Listen to What is? on the ‘I Think Speech‘ podcast
“Golden light is turning grey,
Mists begin to rule the day.
Bare the trees, their branches lift;
Clouds of dead leaves earthward drift.
Through the field the farmer goes,
Seeds of ripened corn she sows;
Trusts the earth will hold it warm,
Shelter it from cold and harm.
For she knows, that warmth and light
Live there, hidden from our sight;
And beneath a sheltering wing,
Deep below, new life will spring!
Deep below, deep below, new life will spring!”
Dear friends – As I prepare for our Annual Michaelmas Festival, I am contemplating: What was, What is, What will be…Asking many questions such as: How can we renew the Autumnal Mysteries of Eleusis out-pictured in the myth of Persephone..? Can we apply the lessons of how the young innocent, narcissistic maiden, feeling a call from the future – becomes captivated in the Underworld – to bring light into the darkness of her unconscious human soul..?
I ponder her initiation into the inner sanctum of the Self, which allows a leap in her evolution – Joining her new won powers to the force of Demeter’s fertile purpose. This trial & transformation is not done in complete isolation – She receives the help of her ecstatic Sun brother Dionysus, & the humor of the mysterious Crone Baubo, with her ribald songs, in perfect iambic metre, which were sung to relieve the emotional tension at the Eleusinian Mysteries.
And in her stepping into this conscious dying of the onesidedness of the physical light, which then allows the spiritual light to flourish, she recalls her unborness, her divine origin – & brings that mystery back to Earth in the Spring.
Dionysus, reflective precursor to the great Sun gods, lifts her from the depths to the divine heights – As the Queen & Bride. The ancient Eleusinian Mysteries were a celebration of this holy marriage. The echo of this lives on, even into the first centuries of Christianity, before the further densification of the human being could no longer receive its true message.
But dear friends, what was lost, can be refounded – on a higher conscious level – If we experience the cycle of the year as a path of initiation, we can not only participate in the reality which we can observe in outward Nature, & in the Elemental life, which is shifting & ever changing; but we can also see the reality behind the inward aspects of the Mystery of Christianity which is ever evolving – giving an impetus to our inward soul-focus at this milestone time of the year.
Christ, as The Cosmic Being of Love, has become the meaning & the life of the Being of Earth – A Sacred marriage feast that we are invited to attend & celebrate.
In the Autumn-Tide time, when we pluck the ripe fruits, bringing in the harvest, reaping what we have sown, we can feel a deep gratitude to the Elemental forces working for Natura, waiting for us to acknowledge them – for our mutual evolution.
Here in the Windy City, the Autumn rains are pulling the dried seeds off the plants. Natura has not yet begun to array herself in a colorful cover, which always reveals the after-image of the life forces. And then after that magical display – as the withering death-forces come more & more to the surface, Natura cannot give us anything else – We are left to ourselves – so that we can dis-cover in ourselves the eternal – that which goes beyond Space & Time.
When nature dies in Autumn, we must awaken to the divine within – The eternal call to the deepest part of our “I”, hidden in our burgeoning soul – What was, what is & what will be, is revealed.
The New Christian Mysteries bring us a fresh tradition that we can unfold as a Festival of Michael – a practical, living imagination of the Mighty Principality holding the countenance of Christ – activating the Time Spirit guardian of our present age within our lives.
The wise prophets of the ancient Hebrew people recognized this seasonal signal & called it their New year in these ‘Days of Awe’. And we can remember that in Hebrew, the name Michael is a question – asking: “Who is like God..?” This is an appeal to humanity – O Human Soul – Step up to your true destiny!
This year we are coming together for our Annual Michaelmas Festival to serve the various impulses on 2 occasions:
SUNDAY 24 September 2023
Community Prep-Stir / Potluck / Bon-fire
*The Autumnal Equinox
*World Eurythmy Day
6 – 8 pm at the Lucchesi-Archer-Ginsberg domicile
Please Bring Food & Drink to share, & a jar for the prep
30 September 2023 – Our Annual Michaelmas Festival & Zinniker Farm Day – Biodynamic preparation making and Michaelmas 2023 – Food for Thought
The time for biodynamic preparation making is upon us. We will be making and burying the chamomile, yarrow and dandelion compost preparations. This offers hands on activity. We will be walking through grass and working in the soil. Please dress accordingly and be ready to get dirty.
After the potluck join Hazel Archer-Ginsberg in an experiential activity at the bon-fire called: Food for Thought –
Bounty: What spiritual gifts have you harvested in your life so far this year?
Farewells: What no longer serves? What is over? Say good-bye/ thank you.
Preserves: What will you keep as seed for the future?
Date: September 30th, 2023 at the Zinniker Farm
Time: 1:30pm, potluck dinner
Please bring a dish to share
Suggested donation: $15-25 for more info.
