Ring of Fire


Listen: the ‘I Think Speech‘ Podcast

The dance goes on. Two weeks after May’s total lunar eclipse, the Sun, Moon and Earth align again on Thursday, June 10th. This time, the Moon glides between the Earth and the Sun to grace the morning sky with an annular eclipse. The eclipse is central but not total because the Moon is near apogee, its most distant point from Earth. Its apparent diameter will be shy of completely covering the Sun, leaving a “ring of fire”.

Try to watch the eclipse from the Great Inland Sea of Chicago where the blazing crescent and its glitter path should be nothing short of spectacular. Many of us will be tempted to look at the rising Sun at the horizon where haze often attenuates its light. Be careful. A momentary glance might be OK, but never stare at the Sun even for a second. Infrared light can cook your retinas and permanently damage your vision. Keep eclipse glasses at the ready.

Amanjot Singh and Sanchita Abrol

Global Event: Annular Solar Eclipse

Local Type: Partial Solar Eclipse, in Chicago

Begins: Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 5:15 am

Maximum: Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 5:18 am

Ends: Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 5:39 am

Duration: 24 minutes

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day(RSarchives) 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (Rudolf Steiner’s original Calendar of the Soul, Anthrowiki, Wikipedia Commons)

53 – The Roman emperor Nero marries Claudia Octavia.

68 – The Roman emperor Nero commits suicide, after quoting Homer’s Iliad. In 64 AD, most of Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome, which many Romans believed Nero himself had started in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. Nero’s rule is associated with tyranny & extravagance. He is known for many executions, including that of his mother. Nero was rumored to have had captured Christians dipped in oil & set on fire in his garden at night as a source of light. This view is based on the writings of Tacitus, Suetonius & Cassius Dio, the main surviving sources for Nero’s reign. Facing a false report of being denounced as a public enemy who was to be executed, he committed suicide, the first Roman emperor to do so.

“Think of all that history recounts of Nero. In face of such a personality it seems as if life could be mocked and scorned with impunity, as if the utterly flippant disregard for life displayed by one in a position of great power and authority, brought no consequences. Anyone hearing of Nero’s deeds must be dull-witted if he is not driven to ask: What becomes of a soul such as this, who scorns the whole world, who regards the life of other men, nay even the existence of a whole city, as something he can play with? “What an artist is lost in me!” is a saying attributed to Nero, and it seems to be in line with his whole attitude and tenor of mind. Utmost flippancy, an intense desire and urge for destruction, acknowledged even by himself — and the soul actually taking pleasure in it all!

One can only be repelled by the story, for here is a personality who literally radiates destruction. And the question forces itself upon us: What becomes of such a soul?

Now we must be quite clear on this point: Whatever is discharged, as it were, upon the world, is reflected in the life between death and a new birth, and discharged in turn upon the soul who has been responsible for the destruction. A few centuries later, that is to say, a comparatively short time afterwards, Nero appeared again in the world in an unimportant form of existence. During this incarnation a certain balance was brought about in respect of the mania for destruction, the enthusiasm for destruction in which he had indulged as a ruler, simply out of an inner urge. In that next life on earth something of this was balanced out, for the same individuality was now in a position where he was obliged to destroy; he was in a subordinate position, acting under orders. The soul had now to realise what it is like when such acts are not committed out of free will while in a position of supreme power.

Matters of this kind must be studied quite objectively and all emotion avoided — that is absolutely essential. In a certain respect, such a destiny calls for pity — for to be as cruel as Nero, to have a mania for destruction as great as his, is, after all, a destiny. There is no need for hatred or censure; moreover such an attitude would prevent one from experiencing all that is required in order to understand the further developments. Insight into the things that have been spoken of here is possible only when they are looked at objectively, when no hostile judgment is passed but when human destiny is really understood. Things disclose themselves quite clearly, provided one has the faculty for understanding them … That this Nero-destiny came vividly before me on one occasion was attributable to what seemed to be chance — but it was only seemingly chance.

