The Hidden Geometry of Flowers: Living Rhythms, Form and Number
Keith Critchlow

The higher purpose of geometry is to participate, body, soul and spirit, in the objective universal laws that govern and cohere our universe. This activity can lead us directly to the centre of our own understanding which unifies us with the whole." -Keith Critchlow

Flowers speak to us in the language of nature.

The flower becomes a teacher of symmetry and geometry (the eternal verities, as Plato called them). In this sense, we can treat flowers as sources of remembering ways of recalling our own wholeness, as well as awakening our inner power of recognition and consciousness. What is evident in the geometry of a flower's face can remind us of the geometry that underlies all existence.

Working from his own flower photographs and with every geometric pattern hand-drawn, Keith Critchlow reviews the role of flowers from the perspective of our interrelationship with the natural world. His illuminating study attempts to re-engage the human spirit in its intimate relation with all nature.

"Another tiny favourite in my childhood is the Forget-Me-Not. The geometry of this remarkably proportional small flower is startling in its conformity to pentagonal symmetry. It is clear that the centre of this flower is a decagon or ten-pointed white star."

Keith Critchlow has spent his lifetime researching the universal principles of geometry,  the area of design where art and mathematics meet, and in the study of nature and ancient and medieval sacred cosmological stone, temple, cathedral, and mosque architectures.

The Hidden Geometry of Flowers is a culmination of his life's work. With over 500 breathtaking color photographs supporting the eloquently written text, Critchlow reveals the hidden geometry of flowers through his hand-drawn geometrical drawings, drawn to exactly correspond to the flower and plant photographs.

"When seen from behind, the sepals and petals of this modest but beautiful Borage flower dramatically celebrate fiveness in line and plane."

The 448 pages of the book are divided into six parts. The introduction gives an overview of how we can begin to look at flowers anew, the quality of number in flowers, and modern science, truth and beauty.

The second part of the book, Viewing Flowers from Different Perspectives, looks at traditional perspectives of flowers, quality as well as quantity in observing number and flowers, the seed as point of origin and potentiality, and concludes with a wonderful section on symmetry in flowering, the spirals of unfolding, the orientation of the face of flowers and the archetypal geometric form and spirals.

Part three, the Geometry of Flowers, is the largest section of the book and has over 100 pages of photos and drawings of dozens of flowers, both in pure color and highlighted by geometric overlay. Many charts, line drawings and historical imformation accompany the different flowers.

Flowers of Geometry, the fourth part of the book is a section on the many ways to draw, construct and appreciate the different geometric forms revealed in flowers.

Leaves and Life's Most Consistent Miracle: Photosynthesis explores the beauty in all facts of photosynthesis.

The final section of the book, Conclusions, ties everything together and explores our human relationship to flowers for the future. It begins with a short excerpt from The Rock by T.S. Eliot:

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

The Hidden Geometry of Flowers is a treasure for any teacher or student of nature. Learn more about the Hidden Geometry of Flowers here.

"This is a fine example of the nineness which is found in some types of cactus."

Remedial Education Courses
Starting this coming fall in CA and MI

This fall, there will be a new course cycle starting for the remedial education courses in California and Michigan. Time to apply now, if you're interested.

Rudolf Steiner College
When there is a lack of completed development, students struggle to learn. Teachers looking for a deepened understanding of child development as a foundation for learning, as well as practical pedagogical approaches, will find this program helpful. By relating the individual learning differences to students’ developmental situations, teachers can develop appropriate activities that meet the needs of their students whether in the classroom, small groups or in individual lessons.

The Remedial Education Program is a part-time course of study designed to educate Waldorf teachers and related professionals in educational support theory and practice. This support includes assessment, individual drawing, painting, and movement exercises, creative tutoring, as well as classroom strategies to aid challenged students with their daily schoolwork. Graduates of this program work as classroom teachers, educational support teachers, resource teachers, educational therapists, therapeutic educators, or educational consultants.

Learn more about the Remedial Education Program at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks.

