The Four-Fold Teachers Pt 2: Rudolf Steiner

To reiterate briefly:  the four aspects of the Hermetic Tradition (Mysticism, Gnosis, Sacred Magic, and Hermeticism) express themselves through the activities and biographies of the so-called Great Teachers of the 20th century. They do this, respectively, through the inner life of the teacher (Mysticism), through his or her mode and content of teaching (Gnosis), through deeds (Sacred Magic), and finally through the effect the teacher has on his or her students, through the legacy left behind (Hermeticism).

In order to make this clearer, let’s look at each Teacher in turn, making the attempt to grasp as vividly as possible these four aspects for each of them. And so first we turn our gaze to Rudolf Steiner.

Let’s recall that the progressive unfolding of the inner lives of the Great Teachers has a certain relationship to the sequence of the Major Arcana:  The Magician (Sun), The High Priestess (Saturn), The Empress (Moon), The Emperor (Jupiter), etc. Therefore, we should be able to find in the inner life of Rudolf Steiner something representative of the spiritual activity that is The Magician. What is this spiritual activity? The Magician is Mysticism. He reveals to us the nature of Intuition; of Union with the Divine. This Intuition and Union is so immediate, and so pure, that it is unmediated by the reflection of thought or discursive thinking. It is pure, living, spiritual experience that only subsequently can be gathered into conscious thought (through the spiritual activity of The High Priestess, Gnosis).


We could say that The Magician is a representative of Christ; indeed, he bears a striking resemblance in gesture to Steiner’s Representative of Humanity. He is, among the Tarot, the representative of the Sun, and by association, with the Resurrected Christ. He is, in fact, quite a perfect picture of the inner life of Rudolf Steiner:  pure freedom; the effortless union with the spiritual world, above all with the spiritual reality of the Mystery of Golgotha.

The progressive teachings given by the Great Teachers do not follow the sequence of development laid out by the Major Arcana. Rather, this second level of activity on the part of the Teachers is expressed through the sequence of Cosmic Evolution, from Ancient Saturn to future Venus. Translated into the language of the Tarot, this sequence is The High Priestess (Saturn), The Magician (Sun), The Empress (Moon), The Chariot (Mars), The Pope (Mercury), and The Lover (Venus). Can we find in the teaching of Rudolf Steiner a quality related to that of The High Priestess, of Saturn?

The quality of the High Priestess is that of completely accurate reflection, like a still lake reflecting the sky. It is the utter stillness of the lower personality which enables it to clearly bring to consciousness, as well as communicate, the reality of the intuitive experience portrayed for us by the Arcanum of the Magician. Rudolf Steiner, more than any other human being, possessed the ability to impartially translate into human language the realities of the higher worlds. To the same degree as his impartiality (the silencing of the lower personality), Rudolf Steiner possessed a thoroughness and accuracy in reporting spiritual realities, one thus far unmatched by any other.

high priestess

In fact, the very word Anthroposophy contains these two figures. Anthroposophy is Anthropos-Sophia; Anthropos refers to Man, as in the archetypal Human, Christ. This is The Magician (Mysticism). Sophia refers to Wisdom, the Goddess Wisdom specifically, rather than any kind of dry philosophy. This is The High Priestess (Gnosis). Anthroposophy, then, is Mysticism-Gnosis, or Mystery Wisdom:  the Magician and the High Priestess.

Now we come to the third level of activity of Rudolf Steiner:  his deeds. This particular realm of Steiner’s activity has been discussed from one angle in my prior articles on the 7 Miracles; now we will investigate it from another. Let’s remember that the path of Sacred Magic accomplished by the Great Teachers follows the path of the Healing Miracles of Christ through the chakras:  Moon, Venus, Mercury, Sun, etc. Translated into the imagery of the Tarot, this gives us:  The Empress (Moon), The Lover (Venus), The Pope (Mercury), The Magician (Sun), The Chariot (Mars), The Emperor (Jupiter), The High Priestess (Saturn). How were Rudolf Steiner’s deeds related to the Empress?


The Empress is the primary representative of Sacred Magic among the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Just as Rudolf Steiner was the archetypal mystic in his inner life and the archetypal gnostic in his teaching, he was also the archetypal mage in his life of will, his deeds. It seems that over the course of the last 20 years of his life (beginning particularly in 1907), every area of human endeavor was touched by this man and infused with the life of the Spirit. Architecture, painting, eurythmy, sculpture, speech, medicine, agriculture, pedagogy—each and every one of these areas became the platform upon which Sacred Magic could be performed via the agency of Rudolf Steiner.

In the Lord’s Prayer Course, Valentin Tomberg makes the following correspondences between the 7 Arts and the chakras:

Crown = Architecture

Brow = Painting

Larynx = Sculpture

Heart = Music

Solar Plexus = Dance

Sacral = Poetry

Root = Drama

The last of these, Drama, is meant in the Wagnerian sense, in which Drama is the synthesis of all of the preceding Arts. We can see that in the life of Rudolf Steiner, the attempt was made and the seed was planted for the archetypal form of Mystery Drama, in which the union of all of the Arts with the Spirit is realized.

If we now look at the last realm of activity of Rudolf Steiner, we come to his legacy and his effect on his students. The development of this last realm across the activity of the Great Teachers follows the path of the chakras from above to below, beginning with the Brow Chakra, the Jupiter Chakra. When translated into the language of the Tarot, this gives us the Hermetic correspondence of:  The Emperor (Jupiter), The Chariot (Mars), The Magician (Sun), The Pope (Mercury), The Lover (Venus), The Empress (Moon), The High Priestess (Saturn).

This sequence presents to us a different way of working with the Stages of the Passion taken by Christ. Rather than beginning with Crown=The Washing of the Feet and ending with The Moon=Resurrection, we have a sequence which integrates the reality of the descent to the Mother in Shambhala, which is only becoming clear to humanity in the present age:

Brow = Scourging

Larynx = Crowning with Thorns

Heart = Bearing of the Cross

Solar Plexus = Crucifixion

Sacral = Entombment

Root = Descent to Shambhala (reunion with the Mother)

Crown = Resurrection/Ascension (reunion with the Father)

What is significant in this sequence is that it begins in the Brow Chakra, where the human being is alone with their own effort (“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”). And this was the effect intended by Rudolf Steiner:  to encourage the student of spiritual science to strive upwards into the spiritual world by dint of an unceasing effort of the transformation of thinking, suffused with equanimity and patience.


