From Anthroposophy

The Moon is the satellite of the Earth, since the separation from the Earth in the middle of the Lemurian epoch. The Moon is bound to reunite with the Earth


  • link between the phases of the Moon and ..
    • the tides and water level of the oceans
      • are a result of the rhythmic interdependance of the earth and the moon forces that originate from the time the moon was still in the earth, hence there is still the correlation between the phases of the moon and the tides - because at one time they were dependent upon each other (1922-09-27-GA347)
    • the twenty-eight to thirty vertebrae of the spinal column (and their development in the embryo) (see 1924-01-12-GA233A below and Persian cultural age#1910-12-31-GA126)
  • link between the Moon and reproductive forces
    • similar interdependancy as above with the tides, for the dependency of the female aspect of procreation of the phases of the moon (1922-09-27-GA347)
  • spiritual influence of the Moon
    • the Egyptians called the influence of the moonlight Osiris forces (shining phases of full moon) versus Isis when moon is dark


Lecture coverage and references


Let us imagine that we lie down to sleep, that the astral body removes itself from the physical, and that all this happens in the full moon. We have the physical and etheric bodies lying in bed, the astral body hovering above, and all of this in the full moonlight. Now the situation is not so that an astral cloud simply becomes visible there for the clairvoyant.

-         On the contrary, what he actually sees is streams from the astral body into the physical, and these streams are the forces that remove fatigue in the night. They bring to the physical body replenishment for the wear and tear of the day, so that it feels refreshed and quickened.

-         At the same time one would see spiritual streams proceeding from the moon, and these streams are permeated by astral powers. One would see how there actually proceed from the moon spiritual effects that permeate and strengthen the astral body and influence its working on the physical body.


In previous times people generally knew more about these things. People used to know more about these matters and said that the sun had masculine qualities. It does actually create the masculine gender of beings. This is revealed in a way in the Latin language, where sol, the sun, is masculine, while luna, the moon, is feminine. Sol, the sun quality, fertilizes luna, the feminine element. In German this is reversed, and the word Sonne (sun) is feminine and the term Mond (moon) is masculine even though in reality the sun represents mas­culine qualities and the moon feminine ones. Things got mixed up there. If we want to use language in the right way, we should give the word Sonne the masculine gender and the term Mond the feminine: der Sonne and die Mond.

Let me conclude with a joke drawn from Latin. .. Let us say we first have the moon at the waxing stage. It increases until it reaches the full condition. Then it begins to wane. You see, if you look at the corresponding terms within the Roman languages, for instance in French, which derives from Latin, you could compare the waning moon with a ‘C’ and the waxing one with a ‘D’. And the ‘C’ brings us to croitre, which means ‘grow’. However, when it resembles a ‘C’ the moon is waning instead of waxing or growing. The phase in which it resembles a ‘D’ does not correspond to decroitre either, because now it is waxing. When we look at the sky, the moon seems to say ‘I grow’ though in reality it is waning and vice versa. This is how the saying ‘The moon tells lies’ originated.

But this example has a more profound significance. People were embarrassed to talk about the moon because it is connected with human procreation. This subject gradu­ally turned into something people did not talk about. In the process, they lost the capacity to speak about moon quali­ties in the proper way. That is why the moon supposedly told lies. When people looked at it, it no longer indicated what they were related to. Doctors gradually dropped the habit of saying that the unborn child is carried in the mother’s womb for ten lunar months and instead spoke of nine sun months, which is approximately the same period of time. But in reality this length of time is ten lunar months, not nine sun months. It has to do with the moon and the fact that at one time the earth carried the moon in it, then gave birth to it and cast it out into space.


[Moon and tides]

.. it is remarkable that even today the ocean tides are connected with sun and moon. We can definitely say that in one phase of the moon they are different than in another. There are some connec­tions. But this has nothing to do with the idea that moonlight falls on the ocean somewhere and thus causes certain tides.

When the moon was still inside the earth, it developed its various forces and brought about the tides. Up to this day, the earth has kept the remnants of those forces that rhyth­mically vary the water level in the oceans, and has carried out the variation by itself.

