Individuality of Skythianos

From Anthroposophy

Skythianos is the name by which a Boddhisattva and member of the White Lodge was known in the middle ages, no other named incarnations of this Individuality are known.

Skythianos or Scythianos (see note on spelling under Aspects, also sometimes Skythianus or Scythianus) was the leader of the Northern stream of development after Migrations from the Atlantean epoch (the Southern stream was led by 'Manu').

Skythianos is:

  • "is the name given to one of the greatest initiates of the Earth" (1909-08-31-GA113),
  • who "had chosen the region of Europe upto Siberia for his activity" (1909-11-14-GA117)
  • and "lived for a while surrounded by the ancient Scythian people" ..
  • whereby he was the head of the initiation center "which excerts a particular influence upon the inner regions in order that it may be properly prepared to receive the illuminating influences from the MoG".


Together with Buddha and Mani he is also one of the three teachers of the rosecrucian knowledge for the Current fifth cultural age in Central Europe.


  • teachings (see 1909-08-31-GA113)
    • "Skythianos, whose teaching deals not only with the reincarnation of men but with the powers which rule from eternity to eternity. So shall the central Being of the world, the Christ, be ever more and more understood. ..
    • most probably linked to Skythianos (without being explicitly stated): "an increasingly comprehensive understanding of the Christ by the aid of spiritual Cosmology"
    • He inspired the leaders of the ancient European cultures, which were based on the receptiveness for an element that stood in the middle between that which one could call recitative-rhythmical speech and a sort of singing, accompanied by a peculiar music that was based on the interplay of pipe-like instruments. (see also Orpheus)
  • relationship between Skythianos, Buddha and Manes
    • see the quotes below: the legend referenced by Rudolf Steiner (in 1904-11-11-GA093 and 1911-01-2x-GA264) connects the three Bodhisattvas that are later described (in 1909-08-31-GA113 and 1910-06-12-GA121) in the context of the council called by Manes regarding the knowledge for the European rosecrucian culture, the Jupiter Mysteries for the consciousness soul. See White Lodge#What
  • See Schemas below and also Colchis Mysteries and Kalevala
  • The Scythians or Scyths, are said (wikipedia) to have been an ancient Eastern Iranian equestrian nomadic people who had migrated from Central Asia to the Pontic Steppe in modern-day Ukraine and Southern Russia from approximately the 7th century BC until the 3rd century BC.
  • Notes
    • spelling: because of the Scyths, it would be most logical to use Scythianos, but most English sources (oa translations of Steiner lectures) use Skythianos, so we settled for that on this site
    • In the notes from a lecture by V. Sease (see below) is mentioned "In the sixth epoch, Skythianos will replace Christian Rosenkreuz as the leader of humanity." The source for this statement has not been found. However, in 1904-06-09-GA091 is stated that "Master Morya will be the first human Manu to establish and guide the sixth rooth race" (see also: Sixth epoch#Culture.2C leadership.2C continent)


Schema FMC00.432A is a variant with an adapted and extended area for the Northern stream, based on study of quotes about the leader of this stream, the Bodhisatta from the White Lodge known under the name Scythianos. Relevant lecture references include Siberia, Finland, St-Petersburg as well as the area around the Black Sea. The 1914-11-09-GA158 on Kalevela speaks of the seeding of the slavic soul (and the origin of the term 'russian') in the light of future receptiveness for the Christ Impulse. Compare with the location of the Colchis Mysteries near the Black Sea, and the other initiation centers on Schema FMC00.437. Furthermore, note also that Beinsa Douno often spoke of the mission of the Slavs and the Bulgarian people.


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

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.

Observe that the Colchis Mysteries were located near the Black Sea in current Georgia, which is exactly on the border of the north and south streams as tentatively (and not exactly) indicated on the schema. See also Schema FMC00.437.

Schema FMC00.437 provides a simple overview positioning key Mysteries of the Northern stream, with - in red - a few of the important Mystery Centers as described by Rudolf Steiner (see quotes and references on the right). The dotted line represents the Southern stream in the fourth cultural age of the current Postatlantean epoch. The arrows represent the impulse for the age of the intellectual soul coming from the Colchis Mysteries (to both south and north).