Within the Major Arcana, Jupiter is revealed to us through the Arcanum of the Emperor. He is the representative amongst the Arcana of Hermeticism. What is Hermeticism? It is the synthesis, within a perennial philosophy, of all knowledge and experience. A perennial philosophy, i.e. a living Tradition; while it ever strives to be all encompassing, it is also an organism in development. Rather than a fixed philosophical system, it offers a way of approaching the world to discover Truth. It forms a spiral, not a closed circle. Above all, it follows the Hermetic axiom, “As above, so below,” seeking the correspondence between the spiritual above and the material below. This was the enormous legacy left by Rudolf Steiner. More than any other teacher, he has left us with a synthetic, all encompassing world-view, one that (ideally) is a living activity in meeting the spiritual and material worlds rather than a new set of extremely abstract dogma (although this is its shadow side). It is in the wrestling with the content of Anthroposophy, in our active engagement both with the inner path laid out by Rudolf Steiner as well as the outer endeavors initiated by him that we find ourselves guided to the redemption of the Brow Chakra. In light of the Scourging, this is fundamentally the inner exercise of resolving polarities of left and right, of above and below, via the ultimate Center which is Christ.

And now we can understand more clearly why and how Rudolf Steiner accomplished such a miraculous amount in one lifetime. The four levels of his activity are summed up in the first four Major Arcana of the Tarot:  The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor; or Mysticism, Gnosis, Sacred Magic, Hermeticism. These four Arcana comprise and express to us the ineffable name of God:  YHVH, Yod He Vau He. Rudolf Steiner’s life and destiny, then, were a perfect expression of the ineffable name of God, of Yahweh. Considering Rudolf Steiner’s karmic background as the individuality Moses, this is a humbling and awe-inspiring reality to ponder. It is no wonder, then, that in him we have seen the most comprehensive and inspiring spiritual teacher of the modern age:  he bears the very Name of God as his garment.


The Four-Fold Teachers

One of the great stumbling blocks to spiritual progress is that we tend to expect the Tradition to be carried forward in a rather linear way, with each successive teacher more or less a carbon copy of whomever came before (whether we consciously wish for this or not does not matter; love of ease, as Steiner often stated, is the main thoroughfare for Ahriman to do his work in our time, and we are all susceptible). The natural response to this for those who feel disenfranchised by one or the other spiritual movement is to react in completely the opposite fashion, rejecting the old for the sake of the new. The purpose of the articles on the 7 Miracles, as well as the current series of articles, is to show that a Living Tradition is maintained and grows by means of a non-linear, organic process of unfolding. We must be ready for what is coming to be as different from what has been to the same degree that blossom differs from leaf. And so we will, through the course of these articles, hopefully get to know better each of the Great Teachers of the 20th Century, and also prepare ourselves inwardly to meet what may be coming to meet us now, in the 21st century.

The series of articles on the 7 Miracles of the Etheric Christ was intended to give a broad description of the activity of the Etheric Christ, via different teachers and representatives, over the course of the 20th-22nd centuries. Primarily, this was a description of Sacred Magic:  the uniting of the human will of the teacher with the divine will of Christ in the accomplishment of a creative (i.e. miraculous) deed. The question might arise, what of the other levels of incarnation in the Hermetic School? What of Mysticism and Gnosis, which should precede Sacred Magic? What of Hermeticism, which should be its result?

If we read thoroughly and carefully through the writings of Robert Powell, we find that these questions have, at least in part, been answered. In The Most Holy Trinosophia, Robert Powell speaks at length about the three Great Teachers of the 20th century. The first, Rudolf Steiner, he describes as one who would awaken the human being to the realm of Truth via the 2 petalled lotus flower, the Brow Chakra. His successor, Valentin Tomberg, came to awaken the human being to Goodness, to Morality, via the 16 petalled lotus flower, the Larynx Chakra. Robert then goes on to describe the activity of the Novalis individuality, working completely hidden from the public, in order to inspire Love and Beauty in her pupils via the 12 petalled lotus flower, the Heart Chakra. I would be so bold (and possibly others would as well) to say that Robert is the public representative of the Novalis individuality; his entire lifework has been a deed of Sacred Magic, bowing his will to meet the will of another.

On the other hand, Robert has characterized this progression of the three Teachers as a movement from Gnosis (Steiner) to Mysticism (Tomberg) and then to Sacred Magic (Novalis). Why in this order? Isn’t the Tetragrammaton YHVH, Mysticism then Gnosis, Sacred Magic, and Hermeticism (where Yod=Mysticism, He=Gnosis, Vau=Magic, and He=Hermeticism; see Meditations on the Tarot)? The answer to this question will become clear as we move further into these articles.

Based on the above, the following becomes clear:  first of all, the movement from one Teacher to the next should awaken in their students the chakras, beginning with the Brow Chakra and moving downward. In this, we are dealing primarily with the effect of the Teacher and his or her legacy; this is the realm of Hermeticism, the School that is established in the wake of the establishment of a living tradition.

Second of all, the movement through the 7 Miracles of the Etheric Christ is a movement, we could say, in the opposite direction. Whereas the stream of Hermeticism follows the stream of the Stages of the Passion (moving downward through the chakras), the miracles follow the path of the original healing miracles of Christ:  upward through the chakras, beginning with the Root Chakra. This is the realm of Sacred Magic, the creative deeds performed by these successive teachers in union with the divine will.

And what of the designation of Steiner as a Gnostic Teacher, Tomberg as a Mystic Teacher, and Novalis (inspiring the work of Robert Powell) as a Sacred Magical Teacher? While there are other explanations for Gnosis to precede Mysticism in this case (see Tomberg’s Lord’s Prayer Course, as well as Robert Powell’s Cultivating Inner Radiance), for our purposes we will have to look to the Tarot to find the explanation. The second Arcanum, The High Priestess, is the representative of Gnosis. The first, The Magician, is that of Mysticism. And the third, The Empress, is that of Sacred Magic. According to Robert Powell, each card in the Major Arcana has its astrological correspondence. For the High Priestess, it is Saturn; for The Magician, the Sun, and for the Empress, the Moon.

This sequence is familiar, isn’t it? Saturn, Sun, Moon:  these are the first 3 stages of Cosmic Evolution, the first 3 Pillars of the Temple of Sophia. This then is the progression taken in the realm of Gnosis by the successive Teachers, the path of Cosmic Evolution. This is also the path through the chakras of the Resurrected Christ, as described in Cultivating Inner Radiance by Robert Powell.

Therefore we can see that the expression of Hermeticism for each of the Great Teachers is found in their effect on their pupils, their legacies. The expression of Sacred Magic for each of the Great Teachers is found in their deeds, in their life of will and creativity. And the expression of Gnosis (Knowledge) for each of the Great Teachers is found in the quality of the particular teaching, the type of knowledge they have been inspired to share.

What then of the first step on the Hermetic path, Mysticism? The Yod of the Divine Name YHVH? This remains a mystery to us. After having lived with this question for some time, the answer that appears correct to me is that, first of all, Mysticism is expressed particularly by the inner character of each of the Great Teachers. So we have a progression moving from within to without: Mysticism=Inner Character; Gnosis=Teaching; Sacred Magic=Deeds; Hermeticism=Effect and Legacy. Again, after having lived with this picture for some time, it seems clear to me that the progressive nature of the inner life of each of the Great Teachers follows the path of the Major Arcana themselves. Here are the first 7 Arcana, their astrological correspondences, and a quality expressive of their being:

The Magician = The Sun = Mysticism

The High Priestess = Saturn = Gnosis

The Empress = The Moon = Sacred Magic

The Emperor = Jupiter = Hermeticism

The Pope = Mercury = Love of God

The Lover = Venus = Love of Neighbor

The Chariot = Mars = Self-Mastery

So we could say the Hermetic Path through the chakras (Sun, Saturn, Moon, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Mars) shows us the progressive development of the Mystical quality in the successive Great Teachers.

