THIRTEENTH LETTER - April 1945
The Nature of the Planetary World
The Sun I
In the 11th letter we indicated
the lemniscate form of our solar system. A conception of this world
outlook may sooner or later transform the Copernican system so that
a more spiritual understanding of the universe is awakened. As we have
now to speak about the Sun, it will be of great help if we try to imagine
this form of the Sun moving in the course of one year through space
in a lemniscate and drawing the Earth behind it in the same lemniscate.
Thus this form would constitute the path of both Sun and Earth. This
picture can help us to create an understanding of the sphere of the
Sun. The Copernican system alone cannot bring us an imagination of the
sphere of the Sun, but the lemniscate of the Sun-Earth path creates
the picture of a spatial form, which we can also find inscribed into
the human form in connection with the contradictory activities in head
and body. We can find this form also in many other connections. The
lemniscatory movement is only the fundamental principle. The movement
of Sun and Earth is in reality much more complicated, so that the Sun
appears to us on Earth to be moving through the circle of the Ecliptic
in the course of one year. However, these details need not concern us
now in our approach to the spiritual nature of the Sun.
In our previous descriptions
we saw that Saturn is the sphere or the garment of the Spirits of Will,
Jupiter is the sphere of the Spirits of Wisdom, and Mars the sphere
of the Spirits of Motion. In the sphere of the Sun — the sphere
that is the spatial form indicated by the movement of the Sun and which
we can fundamentally imagine as a lemniscate — we can see the
realm of the Spirits of Form, the Exusiai of the Greeks and the Elohim
according to the Hebrew esoteric teaching (see 9th letter).
The spiritual biography
of the Spirits of Form will give us an impression of the forces that
work through the sphere of the Sun. We can already find the activity
of the Spirits of Form within Ancient Saturn evolution. They radiated
the impulse of individualization into the Ancient Saturn universe, and
yet this planet was far from being able to take on and evolve this impulse.
Thus there remained only a reflection of the impulse of the Exusiai,
which appeared as the division of the hitherto united planetary body
into many single bodies, the predecessors of the human physical body
of today (see 3rd letter).
Therefore, Spirits of Form
appear as those Spirits who prepared the way for the final entry of
the individuality, the “I”, into the world. They continued
this through all the cycles of evolution until the time of the fulfillment
of their impulse had become, in the creating and refining of the vessel
of the “I”, the human physical form. This fundamental impulse
of the Spirits of Form is woven into their cosmic garment, which is
the sphere of the Sun. It is preserved there and is still connected
with the entry of the human individuality into the bodily form through
the gateway of birth.
The position of the Sun
at the moment of birth shows which part of the human body is especially
evolved at the time of entry into earthly life. This is very complicated,
because the, more or less, one-sided development of the body can be
a hindrance as well as an enhancement of certain capacities derived
from past incarnations. This hindrance has to be overcome just as much
as the capacities have to be developed further during life on Earth.
An investigation of the details of the nativity can reveal these peculiarities.
The positions of the Sun
in the signs of the ecliptic at the moment of birth give the foundation
for forming a judgment about the particular relationship of the human
being to its bodily form. Here we must clearly distinguish between the
fixed-star constellations of the Zodiac and the ecliptic with its twelve
“signs”. (In the 2nd letter we have already indicated this
difference.) The twelve constellations of the fixed-star Zodiac are
beyond the whole of our solar system in the depths of the fixed-star
universe. They represent the visible image of the original creative
Spirit of the hierarchical order. Also present in them is the eternal
archetypal astral image of the Individual Being as it was planned by
the Gods. In the ecliptic, which is the annual path of the Sun through
space and that is brought about by the movement of the Sun in a lemniscate,
we have to see those forces that descend as a kind of double of the
human form into the physical body and strive to make it an image of
the astral archetype. They are etheric forming powers. As the astral
archetype of humanity, visibly manifest in the twelve constellations
of the Zodiac, is a twelvefold entity, also the forming powers of the
ecliptic are twelvefold and related to the twelve principal regions
of the human body. Still, we must imagine these twelve regions of the
ecliptic separate from the Zodiac of the fixed stars. For instance,
the ecliptic commences differently; it is entirely a matter of the relationship
between Sun and Earth. This is expressed in the change of the seasons
on Earth. The year of the seasons starts with spring or at the time
when the Sun is in the vernal point. This is the point of commencement
of the ecliptic. It is related to the head of the human form, or Ram,
because it is that realm in the sphere of the Sun where the subtle formative
forces that imprint the astral archetype of the head into the human
body are centered. Thus the Sun — and also the Earth — goes
through the twelve regions of the ecliptic in the course of one year,
which correspond to the twelve regions of the human body. The Sun enters
the sign of Aries on the 21st of March, the sign of Taurus on the 21st
of April until the 21st of May when it enters the sign of Gemini, etc.
