Dear friends – It was at this time 3 years ago now that I went on my Parzival Journey to Cornwall. I did not find the Holy Grail. In fact more often than not, I met the Guardian at the Threshold who brought admonishment into my soul forces. The stories of King Arthur & the Round Table never really captured my deeply feminine soul, since the powerful women in the tales were usually holding an adversarial position. But standing in Tintagel as Rudolf Steiner did in 1924, I felt the great force of the elemental world, & it has awakened something in me that has matured & grown.
On his final visit to Britain, Rudolf Steiner’s schedule of lecturing was hectic. He delivered three lectures a day during the Anthroposophical Society’s Summer School at Torquay (11-22 August 1924) – but that is another story…Steiner took one day out of that busy schedule, to go as far west as he ever ventured in that lifetime – to the west coast of Cornwall.
Tintagel is the legendary home of King Arthur, Merlin, the sword Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake, the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot, Queen Guinevere, & the court of Camelot.
Midway through the Torquay Summer School, on Sunday August 17th, 1924, Rudolf Steiner declared “I want to go to King Arthur” (see Eleanor Merry, 1956, in Villeneuve, 2004, p.1051). A cavalcade of three cars ventured forth from the southern beachside resort town of Torquay, across the verdant moors of Dartmoor, to the spectacularly positioned Tintagel, on the west coast of Cornwall.
Eleanor Merry & D.N. Dunlop were the two organizers of the Torquay Summer School. Both were part of the entourage to Tintagel. Merry reports that: “At last we came again to the sea, and straight ahead of us, at the top of a green cliff, were the last fragments of King Arthur’s castle of Tintagel. A deep rocky chasm divided this from a second rugged cliff, where still other remains could be seen” (quoted in Villeneuve, 2004, p.1052) Merry continues: “Dr. Steiner was at first silently absorbed in the wonderful view. All around was sunshine, and fleeting cloud-shadows and little hurrying rainbows – and a stormy and angry sea”.
The entourage included at least two of the 11 attendees of Steiner’s Agriculture Course at Koberwitz, namely Dr. Elisabeth Vreede & Guenther Wachsmuth. That course (7-16 June, 1924) laid the foundations for the development of biodynamic agriculture.
Wachsmuth remembered: “On that unforgettable day Rudolf Steiner went with us to the place on the rough rocky western coast of Cornwall, Tintagel, where the castle of King Arthur had once stood … That strangely densified spiritual atmosphere we shall never forget, so intensely to be felt as Rudolf Steiner climbed the strange projecting cliff on the lonely coast of Cornwall where the last walls of the castle of King Arthur towered over the roaring sea … He spoke there, standing on the cliff, about the experience of the Knights of King Arthur … He spoke of the teachings of Merlin … The immediacy of the spiritual vision in this place was so intense that, during his descriptions, the entire reality, the external life and action … of King Arthur’s knights, stood before us as actual experience” (Wachsmuth, 1989, pp.563-4)
The Tintagel visit occurred just two months after Steiner’s Agriculture Course & less than six weeks before Rudolf Steiner retreated from public life entirely. On this, his tenth visit to Britain, Steiner taught about Anthroposophy & Waldorf education. An opportunity for agriculture lectures in Britain did not arise, & there had been no British attendees at the Koberwitz course. We can speculate that the attendance of Wachsmuth & Vreede, who had attended at Koberwitz – as well as Tintagel, in this case along with Marna Pease – may have seeded the early interest in Britain in Anthroposophic agriculture which evolved into biodynamics.
Marna Pease went on to be the secretary of Britain’s Anthroposophical agricultural Foundation which was founded in 1928. Elizabeth Vreede attended, in London, as a guest at the first Annual Meeting of the Anthroposophical Agricultural Foundation.
Despite the intensity with which Rudolf Steiner engaged with his missions, including the Torquay Summer School, he was by this time quite ill, his etheric forces stripped with the burning of the Goetheanum & from being ‘poisoned’ eight months earlier on New Years Day 1924. Wachsmuth described this final visit to Britain: “During … the last trip of Rudolf Steiner in his life on earth, he suffered tragically from a mysterious destructive illness. Outwardly, nothing of this could be observed. He met daily all the requirements of the comprehensive program & his lecturing activity. He spoke introductory words at artistic programs, had numerous conferences, & took part in the excursions, but every meal caused in his ill condition renewed suffering, which he bore courageously without a word of complaint … He permitted nothing to be known by those at the conference regarding his illness” (Wachsmuth, 1989, p.563).
Just a month after this tenth visit to Britain, Rudolf Steiner retreated entirely from public life (on 28 September, 1924), & he died on 30 March 1925
POD (Poem Of the Day)
Flashing & quivering.
Ocean-floor of Spirit
My soul deserted you.
In the Divine She
& had Her rest.
Into the zone that wraps existence round
I consciously came.
17 August 2022 – “Speaking with the Stars”: The planet Venus pays the Beehive Cluster a visit this morning. You can’t miss Venus high in the East an hour before sunrise. Like Andromeda, the Beehive is spread out on the sky sitting smack dab in the middle of Cancer.
Sunrise: 6:13 A.M.
Sunset: 7:54 P.M.
Moonrise: 11:05 P.M.
Moonset: 12:24 P.M.
