Waldorf High School Main Lesson: The Word
4.5 (3 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
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Waldorf High School Main Lesson: The Word

The power of Language & Storytelling to unlock mythological archetypes, our Hero's Journey + the History of English
4.5 (3 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
44 students enrolled
Created by Charisse Louw
Last updated 11/2018
Current price: $11.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 40% off
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This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 2 articles
  • 76 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Deep soulful understanding of yourself and others, plus loads of info!
  • Realization of the power of sound & the origins of language.

  • Knowledge of the seminal world creation myths.

  • Recognizing Ancient Greek Archetypes & The Odyssey as an example of the Hero's Journey.
  • Coming to grips with the fascinating History of the English Language.
  • A curious mind.
  • A desire to understand Stories & Language, and their power to heal & enrich us.
  • An interest in Waldorf Education.

We begin by exploring the power and origin of sounds and words. It is fascinating to see the impact that sound has on the material world as witnessed by the use of Chladni Plates in science or the images recorded by Dr Emoto’s experiments on the molecular structure of water. We will experience the personal impact of ancient Sanskrit mantras and realise that as children we ask about our own births but as young adults we question how everything came to be.

We will explore the ancient mythologies of the world during this course, discovering parallels in many of the ancient civilizations – exploring tales from the Old Testament, the Indian Vedas, Chinese I Ching, Mesopotamia’s Gilgamesh, The Torah and the Quran. Each student will have the opportunity to research and present the creation myth of a different culture, you will also invent your very own creation mythology.

In Section 4 we steep ourselves in Ancient Greek mythology. We will unpack the Olympian pantheon as examples of archetypes and identify our own strengths and challenges in them. Each student chooses a God or Goddess that resonates with them and creates a collage.

We become familiar with Homer and his epic of the ten year Trojan War as recorded in “The Iliad,” we then launch into the remarkable journey of Odysseus and explore our own lives as examples of The Hero’s Journey. As we study and reflect on “The Odyssey,” journaling at every turn, we face our fears and make peace with the masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves as symbolised by the various magical creatures Odysseus encounters during his ten years wandering.

In our final section we trace the many tributaries of the English language, beginning some 100 000 years ago! We see how each new culture brought something to bear, from the Gaelic speaking Celts, to the Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings, Normans and eventually how the language mysteriously evolved without the assistance of invasions.

We beat out the rhythm of Old English in “Beowulf” and sing-song through the bawdy Middle English of some of Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” eventually enjoying the birth of Modern English in Shakespeare’s writing. You will come to experience English as a World Language that is always evolving.

All reading material is included in the Resources. I have included MP3s of all my lectures should you prefer to listen rather than watch, although some include slides. All you need is a dedicated journal.

Who this course is for:
  • Teens & Adults keen on healing their teenage self or understanding teenagers in their lives.
  • This Main Lesson is usually taught in Class 10 to 16 year olds, it is however hugely valuable to adults too.
Course content
Expand all 26 lectures 02:19:17
+ Introduction to The Word Main Lesson
2 lectures 07:36

Let's experiment with the power of sound vibrations! 

Preview 04:17

Where did language come from and why?

The Origins of Language
Time to give birth to yourself through telling a story of how you came to be.
Personal Creation Myth
3 questions
+ Creation Mythologies
2 lectures 05:19

What do our earliest stories, preserved through the ages, passed down for thousands of years by word of mouth, have to tell us about ourselves?

Ancient Chinese, Vedic & Zoroastrian Origin Stories

The Creation Stories from the Torah, New Testament & Quran provide further insights into the notion of Logos, the Word.

Jewish, Christian & Muslim Creation Stories
Choose a creation myth from a culture not covered in class
Research another Culture's Creation Mythology
4 questions
+ The Written Word
2 lectures 09:10

The trajectory of the Written Word starting in Ancient Egypt & China and ending with the Quran in 600AD.

