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)

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.


  • the emergence of the intellectual soul and loss of ancient atavistic clairvoyance, see the Baldur myth
  • 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from above, the guidance of the soul from above (as in the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs), is gradually being withdrawn, so that Man is left to go his own way and become his own leader.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.


Schema FMC00.047 below gives a simple tabular overview of the cultural ages for the current Postatlantean epoch, with the center of cultural development. This geography is related to how the spiritual influences are working on Earth, hence this center moves across the globe in a specific way, see Schema FMC00.211 on Human races.

Schema FMC00.047A is an extended reference table that integrates various perspectives, and provides cross-references to more detailed Schemas for these aspects


Schema FMC00.442 provides an overview of how the current epoch centers around the period of the third to the sixth cultural ages. The third cultural age of the sentient soul was preparatory with the Krishna impulse, then came the fourth age of the intellectual soul with the Wotan-Buddha impulse and the Mystery of Golgotha. And the Christ Impulse is to fructify humanity in the current fifth cultural age of the consciousness soul. The period of 1400 to 1900 was preparatory also, and since 1879-1900 we are in the age of light after the end of the dark age or kali yuga (see also Schema FMC00.013), and more specifically in a period under the archangelic rulership of Michael (see Schema FMC00.239).

Therefore towards the end of the fourth cultural age the Northwestern and Southeastern streams merged, see Christ Impulse - meeting of two streams, see also Schema FMC00.167 on that page showing the important transition over a period of two millenia. The schema depicts the importance of studying the Mystery School tradition and Ancient history of myths and legends for both Northwestern and Southeastern streams (see Schema FMC00.441). From this the follows what is depicted in Schema FMC00.438 - see below.


Schema FMC00.438 illustrates the essential agenda for humanity in the Current Postatlantean epoch to develop the first spiritual principle of Man's higher triad, the spirit-self (or manas) - see Schema FMC00.130. This will be achieved for a large part of humanity in the sixth cultural age (light yellow) as the fruits of the fructification of the consciousness soul by the Christ Impulse (see text in red, and the two mini infographics - see also Schema FMC00.428A).

This critical period of the fourth to the sixth cultural ages was prepared in the first four cultural ages (see Recapitulation - Schema FMC00.168), in parallel in a Southeastern and Northwestern stream (see Two streams of development). Both streams relate to the Atlantean migrations and the development of body and soul in the different populations (see also Human races). The Northwestern stream was in a preparatory waiting mode for four ages, see what is discussed on the topic pages available from both Germanic mythology and Mystery School tradition, a.o. but not limited to Ragnarok, Nibelungen, Druidic and Trotten Mysteries, Wotan Impulse, etc). The two streams met in the fourth cultural age, see Christ Impulse - meeting of two streams.

The spiral below (see also Schema FMC00.169) illustrates how evolution proceeds in discrete jumps, and the whole Schema is a concrete example of that in more detail. The central node of the spiral happens between the fourth to sixth cultural ages, of which the fifth is pivotal or central.

This positions the truly pivotal nature and importance of the current times, as the Christ Impulse is to fructify the consciousness soul so as to get the fruits required for this whole epoch in the next cultural age (Schema FMC00.169A). See also Schema FMC00.052: the next three millenia are crucial, and the current (and next) incarnation(s) is and are therefore pivotal.

Additional schemas that complement this schema: Schema FMC00.432, Schema FMC00.205B and Schema FMC00.441 below

Last, the Mystery of Golgatha in the center of the spiral is not just central to the current epoch, but to the whole Earth cycle and the evolution of the solar system cosmos: it is the start of a new creation, see Schema FMC00.400 on Cosmic breath of Brahma. For perspective, see also the PDF file The great journey of humanity.


Schema FMC00.444 shows a sketch by Rudolf Steiner depicting the imaginative insight of Schema FMC00.438. This sketch by Rudolf Steiner was found afterwards, only after FMC00.438.

For context see Overlapping evolutionary periods. In the source letter to Marie Steiner of 1905-04-28-GA262, Rudolf Steiner describes patterns of old and new using illustrative examples of the work and influence of Marx and Fechner; Bismarck (+ Tolstoj influence to fertilize the form), Haeckel .. + (Goethe influence to fertilize the form), this way placing references to understand the old which is dying (using the term 'cultural afterbirth', and the new influences which are arising)

Note: regarding the 'semitic' elements, what is meant here are (not the Jewish people but) the characteristics that arose from the ancient semitic stream in the Atlantean epoch. It also played a special role in the Current Postatlantean epoch, see 1910-06-12B-GA121:

Everything that could be distilled from the unitary principle by the synthesizing activity of the ‘I’ has been distilled by the Semitic spirit in the course of thousands of years. This is the significance of the Semitic influence in the world and illustrates the polarity between pluralism and monism. Monism is not possible without pluralism. Pluralism is not possible without monism. We must recognize the necessity for both.


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 FMC00.432 shows a geographical view on the Current Postatlantean epoch, with the center of culture over millenia moving across the Southern most advanced stream described extensively by spiritual science. Meanwhile the Northern stream developed differently, as expressed in the Northern Scandinavian and Germanic mythology and ancient Mystery tradition, with initiation centers such as the Hibernian, Druidic and Trotten Mysteries (see Schema FMC00.437).

For more on the northern and southern streams, see Christ Impulse - meeting of two streams#Southern and Northern streams

It is important to realize that the development of humanity was not limited to the key cultures highlighted in the descriptive labels given to characterize each cultural age. For example the Mayan and Jewish cultures also belong to the third 'Egypto-Chaldean' cultural age. Also the Chinese culture is not a focus in the descriptions of the development of humanity.

Also shown are for reference are the Gobi desert and Tibet, see the migrations on Schemas FMC00.205 and variants on Atlantean epoch. For the geographical movement of the epicentrum of cultural height across the globe, see Schema FMC00.211 on Human races.

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.

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

1910-GA013 - The decisive fifth and sixth cultural ages

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 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.


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


see section 1.2 in Note [1] below


[1] - About merging of various influence currents in current Postatlantean epoch

1.1/ Schema FMC00.444 above shows a sketch by Rudolf Steiner, see above for more comments.

In the source letter to Marie Steiner of 1905-04-28-GA262, Rudolf Steiner describes patterns of old and new

using illustrative examples of the work and influence of a.o.

  • Marx and Fechner;
  • Bismarck (+ Tolstoj influence to fertilize the form),
  • Haeckel .. (+ Goethe influence to fertilize the form),

this way placing references to understand the old which is dying (using the term 'cultural afterbirth', and the new influences which are arising)

1.2/ Another perspective is offered in 1919-12-15-GA194. This shows how three influences of previous cultural ages and their Mysteries merge in the current Postatlantean epoch:

  • Mysteries of the Spirit, of Light (Greek age and culture) <-> current of spiritual life
  • Mysteries of Space (Egyptian age and culture) <-> current of rights or government
  • Mysteries of the Earth (northern & central European culture, oa Druidic Mysteries) <-> current of economic life

1.3/ A third related perspective is in 1920-10-23-GA200 (see also the lectures of the days before in GA200), the merging of three subcurrents streaming out of romanism. The East-West polarity and influences on the Middle (Europe) are sketched:

  • west - soul body: economy - new economy
  • middle - state - ending jurisprudence
  • east - spirit soul: spiritual life that has ended

Various notes (draft)

1/ 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

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

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

4/ 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