The Anthroposophical Society in America is a non-sectarian, non-political “association of people who would foster the life of the soul, both in the individual and in human society, on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world.”
The Anthroposophical Society in America is one of more than seventy autonomous national societies. These support the General Anthroposophical Society founded by Rudolf Steiner in Dornach, Switzerland. The Society is a non-profit, non-sectarian association which accepts members without regard to religious, political, national, financial or other personal affiliations.
The Festival of Whitsun / Pentecost
The festival of Whitsun, or Pentecost, is celebrated fifty days after Easter - ten days after the festival of Ascension. It celebrates the awakening of earthly ego-consciousness experienced by the apostles and symbolized by the “tongues of fire”.
The eleven apostles had been plunged into mourning by the crucifixion of Christ, then filled with joy at His reappearance in His resurrected form. For forty days thereafter the apostles received the teachings of the risen Christ, but as Rudolf Steiner describes, they were in a dream-like state of semi-consciousness throughout this time. Then, at Christ’s Ascension, they were once again grief stricken at the loss of their beloved teacher. It was on the tenth day of their grieving that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of Universal Love, quickened their earthly ego-consciousness, inspiring and enabling them to carry the teachings of Christ out into the world.
Most significantly, Pentecost marks the entry of the Christ Being into the sphere of the earth. “For instead of passing, as does a human being, into Devachan, a realm of Spirit after death, the sacrifice offered up by the Christ Being was that he made the Earth his heaven … It is a saying of immeasurable greatness if we express this mystery in the following words: since the event of Pentecost the Christ Being has abided with human souls on the Earth; before then He did not abide with the souls of people on the Earth!” (Rudolf Steiner, The Fifth Gospel pp 46-47).
The Festival of Ascension
The festival of Ascension is celebrated 40 days after Easter, the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, described by Rudolf Steiner as the Mystery of Golgotha. In 2020, Ascension is Thursday, May 21. It is a festival that is easily overlooked as it occurs ten days before Pentecost (the descent of the tongues of fire) which one could say is culturally more often remembered. Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual scientific research and experiences of the Mystery of Golgotha bring remarkable and profound realities to reflect upon during this festival.
After the Risen Christ presented himself to the disciples in his “resurrection body” he spent forty days with them, teaching and inspiring them. As a result of these experiences the disciples were awakened to clairvoyant consciousness. In this state of newly awakened imaginative consciousness they witnessed Christ’s Ascension into the spiritual world.
Rudolf Steiner further indicates that the resurrection of Christ points towards the redeeming of the physical body of mankind (through the rescuing of the phantom body, see From Jesus to Christ, by Rudolf Steiner, GA131, 1911) while the act of Ascension saved for mankind his etheric body. In Occult Science (also known as Esoteric Science) it is described how the natural tendency of the etheric body is to aspire to the Sun and away from the Earth. At his Ascension Christ held back this tendency as he had born the forces of the Sun into the Earth existence. Hence it is a deed performed for all of mankind, for Christ remains in union with the earth.
In very specific ways the Ascension points also to Christ’s participation in man’s life after death.
“Since the Mystery of Golgotha there has stood before the soul of every human being who passes through death the Ascension picture which the disciples were able to behold that day, on account of their particular soul condition.” (see The Festivals and their Meaning, by Rudolf Steiner, lecture of 7 May, 1923)
Furthermore, it is described how the Christ relates to the souls of the dead on their sojourn through the Moon, Sun and starry realms so that they can work again on their karma in subsequent incarnation(s). “Thus in the scene of the Ascension we have an indication of the all-encompassing influence of the Christ-Being, after the Mystery of Golgotha, upon the sphere of the life of the human soul after death.” (See The Cycle of the Year as a Path of Initiation, p. 183, by Sergei O. Prokofieff.)
If one has opportunity this coming Thursday, here are references for further study:
- The Festivals and their Meaning: Ascension and Pentecost, Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophical Publishing Co, 1958. Read at rsarchive.org
- The Cycle of the Year as a Path of Initiation, Sections VII, VIII, IX, Sergei O. Prokofieff, Temple Lodge Press, 1991
- The New Testament, Luke 24:50, a rendering by Jon Madsen, Christian Community , Floris Books, 1994
May Monday Night Study Group
The Driving Force of Spiritual Powers in World History
You are invited to join, from your own home, a Monday Evening Steiner Study Group.
Prior to the current virus concerns, we had been meeting regularly in North County on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Mondays of the month to read various lecture series given by Rudolf Steiner. Now we would like to invite you to join us for the next seven Monday evenings.
Our rhythm has been to meet at a member's home at 7:00 for tea, dessert and visiting. Then at 7:30 we would begin the reading.
