The World of Fairy Tales
“Fairy tales and sagas are comparable to a good angel, granted human beings as a companion from birth on their life’s wanderings, to be a trustworthy comrade throughout—offering comradeship, and making life inwardly into a truly ensouled fairy tale!” – Rudolf Steiner (quoting Karl Julius Schröer)
“There is a big difference in whether or not one has a child growing up with fairy tales. The soul-stirring nature of fairy-tale pictures becomes evident only later on. If fairy tales have not been given, this shows itself in later years as weariness of life and boredom. Indeed, it even comes to expression physically; fairy tales can help counter illnesses. What is absorbed little by little by means of fairy tales emerges subsequently as joy in life, in the meaning of life—it comes to light in the ability to cope with life, even into old age. Children must experience the power inherent in fairy tales while young, when they can still do so. Whoever is incapable of living with ideas that have no reality for the physical plane ‘dies’ for the spiritual world.” – Rudolf Steiner
“The Interpretation of Fairy Tales”
“Fairy Tales in the Light of Spiritual Investigation”
“Fairy Tales in Education”; “Fairy Tales and Rosicrucian Wisdom”
“The Significance of Fairy Tales in Our Time.”
About the Author
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
Peter Stebbing was born in Copenhagen in 1941 and attended Waldorf schools before studying art in Brighton and London. He moved to the U.S. and graduated from Cornell University with an M.F.A. in painting. Following his first teaching stint at the University of Kansas, Peter began teaching color courses at the City University of New York in 1970. Having begun investigations into Goethe’s color theory, he visited the Gerard Wagner painting school in Dornach, Switzerland. There he began training with Wagner, who asked him to teach in the school. Peter later established a painting school at the Threefold Educational Foundation in Spring Valley, New York. For the past thirty years, he has taught introductory courses in Goethe’s color theory with experiments in England, Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S. Since 1992, Peter has been director of the Arteum Painting School in Dornach, Switzerland (www.arteum-malschule.de.vu), and has held a number of exhibitions of his work in Europe and North America.