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.