Friday, August 14, 2009

festival focus: michaelmas

we are taking september 21st thru sept 24th off to prepare for the upcoming festival, michaelmas (september 29th).

michaelmas was a festival unknown to me before we discovered the beautiful world of waldorf, but it is one that we all look forward to celebrating each year.

there was a great battle in heaven in which the archangel michael triumphs over the dragon (satan), and he is cast into the earth. michaelmas is about more than just the battle of good vs. evil, it is also about balance.

michaelmas falls within the zodiac sign of libra (the scales), and also very near the balance of equal daylight & darkness. "to acheive balance between that part of us that belongs to nature, and the part of us which strives for goals which are not to be our 'human nature', we have to outweigh the decline into death and darkness to which autumn would lead us. through our own efforts, we must discover new inner resources which can help us to grow towards life and light." (all year round, ann druitt, et. at)

monday, september 21st:

*tell the story of st. michael
(there are many, many versions; some much more graphic than others; choose carefully!)

*make "michaelmas courage salve"
-combine 1 c packed marigold petals in a glass jar w/ 1 c olive oil
-seal & let sit in cool, dark place for about 4 weeks (shaking gently occasionally)
-strain out flower petals; combine olive oil w/melted beeswax, a bit at a time, until you achieve a 'lotion' consitency
-use on bumps, bruises, etc, or when you need a burst of 'courage' (m.johnson)

*decorate michaelmas candles
-using green & red candle decorating wax, on a white pillar candle add a dragon, a knight in shining armor, etc...
-you can order candle decorating wax from paper,scissors,stone

tuesday, september 22nd:

*tell the story of "Li Chi Slays the Serpent", Kan Pao
this is a sister story of st. michael & the dragon, with a woman weilding the sword!
i find myself thinking more & more of strong, empowered women now that we have a baby girl of our own...

*welt felt michaelmas star balls

*painting day: inspired both by this week's stories & the following verse:

the dragon's flame, kristie burns
"soaring in an indigo sky
a dragon wakes the morning
yellow is the flame of friendship
red is the flame of warning

out of the yellow his green body emerges
purple streaks and the red is gone
the dragon appears as flash -- a green streak
and the purple dawn of light"

wednesday, september 23rd:

*read The Reluctant Dragon, Kenneth Grahame (first half)

*dye silks for marigold capes...

(we'll be using this opportunity to dye a few other play silks as well, using natural dyes)

*baking: dragon bread

thursday, september 24th

* read The Reluctant Dragon, Kenneth Grahame (second half)

*bakibg: "michaelmas muffins"
(zuccini bread muffins w/dried cranberries/apples & a cream cheese topping) (m.johnson)

*go on treasure hunt to find cache of 'dragon's tears' (glass gems)
celebrate find w/our muffins


  1. Oh Wow! What wonderful week! I think I'm going to borrow some of your ideas- they're lovely!

  2. This is a wonderful list of ideas and resources! Thank you for posting it. By the way, although they haven't commented, there are a great many ladies on the homeschoolingwaldorf yahoo group that are loving it too!