Reflections on the Great Conjunction as a Turning Point

On August 21, 2017, thousands of people gathered together across the United States to witness an event that had not occurred since 1918: a total solar eclipse whose pathway crossed from coast to coast of the contiguous United States. With well-deserved hype emerging throughout digital media, this eclipse came to be called the “Great American Solar Eclipse.” 

(Image from

I can remember this eclipse quite vividly. At this point in time, I was still living at Plowshare Farm in Greenfield, New Hampshire. Since 2014, I had become increasingly involved with a local group of Sophians and Hermeticists, some of whom might be known to quite a number of readers, as they have been long-time friends and facilitators of Sophianic work: Richard Reho, Gail Dupre, Jim Wetmore, just to name a few. All told, there were nine of us locally who had been working together. 

Specifically, our work centered around the Grail Knight’s Practice, a mantric distillation of Valentin Tomberg’s Lord’s Prayer Course, to which Robert Powell had given eurythmic movement. We also focused on a new form of working with the Tarot of Marseilles, which came to be called “Hermetic Conversation.” Eventually, I would present something of the work with Hermetic Conversation at the Sophia Foundation’s Annual Meditation Retreat in Santa Fe in 2019. 

In both 2014 and 2015, this New Hampshire group had periodic retreats facilitated by Robert Powell and/or Estelle Isaacson. However, after 2016, Robert Powell entered into a much less intense travel and workshop schedule (see here: He has not traveled to the United States since then. Our group had a weekend intensive with Estelle Isaacson in the summer of 2016, and as we looked to the summer of 2017, we decided we wanted to have another intensive with Estelle.

This was not to be, however—the weekend we chose to have our event was centered around this Great American Solar Eclipse. This happened to be at exactly the same time as the Sophia Foundation’s Annual Meditation Retreat in Idaho—and Estelle had already made the commitment to co-facilitate this retreat with Karen Rivers. Due to health reasons, as well as massive shifts in her spiritual life, this was to be the last year that Estelle was able to attend a Sophia Foundation event, at least up through the present time.

And so, undaunted, we decided to carry on and co-create a retreat of our own. We invited friends like Kevin Dann and Ian Clyne. We left the evenings open-ended, during which Ian (a professional jazz pianist) guided us through musical experiences of our birth horoscopes. In the mornings we had Hermetic Conversation on the The Devil, Temperance, and Death. In the afternoons we experimented with more improvisational forms of Choreocosmos, and entered deeply into the Grail Knight’s Practice. The weekend culminated with experiencing the Solar Eclipse, the cosmic configuration of which created the foundation for our improvisational Choreocosmos (more on configuration below). All the while, we kept in consciousness that we had another group of Sophians actively engaged in complementary spiritual work on the other side of the country—like the two pillars of the 4th Apocalyptic Seal.

It was an incredibly rejuvenating weekend. We had begun to engage in content and processes that felt totally brand new, yet natural continuations of the work with which we had all become so deeply familiar. And yet, although it felt like a new beginning, it proved to be in actuality the fruition of that which we had been cultivating together for the past three years. By the year’s end, five of our nine would move—four of them to Ecuador, where Robert Powell and Lacquanna Paul had found their new home. Two of them would become more heavily involved in their external vocation, making it difficult to meet anymore with regularity. In hindsight, it feels as though this particular group of people were meant to come together to bring something to full expression at the time of this Solar Eclipse, and then go their separate ways. By the summer of 2019, I and my family moved away from New Hampshire to Copake, New York to join Camphill Village—and yet the work begun in New Hampshire carries on, with myself and my spiritual brother Phillip Malone continuing our work on Hermetic Conversation up to the present day.

And why do I write all of this? Because I wonder if others, too, perhaps feel as though they entered a different realm as of this Great American Solar Eclipse—particularly, but not limited to, my friends known and unknown here in the United States. It may be that we stand in the midst of—yes, right now, exactly in the midst of—a 6⅔-year long period.

In an extremely rare turning of events, the total solar eclipse that was visible from coast to coast of the United States on August 21, 2017 will be followed by another total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. This eclipse will be visible not just across the United States, but all the way from Mexico to Canada (see here:

The above shows the path of the 2024 eclipse, which might be called “The Great North American Solar Eclipse.” Below shows the intersecting point of the two paths, from 2017 and 2024:

(Image from

Notice that the midpoint of these two American Eclipses is December 14-15, 2020, less than one week before the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on the Winter Solstice (December 21). In fact, there is a total solar eclipse visible in South America, in Chile and Argentina, at the exact midpoint: From this we can see that this third week of Advent leading up to the Great Conjunction is a kind of turning point or pivot in this 6⅔-year time period. We might imagine the 3⅓ years from August 21, 2017 through December 21, 2020 as the winding up of a clock, with the 3⅓ years from now until April 8, 2024 as the clock beginning to mark the time—of that which has been seeded to begin sprouting and revealing itself. The image of entering a vortex, of traveling one spiraling arm on the way in; entering the center point (the “eye of the storm”); and then traveling the other spiraling arm on the way out, presents itself to the eyes of our minds and hearts.

In another sense, humanity at large—and certainly the United States—stands at a crossroads. The time for choosing is before us: Christ or Ahriman. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity—or Surveillance, Technocracy, Plutocracy. As this Great Conjunction occurs on the darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, we can feel the spiritual world holding its breath as humanity enters into the time of deepest darkness, wondering if they will choose for the Light to be reborn. Indeed, there are historical indications that are quite encouraging in this regard; for those who would wish to read further about these indications, turn to the last few pages of this article, where I have attached selections from my “Editorial Foreword” to last year’s Saturn—Mary—Sophia: Star Wisdom, Volume II.

By turning our hearts and our thoughts to the cosmic memories of the cosmic configurations of these two eclipses and the Great Conjunction, we make ourselves more receptive to the intentions of the spiritual world for this time. The Great American Solar Eclipse from August 21, 2017 was monumental in this regard: the occultation of the Sun by the Moon occurred at 3° Leo, conjunct Eta Leonis. This very closely recalled the seventh healing miracle of Christ from the Gospel of John, the Raising of Lazarus from the Dead. This miracle also occurred during a New Moon (every solar eclipse is a New Moon) conjunct Eta Leonis, one of the most powerful megastars, on July 26, AD 32 (all of the dates from the life of Christ in this article are drawn from the work of Robert Powell in Chronicle of the Living Christ and Christian Hermetic Astrology). 

Looking to the Great Conjunction, this meeting of Saturn and Jupiter occurs at 5° Capricorn. This is only 3° shy of the Sun’s position at the first healing miracle, the Changing of Water into Wine, during which the Sun was 8° Capricorn, on December 28, AD 29. Notice that both of these miracles have an emphasis on drawing the cold light of the spiritual heights of the Father down into the darkest, warmest depths of the Mother in the heart of the Earth—the fusion of the furthest extremes. We can feel, then, that the time period from 2017 through 2020—the first spiral of the vortex—is a movement in reverse through the seven healing miracles from the Gospel of John. This movement backwards is taken up by Valentin Tomberg in his final work, published posthumously as Lazarus, Come Forth!, in which he brings into relationship the healing miracles with the seven days of Creation in the Book of Genesis. The final healing miracle of the Raising of Lazarus is a recapitulation of the first day of Creation—“Let there be light!”—while the first healing miracle of the Changing of Water into Wine is a recapitulation of the seventh day of Creation, during the primal Sabbath, when the Elohim declared all of Creation to be “very good.” During these past three years, therefore, we have had the opportunity to become a new Creation through Christ.

The Great Conjunction is even more closely related to another event in the life of Jesus—the Adoration of the Magi. While the Solomon Jesus was born on March 5, 6 BC, it took the Magi over nine months after his birth for them to arrive at the house of Jesus and his family. The three Magi bestowed their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh on December 26, 6 BC, to the nine-month old child they knew to be the reincarnation of their great spiritual teacher from prior incarnations, Zoroaster (Zarathustra). On this day, the Sun was 6° Capricorn, only 1° away from the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter in this year’s Great Conjunction.

And what about the Great North American Solar Eclipse that we look forward to on April 8, 2024? On this day, the Sun and Moon will conjoin at 24° Pisces. This too recalls the incarnation of the Solomon Jesus. The year 7 BC also saw a Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter—but this year was special; as sometimes happens due to retrograde motion, the two of them were conjunct not once but three times. It was this series of conjunctions that awoke the Magi to the reality of Zarathustra’s descent once again into an earthly body. In particular, it was the first of these conjunctions, which occurred on May 27, 7 BC, at 24° Pisces—the same position as the Sun and Moon on April 8, 2024. It was shortly after this Great Conjunction that Zarathustra was conceived and began his descent to Earth, on June 7, 7 BC. 

And so this second 3⅓ year period, leading out of the vortex of 2020, draws our gaze to the individuality of Zoroaster or “Radiant Star”, yet again moving backwards through time, from the Adoration of the Magi when he was nine months old, to the time just before his conception. We might imagine this, on the one hand, to indicate a resurrection of the ancient Star Wisdom of Babylonian Astrology—a “moving back” to the Solomon Jesus’s incarnation as Zoroaster in the 6th century BC. The April 8, 2024 solar eclipse also very closely recalls the miracle of the Feeding of the Four Thousand (March 15, AD 31; Sun 25° Pisces); Peter receiving the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven (March 19, AD 31; Sun 28° Pisces); and the Triumphant Entry to Jerusalem on “Palm Sunday” (March 19, AD 33; Sun 29° Pisces). All of these star memories combine to give the strong impression of the “Return of the King”—of true Authority overcoming false authority, putting things into their proper order.


The following are reflections on the Great Conjunction, as well as the Saturn-Pluto and Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions which preceded it this year. They are taken from Saturn—Mary—Sophia: Star Wisdom, Volume II, published November 2019 by Lindisfarne Books. These selections are taken from pages 17-21.

….at the end of the 16th Letter-Meditation on the Tower of Destruction, the Anonymous Author draws a connection between the classical spiritual identities of the planetary spheres (e.g. the Titan Chronos with the Saturn Sphere) and the leading spiritual beings of the Christian faith. He notes that rather than Chronos, it is the Virgin Mary who is now the ruler of the Saturn Sphere…. We wished to emphasize this Saturnine aspect of the Divine Feminine in light of the two major conjunctions of this year: the year begins in January with a conjunction of Saturn and Pluto, which only occurs every 34 years on average, and it ends with a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in December, which occurs approximately every 20 years. 

