2 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: Tonight marks the unofficial start of the annual Orionid meteor shower. Although the Orionids won’t peak for nearly three weeks (on the morning of October 21), you should start to see a few showers in the Moon-free early morning hours. These meteors appear to radiate from the northern part of the constellation Orion the Hunter.
A twilight challenge: About a half hour after sunset, look for Venus very low in the west-southwest through the twilight. To its right is the thin crescent Moon. Although Venus is still lurking low, it’s on its way to shining high & brilliant this winter.
Even as the stars begin to come out in twilight, Cassiopeia is already higher in the northeast now than the sinking Big Dipper is in the northwest. Cassiopeia’s broad W pattern is almost standing on end.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Islamic New Year
Mehregān (Persian: Mithra Festival) is a Zoroastrian & Persian festival, celebrated since the Zoroaster era to honor the Yazata of “Mehr” which is responsible for friendship, affection & love. It is also widely referred to as Persian Festival of Autumn
The International Day of Non-Violence – The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, referred to in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national festival celebrated in India to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation”. It is one of the three national holidays of the country
Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels, Catholics set up altars in honor of guardian angels as early as the 4th Century, & local celebrations of a feast in honor of guardian angels go back to the 11th Century
1187 – Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captures Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule
1452 – Birthday of Richard III of England, the last king of the House of York. His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the subject of the historical play Richard III by William Shakespeare
1552 – Conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible, The Grand Prince of Moscow. His conquests transformed Russia into a multiethnic & multicontinental state spanning almost one billion acres. Ivan managed countless changes in the progression from a medieval state to an empire & emerging regional power, & became the first ruler to be crowned as Tsar of All the Russias.
Historic sources present disparate accounts of Ivan’s complex personality: he was described as intelligent & devout, yet given to rages & prone to episodic outbreaks of mental instability, that increased with his age, affecting his reign. In one such outburst, he killed his groomed & chosen heir Ivan Ivanovich. This left the Tsardom to be passed to Ivan’s younger son, the weak & intellectually disabled Feodor Ivanovich.
Ivan’s legacy is complex: he was an able diplomat, a patron of arts & trade, founder of the Moscow Print Yard, Russia’s first publishing house, a leader highly popular among the common people (see Ivan the Terrible in Russian folklore) of Russia, but he is also remembered for his paranoia && arguably harsh treatment of the Russian nobility. The Massacre of Novgorod is regarded as one of the biggest demonstrations of his mental instability & brutality
1803 – Deathday of Samuel Adams, American philosopher & politician
1869 – Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian activist & philosopher
1925 – John Logie Baird performs the first test of a working television system
1928 – The Opus Dei, is founded by Josemaría Escrivá.
1937 – Dominican Republic ‘strongman’ Rafael Trujillo orders the execution of the Haitian population living within the borderlands; approximately 20,000 are killed over the next five days
1941 – World War II: In Operation Typhoon, Germany begins an all-out offensive against Moscow
1942 – World War II: Ocean Liner RMS Queen Mary accidentally rams & sinks her own escort ship, HMS Curacoa, off the coast of Ireland, killing 239 crewmen
1947 – Deathday of P. D. Ouspensky, a Russian mathematician & esotericist known for his expositions of the early work of the Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Gurdjieff, whom he met in Moscow in 1915. He shared the (Gurdjieff) “system” for 25 years in England & the United States, having separated from Gurdjieff in 1924 personally, for reasons he explains in the last chapter of his book In Search of the Miraculous, a recounting of what he learned from Gurdjieff during those years. After Ouspensky broke away from Gurdjieff, he taught the “Fourth Way”, as he understood it, to his independent groups.
Gurdjieff proposed that there are three ways of self-development generally known in esoteric circles. These are the Way of the Fakir, dealing exclusively with the physical body, the Way of the Monk, dealing with the emotions, & the Way of the Yogi, dealing with the mind. What is common about the three ways is that they demand complete seclusion from the world. According to Gurdjieff, there is a Fourth Way which does not demand its followers to abandon the world. The work of self-development takes place right in the midst of ordinary life. Gurdjieff called his system a school of the Fourth Way where a person learns to work in harmony with his physical body, emotions & mind. Ouspensky picked up this idea & continued his own school along this line.
