The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt 11

In the previous section (part 10), we tried to imagine into the modern rite of the Etheric Christ. Let’s keep in mind that what was laid out is a work-in-progress. For one example, a further reflection on the dating of this 153-day liturgical cycle of the Mother Church, the Church of John. Upon further reflection, it became clear to me that the liturgical year of the Father Church of Peter extends until Whitsun, after which “Ordinary Time” begins. The week after Whitsun is the Festival of the Holy Trinity. It was on this day (May 21, 1967) that the anonymous author finished penning his 22 Letter-Meditations on the Tarot. It was also on this day (May 26, 810) that Parzival came for the second time to the Grail Castle and healed King Anfortas (see my article in Cosmology Reborn: Star Wisdom, vol 1, “First Steps Toward a Grail Timeline”). Perhaps there is an indication here that the “Grail Church”, a service deeply related to the Tarot, ought to begin each year on the Festival of the Holy Trinity, one week after Whitsun.

A second example: further reflection and conversation since then has brought up the perspective that the milk and honey dowsing is perhaps more appropriate for the living world of nature, particularly in late spring and summer. This milk and honey preparation has the effect of attracting beneficial insects. This world of insects is the “outer garment” so to speak of the elemental world, in the same way the starry heavens is the “outer garment” of the angelic hierarchies.

But the use of the spikenard oil has a different gesture. Magdalene used this to prepare Christ for his death and burial. The application of the spikenard oil might be more appropriate from, say, Michaelmas onwards. It might be particularly appropriate to to apply it to minerals and stones, imbuing them with the warmth they lack and crave as the Earth prepares to enter into the winter months.

As a reminder as to the spiritual significance of this “washing the feet” of Mother Earth, let’s recall Valentin Tomberg’s indications about the second coming of Christ:

“The reappearance in the etheric has significance not just for humanity, but also for nature. The purpose is to bring something new into being. After death, the human ether body “dissolves”; nevertheless, at the same time an extract survives death and goes with the individuality from one incarnation to the next. Likewise, nature will also acquire a realm related to ordinary nature, just as the extract of the human ether body relates to the ether body itself. The extract of the human ether body is, in fact, budhi, or life spirit. Similarly, a realm of life spirit will also arise in nature as a result of the etheric second coming of Christ.” (Christ and Sophia, pp. 363-64).

“We mentioned that the etheric return of Christ will also have significance for the world of nature. When Christ appeared nineteen centuries ago, he came for the benefit of humanity. His descent took place vertically in the sphere of human existence. The consciousness of nature, however, is on a horizontal plane. Consequently, the effects of the Mystery of Golgotha are accessible to nature only through human beings. The world of nature does not experience the being of Christ directly, and because of this, a certain sense of hopelessness is becoming stronger for nature. We can say that humankind is the destiny of nature; we must bring salvation to the world of nature, because we have the moral connection with the spiritual world. But nature has a dynamic connection with the spiritual world; it must obey the world of spirit. Nature can experience the warmth that comes from the Sun, but not moral warmth, which can only come from human beings. Unfortunately, this does not happen. Because of this, misfortune occurs again and again in the elemental world.

The Bible mentions the primordial chaos (tohu wa bohu). The Genesis of Moses portrays the earth’s becoming, particularly from the view of the elemental world. At that time, the beings of nature, the animals, were brought before human beings, who gave them names. Through this act, a certain influence proceeded from humankind toward the beings of nature, and this determined their karma; human beings determined nature’s karma. This occurred during the Lemurian epoch, and the post-Atlantean epoch is a reversed reflection of that Lemurian epoch. Chaos is again arising in the elemental world. It is the duty of humankind to return order into that chaos by using moral powers. All of this chaos makes possible certain influences upon humanity. For example, when Rudolf Steiner spoke of Bolshevism, he sad that there are cruel elemental beings behind men—elemental beings who goad human beings to commit acts of cruelty. It is our human task to cure the world of those illnesses. Still, human beings do almost nothing in this way for nature, and thus much of nature has less and less hope for redemption. The etheric return of Christ will signal a restoration of hope for nature; it will be a sign of resurrection for nature. Christ will be active throughout the horizontal spatial realm. He will visit all the regions of the Earth, and this will lead to a meeting with the beings of nature and an active moral force in the world of nature. In the past, this happened through the vertical plane for humankind; today it happens on the horizontal plane for nature.” (p. 399)

