Nero fiddled while Rome burned…

June 9, 2016

rome is burning

53 – The Roman emperor Nero marries Claudia Octavia.

68 – The Roman emperor Nero commits suicide, after quoting Homer’s Iliad. In 64 AD, most of Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome, which many Romans believed Nero himself had started in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. Nero’s rule is associated with tyranny & extravagance. He is known for many executions, including that of his mother. Nero was rumored to have had captured Christians dipped in oil & set on fire in his garden at night as a source of light. This view is based on the writings of Tacitus, Suetonius & Cassius Dio, the main surviving sources for Nero’s reign. Facing a false report of being denounced as a public enemy who was to be executed, he committed suicide, the first Roman emperor to do so.

373 – Feast Day of Ephrem the Syrian, Turkish hymnographer & theologian

597 – Feast day of Columbanus the Elder, Irish Celtic Christian. Rudolf Steiner speaks about him as the individuality Iona in GA 178, where the sacredness of Ireland is described.

Madonna maesta Duccio di Buoninsegna

1311 – Duccio’s Maestà Altarpiece, a seminal artwork of the early Italian Renaissance, is unveiled & installed in Siena Cathedral in Siena, Italy

1870 Deathday of Charles Dickens

1915 – William Jennings Bryan resigns as Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State over a disagreement regarding the United States’ handling of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania


1934 – Donald Duck made his debut in the Silly Symphonies cartoon “The Wise Little Hen.”

1940 – Norway surrendered to the Nazis during World War II

1941 – The Christian Community is banned in Germany

1954 – McCarthyism: Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashes out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during hearings on whether Communism has infiltrated the Army giving McCarthy the famous rebuke, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

1967 – Six-Day War: Israel captures the Golan Heights from Syria.

~   ~   ~


~Fingering the rags of my exquisite mortality

I leap up from matter to ride the current of spirit

Swirling like incense on the altar

7 grains of frankincense

Smoldering in the flame

7 sparks dancing in the ethers

Reaching, always reaching

Up, out, into

The 7 stars

Splitting the northern sky

There I nestle with my sisters

In the lap of the bear

Ever watchful & awake in my striving


~   ~   ~

RS where thoughts come from

“The teachers in the Mysteries spoke to their pupils somewhat as follows. They said: “Every year at Midsummer, a solemn offering must be made to the Upper Gods in gratitude for the thoughts they vouchsafe to humanity. For if this is not done it is all too easy for the Luciferic powers to invade man’s thinking and he is then permeated by these powers. He can avoid this if every Summer he is mindful of how the Upper Gods have given him these thoughts and at the Midsummer season lets his thoughts flow back again, as it were, to the Gods.”

In this way the men of olden times tried to safeguard themselves from Luciferic influences. The leaders of the Mysteries called together those who were in a sense their pupils and in their presence enacted that solemn rite at the culmination of which the thoughts that had been revealed by the Upper Gods were now offered up to them in upward-streaming feelings.

The external rite consisted in solemn words being sung or spoken into rising smoke which was thus set into waves. This act was merely meant to signify that the offering made by man’s 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. – See more at:


Friday June 24th –St. John’s Tide– 7pm – 9pm

Bon-Fire Social Gathering

Pot-Luck Dinner at the Home of Hazel & Chuck Ginsberg

Please Bring Food & Drink to Share in Community

RSVP by June 22 for address & directions   

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st. John-the-baptist

Sunday June 26th, 2pm -4pm at the Rudolf Steiner Branch of the Anthroposophical Society 4249 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL. 60618. MAP

He Must Increase but I Must Decrease– Exploring the Mysteries of Midsummer 

with special guest Robert Karp, Co-Director of the Biodynamic Association.

How do we stand wakefully within the sublime mysteries of summer and St. John’s tide? Who is the mysterious archangel of Midsummer described by Rudolf Steiner and what is his relationship to John the Baptist? Can we trace his influence in modern culture, in modern America? What transformation does he seek to bring into our souls and into our communities?

These are some of the questions we will explore in this talk and, in a series of social-artistic exercises that will be incorporated into the talk.

Dulcimer music by Dr. Elaine Wagner.

More details coming soon. For more info. Contact Hazel

2 thoughts on “Nero fiddled while Rome burned…

  1. props 2 donald {duck}…poem a transfiguration…..i wish i was at your fire-dancing pot-luck ! love

    1. Yeah, i thought i’d throw in the cartoon reference, even if it’s not overtly esoteric.

      the Poem is inspired by the expansiveness of the Summer-tide energy.

      the bon-fire isn’t until the 24th…come on over!!!

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