At this point, this is all rather abstract. In the next few sections, we will look more closely at each of the Great Teachers in order to see more clearly how each of these 4 realms has come to expression in their lives. More or less one could say that all of this will be an elaboration of the maxim given by Valentin Tomberg in the Lord’s Prayer Course as to the nature of succession in a Living Tradition:  “May the will of the predecessor become the thought of the successor, and may the thought of the predecessor become the will of the successor.”

Death and Rebirth in the USA

In my last series of articles (“The Seven Miracles”), I made the observation that the time period from 2028-2040 would be the ideal time for the 4th Miracle of the Etheric Christ to come to fruition. This miracle would be analogous to the Feeding of the Five Thousand, and would be the organic metamorphosis following upon the founding of the Michael School (within the vessel of the General Anthroposophical Society), the Christ School (within the vessel of Meditations on the Tarot), and the Sophia School (within the vessel of the Sophia Foundation).

However, in an earlier series of articles (“The Cosmic Communion of Fish”), I observed that the year 2018 might be the beginning of a time period analogous to that of the 40 days the Risen Christ was with his disciples after the Resurrection, following up on a period analogous to the first five Stages of the Passion (1879-1928) and a period analogous to the sixth stage, that of Entombment (1928-2018).  I also made the observation that just as there was confusion, fear, and anxiety around the phenomenon of the empty tomb subsequent to Christ’s Resurrection, there may be a similar mood on a wider scale next year.

The question may arise as to whether there is a connection between the year 2018 and the years from 2028-2040, and if so, what that connection is. In fact, it is my observation that these are not two isolated periods; that there is a bridge connecting the two; and that both time periods point in the direction of a third:  that of the year 2047, which according to Robert Powell is the end of a Cosmic 40 Days of Temptation, in which every day of the life of Christ has transformed into one Saturn year of 29.46 years. From this perspective, the entire time period from 869 AD through 2047 AD is analogous to 40 Days of Temptation, with 2018-2047 marking the last “day.”

Before we can make sense of the connection between the three time periods 2018 — 2028-40 — 2047, we will have to look more closely at the three prior “days” of temptation, those during which the three temptations recorded in the Gospels occurred on a global scale for humanity. From 1929-1959, humanity was faced with the temptation of the will to power, with Lucifer offering all the kingdoms of the world at the price of us worshipping him. From 1959-1988, both Lucifer and Ahriman approached with the temptation to throw ourselves down from the pinnacle, to rely on blind instinct rather than conscience. Finally, from 1988-2018, the temptation proceeding from Ahriman has been to turn stones into bread, to create a completely technological/materialistic culture.

The three temptations involved a roving spotlight, one that first cast its focus onto Middle Europe (particularly Germany), then onto the USSR, and finally onto the USA. We can see a progression from the current and into the future cultural epochs spoken of by Rudolf Steiner and others: the 5th (European – Age of Pisces), 6th (Slavic – Age of Aquarius) and 7th (American – Age of Capricorn) cultural epochs.

During the first temptation, it was primarily a question of the world at large under threat from Germany. The crumbling of the world situation occurred primarily in the first 4 years of the “day” of temptation (1929-1933). This time period saw both the Great Depression as well as the rise of Adolf Hitler to power. The threat reached a fever pitch and a turning point 10-16 years into the “day” (1939-1945), the time period during which World War II was fought. Finally, it was during the shift into the next “day” of temptation that cultural breakdown and punishment of Germany took place, primarily on the part of the USSR in the splitting of Germany into East and West and the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

We see here that now Germany (and the rest of Europe) experienced something from 1959-1963 akin to what the world at large experienced from 1929-1933. Rather than Fascist Europe threatening the whole world, Communist Russia became the threat to a broken Germany. And once again, 10-16 years into this tension between Europe and Russia, a turning point was reached: from the years 1969-1974, the Prime Minister of Germany was Willy Brandt, whose “Ostpolitik” aimed at relieving tensions between East and West Germany. (There are of course other geopolitical events happening parallel to these, reflecting the same core shift. For example, the election and assassination of John F. Kennedy between 1959-1963 on the one hand, and on the other the Nixon administration and its failure in Vietnam between 1969-1974).

So we can see that between 1929-1959, the entire globe went through a kind of death and renewal process via the threat emanating from Germany. Subsequently Germany herself experienced a death and renewal via the split into two pieces and the construction of the Berlin Wall. The first four years of the next day of temptation (1988-1992) saw the renewal of Germany come to a certain level of fruition:  as Communism began to lose its grip as a cultural impulse in the USSR, the Berlin Wall came down, and Germany was once again a whole nation.

Now it was Russia’s turn to die. Between 1988-1992, there were massive upheavals in the USSR; the entire country experienced a breakdown and descent into chaos and poverty. This was brought about primarily through the covert operations of the USA in their attempts to destabilize the USSR as a world power and a threat to global hegemony. Once again, 10-16 years into this “day” of temptation (from 1998-2004) a turning point was reached. With the election of Vladimir Putin to the Presidency in the year 2000, Russia became a new nation. In the time since he was first elected President, Putin has directed and facilitated a miraculous turn around of his culture.

And now where do we stand, here at the threshold to the last “day” of temptation, when Angels are meant to come and minister to us as they did to Christ on the 40th day? Is the USA really getting ready to have nuclear war with Russia? Is the world completely doomed?

This was my fear for quite some time, but now I see it differently. The Resurrection event alluded to above, one that will leave confusion and fear in its wake for a time, will primarily be the Resurrection of Russia coming to its fruition, the time period 1988-2018 being analogous for Russia what 1959-1988 was for Germany. The recent sanctions on Russia on the part of the USA will have the unintended consequence of welding Russia and China further together, and driving the EU into their waiting arms. In fact, the USA may have inadvertently written sanctions against themselves. On the other hand, the time from 2018-2022, which will be a resurrection for Russia, is also a time of the death of the American Empire. Whatever and whoever Donald Trump is on the level of personality, it is clear what his task in the cosmic drama is:  the demolition man. It is in the destiny of America at this moment in time that all of the false systems, ideology, and culture that we have cultivated for the last 70 years will be exposed for what it truly is. The phenomenon of Trump is the unveiling of what has been there all along, what needs to come to the light of day and evaporate. His complete lack of competence will only more quickly dissolve the utterly inadequate structures upon which the Empire has been built.

This is a tragic time for America; tragic to the same degree 1929-1933 was for the world, as 1959-1963 was for Germany, and as 1988-1992 was for the USSR. But just as when one has an upset stomach, one can only avoid purging for so long, so the United States has reached the end of its tether. At the same time, this is a glorious time for the rest of the world, a time during which the unilateral hegemony of the USA can potentially give way to the more multilateral and cooperative approach of a nation like Russia.