The Age of Aries was focused on the perfection of the astral body in order to facilitate the birth of the Ego within humanity, culminating with Aristotle, Plato and the Mystery of Golgotha in the final third of the Age of Aries. The Age of Pisces involved the perfecting of the Ego in order to facilitate the birth of manas (imaginative) cognition, culminating in Weimar Classicism, Anthroposophy, and Christian Hermeticism in our time, the final third of the Age of Pisces.

The goal of the new rite that is to be established at this time of the second coming is meant to help bring to birth the next higher level after manas—budhi, which as the above quote indicates, is a concern for both humanity and nature together. It is the “extract” of the memory of Earth that we must take into the next planetary embodiment (Future Jupiter).

Notice that, for early humanity, the physical body and the etheric body were free gifts from above. Humanity had to work, in response to sacrifices from above, for the attainment of an astral body and an Ego. The Hebrew Rite which existed from the time of Cain and Abel (ancient Lemuria) up through the Mystery of Golgotha was the primary rite which built up the capacity for acquiring the individual Ego over long ages of time. The secondary rite lasted only throughout the Atlantean Era, and built up the capacity for acquiring a fully precipitated, individualised astral body (i.e., rather than an astral body united with the wider cosmos).

And now it is reversed. Manas (the transformed astral body) comes as a “free gift”, building on the work done to acquire and perfect the astral body prior to the time of Christ, combined with the exercising of the free Ego since the time of Christ. The highest body of the human being, Atman (the transformed physical body), requires the exercising of the Orthodox (Catholic) Rite until the end of time—that is, until the end of material incarnation in the 7th millennium. We must work for this transformed physical body, whereas the untransformed physical body was a free gift. And similarly, we must work for budhi, for the transformed etheric body, whereas the original etheric body was a free gift—and this work involves the “Mother Rite” we laid out in part 10, a work which must last through to the 6th Sacrifice of Christ—His appearance in an astral form rather than an etheric or physical form, in approximately 2000 years.

And so our time to establish and practice this “Mother Rite” is relatively brief. It more or less extends over the Age of Aquarius (2375 – 4535 AD), as a kind of miniature reflection of the Atlantean Era.

But the cultivation of this “Mother Rite” must go hand in hand with the full development of the independent manas:

“For the first time, the Mystery of Golgotha will be repeated, but now with an added new element…a new, “karmic clairvoyance” will be evoked through the activity of the Christ being. This etheric clairvoyance will be entirely new and not a repetition; it will be the result of the fifth sacrifice of Christ.

Try to understand this new, fifth sacrifice…The earlier sacrifices involved harmonising the physical, etheric, and astral bodies and the “I.” The fifth sacrifice, however, harmonises the human manas organisation, or spirit self. Harmonisation of the form always comes before the harmonisation of the essence, which can take effect later and develop on the foundation thus created. This is precisely a matter of harmonising the manas, the relationship between the “I” that ascends and the ego that descends. It is the harmonising of the two “eyes”; the upper eye sees the mysteries of goodness, the future, and the world of spirit, while the lower eye perceives the mysteries of evil. The manas organisation is harmonised by uniting these “eyes” in the I AM of the Christ impulse. This is their axis of vision, which includes potential communication with the spirit world while conscious and awake…

This union will become permanent in harmony with the human spiritual organisation, and not something that existed only at certain times during special states of meditation. The harmonisation of the manas organisation gave rise to permanent connection between the upper “I” and the lower ego. This axis of vision of both “eyes,” or axis of vision in the manas organisation (with the upper seeing into the upper world and the lower seeing into the lower world), unites both as a continuing, ever-present faculty.

