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Lectures from 1966

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The Spiritual Nativity - 20 July 1966


The spiritual nativity is founded on the physiological and psychological perspectives, and it is something that I myself came to after having worked for some time along the lines of embryology. Someone reminded me of certain references in Human and Cosmic Thought to the fact that the actual nativity was not as important as the spiritual nativity of the human being, which is described there in connection with the world conceptions and human soul moods.

The movements of the planets through the zodiacal constellations are like physiological processes of human thinking. Brain resistance results in a kind of brain engraving, whereby the cosmic thinking of the Gods is similar, but more vast. The eternal cosmos is like a brain. The movements that the planets describe through this cosmos are similar to human thinking; they are the external reflection of the thinking of the Gods. Rudolf Steiner gives precise descriptions relating to world conception moods in Human and Cosmic Thought. Ram relates to philosophical Idealism, Bull to philosophical Rationalism, Twins to Mathematism, Crab Materialism, Lion to Sensualism, Virgin to Phenomenalism, Scales to Realism, Scorpion to Dynamism, Archer to Monadism, Goat to Spiritualism, Waterman to Pneumatism, and Fishes to Psychism. Materialism is necessary as a phase in the cosmic economy, because we must make our stand on matter to maintain our existence.

These twelve moods are reflected in the constellations, and Dr. Steiner points out how these can be modified by the colorings of Saturn. Saturn is connected with the working out of karma. It relates to Gnosticism, which stands on the borders of clairvoyance. Therefore Gnosticism in Mathematism relates to Saturn in the Twins, and is the external reflection of this aspect. Someone evolving this concept can penetrate through Gnosticism into the secrets of the mathematical world order. This capacity of the human being to evolve world conceptions, through participating in the thinking of the Gods before birth, is demonstrated by Rudolf Steiner in this lecture course: We must not only distinguish twelve various shades of world outlook, which are at rest round the circle, but we must recognize that in each of these shades a quite special mood of human soul is possible. One can specially cultivate each of these seven world-outlook moods and each of them can exist in one or the other shades. The twelve shades of world outlook refer to the constellations, the moods to the planets. Thus we have an external picture in the cosmos for the relations of our seven world-outlook moods to our twelve shades of world outlook.

Rudolf Steiner introduced Jupiter-Logism (the others being: Mars-Voluntarism, Sun-Empiricism, Venus-Mysticism, Mercury-Transcendentalism, and Moon-Occultism) in one of the twelve world concepts (or shades), which we can compare to Fichtes Jupiter in Fishes (sign Aries). Logism is that coloring, or tendency, which Hegel or Fichte developed in pure logical thinking a world conception in the terms of pure logical argument.

Schopenhauer in Voluntarism sees the world as the outcome of will forces (for Voluntarism represents the will) in connection with Fishes Psychism.

Rudolf Steiner describes various spiritual nativities and explains why Nietzsche could not evolve Mathematism, as he simply hadnt an affinity toward it. In school he was an excellent pupil in all but mathematics. He could not break through to what he should have achieved, and this is what caused his final difficulties.

The spiritual nativity is built right into the bones of the human organism. Dr. Steiner does not tell us how to handle this aspect, for he always leaves us a question to solve in the relationship between the spiritual and external cosmos. However, he does say that the spiritual nativity is much more important. Therefore, I have tried to find out through the manifestations in the external cosmos, such as we have studied previously.

The Moon is the last stage of human descent to Earth. Remember that this is a reflection of spiritual reality, and that it is the memory picture of what happened spiritually when Shakespeare incarnated. The details explain how he entered incarnation. We are shown that he came in from the direction of Aries (where the Moon is situated at birth). At a certain moment, the soul is still identical with the spheres, and one might see this moment (right) as a convergence toward the

Earth center to collect its forces from the periphery and then concentrate them on that point at birth, which is the direction of its incarnation.

Let us study Shakespeares chart to find his spiritual nativity. This is from the geocentric viewpoint. Saturn and Jupiter are conjunct in Cancer throughout his prenatal development. Mars is in Gemini, Venus is in Taurus this is associated with the cosmic larynx and with the artist using the cosmic larynx. The Moon is waxing and conjunct the Sun in Aries, and Mercury is in Pisces.

We will now add a cosmic cycle that symbolically chronicles certain facts of incarnation, and this is the Moon node. These are similar to the planetary nodes and are due to a deviation of the sphere of the Moon, which tilts its path so that it cuts the ecliptic at two points, giving us the ascending and descending nodes. The planetary nodes are stable for thousands of years and orientated toward certain constellations, but the Moon nodes turn; the whole Moon orbit twists around so that the nodes move with it.

In this case, the descending node was close to Mars (related to the capacity for speech), so that the whole capacity of Mars comes through the Moon node. These nodes are the points of contact with the ecliptic plane of the Earth, and the line through which these nodes point to Mars represents a gateway opening into an extra-lunar world, that is, into the astral element of the universe. The Moon represents vitality, and the water economy of the Earth. It is the vessel for the life forces. Symbolically, it says that the Mars forces can enter this organization very strongly.

The Moon nodes move counter-clockwise, so that the Moon node must have been with Venus in the Bull shortly after birth. Rudolf Steiner states that a spiritual nativity can take place before or after birth, but is not identical with it (see Human and Cosmic Thought).