It is quite rare for both of these aspects to occur in the same year, and it portends to be a dynamic one because of that. Historically, the gesture of Saturn-Pluto conjunctions is rather dire, full of doom, constriction and restriction, death, and the deep shame that arises in the communal recognition of our failings as humanity. On the other hand, Saturn-Jupiter conjunctions tend to demarcate shifts in cultural consciousness, miniature cultural waves bringing in a new overall Gestalt of insights, experiments, discoveries, and creations. 

In between these two is a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction, which takes place roughly every 13 years, and generally portends enthusiasm and positivity on both a cultural and individual level. So we are taken from the depths of despair and conflict at the beginning of the year, to the heights of flaming enthusiasm in the midst of the year, to finally be brought across the threshold of a new equilibrium at the end of the year—and the Virgin Mary, the Divine Mother, carries us with her abundance of grace through it all.

Looking back historically, we can see that the Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions have occurred during important moments in the evolution of our modern Grail Spirituality:

2007:  Inauguration of the Grail Priesthood 

1994:  Founding of the Sophia Foundation

1981: Meditations on the Tarot is translated into English by Robert Powell (finished in 1982)

1968: The original manuscript of Meditations on the Tarot is completed in French (in 1967)

1956: The seed-idea for what will become Meditations on the Tarot is formed (in 1957)

1943: The end of the Valentin Tomberg’s “Lord’s Prayer Course” in Amsterdam

1931: The beginning of Tomberg’s anthroposophical publications (in 1930)

1918: The first presentation of the Threefold Social Organism (in 1917)

1906: Start of Anthroposophical Christology in the form of “Theosophical Rosicrucianism”

1894: Publication of The Philosophy of Freedom

1882: Rudolf Steiner’s first exposure of Goethe’s Fairy Tale, and the start of a lifetime of writing and publication.

This continues back into the centuries, with Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions occurring around the birth of King Ludwig of Bavaria (1845), the deaths of Goethe and Kaspar Hauser (1832-3) and the death of the Count of St. Germain (1784). One might wonder what this year’s conjunction in Sagittarius portends? The last time the conjunction occurred in Sagittarius was in 1771, around the birth of Novalis and the beginning of the public career of Goethe. This time period marked the beginning of the Romantic Movement, a cultural renaissance that swept Germany and England in particular. In France it saw the intersection of the careers of Louis Claude de St-Martin, Jean-Baptiste Willermoz, and Martinez de Pasqually, resulting in the creation of the Martinist stream of French Hermeticism. And it was just after this time period that the American and French Revolutions would begin. The Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius inaugurated a time of cultural revival in many parts of the world.

The previous Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius took place in the years 1521-22. Interestingly, the last time Saturn and Pluto were conjunct in Sagittarius was a few years prior, in 1518. This time period saw the end of the lives of Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, the zenith of the artistic phase of the Renaissance. The years between 1518-22 were the very beginning of the Protestant Reformation, with Martin Luther’s 95 theses and the resulting Diet of Worms. This time period also inaugurated the Age of Discovery, with Ferdinand Magellan accomplishing the first circumnavigation of the globe during exactly this time period. The years immediately following the 1520s would see the first major scientific revolution, hinging on the astronomical observations and deductions of Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, and Kepler. Once again, Jupiter and Pluto in Sagittarius seemed to herald a brand new global culture, bolstered by the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in this same sign… 

And what about this Great Conjunction? When were Saturn and Jupiter last conjunct in Capricorn, as they are this year? This is a tricky question. In the year 1961, something very unusual happened. While geocentrically, Saturn and Jupiter were conjunct in Capricorn, heliocentrically they were conjunct in Sagittarius. Therefore, in one sense one could say the last Capricorn conjunction was in 1961, but from another perspective it hasn’t occurred for a much longer time period, nearly 800 years. Around the time of the 1961 conjunction, a spiritual battle manifested itself on the physical plane in the conflict between President Kennedy and his strivings for peace, and the ever-looming threat of the intelligence agencies and their lust for war with Russia. It is difficult to say how consciously President Kennedy was operating as a public representative of the emerging Grail Culture; however, I can aver after a great deal of struggle in the “inner forum” of intuitive conscience that the intelligence agencies, both then and now, were conscious agents of the so-called “dark brotherhoods of the West” referred to many times by Rudolf Steiner.

At that time, there was a mismatch between the geocentric and the heliocentric; something attempted to manifest on Earth (geocentric) that wasn’t actually ready in the spiritual world (heliocentric). President Kennedy took his stand: after the CIA failed to embroil him in war with Cuba in the Bay of Pigs debacle, he vowed that he would “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the winds.” The intelligence agencies won in the end: their assassination of John F. Kennedy (with those of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Bobby Kennedy soon to follow) stood as a warning to any future President and other influential public figures that they hold all of the power, and the consequences of making decisions independent of them are deadly. We stand at a similar juncture at this time. Perhaps with Saturn and Jupiter conjunct in Capricorn both geocentrically and heliocentrically, that which attempted to manifest in 1961 can make a second, successful attempt. (Footnote: one could make similar queries and comparisons in regard to the Catholic Church ca. 1961 vs the modern day; e.g. see the writings of Malachi Martin [we might see Carlo Maria Viganò as carrying on the work of Martin in modern times])….

We stand at a threshold: for 200 years, the Great Conjunctions occurred in Fire Signs (Leo, Aries, Sagittarius). Over the course of the 20th century, they transitioned from Fire to Earth Signs. As of this year’s conjunction, this transition period will be over; the last Fire Sign conjunction was in the year 2000, in Aries. For the next 200 years or so, they will be in Capricorn, Virgo, and Taurus…. the last time period in history during which the Great Conjunction occurred in Capricorn and subsequently inaugurated a series of conjunctions solely in Earth Signs…covers the 12th-13th centuries AD: the height of the Middle Ages, with its Gothic architecture, Knights Templars and Cathars, Saints Francis and Thomas Aquinas, the Troubadours and Minstrels. 

Going further back, the previous change from Fire Sign conjunctions to Earth Sign conjunctions occurred in the 3rd-4th centuries AD. This was the time of the Prophet Mani, of the Neoplatonists, and of the great theologians of Alexandria. Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, and Byzantium became the new center of the Roman Empire as Constantinople. 

Prior to this was the 6th-5th centuries BC, the heart of the Axial Age. Here we see the beginnings of Greek philosophy, architecture, sculpture, drama and social forms. It is the age of Buddha, Zarathustra, and Pythagoras. The Hebrew people were taken into captivity; Daniel and Ezekiel became pupils of Zarathustra at this time—at the origin of ancient astrology. Cyrus the Great set the Hebrews free, and they returned to their homeland, rebuilding the temple under Zerubbabel. 

The Capricorn Great Conjunction that set off the sequence of Earth Sign conjunctions prior to this occured in October/November 1516 BC. According to the research of Paul Marx, this coincides more or less with the birthdate of Moses—therefore, the life of Moses and the Exodus of the Hebrews out of Egypt and back to the Holy Land unfolds under the Earth Conjunctions of the 2nd millennium BC. 

And prior to this, we have the 24th-22nd centuries BC. This was the end of the Early Dynastic Period of ancient Mesopotamia, when Sargon of Akkad united the Akkadians and Sumerians into the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia. This was a culture dedicated to the Divine Feminine, Inanna. The first poet in history whose name is known comes from this culture and time period: the princess and priestess Enheduanna. This culture would later become Assyria and Babylonia, and Inanna would become Ishtar, the goddess of Love—known in Greece as Venus. This time period also saw the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt—the Dynasty that would transition out of the height of Egyptian culture that constructed the pyramids, sun temples, and the Sphinx, into the tumultuous and unstable Middle Kingdom. 

In summary: the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius heralds a time similar to the late 18th century and the early 16th century. Saturn and Pluto in Sagittarius also recalls the early 16th century. And a Great Conjunction in the early degrees of Capricorn recalls the Middle Ages, the Neoplatonists, Pythagoras, Moses, and ancient Egypt. We are entering into a massively propitious time period—one that reminds us of the words of the Anonymous author from the 11th Letter-Meditation on Force:

The Virgin, the Force of our Arcanum, is the principle of springtime, i.e. that of creative spiritual élan and spiritual flourishing. The prodigious flourishing of philosophy and the arts in ancient Athens took place under the sign of the Virgin. Similarly, the flourishing of the Renaissance at Florence was under the vernal sign of the VIrgin. Also, Weimar at the beginning of the nineteenth century was a place where the breath of the Virgin perceptibly moved hearts and minds.

In ancient Egypt the woman of the mysteries of death was attributed to Osiris, and that of life—including language, writing, law and the arts—was attributed to Isis. Thus, Isis was the soul of the civilization of ancient Egypt, which we are still admiring after more than twenty centuries.

Perhaps Saturn as Virgin—as Isis, Mary, Sophia—is the key to understanding “the sign of the Virgin” referred to above. We are entering a time that is also under this sign. Rudolf Steiner spoke (in the tradition of Trithemius of Sponheim) of 355-year time periods ruled over by seven archangels in succession. The time of 1524 through 1879 was under the rulership of Gabriel, the Lunar Archangel. This time saw the development of man’s intellectual powers, the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment that led to an exact perception of nature. Yet this time period led to the Cartesian split between the so-called “objective” outer world—a world that was considered “real”—and the “subjective” inner world—a world considered “arbitrary.” This latter sphere became the realm of the Romantics and revolutionaries. Two spheres developed that had no relation to each other: romantics and revolutionaries on the one hand, and scientists and technocrats on the other; neither sphere any longer had a relationship to the sphere of morality, to the spiritual world.

Rudolf Steiner saw that this Cartesian experience of the world achieved full maturation in the mid-19th century. Since then, it has been a backwards, retarding force on human spiritual progress. Since 1879, we have been in the time of Archangel Michael, the Solar Archangel. We must discover a new fundamental paradigm, one that is a “Sun” to the “Moon” of the scientific, abstract intellect. It is this new paradigm that was experienced and described by Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung, and the Anonymous author of Meditations on the Tarot—amongst many others. This is described in vivid detail in Richard Tarnas’s Cosmos and Psyche—what is needed is a leap into the realm of the transpersonal, the archetypal, and the synchronous: a realm in which art, science, and morality find their mutual source.

