culture, & continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. In 2002, a BBC poll ranked him as the seventy-third greatest Briton of all time.
1915 -Deathday of Edith Louisa Cavell a British nurse, celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without discrimination & in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during the First World War, for which she was arrested. She was accused of treason, found guilty by a court-martial & sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad. She is well known for her statement that “patriotism is not enough”.
1918 – A massive forest fire kills 453 people in Cloquet, Minnesota
1964 – The Soviet Union launches the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits
1992 – A 5.8 earthquake occurred in Cairo, Egypt. At least 1510 died
1994 – The Magellan spacecraft burns up in the atmosphere of Venus
2005 – The second Chinese human spaceflight Shenzhou 6 launched, spent five days in orbit
Freethought Day is October 12, the annual observance by freethinkers & secularists of the anniversary of the effective end of the Salem Witch Trials
MY POD (Poem Of the Day)
~This morning it was dark when I awoke…
I noticed the West window held a dying flame
As I watched, a swallow darting thru the shadows
Flit, catching moths
Night bristles on her back…
In her mouth melts a berry of god-thought,
Desire folded into her wings…
She swoops, she dives in dark dreams, perfect in the dawning…
During the time of Michaelmas a shift occurs within us, echoing outside of us in nature, & reflected in various cultural expressions & traditions. At the height of ‘The High Holy Days’, or ‘Days of Awe’ is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which comes ten days after Rosh Hashanah, the ‘Head of the New Year’ & refers to the annual Jewish observance of fasting, prayer & repentance, which started last night at sunset.
It is the moment in time to dedicate mind, body, & soul to reconciliation –
with God, our fellow human beings, & ourselves. A time to turn to those who we have wronged, acknowledging the pain we might have caused. At the same time, being willing to forgive & to let go of the offenses & the feelings of resentment they provoked in us.
This journey for both seekers & givers of pardon mirrors the journey a soul takes after death.
According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into the ‘Book of Life’ on Rosh Hashanah, & waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict.
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, soul-searching faith, compassion, thoughtfulness, being considerate, accepting responsibility & magnanimity.
The ‘birthday’ of the World & of the 1st human beings, Adam & Eve, are celebrated on Rosh Hashanah, on this Day of Atonement, Human-beings are given an opportunity to recreate themselves spiritually, each year, on Yom Kippur, which is an Acadian word for Forgiveness & Genesis.
Yom Kippur is observed on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, whose astrological sign is Libra. Libra symbolizes key themes of Yom Kippur: scales, justice, balance, truth, symmetry, & sensitivity. Libra is ruled by the planet Venus (Noga, נגה, in Hebrew), which reflects divine light & love of other people.
The Hebrew word Kippur, כיפור (atonement/repentance), is a derivative of the Biblical word Kaporet כפורת (the cover of the Holy Ark in the Sanctuary), & Kopher, כופר (the cover of Noah’s Ark & the Holy Altar in the Temple). Yom Kippur resembles a spiritual cover (dome), which separates the holy from the mundane, or materialism. The Kippah, כיפה (skullcap), which covers one’s head during prayers, reflects a spiritual dome.
Yom Kippur calls for repentance — Teshuvah (תשובה in Hebrew). The root of Teshuvah is similar to the root of the Hebrew word for return, שובה, & שביתה, the cessation of mundane thoughts, actions & eating. It is also similar to the root of Shabbat, שבת. Yom Kippur is also called Shabbat Shabbaton — the supreme Sabbath.
The Hebrew spelling of “fast” (צם/צום) reflects the substance of Yom Kippur. It is also the root of the Hebrew word for “reduction” & “shrinking” (צמצום) of one’s wrong-doing, & the root of the Hebrew words for “eternity” (צמיתות).
“May you be sealed for a good year in the Book Of Life” – is the traditional greeting on Yom Kippur.