Friday, November 27, 2009

Agri-Cultural Renewal Cooperative

- By Kevin Moynagh

Glencolton Farms was formerly a privately owned farm of the Schmidt family and was established in 1983 to provide wholesome food to a rapidly growing market of informed consumers and put culture back in agriculture.

Agri-Cultural Renewal Co-operative Inc. (ARC) is a co-operative of workers established since 2004 united in diversifying the farm by integrating agriculture with culture and nature for the betterment of the land and its surrounding community. Glencolton Farms and ARC have amalgamated. Therefore, Glencolton Farms is now owned and operated by the worker owners of ARC.

The Agri-cultural Renewal Concept is an organization of Farmers, Processors, Buyers and Investors building strong links into the New Local Food Chain by expanding the market for local, ecological and wholesome foods while nurturing the arts in rural communities. The farm has been operating for 26 years on two parcels of land, one owned by ARC and one (200 acres) which Glencolton split off back in 1995. (Glencolton, however, has leased this second parcel the entire time, and it forms an integral part of the farming operations. ) This 200 acres parcel of land provides all of the either feed for the cows as well as grazing land for the younger cows. ARC has been offered a special deal to purchase this land for 300,000 dollars; the land value itself has just been appraised by a certified appraiser at 520,000 dollars.

The long term plan to finance this land will be the conversion of the current cow share membership to farm share members. The cow share members pay $300 every six years, depreciating by $50 per year, with a renewal required every six years. The farm shares will have a share value of $2000, which will remain the same until the member leaves the co-op and will receive the full amount back.

The current 150 cow share members converted to farm shares will cover the $300,000 purchase price of the 200 acres. This conversion process will be implemented over a two year period, and should be completed by the fall of 2011.

As a short term measure to help finance the purchase of the land, a group of cow share members have formed a company (informally called “Cow Corp”) to loan the money to ARC. Each investor purchases shares in the company proportionate to their investment. ARC will pay 5% simple interest, calculated annually to the company, which will then distribute this to the shareholders of the company. The company will have a lien on the land as collateral for this loan to provide security to its investors. It is expected this investment will last two year, as it should be completely paid back through the conversion of the cow shares to farm shares.

To-date, this group has raised $138,000. Along with money already raised by the conversion of cow share to farm share, it is expected there will be a short fall of approximately $125,000. We are in the process of seeking a bank mortgage to cover this amount. The cash flow to support this mortgage and the 5% to the investors will be covered by the lease payments no longer required and from rental income from the house located on the parcel of land.
We are looking for investors interested in helping assist this type of community-based agriculture while still offering them a decent return in these very uncertain times.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thomas Meyer Returns To Canada

In April 2009, Vancouver hosted Thomas Meyer for three talks. On the Friday, Thomas spoke on Rudolf Steiner's close friends Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, Helmuth von Moltke, and D. N. Dunlop. The talk was very well-received; the audience was silent and involved to a high degree. There was a long question-and-answer period, and even when everyone was on their feet, there was still a group of people around Thomas talking to him about these great individuals. Some books about these individualities were for sale also, such as: D. N. Dunlop - A Man Of Our Time, Light For The New Millennium (about Helmuth von Moltke), and several others.

On Saturday evening, Thomas spoke about W. J. Stein. Stein was perhaps the most interesting person in Rudolf Steiner's entourage. He came to Anthroposophy through his mother and was really the youngest of Steiner's close friends. He had achieved an experience of his own past lives during Steiner's life and received instruction from Steiner himself. Steiner's death was tragic for him on his personal path of enlightenment. Stein wrote a book on the Grail called The Ninth Century in which he researches the history of the ninth century trying to find the historical persons behind the Grail pictures. It is the most enlightened book ever produced on the subject. Stein was a great thinker with deep connections to Alchemy.

On Sunday, Thomas spoke at the Christian Community on the TAO. He connected North American native people to the Great Atlantean TAO - the Great Spirit. The audience was captivated by the journey of this word through the history of the earth right up to our present day. Again, D. N. Dunlop was mentioned. Rudolf Steiner had once said, "D. N. Dunlop is connected with all the Ancient Mysteries", which includes North American Mysteries before the white man came here.

