There are some people you meet that are such a perfect archetype it almost makes you want to give a cheer. So it was meeting Mama Bessie Carine, the archetype of the Italian grandmother, down to her flowered apron, the shiny religious medals, the bun on the back of her head, her effusive welcome and parting hugs. But above all her involvement with everythIng to do with fabulous food.

Mama Carine was a young bride when she and her husband began their Italian Fish food restaurant in Forth Bragg, California in 1947 on the fisherman’s wharf there. Sixty seven years later and she is still there! Of course, she is now with her son, Dominic, waiting table with an customer-charming smile and a black tee shirt. Her husband died seven years ago, but, “What am I to do?” she asks, with that classic Italian shrug. “ I love people, I need to be here.” So she does.

With her aging knees, she still reigns at the first table welcoming customers with a beguiling smile, deftly ringing up all the sales on her ancient cash register and sending the well sated customers out the door with a hug and a cheerful, “Come back and see us!” (and they have, for many return again and again, just like family)

After a meal of bounteous and delicious food (the best clam chowder ever!) we considered different ways to return to the Ukiah valley and Dominic suggested a route going south. He sketched it out on a slip of paper. Then, he said, “You can stop at Gowan’s fruit stand just this side of Philo and say ‘hello’ to my daughter, Stephanie.”

He had proudly showed me pictures of both his daughters. “Will you go there?” he asked. “Well, probably..” I replied. So he wrote on the slip of paper, ‘Stephanie, I love you… Daddy’

“Not Pappa?” I asked? “

No, I’m Daddy,” he declared.

After taking a photo of with Mama Bessie and receiving warm hugs we were on our way. We did stop at Gowan’s fruit stand. Gordon went in and inquired if a Stephanie worked there. She was a little wary at the inquiry. But she rang up my produce with the same efficient style her grandmother was doing several dozen miles away at the same time.

I handed her the slip of paper and said, “This is from your father.”

She read it and exclaimed, “Did he tell you to come here?”

“Yes.” She read the message and blushed prettily. She looked up. “He’s never done that before.”

“Save it, honey,” I told her.

We left with an armload of corn, pears and green beans and a heart full of delight at being bearers of a message of love from father to daughter in a clan obviously devoted to hard work, great food and family. When I had left Mama Bessie Carine I had taken her hands and told her. “What joy it is to meet someone who has so perfectly fulfilled what God sent you to earth to do. Sixty seven years of feeding people beautiful food and giving them hugs on their way!” She ducked her head modestly. “ We just do our best.” she smiled. Your best is awesome, Mama Bessie Carine.. “I love the world, I love people.” she declares. That’s what we are all sent here to do!  And furthermore she has fed the multitudes for near seven decades along the way!






Michaelmas is the festival of courage, a festival that comes in the fall of the year to celebrate the Archangel Micha-el and his victory over the dragon.

Micha-el’s sword is forged of iron, forged of meteoric iron, of the radiance of the sun, the stars, and the light of spiritual truth. This flaming sword points the way to the Higher self. The way to higher spiritual knowledge. It is a sword forged with the steel of self consciousness and the will to serve the higher good within the soul, within the world.

The dragon is ubiquitous, the dragon of our lower egotistical lusts and desires. Self wrought desires rising in sulfurous, odorous clouds, coiling and writhing like a serpent, our animal nature that wants to suffocate, poison and overcome us. To take us down. To have us following the dying leaves of autumn and falling into death and oblivion. Set against this numbing annihilation of our true being, is the wide awake self consciousness of our spiritual nature and our willingness to do battle, Michaelic battle, for its expression, realization, manifestation into the power of iron-filled deeds and transformation of the soul.

Rudolf Steiner issues a cosmic spiritual challenge with the words:

Oh, Man Thou moldest iron to thy service

Thou revealest it according to value of its substance

In many of thy works.

Yet it will only bring thee healing

When to thee is revealed

The lofty power of its Spirit

Let us take these thoughts to the foot of the cross when Christ died there for the sake of all mankind, for all time. A God/ Man of perfect Love and His deed of sacrifice placed the power of renewed life, the power of resurrection into a fallen, dying world.

Below the cross the blessed Mother watches, endures, witnesses, prays and upholds her Son throughout the ordeal as only a mother can do. Mary Magdalene weeps and mourns. The disciples have fled in disbelief, shock and denial. Only one, John remains. It is these three and the other Holy women that will bear witness to the greatest deed on earth at the end. These and the Roman executioners and those awe filled soldiers who were made believers in an instant from what they had beheld.

The body is taken from the cross by Joseph of Arimathaea, Nicodemus and the servants. Imagine after the ominous rumblings and shaking of the earthquake, the erie dimmed sun, that now a profound silence that prevails. A strangely potent silence, for every one involved with caring for the mutilated body of the Savior, is filled with the deepest humanity, the deepest humility, the deepest awe. A skillful reverent team responds to this amazing tragic wonder with the most ardent devotion that can live in a human heart, or work through human hands.

One by one the three iron nails are pounded out with a powerful iron hammer.( Man! thou moldest iron to thy service… thou revealest it according to the value of its substance in many of thy works.) The blood-haloed wounds, which have bled the world transforming Holy blood into the earth in an intensely unholy time, are revealed for all to see.

The third great spike, which held both feet together is pounded through and out, the sound ringing in announcement of the Deed into the hallowed atmosphere. The body, secured with swaths of cloth, is slowly and reverently lowered onto the earth and laid with His head in the lap of the Mother. The feet are held in the trembling hands and bathed in the tears of Magdalene.