Steiner emphasized that the opening of the window to make this leap was a relatively brief period of time—unlike prior developments in cultural evolution, this would not be a step that would happen unconsciously and automatically; it would require the conscious choice of participatory human beings. Perhaps the year 2020 heralds a kairos, a “now or never” moment. The first 140 years of the 355 year-long Age of Michael have been a struggle to relinquish the past, to tear ourselves away from the claws of the Dragon. Perhaps this struggle has been directly tied to the vacillation of Great Conjunctions between Fire Signs and Earth Signs. Perhaps only now can we truly take our shared destiny in hand, and move forward into a time under the “vernal sign of the Virgin.” 

I also include here the commentary for December 21, 2020, from pages 216-18 of the same volume: 

December 21:  Jupiter conjunct Saturn, 5°22’ Capricorn.

Today concludes the journey of Saturn—Mary—Sophia and Jupiter—Holy Spirit over the course of 2020. We began with Saturn conjunct Pluto, the meeting of the Virgin Mary, the Mother, with the Divine Love of the Father. Often in human history, the meeting of these two is a difficult time for humanity as a whole. We come to realize how far we have abandoned the path laid out for us by the Wisdom of the Cosmos; we find out how little we have honored our Father and our Mother, and are induced to return to the path. 

Jupiter and Pluto then met in the middle of the year. This meeting of the joyous Holy Spirit with the Plutonic Fire of Love generally results in a celebratory time for humanity; sometimes this celebration can bleed over into a kind of mania. Finally, we come to the end of the year as Jupiter (the Holy Spirit) unites with Saturn (the Virgin Mary). The image that is created out of the meeting of these two is Whitsuntide, when the Virgin Mary became the vessel through which the Holy Spirit could descend in tongues of fire onto the circle of twelve apostles. In this event, the cosmic unity was divided into twelve. Each apostle contained within him and could bring to expression a completely personal, heartfelt iteration of what up until that point was a transpersonal, lofty spiritual reality. 

Historically, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions—also known as Great Conjunctions—portend cultural shifts. These occur on a smaller scale, within the approximately 19.86-year rhythm of the conjunctions. More broadly, longer rhythms hold sway. The conjunctions take place for approximately 214 years in the Earth signs of Capricorn, Virgo, Taurus; then 214 years in the Air signs of Aquarius, Libra, Gemini; then Water, then Fire. After approximately 854 years, the cycle starts over again. 

At the time of the Magi, and the birth of the Solomon Jesus, the Great Conjunction took place in the sign of Pisces. This took place over the course of the gestation of the Jesus child in BC 7 (he was born March 5, BC 6). By the time the Magi actually arrived at the house of Mary and Joseph, the child was already over nine months old. The three Magi brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh on December 26, BC 6. While the Great Conjunction had occurred the previous year in Pisces, the Sun on the date of the Adoration of the Magi was at 6° Capricorn, very close to today’s Great Conjunction. 

At the time of Christ, the cycle of Great Conjunctions was shifting from Water signs to Fire signs. A kind of cosmic “Changing of Water to Wine” was taking place, as the clear Water of the old Law was transformed and fulfilled through the Fire of Love into New Wine. The same transition was taking place at the time of Parzival, who was very likely born close to the Great Conjunction in Pisces on February 15, AD 789, and whose redemption took place in the first half of 810, just after the Great Conjunction in Scorpio in 809.

In our time, however, it is a transition from Fire signs into Earth signs. All that has been inculcated into humanity from fiery spiritual realms can now begin to come into earthly manifestation. The 20th century was the center of this vortex: heliocentrically, the conjunction of 1901 was in Sagittarius, a Fire sign, but then that of 1921 was in Virgo, an Earth sign. Subsequently, the conjunctions of 1940 and 1961 were in Aries and Sagittarius, respectively (again, heliocentrically). The 1981 conjunction was in Virgo, but the 2000 conjunction was in Aries. The entire century wavered back and forth between Fire and Earth. Beginning with today’s conjunction, we have our first sequence ahead of us entirely in Earth signs:  Capricorn in 2020, Virgo in 2040, and Taurus in 2060. Today is not just a minor cultural shift within a 20 year rhythm; it marks a transition to a greater cycle of over 200 years. 

The last time humanity stood at this threshold was in 1166, just prior to the magnificent time of the Knights Templar and the awesome Gothic Cathedrals, the Cathars, the School of Chartres, Aquinas and Francis, the troubadours and bards. The time before that was in AD 253, around the time of the rise of Coptic Christianity and the School of Alexandria, of the Neoplatonists such as Plotinus, Porphyry, and Iamblichus, and Manichaeism. Somewhat later came Emperor Constantine, and the concrete institution of Christianity in Constantinople. Prior to this were the Earth conjunctions of the 6th century BC, the peak of the Axial Age—Buddha, Pythagoras, and Confucius all taught during this century. This was the time of the Hebrew exile in Babylon, as well as their eventual return.

Prior to that we come to the conjunction of BC 1516, marking the birth of Moses; before that, the 24th century BC, the height of Ancient Egyptian culture and the construction of the pyramids. What we can conclude from this vast surgery is that the transition out of the Fire signs into the Earth signs in terms of the cycle of Great Conjunctions marks an entry into a time of outer cultural flourishing, of renaissance and renewal. Under this sign, humanity has amazing prospects to fulfill the destiny laid out for them in the great age of Archangel Michael, which lasts until 2234. The first half of this age (which began in 1879) has been consumed with the struggle of transition from Fire to Earth; perhaps the second half will consist in humanity properly manifesting a truly Michaelic culture, the new culture of the Holy Grail: Michael Sophia in Nomine Christi!

The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt. 13

Keeping in mind the indications from the previous section, we can also look to the individuality of Abel—Solomon—Mary Magdalene—Response de Schoye.

In the book Through the Eyes of Mary Magdalene, Book II: From Initiation to the Passion, Estelle Isaacson writes of Magdalene’s three-day initiation in the cave by Christ just prior to the Passion, bold emphasis mine, editorial in brackets:

“The three days of initiations were also a preparation, a seed-planting, both for her future and for that of humanity as a whole. The three days’ initiations corresponded to the following three and a half millennia of her incarnations, as well as the incarnations of humanity as a whole.

The Friday initiation prepared the soil and planted the seeds for her incarnations during the first thousand [approximately 1181] years. This initiation corresponded to the trial, scourging, crowning with thorns, bearing of the cross, crucifixion, death, descent into hell, overcoming of Satan, and everything these events encompassed—every action, every feeling, every word, spoken and unspoken.

The Saturday initiation was a preparation for the second thousand years of her incarnations [ending around the year 2394]. This corresponded to the washing and anointing of the body of Christ, the enshrouding, the visiting of the souls imprisoned in the underworld, the ascent to the souls in paradise, and the entombment—as well as everything these events encompassed.

And the Sunday initiation had to do with the third thousand years [ending approximately 3575]. This corresponded—and corresponds still in our day—to the opening of the tomb, angelic vigil, emergence from cosmic midnight, resurrection, reunion, and ascension to the Father; to walking, partaking, communing, and touching through the resurrection body—and to everything these events encompassed, including the ability to transcend time and space.

I understood that the three days of initiations, in addition to their correspondence with the three days of the Passion and the ensuing three [and a half] millennia of incarnations, corresponded also to the three and half years of Christ’s ministry. If we take the three and half years of his ministry and correlate it to the millennia of Magdalene’s incarnations, we arrive somewhere near the year AD 3500 [3575].

At the conclusion of these three millennia of incarnations I saw the individuality of Magdalene become a new kind of human being, surrounded with light as was Jesus at the Transfiguration, although I do not know if that is the proper term to describe the transformation I beheld. I cannot say that the individual I saw was a woman—but the incarnation was primarily of a divine feminine nature.

I was shown that the Word, or the seeds planted in the individuality of Magdalene during her initiations, would come to manifestation toward the close of her “Sunday night” of incarnations! She appeared in that coming time as an angelic human being.” (pp. 39-40)

Robert Powell writes in Christ and the Maya Calendar: 2012 and the Coming of the Antichrist of the gradual incarnation of Sophia into an etheric body, building on the visions and indications of the Russian mystic and visionary Daniel Andreev (contained in his magnum opus, The Rose of the World). This is the incarnation of the very being written of in Revelation 12, the woman clothed with the Sun, with the Moon under her feet, a chaplet of twelve stars on her head.

For the journey of Sophia into incarnation takes place gradually from the far reaches of the cosmos. She descended from the Central Sun, the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, and united herself with the starry heavens of our local Sagittarius Arm of the spiral (“chaplet of stars”). This occurred in 1775, around the time of the cultural renaissance and revolution of which I wrote in the previous piece—the time of Goethe, Novalis, Schiller, etc. She will descend to the level of the Sun sphere, uniting with our Sun 600 years later—in 2375, at the dawn of the Age of Aquarius (“clothed with the Sun”). A further 600 years later she will enter the Lunar sphere, uniting with our Moon, in the year 2975 (“the Moon under her feet”). Finally, virtually coinciding with the transition to the Slavic-Russian cultural epoch in 3575, she will incarnate in an etheric body here within the Earth herself, as a being Daniel Andreev calls “Sventa Zventana”: the “brightest of the bright and the holiest of holies” (for much greater elaboration, see Chapter 9: The Rose of the World, in Christ and the Maya Calendar).

It is my intuition that the vessel for the incarnation of Sophia into an etheric body around the year 3575 will be provided by the individuality of Mary Magdalene. It is this event that will bring about a Transfiguration-like event for this individual, transforming her into an angelic being. She will work very closely with the reincarnated Lazarus in order to bring about the fulfilment of European culture in the Baltic/Scandinavian regions, setting the stage for the Slavic-Russian culture which will be inaugurated by this transformative incarnation in 3575.

