19 January 2019 – “speaking with the Stars”: Tonight, bright Bella Luna, on the eve of the Full Wolf Moon, shines in Gemini with Castor& Pollux to her left, Betelgeuse farther to her right, & Procyon down below. Get ready for the Lunar Eclipse tomorrow!
After dinnertime, Sirius twinkles brightly under Orion in the southeast. Around 9 pm Sirius shines below fiery Betelgeuse in Orion‘s shoulder.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1736 – Birthday of James Watt, Scottish-English chemist & engineer, inventor of the steam engine.
1809 – Birthday of Edgar Allan Poe
1829 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy receives its premiere performance
1853 – Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Il trovatore receives its premiere performance in Rome.
1883 – The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service at Roselle, New Jersey
1938 – Deathday of Rosa Mayreder – an Austrian freethinker, author, painter, musician & feminist -The daughter of a wealthy Viennese innkeeper who was able to work as a painter & writer from her youth. She loved science & turned against the prevailing state of affairs that generally only allowed a higher education to men. She loved anthropology & physics, but soon came across the special meaning of language . Together with Hugo Wolf, she published the opera “The Corregidor“, she composed the libretto & was one of Wolf’s sponsors.
In 1881 she married her childhood friend, the architect & later rector of the Vienna University of Technology Karl Mayreder . In the women’s movement she worked with activist Marie Lang & Marianne Hainisch in the early 1890s. In 1893 she founded the General Austrian Women’s Association. From 1899 she published together with Marie Lang & Auguste Fickert the magazine “Documents of Women“.
Her books “The Critique of Femininity ” as well as ” Gender and Culture “ & also in conversations that she held in her diaries, she described to the ‘culture-makers’, that it was important for an equal ratio of the sexes. She gained recognition & approval in literary circles. The opposition was found especially in the field of medicine , which was perceived by her to falsely stress the ‘mental weakness of women’ as a haven of arbitrariness, but also the degradation of women as a sexual object. She turned against the discrimination of their gender & the existing double standards. Her works were widely distributed &translated into English.
Mayreder, who first worked as a painter also founded the “Art School for Women & Girls” in the years before the First World War with Olga Prager & Kurt Federn.
Before & during the war, she was involved with Bertha von Suttner in the peace movement, & in 1919 became the chairman of the “International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom” (IFFF).
Rosa Mayreder met Rudolf Steiner (with whom she entered into a long& extensive correspondence) through women’s rights campaigner Marie Lang. Mayreder wrote many passages in her diaries which describe how enlightening Rudolf Steiner was for her thinking. Steiner spent time with Mayreder & her husband at their villa discussing Goethe & politics over the years & right up until Stiner’s death.
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Musical weaving’s play between the geometry of snowflakes
Called in by the Wolf Moon awaiting eclipse
I observe your composite chords
Note their flavor on my restless breath
& forward the tune to you…
Today is the eve of Tu B’Shvat – the “New Year for the Trees” which usually occurs every year on the eve of the February Full Quickening Moon,heralding the time of the Cross Quarter between Winter Solstice & Spring Equinox – Imbolc or Brigid’s day – when the sap begins to rise. But this year it comes at the time of a lunar eclipse of the January Wolf Moon!
Kabbalists have used the tree as a metaphor to understand the relationship between the spiritual & physical worlds. Spiritual Science tells us that the human being is a reversed plant. Our head is the root & our limbs reach for the stars. The higher spiritual realms connect the above & below, manifesting their cosmic influence through our ‘branches & leaves’ – our heart & lungs & limbs, our thinking, feeling & willing in the world.
In the 16th century, the Kabbalists compiled a Tu B’Shvat “Seder” similar to the Seder for Passover. It involves enjoying the fruits of the tree, & discusses philosophical & Kabbalistic concepts, like the idea that by eating with the highest intention we can repair the ‘fall’. The ‘sin’ against the Tree of Knowledge was that Adam & Eve ate its fruit before it was ripe.
So, what is it about waiting that transforms knowledge from hurtful to healthy? Do we have faith that the spring will come & everything will grow & ripen in its season?
Through eating, we have a daily opportunity to correct a part of our soul, so deep & intrinsic that it reaches back into the Garden of Eden.
The custom on Tu B’Shvat is to eat fruits from the seven species for which the Land of Israel is praised: “…a land of wheat and barley and (grape) vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and (date) honey” (Deut. 8:8).
On Tu B’Shvat, it is also customary to eat a “new fruit” something we have not yet tasted this year.
This festival lets us ask: Am I getting the spiritual food I need, to truly live with grace, or is my tree withered by the forces of information overload & rampant materialism?
Am I part of a strong community, providing a warm & nurturing environment? Or am I cast into the pale bleak anonymity of urban life & cyberspace?
Am I looking to future generations knowing that I am providing them with the proper foundations for their lives?
The word “Shvat” is also related to the Hebrew word for a staff or rod. A staff can be used as a symbol of power; or as a cane to lean on. This is an underlying theme of the month.
So as we open our thinking, feeling & willing to align with the rising sap, in gratitude for the fruits of life; we can use this time to focus on the idea of consciously using our daily behavior as a medium for spirituality.