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Asteroid 7256: Bonhoeffer

August 29, 2011

Asteroid 7256 Bonhoeffer is a mainbelt asteroid discovered on 11 November 1993.  The main asteroid belt is the region of the Solar System located roughly between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter and is occupied by numerous irregularly shaped bodies called asteroids or minor planets.  Maybe half the mass of the belt is contained in the four largest asteroids: 1 Ceres, 4 Vesta, 2 Pallas, and 10 Hygiea.

Bonhoeffer dwells in my natal Sixth House at Aquarius 11 Man tête-à-tête with his inspiration.  With the triple energies of Mars/Orcus/Lucifer in the Eleventh House sextiling Pluto in the First House, their Fistful-of-Yod points right at Bonhoeffer, conjunct Pallas, sextile Ceres and quintile Hygiea.  Estoteric astrologer Alan Oken writes that the quintile is an aspect which will only have meaning in a chart of a spiritually progressiing individual, for it indicates the ability to harmonize the energies of the planets involved on an inner plane of understanding. It is an aspect of evolutionary potential.  Make that revolutionary.

Where is Bonhoeffer in your chart?  He embodies the archetypal energies of  Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy, Maverick, Righteous Gentile.  On a sacred ordinary level, the placement of Bonhoeffer in the natal asks: What is the cause that you are willing to die for and is it a worthy one? Is your job “killing” you, your relationship, your family, your busyness, your diet, your addictions, your shoulds/musts/have-tos………your shoes?

I like Bonhoeffer.  He’s my kinda guy. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Image Sourced: Living Wittily

The film Valkyrie claims to tell the story of the ‘July 20 1944’ plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  One name was missing……….

 Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian and martyr. He was a participant in the German resistance movement against Nazism and a founding member of the Confessing Church. His involvement in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler resulted in his arrest in April 1943.

A Long Loneliness

“Dietrich became a theologian because he was lonely,” said Eberhard Bethge, his friend and biographer.  Bethge could be right; Bonhoeffer’s dissertation, Sanctorum Communio (The Communion of the Saints) and many of his later works, such as Life Together,  dwell on the subject of creating Christian communities.

Bonhoeffer’s opposition to the Nazis left him isolated in many ways.  His support of the Pastor’s Emergency League and Confessing Church placed him in opposition to many established churchmen he had admired.  Restrictions on his right to speak and publish prevented him from exchanging ideas with others.  His rejection of anti-semitism set him apart from a society propagandized into hysterical jew-hatred. His work with the Schwarze Kappelle had to be carried out in secret.

By 1943 his greatest consolation might have been his engagement to Maria von Wedemeyer. 

They were an unlikely couple: Maria von Wedemeyer was a vivacious, fun-loving girl of 18 and Bonhoeffer was a 35-year-old religious scholar.  He made her a bet that she could teach him to dance; she said he was a hopeless case.  He responded that, of the two of them, he was the better cook.  Her innocent enjoyment of life was a tonic for a man whose phones were now tapped and correspondence read by the German government.

“You must know how I really feel and must not take me for a pillar saint…I can’t very well imagine that you would want to marry one in the first place– and I would also advise against it from my knowledge of church history,” he wrote to her. 

Three months after the couple announced their engagement, Bonhoeffer was arrested.

There are a number of memorials in Germany honoring those who fought the Nazi regime from within.  A plaque at Flossenburg commemorates Bonhoeffer, Canaris, Sack, Oster and Gehre; another in Berlin honors von Stauffenberg and the German Resistance.

But Bonhoeffer left another memorial, a living legacy.  His life and work retain a meaning beyond a daring attempt to end a brutal dictatorship; they are more than the musings of a theologian contemplating his own death.  His writings have influenced Martin Luther King, Jr., Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Thich Nhat Hanh. They point to a way that all people of conscience can exist in a flawed world:

“I discovered later, and I’m still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world. That, I think, is faith.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer,  July, 1944.

Maria von Wedemeyer.

Would you dance if I asked you to dance?
Would you run and never look back
Would you cry if you saw me crying
Would you save my soul tonight?

Would you tremble if I touched your lips?
Would you laugh oh please tell me these
Now would you die for the one you love?
Hold me in your arms tonight?

I can be you hero baby
I can kiss away the pain
I will stand by you forever
You can take my breath away
~lyrics “Hero” Enrique Iglesias

Bonhoeffer was condemned to death on April 8, 1945, by SS judge Otto Thorbeck at a drumhead court-martial without witnesses, records of proceedings or a defence in Flossenbürg concentration camp. He was executed there by hanging at dawn on April 9, 1945, just two weeks before soldiers from the United States 90th and 97th Infantry Divisions liberated the camp, three weeks before the Soviet capture of Berlin and a month before the capitulation of Nazi Germany. Like other executions associated with the July 20 Plot, the execution was particularly brutal. Bonhoeffer was stripped of his clothing and led naked into the execution yard, where he was hanged with thin wire for death by strangulation.

Maria stayed faithful to Bonhoeffer to the very end.

References:

Deafening Silence ~ Valkyrie’s Forgotten Man: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bonhoefferblog

Prison Writings in a World Come of Age: The Special Vision of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Man of Destiny

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One comment

  1. I’ve admired Bonhoeffer for many years as a man of true conscience.



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