NATIONAL CAPITAL LODGE 2019 PROGRAM
Members’ Meeting:  11 PM
Public Meeting:  12 PM

January

January 5 What is Theosophy? The word theosophy has a Greek origin and literary means “Divine Wisdom”.  Yet, in the Theosophical Society, theosophy is interpreted both as a body of teachings and a religio-philosophical approach to life.  Join our first public meeting for the new 2019 where Washington DC lodge members will discuss what has drawn them to the teachings and how theosophy has influenced their everyday lives.  Everybody is welcome and encouraged to share their own personal experience.

January 12 Francis Bacon on Death and Delays One of the leading figures in natural philosophy and scientific methodology in the period of transition from the Renaissance to the early modern era, Francis Bacon (1561–1626) wrote on questions of religion, society and ethics. Famous for his brief essays written in aphoristic style, he challenged his contemporaries to explore old topics through a new lens. During this discussion, we will discuss two short essays on Death and Delays.

January 19 Apollonius About 2000 years ago two men were born, each with a mission: to revitalize a religion whose followers had lost touch with its spiritual essence: Jesus and Apollonius.  One is known world-wide, and the short life of the other left no written record.  Join us to hear the story of Apollonius to glimpse a spiritual life as well as everyday life of that corner of the Roman Empire.

January 26 Free Association Writing Hypnotherapist and Life Coach, Desiree Holmes Scherini will discuss her experience of how free association writing helped her to connect with her subconscious mind and gain personal insights, and how you can use it for yourself. Her writings became the basis of her book “Journey to Joy – The Written Path” which is formatted to be used by the reader as “self-help” for personal insight. She uses what she learned through her experience as one of the ways she works with her life coaching/hypnosis clients. She calls this “The Intuitive Insight Process”. She will discuss how intuitive writing and automatic writing can connect us to both our sub-conscious and our super-conscious. If time, and interest, allows, she will lead a group meditation to open the students to access their subconscious mind and try the process for themselves. While in this open state they will write with free association, with the guidance to write something that will be of use for their personal awareness.
You can learn more about Desiree’s work at www.intuitivejourneywithdesiree.com and www.transhypnotherapy.com.

February

February 2 Sharing Experiences of Grace In the course of our lives, we may find ourselves blessed to experience or witness improbable acts of great loving-kindness, rectitude, what we may consider miracles or highly improbable synchronicity. Join us at this roundtable discussion to share such inspiring events and be encouraged by what colleagues have experienced.

February 9 The Countess Wachtmeister Countess Constance Wachtmeister was the companion and coworker of Helena Blavatksy from 1885 until Blavatsky’s death in 1891. She lectured widely in the 1890s, and helped Annie Besant to form lodges in the United States. Susanne Hoepfl-Wellenhofer will give  a presentation about this prominent and devoted Theosophist.

February 16 Death and the Afterlife, Part 1 Based on the Society’s National Lodge course, this presentation explores the history of human thought about death and the afterlife. It starts by approaching some physiological facts about the death process, then traces beliefs about heaven, hell, purgatory, reincarnation, and others from prehistory to the present.

February 23 Death and the Afterlife, Part 2 
Based on the Society’s National Lodge course, this presentation continues to explore the history of human thought about death and the afterlife.

March

March 2   The Hypnotic State of Mind
Hypnotherapist, Desiree Holmes Scherini, CHt, will give a presentation on how hypnosis works with our brains to open access to our minds.  A brief group hypnosis will demonstrate the power of hypnotic suggestion.  Group discussion of how hypnosis can be a path to both our lower and higher mind will close the presentation. 

March 9 
Theosophical Notions of Duality or Paradox
Theosophical writers have described a number of concepts that at first glance may appear self-contradictory or imply a certain duality of existence such as the assumption of no unmerited karma and the discouragement of punishment in lieu of ultimate karma.  Join us for a roundtable discussion as consider these ideas and share our own points of view.

March 16   Way of the Mystic – St. Teresa of Avila’s Life and Teaching
A video presentation on St. Teresa of Avila, who encouraged spiritual contemplation through mental prayer.  A prominent Spanish mystic, a Roman Catholic saint and a Carmelite nun, St. Teresa believed that no intermediary was necessary for the soul’s union with God and wrote about four distinct stages of the soul’s ascent.

March 23    The Life and Teachings of Gurdjieff: A Short Introduction
George Gurdjieff was a 20th century mystic, philosopher and spiritual teacher who urged his followers to awaken to a higher state of consciousness in order to achieve their full human potential.  His method provided a unique set of instructions of self-development called The Fourth Way.  After a short video presentation, a lodge member will answer questions.

