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Isis Sophia I

On-line since: 31st January, 2017

ELEVENTH LETTER - February 1945
Nature of the Planetary World - Mars

With the next (12th) letter the first year of the Monthly Astronomical Letters comes to an end. As far as we can judge in these difficult times it should be possible to continue them for another year. However, we intend to alter their content in the second year. The introduction into astrosophy, although not yet finished, has reached a point where we can risk bringing the knowledge that we have gained one step nearer to the realities of life. Therefore, we are now trying to give a few leading ideas about the current events in the starry world. Besides this and the introduction, we will also start with a series of descriptions of the events in the world of the stars during Christ's life on Earth. Later on we may be able to go into details about some of the historic nativities.

W. Sucher

The Nature of the Planetary World - Jupiter/Mars

We will now continue the examples given from historical nativities in regard to the nature of Jupiter.

Count Leo Tolstoy: At the time of the birth of Tolstoy on Sept. 9, 1828, Jupiter was in Scales where it had also made a loop during the prenatal development. It was in a very prominent position. Mars was in conjunction with Jupiter in Scales about the time of conception. At the moment of his death Jupiter :n: Command not found.

In this position we have the indication that the ether body had a strong tendency to establish peace and balance in an organism which otherwise might have been overwhelmed and shaken by aggressive emotions and other soul forces. In fact the whole life of Tolstoy is an example of this tendency. All his works and activities and especially his diaries speak of his dramatic fight against forces that are always adverse to peace and the manifestation of justice and goodwill on Earth — this is the language of Scales as it speaks through Jupiter.

Maximilien Robespierre (born May 6, 1758): During the embryonic development of Robespierre, Jupiter moved through Scales into Scorpion where it stood at the time of his birth, probably in mid-heaven.

From the beginning, according to this position, the ether aura of Robespierre was more directed by impulses coming from Scales. It reveals a striving for the manifestation of justice and goodwill on Earth. It was this that brought him into a leading position during the French Revolution. The Gods tried to bring to life in him a similar attitude toward the goals of human evolution as they did later in Tolstoy. Then we see Jupiter entering Scorpion. This is like a probation of the primary impulses, because they are exposed to a mighty onrush of soul forces — astral forces as we call them in occultism — which come from the region of Scorpion. The question then always arises whether the building up and positive forces in the human being can stand against this storm. If they can, then a most positive power can develop, a strength for the accomplishment of unique deeds for humanity. Then the dangerous Scorpion can be transmuted into the keen-sighted Eagle that, with the eye of the Holy Spirit, can look into future stages of universal development. There is always the danger that such a personality can be torn to pieces by tasks and impulses that are beyond his vital capacities. Something similar happened to Robespierre. His being, which was good and noble in its primary impulses, was torn to pieces by the storm of the French Revolution. He could not master the astral forces that worked in the background of the events of his time, and he could not bind them to a body social that was based on freedom, equality, and fraternity.

Friedrich Schiller: Schiller was born on November 10, 1759 when Jupiter was in Archer. It was also in this position during his whole prenatal development. This indicates that this ether body was penetrated by archetypal impulses that endowed the bearer with the faculty to experience and to perceive past stages of either human or cosmic evolution. This type of ether body can become an organ for the comprehension of the deeper impulses and laws in human history. Schiller had this faculty, as it is shown by his dramas and his strong connection with history. For some time he was a lecturer of history at the University of Jena. Not only a relationship to human history is implanted by these forces into the ether body, but also it can become an organ for the comprehension of primeval forces that have left the traces of their past activities in the features of the various kingdoms of nature and in the universe.

Schiller's historical faculty is also connected with Saturn, but it would be too difficult to go into the details now of the relationship between Saturn and Jupiter in this nativity. Perhaps a later occasion may give a possibility.

