Personal Disclaimer

I am not currently in the Anthroposophical Society and this site does not necessarily  represent the Society’s perspective. When I was a part of the first class, however, I took the admonition to represent Anthroposophy in the world seriously and I still do. I apologize for any flaws in this site but whatever flaws there are (aside from what is inherently flawed in the realm of computers and digital communication), they are mine. It is intended as one inroad from outside and for that reason, and other reasons as well, it may be helpful to lead others to Anthroposophy or Anthroposophical initiatives of both larger groups and individuals. By Anthroposophy and Anthroposophical I mean: that which flows from and through Spiritual Science and the being Anthroposophia . I don’t presume that what I am doing with this site and my own artistic practice is purely Anthroposophical, nor that it is necessarily acceptable to others involved with Anthroposophy.

I see the experience of hopelessness, terror, and despair as a common experience of our times. Finding Anthroposophy in my quest for truth and wholeness in the midst of a tumultuous life has been a Godsend. Our lives can seem incredibly complex and fragmented. I am trying to do something in my small way towards expanding the circle of wholeness, specifically in the Arts, which I have accepted as my calling.

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Reuniting of Sun and Earth/ Marriage of Earth and Sky Done by myself in the 1990’s, edited from a photograph salvaged from contents of my flooded van in 2009. The original was sent to Maria St. Goar in expression of my gratitude to her.

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THE GRAIL TRIPTYCH

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The Grail Triptych, 1909-13, by Anna May von Richter [Rychter], Destroyed by bombing during World War II.

Something that Steiner said in his lectures on art (The Arts and Their Mission) struck me very strongly (among other things),  that it didn’t matter whether  art used naturalism or not but what mattered was whether the spirit shone through in the work. This is an inadequate paraphrase. I recently came across an early 20th century artist that proved this to me. Her style was so unique and unlike other Anthroposophical art practitioners that It convinced me of what I was sure was possible. There is a real embodiment of Anthroposophical experience but with a very different style to other Anthroposophical artists. I came across this extraordinary image along with an essay by Margarethe Hauschka about the work, while looking for something else on the Internet. A translation of the essay by Sonia Homrich may be found at the following link: https://plus.google.com/+SoniaHomrich/posts/LtR4qRoTy4A

 My consciousness continually draws parallels from sometimes disparate things. When I saw this image what came to mind was a great 20th century work,  Der Krieg, by Otto Dix. Anna May von Richter’s work seems an antidote to the horror and suffering depicted in Dix’s work.

The promise of Early 20th century spiritual trans-formative impulses, though devastated by 2 World Wars and numerous other disasters perpetrated and perpetuated by human beings, has never-the-less survived in the seeds of that promise, which continue to sprout and grow, despite the continuation of human horrors, into the 21st Century. I bare witness to this in my life and in the lives of those I encounter who continue to strive for the spirit in the midst of grief and suffering, preparing the way for joy and wisdom.

 

 

The Art Section Newsletter

I just received the most recent issue of theNewsletterheadproduced in the USA by David Adams. I was struck once again by the diversity of what each issue contains and heartened by what seems to be an increased inclusiveness among practitioners and participants influenced by Anthroposophy in the Arts.

PDFs of most back issues can be found posted on the website of the Visual Arts Section in North American:  http://northamericanartsection.blogspot.com/

Here are some Specific images from the most recent issue, both from an article discussing “Anthroposphical Art” by Reinhold Fäth entitled:  From: The Aenigma Constellation -One Hundred Years of Anthroposophical Art.

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Adelheid Petersen It Is Speaking out of Three Black Circles 1913 gouache, watercolor on paper 33.6 x 41.5 cm, Rudolf Steiner Archive, Dornach

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Hilma af Klimt Dove No. 2, Group IC, Series UW 1915 oil on canvas 151 x 152 cm, Hilma af Klimt Foundation, Stockholm

For a subscription to The Art Section Newsletter, Click this Link:

ASNL SubscrpsLetr Dec15

A Poem for Advent

Advent 2015

I feel, I may,

Like Mary felt,

Visited by God

Then Raphael,

Then Jesus lain

In swaddling cloth.

A child’s thought

Had crossed my thoughts;

I crossed my feet

As Christ’s were crossed,

But where the nail

May then seen thrust

Through bone and sinew,

Blood stream forth,

I saw a vision of the Son,

Expanding light,

As sun stream forth

Like Eden shone:

A newborn Earth.

Domestically Creative

One of my nieces, Enid York Hancock, posted the following verse and image on her Facebook page. It is a good example of how a domestic interior can have spiritual vitality even with a few things like a simple Lazured wall and interesting, soulful furnishings. I thought it was worth Sharing:

People look east
The time is near
Of the crowning of the year
Make your house fair as you are able
Trim the hearth and set the table
People look east and sing today
Love the Guest is on the way

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She emailed me this description:

“Dear Stephen
Dan Pate did the painting. I lazured the wall by watering down a sample size($2.97?) jar of old fuschia home depot Glidden eggshell paint and applying with a floor scrub brush ( not the vehicle I recommend for painting, too many drips) so I applied a lighter layer with a kitchen microfiber rag…seemed to work and the sample is enough for the whole room with some to spare . I picked up the old vanity from an antique market in Lavonia  in 2012, it is my favorite piece of furniture I own, with that moonlike mirror. I am thinking that it is at least a hundred years old. I covered the cushions of a glider found out for trash pickup with batik patchwork and a lambskin rug and used a round red rug from Ikea to focus some warmth through color as we have no hearth in the house.
A peaceful Advent to you.
Love”

The poem/song in its entirety:

People, look east

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.

Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Words and Music: Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965), 1928

Enid e-mailed the following information on Eleanor Farjeon:
“People, Look East was written by Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965) and was first published as Carol of Advent in The Oxford Book of Carols, 1928, using the tune from the French carol Besancon. It is a strange carol, for while it looks to Advent, and the coming of Christ, it does not use stock religious imagery, but breaks free with new forms.
She also wrote Morning has Broken and was a Theosophist. Interesting!

She had another well known hymn to her name. Percy Dearmer suggested to her that she should write for his Enlarged Songs of Praise (1931), and Morning Has Broken resulted from that, set to the Gaelic melody Bunessan. Like  People, Look East, this is not a conventional hymn, theology heavy, but a lyrical almost mystical song of creation, which is perhaps why, with Cat Stevens singing, and an arrangement of its tune by Rick Wakeman, it found its way quite remarkably onto the popular music charts, and is still very popular today.

Eleanor Farjeon was London born, and in 1951, became a Roman Catholic. She regarded her faith as “a progression toward which her spiritual life moved rather than a conversion experience”.

However, her faith was not conventional. She was a contributor to Orpheus, the journal of the Art Movement of the Theosophical Society, produced in London between 1907 and 1914, and which was on the fringes of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement. The editorial of the journal stated, “We are a group of artists who revolt against the materialism of most contemporary art.” . Possibly some of the poems from this period were compiled in her book of poetry Pan-Worship : and Other Poems.”

Her References:
The Presbyterian Hymnal Companion, LindaJo K. McKim, 1993, p. 323.
(Note: this wrongly gives the date of her Catholicism as when she was 17)
The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study. J. R. Watson, 1999, p526.
The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928., Elizabeth
Crawford, 1999, p287
Cruelty and Companionship: Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Married Life.
James Hammerton, 1992, pp137-138.
Harlequin; Or, the Rise and Fall of a Bergamask Rogue. Thelma Niklaus, 1956,
p176.
A Nursery in the Nineties, Eleanor Farjeon, 1935