Golden Legend

From Anthroposophy

The Golden Legend conveys the deep symbolic meaning contained in the two pillars of Hercules labelled 'J' (for Jachin) and 'B' (for Boaz).

These two pillars represent the earthly and the spiritual life, and/or the transitions between both. What matters for Man today is the balance between the two in the right equilibrium. The fact the two pillars are apart, is a representation of the descent of Man in matter and the Fall or the luciferic infection in the Lemurian epoch when 'Man was driven out of Paradise' (the spiritual world). Man now gains knowledge on Earth. The two pillars will merge again in Man in the future.

The columns appear in esoteric symbolic representations (see Book of Revelation), of which the fourth apocalyptic seal is probably the most well known (see Schema FMC00.228).


Schema FMC00.233 describes the two columns (see also illustration in schema FMC00.228 below).

Schema FMC00.228 shows on the left, the fourth apocalyptic seal with the two pillars J and B representing (red and blue) the Trees of Knowledge and Life. The blue tree clearly knowledge with the linked book and standing on physical earthly ground, the red tree clearly upstreaming life. Two pillars supporting earth’s development: Jupiter and Mercury, Old Sun and Moon, Strength and Wisdom.

See also Book of Revelation and 1907-10-GA284 about the pictures of the apocalyptic seals and columns (as well as more references in that volume GA284 about the symbolic meaning of the colours blue and red in 1911-10-15-GA284, and more).

On the right, a Freemason Rosicrucian illustration dated 1779 (taken from 'The Freemason by Eugen Lennhoff, published 1913). See also the alchemical symbols of earth below B, and air below J.

See also: The heart's two blood circuits


Lecture coverage and references

  • GA264 contains a section on the Golden Legend (p 355 and on) with references to Notebook Archive No 6954, instruction lessons of 1906-12-12, 1911-12
  • GA162 covers the Tree of Life and Knowledge in a number of lectures
    • 1915-07-24-GA162 and 1915-07-25-GA16 on the Tree of Life
    • 1915-08-07-GA162 and 1915-08-08-GA162 on the Tree of Knowledge


1916-06-20-GA169 discusses the significance of the two pillars. The human being passes the pillar of Jakim at his birth (day side), the pillar of Boaz at his death (night side). The human being has to find a balance between both pillars.


[Context initiation of Brunetto Latini]... That is why it does not take place like in the ancient mysteries under the guidance of a human initiator (hierophant) but by a spiritual being. Natura guides him (she was the former Greek goddess Persephone, whom the Romans called Proserpina) through the regions of the senses, the four temperaments, the four elements, planets and after having passed the Pillars of Hercules to the ocean of a universal spirituality. On the Pillars of Hercules or Jachin and Boaz - see also Golden Legend

They play a prominent role in symbolism as the Pillars of Jakim (Jachin, Joachim) and Boaz. In this connection, it should be noted that in the occult societies of the present time these pillars can no longer be erected in the right way. They should no longer be erected, because the correct way is only revealed in a truly inwardly experienced initiation. Moreover, they cannot be set up in space, as they are revealed in reality when the human being leaves his body


See also Man past and future to read about the arising of a second spinal column in the next sixth epoch, and the merger of the two spinal columns in the seventh epoch.

Related pages

References and further reading