Novalis (born May 2, 1772): During his embryonic development, Jupiter moved from Archer through Goat and into Waterman. Here we have an example which shows that such an ether organism is capable of expanding outward through the whole universe. In the opposite constellation of Crab we found the tendency toward strict form. Here we have almost the opposite, the overcoming of the form and the tendency to unbind the ether forces for flight through universal spaces. We can experience this in the writings of Novalis, especially in Fragments. There is not one province of life, art, science, or religion about which he does not give, in a few words, the most inspiring, yet mysterious suggestions; which we can only understand if we imagine that they are derived from an etheric organization which was open to the heights and depths of the whole universe. Further, we know that during the last years of his life he literally faded away into the realms of the dead. He had a deep connection and a consuming longing for those of his friends who had passed over the threshold of death before him. His Hymns to the Night betray this mood, as do his diaries of that time. This was the source of his intuitive remarks about all branches of life and human knowledge. This is an excellent example of the influence of Jupiter from the position of Goat.

Johann Kepler: Kepler has been mentioned already in previous letters. Both during his prenatal state (December 27, 1571) and at the moment of his death (November 15, 1630), Jupiter was in Waterman. This indicates a condition of the ether body that enables its bearer to create a strong connection with the starry universe. In the case of Kepler, this is obvious because he was a mathematician and astronomer by profession. This example reveals that the connection is not at all necessarily an abstract one. Kepler was inspired by the idea of harmony in the starry universe. He listened to the “harmonies of the spheres”; he even wrote scores of the music (Harmonices mundi) produced by the planets, according to his perception. Therefore, such a formation of the ether organization need not tend toward professional astronomy. It can reveal itself simply as a capacity for arranging earthly life so that it is in harmony with cosmic rhythms, sometimes even without being consciously aware of it. Another example is Goethe, whose Jupiter was in Waterman during most of the prenatal time. Also Wattenstein, the famous general of the Thirty Years War, tried to arrange his activities according to the course of the stars. He had Jupiter in Waterman in his prenatal horoscope.

Virgil, the famous poet of the Aeneid, had a strong connection through Jupiter in the constellation of Fishes, because when he died (September 22, 19 BC) Jupiter stood there. Such a position at the moment of death does not show the primary gifts of a human being through the process of incarnation, yet it shows something even more. During life on Earth, all the deeds of a human being are imprinted into his ether body. After death, the ether body is dissolved into the ether spaces of the universe. The position of Jupiter then indicates that which flows from a human soul as a fundamentally important achievement taken into the cosmic regions, and thus it is preserved for further progress in the future.

In this position of Jupiter in Fishes, we can find human achievements expressed that flow into the ether realms of the universe as an understanding and comprehension of the Father forces of the universe. In the Aeneid, Virgil described the adventures of Aeneas, the mythological father of Rome. And with one phrase he reveals his deep connection with the Father forces of the universe. He calls Jupiter “Omnipotent Father Ether”. Thus he expressed what he experienced in the depths of his striving soul as Jupiter in Fishes, which then actually appeared in the sky at the moment of his death. He described the planet Jupiter as the source of the archetypes of life and Fishes as the realm of the Father forces of the universe.


The orbit of the planet Mars encloses that of the Earth. Mars is, therefore, the first of the superior planets that are beyond the orbit of the Earth, whereas the inferior planets are inside this orbit. Through the aspect of the Copernican system of the universe, we are used to looking at the Earth as moving in a circle around the Sun. The Earth as a planet is certainly moving, but the time may not be very far hence when we have also to consider the movement of the Sun, and the fact that both Sun and Earth are moving not in circles but in one lemniscate form — the one drawn behind the other. The time has not yet come to expound this outlook, and also this is not the place to speak of it in detail. At this point, if we only imagine that Sun and Earth are moving in a lemniscate form, and that this lemniscate is, so to speak, wrapped into the path of the planet Mars, then we have the picture necessary for our investigations in these letters. Further, astronomy tells us that the planet Mars is smaller than the globe of the Earth. We naturally expect the opposite, but its diameter is only slightly under a half that of the Earth. We have found during this century and the last, a great number of tiny planetary bodies which are so small that we cannot see them with the unaided eye and which are moving within the orbit of Mars. Some of them go even beyond this orbit into that of Jupiter. Thus we have in Mars a planet that is smaller than the Earth, yet a great number of tiny planets — the planetoids — are within its orbit. We can thus look upon Mars, from a certain point of view, as a celestial body consisting of a main planet and a multitude of tiny bodies, which have the character of planets, within the whole solar system.

