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Isis Sophia I

On-line since: 31st January, 2017

Our Connection with the Stars - Tycho's Saturn and Jupiter

In the previous three letters, we described the inferior planets and the Sun in Tycho de Brahe's horoscope. Now it will be our task to show how we can approach the superior planets of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in his nativity. It may have been noticed that the inferior planets are related to the soul world of human beings. The soul world is like a child resting in the womb of a person's bodily organization. It grows toward the future and binds the knots of destiny that will, in future earthly incarnations, create physical foundations and capacities. The character of the superior planets is different. They show one's links with the past, with past incarnations, experiences in the spiritual world in the life between death and new birth, and also experiences made in the descent into earthly existence.

We will first consider Saturn. In our previous descriptions, we approached Saturn from various viewpoints, because we need to be aware that the planets reveal themselves in manifold ways within the human being. There is an old imagination that can lead us to an understanding and experience of the nature of Saturn. Pictorial descriptions in the Middle Ages and earlier times often represent Saturn as Death, as the skeleton-man with the scythe who cuts the thread of life. This is a true imagination. We have already pointed out in earlier letters that this planet is strongly related to the bony system in the human body. Hence Saturn is connected with that part in a human organization that descended deepest into the realm of matter. Of the whole bony system, the teeth are the concentrated image of this descent, and we remember that the teeth of the human skeleton, or Death, are the most impressive feature of this image of a human being's ultimate earthly fate. Therefore, Saturn is the one who stands at the threshold and reminds one continuously by its warning and strict “Memento Mori” not to fall into the temptations of the sense world. These warnings do not only take place in the soul world of people, they speak the mighty language of human failures, disappointments, and catastrophes. However, this is only one side of Saturn's character. The inner nature of Saturn, which we cannot perceive with the senses, is just the opposite of this almost sinister picture. Saturn is certainly the Guardian of the Threshold of Death, but it is, none the less, also the Guardian of the Threshold of Birth, and when Saturn appears as the great “Memento Mori” in human life, it does so in order to remind us of our higher being. The higher being of humanity (Anthroposophy calls it the Spirit Self) does not really enter our earthly incarnations. It is kept back in the spiritual world, and Saturn is its Guardian. It is the Spiritual Self that leads from incarnation to incarnation and gathers the fruits of earthly experiences and molds and remolds them for the sake of grand evolutionary purposes. In the present stage of human evolution, we normally forget our Spirit Self, for a veil is drawn before the cognition of previous incarnations and the life between death and new birth, when we enter the world through the gateway of birth. Saturn keeps watch over our higher being and prevents us from entirely forgetting our divine and eternal nature. Saturn generally cannot achieve this without bringing painful experiences.

We can look at Saturn as the one who holds together the threads that connect us with our past and even future incarnations. Saturn is the Guardian of the great spiritual image of each individual human being, the image that evolves and is transformed as we pass through the ever-changing conditions on the Earth.

In Tycho de Brahe's nativity and in the picture of the prenatal events in the sky, Saturn performed a loop in the space between Scorpion and Archer. Finally, at the time of birth the Sun had moved into conjunction with Saturn. This is rather important, because it reveals to us in the language of the great festivals the place where we have to search for the spiritual “dwelling place” of this individuality. We can almost find in it an indication of the conditions of previous incarnations. Tycho's birth took place on 14 December 1546. We must not forget that in 1546 the so-called Julian Calendar was still in force, and this was not a very accurate record for astronomical calculations. Through mistakes in the calculation of the length of the year, it happened that by the time of the 16th century the calendar year had fallen back ten days in relationship to the positions of the Sun in the sky. This mistake was then corrected in 1582 by the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar. Thus the 14th of December 1546 was in truth, with regard to the position of the Sun in the winter solstice, 24 December, or Christmas Eve.

