Epochs in Earth physical round

From Anthroposophy

This takes a perspective 'across evolutionary epochs' to position the Mystery of Golgotha and Christ Impulse in a broader view spanning multiple epochs in this physical Condition of Form (CoF, or globe) of Earth's fourth mineral Condition of Life (CoF, or round).

Consider Schema FMC00.190 across epochs. The departure and reunion of both the Sun and the Moon are pivotal moments. It is important to realize that the spiritual beings, including the SoF/Elohim, were all in one cosmic body. In previous planetary stages they had developed together alongside.

In the Hyperborean and Lemurian epochs, both the Sun first, and afterwards the Moon, separate off and the Earth is now in a cradle held between Sun and Moon influences from outside (whereas previously influences were from the same sphere).

The MoG Christ Impulse instigates the process towards reunion with the Sun.

This is where Freedom as a basis for Love is realized through the combined orchestration of Jehovah, Lucifer and Christ. That is a simple sentence to describe something complex .. both Lucifer and Jehovah are classes of beings, which brought about a (spiritual) force field between <freedom> and <a first version of love>. Note this also links to - separate topic - the redemption of Lucifer through the Christ.

Therefore it is important to gain an in-depth understanding of the meaning and impact of the departure of Sun and Moon


  • the trickling in of the SoF and development of I-consciousness and treefold soul happened during the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs. It was recapitulated and refined in our current epoch of the MoG.
  • in these two earlier epochs however Christ already intervened to steer and correct this process, and this happened three times .
  • the Mars and Mercury passages or astral influences are timed in the 3th and 4th epochs, but have an effect related to the rounds (link)


Schema FMC00.190 is a 'napkin' drawing that depicts (middle) the seven epochs, and the process of separation and reunion of Sun and Moon. Below the three divine interventions are shown with embedded schema FMC00.185. In the current epoch, the Earth is held embedded in the Moon and Sun spheres. This refers to the topic of The two etheric streams (and Jehovah and Lucifer), see also the Emerald Table. The divine being of Christ came across the spheres and the Sun to 'fructify' humanity on earth with an 'infusion of budhi', that is depicted by the metaphoric image on the right.


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

See also:

Schema FMC00.451 depicts the Mars and Mercury influences in the Atlantean epoch, as well as the arising of counterforce spiritual beings and influences in the Lemurian, Atlantean and Current Postatlantean epochs. The Mars influence used by the luciferic beings aided human development by bringing Man wisdom . The mercury influence was/is necessary in order to allow Mankind to absorb the Christ Impulse (1905-10-28-GA093A).

Schema FMC00.219 is an illustration by Rudolf Steiner of the Mars and Mercury passages in the Earth's mineral round or CoL=4


Schema FMC00.373B depicts the symbolism of of the Christ impulse in the language of the zodiac signs, see more commentary on the basis figure of Schema FMC00.373 on Christ in the future cultural ages and next epochs.


Lecture coverage and references

Mars and Mercury influences


(draft of a spiritual cosmology 1903/1904 - fragment)

[withdrawal of Mars]

This major change in the human body was connected with a cosmic event which in occult terms is called the withdrawal of Mars from the Earth. Mars is the planet which before that withdrawal had with the powers inherent in it brought about the process in the human body that was later taken over by the blood circulation. With the blood taking over the Mars activity in this way, the spirits concerned were able to go outside the Earth, and the influence of Mars on the human being was then such that it influenced him from outside. The way it happened physically was that iron became an important constituent of the blood; iron is the form of matter on which Mars powers have a specific influence. Respiration as it is today thus has to do with the withdrawal of Mars.

All this gave the human being something which we may call the inner power of the blood. Ensoulment had become possible. The human being did indeed breathe in his soul when he breathed air.


Jehovah's aim was the perfection of form. Lucifer would have been able to develop in astral substance his passion for premature spirituality. The result would have been a violent battle between the Jehovah-spirits and the hosts of Lucifer. There was the danger that through Jehovah some human beings would become living statues and that others would be too quickly spiritualised through Lucifer. Means of bringing about equilibrium would have to be obtained elsewhere.

