A symbol that waldorf parents ought to be more aware of than perhaps they are — because it often appears in various waldorf settings, sometimes subtly, sometimes quite blatantly — is the pentagram, the five-pointed star. It’s also an important symbol at christmas, for example, it adorns the top of the christmas tree. Christmas stars are, of course, not uncommon and come in all kinds of varieties, six-, seven-, eight-pointed, you name it. Some are inexpensive, made of paper. On the photo above, you see a selection of such relatively cheap advent stars that are very common in Sweden (interestingly, I googled, and found out these window stars are popular mostly in Sweden and Germany, from where they originally came). But the star shape is common in a number of different christmas ornaments, and this post is supposed to be about the pentagram, the five-pointed star favoured by anthroposophists. So, why the pentagram? Let’s listen to Steiner:
‘Finally, the cosmic symbol of Man is the pentagram, hanging at the top of the tree. Of the deepest meaning of the pentagram we may not now speak. But it is the star of humanity, of evolving humanity; it is the star that all wise men follow, as did the Priest-Sages of old. It symbolises the very essence and meaning of earth-existence. It comes to birth in the Holy Night because the greatest Light shines forth from the deepest Darkness. Man is living on towards a state where the Light is to be born in him, where words full of significance will be replaced by others equally significant, where it will no longer be said: ‘The Darkness comprehendeth not the Light,’ but when the truth will ring out from cosmic space: The Darkness gives way before the Light that shines in the Star of Humanity — and now the Darkness comprehendeth the Light!’ [Source.]
If you want to know read more, I strongly suggest this. Actually, I strongly suggest reading it even if you don’t want to know more. In particular for waldorf parents who still believe that ignorance is bliss (and that anthroposophy’s influence on waldorf education is marginal)! Perhaps my readers can come up with examples of the pentagram’s presence in waldorf education? Because it’s not just a decorative object. I remember, for example, drawing it — big, with big crayons, on big sheets of paper. It’s also a shape used in eurythmy.
(The pentagram on the photo is a part of the nativity scene at the biodynamical gardens, Rosendal, Stockholm.)