Library Lady's Corner

Thanksgiving and Buy Nothing Day! November 25 2022

Come along with Waldorf Publications on a determined stand against the frenzy of “Black Friday”!

Martinmas and Lantern Walks in Waldorf Schools November 09 2022

Many Waldorf schools host a Lantern Walk in November and around Martinmas, the feast day for St. Martin of Tours — also Veterans’ Day in the United States. St. Martin, the patron saint of beggars and outcasts, was known for his unassuming nature and ability to bring light and warmth to the impoverished.

El Día de los Muertos - November 1 and 2 November 02 2022

In Latin American cultures, and especially in Mexico, el Día de los Muertos is celebrated on November 1 & 2, coinciding with “All Saints and All Souls Days” in the US, which is, of course, preceded by Hallowe’en on October 31st.

The Christian Counterpart to Samhain or Hallowe’en: All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day November 01 2022

Those who grew up going to a parochial school of any kind in the Christian streams of faith know that Hallowe’en is the contraction of Hallow’s Evening. The pagan practices of Samhain or harvest festivals that include the awareness of the thin veil that exists at this time of year between the dead and the living were deeply rooted in ancient cultures. The Day of the Dead in Spanish speaking cultures is another good example along with the Druid festival of Samhain.

Hallowe’en Part 2: Through a Waldorf Lens October 28 2022

Our Own Children Now on Hallowe’en - Through a Waldorf Lens
Hallowe’en is meant to be fun, of course, but it also holds opportunities for us to allow our children to experience that death, too, is a part of life. Skeletons, ghosts (Ireland for a century or two kept a census of ghosts as well as of the living), and the barren fields after the harvest all speak to the human heart of the end of life. Children are no different and they sense on a deep intuitive level that this is true. It isn’t necessary (or beneficial) to frighten children, especially under the age of nine or so. Young children will experience the feelings around Hallowe’en without undue prompting.

A Waldorf Halloween

Hallowe’en Part I: Samhain –– The Celtic roots of Hallowe’en October 27 2022

It figures that the land of Banshees, fairies and Leprechauns would be the starting place for a holiday like Hallowe’en. The Celtic word “Samhain” is actually pronounced “Sow-in.” This word literally translates as “summer’s ending.” After the harvest was gathered and stored, livestock had been sorted for slaughter or breeding, and the earth was perceived to have exhausted herself, this festival of Samhain was one of four high festivals of the Druid religion.

A Deeper Look into the Days of Michaél September 29 2022

The season gives the signs now of the turning of summer to autumn. In the air, before the green of the leaves begin to blush, the air gives an occasional whisper of fresh chill to herald the changes that will come. Even in places in which there is not a dramatic change between seasons, reports of subtle changes as the earth turns and the parade of the seasons rolls onward come from those sensitive to expressions from the Earth.

The Perseid outburst or meteor shower in mid to late August each year marks the change in the stars.

Back to School! September 06 2022

School is beginning again! Some schools in some regions are well into their second week of school and in other areas, teachers and parents are gearing up today for a post-Labor Day beginning.

Book Review: From Mechanism to Organism: Enlivening the Study of Human Biology August 16 2022

At long last, a resource book for high school teachers, parents, and students that brings to life the experiential approach to the complex subject of human biology!  Michael Holdrege’s decades of experience at the Chicago Waldorf School teaching middle and high school science and math shines on every page of this penetrating book. From Mechanism to Organism contains wonderful illustrations that demonstrate valuable ideas for teachers to use in bringing different aspects of the ninth-and tenth-grade science in a Waldorf curriculum to high school students.

Book Review: Waldorf Book of Blessings from Around the World June 07 2022

Waldorf Book of Blessings from Around the World is now available!

Gratitude! What an uplifting attitude of soul to cultivate and maintain!  It can be difficult to find in today’s contentious world; yet here it is in abundance in this little book by Warren Lee Cohen. It is overflowing with gratitude for the food we eat and the friends and family with whom we share our meals. All around the world, families and friends ask for blessings on their meals with a spirit of quiet peace. So many different cultures and languages are represented in this powerhouse collection!

Book Review - Honey Bee Haven January 12 2022

Honey Bee Haven that is a real delight. Teaching ourselves and our children about the precious work done by pollinators, especially bees, has become a topic of some urgency in the last decades. With gloriously colorful pictures, done in watercolor paintings by the author, and the simple telling of how bees live and work, a penetrating story gets told in this little masterpiece of a book. It is about the significance of the work of honey bees, and about our part in making them feel appreciated, cared-for, and loved!

