If you live in English speaking Canada you may not have heard about a recently formed branch (2009), in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Now that we have found our name (Vers les Sources), we wish to officially present ourselves.
A seed was planted five years ago when interested individuals got together during the four Cardinal Festivals to read and reflect on the Cosmic Imaginations. Little by little, there grew a desire to cultivate Anthroposophy together in a group where individual experiences would find an echo, be strengthened and have the possibility to connect with the world. Around the time of Philip Thatcher’s visit in January 2009, the idea of forming a members group became more concrete. Since then our group has been defining itself and developing adequate forms to work within. There are about twenty members in and around our group but more often than not we are twelve at meetings.
The main themes we have carried until present are:
*study/work on the leading thoughts and letters to members
*sharing our biographies
*the six exercises: maintaining personal practice and sharing reflections on this
*maintaining spiritual solidarity so that our efforts realize themselves with greater force in the world
We meet every third Wednesday of the month. Our evening begins with Eurythmy—guided by a Eurythmist. A different person prepares and animates each meeting: setting the agenda, giving a summary of the previous meeting and guiding (creative risk taking is encouraged) the study theme. Five or ten minutes are reserved for one person to share a piece of their biography around a given theme, ex. an important person in our life. We have agreed to keep the personal content of our meetings confidential to allow for a climate of safe sharing.
We only meet physically once a month but we commit to be together in thought every day. We begin by calling up the name or image of each person in the group and proceed to create a link of solidarity within a common phrase/idea that has been decided on at the end of each monthly meeting: communally extracted from our experience of the meeting. In our daily practice we intensify this phrase/idea together and offer it to humanity. This initiative arose from questions we had concerning the concept of power groups which was initially spurred on because of an article by Paul Emberson in the Anthro-Tech Newsletter and then led to researching the subject in Rudolf Steiner’s esoteric lessons.
Finding a name that each member could connect to was a long process. All agreed that this name should reflect the region in which we live and should honor the spiritual heritage of the first nations. Vers les Sources (Towards the sources/springs) is the title of a poem, by Quebec poet Rina Lasnier, that we were using during the Eurythmy part of our meetings. The water element in the poem spoke to us particularly because Sherbrooke was called Les Grandes Fourches by the first nations in order to designate the place where many rivers meet. Depending on the context, Sources can be read as: our spiritual origins, the spiritual hierarchies, the spiritual worlds, the stars, instinctive spiritual perception of the past, the karmic sources of our present life, the reasons for finding ourselves grouped together etc. The word Vers (Towards) evokes the future as well as expressing activity, movement, a path towards realizing certain goals. These goals are at the same time future and past. They are the sources of our existence toward which we choose to go in freedom.
We would like to mention three other groups that meet each month. One, with the aim to practice Goethian Conversation was born from the members group. Two others existed before: The Festival Group which carries and prepares celebrations for the four Cardinal Festivals and the Olivier group which aims to deepen our relationship with the dead and life after death. These three groups are open to non members but are essentially carried by members.
We send our warmest greetings to all Canadian members. We’d love to have news. Perhaps each group, big or small, could take turns in writing a little something about themselves for this bulletin. It could cultivate the feeling of being part of a larger community.
Colin Rioux-Beauséjour and all the members presently active within our group:
Léon René de Cotret
Translated by Karen Liedl