20 June 2017 – Astro-Weather: This is “Midsummer’s Night,” the Longest day & shortest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Astronomical summer begins at the solstice, 11:24 pm CDT.
The term “Midsummer’s Night” is left over from when the seasons were commonly defined as beginning & ending around the cross-quarter days.
Summer Solstice comes at the precise moment when the Sun’s power is at its peak. Solstice means ‘sun stands still’, & it is the longest day of the year.
But as we all know, what goes up, must come down, & so after ‘standing still’ for 3 days, the Sun begins to wane…& the journey into the harvest season begins. After the expansive outbreath we must begin the conscious in-breath – this is the celebration of St. Johns- Tide.
But before we ‘decrease’, as John the Baptist did, we can recall that ‘Midsummer’ has always been an important Solar event throughout the evolution of humankind. The axis of Stonehenge, & The Temple of the Sun in Mexico, are both oriented in the direction of the Midsummer sunrise.
Even our dear Shakespeare knew that Midsummer’s eve is a magical time, when we can see beyond the sense world to communicate with the plant & faeiry spirits.
It is after all the time of the herb harvest, all plants gathered around this time, especially on this the shortest night are considered exceptionally potent for healing & ritual purposes.
This is traditionally the time when the herb St. John’ wort reaches its full potency & since it is a solar herb, it is used to bring the power of the Sun to people who suffer from depression.
The wise women of old would place St. John’s Wort & other healing herbs around the home for protection as they dried; They threw the stalks into the Midsummer bonfire, & when the coals had cooled down the ashes were mixed with water & sprinkled on the fields, the 4 corners of the home & the on the head & feet of the children.
Royal fern seeds gathered at midnight on the eve were said to make you invisible. Rub the blossoms on your eyelids to see the wee folk which will also make you wealthy & wise; but be sure & carry a bit of rue in your pocket or you might be ‘pixie-led’. Can’t find the rue, then turn your clothes inside out & follow the old ‘Ley-Lines’, which will keep you from getting lost in faeiry land.
Divination on matters of love are especially powerful on Midsummer’s Eve; young women around the globe place yarrow or other herbs & flowers native to their part of the world peaking at this time, under their pillows, to dream of their future mates.
The ancient Druids celebrated the Summer Solstice as the Wedding of Heaven & Earth. The Goddess manifests as Mother Earth & the God, as the Sun King.
This quarter day is also called St. John’s Eve by the church, for they knew that John the Baptist was born around the Summer Solstice, 6 months earlier than Jesus, who was born at Winter Solstice.
Plant Spirits, Faeiry Folk, thank you for sharing your gifts, continue to teach us how to live in harmony with the essence of your healing magic.
But remember dear sisters & brothers, that at the zenith of the Sun’s climb skyward, the brightest light casts the deepest shadow, so let us gather to bring the sacred Elements of Life into balance, as we celebrate the powers of Midsummer.
Dawn will come soon enough — when you’ll see Venus over the crescent Moon. Although Venus reached her greatest elongation from the Sun earlier this month, she now rises earlier, shortly after 2 am & climbs higher in the east before dawn, to stand above the horizon an hour before sunrise. It’s hard to mistake the inner planet for anything else —The Goddess of Love shines brighter than any other point of light in the sky. And this morning, you’ll see it paired with a lovely crescent Moon, to Venus’ right.
See you in the Sun
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
453 – Rome & the Goths defeat Attila the Hun at Catalunian Palins
935 – Birthday of Pope Sylvester , originally known as Gerbert of Aurillac. He was a prolific scholar & teacher. He endorsed & promoted study of Arab & Greco-Roman arithmetic, mathematics, & astronomy, reintroducing to Europe the abacus & armillary sphere, which had been lost to Latin (though not Byzantine) Europe since the end of the Greco-Roman era. He is said to be the first to introduce in Europe the decimal numeral system using Arabic numerals. He was the first French Pope.
According to the legend, Gerbert, while studying mathematics & astrology in the Muslim cities of Córdoba & Seville, was accused of having learned sorcery. Gerbert was supposed to be in possession of a book of spells stolen from an Arab philosopher in Spain. Gerbert fled, pursued by the victim, who could trace the thief by the stars, but Gerbert was aware of the pursuit, & hid hanging from a wooden bridge, where, suspended between heaven & earth, he was invisible to the magician.