The position of the Sun
in one of the twelve signs of the ecliptic at the time of birth shows
the final “form” that has been created during the embryonic
development out of the consequences of former incarnations. During
the whole time of the embryonic processes, the Sun moved on an average
through nine signs of the ecliptic. This is an image of the evolutionary
metamorphosis of the body toward the peculiar and individual final form,
and it is also imprinted into the human form so that it appears as the
picture of the various periods in the development of the body during
the life after birth.
We will now give a short
description of the Sun in the twelve signs of the ecliptic, but we should
not forget that all these descriptions are insufficient for forming
a judgment about the influence of the Sun in the nativity, because there
are so many individual facts to be considered besides that of the position
in the ecliptic. Therefore, it is impossible to fix them into definite
The Sun in the sign of Aries
is especially active in forming the head of the human being. The subtle
etheric forces that build up the head are then used more strongly than
in any other case to express the individual peculiarities of a personality.
Those forces may then become the vehicle of the enfolding of great initiative
and energy. They make possible the introduction of new ideas, new methods,
and new outlooks in any branch of life. Such a personality may be the
bearer of an impulse, the execution of which is left to others. It is
another question whether such an impulse is constructive or destructive.
We have examples in Hahnemann — the founder of Homeopathy, Johann
Seb. Bach — the composer, and Prince Otto of Bismarck —
the founder of Prussianized Germany.
The Sun in the sign of Taurus
gives a tendency toward a strong formation in the region of the larynx.
A personality may build almost the whole of its earthly life out of
the forces that find their expression in this realm of the body. This
may appear in the predominating use of the forces of speech and sound,
as in the case of the composer Tschaikowsky or of the poet Shakespeare;
but these forces can also be misused for the sake of power as, for instance,
in the case of Robespierre and Lenin, because the position of the Sun
does not bestow upon the personality any moral judgment on the expression
of its powers.
The Sun in the sign of Gemini
impresses upon the body the formative forces that are especially connected
with the arms. A personality in whom these powers are active may feel
centered in this realm and use these subtle etheric forces for self-expression
in life. Examples are the novelist Bulwer-Lytton, whose gifts of expression
are shown in writing and not through speech, and also the painter Albrecht
The Sun in the sign of Cancer
centers the capacities of the personality in those forces that form
the chest of the human body; therefore it gives a tendency to embrace
the personal world, may it be large or small. From this tendency, love
can spring forth in the personality for that which is entrusted through
destiny to its care, or even longing for conquest. Examples are Alexander
the Great, Charles XII of Sweden, and Maximilian of Mexico.
The Sun in the sign of Leo
strengthens the formative forces that work in the circulation of the
blood and the breathing. A personality with this endowment can display
a kind of royal attitude in any sphere of life for the streams of life
flow forth from the innermost heart. This can, however, also become
the source of an extreme egoism. Examples are H.P. Blavatsky, Shelley,
Napoleon I, [and Willi Sucher].
The Sun in the sign of Virgo
concentrates the abilities of a human being in those forces that express
themselves in the region below the diaphragm. Such an individuality
can, as it were, digest the world, whether it be pleasant or hard. Examples
are Goethe, Elizabeth Queen of England, Cardinal Richelieu, and Leo
The Sun in the sign of Libra
favors the employment of those capacities that are inherent in the hips
or in the various organs of balance in the human body. A person in whom
these are developed may become a master in balancing out differences
or smoothing out difficulties in the human world. Such a person can
become an incorruptible judge as well as an insincere juggler with destiny.
Examples are Savonarola and Caesare Borgia.
The Sun in the sign of Scorpio
gives the power to employ forces that bring about progress, and often
this progress is won by the destruction of that which is outworn and
reactionary. The sweeping away of prejudice and tradition can open the
way for human progress, but it can also become a solely destructive
force. Examples are: Erasmus of Rotterdam — the humanist, Martin
Luther, and Friedrich Schiller — the poet.
The Sun in the sign of Sagittarius
gives the opportunity in life of especially using those forces that
form the thighs of the human body. It takes the human being into the
ever-changing waves of the outer world. Such a personality can be very
spirited, but if this capacity is too one-sided it can also be swept
away by its power. Examples are Mary Queen of the Scots, King Charles
I of England, Beethoven, and Heinrich Heine.
The Sun in the sign of Capricorn
strengthens those forces that form the knees and elbows. They are forces
that establish the link between the outer world of objects and the inner
world of consciousness. The sense-organs, especially the eyes, inherit
a similar capacity. Those who are born when the Sun is in Capricorn,
are faced with the problem of balancing the relationship between the
inner and the outer world. On the one hand, one may attain absolute
confidence in the objective reality of one's inner experiences;
or on the other hand, one may suffer the loss of this confidence and
strive vainly for an objective and sure picture of the world outside
the boundaries of the human soul experience. Examples are Joan ofArc,
Nostradamus, famous for his prophecies, and Isaac Newton.
The Sun in the sign of Aquarius
favors the development of those forces that build up the lower legs.
