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Lectures from 1966

On-line since: 31st August, 2016

Three Points in History: 33 AD 9th Century AD 19th Century

16 July 1966

(Note: At the time of Christ, the Signs and Constellations were in line: Ram was behind Aries)


Today we will study the year of the Mystery of Golgotha and work this through realistically in some detail again, from the heliocentric viewpoint.

We have talked of the picture of the descent from the heavens, and now we turn to Easter 33 AD, when Saturn was in Cancer, moving toward Leo for Ascension and Whitsun. This latter was the time when the disciples experienced the Holy Spirit, which inspired them to go out into the world to preach the Gospel.

This symbol of Leo is significant of going out into the world. All these events were accompanied by corresponding Events in the heavens. It was a moment of history in Earth evolution when the heavenly rhythms of the planets coincide with the events on Earth. Christ is the Great Spirit of the solar universe in which we live, and these planetary movements were the heavenly gestures manifested by this Being. This works through into future history. (see drawing)

Let us dwell for the moment on pre-Christian experience of these three constellations of Twins, Crab and Lion. We have already referred to Gemini in the Celtic myth of Gwydion and his two sons. It is even more precise in the Norse myths. There we have Baldur (Spirit of the Sun) and his blind brother, Hoedur. Such myths have already been elaborated in our Star Journal letters. This was the time of the Twilight of the Gods, and Baldur had a premonition of the approach of death. Odin enquired of the prophetess and found this confirmed. Therefore, all living beings were instructed not to harm Baldur. But Loki, the mischief maker, discovered that mistletoe had been overlooked because it was not a true plant, for it lived on trees. Thus he was able to persuade Baldurs blind brother, Hoedur, to throw a mistletoe arrow at Baldur, which killed him.

In these constellations, we see this Twilight especially in Gemini/Twins; and in Cancer/Crab, we see the abyss that corresponds to the bridge in the Norse myths. In fact, when the evil powers attacked Asgard, this Bifrost Bridge was burnt, and humanity lost all connection with the spiritual world.

In the Greek myths, the Nemean Lion of Hercules was said to have jumped from the cosmic Moon to the Earth and was strangled by Hercules, who then wore the lions skin as a degree of initiation. Leo portrays a deep insight into the cosmos, extending right out to the periphery. One can be connected with cosmic forces too strongly, which is unhealthy. Humanity was forced by the Hebrews to turn its gaze to Earth through geology. The cosmic element of the Moon lion was destructive and was eliminated during the twelve labors of Hercules.

All this was redeemed through Christs Deed: the descent of Christ through Gemini/Twins and the Baptism. This was the healing of Hoedurs blindness, and the rebirth of Baldur. Cancer/Crab represents the bridge that was rebuilt by Christ, so that humanity might once again find access to the reality of the spiritual world through Christs great suffering on the hill of Golgotha. Leo refers to Ascension and Whitsun, which makes it possible that we can experience the truths, as St. Paul did, and can go into the outer cosmos, yet retain our identity. There is this possibility of a break-through if we follow Christ in the way of Thomas Kempis, for instance. The events in these three constellations can give us a background of reality; otherwise, we will find it very difficult.

I will refer, here, to one or two historic examples of the planetary influences to which we have referred. Michelangelo is one whose Saturn stood in Crab both at birth and death. In Michelangelo, we find the background of the burnt bridge of Asgard, of great suffering, yet a break-through to truth and the Christ Deed. We know that his childhood, and the greater part of his life, was full of intense suffering. His sculptures express a great sorrow at times, as do his self-portraits. However, he was also able to create majestic works of art out of that sorrow, which were truly manifestations of the uplifting Spirit of the Mystery of Golgotha. Through all his creations, there glows the true Christian Spirit. In the Pieta we find a version of the Grail Mysteries. Yet, as a human being, he had to pass through great suffering.

We must remember that it was not for Christ to do it all alone and die. The human race must take on this same pattern of suffering, and through crucifixion realize its resurrection, too. This is the essence of the Crab imagination.

Saturn was in Lion in 1917-18, during the deep despair of the First World War. Rudolf Steiner refers to many people concerned with political events who watched in despair the rising of insoluble social problems. Rudolf Steiner also presented the suggestion of the Threefold Commonwealth, whereby the political life, the economic life, and the spiritual life should be separated; but this was rejected by national self-interest. The Russian revolution came then, too, born out of atheism, which was produced out of a long history of rejection of the spiritual world. It was on this that our social future was built.

In 1945, Saturn was again in the constellation of Twins (sign of Cancer), entering Crab (sign of Leo) on 21 August. In August 1945, the atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima on the 6th and Nagasaki on the 9th, which expressed an absolute rejection of the spiritual world. If only humanity had known the facts behind these forces they unleashed through atomic fission, they would never have so misused them in ignorance.

No scientist has even seen an atom. They only know that something does something. It is word play only. From Occult Science, we know of the terrific energy that releases itself from the Hierarchy of Thrones. This was energy that divorced itself from the Hierarchy.

Tolstoy was another historic character with Saturn in Lion, and we know how much he suffered. Beethoven, too, was born when Saturn was there, and his suffering came through the deafness that afflicted him as a composer. Yet in his creations, we also recognize that aspect of a new redemption.

