5 December 2017 – Astro-Weather: Now the waning gibbous Moon doesn’t rise until well after dark. Look for Pollux to Her left, & Castor above Pollux. Later into the night, you’ll find Procyon rising farther to Bella Luna’s lower right.
Mars stands out in the southeastern sky before dawn this week. The Red Planet rises nearly four hours before the Sun as twilight starts to paint the sky. It resides among the background stars of Virgo, to the left of the Maiden’s brightest star, Spica. Notice the stark color contrast between the orange-red planet & the blue-white star.
“HEALING WILL COME TO OUR AGE when the thoughts and ideas that are applied to social conditions and political life are in living contact with spiritual reality”. ~ Rudolf Steiner
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Saint Nicholas’ Eve – Sinterklaas – a mythical figure with legendary, historical & folkloric origins based on Saint Nicholas. Other names for the figure include De Sint (“The Saint”), De Goede Sint (“The Good Saint”), & De Goedheiligman (“The Good Holy Man”) Sinterklaas is celebrated annually with the giving of gifts on 5 December, the night before the feast of Saint Nicholas – the primary source of the popular Christmas icon of Santa Claus
Feast Day of Abigail (Hebrew: “my father’s joy”) the wife of Nabal; she became a wife of David after Nabal’s death (1 Samuel 25) She was the mother of Daniel. The Talmud regards her as one of the seven female prophets, the other six being Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Sarah, Huldah, & Esther.
304 – Deathday of Saint Crispina – a martyr of Africa who suffered during the Diocletian persecution. She was born at Thagara (now an archaeological site in Tunisia near the town Taoura) in the Roman province of Africa. She died by beheading at Theveste, in Numidia. Crispina belonged to a distinguished family and was a wealthy matron with children. At the time of the persecution she was brought before the proconsul Annius Anullinus; on being ordered to sacrifice to the gods she declared she honoured only one God. Her head was shaved at the command of the judge, & she was exposed to public mockery, but she remained steadfast in the Faith & was not moved even by the tears of her children. When condemned to death, she thanked God & offered her head with joy for execution.
The Acts of her martyrdom, written not long after the event, form a valuable historical document of the period of the persecution. The day of St. Crispina’s death was observed in the time of Augustine of Hippo; in his sermons Augustine repeatedly mentions her name, as well known in Africa & worthy to be held in the same veneration as the names of Saint Agnes & St. Thecla.
400 – Deathday of Nicetas, a Greek philosopher of the Pythagorean School. He was born in Syracuse. Like his fellow Pythagoreans he believed that the daily movement of permanent stars was caused by the rotation of the Earth around its axis. Copernicus referred to him in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium as having been cited by Cicero as an ancient who also argued that the earth moved.
532 – Feast day of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified, a Cappadocian-Syrian monk, who lived mainly in Palaestina Prima. He was the founder of several monasteries, most notably the one known as Mar Saba. The Saint’s name is derived from Aramaic meaning “old man”. Journeying to Alexandria on military matters, his parents left their five-year-old son in the care of an uncle. When the boy reached eight years of age, he entered the nearby monastery of Bishop Flavian of Antioch. The gifted child quickly learned to read & became an expert on the Holy Scriptures. In vain did his parents urge Sabbas to return to the world & enter into marriage.
When he was seventeen years old he received monastic tonsure. After spending ten years at the monastery of Bishop Flavian, he went to Jerusalem, & from there to the monastery of Saint Euthymius the Great. But Euthymius sent Sabbas to Abba Theoctistus, the head of a nearby monastery with a strict cenobitic rule. Sabbas lived in obedience at this monastery until the age of thirty.
After the death of the Elder Theoctistus, his successor blessed Sabbas to seclude himself in a cave. On Saturdays, however, he left his hermitage & came to the monastery, where he participated in divine services & ate with the brethren. After a certain time Sabbas received permission not to leave his hermitage at all, & he lived in isolation in the cave for five years.
Euthymius attentively directed the life of the young monk, & seeing his spiritual maturity, he began to take him to the wilderness with him. They set out each January 14 & remained there until Palm Sunday. Euthymius called Sabbas a child-elder, & encouraged him to grow in the monastic virtues.