If we now imagine Saturn standing behind this Christmas Sun, then we have a very illuminating picture of the eternal being of Tycho de Brahe, for this single Christmas Imagination of 1546 is elevated, as it were, into the language of Saturn. It is the picture of a World Christmas, and thus we can say that the higher being of Tycho de Brahe, which had gone through previous incarnations, was deeply involved in the Christmas event as a world event. We recognize in this star event the image of an individuality who in former lives had struggled with the understanding of the birth of Christ on Earth. Moreover, we must also consider the position of Saturn in the Zodiac. It had left the constellation of Scorpion and was about to enter Archer. In previous letters, we have described how the image of the constellation of Scorpion has changed during the ages of evolution. In very olden times, it was clairvoyantly perceived as the image of an eagle with mighty wings that uplifted human cognition into the realm of prophetic vision. Then the eagle forces died away, and this constellation was perceived as a scorpion that was the picture of the descent into death and of reproduction that comes out of the chaos which follows death and destruction. However, there will come a time when these forces will again be uplifted. The initiate can already behold Scorpion transformed into the image of a dove, which with its white soft wings will carry the human soul toward the experience of the Holy Spirit. In truth, the Holy Spirit stands behind the gateway of Scorpion. Another manifestation is Isis-Sophia, the new Isis. Once in very olden times Isis went away from the Earth. This was the time when the eagle became the scorpion and when the legend tells us that Osiris, the husband of Isis, was killed. Then Isis was clad in a blue mantle, which is the image of the blue dome of the sky above our heads, and the underside of the mantle was sprinkled with the many stars that we see at night in the sky.

To use pictorial language, Tycho de Brahe, or rather the higher self appearing behind him, was in olden times in the possession of the Mantle of Isis. In other words, we perceive in Saturn, as it came from the constellation that we today call Scorpion, the image of an individuality who was in olden times initiated into the secrets of the Mantle of Isis or into the secrets of the starry worlds. He was one of those initiates who could still realize behind the folds of that star mantle the great Mother Being of human existence on Earth. He knew that the human being descends to Earth from the spiritual realms of the stars. Then Saturn moved away from Scorpion and soon would enter Archer. This creates another picture in our soul. In Archer, especially the leading stars, we can behold the archetypal image of humanity whose task it is in the choir of the hierarchies to find the higher “I”. This is revealed in the image of the archer's arrow. It is the true image of the “I”.

Thus we behold the individuality who went through former incarnations and finally descended to Earth as Tycho de Brahe. He was endowed with the shadowy reflections of the wonderful cosmic wisdom of olden times, of the spiritual cosmology that could still behold human beings, not as they are born from earthly parents but from the star-clad heavenly Mother. This was alive in his soul from the past, and this helps us to understand why he was so profoundly connected with the world of the stars when he incarnated as Tycho de Brahe. As he moved toward the future, one great problem appeared for him that we perceive in the image of Archer or the Great Archetype of Humanity. The problem was: what is to become of the Child of the great cosmic Mother Being? From his heritage of olden times, Tycho was rather inclined to see the Child still in the womb of the heavenly Mother. We would say in modern language that he saw human beings determined by the stars. The conjunction of Saturn, Mercury, and the Sun in Tycho's nativity reveals to us that there was a great complication in his being. In a previous incarnation he could not penetrate to the fact that the Archetype of Humanity had really been born on Earth, had been separated from the heavenly Mother as an independent Being. It must have been very hard for him in one or more of his previous incarnations to evolve to the certainty that the Archetype of Humanity was no longer in the womb of the stars but had entered the Earth as an independent Being, free from the “influence” of the stars. It must have been very difficult for this individuality to grasp the truth of the Christmas Event. We can express this also in other words: the Sun in the sky is the symbol, the image of bodily, physical reality. Saturn is the visible expression of that sphere in the spiritual universe through which the souls of human beings pass after death and where they experience the archetypes of all soul existence. As we see Saturn and Sun in conjunction in Tycho's nativity, we can understand that they can hinder each other in their full manifestation. Therefore, we can say that this individuality, who was initiated into the mysteries of Isis, knew that Isis would give birth to “Horus”, but he expected this event as a fact in the soul world only. (We should say in our abstract language that he experienced it symbolically, not attached to a physical reality.) He could not advance, or at least had the greatest difficulties in acknowledging the fact that this prophecy in the soul world, would come to pass as a visible event on Earth as the birth of “Horus” [Christ] in a bodily form.