Association for a Healing Education
A growing portion of children in our classrooms demonstrate a wide range of learning differences for which we need additional preparation. Some of these are: abilities in specific modes of learning; comprehension and memory weaknesses; social challenges and developmental hindrances. Teachers often ask about creating effective environments for these children. What activities can be included that will provide general or individual practice and bring more balance to a child’s experience? If you would like to learn more about the children of today and how to guide them, we offer you a step-by-step enrollment path that lets you choose your level of deepening over time.

Common themes throughout the years include: honing our observation skills, the complexities of the child of today, causes of challenging behaviors, games and activities to strengthen the developmental path, and pedagogical methods to help children overcome the obstacles that lessen their capacity to reach their full potential. We will tap into the little-known treasures of Waldorf Education, experience the Extra Lesson and its application in the classroom, and consider like-minded researchers and methodologies.

Learn more about the AHE Educational Support Program in Ann Arbor here.

Eggs for the Hunting
The Latest of the Tiptoes Tales from Reg Down

Spring is full of life and life is full of eggs, all sorts of eggs: great cosmic eggs and tiny butterfly eggs, salmon eggs and bird eggs, rabbit eggs and special eggs being gilded and painted by two gnomes called Pine Cone and Pepper Pot. They have been told (gossiped, to be correct) that Farmer John's children, Tom and June, are going to give them special eggs for Easter, and they decide to reciprocate. However, if you are a gnome, a small gnome, even if you are two small gnomes, then the simplest of tasks (such as finding a bird who does not mind giving you a couple of eggs) can be a problem...!!!

Woven into the fabric of the book are many tales, myths and legends: Pepper Pot reads the history of King Karnac and The Turning of Time, Madam Two-Pecks tells her chicks how the universe was created from the World Egg, and the Wise Salmon in Running River tells the fingerlings about the great cycle, the Egg of Life. "Eggs for the Hunting" is a spring tale, a wonder tale, affirming the joy, humor and mystery of life.

If you aren't a "Tiptoes fan" yet, "Eggs for the Hunting," the seventh book in the Tiptoes Tales, is a great place to start. It's a wonderful book for young children, highly imaginative and utterly entertaining.

Learn more about "Eggs for the Hunting" here and all the other Tiptoes books as well. Make sure you read "The World Egg" below, a chapter from the book.

The World Egg
Or Creation According to Madam Two Pecks

By Reg Down
A chapter from Eggs for the Hunting

      Out in the hen house the chickens were getting ready for the night. They wandered in one by one, clucking softly to themselves until the farmyard was empty – except for Six O’Clock the Rooster. He stayed outside because he had to crow from the barn roof the next morning. He was sure his crowing made the sun rise, and that without his cock-a-diddle-dooing we would all live in darkness. He flew on top of the hen house and kept guard.
     The sun was settling behind the forest trees when Farmer John locked the hen house door. It was made of metal so that Mr. Fox could not get inside no matter how hard he tried. The chickens flew up to their roosts and tucked their heads beneath their wings. Madam Two Pecks stayed below and sat with her chicks in the nest.
     “Peep-peep!” went the chicks underneath her wings. “Peep-peep!”
     They were asking for a story. “Please-please!” is what they were really saying.
     “Pwawk-pwawk-pwawk,” answered Madam Two Pecks. “Pwawk! Pwawk!”
     This meant: “Settle down my little ones and I’ll tell you a tale. Quick! Quick!”
     Quickly the chicks snuggled under her feathers and settled down.
     “Soon it will be Easter Sunday,” she said, “and tonight I will tell you an egg story. Easter is the day the Easter Chicken comes and hides eggs all around Farmer John’s garden for Tom and June to find. Farmer John tells his children it’s an Easter Bunny that hides the eggs, but that just shows you how silly humans can be. Pwawk-pwawk-pwawk!—and humans think they are so clever!” she chuckled. “Everyone knows that rabbits don’t lay eggs!”
     Madam Two Pecks closed her eyes, fluffed out her feathers, and rocked her head back and forth. “This story,” she said, “is called The World Egg.”
     “There was an Egg, once upon a time, before time was to once upon. It was the World Egg and it was huge. It had to be huge because everything was inside the egg.”
     “Everything!” peeped the chicks in astonishment. “Everything?”
     “Yes,” said Madam Two Pecks. “Everything. The whole hen house, all the chickens, all of Farmer John’s farm, the barns, trees, fields and Running River—even the sun and moon and all the wiggly worms you’ve ever seen—they were all inside the egg.”
     “How about Mr. Fox?” asked Flip-Flop. He had big feet and they flipped and flopped whenever he ran.
     “Yes,” said Madam Two Pecks, “even Mr. Fox. Everything was inside, and they were all asleep. Rivers didn’t run, wind didn’t blow, even the sun didn’t shine or the moon change her shape. All were asleep. Sound asleep.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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Rider at the Gate
    John Masefield