Lecture coverage and references

Scythianos is mainly covered in GA113 and 158, but is also mentioned in GA volumes 93, 109, 117 (L9), 121 (L9), 216 and 264

Acte Archelai

(SWCC, excerpt from reference in Gruwez (2014))

A man called Skythianos, a Saracen, lived in the time of the apostles in Scythia and travelled to Egypt .. and wrote four books with the titles Mysteria, Kephalaia, Evangelium and Thesaurus .. he went to Palestine and when he died the books came into the hadns of Terebinthus, who went to Babylon where he had a widow as his pupil. Later he would call himself Buddha. When he died, the books of wisdom became the possession of this widow. She had a young slave named Corbicius. When Corbicius when twelve years old and she senses her approaching death, she gave the slave freedom and gave him the four books of wisdom. He changed his name to Mani, studied the wisdom books and began preaching.


It is said that there once lived a merchant in the Near East who was very learned.

  • He compiled four important works: first, Mysteria, secondly, Capitola, thirdly, Evangelium, and lastly Thesaurus.
  • It is further related that at his death he left these writings to his widow who was a Persian.
  • This widow, on her part, left them to a slave whose freedom she had bought and whom she had liberated. That was the said Mani, who then drew his wisdom out of these writings, though he was also initiated into the Mithraic mysteries. Mani is called the ‘Son of the Widow’, and his followers are called the ‘Sons of the Widow.’ However, Mani described himself as the ‘Paraclete’.

see also Two streams of development#1909-11-14-GA117

from lecture 9, on the European population in pre-Christian time:

Their cultural elements were influenced by that great initiate who had chosen this region up to Siberia for his activity, and is called Scythianos. He inspired the leaders of the ancient European culture. This culture was based on the receptiveness for an element that stood in the middle between that which one could call recitative-rhythmical speech and a sort of singing, accompanied by a peculiar music that was based on the interplay of pipe-like instruments. That was a strange element whose last remainder lives in the bards and skalds. What the Greek myth of Apollo and Orpheus tells has developed from there.


see also: Bodhisattva#1909-08-31-GA113

quote A

In old Atlantis the majority of the people were instinctively clairvoyant; they could see into spiritual realms. This clairvoyance could not develop further; and withdrew perforce into separate personalities in the West. It was guided there by a Being who once upon a time lived in deepest concealment, withdrawn behind those who had already forsaken the world and who were pupils of the great initiates. This Being had remained behind in order to preserve for later ages what was brought over from old Atlantis. Among the great initiates who had founded mystery places in the West for the preservation of the old Atlantean wisdom, a wisdom that entered deeply into all the secrets of the physical body was the great Skythianos, as he was called in the Middle Ages. And anyone who knows the nature of the European mysteries knows that Skythianos is the name given to one of the greatest initiates of the Earth.

... The three great spiritual Beings and individualities known to us under the names of Zarathustra, Gautama Buddha and Skythianos are, as it were, incarnations of Bodhisattvas. That which lived in them was not the Christ.

.. There is a fourth individuality named in history behind whom for those who have the proper comprehension, much lies hidden — an individuality still higher and more powerful than Skythianos, than Buddha or than Zarathustra. This individuality is Manes, and those who see more in Manichaeism than is usually the case know him to be a very high messenger of Christ.

It is said that a few centuries after Christ had lived on the Earth, there was held one of the greatest assemblies of the spiritual world connected with the Earth that ever took place, and that there Manes gathered round him three mighty personalities of the fourth century after Christ. ...

... Around Manes was this council, himself in the centre and around him Skythianos, Buddha and Zarathustra. And in that council a plan was agreed upon for causing all the wisdom of the Bodhisattvas of the post-Atlantean time to flow more and more strongly into the future of mankind; and the plan of the future evolution of the civilisations of the earth then decided upon was adhered to and carried over into the European mysteries of the Rosy Cross. These particular mysteries have always been connected with the individualities of Skythianos, of Buddha and of Zarathustra. They were the teachers in the schools of the Rosy Cross; teachers who gave their wisdom to the earth as a gift, in order that through it the Christ Being might be understood. Hence in all spiritual Rosicrucian schools the deepest reverence is paid to these old initiates who preserved the primeval wisdom of Atlantis; to the re-incarnated Skythianos, in whom was seen the great and honoured Bodhisattva of the West; to the temporarily incarnated reflection of the Buddha, who also was honoured as one, of the Bodhisattvas; and finally to Zarathustra, the reincarnated Zarathustra. These were looked up to as the great Teachers of the European Initiates.