Let’s remember that the goal of the Age of Aquarius is to fully engage manas cognition, just as the goal of the Age of Pisces was to fully engage ego-consciousness. The year 3575 will be comparable to the year 1414, inasmuch as Northern Europe will be prepared to undergo a “Spiritual Scientific Revolution” equivalent to the scientific revolution of the 16th century. Increasingly, spiritual visionary activity will become commonplace. This is the cultural milieu in which the Magdalene spirit will be active—indeed, it is just what she has been preparing herself for.

Rudolf Steiner’s words from 1915 are important to remember in this context:

“What we see there in Goethe himself is a character trait of the German people. It can give an indication as to the mission given to human beings. The mission is, and we can present this very clearly to our souls, that true benefit for the progress of mankind will arise only if within a certain group of people a harmonious relationship is established between Central Europe and Eastern Europe.

It is possible to visualize Eastern Europe expanding westwards, across Central Europe, by brute force. It is possible to visualize this happening. That, however, would be equivalent to a situation where Joan of Arc had not done her deed in the 15th century and England had annexed France in those days. If it had come to that, and I state this emphatically, something would have come about that would not only have brought calamity to France but would have meant calamity also for England. And if German culture were now to suffer through what may come from the East, this would be to the detriment not only of German culture but also of the East. The worst that can happen to the East is that it might expand for a time and have an adverse effect on German culture. For as I said, the souls formerly incarnated in Western Europe or on the Italian peninsula and now growing up in the East unite with the Christ impulse as though instinctively, in the unconscious depths of the astral body. Yet the Christ impulse that is to grow within them can never arise through linear progression of the instinctive element that lives in their souls under the name of orthodox catholicism which, on the whole, is Byzantine of course, for this is a name not an impulse. It is just as impossible for this to evolve into what it is predestined to become as it is impossible for a woman without a man to have a child. What is preparing in the East can only come to something if Central Europe strongly and consciously — that is in a state of full awareness — unites the force of the human ego and human powers of insight with the Christ impulse, out of what souls are striving for out of egoic nature.

What has to come about for the civilization and culture of the future will only come about if the German folk spirit finds souls that transplant the Christ impulse into their astral body and ego the way it can indeed be implanted there in a state of full conscious awareness. It has to come about through harmony being established, by uniting with that which is consciously achieved in Central Europe — more and more consciously.

This will need not just one or two centuries, but a very long time. The time needed will be so long that we may reckon on about two thousand years, I would say, counting from the year 1400. Adding two thousand years to 1400 we get the approximate time when something will emerge in the evolution of the earth that has had its seeds in the German life of the spirit, ever since there has been such a life of the spirit. We therefore realize that we have to consider a future lying not just centuries ahead but more than a thousand years. And the mission of the Central European, the German folk spirit, a mission already before us, is that there will have to be more and more of that nurturing of the life in the spirit through which men take up in conscious awareness — right into the astral body and ego — a comprehension of the Christ impulse that in earlier times moved through the peoples of Europe as a living but unconscious impulse. Once evolution takes this course then the East, too, will gradually, by twining upwards, reach the level reached in Central Europe because of what is already inherent there. That is the intention of the cosmic intelligence. We only interpret the intention of the cosmic intelligence rightly when we say to ourselves: It would be the greatest misfortune also for the East of Europe to harm the very spiritual power it needs to use as a support in twining upwards, a power the East should indeed revere, revere in friendship, foster and cherish. It will have to come to this. For the moment the East is very far indeed from achieving this.”

Hand-in-hand with the gradual incarnation of Sophia is the gradual establishment of the Rose of the World. One way in which this will present itself is the increasing rapprochement of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Just as the past 500 years leading up to Christ’s fifth sacrifice have seen a rapprochement between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Eastern Catholic confessions, so the years from 3500 – 4000 will see the even greater reconciliation of Catholicism with Russian Orthodoxy. It is this reconciliation, along with the integration and dissolution of the Footwashing rite of the Age of Aquarius, that will facilitate the emergence of the Rose of the World (again, for more details see Chapter 9: The Rose of the World). This too is precisely what the individuality of Magdalene has been preparing for, and will continue to prepare for over the next 1500 years.

The Age of Aquarius—and the life-cycle of Philosophia—will culminate in the year 4535. Somewhere around the year 4000 AD will see the sixth sacrifice of Archangel Jesus and Christ. The Archangel Jesus will offer up his manas body in order to create a vessel for budhi, for Life-Spirit to enter Spirit-Self. It is at this point that there will no longer be a necessity for the Sophianic communion—the Church of the Mother, the Milk and Honey, the Footwashing of the Johannine service, will have done its work. With the attainment of budhi, what will gradually dawn on humanity is not just spirit vision, but actual dialogue, conversation, and active collaboration, with hierarchical, elemental, and disincarnate human spirits.

Six members of the human being will then have fully precipitated out of the spiritual potentiality held by the Higher Self and the Guardian Angel—with only the Resurrection Body still gestating, which it has been doing ever since the fourth sacrifice of the Mystery of Golgotha:

Around 4443 will see the last incarnation of Maitreya Boddhisatva, as Maitreya Buddha. From this point onward, it will be the work of Skythianos that is of key importance. Among other tasks this will entail the struggle to reintegrate the Anglican/Protestant communions back into the Catholic Church (the Rose of the World). To be sure, by this point the Catholic Church will be transfigured—on its way to becoming a New Jerusalem—having integrated into herself the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches, as well as the Aquarian/Sophianic Church of the Mother. It will be akin to the difference between the primal sacrifice of Abel’s best lamb to Yahweh versus the fully elaborated rituals of the Ancient Hebrews at the time of Moses.

We already have a prefiguring of this reintegrated Anglican/Protestant Church in the Christian Community developed by Lutheran anthroposophists under the guidance of Rudolf Steiner almost 100 years ago. A Christian Community service can give one a presentiment of a future Church that has integrated Roman Catholicism, Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Protestantism, the Johannine service of the Aquarian Age, and even Freemasonry. Like the agape feast of Melchizadek and Abraham, it is a necessary cultivation for the sake of a future time.

In summary, here is our timeline heading into the future:

Current day – 2375 AD: The culmination of the mission of Mani/Parzival. The appearance of the Etheric Christ. The confrontation with the incarnation of Ahriman. Humanity dimly feels the birth of Manas-cognition (imaginative clairvoyance). Sophia descends to the sphere of the Sun from the realm of fixed stars

2375 – 3095 AD (“Mars Years” of Philosophia, 42-49): Neo-Goetheanism arises in the northern regions of Europe. The Johannine/Aquarian Church is wedded to this movement. Manas-cognition comes to the point of the metamorphic consciousness of Goethe becoming relatively commonplace. Sophia descends to the sphere of the Moon. The Lazarus individuality (Rosicrucianism) comes to the fore after the Mani-Parzival individuality (Manichaeism).

3095 – 3815 AD (“Jupiter Years” of Philosophia, 49-56): Neo-Anthroposophy arises along the European/Russian border, in Finland in particular. Manas-cognition comes to the point of the fully visionary clairvoyance of a Rudolf Steiner becoming relatively commonplace. Sophia unites with the Earth, and incarnates into the etheric body of the Magdalene individuality, who transfigures into an angelic being. The reunion of the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches begins in earnest.

3815 – 4535 AD (“Saturn Years” of Philosophia, 56-63): Both the Manas-cognition exercised over the past 2,000 years as well as the Johannine (Sophianic) Mass culminate in the sixth appearance of Christ, around the year 4000. The Archangel Jesus offers up his perfected Manas-cognition as the vehicle for Christ to offer his Budhi or life-spirit to human beings as a whole, which has been gestating for the entirety of the Aquarian age. The human being will now have six fully elaborated members and one that remains in gestation—the Resurrection Body, the transformed physical body whose seed was planted at the Mystery of Golgotha. The final incarnation of the Maitreya Buddha takes place in 4443; the Sophianic Mass and Eastern Orthodoxy are subsumed into the Catholic Church. The end of the biography of Philosophia, which lasted from 1945 BC – 4535 AD.

The Age of Capricorn begins 4535 AD, while the Anglo-American cultural epoch begins 1199 years later, in 5734 AD. This is the time of Skythianos, who is the guardian of ancient Atlantean mysteries in terms of moral technology: the sub-natural (technological) forces of the Earth by this time will be responsive to the power of the moral word or moral ether bestowed on humanity by the Maitreya Buddha. Skythianos will lead the charge of the “white magicians” of moral technology against the “black magicians”, the Sorathic foes who attempt to enslave humanity in a transhumanist state of permanent mineral attachment. The Sorathic impulse is to escape the wheel of death and rebirth by permanently affixing the soul to the mineral world (i.e. the Singularity), whereas the impulse of the white magician is to de-mineralize or de-materialize the physical body through Christ (i.e. the Eucharist), in order to return to the pre-Lemurian state of continual transformation and metamorphosis.

This goal will be accomplished to some degree by the year 6000 AD or so, at which point the Moon will reunite with the Earth. The body of the human being at this point will only mature to about the age of 14; sexual reproduction will no longer be a possibility. One will either have developed oneself to be able to “put on the Resurrection Body” of alchemically wedded life and death; or one will have to rely on science and technology in order to create new (materially incarnated) human beings. See here:

(In fact, in several lectures Rudolf Steiner indicated that the human being would only develop up to the age of 14 around the start of the Anglo-American epoch. See here: and here: and here:; thanks to Edward Reaugh Smith and his excellent concordance for Steiner’s work, The Burning Bush.)

By this point, the Church will have become truly Catholic, having reintegrated the Anglican Communion. When the seventh appearance of Christ occurs around the year 6000 AD, the Archangel Jesus will offer up the perfected Budhi, and the Resurrection Body (or “Atma”) which had been gestating since the Mystery of Golgotha will become fully available to humanity. The human being will at last fully engage with other spiritual beings in intuitive union; it will be a seven-foldness that can withstand being absorbed by, and absorbing—co-inhering—an eighth, i.e. another spiritual being, in full consciousness:

The Catholic Church will begin to transform into the New Jerusalem, finding its home—under the guidance of Mani-Parzival, who will have by this point ascended to the position of Manu—in the etheric region of what is currently the Pacific Ocean. The untransfigured portion of humanity will destroy itself in the “War of All against All,” a global Trial by Air (juxtaposed to the Trial by Water of the Great Flood that destroyed Ancient Atlantis and the Trial by Fire that destroyed Ancient Lemuria).

