29 April 2019 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Just after dark, the Sickle of Leo stands vertical, high in the south. Its bottom star is Regulus, the brightest of Leo. In second place is yellow Algieba above it. The Lion is walking horizontally westward. The Sickle forms his front leg, chest, mane, & part of his head. Denebola, in the tip of the Lion’s tail, which was featured in connection with the Vernal Full Moon, is once more revealed for our contemplation…
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Feast Day of Saint Endelienta, a Cornish saint of the 5th century. She is believed to be a daughter of the Welsh King Brychan, & legend says that she was a goddaughter of King Arthur. She lived as a hermit at Trentinney where she subsisted on the milk of a cow.
1380 – Death Day of Catherine of Siena, Italian mystic, philosopher, a Scholastic philosopher & theologian & saint. She is believed to have had miraculous visions & felt herself to be united in marriage with Jesus.
Born as the Black Death-ravaged in Siena, Italy, to Lapa Piagenti, the daughter of a local poet, & Giacomo di Benincasa, a cloth dyer who ran his enterprise with the help of his sons. Lapa was about forty years old when she gave premature birth to twin daughters Catherine & Giovanna. She had already borne 22 children, but half of them had died. Giovanna was handed over to a wet-nurse & died soon after. Catherine was nursed by her mother & developed into a healthy child. She was two years old when Lapa had her 25th child, another daughter named Giovanna. As a child Catherine was so merry that the family gave her the pet name of “Euphrosyne”, which is Greek for “joy” & the name of an early Christian saint.
Catherine had her first vision of Christ when she was five or six years old: She & a brother were on the way home from visiting a married sister when she is said to have experienced a vision of Christ seated in glory with the Apostles Peter, Paul, & JohnAt age seven, Catherine vowed to give her whole life to God.
When Catherine was sixteen, her older sister Bonaventura died in childbirth; already anguished by this, Catherine soon learned that her parents wanted her to marry Bonaventura’s widower. She was absolutely opposed & started a massive fast, & cut off her long hair as a protest.
“Build a cell inside your mind, from which you can never flee.” In this inner cell she made her father into a representation of Christ, her mother into the Blessed Virgin Mary, & her brothers into the apostles. Serving them humbly became an opportunity for spiritual growth. She chose to live an active & prayerful life outside a convent’s walls following the model of the Dominicans. Eventually her father gave up & permitted her to live as she pleased.
Her custom of giving away clothing &food without asking anyone’s permission cost her family significantly, but she demanded nothing for herself.
In about 1368, age twenty-one, Catherine experienced what she described in her letters as a “Mystical Marriage” with Jesus. Catherine received, not the ring of gold & jewels that her biographer reports in his version, but the ring of Christ’s foreskin.” Catherine herself mentions the foreskin-as-wedding ring motif in one of her letters, equating the wedding ring of a virgin with a foreskin; she typically claimed that her own wedding ring to Christ was simply invisible
As social & political tensions mounted in Siena, Catherine found herself drawn to intervene in wider politics. She began travelling with her followers throughout northern & central Italy advocating reform of the clergy & advising people that repentance &renewal could be done through “the total love for God.” In Pisa, in 1375, she used what influence she had to sway that city & Lucca away from alliance with the anti-papal league whose force was gaining momentum & strength. It was in Pisa that she received the stigmata.
She received the Holy Eucharist almost daily. This extreme fasting appeared unhealthy in the eyes of the clergy & her own sisterhood. Her confessor ordered her to eat properly. But Catherine claimed that she was unable to, describing her inability to eat as an infermità (illness). From the beginning of 1380, Catherine could neither eat nor swallow water. On February 26 she lost the use of her legs. St Catherine died in Rome, on 29 April 1380, at the age of thirty-three, having suffered a stroke eight days earlier.
1429 – Joan of Arc – the Maid of Orléans, defeats the English which begins the process that ended with England’s complete expulsion from the continent.
