Old Saturn

From Anthroposophy

Old Saturn is the first planetary incarnation and evolutionary stage in the current solar system, this stage represents the first seed stage of our current solar system with planet Earth. It was made up of the element of warmth, and reached upto the boundaries represented by the orbit of the current planet Saturn.


  • the Thrones
    • .. having reached level CoC-8 (see Twelve Conditions of Consciousness, and also FMC00.077A on Creation of solar system), they offer their sacrifice to the Cherubim, thus providing the warmth substance for the 'development environment' of Old Saturn (1911-10-31-GA132)
    • .. at the end of the planetary stage, they create the disposition of Man's spirit Man principle in the very last cycle (see Man's higher triad)
  • in the chain of beings who sacrifice, the Spirits of Form
    • from the mantle surrounding Old Saturn radiated their then-lowest principle, corresponding to today Man's etheric body, and radiated inward fructify­ing matter, life-juices, like a fertilizing, continuous rain. Old Saturn did not keep these radiations but rather reflected them back like a mirror, hence the SoF reflected their own image in the warmth mass of Old Saturn, and the human being there became an image of God.
  • the Archai
    • .. reach their 'human' stage in terms of Condition of Consciousness (CoC-4), attained self-consciousness and realised the I or Self as the centre of their being
    • .. had breathed in part of the warmth and left behind another part, in order to differentiate themselves from it. Thus left behind them a lower kingdom as inner warmth was differentiated from outer warmth. Generically this process takes place at each planetary stage: not all substance gets spiritualized at the end of the cycle, causing a split into an advanced and a lowered segment or kingdom. See also Schema FMC00.149 on Overview of solar system evolution
    • .. create the physical form of Man (called the 'phantom', see cleansed phantom)
      • the germinal physical body and organs of Man were woven through the influences of the spiritual beings from the various Zodiac signs .. the heart by the Lion area, breast area Cancer, etc. During the Old Saturn evolution the signs of the zodiac slowly revolved, and the human body took on its earliest form, member by member. See 1909-04-18-GA110 extract on the Zodiac page, as well as Zodiac man.
  • Man
    • was a mineral entity with only a phantom physical body as a heat-system, and with a dull deep trance consciousness (CoC-1); see also schema FMC00.149 on Overview of solar system evolution
  • the beginning of the concept of time as we know it, from the more eternal concept of 'duration' (1910-GA013)


Schema FMC00.199 provides a tabular overview of the seven CoL in the Old Saturn planetary stage. See Process description under the Discussion section.


Schema FMC00.200 presents a schematic overview that can be read together with the above FMC00.199.


Schema FMC00.193 is a metaphoric illustration that can be used as a reminder of the beautiful imagination sketched in 1911-10-31-GA132 and the nature of sacrifice (and the arising of warmth on Old Saturn).


Schema FMC00.201 is metaphoric imagery for the warmth formation structure on Old Saturn stage.


See also Schema FMC00.077A taken from Creation of solar system

FMC00.291 provides explanatory background for the principle of the two opposing etheric streams as per FMC00.051, on the left for Old Saturn. See Process description in the Discussion area below.

Lecture coverage and references

1908-03-14-GA266/1 (see more on Mystery of silver), also see schema FMC00.077A above.

On Old Saturn the warmth element was an element in and of itself, a fine state of matter for which we can form no physical imagination, finer than gas and air, a state such as the warmth of our blood today. The foundation for human bodies at that time consisted of this warmth.

Spiritual beings surrounded this Old Saturn like a mantle, among which were the Spirits of Form. They have also undergone an evolution. On Old Saturn they had as their lowest member a body that can be compared to the present-day etheric bodies of human beings. Then they had an astral body, an I, spirit-self, life-spirit, spirit-man being, and a member that is one degree higher than what a human being can achieve. From the mantle around Old Saturn these SoF radiated inward fructify­ing matter, life-juices, like a fertilizing, continuous rain. Old Saturn did not keep these radiations but rather reflected them back like a mirror, as the Earth gathers the rain and then lets it rise again as a mist. The SoF reflected their own image in the fire-mass of Saturn, and the human being there became an image of God. The myth of Chronos and Gaea, his wife, tells us that Saturn swallowed his children.

1909-04-13-A-GA110 – L3

from the synopsis: On Old Saturn inner warmth becomes outer warmth. Production and dissolution of warmth; inhalation and exhalation of warmth — exhalation as fire; resemblance to expansion and contraction in breathing. The Rishis teaching: warmth, sucked in becomes the I of the Archai. The Archai beginning to leave the exhaled warmth outside without re-inhaling it leads to manhood consciousness, objective consciousness and consciousness of self. Saturn dissolved by the Thrones. Pralaya or night. The karma of the Archai on Saturn brings ancient Sun into existence. Warmth divides into light and smoke or air.

