15 October 2016 – Astro-Weather:
Full Moon officially arrives at 11:23 pm CDT TONIGHT. You can find it rising in the east around sunset & peaking in the south around 1 am. It dips low in the west by the time morning twilight starts to paint the sky. The Moon lies in southern Pisces near that constellation’s border with Cetus. October’s Full Moon goes by the name “Hunter’s Moon,” or the “Blood Moon”, as this is the time of the harvest of livestock in some cultures. In early autumn, the Full Moon rises about half an hour later each night compared with a normal lag close to 50 minutes. The added early evening illumination helps hunters & farmers bring in the last of the crops
Uranus reaches opposition & peak visibility today. Opposition officially arrived at 6 am CDT, when the outer planet lies opposite the Sun in our sky. This means it rises at sunset, climbs highest in the south around 1 am, & sets at sunrise. The planet lies in southern Pisces northwest of Piscium. Although Uranus normally shines brightly enough to glimpse with the naked eye under a dark sky, you won’t see it tonight because the Full Moon lies to its south
Looking at the past to see the present, co-creating the future: “History, historical life, will only be seen in the right light when a true consciousness of the connection of the so-called living with the so-called dead can be developed” ~The Living and the Dead by Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, 1918
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
70 BC – Birthday of Virgil, an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, & the epic Aeneid, considered the national epic of ancient Rome. Modeled after Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny & arrive on the shores of Italy—in Roman mythology the founding act of Rome. Virgil’s work has had wide & deep influence on Western literature, most notably Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which Virgil appears as Dante’s guide through hell & purgatory
1764 – Edward Gibbon observes a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspires him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
1783 – The Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon makes the first human ascent
1793 – Queen Marie Antoinette of France is tried & convicted in a swift, pre-determined trial in the Palais de Justice, Paris, & condemned to death
1815 – Napoleon I of France begins his exile on Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean
1844 – Friedrich Nietzsche, German composer, poet, & philosopher. Friedrich Nietzsche, Fighter for Freedom written by Rudolf Steiner. Nietzsche was seen by Steiner, but was lying in a coma near death. Rudolf Steiner brought out an edition of some of Nietzsche’s writings. In seeing that Nietzsche’s ideas received a public exposure, Steiner was not identifying himself as one of Nietzsche’s disciples, but rather assuring philosophical readers that this important link in the spiritual development of occidental thought should not be ignored.
WHEN I BECAME acquainted with the works of Friedrich Nietzsche six years ago, ideas had already formed within me which were similar to his. Independently, and from completely different directions, I came to concepts which were in harmony with those Nietzsche expressed in his writings: Zarathustra, Jenseits von Gut and Böse, Beyond Good and Evil, Genealogie der Moral, Genealogy of Morals, and Götzendämmerung, Twilight of Idols. In my little book which appeared in 1886, Erkenntnistheorie der Goetheschen Weltanschauung, The Theory of Knowledge in Goethe’s World Conception, this same way of implicit thinking is expressed as one finds in the works of Nietzsche mentioned above.
This is why I feel myself impelled to draw a picture of Nietzsche’s life of reflection and feeling. I believe that such a picture will be most like Nietzsche when it is created according to his last writings. This I have done. The earlier writings of Nietzsche show him as a searcher. He presents himself to us as a restless striver toward the heights. In his last writings we see him when he has reached the summit, and at a height commensurate with his very own spiritual quality. In most of the writings which have appeared about Nietzsche up to now, this development is represented as if in the various periods of his writing he had more or less contradictory opinions. I have tried to show that there is no question of a change of opinion in Nietzsche, but rather of a movement upward, of a development of a personality in a manner fitting to it, which had not yet found a form of expression in accord with his innate points of view in those first works.
The final goal of Nietzsche’s creativity is the description of the “superman.” I considered my chief task in this writing to be the characterization of this type. My characterization of the superman is exactly the opposite of the caricature developed in the currently popular book about Nietzsche by Frau Lou Andreas Salomé. One cannot put into the world anything more contrary to Nietzsche’s spirit than the mystical monster she has made out of the superman. My book shows that in Nietzsche’s ideas nowhere is the least trace of mysticism to be found. I did not allow myself to be drawn into the refutation of Frau Salomé’s opinion that Nietzsche’s thoughts in Menschliches, All-zumenschliches, Human, All Too Human, were influenced by the works of Paul Rée, the editor of Psychological Observations, and The Origin of Moral Feelings, etc. Such an average brain as that of Paul Rée could make no important impression on Nietzsche. Even now I would not touch upon these things at all if the book of Frau Salomé had not contributed so much toward the spreading of downright disagreeable judgments about Nietzsche. Fritz Koegel, the excellent publisher of Nietzsche’s works, bestowed upon this bungled piece of work its deserved treatment in the Magazine for Literature.
