Return of the Swallows

Kerry Darling

For those of us who approach things by the Goldilocks Principle (not too little, not too much), the time of Equinox is practically perfect. TODAY we get that glorious balance of day & night all over the world- from the equator extending to the North & South poles- with just about 12 hours of each. (Now if only folks could come out of hibernation like the bear)

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Ankita Goenka

For thousands of years, at the Vernal Equinox, human beings have been celebrating rebirth. Cultures & countries around the world mark the Spring Equinox with various holidays:

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In Persia (known now as Iran), today is Nowruz, which means ‘New Day’ in Farsi – The start of their New Year, & is one of humanity’s oldest celebrations. More than 300 million people celebrate Nowruz. This includes Iran as well as places that have felt Persian influence through the ages: the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia & the Middle East.

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On the other side of Asia from Iran is Japan, another country with a public holiday, with roots in the ancient Shintoism religion. The belief that every natural object possesses a spiritual force is honored with the advent of spring, as trees & flowers thrive. To celebrate, people will hold family reunions, visit shrines & give offerings to cherry blossoms & other natural wonders.

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Holi: is a Hindu-arrival-of-spring holiday. Another very old festival. The first known mention of it is in a fourth century poem. It’s a national holiday in India, celebrated on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna, so it’s a movable feast. The holiday is known for the brightly colored powders that are thrown into the air covering everyone.

Ninetta Sombart

The Vernal Equinox sets the rhythm for our movable feast of Easter, which is the first Sunday after the 1st Full Moon that occurs on or after the Spring Equinox. That allows Easter to fall anywhere from March 22 to April 25. This year, Easter Sunday is April 12th 2020.

On this day I like to contemplate the ‘Representative of Humanity’, Rudolf Steiner’s sculpture holding the balance.

Our ancestors had a keen awareness of the seasons & the movements of the Sun & stars. They built initiation sites as giant calendars, often aligned to prominently display shafts of sunlight during solstices & equinoxes:

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Chichen Itza, Mexico: This complex of Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is popular all year but especially during the equinoxes. At the “El Castillo” pyramid dedicated to Kukulcán (or Quetzalcoatl), the late afternoon Sun creates the shadow illusion of a snake slowly sliding down the northern staircase. Thousands come here to witness this spectacle, & now this day has a carnival atmosphere, with music, dancers & more.

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Mnajdra Temples, Malta: On the Mediterranean island of Malta, the Mnajdra complex consists of three temples. The buildings are estimated to date from 3600 B.C. to 2500 B.C. During the equinoxes, the rising Sun is in exact alignment with the main doorway of the lower temple, which allows sunlight to fill the main corridor into the innermost altar. It’s another highly celebrated event on the island.

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Stonehenge, England: The most famous Neolithic structure in England, if not the world, is the gathering place for pagans, druids & well everyone, during spring equinox. You can watch the same awe-inspiring, clockwork sunrise that our ancient ancestors witnessed thousands of years ago.

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In Ireland, the Spring Equinox was celebrated long before the arrival of the Celtic tribes. The best known of the ancient Irish equinox temples is Knowth, which is near to Newgrange (Brú na Boinne). Knowth has a 100-foot long passage that accepts the Sun on the morning of the Spring & Autumn Equinox. A second & older stone cairn equinox temple is found at Longhcrew & is given the name Cairn T. Both Knowth & Cairn follow a sunbeam on the morning of the Equinoxes to enter a passageway lighting up the sacred geometry on a back stone inside the temple. This precise timing from a period of over 6 thousand years ago still works today.

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With the Vernal Equinox, we are at the mid-point of the Waxing Year. The spark of light that was born at Winter Solstice has reached maturity, & from this point forward, the days grow longer than the nights. This is the time of full Dawn, 6:00 am on the Year Clock, & so it was the time of the festivals of the Grecian Goddess, Eostre, & the Germanic Ostara, both Goddesses of Dawn. (It is from these Bright Ladies that the modern Easter holiday takes its name).

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This is also the time of Kore’s return from the Underworld, where She (as Persephone) has ruled throughout the Winter. It is also the time of the celebration of the rebirth of Adonis the Beautiful.

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The Feast of the Annunciation, occurring on the fixed calendar day of March 25,also known as Lady Day, the Feast of the Incarnation (Festum Incarnationis), Conceptio Christi (Christ’s Conception), commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of the Son of God. Gabriel’s salutation: “Hail, Mary full of grace, the LORD is with thee” (Luke 1:28; gratia plena Dominus tecum), & Mary’s response to God’s will, “be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38; fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum). The “angelic salutation” is the origin of the Hail Mary prayer & the Angelus; the second part of the prayer comes from the salutation of Saint Elizabeth to Mary at the Visitation.