Gerbert was supposed to have built a kind of robot head. This “Brazen” head would answer his questions with “yes” or “no”. He was also reputed to have had a pact with a female demon called Meridiana, who had appeared after he had been rejected by his earthly love, & with whose help he managed to ascend to the papal throne (another legend tells that he won the papacy playing dice with the Devil).
According to the legend, Meridiana (or the bronze head) told Gerbert that if he should ever read a mass in Jerusalem, the Devil would come for him. Gerbert then cancelled a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but when he read mass in the church Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (“Holy Cross of Jerusalem”) in Rome, he became sick soon afterwards &, dying, he asked his cardinals to cut up his body & scatter it across the city. In another version, he was even attacked by the Devil while he was reading the Mass, & the Devil mutilated him & gave his gouged-out eyes to demons to play with in the Church. Repenting, Sylvester II then cut off his hand & his tongue.
The inscription on Gerbert’s tomb reads in part Iste locus Silvestris membra sepulti venturo Domino conferet ad sonitum (“This place will yield to the sound [of the last trumpet] the limbs of buried Sylvester II, at the advent of the Lord”, mis-read as “will make a sound”) & has given rise to the curious legend that his bones will rattle in that tomb just before the death of a Pope.
1819 –It is the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrives at Liverpool, United Kingdom.
1877 – Alexander Graham Bell installs the world’s first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
1887 – Victoria Terminus, the busiest railway station in India, opens in Bombay
1943 – The Detroit race riot breaks out and continues for three more days
1970 – Deathday of Herbert Hahn, an anthroposopher who joined the society in 1912. In 1919 he was called by Rudolf Steiner to teach at the first Waldorf School in Stuttart, becoming a Class Teacher between 1921 & 1927 & finally History & German language teacher in the high school. Steiner entrusted him with the task of giving “free religion lessons” (for those children who did not belong to any of the denominations) & within this context he held the first “Sunday Service” in 1920. From 1931 until 1939 he taught at the Vrije School in The Hague.
During WW II he was deployed as interpreter. In 1943 he married his teaching colleague Maria Uhland. After the war, he returned to the Stuttgart Waldorf School, re-founded after the Nazi period & served as its unofficial director until his retirement in 1961.
Of his numerous works as an author especially his recollections of Rudolf Steiner, & his main work, Vom Genius Europas, his outline of an anthroposophical cultural psychology, was ground breaking. He was also one of the founding members of the Esoteric Youth Circle.
Here is a quote about the circle by HH: “Among the many presentations Rudolf Steiner gave concerning our being in modern culture & the world civilization, one very earnest appeal rises up as special in my memory. Rudolf Steiner warned us not to build up our initiatives & activities, which are directed toward great goals, on forms that exist in the outer world & are created out of routine. He said that these forms had grown old & brittle; they cannot be saved from perishing. We must see that we achieve a new basis & ground upon which we can move, borne by the spirit.
This comment, like all of the others he made in connection with the foundation of the community, was brought into a very large perspective. The largest perspective that opened up may well have been, as he said in view of the future of the community: “When this is founded, then you can think of it as determined for a wide-reaching working. It could, for instance, be the case that, at a given time, none of the members of the community are living on Earth; in the ordinary sense, the community would count as having died out. Yet, it will not be wiped out. With the 1st community members who reincarnate, the community returns to Earth.”
The final comment given, answers in a totally satisfying manner, a question that was often asked by those joining the community later. The question was whether the Esoteric Youth Group were not to be considered dissolved by the Christmas Conference.
Aside from the fact that Rudolf Steiner again confirmed & gave the call to the community thru a new, essential meeting during the Christmas Conference, what was said above removes any doubt. The indication of the carrying of the community impulse thru the incarnations speaks for itself. More precise is the idea that the founding of the Esoteric Youth Group community in October 1922, may be considered to be one of the preparatory steps for the Christmas Conference of 1923. And still more certain is that this community is given an inner obligation for the carrying thru of the great impulse of the Christmas Conference”. ~Herbert Hahn, Copenhagen-Charlottenlund August 12-14, 1963
1990 – The 7.4 Mw Manjil–Rudbar earthquake hits northern Iran with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme), killing 35,000–50,000, & injuring 105,000
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I expand out
To my star-self
Like a wild reed
Brushing the clouds with seeds-
A solid stalk in the rising humidity
As light spews
Thru misting vapors
& the fruit of my striving ever ripens...
