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Why gnomes and fairies? - Page 3

post #41 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijumom
By the way, for me personally, the pledge of allegiance is way more offensive to me than blessing the earth and the sun.

Me too.
post #42 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijumom
Rhonwyn- They sing about the saints at nap "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John bless this bed that I lie on"

Do you really think that is so rare? It's part of the fabric of a very established Waldorf school.

People just desrve to know it's there so they can decide if they want it.
I have been dying to ask my eldest about all this while not making it too obvious so I asked about the little ryhme. Never heard it. Never said a blessing before nap. Blessings before mealtime such as: 'Blessings on the blossoms, blessings on the fruit. Blessings on the leaves and stems, and blessings on the root. And may peace be on the earth.'

I think our school because of the strong Jewish and Buddhist population or maybe just because of our teachers, almost seems more Pagan than Christian in the Kindergartens. The Kindergartens don't even celebrate Michaelmas. They do do St. Nick.
post #43 of 62
Rhonwyn- I know that in the grades many religions are explored but at least in the nursery and kindergarten there is a distinctly Christian influence (as I've illustrated). I don't know why it is so hard to acknowledge or if you really don't see it. Again, I have no vested interest in proving anything or dissuading anyone. To me, it is very obvious and I've accepted it.

I guess the variation of interpretation is elightening as well so thanks for the dialog.
post #44 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijumom
Rhonwyn- I know that in the grades many religions are explored but at least in the nursery and kindergarten there is a distinctly Christian influence (as I've illustrated). I don't know why it is so hard to acknowledge or if you really don't see it. Again, I have no vested interest in proving anything or dissuading anyone. To me, it is very obvious and I've accepted it.

I guess the variation of interpretation is elightening as well so thanks for the dialog.
I don't see it at our school. I am fascinated by the differences in the schools. I am sorry if it appeared that I was arguing or dismissing your observations at your school.
post #45 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijumom
Rhonwyn- They sing about the saints at nap "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John bless this bed that I lie on"

Do you really think that is so rare? It's part of the fabric of a very established Waldorf school.

People just desrve to know it's there so they can decide if they want it.
This isn't sung here either. In fact, my tenth grader heard of Matthew, et al, for the first time this year, in his Bible as Literature course. I don't remember Jesus being brought to them at all before the Roman Empire blocks in 6th grade. In the 2nd grade, when they were told some of the classic Saint stories, they heard of Christian figures like St Martin and St Francis, but they're left behind completely by grade 3. The only arguably Christian imagery that reappears year after year would be the Christmas Passion Play, and perhaps Michaelmas, which is essentially traditional European festival "fusion" of an OT story together with a pagan harvest festival and an appearance of a medieval Christian hero, St George.

You're right that parents deserve to know what their children will be exposed to. But it is difficult to convey with broad generalizations now that people in our society hold such diverse perspectives toward these things. I know I'd be uncomfortable with this blessing myself--I wouldn't have expect something this overtly Christian (to me it is) to be recited as a daily blessing in the kindergarten either.


Linda
post #46 of 62
Quote:
By the way, for me personally, the pledge of allegiance is way more offensive to me than blessing the earth and the sun.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
Me too.
Me three.

The daily Pledge of Allegiance has always bugged me. There's something very 'off' about insisting 6 year olds recite allegiance oaths, period, and even more so that the Pledge is completely incomprehensible to them.
post #47 of 62
LindaCl- Your school still sounds more Christian then your average "non-religious" school. I'm sorry, I just think this discussion is getting silly. We go to a very well-established school that I personally feel has much in common with other Waldorf schools I've heard about. My point again being that mythical figures and what I perceive as religious based rituals are prevelant at our school and I believe most private Waldorf schools.

Thanks for the discussion. I think I'm moving on now...

Peace.
post #48 of 62
Mijumom

I'm sorry--I didn't realize this discussion was really some kind of veiled argument about whether or not Waldorf should call itself a Christian religious school.

Since "gnomes and fairies", leprechauns, and the Easter eggs and the Easter bunny are pagan, not Christian, you can maybe understand there are multiple levels of discussion here between us.

Christian religious schools typically don't celebrate Hindu, Jewish, Greek and Egyptian gods with equal enthusiasm to their own faith. Perhaps you can then understand how misleading it would be to most Christians to think they'd signed up for a Christian education only to find their children instead honoring Zeus, Zarathustra and Odin in their lessons.

I thought I was acknowledging how complicated and confusing this may be for new parents, but I stand by my statement. The fact is that so many people have very different conceptions these days towards these matters, so this confusion doesn't lend itself to easy explanations. And I don't think this is a "silly" observation at all.


Linda
post #49 of 62
Interesting thread! An article that I found useful while wondering on the subject of gnomes can be found here:
http://www.waldorfinthehome.org/imaginary_toys.html
and another related article:
http://www.waldorfinthehome.org/our_...e_helpers.html

I think of these elemental beings as only being symbolized by the depictions of gnomes and fairies that we are familiar with, but are more akin to forces of nature. I do think that a semsitive human upon encountering such a force would 'see' it in a form they could understand.
post #50 of 62
LindaCl- Sorry if I was harsh. Maybe it seems obvious to me but not you. I absolutely make no assertion that Waldorf schools should call themselves "Christian religious schools". Rather, I am suggesting that they have roots in Christianity and that is manifested in the essence of the school. And, I'm trying to identify how this has evidenced itself to me.