[Mars influence]

In order to annul the battle between Jehovah and Lucifer, the White Lodge, which was just in its beginning, had to obtain material from one of the other planets. This differed essentially from the astral substance that had come over from the Moon, from the astral-kamic animal substance. The possibility arose of leading over substance from other planets: new passions, less vehement but conceived on the basis of independence. The new material was brought over from Mars. Thus in the first half of our Earth evolution astral substance from Mars was introduced. A great advance was brought about through the introduction of this astral substance from Mars.

External civilisation on the Earth arose through the fact that hardening on the one side and spiritualisation on the other side were prevented. Lucifer made use of what had been given by the Mars forces. The new state of the Earth was given the name of Mars.

[Christ impulse]

Things continued in this way until the middle of the Atlantean epoch. Then a new question arose.

Man had absorbed wisdom, but in the future it would not be possible for wisdom alone to manifest in a form-creating way. One would have been able to build up the mineral kingdom through Lucifer, but Lucifer could not have given it life. Man could never have imparted life under the influence of the other powers.

This was why a Sun God had to come, a higher being than Lucifer. There still existed what are known as the Solar Pitris. The most exalted among these is Christ. As Lucifer represents the spirit-self (manas) element, so the life-spirit (budhi) element is represented by Christ.

[Mercury influence]

The human astral bodies had still to receive a third impact. This was brought down from Mercury.

Christ united his sovereignty with that of Lucifer.

If one has the will to ascend the heights in order to find the way to the Gods one needs Mercury, the Divine Messenger. He is the one who prepared the path of Christ from the middle of the Atlantean epoch onwards in order later to enter into the astral bodies, which had received the mercurial element.

[explanation on metals]

All our present metals have only gradually become what they are now. Gold, silver, platinum and so on all pass through certain conditions. When they are heated they become first hot, then liquid, then gaseous. This latter was once the condition of all metals in the gaseous Earth. Gold too first densified with the Earth: at one time it was entirely etheric gold. When we go back to the time when the Earth was still united with the Sun, there was as yet within it no solid gold. The particles of the white Sun-Ether became first fluid and then solid. These are the veins of gold which are now in the Earth. Gold is solidified sunlight. Silver is solidified moonlight. All mineral substances have gradually solidified. When human beings become ever more spiritualised, quicksilver will also become solid. At one time gold and silver formed drops just as water does now.

The fact that mercury is still fluid is connected with the whole process of Earth evolution. It will become solid when the God Mercury has fulfilled his mission.

[Mars and Mercury]

In the middle of the Atlantean epoch quicksilver was brought down from Mercury in etheric form. Had we not had quicksilver we should not have had the Christ-Principle. In the drops of quicksilver we have to see what was incorporated in the Earth in the middle of the Atlantean epoch.

When the Mars Principle (Kama-Manas) was incorporated into the Earth, iron was brought down to the Earth from Mars. Iron originates in Mars. It was at first in astral form and later densified. When we trace the Earth to that period of time we find ever fewer warm-blooded animals. It was only in the middle of the Lemurian epoch that warm blood made its appearance together with the Mars impulse. Iron came into the blood at that time.

It is iron that in all occult writings is brought into connection with Mars, quicksilver with Budhi-Mercury. Certain people learned this from the adepts. The Earth was therefore understood as Mars and Mercury. Everything that did not originate from Mars and Mercury has come over from Old Moon.



Blood came into the Earth with the Mars-Wisdom (Kama-Manas). Deep meaning lies in many other things. The separation of the Moon preceded the Mars-Age. The Moon contains silver. Still earlier took place the separation of the Sun.

  • Gold is condensed sunlight, hence the Golden Age;
  • Moonlight and silver: the Silver Age;
  • Mars and iron: the Bronze Age.

(letters to Marie von Sivers)

[Mars and Mercury]

The human being was never on Mars, but his intellectual soul is connected esoterically with this planet in such a way that its forces have been taken from there. This must be understood spatially as the Earth passing through Mars — which was etheric at the time — before itself becoming etheric (i.e. physical) in its fourth cycle.

