Greetings friends – Not sure if it was the residue from the Full Blue Corn/Sturgeon Moon or if Night School was kicking into gear for the Fall Session, but I had a series of interesting encounters last night. I dreamt I was being led thru some tunnels that I knew were underneath the Chartres Cathedral. The being leading me was humming in deeply resonate tones, which vibrated thru my whole being. She was holding a flame what seemed to be coming right out of her hand. I stumbled over a brick in the stone floor & when I looked down, in the half darkness I saw a design that looked like the Christian fish symbol. I called out to the leader but she had gone ahead & now it was quite dark & when I tried to go forward I kept tripping on the many loose bricks. Each time my foot hit the stones a tone rang out, but I couldn’t see what symbol was on them. I was reaching out my hands to try & feel my way when I touched a wall that was so soft my hand seemed to sink right in…& then I woke up.
Later after my meditation & other various morning duties, I saw that Tom Mellett had reminded me in a commet from yeaterday that today was René Querido’s birthday. He wasn’t my teacher in person, but his books have been a powerful guide for me.
So today I will share a bit about this Modern Grail Knight:
René Querido was born 1 September 1926 in Amsterdam. He attended schools in Holland, Belgium, France & after the family’s escape from Nazi-occupied Holland – went to England. In his 21st year he encountered anthroposophy. In 1948 he graduated from London University in science & mathematics. From 1949 he taught French, geography, mathematics & world religions, for 15 years at the Michael Hall Waldorf School in Sussex. From 1958 he also worked as a class teacher. In the 1960s he was a leader in teacher training. From 1975 to 1977 he was co-created the Threefold Center for Adult Education, in Spring Valley, NY, where he also taught at the Green Meadow School. From 1977 to 1991 he headed the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. Starting in 1991 he lived & worked in Boulder, Colorado. In 1992, after the death of Werner Glas, René Querido was asked to become General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America, which didn’t last long. Querido was the co-founder of numerous schools & anthroposophical institutions here & abroad; he gave lectures in almost every part of the world. René Querido is the author of several books.
The following interview with René Querido arose from questions by Thomas Meyer:
TM: Could you tell our readers something about your biographical background, your family name is Spanish and seems to indicate Spanish ancestry.
RQ: My family name actually goes back to Spanish-Portuguese origins in the 15th century. The family, together with the Spinoza, Casuto, Pereira and other families – twelve in all – were expelled from Portugal and found refuge in Amsterdam, where they founded a Portuguese community. Among the Queridos there is also an outstanding writer: Israel Querido, who wrote some impressive books in Dutch at the end of the last century, in the style of Dickens and Zola. He was strongly committed to the social issues of his time and was banished from the synagogue as a result of his Christian leanings.
TM: Which of Rudolf Steiner’s early students did you have a special relationship with after your discovery of anthroposophy?
RQ: Shortly after my encounter with anthroposophy at the age of twenty-one, I did come into close contact with a number of very remarkable personalities. The following people had the greatest and most significant influence on my whole future: Dr. WJ Stein, Dr. W. Zeylmans, Dr. Lehrs, Dr. Maria Lehrs (-Roeschl), Dr. Herbert Hahn, Dr. M. Kirchner-Bockholt, Erich Kirchner, Dr. van Deventer. I had the privilege of meeting these people regularly for many years. They were always willing to answer my questions and always gave me considerable encouragement.
TM: If I remember correctly, you also met Pierre Morisot , an important Chartres researcher and French student of R. Steiner?
RQ: I met Pierre Morisot on several occasions in Paris, from 1954 until his death. We used to chat in a bistro in the Latin Quarter. He dealt deeply with the Grail legend of Chrestien de Troyes. He spoke variously of Marie de Champagne, who was Chrestien’s inspirer. He was also linked to Chartres – and helped me understand the geology of the rocky plateau on which the cathedral was built – a mixture of granite and the region’s limestone. “Typical of old Druid circles,” he said. Morisot was a friendly, highly educated French gentleman who spoke softly but firmly. He had been an engineer.
TM: Not only did you often meet and experience Walter Johannes Stein , but also the young one Trevor Ravenscroft, who wrote the highly problematic book The Spear of Destiny after Stein’s death. What was your relationship with him and his work?
RQ: I didn’t meet Trevor Ravenscroft until after the death of WJ Stein [July 7, 1957]. We became friends, but I couldn’t accept a lot of what he did and said. He urged me to write a Grail book, which I refused. When I met him again much later, in 1976, in the middle of the night in London, and I was about to say something critical of his book, which had since appeared but he interrupted me with the remark that he had simply written it for the sake of easy money. I have pointed out in articles at various times that one-third of his book is true, one-third consists of half-truths, and one- third is simply the product of his fertile imagination.
TM: You also met Astrid Countess Bethusy-Huc once. What was your impression of this daughter of Helmuth and Eliza von Moltke, who played a modest but significant role in her parents’ lives?
