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Lectures from 1954

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Edward Carpenter and Henry Ford


Unrevised Notes of a Lecture by Willi Sucher

Hawkwood College, England, August 6, 1954


You will notice that Edward Carpenter was born on 29 August 1844, and that his birth Sun was in the constellation of Lion and in Scorpion at conception. I wish especially to speak of Venus, which makes a loop during gestation, with Saturn in opposition. The Sun is behind Venus, as you will see from the chart, and Venus is between the Sun and the Earth. All the planets make loops at rhythmic intervals, except the Sun and Moon, of course. Venus loops (inferior conjunctions) take place at intervals of 20 months, and in between every ten months there is a superior conjunction of Venus with the Sun. When in a superior conjunction, Venus stands directly behind the Sun and in a line with the Earth.

These Venus loops can only take place at certain parts of the Zodiac, and in accordance with the velocity of the Sun and the planet concerned in this case, the Earth. Venus takes up five definite positions, until it returns to approximately the same place every eight years, as it slowly falls back in the ecliptic a little each time. Whenever Venus returns to these points, there occur conjunctions with the Sun.

Where were the Venus corners of this great Pentagram Star, which is described in the universe, earlier in history? We can take them back to the Events in Palestine for the elucidation of their message to humanity. It is very gratifying to go with this revolving and invisible star and see the wonderful conformations it made at the time of the Events in Palestine, in accordance with the Mission of the Christ. For it was woven in a manifold manner into those Events, especially during the three years of Christs Ministry; but also during the entire 33 years it moved in accordance with events on Earth.

Christ was the Spirit of the cosmos Who imprinted Venus message into the Earth. We know that Venus is bearer of the element of relationship, and we have seen how human beings were then related to those great Events, when this Pentagram Star was consecrated anew.

The Twins (Gemini) corner is especially related to the Damascus Event the experience of St. Stephen and Saul-Paul. We find this particular loop in Carpenters chart, further illumined by Saturn, who stands opposite. This shows that the leading purpose of his incarnation, which was prepared in earlier lives, had now matured between death and rebirth; it indicates the inherent purpose of his incarnation. The position of Saturn enhances this, showing that Carpenter lifted something that yearned for the experience of Damascus the Risen Christ. This is only an indication of what the soul prepared before birth and then forgets, as necessary for its freedom. We, then, have to try to recall these pre-birth impulses out of our own inner efforts, and direct everything in the social sphere toward that direction and to that vision of the

Risen Christ, putting it in the center of everything. It is part of the battle of the consciousness soul on Earth, which is that it endeavors to remember, or recall, its prenatal impulse and intention.

Carpenter was one of those who did remember it, after much searching. It is what Miss Bennell, an attendee to this lecture series, pointed out this morning, for he showed he had fulfilled his aim when he wrote Towards Democracy in the light of his prenatal decisions. It is the more remarkable because in the same year of his birth, Nietzsche was born, whose life, however, ended most tragically in insanity. He, too, had this loop of Venus, and he, too, came with the intention to search on Earth for the great Image of the Risen Christ, but he did not find it. His attempt is contained in his book Thus Spake Zarathustra, where Zarathustra descends from the heights into the valley of humanity. This was a pre-birth recollection by Nietzsche, but he could not quite break through and call Him by His right Name. It is dangerous if we fail to do this, for then we fall prey to Ahriman. Carpenter did break through, and we have this same cosmic event in both charts, but they cannot be interpreted in the same terms. Whether and how the soul will go his prepared way, depends on the individuality concerned.

It lived in Carpenter, this great decision to search for the Image of Christ, though he had to wait and go through great renunciations. He was a priest but renounced it; he gave up his Lectureship at Cambridge, and he left for Italy, sinking into a void in himself without prospects on his return. It was only very late in 1881 that he broke through to what he had searched for previously, and this was when he was 37 two Moon node returns after birth. And at this same time, in 1881, Nietzsche wrote Thus Spake Zarathustra. Two events shaped Carpenters destiny: his mothers death on January 25, 1881 and the gift to him of the Bhagavad-Gita. Both changed his whole life. For months after my mothers death, I seemed to feel and see her as a semi-luminous figure, larger than mortal, in a way which was inexpressibly tender and consoling... This had an etherealizing influence on my mind and resulted in the exhaling of great conceptions of inner worlds into another sphere. And when he read the Bhagavad-Gita, he found in it that touch of exaltation, and of a super consciousness beyond all that had gone before, giving everything a new expression. It was after this that he wrote Towards Democracy.