One day, when a terrible event had occurred, an event of which I shall speak in a moment and which had a shattering effect throughout the region concerned, I happened to be visiting a person frequently mentioned in my autobiography: Karl Julius Schröer. When I arrived I found him profoundly shocked, as numbers were, by what had happened. And the word “Nero” fell from his lips — apparently without reason — as though it burst from dark depths of the spirit. To all appearances the word came entirely out of the blue. But later on it became quite clear that in reality the Akashic Record was here being voiced through human lips. The event referred to was the following. —

The Austrian Crown Prince had always been acclaimed as a brilliant personality, and great hopes were entertained for the time when he would ascend the Throne. Although all kinds of things were known about the behaviour of the Crown Prince Rudolf, they were accepted as almost inevitable in the case of one of such high rank; nobody dreamt for a moment that the things told about him might lead to any serious, tragic conflicts. It was therefore an overwhelming shock when it became known in Vienna that the Crown Prince Rudolf had met his death in mysterious circumstances near the Convent of the Holy Cross, outside Baden, near Vienna. Details gradually came to light and at first there was talk of a “fatal accident” — indeed this was officially announced. Then, after the official announcement, it became known that the Crown Prince had gone to his hunting lodge accompanied by the Baroness Vetsera and that there they had both met their death…” ~Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships, Volume II: Lecture V https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA236/English/RSP1974/19240427p01.html

373 – Feast Day of Ephrem the Syrian, Turkish hymnographer & theologian

597 – Feast day of Columbanus the Elder, Irish Celtic Christian. Rudolf Steiner speaks about him as the individuality Iona in GA 178, where the sacredness of Ireland is described. http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA178/English/RSP1966/19171119p02.html

Madonna maesta Duccio di Buoninsegna

1311 – Duccio’s Maestà Altarpiece, a seminal artwork of the early Italian Renaissance, is unveiled & installed in Siena Cathedral in Siena, Italy

1870 Deathday of Charles Dickens

1915 – William Jennings Bryan resigns as Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State over a disagreement regarding the United States’ handling of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania

1934 – Donald Duck made his debut in the Silly Symphonies cartoon “The Wise Little Hen.”

1940 – Norway surrendered to the Nazis during World War II

1941 – The Christian Community is banned in Germany

1954 – McCarthyism: Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashes out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during hearings on whether Communism has infiltrated the Army giving McCarthy the famous rebuke, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”


1967 – Six-Day War: Israel captures the Golan Heights from Syria.

In Thought Amongst The Clouds Painting by Jeremy Aiyadurai
Jeremy Aiyadurai

POD (Poem Of the Day)

~i carry into the clouds
the life of earth,
the breath of my body
a pulse of prose
gained from pain
the twists of fate
given into with pleasure
an opening to moisture
an opportunity seized & released…

Angela Foster

Summer Practice & Research Group6 Essential Exercises & Eightfold Path

Beginning Saturday June 12 and ending July 24.

9:00 – 9:15 am PT / 10 am MT / 11 am CT / noon ET / 5 pm UTC / 6 pm CET

Daily 15-minute Zoom for 42 days (6 weeks)

You are invited to join with a group of friends as we explore Rudolf Steiner’s 6 Essential Exercises alongside the Eightfold / Daily Exercise Path.

This is a practice group AND a research group. We are experimenting with weaving our attention with weekly rhythm of the 6BE and the daily rhythm of Eightfold Path/ Daily Exercises. You are encouraged to bring a journal to make notes and keep track of your progress.

Zoom Link (Use this link for more details.)


William Wolff

‘Preparing the Way’ an experiential St. John’s-Tide Festival

23 June 2021, Doors open at 5:30 pm with a Potluck -Program from  7-8:30 pm

In-person at the Rudolf Steiner Branch 4248 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, 60618

The program is evolving – There is a possibility that world-renowned eurythmist Jan Ranck from the Jerusalem Academy of Eurythmy will lead us in group eurythmy (TBA)

Other activities may include: 

Art – Mary Spalding

Spacial Dynamics – Deborah Rogers

Singing – Elizabeth Kelly

Group discussion – Hazel Archer

If Jan Ranck is leading – $20 pre-pay online or $30 at the door (no one turned away for lack of funds)

For more info. contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer

Sea Cooke

St. John the Baptist and Uriel the Archangel of Summer –

An Experiential Festival with Geoff Norris, Elizabeth Carlson, Lisa Dalton, Hazel Archer

Sunday 27 June 2021 on Zoom: Noon – 1:30 pm PT / 1 – 2:30 pm MT / 2 pm – 3:30 pm CT / 3 – 4:30 pm ET / 8 – 9:30 pm London Time / 9 – 10:30 pm CET

Metanoia –  Can you hear the voice of conscience? – Make straight the path, for at the fullness of Summer, the light is so bright that it leaves no room for the shadow, a time to remember what St. John said “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Musicial Performance by Lucien Dante Lazar