It will be the mission of this transfigured portion of humanity over the course of the Sixth Age, after the War of All against All, to not only redeem and rescue fallen humanity, but to transform (i.e. dematerialise) all of Nature. By the end of the Sixth Age, the Sun will have reunited with the Earth—and the whole Earth will have become the New Jerusalem in her entirety.

I will attempt, at some point, to make available a graphic representation of these complicated themes.

Previous post:

The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt 12

“And a great sign was seen in heaven: a woman garbed with the sun, and the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a chaplet of twelve stars, And she was pregnant, and she cries out, enduring birth-pangs, and in an agony to give birth. And another sign was seen in heaven, and look: a great flame-hued dragon who had seven heads and ten horns and on his heads seven diadems, And his tail drags along one third of the stars of heaven, and he cast them onto the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth so that, when she should give birth, he might devour her child. And she bore a son, a male child, who is about to shepherd all the gentiles with a rod of iron, and her child was seized away to God and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, there where she has a place prepared by God, so that they might nourish her for twelve hundred and sixty days. And war broke out in heaven: that of Michael and his angels waging a war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, And did not prevail, nor was any place still found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was cast down, the ancient serpent, the one that is called Slanderer and Accuser, the one that leads the whole inhabited world astray—it was cast down into the earth and its angels were cast down with it. And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now has come about the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Anointed, because the persecutor of our brothers, the one prosecuting them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they conquered him by the blood of the suckling lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their own soul all the way to death. For this reason be glad, O heavens and those tabernacling therein; alas for the earth and sea, because the Slanderer has descended into you with a great rage, knowing that he has little time.” And, when the dragon saw that he had been cast down into the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman so that she might fly to the wilderness, to her place, there where she is nourished—for a season, and for seasons, and for half a season—away from the serpent’s face.”

A great deal of history is condensed—and foreseen—in these first fourteen verses of the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation, if only we know how to read the images that are written there.

First of all, who is the woman crowned with stars, clothed with the sun, standing on the moon? She is Sophia, yes, but in what role specifically? She is Sophia as the Soul of Europe, the Divine Ideal of Europe. Her threefold garment of stars, sun and moon are the threefold social organism of Europe: Liberty for the individual, Equality under the law, and Fraternity in our work. She is Columbia, the guiding light of the revolutions of the late 18th/early 19th centuries. We could say that she is intimately bound up with the Goethean enlightenment that flourished during this time period in the Germanic/Austro-Hungarian region of Europe.

This woman is in labor, bearing a son who is to “shepherd all the Gentiles with a rod of iron.” And this is no mere image or symbol, but quite literally this child existed. For who was the “Child of Europe”? None other than Kaspar Hauser; and as we pointed out in the previous section:

“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.” (Rudolf Steiner, communicated to Count Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, November 1916).

And so this Goethean culture that developed during the late 18th/early 19th century was the earthly expression of this Sophia-Europa, as the vessel for a new Knights of the Grail led by Kaspar Hauser, the Child of Europe. But just as it is written in Revelation, the dragon waited by the lady’s feet in order to consume this child. Let’s look at the full quotation of Rudolf Steiner’s from November 1916, of which only a portion is quoted above:

“Those circles which conceal everything and today still try to conceal what happened in connection with Kaspar Hauser’s destiny, are those members of western Lodges and Jesuits who have worked together in their leading organizations for more than 150 years, but demonstrably since January 1802. The latter, therefore, do not want to have exposed what they have staged as an experiment, as an elaborate attempt to separate the individual in question from his mission and to hold him in a twilight zone, not completely spirit and not altogether a man on earth, but diverted from his mission and kept as though in spiritual exile; that is to say, to build a body, but not be able to take hold of it as an individual ego. This experiment, however, did not succeed and that is the reason why Kaspar Hauser had to die. The people concerned were forced to experience that their experiment achieved just that which they had tried to avoid: the awakening of the individuality, yes, even that he became conscious of reincarnation and karma. But that was just what should not have been. 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. But that was not wanted by those circles (the western Lodges and the Jesuits). They could not tolerate a centre that was awakening to consciousness if they were not to relinquish their power and designs for power. A spirit such as Goethe’s frightened them. Napoleon forced them to unite and form a league for the aspired-to world domination in the sphere of ideology and commerce. Napoleon had already thwarted their effort; it was he who fundamentally forced the two currents into union. From that time onwards the tasks allotted to each were clearly circumscribed. But for that their clearly defined goal of world domination became all the more effective. The ideological and spiritual affairs were given exclusively into the hands of the Jesuits; the commercial ones into the hands of the Anglo-American Lodges of the West. These plans, however, will lead to ever more tragic catastrophes, because none of them take human development into account. What was intended to happen through Kaspar Hauser was overthrown by mankind. On these “planned” ruins the black-and white principle gained ascendancy. The black-and-white principle, however, is something constructed, something exclusive. This is also the tragedy of Bismarck himself, who was quite well able to construct the model for a Federal State, the constructive idea of a true Central Federation, but could not supply the supporting idea, that which would have made a state construction of this kind appear necessary and justified. It was that which Bismarck was seeking in Frankfurt, too, the Goethean spirit, that which could have developed in the region of southern Germany through Kaspar Hauser but did not come about. It was in Frankfurt, actually, where Bismarck encountered the principle of black-and-white and all that then bound him to the King of Prussia. It was from then on that the era of the lawyer began, but politics is not a legal problem.”

It is fascinating to realise that in 1832—the year before the assassination of Kaspar Hauser—the Rothschilds (western brotherhoods) made a donation the equivalent of $70,000,000 in modern value to the Holy See (Jesuits):

And so, indeed, the Child was “seized up to God and his throne.” After this, there is the War in Heaven between Michael and the Dragon. We might wonder if Kaspar Hauser himself was a part of this war in the spiritual world? We know from Rudolf Steiner that this war took place during the years 1841-1879, after which the Slanderer (Satan in Hebrew, Ahriman in Persian) was thrown down to Earth. This corresponds almost exactly with the birth of Joseph Stalin in December 1878, who in his subsequent incarnation would be the vessel for in the incarnation of Ahriman (this is alluded to in Chapter 13 of Revelation, with the Beast who rises from the sea as Joseph Stalin, and the Image of the Beast as his reincarnation, the vessel for Ahriman).

The Slanderer pursues Sophia-Europa, and she is given the wings of an eagle to go into the wilderness for 1260 days (or, “a season, seasons, and half a season”). We can understand this to indicate that sometime after 1879—and throughout the 20th century—the Soul of Europe disappeared. More precisely, she entered the “wilderness” in order to be protected from the destructive forces of the Slanderer, the dragon, until the allotted time period has passed.

In the Lord’s Prayer Course, Valentin Tomberg describes the seven archetypal countries of Europe in relation to the seven lotuses. He gives brief descriptions of the spiritual tasks of each of these countries, and the nature of their guiding archangel or folk spirit. These countries are:





Mercury—Solar Plexus—(Spain/Portugal, according to Robert Powell)



Now, in this section, Valentin Tomberg makes an interesting statement regarding Germany and America:

“GERMANY – JUPITER. Germany – here the Archangel works through the element of warmth, both inner and outer warmth.

Warmth is bound up with two sources:

digestion and the blood (one warms oneself at the fire or through eating); and 

through the ideals which the human being has.

The mission of Germany was to make the self (the source of ideals) so strong that it masters the digestive system.

However, the contrary took place.

Digestion and the blood rose up and created their own ideals, which had the consequence of driving the Archangel away.

This refers to Nazi Germany, where the ideal of pure, Aryan blood was promulgated, and the Archangel of Germany was obliged to withdraw its field of activity to America.

The highest warmth from the human being is in the Word from the Cross:

My god, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Human beings must develop a warmth from within in order to seek the highest: God. Then, through the initiative of the 2-petalled lotus flower, all the other lotus flowers also come into vibration by way of resonance.

The most lonely warmth is bound up with the mission of the self.”

And so we see, due to the consequences of the rise of the Dragon (Nazism), the archangel of Germany—which is meant to be the leading culture of the Age of the Consciousness Soul in Europe—fled to America. The “woman fled into the wilderness” indicates the Germanic archangel fleeing to America (the wilderness indeed!).

Now the Nazism that drove Sophia-Europa into America was not an isolated being, but rather the external, militant branch of the cooperation between the western brotherhoods and the Jesuits (dark powers of commerce and ideology). The true source for both the Nazi and Bolshevist disruptions in the 20th century come from the “mastermind” of England, where the western brotherhoods have operated for centuries. Indeed, they left their signature, as the Nazis chose the swastika (traditionally related to the root chakra) as their icon—and England is the “root chakra” of Europe.

The occultism of England suffers an identity crisis, a kind of Cain-like jealousy for the “Abel” of true European (Germanic, Goethean) culture. You see, Rudolf Steiner makes the following relationships clear throughout his lectures in the 1910s:

Italy is a recapitulation of the sentient soul culture of Ancient Egypt

France is a recapitulation of the intellectual soul culture of Ancient Greece/Rome

England is the first experience proper of the consciousness soul culture

The Germanic/Austro-Hungarian nations are the Ego of Europe

Finland as the conscience of Europe

And the Slavic/Russian countries are the still gestating spirit-self

The occultists of England have understood this role as consciousness soul for centuries, and therefore from the very beginning of the Age of the Consciousness Soul (see for example the events surrounding Joan of Arc) have attempted to rule Europe and determine her destiny. At first they did this more overtly through the British Empire, but through blackmail and subterfuge (i.e. primarily through intelligence agencies) they have maintained a stranglehold on world culture. The United States of America may seem as though they are the primary culture of modern times, but ever since the end of World War II, they have been playing a very similar role to Nazi Germany before them: the attack dog, the external arm of the western brotherhoods originating in England.

But this is all a great misunderstanding. For England, in another sense, is not properly part of Europe at all, at least not the current mission of Europe. For her mission will not come about for thousands of years, during the Anglo-American epoch from 5734 – 7894. England and America are meant to work together, and be the primary culture in the world—but not for a long time. We can even see this astrogeographically, as the projection of Taurus covers virtually the entirety of Europe except for the U.K. (and Spain), which are under the projection of Aries.