I should like to tell you of the starry world when Carpenters mother died on 28 January 1881, when there was a superior conjunction of occult Venus (Mercury) with the Sun in Goat. Rudolf Steiner has suggested that it is important to study the chart of the heavens when the soul goes through the gateway at death, and read this greater death asterogram, with all its cosmic aspects. This is the souls biography in the stars at death. It is an illuminating biography, free from any egotistical temptations such as those which are there during life, for at death all is transformed, and the biography can be approached with great reverence, as the gateway of knowledge about the one who has passed the threshold. We find, in the death asterogram of Edward Carpenters mother, a significant confirmation of his lifes mission. We also find that the Damascus Corner of the Golden Triangle is written there as confirmation of its historic significance.

Jupiter is our old friend, going into conjunction with Saturn again in Ram on April 18, 1881. All this is similar to the indications in Carpenters diagram, but it is not pronounced through Venus this time, but through the Golden Triangle of Mercury (occult Venus), and so it concerns not the individual, but all humanity. His mother in the spiritual world can help him through her own being. Her physical body has vanished, and she is in the world of planets and stars, and in this asterogram lies her great message. He saw and felt her presence as a tremendous inspiration, and he recalled his pre-birth decisions, as expressed in the star Venus.

When we leave our physical body, we go toward the Sun, through the spheres of the inferior planets, out into the spiritual world. Venus expresses our relationship towards the Palestine Events. We can also find in Mercury the memory of the Deeds of Christ when He brought down to Earth the cosmic forces of healing. The archetypes of these Deeds you find in the healings of the Gospel of St. John. The first is the Wedding at Cana, the fourth the Feeding of the Five Thousand they both come to the same Event, in a way. This, too, comes into the soul of Carpenters mother, and she can communicate to the Son this nourishment of the 5,000, concerning the feeding of present humanity. This 5,000 represented the fifth cultural age, our own, which started in 1413. This Feeding of the Five Thousand, in the spirit, is a vision concerning humanitys future. Also, those present were fed with cosmic food, symbolically indicated by the twelve remaining baskets, which signifies its cosmic nature and the twelvefold character of the Zodiac.

Out of such sources was this individuality, Edward Carpenter, fed; and at the same time, he received the Bhagavad-Gita. He read that discourse between Arjuna (the Warrior, who was supposed to battle against his own kind, and was reluctant) and Krishna, Who then reveals Himself in the glowing majesty of cosmic Divine Being. So was Arjuna convinced by this pre-revelation of the cosmic Glory of the Christ to come Christ, revealing Himself to modern humanity and their task, in all His Cosmic Glory, and Who appeared later to Paul. On this borderline realm of day consciousness, two experiences came to Carpenter: that of his mother calling on him to remember his prenatal decisions and to search for the Risen Christ, and Krishnas pre-Christian revelation of the Christ.

Both awoke him to his great experience of Christ through the world and in the world. He called it Democracy, for it is difficult to find words for it. I do advise you to read this book. I did not realize when I read it that he was born at the same time as Nietzsche, and yet it reminded me of Thus Spake Zarathustra, though it was different and full of peace there was a great cosmic peace flowing through it all. Only later did I discover that he and Nietzsche were born in the same year. Carpenters was a tremendous vision of East and West, for in his death asterogram are clearly indicated his trips to America to visit Walt Whitman, and then to Ceylon and India to visit a great Indian teacher. In his death asterogram, we find a perfect balance of those two visits, East and West, which were a manifestation of the Risen Christ Whom he sought. It is the capacity to see humanity as a whole, where East and West hold the balance at the central pivot of Europe. But this is only possible if we permeate ourselves with the power of the Risen Christ.