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The Spring Equinox is also associated with ancient mystery schools who had special initiatory rites at dawn, known as: Alban Eilir, Eostar, Eostre, Ostara, Ostra, (the origins for the name Easter) & the Rites of Spring.

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Michelle H. Taylor

For us it’s a time for balance, a time to honor & celebrate the greening of the Earth. This year is the earliest date for the Equinox in 124 years. Yes ‘Spring Fever’ may be extra potent this year, & our world situation is calling us to do some ‘Spring Cleaning’. May we avail ourselves to the growing sunshine, for healing, & a much needed morale boost.



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Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day


George de la Tour

Feast Day of Joseph the Carpenter, husband of Mary the Mother of the Matthew Jesus.

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Gerry Hillber

Annual Return of the Swallows: The American cliff swallow is a migratory bird that spends its winters in Goya, Argentina, but makes the 6,000-mile trek north to the warmer climes of the American Southwest in springtime. According to legend, the birds, who have visited the San Juan Capistrano area every summer for centuries, first took refuge at the Mission when an irate innkeeper began destroying their mud nests. The Mission’s location near two rivers made it an ideal location for the swallows to nest, as there was a constant supply of the insects on which they feed, & the young birds are well-protected inside the ruins of the old stone church.

Each year the Fiesta de las Golondrinas is held in the City of San Juan Capistrano. Presented by the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association, the Fiesta de las Golondrinas is a week-long celebration of this auspicious event culminated by the Swallows Day Parade & Mercado, street fair. Tradition has it that the main flock arrives on March 19 (Saint Joseph’s Day), & flies south on Saint John’s Day, October 23.

When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That’s the day you promised to come back to me
When you whispered, “Farewell,” in Capistrano
’twas the day the swallows flew out to sea
— excerpt from “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano” by Leon René

In recent years, the swallows have failed to return in large flocks to the Mission. The reduction has been connected to increased development of the area, including many more choices of nesting place & fewer insects to eat.

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1797 – Death Day of Christiane Wilhelmine Sophie von Kühn (March 17, 1782 – March 19, 1797) the love interest & eventual fiancée of the German Romantic poet & philosopher Friedrich von Hardenberg, known to many simply as Novalis. Her image famously appears in Novalis’ Hymns to the Night.


No photo description available.

Greetings friends – The Central Regional Council has just scheduled a Zoom Study Group Meeting for April 8th on the Karma of Epidemics (details below) ALL are welcome to join us.

Our Easter Retreat ‘KNOW THYSELF – Karma and Anthroposophic Psychology’ – a combined effort of the CRC & AAP is POSTPONED.

We will continue to evaluate the world situation & will revisit this potent working in late Summer or early Autumn.

If you have registered already, we will process refunds beginning this week. Let Alberto Loya ( know if you prefer to re-use your registration fee for the re-scheduled event.

We will use our next CRC Zoom Meeting to explore together the spiritual psychology & karma of epidemics.

April 8th 2020, 7:15 pm CST (see audio conference details below)

“Imagine a people which was composed entirely of liars, the astral plane would be populated solely by the corresponding demons and these demons would be able to express themselves in a constitutional tendency to epidemics. Thus there is a certain species of bacilli who are the carriers of infectious diseases; these beings are the progeny of the lies told by human beings; they are nothing else than physically embodied demons generated by lies.” (GA 99 – L.6)

Theosophy of the Rosicrucian – The Law of Destiny – Schmidt Number: S-1539
Lecture VI

Audio Conference Details:

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Meeting ID: 451 374 910

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If you have questions, please contact Alberto Loya
Let us stand together with courage in this now, as we look to our future with equanimity, holding all that comes before us as being guided by a divine directive waiting to be revealed by our patient spiritual investigation.

Many of us are doing constructive things like the Hallelujah in Eurythmy, & The Foundation Stone Meditation at Sunrise (or anytime) every morning to create a high vibration of Love & Light – Please join us for the healing of all.

Yours in service ~The CRC team: Marianne Fieber, Alberto Loya, Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, David Howerton, Lisa Dalton

art by Daniel Ospina


Ara Isaakyan

‘The Three Days’, an On-Line Easter Festival with the Central Reginal Council

Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, all three days: April 9-12, 2020 from 3 pm – 4:15 pm CDT

We will be taking up indications from Emil Bock’s ‘The Three Years” to artistically explore the Spiritual Science of ‘The Paschal Triduum’: Following the Cosmic Sun on the ultimate path of initiation, from the Free-Will Sacrifice, through the Conquering of Death, into the Resurrection of the New Sun.