March 30   Eleusinian Mysteries
The Eleusinian Mysteries, the most famous esoteric rites of ancient Greece, were initiations held every year for the cult of the goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone.  Based on an old agrarian cult, they represent the never-ending cycle of birth, death and rebirth.  Performed during a major festival over hundreds and hundreds of years, the Eleusinian Mysteries have captured the imagination of occultist from antiquity to the present day.

 

 April

April 6   The Major and Minor Rays of Fohat (Presentation begins at 11:30 am)
TSA National Speaker David Winfree will share new esoteric insights into the nature of the cosmic force that Theosophists call Fohat. He will elaborate on the major and minor rays of Fohat with a primary focus on how Fohat expresses to instantiate each Soul and how Fohat vitalizes and animates our subtle multilevel energetic anatomy, and our Personality. David will also illuminate how Fohat energizes archetypal vibrational patterns to create diversity of expression and will share empowering insights for how individuals who are awake and highly motivated can intentionally connect with the power of Fohat within their Higher Self and the Solar Logos to evolve more consciously, intentionally, and swiftly.

April 13  Life and Work of Eliphas Levi
A French occult author and ceremonial magician, Eliphas Levi was highly regarded by HPB. He began his career in the Roman Catholic Church but instead turned to radical socialism, which he believed to be “true Christianity”. Later in his life, he became interested in magnetism, magic and Kabbalah and wrote extensively on a variety of occultist topics. Nowadays, he is largely remembered though the occultism he inspired and is regarded as one of the key founders of the 20th century revival of magic.

April 20  No meeting

April 27  The Birth and Evolution of the Soul (64 pages)
We will discuss a lecture in which Annie Besant describes the progress of the soul from the origin of the individual, their development and ultimate destiny. In her own words “if the growth of the Soul were better understood than it is, we should not hear the continual questions asked as to why there should be a Universe at all, and why there should be manifestation”. A free copy can be accessed at:
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=I-sNAAAAYAAJ&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA5

May

May 4             Numbers
Introduction to a mystical view of the universe: “All systems of religious mysticism are based on numbers. The sacredness of numbers begins with the First Creator, the One, and ends with the zero, a symbol of the infinite and boundless” — Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

May 11           Astrology and the Great Ages (a video program)
When does a “Great Age” truly begin, and how can we best unlock the meaning of the different Ages? Drawing on 30 year of research, astrologer Ray Grasse explore these and other questions, while considering how the unfolding transition between Pisces and Aquarius can help to illuminate the profound changes taking place throughout our world, as well as our lives.

May 18           The Life and Teachings of Gurdjieff: A Short Introduction, part II
George Gurdjieff was a 20th century mystic, philosopher and spiritual teacher who urged his followers to awaken to a higher state of consciousness in order to achieve their full human potential. His method provided a unique set of instructions of self-development called The Fourth Way. After a short video presentation, a lodge member will answer questions.

May 25          No Meeting – Memorial Day


Summer Study
Evolution of the Higher Consciousness by Pablo Sender


We will be studying Pablo Sender’s recent book Evolution of the Higher Consciousness. The book can be purchased from Fohat Productions at http://fohatproductions.com/publications/pablo-sender/. Please be sure to read the assigned chapters prior to the meeting and come prepared to discuss. Additional study materials are available at http://fohatproductions.com/resources/

June 1        Preface and Introduction (offsite)

June 15      Chapters 1 and 2

June 29      Guest speaker Pablo Sender:
The Origins of Being: Exploring the Enigma of Creation:

Humanity has wondered and attempted to fathom how and why the ordered universe, and the totality of existence itself, came to be and is sustained. Pablo Sender, among the leading Theosophical scholars in America, and his wife Michele Sender, will provide a history and exploration of these most basic questions. They will give a presentation about the manifestation of the universe from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

Pablo Sender will focus in the second hour on Stanza III –The Awakening of Kosmos, from the first volume, Cosmogenesis, of theThe Secret Doctrineby Helena Blavatsky.

July 13       Chapters 3 and 4

July 27       Chapters 5 and 6

Aug 10       Chapter 7

Aug 24       Chapter 8

Sept 7        Chapters 9 and 10

Sept 21      Chapter 11

FALL PROGRAM 

Members’ Meeting:  11 PM
Public Meeting:  12 PM

October 5th: Roundtable-discussion:
What drew you to Theosophy? How did you find Theosophy? What keeps you here? How can we improve the membership experience/attract new members? What is important as we move forward? How do you envision the TS in 15 – 20 years?