Moon Phase: Waning gibbous (65%)
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (indications from Rudolf Steiner’s Calendar of the Soul, Wikimedia Commons, https://rsarchive.org/)
1586 – Birthday of Johann Valentin Andrea, who wrote: The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz
1687 – Deathday of Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen , kidnapped at the age of 10 by Hessian soldiery – in their midst he tasted the adventures of military life in the Thirty Years’ War. He was made magistrateat in Baden where he devoted himself to literary pursuits. Greatly influenced by previous utopian & travel literature, he wrote the Simplicissimus series, inspired by the events & horrors of the Thirty Years’ War which devastated Germany from 1618 to 1648, it is regarded as the first adventure novel in the German language & the first German novel masterpiece. The full subtitle is “The life of an odd vagrant named Melchior Sternfels von Fuchshaim: namely where and in what manner he came into this world, what he saw, learned, experienced, and endured therein; also why he again left it of his own free will.” It attained a readership larger than any other seventeenth-century novel
1798 – The Vietnamese report a Marian apparition in Quảng Trị, an event which is called Our Lady of La Vang. Fearing the spread of Catholicism, the Cảnh Thịnh Emperor restricted the practice of Catholicism in the country in 1798. Soon thereafter, the emperor issued an anti-Catholic edict & persecution ensued.
Many people sought refuge in the rainforest of La Vang in Quảng Trị Province, Vietnam, & many became very ill. While hiding in the jungle, the community gathered every night at the foot of a tree to pray the rosary. One night, an apparition surprised them. In the branches of the tree a lady appeared, wearing the traditional Vietnamese áo dài dress & holding a child in her arms, with two angels beside her. They said that Our Lady comforted them & told them to boil certain leaves from the trees for medicine to cure the illness. Legend states that the term “La Vang” was a derivative of the Vietnamese word meaning “crying out”. Modern scholars believe it comes from the ancient practice of naming a location for a genus of a tree or plant native to the area, La meaning “leaf” and ‘”Vang “herbal seeds”.
In 1802 the Catholics returned to their villages, passing on the story of the apparition in La Vang & its message. As the story of the apparition spreads, many came to pray at this site& to offer incense. In 1820, a chapel was built.
From 1830-1885 another wave of persecutions decimated the Catholic population, during the height of which the chapel in honour of Our Lady of La Vang was destroyed. In 1886, construction on a new chapel began. Following its completion, Bishop Gaspar consecrated the chapel in honour of Our Lady Help of Christians, in 1901.
On December 8, 1954, the statue of Our Lady of La Vang was brought from Tri Bun back to the holy shrine. The Vietnamese Bishops Conference chose the church of Our Lady of La Vang as the National Shrine in honour of the Immaculate Conception. La Vang became the National Marian Center of Vietnam on April 13, 1961. Pope John XXIII elevated the Church of Our Lady of La Vang to the rank of a minor basilica on August 22, 1961.
1807 – Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat leaves New York City for Albany, New York, on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world
1911 – The 1st performance of Rudolf Steiner’s 2nd Mystery Drama, The Trial of the Soul, in the Gardener’s Place Theatre in Munich. In all 4 four plays. Steiner showed how spiritual development might manifest in a freely formed, but karmically-knit group of people. The experiences of the main characters of the play, particularly Johannes, Capesius & Strader, represent 3 different aspects of the path of initiation – “differing according to the karma of the respective individualities.” Steiner described his process of artistic creation as “images that grew like the leaves of a plant”.
1924 – Rudolf Steiner visits Tintagel, mystery center & court of King Arthur.
1942 – World War II: U.S. Marines raid the Japanese-held Pacific island of Makin
1943 – World War II: The U.S. Eighth Air Force suffers the loss of 60 bombers on the Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission.
1943 – World War II: First Québec Conference of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, & William Lyon Mackenzie King begins.
1943 – World War II: The Royal Air Force begins Operation Hydra, the first air raid of the Operation Crossbow strategic bombing campaign
1950 – Hill 303 massacre: 41 American POWs are shot to death by the North Korean Army
1959 – Quake Lake is formed by the magnitude 7.5 earthquake near Hebgen Lake in Montana
1959 – Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, highly influential, best-selling jazz recording of all time, is released
1962 – Peter Fechter is shot & bleeds to death while trying to cross the new Berlin Wall
1969 – Deathday of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a German-American architect. Along with Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius & Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture. He is often associated with his quotation of the aphorisms, “less is more” & “God is in the details”.
1982 – The first compact discs are released to the public in Germany
1999 – A 7.4-magnitude earthquake strikes İzmit, Turkey, killing more than 17,000 & injuring 44,000
Vidarmas – A new Festival for the new Archangel of our Time
Spiritual Science gives us the opportunity to work with the Cycle of the Year as a modern path of Initiation into the New Mysteries. In our striving we not only renew, but we are being called from the future to co-create entirely new Festivals.
Having received insights from Are Thoresen at the Rudolf Steiner Branch in Chicago this weekend, we are taking up our own research into the new Archangel Vidar, who stands as Guardian to the Threshold of the Etheric Realm opening the Northern Stream of Initiation to those who would approach with Christ Consciousness. In a recent spiritual experience, Are Thoresen suggested that August 20th may be the Feast Day of Vidar..?
All are invited to join us, where ever you are, in reading a lecture by Rudolf Steiner which brings to life this new Archangel Vidar. We welcome your feedback as to whether or not August 20th resonates as a new Feast Day that we might call Vidarmas.
From Maverick: “On the sheets given us by the Star House called “Sun Chronicle of the Christ Events”, Aug. 20th shows the Sun’s sidereal longitude at 2 to 3 degrees in Leo – so the Sun’s at home in the sign it rules. The Christ events occurring then are: Aug.20th – the conversation at Jacob’s well (so the 1st time Jesus revealed to anyone other than the disciples that He was the Messiah), and Aug. 20/21st – the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
Meeting in-person at the Rudolf Steiner Branch in Chicago or wherever you are
20 August 2022, at 5 pm PT / 6 pm MT / 7 pm CT / 8 pm PT
Events & Festivals Coordinator for the Rudolf Steiner Branch, Chicago