I cannot conclude this short preface without giving hearty thanks to Nietzsche’s sister, Frau Foerster-Nietzsche, for the many friendly deeds I experienced from her during the period in which this book developed. I owe to her the hours spent in the Nietzsche Archives, and the mood out of which the following thoughts were written. ~RUDOLF STEINER, Weimar, April 1895.
1863 – American Civil War: The H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship, sinks during a test, killing its inventor, Horace L. Hunley
1878 – The Edison Electric Light Company begins operation
1894 – The Dreyfus affair: Alfred Dreyfus is arrested for spying -a political scandal that divided France, often seen as a modern & universal symbol of injustice, & remains one of the most striking examples of a complex miscarriage of justice, where a major role was played by the press & public opinion.
The scandal began with the treason conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian & Jewish descent. Sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly communicating French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, Dreyfus was imprisoned on Devil’s Island in French Guiana, where he spent nearly five years.
Evidence came to light identifying a French Army major named Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy as the real culprit. After high-ranking military officials suppressed the new evidence, a military court unanimously acquitted Esterhazy after a trial lasting only two days. The Army then accused Dreyfus of additional charges based on falsified documents. Word of the military court’s framing of Dreyfus & of an attempted cover-up began to spread, chiefly owing to J’accuse, a vehement open letter published in a Paris newspaper by famed writer Émile Zola. Activists put pressure on the government to reopen the case.
Dreyfus was returned to France for another trial. The intense political & judicial scandal that ensued divided French society between those who supported Dreyfus (now called “dreyfusards”), & those who condemned him (the anti-dreyfusards), such as Édouard Drumont, the director and publisher of the antisemitic newspaper La Libre Parole. The new trial resulted in another conviction &a 10-year sentence but Dreyfus was given a pardon & set free.
Eventually all the accusations against Dreyfus were demonstrated to be baseless.
The conviction was a miscarriage of justice based upon faulty espionage & blatant antisemitism, as well as a hatred of the German Empire following its annexation of Alsace& part of Lorraine in 1871
1917 – World War I: At Vincennes outside Paris, Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for the German Empire
1934 – The Soviet Republic of China collapses when Chiang Kai-shek‘s National Revolutionary Army successfully encircles Ruijin, forcing the fleeing Communists to begin the Long March
1940 – The President of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, is executed by the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco
1944 – The Arrow Cross Party (very similar to Hitler’s NSDAP (Nazi party)) takes power in Hungary
1945 – World War II: The former premier of Vichy France Pierre Laval is shot by a firing squad for treason
1946 – Deathday of Hermann Göring, a German politician, military leader, & leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Göring was wounded during the failed coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch. He became addicted to morphine after being treated with the drug for his injuries. After helping Adolf Hitler take power in 1933, he became the second-most powerful man in Germany. He founded the Gestapo in 1933, & later gave command of it to Heinrich Himmler. Göring was appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe (air force) in 1935, a position he held until the final days of World War II. By 1940, he was at the peak of his power & influence; as minister in charge of the Four Year Plan, he was responsible for much of the functioning of the German economy in the build-up to World War II. Hitler promoted him to the rank of Reichsmarschall, a rank senior to all other Wehrmacht commanders, & in 1941 Hitler designated him as his successor & deputy in all his offices.
Göring focused on the acquisition of property & artwork, much of which was taken from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Informed on 22 April 1945 that Hitler intended to commit suicide, Göring sent a telegram to Hitler requesting permission to assume control of the Reich. Considering it an act of treason, Hitler removed Göring from all his positions, expelled him from the party, & ordered his arrest.
After World War II, Göring was convicted of war crimes & crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but committed suicide by ingesting cyanide the night before the sentence was to be carried out
1953 – British nuclear test Totem 1 is detonated at Emu Field, South Australia.
1954 – Hurricane Hazel devastates the eastern seaboard of North America, killing 395 & causing massive floods as far north as Toronto, as far south as North Carolina
1956 – Fortran, the first modern computer language, is shared with the coding community for the first time
1965 – Vietnam War: The Catholic Worker Movement stages an anti-war rally in Manhattan including a public burning of a draft card; the first such act to result in arrest under a new amendment to the Selective Service Act
1966 – The Black Panther Party is created by Huey P. Newton & Bobby Seale
1969 – Vietnam War; The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam is held in Washington D.C. & across the US. Over two million demonstrate nationally; about 250,000 in Washington D.C.
