Rudolf Steiner shared insights not only into the four main festivals of the year, which are celebrated around the Summer Solstice, then fall with Michaelmas and the tests of courage, the Winter Solstice with the celebration of the inner light, and the return of the outer light at the Spring Equinox. He also highlights a fifth festival taking place between spring and summer. This fifth festival can be seen as something especially important for humanity right now as it has to do with consciously building community and embracing differences. In the Christian tradition, it is known as Whitsun or Pentecost, when people from many different origins heard inspiring words, each in their own language.
We can find it even further back, in the symbol of the May Pole, anchored firmly in the earth, our common home, and reaching to the sky, our common spiritual origin! Its many colored ribbons representing each individual’s unique connection and path from heaven to earth. But how exciting to see what happens when these many ribbons begin to move and weave together as the May dances begin! What patterns do they form? Oh, the wind blew and snatched some ribbons - how will we untangle the knot? This is a wonderful schooling of social intelligence, a building of community substance through dance!
At Aurora Waldorf School we have had a tradition that the Grade 4 students (this year supported by their 5th Grade classmates) lead the weaving of the ribbons. The 4th Graders have been learning from the Norse myths to stand tall, facing the elements. The braided patterns they have mastered in their form drawings help them be capable of holding their own unique ribbon, yet contributing with sensitivity and enthusiasm to the weaving efforts of the group!
Maria Ebersole, Eurythmy Teacher