One Minute Reflection – 19 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15 and the Memorial of Blessed Alvarez of Cordova OP (c 1350–c 1430) “Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15 REFLECTION – “Although it is true, that the washing of regeneration is what chiefly makes “people new” (cf. Eph 4,24 […]One Minute Reflection – 19 February – “Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15 — AnaStpaul
Thought for the Day – 24 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) Following Jesus – The Way, the Truth and the Life “Jesus is not only Truth – He is also Life.He is not only our Teacher – He is our Saviour as well.He has given us something which human philosophers could never […]Thought for the Day – 24 January – Following Jesus – The Way, the Truth and the Life — AnaStpaul
Martin Luther writes to George Spalatin in Nuremberg,  reminding him of Luther’s request for Spalatin to write some hymns in German and sending some other news. Quotation: Master George Spalatin, court evangelist, my dearest friend in the Lord: Grace and peace! I have no news to write you, my dear Spalatin, except that I […]January 14, 1524 — Today’s Luther
One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18 When Herod realised that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and […]One Minute Reflection – 28 December – “The servant is not greater than his lord” — AnaStpaul
The Larimer School was built in 1896 – named for William Larimer Jr., who opened the first Conestoga wagon business in the Pittsburgh area. Larimer …Larimer School – A Historic 1800s School Abandoned Since 1982
From lime wood and oak
faith’s testimony emerged
A forgotten world
copyright Francis Barker 2020
The church is a tidy corner of my mind,
a space safe from intrusion,
for only like-minded souls may enter.
There is a code, not for dress, but for respect
and yes, the truth – true as light enters
from the south window and door,
as sure as nature rules over us
by allegory and design
copyright Francis Barker 2020
The voice and song remind me
of why I don’t come.
The words and the platitudes wash over me,
echo and reverberate around this sacred space,
crying for heaven
though never finding any home.
The bats are nearer but unaware
of their advantage,
leaving me staring high into this perpendicular sky.
Is this all that is left?
Listening to Betjeman and Vaughan Williams
to stir us up,
to remind us of what once was.
This is me and you coming here,
though never spiritual partakers
in a creed we can’t believe.
Give me the fire and brimstone,
a faith which disturbs me
into knowing I’m not already saved.
It is better than this – looking up in awe
into a world that is lost.
words and photographs copyright Francis Barker 2019
If the Christian Reformation could be said to have a starting date, it must surely be the day of October 31 1517, when Martin Luther, Augustinian Doctor of Theology at the University of Wittenberg, is said to have nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints Church in that German city.
What is not generally acknowledged is the hard work and mental torture that this man must have gone through to get to that crucial point, basically becoming exasperated with such practices as the selling of indulgences, which supposedly reduced a person’s time in purgatory.
A passionately intense man
According to the birth data given, Luther was born with Leo rising, making the Sun his ruler, which is found in Scorpio in house 4. Essentially, here is a lover of life, a deeply passionate and intense person who is interested not only in his family and background but also the fundamentals of life – what he saw as the truth, stripped back to brass tacks.
His Sun is in good aspect to Chiron in house 8, indicating that he suffered much through his deeply penetrating attitude, his wish to get to the fundamentals, but which also put him in to a positive position to help others later.
This can be seen through his encouragement to look to scripture, rather than the other teachings of the then Catholic church. This would necessitate the translation of the Bible into the native tongues of Europe, something which Luther also encouraged.
Black and white
His character is also moulded strongly by the elements; he has no planetary activity in earth and lots in fire and water.
He clearly saw things in black and white, he was emotional, intense, and with the Moon in Aries in house 9, he could be a bit of a firebrand, reacting quickly, strongly, angrily at times, especially in mental pursuits, perhaps most particularly in higher mind/philosophical areas. This was only exacerbated by the Moon’s opposition of Pluto in house 3. He clearly often felt blocked by the intransigence of the Catholic authorities, who were not supportive of his wish to reform and sweep away.
Strongly defining conjunctions
His character is also strongly defined by two important conjunctions. Mercury is almost exactly conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius in house 5.
He had a free thinking, creative mind, able to quickly grasp ideas and philosophy, but behind all this was a strong sense of spirituality, a connection to the numinous (Neptune); it’s almost like having a direct line to God, or believing that you have. I think this was a most important trait.
The other highly symbolic conjunction was between Venus and Saturn in Scorpio in house 4. Though deeply and powerfully emotional, he was also mightily controlled, willing to endure suffering, loss, privation even torture for what he believed.
He certainly did not ‘get his kicks’ from any run of the mill enjoyment and would probably view most earthly pleasures as pointless and tedious. The strength of these two conjunctions alone, are a prime indication of his motivation to become a priest/friar in the first place.
Add to this the cutting zeal of Mars in Scorpio (aided by loose conjunction with Jupiter) in house 4, being the ruler of house 9 of philosophy and religion, plus the above said conditioning of Venus, being the ruler of house 3 of the everyday mentality, and a picture of him fully emerges as someone of complete determination and belief that his deeply felt spiritual cause is correct.
Most interestingly, the north node in house 9 is exactly opposite Jupiter in house 3. The north node shows where are meant to go in life and in his case it is towards a more outer, philosophical direction, a direction which he certainly led.
The harder – but only choice
It would have been much easier for him to have continued as a Doctor of Theology, which, although clearly religious, is very much more house 3 activity than 9, especially in the way the Catholic church was structured then, where he stood to glean much, even materially, from his position in Wittenberg University. Such was the strength of his belief and conviction, he decided to take the harder route and thus became the historical figure he is now.
Few other people, especially common people, have had such an impact on history, a fact which I believe is fully shown in the quality of the chart of his nativity.
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019
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Recently, there was a flower festival in Crowland Abbey church in the extreme south of the county of Lincolnshire. The theme was decades over the past one hundred years.
copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019
copyright pictures Francis Barker 2019