To believe that the moon is still responsible for the tides today is superstition. But at an earlier time, when the earth was still affected by everything and when the moon was still inside it, then the tides were dependent on the moon. The earth still lives in this ancient rhythm even though it is now independent of it. Thus the earth maintains an apparent dependence on the moon.

Similarly, when I look at my watch and see that it is ten o'clock, I cannot say that the watch itself throws me out of this hall. In other words, the phases of the moon still coin­cide with the tides because at one time they were dependent upon each other; this interdependence no longer exists, but their rhythm has been maintained unchanged by the earth.

[Moon and reproductive forces]

We can say the same thing about the reproductive forces as far as they are dependent upon the moon, which means as far as they represent the female aspect of procreation. It also applies to the reproductive forces dependent on the sun, that is, on the sun forces inside the earth.

All animals that reproduce at a fast rate make use of the sun forces stored in the earth and are less developed. More highly developed animals and also human beings bear the procreative forces inside them, protecting and shielding these forces within them. A certain amount of sun energy still reaches these forces and renews them continuously; otherwise they would no longer be there. But these beings would not receive enough procreative forces out of the sun forces stored inside the earth.

Plants have access to these forces, because they carry up inside them what was stored in the earth through the winter until the following summer. The procreative forces of the previous year are therefore available to plants.

But this is not true for the elephant. Its procreative forces stem from a time millions of years back; they are in its seed and have been transmitted from elephant father to elephant son. The elephant carries these forces in its body. Plants are filled with procreative forces generated in the previous year, but the elephant bears in itself forces that are millions of years old. Plants and lower animals can still use the forces recently stored in the earth, which are enormously strong; those animals that depend on keeping very old procreative forces inside themselves, however, can repro­duce their own kind only in a limited way.


Thus, profound and solemn attention was given in this school to the passage of the Moon through First Quarter, Full Moon, Last Quarter, New Moon; they learned to watch how the Moon in this way goes through twenty-eight to thirty phases. They watched out in the Cosmos the passage of the Moon through her phases. They watched the Moon as she moves within her orbit. They saw how she describes her twenty-eight to thirty curves or turns and they understood how Man has in his spinal column these twenty-eight to thirty vertebrae and how the development of the spinal column in the embryo corresponds with the movements and forces of the Moon.

They saw in the form and shape of the human spinal column the copy of the monthly movement of the Moon. And in the twenty-eight to thirty nerves that go out from the spinal column into the whole organism, they saw a copy of the streams that the Moon sends down continually upon the Earth, sending them down at the various stages of her path in the heavens.

Actually and literally, in these continuations of the vertebrae they saw a reflection of the inpouring of the Moon-streams. In short, in what the human being bears within him in the nerves of the spinal marrow together with the spinal marrow itself, they saw something that unites him with the Cosmos, that brings him into living connection with the Cosmos.

All this that I have indicated to you was presented to the pupil. And he was then made to observe something else. It was said to him: “Look at the optic nerve: watch how it goes from the brain across into the eye. You will see that in the course of its passage into the eye it is divided into very fine threads. How many threads? The threads that go from the optic nerve into the inside of the eye are exactly as many in number as the nerves that go out from the spinal marrow; there are twenty-eight to thirty of them. So that we may say, a spinal marrow system in miniature goes from the brain through the optic nerve into the eye.”

Thus has Man — so said the teacher to his pupils — thus has man received this thirty-membered system of nerves and spinal marrow from the Gods, who in primeval antiquity formed and shaped his existence; but Man himself has fashioned, in his eye, in his sense-world-beholding eye, a copy of the same; there, in the front of the head-organism he has fashioned for himself a copy of what the Gods have made of him.

After this, the pupil's attention was directed to the following. The organisation of the spinal marrow stands, as we have seen, in connection with the Moon. But on the other hand, through the special relationship that the Moon has to the Sun, we have a year of twelve months; and from the human brain twelve nerves go out to the various parts of the organism, the twelve chief nerves of the brain. In this respect, Man, in his head organisation, is a microcosm, in respect, namely, of the relationship between Sun and Moon. In the whole form and figure of Man is expressed an imitation of the processes out yonder in the Cosmos.


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References and further reading