3 April 2017 – Astro-Weather: First-quarter Moon (exact at 1:29 p.m. CDT). You can find the half-lit orb high in the southwest as darkness falls; it doesn’t set until about 2:30 AM tomorrow morning. Bella Luna is in south-central Gemini, shining under Pollux of the Castor-&-Pollux pair, & upper left there’s brighter Procyon. Look way below Procyon for Sirius, brighter still.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
3 April 33 is, according to the spiritual scientific research, the DeathDay of Christ Jesus
421 – Deathday of Mary of Egypt, also known as Maria Aegyptica. In Goethe’s Faust Mary of Egypt is one of the 3 penitent saints who pray to the Virgin Mary for forgiveness for Faust. Her words are set by Mahler in his 8th Symphony, as the final saint’s appeal to the Mater Gloriosa.
Her Story: At the age of twelve she ran away from her parents to the city of Alexandria. Here she lived an extremely dissolute life. In her Vita it states that she often refused the money offered for her sexual favors, as she was driven “by an insatiable & an irrepressible passion,” and that she mainly lived by begging, supplemented by spinning flax.
After seventeen years of this lifestyle, she traveled to Jerusalem for the Great Feasts of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. She undertook the journey as a sort of “anti-pilgrimage,” stating that she hoped to find in the pilgrim crowds at Jerusalem even more partners in her lust. She paid for her passage by offering sexual favors to other pilgrims, & she continued her habitual lifestyle for a short time in Jerusalem. Her Vita relates that when she tried to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the celebration, she was barred from doing so by an unseen force. Realizing that this was because of her impurity, she was struck with remorse, & upon seeing an icon of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary) outside the church, she prayed for forgiveness & promised to give up the world (i.e., become an ascetic). Then she attempted again to enter the church, & this time was permitted in. After venerating the relic of the true cross, she returned to the icon to give thanks, & heard a voice telling her, “If you cross the Jordan, you will find glorious rest.” She immediately went to the monastery of Saint John the Baptist on the bank of the River Jordan, where she received absolution & afterwards Holy Communion. The next morning, she crossed the Jordan & retired to the desert to live the rest of her life as a hermit in penitence. She took with her only three loaves of bread, & once they were gone, lived only on what she could find in the wilderness.
Approximately one year before her death, she recounted her life to Saint Zosimas of Palestine, who encountered her in the desert. When he unexpectedly met her in the desert, she was completely naked & almost unrecognizable as human. She asked Zosimas to toss her his mantle to cover herself with, & then she narrated her life’s story to him, manifesting marvellous clairvoyance. She asked him to meet her at the banks of the Jordan, on Holy Thursday of the following year, & bring her Holy Communion. When he fulfilled her wish, she crossed the river to get to him by walking on the surface of the water, & received Holy Communion, telling him to meet her again in the desert the following Lent. The next year, Zosimas travelled to the same spot where he first met her, some twenty days’ journey from his monastery, & found her lying there dead. According to an inscription written in the sand next to her head, she had died on the very night he had given her Communion & had been somehow miraculously transported to the place he found her, & her body was preserved incorrupt. He buried her body with the assistance of a passing lion. On returning to the monastery he related her life story to the brethren, & it was preserved among them as oral tradition until it was written down by St. Sophronius. In Italy, this Mary became associated with the patronage of fallen women much like Mary Magdalene, to whom similar traits were associated.
1682 – Deathday of Rosamunde, Princess of Cyprus – There is a play by Helmina von Chézy, with music which Franz Schubert composed for it.
The story concerns the attempt of Rosamunde, who was brought up incognito as a shepherdess by the mariner’s widow Axa, to reclaim her throne. The long-established governor Fulgentius , who already has Rosamunde’s parents on his conscience, attempts to thwart Rosamunde, initially by intrigue, then by a marriage proposal & finally by an attempt at poisoning. Rosamunde, whose claim is backed by a deed in her father’s hand, enjoys the support of Cypriots & the Cretan Prince Alfonso, her intended husband. Finally, all the attempts of Fulgentius fail; he dies by his own poison, & Rosamunde ascends the throne.
1895 – The trial in the libel case brought by Oscar Wilde begins, eventually resulting in his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality
1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I have wandered
Into empty temples at night
& looked at the rough faces of sleeping gods
& I have paused with wonder at the entrance of shallow caves
Where the god-seekers smile & wait
Clothed only in their own light…
I know the cool mind of blue sky
& the hot mysteries of earth
While I stand pecking seeds
Or resting on one leg
Watching reflections on the water…
That’s where I found you…
“…Let us bear in mind that the human brain is an actual human Imagination. We are indeed born with a brain, if not a fully developed one, at least with a brain containing the tendencies of growth. It tries to develop to the point of being a realized Imaginative world, to be the impression of an Imaginative world. This is, as it were, the ready-made aspect of our brain, namely, that it is the replica of an Imaginative world. Into this impression of the Imaginative world we then build the conceptual experiences attained during the time between birth and death. During this period we have conceptual experiences; we conceive, we transform the sense perceptions into thoughts; we judge, we conclude, and so on. We fit this into our brain. What kind of activity is this?…” ~Rudolf Steiner, Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy, LECTURE II, Dornach, April 3, 1921
EASTER-TIDE EVENTS in Chicago for 2017:
Holy Week Gatherings:
This year we dedicate our study to those who have crossed the threshold. We will be reading to the dead from Chapter 5 of ‘An Outline of Esoteric Science’, entitled ‘Initiation’. We will incorporate ‘The Calendar of the Soul’ verse for Easter, Group eurythmy, & focused discussion.
Study: 9 April 2017, Palm Sunday 2 pm – 3 pm
*SPECIAL EVENT: 3 pm – 6 pm – Work Party at the branch with Elisabeth Swisher & the youth from CWS – All are Welcome
Study: 13 April 2017, Maundy Thursday 7 pm – 8 pm
Study: 14 April 2017, Good Friday 7 pm – 8 pm
15 April 2017, Holy Saturday –
Our Easter-Tide Festival:
‘The Mystery of Golgotha – Then & Now’
2 pm – 4 pm
What was the Mystery of Golgotha?
What is the Mystery now?
What will it be for the future?
~Art Projections & Discourse with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Group work: Based on Baruch Urieli’s
‘Learning to Experience the Etheric World,
Empathy, the After-Image and a New Social Ethic’
$10 Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged
16 April 2017, Easter Sunday – 4 pm – 6 pm
The Midwest Eurythmy Group will perform The Easter Verse from the Calendar of the Soul by Rudolf Steiner & Bach Fugue Bb minor ‘5 Voices’ & Prelude #22
Then we will gather for our study & the reading to the dead from Chapter 5 of ‘An Outline of Esoteric Science’, entitled ‘Initiation’ – We will incorporate an Artistic Activity related to the study, Group Eurythmy, & Focused Discussion.
$10 Donation goes to support the Midwest Eurythmy Group & Snacks to Share Encouraged (Hazel will bring her famous slow cooked leg of lamb 🙂