Letter 2 — February 1952
A long time has elapsed
since my last letter, and again I am behind with the Star calendar. A lot of
things have happened during the Christmas time, making it rather impossible to
concentrate on these communications. I hope in future to come to a point when I
shall be able to send out these letters to you on time.
I have added a calendar
sheet for January through April, which contains the main aspects of the planets
and also those of the Moon. Don’t be disturbed by the multitude of events that
are indicated and which I cannot explain at present. I shall discuss the nature
of all the aspects of the square, trine, opposition, conjunction, etc., in
detail in future communications. You will understand that it is technically
impossible to tackle it all at once.
I have also worked out a
circular star-map below for the period from January 1 to April 30. This will
enable you to follow the transitions of the planets and of the Sun from one
constellation to another. Also the phases of the Moon are indicated, but its
daily positions you can work out in connection with the aspects of the Moon.
For instance, if it says in the calendar sheet for February that the Moon is in
opposition to Uranus on the 21st, then you will realize that on that
day the Moon is in the constellation of Archer; or that on 23 February the Moon
is in conjunction with Venus, meaning that the Moon has just entered the
constellation of Goat. [Ed. Note: This is the only Star-map included; the
Calendars are not included. All the graphics in these letters were drawn by
I shall now try to give
you a few indications concerning the events among the planets. In order to
enable you to make a real beginning with this, I shall single out one or two
aspects; otherwise, things become too overwhelming, unless you have acquired an
excellent mastery of the celestial symphony. I gathered that this was the
difficulty with regard to my first letter. The details given there were too
many and were more confusing than helpful. I realized this too late, but
perhaps you received an impression of the future aims of these communications.
One of the main events in
the first quarter of 1952 is the third opposition of Saturn and Jupiter on 21
February. In the first letter I spoke extensively about these oppositions in
connection with certain historic events. This also, of course, holds true for
the third opposition. However, today I should like to approach this event from
a different angle.
You will remember from
the first letter that these conjunctions and oppositions of Saturn and Jupiter
in the same constellation take place according to a rhythm of roughly 60 years.
For instance, the present three oppositions were preceded by another three in
1891-2, the third one of which happened in the constellations of Virgin/Fishes.
Halfway between lies another rhythm of conjunctions in Virgin, for instance, a
single conjunction in 1921, that will be followed by another three conjunctions
of Saturn and Jupiter in Virgin in 1981.
I should now like to draw
your attention to the connection between the conjunction in Virgin in 1921 and
the present oppositions in Virgin/Fishes. You will remember how extremely
chaotic those years were immediately after the World War I. There were
catastrophes in the social and economic spheres, which were especially felt on
the continent but also in other parts of the world, and the years about the
time of that conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Virgin in 1921 represented a
climax. Rudolf Steiner was still alive then, and we remember the many things he
said with regard to that crisis of modern humanity. We could gather from his
interpretations and ideas that those events were only the long shadows, as it
were, of much more radical happenings in times to come. Not many people may
have taken those warnings very seriously. We know how little inclination arose
at that time to accept the remedies and the constructive ideas that Steiner
Now, the second half of
the 20th century has opened with the opposition of Saturn and
Jupiter in Virgin/Fishes. We can consider the development from the conjunction
to the opposition like the opening of a flower bud, and indeed, we cannot
complain about the precision with which the destiny of humanity has proceeded,
just on the background of the Saturn-Jupiter events. What happened in and
around that time of 1921 was only a forecast of what would happen if the
required changes did not take place, and it has become a frightening reality in
our day. It looks as if our entire world is about to tumble into an abyss of
social and economic catastrophes, the magnitude of which it has never
These human problems are
connected, of course, with the position of Saturn in Virgin, especially in
times when it has an aspect to Jupiter or to one of the other planets.
