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ACESTA conferences have since 2016 always taken as their theme a renewed understanding of the human relationship to the three areas of life: to the Earth, to the Other, and to the Divine and experience these as seen through the lens of Therapeutic Education and Social Therapy.

We live in a time where these relationships are under severe strain, with the three areas of human experience in utter confusion, depletion and destruction where-ever we look.

How can we use the skills that are and have been necessary to be therapeutic teachers, and social therapists: working therapeutically with people, with the arts, craft; and with the land; to reach a new way of looking into our present situation and what each can do both individually and together with others to learn to understand, accept but also alleviate the suffering of all Being.

Our next title will be

The Human Being from Culmination to Potential, a Journey

Why from Culmination to Potential?

Rudolf Steiner suggested that the human being has reached culmination in terms of form. The Earth is dying. She has started on her process of descent. What will happen after this death process? What is the journey, the next step? A.I? Or is there another alternative, another potential; and how can we prepare for it?

Christopher Fry has one of his characters Meadows in his play A Sleep of Prisoners say:
“Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride of soul we ever took”.

After death we stride on a backward journey. Earthly Space and Time fall away. How can we understand this backward journey, what is holding us there? What images can help us?

Salmon swim against the tide and up waterfalls. Minerals from the depth of the Ocean are found upstream even up to the top of the Alps. What are the forces that make this happen?

Rudolf Steiner wrote:
“The Stars once spake to man,
it is world destiny that they are silent now,
to be aware of the silence can be pain for earthly man,
but in the deepening silence there grows and ripens what man speaks to the stars,
to be aware of the speaking can become strength in Spirit man.”

What is this journey, what is this Word? How can we speak, how can we hear, so that we become resilient and dare to make this step into the unknown?

How can we strengthen ourselves and each other, create new environments for the Soul? Become flexible and turn ourselves inside out and upside down to be able to gaze into the invisible, hear into the silence? Overcome our fears, our doubts, our hatreds in the darkness?

Goethe wrote: What is more precious than gold? Conversation.
The Word shared, the Word heard, reciprocated.

Between the two cupolas of the first Goetheanum we see a larynx shape in the meeting between the two spaces of Life and Form, between the 7 and the 12.

Whitsun has a special relevance for us today because it is the Festival of the Future, the Festival of the Word, of the moment that celebrates the birth of the free human being and Anthroposophia, and also the festival of the journey that opens up the door to our potential as we attempt the journey to overcome the desires of the lower self and surrender to the Higher Self.

Christ incarnated in this culmination of the human physical form to create a Body for the Future, what does that mean?

In a very practical daily way, how do we work for the Good, for the transformation of substance, of form, of heart, hand and thought so that we too may help to create this Future: a renewed Earth and Human Form.

We look forward to welcoming you to Emerson College and to working together on these themes.

Paulamaria Blaxland-de Lange

Conference Fee For ACESTA MEMBERS – £195*

Conference Fee For non members –  £210*

*Please click the Book Now Button for Meals & Accommodation options and prices and to book your place on the Conference.


Programme for the ACESTA conference at Emerson

Download Programme

Saturday 27th May

  • 11am – Registration
  • 12.45 – Lunch
  • 2pm – Introduction Paulamaria Blaxland-de Lange and Singing with Anna-Christina Gorbatschova
  • 2.45 – Workshops
  • 4.15pm – Tea break
  • 5pm – Conversation groups
  • 6.15 – Supper
  • 7.30 – Pericles Theatre Company: The Cat that taught the Seagull to fly

Sunday 28th May

  • 8am – Open Introduction to the School of Spiritual Science with Simon and Paulamaria Blaxland-de Lange
  • 9am – Singing
  • 9.20 – Linda Thomas: The home as a living organism where true transformation of discarded substance offers creation of potential for the future
  • 10.30 – Coffee break
  • 11.15 – Workshops
  • 12.45 – Lunch
  • 2.30-3.30pm – Ianthe Lauwaert and Melody Brink: Motives of our Hearts
  • 3.30-4pm – Martin Schwartz: why circus-skills?
  • 4pm – Tea break
  • 5pm – Conversation groups
  • 6.15 – Supper
  • 7.30 – Richard Steel: Kaspar Hauser and the Calendar of the Soul – A Path to Human Potential and Healing the Earth” with a harp introduction and Singing us to bed

Monday 29th May

  • 8am – Open Introduction to the School of Spiritual Science with Simon and Paulamaria Blaxland-de Lange
  • 9am – Singing
  • 9.20 – Thomas van Elsen: Social Farming as social and ecological inclusion: Creating environments for the Future.
  • 10.30 – Coffee break
  • 11.15 – Workshops
  • 12.45 – Lunch
  • 2.30-4pm – Workshops
  • 4pm – Tea break
  • 5pm – Conversation groups
  • 6.15 – Supper
  • 7.30 – David McGavin: Patients revitalising anthroposophic medicine with a harp introduction and Singing us to bed

Tuesday 30th May

  • 8am – Open Introduction to the School of Spiritual Science with Simon and Paulamaria Blaxland-de Lange
  • 9am – Singing
  • 9.20 – Ricardo Pereira: Crafts as Process from Finished Form to Living Potential
  • 10.30 – Coffee break
  • 11.15 – Plenum Conversation, Sharing and Singing
  • 12.45 – Lunch

Tuesday 30th May
Review and ACESTA AGM

Conversation groups (3 sessions plus plenum)

A Richard Steel
B Thomas van Elsen
C Linda Thomas
D David McGavin
E Ianthe Lauwaert and Melody Brink

Workshops (4 sessions)

1 The 7 social laws, Spiritual Biography: with Hartwig Ehlers, Jon Geelmuyden, Ricardo Pereira and Peter Brown (a continuation from the Social Farming Conference on 2022)
2 The Karlsteyn Portraits and Whitsun Painting: with Mary-anne Paterson
3 Circus Skills, A lesson in topsy turvy: with Martin Schwartz
4 Singing: with Anna Gorbatschova
5. Connecting to Nature through Meditation and Movement: Co-creation for the Future: with Michael Fuller

These sessions are formed to make it possible for all those who do the Conversation groups to join the workshops and vice versa.

This conference is designed for all participants to feel themselves invited to contribute and for all contributors to feel they can participate.


Further Information

27 May 2023
to 30 May 2023


Emerson College
Forest Row, East Sussex RH18 5JX United Kingdom