How can we approach this planet Mars and its sphere from a spiritual point of view? In the last letter we spoke of Saturn as the cosmic memory picture of the Ancient Saturn period of evolution and of Jupiter as the heritage of Ancient Sun. This suggests looking upon Mars as a kind of recapitulation of Ancient Moon, which precedes the Earth evolution — that is, which precedes the evolution of our present-day solar system. We have not yet in our letters described Ancient Moon evolution in detail. We shall certainly have to do so sometime in the future, but for the moment we must confine ourselves to a few guiding comments. Of course details can be found in Rudolf Steiner's Outline of Esoteric Science. The Ancient Sun evolution had come to an end at a certain point of its development. Then all the substances and physical beings that had been created disappeared. A “cosmic night” ensued during which all the hierarchical beings and their creation ascended to higher planes of pure spiritual existence. After this “cosmic night” had ended, a new “planet” came into existence. First of all, everything had to be recreated that had already existed upon Ancient Saturn and Ancient Sun. Thus these past evolutions were repeated in shorter evolutionary cycles of the newly created “planet”, which in occult language is called Ancient Moon. There, substance was still more densified and partly became “water”. Besides this, there still existed warmth and “air” or light as remnants of the previous cycles of Ancient Saturn and Ancient Sun.

The following facts of Ancient Moon evolution are essential for our investigations: together with the densification of physical substances that took place and which in reality was another step further away from the divine origin, the ancestors of the human race were now endowed with the power of consciousness. We must remember that within the preceding evolution of Ancient Sun, the ancestor of humanity had become the bearer of an ether or life body. It had not yet achieved the capacity of experiencing events around and within it in relation to its own being as a separate entity that could feel these events as joyful, painful, moving inwardly, etc. As the plants come into existence with the rising Sun in spring and summer and fade away with the decline of the summery warmth and light, thus the Ancient Sun ancestor of humanity submerged itself entirely into the events around it without relating them to itself as a being with a separate inner existence.

This capacity was implanted into the ancestor of humanity at a certain moment in the Ancient Moon evolution by the activity of the Spirits of Motion who sacrificed a part of their own Being. Connected with the implanting of the consciousness body or “astral body”, there is an event that changed the whole course of evolution. Certain spiritual Beings brought about a rebellion within Ancient Moon against the normal course of development. It may sound strange that within the world of the Gods a rebellion should take place. From a certain point or level of hierarchical experience, it may seem an act of opposition against the normal course; however, from a still higher “plan” of cosmic evolution, it can be seen as a necessity that the highest beings of the hierarchical order initiate for the necessary execution of their divine “plans”. As our ancestors of humanity were endowed with the faculty of experiencing the events in their surroundings and the events within them as their own pains and joys etc., the rebellious powers came and made use of this faculty to lead them into the temptation of believing that the inner world, created by the sensations of the astral body, is a “reality” in itself, separated from the existence of the rest of the universe. Thus a split came into the whole Ancient Moon universe. There were the objective facts and spiritual beings on one side, where everything that existed was a part of their own being, and on the other side was an inner world of experience within our ancestors that was gradually drawn away by those mighty but rebellious spirits from its “origin”. These rebellious spirits began to dwell within humanity as another “reality” besides that of the outer world. This development was accompanied by a densification of physical substance. We can understand that this was perhaps another most decisive step of the human being toward its independence and toward the acquirement of the power of the “I”. Yet it was a moving away from its spiritual origin — from the Gods. As the human being on Ancient Moon could not do this for itself, because it had not yet reached the state of self-consciousness, mighty but rebellious spirits did it through the human being. We can understand this event better if we alter the expression from, “another reality was created within the world of humanity's inner experiences”, to, “this inner reality was more and more regarded as the only reality in the universe and the other was forgotten.” This has happened from the time of that event on Ancient Moon onward through long ages of evolution, and we as human beings of the “historic age” have, in fact, reached the deepest point of this descent into the separation from the divine origin. This is the main event of Ancient Moon evolution. It changed many things; for instance, the relationship between the spiritual and the physical world and the character of the kingdom of humanity, as well as those kingdoms that then existed below it. A study of the Outline of Esoteric Science would contribute immensely toward an understanding of what has been indicated so briefly in the above description. This whole planetary evolution of Ancient Moon is “remembered” in the sphere of Mars. The space, which is enclosed in the orbit of Mars, is equal to the space that the Ancient Moon planet occupied; moreover, the sphere of Mars, that is the space which is enclosed in the planet's orbit, is the domain of the Spirits of Motion. This hierarchy was just the one that endowed the ancestor of the human race with the astral body, which from the beginning was not intended to fall away from its origin but later became the vehicle for the rebellion in Ancient Moon. Therefore, we have now come to the following conclusions:

