A biweekly newsletter from the Anthroposophical Society in America
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June 21, 2021

Dear Members & Friends,

Welcome to summer! Despite good reasons for anxiety about extreme weather, this is a season of mysterious uplift as the summering parts of Earth reach up to the sun and raise our spirits.

Our spring appeal concludes now with more than 100 donations to “share the love” by way of a youth and inclusion access fund. Thank you!

A month ago, almost 400 people signed up for a timely half-day conference with Bastiaan Baan, Lisa Romero, and Janey Newton on “Supporting the Elementals.” It is now available in the store.

The photos this time begin in the west at the Hearst Castle and end on Martha’s Vineyard off Massachusetts.

view toward the Pacific from the Hearst Castle, California central coast


If you will be in Massachusetts, the Anthroposophical Society of Cape Ann has announced its in-person 2021 Summer Series: the Monday evenings in July plus a Sunday, all 7:30-9:00pm.
  July 5:
    A Celebration of Song and Community: festive sharing with voices, harp, recorder, piano and flute, organized by Julia Elliott, Joan Tannheimer and friends.
  July 12:
    The Duality of Light in Nature and in the Calendar of the Soul, offered by Dave Mansur.
  Sunday, July 18:
    Lifting the Veil: the New Isis Myth, with Signe Eklund Schaefer.
  July 19:
    Sacramental Conversation, with Christopher Schaefer.
  July 26:
    Pluto: The Great Reset, with Jonathan Hilton.
It all takes place at The House of Peace, 1 High Street, Ipswich, MA. Pot luck refreshments and conversation follow, donations appreciated. For more information, contact Carrie Schuchardt (978-359-9395 or email).


Everyone should have seen the email announcement some weeks ago (check your spam folder) that at the end of May our Director of Programs, Laura Scappaticci, left her position to pursue new challenges after almost five years with ASA. She leaves with a great list of accomplishments including a library of excellent webinars and program recordings, three fall conferences that built interest and support from Arizona to New Orleans to Atlanta, the remarkable Sacred Gateway events, the Holy Nights and other community building programs, many engaging podcasts, and the fully-booked and greatly appreciated Applied Anthroposophy Course.

All that was in addition to work on the Leadership Team and with the Council of Anthroposophical Organizations, the Regional Councils and Branches, and so many great volunteers who joined her to make all these efforts succeed. Energy, enthusiasm, empathy and a deep commitment to anthroposophy were joined by a feeling of adventure and laughter. And Laura found in Tess Parker a kindred spirit who became Assistant Director.

So don’t worry, more good things are on the way, including notably the online annual meeting and fall conference — “Building the Temple of the Heart” being organized by the Central Region. The Leadership Team and General Council have been discussing how to move forward now, and Council Chair Helen-Ann Ireland has appointed an ad-hoc committee that will explore our needs and opportunities as quickly as possible.

And if you missed the farewell email from Helen-Ann, John Bloom, and Laura, you can view it here with a lovely picture of the Scappaticci family. Thank you, Laura!

a pine ridge in the Sierras, California


What is the Earth Asking of Us? That is the ongoing question of the Natural Science Section colloquia. Next Saturday’s event, “Change in Understanding of Matter and New Organics,” has been moved up to 12 noon Eastern Time. (Details here.) This sixth in a sequence of presentations and conversations moves us through a process that begins with a picture of earth history, natural life processes and relationships among the many living beings that are part of the earth. Within this context we see the impact of human activity, but the presentations do not simply observe the currently depressing climate reality. Instead, subsequent presentations each explore ways that human beings are working to bring about new ways of being on the earth.

Farmers and ranchers describe methods that can regenerate the damaged soil and conserve water. A teacher shares a curriculum that brings students into an understanding of earth rhythms. Industry representatives talk about the consciousness that some companies now bring to economic decisions as the environmental impact of every element in the supply chain comes into consideration. The five colloquia thus far have woven anthroposophical understandings into their topics and have been hopeful and inspiring. We look forward to furthering the possibility of realistic hope through the remaining colloquia. 

 Recordings of speaker presentations and colloquia discussions are available with registration at the Section website.


