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  Christmas 2019 Newsletter

Advent and the Star that Leads us on

The pentagram, or five pointed star was described by Rudolf Steiner as the 'star of humanity'.  It is the star that leads us on, just as it was the star that led the wise men of old to the Christ Child.  The birth of the Christ Child - that event in human history which we celebrate at Christmas - means that the birth of Christ, the Light within, is also possible within each of us.  What does it mean for the Christ to be born in me and for that light to shine in me? Perhaps it is in Advent that we can contemplate these questions anew for ourselves.  

Advent is a four week journey towards Christmas and ideally a time of anticipation as we wait and prepare.  Here in the Southern Hemisphere at summer solstice we need to let in the the light in perhaps different ways from small candles burning in the darkness of winter.  Here we need to find ways that let us experience light in the height of summer.  For this journey the four elements offer us a path week by week as we journey towards Christmas Day.  
 
Firstly through the Earth and the mineral kingdom we are offered groundedness and stability, and a foundation on which to build soundly.  This kingdom governs our relationship to space.  Here in New Zealand we can find it in many shells, starfish, and husks and be reminded of the Christ within.
 
In the second week we come to the flowers and plants through the element of Water.  Our gratitude turns to the world of the etheric, and to the life which they so abundantly express.  Rudolf Steiner referred to flowers as ‘stars captured’, and through them we can witness and celebrate growth, development, change, rhythm, metamorphosis and levity and also experience these within ourselves. The rose is an especially important representation of this for the modern human being.
 
In the third week we ponder the element of Air through which our soul life and the astral realm manifests. We now consider a different kind of mobility; it is of responsiveness and the challenge to bring consciousness to our thinking, feeling and willing.  In this week we can celebrate the soul world of the animals – the animals that were close to the Christ Child, and what their simple souls offered the world - the cattle, dog, sheep, and donkey.
 
Finally in the fourth week we come to Fire – to transformation through insight and learning.  We reflect on the freedom and responsibility of self-hood, our ‘I’ ness and on the people themselves connected with the birth of the Christ Child.  We think of Mary, Joseph, the simple shepherds who received the imagination and heard the angels singing; the wise men – Magi or priest/ kings who were able to read the stars and who bore warmth and light together. 
 
So as we take our own Advent journey, the bright outer world can reveal in manifest ways the star within, helping us to find our own sense of light and warmth, as we remember the birth of the Light of the world.

In this spirit, we wish you a peaceful journey to Christmas and a season filled with Light and Warmth

Lauren, Deb and Rosie
Taruna College Leadership Council

Completing Learning Journeys

Saturday 7 December marked the 2019 Taruna Graduation ceremony, a special gathering for students who this year completed their study on either the Certificate of Rudolf Steiner Education (CRSE) or the Art of Well-Being. It was a great joy to also welcome so many friends and family to Taruna where we spent the afternoon together making beautiful Christmas angels with Sabine Laakmaan, and folding delicate paper stars to decorate windows before afternoon tea on the lawn. Symbolically, to mark the closing of these paths of learning, and the encompassing of family and friends we also together decorated a circular Christmas wreath with flowers and greenery from the garden creating a centre piece for the Graduation ceremony, where we placed a star as each graduate received their certificate.  This was a warm and personal ending to the hard work of study and a moment to notice just what a special learning experience Taruna offers all its students.     

Ceremonies

Ceremonies are the clay
from which we mould the
meaning of our lives,
water we used to wash the wounds,
clean bandages to soothe end
keep the healing safe.

Small ceremonies like 
writing by candlelight,
making a pot of tea
to be shared with a friend,
taking a peaceful walk
along old paths,
and skipping stones along the beach
walked in our childhood.

New ceremonies like a
graduation marking learning complete
or old wounds written on small slips of paper
burned and ashes thrown into the sea,
or consecrating houses newly built
with laughter in the presence of our friends
and music.

Ceremony is a way to notice,
just a way to breathe it in,
this passage through a special time,
not to forget the depth of life
is it rolls by along the surface of our days.

Take it deep within instead, in rites
that stop the horizontal march of hours and days
And pull time down into the centre,
braided into golden patterns,
in a moment felt by all,
within the silence of a life.

Judy Brown
Art in the Garden
Every Wednesday morning this term have gathered for a lively morning of art where we explore colour, composition and the wonders of careful observation.  Next term, we will again offer two separate classes - both Beginner's Art and Advanced Beginner's Art. if you would like to join please contact Charmaine in the office. 
Enrol Now
Art of Well-Being
Our Art of Well-Being journey continued in November as we came together for the final Seminar of this year's programme.  The theme 'Staying Upright, Keeping Heart' continued to inspire our exploration of ways fo find soul nourishment as a source of renewed strength for everyday life. The motif for Seminar 3 was the Mandala, a form that reminds us of centre and periphery, inner and outer, balance within and the wholeness of a circle. We were also inspired by considering the journey that life offers us and the power of a life well-lived. Applications are open for the Art of Well-Being 2020.
Find out more
Anthroposophic Nursing

In February this group of learners will again meet at Taruna to continue their learning journey in anthroposophic nursing. 

Although there is not opportunity to join the current programme that is already underway, if you would like further information please make contact with us.

Interested?
Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education
In October, Seminar Three welcomed students to five days exploring the teacher's journey in the High School years.  Our week was inspired by the curriculum for these years as we developed our understanding of the young person's development and how the teacher and curriculum can meet needs and engage learning for the adolescent.  From an experience of the science curriculum, to hand work, to the outdoor classroom, to taking ourselves on as as teachers we deepened our connection to Steiner Waldorf education.  In January 2020 we begin a new cycle with Seminar One and a focus on the child's development journey and learning from birth to seven.  
We welcome new participants - teachers, parents and those interested in Steiner/ Waldorf education, so please make connection if you are interested in participating.
Find out more
Venue Hire at Taruna
Taruna is becoming known as a great place to host meetings, workshops and seminars by all members of the local community.  For larger groups there is the Hall, Hermes and Demeter classrooms along with the Homestead's Tui room. Also available is the Rose therapy room for health professionals wanting quiet therapy space.  Upstairs in the Homestead are the Kotare and Kotareiti rooms, more intimate meeting spaces, newly decorated with beautiful vistas to the mountains beyond. All come with the possibility of catering and access to the kitchen.  If you have an upcoming meeting or gathering do consider using one of these special spaces.
Venue inquiry
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Taruna · 33 Te Mata Peak Road · Havelock North, Hawkes Bay 4130 · New Zealand

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