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Lectures from 1966

On-line since: 31st August, 2016

COSMOLOGY IN THE LIGHT OF THE HOLY GRAIL

Hawkwood College, Stroud, 15-21 July 1966

By Willi Sucher

   

[Ed. Note: The Ecliptic Signs and the Constellations of the Zodiac bear the same names (Aries, Taurus, Gemini etc.). Because of the precession of the equinox of 1 every 72 years, the constellations and signs no longer line up; therefore, in line with Willi's later custom, we have used the English names of Ram, Bull, Twins, etc., when Willi is speaking about the Constellations and the Latin names of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc., for the Ecliptic Signs.]

   

Permeation of the Ancient Star Wisdom by the Christ Impulse

   

It is essential that humanity make a new connection with the world of the stars. We are using Rudolf Steiners Christ and the Spiritual World, the Search for the Holy Grail (Course of six lectures given at Leipzig, 28 Dec. 1913 to 2 Jan. 1914) as a foundation for this course. In one of the later lectures, he clearly suggests a definite viewpoint leading to a new Christianized astrology. This is a concept full of pitfalls, yet working with the unique contribution of Rudolf Steiner, it can be positive and constructive.

Rudolf Steiner speaks of the great pre-Christian Deeds of Christ, which helped humanity evolve its faculties through evolution. All the time between Atlantis and Golgotha was devoted to the preparation for this great Event. Rudolf Steiner speaks of three great stages in the spiritual life of humanity in pre-Christian times. We shall work today with the concept of the seven branched candlestick, which has been used to show how previous evolutions are reflected into the following ones, but we will refer to it from a different aspect (see below).

In the distant past, the Persian civilization did not have an astro1ogy. Rather, it was a spiritual chronology which was inaugurated into that civilization by Zarathustra. At that time they did not look at the individual planets for their insights; instead they looked into the planetary movements and their rhythms as the medium for indicating something deeper. For instance, Saturns rhythm takes a little over 29 years in moving round the zodiac. This is connected with time, e.g., chronology. The Saturn rhythm was, therefore, of great importance to them.

In the following civilization leading over from the ancient Persians, the Egyptian-Chaldeans concerned themselves with astrology out of their capacity to see a spiritual element the expression of divinity behind the planetary movements. One of their Kings said, I went to the Temple of Ishtar (Venus) and was instructed. The Temple was then a Ziggurat, built of many platforms with the temple at the summit, where the Priest read the Will of the Divinity through the study of the stars. The King, thereby, gained information from the planets through the priests and received his instructions. You may know that the planet Venus writes, with its conjunctions with the Sun, a five-pointed Pentagon in the universe of the sky. In accordance with the rhythmic sounding of these five corners of the Pentagon, humanity learned what to do. With wakening ego consciousness, on the way to a universal ego consciousness (not egoistic), humanity has taken hold of the possibilities of reading the will of the deity. Unfortunately, in modern astrology, this has become the domain of a curious and only personal pre-occupation.

In the Greek civilization, a concern with meteorology developed. Apollo, in the sanctuary at Delphi, manifested in the vapors of the deepest Earth realm as an imagination of the dragon. The stars were no longer conceived as anything but a meteorological environment of the Earth. This was the time of the inauguration of the Festivals of the Seasons. The introductions of these great Festivals are deeply associated with events in the Earths atmosphere.

With the Jewish civilization came Geology and the time of the descending Logos. This began before the Exodus, during the time of Abraham at Ur in Chaldea, where the priests ruled whole communities through star wisdom. This was also true of the Celtic peoples. Abraham left Ur for Canaan to find his equilibrium geographically also. Jacob moved into Egypt, and the Hebrew lot became unbearable, so that Moses inaugurated the exodus out of Egypt, which would prepare for the incarnation of Christ. They were 40 years in the desert, and the names of the places even disclose geographical secrets of mythology. Finally they settled in Palestine.

The fundamental revelation of the Hebrew people was to reject all that went before, including astrology, to concentrate on the Palestinian earth where the Incarnation was to take place. The manner in which the Twelve Tribes geographically settled, expressed the Hebrew Name of Jehovah. They thus wrote the power of the approaching Christ into the soil.

Painfully the Hebrews carried forward the hereditary stream to produce the selected body, or vessel, of the Christ. But despite millenniums of labor, only a few of the Hebrew people realized this. Probably only about 500 participated consciously. It is easily forgotten that the greatest events have passed unnoticed. In the Christ Events, we have great archetypes for the future evolution of humanity. This is a lesson, as we are sorrowful that Anthroposophy is rejected. Progress will be slow. It will not come by mass movement, but by individual effort.

We find a reflection of the above manifestations of civilization on the opposite side of the candlestick (at right). The cultivation of the Christian festivals can be considered a counter-balance to meteorology. The festivals, for example Easter and Christmas, were introduced in the first millennium.

In the 9th century, there was almost a repetition of the Christ Events cosmically. An act of cosmic memory was introduced into history, which can carry traditional astrology forward in a new way. Rudolf Steiner spoke about the Grail in the lecture cycle that is the basis for this course. He describes how, through his own long researches, he was able to experience Michelangelos Pieta, which led him to a recognition of the image of the Holy Grail. He also realized that the name of Parsifal was written in the vessel of the Moon. Thus a rebirth of astrology on a Christian basis can, and must, be achieved.