quote B

[Two main angles]

Today mankind can at the most bring two things to these teachings of the Rosy Cross — two things which may indicate a beginning of the power and greatness that will appear in the future in the form of the understanding of Christianity, spiritual science of today will be the means of making one such beginning, by bringing the teachings of Skythianos, of Zarathustra, of Gautama Buddha to the world again, not in their old but in an absolutely new form, accessible to investigation from out its very nature. The elements of what we learn from these three great Teachers must be embodied into civilisation.

  • From Buddha, Christianity had to learn the teachings of reincarnation and of karma, but in the older religion they are to be found in an ancient guise, unsuited to modern times. Why are the teachings of reincarnation and of karma flowing into Christianity today? Because the initiates have learned to understand them in a modern sense, just as Buddha himself after his fashion understood them — and Buddha was the great teacher of reincarnation.
  • In the same way we shall attain to an understanding of Skythianos, whose teaching deals not only with the reincarnation of men but with the powers which rule from eternity to eternity. So shall the central Being of the world, the Christ, be ever more and more understood. In this way the teachings of the initiates gradually flow into humanity.

The spiritual scientist of today can only bring two things in as elementary beginnings compared to what must come about in the future spiritual evolution of mankind.

  • The first element will be that which sinks into our innermost being in the form of the Christ-life; and
  • the second will be an increasingly comprehensive understanding of the Christ by the aid of spiritual Cosmology.

The Christ life in the inmost heart and an understanding of the world which leads to an understanding of Christ — these are the two elements. We may begin today, for we are only on the threshold of these things, by having the right feeling. We meet together for the purpose of cultivating right feeling about the spiritual world and all that is born out of it, as well as right feeling towards man. And as we cultivate this right feeling we gradually make our spiritual forces capable of receiving the Christ into our innermost being; for the higher and nobler our feelings become, the more nobly can Christ live within us. We make a beginning by teaching the elementary truths of our earth evolution, by seeking that which we owe originally to Skythianos, Zarathustra and Buddha and by accepting it as they teach it in our age, in the form they themselves know it, their evolution having progressed to our present age. We have reached a point in civilisation now where the elementary teachings of initiation are beginning to be disclosed.

1909-12-15-GA244 - QA198.1

In ancient times, when the poets (in DE 'Skalden') as initiates were teaching the people, the Bodhisattva of these ancient initiates was Skythianos. About 150 BC we see many esotericists who observed him. He was a great adept, but not the Christ, and they saw him as the reborn Individuality that has lived in the so-called Egyptian Jesus.


Hence there were always these two centers in the evolution of humanity, the one ruled more by the Spirits of Venus, and the other ruled more by the Spirits of Jupiter. The Spirits of Jupiter were specially observed in those Mysteries in which — as those of you will know who took part in my course of lectures at Munich last year — the three Individualities met together, the three spiritual Beings, Buddha, Zarathustra or Zarathas in his later incarnation, and that great leader of humanity whom we describe by the name of Skythianos. That is the Council which, under the guidance of One still greater, set itself the task of investigating into the mysterious forces which must be developed for the evolution of humanity, whose starting-point was taken from that part which is originally connected with the Jupiter forces and which was preordained in the map of the Earth already mentioned.


notes from memory by Elisabeth Vreede (book p 195-196), contains the following

  • the story of Skythianos and Terbinthus (or Buddha) .. the latter a pupil of the former.. who fled to Babylon after violent death of the first (Skythianos) ..
  • only one old woman as pupil, left the books to foster child of 12 .. Son of a Widow .. who appeared later at age 24 as Manes, founder of Manicheism

see Kalevala#1914-11-09-GA158

2014-07-14 - Virginia Sease: Skythianos Past, Present and Future

lecture in Montréal on 14 July 2014, see notes here or here, extract below (RSL sources not checked)

[MoG - see also Hibernian Mysteries]