In mis-perceiving themselves as the cultural leader of the current time period, British occultists have facilitated to a great degree the incarnation of Ahriman, as they have attempted to arrest the development of both the 5th and 6th cultural epochs (European and Russian respectively) and are wittingly or unwittingly attempting to bring about the Anglo-American cultural era 4000 years too soon. And this era is the time period when “mechanical occultism” will face off against “transhumanism”; when the moon reunites with the Earth and sexual reproduction  will become impossible; when the “white magic” of those who have cultivated the resurrection body (and therefore only incarnate physically, not materially) will attempt to rescue those who will become increasingly enmeshed in matter and sub-matter. This time period culminates with the “War of All Against All,” a war fought primarily in the elements of the air (just as Lemuria was destroyed by fire, and Atlantis submerged in water, our age is destroyed by the polluting, poisoning and weaponising of the air). Do we not see all of these future events attempting to rear their heads too soon, in our own age?

This fleeing of Sophia-Europa to the wilderness of America was also expressed in the gesture of the guiding light true occultism throughout the 20th century. It began in the Germanic countries with the Anthroposophical Society; Valentin Tomberg (as well as Walter Johannes Stein, Willi Sucher, and Karl Koenig, among many others) transferred this activity to the U.K. over the course of the 1930’s-40’s. Then individuals like Willi Sucher and Karl Koenig made the leap to the USA (following in the footsteps of individuals like Ehrenfried Pfeiffer) in the 1960’s.

So this middle period of the 20th century was a transition, a migration west. This reached its apotheosis in the 1990’s, when a British anthroposophist—Robert Powell—founded the Sophia Foundation with Karen Rivers in California. The true spirit of Goethean culture could and still can be found in the Sophia Grail celebrations cultivated there for the past twenty-five years. More than anywhere else, it was the American Camphills and the Sophia Foundation who protected the seed of true European culture, the Sophia-Europa, from the encroachment and attacks of the Slanderer.

Can we still see in our time a Napoleonic force that is driving the Jesuits and western brotherhoods to work together, to an ever great fusion? Do we begin to see  cracks in the armour? As unsavoury as the modern conservative populist movement may be, represented as it is by figures such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, what we are seeing is Europe released from the clutches of the UK. And if Europe is released from the clutches of the UK, she can begin to relate more equitably with Russia. The future of Russia—and of humanity—depends on this healthy interaction. If the UK leaves Europe alone, then the USA and the UK can begin to relate to each other equitably. The future of Anglo-America—and of humanity—depends on this healthy relationship developing. And a healthy separation of USA/UK from Europe/Russia will lead to, if not friendship, then at least a respectful cooperation between USA and Russia. (Anyone who claims that Russia is actively attempting to disrupt the USA or Europe is either delusional or deliberately spreading (MI6/CIA/Mossad) disinformation. Beware who you trust.)

Now, it is indicated that Sophia-Europa enters the wilderness only for a transitional time (as pointed out by Friedrich Weinreb in his excellent Roots of the Bible, “three-and-a-half” is a number used in the Bible consistently to indicate a transition, specifically through the Sabbath to the “eighth day” the Promised Land). We can trust in the spiritual world that at some point, perhaps quite gradually, it will be the right time for Sophia-Europa to return to her homeland—to leave the United States. But when she returns, it will not be to the same regions. We can think of the seven archetypal countries of Europe laid out above by Valentin Tomberg as prototypes, in a way, of the true Europe to come.

In this lecture from 1914 (and the preceding lectures in this series), Rudolf Steiner describes the relationship between the forms on the columnss of the Goetheanum and the different European cultures: He indicates here that the second column relates to southwestern Europe (Spain/Portugal), the third column is related to France, the fourth to England, and the fifth to the Germanic countries. But he goes on to address the question: what about the northern countries, like Norway, Denmark, Sweden?

He then makes the interesting claim that the more southerly/westerly European cultures are simpler vs those of the northern/eastern nations. He points out that Norway is like England transformed by Germany; Denmark like France transformed by Germany; and Sweden like Spain/Portugal transformed by Germany. We might think of the original seven (Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, England) as all more-or-less still under the strong influence of the Roman system from the prior Greco-Roman cultural era, like cultures in-between. A new group of seven will begin to arise, centered around the Baltic Sea: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. These nations will be “in-between” in the opposite sense: they will build the bridge to the sixth cultural epoch of the Slavic-Russian peoples. They are the seven archetypal European nations transformed by the Germanic spirit—by Sophia-Europa.

In my own astrogeographical research, which will appear in As Above, So Below: Star Wisdom, vol 3 (available Nov 2020), I elaborate on the following map of stellar projections onto Europe (a larger and clearer version will be available in the article “Finding Future Grail Sites”):

We can imagine Europe like someone (perhaps Martialis, the youth of Nain?) being raised from the dead. We can imagine the regions along line A (totally horizontal) to be of particular importance during the Greco-Roman era (747 BC – 1414 AD); those along line B to be of particular significance during the Age of Pisces (215 – 2375 AD); and those along line C to be of particular importance during the European-Germanic era (1414 – 3574 AD).

Then line D is of particular significance during the Age of Aquarius, from 2375 – 4535 AD. It will be in between lines C and D—in northern Germany, Poland, Norway, and Denmark—that the “Neo-Goethean” culture will arise, as Sophia-Europa returns to her homeland, over the course of the 3rd millennium. Line E becomes of significance at the start of the Slavic-Russian era, from 3574 – 5734 AD. We can imagine this totally vertical line as the youth of Nain risen from the dead, ready to walk—heading east, through the Russian nation. Here we see that it will be in the nations between lines D and E that the “Neo-Anthroposophy” will arise—Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, Sweden—in the 4th millennium, transitioning into the Slavic-Russian culture.

It is interesting that in the midst of the global panic in response to covid-19, most of the world went into severe economic depressions due to unjustified lockdowns. But there is one part of the world that seems to be doing ok, because by and large they did not engage in such extreme, hysterical measures:

The northeastern region of Europe—the nations surrounding the Baltic Sea—seem to have weathered this final showdown with Ahriman with their heads on their shoulders. In terms of biological, social, and economic health, these countries are going to be in much better shape than the rest of the continent, and perhaps the rest of the world. Perhaps we can see the rising of the new sun, of the New Age of the Etheric Christ, in the area around the Baltic Sea?

And so these are the regions that requires “christening” through the Footwashing ritual in order to prepare them for their future missions over the course of the next 2000 years (the Age of Aquarius), leading up to the appearance of Christ in the astral realm (the sixth sacrifice of Jesus and Christ)—just as Joseph of Arimathea prepared the southern and western regions of Europe for the Age of Pisces in preparation for this very moment in human history.

We can also consider the fact that there are three key individualities now and into the future—each of them raised from the dead by Christ. Salome, the daughter of Jairus, will be the guiding individuality for the Age of Capricorn, bridging the Slavic-Russian cultural epoch with that of the Anglo-American. We can imagine Salome to be in close relationship with the Skythianos individuality and impulse—the protector of the Atlantean mysteries of “mechanical occultism,” of working with nature forces. Lazarus will be the guiding individuality of the Age of Aquarius—he is in close relationship with the Maitreya Boddhisatva, bridging the Germanic-European culture with the Slavic-Russian through the Rosicrucian impulse. And in our time, in the Age of Pisces, it is the Youth of Nain, Martialis, who is the guiding individuality, building the bridge from the Greco-Roman to the Germanic-European culture through the Manichaean impulse.

This individuality’s incarnation stream, according to there research of Robert Powell, was 1) Mani in the 3rd century AD; 2) Parzival in the 8th-9th century AD; and Kaspar Hauser in the 19th century AD—the “Child of Europe” we spoke of earlier! Rudolf Steiner indicated that this individuality would incarnate in our time. Considering that we are approaching the threshold of the Age of Pisces, heading into the Age of Aquarius (2375), perhaps the time is at hand for this individuality to realise that which could not be achieved in the 19th century—to found a new Knighthood of the Holy Grail, not in southern Germany, but in the region of the Baltic Sea…

…(to be concluded?)

Previous section:

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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The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt 9

In the previous section, we came to the following picture of the time of the fourth sacrifice of Jesus and Christ—the Mystery of Golgotha: it took place during the last third of the third life-phase of Philosophia, in the Age of Aries; it was preceded by and the natural culmination of the ancient Hebrew culture; it was also preceded by two critical schools of wisdom: Platonism and Aristotelianism. This had to do with the Archangel Jesus sacrificing his perfected astral body for the sake of the birth of the individualised Ego through Christ’s sacrifice in a physical body, an Ego that had been gestating since the first sacrifice of Christ in ages long past. Initially Christianity had nothing to do with the two schools of Platonism and Aristotelianism; eventually, it integrated and brought to perfection first Platonism (in the Neoplatonic movement, ca 4th century AD) and then Aristotelianism (during the Scholastic movement, ca 13th century AD).

And now we find ourselves in the time of the fifth sacrifice—the so-called “Second Coming” (although this title is confusing in the fuller context of the seven sacrifices), Christ’s appearance in the etheric realm. Analogously, this appearance in the etheric takes place in the last third of the sixth life-phase of Philosophia, in the Age of Pisces; it has been preceded by and is the natural culmination of French Hermeticism (Rosicrucianism); and it has also been preceded by two critical cultural movements: Goetheanism (German Idealism and Romanticism) and Anthroposophy. In fact, we might say that the deed of Christ’s death and resurrection in the etheric sphere has been occurring over a much longer time period than it did 2000 years ago. The crucifixion of Christ on the etheric plane—actually better described as a suffocation—took place in the 19th century, according to statements made by Rudolf Steiner in 1913 (see here: He refers there to the swooning of the angel with whom Christ had united in order to appear in the etheric. This “swooning” is both the perfecting and sacrifice of Ego-consciousness that had been developing since the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. Just as Platonism and Aristotelianism represented the perfection of the astral body in preparation to receive the Ego from Christ’s deed, Goetheanism and Anthroposophy represent for our time the perfection of Ego-activity in preparation to receive manas consciousness—the re-enlivened picture consciousness, now able to be a totally conscious and participatory experience, rather than strictly revelatory and dream-like.