When Euthymius died (c. 473), Sabbas withdrew from the lavra (a cluster of cells or caves for hermits, with a church & a refectory at the center) & moved to a cave near the monastery of St. Gerasimus of Jordan. After several years, disciples began to gather around Sabbas, seeking the monastic life. As the number of monks increased, the Great Lavra sprang up.
Sabbas founded several more monasteries. It is claimed that many miracles took place through the prayers of Sabbas: at the lavra a spring of water welled up, during a time of drought they received abundant rain, & there were also healings of the sick & the possessed.
The relics of St. Sabbas were in the main church of Mar Saba monastery, West Bank. They were taken by Crusaders in the 12th century & remained in Italy until Pope Paul VI returned them to the monastery in 1965 as a gesture of good will towards the Orthodox
1784 – Deathday of Phillis Wheatley, Senegal-born slave, American poet who wrote: His Excellency General Washington –
Celestial choir! enthron’d in realms of light,
Columbia’s scenes of glorious toils I write.
While freedom’s cause her anxious breast alarms,
She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms.
See mother earth her offspring’s fate bemoan,
And nations gaze at scenes before unknown!
See the bright beams of heaven’s revolving light
Involved in sorrows and the veil of night!
The Goddess comes, she moves divinely fair,
Olive and laurel binds Her golden hair:
Wherever shines this native of the skies,
Unnumber’d charms and recent graces rise.
Muse! Bow propitious while my pen relates
How pour her armies through a thousand gates,
As when Eolus heaven’s fair face deforms,
Enwrapp’d in tempest and a night of storms;
Astonish’d ocean feels the wild uproar,
The refluent surges beat the sounding shore;
Or think as leaves in Autumn’s golden reign,
Such, and so many, moves the warrior’s train.
In bright array they seek the work of war,
Where high unfurl’d the ensign waves in air.
Shall I to Washington their praise recite?
Enough thou know’st them in the fields of fight.
Thee, first in peace and honors—we demand
The grace and glory of thy martial band.
Fam’d for thy valour, for thy virtues more,
Hear every tongue thy guardian aid implore!
One century scarce perform’d its destined round,
When Gallic powers Columbia’s fury found;
And so may you, whoever dares disgrace
The land of freedom’s heaven-defended race!
Fix’d are the eyes of nations on the scales,
For in their hopes Columbia’s arm prevails.
Anon Britannia droops the pensive head,
While round increase the rising hills of dead.
Ah! Cruel blindness to Columbia’s state!
Lament thy thirst of boundless power too late.
Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side,
Thy ev’ry action let the Goddess guide.
A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine,
With gold unfading, WASHINGTON! Be thine.
1791 – Deathday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer & musician. Mozart’s final year
1848 – California Gold Rush: In a message to the United States Congress, U.S. President James K. Polk confirms that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California
1931 – Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow was destroyed by an order of Joseph Stalin
1932 – German-born Swiss physicist Albert Einstein is granted an American visa
1941 – World War II: Great Britain declares war on Finland, Hungary & Romania
1943 – World War II: Allied air forces begin attacking Germany’s secret weapons bases in Operation Crossbow
1952 – Great Smog: A cold fog descends upon London, combining with air pollution, killing at least 12,000
1955 – The American Federation of Labor & the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge to form the AFL–CIO
1955 –Rosa Parks lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott
1978 – The Soviet Union signs a “friendship treaty” with Afghanistan
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~That quivering star is Her blue eye
The watcher, awake in the darkening world…
Beloved Friends – Let us take our circle into the secret reaches of our inner sanctum – To Penetrate to the heart of the core of the root – To Peer down through the cracks in the surface, all the way to the center – To Treat the darkness there, as the source, of light…a cleverly disguised treasure, waiting to be discovered, a repository of raw material that will fuel the fires of inspiration…a place where we can go to practice the high art of redemption…
Will we dare to be curious about the amazing sacraments that lie beneath the obvious questions – To open that mysterious door, that leads to the even more mysterious door, that will take us to the most private, yet inclusive, fertile oasis of all…As we aspire to wrestle tenderly with the unripe side of our nature, until it agrees to share its hidden treasures with the rest of us…