Naturally, other planets standing in Virgin can also speak a similar language,
but it may then concern a different sphere of life. We can verify this to
ourselves by a very simple consideration. We know that Saturn is connected with
the sphere of action of the Spirits of Will (or Thrones). We can truly see
gestures of the Divine Will in the movements of this planet, of that which is
the innermost essence and direction of cosmic and human evolution. Of course,
the human race has now come to a point where it has the freedom to accept or to
disregard the call of that Divine Will. But we must not forget that
disregarding the call would mean falling away from the course of divine
evolution and entering a phase of universal destruction and chaos.
Furthermore, we know (see
Isis Sophia II, Part Two) that the constellation of Virgin is the
archetypal, cosmic region of the digestive sphere in the human body. Therefore,
Saturn in Virgin, as the external gesture of the Will of the Divine World, is
calling for a change, a transformation, even for transubstantiation of existing
institutions. Something similar to cosmic “digestion” or breaking-up of
seemingly well-founded conditions is demanded. Why? For reasons similar to why
we can neither refuse food nor refuse to digest food that we have already eaten:
It would otherwise poison and kill us. For the sake of our progress as the
human race and the world, we are not permitted to hold fast to conditions and
institutions that may have served well in the past. They must be constantly
broken up, “digested”, transformed, and renewed; otherwise, humanity would not
fulfill its task in the cosmos.
You can also imagine what
will happen if this call for a total transformation is not heard in our time.
Just imagine that our digestive sphere is in disorder and that we refuse the
medical prescription. The disease will go on, and will appear in all sorts of
disguises, until reason is given a hearing or death conquers the patient. We
must not forget that this present age has produced a good number of prophets of
gloom who prognosticated the “Decline of the West” and similar aspects. Is this
humanity on the road to prove them right?
We see the gestures of
the starry universe coming to life in our earthly problems and difficulties.
Certainly we, as a small group of people, can do very little to make our
answers, which we may have to these humanity problems, heard in the external
world. Yet, one thing we can do, which is to become more and more conscious of
that which weaves and is woven spiritually around us, thereby standing above
the seemingly inevitable decline. Thus there may be a handful of people who
facilitate the continuity of human evolution. This is also a task, even a
supreme task. In this connection, I wanted to put another matter before you
today. One of the greatest difficulties of bearing the starry events in one’s
consciousness is the multitude of facts and the magnitude of the events that
one has to consider. I should therefore like to tell you of a method by which
you can overcome some of those difficulties and can look at the cosmos as a
living organism. It is the “cosmic aspect” of the Lord’s Prayer. I have
sometimes spoken about it in the past and some of you may know it.
Nevertheless, you may find it useful to have it in written form, although I
imagine that today I can only develop the outlines. We shall speak much more
about it in the future.
We repeatedly referred to
Saturn as a gesture or an expression of the Divine Will, because its sphere is
connected with the Spirits of Will. The Lord’s Prayer also turns to the Will of
the Divine World and the suggestion is near that we are in both cases
confronted with the same spiritual reality.
After long and careful
considerations over years, we came to the conclusion that this is correct. You
will understand that it is a very subtle matter, and we shall need a lot of
effort in order not to misunderstand it. By no means do I want to present to
you a cheap comparison. In reality it is a very active connection, a kind of
sublimated Lord’s Prayer.
We find in cosmic space
the planets that belong to our own solar system. Their impacts work upon the
Earth as well as in everything that the human being is, both in a bodily sense
and in our thoughts. Usually we are not aware of this fact that the cosmos
extends into our own being, just as the sea expands into the land in gulfs and
bays, but we can develop a consciousness of it, without feeling ourselves
determined by these facts. As free individualities, we can look down to those
regions of our own organization and of our earthly environment where the forces
of the cosmos are at work. Then we experience, for instance, the planets like
great questions, almost like queries that can come to life in our own problems,
and we may feel called upon to find the appropriate answers ourselves.
We can experience these
answers, which demand great efforts from our moral imagination, as a kind of
Lord’s Prayer. Of course, the fullness of this experience depends to a high
degree on the power of comprehending the totality of the planetary world. This
can be acquired by relentless efforts and inner practice.
