Current Postatlantean epoch

From Anthroposophy

We are currently living in the fifth Aryan or Postatlantean epoch that follows the Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian and Atlantean epochs. It consists of seven cultural ages (Schema FMC00.047 below), we are current in the fifth cultural age.

The fifth epoch is the lowest point of Man's physical descent, and represents a turning point in Man's consciousness:

  • from an atavistic clairvoyance and guidance by the spirits of the third hierarchy
  • to a free human being, set free from that guidance, and able and expected to consciously develop based on free will.

This is related to the development of the threefold 'I' consisting of sentient, intellectual and consciousness soul.

The main event of this epoch is the Mystery of Golgotha which is central to the evolution of mankind and Earth .

A major change took place with the Transition between the 4th and 14th century with the loss of Logos and handover of Spirits of Form (SoF) to Archai.

The main developmental goal for Mankind in this epoch is the development of the spirit-self (Schema FMC00.130), and within that tasks and challenges for the various cultural ages (1917-11-19-GA178)

  • fourth cultural age: birth & death, realize that through the Christ something carries us across death
  • current fifth cultural age: come to grips with the problem of evil
  • sixth cultural age: continous contemplation of the spiritual

The 'seed material' from this epoch for the next great Sixth epoch will be taken from the Sixth 'russian' cultural age following the (anglo-german) Current fifth cultural age, just as the seed material for our current epoch was taken from the fifth Atlantean age or subrace. See also Schema FMC00.169A on Overlapping evolutionary periods.


  • In the current fifth epoch, the revelation from above, the guidance of the soul from above (as in the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs), is gradually being withdrawn, so that Man is left to go his own way and become his own leader. (1904-11-11-GA093)
    • Man is set totally free from direct angelic guidance since the 15th century onwards and the age of the consciousness soul, and the withdrawal of the logos. See Transition between the 4th and 14th century
    • The Manu of the Sixth epoch (leading bodhisattva, see White Lodge) will for the first time be a real brother to his fellow men, whereas all earlier Manus were superhuman, divine beings of a kind.
  • evolutionary trends
    • as we evolve from the fifth into the sixth and then into the seventh epoch, the ancient connection of race and blood will be increasingly lost (1907-06-05-GA099)

End transition

Christ aspects

Extensive coverage of all aspects of the Christ Impulse is in the 21 Study Modules. See especially Modules 2 (and 3).

  • the appearance of Christ in the etheric, the appearance of natureal clairvoyance, in the period starting 1933 but growing stronger for 2500 years
    • Christ took form as an angel and lived invisibly in the sphere around the Earth, however suffered an extinction of consciousness (or 'second crucifixion') as an angelic being on the etheric plane due to the onset of materialistic thinking over some nineteen centuries. This however leads to the awakening of etheric clairvoyance in the consciousness of Man.
    • the faculties to be expected
    • paramount importance of gaining understanding of MoG through spiritual science
    • other aspects
      • link with Vidar
      • new elementals
  • The relationship Man can have or develop with the Christ will evolve in future cultural ages. There is a connection between the impulses of the different cultural ages and the soul life of Man, and he forces that flow into man and become active within him will come from ever higher worlds or planes.
    • fourth <-> life of perception
    • Current fifth cultural age <-> thinking, intellectuality (eg hence abstract sciences), in second half:; Christ will be seen clairvoyantly in his etheric form
    • Sixth cultural age ('russian') <-> feeling life of the soul, Christ will appear 'to a number of human beings' as a form of light in lower spirit land
    • seventh ('american') <-> spirit world <-> age of morality .. a number of human beings will 'perceive the Christ revealing Himself from higher Devachan in His true I that surpasses all human egos in inconceivable greatness, and with such splendour that It can bestow on man the highest possible moral impulses.


Cultural ages and archangelic periods

Schema FMC00.047 below gives a tabular overview of the cultural ages for the current Postatlantean or Aryan epoch.

Schema FMC00.239 shows the archangelic rulers of approx 354 periods for the current cultural age (plus and minus a cultural age). See also Spiritual hierarchies and their eigenperiods for more info on the 354 period. Rudolf Steiner uses this period to describe the nature of current Michael age and the future Oriphiel age.


Schema FMC00.130 provides a simple tabular overview of evolution and the developmental goal per planetary stage (and Condition of Consciousness) - and epoch (taking into account Conditions of Life and Form). For the current fifth epoch on Earth that developmental target is spirit self (or manas), for the sixth it is life spirit (or budhi), and for the seventh it is spirit man (or atma). Only a limited cohort of the population will reach those targets in each epoch. The seed cohort for the next epoch is selected taking into account the developmental goal for the next epoch.

Evolution of consciousness: clairvoyance, wisdom and morality

Schema FMC00.013 below stacks a number of views and original illustrations that have been calibrated to a single horizontal time line.

