Chrysalis Steiner School: The Miracle of Life

Chrysalis Steiner School

The Miracle of Life

“Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom”

Harriette Hartigan

The Class 7 Birthing Main Lesson, gifted to Chrysalis many years ago by the wonderful Joie Vanrenen, is unique to our school and provides students and their families with an opportunity to take a profound journey through the miracle of life. With a focus on each individual student’s unique birth, we explore the art of storytelling with joyful reverence, we create meaningful artworks which are gifted to each family and we explore the fascinating world of biological science.

To begin our Birthing Main Lesson each student takes the time to connect with their parents and conduct a meaningful interview about their birth into the world, which often reveals the nuances of their start in life. Students are guided to produce an autobiographical body of work that includes the writing of their birth story, a poem and the drawing of their birth mandala. Their birth story is then shared in a very safe and warm-hearted space of the storytelling circle. The adolescents sit in a space of engaged and respectful care for one another in these storytelling circles and display open hearted, joyful reverence for the birthing process. In our modern times this is a rare opportunity for teenagers to sit in gratitude and marvel at how unique and miraculous each birth is. This precious birth story is then bound in a book, together with work they have created throughout the main lesson. This book, along with their poem, some beautiful songs and a framed mandala (the frames they also create in woodwork class) are lovingly presented to their parents at a special evening dinner. Last year was an exception as this gathering could not take place due to Covid-19, however the students created beautiful parcels and video recordings to gift their families instead.

In the four years I have taught this main lesson I have witnessed processes of deep healing and various breakthroughs with the teenagers. This main lesson takes us all into the spaces we may fear, love, resist or openly invite into our lives and as challenging as some of this may be for the students, they eventually discover it is truly worth the courageous and deeply rewarding journey. This main lesson fortifies the already deep and loving connections the students have fostered throughout their time together at Chrysalis and it allows them to experience a very intimate and vulnerable place with one another that brings them closer.

Over the years I have been approached by different members of our community who have expressed their delight and eagerness for their child to experience this incredible main lesson. I have had precious moments of seeing the student’s faces light up when they see their mandalas framed and beautifully presented, the same students who initially had great resistance in creating a drawing or telling a story. I’ve walked into people’s homes and met with precious birth mandalas that were created many years ago, hung above the hearth and I have listened to the wonderful stories of the joy and inspiration the student’s artwork has brought to the parents and the students. It has been a privilege and a deep honour to have held and participated in such a soul enriching experience as is the Birthing Main Lesson and I look forward to this work continuing on at Chrysalis for many years to come.

Soli Villarroel

Chrysalis Steiner School is located in the beautiful Bellingen Shire. We are currently seeking a warm, experienced and committed teacher for Class 7 & 8 in our Middle School program starting in 2022. You can find further information via the link here: Chrysalis Steiner School Class 7-8 Teacher