Rudolf Steiner has made occult investigations into the previous incarnations of Tycho de Brahe, and his revelations fill us with the courage to speak of this individuality as we have done above. He revealed that this individuality was incarnated in the 4th century AD as the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate. We know this Emperor was called the Apostate because in his later life he despised Christianity and fell away from it, although in his youth he received a Christian education. His predecessors had abolished all the heathen religions, they had closed the temples and had driven away their priests and sages. Julian tried to restore the old mysteries. He searched for the last remnants of the initiation centers, and in his last campaign against the Persians, during which he was murdered by a Christian, he had set out to revive the mysteries of old Asia. If a human being is able to develop such an impulse, then surely from previous lives he has a deep connection with those mystery institutions in the East. It may be that Julian was related with the Persian mysteries that dated back to Zarathustra, the ancient founder of Persian culture who had a deep knowledge of the secrets of the starry universe. This is the source from which Julian drew his inspiration. He was an initiate of cosmological secrets, an initiate of the Sun. He even wrote an essay about, and which called, the Threefold Sun that still exists. He had a deep knowledge of the Spirit of the Sun, of whom Zarathustra had spoken when he pointed toward Ahura Mazdao, the great Aura of the Sun. But Tycho could not advance to the conviction that the Spirit of the Sun had entered the body of Jesus. One might say that he had become too much a post-Christian Grecian philosopher to be able to believe that a spiritual fact can become manifest and visible in the realm of matter.

Forces that wanted to prevent the resurrection of the old mysteries killed Julian. It was the destiny of humanity for some time to close its eyes to the cosmic nature of the One who was the Archetype of Humanity. Humanity could look only on that which had happened on Earth during the events in Palestine.

However, the soul of Julian had passed over the threshold without having achieved the cognition of those physical World Christmas Events, and therefore destiny provided another opportunity for him to make good his previous failure. He was reborn as Herzeloide, the mother of Parsifal. Parsifal was a historical personality who was born in the 9th century AD. He was a personality on whom rested in a very special way the reflection of the Archetype of Humanity. The name Parsifal really means one who “goes through the valley” of utter loneliness and suffering and of being separated from the spiritual world. His father died before he was born. He lived in his early youth under the care and protection of his mother Herzeloide in a lonely forest. One day he was led away, and he went out into the world in order to become a knight of King Arthur's Round Table. He was confronted with the Holy Grail but failed to recognize it, and only after long and lonely erring, during which he lost faith even in God, he returned to the Grail's castle and became the bearer of the Holy Vessel containing the ever-healing host.

Parsifal, as a historic personality, lived in an age when spiritual darkness spread over humanity. He was probably born about the time of the Council of Constantinople (869 AD), which decreed that human beings consist only of body and soul, and denied that they were also the bearer of a spirit. But Parsifal gave, as it were, the possibility of human beings becoming ultimately the vessel of Christ if they evolve the hidden forces of their souls by passing courageously through the dark and lonely valley of material existence.

Herzeloide died after Parsifal had left her in order to seek King Arthur's Court. Thereby, she could look back to the Earth from the spiritual world and realize in her son's destiny that the Spirit of the Sun had entered the material world, because she beheld that Christ filled the hearts of human beings if in the struggle with their lower being they opened their heart to the spiritual Light from the heights.

This connection with the One who “passed through the valley” is also hidden in the conjunction of Saturn, Mercury, and the Sun. The superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun reminds us very much of the historical Christmas Night on 25 December 1 BC, when the same conjunction took place. It is the picture of the Birth event under the very difficult circumstances as it is described in St. Luke. But the position of Saturn between Scorpion and Archer reveals that it was the birth of One who had to go “through the valley”, because it stands in the “lowest” part of the Zodiac. It is the point of the winter solstice, and when the Sun comes to this point in the course of the year it is in its lowest position above the horizon. In this part of the Zodiac is really a dark and lonely valley.

