As it is Michaelmas today, my favourite festival at Michael Hall I might add, I have been doing further meditation on what the impulse of this festival is. All of our festivals at Michael Hall have significance in parallel with the seasons of nature and the mood that they bring, and one could argue that, as this festival is the school's namesake, it has particular significance.
At the beginning of the Michaelmas Festival, we have a whole school assembly with themes that are traditional for St. Michael - the subduing of the dragon by St. Michael and finding the balance representing St. Michael's soul balancing scales (we balance our garden vegetables, the harvest, in a giant wooden balance).
We then all go out into the school grounds and everybody "strikes out" into the land and does strong willed physical work, putting the land and waning energies of the summer to bed for the Autumn and Winter where they lie under the surface. Individually, we mirror this by diverting our energies inside into the practices of self reflection and creativity - a good combination for the endeavour of school work.
On a lighter note, today marks the last day of picking blackberries as legend has it that after St. Michael cast the devil to the earth, he spat on the blackberry bush he landed on making the blackberries inedible. Sadly the season finished earlier this year as I mentioned in my previous Friday Flier writings and I'm still feeling chagrined!
I shall conclude this front page with a quote from Steiner on Michaelmas:
"He must learn to keep the Michael Festival by making it a festival for the conquest of anxiety and fear; a festival of inner strength and initiative; a festival for the commemoration of selfless self-consciousness." Dornach, 5 October, 1923
Class 5a children created their own Rangoli patterns using sand as part of their Ancient India block. After creating the patterns, they destroyed them by using a brush in silence. This was part of letting go of something. They discussed how it felt to let go of something they had made...