Over the Holy Nights, we shared several days exploring themes in The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily (a fairy story by Goethe 1795). What follows is a summary of our exploration.
The series commenced on Sunday 12 noon (after the Service) of St Stephen's Day 26 December 2021, with a summary of the fairytale. More than a few of us expressed regret at having missed this first session.
Goethe's fairy tale The Green Snake and Beautiful Lily was the topic of a study group, in the time between Christmas and the New Year, meeting every other day. There were three sessions which culminated in a final recapitulation on Sunday 2 January at 12noon,after which time (around 1p.m.), we broke bread at table together, and then reconvened at 2pm for the read-through in whole.
The experience of delving into this timeless story on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday made the totality of the work accessible, meaningful, stimulating, and alive. We read aloud, and discussed the pictures formed inwardly from the tale; holding these images as potent icons of wisdom and mystery, as well as relevant considerations to our world situation as it is today, 2020/2021/...
The discussions sometimes kindled a passion in convictions and perspectives, and more than one of us brought the reflections home, but we always returned to the unique aim which was to hold those pictures which derived directly from Gœthe's story in the foreground. We returned to giving our best attention and focus on the themes, pictures, and soul language of The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily.
There were varying levels of familiarity with the story, from the purely uninitiated to those who'd lived through more than one form of the work brought to life.
On Sunday 26 December was the summary of the Fairytale in its entirety; an overview was explored.
Next, Tuesday 28 December: the proposed conversation and consideration was on
the Ferryman, Snake, the four Kings, and the beautiful Lily.
Finally Thursday 30 December, the conversation and consideration were on the Youth, the Old Man, and the Old Woman.
The final "performing-aloud" took place on Sunday 2 January 2022, from 2 to 4:45 pm. We had the aide of a slender volume authored by Benedict Wood, a dramatisation for the Fairytale. Additionally, with the 7 colour plates from paintings of David Newbatt, based on the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily viewable in the background (how rich were we in accessing these external pictures to accompany our inner ones), our humble troupe devoted ourselves to this inspired, thoughtful, and not altogether unpleasant task.
"The time is at hand...
Many signs combine me.
.. Mediate deliverance,
[ and realise in the world
and within each of us: ]
wisdom, appearance, strength."
~ words captured in my journal during the study of Gœthe's Green Snake and Beautiful Lily fairytale.
An Scairbh, Co an Chláir
4 January 2022
The Purple Room is our chapel, community and culture space. This autumn we are exhibiting work from Daniel Ospina, a Columbian born, Irish resident artist. Daniel works deeply with thematic content from the work of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy.
You can visit the exhibition space during events and opening hours, and by appointment.
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Community made artwork from the Christian Community in Ireland. Working together with a working image and a goal, this fig tree was created as a Monday image.
Jesus Curses the Fig Tree
18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, she became hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.
20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Matthew 21: 18-22
An Activity for Palm Sunday and Holy Week
In each package* is a pouch of wheat grain to soak and sow for easter grass. Easter grass is traditionally planted on Palm Sunday and nurtured over the Holy Week until Easter Sunday.
Growing your own Easter grass is a simple process that anyone can do. Growing your own wheat grass has long been a tradition in Waldorf circles as a way to welcome spring.
Supplies needed to grow your own Easter Grass
The most important step: soak the wheat grain overnight
Make sure to soak the wheat overnight. The night before you plan to start your basket, place the wheat grain in a bowl and cover them with water to soak overnight. Make sure the water covers them completely as they will soak it all up.
In whatever you are planting in, add a couple inches of soil, and then top with the soaked wheat grain. Cover in a VERY thin layer of soil.
Make sure the grain is still nice and moist. If not, spray them with a water sprayer.
Make sure to keep spraying the grain with water. Don’t let them dry out or they won’t grow.
On the very next day after you’ve planted the grain, you should already notice them growing! Make sure to keep them moist as they grow. Just keep spraying them with water. You might have to water them every day. Or even twice a day.
See how fast this grass grows! And use the growing green blades of wheat to decorate your easter table, nest your boiled or chocolate eggs among them, and celebrate the spring and the return of life!
* because we couldn't hold an Easter service for the children, we sent them parcels with Easter activities and goodies!
As we cant open our doors and welcome the children for the childrens service this Easter, this year we are bringing Easter to the children with parcels for each with easter grass for planting, dyes for eggs, an Easter story, a felted or sewn gnome, a beeswax egg candle, and a little something sweet, along with a letter for each child from our priest. The packages will all arrive by tomorrow (Friday) for the festive season...
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