How can we as human beings in community bring a practical understanding to these mysteries?

Join us as we strive to gain the forces needed to do our part in furthering this impulse in world evolution.

FREE – ALL are Welcome – Zoom Call and other details to follow

For more info. contact Alberto Loya

May Hope Spring Eternal –

The CRC – Marianne Fieber, Alberto Loya, Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, David Howerton, Lisa Dalton 


The Sacred Gateway: Online Conference

Conscious Living, Conscious Dying,
and the Journey Beyond

APRIL 17-19, 2020 

Bring a new consciousness to your own life and death

  • Support those who are crossing and who have crossed over 
  • Expand your practice and knowledge of working with the dying
  • Learn more about the soul’s journey from death to new life 

Through interactive workshops, biogrpahy work, keynote discussions with Rev. Patrick Kennedy and Dr. Melinda Toney,  workshops with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Sandra LaGrega and Jennifer Fox, and more, as well as experiential and artistic activities, we will consciously explore the spiritual and practical aspect of human life and death. 

Conference Fees:

  • $200 Supporter Level/Group Rate(3+ People) Includes Conference Live Links and Recordings, Two Sacred Gateway Webinar Series ($80 value), Resources & Podcast Links and supports this conference and other events like it! 
  • $150 Registration and Resource Package ~ Includes Conference Live Links and Recordings, Two Sacred Gateway Webinar Series ($80 value), Resources & Podcast Links 
  • $95 Regular Rate  Includes the entire Live Event + Recordings and Resources 
  • $45 Youth Rate (Age 35 and under) Includes the entire Live Event + Recordings and Resources
  • $45 Keynotes Only Live Keynotes + Recordings 

Click Here to Join the ASA!

Conference Schedule

All start times in Eastern Standard Time 
(Note: Workshops Subject to Additions/Minor Changes)

Friday, April 17

7:30pm-9pm Conference Opening and Keynote

True Living is Dying: The Life-Giving Power of Death Keynote Discussion and Q&A with Rev. Patrick Kennedy 

Saturday April 18 

11:00-11:45am Welcome, Introductions and Biography Work

11:45am-1:15pm Two-Day Themed Workshops (Choose one theme and attend Saturday, and Sunday) 

  • From Loss to Connection Through the Arts: Reading, Writing and Drawing with Marianne Dietzel and Maureen Flannery
  • The Lemniscate Journey: Exploring the Relationships in Our Lives from Birth to Death and Death to Rebirth Through Biography and Social Art with Sandra LaGrega and Jennifer Fox
  • Giving Way to Grace: Chrysalis Emerging from Conscious Living and Conscious Dying with Melinda Toney, MD, Carole Shoaf End-Of-Life Doula and Katherine Blackburn, End-Of-Life Doula and Esoteric Christian Minister
  • Festivals for the Dead, the Unborn, and the evolution of Earth – Then and Now. with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg. How do we look at the karmic connections that shape current events? Our work with those on the ‘Other-side of the Threshold’ can give us clues.

1:15-1:30pm Break

1:30-2:30pm Vigil Room Experience  

2:30-3:00pm Break

 3:00-4:30pm Topic Workshops

  • Acknowledging the End with Jolie Luba
  • After Deathcare as a Healing Art with Tischia Bluske

4:30-5:00pm Break

5:00-6:00pm Death & Healing Keynote Conversation with Dr. Melinda Toney 

6:15- 7:00pm Group Reflections and Closing

Sunday, April 19 

11:00-11:45am Welcome, Introductions and Biography Work

11:45-12:45 Consecrating our Dying Keynote with Patrick Kennedy

12:45-1:15 Break

1:15-2:30 Two-Day Themed Workshops

  • From Loss to Connection Through the Arts: Reading, Writing and Drawing with Marianne Dietzel and Maureen Flannery
  • The Lemniscate Journey: Exploring the Relationships in Our Lives from Birth to Death and Death to Rebirth Through Biography and Social Art with Sandra LaGrega and Jennifer Fox
  • Giving Way to Grace: Chrysalis Emerging from Conscious Living and Conscious Dying with Melinda Toney, MD, Carole Shoaf End-Of-Life Doula and Katherine Blackburn, End-Of-Life Doula and Esoteric Christian Minister
  • Festivals for the Dead, the Unborn, and the evolution of Earth – Then and Now. with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg. Explore the ancient origins of the many cultural expressions that work with, celebrate, & honor our beloved dead. Prepare the way for the Unborn, and for the future of humanity. Become inspired to Renew or Create your own Tradition. Through Spiritual Science learn to find your destiny, and meet your karma. Prepare for your own conscious crossing into the journey between death and rebirth, by asking questions like: Who have I been? Who am I now? Who do I want to become?