The full sacrifice of Christ—Crucifixion, Descent, Resurrection—now takes place over the course of hundreds of years rather than 3 days—approximately 300 years. For the etheric crucifixion, the suffocation of Christ, which took place in the 19th century coincided with and was reflected in the untimely death of Kaspar Hauser, the Child of Europe, in 1833, at the age of 21—the age of the birth of the Ego in human development. Around the year 1933 marked the start of the second phase—the Descent into Hell—with World War II marking Christ’s decent through the nine sub-earthly spheres in order to reawaken humanity’s awareness of the Mother in the Depths, to reopen the Path to Shambhala (Paradise) in the heart of the Earth.

This second phase will not be completely finished until the year 2133, when something akin to the Resurrection takes place, although in our time—around the year 2033—Christ will have penetrated all the way to the Heart of the Mother, after a century-long journey to find Her (more on this, from various perspectives, can be found in the work of Robert Powell, for example The Christ Mystery). And so the Christ event of the modern age is happening—due to its taking place over centuries rather than days—more or less simultaneously with the modern Aristotelianism of Anthroposophy. It is therefore not nearly so foreign to it as the Mystery of Golgotha was to Aristotelianism.

Be that as it may, we need to find the fourth element. The modern equivalent of Judaism is French Hermeticism; of Platonism, Goetheanism; and of Aristotelianism, Anthroposophy. But the fourth element at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha was the actual rite itself, the Eucharist, the Mass, which abolished the old sacrifice—and is valid until the end of time, i.e. until the end of the cycle of birth, death, and reincarnation as we currently experience it, around the 7th millennium.

When we look at the development of the Orthodox Rite two thousand years ago, we can see that it took hundreds of years to take on its final form. Even to this day, with the reintegration of some of the churches of the Oriental Orthodox (the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches) there is some variety in the way that the Mass is celebrated within just Roman Catholicism alone. But perhaps we can find the “guiding motif” for the Eucharist, and try to discover what the “guiding motif” for the modern Rite might be.

The core of the Catholic Mass is the communion of bread and wine. It is based on the events of the Last Supper as recorded in the synoptic gospels of Luke, Mark, and Matthew, in which Christ inaugurates the very first Mass and instructs the apostles to “do this in remembrance of me.” According to the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, the development of the ritual of the Eucharist out of this seemingly simple phrase from the Gospels was not a matter of the apostles taking things a bit too far, perhaps out of enthusiasm. In her visions, much more was said to the apostles, and many specific instruction were given, for the establishment of the Mass.

One of the early customs of the church was to administer milk and honey at the first communion, prior to or along with the bread and wine (see here, for example: This died out, however, around the time that the Church of the East and the Oriental Orthodox Churches separated from the main body (in the 5th-6th centuries AD). The realisation that the Church was having at that time was many different celebratory elements were being added to the service—whether it was milk and honey, or special water, or special herbs and oils, etc. It was felt that all of these elements, while arising out of a true enthusiasm, were occluding the two elements of most crucial importance: the bread and the wine. And so the Mass eventually was stripped down to its essence, with the focus entirely on Transubstantiation and the union of human being with substance transformed into Christ.

The purpose of this Rite is to build, Mass by Mass and century by century, over many incarnations, the Resurrection Body within humanity. The purpose of it is to reunite the human being with the realm of the Father—with the nine spiritual hierarchies leading up to Him, as exemplified after the Resurrection by the Ascension into Heaven. The gaze of the Church since the time of Christ is upward, longing for our reintegration into the heart of the Father as it was in the beginning—but now as sons and daughters, not slaves (i.e., with full conscientious participation, not in a dream-like state).

What is interesting is that there was at least one instance of a Mass that took place much too early—Abraham enjoyed the bread and wine with Melchizedek some 2000 years prior to the Mystery of Golgotha. This might remind us as well of Cain’s sacrifice of plant-life, creating horizontal smoke, too early, during the Lemurian age at the first sacrifice of Jesus and Christ. This form of sacrifice would only become proper during the Atlantean time period, at the second sacrifice of Jesus and Christ—and would only remain proper for the duration of the Atlantean Age. Indeed, it was the extension of this “Cain Rite” beyond its proper time that brought about the great Flood that destroyed ancient Atlantis.

And so it would seem that both rites—the Atlantean Rite and the Eucharist—were foreshadowed before their proper time, the one by Cain and the other by Abraham. Indeed, there is a very close relationship between these two beings. And perhaps this is where we might find a clue as to the nature and basic form of the modern Rite, one we might call the Johannine Rite, as will become clear as we proceed.

The clue lies in the individuality of Cain—for this individuality reincarnated as Lazarus (also known as Lazarus-John after his resurrection, John or Iohannes being an initiatory title). There is only one Gospel that contains the story of the Raising of Lazarus—and this is the Gospel of St. John. Now, what is very interesting about this Gospel is that it is very different in content and tone from the other three. It contains many events within it that do not appear in the synoptic Gospels; and it lacks certain content that is contained in the synoptics. It stands apart almost completely. While according to Rudolf Steiner Lazarus and John Zebedee were the same individuality, according to the research of Robert Powell and Estelle Isaacson—which builds on and elucidates the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich—John Zebedee (the disciple that Jesus loved) was able to bear the soul of Lazarus at certain crucial times. While the Apocalypse of John is entirely the work of Lazarus, and the three Epistles of John are entirely the work of John Zebedee, the Gospel of St. John is a collaborative document, produced by two eye witnesses to the ministry of Christ Jesus.

Perhaps, just as Cain was the forerunner of the Atlantean Rite, and Abraham was a forerunner of the Eucharist, we might find the indications for a future Rite in the Gospel of John. Certainly, the final scene in the Gospel of John indicates this: seven apostles are fishing all through the night, coming up empty. A figure on the shore tells them to cast their nets on the other side, and they haul in 153 fish. This figure turns out to be the Risen One, who prepares for them a breakfast of grilled fish and honey cakes. After this breakfast, he has a mysterious conversation in which he asks Peter three times if he loves Him—counterbalancing Peter’s denial of Christ three times on Good Friday—and mandates him to “feed the sheep.” We could think of this as an indication to Peter, as first Pope and representative of the Church, to vigilantly administer the Sacrament, from that moment onward.

Christ then turns to John, and Peter asks, “What about him?” And Christ tells Peter, “If he is to wait until I come again, what of it?” Perhaps this exchange indicates that John, too, must inaugurate a Rite, but cannot do so until Christ comes again—that is, the present time. But what should this Rite look like? If the transubstantiation of bread and the wine make up the core of the Mass, what would be the core of a Johaninne Rite?

First, let’s look at a portion of Valentin Tomberg’s Lord’s Prayer Course. Within it he indicates that there are seven levels of communion, related to the various lotuses of the human being:





Solar Plexus—Milk



Notice that it became important for the early Church Fathers that the focus of the Mass remain on only the bread and the wine, to the exclusion of these five other elements, in order to avoid the dilution of the Rite.

In the fourth healing miracle of Christ, the Feeding of the Five Thousand, a boy gives five loaves of bread and two fishes, from which the entire crowd of five thousand is satisfied, leaving twelve baskets of left-overs. Perhaps we could think of the two levels of communion administered in the Eucharist as the “two fishes.” This would leave the other five—incense, oil, fish, milk, and honey—as the levels of communion of concern to the Johannine Rite.

We can see the first beginnings of a Johannine Rite in both the Christian Community which sprang out of Anthroposophy in 1922, as well as in the Grail Priesthood of the Sophia Foundation, which began to be an official training in 2006. We could think of both of these as akin to the situation in the early church, when varieties of rites were springing up in different places, gradually approaching a universal (i.e., Catholic) underlying form. The Christian Community—as is quite clear in the lectures to the Priests on the Apocalypse from 1924—certainly sprang from the right essence, but is more or less an “updated” version of the Catholic Rite. On the other hand, the Sophia Priesthood offers access to an authentic milk and honey communion—a communion devoted to Sophia, the Divine Feminine—but also offers a dozen other celebrations, none of which are attached to the liturgical cycle of the Christian year.

Again, it is the Gospel of John which ought to offer us the right guide here. What is missing from this Gospel? Read closely the events of the Last Supper in John’s Gospel. There is no Eucharist! There is no bread and wine! Instead there is the Washing of the Feet—which is only present in John’s Gospel. And when we remember that the feet are the “fish” of the human body—related to the sign of Pisces—we can see how the washing of the feet fulfils the role of the “fish” level of communion. When we consider the way in which Mary Magdelene washes the feet of Christ on the day before the Last Supper—with spikenard oil (incense oil)—we can see that the upper levels of communion—incense, oil and fish—are fulfilled in the act of Footwashing.

We could think of Footwashing as the equivalent of the sacrament of Baptism in a way—whereas Baptism emerged from the Age of Aries (related to the head), Footwashing must emerge from the Age of Pisces (related to the feet). And it is these two activities—Footwashing and the Communion of Milk and Honey—that must be the central actives of a modern, Johannine Rite.

In the next section, we will look more specifically at what might be the other features of this Rite—a Rite devoted primarily to the Earth Mother rather than the Heavenly Father, and one that will be necessary for humanity for just a short time—until Christ comes again, around the year 4000, in an astral form:

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The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt 8

We have now caught up, more or less, to the present time. At the end of part seven, we saw that, during the Age of Aries (the first three life cycles of Philosophia, from 1946 BC – 215 AD), the organization of the astral body which had begun at the end of the Age of Atlantis due to the sacrifice of the etheric body of the Archangel Jesus reached its fulfillment. This expressed itself historically in the disappearance of pictorial consciousness, which was replaced by “thought-perception.” These thought-perceptions came to full expression first in the Platonic school (which sought the highest origin in the One through a kind of “vertical memory”) and then in the Aristotelian school (which sought the expression of this One in the multiplicity through precise horizontal perception).

However, the thought streams of these two schools died out in their homeland, being preserved primarily in the Alexandrian schools and in the Middle East through the travels of Alexander the Great. They had nowhere to go: they required something more on the part of the human being in order to be properly worked with, and therefore had to wait for a future age to truly integrate themselves into human culture.

In the Greco-Roman lands, philosophical perception gave way to absolute sensual decadence on the one hand, and the rigid strictness of Roman law on the other. In the midst of this downfall of civilization came the event of the fourth sacrifice of Christ and Jesus: the Mystery of Golgotha. This sacrifice precipitated out the human personality (the concrete Ego) from the admixture of atman, buddhi, manas, and Ego that had prevailed prior to this event. It was this Ego that was the necessary implement for working with the Platonic and Aristotelian worldviews in a truly practical, widespread way.

