Marking the seasons : Michaelmas

Michaelmas is a festival that I wasn’t aware of at all until I started learning about Waldorf traditions. This year, as part of our desire to reconnect to the earth through the traditional festivals, we decided to mark the day as a family.

Our dragon and knight!

Michaelmas is traditionally a Christian festival where the Archangel Michael (the greatest of all the Archangels) is honored for defeating Satan in the war in Heaven, This piece of scripture is in Revelation (12:7-9) and can be interpreted many ways.

Michaelmas is one of the old English quarter days, and falls very near the Autumn equinox – the day when day and night are equal.

In our culture we have a long (but forgotten) tradition of new beginnings at this time of year such as contracts being renewed between farmers and labours: universities still begin now as an echo of this.

Dipping our toes into this complex mythology and finding the wonderful rhythm that was waiting deep in our bones has been a throughly rewarding experience for the whole family.

We spend the afternoon making conker dragons using the instructions in All Year Round, decorating beeswax candles with firey dragons to burn at dinner, and sharing A Michaelmas story from Bedtime Storytelling (Floris Books).

Teaching the girls how to play conkers!
Using Julia Donaldson’s book “Zog” for inspiration whilst decorating our candles
There was 61 conkers to skewer for each dragon, and the girls wanted one each of course!
Our conkers dragons are huge!

Later I reflected on the day, once the girls had settled in bed, with a glass of red wine and incense burning. In the quiet I realised that my dragon is an internal force inside me – my anxiety – and by seeking a balance in my life I can subdue and maybe even defeat it one day…

Did you celebrate Michaelmas? Please share your wonderful traditions with me!

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