Speech – Geoffrey Norris

Eurythmy- Elizabeth Carlson

Living into St. John’s-Tide – Lisa Dalton

Leading Thoughts – Hazel Archer

Hazel Archer is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: St. John’s
Time: Jun 27, 2021 02:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 705 293 1041
Passcode: Uriel

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a961qZZhF

For more info. contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer Hazel@reverseritual.com

23 thoughts on “Ring of Fire

  1. Vladimir Solovieff was someone who pleaded for forgiveness in capital offenses, and even with the assassination of his own father in 1879. He saw the importance of attempting rehabilitation of the offender in the very life in which it occurred. Thus, true “rehab” should involve getting to the deeper layer of why the capital offender committed the crime. Thus, the process of forgiveness should begin on earth, rather than mere physical execution which burdens the higher worlds, and surely means a reincarnation under the most paltry conditions.

    Chapter 8 of the Gospel of John is very important for what it says about condemnation and what forgiveness means. Christ scribes in the dirt what becomes His earth mission as Lord of Karma.


    With regard to Vladimir Solovieff, who sought clemency for the murderers of his own father, who was the veritable historian of Russia, and wrote a book in favor of the life of Czar Alexander II, it would prove to be his downfall. You see, the son of Alexander II became the next czar, Alexander III. So, when Solovieff appealed to the czar for clemency in the killing of his father, he was banned from ever lecturing again in Russia. This was in 1883. Thus, Solovieff entered a life of poverty and goodwill, and also the writing of his most important books. In 1894, when Alexander III died, and succeeded by his son, who became Czar Nicholas II, Vladimir Solovieff was freed to speak openly and outrightly again. Thank God.

    1. Yes, Solvieff did leave a mark with his selflessness, which unfortunately was not taken up in his time

  2. I find these comments all salty and true. They are wonderful insights. Kyle, I know you want to know more about Buddha and Christ, but if Nero reincarnated as Crown Prince Rudolf, of the Austrian Empire, would not that be the paramount consideration now? Steiner even remembered that his mentor, Karl Julius Schroer, in January 1889, when calling the young Steiner to his apartment, after hearing the bad news, said one word to him: ‘Nero’, and then shut his door. Steiner remembered this for later.

    1. Steve, yes, this has been very illuminating looking at the individual Nero. To quote from the same lecture Hazel did on this post:

      ” For now we see how things which, to begin with, arouse horror and indignation — as does the life of Nero — live themselves out according to a perfect world-justice; we see how this world-justice is fulfilled and how the wrong returns, but in such a way that the individuality is himself involved in creating the balance. — That is what is so stupendous about karma.”

      So the individual corrects their own karma. Is this accurate to say? Is there another point to Nero as an individual that I’m missing? I also find it peculiar, that, perhaps the Crown Prince had the opportunity to transcend his karma, if that makes sense. I see that he had this outward expression as Nero (if we can say that it is him) that life is worthless, but then he turns it on himself as his own life seems ‘worthless.’ So, I see that balance. But I’m wondering if at any point, he could have broken that chain. So where does that put the individual now, after the Crown Prince committed suicide? And to note, the second time he did. What kind of incarnation would this soul face afterwards?

      1. It is all so fascinating, so many twists & turns in those karmic knots which of course don’t just affect 1 individual, but many lives are intertwined.

        Steiner also says that sometimes we can take on the karma of another to help them, or to further the destiny of a people or the world.
        Such was the case with Steiner & his teacher mentioned in the lecture we’ve been quoting.
        These kinds of ‘sacrifices’ have been modeled for us by the creator beings, & of course The Christ is the ultimate example.

        1. The karma between Rudolf Steiner and Karl Julius Schroer is a fascinating subject to consider. In another place in the KR lectures, in relation to Steiner’s remembering Schroer’s rather odd, but very intuitive remark on Nero in hearing of the tragic death of Rudolf, he recalls when a phrenologist came to analyze Schroer’s head, and found that he had an “uncultivated theosophy bump”. And later, in the final lecture of the KR series, lecture 49, Steiner reveals just how significant this emissary who came into his life really was. He was formerly Plato, who taught the young Aristotle in the Academy for twenty years, c. 367-347 BC.