2:30-2:45pm Break

2:45-3:30pm Green Burial Exploration and Conference Closing

Full Conference
$200 Supporter
$150 Resource Package (Includes 3 Webinar Series $80 value, Podcast Links and Conference Live Links and Recordings)
$95 Standard ASA Member Rate
$45 Youth Rate



Our dear Dr. Steiner said: ‘It is not the Christ we lack, but the knowledge of Christ, the Sophia of Christ, the Isis of Christ we are lacking.’ In ‘Ancient Myths and the New Isis Mystery: Their Meaning and Connection with Evolution’ Lecture 3; given in Dornach, 6 January 1918, by Rudolf Steiner; we hear how the power of ‘The Word, the power of The Logos’, must be resurrected through our striving to activate the Wisdom of Anthroposophia within each of us. Join Hazel Archer-Ginsberg for a powerful presentation Lifting the Veil of the New Isis-Sophia, to bring Light to Love.

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~Vitae Sophia~A Whitsun Festival of United Soul Endeavor with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Saturday, 30 May, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Groh Farm, 135 Temple Rd, Wilton, NH

Eurythmy: AUM = A – I stand for myself, U- I stand for humanity, M – I stand for Life

Social Sculpture: Steiner’s ‘Blue Dot Exercise’– Through Art, the bridge between science & spirit, we warm the ‘I’, to open the heart, in support of healthy community.

What are my gifts-What are my tools? How can I place them in right relationship within the social realm? How can I hone them to strengthen and enhance the world?

Living into the Foundation Stone of Love – How can we take our individual Inner Whitsun & expand it, into what Steiner calls the “World Festival of Knowledge” a path leading from ‘Sprit Recollection’, to ‘Sprit Sensing’, to ‘Sprit Beholding’?

Enter the Labyrinth of ‘Vitae Sophia’ – Human hearts, once warmed, can rise up to meet the source of wisdom, like flowers turning toward the sun.  

$30 suggested donation at the door, with potluck lunch to follow
(please bring a dish to share) RSVP Sponsored by the Anthroposophical Society in New Hampshire


Also part of the tour 

3 June 2020 – a Round Table Discussion 7 pm – 9 pm on ‘The Sophia’ with John Bloom, Joan Sleigh, Hazel Archer-Ginsberg & Carrie Schuchardt  at The House of Peace in Ipswich, MA. 

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg – Founder of Reverse Ritual Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year.Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Trans-denominational Minister, ‘Anthroposopher’, working as the Festivals Coordinator of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, The Traveling Speakers Program, & the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society.

Whitsun 2020 Vitae Sophia

6 thoughts on “Return of the Swallows

  1. Dear Hazel,

    One day it will be acknowledged that Joseph the Carpenter was the surrogate father of the Nathan Jesus child, who learned the trade in order to accompany his father to various work sites as described in Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on “The Fifth Gospel”. Joseph, the father of the Matthew Jesus would go on to have six more children, four boys and two girls, with his wife Mary. They would eventually become the stepbrothers and sisters of the Nathan Jesus, when the carpenter married Mary after the deaths of both his wife and hers.


  2. Hi Hazel,

    An interesting occurrence begins this year concerning the Vernal Equinox falling on March 19th. It will begin to fall on this date every four years until 2096. Read more:

    “The vernal equinox occurs on the 19th at 11:50 pm EDT. This moment marks the instant when the ecliptic longitude of the Sun reaches zero degrees and begins another circuit around the sky. This is the earliest occurrence of the equinox since the year 1896, and we will continue to see equinoxes on the 19th (in EDT) every four years through the year 2096. We then have a 40 year period before the equinox once again starts a four-year cycle of falling on the 19th. So why does this happen at all? We can blame the calendar and the leap-year cycle. The explanation is rather lengthy, but suffice it to say that or Gregorian Calendar system will keep the equinox occurring close to the astronomical equinox for quite a while to come. We probably won’t accumulate a full day’s error until somewhere around the year 5000!”

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