In utter sorrow, in utter devotion the mother removes the crown of thorns encircling His head. Though she is pierced through and through with pain and grief, never has she turned away or not been present with full consciousness, her open, loving, courage-filled soul deeply inscribed with every detail and every moment of the unfolding world changing drama that is taking place. She responds with unceasing prayer and love. His mission in Her mission.

The men come before the blessed Mother with the three nails, the rude iron spikes of His crucifixion and instruments of His death, and present them to her. She takes the heavy bloodied spikes into her grace-filled hands, folds them in her mantle and presses them to her heart before laying them gently on a cloth as she attends to her Son. She is pulling the remaining thorns from his forehead, washing away the blood and gently pressing precious ointment into the terrible wounds of his face, side, hands and feet. She reverently kisses his beloved face.

The Blessed Mother, the holiest human expression of the sanctified human Soul, the archetype of pure soul capacity to receive the spirit. The blessed Mother receives the three iron nails and holds them to her heart. The three nails that caused the death of her son and left the marks of his sacrifice on the body.

Her love is the perfect mother love, the primal life substance every soul yearns to receive. Her communion was the perfect communion, heart to heart, a common rhythmic beat flowed between them as He lived out his last moments. He took on the excruciating pain of the sins of mankind and she took them on with Him in her soul.

For it had been prophesied to her by Simeon in the temple at the Christ child’s presentation, “ Yea, and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul that thoughts out of many hearts shall be revealed.” Mary’s heart was pierced with the three nails because she knew Him in Love. That she too, would know, feel, understand, the needs of humanity in all the cycles of time to come. (...it will only bring healing when to thee is revealed the lofty power of its Spirit.)

This Holy gift given by Christ on the cross. Received by Mary, the pure World Soul, held to the heart of the Mother, the three blood soaked iron nails, symbols of iron Will baptized in Holy blood. Mary, the perfect soul, receives the iron nails of sacrifice, purified by the perfect God/human Christ, that our blood may be purified by Christ. Michael gives the strength, Christ the purification, Mary/Sophia offers the virgin soul that receives this power that it may work in our soul, in our body, and in our blood. That we may also perform love-filled deeds. (..It will only bring thee healing when to thee is revealed the lofty power of its Spirit.) 

Our hands generate the actions of the creative will, in our feet are the steps with which we walk our destiny path and take our stance to meet life. Will manifest. Michael, the universal image of cosmic strength and courage, is the one who works through the will with Christ.

Into the heart of perfect Will the Christ received the wounds of the iron nails, in the hands, in the feet. The heart of His will was ultimately pierced in his final earthly deed giving up His body for all humanity so that He could dwell in us, meet us in our hearts and our wills that we might walk we Him, act in His name, do deeds in His service. He bore them by taking on the sacrifice in the will. His will is the will of love. In Him every thought, every word, every deed was performed with love. He purified the will. He imbued the will with Love..Love in the will. Love for the will. Love for the deed. Love for what can be done.

Michaelmas is a festival of Courage. Michaelmas is the festival of the Will, Michaelic iron Will. The awakened self conscious will to action, to deeds333, to make the transformation, to confront the foe, in the soul, in the outer world. Love Filled Deeds with Iron Strong Will. Through Michael, Sophia and Christ do we know the purity and love that will be our strength for life. May our souls have the courage to receive the great gift of Michaelmas, the gift given at the turning point of time in the Holy Act of Sacrifice on the cross.

Nancy Jewel Poer, September, 2014


September 6, 2014

Gordon arose one morning recently, wanting to get involved with some satisfying project and found he had the ‘ willing’ part but not the ‘able’ part to go along with it. He wearily stated he simply had no ambition. I gave a wry laugh and said, “I think it’s called ‘old age’.” But that wasn’t exactly a helpful comment.

We sang our morning grace and ate breakfast out on our newly rebuilt deck and enjoyed the clear morning. When we came back inside he was inspired to listen to music, something we hadn’t done in a long time. He found a CD of Beethoven’s works and clicked the selection to the 9th Symphony. Sitting in the big chair across from him, I was startled when the music of the chorus rang out into the room. I dropped everything and listened with him. The mighty celestial majesty of this great gift to humanity struck us both at the same time and the tears began to flow, streaming down our aged cheeks. So emotionally filled and moved, we were overflowing. “You went right to the top!”, I commented through sobs on his choice of music to play. Indeed he had. We wept on.

What poignant uplifting inspiration for the human soul and spirit! I was thinking of the genius of Beethoven, that intense, gifted, and driven man who boldly drove himself right across the threshold into the spiritual world to receive inspiration from the Gods. There with his extraordinary capacities he was able to listen and inwardly receive what must be an overture from the ‘music of the spheres’. (How stunning to think that outwardly in the earthly senses he was deaf!) ‘ With his Promethean strength he was able to grasp the mighty tones and melodies and write them into his heart and soul and bring them back to us. How thankful we can be for that!

Oh, that splendid music! Through such music we have glimpses of heaven on earth. As Gordon and I move closer to the threshold ourselves, such music rises like the beckoning of dawn in the spiritual world. What wonders may lie ahead for us when we, disembodied, may be privileged to hear it first hand? Oh, the glory of that thought!

So for now we sit here in our aging bodies, less able to accomplish what we formerly did on the physical plane, but don’t think the soul and spirit can’t soar as we weep with the beauty and wonder of such splendid heavenly inspired music……Praise be to God!