These questions were discussed in groups at the 133rdSummer Convention at Olcott. Please share your reasons, opinions and insights.

October 12th: Guest speaker Colyn Boyce from the U.K.
Special program:
1sthour (11:00 a.m.):
History of the London lodge and information about the London HQ of the TS in England including highlights of programs. Information about the Insight magazineand its predecessor, The Theosophical Journal.
2nd hour (12:00 p.m.): Atlantis: The greatest riddle of mankind? There have been perhaps more books, in the realm of Esotericism, written on Atlantis than any other subject, with the possible exception of ancient Egypt. Some claim that it was an island, others speculate that it occupied a continent. And one view is that Atlantis was an entire global landmass. More to the point, we were all there and probably spent several lifetimes in the Atlantean world, which occupied a very long time-span. This talk examines many of the theories concerning the rise and fall of Atlantis and what lessons it holds for our future incarnations.

October 17th: Artificial Intelligence
Signs of Life: a short introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Trans-Humanism, and Futurism as recently depicted by the main scientists and authors in the fields. Veronica Boutte will attempt to relate these contemporary altogether fascinating and troubling topics, with Theosophical teachings in general. Please be ready to share your own readings and comments.

October 25th: The Soul
What do you mean by ‘soul’? Join us for a short presentation by Julia Rogers and a discussion of this word of many meanings.  We will also consider ‘spirit’ and ‘body’, and ‘spook’ in honor of the season.

November 2nd: The Mystery and Power of the Heart Center

Special 2-hour program, starting at 11:00 a.m.
From ancient times teachers from different traditions have given hints on what H. P. Blavatsky clearly states in her writings: The Heart is the center of the Spiritual Consciousness and the abode of the Spiritual Man. During this talk National Speaker Juliana Cesano will explore this statement further using several writings and delineate a daily practice that will prepare us to eventually listen to the promptings of the Spiritual Consciousness.

November 9th:  Karma
A reflection on theoretical issues: what karma is, what it is not, the difference between karma and justice, and what all of this means when trying to lead a good human life. The presenter, Gwendolyn Reece is a Pagan priestess, Philhellene and student of Theosophy.  This talk reflects where she currently is in her quest to understand this all-important law of nature.

November 16th: Paramitas – Divine Virtues
In Buddhism there are three ways that show us the vision of existence. The first ist the image of “The Wheel of Life” that depicts mortals ceaselessly facing the wheel of birth and death. The second is the image of Buddha that stands for freedom from conditioned existence and attainment of perfection. The image of the Path leads one from conditioned existence to Buddhahood. The Path is mentioned the the Bhagavad-Gita and The Voice of the Silence. There is also the Path of Liberation and that of Renunciation. The practice of the Paramiatas are essential in walking the Path that leads to enlightenment. Join us for a presentation on the teachings of these “transcendent perfections” by a speaker from the ULT Lodge in Bethesda.

November 23th: Book review – The Modern Alchemist: A Guide to Personal Transformation by Richard Miller (Author) and Iona Miller (Author).

For these authors transformation is an inner change which leads to wholeness integration and flowering of the total personality. In the language of depth psychology as well as alchemy the authors show how to forge an intimate connection with the nurturing powers of the universe-and also with the lost part of ourselves. Join us for a presentation by Elmar Pappenreiter.

November 30th: Closed for  Thanksgiving 

December 7th: The Esoteric Doctrine of the Root Races 
This doctrine is one of the most misunderstood in all of the esoteric sciences.  Every human being that is currently alive on this planet is of one race, however, there have been races, such as the Lemurians and Atlanteans, that have existed before us, and there will be human races that will follow homo sapiens.  Join us for a presentation by Vladka Shikova

December 14thEngaging the Heart’s “Brain” to Work Toward a Higher Consciousness
The heart generates the greatest electromagnetic field of the body. It extends 3 feet around us. It is an innate power that may be directed with our intention and emotion. Fohat is defined as “the essence of cosmic electricityand has been theorized that it is electromagnetism. As Theosophy teaches that we are of a fractal nature, our heart’s power is a reflection of Fohat. Desiree Holmes Sherinei will discuss the power of the heart and the research into how to direct it for our own benefit, including achieving a higher level of consciousness through heart based focused intention. She will also lead the group through the process of a brief heart-based meditation. She is a Life Coach and Hypnotherapist and is a Heart Math Institute Certified Facilitator.

December 21st: Closed for Christmas

December 28th: Closed for New Years