The special Michaelmas webinar, Hearts Are Beginning To Have Thoughts, with Rev. Patrick Kennedy is available now online, video and audio (and PowerPoint slides). To access the video recording, click here. To listen only, click here. Patrick teaches at the Christian Community Seminary in Spring Valley, NY. — Thanks to all who offered donations to help make this webinar and others like it possible! To donate to ASA Programs, please click here.


"On 21 June 2017, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament adopted a joint report on "a new skills agenda for Europe." ECSWE (The European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education), together with other partners and its national members has successfully lobbied committee members to include amendments calling for an age- and development-appropriate media-pedagogy. This is an important step for the European Waldorf movement. If adopted in the plenary in September, the report will allow us to initiate a debate on how to teach digital skills in an age- and development-appropriate way." More on this story...


For the NBC Today Show, Maria Shriver recently prepared a report on the One Gun Ranch in Malibu, CA, where biodynamic agriculture is at the heart of nutrition, healing the earth, rescuing animals, and teaching kids who may not know where food comes from.

The Today Show crew responds to a report on BD by Maria Shriver (second from right)

Bobby Matherne has thoughtfully reviewed scores of volumes of Rudolf Steiner's work in his wide-ranging Cajun-based e-newsletter. This month he explores Volume 2 of the Selected Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American precursor of anthroposophy. Reading Emerson's Self-Reliance at 18, he says, "I was never the same. Everything I experienced afterward took on new meaning and importance in the light of Emerson's powerful searchlight which flooded my soul." Read the review here.


Huffpost contributor Carol Smaldino recounts a truly holistic experience of food, wine, landscape, and well-formed concepts of a biodynamic vintner near Lucca, Italy. "We were at the Tenuta di Valgiano, with Laura di Collobiano, proprietaria (owner)... Laura 'had me' at two expressions; actually it was more than that. One was the title of this piece, that 'wine is the liquid expression of the landscape.' The second, equally as important, was, 'It's not money that makes good wine. Wine is the project of a lifetime.' ... In addition, Laura spoke about the use of pesticides. She and others in the field of biodynamic farming see themselves not as 'fighters of disease but as creators of health.' It was fascinating to hear how it can be practical to be healthy, practical to cooperate with other farmers and makers of wine in an atmosphere where people are glad for the variety of products, realizing that no one person or azienda can do or make everything. And it turns out the 70% of agriculture in Lucca is in fact biodynamic, encouraging also." Read the whole article here.


Ibrahim Abouleish (23 March 1937 - 15 June 2017) was born in Egypt, but went to study in Austria, where he became a successful researcher. Having met anthroposophy, biodynamic farming and his wife there, his concern about his own country kept growing. He returned to Egypt and bought 70 hectares of barren desert land, which he gradually transformed into fertile fields, using biodynamic farming principles. Over the years numerous – independent and associated – farms were added, as well as production and training centres, medical institutions, a kindergarten, a school, a university, research and cultural institutions, to form what is now Sekem, the «miracle in the desert» that is known all over the world and has won many awards.

Ibrahim Abouleish was small in stature, delicate, kind, warm-hearted, attentive, sensitive but strong and determined – and he had a big soul! His vision, which he purposefully put into practice, was not restricted to physical achievements but included social forms that reflect the dignity of each individual, a future associative and sustainable economy and a deepened understanding between east and west, Islam and Christianity, made possible by anthroposophy. I bow with reverence, gratitude and love to his earthly achievements. | Gerald Häfner, Goetheanum, from Anthroposophy Worldwide 7-8/17


Matthias Girke (photo: Heike Sommer)

Matthias Girke is the newest member of the Executive Council at the Goetheanum. On April 8th, 2017, the members of the General Anthroposophical Society confirmed the proposal to include the physician and clinic co-founder from Berlin. He has been head of the Medical Section at the Goetheanum since September 2016.

As the School of Spiritual Science and headquarters of the Anthroposophical Society, the Goetheanum has been undergoing a reform process for several years. Contemporary forms for a globally active membership-society and closer ties to people active in anthroposophic institutions, companies and organizations are the main objectives for the transformation of a society founded in 1923.

Members of the executive council are re-elected every seven years; the council and the leaders of the eleven special sections of the School of Spiritual Science have formed the Goetheanum leadership for several years. And the representatives of the Anthroposophical Societies in the respective countries are increasingly involved in the decision-making processes at the Goetheanum.

An internist from Berlin, Matthias Girke's has medical competence in internal medicine, diabetology, and palliative medicine. He is also a recognized public contributor concerning Waldorf education and biodynamic agriculture. He was a co-founder and senior physician at the Havelhöhe Community Hospital in Berlin, and a long-term board member of the anthroposophic physicians and anthroposophic medicine organizations in Germany.  [From goetheanum.org]


Is the Heart Moved by the Blood, Rather Than Vice Versa?

