I have been reading another post by Gregoire Perra, this time he explains the ritual of the advent spiral, which takes place on the Monday morning after the Christmas Market.
The market at some Steiner schools in this country will take place this Saturday. On a local school website there is the information that
“We have two types of festival …; the seasonal festivals celebrated by the pupils, sometimes as a whole school, sometimes just the lower school or a few classes. Parents are sometimes invited to join in with these celebrations. Then we have parents festivals, where the classes are able to share work that they are doing with other classes and parents.”
Mr Perra says that in France the advent spiral takes place in school hours at 9 or 10 O’clock in the morning. It is a whole school festival but parents are not invited. He says;
“The ceremony is by no means a party, but a kind of initiation ceremony which is linked to the dogma of the religion that is anthroposophy.”
The ritual takes place in a hall where the windows are blacked out to make it as dark as possible. Candles are lit and the children, carrying a candle, walk in a pattern around a spiral of greenery laid out on the floor, whilst singing religious songs.
The ritual is carried out in line with Steiner’s vision of how “nature sinks into the earth in the winter and at night”.
During this time
“… the human soul must be turning in its inner “core”, that is to say in its “inner self “, to find in it even greater cosmic force that will enable it to renew itself. This force is the “Word of the Universe.” Or the anthroposophical “Christ” .
Mr Perra says this comes from “Twelve Zodiacal Harmonies “, by Rudolf Steiner.
For Rudolf Steiner and his followers, astrology has a direct influence on the cycle of nature and on the human psyche, and this is the reason for the ritual of the advent spiral.
In France at least this ceremony takes place without the permission of the parents, and Mr Perra speculates on the considerable psychological effect on the child. He says that surely this kind of religious ceremony should take place outside school, with the family. It is more akin to what might take place in a religious order or a secret society than in a school.
There is more to read and some interesting photographs of “advent spiral” on the blog “The truth about Steiner Waldorf schools and anthroposophy”.