Thomas spoke on "9/11" at the Glenora Camphill farm and the room was filled to overflowing. And his final talk before sailing off to Seattle was at Sunrise Waldorf School on Rudolf Steiner's childhood. He also covered mythological figures in the Waldorf curriculum.

This year, Thomas will be speaking three times on the Mystery Dramas of Rudolf Steiner, and he will talk at the Christian Community about the reincarnation question, using Rudolf Steiner and Thomas Aquinas as the great example for us.

For more information, please contact Ann Watson at 250-653-4184.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lessons With Arthur Zajonc

"I was very enthusiastic about the Arthur Zajonc conference. it was so meaningful to me to hear him speak and being so inclusive with respect to other cultures and philosophies. For me it was a pivotal time, and I could actually make a renewed commitment to the Anthroposophical society.For a while I was struggling with the perceived "closed mindedness" of many society members, but after hearing him speak, reading his book and also hearing reports from the Northern conference, it seems there may be an opening up towards other truths and cultures. It was also heartening to hear the reports from the youth section and their plans to support Nicanor Perlas in his bid for the Phillipine presidency."

"What I would simply say as a result of the work we did together on this weekend: It was exceptionally helpful on a personal basis; however, as we know, self-development is not simply a personal affair, but has its consequences into the social organism and context in which one finds oneself. So, that goes for me into the work with my special needs friends, with the work of the Class, with many other ramifications which I may not even as yet be so aware of."

"I am convinced that Anthroposophy is what helps me to keep my soul connected and clear in my teaching and healing work with others and with my family. That said, I agree with Arthur Zajonc that other forms of spiritual work and healing help need to be welcomed at this difficult time in the world, to gently foster world relationships and understandings...'How much inner expansion have I the capacity for without allowing fear and grasping to rule my sense of truth?' I feel that this is what Arthur Zajonc challenges us to do, with his excellent bridging work between science, Anthroposophy, and various forms of meditative teachings from other great masters. His gentle, Sophianic tears of great passion and compassion for the work are the same tears that the Dalai Lama has shed for his troubled people. We all shed these tears inwardly for the pain of the world. Steiner encourages us to enter the troubled waters with a well crafted boat and an even keel. As the Buddhists say, we must feel the fear and then do it anyway. We must open to the waters and trust the refreshment of the Divine Christ carrying all of us. Blessings."


- Submitted by Sandra Fecht

On a cold, rainy, Friday evening in October a group of us gathered at Hesperus to attend a weekend of Healing through Essential Oils. The workshop was organized by Regine Kurek and Arscura faculty and led by Thomas von Rottenberg, a Berlin Naturopath.

We quickly warmed to our workshop leader. Thomas is gentle, informative, a wonderful story teller, and has an infectious passion about the healing energies of the oils. He shared that along with curative eurythmy, and artistic therapies, the proper use of essential oils is one of the most powerful healing methods.

He began by reminding us that we are made of various bodies: physical, etheric, astral and "I" or ego forces. He said that illness feeds on forces that we do not use. He re-stated that anything we do not process consciously, our body will pay the price for and have to process it.

He told us that the healing is not about the essential oil, but the oil forming process. There are different ways to interact with the oil according to the levels of our different bodies.

He invited us to get to know the oils through three different methods:

First, he put an unidentified oil in the middle of the circle in the closed bottle and asked us to sense into it.
Then we were to get to know it through smelling it over a period of a few minutes.
Lastly, we had to meditate on the oil.

Wonderful rich, heady aromas filled the room as we each experienced the essence in the oils.

Thomas assured us that each reaction was correct according to our unique way of interfacing with the principle in the oil and how the full Being of the oil arose amongst all of our individual differences. It was interesting how different our reactions were and even how our own relationship with the oil changed over a few minutes.

He explained that the most information about the nature of the oil was found in the strongest reactions. That the reactions are a potent encounter between our core and the oil's core. He said that each oil is a carrier of a divine or higher principle. If we are aligned to that principle we will be at peace with it. If we have too much sympathy or antipathy to the oil it could represent a shadow side of that principle. In that case, the oil has a message for us on where to heal our selves. If there is no reaction, we are either at peace with the principle, or numbed out to it. In this way, the oils would show us our deficiencies, wounds and strengths with the principles they represented.

