Earth's Seven Epochs

From Anthroposophy

This covers the seven epochs in the current CoL and CoF of the Earth planetary stage or CoC, see Three dimensions of evolution and Schema FMC00.057A on that page, and Schema FMC00.203 on that page that shows that one CoL is evolutionary important for each planetary stage.


  • how the seven epochs are part of the greater evolutionary dynamic and rhythm of CoL and CoF (see the three CoLF substages in Schema FMC00.302, one where development slows down, a key middle substage, and another where development speeds up again)
  • overview on the major impulses (summary in Schema FMC00.190), both:
    • cosmic: separation and reunion of Sun and Moon
    • divine: Jehovah in Lemuria, Christ in current Postatlantean, and the Father impulse in the sixth epoch
  • mapping to the geological framework of mineral science (FMC00.209 below)
  • the Book of Genesis - and its mapping to the spiritual scientific evolutionary framework


Schema FMC00.302 takes an ingoing perspective of the Conditions of Life and Form in which to understand the seven epochs in this 'CoLF' or 'Condition of Life and Form'. See Earth rounds perspective as well as the Schemas on Three dimensions of Evolution.

In the GA090A lecture, Rudolf Steiner describes how each evolutionary period is characterized by three sections, a preparatory, a characteristic which is slowest and most important, and a final flushing one. The first part is slowing down, the third part is speeding up again.

Also compare this with Overlapping evolutionary periods that goes into the fact we should not see this as strict periods with a start and end, but rather concurrent developments that overlap and flow into one another.

This Schema can also be considered in positioning the transition between the SoF and Archai, see Transition between 4th and 14th century. The schema also shows why the current stages in the current fifth epoch are decisive: in the current fifth cultural age the work for the important sixth cultural age is already decisive. See also Schema FMC00.169A on Overlapping evolutionary periods.


Schema FMC00.190 shows how the seven epochs and the separation and reunion of Sun and Moon are all geared towards establishing an environment for developing Man's I, the evolutionary goal of the planetary stage Earth. It also shows the pivotal moment of the Christ Impulse at the Mystery of Golgotha, as part of the three divine impulses (below). See more on: Epochs in Earth physical round


Schema FMC00.212 below is a high-level integrated overview chart showing manifold aspects of the seven epochs in the current CoL and CoF.

Schema FMC00.185 is a drawing by Rudolf Steiner in a letter to Marie von Sivers (GA262)

FMC00.209 provides an overview of the epochs as related to the appearance of the physical elements and nature's kingdoms, and as mapped to the geological time periods (see FMC00.209A below). See also John Davy's document on Evolution under References section below.


FMC00.209A provides reference to the scientific classification of periods:


FMC00.210 shows the famous diagram by Poppelbaum and the evolution of nature's kingdoms (left) and finally the descent of Man and the appearance of physical mineral Man (right). See also FMC00.209 above.


FMC00.210A is another more illustrated version of the same


FMC00.221 is a more recent version of Poppelbaum's diagram (FMC00.210) by Dankmar Bosse in 'The mutual evolution of earth and humanity' (see references below). The evolution of the human vertebrate branch is shown schematically in counter-running evolutionary spirals. The outer thick arrows show the discontinuous sequence of finished forms, in opposite direction are thin arrows (center outwards) from soft-bodied conditions to hardening species. The dotted circle shows the boundary between soft-bodied and fossil-preserved forms.


FMC00.221A shows the original in German, for reference


FMC00.206 shows various world maps showing the layout of the continents in the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs. More on the pages of these epochs, the Lemurian epoch and the Atlantean epoch.


Lecture coverage and references


Related pages

References and further reading

  • John Davy: 'Evolution: the hidden thread' (published in The Golden Blade, 1956), in PDF version
  • Sigismund von Gleich: ‘Der Mensch der Eiszeit und Atlantis’ (ao table similar to FMC00.209 on page 19)
  • Dankmar Bosse: 'The mutual evolution of earth and humanity' (2019 in EN, published in 2002 as Die gemeinsame Evolution von Erde und Mensch)