Now what of Henry Ford, who was born 30 July 1863, with his Sun in the constellation of Cancer? Here we find the reverse. Saturn and Jupiter are in Virgin the Kings point of the Triangle and very near each other. There was an actual conjunction between them, but this came after the birth of Rudolf Steiner in 1861, on October 21st, and before the birth of Ford in 1863. There was no loop of Venus, who stood opposite, for it was in a superior conjunction with the Sun. This means that one of the five points of the Venus Pentagram Star connected with the Christ Events was touched. This point was connected with that strange event when Christ crossed the Jewish border into the towns of Tyre and Sidon, and met the Syro-Phoenician woman of Greek descent. She implores Him to heal her daughter, who is possessed of a demon. Christ argues with her that He must first feed the children. But she replies that even the dogs can share the crumbs under the childrens table, so he tells her to go home, because her faith has helped to heal her daughter. A strange story? Consider its setting. Syro-Phoenicia was a population devoted largely to trade, very rich, but with its culture and spiritual life very decadent in the cults and mysteries. They were related to the old Asteroth Mysteries, which were the decadent Venus Mysteries celebrated there. The altars were no longer sacred to the Deities, but to demons, who descended and took possession of those who celebrated and worshiped there. So this daughter represents all those decadent mysteries; for everyone who came to Christ came representing some ailment, or some disorder to be healed in humanity. This was the decline of the mysteries, and this was healed by Christ. As the ancient mysteries declined, so must rejuvenation come through the Spirit of Christianity, and here the prenatal decision to work along those lines seems to be indicated in Fords asterogram. By the time of his birth, Jupiter and Saturn had already left their conjunction and passed on. It had happened, and now he must get on with the job, so to speak. The events could now flow.

Miss Mayer has spoken of Ford and shown us his very revealing portrait. The eyes are wide apart, and the forehead is broad above them. There is something great and special in those eyes. And here we have found it indicated by the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the face part of the Asterogram. For we will see that the curve of the Sun in the embryonic development can also represent the head (see Aug. 2 lecture):

Here we can see how the two planets work into the eyes. A human being cannot hide his truth, nor what he had acquired before birth, and in this conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, we find a very different picture to that of Edward Carpenter.

For this Jupiter-Saturn conjunction represents the Kings stream of the Golden Triangle. Henry Ford was a King of industry. It was a transformation that had descended very low, but he had transformed this Kings stream very remarkably. For this Kings stream has to be continually transformed with evolution, the transmutation of the forces of the Magi. Modern kings metamorphose it into mathematical and economic faculties. Ford was a mathematician. He made the plans of his industries and factories himself, and his works were always immaculate. We cannot have dirt in our workshops. It is too expensive. Precision, cleanliness and correctitude were his mathematical aspects the practical mathematics of today. Thus he was a King.

First, he created the double cylinder engine and then the gasoline auto. By then, Saturn was back in Virgo with Jupiter opposed. The bud had opened. Thus Henry Ford in his own way tried to overcome the decline of the ancient mysteries, and such things are carried out in every practical sphere of life. He used the Christian principle of matter-of-fact altruism (which was never sentimental) the I must work for the other human being before expecting him to work for me.

Therefore, we have these two men: Carpenter, a wonderful pioneer spirit on the road to conscious handling of social affairs, and Ford far apart from him; yet they worked on the same plane. They lived during Rudolf Steiners lifetime, but did not contact anthroposophy. They did not break through to it, though Edward Carpenter had a wide esoteric background.

Here we must not be too narrow-minded. Think of these two personalities going into the spiritual worlds, looking back at what they had missed in life, which could have given it a different direction; but also that glance back can be a source of great decisions for the future. They will be preparing in the spiritual world as future great fighters for the progress of humanity.


©Astrosophy Research Center 2012 ‒ ISBN 1-888686-11-1
All rights reserved. These Lectures are for private use, study, and research only and are not to be
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