The Astrosophy Center Section Name Astrosophy Research Center  

Isis Sophia I

On-line since: 31st January, 2017

The Spiritual Nature of the Fixed-Star Zodiac (continued)

This undertaking may seem extremely difficult, especially for those readers who are not very deeply acquainted with the book mentioned by Steiner, but one must realize that there is no other way to acquire a real and fundamental knowledge of the inner nature of the fixed stars and planets. There exist, of course, many astrological works describing the differentiated influences of the Zodiac; however, these descriptions mostly derive from tradition and do not give any explanation about why the twelve signs of the Zodiac act in the way indicated. Thus the scholars are confronted with a universe in which the influences have to be taken into account but that surrounds the human being with an insurmountable wall of incomprehensible necessity.

The intention of these letters is to create a real understanding of the nature of the universe, because only through understanding and clear thinking can the human being become free and self conscious when confronted with the influences of this universe. Therefore, we have to do some hard work, especially in the beginning, and it must be strongly emphasized that it is necessary to study these passages about the connection between Zodiac and evolution again and again until they become real inner pictures; real imaginations. It should be done together with the study of the book Outline of Esoteric Science. Only then will it become a source of knowledge that will enable the student to find the manifold connections between the heavenly and earthly worlds that simply cannot be comprehended all at once by a human being. The student must come to a point where he or she feels like an artist, who, taking this subject into their hands and by power of imagination, divines the many possibilities of the cosmic influences. We can start with the one great fundamental imagination — the creation. W. Sucher

The Spiritual Nature of the Fixed-Star Zodiac (continued)

We described in the last letter the first three great cycles of evolution within that primeval universe that we called Ancient Saturn. There was only Will-substance, derived from the sacrifice of the Spirits of Will, which formed a somewhat chaotic universe of more or less psychic nature. During the first cycle there was a reflection of life created within this Will-substance. In the course of the second cycle, a reflection of animation was created by other spiritual beings, and during the third cycle an outward reflection of individualization was effected that resulted in the division of the one single body of the “planet” into many separated bodies.

Further on we found the imprint of these primeval events in the constellations of Ram, Bull, and Twins. Thus we have found the inner nature of these constellations, because, impregnated by these events, they still today radiate forces as a kind of cosmic memory.

Now we will go on with the description of the evolution. So far everything is still of more or less psychic nature. Single, separated bodies have been created, and now within these bodies the first traces of an inner life, or inner experience, begins. Thus for the first time there comes into existence a kind of universal twofoldness — an outer world and an inner world. The inner world has, to a slight degree, been separated from the outward world. The outward world becomes something objective that is “perceptible” by the inner world, even if it is only on the level of a very dull “consciousness”. The outward world is Will in itself, but, experienced as object, it becomes warmth or heat. We all know the subtle connection between human will and heat. As long as we are submerged into our will sphere, we work and operate out of the world that we may consider the realm of our soul impulses. For instance, as soon as we get slightly tired or detached from the impulse — we may still call it our duty — so that we experience the effort caused by an “outer will”, we at once experience production of heat in our body. Of course, our bodily existence today is too complicated to provide a good example for the explanation of the facts within the Ancient Saturn evolution.

This transmutation of Will-substance into heat or warmth is brought about by spiritual Beings whom Rudolf Steiner calls “Spirits of Personality”, or “Archai”, in his book. They go through experiences similar to those of the human being on Earth, for they acquire the consciousness of the ego; however, they do it under quite different conditions. As they do it, they work into the bodies that have been created during the preceding cycle. As the Will-substance could not take on the previous influences, it is far less able to retain the influence of the Spirits of Personality. Again, only a kind of reflection remains. Within those Saturn-bodies there is now a “reflection of Personality” that creates those very dim traces of an inner world within these bodies. Thus it happens that the tendency of a split between an inner world and an outward world comes into existence, which then allows the inner being to “experience” the will in the outward world as heat.

The description of these facts may already inspire the idea of the “Twins” — outward world, inner world — and, in fact, one can find it written into the constellation of Twins. There we already had the event of the individualizing influence of the Spirits of Form, which was described in the last letter. Here we must imagine that the constellation of Twins brings not only “Twin-tendencies” into the world but that it is or had been, in times long ago, really two constellations: the one recording the activity of the Spirits of Form and the other the activity of the Spirits of Personality. But the fact that there is only one constellation today also reveals a deep mystery. In the language of cosmic memory, it reveals that something has disappeared. So it was. One would have to imagine that the Spirits of Personality, in the course of their evolution, moved away from their spiritual “locality” in the circle of the spiritual hierarchies and moved into the opposite “direction”, into the sphere that today is symbolized by the constellation of Archer.

We can find the constellation of Archer, during midsummer nights, exactly above the southern horizon beneath the constellations of Eagle and Ophiuchus. It does not rise very high in our latitudes and creeps along the horizon. In old star maps it is depicted as the centaur — a Being half horse and half man. He carries bow and arrow and appears to be aiming at a certain goal. Very often it is only depicted by bow and arrow.