It depicts the fact that in the current epoch the old form of natural or atavistic clairvoyance ('guided by spiritual beings') slowly ebbed away, and a new form of consciousness is forming and will further develop in the remaining cultural ages into a new independant form of clairvoyance.

The table under the blackboard drawing illustrations shows:

  • the grey cultural ages on top along the horizontal time dimension (the blue is the current, the yellow pointer showing our current century)
  • with underneath the typical level of clairvoyance, into which plane or world of consciousness
  • at the bottom, an illustration to show that 'like a curtain fell' over the old clairvoyance and connectness with the spiritual world (this is the only part of the picture not calibrated to the time scale, it should be more extended)
  • the blackboard drawing from GA191 shows: the old mixture of wisdom and morality is impacted by the central MoG event (in orange) .. and after a period of impact after consciousness soul (see also the GA343 drawing for this delay) .. a new future lies ahead with a different connectedness, clairvoyance and brotherly love that is developing.

Schema FMC00.052 shows the dephased Christ solar impulse in red (dephased versus the cultural ages and timing of the regular hierarchies, called lunar/stellar astronomy). See Schema FMC00.052A for the original BBD (blackboard drawings). The timebar shows an interesting correlation between these impulses and two key periods for humanity: the first the next future Oriphiel age which will be a hardship test for humanity, and then the period in the next sixth cultural age where we have the Michael age and the impulse of the Maitreya Buddha .. a key period for the cohort of human beings that will provide the foundation for the next great Sixth epoch.

These two key periods are put in perspective to show - in yellow bars - the fact that "the fifth and sixth cultural ages are decisive" (1910-GA013), as "only a third of the population reaches the developmental goal at the end of the fifth epoch" (1904-10-24-GA090A).

To overlay schemas with a similar time-chart layout as below, see also:



Relationship with Christ

Schema FMC00.082 shows (projecting into schema FMC00.047), the evolving relationship Man will have (or be able to develop) with the Christ


Schema FMC00.081 gives an overview of some of the expected faculties related to the appearance of 'Christ in the etheric' due to the arising new clairvoyance. As depicted in the GA191 BBD (see above) this clairvoyance will be a mixture of wisdom with moral consciousness, hence the elements related to karma in the table below. See also Christ Module 19 - experiencing the Christ


Lecture coverage and references

Future cultural ages are covered in 1911-11-04-GA130 and 1911-11-18-GA130, see schema above.

The Abraham - Moses - Solomon ages are sketched in 1910-03-06-GA118 as a way to present the future mirrored versions with a renewal of a new kind of clairvoyance.

The decisive fifth and sixth cultural ages

1910-GA013 contains this paragraph to keep above our beds not to waste the precious time of our life and use this incarnation to the full extent possible.

However, only human beings embodying souls that have become all that they could under the influence of the Greco-Latin cultural age and the subsequent fifth, sixth, and seventh ages of Postatlantean evolution will be able to cope with these reconfigured earthly circumstances. The inner nature of these souls will correspond to what the Earth has then become. Other souls will have to remain behind at this stage, although earlier they could still have chosen to create the prerequisites for participation in it.

The souls mature enough to face the conditions that will exist after the next great upheaval will be the ones who succeeded in imbuing supersensible knowledge with their own forces of intellect and feeling at the transition from the fifth to the sixth cultural ages in the post-Atlantean epoch. The fifth and sixth periods are the decisive ones, so to speak.

In the seventh cultural age, although the souls who have achieved the goal of the sixth will continue to develop accordingly, the changed circumstances in their surroundings will provide little opportunity for the others to make up for lost time. The next opportunity will present itself only in the distant future.


The 1911-11-04-GA130 and 1911-11-18-GA130 references are consistent with what is described in 1910-03-06-GA118 in a different way, and underlying are the schemas that provide the base foundation. Man's soul life evolves per cultural age, guided as it is by a different Archai (Spirit of the Age). Because we are now, in the fifth cultural age, in an age of intellectuality, it is rather logical to present spiritual science and free (non-sensory) thinking as a way to the Christ (as is explicitly done in 1911-11-04-GA130). It is important though to grow into a feeling connection and not a purely dry intellectual. This is a preparation for the etheric clairvoyance that will become ever more clearly in the next three thousand years (1911-11-18-GA130). See also

Schema 47 - see extended version ao with update from unpublished lecture 1904-11-11


  • Observe that the GA130 quotes explicitly mention 'a number of human beings', so definitely not the whole of humanity.

For research

The period for Christ's appearance in the etheric may seemingly vary with lecture references, as different phrasings put difference focus or nuances (eg 1910-01-15-GA117A (approx 500 years from 1899 to 2500).

Related pages

References and further reading