During the 4th post-atlantean epoch, Skythianos’ extraordinary capacities and his power to observe everything that was happening everywhere on earth allowed him to view the Mystery of Golgotha as it was taking place. He could follow these events and inspire his pupils to be aware of what was going on in Palestine. He drew special attention to the 3 years during which the great Sun Spirit lived in the body of Jesus – from the baptism by John to the Crucifixion and beyond. The three essential elements he imparted to his pupils dealt with: Good Friday and the subsequent deposition of the body from the cross; Holy Saturday and Christ’s descent into the underworld to release the souls living there in “dull consciousness”; and Easter Sunday and the Resurrection. Prior to the Holy Saturday event, individuals were of course reincarnated but had lost the ability to travel consciously through the planetary spheres during the time between death and a new birth. This is why the Greeks said that it was better to be a beggar in this world than a king in the underworld. Their fear of death was more a fear of losing consciousness than it was a fear of the pain of death.

Many painters of the Italian Renaissance have depicted this descent of Christ into hell, showing how Christ breaks down the doors of hell and causes a myriad of little demons to scurry for cover in crevices and caves while Christ leads Abraham, Jacob, Moses and others out of the netherworld.

When the Resurrection took place on Easter Sunday, Christ, in the Resurrection Body, was at first an etheric entity, as is shown by the fact that Mary Magdalen did not recognize him but initially took him to be the gardener. Skythianos could perceive all these events and impart them to his pupils. By the 4th and 5th centuries, these pupils had become the individualities we know as the Celtic monks of the Irish tradition. Columba, Gallus, Alcuin and others spread the stream of Celtic Christianity throughout Europe. They had had an experience of Christ at the time of the Golgotha event and were aware of what had happened there. Sergei Prokofieff has investigated this matter in his book entitled “The Spiritual Sources of Eastern Europe and the Future Mysteries of the Holy Grail.”

[lecture source unknown]

During an earlier incarnation, two special pupils had been initiated by Skythianos into the mysteries of 1.) The human being, and 2.) The human body. The first of these two initiations involved the mysteries of the flesh and the blood, and the individuality thus initiated later became Joseph of Arimathea. The second pupil, initiated into the mysteries of the flesh, was Nicodemus. According to mystery knowledge, both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were present at the deposition from the cross. Joseph of Arimathea actually entered the grave that received the body of Christ.

Another tradition is based on the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus (which was eventually not included in the canon of books of the New Testament). According to the Gospel of Nicodemus, on the day before the Resurrection, Joseph of Arimathea was captured and thrown into an underground prison. On Easter Sunday, Christ appeared to him and offered him a chalice – symbolizing the mystery of the blood. Owing to his high degree of spiritual development, Joseph of Arimathea was able to perceive the chalice (i.e. the human heart) while in his prison cell, and this actually brought about a transformation of his own blood. He was then given the following task: upon his release from prison he was to found a community of Guardians of the Grail. These mysteries of the Grail (mysteries of the flesh and the blood) thus traveled from Hibernia (Ireland) to Central Europe and finally to Eastern Europe. Each of the places where individual Celtic monks established residency became a centre for this mystery Grail stream.

Rudolf Steiner mentions how the mystery stream of Skythianos working through these monks reached Russia and how a Grail mood was established there. In this way the Slavic peoples took in the impulse carried by Skythianos and Joseph of Arimathea, and this created within them a predisposition towards an inner Grail consciousness. They held their souls open to receive the Christ impulse.

Six or seven centuries before the Mystery of Golgotha, there existed a culture on the steppes north of the Black Sea which included the Sarmatian and Scythian tribes. These were nomadic peoples who lived according to a matriarchal social structure. They also had some connection with the early Greek colonies, as reported by the Greek historian Herodotus. The Celts also later made their way into this same region.


The Scythians thrived on the north shore of the Black Sea, and acted as link between the cultures of Europe and that of the Caucasus. A mystery centre was established there led by Scythos, who received into himself the being of Skythianos. Although the two remained distinct entities, we can say that Scythos was inspired by the being of Skythianos, and that the two were thus interconnected. In a lecture given on November 9, 1914 [editor: on Kalevela, see link above] Rudolf Steiner states that the culture of the Eastern Slavic peoples evolved under the guidance of one of the great initiates of the West.