This image of Archer, especially of the arrow, reveals a great deal about the events and developments inspired from the opposite constellation of Twins. Through the twofold influence coming from Twins, the single Saturn body has been given outer form and the dim experience of an inner world. Thus a principle that is of utmost importance for all further evolution, especially human, has come into the world. This twofoldness is the reason for the creation of a “physical world” and also of a human “soul world”. It already contains the germ of the long story of human evolution: the age-long struggle of the human being's becoming, the harmonization between the outer, physical world, and the soul and spiritual world. It is really like an arrow that starts in this age of evolution and aims at a far away goal. It also contains the story of the human being as a being ascending from low, subhuman stages of existence to high, even godlike forms, because this evolution is only possible through the continuous fight between the lower nature, which is related to the outward world, and the higher, inner nature of humanity that carries the spark of the godhead. Thus we have the image of the centaur, half human and half animal-like.

In the previous description, we found that the constellation of Ram contains something like the archetypal image of the brain, Bull the archetype of the speech organism, and Twins the archetypes of twofoldness, such as the symmetry of right and left or the twofoldness of head and limb. Then from Twins we jumped over to Archer. We can also find this event imprinted into the human form. It is the progression from head and larynx into the arms. The upper arm is the bodily image of Archer. The human body is directed toward an outer world with the arms, as opposed to the inner world of the head. In this tendency we have the arrow of Archer. Our arms are moved by muscles and sinews, and they indicate the string of the Archer's bow. With our arms we work in the world, and by our work we carry the evolution of humanity and the world forward.

Having now established this twofoldness of an outer and inner world, we can easily imagine the further evolution. A kind of link is created between the two worlds during the following fifth cycle of Ancient Saturn. The very first beginnings of the sense organs are created within those heat bodies. These archetypal sense organs are, of course, by no means similar to the sense organs of humanity on Earth. The surrounding world is only perceived as warmth, so one can imagine that the senses and other organs are only existent in a very primeval condition. One would have to imagine something like a skin-like organ but only consisting of warmth; something like a sheath of limitation between different degrees of warmth, between that within the single body and that without. We know that which we call our lowest sense, the sense of touch, is connected with the separating capacity of the skin, but the other sense organs already in the embryonic processes are to some extent connected with the development of the skin.

This development is brought about by two hierarchies of spiritual beings. The warmth or heat bodies, which are in fact the origins of the human physical body, are, so to speak, inhabited by spiritual Beings whom Rudolf Steiner calls “Sons of Fire” or “Archangels”. They hadn't yet achieved the consciousness of the human being of today. Their consciousness could be compared with the consciousness of the animals of today but only in the degree of awakeness. As these Beings work and dwell within the heat bodies, there arises a desire to come into a sensual contact with the outside. However, this would not be enough to create even those primeval sense organs. Other Beings of a very exalted order, whom Dr. Steiner calls “Spirits of Love” or “Seraphim”, come into action. They “perceive” the events within Ancient Saturn, and their perception is not reflective, for instance, as the perception of the human being today, but creative. They are able to elaborate, together with the Archangels, the subtle, ethereal outlines of the archetypal sense organs.

So, we have in this fifth cycle two influences, and we can now ask, where can we find these events remembered in the Zodiac?

The events of the fourth cycle appeared connected with Twins and Archer, as transition from Twins to Archer. Now we only have to proceed in the order of the Zodiac and we will find the answer. It is an interplay between forces that today are remembered in the constellations of Crab and Goat. We can find Crab, in January midnights, exactly in the south. Above it, toward the north, is the head of the Great Bear. It consists only of very faint stars. In old star maps it is depicted as a crab surrounded by a hard shell with huge scissors in front. This image gives us a kind of picture of how the Archangels dwelt in the heat bodies of Ancient Saturn. As the crab is surrounded by the shell, with the soft organs important for the life of the animal inside the shell; so the Archangels live within the heat bodies. Still, they grasp or develop the desire to grasp the outside world with scissor-like organs.

On the opposite side of the Zodiac is the constellation of Goat. One can find it at midnight, toward the end of July, exactly in the south and very near the horizon. The majestic constellation of the Swan is then exactly above it. In old star maps it is depicted as an ibex, but it has no back legs. Instead one sees a kind of fish-tail that is curved like a spiral. This imagination gives us an idea of the activity of those exalted Beings the Spirits of Love. Like the ibex climbing the highest peaks of the world's highest mountains, reaching out with its horns into the sphere of light, so must we imagine the Spirits of Love. They dwell in the highest sphere of the spiritual universe. They perceive the events within the universe from a high vantage point, although their perception is not passive, but creative. In the act of perception they create. They do not hold back their creative perceptions; they give them away to the Archangels. This is an action of pure love. The absolute perception combines itself with the desire of perception within the Archangels; thus the sense organs are created. They are not created as mechanical organs. The divine love within the light images, which the Spirits of Love perceive, creates organs that enable the creature to perceive the reflex of the supersensible experiences of those divine beings. This creative “involution” of higher experiences into a lower sphere appears in the fish-tail of the Goat. It indicates that it reaches into the sphere of “water”. This is, of course, not yet real water because there exists only warmth on Saturn, but it indicates the sphere of reflection that, indeed, the warmth is.

