The Libera Scuola Steiner-Waldorf “Novalis” is situated in north-eastern Italy, between the Dolomites to the north and Venice and the Adriatic Sea to the south ...
In 1924—in response to questions about the depletion of soils and a general deterioration of crops and livestock—Rudolf Steiner gave eight lectures on “the spiritual foundations for a renewal of agriculture.” Based on his suggestions and spiritual science, generations of farmers, gardeners, viticulturist, and researchers developed biodynamics as a healing, nurturing, holistic, ecological, organic, and spiritual approach to a sustainable care of the Earth.
Biodynamic methods consider the farm or garden to be a self-contained organism, embedded in the living landscape of the Earth, which is in turn part of a living, dynamic cosmos of vital, spiritual energies. The aim is to increase the health and vitality of the whole, including the farmer or gardener. The biodynamic practitioner follows an alchemical, transformative path of working with the Earth through the nine “homeopathic” preparations created by Steiner.
What Is Biodynamics? collects seven seminal lectures—four on developing a spiritual perception of nature and three from his Agriculture Course that deal with the preparations. Hugh Courtney of the Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics contributes an informative, passionate, and visionary introduction.
Whether you are concerned with the quality of agriculture and gardening in particular or have a broader interest in the ecological crises facing us today, this book offers a transformative approach that can truly change the way we live together on Earth.
By Anne Quito
“I just can’t draw.” It’s a refrain most adults say when confronted with a blank piece of paper. Something happens in our teenage years that makes most of us shy away from drawing, fretting that our draftsmanship skills aren’t up to par, and leaving it to the “artists” among us.
But we’ve been thinking about drawing all wrong, says the design historian D.B. Dowd. In his illuminating new book, titled Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice, Dowd argues that putting a pencil to paper shouldn’t be about making art at all.
“We have misfiled the significance of drawing because we see it as a professional skill instead of a personal capacity,” he writes. “This essential confusion has stunted our understanding of drawing and kept it from being seen as a tool for learning above all else.”
Put another way: Drawing shouldn’t be about performance, but about process. It’s not just for the “artists,” or even the weekend hobbyists. Think of it as a way of observing the world and learning, something that can be done anytime, like taking notes, jotting down a thought, or sending a text.
Mistaking drawing for art is embedded in our institutions, says Dowd, a professor of art and American culture at the Washington University in St. Louis. For centuries, schools have lumped drawing with painting and confined it in an “aesthetic cage,” he says.
Our anxiety around drawing starts around puberty, when we begin self-critiquing our abilities to render a perfect likeness, Dowd says. “The self-consciousness associated with ‘good’ drawing, or a naive form of realism, is mostly to blame,” he explains to Quartz. ”If you take a step back, and define drawing as symbolic mark-making, it’s obvious that all human beings draw. Diagrams, maps, doodles, smiley faces: These are all drawings!”
Is your child getting enough ‘free play’? Child-led free play – the unstructured time during which children can act out their fantasies, create their own rules, and explore the world at their own pace – profoundly benefits their early development.
But here’s the thing: While experts agree that undirected play is vital, it is disappearing in favor of organized athletic, artistic, and academic activities. In moderation, these structured classes can be enriching, but ditching playtime all together comes at a cost to a child’s growth and wellbeing. As you consider and plan your child’s weekly routine, here are 43 vital reasons to prioritize and safeguard free play. More ...
First, we have to set the stage for our story about the beginnings of biodynamics at the Threefold Farm in Spring Valley (Chestnut Ridge). In June 1923 a 25-year-old American concert pianist in New York City, Gladys Barnett (later Hahn), sold her grand piano in order to visit the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. While there, she saw a performance of eurythmy (a new art of movement created by Steiner to present visible speech and music on stage, also with therapeutic and educational applications), had several conversations with Rudolf Steiner, and even played piano for him and others at the conference that August in Penmaenmawr, North Wales, titled The Evolution of Consciousness as Revealed through Initiation Knowledge. Gladys had been studying music with and serving as piano accompanist for anthroposophist and accomplished teacher of singing Herbert Wilbur Greene (former founder and director of the Metropolitan College of Music) at his studio on the seventh floor of Carnegie Hall in New York City. More ...
These pictures are so familiar to us and yet …
• Have you gone behind the scenes to explore the whole Goetheanum, seen the Representative of Humanity sculpture and Gerard Wagner’s original paintings from the Second Goetheanum?
• Have you visited the Glass House and the other extraordinary buildings designed by Rudolf Steiner, each for their specific purpose?