1990 – Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and open up his nation
1997 – The Cassini probe launches from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn
2001 – NASA’s Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter’s moon Io
2003 – China launches Shenzhou 5, its first manned space mission
2013 – A 7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes the Philippines, resulting in more than 1215 deaths
Feast Day of Saint Teresa of Ávila, who lived in the 16th century, an age of exploration as well as political, social & religious upheaval. She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.
As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man’s world of her time. She was “her own woman,” entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.
Teresa was a woman “for Christ,” a woman of prayer, discipline & compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her ongoing conversion was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification & suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous & faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life & in prayer. Her writings on prayer & contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical & graceful. A woman of prayer; a woman for God.
Teresa was a woman “for others.” Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time & energy seeking to reform herself & the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired & gave life.
Her writings, especially the Way of Perfection & The Interior Castle, have helped generations of believers.
In 1970, the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: Doctor of the Church. She & St. Catherine of Siena were the first women so honored.
Ours is a time of turmoil, a time of reform & a time of liberation. Modern women have in Teresa a challenging example. Promoters of renewal, promoters of prayer, all have in Teresa a woman to reckon with, one whom they can admire & imitate.
MY POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I have held the striped pebble of love
Lightly in my palm
Tightly in my heart-whole
I have smelled truth in the autumn rain
& I remember how to go
Beyond the horizon
Where light knows
Where no darkness grows –
Meet me there if dare…
Every evening the Sun sets earlier & rises later every morning. Darkness takes the light, slowing into its somber realm. The sign of the scales, Libra, is the only zodiac that is not a living creature; it owes its origin to the realm of created things, of mechanics. According to Rudolf Steiner it was only incorporated into the imagery of the Zodiac later in order to delineate the world of light in the upper signs more clearly from the 5 lower “nightly” signs. It is entirely dependent on the outer world, best expressed in its function of “deliberation”.
In ancient Greece the descent of the Sun into the autumn region of the dark zodiac signs was seen in the image of the abduction of Persephone, stole away from her mother Demeter, by Pluto, lord of the underworld. The Greeks hid their faces in fear from the powers of darkness & waited longingly for the return of Persephone who would awaken to new life in the Spring.
But since Christ’s descent into the shadow realm of death, in order to reconquer it for the realm of light, human beings have looked at the descent into the realm of darkness in a different way – thru the image of the mighty Archangel Michael bearing the balance of the world in his hands – carrying the resurrection into the dark in order to realize our true human potential in the confrontation with the forces of evil. This individuation process can only be fulfilled in the realm of earth & death. But here the human being of the present time is threatened with the danger of giving in to the lower driving forces which powerfully press in from our unconscious sense perceptions. Here the scale, as the sign of the human archetype, appears before the human soul pointing the way forward, to balance us between the grain-bearing Virgin & the death-dealing Scorpion. There is a separation of the “wheat from the chaff’ – the weighing, in the “Scales of Judgement.” Will Michael be able to maintain the balance of the world? That is the most earnest question which is spoken by his gaze. In the realm of the spirit his victory is assured, But on earth???
This question touches on our human contribution to the Michael Imagination – it has to do with the crisis of the “I”, which exists for everyone today. Is the average human being awake to this aspect? Ready & able to work to overcome this crisis of humankind on earth? If we take this into our soul-life we can feel called to take up this struggle, knowing that the outcome depends on our behavior, with even the smallest matters, as well as the great tests of our times. Thru this commitment we can rise to become a spiritual comrade, a co-creator of the divine world. we are called in the Age of Michael to rise from being a ‘servant of God’ to being a ‘friend & brother/sister of Christ’ as promised in the Gospel of St. John 15:15.
In looking up to this world destiny of the human being in the dark time of the year which is now setting in, we find the inner emphasis that is so easily lost today, because we lose our balance to the swings of the pendulum in our soul-life. The approaching winter can invoke (in some) the hum-bug that is open to greed, like an old man seeking to dispel the fear of death thru selfish pleasure or grabby possession. The balance of the soul swings back & forth between melancholy & self-satisfied control, until it can find its center in the true “I”.
The image of the scales can become for us the means to orient our soul & spirit at this turning point in the year.
More on this tomorrow