The future or even now, as it has begun in our present time is set against chronology, chiefly in the realm of cosmic rhythms. We dimly know of the wisdom of the Three Kings following the Star, a seemingly naive story, but it can be scientifically proven that they had a knowledge of cosmic rhythms. Documents exist indicating that this was known in Persia. The sages knew that they must watch for certain guiding heavenly events. The Kings of the East were the last of a long stream of Initiates, whose roots were founded in Persian wisdom and who could calculate according to cosmic rhythms in particular, the conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter.

Jupiter periodically catches up with Saturn, as its orbital rhythm is approximately 12 years to Saturns rhythm of approximately 30 years. At these moments of conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn, a kind of cosmic conference occurs that measures coming events. One cannot repeat previous epochs, nothing but decadence would result; and here, clearly lies the hand of the adversaries, who wish to cover up and obstruct humanitys breakthrough to a Christianized chronology.

Transformation of wisdom is possible through the cosmic rhythms. For instance, Dr. Hauschka has made a significant start in this direction. Soon the Moon and other planetary rhythms will follow the discovery of that of the Sun rhythms, and a new science of rhythmology, or rhythmosophy, will overtake chronology. We know that the Moon rhythm can affect the water in bottles under certain conditions, so as to force it to rise and overflow. The Moon rhythm is connected with all fluid rhythms of human, animal and plant life, and indeed, the tides of the Earth and also the saps of the plants. Mediaeval farmers sowed and reaped according to the Moon phases. The waxing Moon excites the rising of the saps, while the waning Moon withdraws the water levels.

Humanity will have to distinguish between the east-west rhythms, and the north-south rhythms between the point of rising and the culmination along the Meridian (the circle from the south, through the zenith, to the north, etc.). Both rising and setting points have healing perspectives. Forces connected with the setting point are more mechanical and will be employed in connection with its rhythmic forces in the construction of machines. Fuel must one day become exhausted, and a new source of energy from the cosmos to humanity will need this Christian knowledge to be at hand in order to understand first the planetary workings and then the planetary rhythms.

All this has been imprinted into the Earth through the Christ Impulse. In St. Mark I, we read, In the evening, after sunset, they brought unto Him many sick, and He healed them, and in the morning, before sunrise, He went into a desert place and prayed. Christ wrote into the Earth something that a new humanity can discover. This was the most practical Deed of the whole Earth. In the morning, Christ gathered the cosmic forces into His Being at sunrise and in the evening poured these forth in healing. He even selected His disciples at noon, as such forces can also be used for purposes other than healing. The new rhythmology must come, and we are in the midst of a development that will bring a conscious rebirth in humanity of the ancient capacities through the Christ Impulse.

In the 9th and 10th centuries, a cosmic repetition of the Christ Events at Golgotha in 33 AD happened. Just after Golgotha, Uranus was close to the Sun in its perihelion and Jupiter was in its own ascending node. These are important points in the career of a planet. But with Uranus close to the Sun, in its perihelion, an apocalyptic revelation was crystallized. As humanity rises to full consciousness, this Uranus calls for inspiration, while Jupiter rising also realizes something coming to a head. Jupiter is associated with the transition of the spiritual worlds government from the Father to the Son. The Heavens accompany this event a very rare event so that Jupiter and Uranus are synchronized. This is so rare as to happen nearly every 1,000 years. This recurred at the time of Parsifal, in the 9th century. Although Jupiter revolves round the zodiac every 12 years, Uranus is moving more slowly.

In 1882 this occurred again, at a time when Dr. Steiner met Schrer. Also Wagner was working on Parsifal, through which he fought through to his own Christianizing, which can be clearly seen in his operas.

After Whitsun in 1966, the same event recurred and threw the door open to a kind of recapitulation of chronology on a rhythmic basis. We can now move forward confidently and individually. This Christianized cosmology will be needed by a future humanity, which will not be able to live without it.

All this can be summed up in the Grail Impulse, as one can see in Christ and the Spiritual World. The Grail is an Imagination so vast and esoteric that it can be accepted by all humanity. Christianity has unfortunately been maneuvered into the position of a religion among religions. It should comprise all religions. The science of the Holy Grail unites humanity spiritually. It realizes the events that took place at Golgotha of Christ Jesus and the mystery of the Holy Grail. Jesus was the body, the Vessel. Rudolf Steiner speaks of the tremendous thirty years preparation of the corporeality presented to the Christ Being as an Incarnation Vessel. The stream of Gospel heredity represents the Moon element. The highly cultivated element of Moon evolution was Jehovah. At the Baptism, the Spirit of the Sun enters this Vessel of the Moon (c.f. La Pieta the Virgin with the Son on her lap). This is the Great Image and principal Archetype that must and can lead all future humanity. Nature is the vessel, too, into which we must incarnate the spirit through inner work. Only then can we permeate the Earth and humanity with the Christ, and the Christ Impulse leading to the future.

How can we relate this to astrology? The cosmic rhythms are the vessel, but humanity is no longer open to receiving them. We, through inner work, must introduce rhythmology into our lives, through study and the evolving of spiritual capacities. Thereby we can fill this vessel and embark on a Christianized astrology, or astrosophy. We receive the heavenly gifts of incarnation and excarnation, and into them we should pour all that we have evolved and manifested through Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition.

   

   



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