19 September 2023 – “Speaking with the Stars”
“…The etheric Christ will be perceived through the development of the etheric body, and also through impressions of autumn which the human being weaves into himself. Why was Christ here in a physical body? It was so that man could develop higher in order to acquire the capacity to perceive the Christ more and more in the etheric…
As it happens so often that great things that should be brought into the world in the right way are so badly misunderstood, we must try to prepare ourselves for what should come. And if we want to approach the spirit at the point where the spirit of nature also speaks to us morally, then we may say to ourselves: all Spiritual Science is in a certain respect a preparation to help us understand what has been said about past events when we discussed the changes that take place in the course of time.“
~Rudolf Steiner, ESOTERIC CHRISTIANITY AND THE MISSION OF CHRISTIAN ROSENKREUTZ, GA 130, II. The Christ Impulse in Historical Development II, 19 September 1911, Locarno
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
The Feast of San Gennaro, an Italian-American festival. Originally a one-day religious commemoration, the festival was first celebrated in the United States in September 1926, when immigrants from Naples congregated along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of Manhattan in New York City. The immigrant families on Mulberry Street who started the feast, a group of cafe owners, erected a small chapel in the street to house the image of their patron Saint. They invited all to partake of their wares, asking the devoted to pin an offering to the ribbon streamers that are hung from the statue’s apron. This money was then distributed to the needy poor of the neighborhood. Over time, the festival expanded into an 11-day street fair organized & run by people outside the neighborhood. It is now an annual celebration of food & drink, & a major tourist attraction. Centered on Mulberry Street, which is closed to traffic for the occasion, the festival generally features sausages, zeppole, street vendors, games, parades and other such attractions.
The Feast of Our Lady of La Salette*
634 – Siege of Damascus: The Rashidun Arabs under Khalid ibn al-Walid capture Damascus from the Byzantine Empire
1692 –The only death by peine forte et dure in American history was Giles Corey, who was (“pressed to death”) during the Salem witch trials, after he refused to enter a plea in the judicial proceeding. According to legend, his last words as he was being crushed were “More weight”, even though he was thought to be dead as the weight was applied.
*1846 – Two French shepherd children, Mélanie Calvat & Maximin Giraud, experience a Marian apparition on a mountaintop near La Salette, France, now known as Our Lady of La Salette. They returned from the mountain where they had been minding cows & reported seeing “a beautiful lady” on Mount Sous-Les Baisses, weeping bitterly. They described her as sitting with her elbows resting on her knees & her face buried in her hands. She was clothed in a white robe studded with pearls; & a gold colored apron; white shoes & roses about her feet & high head-dress. She wore a crucifix suspended by a necklace from her neck.
According to their account, she continued to weep even as she spoke to them, first in French, then in their own dialect. After giving a secret to each child, the apparition walked into a hill & vanished. The following day the children’s account of the apparition was put into writing & signed by the visionaries & those who had heard the story.
According to the children’s account, the Virgin invited people to respect the repose of the seventh day, & the name of God. She sorrowfully threatened punishment, in particular a scarcity of potatoes, which would rot. The context of these punishments places the warning just prior to the winter of 1846–1847, which was in Europe, & especially in Ireland & in France, a period of famine in the months which followed the apparition. This was one of the factors of the apparition’s popular appeal
1864 – American Civil War: Third Battle of Winchester: Union troops under General Philip Sheridan defeat a Confederate force commanded by General Jubal Early. With over 50,000 troops engaged it was the largest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley & was not only militarily decisive in that region of Virginia but also played a role in securing Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1864
1881 – U.S. President James A. Garfield dies of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau, a disgruntled office seeker, at the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad Station in Washington. Among those at the station was Robert Todd Lincoln, who sixteen years before had watched his father die from an assassin’s bullet. Vice President Chester A. Arthur becomes President upon Garfield’s death
1893 – Women’s suffrage: In New Zealand, the Electoral Act of 1893 is consented to by the governor giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote
1812 – Deathday of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the banking dynasty
1940 – Witold Pilecki is voluntarily captured and sent to Auschwitz to smuggle out information and start a resistance
1946 – The Council of Europe is founded following a speech by Winston Churchill at the University of Zurich, calling for a “United States of Europe”
1952 – The US bars Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the country after a trip to England
1957 – First American underground nuclear bomb test (part of Operation Plumbbob)
1971 – Deathday of Lory Maier-Smith, the 1st Eurythmist
1976 – Turkish Airlines Flight 452 hits the Taurus Mountains, killing all 154 passengers & crew
1976 – Two Imperial Iranian Air Force F-4 Phantom II jets fly out to investigate a UFO when both independently lose instrumentation & communications as they approach, only to have them restored upon withdrawal
1985 – A Violent. 8.0m earthquake hits Greater Mexico City area, killing at least 5,000 people, & destroys about 400 buildings
1989 – A terrorist bomb explodes UTA Flight 772 in mid-air above the Tùnùrù Desert, Niger, killing 171
“The impression of something living, something realistic, is produced by what has arisen in living imagination from decanted dreams.” ~Rudolf Steiner, from a lecture on September 19, 1924, ‘Speech and Drama’ (GA 282):