As tragic as this time period is for the USA, however, it bears within it the seed of a great hope. We can look forward to the time 10-16 years into this “day” of temptation as a turning point, a time when renewal might begin to occur. This falls on the years 2028-2034, which also happens to fall during the time in which the 4th Miracle of the Etheric Christ has the opportunity to unfold (2028-2040). This time period also bears the 2000th anniversary of the three and a half year ministry of Christ, from 29-33 AD. It may be that during this time period, the American people will be given the opportunity to find the spiritual impulses which have been buried under the atrocities committed by Empire, the original spiritual impulses which lay behind the founding of many Utopian communities early on in America’s history.  Many of these found their place in Pennsylvania, such as the Quakers in Penn’s Woods, the Society of the Woman in the Wilderness (who settled in Germantown, PA), the Ephrata Cloister in Lancaster, PA, the Harmony Society (who settled in Butler County, PA), and the Moravian Brotherhood, a Pietist movement that settled in Bethlehem, PA. One could also look to the founding of places like New London, Connecticut; John Winthrop, Jr., the founder of New London, based his life around the resurgent Rosicrucianism and alchemy of the 17th century. In fact, all of the Utopian communities above can trace much of their origin back to the Hermetic stream of Jakob Boehme.

The uniting threads of these communities, the founding impulses of a true America, consist in 1) the intention to infuse traditional Christianity with the forces of the Heart, 2) an appreciation of the Divine Feminine, 3) an eye for the spiritual in Nature (Pan-en-theism), and 4) a direct and unmediated experience of the spiritual world (specifically, Christ). We could see modern forms of such communities in this country in the Camphill Movement as well as the Sophia Foundation.

As the Cosmic Days of Temptation finally come to a close in 2047, we may find a very different arrangement of world leadership compared to what we now experience. And we can make it our hope and intention that we will find a completely reformed American culture in the United States; one that is ready to bear a folk-soul. Valentin Tomberg, in his Lord’s Prayer Course, makes the observation that the USA does not have a folk-soul; it suffers the tension between a Luciferic (backward) Archai and an Ahrimanic elemental. What if the long and difficult road of redemption we are to take in America over the course of the next 30 years is meant to overcome these two opposing forces and midwife the birth of our folk-soul, Columbia?

The year 2047 will mark the time that the turning point reached between 2028-2034 (the 4th Miracle) can fully flower, placing America back on its feet as a member of the world community. And so we have come to our bridge:

2018 — The beginning of the 40th Cosmic Day of Temptation; the Resurrection event of the Grail Stream; full re-emergence of Russia, demise of American Empire

2028-2034 — The 4th Miracle of the Etheric Christ; The beginning of American Reform

2047 – The end of 40 Days in the Wilderness; America reborn, birth of Columbia.

The Seven Miracles (Addendum)

A friend requested a chart outlining directly the connection between the Major Arcana of the Tarot and Christ’s movement through the Hierarchies and Sub-earthly spheres. She inspired me to write this up as a sort of guide to the preceding article.


The above diagram is helpful in envisioning the progression of the divine name YHVH through the 22 Major Arcana. Each triangle begins at the top with Yod, down to the left with the first Hey, over to the right with Vau, and up into the middle with the second Hey. This second Hey becomes the Yod, the pinnacle of the subsequent triangle.

This results in the creation of three columns, which in the above example are named passive, active, and neutral.  I prefer to call them the Abel pillar (the left), the Seth pillar (middle) and the Cain pillar (the right). If we study all of the cards in the Abel pillar, we see harmony, peace and beauty abound. This pillar calls to mind the unfallen aspect of humanity, the Nathan Jesus and Nathan Mary. As a pillar of gnosis, it remains above, pure — it never really comes to earth.

On the other hand, the Cain pillar is like a descent into the depths.  The images become ever darker until at the last moment (The Fool), we break through to the other side.  This pillar is that of sacred magic, and we can see that this is deeply tied up with the confrontation with Evil. Each of the “times of fulfillment” in my description of the miracles of the Etheric Christ occurs under the sign of one of these Arcana.

The middle pillar, that of Seth, bridges the gap between the two.  Since it is both mysticism and hermeticism at work here, the earthly and the heavenly are always in balance.  The cards here follow the path of the Rosicrucian mantra “Ex Deo Nascimur” (the first card, The Magician), “In Christo Morimur” (the middle cards, The Wheel of Fortune and Death), and “Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus” (the last card, The World):  birth, death, resurrection.

Keeping the above in mind, the following is a sort of illustrated summary to contribute to an understanding of what was laid out in the three parts of “The Seven Miracles.”


Descent of Christ through the sphere of the Archai from 1896 through 1908:  Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having a great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. The stage is set for the conflict between good and evil. Rudolf Steiner begins his esoteric work. The transition into the Changing of Water into Wine.

high priestess

Descent of Christ through the sphere of Archangels, 1908-1920:  Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. Outbreak of WWI, Bolshevism.  The seven pillars of Wisdom:  stages of Cosmic Evolution, Christian-Rosicrucian path of initiation, the first Goetheanum. The stage of preparation for the Changing of Water into Wine.


Descent of Christ through the sphere of Angels, 1920-1932:  But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. The lull between two world wars; humanity enters the 1st Temptation in the Wilderness. Fulfillment of the 1st Miracle:  the School of Michael. This time period culminates in Christ’s Etheric return. The Empress is the Moon (related to the 1st Miracle).


Descent of Christ through the Mineral Earth/Human realm, 1932-1945:  So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. World War II.  The coming of the Emperor, Tomberg, and his rejection.  Transition into the Healing of the Nobleman’s Son.


Descent of Christ through the Fluid Earth, 1945-1957:  But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. The shell of the Earth is broken; earth forces (destructive technology) come to the aid of the woman, ending the war. Tomberg joins the Catholic Church. Preparation for the Healing of the Nobleman’s Son.


Descent of Christ through the Air Earth, 1957-1968:  And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Escalation of the Cold War; humanity enters the 2nd Temptation. Fulfillment of the 2nd Miracle:  Meditations on the Tarot, opening of the Christ School. The Lover is Venus (related to the 2nd Miracle).


Descent of Christ through the Form Earth, 1968-1980:  Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Vietnam War; rise of USA as a global war machine; lifting of the gold standard. The youth of the vessel for Ahriman. Transition into the Healing of the Paralyzed Man. Robert Powell must achieve Self-Mastery in order to bear karmic clairvoyance (see Hermetic Astrology Vol I).


Descent of Christ through the Fruit Earth, 1980-1992:  Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the USA achieves absolute global hegemony. Humanity enters the 3rd Temptation. The early career of the vessel for Ahriman. Preparation for the Healing of the Paralyzed Man:  Justice as Sophia, Queen of Heaven. Her Justice is the Law of Karma; Robert Powell elaborates the laws of karma and reincarnation.