          Schroer was a lover and quite the scholar of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s literature, but not the scientific writings that Goethe also produced in his life; some 14 volumes of science writings on botany and the metamorphosis of plants. He needed someone of the intellectual acumen that Rudolf Steiner possessed. Thus, there was a definite karmic connection between these two. The bump was the clue in seeing why he came into this man’s life. Schroer needed help in realizing the full scope of the work of Goethe, who had also incarnated at the time of the elderly Plato there in Athens.

          So, what goes around comes around, and this fact is patently indicated in the life of Rudolf Steiner. Editing Goethe’s scientific works was the springboard to further greatness in the early 1880’s there in Vienna, Austria. Steiner’s father had been promised by the Southern Austrian Railway that he would be transferred to the Vienna district when his son reached 18 years of age, and could begin his studies at the technical college adjacent to the University of Vienna. Of course, the teenager had no intention of becoming a railway engineer, which his father had seen as his promising future from boyhood.

          1. The individuality that was Plato & then lived as Schroer, Steiner’s beloved teacher, was meant to bring Anthroposophy into the world as a foundation for Steiner’s core mission of bringing karma & reincarnation to the Western world. But Schroer was not up to the task. Steiner describes how he was not able to think in the modern way of that time – as you mentioned not being about to complete his task with Goethe’s scientific works. So Steiner took on his karma & worked with Goethe who inspired him from the spiritual world, & also brought the impluse of Anthroposophia into the world. He had to wait 21 years until he could begin his core mission. And this work with karma must be taken up & continued by us.

          2. I find this just so fascinating, in all it’s details and subtleties. One theme pops in mind is that of ‘task’ as Hazel points out. As we are incarnating here on here, we do have a forward vision of how are life will pan out more or less. It does explain motives of individuals, why they decide the things they do and how they fair against society or pressure within their own family. It always seems there is a counter current to test your ‘task’ in this incarnation – whatever that may be. I’ve personally found myself going in zig-zags towards something (thankfully not in circles) but yet some deeper part of me knows exactly what task that is, even as a hunch. I just find it remarkable how easily it is to have cloudy vision in this physical plane.

            1. Yes, & the adversairal powers are especilly interested in throwing distractions & fear & doubt in our way. Not to mention how lacking the education system is, so that many don’t have the foundation they need to really think

            2. Hi Kyle. Something for you to consider, concerning those zig-zags you’re experiencing. One theory might say that the zigs are when you’re on the path to your destiny, your true soul purpose, while the zags are when you exercise your will in a manner that’s not what you’re supposed to be doing – something deceived you to say “go in this manner”, when it wasn’t coming from truth. The zags are when we create karma; if we all just kept with the zigs, we’d have no karma. But then, who among us is perfect?

              1. I love this image Maverick.
                For me it’s like going up steep stairs, it’s helpful to use the movement of the snake symbol of wisdom –
                the zig zags are like an expansion contraction, a way to go inward & then to take what we learn outward into the world.
                I also always think that there is no ‘supposed to’ more like a learning curve, where we gather experience & knowleadge along the way
                meeting the people & things that help us find our destiny…
                it’s never a straight line…
                Enjoy the journey…

              2. Yes, let’s enjoy the journey. Your comment may inspire me to revisit Dante’s journey up the mount of Paradisio – as you say, never in a straight line, but a learning curve, meeting people along the path, but always moving in that upward direction. Blessings, dear friend.

          3. Hazel, that’s a great reminder to keep, that there is no ‘supposed to’s.’ I’ll try and keep this in mind for sure, it’s very helpful! Thank you.

      2. Hi Maverick. I love how you put it, with the ‘zigs’ and ‘zags’. That is all too true, if we were perfect or kept with the zigs, we’d have no karma. If I may share my recent experience of this. When I had to leave China due to the big event to 2020, and came to Thailand, I had two ways to go. One way, which is essentially where I am now, was something I deeply longed for, whereas the other was more akin to what I have been doing for the past 15 years or so. Not surprisingly, I had many opportunities to stay on the path that I’ve been on for 15 years, and decided I’ll put off the other path for just a little longer. What happens? That path (the old, familiar one) ultimately hits a brick wall, and I essentially was delayed another 6 months. It may not seem like a long time, but it essentially shows this zig zagging motion where the ‘will’ doesn’t quite align with the ‘task’ or perhaps another way to put it ‘the soul’s calling’. Thanks for that illustration. And the other interesting thing about a zig zag motion, is that, it’s still moving forward… but not in a perfect straight line. Thus, more karma accumulated and the inevitable delayed even longer. I tend to beat myself up over the perceived time and energy wasted in extra curricular activities – if you will. But keeping on a positive note, at least being aware of it, I’ll less likely go down similar detours and thus becoming a better journeyman in the long run.

