2 July 2016 – This day is the midpoint of the year. There are 182 days before & 182 days after. The exact time of the middle of the year is at noon.
Perhaps no month better epitomizes summer in the Northern Hemisphere than July. The Summer Triangle is on prominent display. The trio’s brightest member, Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, stands nearly overhead shortly after midnight. The asterism’s second-brightest star, Altair in Aquila the Eagle, then lies more than halfway from the southeastern horizon to the zenith. Deneb, the luminary of Cygnus the Swan, marks the Summer Triangle’s third corner. Although it is the dimmest star, it’s the brightest point of light in the northeastern sky.
Maria Heimsuchung – Rudolf Steiner lists this in his original Calendar of the Soul, as an ancient German Feast day celebrating the Visitation Of Mary to Elisabeth.
437 – Emperor Valentinian III begins his reign over & ongoing dismemberment the Western Roman Empire.
1566 – Deathday of Nostradamus, French astrologer & author
1698 – Thomas Savery patents the first steam engine
1778 – Deathday of Procopius of Caesarea the last major historian of the ancient Western world. He Accompanied the Roman general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian, writing the Wars (or Histories), the Buildings of Justinian & the celebrated (& infamous) Secret History discovered centuries later in the Vatican Library.
The Secret History reveals his deep disillusion with the emperor Justinian & his wife, Empress Theodora, as well as Belisarius, his former commander & patron, & Antonina, Belisarius’ wife. The anecdotes expose the secret springs of their public actions, as well as their private lives. Justinian is portrayed as cruel, venal, prodigal & incompetent; as for Theodora, the reader is treated to the most detailed & titillating portrayals of vulgarity & insatiable lust combined with shrewish & calculating mean-spiritedness:
“Often, even in the theatre, in the sight of all the people, she removed her costume and stood nude in their midst, except for a girdle about the groin: not that she was abashed at revealing that, too, to the audience, but because there was a law against appearing altogether naked on the stage, without at least this much of a fig-leaf. Covered thus with a ribbon, she would sink down to the stage floor and recline on her back. Slaves to whom the duty was entrusted would then scatter grains of barley from above into the calyx of this passion flower, whence geese, trained for the purpose, would next pick the grains one by one with their bills and eat.”
Her husband Justinian, meanwhile, was a monster whose head could suddenly vanish—at least according to this passage:
“And some of those who have been with Justinian at the palace late at night, men who were pure of spirit, have thought they saw a strange demoniac form taking his place. One man said that the Emperor suddenly rose from his throne and walked about, and indeed he was never wont to remain sitting for long, and immediately Justinian’s head vanished, while the rest of his body seemed to ebb and flow; whereat the beholder stood aghast and fearful, wondering if his eyes were deceiving him. But presently he perceived the vanished head filling out and joining the body again as strangely as it had left it.”
1816 – The French frigate Méduse struck the Bank of Arguin & 151 people on board had to be evacuated on an improvised raft, a case immortalised by Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa
1822 – Thirty-five slaves are hanged in South Carolina, including Denmark Vesey, after being accused of organizing a slave rebellion
1839 – Twenty miles off the coast of Cuba, 53 rebelling African slaves led by Joseph Cinqué take over the slave ship Amistad
1897 – British-Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi obtains a patent for radio in London
1900 – The first Zeppelin flight takes place on Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany
1921 – World War I: U.S. President Warren G. Harding signs the Knox–Porter Resolution formally ending the war between the United States and Imperial Germany
1934 – The Night of the Long Knives, sometimes called Operation Hummingbird, or in Germany, sometimes mockingly called Reichsmordwoche (Reich Murder Week), a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political executions. Leading members of the left-wing Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), along with its figurehead, Gregor Strasser, were killed, as were prominent conservative anti-Nazis (such as former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher & Gustav Ritter von Kahr, who had suppressed Adolf Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch in 1923). Many of those killed were leaders of the Sturmabteilung (SA) – the paramilitary Brownshirts.