Novalis was born with Saturn in Lion, and it was also there at his death (1772-1801). He only lived 29 years, but his diary is full of aphorisms and annotations on a multitude of different subjects. He had that capacity to look at everything objectively being also a mining engineer and scientist and then go out into the cosmos and infuse it with universal meaning. He had that Leo-Whitsun capacity to speak with tongues on almost anything.

The background to all this is the events of 33 AD. The broad events of history recall this germinal Christ Era whenever things happen in Lion.

Last night we also spoke of the great conjunctions, or conferences, between Jupiter and Saturn (drawing below). We mentioned this meeting in Lion in 34 AD, and connected it with Paul and his cosmic experience at Damascus. We also found that these conferences move forward and recur every 60 years about ten degrees further on in the ecliptic. One can also travel further back, long before Christ.

Therefore, we will take the preceding one, which took place in Crab and also expressed great suffering on the part of humanity in preparation for the coming of Christ. Here we can link up with the Grail Mysteries again, for Parsifals problem was the experience of the suffering of Amfortas, who only beheld the Grail in great pain through the wounds inflicted by his adversaries. Parsifal did not ask the reason for this suffering and was dismissed from the Castle to wander through the valley of despair, and even of atheism. But eventually he returns to ask the question of Amfortas. In the Wolfram von Eschenbach version of the Grail, he remarks that Parsifals suffering was connected with cosmic events, but he does not make this clear. In one of Rudolf Steiners very last lectures in Karmic Relationships, about the Troubadour contest, he spoke of Eschenbachs fight against the dark forces of Klingsor, where Klingsor says that Eschenbach does not understand the cosmos. Eschenbach replies that he is only able to sing of the transubstantiation through the processes of ritual, and Eschenbach also suggests that Amfortas suffers because of Saturn in the mid-heaven. Dr. Steiner says he really means Saturn in Crab.

Saturn, in Leo/Lion in 34 AD, advises humanity that the Amfortas event is over, and the resurrection has begun; while St. Paul proves that Christ can reach us and comprise our greater humanity and home in the spiritual world. This is the message of the Imagination of Leo/Lion.

Another great conjunction at the time of Christ was in 6 BC in Pisces/Fishes. This conjunction moved around the zodiac through the following centuries until in the 9th century (888), Jupiter and Saturn arrived again at the same position in the constellation of Lion. Three 60 year rhythms previously, in 1709, it was in Crab, referring to Amfortas. Amfortas stood for something significant. We find that in 711 the Arabs invaded Spain from North Africa. Mohammed had died in 632, and Mohammedism then spread into North Africa at the beginning of the 8th century. In Spain these tribes, known as the Visigoths, had quarreled, and one tribe called in the Arabs to rescue them. But this was used as an excuse by the Arabs for invasion and their conquering of Spain. Gibraltar is a distortion of the generals name who conquered Spain.

We can imagine, geographically, how Mohammedism came from the East through North Africa, and again much later via Asia Minor (600), through Europe to take Constantinople. In this way the Arabs tried to break into Europe with a pincers movement. It came via Spain in 711, and the Franks made tremendous efforts in order to contain them in Spain, where they settled and have left many traces.

This was the Amfortas event for Europe and Christianity. This attack was also the cause of the European creation of a counterpoise, spiritually, in the Grail Impulse. Thus the Moon symbol was taken and filled with spiritual substance. We must often fight adverse forces externally, but it is primarily our inner spiritual strength that averts ultimate defeat.

Modern events refer to the third conjunction, or corner of the triangle formed by these Great Conjunctions. This was in Archer (diagram), and it relates to the 12 year old Jesus and His Temple experience just as the 6 BC conjunction refers to the Annunciation. This former conjunction arrived in 1683 at Lion. The real culmination was in 1682, reflecting again the Amfortas element. We can look back to the Copernicus, Kepler, Tycho Brahe stream and their fight not to lose the spiritual development in the face of natural science, which included astronomy.

We therefore see this year of 33 AD as a beacon shining far into the future. We have only established a definite association with three conjunctions that have impressed themselves into history, but there are also other conjunctions, including other planets, which are also significant. The whole perspective of the Christ Event unfolds itself into the future through these conjunctions, but only if we associate ourselves with it by experiencing, in their true setting, the suffering of Amfortas, as well as the question of Parsifal.

The point is not, why suffer? It was that we must question, and never rest from enquiry as to what is the meaning of all this as it stands in the total setting of history. Parsifal asks for the spiritual meaning of the surrounding events, and he hopes for the spiritual portals to open into the realms of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition. The answer is received to personal or universal problems, and we will be given the chance to break through by way of the Whitsun and Ascension experiences in transition from Crab to Lion, taking new forms connected with the Second Coming. The planets themselves are sanctified by these events and prepared for the future. Whenever they return to the same positions, they illuminate them with memories of the Three Years and their etheric background, the garment of Christ. We must realize this in our own life. All our struggles are related to these Christ Events, and we must find the inner strength to stand erect with self-knowledge and knowledge of the cosmos.



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