To the Readers of the Monthly Astronomical Letters
With the present issue the
second year of the Monthly Astronomical Letters comes to a close. For
some time it has been a problem whether it would be wise to continue
with these letters for another period. We have come to the conviction
that, if we would decide to continue, the character of this publication
would have to be altered entirely. On the other hand the basis of the
letters seems to be still too small to justify launching out on a bigger
scale. This may be possible after some time of preparation, but for
the present we have decided to discontinue the letters.
One more word may be said about the problem of the application of the
New Star Wisdom. There are many realms of life and knowledge in which
this wisdom can be applied. Generally speaking it would mean an enormous
enrichment of cultural life if the aspects of the starry world would
be taken more into consideration. The arrangement and the judgment of
the facts and events on this planet on which we live could be elevated
into a realm of spiritual surety and dignity. Many of the social difficulties
and catastrophes that humanity faces at present could be avoided
if our culture could be guided according to the grand spiritual facts
that reveal themselves in the events of the starry world. We have pointed
out already in the first letter that a future spiritual culture of humanity
will need a new star wisdom more and more. Even if the time is not quite
ripe for the realization of this impulse on a large scale, the seeds
of the future must be sown now.
We must be absolutely clear about one question. It is not possible to
carry the aspects and suppositions of the traditional astrology into
any such new outlook. This should also have become clear in the course
of the letters. The aim of traditional astrology is chiefly prediction.
For the most part, it only meets the curiosity and the egoism of people
with regard to the uncertainty of the future. Unfortunately, this is
also the reason why this astrology very often has to work on an almost
businesslike basis and, therefore, is involved into the subjectivistic
psychology of attraction and expansion of sale in the business world.
In the letters we endeavored to show that cosmology has its roots in
the ancient mysteries. There, in the sanctuaries of the temples, it
was used in order to guide the disciples of the esoteric teaching to
the fulfillment of their tasks. Since that time this grand wisdom
of the stars, which hitherto had been guarded hermetically, has been
dispersed into the outside world through all kinds of channels. It came
into hands that did not fully understand it any longer, and it deteriorated
into empty shells of rules from which the true meaning and the spirit
had disappeared long ago.
The present age must start to find the true wisdom of the stars again.
Through Rudolf Steiner, the gates toward the attainment of a new cosmology
have been opened wide. But above everything else, we have to realize
one important fact in human evolution, and this is the development of
the ego. If we compare the social life in ancient Egypt, for instance,
with the conditions in our modern time, then we can become aware of
the enormous changes that have taken place since those past ages. In
ancient Egypt the social organism was built up hierarchically. The priests
and kings were the acknowledged and absolute leaders of their peoples.
They had unrestricted power over their subjects; they acted, as it were,
as the earthly representatives of the Gods. In our age, we consider
democratic principles as the ideal of the social organism. Modern
humanity has become ego conscious, and people do not want to be led
by others. They consider themselves to be able to cope with their own
affairs and also to arrange the social necessities in concord and agreement
with their fellow human beings. Therefore, it is not possible to re-institute
the applications of the old star wisdom in our age. People of today
do not want to be governed by the stars, and this is justified. We have
to learn to become masters of ourselves, especially in such subtle matters
as individual destiny. Everything has to be arranged according to the
requirements of the age of freedom. On the other hand, we must also
realize that the relationship between humanity and the starry universe
has changed considerably during the last two thousand years.
The fact of the development of freedom in humanity cannot be considered
only from the human point of view. It would not have been possible without
a corresponding deed of the divine world. In the letters we #160;#160;have often pointed out that the stars were experienced in olden days
as the garments of the Gods. The seer in the old mysteries could behold
the Gods through the medium of those garments. Yet in the age of freedom,
the Gods have withdrawn into a still higher realm. This is the fact
of human freedom — only expressed in different words. They have
left the “garments” behind. The stars still bear the qualities
imprinted into them by the divine beings, such as a clock might work
according to the original intentions of its maker.
Thus modern clairvoyance recognizes the fact that we cannot speak of
an “influence” of the stars upon the human being any longer.
They have become “silent”. Still, modern clairvoyance recognizes
also another important fact: the human being enters the physical world
with regard to the individual birth time in such a way that a harmony
is established between its destiny and the course of the stars.
It may sound strange to modern minds, but mighty spiritual beings who
are strongly connected with the spiritual evolution of humanity have
arranged this connection for the sake of the star-Beings. Through it,
there has been established one of the most profound and exalted tasks
of humanity, which will be fully realized only in a very distant future.
Human beings will imprint their spiritual essence more and more into
the world of the stars, and thus they will even create a new universe
in remote ages to come, but they have to start this evolution during
the present age.
The stars have become a gigantic mirror of the spirit of
human beings. Looking into it, we can perceive the grand spiritual image of
our own being standing behind us and waiting for fulfillment. To read the
features of this Spirit Man, or Spirit “I”, in the script of the
stars is the task of a new cosmology and astrology. This impulse is
not only justified, it will become a cultural necessity in future.