A beautiful month of Michaelmas is upon us! Don’t you love the call of the spiritual path that this time of year brings forth? Let us engage in this longing and searching for the good to triumph over evil, for our inner light to shine over our baser passions, for our love for the world to expand in our deeds and responsibility toward all of humanity?
Here are some ways to prepare. If you have older children and ESPECIALLY teenagers, they should be part of preparing these things for younger children and I have included some suggestions for older children and teens directly.
1- Make a little dragon for your nature table or place to display in the house. My favorite little dragon pattern/kit is here at Mama Jude’s Etsy shop. It is called Little Dragon Friend.
2 – Create shooting stars for Michaelmas. Rhythmic Silence blog has suggestions as to how to dye and wet felt some beautiful balls for this (and add a tail!). Perhaps you could make them and then hand them out on the day of the special festival celebration.
3 – Learn Michaelmas verses. Here are a few of my favorites:
Michael the Victorious
Thou Michael the Victorious,
I make my circuit under thy shield
Thou Michael of the white steed
And of the bright, brillant blade!
Conqueror of the dragon,
Be thou at my back.
Thou ranger of the heavens!
Thou warrior of the King of all!
Thou Michael the victorious
My pride and my guide!
Thou Michael the victorious
The glory of mine eye.
I rise through the strength of Mi-cha-el
Light of Sun
Radiance of Moon
Splendor of Fire
Swiftness of Wind
Depth of Sea
Stability of Earth
Firmness of Rock.
4- Find depictions of St. Michael the Archangel in art to display. Some show St. Michael as a dragon-fighter or holding a balance scale. Different works of art show different aspects of St. Michael.
5- Stress doing good for others during this four-week period. In the book, “Festivals With Children,” Brigitte Barz talks about bringing a balancing scale into the children’s space with dark stones on one side and helping the child choose a task each day to help the archangel. In this way, different stones can be added to the other side of the balance and hopefully by Michaelmas, the scale will be in complete balance.
7 – Make kites to fly. This has been associated with Michaelmas for some time.
8 – Make a dragon out of clay or modeling beeswax
9 – Decorate a candle with a Michaelmas theme with the thin modeling candle wax.
10- Tell fairy tales to the grades-aged children that fit into Michaelmas: The Devil With The Three Golden Hairs, The Drummer, The Crystal Ball, The Two Brothers, Sleeping Beauty are all suggested.
11 – For children ages 9 and up, find Christine Natale’s story “The Golden Soldier”. You can find Christine’s work here.
12 – For even older children, Parsifal is read in eleventh grade, so those 16 or so may enjoy this tale.
13 – Tell stories about St. George, a brave knight, who is a human symbol of this conflict of slaying and taming dragons; the personification of carrying inner light at a time when the outward light is diminishing
14 – For tiny children, try Suzanne Down’s story “The Brave Little Knight” or the story “The Far Country” in the back of the book “All Year Round” for those five and up.
15 – Make plans to make “dragon bread” or a Michaelmas Harvest Loaf. There is a story to go with this in the book “All Year Long”
16 – Learn Michaelmas songs. There are some good ones in the Wynstones Autumn Book and yes, also on You Tube!
17 – Gather Michaelmas daisies.
18- Build an obstacle course that requires courage and bravery.
19 – Make a Calendula Courage Salve.
20 – Gather flowers to dye silk capes yellow for the big day.
21 – Make wooden shields or swords; have a knighting ceremony.
22 – Create a community gathering.
23 – Meditate on how we bring imagination, creativity, and fearlessness to the colder months ahead. How do we overcome anxiety or fear? How do we bring more love into the world and how do we help others?
24 – Angels can be a lovely theme for this month. I like the Paraclete Treasury of Angel Stories for reading aloud.
25 – Make a Michaelmas drawing for your chalkboard
26- Learn a Michaelmas fingerplay for the littles. See this post over at Little Acorn Learning
27 – Make a window transparency. You can see an example on my Michaelmas Pinterest board.
28 – Make shadow puppets of St. George or the archangel and the dragon.
29 Michaelmas Day – shape your celebration in the way that feels most fitting to you and your family or community. Over the years we have done simple soup and bread sharing; puppet shows; obstacle courses that involve courage, bonfires and singing. I think it just depends who you have with you and what wonderful gifts you can share with each other.
Many blessings on this time.