He finally gave up the system in 1947. (“A Record of Meetings”, published posthumously) “you must make a new beginning” after confessing “I’ve left the system”
1968 – Deathday of Marcel Duchamp, French painter & sculptor
1990 – Xiamen Airlines Flight 8301 is hijacked & lands at Guangzhou, where it crashes into two other airliners on the ground, killing 128
1996 – The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments are signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton
1996 – Aeroperú Flight 603, a Boeing 757, crashes into the Pacific Ocean shortly after takeoff from Lima, Peru, killing 70
27th Week in the Calendar of the Soul: AUTUMN
When to my being’s depths I penetrate
There stirs expectant longing
That self-observing, I may find myself
As a gift of summer sun, a seed
That warming lives in autumn mood
As germinating force of soul.
Part 2, From the Michaelmas 30 September 2016 Lecture: Heart-Thinking: Michael Beckoning by ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg
But who is this powerful spiritual being? Rudolf Steiner has given us many indications. For day let’s start by looking at the name. Michael, is a question, for it means ‘Who is like god’? Questions are good, they help us think. But how can we possibly experience this mighty Sun-Being? Well, we can sense his forces in the meteor showers that start in late August & go thru November. We can witness the power of Michael behind the shooting stars, strengthening our blood with cosmic iron, waging war there against anxiety, fear & hate, creating an inner process that penetrates our earthly thoughts with cosmic Thoughts – that our hearts may begin to have thoughts.
And so it is that today I make a small attempt at understanding what spiritual science calls Imaginative cognition, or Heart-Thinking.
And we can start by asking a question. How can humanity, the earth citizen, become once more a citizen of the cosmos? – Well, it certainly won’t be by head-thinking alone. For In the intellect we are isolated from the world, isolated from the cosmos, because everyone has their own head, & in that head, their own thoughts. But In Heart-Thinking it’s not like that, Imaginative cognition takes us further in our evolutionary journey. The mysterious German word, Gemüt, which Steiner uses to describe Heart-Thinking- means something like: ‘the mind warmed by a loving heart & stimulated by the soul’s imaginative power’.
It is not dependent solely on the head, but on the rhythmic system, bringing us back to where we belong, as a being in the cosmos. For in the cosmos rhythm holds sway. You’ve heard of the ‘Music of the Spheres’ right? Everything in sync, harmonious, in perfect balance. Until…
Once upon a time, before time, when another high Sun-Being stood in his place in the choir, looking up the ladder to the highest hierarchies with the thought, ‘hmm it sure would be nice to be god, I’d look so fine sitting up there with the Thrones. I sure would love to sing something different…a solo, that’s what I need, instead of just being here in my place in the choir. Maybe I’ll just skip the line’. Well needless to say Michael, along with some other spiritual beings, felt the commotion coming from this agitated thinking, & tried to reassure the ‘wanna-be’ that yes, someday they will all have full freedom to hit the high notes, but that the time was not yet ripe. But this deva would have none of it, so with some other minions he endeavored to cut the line, & storm the gates of heaven. So Michael, as choir master, guardian of the Cosmic Intelligence, the power or intelligence that keeps the rhythms of the cosmos intact – had to hold the fort, & with the help of the other righteous angels, they cast the trouble makers out of heaven, in order to keep the Music of the Sphere’s harmonious.
And ironically because that high being wanted to rise higher before his time, he actually fell back, becoming more hardened & densified, taking on what we would call, using the language of imagination, the super-sensible form of a serpent or dragon. So there’s our famous story.
But, you may ask, where is the dragon now?
Spiritual Science tells us that the dragon now lives within the human being. The outer cosmic conflict of Michael & the Dragon was transferred to the inner human being, because only in human nature can the Dragon now find his sphere of action. But fear not my friends, because of that, Michael now works with us to fight the dragon within our human nature. Michael has given humanity the opportunity to take up the cosmic intelligence into our heart-thinking.
We continue our exploration tomorrow