We developed our own unique relationship with each of the several oils he presented. He encouraged us to spend time with the oils, to get to know them better, even to put a vial under our pillow at night to allow the active principle in the oil to teach us. It was suggested we keep an oil journal.

He urged us to be conscious of the oils when working with them. That not to be so is an abuse to the Being of the oil.

Once this relationship with the oil is established, we can call on its divine healing principles to be with us, whether or not the physical oil is present. The stronger the relationship, the stronger the healing forces.

He also warned that there is one oil he knows that is not positive, Patchouli. It has a strong Ahrimanic force and takes away our free will. We are to be careful when dealing with it. Further caveats included the use of oils with children and those in crisis.

The most effective way to access the healing qualities of an oil is through an oil dispersion bath.

He led us through a consultation, demonstrated an oil dispersion bath and left us a list of resources.

Rahim B. Habib. ND (905-597-7201, 305 Carrville Rd , Richmond Hill is setting up oil dispersion baths according to this protocol.

The book Portraits in Oil by Phillip Mailhebianx was recommended.

Oils are available from Andrea Stanton (413-297-2802)

Thomas will return to deepen our relationship with these beings who heal us through oils.

Contact Arscura at or 905-763-1003 for more information on upcoming workshops.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why The Greeks Matter

-- By Ryan Kouroukis

Out of all the civilizations that have existed, it is perhaps the ancient Greeks that have inspired continuous generations since their brief golden legacy and have contributed more to our modern civilization in all our functions and knowing than anyone else.

Mathematics, Geometry, Science, Astrology, Theology, Medicine, Agriculture, Philosophy, History, Literature, Poetry, Art, Sculpture, Theatre, Music and Dance are among the many genres that have been mastered and developed since the Greeks had originally thrust them into public existence over 2500 years ago.

Much more than the Romans and the ancient Hindus do we owe our technology, langauge, thinking, being and doing...(even though the Greeks were indebted to the Hindus, and likewise the Romans to the Greeks).

To describe everything we've adopted from the Greeks (and Romans), we would need a tongue of iron and a palate of steel!

Rudolf Steiner knew this and I believe that this was at the root and the heart of his renewal of civilization called Anthroposophy. Everywhere we look in Steiner's ouvre, we find connections and links to the ancient Greeks, from his Mystery plays to his Cosmology, from his scientific research to his diverse philosophy. The profound thing is his use of ancient studies consolidated with modern psychology and spirituality.

Truth, Beauty and Goodness were at the foundation of Steiner's spiritual philosophy. This was spoken by the great sages of Greece: Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles and especially Plato. As a side note, it is interesting to notice Anthroposophy (in kernal form) in Buddhism. Their philosophy and way of being resembles the spirituality of ancient Greece in their use of applying the harmony of living of the three virtuistic principles of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

"Everything comes from the Greeks", a wise professor once said, and rightly so. Everything we know as civilization, order and knowledge stems mainly from the Ancient Greek world. What would we be without Homer? Or Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus, Parmenides and Empedocles? Or Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes and Menander? What about Sappho, Pindar and Theocritus? How about Herodotus and Thucydides? Or the great Alexander?

To think about all this is truly a marvel in contemplation and comprehension and the more we aquaint ourselves with the enormous output of the Ancient Greeks the more we will realize that Steiner's Anthroposophy closely follows the wisdom from that Golden Age long past but that is is also incredibly relevant to today's world and tomorrow's future.

Echoes from the Whitehorse Conference

-- by Susan Locey

After returning from the conference “Encircling Light–Expectant Silence” in the Yukon, I feel impelled to crystallize and share some of the impressions. That puts me into the context of many people of European heritage from the last four centuries who visited the Arctic and then felt impelled to write about it— the temptation is certainly there! I can only say I was surprised and moved by what I experienced, and am still trying to understand what was experienced.