RQ: Since this is a very moving story, I want to backtrack and share how it came about I was able to visit her in September 1958, three years before her death. It was a few months before WJ Stein’s death in the summer of 1957. For a number of years Stein had asked me to indicate the subjects on which he was to speak at Michael Hall on Wednesday evenings. I asked him again and again what he wanted to talk about, but for at least four years he steadfastly refused to respond and insisted that I choose the topic of the talk. Now, on this last occasion, I asked him to speak about occult events in recent history. He agreed and talked about Moltke’s fate, which I didn’t know anything about at the time. Not even from the ordinary historical point of view. His lecture made a deep impression on me; I wanted to know more; but he died away. Soon after his death I was at a conference in Arlesheim. During a coffee break, I looked around and considered who to approach. I chose Jürgen von Grone, who was amazed at my question about Moltke and told me that he was one of the few people (alongside Emil Bock) who was in possession of the post-mortem letters. Von Grone, who was personally well acquainted with Stein, had the impression that I was going through Stein & had been led to him. He invited me to visit him in Stuttgart at Easter (1958), where he promised to read me parts of Moltke’s notes . It was a deeply moving experience, but von Grone explained to me that I could learn half the story that way, but that I would also learn the other half if he were able to visit Astrid Countess Bethusy. And so it happened that in September 1958 I was to spend two days with Astrid Countess Bethusy. The first impression of this meeting was extraordinarily deep. Rosemarie, her daughter, met me at the train station and I was greeted by the Countess, an old lady dressed all in black who hardly spoke a word. I had lunch with the family, and then the countess told me in a low voice to come up to her room at five o’clock in the afternoon. As the old lady began to speak, she literally transformed into a being of light and warmth. She spoke in a strong voice and began to read certain things from the letters that von Grone had not told me. A conversation followed while the sun slowly went down and the room was flooded with a golden light. From this conversation I have the following points
• She emphasized that dark forces were also at work in the Odile stream.
• The monastery castle of Odilies represented a light to the east.
• Black magic powers that had been trained in the mystery centers of Italy worked against Nicholas [= Pope in the 9th century, † 867].
• During the time of St. Nicholas, Wilhelm II worked against the Christ impulse and persecuted many people.
• The danger at the end of the century consists of black “raven forces” (which should remain underground), but will try to rise above the heads of the people and weave an Ahrimanic net in order to cut off the people from the spiritual world . In 1924 they had already penetrated to the human diaphragm.
• Umi3* (*”Umi” is a spiritually important individuality, “a spirit that has been connected to us for thousands of years”) could not reincarnate due to his mystery betrayal. Rudolf Steiner gave the Countess meditations to help this individuality that had appeared spiritual to her .
• Michael’s altar in the astral world is a radiant one of Light.
• Rasputin has a terrible greed to reincarnate and he will bring with him Ahrimanic powers and other non-terrestrial beings and he will be destructive.
• Often the small things are spiritually more important than the apparently important external events.
• I met the Countess when she was 76 years old. She died in 1961, aged 94. Astrid was strongly attracted to anything religious in nature and had many spiritual experiences as a child and young woman. Rudolf Steiner referred to her connection to her mother and called them both “twins”. The countess married an older count Bethusy They had four children.
• She attended the performances of the Mystery Dramas and heard many of Rudolf Steiner’s lectures in Berlin.
• Rudolf Steiner gave her a series of meditations when she was 23 and 24 years old.
• She confirmed her mother’s connection with Odilie. – I had the impression that she was still in spiritual contact with her parents.
TM: You mentioned a meditation given to Astrid Bethusy by Rudolf Steiner, the wording of which is unknown, for the enigmatic individuality of the Umi. There are also some well-known proverbs for her as well as for her mother. They were usually placed on the reverse by R. Steiner written from photographs, as he did then with many close disciples.
RQ: When I asked the Countess in September 1958 which of the sayings meant for her R. Steiners considered her to be the most important, she said “This one here”: Let us, O world spirit, be imbued with a spirit-moving attitude, so that we do not miss what can be for the salvation of the earth and for the earth Progress, Lucifer and Ahriman in the right sense!
TM: Is there a specifically American way of absorbing anthroposophy, and how do people here come to it?
RQ: Anthroposophy tends to get a little wooden in the US. Most people find it either through Waldorf education for their children or through the arts, especially eurythmy.
TM: In your opinion, what personalities were important in establishing the anthroposophical movement in the USA?
RQ: One of the leading figures here was Mr. Greene, who was a voice teacher and who led the St. Mark’s group in one of the rooms at Carnegie Hall gathered Charlotte Parker; Henry Barnes and Paul Allen – just to name a few.
TM: What are your and your wife’s current activities in Boulder?
RQ: We are primarily active in the Boulder Anthroposophical Institution, which holds courses three times a week , while the work with the class texts takes place monthly. There are three Waldorf schools here.
Rene Querido died on 23 June 2004 (thanks Brian 😉 Here is a link to some of the books by this great human being.
1 September 2023 “Speaking with the Stars”: As dawn brightens, catch Venus (Occult Mercury) low in the east coming out of inferior conjunction with the Sun.
Saturday 23 September 2023
Community Prep-Stir / Potluck / Bon-fire
6 – 8 pm at the Lucchesi-Archer-Ginsberg domicile
Please Bring Food & Drink to share, & a jar for the prep
30 September 2023 – Michaelmas Festival & Zinniker Farm Day