Diagrammatically it can be represented thus [see Schema FMC00.219]

This passage through Mars was still taking place as late as the physical period of the Earth. And while this was taking place the leading beings took from Mars the kama substance required for the intellectual soul, and since the physical vehicle of the former is the warm blood (the Ares-blood of militant man), iron, which is a constituent of the blood, was added to the Earth at that time.

Equally, the human being will never really inhabit Mercury, but since the middle of the Atlantean world he has been connected with the kama substance (actually kama-manasic substance) of Mercury and the leading beings have supplied the human consciousness soul with forces from it. The influence of Mercury brought quicksilver (mercury) to Earth as its physical vehicle. Following the development of Earth to the plastic state, it will pass through Mercury in space. The Earth itself will then be astral, but Mercury etheric.

see also: Earth rounds perspective


(enclosure with letter to Marie von Sievers), extract SWCC:

[Mars influence]

The work of the monads would have remained cold and dry, however, if the astral body had not received an element which resulted in the human being using his intellect with a certain higher passion. This element was given to the human being from Mars. And the beings who transmitted it are the luciferic beings. Although they progressed beyond the stage of later human Earth existence, they did not reach the stage of concluding their Moon development with the manvantara of the Old Moon, as the Lunar-Pitris were able to do.

As initiates they now carry the astral forces from Mars into the astral body of the human being and thus fan within him the passion for using his intellect. In this way they vitalise the knowledge of human beings; they arouse them to independence. This is the aid to human development given by the luciferic principle.

Nevertheless, they linked self-interest with knowledge, since they aroused thinking through passion, and this results in self-interest. But only in this way has it become possible for the human being to make the Earth serve his purposes, to use it for himself. Jehovah could only have given the form of the intellectual organs and the spirits from Venus only awakened passionless feeling in the latter. For their gifts in this direction were given to the reproductive forces.


(enclosure with letter to Marie von Sievers), extract (SWCC):

It seemed to me yesterday that the thoughts I wrote down for you for tomor­row still needed some clarification. I therefore want to add a few things to the chapter on 'Earth Development'.

You know that the Lunar-Pitris, that is, the beings who are one stage ahead of human beings, have to advance their existence on the Moon to a level which is analogous to the stage of human existence on Earth.

Let us now consider for one moment the half-way stage of Earth development. You know that at that point the human being is under the influence of Mars and Mercury and strives towards his 'Jupiter existence' as one strives towards an ideal.

Of the three members of the astral body, the sentient soul, intellectual soul and consciousness soul,

  • the human being brings only the first, the sentient soul, with him from Old Moon.
  • The intellectual soul comes from the influence of Mars
  • and the intellectual soul [editor - probably consciousness soul] from the influence of Mercury.
  • The consciousness soul can only unfold because the forces which will later be developed fully on Future Jupiter already throw their shadow ahead, as it were. The consequence of this shadow is the develop­ment of the consciousness soul which thereby can become the vehicle for spirit-self, as described in my 'Theosophy'.

To the extent that the human being is already able to develop manas, he is developing into the Future Jupiter stage. The Future Jupiter stage is followed by the Future Venus development for all beings who are part of the seven-stages of the human evolutionary cycle. In the same way that the human being grows towards Future Jupiter, the angels [Lunar-Pitris from the Moon, the 'Spirits of Twilight'] grow towards the Future Venus existence if they have gone through their normal development. The archangels ['Spirits of Fire'] are already there, and they are growing towards their Vulcan existence.

Therefore, if one wants to describe the present situation completely correctly, one must say:

  • The human being on Earth grows towards Future Jupiter,
  • the angels on Jupiter grow towards Future Venus, and
  • the archangels on Future Venus grow towards Vulcan.