The Ego had been gestating, developing, ever since it had been germinated at the time of the first sacrifice of Jesus and Christ, around the time of Cain and Abel. This sacrifice of Jesus’s Ego allowed for the organizing and precipitation of the material, physical body, yet planted the seed for the eventual birth of the Ego in each human being. The ancient Hebrew sacrifice was the rite which accompanied this development, from Abel’s sacrifice through the Last Supper.

At the same time, this fourth sacrifice planted the seed for the eventual unfolding of the highest member of the human being: atman, the resurrection body, the transformed physical body. The establishment of the Eucharist at the time of the Last Supper is a rite which accompanies this development of the highest in the human being, a rite which will accompany humanity through to the end of its earthly incarnations in the Anglo-American epoch.

And so since the end of the Age of Aries and the Mystery of Golgotha in particular, we have had a two-fold development of human culture. On the one hand, with the coming-to-birth of the personal Ego, humanity became ever more equipped to grapple with the Greco-Roman worldviews in an experiential way, recreating the thoughts out of their own inner activity, rather than perceiving the thoughts as a finished objective reality approaching from “without” so to speak. As humanity felt the presence, the loneliness, of the individual Ego more and more strongly over the course of the Age of Pisces (right up into the present), the more this could occur. And so the first third of the Age of Pisces sees the full integration of Platonism into Christian, European culture; the second third of the Age of Pisces sees the full integration of Aristotelianism into Christian, European culture.

At the same time, the rite of the Eucharist splinters into several streams of Orthodoxy. Between 431-451 AD, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Church of the East split off from each other and from the main trunk of Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic Church. About 500 years later, the Eastern Orthodox Churches split off from this main trunk during the East-West Schism of 1054 AD. Another 500 years later, at the passing of the Act of Supremacy in 1534 which established the King of England as the head of the Church of England rather than the Pope, a third split from the main trunk occurred (simultaneous with the enormous fracturing of the Protestant Revolution).

So, over the first two-thirds of the Age of Pisces, more-or-less four separate Orthodoxies developed: Roman Catholicism in Europe (and eventually South America); Oriental Orthodoxy in Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East; Eastern Orthodoxy in the Slavic and Russian nations; and Anglicanism in the English speaking nations. (Needless to say, the dozens of Protestant denominations make their way into virtually the entire globe in the years since the 16th century).

And so the years 215-1655 AD, the fourth and fifth life cycles of the being Philosophia, set the stage for a flourishing of the Ego in the last third third of the Age of Pisces (1655-2375 AD) analogous to the flourishing of the astral body at the time of Plato and Aristotle. This flourishing came in the form of Goetheanism and German Idealism in the late 18th/early 19th century (equivalent of Platonism) and Anthroposophy in the late 19th/early 20th century (equivalent of Aristotelianism). And similar to Platonism and Aristotelianism thousands of years earlier, these cultural pinnacles in the experience of the individual Ego were cast to the four winds, and forgotten in the decadent materialism, rigid legalism, and suicidal technophilia of the 20th century. They require a concrete capacity that the human being has yet to fully integrate: manas consciousness, the gift of the Etheric Christ. They will not fully develop for thousands of years.

At the end of the Age of Aries, we have the progression: Platonism—Aristotelianism—Christianity. What is the equivalent in our time? Let’s take a step back, and look at the difference between cultural ages and zodiacal ages. The cultural ages, according to Rudolf Steiner, progress from: Indian epoch (7227-5067 BC) to Persian epoch (5067-2907 BC), to Egyptian epoch (2907-747 BC), to Greco-Roman epoch (747 BC – 1414 AD), to Central European epoch (1414-3574 AD, the one in which we now live). On the other hand, the zodiac ages run from the Age of Cancer (8426-6266 BC) to the Age of Gemini (6266-4106 BC), to the Age of Taurus (4106-1946 BC), to the Age of Aries (1946 BC – 215 AD), to the Age of Pisces (215-2375 AD, the one in which we now live). For more information as to why there is a lag between zodiacal age and cultural age, consult the work of Robert Powell, e.g. Hermetic Astrology vol I. 

Plato and Aristotle arose out of ancient Greek culture. They are the representative products and producers of “Greco-Roman” culture. However, Jesus Christ and Christianity, the third in the progression “Platonism—Aristotelianism—Christianity”, does not emerge from or fit into Greco-Roman culture. It is the end result of the ancient Hebrew culture. This culture was more or less at odds with the Greco-Roman culture at the time of Christ; at best, they tolerated each other. And yet the Hebrews don’t really fit properly into the ancient Egyptian cultural epoch either. They were for the most part at odds with and strangers to this culture as well. Where do they fit in?

The Hebrews were the bridge from the ancient Egyptian to the Greco-Roman cultures. They were the primary people of the Age of Aries, which bridges that gap. And the advent of Jesus Christ, the God-Man, was the fulfillment of the mission of this people and that Age.

If, in the modern time, Goetheanism and Anthroposophy (both strongly Central European impulses) are the equivalent of Platonism and Aristotelianism, where might we look for the “third term,” the culture that has brought to birth the advent of the Second Coming, the fifth sacrifice of Jesus and Christ? Both Goetheanism and Anthroposophy are representative of the fifth cultural age, the Central European epoch. But what movement or stream has been the modern equivalent of the ancient Hebrews, a kind of bridge from Greco-Roman epoch to Central European?

We can find this out quite clearly and distinctly by looking to the story of the immediate aftermath of Christ’s resurrection for his followers, particularly Lazarus and Mary Magdalene (see my article “Eternal Israel” and Estelle Isaacson’s Through the Eyes of Mary Magdalene, vol III). They are sent adrift on the Mediterranean Sea and land in Marseilles, in France. The modern equivalent of the ancient Hebrews can be found in this region of France. It is the stream running from Lazarus and Magdelene, to the events of the Grail in the Carolingian era, to the School of Chartres and the Knights Templar, to the Tarot of Marseilles, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Martinism—in a word, the French Hermetic tradition. This French spiritual stream is the main shoot of cultural development in the Age of Pisces (215-2375 AD) vs the main shoot of the Central European epoch (1414-3574 AD)—the Germanic cultures.

And so if we want to seek out the third term, the equivalent of the incarnation of Christ in the ancient Hebrew culture 2000 years ago, we can look to the French Hermetic stream of the modern time—specifically in the work Meditations on the Tarot, composed anonymously by Valentin Tomberg in the late 50’s-early 60’s of the 20th century. We can consider this work a kind of Gospel or Testament of the Etheric Christ—or perhaps better said, Epistles or Letters of the Etheric Christ.

It is in working rigorously and intensively with the Tarot of Marseilles (both Major and Minor Arcana) that we can begin to develop our manas cognition. Why is this? At the time of Christ, the Ego that had been planted by Archangel Jesus eons before came to fruition; at the same time, the seed for atman was planted, only to come to fruition at the time of the seventh sacrifice of Jesus and Christ in the Anglo-American Age. However, now at the time of Christ’s Fifth Sacrifice, it is manas cognition which comes to fruition, comes to birth in each human soul, while the seed has now been planted for buddhi, a seed which will not fully develop until the sixth sacrifice of Jesus and Christ in the Slavic-Russian Age.

Now, Christ’s buddhi, his transformed etheric body (also known as “life-spirit”) was given over to Lazarus/Christian Rosenkreuz at the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Christ’s buddhi is symbolized through the Sephiroth Tree, the Tree of Life—a Tree which bears within it 22 paths of Wisdom through 10 Sephiroth operating on 4 planes of existence. This Tree is the Hebrew language. It is the Lord’s Prayer. It is the Tarot of Marseilles—and the development of the Tarot of Marseilles have been under the guidance of Christian Rosenkreuz from the very beginning. We might say that, in particular, the Tarot of Marseilles are a living symbol of Christ’s transformed etheric body. A living symbol both represents a spiritual being or reality, and at the same time is that which it represents. When we work with the Tarot of Marseilles, we are working with Christ’s etheric body to activate our manas consciousness. This is what Valentin Tomberg has offered to us through composing Meditations on the Tarot. And this work to activate our manas consciousness will remain crucial for our cultural development for the next 2000 or so years.

It was in the 16th century that the world saw the widespread printing of the earliest decks of the Tarot of Marseilles. On the other hand, we also see the final split in Orthodoxy occurring in the 16th century, with the rise of Protestantism, and the last “branch” of Orthodoxy, the Anglican Church. But a healing also begins during this time. It is from the 16th century up through the modern age that certain of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxies begin rejoin the Catholic Church, making up what are known as the Eastern Catholic Churches. These are special churches which are under the auspices of the Catholic Church and the authority of the Pope, and yet have maintained their own particular rites (represented among the 23 Easter Catholic Churches are five liturgical rites: Alexandrian, Armenian, Byzantine, East Syriac, and West Syriac). Therefore they represent a kind of bridge between Catholicism and the other Orthodox faiths.

So we have several strands to weave together in the coming years. Just as the Orthodox Communion established at Christ’s First Coming facilitates the long-term goal of birthing the Resurrection Body (atman) of Christ in each individual human being during the Anglo-American epoch, we ought to have a rite, some ritual, which is appropriate to the Second Coming of Christ. This rite should exist with the goal of facilitating the germination and gestation of buddhi consciousness in humanity, a level of consciousness that will be able to come to birth at Christ’s appearance in the Astral Plane around the end of the 4th/beginning of the 5th millennium AD.

So first of all we have the rite. Second of all, we have the full integration of Goetheanism and Anthroposophy into all of cultural life through the agency of the Hermetically-awakened manas consciousness over the course of the next 2000 years. If the new rite is the equivalent of the Orthodox Communion, these two are the equivalent of the Neo-Platonic and Scholastic movements.

And finally, we have the continuing reformation and reunion of the Orthodox faiths. Perhaps, by the time of Christ’s third appearance/sixth sacrifice during the Slavic/Russian epoch, we can see the full integration of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxies, and the beginnings of the integration of the Anglican faith.

We will look more closely at all of this in the next section:

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