[Waldorf Publications, 2015]
Defenders of Waldorf education sometimes admit (a bit shamefacedly) that Waldorf originally arose from the bonzo supernatural preachments of Rudolf Steiner. But that was long ago, they say. Waldorf thinking nowadays is bonzo-free, they assure us.
We must take such assurances with salt.
The thinking behind Waldorf schools today remains bonzo, and it remains rooted in Steiner’s preachments.
Here’s an example. This is material from a book that was published recently, in the 21st century, by a Waldorf educational organization.
The book is AN EXPLORATION INTO THE DESTINY OF THE WALDORF SCHOOL MOVEMENT. The author is Waldorf teacher Fran Lutters. The publisher is Waldorf Publications, at the Research Institute for Waldorf Education. The copyright is held by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). The date of publication is 2011. The book was reprinted in 2015.
(The material I will quote is a little hard to follow. It is bonzo, after all. I will add some footnotes that may help you navigate through it.)
…The Lord of world karma is Christ  … [T]here are not only good spiritual beings , those who serve the Lord of world karma; there are also evil ones who oppose Him … The hosts of the Good are led by the prince of the archangels, Michael , and those of Evil [are led] by Ahriman/Satan ….
…[Rudolf] Steiner…may be called the great teacher of karma and reincarnation .…
When we want to find the origin of [the karma of the Waldorf School] we must go back to the 8th and 9th centuries, the time of Charlemagne  … Charlemagne founded the first schools in his realm, and…he learned to read and write himself.… 
[Charlemagne’s grandfather] Charibert de Laon…may be called the spiritual leader of the 8th century … Many of the deep insights into the world of the stars, of nature and the seasons possessed by the Druids …were [known to] Charibert de Laon … [H]e connected these insights [with knowledge] about the Sun God, who had made his abode in a son of humanity ….
[C]osmic Christianity  was taught in the Hibernian (Irish) mystery temples  … The Hibernian mysteries…taught knowledge of divine hierarchies  … [T]he Hibernian mystery centers  taught the wisdom on the ancient mysteries and of the Gnosis ….
All Gnostic schools and ancient mysteries were eradicated by Rome in the 4th century … [But in] the 8th century world karma had matured to the point that this knowledge could be revealed to humanity … Charibert de Laon was one of those who were able to receive this revelation….
— Frans Lutters, AN EXPLORATION INTO THE DESTINY OF THE WALDORF SCHOOL MOVEMENT, pp. 51-53.
Lutters proceeds to explain that Waldorf schools are modern successors to the mystery centers of yore, especially the Hibernian mystery centers. He says that Rudolf Steiner made this evident in lectures he delivered to teachers at the first Waldorf school. 
The lectures [Steiner delivered on] August 22 and 23, 1919, look like a renewal of the Hibernian mysteries within modern pedagogical striving … It is as if in these lectures we are permitted to tread the path of the Hibernian mysteries again, but now as Waldorf teachers … That which was once sought in the great Hibernian mysteries…finds its renewal in Waldorf school pedagogy…. 
— Frans Lutters, AN EXPLORATION INTO THE DESTINY OF THE WALDORF SCHOOL MOVEMENT, pp. 149-150.
So there you have it. This is what Waldorf schools are. This is what the karma of Waldorf education is. "That which was once sought in the great Hibernian mysteries…finds it renewal in Waldorf school pedagogy."
This is what a Waldorf teacher tells us, anyway. He tells us this in a Waldorf publication released by Waldorf authorities in the 21st century.
Waldorf Watch Footnotes:
 According to Steiner, Christ is the Sun God. [See "Sun God”.] Christ now presides over the forces of karma, so that he may free us from karma in the future. [See the entry for “Lord of Karma” in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia. ]
 These are, primarily, gods. Steiner taught that there are nine ranks of gods. [See “Polytheism”.]
 According to Steiner, Michael — the Archangel of the Sun — is a warrior god who fights on behalf of Christ, the Sun God. [See “Michael”.]
 Ahriman is the chief devil of Zoroastrianism. The god of darkness, Ahriman is the opponent of the Sun God. [See “Ahriman”.] In Zoroastrianism, the Sun God is known as Ahura Mazda.