A windy night was blowing on Rome,
The cressets guttered on Caesar’s home,
The fish-boats, moored at the bridge, were breaking
The rush of the river to yellow foam.

The hinges whined to the shutters shaking,
When clip-clop-clep came a horse-hoofs raking
The stones of the road at Caesar’s gate;
The spear-butts jarred at the guard’s awaking.

“Who goes there?” said the guard at the gate.
“What is the news, that you ride so late?”
“News most pressing, that must be spoken
To Caesar alone, and that cannot wait.”

“The Caesar sleeps; you must show a token
That the news suffice that he be awoken.
What is the news, and whence do you come?
For no light cause may his sleep be broken.”

“Out of the dark of the sands I come,
From the dark of death, with news for Rome,
A word so fell that it must be uttered
Though it strike the soul of the Caesar dumb.”

Caesar turned in his bed and muttered,
With a struggle for breath the lamp-flame guttered;
Calpurnia heard her husband moan:
    “The house is falling,
The beaten men come into their own.”

“Speak your word,” said the guard at the gate;
“Yes, but bear it to Caesar straight,
Say, ‘Your murderers’ knives are honing,
Your killers’ gang is lying in wait.’

“Out of the wind that is blowing and moaning,
Through the city palace and the country loaning,
I cry, ‘For the world’s sake, Caesar, beware,
And take this warning as my atoning.

“‘Beware of the Court, of the palace stair,
Of the downcast friend, who speaks so fair,
Keep from the Senate, for Death is going
On many men’s feet to meet you there.’

“I, who am dead, have ways of knowing
Of the crop of death that the quick are sowing.
I, who was Pompey, cry it aloud
From the dark of death, from the wind blowing.

“I, who was Pompey, once was proud,
Now I lie in the sand without a shroud;
I cry to Caesar out of my pain,
‘Caesar beware, your death is vowed.’”

The light grew grey on the window-pane,
The windcocks swung in a burst of rain,
The window of Caesar flung unshuttered,
The horse-hoofs died into wind again.

Caesar turned in his bed and muttered,
With a struggle for breath the lamp-flame guttered;
Calpurnia heard her husband moan:
    “The house is falling,
The beaten men come into their own.”

      The Ides of March is this coming Thursday and was the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated.
     The word Ides comes from the Latin word "Idus" and means "half division" especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar indicating the approximate day that was the middle of the month. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months.The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held.

"Rider at the Gate" is in the "History" chapter of the Waldorf Book of Poetry.

Click here to learn more about the Waldorf Book of Poetry with over 425 poems that enrich and support the Waldorf curriculum for grades one to eight (and beyond).

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Our sponsors—Thanks! Please welcome our new sponsor- Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto and the Summer Festival of Arts and Education

Creating Space for the Mysterious

Creating space for the mysterious is our guiding impulse for this summer's festival. How can we make an opening in our busy lives to see ourselves as creative beings, to listen and to act upon that which patiently waits at the periphery of our consciousness?

Our higher selves - Imagination, Intuition, and Inspiration - yearn to find a place in us and to offer their wisdom to our work and play. By consciously creating a listening place in our hearts we can prepare ourselves to work in harmony with the abundant teachings of the mysterious.

Welcome parents, educators and artists interested in working with the imagination. Our international team of workshop leaders will lead us on a journey into the mysterious through the realms of the arts and ideas. Collaborate with like minded individuals. We have expanded our offerings into the evenings and weekend.

Click here to learn about Creating Space for the Mysterious in Toronto this summer.

TADS - Serving Schools and Families

Engaging Academics, Theater & Travel!

Quality Education in the Heartland

With Eugene Schwartz & Faculty

Excellence in Waldorf Teacher Education
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