We can also find the image of these events within the human form. The human chest is a real picture of the Crab. The chest surrounds and guards the inner organs, especially the heart and the lungs; and yet, in as much as the chest separates the inner organs from the outside, there lives within the chest the desire to come into contact with the outside world. This desire can even go as far as egotism; the desire to possess everything that comes within reach of the being. We must now imagine that this picture of the human chest is only dimly indicated in the events described above, because the beings connected with the Crab events of Ancient Saturn are still very dependent upon the help of the Spirits of Love. They have not even reached the humanlike ego consciousness, so, somehow we must see the weight of these events in the constellation of Goat. This appears now as the joints in the human form, especially the elbows and knees. Thus we find again the connection with the events in the fourth cycle of Saturn. We said that Twin-Archer happenings appear within the human form as the upper arms followed by the elbows. However, one can ask, “What have the elbows to do with sense organs?” If one does not make the mistake of imagining sense organs only as the human being has them today, one can find the solution. If we imagine the supersensible perceptions of the Spirits of Love penetrating the heat bodies and, in the act of penetration, creating organs of perception, so to speak, on the surface of the “skin” of those bodies, then we can experience the following: outside the heat bodies — the dwelling place of the Archangels — the influence of the Spirits of Love is something like “straight” lines, but in penetrating the skin of those bodies it is twisted, and thus a kind of organ — like a joint — is created that transmutes the outside “direction” into an inside “direction”. Only by the exact connection between both “directions”, through a kind of joint-like sense organ, can the correct perceptions take place. This is how, for instance, the human eye acts as a kind of archetypal, joint-like sense organ. In the case of the elbow as image of the Goat-period of Ancient Saturn, we would have an active sense organ, because it is used for our activity just as we have to imagine the sense organs inspired by the Spirits of Love as active, creative organs.

The next step of Ancient Saturn, the sixth great cycle, leads further along this line. So far, there were faculties of perception created within the heat creatures, and now during this cycle a kind of digestion is established. The events within Saturn are not only perceived, but the heat-substances in the surroundings are also taken into the heat being. There they go through a kind of primeval “metabolism”; thus processes of nutrition and excretion take place.

This evolution is also brought about by two kinds of spiritual Beings: the “Angels” or “Sons of Twilight”, and the “Spirits of Harmony” or “Cherubim”. The Angels have still a lower consciousness than the Archangels within Ancient Saturn. Their consciousness could be compared with the degree of consciousness that the plants have today, and they also act upon the heat bodies in a faintly similar way. They bring about this primeval metabolism that is like the circulation of saps within the plants, but they could not do it alone. Exalted Beings called the Spirits of Harmony, help them. They have acquired the power to direct the cosmic streams of warmth. If we were able to direct our blood stream voluntarily, then we would have a faint idea of what these Beings can do. As this cosmic blood stream consists of warmth, it appears from outside like sound. It is the “Harmony of the Spheres”; therefore, these spirits are called Spirits of Harmony. The order in which they direct the cosmic streams, which is warmth from one side and will from the other side, is so beautiful and harmonious that it appears like heavenly music.

Both hierarchies together create the primeval metabolism. We can find this stage of evolution remembered in the constellations of Lion and Waterman. The constellation of Lion can be found, in February at midnight, high above the southern horizon. It is a very remarkable constellation. Beneath it is Hydra and above it, toward the northern sky, the body of Great Bear. Into this constellation are inscribed the deeds of the Angels. It is also closely connected with the heart. The lion on Earth has a very peculiar connection between heart beat and breathing. One could even say that the body of this animal is mainly directed toward the heart. It is, as a whole, a great “heart”, and, therefore, it is the “king of the animals”.

Without great difficulties, we can now see in this region the metabolism of warmth as it has been created within the heat bodies on Saturn, because the heart is still today the central organ of the warmth metabolism connected with the warmth of the blood.

The constellation of Waterman can be seen, toward the end of August during the midnight hours, between the constellation of Fishes and Goat. Old star maps show it as a human figure pouring water from a jug into the heavenly spaces. Into this region are inscribed the deeds of the Spirits of Harmony. The water that is poured into the universe is, of course, not earthly water. It is the stream of warmth that the Spirits of Harmony direct through the universe of Ancient Saturn. Within the human being, the circulation of the blood stream is still the image of the activity of those divine beings. We know that we even speak sometimes of the rushing sound of the blood stream. The lower arms and the calves are also connected with Waterman. Those who have some experience in nursing know that the lower arms and calves are an excellent means for the measurement and regulation of the heat metabolism, as well as checking the heart rate.

In the following letter we shall conclude the description ofAncient Saturn evolution and summarize our experiences about the Zodiac, which will enable us to make the picture more complete. This will be very necessary after our somewhat rapid journey through this great round of cosmic evolution. May the readers not become impatient if these descriptions seem to be very difficult. We have to do this hard work in order to establish a real and fundamental knowledge of the starry universe that will prove useful in many ways.

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