“A path to sustainable and permanent solutions, Regenerative Ecology offers resilient and circular sustainable solutions for our current crises of biodiversity loss and climate change and is a model for others.” The World Social Initiative Forum (WSIF) which we mentioned in April is sponsoring an interactive workshop facilitated by Sundeep Kamath of the Biodynamic Association of India and General Secretary of the All India Organic Network Association (AIONA). Sundeep was part of the team that started the first school, in Asia, of biodynamic farming offering a two-year residential diploma program for underprivileged rural high school graduates. Prior to this, he was a founding parent of the first Waldorf School in Bangalore. The workshop is next Friday 25 June, 14:00 CET (US 8am EDT, 5am PDT) Register here.

scenic vista, southwest Wyoming


Susan Kurz has written a memoir where she talks about anthroposophy coming into her life as well as her time as CEO of Dr Hauschka Skin Care. We will have a review of Gardens of Karma: Harvesting Myself Among the Weeds in the summer-fall issue of being human. The publisher’s note says,

“Susan West Kurz’s earliest memories began in a garden, where she nurtured herbs and colorful flowers, nibbled sun-drenched vegetables and ripe berries, and danced with her doll, Pinocchio. Later, she landed in another garden, that one in Germany, where she shaped her budding interest into a hugely successful career for international organic and natural skin care products. 

“But for decades, Susan was steeped in another role—one of enabler, support system, and overall back-up singer to the alcoholics who were center stage in her life. The pain of that disease ultimately led her to anthroposophy, her spiritual path, where she soon recognized she had been headed all along. On her subsequent journey to health and freedom, Susan continues to find inner peace in a garden.”


Gail Langstroth, eurythmist and poet, has created a new video with eurythmy-inspired movement as a means to be present, at least virtually, at a recent festival in Bonn, Germany; it is called VOICED : words from asphalt. Perhaps like every effort to make a real emotional opening and connection, this was not easy. 

“Reaching into my studies at a theological seminary in Hamburg, Germany, I recalled King Solomon’s words, spoken, sung 3,000 years ago. These words began to speak to me now, speak as if they were the voice of my Black brothers & sisters saying, Set me as a seal upon your heart. These words became the title of my manuscript.” 

Gail’s full story of making this video is available here. She has six other videos on Vimeo.

a rural park in New Jersey


Sara Damerow, a member connected with George Washington Carver High School, the first public-Waldorf high school in California, sent along this link to the annual art show of the Sacramento Waldorf School, normally displayed in the school halls, but this year online!

“Show submissions were open to any medium of art from students, teachers, alumni, families, and the ever growing circle of friends in the wider community. ... John Mack was an amazing man. He worked at the Sacramento Waldorf School from 1988 to 2007 as our Facilities Manager. This show is named in his honor, not only because of the countless gifts his enthusiasm and hard work, his smile and his wry wit left in our community, but because it was his initial interest and excitement about the arts as Sacramento Waldorf School that led to the initial show.”

It is completely understandable, superficially, that people come to think of Waldorf as art schools. And all the care, attention, precision of art is led quite gracefully into botany, zoology, ecology, math, history, psychology, and human relations, when the drawing is of plant, animal, landscape, geometric forms, old buildings, and human faces.


Our online calendar is full of summer activities, but often with only a sample of what is being offered. If you are looking for something with no travel cost, do follow the links and look around. These groups in particular may have more on offer: The Center for Anthroposophy, Sunbridge Institute, Gradalis Teacher Education, BACWTT, the West Coast Institute, the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, and the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto (just renamed as Rudolf Steiner College Canada).

Many offerings are for early childhood and Waldorf professionals, but many others are of general interest. For example, at the Center for Anthroposophy the first week of Renewal Courses starting June 27 is all for educators, but the second, July 4-9, has four programs of wide appeal: Sacred Hospitality with Orland Bishop, Living Thinking with Michael D’Aleo, Painting Out of the Color: A Path towards Artistic Freedom, with Charles Andrade, and The Journey Held in Love: Biography Life Cycles with Jennifer Fox and Sandra LaGrega.

great stones on a beach on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

For someone who has sat way too much in front of flat screens, the least remarkable landscape can be a wonderful stretch for the eyes. A sustained close look at any sort of leaf, from above and below, or at the bark of a tree, stimulates vision at the near end. The whole range of cosmic design is a healthy springboard beyond the senses into the world of anthroposophy.

Thank you for reading, and enjoy your summer!

John Beck
Editor, being human

Anthroposophical Society in America

Anthroposophical Society in America (US)
1923 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 USA


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