 Steiner’s followers consider him to have been one of the greatest spiritual masters in all of human history. [See, e.g., “Guru”.] Many of Steiner’s teachings center on Christ, and thus they bear a resemblance to Christianity. Yet in many ways, Steiner's teachings — which constitute the core of Anthroposophy — are fundamentally incompatible with the New Testament. Thus, for instance, Anthroposophy is polytheistic, and it emphasizes such unbliblical doctrines as karma and reincarnation. [See “Karma” and “Reincarnation”.]
 Charlemagne (742-814) was king of the Franks and, later, leader of the Holy Roman Empire.
 I.e., Charlemagne was an educational innovator. As such, he set the example for subsequent educational innovators (such as Rudolf Steiner).
 These were priest/magicians of the Celtic religion, a pagan faith that flourished in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Their teachings included such things as astrology (“deep insights into the world of the stars”), which have been incorporated into the Waldorf belief system. [See, e.g., "Astrology".]
 I.e., he knew that the Sun God had incarnated in the body of a human (Jesus).
 “Cosmic” Christianity is the religion centered on the Sun God who incarnated on Earth; it is polytheistic and gnostic.
 I.e., it was taught by the Druids. Steiner taught that there have been three major streams of spiritual wisdom: a northern stream, an eastern stream, and a western stream. The “Hibernian mystery temples” were centers of secret spiritual wisdom of the western stream. Also called the “Arthurian” stream (for King Arthur), the western or Hibernian stream was epitomized by esoteric Celtic lore.
 I.e., gods. (In Anthroposophy, the nine ranks of gods are subdivided into three major groupings called “hierarchies”.)
 I.e., the Hibernian mystery temples and other centers of secret spiritual knowledge in Hibernian lands.
 I.e., secret Christian or semi-Christian spiritual knowledge. [See “Gnosis”.]
 These lectures provide the rationale for Waldorf education. [See “Oh Humanity”.]
 Lutters modestly qualifies his assertions, here ("look like", "as if"). He defers to Rudolf Steiner, so he does not assert his conclusion dogmatically. But he is clear about his conclusion ("That which was once sought in the great Hibernian mysteries…finds it renewal in Waldorf school pedagogy").
From the Waldorf Watch News
◊ READINGS ◊
THE ECOLOGY OF CHILDHOOD,
From a book by a pair of Waldorf teachers, aiming to explain Waldorf education to a general audience:
Perhaps one of the most important tasks of education in our times is to establish a healthy relationship with nature ... Merely knowing that nature needs to be respected is not enough. This knowledge must permeate our will ... The Steiner Waldorf method of teaching is itself ecological ... Children are very sensitive to the atmosphere of place, a damp, dark hollow in the earth, a wide stretch of shining wet sand, a snowy forest. They do not remember the outer detail and can scarcely describe it, but they know how it felt. Whenever children have an intense experience of natural phenomena, say a cold wind, a frightening dog, stinging nettles, a moon hiding behind the clouds, what lives on in their memories are complex vivid pictures bound up with the child's own feelings and reactions. Such pictures are common to the language of fairy tales in which the natural world often takes personified form, with elemental beings inhabiting the different realms of earth, air, water, and so on. Here, too, we hear of the whispering wind, the laughing waters of the stream, the wise old owl ... To be told on these special occasions when the sky is filled with sunlight and rain that the fairies are baking, explains nothing in adult terms but [for the child] creates an indelible mood of magic. To be told that the rainbow is caused by light refracting through raindrops is neither plausible to a child nor particularly inspiring.
— Christopher Clouder and Martyn Rawson, WALDORF EDUCATION - Rudolf Steiner's ideas in practice (Floris Books, 1998), pp. 83-90.
Waldorf Watch Response:
Advocates of Waldorf education expend considerable energy attempting to make the Waldorf approach seem sensible. They offer sweeping statements about the mindset of children; they paint vivid word pictures; they latch onto contemporary buzz words; they tone down or sidestep the actual content of Rudolf Steiner's educational dicta. When they succeed, they produce texts that, at least on first reading, cause few alarm bells to ring. The quotation above is not a bad example of sensible-seeming pro-Waldorf prose.
But a second, closer reading may indeed set off peals of alarm.
Consider what Clouder and Rawson wind up saying. Don't tell young children the truth about rainbows (or other natural phenomena). Tell them pretty falsehoods that will create a mood of magic. Give the kids vaguely memorable but emotively powerful mental pictures, such as those produced by fairy tales.
Don't tell the truth. Tell fairy tales instead. "The fairies are baking."