1909-04-13-B-GA110 – L4

from the synopsis:

The eggs of warmth on Old Saturn were created by the thought of the Archai; now-a-days thought goes no further than the astral.

Evolution is a system proceeding from taking and to giving. On Old Saturn the Thrones gave their own warmth to the Archai, similar to the silkworms. The Archai gave personality to the warmth.

The expansion of the Archangels. They are met by Cherubim. In the Sun-nights when in the atmosphere light has left the air, in the air the Cherubim reflect the figure which becomes the germ of the animal kingdom.

In the following extract follows the key paragraph (SWCC)

.. suppose that all those Archai on OldSaturn had remained at the stage of their normal evolution and had continually inhaled and exhaled warmth. They would have accomplished their regular Old Saturn evolution and the consequence would have been that in the course of time all would have been withdrawn again into inner warmth, and Old Saturn as an external planet of fire would have been received again into the spiritual realms of the World. This might have happened. We would then never have had the Old Sun, Old Moon, and Earth conditions, for then all that had been breathed forth would have returned to inner warmth, would have been received again into the spiritual world.

I shall now make use of a trivial expression which will make this more comprehensible. It pleased certain Archai better to draw in again only a part of that exhaled warmth, not all of it was drawn in. They left some of it behind, so that when inhaling, some of the Old Saturn eggs did not disappear completely, but remained. Thus two states or conditions developed gradually on Old Saturn: inner warmth, and along side of it outer warmth incarnated in the Old Saturn eggs.

The Archai left some of that out-breathed warmth to take care of itself, as it were; they left it outside. They actually had to do this in order to become 'men' on Old Saturn. 'To become men' means: to attain consciousness of self, and this is only possible when you differentiate yourself as ‘I’ from what is outside you. ..

.. the Archai, became I's, attained consciousness of self, through having pushed a part of the Old Saturn essence outside into an existence of merely outer warmth. They said to themselves: I must allow something to stream out of me, and leave it outside, so that I am able to differentiate myself, so that my self-consciousness may be lit by that external element. Thus they created another kingdom near to them, created a mirrored image of their inner life in that outward life.

Thus it came about that at the end of the Old Saturn stage, the Archai were not in a position to allow Old Saturn to disappear. This would have happened if they had inhaled all the warmth; but they could not breathe in again that which they had exhaled out of themselves. The field which had offered them the possibility of gaining consciousness of self had to be left to itself. No condition of Pralaya could have arisen for Old Saturn through the Archai alone. Higher spirits, the Thrones, had to come into action in order to dissolve Old Saturn so that a Pralaya might take place.

The Archai had attained self-consciousness, had breathed in again a part of the warmth, had realised the Self as the centre of their being, and left behind them a lower kingdom. Now entered the Thrones and dissolved that which had been left behind, and Old Saturn entered into a sort of planetary night.


from the synopsis: Old Saturn was as large as a globe having as its centre the sun of to-day and reaching as far as present Saturn.

Maximilian Rebholz writes in his essay on the Elementary Kingdoms (SWCC) how the part of the substance (here: warmth) that is not fully 'processed' by the hierarchy that goes through the human stage experience (here: the Archai), falls back in evolution and gives rises to a lower kingdom that 'drops' vis-a-vis the same substance that went through the evolution with the Archai.

... Up till now, we have only considered the elementary kingdoms as the forces which reveal themselves as shapes in the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom and the animal kingdoms. Now however, in GA009 (Theosophy), perhaps it is not described in detail, yet it is hinted at, that also matter, the material element, arose through a process of condensation – "like ice from water" – from the three elementary kingdoms.

In order to understand, that both things exist – that only a part of the elementary kingdom has developed in the line which we have so far followed, whilst another part has become matter – we return again to the presentation of the Old Saturn evolution in GA110.

The task of the Archai was to re-spiritualize the warmth that they separated out of themselves at the end of the Old Saturn evolution. At least, this is what should have been. But – as Dr. Steiner went on to describe – the Archai were not able to transform back all the warmth. A part thereof remained externalized, and had to become spiritualized back by the Thrones themselves, at the transition of Old Saturn into the great Pralaya, that lies between the Old Saturn and Old Sun evolutions. This part reappeared in the Sun evolution as a backward, lower kingdom of nature, and this part became condensed in the further course of cosmic evolution and became present-day matter.