Once a being has reached the Vulcan stage it has become creative. During the Earth development of the human being it is the 'Spirits of Form' who are in this position. They are therefore the creators of earthly human beings. And insofar as they are in this position, 'Jehovah' is their representative. So since the mid-point of Earth development the human being deals with:

  • 1. His creators, the Spirits of Form, who lent him his earthly form.
  • 2. The archangels, who gave his astral body its sensual emotions.
  • 3. The angels, who gave to this astral body its earthly knowledge. And lastly,
  • 4. himself, living as 'I' in the consciousness soul.

The action of the spirits of fire takes place in the second half of the Lemurian epoch, along with the work of the angels [Lunar-Pitris]. Then during the 5th sub-race of the Atlantean epoch the human being begins to develop into an independent 'I'.

Within this progression the angels who have not completed their development work differently from those who have. The latter imbue the astral body perfectly with the Mercury element from without, but the former still have to perfect themselves with the things which are developing in Man. Their own being is therefore within the human being. In this way they are the luciferic principle.


But now the human beings would not have been able to evolve further, they could not support the tempo as long as the sun remained with the Earth. Then something came about which we can well understand when we are clear that the beings we have called the Fire-Spirits took their scene of action away from the Earth. The sun pressed out and we have now sun, with Earth and moon together.

During this time Mars — in a way which would take too much time to relate now in detail — had again formed a theatre for particular beings, and in its further advance Mars actually passed through the Earth and moon and left behind what to-day we know as iron. Hence Mars was the cause of the iron particles deposited in living beings, that is, in the blood.


Now someone could say: That is not so very remarkable, iron is everywhere. For just as other bodies were in the primordial mist, so too was Mars with the iron which it left behind. Iron is in all the other planets as well!

Science today, however, wonderfully confirms what is given here from the teaching of spiritual science. You will remember that I once showed you how one passes symbolically from the green sap of the plant, chlorophyll, to the blood of man. Plants arose at the period before this passage of Mars had taken place and have preserved their characteristic. Then the iron was deposited in the beings more highly organized than the plants, permeating the red blood. Thus what has recently been found in a Zurich laboratory is in complete accordance with these spiritual-scientific facts, namely, that blood cannot be compared with chlorophyll, simply because it was deposited later. We must not imagine that blood depends in any way on the substantiality of the chemical element iron. I say that especially, because someone might say that one can speak of no connection at all of chlorophyll with the blood. Today science makes the discovery that the blood is to be traced back to the element iron — whereas chlorophyll contains no iron. It is nevertheless in the fullest harmony with what spiritual science has to say, it is only a matter of looking at things in the right light.

[Separation of Moon - Mercury and Venus]

Then for reasons which we have already stated, the moon separated and we have the earth by itself and the present moon as its satellite. To the sun withdrew all the beings of an essentially higher order than man, whom we have called the Fire-Spirits. But there were certain beings which had not ascended high enough to be able really to endure the sun existence. You must be clear that they were beings exalted far above man, but still not so far advanced as to be able, like the Fire-Spirits, to live on the sun. Dwelling-places had to be created for them. None of the other theatres could have served them, for those were for beings of another nature, who had by no means attained the great age of the beings who, though belonging to the Fire-Spirits, had not quite kept up with them in cosmic evolution.

In the main there were two species of beings who had remained behind, and two special arenas were therefore formed for them through the severing of Mercury and Venus from the sun. Mercury and Venus are two planets which have split off as the centres for those Fire-Spirits who are exalted far above human existence, yet who could not have supported the sun-existence. So you have Mercury in the neighbourhood of the sun as arena for those beings who had not been able to live with the Fire-Spirits on the sun, and Venus as arena for beings who in a certain respect had remained behind the Mercury beings but who yet stood far above man.

Thus you have seen these various cosmic bodies originate out of the primoridal mist from inner causes, from spiritually-inspired activities. If one keeps to the physical alone, matters take their course in the way depicted by modern science, but the point is to learn to know the spiritual causes by which things have become what they are. Inside the primordial mist, the beings have themselves created the dwelling-places in which they could live. Now these various beings who were, so to say, harmoniously side by side before they had separated, did not remain without connection. On the contrary, they work through one another throughout.

