Living Arts Weekly: Celebrating the Sun

June 23, 2019

The sun with loving light
Makes bright for me each day
The soul with spirit power
Gives strength unto my limbs
In sunlight shining clear
I do revere
The strength of humankind
Which has so graciously been planted in my soul
That I with all my might
May love to work and learn
To me come light and strength
From me rise love and thanks

The following is an excerpt from “St. John’s Tide” written by Karen Rivers in the Celebrations and Festival section of  Waldorf Education: A Family Guide.

“High summer has been celebrated with fire since ancient times. Huge bonfires were lit on the Summer Solstice to help the sun continue to increase rather than to diminish in the light it brings. An old custom required that people should jump over the fire to burn away their woes and weaknesses.

Just after the Summer Solstice is the Festival of St. John, celebrated on June 24. Some hold the belief that Elizabeth, John’s mother, built a large bonfire to notify her cousin, Mary, of the birth of her child, that she might come to share in her joy. Since many customs of the Summer Solstice festivals blended with aspects of St. John’s life, the two festivals have become interwoven in many regions of the world. From now until the Winter Solstice in December, the sunlight will be diminishing….

On this day, when the sun is at its height, we may turn our eye inward with the conviction that in times of abundance, the need for inner strength is just as great as in times of little light or in complete darkness.”

Blessings on your week, and may you find a moment to enjoy the sun!

Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly blog editor

Social Awareness

Eileen Foley from Little Acorn Learning writes: “Many of you may already feel summer time has approached with schoolwork ending and the warm days becoming more frequent. It is a really exciting time for the children in our life and there are so many ways to celebrate the start of this special season together. We have taken a few book recommendations and ideas to share with you today from our Midsummer Festival Book. The book includes 118 pages of ideas, songs, crafts, stories, fingerplays and more to help you celebrate summers for  many years to come!”  To see her ideas for celebrating this wonderful time of year, click here.

Creative Exploration

One for the Golden Sun

Particularly suited for children in grades one and two

One for the golden sun
Two for the night and day
Three for me for here I find strong limbs, warm heart, and a clear true mind
Four for the seasons slowly turning
Five for the stars so brightly burning
Six for the honeycomb of the bee that brings that sweet, sweet honey to me
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Seven for the wonders of the skies and for the days as they pass by,
(Now backwards faster)
Six for the honeycomb of the bee that, brings that sweet, sweet honey to me
Five for the stars so brightly burning
Four for the seasons slowly turning
Three for me for here I find strong limbs, warm heart, and a clear true mind
Two for the night and day
One for the golden sun

Practical Activity

Make a Sun Cake!

Directions for making this beautiful sun cake are in last year’s blog post. You’ll find lots of good ideas for celebrating the sun here.

Nurturing Care

LifeWays Early Childhood Fundamentals Course, developed by long-time Waldorf early childhood teachers in Waldorf Schools, combines in-person instruction with online mentoring and support over the course of the year to help new early childhood colleagues take up their work with confidence and competency.

  • Choice of four locations for a five-day intensive retreat
  • Followed by 35 hours of online mentor-supported content and discussion throughout the year

Apply now!  Scholarships are available for students with financial need!  


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