Then the immediate future, the eternal now, will bring cathartic revelations leading to spiritual orgasms & ingenious changes in the way we dance our life…
You are potentially a genius, we all are…Perhaps not in the same way that Einstein & Beethoven were, but still: We possess some brilliant capacity or set of skills that is exquisitely unique…We are a masterpiece unlike any other that has ever lived…& you know what?…The precise instructions we need to ripen into that glorious Genie have always been with us…The master plan…Our special mission…Our personal soul code…Our secret song, that says, it’s our birthright to dance daily with the Divine Intelligence…
We have the power & the privilege to ask ‘The Source’ very specific questions about what we need to do NOW in order to activate more of our soul’s code, & to then receive a very specific answer…
So what question will you ask the Divine Intelligence tonight, as you commune in the sacred dance of yourself? …
Breathe in the Q…Breathe out the answer…Open to receive it…Breathe in the Q… As you embody your answer in the healing moment of the now…
The Question is love & love is the answer…
Breathe in the Q…Breathe out the answer…
& as you let yourself hatch & become the answer…Just breathe & Be…
& slowly come, slowly come back into the body of this now…Breathe in the now…& begin to renew your connection to the circle…Bring your awareness back to the unity of your community…Come join the ring…with the milk & manna still lingering on our lips…Mingling with the salt of our skin…Ready to be turned into honey-mead…
We take the marriage feast back to the ring, into the circle that never stops…
Out into the world to feed our lives, with loves healing mystery…Grounded in every cell of our bodies…Connected to the stars in our eyes…Lived with every breath…As we take in the power we’ve raised here to fuel & feed our ‘Balance in Change’…
& so it is…Xox ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg
A Pop Up Art Exhibition in the newly renovated Elderberries 3-Fold Space, 4251 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
Opening: Saturday December 9th 2017 – 2pm – 7pm
“Trees and Water” – NEW Paintings by Lisa Villa Moser
Closing Sunday December 10th Noon – 5pm
Pop Up Christmas Mart
Sunday December 17th Noon till 9pm at the Elderberries Three-Fold Chicago space 4251 N. Lincoln Ave.
Locally Hand-Crafted items, Various Fair-Trade Wares, Health-Food Supplements, Baked Goods, Chili & HippocraTeas…
20 per cent of sales goes to help Elderberries at the Branch
In the evening the seniors from CWS will do performances to raise $ for their 12th grade trip…
Would you like to be a vender? contact Hazel@ReverseRitual.com
Opening the Holy Nights: The Dream Song of Olaf Asteson with Mary Tom & Debbie Barford on Lyre
Tuesday December 26th 7 pm at the Branch
“Olaf Åsteson, Olaf the son of earth, experiences various secrets of the cosmic All whilst he is transported into the macrocosm during the thirteen shortest days. And the nordic legend which has recently been extricated from old accounts, tells of these experiences Olaf Asteson had between Christmas and New Year up till the 6th January. We often have reason to remember this former manner in which the microcosm took part in the macrocosm, and we can then take these things further. First of all, however, let us hear the legend of Olaf Asteson, the earth son, who during the time in which we are now, experienced the secrets of cosmic existence in his meeting with the earth spirit. Let us listen to these experiences.”
$10 donation & Snacks to Share Encouraged
Holy Nights Gatherings 2017-2018
December 27th– 30th – 7 pm – 9 pm $10
The Story of Being Human: Fairy-Tales for adults – a Journey thru the Holy Nights
The Fairy-tale leads us to our true humanity, where great kingdoms preside within, filled with ancient forests, remote castles, giants, witches, lovers, dreams & visions of Star Beings & of the Earth Herself. Shepherded by Joen Dealande & a series of guest artists, we will use Drama, Eurythmy, Painting, Needle-Felting, & Sculpting, to live into the gesture of our Human karma & Destiny.
NYE Sunday December 31st (The 13th Hidden Holy Night) 8pm – 1am – Our annual Community NYE party with music by Jutta & the High Dukes, Lead Casting, Eurythmy, Crafting, Games & more TBA $20
January 2018, 1st – 4th from 7pm – 9 pm – The Fairy-Tale Trail Continues $10
Friday January 5th Eve of Epiphany (3 Kings) 7pm – 9 pm – A special 12th Night gathering, Performances & Eurythmy with Mary Rudd more TBA $10
All events at the Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
For more info. contact Hazel@ReverseRitual.com