Early Beginnings

Anthroposophy came to Nova Scotia in 1954, when Drs. Hans and Lotte Castelliz left war-torn Europe to accept an invitation from the Technological University of Nova Scotia in Halifax (TUNS) to participate in asbestos research, which had recently emerged as an urgent health issue. Hans responded to questions from some of his colleagues about his scientific ideas by introducing them to the exciting and as yet little known field of projective geometry, thereby opening up for them the possibility of
scientifically exploring beyond the finite spatial world we already know:

“The mathematical laws of a perspective transformation make it clear
that the vanishing point, or indeed any point on the vanishing line, does
not form a fixed boundary, but a threshold, beyond which modern
mathematical thinking can see. This threshold is crossed, as soon as the
restricting conception of a centric and finite spatial world is overcome”
(Olive Whicher, in Sunspace, 1989).

From such initial discussions grew an on-going and expanding commitment to study the ideas and work of Rudolf Steiner, an
unusually gifted seer and scientist whom Hans had first known while still a teenager in Europe. Diverse reading and study
groups, workshops and conferences have continued to feed the interest in anthroposophy in Nova Scotia for six decades.

From early reading groups during the 1950s and 60s at the home of Drs. Hans and Lotte Castelliz in Bedford, momentum grew, especially in the areas of science, education, special education, health, agriculture, and the arts.

By the 1970s a number of initiatives were underway: a school, a Mother’s Support Group, a public lecture series, a farm, a traveling puppet show, a natural foods store. By the 1980s several individuals had already taken up extensive anthroposophical training as teachers, early childhood educators, and artists. Hans and Lotte continued their scientific research in physics, chemistry, and metallurgy, and research gradually developed in other areas as well. After Hans died in 1985, Lotte became ever more supportive of those working to further anthroposophy in Nova Scotia. She devoted her final years to establishing a fully functioning Rudolf Steiner group to embody the heartfelt vision she and Hans shared of fostering anthroposophy in their adopted homeland.

Although it took several more years after her death in 1990 to fully accomplish this goal, the stalwart dedication of her good friend Anna Keefe and a number of other members of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada eventually bore fruit in the form of a clear, legally recognized identity for the NS Group of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada, made up of all Society members who reside in Nova Scotia, with gatherings open also to members in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

“The abstract ideal of brotherhood or companionship must become something real. How can companionship become real? By associating, by truly uniting with the other… Associations are the living embodiment of companionship.”
Rudolf Steiner (Stuttgart, 22 November, 1920)

…and a brief look at the present.

The Nova Scotia Group holds an Annual General Meeting for all members. Those who are willing form a Carrying Group and meet three additional times during the year to administer necessary business. (Urgent matters are handled by email as required.) The Carrying Group also plans and welcomes all Nova Scotia Group members, together with friends and interested others, to four festival celebrations each year. Individuals are encouraged to – and frequently do – take initiative for organizing extra festivals, as well as other events.

To join the Anthroposophical Society in Canada, visit https://anthroposophy.ca

To be added to the NS Group email distribution list for members and friends, please send contact information to keppie@eastlink.ca

To learn more about specific initiatives in Nova Scotia please continue to visit this website.


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