With Christ’s etheric return, therefore, we are dealing not only with a memory of the past, but also a new “memory” of the future. In other words, the awake human daytime consciousness would perceive both what the upper “eye” is able to perceive in the future of the spiritual world (the spiritual world is always in the future), and what the lower “eye” would remember from the past by “reading” the etheric body, thus gathering knowledge from earlier incarnations. This attainment of knowledge from the past and knowledge of the future through the activity of two “eyes” is linked by a unifying memory stream. Rudolf Steiner once wrote a mantra that begins, “In the beginning was the power of memory.” For the human organisation, the significance of the etheric return is expressed in these words; it will permanently link the upper and lower worlds within human consciousness, a link that makes possible the intended power of memory. By awaking memory, the possibility of recognising karma arises.” (Christ and Sophia, pp. 397-98).

How exactly will this take shape? It will not be immediately apparent that human beings have been endowed with an independent manas formation, now independent from the spiritual world (the Guardian Angel). It will take time to show itself, just as the independent Ego (the individual personality) took its time after the Mystery of Golgotha.

In the first third of the Age of Pisces, the independent Ego displayed itself primarily in the Neoplatonist stream. The world-conception of Plato became experiential and widespread during this time (215 – 935 AD), primarily in the form of religious experience, expression, and expansion. Subsequently, the Ego displayed itself even more strongly—that is, even more independently from religious experience—in the Scholastic trend of the second third of the Age of Pisces (935 – 1655 AD), which took the world-conception of Aristotle and made it too experiential and widespread. This culminated in the first Scientific Revolution, the Age of Discovery, and eventually the French Enlightenment. The last third of the Age of Pisces has seen the full flowering of the independent personality, culminating in the development of Goetheanism/Weimar Classicism and Anthroposophy.

And now, the exercising of the new capacity of manas cognition will follow an analogous path. During the first third of the Age of Aquarius (2375 – 3095 AD), a kind of “Neo-Goethanism” or “Neo-Classicism” will arise in humanity—this time not localised to certain individual such as Goethe, Schiller, and Novalis, but spread to a much wider swath of humanity. That which Goethe strove for in the perception of his archetypal plant (a living imagination of a plant in metamorphosis) will become a much more common experience for humanity in general.

We might imagine this to be the fulfilment of Steiner’s words concerning the mission of Kaspar Hauser:

“South Germany should have become the new Grail-Castle of the new Knights of the Grail and the cradle of future events. The spiritual ground had been well prepared by all those personalities whom we know of as Goethe, Schiller, Holderlin, Herder and others. Kaspar Hauser was to have gathered around him, as it were, all that existed in this spiritual ground thus prepared.” (Communicated to Count Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, November 1916).

Subsequently, in the second third of the Age of Aquarius (3095 – 3815 AD), we will see the full flowering of Anthroposophy—what Scholasticism and the Scientific Revolution was for Aristotelianism, the equivalent for Anthroposophy will arise in the 4th millennium. Only this time, what was experienced by and spoken about by Rudolf Steiner will be the common property of humanity, particularly in the realm of the “karmic clairvoyance” referred to above.

Finally, during the last third of the Age of Aquarius (3815 – 4535 AD), manas cognition will express itself completely; the new body of budhi, of life-spirit, will be bestowed on humanity through Christ’s astral appearance; and the task of both the Church of John and the Maitreya Boddhisatva will come to their conclusion.

And so the biography of Philosophia will be complete: extending from the time of Abraham, through the Age of Aries (the equivalent of 0-21), the Age of Pisces (21-42) and finally the Age of Aquarius (42-63), culminating with the final incarnation of the Abraham individuality as Maitreya Buddha, around the year 4443 AD (see Hermetic Astrology vol I by Robert Powell). He will have accomplished the mission of drawing humanity down out of picture-consciousness and into brain-bound thinking for the sake of the birth of the Ego (as Abraham) and eventually rescuing humanity from this brain-bound thinking, elevating them to restore true contact with the spiritual world (as Maitreya).

