Mystical Lamb

From Anthroposophy

The Mystical Lamb is the symbol of the Christ, his divine sacrifice to humanity, and as the future group soul of humanity, see also Unification and Second Adam.

The Lamb appears in the Book of Revelation as an esoteric symbol:

“And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6)

The symbol for the Mystical Lamb, as shown in Schema FMC00.068 below, can be read in a microcosmic and macrocosmic way:

Aspects

  • the mystical lamb as the name of Christ, and the future group soul of humanity or see Second Adam, as illustrated in the second apocalyptic seal (Schema FMC00.384 below). In the Book of Revelation, the Eagle, Lion and Bull refer to the third, fourth and fifth epochs; whereas they come together in the Christ in the sixth epoch.
  • relationship between the three symbols of the five pointed star, six pointed star, and the seven pointed star symbol (Schema FMC00.068 below), see Note [1] in the Discussion area
  • the drawing in 1908-01-27-GA102 sketching the structure of the Mystical Lamb versus bodily principles and zodiac signs (not shown), see also the link with Zodiac streams: seven and five

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.068 shows original drawings of the Mystical Lamb symbol by people who attended the lecture in 1907. See also Discussion area.

FMC00.068.jpg

Schema FMC00.068A puts the two drawings from two lectures next to eachother for comparison. On the right the eyes are drawn with the symbols for the planets, and the stars are not drawn because a comment is made with regards to the 24 spirits of rotation of time (see extract below).

FMC00.068A.jpg

FMC00.384 shows the second of the seven apocalyptic seals, the two left illustrations are sketches provided by Rudolf Steiner as indications, the two on the right are paintings by Clara Rettich of 1907 and 1911. It shows the past with the four group souls that led upto current humanity, and in the center the Mystical Lamb symbol of the Christ group soul as the future group soul of humanity, see also Unification and Second Adam.

FMC00.348.jpg

FMC00.384 shows the central detail of the Adoration of the Mystical Lamb, the large 15th century alterpiece painting with twelve panels in the Cathedral of Ghent, Belgium. It was painted by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck and completed in 1432.

FMC00.349.jpg

Lecture coverage and references

1907-04-22-GA104a

An explanation for the above image is given by Rudolf Steiner, hereby an excerpt from 1907-04-22-GA104a

This is, the occult sign of the lamb. The lamb receives the book with the seven seals.

“And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6)

The seven corners of the sign are called “horns.”

But what do the “eyes” mean? In occult schools the signs of the seven planets are written next to the seven eyes. The seven eyes signify nothing other than the seven planets, while the names of the planets designate the spirits incarnated in them as their intelligence. “Saturn” is the name of the soul of Saturn. The names of the planets come from the spirits of the seven planets found around the Earth. These have an influence on human life. The lamb, Christ, contains all seven. Christ is the alpha and the omega [editor: see also IAO] ; the seven planets are related to him like members to an entire body.

The entwining of the lines of the sign portray in a wonderful way the interaction between the seven planets. From Saturn one rises to the Sun, from there down to the Moon, then on to Mars, Mercury, and so forth. The same thing is expressed in the names of the seven days of the week: Saturday, Saturn; Sunday, the Sun; Monday, the Moon; Tuesday, Mardi, Mars; Wednesday, Mercredi, Mercury; Thursday, Jeudi, Jupiter; Friday, Vendredi, Venus.

Christ is the regent of all these world spheres; their actions constitute only part of his being; he unites them all.

In Rosicrucian schools a lamb is often drawn as a sign for the intelligence of the Sun.

1907-04-27-GA096

... and again a few days later on 1907-04-27-GA096 (SWCC)

Occult symbols of this have existed through the ages.

  • A seven-cornered sign is the symbol of the good sun spirit. The seven corners symbolize the seven planets. In occultism, the stars are drawn into the figure [heptagram] in the form of seven eyes. They bind it all together. At the same time we also have the days of the week if you follow this line.
  • In the distant past, time could not yet be measured by external methods based on the way the sun moves around the earth. Early occultists thought of special regents for the orbit of the sun, and they were right in their thinking. The whole system was orbiting, and time was determined in relation to the twelve signs of the zodiac: Ram, Bull, Twins, Crab, Lion, Virgin, Scales, and so on. As you know, one cycle in the evolution of a cosmic system is called a manvantara, and this is always followed by a pralaya, a state of rest. They alternate like day and night, with both night and day of 12 hours duration. Those 12 hours correspond to the vast periods of time in the cosmic day that were regulated by the ancient rulers of the circling of the zodiac. I would need to draw 24 masters of rotations around this sign. If I were to draw it, you'd have the heptagon here, then the seven eyes for the seven stars, and the 24 ancient rulers, 12 for the night and 12 for the day.
  • The pentagram is the symbol for the human being. A black magician uses it with the two 'horns' pointing upwards and the single peak pointing down. On completion of this development, the 'good' will have developed seven 'horns'. That is the sign of the Christ spirit, the good sun spirit is also called 'the lamb'.


Having gained this insight, let's read the passage where John receives the book sealed with seven seals as it is given in chapter 4 of the Book of Revelation:

'And immediately I was in the spirit. And behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardius stone ... And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting'

I have presented them to you in the twenty-four hours of the cosmic day, night and day. And then, moving on to chapter 5:

'And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of god sent forth into all the earth.'

This occult sign forms the background to John's writing of the secrets of cosmic existence in his Book of Revelation.

1908-01-27-GA102

With regards to the 'eyes', in 1908-01-27-GA102 reference is made to the Archai (SWCC)

.. there are beings whose lowest member is the ‘I’, and who don't have a physical nor etheric nor astral body in our sense but whose I streams outwards (without these three sheaths). They are therefore beings who send forth ‘I’ in all directions. These Beings have an eighth, a ninth, and a tenth member; they are described in the Apocalypse as beings who are “full of eyes”.

1908-03-24-GA102

.. the “Mystical Lamb” is the Sun-Spirit who holds the secret of lifting not only the spirits away from the earth but of redeeming the bodies, spiritualizing them, after many incarnations have been passed through. The possessor of the love mystery is the Sun-Spirit whom we call the Christ, and since He has an interest not only in the individuality, but directly in each single personality of the earth, we call Him the “Great Sacrifice of the Earth” or the “Mystical Lamb.”

Discussion

Note [1] - Symbol of the Mystical Lamb

The symbol also appears on the third apocalyptic seal (see Schema FMC00.350), hence it is interesting to study it together with the five and six pointed stars. Rudolf Steiner covers these symbols in more depth in the esoteric lessons.

  • five pointed star as symbol of etheric body, six pointed as symbol of astral body (1906-11-06-GA266/1, 1906-11-14-GA266/1, 1906-12-01-GA266/1)
  • five and six pointed stars and the Logoi, see eg Schema FMC00.010A
  • an elaborate buildup in the context of the Parsifal story develops a rosecrucian symbol in 1909-08-27-GA266/1 and 1909-08-30-GA266/1, see Schema FMC00.394 on Parsifal
  • pentagram with the point turned downwards as symbol of black magic (1906-12-01-GA266/1)

[2] - Various

Regarding esoteric symbols, see 'Jacob's Wheel' for a mandala representation showing embedded structures of three and seven.

Related pages

References and further reading