Whereas Saturn reveals the links of the human being with the past, with the higher self as it wandered through previous incarnations, Jupiter creates the link between the past and the future. Saturn shows the higher causes that are the foundation of the present incarnation. Jupiter manifests the inner reason of the mysterious and strange ways of a person's destiny. In previous letters, we have spoken of Jupiter as the image of a person's connection with the World Ether. As we go through the experience of the Earth when we are incarnated, we dissolve — whether we want it or not — the substances of the Earth through the process of thinking. The capacity of thinking is based on an activity that penetrates through the veil of solid matter. When we try to find the true nature of the world and its objects, especially in philosophical thinking, we etherize and uplift the objective and egoless world around us to a state of conscious transparency. This etherized world of thoughts is then the “reality” upon which we look back after having passed through the threshold of death. This is, then, for us the “Earth”; we cannot behold the material Earth any longer. This Ether-Earth, as we might say, shows us the meaning and the future of the whole Earth evolution, which has only been achieved to a small extent so far. However, it is already the germ of a new planetary stage of the universe when the present Earth will have been dissolved. Occultism calls this future stage of the universe “Jupiter”. The present planet Jupiter, which is the realm and the source of the cosmic ether, is inhabited by highly exalted Beings who prepare this future evolution.

Therefore, if we look at the position of Jupiter in a nativity, we really look at that which connects the past of the single human being with the cosmic future. Its highest manifestation appears in the realm of creative, philosophical thinking. Thus the creative thoughts of individuals will become the “real” substance of a future universe.

Jupiter, during the whole time of Tycho's prenatal development, was in the constellation of Goat. Goat is opposite Crab. Crab in the light of Jupiter can reveal the process of densification of the Earth into the state of “mineral substance”. We will remember that in connection with the spiritual nativity we saw Crab as the cosmic expression of the philosophical mood of Materialism. Through the light of Jupiter we can experience Crab as the source of all the impulses that led into the solidification and hardening of the Earth into matter. We know from occult investigations that the Earth only gradually attained this state of solid matter.

However, Jupiter in the opposite constellation of Goat indicates the reversed tendency from densification, that is to say, the dissolving thinking activity of human beings. It is the impulse of spiritualization and etherization of the solid matter that will only be achieved as a world process in a very far future. Densification into solid matter is the essence of the Earth evolution. Only through this process has it been possible to lead humanity toward freehood and the attainment of the “I”. The following cosmic evolution will have to redeem this process of densification. In the Jupiter evolution, the Earth will appear as an ethereal body consisting of those creative thoughts of individuals, which even now are contributing toward a healthy dissolution of the Earth. In the language of the Revelation of St. John, this etherized and transformed Earth is called the “New Jerusalem”.

We can now understand why this individuality had those difficulties in understanding the incarnation of the Godhead in matter. It was because his creative genius was far advanced toward the future, so far that it did not fit properly into the needs of the present world historic age. We might even say that the complete etherization of the world cannot be achieved in the future if the vehicle of this process, the human being, has not first gone through the pains of the experience of the spirit incorporated in matter. As we have indicated above, this individuality finally went through this experience. We can assume all the more from this position of Jupiter that Tycho de Brahe's time lies in the future, that he could only evolve very little of these capacities during his Tycho incarnation. They have become, as it were, a fund for future lives, and we gain a glimpse of what these capacities may become if we consider the inspirations that certain personalities who incarnated later received from him after his death. Rudolf Steiner mentions two: the philosophers Schelling and Jakob Frohschammer. Schelling's philosophical activity culminated in the lectures that he gave at the University of Berlin and which were edited under the title, The Philosophy of Mythology and Revelation. Frohschammer wrote at a time when Jupiter was nearing or was actually stationed in Goat, The Imagination as the Principle of the World Process and The Monads and World Imagination. Unfortunately, we cannot give a detailed description now of the philosophical ideas of these personalities, but the titles of the works may convey a faint imagination to the readers of the loftiness of these thoughts inspired by Tycho de Brahe. The idea of imagination as the principle of the world process creates a picture of the world where matter no longer exists but rather an ocean of creative and living thoughts.

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