Descent of Christ through the Fire Earth, 1992-2004:  And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. The mortal wound of September 11, 2001; initiation of endless war. Fulfillment of the 3rd Miracle:  the School of Sophia. The Hermit=Hermes=Mercury, which is connected to the 3rd Miracle.


Descent of Christ through the Earth Mirror, 2004-2016:  So they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” The time of the rulership of Ahriman.  The Second Fall of humanity.  The time of transition into the Feeding of the 5000.  The incarnation of Kalki Avatar into the Maitreya Bodhisattva, July 26, 2014.


Descent of Christ through the Divisive Layer, 2016-2028:  And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. The time in which we are now; blasphemies abound.  The last Day of Temptation (megalomania).  Preparation for the Feeding of the 5000 through the cultivation of Force.


Descent of Christ into the Earth’s Core, to the Mother, 2028-2040:  Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. Fulfillment of the 4th Miracle:  uniting the 3 Schools. The twelve streams radiating from the Heart.


Christ ascends from the Earth Core, 2040-2052:  It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. The end of the Temptation in the Wilderness. Transition into the Walking on Water.


Christ ascends through the Divisive Layer, 2052-2063:  All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Preparation for the Walking on Water.

the devil

Christ ascends through the Earth Mirror, 2063-2075:  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. Fulfillment of the 5th Miracle. The Devil is Pluto, a higher octave of Mars, which is related to the 5th Miracle.


Christ ascends through the Fire Earth, 2075-2087:  He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Transition into the Healing of the Man Born Blind.


Christ ascends through the Fruit Earth, 2087-2099:  Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. The time of Sorath, of technocracy/the singularity.  Preparation for the Healing of the Man Born Blind.


Christ ascends through the Form Earth, 2099-2111:  And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. Fulfillment of the 6th Miracle.  This Arcanum deals with the cultivation of Daath (intuition), plunging into the darkness of the unknown and shedding light upon it.


Christ ascends through the Air Earth, 2111-2123:  He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. Transition into the Raising of Lazarus from the Dead.


Christ ascends through the Fluid Earth, 2123-2135:  And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. Christ breaks through the crust of the Earth in 2135. Preparation for the Raising of Lazarus.


Christ ascends through the Mineral Earth/Human Sphere, 2035-2045:  He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. Fulfillment of the 7th Miracle. When we follow the path of the Arcana as the life cycle of the human being (to be explored in another article), The Fool walks through the Saturn Sphere after death.  Saturn is connected to the 7th Miracle.


Christ ascends to the Angelic Sphere (the Etheric), 2145-2157:  He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads… The ultimate accomplishment of complete technocratic dominance/mineralization of the spirit.  The transition out of the time of the Miracles of the Second Coming.  Seven Churches operating as one body in opposition to the Kingdom of Antichrist (Technocracy).











The Seven Miracles (Part 3)

Before we take a look at the most recent period of Christ’s descent through the sub-earthly spheres, we should refresh ourselves on Tomberg’s characterization of the fourth miracle of Christ, the Feeding of the 5000:

“The conversion of the senses brought about by the Christ impulse is shown in the sign of the feeding of the five thousand.  It shows how hungry senses can become productive senses.  After being blessed, the five loaves and two fish produced twelve baskets full of fragments; likewise, the five day senses and the two twilight senses having received the Christ impulse and taken it into the heart, lead to twelve currents that will flow from the heart and affect the whole sensory system.  This sign deals mainly with the mystery of the human heart, which can receive the Christ impulse from without, and, as a result, begin to radiate through all twelve senses.”

The above quote encapsulates one of the central purposes in writing this article:  to share a guiding image as we head into the future.  It is one thing to work out of “pure faith,” hoping that our inspirations are true, without certainty of whether what we are doing is right or not. It is another thing altogether to rely completely on the instruction and guidance of an authority.  In the first scenario, one has no security; in the second, one has no freedom. The blessing of a guiding image is that it falls into neither trap. It offers a centralizing focus to those who take it up, while leaving them in freedom to be inspired by it in their own individual way.

For me, this guiding image carries a great deal densely packed within it.  Tomberg emphasizes the centrality of the spiritualization of the senses. Above and beyond this, the spiritualization of nourishment and economy are surely key features. Of particular note, however, is the presence of the masses of people; no other miracle gives record of many people present (possibly the Wedding at Cana and the Raising of Lazarus), and certainly not as many as 5000. This seems to indicate the question of spiritual community on the one hand, and on the other indicates the collaborative nature of this miracle. Each of these areas of potential sacred magic (food, economy, sensory content, community) are in dire need of spiritual reformation in our time. Can’t we hear our age crying out for the healing this miracle offers?

From another aspect we can observe how the latter half of the times of transition (1902-1908; 1939-1945; 1974-1980) planted the seeds for the miracle to come; each period of transition is sharply divided in the middle. In this light, how can we look at the latter half of Christ’s descent through the Earth Mirror from July 23, 2004 through June 3, 2016? Before focusing on the activity of Robert Powell during this time period, we should engage in a more reflective exercise. Robert Powell has to a certain degree prophesied the coming of his successor, the Maitreya Boddhisatva, whose public activity began in 2014. Surely it would be desirable for the sake of envisioning the coming fourth miracle to know the nature of this individual’s activity during this time period. That being said, it may be of even greater value to remember that the Maitreya is not just an individual, but a source of great inspiration for different groups of people. Indeed, I am quite certain that for anyone who has gotten this far in reading this article, the Maitreya is an inspiration in the endeavors you have taken up in your life. Rather than speculating on what the Maitreya might be doing, we should ask ourselves, “What has changed for me in the last six or seven years? What new strivings, impulses and initiatives have begun or come to fruition?” Keeping in mind the essentially collaborative nature of the fourth miracle, we can be sure that whatever new activities we have engaged in are part of the soil in which this miracle will grow.

For myself, this time period (2011 onward) brought me into connection with the Camphill stream. It is remarkable how applicable the imagery of the fourth miracle is to the striving in a Camphill:  feeding the senses, redeeming agriculture, discovering a new form of economy, and building a truly collaborative community. It has become my conviction that the “Shepherd Stream” of the Maitreya includes Kaspar Hauser and the Camphill movement. The question I’ve been living with increasingly concerns how the impulses of the Maitreya could be woven consciously into the fabric of Camphill, and whether this would open up the possibility for an infusion of new life and new forms. Again, I feel certain that what is true for me is true for many reading this article:  in some way that which you have each been engaged with over the past 7 years can be laid on the altar of preparation for the fourth miracle. The time for a central authority upon which the burden of initiative of a spiritual group rests (e.g. Rudolf Steiner) is over.  The time has come for us to work from the periphery, as pillars in an Etheric Temple, into the center of our mutual striving.

