We were blessed with a beautiful day for our Michaelmas celebration yesterday. Each class had gathered baskets overflowing with offerings of fresh fruit and vegetables and store cupboard goods, which have been donated to the St Augustine’s Centre in Halifax. We then gathered together with parents and friends for the traditional dragon procession around the churchyard, followed by sharing the dragon bread made by the kindergartens.
We made a lovely connection through our Harvest Festival with the St Augustine Centre in Halifax, where our plentiful bounty of harvest gifts went to assist refugees and those in need locally.
It was so nice to meet Denise from the centre, see some of the photos of the work they do at St Augustines and to know our Harvest gifts went to a good cause locally.
Some of our classes will be connecting with the centre further, in the near future – class 4/5 to begin with.
Michaelmas is the first of our festivals in the school year.
Unlike most other Saints, living people who were later canonised, St Michael is an Archangel: a spiritual heavenly being who is referred to in both the Old and New Testaments. Like St George in the springtime in April, he is a slayer of a Dragon. He reminds us to wake up to the negative forces within us, and to work on them, acknowledging their presence and working towards balance in ourselves. Like Michael conquering the Devil or Satan in the form of a Dragon, we need to conquer our inner demons and rediscover our inner strength to go forward into the winter. Like Michael, which in Hebrew means ‘who is like God’, we are seeking new light for the coming darkness. Nature is heading into the sleep of winter, and human beings need to wake up after the sleepy warmth of summer.
At this time of falling stars, themselves made of iron, we are encouraged to find inner resolution and strength in our hearts. “Michael the true spirited hero of freedom; he leaves human beings free to act, then takes the results of their deeds and carries them on and out into the cosmos, continuing in the cosmos what human beings cannot yet achieve”. (Steiner, 1924 / 1981)
This is a “festival of the will”, inspiring action and bestowing the courage needed for new action. (Druitt, 1981)
In Britain it has been traditional to fly kites at Michaelmas. This could be symbolic of man holding the forces of evil in his hands, (Barz, 1984 ) or even of our higher selves soaring above for freedom from our fears and own dark side.