We experience the
planetary world in a twofold way when we distinguish inner (inferior) and outer
(superior) planets. This distinction has a much deeper occult significance than
one usually realizes. It is possible to see the world of the inner planets as
more connected with the existence and the life of the “creature”, whereas the
outer planets are much more associated with the great processes of cosmic
Thus we can even imagine
the planets being distributed externally in the sky as indicated in the above
starmap. At least we can perceive the spheres of the planets in their
relationship to the Earth as being arranged in the manner suggested. We are, of
course, aware that these invisible spheres are the fields of action of the
We turn first to the
outer planets. There we listen first to the gestures and language of Mars. In
which direction can we find the answers? Generally speaking, they are contained
in these words of the Lord’s Prayer: “Hallowed be Thy name.” Why? It is from a
multitude of aspects that we come to this viewpoint. The “name” is the external
expression of the inner nature of the being. Therefore, perceiving and
realizing the true nature of the physical universe is “sanctifying the name” of
the Divinity. The “truth” about the nature of the objects of the physical world
is connected with the sphere of Mars. We know that in the Mars sphere we find
the archetypes of the physical world during the life after death. Therefore, by
trying to find the answers to Mars in the sky, we are really doing something
that we normally do during our sojourn in the sphere of Mars after death.
Next to Mars
we become aware of the planet Jupiter. By the presence of this planet in the
cosmos, we are reminded of that sphere in which the germinal beginnings of the
future stage of the Earth evolution — the Jupiter condition [known as Ancient
Sun] — is nursed, and Jupiter calls for our cooperation toward that future
goal. We certainly cannot expect anything from Jupiter beyond what it offers
and hands on to us, which is the capacity of thinking. As a capacity, we must
cultivate and nurse it within the compass of our earthly environment and
requirements. We do this by lifting our thoughts out of the realm of purely
abstract reflection and by infusing spiritual ideas and thoughts into our daily
tasks. This active, not merely receptive attitude toward Jupiter, we can
experience and circumscribe by the words: “Thy Kingdom come.” The Kingdom is
that future Jupiter condition whose “corporeal” foundation will be the ideas
and the thoughts that Earth-humanity is thinking.
About Saturn, [which
remembers Ancient Saturn], we have already spoken in this letter. We mentioned
that its sphere is connected with the activity of the Spirits of Will. But here
we are confronted with the same situation. It will not do if we sit down and
wait for Saturn to work for us. We must learn to identify ourselves with the
Will of the Father; only then will we really be free. This high aim, to which
Saturn calls our attention, we may experience concentrated in the words: “Thy
Will be done.” We have thus taken into our considerations the highest sphere of
our planetary cosmos. The planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto must be considered
from a different angle. They belong to our solar system in a different sense
from that of the five planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury.
From that highest sphere
of Saturn, we return to the Earth. This return to the Earth is most important,
for we have actually done it by seeking the answers on the Earth. In the Lord’s
Prayer this is expressed in the words: “Thy Will be done on Earth, as it is in
Heaven.” From the Earth we now look to the opposite side of the sky, and first of
all, we find the Moon (see diagram). The Moon gives us our physical existence
in material bodies. For instance, we know that it is deeply connected with our
embryonic development; and in a very wide sense, it builds the vessel in which
all Earth beings can sail through their earthly existence. As human beings, we
can concentrate consciously on these facts. We make use of the vessel in order
to achieve the higher aims of humanity. Thus our answers flow back to the Moon,
concentrated in the words: “Give us this day our daily bread.” We need the
bread for sustenance, but in the form in which it comes from the cosmos,
through the Moon, it would be useless unless we transformed it. In this
constant transformation is our answer to the gifts of the cosmos.