This most recent time period of transition from 2004-2016, again one of mysticism, brought with it several strong experiences of the Christ:  for Robert Powell himself (as he describes in the introduction to Cultivating Inner Radiance) as well as for modern seers such as Judith von Halle and Estelle Isaacson.  In fact, when it comes to these two latter individuals, are they not a perfect example of forerunners for the moral impressions described above? Over the course of this time period, Judith von Halle has produced over 20 volumes, at least half of which have to do with her sense impressions from the time of Christ.  Estelle Isaacson’s work is more recent, falling during the latter half of the time of transition; she too, describes her sense impressions from the time of Christ as well as that of Parzival.

This special time period from 2010-2016 (the latter half of the transition emphasized above) shows an outpouring of new impulses from Robert Powell:  the unveiling of the Mysteries of Evil in our time; the announcement of the baptismal event of Kalki Avatar in 2014; and the science of Astrogeographia (the 12 signs of the zodiac shaping Mother Earth is another excellent derivation of the Feeding of the 5000). Possibly of greatest significance, he has cultivated several new ways of working with eurythmy:  the Inner Radiance practice, the Grail Knight’s practice, and the (forthcoming) Path to Shambhala.  Indeed, this time period fell under the sign of the Wheel of Fortune (marking this as a time of the Second Fall). Now Christ is descending (from June 3, 2016 through April 14, 2028) through the 8th sub-earthly sphere, the so-called Divisive Layer.  We are now under the sign of the 11th Arcanum, Force.  She is Purity, she is Virginal, Unfallen Nature. It is the Force of Purity with which we adorn ourselves when we put on the Resurrection Body through a practice like Inner Radiance or the Path to Shambhala. It is this same Force that can lead to a transformation of the senses. Deepening our relationship to these practices is crucial to our work at the present time.

With the incredible timing that seems to be second nature to him, Robert Powell remarkably enough signified in quite a conscious way that the time of transition was finished, and that we were entering a time of preparation for the fourth miracle.  In April of 2016, he chose to step back from many of the activities he had led or co-led as part of the Sophia Foundation of North America, passing the leadership roles of these different initiatives to others over the course of 2016-17 (see for the full letter explaining his decision).

Our task in light of Robert Powell’s shift in his activities is twofold:  on the one hand, to carry forward that which has been established in the aftermath of the third miracle (just as Christian Hermeticism and Anthroposophy have been maintained in the time since their flowering).  On the other hand, we must seek in the activities and teachings brought forth through Robert Powell and Estelle Isaacson since 2010 for our sources of inspiration in terms of this new phase of preparation for the fourth miracle.  Over and above this, it would be of great benefit to contemplate Valentin Tomberg’s description of the fourth miracle in Christ and Sophia, to the point that it has become a matter not just of memorization, but of heart and will, a driving force in our various initiatives.

With the threefold inspiration of Tomberg’s meditations, the work of Powell and Isaacson, and our own individual strivings over the past 7 years, we can work from the periphery to the center in the accomplishment of the fourth miracle.  This has the possibility of occurring between April 14, 2028 and February 24, 2040 (Christ’s passage into the Earth Core). By the end of this time period, Christ will have completely re-opened the Path to Shambhala, to the lost Paradise of the Mother. This time period falls under the sign of the 12th Arcanum, the Hanged Man — he who has united the 12 impulses streaming from the zodiac into his radiant heart, the burning heart of the Road to Emmaus.

The final miracle (the Raising of Lazarus) will begin to be accomplished starting on January 20, 2135, a date whose significance was emphasized by Robert Powell in his article “The Descent of Christ” in the Journal for Star Wisdom 2017 as a time when “Christ’s ‘I’ will reunite with his ether body, an event analogous in importance to the resurrection on Easter Sunday morning in AD 33.” By 2157, Christ and humanity will have transitioned out of the time of miracles (at least in this particular form of them; one mustn’t limit the miracles accomplished by the Christ!). This time period from 2135 through 2157 will fall under the signs of The Fool and The World:  Christ and Sophia.

Why is this time period (1896-2157) of such importance in terms of the accomplishment of the seven miracles? This cannot be an arbitrary decision on the part of the spiritual leadership of humanity. One reason has to do with the activity of the forces of opposition, the Hierarchies of the Left.  Their activity during this time period is described in the 12th and 13th chapter of the Book of Revelation; we could imagine the following 22 verses as counterparts to the 22 Jupiter returns we have been contemplating. Sacred Magic, the miraculous, is the only force that can dismantle what is described here.  May the gravity of this passage permeate our hearts, and steel our will to aid in the accomplishment of the “miracles of eternity:”

“‘12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.’ 13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

13 The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?’

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Whoever has ears, let them hear. 10 ‘If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.’ This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. 

11 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads…”



The Seven Miracles (Part 2)

In the previous section we looked at the unfolding of the first two miracles of the Etheric Christ.  This brings us to the third miracle.  Tomberg characterizes this miracle as extending even further into the past than the second miracle (which healed the hereditary past).  This miracle heals the karmic past of humanity.  Christ comes to a paralyzed man who has been waiting 38 years to be healed by activity of the Angel stirring water in the star shaped Pool of Bethesda.  He heals this man, restoring movement to his limbs, by giving a call to the man’s conscience, healing “the dead” within him (his karmic history that lay at the root of his physical malady).

Once again, we are given an image-word that perfectly expresses the task and mission of Robert Powell over the past 43 years.  The two largest pieces of Powell’s life work have been astrological karma research and eurythmy as a spiritual path.  “Rise!  Take up thy bed, and walk” — align yourself with the stars above, take up your karmic burden, and move into the etheric realm.  The Etheric Christ, via Novalis, via Robert Powell has accomplished the task of transforming human karma by realigning it with the stars (the physical expression of the Hierarchies).  He has accomplished the miracle of re-establishing our lost mobility, a mobility that extends into the etheric realm through eurythmy, creating the possibility of making a connection with the Etheric Christ.

Between 1994 and the year 2000, Robert Powell founded both the Sophia Foundation and the School of Choreocosmos.  These organizations in particular are the focal point of the third miracle of the Etheric Christ.

In the 1920’s, the School of Archangel Michael.  In the 1960’s, the School of Christ.  In the 1990’s, the School of Sophia.  These are not rivals, they are portions of a single organism, head, heart and limbs.  These Schools were founded about 35-36 years apart from each other.  We might wonder, is there a specific cosmic rhythm to the unfolding of the miracles?

The unfolding of the miracles follows the rhythm of Christ’s ego.  I will not lay out the details of this rhythm here, but refer the reader to the Journal for Star Wisdom 2017, in which Robert Powell goes into some detail around this rhythm, which is that of the Jupiter Return.  From 1861 through 1932, Jupiter’s ingress into Leo marked the descent into a new sphere.  Since 1945, it has been the ingress into Virgo marking the transition.

The miracles play themselves out over the course of 22 of these Jupiter returns, 22 phases related to the 22 Arcana of the Tarot.  Here we will remind ourselves of the divine Name YHVH as described in Meditations on the Tarot. The first letter of the divine Name is Yod, which is Mysticism (the inner experience of the divine).  The second letter, Hey, is Gnosis (the experience brought to consciousness).  The third letter, Vau, is Sacred Magic (human will ignited by divine will to accomplish a deed).  The fourth letter, the second Hey, is Hermeticism, the summary of the prior three in a schooling or teaching.