  3. That’s quite a powerful sentiment towards Nero, in the sense of feeling a kind of ‘pity’ for what they will have to endure as a consequence for their actions. It’s all to easy to form antipathies towards individuals who revel in destruction – who are fully aware of what they are doing. This is a good thing to ponder over. Another thing, that history shows us that an individual such as Nero has existed and there is a high probability that an individual as such could exist today. Again, this is a real challenge for the rest of us not to form these antipathies. Destiny is a such a strange thing, yet it seems an immovable force which cares not for our feelings towards it.

    [on a side note for Steve: I didn’t forget the comments from quite a few posts ago. I’ll pull the Mercury retrograde card just this one time for not responding sooner! But I would love to come back to the topic of Bhuddha/Christ, suffering, Star of Bethlehem at some point when appropriate.]

    1. Yes, I agree, when investigating karma we can see that our antipathies & sympathies don’t give the proper cosmic & historical perspective needed to understand another human being and what their destiny leads them to do.

      1. There is evidence in a book by Victor Wolfson, “The Mayerling Murder”, that Crown Prince Rudolf and Maria Vetsera were murdered by the order of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Thus, murder, rather than suicide was to be the karmic consequence of the former evil deeds of the hapless Nero. As well, and very paradoxical, is that it was the father of the Crown Prince, Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, who felt that his son was worthless and incapable of succeeding him. Why? Because Rudolf was a progressive soul who wanted to further Austria’s emergence into the new world as a tourist site. It was the father who wanted Austria to remain “old world”, much like Nero’s Rome.

        Karma works in very strange ways. Father sabotages son.

    2. Here in Canada, Kyle, we’re trying to come to grips with a recent tragedy – a 20-year old man, in London, Ontario, used his truck as a weapon, mowing down a family of five at an intersection. We hear it was a pre-meditated attack because they’re Muslim – four of them died, leaving the 9-year old boy an orphan.

      Those who don’t have the knowledge or understanding of reincarnation, of course, want justice to happen immediately, and I imagine there’ll be talk of retaliation by some – there usually is. Others of us know that justice will be done, but it may take longer than only one lifetime, through karma. Some are even able to see that, with the amazing power that forgiveness embodies, this young man could have his life transformed – it’s been done before. I still recall the image of a black man in the U.S. embracing the policewoman who killed his sister in a hug of forgiveness.

      So yes, as Hazel says, our finite minds just aren’t capable of seeing someone else’s destiny – our only hope is to be able to tap into a higher consciousness than our own feeble one, and receive some kind of divine insight.

      1. Your example Maverick points up another layer of karma – our societal or collective karma. In this we all have to see our responsibility for creating the conditions that would allow this heinous act to occur. We must become our brother’s keeper.

        1. Thank you Hazel for mentioning this. You’re absolutely correct – I was given a personal challenge yesterday on just this thought. Bill Haslam, former governor of Tennessee, in an article for The Atlantic, made this point from Jesus teaching on the Sermon on the Mount:

          If the meat has gone bad, do you blame the meat? Or should the salt ask itself – have I lost my saltiness?

          I need to challenge myself, when I see humanity rife with evil, stinking to the heavens like rotting meat, what role could I have played? Have I lost my saltiness (as the salt of the earth, we’re here to preserve humanity).

      2. This is a great example, Maverick, thank you for sharing this. It seems as though the real-time events are true indicators on how we really feel in this sort of dynamic; what we do about it, how we react, how to solve it, or even see our own responsibility in it all. I really do wonder this myself. We see these events taking place as though we are on the sidelines, but in some subtle way (and perhaps extremely subtle) we are somehow wrapped up in it all.

        Forgiveness is so powerful, even when it feels undeserved. At the end of the day (or maybe more appropriate to say, at the end of our incarnation), we have to take those feelings with us crossing the threshold. Do we really want to carry that much antipathy, hatred, frustration, etc, with us? But yes, I do wonder in the case of this 20 year old. That is such a strong action to take, and one wonders how that could even come about. He listened to somebody, or, perhaps no one payed attention to him. Just like Hazel points out, we are our brothers keepers. Who was this man’s keeper, or who could have been? I’m sure someone had that opportunity.

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