Copyright Alan Whitehead & Earthschooling: No Part of this book, post, URL, or book excerpt may be shared with anyone who has not paid for these materials.
Alan speaks in a very symbolic and esoteric manner in some parts of his books. Although they can be read anthroposophically, passages speaking of Atlantis, archangels, gods, etc. do not need to be taken literarily to be meaningful. The more you read, the more you will realize he uses many different religions to express ideas in a symbolic manner and not in a religious manner. His writings are not religious. In some places his writings are meant to refer to religious events in a historical way. In some places he is using religious figures (from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, Ancient Roman and Greek Religions, etc.) in a symbolic manner. However, at no point is he promoting a specific religion or speaking from a religious point of view.
I have kept the writing as close to one-hundred percent original so you will also find that he speaks of Australia often and some spelling or manners of speaking may be cultural. Any words I have changed are presented like this: <word>.
Also keep in mind that these books are written by a Waldorf teacher with decades of experience who also studied with a Steiner student himself, so he speaks to an audience that is dedicating their lives to the Waldorf method without exception.
Because of this, all of his views are not reflected in the Earthschooling curriculum and not all of them may be ones you want to embrace or are able to use. In all of Alan Whitehead’s writings the opinions are his own and may not align with Earthschooling or Waldorf Books. In some cases, we will be updating some of these chapters in the future with additional and/or updated information.
Ultimately, however, as I read through these passages I find I can distill wisdom from even those paragraphs that do not resonate with me.
We invite you to read with an open mind and heart and with eagerness to learn and discuss…
GAMYMEDE AND GANYMEDA
In the Educational Zodiac, beginning with Cancer in Class 1, the vestibule of high school, Class 8, is an Aquarian year. The Greeks also had their zodiac, here Aquarius is represented by Ganymede, Cup Bearer of the Gods. As confirmation of this high school spirit, he is a 14-year-old boy (Roman Catatimus); one so comely, that Zeus considered him too perfect to exist among mere mortals. He, as we know, had an eagle abduct the terrified boy to Olympus.
This Greek Water Bearer, in the interests of feminism, had a female counterpart, Ganymeda, sometimes called Hebe. As Aquarius has as its nominal ‘quality’, Man in Balance, this should not surprise. The lovely (again 14-year-old) Ganymeda suffered an ‘indecent fall’, a reference of course to her first menstruation. In Rome she was worshipped by adolescents as Juventas, from which our common word ‘juvenile’ comes. Hebe means ‘bloom of youth’.
Ganymeda too is depicted as a cup bearer, albeit winged, to emphasize her promotion to the ranks of the immortals. She is also called Sia by her Greek devotees, meaning ‘across’; again a reference to her ‘fall’. This descent into the blood is symbolized by the (thorned) red roses on Ganymede’s dress.
A study of the nature and adventures of these 2 ancient symbols of adolescence can illuminate some of the mystery surrounding teenagers even today. Yes, through sexual maturity there is a ‘fall’, but through their raptor-borne blossoming intelligence, there is an elevation unto higher realms; the eagle being a perennial emblem of the thought. The art of a Steiner High School Education is to soften their fall – and teach them how to fly.
The Author as adolescent: 17-years-old, 1958.
“Teach mainly with intuition before seven; with inspiration from 7 to 14, and with imagination from 14 to 21.”
Rudolf Steiner, Oxford, August 1922
“In the period from the fourteenth to the twenty first year, the Venus mysteries are now seen. We learn that the Archai are the forces specially associated with the Venus existence.” Rudolf Steiner, Paris, May 1924