1) Mars and its sphere are the memory picture of Ancient Moon and the fundamental activity of the Spirits of Motion must be connected with the endowment of the human being with an astral body.

2) As these astral forces were used by rebellious spirits for their world intentions, there must also be a “memory” present in our Mars of this fact and its consequences. This is the creation of the impulses of egoism and aggressiveness as well as self-activity in the human astral body by Mars and its spiritual inhabitants before we entered the life on Earth.

3) The impulse to create an inner, independent world of sensations, feelings, and emotions, although caused by the outer events and beings, yet distinct from them, has a far deeper significance. For as we said, this inner “reality” became the “sole reality” for the consciousness of the human beings of our time.

Therefore, our present-day perception of the world as consisting of material substance is due to the activity of Mars upon the human being, especially upon the astral body in the time of incarnation. It may sound fantastic, yet it is true, that the fact that we experience the world as material is due to the evolutionary history of the human astral body. We, ourselves, have created the world of hard and solid matter; we ourselves have created materialism, for the rebellious spirits in the universe have taught us, have spoken into our astral body through long ages of cosmic evolution that our own sensations and soul experiences of the surrounding universe are a reality in themselves, and in the end that they are the only reality. They taught the human being to forget our divine origin, to trust only our own soul experiences. The astral or soul body originally was intended only to make the sense perceptions conscious so that the senses could become a clear, unspoiled mirror of the universe. The human senses still today are in themselves a clear mirror of the universe, but the consciousness — the soul body — which makes its perceptions conscious, bears the heritage of egoism and of self-preservation. And the “great egoism”, living in the astral body like a poisonous injection, in the end desired to have everything for its own that came within range of the senses. Not a trace of any outside action coming from a spiritual world was to be left in it. We have actually achieved this. In our consciousness, we have really created a world in which the spirit is no longer manifest. A world becomes conscious to us through our senses, which is the image of our own cold egoism. The impulse to break away from the Gods and be independent, which was injected into the astral body, leads us to interpret the sense perceptions as coming from a world that is deserted by the Gods; which is only a mechanism, an image of our own incapacity of perceiving life and spirit.

This capacity of creating our own world through the forces of the astral body is expressed in the position of Mars in the nativity of a human being and in the gestures and movements of Mars during the prenatal embryonic development. We will presently illustrate this in examples.

The capacity inherited in the astral body to create “the world of the senses” has only come about through impulses of rebellion against the God-Willed universe. If we imagine that this impulse might not have worked or might have been overcome, we perceive quite a different world around us. The rebellious impulse has led us into a world where we are ourselves and alone and surrounded by a universe that, in its spiritual coldness and lifelessness, leaves us free. However, after we have achieved the self-consciousness — the “I”, the rebellious impulse has lost its cosmic justification. Now, and still more in the future, the astral body must become the vehicle for the creation of a consciousness that interprets the sense perceptions as coming from the world of the “origin” — from a spiritual world. Spiritual science strives for the perception of the spiritual world that is working and manifest behind the curtain of the sense experiences. Therefore, it must accept the scientific method of our age, but it cannot accept the theories of an age that suffers severely from that great “rebellious impulse”.

