Updated: Sep 10
After a lovely long hot summer vacation we have to go back to work duty calls the children go back to school. Very soon then on September 29th we celebrate the Michaelmas celebration.
In earlier times this day was a harvest festival. A feast to thank how richly anticipated the summer made us go into the long winter.
We take all fruits and vegetables inside and make jam and juice.
Nature treasures are collected and get a nice spot on the annual table.
We make a garland of yellow leaves (whether or not dipped in beeswax) and hang them in front of the window so we get the sun's heat. A dried sunflower on the table literally brings in the sun.
But what does nature do to us and how does Michael support us in finding inner strength and courage? How can the good in us overcome? Michael is a great helper in the fight against our dragons.
According to tradition (as the human being St. George) he gave us the example by killing the dragon and releasing people from their fear.
We will have to find the courage and the strength to defeat our own dragons from a balance we have found. On the 29th of September we will reflect on this and show our bravest side to ourselves or with each other during e.g. a rich harvest meal.
For me personally the Michaelmas celebration is about transition.
From light to dark, from outside to inside, from summer to autumn, breathing in and out of the earth.
The world has been allowed to enjoy the sun (the light) and takes the acquired power with it into the earth (the dark).
Mould force is stored for the next life cycle to be converted into new growth force.
In summer, the evenings sometimes seem endless. The light invites me to leave our house.
To gain new experiences, to really live outwardly. By seeing others more and allowing myself to be carried away, I can hear myself a little less.
Just like nature that gives everything in full force and makes full use of the sun's power.
In autumn it gets dark earlier. I wait just a little longer to observe how the sun sets and let the twilight in for a while. Then bring the light into the house to make it safe and warm. I retreat into our house. The lights and candles are lit again we light our inner world.
Also nature now takes the sunlight with it to the roots to give a new impulse to new life when the time is ripe.
If we draw the comparison from our house to our soul / inner world then the same happens in this period.
In the summer everything can be looser and freer. We celebrate and worry less about what might actually be "good" for us.
In autumn we retreat a bit more into ourselves. We take stock and sometimes it's turned to a side we'd rather not.
It takes courage and confidence to face this (these dragons) and to fight.
Helped by Michael's power and forces in ourselves, for example humor the relativizing and loosening power, a powerful weapon against fear and melancholy.
When we consciously live and fight, we develop mankind and humanity a little further.
How do you practically give shape to that?
Prior to this day St George and the dragon appear on the annual table. Unpacking the coffin with all its decoration is a small feast of recognition. A pair of scales is brought in and out of balance by the children with berries, acorns and chestnuts.
We sing songs and make crafts out of natural treasures. The swords and cloaks suddenly reappear.
I tell the story of Joris and the dragon and even my eldest son is always listening in.
Conversations these days are often about dragon-like behavior and where we can be a bit braver in the coming year. Every year my children make a candle decorated with a dragon or clay a dragon that serves as a candlestick. Especially when the hands are busy it's easy to talk.
For the day itself we come up with some things we didn't dare or thought to dare before. E.g. the one tree you never dared to climb, but for the grown-ups also contact someone who hasn't heard from you for too long and who really hates you.
If the weather allows it, we will fly kites. The children bake a number of beautiful dragon loaves every year.
We invite another family to eat together, share and thank them for all the wonderful things nature gives us in our time.
We make a long table and decorate it with pumpkins, hops, rose hips and corn cobs. In between the candles made by the children.
We eat e.g. pumpkin soup, grilled corn cobs, stuffed zucchini, apple sauce, plum pie. We drink apple/ elderberry juice and cider.
After dinner we often light a fire in the garden. All of us staring into the licking tongues of fire, the doubts and dragons often come up and many a plan is made. Finding the balance between good and evil seems at such a moment with a heart full of courage just within reach.
For more information about the Anthroposophical background of this celebration I would like to refer to the following books and sites.
1. Schipper mag ik over varen- Juul van der Stok
2. Leven met het jaar -Christiane Kutik
check my boards under Laine maison for lot's of insp, for decoration and crafting