The Star Calendar was written for many years by Norman Davidson, a teacher at Michael Hall in England and Director of Teacher Training for the Waldorf Institute/Sunbridge College in Spring Valley N.Y. It was originally produced to assist other teachers in becoming familiar with the night sky as it appears to the unaided eye – with the phenomena which may at first puzzle the over-educated observer. He, as a teacher, was struck by the sudden change in orientation of the crescent moon one spring, from standing upright in the morning, to lying flat on its back in the evening a few days later (this latter position he coined, poetically, as a Grail Moon). He resolved to understand this through his own effort, and did so. He then distributed Astronomy Notes to those who valued them, and wrote two books on the subject; Astronomy and the Imagination and Sky Phenomena. He felt that the phenomena must first be experienced directly, naively, for what they are before intellectual concepts (unobservable!) like the moving, spinning earth and the Copernican system can be properly taken in. The reality is what we experience. An explanation places our inner reality outside – makes the phenomenon an abstraction. Norman’s monthly sheet was picked up by some publications – such as LiLiPoH – and was appreciated by many.
Following Norman’s death I was approached by the publisher of a Newsletter serving the greater Threefold Community to continue his column. I agreed to do this as a labor of love – both for Norman and for the subject. Although Norman and I were intimate friends for some 25 years, and saw eye to eye on many aspects of life and existence, I cannot duplicate his style – which was truly stripped to the bare phenomena. I have given myself license to characterize insofar as it reveals a quality or enhances clarity, or helps to feel the gesture of a phenomenon through time. I wish neither to force any imagery, nor to be cute. I claim only to be an interested observer – not an authority – and I can make errors, made sometimes comical by possessing the perverse trait of occasionally speaking or writing the exact opposite of what I intend. Norman used me as a proofreader and sounding board – but I have none. Due to this, I only send this column to those who ask for it, and with this caveat.