I am so blessed each year to be given the opportunity to play and sing for the Advent Spiral Ceremony in the Waldorf School.
When I was a little child, I remember my first experience of this spiral.
I was tiny, maybe 5. We entered this great dark hall. In the centre of the Hall, and spiraling out from its centre was a huge spiral made with boughs of fern and spruce, it was barely visible in the dim light. All of the adults and children stood forming a great big circle of support and witnesses, around the spiral itself. Then all the school children came in, at this time the school was very small and the students of each class were very few. they sat on small chairs near the spirals entrance. Then when everything became quiet, a gentle voice was heard, singing a gentle song. “Mother Mary gently walking…” and then quiet and out of one of the corners of the room came a woman, dressed at Mother Mary, she wore a beautiful scarf of deep blue, and her dress was deep red, we could not see her face, but in her hands she held a beautiful shining candle, and behind her walked one dressed as an angel all in white, no wings just a simple robe of white. They walked slowly and steadily with the grace that comes with the sincere practice of eurythmy, and gently wound their way into the spiral, following the spiral path until at last they reached the centre. There in the spirals centre, draped in a cloth of blue velvet, was a small chair and on this chair the woman sat, holding her candle light surely within her two hands. Then the angel proceeded to follow the path back out of the spiral and dissapeared into one of the four corners of the room.
Then a teacher rose from her seat and told a story, of how Mother Mary had brought the great light of the Christ Child to earth and how she had woven a blanket for him, from the light from all the heavenly spheres, and she had asked all the elements on earth to lend their threads, now all she needed to complete her work was one more thread for her beautiful blanket, so she turned to the children to ask them if they could share with her some of their love and shining light, to complete the blanket with the addition of their great human love.
Then the teacher took a round beautiful apple from near her and inside the apple a candle had been placed. Then she gave this apple to one of the children and the child was then invited to walk into the spiral.
And into the spiral the child then walked, he or she, might walk slowly or quickly, some shyly, some incredibly gracefully and with a mighty nobility and sureness, the child walks to the very centre of the spiral and lights his candle from the light in the cloaked womans hands, she might smile at him, a secret smile. Then as he returns on the path out from the spirals centre, he might place his lit candle along the path, to light the way for the next child to come.
And each child then went one at a time, into the centre of the spiral, lighting his or her candle from the light of the Holy ones, this light they collect then ignites the light within them for all the nobility and beauty that they are called to shine forth into the world, and we as the community bear witness to the great journey laid out before each child, the reality of each ones light being brought to this earth, and the care we must as a community give to each child to care for the light within them.
In all my years of witnessing the advent spiral, I have never seen again a woman be the bearer of the light, since then I have only ever witnessed a lone candle burning brightly in the centre of the spiral. But in my soul, I can feel the great power of the human heart magnified in the quiet stillness of the darkened room and I know Mother Mary , peace and blessings be upon her, is present.
Almost all the parents and often the teachers will cry. The immense meaning in this festival is incredible. When we are aware and learned in the golden ratio, the meaning of the spiral, the events leading up to the births of the Holy Prophets, as the earths crystals, plants, animal and human life vibrate and resonate the sacred unfolding, the mystery. The spiral, the turning of pilgrims around the holy house, the spiraling movement of the galaxies, the outward breath, the exhaling of the universe.
So I love very much to play for this event, I sing and play, and people weep, and I weep. I love to watch each child coming forward, and try to move the music to support his steps, to guide him, and to move the holiness of the event high above me, invisioning this place as a Holy house, and this event as a magnificent prayer for each childs life, something they will always remember and hold close, in the inner workings of their soul life.