More on all of this in the next section…

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The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt 10

In this tenth section of the series of articles on the seven sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, we will look specifically at what the form of a modern Johannine Rite might be. This Rite ought to be as authentic as possible, stripped of arbitrary elements as much as possible; it also must be complementary to existing Tradition as much as possible—remembering that it is a temporal Rite, developing a completely different spiritual body (Buddhi or Life-Spirit—the “Tree of Life”) than the Orthodox Rite (which is developing Atman or Spirit-Human, the Resurrection Body).

The Orthodox Church is concerned with re-establishing the connection between human beings and the Father God in the heights, via the nine spiritual hierarchies. In doing so, it transforms the human kingdom into the tenth hierarchy—that of Love and Freedom. The centre of gravity of the Church is the Eucharist, the Communion of Bread and Wine. And the main time of year during which the Church focuses on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ is from Advent through Whitsun—the rest of the year (between Whitsun and Advent) is referred to as “Ordinary Time.”

Nowadays Advent begins somewhat less than four weeks prior to Christmas Day, at the end of November/beginning of December. This was not always the case. Originally, the season of Advent began on the Sunday after Martinmas (November 11), and was referred to as the Fast of St. Martin. It was an approximately 40-day fast leading up to Christmas, akin to Lent leading up to Easter. This is still the custom in both the Ambrosian and Mozarabic Rites, in which the Advent season begins six Sundays before Christmas, rather than four.

Martinmas, in many Northwestern cultures, marks the end of the farming season. If Michaelmas is the harvest festival, Martinmas is the butchering festival. It is often celebrated with a harvest feast and bonfire. It marks the “turning within” of the Christian year, when the focus is no longer meant to be on outer affairs, but on the life of Christ.

On the other hand, Whitsun is a moveable festival which can occur anywhere from early May to mid-June. One could say this festival marks the proper beginning of the farming year (again, from a Northwestern cultural perspective)—it is usually at this time of year that animals go back out to pasture, the final frosts have occurred, and biodynamic preparations are sprayed on the fields and gardens. The “turning within” to the life of Christ ceases; we once again become concerned with outer affairs.

And now let’s take into consideration the aims of the Second Coming of Christ, in the Elemental realm. It is his task—and ours—in this age to turn our gaze below, to the Mother, rather than above. We must find the Mother in the depths; and we can only find her through the redemption of elemental beings of natural and sub-natural realms. If our task in Orthodoxy is to return to the Father via the Angels, it is our task in the Johannine Rite to return to the Mother via the Elementals. This time of year during which we turn to Mother Nature—so-called “Ordinary Time”—is the time of year during which the Johannine Rite ought to be performed.

We can find a clue to this in the mystery of the number 153, the quantity of fish that were caught by the disciples through the guidance of the Risen One. One hundred fifty three days is just one day shy of 22 weeks (22×7 = 154); the Tree of Life, the transformed etheric body of Christ, is made up of 22 Paths, 22 Arcana, represented in the Tarot of Marseilles. The “Christian year” of the Mother Service would ideally run from the 153 prior to the first Sunday of Advent in the traditional sense—that is, the sixth Sunday prior to Christmas.

This year, for example, the first Sunday of the Fast of St. Martin will be November 15. This would place the season of the Mother, of the Johannine Rite, from June 15 through November 15. Generally speaking, this about the time of year that the Johannine season would take place—from mid-June to mid-November. Notice that the start of this liturgical season would be marked very nearly by St. John’s Tide—a feast that is also celebrated with great bonfires. The death and resurrection of Lazarus, historically speaking, took place in the second half of July. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is celebrated (and occurred historically) in mid-August; and the Feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist is celebrated on August 29. Along with Michaelmas (the theme of which is the rescuing of the Divine Feminine from the attack of the Dragon), comes the Feast of St. Francis—the reincarnated John Zebedee—who had a very special relationship to Nature. And the season ends with St. Martin of Tours, who could be seen as a similar figure to St. Francis—a soldier who turns to a life of piety and service.