These four letters repeat themselves over and over again in the 22 Major Arcana, the second Hey always becoming the Yod of the next Name:

Yod = Magician

Hey = High Priestess

Vau = Empress

Hey = Emperor

Yod = Emperor

Hey = Pope

Vau = Lover

Hey = Chariot

And so on. So we see that while the Emperor (Hermeticism) is the ultimate goal of the first three Arcana (Mysticism, Gnosis, Magic), he is also the mystical origin of the next Name (Obedience, Poverty, Chastity, Self-Mastery).  The same holds true for The Chariot, Wheel of Fortune, Death, Tower of Destruction, and The Sun.

The same principle is at work throughout the 22 Jupiter cycles in question for the accomplishment of Christ’s miracles.  The first four are:

September 21, 1896 – August 4, 1908 (Sphere of Archai)

August 4, 1908 – June 15, 1920 (Sphere of Archangels)

June 15, 1920 – April 25, 1932 (Sphere of Angels)

April 25, 1932 – April 1, 1945 (Sphere of Man/Mineral Earth)

The first phase, from 1896-1908, was a time of mystical experience, when Rudolf Steiner first encountered the Mystery of Golgotha in 1899.  Gradually, from 1902 onwards, his mystical experience came to expression in his lectures to the Theosophical Society.  This time period transitioned mankind into the time of miracles.

The second phase, from 1908-1920, was a time of gnosis.  That which had been the inner experience of Steiner (i.e. the Presence of Christ) became his teaching.  This time period saw not only his greatly increased focus on the Gospels and the imminent Second Coming, but of separating from the Theosophical Society to form the Anthroposophical Society, primarily on the grounds that Christ and Christianity were not understood at all correctly by the Theosophists.  This was a time of preparation for the coming miracle.

The third phase, from 1920-1932, was the time of sacred magic, in other words of a miracle.  This was the time of the burning of the Goetheanum, the founding of both the General Anthroposophical Society and the School of Michael, the laying of the Foundation Stone Meditation, the construction of the second Goetheanum, and ultimately the appearance of Christ in the Etheric and his proclaimer, the Maitreya Boddhisatva.  This was a time of fulfillment in terms of the first miracle. The first miracle falls under the sign of the 3rd Arcanum, The Empress. This image is strongly related to the Moon, and it is the Root Chakra, the Lunar Chakra that is especially related to the first miracle.

The phases of transition, preparation, and fulfillment continue to unfold in the same fashion.  The time period from 1932-1945 was again a time of transition; a time of hermeticism in terms of Anthroposophy, yet mysticism in terms of the work of Valentin Tomberg.  Anthroposophy became increasingly institutionalized in the wake of Steiner’s passing and the threat of World War II, reaching a kind of peak in April 1935 during the cataclysmic split in the society and resultant expulsion of many prominent members.  It had now established itself as a tradition in its own right.

On the other hand, for Valentin Tomberg this was a time of Mysticism.  His experience of the Etheric Christ occurred between 1932/33.  His writings from 1933 through 1943 display a remarkable depth of inner experience during this time period.  In October of 1938, however, after increasing friction with the Society, he withdrew his membership. By 1940, he had ceased his Anthroposophical work altogether; in 1943 he ceased his group esoteric work on the Lord’s Prayer; and in 1944 he began his work on law and jurisprudence.

The next time period in the rhythm of Christ’s descent through the sub-earthly spheres was from April 1, 1945 through February 10, 1957 (the Fluid Earth).  This was Tomberg’s time of preparation.  By the summer of 1945 he was officially a member of the Catholic Church.  He spent these years writing his works on jurisprudence (published in 1946 and 1947), entering ever more deeply into Catholicism, and privately cultivating what would in 2012 become the Grail Knight’s Practice:  a series of complex mantra distilling the entirety of his course on the Lord’s Prayer.

All of these separate pieces are woven into a magnificent tapestry in the next time period, from February 10, 1957 through December 21, 1968 (the Air Earth).  It was almost exactly during this time period (from Advent 1957 through May 1967) that Tomberg wrote his 22 Letter-Meditations on the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Once again it is a period of fulfillment, of accomplishing a deed of sacred magic (the second miracle).  This time period falls under the sign of the 6th Arcanum, The Lover, which is corresponds to the planet Venus.  Venus is the ruler of the Sacral Chakra, with which the second miracle is particularly related.

Christ’s passage through the Form Earth from December 21, 1968 through November 1, 1980 was again a time of transition.  During the first four years of this time, Tomberg wrote the meditations contained in the book Lazarus, Come Forth! He crossed the threshold on February 24, 1973.  Robert Powell first became aware of Anthroposophy and Valentin Tomberg between 1972-73.  He then spent the next 7 years working with Willi Sucher in the realm of astrosophy, translating Meditations on the Tarot into English, and training to be a eurythmist in Dornach.  It was in 1978 that he had a spiritual encounter with Rudolf Steiner, in which he was given the task of fleshing out the science of karma and reincarnation in astrosophical terms.

From 1980 through September 11, 1992, Christ passed through the Fruit Earth, and Robert Powell began the time of preparation for the third miracle. The gnosis that was the fruit of his mystical encounter with Rudolf Steiner in 1978 is contained in his three volumes on Hermetic Astrology, published between 1987 and 1991.  It was also during this time period that his teaching concerning the various rhythms of Christ’s bodies as well as that of the three teachers of the 20th century came to light (to both of which this article is indebted).

The third miracle occurred over the course of Christ’s passage through the Fire Earth, from 1992 through July 23, 2004.  The Sophia Foundation was founded on New Year’s Eve, 1994.  The School of Choreocosmos was founded in 2000.  A great variety of sacred practices, movements and ceremonies dedicated to Sophia and the Etheric Christ unfolded during this time period.  This time falls under the sign of the 9th Arcanum, The Hermit.  The Hermit is related to The Archer, Sagittarius, but is also clearly an image of Hermes Trismegistus.  Hermes is another name for Mercury, and it is the Mercury Chakra in the solar plexus that is related to the third miracle.

In the next section, we will look at the transition period recently passed through.  We will then cast our gaze imaginatively into the coming time, and see what guiding images can be offered through the perspective adopted in this article.


The Seven Miracles (Part 1)

That which was is as that which will be, and that which will be is as that which was, to accomplish the miracles of eternity. – Meditations on the Tarot, p. 13

Those of my readers (and I feel there are at least a few of you) who are familiar with the works of Valentin Tomberg and Robert Powell will likely be aware of a perspective that has developed from the research and experience of these two spiritual teachers.  This perspective describes a line of transmission, from Rudolf Steiner to his successor, Valentin Tomberg, and from Tomberg to his successor, the Novalis individuality — an anonymous woman acting as the spiritual inspiration for Robert Powell in particular, but a number of other modern spiritual teachers as well.