7:30 - A candle is lit ...
The Calendar of the Soul verse is read ...
The reading of the lecture begins in turn by those present.
For our study, we have selected THE DRIVING FORCE OF SPIRITUAL POWERS IN WORLD HISTORY, seven lectures given in Dornach from the 11th to the 23rd of March, 1923.
Please feel free to post any questions or comments.
We hope you can share the reading of these important lectures with us!
Coronavirus Update — March 30, 2020
Dear Members and Friends,
In the interest of sound and prudent judgment based on our current environment, we will temporarily suspend all Anthroposophical Society sponsored gatherings in our area through the month of April. This includes all study groups and the School of Spiritual Science First Class. We will, however, continue to assess the facts and keep you updated.
With this unexpected change to our habits, we are presented with an opportunity to take stock of ourselves as we continue on our path of spiritual development.
In Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment, (GA 10, 1904) Rudolf Steiner describes the soul strength which is required for this process:
“… The would-be initiate must bring with him a certain measure of courage and fearlessness. He must positively go out of his way to find opportunities for developing these virtues. His training should provide for their systematic cultivation. In this respect, life itself is a good school — possibly the best school. The student must learn to look danger calmly in the face and try to overcome difficulties unswervingly. For instance, when in the presence of some peril, he must swiftly come to the conviction that fear is of no possible use; I must not feel afraid; I must only think of what is to be done …”
“… It is pre-eminently a question of cultivating this courage and this fearlessness in the inmost depths of thought-life. The student must learn never to despair over failure. He must be equal to the thought: I shall forget that I have failed in this matter, and I shall try once more as though this had not happened. Thus he will struggle through to the firm conviction that the fountain-head of strength from which he may draw is inexhaustible. He struggles ever onward to the spirit which will uplift him and support him, however weak and impotent his earthly self may have proved …”
He also said to doctors in Arnheim on July 24 1924,
“If we could not become ill, we could also not become spiritual beings … If we could not become ill, we would remain fools for our entire lifetime. The possibility of illness is due to the possibility of becoming human beings who think, feel and will … Spiritual insight into both health and illness enriches our entire view of nature.” As Richard Leviton said in his introduction to The Healing Process, a collection of Steiner’s 1923-1924 lectures, “It reminds us that as humans we are embedded in a world of natural processes and dynamic interactions that span the micro level of cells and the macro level of galaxies. We are not estranged from the environment; we are the environment in human form. Illness is not an irrelevancy in our lives; it is a clue to the core of our life.”
Article from the Goetheanum
There have been many references to Rudolf Steiner’s comments about the nature of viruses and we republish this article from the Goetheanum as one of them:
Easter Festival — April 12, 2020
Under normal circumstances we would be meeting together on Easter Saturday, April 11th, to study and meditate on this sacred time of the year. Although we will not be able to physically meet, we offer these suggestions to you for developing a deeper understanding of this Festival.
(Left: Easter, Rudolf Steiner)
The Easter Festival in Relation to the Mysteries
by Rudolf Steiner, April, 1924, GA 233, Lecture One:
Festivals and the Mysteries. The Adonis Mystery. The Easter Thought …
The Four Seasons and the Archangels
by Rudolf Steiner, October 1923, GA229, Lecture Three:
The Easter Imagination
For music to accompany your thoughts during Holy Week (beginning Palm Sunday, April 5 to Easter Sunday, April 12) here are a few suggestions:
Bach’s ST. MATTHEW PASSION, BWV 244. Karl Richter (1971)
PARZIVAL, an opera by Richard Wagner, conducted by Horst Stein, Bayreuth
THE MESSIAH, G.F. Handel (Easter portion)
Let us hold one another in our thoughts and prayers as we read, listen and meditate - and, as Rudolf Steiner said, “ Let us fill ourselves with love and spiritual equanimity as a protection."
The soul of the world lies out-stretched
Upon the cross of the world’s body.
In five out-beaming rays, luminously it lives
Through wisdom, love, and power of will,
Through all-awareness and ego-awareness,
Within itself the Spirit of the World.
Healing In Raphael’s Madonna Paintings
with Joan D. Treadaway, M.S.
A joint Branch and WISC event:
Saturday, February 22, 2020
9 am - 1:30 pm
at the Waldorf School of San Diego
3547 Altadena Avenue,
How can we understand the five etheric streams as architect and strengthener of the Human Being? How do these streams relate to the paintings of Madonna’s by Raphael?