The influence of the Mercury and Venus beings on the Earth is of a quite special interest. Put yourselves back into the time when the sun and then the moon released itself from the earth and man began his existence in his present form. He has acquired this existence in the present form through the fact that one of the Sun-Spirits forbore — if I may so express it — from continuing his existence on the sun, but united himself with the moon. In this way a lofty regent of the moon arose. Beings of a lower order existed on the moon, but one of the Sun-Spirits united himself with the moon-existence. This Sun-Spirit who is therefore really a displaced Sun-Spirit in the universe is, as divine, spiritual being, Yahve, Jehovah, the regent of the moon. We shall see why that came about if we consider the following.

We have seen that if the sun had remained united to the earth man would have been consumed by the swift course of development, and if the moon and its forces alone had worked upon man he would have been mummified. Precisely through the harmony of sun and moon forces arose the equilibrium that keeps man in the present tempo of evolution. When the Earth had come over from the old Moon, man had his physical body from Saturn, his etheric body from the Sun and his astral body from the Moon. But because he had the three bodies and the seed with the three bodies now began to develop, he had a very different form. You would open your eyes in amazement if I should de-scribe it to you, for the present human form has arisen quite slowly and gradually from the time of the moon-separation. But the base, inferior moon-forces could not have given man his present form. They could certainly have given him a form, but an inferior one. If the moon-forces had remained with the earth they would have held him fast in one form. Forces that give the form must proceed from the moon, while forces that continually alter the form proceed from the sun. But in order that the present human form should arise, a molder, a modeler of form, must work from the moon; it was not possible otherwise. At that time therefore began the development of the I-man. The fourth member of the human entity arose and Jehovah gave the human being the nucleus to a form which would enable him to become an I-bearer.

Now man was not yet capable of carrying out the work of which I have told you. I have explained that man's I works upon his astral, etheric, and physical bodies. But he can only begin this work gradually. As a child needs teachers, so when man was already prepared to become an ego-bearer, he needed a stimulus on earth to enable him to advance, and there were two 'stimulators'. You can think whence, from the whole cosmic evolution, they came.

The beings who stood nearest to man were the Venus and Mercury beings. Until, at the end of the Atlantean Age, man could make the first feeble efforts to work independently with his I upon the three bodies — for that was just possible at the end of the Atlantean Age — he had to have teachers. These teachers were beings of Venus and Mercury, and they went on working far beyond the Age of Atlantis. But they are not to be looked on as we look on our present teachers; the Venus beings must rather be thought of as those who endowed man with his intellectuality. Men knew nothing at all of this; just as the different human fluids work upon man, so did the forces of these beings influence him until he could work upon his bodies independently. What we find in man today as intelligence was mediated to him through the spirits who remained behind on Venus as Fire-Spirits of a lesser order. In addition to these were other teachers and they were in fact perceived consciously as teachers by men who attained clairvoyance — the teachers of the great Mysteries of ancient times. In the far past there was not only that all-embracing influence of the Venus-Spirits who worked more or less on mankind as a whole, there were also Mystery centres where the most advanced human beings received instruction spiritually from the Fire-Spirits. The exalted Fire-Spirits of Mercury instructed in the Mysteries; there they appeared — if we may say so — in a spiritual embodiment and were the teachers of the first initiates. Just as the first initiates became the teachers of the great masses of mankind, so did the beings of Mercury work as the teachers of the first initiates. From this you may realize that the beings of other stars have an influence upon Man, but the very complicated nature of this influence can be seen from the following.

[threefold soul]

You remember that in my Theosophy we roughly divide the human being by saying that he consists of physical body, etheric body, astral body, I, spirit-self, life-spirit, spirit-man. The more correct division, as you know, is physical, etheric, astral bodies, then the three soul-forces in which the I emerges — sentient soul, intellectual or mind soul, consciousness soul — and that only then we have spirit-self (or manas), life-spirit (or budhi), spirit-man (or atma). Thus the soul-element is inserted as sentient soul, intellectual soul, consciousness soul.