Just as the Father Church enters beautiful stone cathedrals, from the cold of winter to the rebirth of spring, ideally the Mother Service would take place outdoors in the beauty of Nature. For this church does not exist primarily for human beings. The key gesture of this service would be to redeem Nature, just as humanity has been redeemed by the spiritual world—in other words, to wash the feet of Nature. The gesture of footwashing is the higher bending over to honour the lower—the lower which has sacrificed itself for the sake of the development of the higher. This was the gesture of Christ toward his disciples on the night of the Last Supper.

In terms of aesthetic and core orientation, the outdoor paneurhythmy celebrations of the Universal White Brotherhood developed by Beinsa Douno (Peter Deunov) in the early part of the 20th century lay a great deal of groundwork. Paneurhythmy was developed specifically with the elemental beings and the world of Nature in mind. In fact, the songs and movements of Beinsa Douno could become an integral part of a modern Mother service. There are 28 paneurhythmy exercises, as well as the culmination of these exercises in the “Sun’s Rays” and “Pentagram” dances. The first 10 of the 28 exercises form a unity; therefore, this gives us 1+18 = 19 exercises and 2 culminating dances—21 celebratory songs and movements that align very closely with the 153 day/22 week liturgical season of the Mother. (Many thanks to Natalia Haarahiltunen for her valuable input regarding paneurhythmy—amongst many other things!).

As to the basic content and structure of the celebration, the Sophia Mass of milk and honey, introduced by Robert Powell over thirty years ago, and celebrated by many involved with the Sophia Foundation (mainly, up until now, in the United States) is a huge step in the right direction. In particular, the focus on the Our Mother prayer, given through Valentin Tomberg at the height of World War II in Amsterdam, is as central to the Mother service as the Lord’s Prayer is to the Eucharist:

Our Mother,

Thou who art in the darkness of the underworld,

May the holiness of Thy name shine anew in our remembering,

May the breath of Thy awakening kingdom warm the hearts of all who wander homeless,

May the resurrection of Thy will renew eternal faith, even unto the depths of physical substance.

Receive this day the living memory of Thee from human hearts,

Who implore thee to forgive the sin of forgetting Thee,

And are ready to fight against temptation which has led thee to existence in darkness,

That through the deed of the Son, the immeasurable pain of the Father be stilled, by the liberation of all beings from the tragedy of Thy withdrawal.

For thine is the homeland and the boundless wisdom and the all-merciful grace, for all and everything in the Circle of All.


However, the orientation of the Sophia Mass would need to be somewhat altered. As it stands currently, the service culminates in the eating of milk and honey. A separate service replicates the bread and wine communion of the Orthodox Church; and a third, partially developed service includes a communion of fish. First of all, the bread and wine communion belongs to the Church and to the liturgical year running from Advent through Whitsun. It does not belong in a Mother service (the Johannine Rite), as it is not a part of the Gospel of John. Remember that this new Rite needs to complement and complete—not replace—the pre-existing Rite of the Church.


Second of all, the eating of milk and honey should not necessarily stand at the centre or culmination of the Mother service. You see, in the Orthodox Church, what is of primary importance is the taking of the Eucharist in the Mass—the sacrament that is ingested is of primary importance. On the other hand, the sacrament of baptism—a tactile sacrament—is of secondary significance. With the Johannine Rite, it is the reverse. What is of primary importance is the Washing of the Feet. Footwashing is mentioned not once, but twice in the Gospel of St. John. On Holy Wednesday, Mary Magdalene anoints Christ’s feet with precious spikenard oil and her tears, drying his feet with her hair. Then, on Maundy Thursday, Christ anoints the disciples’ feet with water. The tactile sacrament is of primary importance here—the Sophia or Mother service ought to culminate in the Washing of the Feet, rather than the tasting of milk and honey. Certainly, in the early tradition of the Church, milk and honey were taken only once, with one’s first communion—just as one is only baptised once, usually as a newborn in the Orthodox churches. The Johannine Rite could adopt this historical tradition, giving milk and honey only at the “first communion”—or rather, first foot washing.