Timeline of the Written Word

An action-packed adventure that's stood the test of time. Dive into the oldest epic and discover some of the mysteries surrounding it in these two interesting articles.

The Epic of Gilgamesh
+ The Ancient Greeks
4 lectures 22:39

Hesiod's Theogeny composed in about 700BCE describes the origins of the world & the genealogy of the Greek Gods.

The Greek Creation Story

Carl Jung's concept of Archetypes is a useful tool to help understand the stories we tell about ourselves.

Greek Gods as Archetypes

The mythological foundation of the Trojan War as recounted in The Iliad (be sure to look through the many and varied artists interpretations over the ages in the Resources).

The Judgement of Paris & The Iliad

The author of The Iliad & The Odyssey is shrouded in mystery. Some say he was a she, some say he was many, here is some context for these epics of Western Culture.

Who was Homer?
Choose a Greek God or Goddess that resonates with you & create a collage that depicts their qualities.
Collage your Archetype
5 questions
+ The Odyssey
10 lectures 27:39

Our epic tale begins. Be sure to check out the Map & Plot Diagram to help you get orientated for the journey. The beautiful translation in hexameter that we will be referring to is under the Resources for Lecture 10.

Preview 03:41

Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey as applied to The Odyssey

The Hero's Journey

Odysseus finds himself trapped on Calypso's Island for 7 years. What can we learn about our own stuck places? 

The Stuck Place
Think of a time you were feeling stuck or stagnant, write about it and how you came unstuck.
The Stuck Place Journal
3 questions

Instead of going straight home from Troy, Odysseus makes a Big Mistake by attacking Ismarus. Let's learn from our mistakes shall we? 

The Blunder
We all make mistakes, it's part of being human. Time to own up and realise that your mistakes are an opportunity to change.
The Blunder Journal
3 questions

Ah, some peace...but the land of the lotus eaters might not be the refuge it appears. How do we escape our duties? 

The Lotus Eaters
An opportunity to taste the sweet escapism of Lotus land. This is a 16min guided visualization followed by a free write.
Lotus Visualization & Stream-of-Consciousness
3 questions

A threshold guardian and the belly of the whale. Things get hairy and we take a good look at our own cyclopean tendencies.

The Cave of the Cyclops
What's narrowing your vision? Identify your limiting behaviours and stamp them out!
Cyclops Journal
4 questions

The bewitching sorceress Circe has a lot to teach us about the power of femininity.

What do we learn from the sorceress Circe about the masculine and feminine energies in our life?
Circe Journal
4 questions

A harrowing journey into the Underworld where Odysseus learns some hard truths and is given the opportunity to be reborn.

The Underworld
What would you ask of the dead?
Underworld Journal
4 questions
The Sirens, Scylla & Charybdis

Home. A circuitous journey back to ourselves.

Full Circle
Look back through your Journal entries on The Odyssey and take stock.
Final Journal
5 questions
+ The History of the English Language
6 lectures 38:42

From pre-history through the Dark Ages, we trace the development of Old English. I am indebted to Bill Bryson's delightful "Mother Tongue" & "The Spirit of the English Language" by John H. Wulsin Jr for this Section.

Old English

This exciting epic illustrates the powerful 4 beat alliterative lines that are the heartbeat of English.

Preview 06:17
An exercise in using the Old English 4 beat alliterative line.
Old English Exercise
3 questions

A language that is more recognisable as our own -- we look at how and why English evolved during the Middle Ages.

Middle English

Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales still entertain with their ribald wit and insight into people and their quirks. Listen to the lilt of the iambic pentameter and his playful rhyming couplets.

Write in Chaucer's iambic pentameter.
Middle English Exercise
3 questions

Shakespeare's English changed things in unexpected and revolutionary ways. Without any invasions this time English magically transforms into the language we know today.

Modern English

This irreverent video by the Open University summarises the history of the English Language, which belongs to everyone.

World Language

Let's see how much you know about the History of the English Language! 

How much do you know about the English Language?
8 questions