If we follow Man's evolution on the Earth we can say that to the three constituents brought over from the Moon, the first development to be added was the sentient soul, then arose the intellectual soul, and not till towards the end of Atlantean times, when Man learnt for the first time to say “I” to himself, did the consciousness-soul arise. Since then Man can begin to work consciously from within upon the members of his being. If we divide man thus into body, soul, spirit, then we have to divide the soul again into sentient soul, intellectual soul, consciousness soul. These evolved gradually, and the consciousness soul could as yet have no influence, for it arose only as the last. These members had therefore to be kindled from without, and beings from outside were active.

[Three influences developing threefold soul]

Mars in fact worked on the sentient soul, the already-separated Mercury with its beings worked on the origin of the intellectual soul, and Jupiter, which had been in existence the longest, worked on the origin of the consciousness soul.

Thus in the soul-nature of man we have the working of the three cosmic bodies,

  • of Mars in the sentient soul,
  • Mercury in the intellectual soul,
  • Jupiter in the consciousness soul,

.. and inasmuch as spirit-self presses into the consciousness soul, Venus with its beings is active. Mercury was also active with regard to the first initiates, so that the Mercury beings exercised a twofold activity, the one quite unconscious to man inasmuch as they developed his intellectual soul, and then as well they were the first teachers of the initiates when they worked in a fully-conscious way. The Mercury beings had thus a continuous double activity, rather as many country schoolmasters instruct the children and cultivate the land allotted to them. The Mercury beings had to develop the intellectual soul and besides that had to be the great schoolmasters of the great initiates. All these things can also be grasped by pure logic.

Now you can perhaps ask why should just Jupiter work on the consciousness soul, since it is such a distant planet. But these things are not investigated on logical grounds, but by investigating the facts of the spiritual worlds. There you would perceive it as a fact that the consciousness soul is kindled by Jupiter beings, to whose help come, on the other hand, laggard Venus beings. Things cannot be fitted into an external scheme in the activity of the cosmos; one must realize that when a planet has already fulfilled a task, its beings can later fulfill another task as well.

In the course of the second race of humanity Jupiter beings cooperated on the perfecting of the etheric body; then they themselves advanced a stage, and when the human being was far enough on for his consciousness soul to develop, they had to intervene again and help in its development. What is working in space enters into joint activity in most varied ways; one cannot pass from one activity to another in any sort of schematic way.


The Mystery of Golgotha positioned in evolution (from old website section)

It is useful to switch gears and zoom in/out and across in all dimensions to improve our grasp of this. The various perspective help to not get bogged down when studying the Lemurian/Atlantean/Postatlantean epochs in depth. An encompassing understanding needs to assimilate and integrate all of these, and other views. The 'switching gears' in terms of the scope of evolution we consider, helps to keep our thoughts dynamic and fluid.

  • Schema FMC00.190 is across epochs. Taking a step back, the departure and reunion of both the Sun and the Moon are pivotal moments. It is important to realize that the spiritual beings, including the SoF/Elohim, were all in one cosmic body. In previous planetary stages they had developed together alongside. In the Hyperborean and Lemurian epochs, both the Sun first, and afterwards the Moon, separate off and the Earth is now in a cradle held between Sun and Moon influences from outside (whereas previously influences were from the same sphere). The MoG Christ Impulse instigates the process towards reunion with the Sun. This is where Freedom as a basis for Love is realized through the combined orchestration of Jehovah, Lucifer and Christ. That is a simple sentence to describe something complex .. both Lucifer and Jehovah are classes of beings, which brought about a (spiritual) force field between <freedom> and <a first version of love>. Note this also links to - separate topic - the redemption of Lucifer through the Christ.
  • Another dimension is at the level of planetary stages of evolution. The Lucifer-Christ separation on Old Sun, and how the impact of the Christ will last through Future Jupiter and upto Future Venus' (eg FMC00.022) .. so the process spans four planetary incarnation stages from Old Sun to Future Venus.

Related pages

References and further reading