At the time of Christ, the actual baptism administered by John was an initiatory event performed on full-grown adults, during which they were submerged in the water until they had a near-death experience. This was adapted to a sprinkling of water on the heads of newborn infants in the tradition of the Church. Similarly, the immersive and thorough foot washing performed by Christ and Mary Magdalene could be similarly adapted—one’s feet would be sprinkled with the water at the culmination of the service. One would then take water and douse the surrounding Nature, as in the application of biodynamic preparation. In fact, there is already a “Milk and Honey Prep” that is used in biodynamic agriculture:

Here we have an excellent beginning to the holy substance that would be regularly sprayed on the feet of the celebrants, as well as the “feet” of Mother Earth. One might only need to add to this a small amount of spikenard oil in order to have the fullness of the five communions:

(1) Incense and (2) Oil = Spikenard Oil

(3) Fish = Feet

(4) Milk and (5) Honey

So we have in many ways the basic elements required for a proper service. We have the Our Mother rather than the Our Father. We have Footwashing rather than the Eucharist. For liturgical music and movement we have paneurhythmy. For a chapel we have the natural world. But an essential beginning to any liturgical service is the Gospel reading. What is the equivalent for a modern rite?

Over the course of the years 1940-43, Valentin Tomberg led a group of individuals in Amsterdam through an in-depth study of the Lord’s Prayer, what is now known as the Lord’s Prayer Course. In the years after World War II, he distilled the essence of this study into powerful mantra—akin to the mantra of the First Class of the School of Michael. Originally there were 22 of these mantra; Tomberg’s handwritten notes (in German) for 14 of these mantra are still in existence. Since 2012, they have gradually been translated into English and paired with eurythmy gestures by Robert Powell as the Grail Knight’s Practice. Each of these mantra aligns with a certain section of both the Lord’s Prayer and the Our Mother Prayer; each aligns with one of the 22 Major Arcana; and each is a distillation of a portion of the Christian-Rosicrucian Path developed in the Lord’s Prayer Course.

For example: the first mantra is a distillation of the Nine Beatitudes, and relates to The World as First Petition of the Our Mother (or The Magician as First Petition of the Our Father). The second mantra is a distillation of the Stages of the Passion, and relates to The Fool as Second Petition of the Our Mother (or High Priestess as Second Petition of the Our Father). These modern “Gospel readings” are like the fruit of the Tree of Life, as this Tree is the underlying archetype of both the Our Father and Our Mother Prayers, as well as the Major Arcana of the Tarot.

Unfortunately, only 14 out of the 22 original mantra are still extant, at least from what material is currently known of and available. They are related to:

The Nine Beatitudes

The Stages of the Passion

The Apocalyptic Levels of Judgement

Nourishment from the Force of Seeds

The Healing of the Breath

Levels of Communion

First Healing Miracle

Second Healing Miracle

Third Healing Miracle

Fourth Healing Miracle

Fifth Healing Miracle

Sixth Healing Miracle

Seventh Healing Miracle


And this is as far as the notes go. The remaining parts would have related to the seven Words from the Cross, the seven sayings of the Risen Christ, and the seven days of Creation. In a way it is fortunate that we are not given this content in its completeness: an opening has been left in the spiral to complete these 22 mantra—the “Gospel readings” of the new 22 weeks of the Johannine Rite.

And so: an ideal celebration of the Mother would be an outdoor biodynamic foot washing using a special mixture of several sacramental elements; weaving together the work of Valentin Tomberg, Robert Powell, and Peter Deunov; focusing on the revivification of Mother Nature and the Elementals. It would be celebrated during “Ordinary Time,” the height of the farming season, from the time between Whitsun and St. John’s until Martinmas. And what would we call those who lead this service? Are they Priests? Ministers? I am not sure exactly, but not titles like this. The word “Priest” comes from “Presbyter” which means “Elder.” Those who are leading this service are not elders or masters, they are servants and children at heart. Some suggestions that have arisen amongst conversations with friends: “Grail Sharer”…”Grail Servant”…”Grail Celebrant.” But I think right now the preferred term, the one that captures the essence of what this role ought to be, is simply: “Grail Friend.”

In the next sections we will turn our gaze to where the potential lies for this to unfold; and what the future holds in terms of the biography of Philosophia and the sacrifices of Jesus and Christ:

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