14 March 2017 – Astro-Weather: Jupiter, Spica, & the waning gibbous Moon form a triangle that rises in the east around 8 pm. They wheel across the sky in tandem tonight, reaching their peak altitudes in the south during the wee hours. The giant planet shines against the backdrop of central Virgo, northwest of that constellation’s brightest star, Spica.
As midnight approaches, look to the east for the bright star Arcturus. It is the second-brightest star visible from mid-northern latitudes. If you scan to the left & a little below this luminary, you should see a conspicuous semicircle of stars — the constellation Corona Borealis the Northern Crown. It’s the most prominent group of stars having a shape reminiscent of a circle, & it makes a fitting target for Pi Day. (For you non-geeks, Pi Day is 3/14 because the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, so today we celebrate all things circular.)
“If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful flowers, what might not the heart become in the long journey towards the stars?”~ G K Chesterton
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Looking at the past to see the present, co-creating the future:
“History, historical life, will only be seen in the right light when a true consciousness of the connection of the so-called living with the so-called dead can be developed” – The Living & the Dead by Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, 5th February, 1918
Feast Day of Abigail (Hebrew “my father’s joy”) in 2 Samuel 17:25 she became a wife of David after Nabal’s death. She became the mother of one of David’s sons, who is listed in the Book of Chronicles under the name Daniel. Abigail is also listed as one of the seven Jewish women prophets.
44 BC – Casca & Cassius decide, on the night before the Assassination of Julius Caesar, that Mark Antony should live
1489 – The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice
1592 – Ultimate Pi Day: the largest correspondence between calendar dates & significant digits of pi since the introduction of the Julian calendar
1794 – Eli Whitney is granted a patent for the cotton gin
1879 – Birthday of Albert Einstein! (1879 the year Michael became the Time-Spirit)
1900 – The Gold Standard Act is ratified, placing United States currency on the gold standard.
1903 – The Hay–Herrán Treaty, granting the United States the right to build the Panama Canal, is ratified by the United States Senate. The Colombian Senate would later reject the treaty
1926 – El Virilla train accident, Costa Rica: A train falls off a bridge over the Río Virilla between Heredia and Tibás. 248 are killed & 93 wounded
1943 – World War II: The Kraków Ghetto is “liquidated”
1978 – The Israel Defense Forces invade & occupies southern Lebanon, in Operation Litani
1980 – In Poland, LOT Flight 7 crashes during final approach near Warsaw, killing 187 people, including a 14-man American boxing team
1681 – Birthday of Georg Philipp Telemann, a German Baroque composer & multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family’s wishes. He held important positions in Leipzig, Sorau, Eisenach,& Frankfurt before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became musical director of the city’s five main churches. While Telemann’s career prospered, his personal life was always troubled: his first wife died only a few months after their marriage, & his second wife had extramarital affairs & accumulated a large gambling debt before leaving Telemann.
Telemann was one of the most prolific composers in history & was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time—he was compared favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather & namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, & to George Frideric Handel, whom Telemann also knew personally. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies & his music is an important link between the late Baroque & early Classical styles
1790 – Birthday of Ludwig Emil Grimm, a German painter, art professor, etcher & copper engraver. His brothers were the well-known folklorists Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm
1804 – Birthday of Johann Strauss I, an Austrian Romantic composer. He was famous for his waltzes, & he popularized them alongside Joseph Lanner, thereby setting the foundations for his sons to carry on his musical dynasty. His most famous piece is the Radetzky March
1867 – Birthday of Marie Steiner von Sivers – born into an aristocratic family in Włocławek, Poland, then part of Russia. She was well-educated &was fluent in Russian, German, English, French & Italian. She studied theater & recitation with several teachers in Europe.
Marie von Sivers “appeared one day” at one of Rudolf Steiner’s early lectures in 1900. In the autumn of 1901, she posed the question to Steiner, “Would it be possible to create a spiritual movement based on European tradition and the impetus of Christ?” Rudolf Steiner later reported: With this, I was given the opportunity to act in a way that I had only previously imagined. The question had been put to me, and now, according to spiritual laws, I could begin to answer it.
