Make Haste Slowly… or as they say in Latin, “Festina Lente”

This is an Ancient Greek philosophy that I try to live by. Since I was a very small child there’s been something about the oxymoronic culture of the ancients that has always fascinated my mind. Perhaps it started in kindergarten when we studied the Native American indigenous tribes of the area here in Northern California. But for sure I was set in my ways by 4th grade when I briefly attended a Waldorf school and was introduced to the myths.  The Norse, Greek, Persian, Chinese, African, North and South American… I was hooked on all the stories! Crazy stories of Titans, Gods, Humans, mystical creatures like Dragons, Elves, Giants, Witches, Demons, Wizards, talking animals, etc…


In the landscape of mythology I found truth. Tiny little treasures of it, like scouring the endless sandy beaches for the precious rocks, shells and sea glass that seems to call to us. To beg for us to pick them up and honor their beauty by decorating our homes and gardens with the colors and textures of our very own memories.

Returning to public school in the 6th grade was a bit of a culture shock. Back to a standard curriculum of math, science, English, and history according to American political agenda. At Waldorf school we were speaking English but studying German, French and Italian. Not to mention reading sacred text of multiple cultures. There was music, art, movement, woodwork, pottery, crafts… The structure seemed to me more like a university not grade school and I loved it. The seed was planted in my young mind.

It wasn’t until my brief time in college that I was returned to the study of such things as mythology. And it was there that I discovered what would become my life philosophy, “Festina Lente” or hasten slowly.

The concept is illustrated with an ancient symbol of a dolphin wrapped around an anchor. Though the dolphin looks more like a serpent, perhaps due to the fact no one had ever really seen dolphins up close in these times.

from Gabriel Rollenhagen’s Nucleus emblematum selectissimorum
from Gabriel Rollenhagen’s Nucleus emblematum selectissimorum

“Carpe Diem” is a similar philosophy that many know and try to implement in their lives. What’s your life philosophy and how did you come to it? Please join the conversation by adding a comment below!

2 Replies to “Make Haste Slowly… or as they say in Latin, “Festina Lente””

  1. Thanks for the feedback Geordie. You’re one of the few people I’ve ever heard mention Zoroaser! Great stories from all the old Persian texts. Some of my favorite tales of the gods and humanity for sure.

  2. I’ve felt the same pull back in history to an archaic revival. There’s something about the ancient Persian religion of Mazdaism (Zoroastrianism) and it’s core tenets of “righteous thoughts, righteous words, righteous deeds” that feel beautiful to me. I am specifically thinking of Cyrus the Great [Achemenid period] and his ‘Cyrus Cylinder’ being the derivations of where the Napoleonic code, Magna Carta and our own American constitution comes from. Very interesting history.

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