Overcoming Parental Fatigue: Tips for Parents of Special Needs Children January 10 2022

While parenting is undeniably rewarding, it’s also incredibly exhausting. Most parents only have to face exhaustion for the first few years of childhood. But for parents of children with special needs, this sense of deep fatigue can seem never-ending. Between helping your child with dressing, feeding, and other basic needs, you also have to be your child’s advocate when dealing with doctors, insurance companies, teachers, and support staff.

Solstice and Holidays — Sun and Moon Still Turn Our Seasons December 24 2021

The cluster of holidays that surround the cosmic event of the turning of the sun on December 20 and/or 21 are an indication to the people of the world that this event is significant:

Saturnalia in Ancient Rome; Santa Lucia’s Day in Scandinavia; Dongzhi in China; Shab-e Yalda in Iran; Inti Raymi in Incan cultures; Shalako of the Pueblo Native American peoples Zuni?; Soyal of the Zunis, Hopis, Anasazi peoples; Toji in Japan; Kwanzaa for African-Americans; Chanukah for the Hebrews; Christmas for the Christians. All acknowledge the relief we all feel when the days begin to inch toward increasing hours of light!

After June 21 the hours of light in our days in the Western Hemisphere diminish slowly until this darkest of all days occurs at the winter solstice. December 20 marked this longest of nights possible, resplendent with the high, shining moon! This year, the moon was full at the solstice when it isn’t always. People of the earth got to experience more hours of moonlight than has been possible for decades. This “Cold Moon,” “Winter Moon,” or, “Oak Moon,” gave a “full moon weekend,” culminating on December 20.

Now we watch as day by day, the light increases toward the summer solstice on June 20 and/or 21. Hail to the light! And thanks to the dark, sacred night, lit by the moon! Christmas is the next solstice celebration to come: a celebration of the power of the Light!

Blessings on all families, friends, and adversaries, at this remarkable time of year!


Waldorf Festivals and Santa Lucia (St. Lucy's Day) December 13 2021

Recently, we spoke to a Waldorf school-educated and recent college graduate about an experience she had had in second grade. She spoke of how this childhood event had helped get her through difficult times during her college years. The picture of this experience gave her more confidence in her studies and further underlined the importance of developing clear thinking. She held an image in her mind of the light shining good, pure thinking out into the world. She has cherished this picture and expressed her wish that all children could have this.

Book Review: The First Waldorf Teachers December 08 2021

Read of them in the NEW Waldorf Publications book: The First Waldorf Teachers: Twelve Biographical Vignettes of Leaders of the First School

The First Waldorf Teachers | Waldorf Publications Tomas Zdrazil has collected twelve biographical sketches of the twelve teachers and Emil Molt, the bold industrialist who started the whole idea of a new school, in one collection, wrapped in a single book by your friends at Waldorf Publications!

New Release - A Road to Sacred Creation December 08 2021

Gary Lamb's long-awaited compendium of Rudolf Steiner's reflection on technology has been published by Steiner Books.  Given the dependence on technology, heightened by the recent pandemic necessities, the book promises to be a remarkable resource, especially for our Waldorf community. Waldorf Publications will carry this book and so it can be ordered through us or through Steiner Books.

Transforming technology into a completely humanized tool, fueled by etheric life forces, presents a wonderful counterpoint to bending humanity to fit technology!  Don't miss this good book.

Saint Nicholas and the Chance to Reassure and Redeem a Child - The Waldorf Way December 08 2021

December 6th is the Festival of Saint Nicholas. Some countries celebrate this festival on December 5; however, whichever day, Saint Nicholas is held dear by many countries. Russia and Greece, where he was born (in the country now known as Turkey) count him as their patron saint. He lived in the late third and early fourth centuries in the Roman Empire. His fame earned him the envy of the Emperor Diocletian who had him imprisoned and killed because of this.

Many miracles have been attributed to this charismatic character. The ones that interest us in Waldorf communities are those connected to his compassion for children everywhere. He was known to have brought babies back to life. He fed poor children, found clothing and housing for orphans, and perhaps most

What is the Winter Garden or Advent Spiral in a Waldorf School? November 29 2021

Garden of Light
In a Winter Garden,
Dark the Earth below,
Earth is waiting, waiting, waiting
For her seeds to grow.

Many young children are afraid of the dark.  Actually, many grown ups are afraid of the dark too.  Late autumn and early winter, when the days grow short and the darkness dominates everything, festivals help mark the time until the light begins to fill the days again.

First there is Michaelmas or The Feast of St. Michael: This is at Autumn equinox when day is exactly as long as night. The stories at this time help us gather courage. This courage serves us when Halloween comes and the earth breathes out its last of the year’s efforts of growth and the harvest is done. The quiet is absolute and scary! Death is apparent in all the fields. The day of the Dead in Latin cultures is at this time. Next is followed, in the United States, with Thanksgiving. Our hearts relax and experience gratitude when we realize the abundance of the harvest and the good fortune we have to be alive. Gathering with family and close friends to prepare for the winter season gives us comfort.

