Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Holy Nights at Arscura

- Submitted by Vibeke Ball

On December 29/30 a group of 17 met again for another art/study session in the holy nights. This is becoming a new tradition as we meet on two consecutive days sharing a pot luck dinner and conversation on the evening of the first meeting day. The idea of this originally arose the year after our "Angel workshop" with Christian von Grumbkow and Stephanie Wollenhaupt.

Last year we worked artistically on the verse by Rudolf Steiner 'Behold the Sun at the Midnight Hour' and our paintings set the stage in the community room at the Christian Community at 901 Rutherford Road in Vaughn, for the performance of the "Dreamsong of Olaf Aesteson".

This year, Regine Kurek led us into a different kind of work. As previously, we looked again at the language of the stars at this time and tried to see how this cosmic language could lead us, inspire us to a creative deed together. Reading from the Saturn-Uranus opposition this year, we learned to understand this time (2008-9), as a preparation, a time where the old and the new come up to face each other everywhere. The guiding words were: Setting the stage! Relinquish certainty (Saturn), Embrace discovery (Uranus)!

We shared with each other how it had been, to hold a ‘seed thought’ from last year over into this year and what new arose from and by doing that.

Regine then brought our attention to what could be seen as the second phase in this cosmic process, without the first one necessarily being completed. The second phase is being heralded by the slow moving Saturn-Pluto square. Following on from this confrontation between the old and the new, now a ‘new season’ begins, from the end of 2009 into 2010 and we are called to become participators in this cosmic journey, by actively turning to embrace the unknown and make small changes in our life in order to practice this transformation that is or wants to take place.

For our painting process, we now identified a colour suited for this: the peach blossom, colour of transformed darkness into a new light, the inner light of the soul. This is also the colour Rudolf Steiner gave to the eurythmists in the sun zodiac as the colour of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn. We painted peach blossom, first each on our own, gathering its qualities from the paintings that emerged, then a second time, this time with a partner, to let peach blossom arise between us.

When gathering qualities of this colour we realized that it is hard to find it in nature. Some qualities we experienced in us, are: gentle, mild, mysterious, surprising, ever lasting, shaded, quiet but strong. We could experience its presence entering the room.

The third step in our star journey was to come to the time when Uranus squares Pluto and this will happen in the near future during the years 2012-2015 and signify a forward movement in which we can all take part actively, if we are prepared and, wakeful to the signs of the time, willing to step in and play our part in large groups, yet, as individualities.

There are many other aspects that could be pointed out on this star journey, but Regine wanted to mainly point to these as something concrete we could all take into our year.

We followed up this insight-step through painting two more times. The first picture challenged us all into becoming consciously a vessel for this emerging ‘Being of Peach Blossom’ by paint ing one large picture all together. This required an intense group process of participation in many different ways, but most of all a willingness to let one's own ideas be changed or developed by others while at the same time, "taking care" of someone else's shape or movement. On the other hand, there was the risk of bringing something in that, hopefully wasn't perceived as arbitrary or destructive. At the same time all emphasis was to "serve" peach blossom to manifest. There was a moment in this hour long painting process when one would have heard a pin drop to the floor, so silently and intent on the task, was the work. Towards the end we all looked up and saw each other, standing in space as individualities, like players in a drama of cosmic dimension and amongst us , palpable, was peach blossom’s presence: love! There was a momentous pause. Then each added a last gift and ‘it’ was done.

Qualities that were present in the painting and had manifested in the room amongst us were: united, flowing, movement, great stream, river of life, becoming, creating, time and eternity, Sophia, wisdom of the world, love.

In our study, Regine now invited us back to the circle where the 50 qualities were laid out on individual cards, each representing a guiding force, an Angel and we each took a card that gave us a new impulse and that we took upon ourselves to carry with us into our year . We now set out to paint another individual picture. We started with an impulse from our previous work and added a new individual gesture, reaching into the future toward our guiding angel for the year to come.

This was our last hour of painting. At the end, as we each stood before our last paintings, we all committed to "embrace discovery" and "relinquish certainty", meet and engage courageously and creatively with what the year will bring!

This time, our common painting became the stage setting for Olaf Aesteson as Elizabeth once more sang of the journey through the holy nights, until "the thirteenth day, when Olaf wakes up from his sleep so deep so long".

(Olaf=human being; the dream song=the journey of the individuality between lives and also the dream journey during the holy nights every year as we review the year that has passed and prepare for the new year to come).

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