Walter Alexander has written a concise report for Pharmacy and Therapeutics Community Online on the work of Branko Furst, MD, in The Heart and Circulation: An Integrative Model (2014). It begins with what few lay people may know: that "Attempts to replace failing hearts permanently with fully mechanical ones, after years of experimental and clinical trials, have largely been abandoned because of high patient mortality..."

In the face of the entrenched paradigm that the heart pumps the blood through the body, Dr. Furst "marshals the evidence against the standard propulsion pump model and presents an alternative that may open new avenues for understanding circulation and, ultimately, pharmacotherapy."

The article is available online and an illustrated PDF is available to download. It is written for professionals but is well worth working through.

To challenge the prevailing paradigm in any field is difficult, and in the case of heart function, with its notoriously complex dynamics, myriad of interrelated influencing factors, and vast diagnostic and therapeutic implications, it is a prodigious undertaking. Dr. Furst has provided more than 800 supporting references in his book and the journal article. It is far beyond the scope of this article to fairly represent the range of this content. However, we will attempt to review the basic argument and rationale for such a challenge and give the reader a compass for delving more deeply into the underlying research.

[Update:] The publication in a peer-reviewed journal of this article opposing the “heart-as-pump” model and crediting Rudolf Steiner with its early mention represents a breakthrough to the conventional medical community.



Learning the Language of Healing Plants

Thu, Oct 05 2017 to Thu, Mar 01 2018
Location: Online Webinar

A PAAM Distance Learning Course [more]

The Practice of Forgiveness

Thu, Oct 19 2017 7:15 PM to 9:15 PM
Location: Hawthorne Valley School 330 County Route 21CGhent, NY 12075

Mark Riccio will teach the practice of forgiveness [more]

Thomas Meyer Lecture Tour - Denver

Fri, Oct 20 2017 to Sat, Oct 21 2017
Location: Denver, CO

Three lectures over the weekend of October 20-21 [more]

Rudolf Steiner’s Heart-logik Meditation

Fri, Oct 20 2017 7:00 PM to Sat, Oct 21 2017 4:00 PM
Location: Ghent, NY

Learning the Basics of Rudolf Steiner’s Heart-logik Method of Writing and Meditation [more]

Farm-to-Table Dinner

Sat, Oct 21 2017 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: Chestnut Ridge, NY

Benefit for the Pfeiffer Center [more]



The Guardian has a lengthy new article in its "sustainable business" section: "Biodynamic farming is on the rise – but how effective is this alternative agricultural practice?" It focuses on Apricot Lane Farms and opens,

When John Chester, a filmmaker from California, quit his job to become a farmer, he didn’t do it out of a desire to “feed the world”. Instead, he says: “I’m trying to feed my neighbors – and if everyone did that, we would be able to replicate this.”

The article includes extensive comments from Elizabeth Candelario, co-director of Demeter USA, the nonprofit certifier of biodynamic farms and consumer products.

Critics are heard whose point is that biodynamics was not developed using the "scientific method."

While the more spiritual and unconventional aspects of biodynamics don’t appeal to all farmers, for some, a personal connection to the land is crucial to their agricultural practice. “You may find some who practice biodynamic because it is a sound agronomic system that delivers real benefits to the farm like healthier soil, better crops, more vibrant ecology,” Candelario says. “You may also find some biodynamic farmers who would agree with all that plus they may describe their personal relationship with their farm that speaks to a deeper connection with the farm and its place in nature.”

Read more...


Herbert Hagens has again kindly provided dates for following the 52 verses of Rudolf Steiner's Calendar of the Soul through the fifty weeks from Easter 2017 to Easter 2018. You can view and print out his suggestions from this PDF.

Steiner created the Calendar of the Soul in 1912, and you are also most welcome to read or reread here the special section of being human that greeted that centennial. Gertrude Reif Hughes explained:

“The course of the year has its own life,” said Rudolf Steiner in the 1918 preface to his Calendar of the Soul. As human beings we can “unfold a feeling-unison” with it. We can breathe out with the earth, from spring’s sprouting and blossoming to high summer; then we can follow the earth’s in-breathing as it moves through autumn to the depths of winter. The fifty-two verses of the Calendar, one for each week of the year, follow the year’s cycle, and allow us to perceive the changes around us in terms of our own inner activity. The verses alert the soul, says Steiner’s preface, to “the delicate yet vital threads ... between it and the world into which it has been born.” Coleridge called those threads “the one life within us and abroad.” Robert Frost wrote of inner and outer weather. The Calendar connects them at a deep level, an esoteric one.

You can view available editions and translations at SteinerBooks.


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