“The teachers in the Mysteries said: “Every year at Midsummer, an offering must be made to the spiritual beings of the cosmos in gratitude for the thoughts they bestow on humanity; & for the gift from the Sun of our Higher “I”. If we forget to give this recognition, if we forget that we are connected to source, it is all too easy for the Luciferic powers to invade our thinking & we are then permeated by these powers.
We can avoid this if, every Summer, we are mindful of how the Upper Gods have given us our altruistic thoughts & inspirations, & at the Midsummer season we let our thoughts flow back again, like a song of gratitude to the Gods.” In this way the folk of olden times tried to safeguard themselves from Luciferic influences.
The leaders of the Mysteries called together their pupils & enacted a fervent rite at the culmination of which the thoughts that had been revealed by the Upper Gods were now offered back up to them in upward-streaming feelings.
The external rite consisted in solemn words being spoken into the rising smoke of a bonfire, which then set the smoke into waves. This offering made by their inmost soul to the Upper Gods was being inscribed into an outer medium — the rising smoke — through form-creating words.
The words of the prayer inscribed into the rising smoke the feelings which the soul desired to send upwards to the Gods as an offering for the thoughts they had revealed.” ~Rudolf Steiner, The Spiritual Communion of Mankind http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/19221223p01.html#sthash.wBDzuZDX.dpuf
“…Now, humanity must learn to know consciously the etheric & astral elements outside ourselves. This we can do only through the reverent deepening of spiritual science…This is what Anthroposophy intends when it speaks of a renewal of the festivals…
We must come once more to an inner understanding of what the cycle of the year can mean to humanity in this connection; it can then be something even loftier than it was for us long ago”…~Rudolf Steiner, The Cycle of the Year as Breathing-Process of the Earth http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA223/English/AP1984/19230403p01.html
Greetings Friends – Have you ever wondered about the evolution of consciousness? Thru Spiritual Science we can understand how the ancient initiates worked. Thru an understanding of karma we can begin to realize that WE were those ancient people, & that our work today is to strive to bring the essence of these teachings into the renewed form of the New Mysteries with awakened consciousness.
Come join us in community as we put Anthroposophy into practice in the world
Friday June 23rd 2017 – Zinniker Family Farm N 7399 Bowers Rd. Elkhorn, WI 53121
Family Friendly Pot Luck 6:30 pm – Bee & Stag Bon-fire & Drum Circle 8 pm
$10 – All Donations go to the Zinniker farm – Bring a folding-chair & your drum, shaker or music maker (or borrow one of ours)
St. John’s Festival: Cosmic Rapture Grounded in Jubilant Hearts –
Understanding the evolving human consciousness, we move ecstatic-ritual into Heart-Thinking
SATURDAY June 24th 2017, 1 pm – 4 pm – at the Rudolf Steiner Branch
Dulcimer – Dr. Elaine Wagner
Tone of the Day with original art (collaged slides) by Hazel Archer Ginsberg
To pass the test of Summer we will explore many questions:
- How do we stand wakefully within the sublime mysteries of the Summer-Tide, to consciously embody ‘the spiritual wisdom of the gods’?
- Who is the ‘John’ of St. John’s-Tide?
- What is the mystery of the Bee & Stag? The Dragon-fly, & other elemental beings?
- Who is the mysterious Archangel of Summer?
Then we will work to strengthen our True “I” – Enlivening our Will Forces, with Social-Artistic Exercises:
- In the ‘gallery’ with Karen Hartz, we will speak together the Calendar of the Soul, Verse #12 – the St John’s Mood –
- Render our impressions from the verse with pastels…
- View & discuss our impressions
- Eurythmy, “I Think Speech” (and more if Elena Baba joins us!?!)
- Thoughts on the Elementals of Summer
- Questions to the Universe with Victoria Martin
- Sing with Elisabeth Swisher
- End with the last panel of the Foundation Stone