Shakespeare was born in 1564. Now we are going back to 1539, which is 25 years before birth, to the Moon node. We take the whole orbit in order to find a suitable Moon node, and we find it in 1539 in Aries. A few years prior to the birth, it had been there before, but it was not the one for us. It did not give us the information we required which was congenial to Shakespeare. A study of his biography gives us the impression of a tremendous astral background, whereby he was able to dive, so to speak, into the history of individual biographies, with full self-identification. We sense, in his case, a knowledge both of initiation and of nature processes.

We do not reach such conclusions through calculation alone, but we unite spiritual intuition with a knowledge of external rhythms. We need both. In 1539 we have Uranus going into Leo with Pluto opposite in Aquarius (actual opposition in 1540). The preceding conjunction had been in 1457, just prior to the Chymical Wedding in 1459. The spiritual nativity is a whole complex, of which this is only a part. The conjunction of 1457 could be referred to as a bud, and the opposition of 1540 a blossoming, an opening-up for humanity to unfold. This is seen very clearly in Shakespeare, as the alchemy of the


All this was built into the organism of Shakespeare (see diagram above). See how close this Uranus and Pluto opposition is to the Great Conjunction in Shakespeares chart. This would seem to be spiritually prearranged, as though this conjunction has been made use of by the organism for its fulfillment. We might call Shakespeares biography an amalgam of the alchemy of history and biography. This is a reflection of the spiritual nativity. The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Cancer would seem to refer to the cosmic wisdom of chronology and history.

If I find I have some intuition, or idea, with regard to Shakespeare, for instance, it is the application of this cosmology that gives it backbone. Here, we might say that the constellation of Lion (Sensualism in Shakespeare, referring to the occult) is submerged in the characteristics of Waterman (Pneumatism the teaching about the Spirit). Spiritism distinguishes spiritual beings; and Waterman as the highest manifestation of Pneumatism, can still do this; but not individually, more as a swarm of bees. The next chart we will study is Goethes, who was born in 1749. His Sun was in Leo, as was Mercury. Venus was in Virgo, Saturn in Libra, Jupiter in Pisces, Mars in Sagittarius, and the Moon nodes in Sagittarius and Twins.

The Moon was waning, making the direction of incarnation opposite. We have to find this spiritual nativity by following the Moon node and then go forward. In 1793, the ascending Moon node was in Leo, and the gateway opened. In 1793, also Uranus was in the same position, with Pluto opposite. This opposition (of Pluto and Uranus) was in the same place as in 1712 the time of Rousseaus birth, and associated with Goethes nativity, though we must leave this point for the moment. Here again the background is that of the Rosicrucian Impulse streaming through history, with one of the foci for this incarnation.

In 1793 Goethe met Schiller. He had returned from Italy and entered into a productive phase. But he needed Schiller to push him. When they first met he found Schiller too mercurial and rejected him. It was only after they met, later on, on the way home from a gathering, and had entered Goethes house together to shelter from a storm, that they really came together. It was then that Goethe produced his idea of the archetypal plant, which Schiller referred to as only an idea, to which Goethe replied that he was indeed fortunate in being able to visualize his ideas. From then on, he was always encouraged to publish his works by Schiller. One of these publications was the Legend of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily (a Rosicrucian impulse). He was always guided very deliberately to reach his culminations, e.g., The Legend and his Leipzig experience. We find this same deliberation in his spiritual nativity and its realization. This can be a most potent perspective of our connection with the stars.

In the ephemeris we can find the positions of the Moon nodes, but they can be at least a month off from their correct positions. One needs extra tables, which I think are as yet unpublished in this country. The slower planets are not so much concerned, but one needs precise calculations with reference to the Moon nodes.

We can find this kind of spiritual nativity in other examples such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. Here we find Saturn in Leo at birth, Mars in Cancer close to the Moon, Sun and Mercury in Taurus (born, May 25), Venus in Aries, and Moon nodes in Aquarius and Leo. The line of incarnation came via Cancer, and his Moon node of 1793 was close to Goethes Moon node of 1795 and also close to that opposition of Uranus and Pluto already mentioned. Emerson was one of the greatest individualities of the 19th century.

We notice here a deep connection with Goethe. Many people called him the transcendentalist (beyond the physical), to which he objected. But he had a deep spiritual insight. One has the impression that before incarnation he had some connection with Goethes Legend, and carried it forward as a kind of unconscious guiding beacon for his work, although he was not a Rosicrucian.

The conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter give the background of his embryonic development, as a reflection of the Saturn and Pluto opposition to which we have referred in previous studies.

This is a very rapid journey through the huge complex of the spiritual nativity. I can only give you (here as elsewhere) the general guiding lines on our travels through the cosmos in the short time we have at our disposal. Not with the exactitude of a mechanical computer, for the cosmic rhythms are much more flexible, but with a remarkable accuracy, even so, in relation to the varying aspects that we have studied this week. We can only hope that more work can be done to confirm what we have dealt with this morning. It is very feasible that this spiritual nativity makes a much deeper impact on a human being than the physical, and that from it we shall obtain much more information of its connections with the spiritual world.



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