Zodiac

From Anthroposophy

For our current waking or mineral consciousness and physical senses, the zodiac consists of twelve star constellations around the ecliptic. The star formations are given symbolic names of animals (and men). We can find the sign or symbol of the zodiac belt with old cultures dating back millenia.

For clairvoyant consciousness, the zodiac represents high spiritual beings who have evolved to the emanating Condition of Consciousness, meaning they can create from nothing by self sacrifce. They lie at the origin of the creation of our solar system, and are also called the First Hierarchy of Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. During the Old Saturn planetary stage, the Seraphim supported the sacrifice of the Thrones to create Old Saturn, in the next planetary stage Old Sun the Cherubim did the same for the sacrifice of the Spirits of Wisdom.

The Zodiac is a line which returns on itself, forming a circle as the expression of the rotation of Time and while one branch of Time goes forward into the future, the other turns backwards into the past.

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.260A illustrates the zodiacal influences on Earth and Man

FMC00.260A.jpg

Lecture coverage and references

See: Creation of solar system

1906-09-04-GA095 (Q&A from steinerdatenbank, not on rsarchive) contains a question on the origin of the names of the zodiac signs

The whole animal kingdom was one inside of Man, meaning: Man was at the step between the current animal kingdom and human kingdom. To develop further, Man had to expulse the parts that could not be part of his further development. He excreted that, which currently builds our animal kingdom. Originally the animals were much less different from Man as currently [editor: Man's bodily constitution morphed and underwent a major transformation under influence of the I during the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs].

Now this excretion of the animal kingdom did not go at once, but very gradually. First fishes, than reptiles and amphibies, followed by birds and mammals. And with these groups also again a gradualy excretion to place. That way for example the predators were excreted before the apes. When the lions were excreted, then the star sign in which the Sun stood was called Lion, and when Man excreted the bull nature, the corresponding star sign was called Bull.

The names of the four apocalyptic animals in John's book of Revelation point to the same, they are: Eagle, Lion, Bull, Man. But with this not all names of the zodiac signs are explained.

1906-10-04-GA091 is an esoteric lecture describing the zodiac signs with links to the ten, eleventh and twelve commandments and the unfolding of the development of the Christ impulse.

1909-04-17-GA110 (SWCC)

when the Old Saturn globe had evolved to the Old Sun globe, there distinctly appear encircling it, those beings who form the Animal circle or Zodiac, but even though they did not surround it so compactly as they did in the Sun existence, they were already there on ancient Saturn. Thus, around Old Saturn we must think of the Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim wielding their power, and they are to us, in the spiritual sense, the Zodiacal circle.

and further

If you lift your hand and point upwards with your finger, over that place is the region of certain Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. If you point to some other place, it will be another region of other H1 entities; for these three groups of Beings form a circle around Old Saturn. Suppose that you wanted to indicate the direction in which certain Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim are to be found. They are not all alike, each one is very distinctly different from the other, they are all individualised, so that one indicates different Beings when one points with the finger to different places. And to be able to indicate the right Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, one marks the spot by a certain constellation of stars. In this direction one would say are the Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, called Gemini, in another those called Leo, and so on. We must consider those separate constellations as signs to show the direction in which certain Beings are. They are something more, but we must first be clear, that when we speak of the ‘animal circle’ or Zodiac, we have to do with spiritual Beings

and then is explained the principle of the 'zodiac man', how in the initial germ of Man's physical body, a certain differentiation originated from different areas from the zodiac:

Thus also have all the other foundations or germs of the human organs been formed by the Animal Circle or Zodiac. The heart was formed by Leo the Lion. Near the heart, the cage of the ribs, which is necessary for the protection of the heart, was called the breastplate. In the beginning a region had naturally to be formed before the inclusion of the heart. Another name for the breastplate arose, which was taken from an animal who had received such a breastplate from nature — Cancer, the Crab; that which is out in space is really called ‘breastplate,’ a protection which the Crab has from nature, hence that region was called ‘the Crab.’ It lies on one side of the Lion. The other regions of the Zodiac were named according to the same principle. In fact, it is man projected outwards into universal space who has given these designations to the Zodiacal circle. But it is not always so easy to discover the original intention, in the transformed names, as for example, with the Crab. The name has not always been transmitted in a direct line, so that one has to return to the original sense if the meaning is to be made clear.

1909-04-18-GA110

What is called the physical body today had its first foundations during the very earliest Old Saturn formation. That physical body was not as yet interpenetrated by an etheric body, or by an astral body; but it was already so organised that after passing through all the transformations it experienced later, it could become the bearer of the spiritual earth Man of today. Very slowly and gradually was this physical body organised during the Old Saturn evolution, and, 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.

  • When Saturn stood under the sign of the Lion the beginning of the heart was formed;
  • the ribs or the thoracic cage were started while Saturn was under the sign of the Crab;
  • the foundation of the symmetrical shape of man, that is the reason for his being symmetrically built on two sides, arose while Saturn was under the constellation of Gemini.

Thus we follow piece by piece the formation of the human body,

  • and when we look up to that part of the Zodiac, where Aries the Ram is, we can say: The upper part of our head originated when Old Saturn stood under the sign of Aries;
  • the foundation of our organ of speech, when Saturn stood under the sign of the Bull.

And when you think of man distributed thus, you can see in the zodiacal circle the creative forces for each of the human organs.

This was represented pictorially in the old Mysteries, and the zodiac was drawn as you see it here on the ceiling of this hall. By chance - but there is no such thing as chance - we have met in a hall which is adorned above by the signs of the Zodiac.

Formerly the Zodiac was not designed by depicting the animal form corresponding to each sign, but the different human members were drawn in the corresponding region of the heavens: for instance, for Aries a head; further on, for the Bull, the region of the throat; that which most of all expresses symmetry — the arms, for Gemini; the thoracic cage, for the Crab; the heart, for the Lion; and thus they came to the lower parts of the legs, for the Waterman; and to the feet, for Pisces.

...

What I have now explained to you, and which culminated in the teaching of the macrocosmic man, is a teaching which in fact includes the deepest cosmic mysteries, and which in the future will gradually flow into the general education of humanity at large.

1921-10-28-GA208 describes the twelve signs of the zodiac and how they relate to Man's formation and activities.


Note on terminology

1911-01-19-GA060 (in RSL008)

Zarathustra showed — and this is a most important point — that the Zodiac is a line which returns on itself, forming a circle as the expression of the rotation of Time. In the highest sense, he taught that while one branch of Time goes forward into the future, the other turns backwards into the past.

Zaruana Akarana, the self-contained line of Time, the circle described by Ormuzd, the Spirit of Light, is what was later called the Zodiac.

This is the expression of the spiritual activity of Ormuzd. The course of the Sun through the Zodiac is the expression of the activity of Ormuzd.

The Zodiac is the expression of Zaruana Akarana. Zaruana Akarana and Zodiac are one and the same word, like Ormuzd and Ahura Mazdao.

Discussion

Research into and experience of the zodiacal influences

For info on the Astrostat work by Joachim Schultz and Suo Vetter's, more recently taken up by Wolfgang Findeisen, see:

For experiental experience of the different influences from various signs, see:

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Julius Schwabe: 'Archetyp und Tierkreis' (1951)