Michaelmas Time

By: Marti Stewart, Administrator

016As we approach Michaelmas, I reflect upon the mood that arises naturally at this time of year. The gesture of each of the seasonal festivals celebrated in the Waldorf schools stand in stark contrast to one another – as do our seasons in Minnesota. As we feel the first chill of colder weather and delight in the crisp air and anticipate the beauty of fall color – we feel the excitement of the possibility of new beginnings. It is a time of preparation for things that are to come. Not only does autumn begin with the start of the school year – but several spiritual traditions honor holy days that embody the spirit of this inner gesture of gathering strength for the challenges ahead. In our school, two different pictures are brought before the children at Michaelmas time. One is the image of the fall harvest and the other is the image of the saint who tames the dragon.

At harvest time, human beings traditionally gather and store food so that they can survive the winter season ahead. In modern times, despite the fact that our grocery stores will provide us with an abundance of food throughout the months ahead, we still have a natural instinct to prepare for the months when nothing will grow outside. We put our gardens to bed, insulate our homes, pull out our sweaters and mittens, and make sure our cars are in good condition to weather the colder months. Inside ourselves, we also take inventory of what is needed to face the short days and long nights that lie between the fall and spring equinox. Are we ready? Do we have the inner resources to nurture ourselves and our families through the coming cold and darkness? We begin to gather our strength.

The image of St. George taming the dragon represents our inner courage to face our known and unknown fears. As the days grow shorter, can our inner light shine brighter? Can we tame the dragons of uncertainty, fear and doubt that may arise when we are no longer nurtured by the sun, warmth and abundant growth of the earth? St. Michael holds up his sword, representing courage, truth and fortitude. Together with St. Michael we summon our strength and determination to champion the good and the true and to nurture the inner light that will allow us to face what lies ahead. Please join us for our Michaelmas celebration at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8, 2013.


Victorious Spirit,

Flame through the impotence of irresolute souls.

Burn out the egoism;

ignite the compassion;

that selflessness,

the life stream of mankind,

wells up as the source of spirit rebirth.

– Rudolf Steiner