For the past 8 years or so, I have taken this up as one of my foundational perspectives for looking at the development of modern spirituality.  Akin to other spiritual content I’ve come across, this perspective felt correct from the first time I read about it; I knew it was true.  That being said, lingering questions have remained, and rightly so.  My feeling for truth may be spot on, but that in no way removes the responsibility I and anyone else has to give due scrutiny to any piece of spiritual information.  It is only in this way that we can unite with that which streams from our “truth-sense,” our intuition, in freedom.

And so despite the obvious, intuitive correctness of this line of transmission, problems arise, questions that ought to be held and offered to the spiritual world.  For example, (and this is a common question) just why did Valentin Tomberg become Catholic?  Some (e.g. Prokofiev) go so far as to say that Tomberg was a possessed Jesuit who completely turned his back on Steiner and Anthroposophy.  Anyone who has read Tomberg’s work from the 1950’s-70’s should know that this is untrue; yet the shift in orientation is still odd. On the same note, if Tomberg emphasized the unity of the exoteric Church of Peter and the esoteric Church of John, and emphasized the sanctity and eternal nature of the seven sacraments, how can the Sophia Priesthood and the new sacraments originating from the Sophia Foundation (co-founded by Robert Powell in 1994) be justified?  Is this not once again a 90° turn?  From reading the description of the three teachers in, for example, Powell’s The Most Holy Trinosophia, one pictures a seamless transition from one teacher to the next, each carrying on the fundamental impulses of their predecessor. And yet when we look at the reality, it seems that each teacher has re-written the playbook.  How can we possibly resolve this apparent contradiction?

Having lived with both an unwavering commitment to the spiritual impulses of the three teachers, while carrying these questions and contradictions in the background of my commitment for some 8 years, I was relieved to be given an answer a few weeks ago.  I will not say the answer, but certainly for me a new perspective has opened up that I find incredibly fruitful.

Valentin Tomberg answered the question as to why he entered the Catholic church some 9 years before he did so.  Let me explain:

In his Meditations on the New Testament found in the volume Christ and Sophia, Tomberg comes to the seven archetypal healing miracles of Christ in the 7th meditation. There he describes these healing miracles as depicted in the Gospel of St. John as such:

“If we allow John’s Gospel to speak to our souls in silence, it tells us through its whole composition that the seven miracles of Christ are acts of healing that were performed for a few so that, after the Mystery of Golgotha, they might be manifested to the many.  Thus those miracles are not just miracles; they are also signs of the future spiritual and bodily healing processes within the human organism, which is sick as a consequence of the fall of humanity.”

As I read his meditations on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd healing miracles following on from this quote, what began to dawn on me was that the esoteric, future-orientated aspects of these miracles apply respectively to the missions of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd great teachers of the 20th century.  It is not simply an uninterrupted stream of transmission at work; nor is it the haphazard and independent work of three great leaders.  They are at once distinct yet part of a united whole, in exactly the same way as the miracles of Christ. The seven miracles of John’s Gospel do not describe Christ changing water into wine seven times, nor healing seven different paralyzed men. They are seven totally different organs of one body.  They are seven distinct tones of one scale, made to play the song of the Passion and Resurrection.  These same miracles, seeded on the physical level almost 2000 years ago, are now sprouting in the etheric realm.  The vessels through which Christ performs these seven miracles in our time, on a new level, are the Great Teachers.

Tomberg emphasizes that the first miracle, that of changing water into wine, was more than anything else a healing of the future.  The transformation of human relationship and spiritual destiny is what is at question here; and what is of concern here was equally that of Rudolf Steiner in the development of Anthroposophy.  The imagery of old wine exhausting itself, replaced by water — this being the natural course of events — only to be miraculously transformed into the “new wine” through that which wove between Jesus and Mary; can we think of a more beautiful and succinct way of describing the advent of Anthroposophy? The old clairvoyance runs dry, replaced by the cool, clear logic of scientific materialism, which is then magically transformed into the new clairvoyance in the form of a science of the Spirit via the agency of Anthropos (Christ) Sophia (Mary).  And just as the first miracle was a sign pointing to the future, so is Anthroposophy more than anything a deed for the sake of the future.  It will not be understood nor come to its full flowering for many years; indeed, one might say it is the first product of the future Age of Aquarius.

The Christmas Conference; the Foundation Stone; the General Anthroposophical Society; the second Goetheanum.  These represent the hallmark of the first miracle, accomplished through the vessel of Rudolf Steiner.

After Rudolf Steiner’s death, Valentin Tomberg came to fulfill his prophesied mission as proclaimer of the Etheric Christ, a role he filled for over 10 years (the entirety of the 1930’s).  Over the course of these years, he was increasingly ostracized by the leadership of the General Anthroposophical Society, the Free Groups, and the Christian Community. He resigned membership officially in 1938, stopped working in an anthroposophical context at all by 1940, and by 1945 had formally entered the Catholic Church.  Many justifications have been given for this.  My understanding (and that of quite a few others as far as I know) for a long time had been that he sought for a connection first to the Christian Community and then to the Russian Orthodox Church, and only upon failing on both of those fronts did he join the Catholic Church. But were there only negative reasons for Tomberg to become Catholic?  The narrative almost always seems to revolve around “if only” statements:  if only Steiner had lived until the 1930’s; if only Tomberg had been recognized as the Maitreya; if only the split in the society in 1935 hadn’t occurred — possibly then, events could have taken their (supposedly) pre-destined course.

However, when we read Tomberg’s description of the second miracle, we come to realize that the pre-destined course was always that Tomberg would become Catholic.  He characterizes the second miracle as a reversal of the first:  rather than a healing of the future, the second miracle is Christ’s healing of the past.  The healing power of Christ moved backwards through the hereditary stream, bestowing the Sun-power of the “I” to the nobleman, who had sacrificed his ego for the sake of serving his master’s.  This resulted in the healing of the body of the nobleman’s son, which had become ill due to the weakness of the father’s “I.”

This was accomplished on a new level through the activities of Valentin Tomberg from 1945 until his death in 1973.  The task of healing the future had already been initiated by Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophical movement.  It was now left to Tomberg to heal the “hereditary stream” of the past.  When it comes to heredity, we are reminded of Tomberg’s characterization of the law “Honor thy Father and thy Mother” in Meditations on the Tarot, in which this law is applied to Tradition.  Tradition is the hereditary stream that Tomberg healed:  Catholic, Martinist, French Occultist, and Hermetic Tradition were all infused with the healing power of the Etheric Christ over the course of 28 years. Steiner accomplished the task of seeding the future in the present; Tomberg counterbalanced this task by infusing the past with the present, actually transforming the past.

Tomberg worked on his magnum opus, Meditations on the Tarot, between 1957-1967; this is the hallmark, the ultimate expression, of the second miracle of the Etheric Christ.

In the next section, we will look at the third miracle, and see if there is a cosmic rhythm underlying the accomplishment of the miracles.