Hitler moved against the SA & its leader, Ernst Röhm because he saw the independence of the SA as a direct threat to his newly gained political power. Hitler was uncomfortable with Röhm’s outspoken support for a “second revolution” to redistribute wealth.
At least 85 people died during the purge, although the final death toll may have been in the hundreds, & more than a thousand perceived opponents were arrested. Most of the killings were carried out by the Schutzstaffel (SS) & the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei), the regime’s secret police. The purge provided a legal grounding for the Nazi regime, as the German courts & cabinet quickly swept aside centuries of legal prohibition against extra-judicial killings to demonstrate their loyalty to the regime. The Night of the Long Knives was a turning point for the German government. It established Hitler as “the supreme judge of the German people,” as he put it in his July 13, 1934 speech to the Reichstag. “The New York Times”stated that Hitler had acted to crush a revolt & that SA leader Ernst Röhm had committed suicide.
1947 – World UFO Day, commemorating the supposed UFO crash at Roswell
1964 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places
1976 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual.
2001 – The AbioCor self-contained artificial heart is first implanted
~ ~ ~
~O Soul of an ancient creature
Come here to drink at my pond
Let me caress your velvet horns of sense & reason
Implanted in your forehead like lightning rods to the sky…
O King, your dusty hoofs tramp a new trail
Worn smooth by my ritual dance to you…
~ ~ ~
Greetings Friends, I’ve missed you!
I have been studying Speech Formation with Kim Synder-Vine this last week. She is a force of nature. When she spoke the consonants, in my mind’s eye I saw the animals of the Zodiac coming alive, like they were walking off Noah’s Ark.
“You are now entering the school of the sounds” She told us, from ~Rudolf Steiner – his Speech & Drama Course of 1924, where he describes the revelation of speech as relating to the Greek Gymnastics. Every time we speak, the words run, leap off the diaphragm, wrestle off the vocal cords, hit the discus of the tongue, to fly like the javelin out the mouth with intention toward the goal, landing the target like a shot-put.
We started out with Vowels – “Soundings of the Soul”, our inner reaction to life, the planets, their colors, our organs. Vowels rise up from the root chakra to the heart then thru the larynx to the mouth.
Ah – Venus, Green, Kidneys
A – Mars, Red, wakes up our nerve center, Gallbladder
E – Mercury, Yellow, Lungs (good for to vibrate for teeth & gums)
O – Jupiter, Orange, Liver
UU – Saturn, Blue, Spleen
AE – Moon, Silver/Purple, Reproductive Organs, reflective quality to the teeth & bones
AOU – Sun, Gold/White, Heart/Head
Then consonants (the constellations forming us) I will write out a chart for tomorrow.
We must see it before we say it, to Re-cite it, before it becomes a concept, to let it stream forth, forming itself like an etheric arm reaching out into the world.
We did breath-work & placement in the mouth…KLSFM… Karl Let Sophie Fetch May. May Fetch Sophie & Let Karl Go!
“Hoom, Hahm, Hem, Him…Brooding Proofs…Droopy Troops…Gruesome Crooners…”
OUTBREATH – Declamation -spit it in the bucket – “Reforging Gales”…etc…Feelings into the will, (I feel it so I got to say it: Opera) connected to the Northern Mysteries.
INBREATH – Recitation, consonants, thinking into will, connected to the Southern Mysteries. “In the vast unmeasured world-wide spaces”…etc…
Hexameter – a health tonic from the Greeks, good for circulation, helps us speak the consonants.
I love the idea that we create a vacuum then fill it with cosmic substance…forming & letting go…
We started working with Lyric, Dramatic & Epic poetry & some speech chorus stuff with some Steiner & other verses…Iambic sonnets…
It’s been revealing to check-in to discover what my own propensities are. We were instructed to ‘Check Our Soul Mood’. I am by nature a Declamation ‘E’ type for sure…So I need to work on the more softer sounds of the Southern Mysteries…
Let’s explore Speech Formation further tomorrow…
Blessings and Peace ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg