A biweekly newsletter from the Anthroposophical Society in America
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May 9, 2021

Dear Members & Friends,

Happy Mother’s Day! Our current challenging passage in time, not yet finished, has been especially demanding for mothers and all who provide the means for being. Thank you!

In our movement, a feeling for the wisdom and strength of Sophia, Anthroposophia, has been growing; is this connected with the moment we are in? Who and what are we human beings, and how are we, and why? We inscribe our answers, conscious and unconscious, in our every day. Are we writing the better answers on days like this, days of gratefulness?

PROGRAMS: register

A reminder that our star-wise Mary Stewart Adams will lead a year-long interactive and many-faceted exploration of the Zodiac. It starts May 17th. Lynn Stull will be sharing the eurythmy gestures for each Zodiac sign. Details here.

Also, “Supporting the Elementals,” a half-day conference with Bastiaan Baan, Janey Newton & Lisa Romero takes place May 22nd (11:30am-3:30pm ET). It’s an intriguing thought which I had never thought before, that we can “support the elementals.” Details here.

Los Angeles sky


We are offering some photographs of clouds for Ascension, which is coming up this Thursday. Why clouds? This festival is based in the moment when the cosmic I Am (the Christ), having passed through the death all humans experience and risen again to work a while longer with his most awakened followers, is taken up “into the clouds.”

Where are clouds, in the elemental design of the world? Between mineral and plant is—the weather. Not quite dead, not quite alive, the weather is the sun-and-water activity that embraces the Earth. It wets and dries, heats and cools, shapes the passive minerals, enlivens the plants. It even does much to condition our human consciousness.

Along with the sun, which they show and hide, the persistently visible forms of weather are the clouds, moved by winds, precipitating in rain and hail and snow. So the great spirit whose home was on the Sun, from whom we have the individuality that makes us human, who came down into human life on the Earth, has remained with us but unseen, in the planetary life cycle.

Now we are called to perceive this being. Rudolf Steiner disclosed the approaching “reappearance of Christ in the etheric,” the formative life forces of our world which include the clouds, from 1933 forward. Concealed at that time by great outbursts of evil, this remains a goal for our awakening in the 21st century. — There is a special zoom offering this Thursday, “Living into the spheres of cosmic Life and cosmic Light: Easter, Ascension, Whitsun in the Calendar of the Soul”; for details see the calendar.

Two weeks from today is Whitsun or Pentecost, a festival of flowers and inspired words. This was the moment when the loneliness and loss of Ascension blossomed into recognition and understanding — a great wind, and a tongue of flame descending on each disciple, standing in a circle around Mary, Wisdom, Sophia, the Spirit of Truth. Of Whitsun Rudolf Steiner said,

“And then there comes before us the mighty picture, with a force that works like a force present in the soul itself. Then do we feel the future, as the first understanders felt it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, if only we are willing to make alive in our souls that which knows nothing of the boundaries separating the different parts of humanity and speaks a language which all souls, all the world over, can understand. We feel the thought of peace, of love, of harmony, which lies in the Whitsun thought. And we feel this Whitsun thought enlivening our Whitsun festival.”

Last year in the early days of the pandemic we held a beautiful Whitsun webinar, “Five Good Words” with Orland Bishop. It is available free in our store.

clouds, PA


Our spring appeal is for a new Youth & Inclusion Access Fund. Deb Abrahams-Dematte emailed last week: 

“Share your love of anthroposophy. The ASA offers a growing number of learning opportunities in service to our members and our mission. By engaging and supporting the interest of all who wish to explore anthroposophy, you increase our cultural impact and bring strength and vibrancy to the Anthroposophical Society of the future. Our spring appeal provides financial aid to those who need it, supporting anthroposophical learning and increased participation in ASA programs. Our campaign goal is $25,000. Can you help?

And here is a tax note for charitable giving: a change made for 2020 for federal income tax has been extended for 2021. Do you itemize deductions? Donors who itemize can deduct cash gifts to qualified charities up to 100 percent of adjusted gross income in 2020 and 2021.*  If you do not itemize, single filers or married filers who file separately may deduct up to $300 beyond the standard deduction. Check irs.gov for details. *Note, in both cases, gifts to donor-advised funds, supporting organizations, and most private foundations do not qualify under the law.

clouds, NJ


Marianne Fieber is stepping back as the Central Region representative on the General Council. She is well known in the region since 2005 for her work with Songtrails, an evocation of spirit and place held in connection with many regional meetings and at the 2018 national conference in New Orleans. Her letter is posted in our blog.

The regional council is looking for new council members; if you're from the Central Region and didn't receive their email, you can read it here. The email also tells about the upcoming CRC Whitsun festival pageant on May 23rd, and it gives an outline of a new theme for the online study group from the CRC (anyone is welcome). Having completed three years with “karma and reincarnation,” the new topic is the Mysteries of the Holy Grail.

clouds through electric railway wires, NJ


The many initiatives inspired in whole or part by the work of Rudolf Steiner are essentially demonstration projects for new approaches in particular areas of need. Between Waldorf education and the Camphill schools and communities is a gap where many young adults on the autism spectrum can use help as they move into lives of greater independence. In our print magazine in 2019 we featured an interview (by a graduate) of the three founders of Meristem in Fair Oaks, California: “Awakening the Possible”.

Last week Meristem took part in a successful “Big Day of Giving”; the subject line of the email from president Edmund Knighton was “Not sure who is serving who here at Meristem”! It featured a good short video on the Meristem family and talked about Meristem’s TAP program: “The Transformative Autism Program (TAP) was developed with input from young adults on the autism spectrum in order to educate California employers on how to hire, train and retain people with autism—and in turn help them become the valuable employees they have the potential to be.” Learn more on the TAP website about this successful, life-changing program.

clouds, MI


Here’s a hopeful harbinger: an artist talk and celebration for the Lightforms Art Center Sculpture Show, May 14th, 7pm, masks required but open door. The Artist Talk and Celebration for Sculpture Show speakers are six of the eight sculptors: Michael Howard, Henry Klimovicz, Jason Middlebrook, Martina Angela Müller, George Quasha, and Patrick Stolfo.

“Visual artists are known to quietly sequester in their studios, tune into their creative source and sculpt their works in quietude, removed from the world and rarely witnessed. This artist talk is an invitation to become a witness, to hear about the artists’ creative processes, their thoughts, inspirations and techniques. Six of the eight sculptors for our Moving Forms/Dynamic Balance Sculpture Show are each going to give a short presentation about their work and look forward to enter into a dialogue with you about their work. Masks are required, no exceptions. No ticket is required, doors open at 6:30pm.”

Lightforms has also made an “open call to photographers” for a Nature Photography Show opening in November. Deadline to submit is June 30th. Get the details here, below a magnificent intimidating photo by Ansel Adams.

Thank you for reading and viewing, and may we all be wakeful and be well in this beautiful month of May!

John Beck
Editor, being human

Anthroposophical Society in America

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Anthroposophical Society in America (US)
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