In 1922 Rudolf Steiner approached Dr. Felix Piper, an anthroposophical physician, to work with him in treating children and adults with the healing pictures of the Raphael Madonna series. Known as “THE MADONNA TREATMENT”, it is used as a therapy in Camphill Special Schools and in many healing practices. The 15 pictures have a regenerative force, enlivening the human being through the streaming movement of the five etheric streams.
Finding Hope and Re-Imagining America:
Working Toward a New Tri-Sectoral Imagination of the American Future
A Workshop with Christopher Schaefer
Saturday, January 25, 9am-12pm
How did we get to the place where our politics are manipulated and bought, our freedom threatened by fake news and mass surveillance by the government and the internet giants and our economy hi-jacked by the rich and powerful? What factors have led to the corruption and decline of our nation which was once the “fact, the symbol and the promise of a new beginning” for millions of immigrants and provided hope and opportunity for many of its citizens? Together we will explore the following questions:
• How can we find an inner and outer balance while witnessing the
turbulent times in which we live?
• What are the main factors which have led to the corruption and
decline of American Society?
• How can we protect and extend human freedom, assure equal
rights and a true democracy and create an economy which serves
human needs and aspirations while protecting the earth?
• What can we do individually and collectively to move toward a
society which our hearts long for and which our heads tell us is
needed if we are to save ourselves and the earth?
We will work on these questions in pairs, small groups and in the whole circle, allowing participants to choose which of three areas they wish to work on: fostering human freedom, restoring democracy and equal rights or creating an economy which serves people and the earth. Chris will also share some of his conclusions about a possible new Tri-Sectoral Covenant between the American people and their society.
Christopher Schaefer, Ph.D, taught International Politics and Economics at M.I.T. and
Tufts before helping to found the Waldorf School in Lexington, Mass. He and his wife
Signe then went on to teach at Emerson College in England, where he co-founded the
Centre for Social Development, and for many years also at Sunbridge College in Spring
Valley, N.Y. In addition to being the author of Re-Imagining America: Finding Hope in Difficult Times and Partnerships of Hope: Building Waldorf School Communities, he co-authored Vision in Action: Working with Soul and Spirit in Small Organizations. He is a father and grandfather and lives in the Berkshires of western Mass.
Suggested Contribution: $30
Sponsored by the local Anthroposophic Society and hosted by Sanderling Waldorf School
Where: Sanderling Waldorf School, Magnolia Campus
3796 Valley St., Carlsbad, CA 92008
Contact: Joseph Rubano (760-576-7573, email@example.com) for registration and information
Decades of Talking about Social Change:
An Evening with Christopher and Signe Schaefer
Friday, January 24, 7:30 - 9 pm
For over 50 years, Chris and Signe Schaefer—former Sunbridge College program
directors and longtime friends and supporters of Waldorf Schools—have been
discussing and working for social change. Their ongoing conversation—on whether
change happens through systemic and structural transformation, through individual
development, or is reliant on both—is reflected in their two new books.
This evening will be a dialogue about human development, social transformation,
and the struggles of our times, with short readings from the Schaefers' two new
*Signe’s latest book is I Give You My Word: Women's Letters as Life Support,
1973-1987. She is also the author of Why on Earth? – Biography and the
Practice of Human Becoming, as well as a co-author of Ariadne’s
Awakening and co-editor of More Lifeways.
Chris’s new book is Re-Imagining America: Finding Hope in Difficult Times. His
previous books include Partnerships of Hope: Building Waldorf School
Communities and Vision in Action: Working with Soul and Spirit in Small
About the Schaefers
Chris and Signe Schaefer each have a long history of teaching, first
at Emerson College in England and then, for many years, at
Sunbridge College in New York, where Signe directed the
Foundation Studies and Biography programs and Chris directed the
Waldorf School Administration and Community Development
program; they also both served on the Sunbridge Board. In the years
since, Signe co-founded the Center for Biography and Social Art,
and Chris, an organization development adviser who also taught at
MIT and Tufts, has facilitated organization and community
development with Waldorf schools and other institutions; he is also
co-director of the Center for Social Research at the Hawthorne
Valley Association. Now retired from teaching, they live in Great
This event is FREE
Sponsored by the local Anthroposophic Society and hosted by Sanderling School
Where: Sanderling School - Magnolia campus
3796 Valley St., Carlsbad, CA 92008
Contact: Joseph Rubano (760-576-7573, firstname.lastname@example.org) for RSVP or questions
Celebration of the Holy Nights
Thursday, December 26, 2019
Monday, January 6, 2020
7:00 p.m. Tea
7:30 p.m. Reading*
Bring your favorite dish to celebrate the New Year!