• Have you seen the houses designed by him and others following his inspiration?
• Have you seen the interior of a home designed by Steiner and the fascinating metamorphic fences around gardens?
• Have you visited the archives and seen some of the original art and written works of Steiner?
• Have you visited the Persephone Grotto at the Hermitage – and why would you?
• Have you visited the Klinik Arlesheim and the Sonnenhof, founded by Ita Wegman?
• Have you seen the displays of anthroposophical jewelry, clocks and furniture?
All this and much more is on offer for a week of in-depth exploring with Rima Meadow, an American eurythmist and speech artist, who has lived, studied and worked in Dornach-Arlesheim for 7 years. Included will be art classes in clay and painting, story time with Wanda Chrzanowska, who has amazing tales about her family and Dornach - as well as other opportunities that may present themselves. Rima will then take us to explore Colmar and see the Isenheim altarpiece by
Grünewald, the glorious Alsace area, Mont St-Odile, Strasbourg cathedral, Malsch, Maulbronn Monastery and, finally, a day in Stuttgart before returning home. Accommodation will be primarily in monastery or convent guesthouses; hotel in Riquewihr and near Stuttgart airport. For further information please contact Sarnia Guiton +1 604-740-0676 or email@example.com
Calling all storytellers and lovers of stories! Last call for story submissions for the follow-up publication of WECAN's very popular TELL ME A STORY.
We are looking for original or adaptations of traditional stories, nursery rhymes, puppet plays or finger games for children from 1 - 7. If you have time during your holidays to select one or two favorite tales that the children you work with have loved, please share them with us for our next volume of stories!
Please include name of author and, if applicable, the publication in which you found the story. Thank you all so much for keeping the story-telling tradition alive for our young children!
Please send all submissions to Louise de Forest - loudeforest@ gmail.com
How two Australian sisters channeled their love of STEM and coral reefs into the most glorious participatory art project.
By Rebekah Barnett
“We’re used to thinking about math as something you have to learn through textbooks and equations,” says science writer Margaret Wertheim. But through their Institute for Figuring, she and her sister, Christine, have made it their mission to help people see math and science differently by finding hands-on ways to engage them with abstract concepts. Among their efforts: the mesmerizing Crochet Coral Reef. Why crochet and coral? Many reef organisms are living examples of a complicated form of geometry, and crocheting their shapes allows people to work with geometric principles in a tactile way.Started in 2007, the Wertheims’ reef grew out of the Australian sisters’ many interests: their passion for math and science; shared fondness for crochet; love of their country’s Great Barrier Reef and desire to highlight global warming’s impact on coral reefs and oceans in general. Today the Crochet Coral Reef is made up of thousands of handcrafted corals and reef organisms — created by a network of contributors — that Margaret and Christine, an artist and professor, have curated into displays that have been exhibited worldwide. Here, Margaret Wertheim shares some of the amazing organisms created for their project and shows how their crocheted reef has grown and evolved over the years.
Join Mary Stewart Adams, star lore historian, and her sister artist Patricia DeLisa on Wednesday, January 16 to create a compass rose as they share the celestial highlights of the new year.
"On historical navigation maps, a “compass rose” usually appears as an 8-pointed star used to indicate the cardinal and ordinal directions. On a ship’s compass, these points were named for the wind that came from that direction. The sidereal compass rose, or “rose of stars” on the other hand, marked 32 compass points, based on certain stars as they rose and set in the sky. This type of compass originated with the nomadic tribes of the Middle East, who traveled through the desert lands gleaning their direction from the stars, rather than as sailors did, by making best use of prevailing winds." (Mary Adams)
What: Tune into the celestial events of 2019, including the total eclipse of the moon visible all over North America on January 20-21, and create your every own compass rose of wind and stars. Joining the roses of wind and stars is a beautiful way to celebrate the new year artistically and contemplatively!
When: Wednesday, January 16 7:30-8:30 pm Eastern. Can't join us live? No problem. All registrants will receive an emailed recording of the live event.
Where: Online with Zoom webinars
How: Click here to register! $15 Suggested Donation
Sophia Institute offers a variety of programs, courses, publications and other resources to anyone interested in Anthroposophy and Waldorf/Steiner inspired education. Currently there are students from all over the world enrolled in the Sophia Institute online courses. Sophia Institute publications are available worldwide. The Sophia Institute newsletter and blog provide insights and information concerning the work of Anthroposophical initiatives, Waldorf/Steiner Schools, the Camphill Movement, and related endeavors. More ...