“It was necessary that the Maid of Orleans went through a kind of unaware initiation to fulfill her historical mission.It concerned an initiation that could take place in the time of the thirteen nights between the 25th December and 6th January.In the last time before birth the human being is especially accessible to unaware influences from the spiritual world.
On the 6th January the Maid of Orleans was born, to whom the Christ Impulse was implanted just before she saw the physical sunlight.The Maid of Orleans intervened in the course of history in such a way that everything that happened later was determined through it.
The whole map of Europe would be different, also the spiritual life if the English had won.
The Maid was a servant of St. Michael. She was a warrior of his Will and brought this spiritual will to Earth by her determination and actions.In the Central European civilisation were the springs for the whole spiritual culture of the future, the foundation of the ego-culture.
The human ego had to enkindle itself in the outside world, to be awake and realised internally. Thus the ego-culture of Central Europe was aroused from the objective events, the heroic sacrifices, that have brought the changes into etheric bodies and continue to do so, through the recorded memory.
It is necessary that, there would be souls, who send thoughts into the spiritual world like extending arms and bring down the consciousness from the spiritual world, souls conscious of spirit.The proper purpose of all our endevours is to gain a living connection between the physical and spiritual worlds.
From the courage of the fighters,
From the blood of the battles,
From the grief of the bereaved,
From the nation’s sacrifices
Will grow up the fruits of spirit
If souls aware of spirit turn
Their senses to the spirit land.”
~Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Science, a Necessity for the Present Time, The Relation of Man to his Folk Soul – Nuremberg, March 13, 1915, GA 159
“In order to throw a little light on the occult understanding of history, we may ask the question: What would the development of modern Europe have been if at the beginning of the 15th century the Maid of Orleans had not entered the arena of events? Anyone who thinks, even from an entirely external point of view, of the development that took place during this period, must say to himself: Suppose the deeds of the Maid of Orleans were erased from history … then, according to the knowledge obtainable from purely external historical research, one cannot but realise that without the working of higher, super-sensible Powers through the Maid of Orleans, the whole of France, indeed the whole of Europe in the 15th century, would have taken on an altogether different form. Everything in the impulses of will, in the physical brains of those times, was directed towards flooding all Europe with a general conception of the State which would have extinguished the folk-individualities and under this influence a very great deal of what has developed in Europe during the last centuries through the interplay of these folk-individualities would quite certainly have been impossible.
Imagine the deed of the Maid of Orleans blotted out from history, France abandoned to her fate without this intervention, and then ask: Without this deed, what would have become of France? And then think of the role played by France in the whole cultural life of humanity during the centuries following! Add to this the facts which cannot be refuted and are confirmed by actual documents concerning the mission of the Maid of Orleans. This young girl, certainly not highly educated even by the standards of her time, suddenly, before she is twenty years old, feels in the autumn of 1428 that spiritual Powers of the super-sensible worlds are speaking to her. True, she clothes these Powers in forms that are familiar to her, so that she is seeing them through the medium of her own mental images; but that does not do away with the reality of these Powers. Picture to yourselves that she knows that super-sensible Powers are guiding her will towards a definite point — I am speaking to begin with, not of what can be told about these facts from the Akasha Chronicle, but only of what is confirmed by documentary evidence.
We know that the Maid of Orleans confided her vision first of all to a relative who — one would almost say, by chance-happened to understand her; that after many vicissitudes and difficulties she was introduced to the Court of King Charles who, together with the whole French Army, had come to his wit’s end, as the saying goes. We know too, how after every conceivable obstacle had been put in her way, she finally recognised and went straight to the King, who was standing among such a crowd of people that no physical eye could have distinguished him. It is also known that at that moment she confided to him something— he wanted to test her by it — of which it can be said that it was known only to him and to the super-sensible worlds. You also know from ordinary history that it was she who, under the unceasing impulse and urge of her intense faith — it would be better to say, through her actual vision — and in face of the greatest difficulties, led the armies to victory and the King to his crowning.