The Gospel of St. John
12 lectures given in Hamburg, May 18-31, 1908
by Rudolf Steiner, GA 103
A study of these lectures will be held at private homes and at the San
Diego Waldorf School. Please call the hosts for directions.
Thurs., Dec. 26 - Bruce & Johanna Laurelin, 619-286-0816
Fri., Dec. 27 - Carlos & Lori Daub, 818-314-0116
Sat., Dec. 28 - Alicia Santacroce, 760-451-0001
Sun., Dec. 29 - Rajee Rajamani, 949-350-2318
Mon., Dec. 30 - Susan Starr 619-460-0521
Tues., Dec. 31 - No meeting. Please read Lecture 6.
Weds., Jan. 1 - San Diego Waldorf School**, 12 noon
Thurs., Jan. 2 - Jacqueline/Soleil Develle, 760-451-2139
Fri., Jan. 3 - Patricia/Jos. Rubano, 760-754-1148
Satur., Jan. 4 - Scott Killian/Andrea Rae, 858-229-5638
Sun., Jan. 5 - Lori/Carlos Daub, 818-314-0116
Mon., Jan. 6 - Elizabeth/Victor Olley, 760-761-0414
**WSSD – Waldorf School of San Diego
3547 Altadena Ave., San Diego, CA 92105.
Contact: Lori Daub, 818-314-0116 for further information.
A Celebration for the Dead
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 4:30 pm
Waldorf School of San Diego
3547 Altadena Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105
In the gathering darkness before the light of Advent, we take thought for those who have
crossed the threshold. With candlelight, eurythmy, poetry and music we will enrich our sensing of our unseen companions. There will be an opportunity to write the name(s) of those
you wish to remember on a list in the entry way. These will be read aloud.
A Candlelight Performance of Eurythmy
with Johanna Laurelin, Amy Schick, & Chelaine Kokos
Music includes works by JS Bach, Zoltan Kodaly and Phillip Glas
Eurythmy w/Speech by Bruce Laurelin and Elizabeth Sevison-Olley
Piano Accompaniment by Mark Polesky
Verses and Meditations by J. Masefield, Rudolf Steiner
“In fact, everything that takes place in human beings through the outer world can be
perceived by the spirit, including human souls who have passed through the gate of
death….The dead can experience with us what we experience in the physical world.
This is because these experiences belong not only to our world but also to theirs. Our
experiences belong to their world when we thoroughly spiritualize what we experience
in the outer world with spiritual ideas. Otherwise, what we experience as the effects
of matter remains dark and incomprehensible to the dead. To the dead, a soul devoid
of spirit is a dark soul. This is why the dead have become estranged from earthly life.
We must overcome this estrangement. The so-called dead and the so-called living
must learn again to live together inwardly…..” Rudolf Steiner, Cosmic and Human
For further information contact Elizabeth Olley, 760-761-0414 or Lori Daub, 818-314-0116
Mt. San Michele
To Santiago de Compostela
A Path of Modern Initiation
Sunday, September 29, 2019
10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Waldorf School of San Diego
3547 Altadena Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105
•10:00 am Mont San Michele – The History and Lore of the World Famous Shrine as
a Herald of a New Era
•11:15 am The Knights Templar as Emissaries of the Age of Consciousness Soul
•12:45 pm Potluck luncheon – bring your favorite dish to share!
•2:00 pm The Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a Path of Modern Initiation
The Abbey at Mont San Michele has been one of the most beloved pilgrimage sites for
over a thousand years. Placed on the Norman Camino Route, it is part of an ancient
star network of mystery centers from megalithic times. The modern abbey has had
numerous iterations ranging from a Druid Goddess center to a Mithraeum and
several generations of Christian architectural presentations.
Michael appeared to the Bishop of Avranches in the early 8th century and bid him to
build a shrine on the island in the sea. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a rich
history in the spiritual evolution of Christianity.
Suggested Donation: $20-$30
Stephanie Georgieff has just returned from a lecture tour featuring Mont San Michele. The workshop
will include her research on how the Archangel Michael and the Templars figure prominently in our
modern era as agents of transformation and initiation along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
A Whitsun Farewell Gathering
Sunday, June 9, 2019, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
To be held at the
Waldorf School of San Diego
3547 Altadena Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105
Honoring Charlotte Dukich and Brian Wolff
Bring your favorite Whitsun (spring/summer) poem or song to share.
Eurythmy led by Johanna Laurelin
“In the Whitsun garden,
White the flowers grow,
Earth is listening, Glistening, listening,
Warming breezes blow.”
Potluck Sharing (late lunch/early dinner) to be enjoyed outside, weather permitting
Contact: Elizabeth Olley 760-761-0414 or Lori Daub 818-314-0116