As Mars is connected with the astral body, it is surely connected with the great “rebellious impulse” that we have described, but we also find in it an expression of those forces in the human soul that strive to overcome the negative and destructive activities of the astral or soul body. The astral body has been penetrated by the impulse of egoism and aggressiveness. This impulse can only be overcome by a power that is the opposite — the power of love and compassion. When we spoke in previous letters about Saturn in the constellation of Scorpion, we mentioned the fact — revealed by Rudolf Steiner — that Buddha, the teacher of love and compassion, went to Mars in a certain moment in order to overcome the decline upon this planet. The decline upon Mars was caused by that rebellious impulse that created egoism and aggression. Thus we can see in Mars the warrior — the maker of wars — as he was experienced in olden times. But since Buddha has come to Mars, there is also another impulse that strives to bring love and compassion right down into the human perceptions of the objective world. It is the impulse that strives to free the world from the spell of the illusion of the existence of matter. This illusion is created where the sense perceptions meet the activity of the astral body and there it must be overcome. The astral body has already been created before birth; therefore, the act of redemption can be most effective only in the “status nascendus” of the soul body. This takes place within the sphere of Mars, and it is there that Buddha is now active. The teaching of Buddha can very well be regarded as a teaching of the purification of the sense perceptions. If we imagine this impulse transferred to the sphere of Mars, where the “great rebellion” is engraved, we can very well understand that in time to come it will grow to a power that will overcome the world of Maya, or illusion, and change the nature of Mars.

The human soul also passes through the world of Mars in the life after death. If we take the descriptions of Rudolf Steiner in Theosophy about the life after death, we find a confirmation of what has been said above. The sphere of Mars corresponds to the first region of Spiritland described in Theosophy. In this first region, the soul meets the archetypes of the physical world, of the physical objects. Dr. Steiner says, “In the first region of Spiritland we are surrounded with the spiritual archetypes of the earthly things. During life on Earth we learn to know only the shadows of these archetypes that we grasp in our thoughts...We move among thoughts, but these thoughts are real Beings...We are, as it were, in the thought workshop in which earthly things are formed and constructed.” Human beings experience, even in this sphere, how we belong to the physical corporeal reality as a unity; how we are interwoven into the existence of physical things. Dr. Steiner speaks of one of the fundamental thoughts of ancient Indian Vedanta wisdom: “The sage acquires, even during his earthly life, what others experience after death, namely the ability to grasp the thought that he himself is related to all things; the thought ‘Thou art that’. It is the fact that the human being is related to the primordial Being in Whom all beings have their origin.” If human beings bear within themselves the power of that all-creating, primordial being, then we must be responsible for the appearance of the physical world through our Mars nature that has bound us to the physical world through our sense perceptions and our consciousness of them. There we meet the same fact that we have elaborated above, only from a different angle. After death the human soul experiences in the sphere of Mars the spiritual archetypes of the physical objects in the world. We can experience them in this sphere, because before we entered it we have been freed and purified in our soul from forces such as egoism and aggression. Now we are able to experience the theory of material objects as illusion. We become a follower of Buddha who has overcome the deception caused by the earthly senses. Before birth, we acquire in the sphere of Mars the capacity to perceive with our bodily senses the earthly world into which we enter, yet through our sense perceptions we are able to create a world of illusion — of matter — or a world that is the manifestation of the archetypes, of the thoughts of the Gods. By Mars we are gifted with the capacity of doing the one or the other; this is left free to us. It will always be a struggle within our individual soul where we will individually go; the way of the new creation or that of world decline. This individual struggle appears in the movements of Mars before birth. It shows the possibilities that a human being has brought down to Earth, but it does not show the decision which lies within the realm of human freehood.

Coming back to the beginning of this description of the nature of Mars, we can now understand better why it consists of that main body, which in astronomy we call Mars, and a multitude of those “asteroids” as well. The sphere of Mars is a region of a cosmic fight where an old and rigid world fights with a young, light-filled universe that is there only as a germ of future world evolution. Therefore, we can imagine that the main planet once was split up into many tiny planets by a fight which took place in the universe. Thus the main planet has become smaller even than that of the Earth. In the following letter we will elaborate the Mars-positions in the horoscopes of a number of historic personalities, which will enable us to verify much of what has been said about Mars in this letter.

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