This is an utterly shocking educational approach. And, of course, I have oversimplified, misrepresenting Clouder and Rawson, at least a little. Waldorf education does not actually oppose the truth — it is based on a mystical, fantastical conception of the truth, a conception in which telling kids fairy tales amounts to telling them the real, magical, transcendent truth.
In describing nature as it appears in fairy tales, Clouder and Rawson say that "the natural world often takes personified form" in fairy tales. Thus, the "realms of earth, air, water, and so on" are represented in fairy tales by "elemental beings." In other words, the creatures in fairy tales — fairies, gnomes, and the like — are merely fictional representations of real natural processes. Ultimately, the "mood of magic" produced by apparent fantasies (the fairies are baking) leads children to a genuine appreciation of the real natural world.
This may sound very nearly reasonable. But if I was unfair to Clouder and Rawson, above, they are being unfair to us, here. They are practicing a certain sleight of hand on us. Their book is about "Rudolf Steiner's ideas in practice" — Steiner's preachments as put into practice in Waldorf schools. Well, what did Steiner actually say about these matters?
Steiner did not say that elemental beings are mere fictional representations. He said that elemental beings (otherwise called nature spirits or fairies) are real. He said that elemental beings actually exist. He said gnomes really dwell deep in the ground, undines really exist within water, and so on. They are real. [See "Neutered Nature" and "Beings".]
And what did Steiner say about nature? He said that nature is the outward expression of the elemental beings. Clouder and Rawson turn things around when they suggest that the elemental beings merely represent nature. In fact, according to Steiner, nature represents the elementals. And nature consists of four fundamental "elements" (earth, air, fire, and water) because these are the outward garb the four basic types of elemental beings (gnomes, sylphs, fire spirits, and undines) [See the entries for these terms in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]
And what did Steiner say about fairy tales? He said fairy tales are true. He said fairy tales present the true clairvoyant visions ancient peoples attained and then reported in story form. [See "Fairy Tales".]
This is the "magic" that Waldorf education seeks to evoke for young children. It is the clairvoyant, spiritual truth as conceived in the Waldorf worldview. According to this way of thinking, rainbows really are produced by fairies high above who are weaving their magic. This is how the universe really works, from a Steiner/Waldorf point of view.
Steiner did not deny that, at a prosaic level, talking about sunlight being refracted by raindrops may make sense. He said that older children should be exposed to the concepts of prosaic, physical science. But these older kids should come to such concepts carrying in their hearts a mood of magic, a mood deeply internalized during their earliest Waldorf years, when they were immersed in fairy tales and myths and fables. Students should, in a sense, never really wake up from the fantasies of childhood — because these fantasies are ultimately true, Steiner said. [See, e.g., "Thinking Cap" and "Steiner's Blunders".]
Occasionally Steiner's followers write more candidly than Clouder and Rawson did in the quotation we have been considering. Here is a statement that appears on the back cover of NATURE SPIRITS, a collection of Steiner lectures published by the Rudolf Steiner Press in 2000:
“In ancient times, when people had a natural spiritual vision [i.e., clairvoyance], human beings communed with nature spirits. These spirits — which are also known as 'elemental beings' — became known as fairies and gnomes ... It is Rudolf Steiner's contention, based on knowledge attained through his own highly-trained clairvoyance, that this aspect of traditional 'folk wisdom' is based on spiritual reality ... Without developing [a] new relationship to these beings, humanity will not be able to bridge the gulf that separates it from the spiritual world. For the nature spirits can be of great assistance to use in this goal, acting as 'emissaries of higher divine spiritual beings' [i.e., the gods].”
This is the "reality," the "truth," that Waldorf education is ultimately meant to serve. This is the ethos in which it is wrong to tell young children that rainbows are produced by sunlight refracting through raindrops; this is the ethos in which it is better, and truer, to tell the kids that "the fairies are baking."
In a real education, young children would be helped to see how wonderful nature really is. They would be helped to appreciate that sunlight and raindrops combining to produce brilliant colors in the sky is an exciting, comprehensible phenomenon. They would receive real information that would help them to love reality. But this is not the goal of Waldorf education. Waldorf is built on falsehoods involving clairvoyance, elemental beings, a pagan panoply of gods, and other fabrications. These are what what students receive when they are exposed "to Rudolf Steiner's ideas in practice." The fairies are baking.