.. the other part, that had been spiritualized again, continued to live in the Archai in spiritual form (though it did descend while incarnating) ...

.. in the meantime, the part that had not been re-spiritualized by the Archai, condensed to materiality and turned first into astral materiality, then into an etheric one, and finally into the material of the lower worlds.

We thus have a splitting of the original unified sacrificial substance of the Thrones into two streams:

  • one which kept developing in spiritual form and turned into man's essential substance (the Self), and
  • the other part that was left behind, which went on a downward path of development and became present-day matter.

This is the secret affinity of the human being to the Old Saturn warmth that became condensed into earthly matter – an affinity to we shall return later.

Let us now assume, that the sacrificial substance of the Spirits of Wisdom too, which came into existence on the Sun as the first elementary kingdom, suffered a similar splitting. In that case, the part that remained behind of this elementary kingdom would have turned into present-day ether; for – as a young elementary kingdom, its condensation is not yet sufficiently advanced.

and Rebholz adds quotes that the substance of the SoW is the ether as in the etheric life body added on the Old Sun, and similarly for the SoM on Old Moon. See Schema FMC00.147 on The elementary kingdoms 1910-GA013 describes the appearance of time

With the appearance of the Old Saturn heat, our evolution for the first time passes over from a purely spiritual, inner existence into one manifesting externally. It will be especially difficult for the present-day consciousness to accept the statement that with the Old Saturn state of heat what is called “time” first makes its appearance, for the preceding states are not at all temporal. They belong to the region that in spiritual science may be called “duration.”

For this reason it must be understood that in all that is said in this work about such states in the “region of duration,” expressions referring to temporal relationships are only used by way of comparison and explanation.

What precedes “time,” as it were, can only be characterized in human language by expressions containing the idea of time, for we must also be conscious of the fact that although the first, second, and third states of Old Saturn did not take place one after the other in the present sense of the word, we cannot do otherwise than describe them one after the other. Indeed, in spite of their duration or simultaneity, they are so inter-dependent that this dependence may be compared with a sequence in time.


Process description

Use Schemas FMC00.077A and FMC00.291 above for the explanation below.

The Old Saturn stage starts with creative spiritual beings that had developed to high maturity (CoC 8-10) in a previous solar system evolution. We find them in a hollow sphere called a zodiac, that consists of the Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim (First Hierarchy or H1). Their influences vary depending to the area: different spiritual beings in different areas work different influences, denoted by Zodiac signs. Zodiac signs are pointers to these different directions from where spiritual beings are active and send their particular influence. The reason they are symbolized by animal signs will follow from this explanation.

At this stage, from without

  • the Thrones sacrifice their being and emanate warmth from which a warmth globe will arise.
  • The light which springs forth from the fire substance sacrifice of the Thrones, is accepted by the Cherubim, and they uplift themselves and grow to a higher level.

On Old Saturn, or rather ‘within' the Old Saturn sphere:

  • the 'inhabitants' Archai that go through the human stage of waking consciousness (in short: CoC-4, for Condition of Consciousness 4 out of 12, see FMC00.064)
  • above them, the beings of the Second Hierarchy (H2) hover above the Archai and are part of their evolutionary development (SoW as directors, SoM executors, SoF upholders of what is built).

What follows now is the foundational process from which the globe Old Saturn consisting of warmth substance, rose. How does this process work?

Whilst the Thrones (CoC-8) emanated their warmth as their sacrifice (and hence provide some base building material) .. the 'inhabitants' Archai that went through the human stage of waking consciousness (in short: CoC-4) were met by the Seraphim (then at CoC-10) .. coming to meet them to offer their spiritually vivifying influence.

Or again: CoC-level 4 is the ‘human conscious stage’ living in an environment where CoC-level 8 is able to sacrifice its lowest level of being to CoC-level 9. However it is a CoC-level 10 hierarchy that comes to ‘offer help’ and enrich the CoC-level 4 ‘human stage’.

The formation of the globe of warmth of Old Saturn arose from spiritual beings working from two sides: H2 from inside, and H1 from outside. Between these two streams of soul-warmth and inner-warmth (perceptable), through a slow and gradual process, something new arose: the germs of Man's organs were woven through the influences of the different spiritual beings from the various Zodiac signs .. the heart by the Lion area, breast area Cancer, etc (some names got transformed through the ages). What is called the physical body today had its first foundations during the earliest Old Saturn planetary stage. Whilst Old Saturn itself was being formed, the different signs of the Zodiac slowly revolved, and the human body member by member, took on its earliest form. This original life of the germinal physical body, this inner motion full of mobility, is brought to a standstill again by forces from the Zodiac from the region of the Lion.

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