The greatest—and most unexpected—surprise for me in the North was the experience of the light. Sunlight is so different in the North, even five weeks after the summer solstice. There was a bathing in light that had something to do with the gentle angle of the sun, the pouring of light over the vast landscape, and the long, gentle transitions from daylight or night into twilight. The experience at dawn was not so much of the sun rising from the horizon, as it was of light itself arising. It was a subtle self-proclaiming of the light, as if we were approaching a threshold to the realm where light is at home—a half-conscious experience of nearing the birthplace of the sun! According to Rudolf Steiner’s research, the Arctic is where the sun separated itself out of the earth sphere during the Hyperborean epoch.

I constantly felt questions arising with the light about our kinship to the light, the nature of light with all its potent and manifold substance. And there were many experiences, somehow both known and unexpected:

- Light itself seemed more “real” and powerful than what can be perceived with the light, even though light cannot by itself be seen.
- Light and darkness belong together, as in the outside and the inside of the same emanating power or being. The long transitions of twilight were the turning inside out of the essence of light.
- Light carries formative picturing forces, which are offered directly to the plant kingdom as archetypes for growth into visible and recognisable forms. In the sunlight there is life-bearing substance much more powerful than what nature is able to absorb during the short Northern summer, so that one walks in the midst of a powerful reservoir of potential for growth.

Light is a garment for spiritual beings. Different kinds of light are also indications of different beings from the hierarchies working and weaving in the light. And so the question arises, which spiritual beings are working in this light? “Who” is the spirit of light in the North? Through the content of lectures at the conference, a direction towards an answer was suggested. But if we hold back from defining a specific identity, the Prologue from John’s Gospel reveals for us a highest Being who incarnates in life and light on the way to incarnation as Man. The Logos works with and through other beings in the hierarchies, and the great span from the distant past to the distant future suggests that the spirit of light in the North is a Being intimately connected to the Christ. The distant past brings forth images from the hyperborean time when the sun was still united with the earth. The distant future points to a time when the sun will again unite with the earth.

During the conference in Whitehorse, the boundaries of different levels of consciousness were very permeable, encouraging a weaving-breathing between consciousness, dreaming half-consciousness and super-consciousness. Through artistic experiences, the heroes, prophetesses and divine beings of sagas from the North were impressed into our sensibilities, creating organs of perception in us to perceive “ordinary” people as representatives of great archetypes.

Another strong influence in the North is the close threshold between life and death. It is part of existence that death accompanies us, no matter where we are, but with the presence of the wilderness, the dangers, the extremes of frigid temperatures, months of darkness, and the stories of people who disappeared into the night and winter—all these weave for us a strong consciousness of this threshold of death. This awareness creates a heightened appreciation for the fragility of life, a profound gratitude for each day and each meeting, and for the spiritual impact of the mere deed of living!

It seems so incredibly important for the whole working together of heaven and earth that there are human beings who simply by living build the fragile bridge for impulses from above to work into humanity, as evidenced through the space given in the conference for recognising and meeting Native peoples. Their presence everywhere in the Yukon was notable and their significant contributions to humanity have for so long been overlooked by eyes that only see “results.” It is a powerful reality that human beings can contribute without necessarily creating or producing visible results other than the accomplishment of survival, the deed of life through being.

A book about early contact with the Arctic traces the story of a lone survivor from a winter whaling camp, who by sheer faith and will faced unspeakable terrors and mirages. He returned totally altered to 17th century England, living with a view beyond the normal blindness to the boundaries of life and death, sanity and insanity. In his presence an enduring calm could radiate in a healing way over other people, a power that evoked superstitious awe—but it was a hard-earned gift gained from facing his fears, his own double, and from the stark grappling with his will to survive.

Frederick Cook wrote in Return from the Pole: “the greatest mystery, the greatest unknown, is not that beyond the frontiers of knowledge but that unknown capacity in the spirit within the inner man of self… Therein is the greatest field for exploration. To have suffered the tortures and to have become resigned to the aspects of death as we did—to learn this is experience which no gold can buy. The shadow of death had given new horizons, new frontiers to life.”

If we could receive in all humility these gifts from the North as offerings from spirits of evolution, we could take up into our inner life these potential reservoirs of light forces. The Apocalypse reveals pictures of the earth in the process of dying. Perhaps this dying is like an arctic landscape, outwardly barren most of the time, but filled with potential pictures for new life. The North can reveal for us how change can lead not only to death but through death to transformation—even to resurrection.