Who intervened at that time in the course of history? — None other than Beings of higher Hierarchies! The Maid of Orleans was an outer Instrument of these Beings, and it was they who guided the deeds of history”.
~Rudolf Steiner, Occult History, Lecture 2, Stuttgart, 28th December 1910
1862 –The Capture of New Orleans by Union forces in the American Civil War.
1899 – Birthday of Duke Ellington, American pianist, composer, & bandleader
1901 – Birthday of Hirohito, Japanese emperor
1910 – The Parliament of the United Kingdom passes the People’s Budget, the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of redistributing wealth among the British public
1945 –The German army in Italy unconditionally surrenders to the Allies.
1945 – Adolf Hitler marries his longtime partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker they both commit suicide the following day
1945 – Dachau concentration camp is liberated by United States troops
1991 – A cyclone strikes the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 155 miles per hour killing at least 238,000 people &leaving as many as 10 million homeless
1991 – The 7.0 Mw earthquake affects Georgia with a maximum intensity killing 370 people
1992 –Riots in Los Angeles, following the acquittal of police officers charged with excessive force in the beating of Rodney King. Over the next three days 53 people are killed & hundreds of buildings are destroyed
~What mystery is unfolding
In the heart-fires we are holding
In our hand we our molding
A new destiny…
Thought of the day:
Michael supports us with the courage to die into Christ, while still living in the world. Can we come to understand & live into the principle of Resurrection that continues to grow within & around us, even if all we can see is the death process?
Just as the April showers swell the seed in a gradual surrender to life. I find I must continuously, & conscientiously choose to let go, & open to the greening, allowing my whole being to become a vessel for the fulfillment of the Resurrection, allowing The Risen Christ to teach me – thru Nature, thru other human beings, & thru my Higher-Self.
And always my question is: What does this look like as a lifestyle, as a right livelihood, as a Shared festival?…As a community experience, honoring & furthering the Resurrection, by aligning our will with the Divine Will – Learning to serve from a place of wholehearted listening…& a practice of, not I, but Christ in me…
Tuesday 7 May 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan
Sat. 25 May 2019 – 7 pm – 9 pm in Chicago
Climbing Jacobs Ladder: Celebrating the Feast of Ascension
Leading Thoughts & original art-collage projections with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Eurythmy with Mary Ruud
Social Art with Nancy Melvin
$10 Donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged
Read about this year’s interesting ‘Easter Paradox’ – A Cosmic Wake Up Call: The Easter Paradox of 2019
Sunday 19 May 2019, 2 pm – 4 pm- Social Sculpture Workshop around the ‘URPFLANZE’ with Victoria Martin. More details to follow
$20 for art supplies + Snacks to Share Encouraged
for more info. contact Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Whitsun: A Festival of United Soul Endeavor with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Sunday 2 June 2019 at the Branch 2 pm – 4 pm
10 am – 1 pm Saturday 8 June 2019 -4804 Sewanee Road, Nashville, TN 37220. for more info. contact Cathy Green email@example.com
12 Noon Potluck, Program 1 pm -4 pm Whitsunday 9 June 2019, In Knoxville, TN. for more info. contact William Rogers firstname.lastname@example.org
7 pm – 10 pm 11 June 2019, Ashville, TN. for more info. contact Marnie Muller
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.
Leading Thoughts with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg*
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?
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.
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’?
*Hazel Archer-Ginsberg is the founder of the website and blog Reverse Ritual – Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year (www.reverseritual.com). She is an Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Trans-denominational Minister, and “Anthroposopher.” She works as the Festivals Coordinator & Council Member of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch as well as with the Traveling Speakers Program, and she serves on the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society.
Read about this year’s interesting ‘Easter Paradox’ – A Cosmic Wake Up Call: The Easter Paradox of 2019