During all these developments, Manes, Buddha, Zarathustra/Master Jesus and Skythianos were present. Although he indicated that there was an interweaving of the activity of Master Jesus and that of Skythianos, Rudolf Steiner always refrained from revealing many details concerning the being of Skythianos – discretion is indeed the very characteristic of this great being.

Skythianos works at present by creating a pathway towards Christian Rosenkreuz, the being who is the leader of humanity from 1413 to 3573. In the present age of Michael, Christian Rosenkreuz is our earthly helper while Michael is our spiritual helper. Christian Rosenkreuz’ task is to bring human beings to the realization that they are responsible for their own spiritual development and for the transformation of the earth.

The development of the consciousness of the individual human being is to go through two fundamental steps: 1) study; 2) the development of the higher levels of consciousness (Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition). But the development of the earth is to be accomplished through such practices as biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical medicine, three-folding of the social order, etc.

There is a collaborative working between Skythianos and Christian Rosenkreuz. Skythianos is the guardian of the mysteries of the physical body, and the great challenge of mankind lies precisely in the mystery of the human physical body. Just because modern science can do something with the physical body does not mean that it should do so. At some future point, the etheric forces will have to penetrate into the physical body to such a degree that they will begin to transform it, and then the physical body will possess different faculties and possibilities. One step in this direction can be seen in the art of eurythmy.

[lecture source unknown]

In the sixth epoch, Skythianos will replace Christian Rosenkreuz as the leader of humanity. He will then carry as his fundamental impulse the mystery of the Word. It is essential that we establish the “I” consciousness during our 5th period – for in the 6th epoch human beings will be incapable of saying words injurious to other human beings or to beings of other kingdoms of nature, such as animals. Skythianos is connected with the power of recitation and the music of the word.

2014-08-31 - Dimitar Mangurov: 'Skythianos'

lecture at the conference "The Soul of Europe", Varna, 31.08.2014

see PDF version here and youtube and EN translated versions here on an internet blog where someone (sirpasipuli on blogger) added the comment below:


Skythianos is deeply connected with the people who left Atlantis on their northern path out of Atlantis or/and also remained in the northern areas, like Wikings, Sami or Karelians (Karelians live bouth in todays Russia and Finland) these all are not national tribes or states, only later it became, what we can se as States and Nations like Norway, Dänemark, Sweden or Finland today. Finland f.ex. is very old, but as a state or nation just a 100 years.

The Slave population is a very young group, it transformed out of a kind of tripple turn in the midst of Europe, a kind of the metamorphosis of evolution, till creating todays West-slaves and Southern-slaves and the Eartern-slaves that also define states and state names by now.

To my understanding there is stil a strong component of transformation within the Slav population of Europe, that will have to be transformed in many various ways till 3573...

One of these tasks is creating soul qualities, till the spiritself can be prepared. This is a task for everyone, but within the route/the spiritual education of ourselves, the slaves will have to create a real brotherhood (what I can not see yet).

In Bulgaria there are smaller groups exercising, started with Beinsa Douno ...but this is just the beginning. They already have a strong message, with singing and chanting with meditative music, that can transform into selfhealing processes.

What I think is of great importance.


Related pages

References and further reading

  • Herbert Wimbauer: 'Skythianos und die Zeitenwende' (1982)
  • Ate Koopmans: Skythianos (en de geestelijke leiding van de mensheid, en de moderne techniek) (three articles in NL in 'Mededelingen van de Antroposofische Vereniging in Nederland', 1983-84)


  • Willem Frederik Veltman: 'Het Rijk der Scythen' (in NL, article in 'Vrije Opvoedkunst', 1994)
  • Tamara Talbot Rice (1904-1993): 'The Scythians' (original in EN 1957, also in DE as 'Die Skythen: ein Steppenvolk an der Zeitenwende')
    • available freely online here
    • references sources as Herodotus, Xenophon and more recent scholars E.G. Minns, Rostovtzeff
    • includes a chapter on the Scythian legacy in Slavic Russia
  • Barry Cunliffe : 'The Scythians: Nomad Warriors of the Steppe' (2019)