I am not advocating for or against Waldorf as I have no vested interest.

I absolutely am differentiating between what my kids choose to "see" and what comes from the teachers (as far as gnomes and fairies go). How an adult processes these creatures (more metaphorically), children see it as fact (from my observation).

Sorry I have contributed to this digressing enough to elicit a defense of Waldorf. Like I said, we really love it and are trying to understand more thouroughly what is happening now and will in the future at this school.

Seriously, I'm sorry if I offended anyone.
post #51 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijumom
LindaCl- Sorry if I was harsh. Maybe it seems obvious to me but not you.
Not at all, not completely. For example, I would not have anticipated the "Matthew, Mark" blessing myself, either.

So forgive me if you thought I was trying to fight with you or something. Lately I've been wondering if maybe my thinking is all fried, like they showed us on TV in those old "This is your brain on drugs" ads.
post #52 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
By the way, for me personally, the pledge of allegiance is way more offensive to me than blessing the earth and the sun.
Oh, yes.

Continuing my little family drama, now my husband and I both have the stomach flu, as well as a house full of houseguests. It bites! It's really too bad the elves can't clean everything up for us while we're asleep.
post #53 of 62
Quote:
Continuing my little family drama, now my husband and I both have the stomach flu, as well as a house full of houseguests. It bites! It's really too bad the elves can't clean everything up for us while we're asleep.
Have you tried putting out a little dish of milk and a plate of cookies? That's how you recruit the little folk in the stories...

Deborah
post #54 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah
Have you tried putting out a little dish of milk and a plate of cookies? That's how you recruit the little folk in the stories...

Deborah
post #55 of 62
My dh always tells the kids that Santa is tired of milk and cookies by the time he gets to our house. Living in Seattle, we are of course close to the end of the delivery schedule so it is safe to leave Santa something a little stonger, like a whiskey and coke.
post #56 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
My dh always tells the kids that Santa is tired of milk and cookies by the time he gets to our house. Living in Seattle, we are of course close to the end of the delivery schedule so it is safe to leave Santa something a little stonger, like a whiskey and coke.
Yes, and here in Vermont we are fairly close to the start line, so poor Santa just gets an apple and a glass of milk.

Which reminds me of my grandson on Christmas. After we opened the presents, he was so overwhelmed by all the stuff (and it was a fairly modest load of loot) that he went over to the futon where there was a laundry basket, climbed up, poured the laundry over himself, and then lay there just kicking and rolling around. He wasn't quite 2 1/2 at the time, and he just couldn't figure out what to do with all these new toys and clothes!

Children have to be trained into greed and dissatisfaction, don't they?
Deborah
post #57 of 62
not sure if this is fact or myth but I was brought up to beleive and read that alot of houses were built in the past with a front door and back door going right through the house to allow these tiny beings to pass throught the house, it was beleived if you didn't that the little guys would harass your house and make living more difficult.

I am a beleiver that Gnomes & fairies once romed the earth and that we can't see them anymore...

it's a shame

Cheers Lisa
post #58 of 62
Lisa wrote
Quote:
not sure if this is fact or myth but I was brought up to beleive and read that alot of houses were built in the past with a front door and back door going right through the house to allow these tiny beings to pass throught the house, it was beleived if you didn't that the little guys would harass your house and make living more difficult.

I am a beleiver that Gnomes & fairies once romed the earth and that we can't see them anymore...
For some reason this reminds me of all the stories about "sunwise" and "widdershins." In some folktales, if you go around a church or some other special building 3 times widdershins (counterclockwise) then the fairy folk can carry you off. Of course this all goes back before the invention of the clock, so the good direction was "sunwise" and the bad direction was against the sun. This must be why clocks go the way they go, come to think of it!

Spinning wheels are also set up to run sunwise, but of course when you ply the yarn you have to run the wheel backwards. Somehow that seems to be okay. Of course the spinning wheel is a recent invention, only available in Europe for a few hundred years, although the folks in India have had them much longer. But I think drop spindles usually were spun sunwise to spin, which means that they had to be spun backwards to ply the yarn.

Sorry for the digression, this all just leaped into my mind all of a sudden. Probably because I was spinning yarn recently (a wonderful mohair and silk blend in a rich shade of blue with flecks of pink, yummy). I love handspinning and I love the lore and history of the craft, and I love the fact that there are so many folk and fairy tales connected with spinning, not to mention myths.

Deborah
post #59 of 62
I love to hand spin too Deborah, that yarn sounds gorgeous. I hadn't realised that there were many stories about it, I'll keep my eyes open for these now.
post #60 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamacitarisa
not sure if this is fact or myth but I was brought up to beleive and read that alot of houses were built in the past with a front door and back door going right through the house to allow these tiny beings to pass throught the house, it was beleived if you didn't that the little guys would harass your house and make living more difficult.

I am a beleiver that Gnomes & fairies once romed the earth and that we can't see them anymore...

it's a shame

Cheers Lisa
Hi Lisa,
Thank you for your candour. I did read in a book about someone who had bought a house in Ireland that they had to be careful not to interfere with the path of the wee folk through the house. Then I think their house was called Faerie Pass!
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