During the month of December, the days grow their darkest. In Waldorf schools, just after Thanksgiving, there is a celebration called the Winter Garden, or the Advent Garden.  Advent means “To Come” and aside from this term used in some religious celebrations, it is meant to announce the coming of the light.

Karl König, anthroposophical doctor in the early part of the twentieth century, invented this celebration for Camphill Villages, to give community members a way to picture the need for light in the darkness, a way to anticipate mindfully the return of the light.  Many cultures and religions have celebrations at this December time of year: Hanukkah, Christmas, and Druid Solstice ceremonies to name a few..

For the Advent Spiral or Winter Garden, children come into a darkened room filled with a spiral of evergreens on the floor. Teachers carefully prepare this spiral of living greens. The evergreens make a path for children to walk in a spiral to the center. The evergreen spiral is dotted with crystals, flowering plants, and other treasures. In the center of the spiral is a candle. Into the dark room comes one child carrying a lighted taper. Often this child is dressed in white like an angel. Walking slowly around the spiral to show the watching children how to do it slowly and mindfully, the "angel" then lights the candle waiting at the center of the spiral.

Then, one by one each child goes to the start of the spiral, receives from a teacher an apple with a candle inserted into a carved hole in the apple.  The child walks the spiral with the unlit candle, goes to the center and lights the candle on the central candle that was lighted by the “angel” of the Winter Garden, the first child.  Once the candle is lit, the child walks carefully back through the spiral and finds a place on the spiral to set the apple with the now-lit candle down. Then the next child comes and does the same thing. Each child has a turn until all the children have had the chance to light a candle and place it on the spiral. Music plays and fills the room while the children walk the garden and light their candles one by one.

By the end of the ceremony, the spiral is bright with light, illuminated with all the children’s candles. This offers the children a powerful picture of light in the darkness, of one’s candle contributing to the great light with others in the dark world, of the coming of light from each of us.  It offers a reminder of the reliable turning of the sun from weakness to strength each year at the Winter Solstice. Waiting quietly in the darkness for the return of the light, contributing a little bit from each person to make the world bright, are important lessons to learn for life.

Few words and powerful pictures offer the best kind of learning.

Winter Garden Verse | Waldorf Publications

Buy Nothing Day 2021 November 25 2021

Buy Nothing Friday is upon us once again!

While you let the rest of the world carry on with the frenzy on Black Friday, YOU CAN JOIN US IN RELAXING!

Thanksgiving November 25 2021

Thanksgiving is a beautiful word and a more beautiful action. In Spanish the name of this significant day is el Día de Acción de Gracias. This suggests more completely that giving thanks is a verb not a noun or simply a day or a thing. Thanksgiving is the verb; gratitude is the graceful noun!

The Waldorf Lantern Walk around the time of Martinmas November 18 2021

Many Waldorf schools host a Lantern Walk in November and around Martinmas, the feast day for St. Martin of Tours — also Veterans’ Day in the United States. St. Martin, the patron saint of beggars and outcasts, was known for his unassuming nature and ability to bring light and warmth to the impoverished.

Today Only! 50% Off* "Traditions: Integrating the Days of Awe and Chanukah into the Waldorf Grades Curriculum" November 14 2021

Chanukah comes early this year! November 28 is the first night. The calendar sets it gracefully far ahead of Christmas — less bustle and more quiet anticipation! Here’s your best chance to (re) discover all the inspiration of Chanukah: courage, reverence, dedication, and light — all included!

Saint Martin of Tours and Martinmas November 10 2021

The feast of St. Martin coincides with Veterans' Day which is fitting since St. Martin of Tours started as a conscripted soldier in the Roman army and quickly rose to a leadership position. Legend has it that St. Martin was much beloved by the soldiers he commanded for he tended to ride behind his men to ensure that no

Perfect Gift Insurance: Ho-Ho-Ho-Holidays and Possible Backlogs! Don’t Let the Quirks Steal Christmas! November 09 2021

Order soon! Peruse our web site (and our beautiful catalog!) for gifts to give those you care about—books to treasure!  The nation-wide backlog is affecting Waldorf Publications in quirky ways. DON’T MISS THE PERFECT BOOK or science kit because of one of those quirks.

Child’s rendition of a Quirk!

Books are lasting gifts for everyone. Science kits for pre- and early-teens are such fun (in the arena of physics). There are books for every age, and every interest! Everyone wishes to read inspirational stories that fill imaginations and rouse happy feelings!

Ordering early increases your chances of accomplishing the perfect gift idea, safe from quirks! In these unpredictable years, we are resorting to early holiday prompting so that the perfect gift doesn’t disappear on you!

Shop Now!