Marie Steiner-von Sivers & Rudolf Steiner were married on Christmas eve 1914, & she was one of his closest colleagues. Marie von Sivers collaborated with Steiner for the rest of his life & carried his work beyond his death in 1925 until her own death in 1948. She accompanied him & helped him as secretary, translator, editor, & organizer of his lecture tours & other public activities. She assisted Steiner’s work with her own resources & in 1908 founded the Philosophical-Theosophical Press (later Philosophical-Anthroposophical) to publish Steiner’s work
She made a great contribution to the development of anthroposophy, particularly in her work on the renewal of the performing arts (eurythmy, speech & drama), & the editing & publishing of Rudolf Steiner’s literary estate.
Starting in 1912, the art of eurythmy was developed by Rudolf Steiner. Under Marie Steiner-von Sivers’ guidance, it developed in three directions, as a stage art, as an integral part of Waldorf pedagogy, & as a therapeutic method. Under her tutelage, two schools of eurythmy were founded, in Berlin & in Dornach, Switzerland.
Marie von Sivers was trained in recitation & elocution & made a study of purely artistic speaking. She gave introductory poetry recitals at Steiner’s lectures & assisted him in the development of the 4 Mystery Dramas (1910–1913). With her help, Steiner conducted several speech & drama courses with the aim of raising these forms to the level of true art. Ms Steiner died on December 27th 1948
1883 – Deathda y of Karl Marx
1923 – Birthday of Diane Arbus, American photographer & writer noted for photographs of marginalized people—dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, circus performers—& others whose normality was perceived by the general populace as ugly or surreal. In 1972, a year after she committed suicide, Arbus became the first American photographer to have photographs displayed at the Venice Biennale. Millions viewed traveling exhibitions of her work in 1972–1979. The book accompanying the exhibition, Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph, is the bestselling photography monograph ever, still being reprinted today
1932 – Deathday of George Eastman, American inventor & businessman, founded Eastman Kodak
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~The grey sun quickens
In the lap of a bear
Dreaming the southern sky…
I shine on the snow above her legs with the waning moon
& wait my turn to return…
CREATIVE SPEECH from ‘Das Goetheanum,’ 7th March, 1926 By Marie Steiner von Sivers
“SPEECH reveals to the human being their divine nature; the sounds of speech are creative forces which unite us with our spiritual origin and enable us, once again, to find the path leading to the spirit. Speech raises the human being above the level of the animal; it leads us back to the Divine within our Ego. That spark from the Divine Ego, which, issuing forth, prepared itself to become human, had of necessity, as it traveled the path leading into the material world, to unite itself with the forces of destruction. When the densifying process worked too strongly, damming up the spirit, as it were, then the form could be cast off by the ever-recurring forces of death and change. Thus there arose the animal kingdom, which may be likened to a kind of extended alphabet, containing within it all that burdened humanity too heavily when we carried it compressed within the limits of our own being. In the human being it was able to be so far clarified that it could develop into the Word, into Speech. Sound, tone in the animal kingdom cannot rise to the level of speech. It remains mere noise in the case of cold-blooded animals, and, in the case of warm-blooded animals, inarticulate sound. Even in its most beautiful form, in the song of the birds, cosmic tone cannot fully reveal itself; the song of the birds is at most only its faintest echo. It is in speech that the individual force of the Ego first finds expression through tone and becomes aware of its own being. Through speech, cosmic forces can, as it were, focus themselves in an individual Ego and from out this Ego work creatively once more.
When the human being raises to the upright position, when we change from the horizontal position natural to the animal to the vertical position of the human being, we free the forces of speech. The child is overshadowed by these forces; as their individuality develops they become more and more strongly united with them. The child does not say ‘ I ’ of themselves so long as their utterance is mere incoherent babbling. In personal desire, in egoism, the lower ego in the first place struggles through, expressing itself in wishes and desires, afterwards working its way through to feeling and thence into thought. Thought enters into the human being through the gate of speech. Pictures, imaginations are in this way raised up into the consciousness. Through this interplay of processes the human being becomes a thinking being.
A ray from the spiritual essence of the Sun enters into the human being through the mind. In the German language there is a reflection of this in the words ‘Sonne’ (Sun) and ‘Sinn’ (Mind), where the all-embracing, all-enclosing vowel sound ‘ O ’ is transformed into an arrow of light in the vowel sound ‘ E ’ (ee)”.