They are apt to carry the human consciousness into the realm “beyond
its skin” into the vast sea of the cosmic ether. For a personality
with these endowments, the decisive problem is whether the ego is strong
enough to hold and to orientate itself upon this sea. Examples are John
Ruskin, Byron, Mozart, and Swedenborg.
Finally, the Sun in the
sign of Pisces is connected with the formative forces of the feet. A
person born when the Sun is in this sign experiences the Earth upon
which the feet tread and, as it were, “tastes” it. According
to the power of the individual ego, the Earth is then experienced as
a fallen body or as a heavy and depressing burden, which it is humanity's
task to transmute and redeem. Examples are Michael Angelo, Victor Hugo,
Schopenhauer, and Cardinal Newman.
Thus the Sun has the power
to carry the astral archetype of the Individual Being down into the
individual life of the individual on Earth. The members of this archetypal
being are thrown into the whirlpool of individual human destiny. The
Sun of our solar system draws this virginal astral substance, which
is the origin of all physical substance, from the depths of the world
of the fixed stars toward the center of our universe. This archetypal
substance passes through various degrees of densification before it
reaches the Sun. On Earth it reaches the state of matter and of manifestation
in the sphere of the individual.
But this is not the final
step of the activity of the Sun. Of this we shall have to speak in the
following letter and we will then see that the Sun in reality is a threefold
Being. We will then have to touch on the greatest mysteries in the universe.
In this letter we have been able to describe only one side of this problem.
The Events in the Sky
The most important event
in the sky at present is the loop of Venus in the constellation of Ram
and Fishes. During the past months we have seen Venus as the bright
evening star in the western sky, but soon it will disappear completely
from our sight. It is moving backward in the Zodiac toward the Sun,
and on the 25th of April it will stand straight above the Sun. We must
imagine that in reality Venus stands between the Sun and the Earth;
only the angle in which we see it from the Earth makes it appear to
us as if it were standing above the Sun.
These loops of Venus, which
occur when it stands in front of the Sun — that is to say in the
space between the Sun and the Earth — take place in rhythmical
intervals of about 19 months, and each time they take place in different
constellations of the Zodiac. If we were to draw an image of the Zodiac
as a circle on a piece of paper, and after observing the movements of
Venus for a period of 8 years, mark the loops — inferior conjunctions
when Venus is in front of the Sun, and superior conjunctions when Venus
is behind the Sun — we would make a surprising discovery. We would
find that all the conjunctions take place at the 5 corners of a regular
pentagram drawn within the circle. In an interval of 8 years we would
always find one loop and one superior conjunction in each corner of
The present loop of Venus
takes place in Ram and Fishes. We must now imagine that at this point
in the Zodiac one of the 5 corners of a huge pentagram stands suspended
in the heavens. Therefore, this corner in Ram and Fishes must have been
the scene of other conjunctions of Venus with the Sun, and also similar
events must take place in the future.
The last loop and also the
culminating event, which was the inferior conjunction, took place at
this corner about Easter 1937. Four years later, about Easter 1941,
a superior conjunction occurred in approximately the same position.
A close comparison shows
that this corner of the pentagram has slightly moved backward since
1937. In 1937 it was exactly between the head of Ram and one of the
Fishes. Now in 1945 it has completely entered Fishes, and during the
coming 100 to 120 years this corner will slowly move through Fishes.
Not only this corner is in movement but also the whole pentagram is
slowly turning in the Zodiac like the spokes of a gigantic cosmic wheel.
We live at a time during which this one spoke of the wheel is turning
away from Ram and entering Fishes. Only after about 300 years will humanity
witness this event again.
Just as the countenance
of a human being betrays his inner emotions and experiences, this event
expresses the inner life of the spiritual worlds. In the sphere of Venus,
we can meet the spiritual beings who are the Guides and Guardians of
human communities; for example, of the nations. Thus, if the “five-pointed
star” of Venus (which is the pentagram [created by] the conjunctions
of Venus with the Sun) starts a new cycle by entering Fishes, we must
expect it to be an expression of great decisions in the sphere of the
Folk-Spirits. In looking into the events in the sky, we might say that
we can perceive something like a great council of the Folk-Spirits because
of the alarming situation of humanity on Earth.
A similar event took place
at the end of the 17th century when Peter the Great became Tsar of Russia
and westernized his country with great energy. It would be very interesting
to study the history of those days closely in connection with the events
of today, and through such a study we should find a better understanding
of many of the tendencies that are becoming apparent in Europe today.
The present loop is also
connected with the year 1937, which was the time of the so-called Civil
War in Spain, and especially with the period preceding the outbreak
of the war between Germany and Russia in the spring of 1941. This indicates
also the problems of humanity as they reveal themselves from a spiritual
point of view. The transit from Ram to Fishes suggests the West-East
problem of modern humanity that is represented in Europe in a kind of
miniature way in the polarity of Spain and Russia. Thus, if we are conscious
of this Venus-event in the sky, we learn to listen to the Apocalypse
of the coming fifty or even a hundred years, which is the necessary
result of the spiritual judgment of the events around us.