Beyond the sphere of the
Moon is that of Venus. Without going into greater detail now, I call this
sphere “Mercury” in the occult sense. In this sphere is the field of activity
of the hierarchy of the Archangeloi. We know that they are those spirits who
work, for instance, as folk-spirits in humanity. Generally speaking they are
active in all that concerns human relationships, human community life. In this
sphere we accumulate karma, which accompanies us through our Earth existences
and constantly demands from us rectification and redemption. We are especially
asked in this age to fulfill these demands. Knowledge of karma and
reincarnation is the great task of present humanity. This task, the ceaseless
struggle to create the balance between individuality and community, appears
concentrated and made conscious in the words: “Forgive us our debts, as we
forgive our debtors.” It is the answer to the warnings and the impact of the
“sphere of Mercury”, indicated by the planet that we are accustomed to calling
Then we are led further
to the planet Mercury whose sphere we regard in occultism as Venus. It is the
sphere of activity of the Archai, the Spirits of Personality. We see in those
great guiding spirits, the endeavor to lead us to the realization of our own personality.
This process is the background of history; therefore, these spirits are also
called Spirits of the Ages.
On this road toward the
development of personality, we are exposed to the great temptations that we
learn to recognize as the luciferic and ahrimanic dangers. These adversaries of
the true human being can only be overcome by their recognition. By increasingly
developing the powers of intelligent recognition and distinction, which are
inherent in us, we are not led into temptation. Therefore our human and earthly
answer to the admonitions of the sphere of Occult Venus can be concentrated in
the words: “Lead us not into temptation.” In order not to be led into
temptation, we must cultivate and practice our capacities. This part of the
Lord’s Prayer does not suggest only a passive attitude, especially if we try to
comprehend its cosmological implications.
Finally, we come to the
Sun (see diagram above). As we know, this Sun in pre-Christian times was the
great promise of Redemption and Salvation. Now, after the Mystery of Golgotha,
we realize that its spiritual essence is intimately connected with the Earth.
In the future of our cosmos, this Sun will again unite with the Earth, as they
were as one in the past.
From the indications of
spiritual science, we know that the structure and nature of the Sun is the
exact opposite of that of the Earth. As much as the Earth is a place of
contraction and material condensation in the universe, so much is the Sun a
focus of dissolution of matter and etherization. The great cosmic Initiator of
the Sun activity, the Christ, has entered the Earth existence. He will
transform the Earth in time into a cosmic focus similar to that of the Sun.
This process will result in the union of Sun and Earth. As humanity, we can
partake in this great cosmic event, but only if we unite with Christ in the
realm of the “I consciousness”. Thus also the human race can be freed from the
Evil. Therefore, we can concentrate these facts in the words: “Deliver us from
evil.” These words also demand a really active attitude from us, namely, the
endeavor to comprehend more and more the cosmic Sun nature of Christ. Thus we
continue, and we fulfill what the Sun in the sky can only point out and set
into motion. We turn in an active attitude toward the Sun, but not in a mood of
being determined and ruled by cosmic forces. This active attitude is the most
important point in our consideration and practice of the Lord’s Prayer, of
which we must never lose sight.
I am, of course,
absolutely aware of the possibility that these ways of considering the
implications of the Lord’s Prayer are exposed to the danger of being
misunderstood as a kind of allegory with no practical value. Therefore, I
should like to emphasize that what I told you in this letter is only the ground
plan of something much bigger, which I intend to work out in time.
So far, I have spoken
about the planets only in general terms. To this, we can add the individual
positions of the planets in the Zodiac and their positions among themselves.
This needs a tremendous amount of concentration and years of relentless practice.
But only then can one fully see and appreciate the absolutely practical viewpoints
of this cosmic aspect of the Lord’s Prayer. Then the questions and demands of
the cosmic world’s speaking through the planets will become ever more
articulate in a higher sense. Thus we can feel ourselves called upon to stand
with both feet and with ever increasing consciousness in the historic process
of humanity in order to find the answers in thinking and, if possible, also in
Willi O. Sucher
while at Albrighton Hall –
to 25 December 1952
©Astrosophy Research Center 2012 ‒ ISBN 1-888686-12-X
All rights reserved. These Letters are for private use, study, and
research only and are not to be
reprinted for any other purpose without the written permission of
the Astrosophy Research Center.