Zodiac man

From Anthroposophy

Zodiac man is the symbolic name for the representation of the zodiacal influences in the creation of the human physical body, as found in many old illustrations. It is these zodiacal influences that still develop the embryo out of chaos in the womb, see Embryo in the womb.

The germinal spiritual form of Man's physical body was created during the Old Saturn evolution the signs of the zodiac slowly revolved, and the human body took on its earliest form, member by member. This spiritual physical form of Man, without its 'filling' by substance of the lower elements, is also called the 'phantom', see also cleansed phantom.

The current mineral physical body was formed from the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs onwards, under influence of the four Group souls of humanity, see (1908-09-10-GA106 and 1911-08-26-GA129 as well as human races.

See also Schema FMC00.257 on Human physical body and Man as a threefold being


Schema FMC00.127 illustrates the concept of 'zodiac Man', the fact that the various parts of the human body are an expression of the formative influences of the zodiac signs.


Lecture coverage and references

1909-04-18-GA110 (SWCC) is a continuation and summary statement for the detailed explanations on 1909-04-17-GA110.

What is called the physical body today had its first foundations during the earliest Old Saturn planetary stage. That physical body was not as yet interpenetrated by an etheric body or 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 to-day. Very slowly and gradually was this physical body organised during 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 ancient 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, but formerly the Zodiac was not 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.

Think of such a Zodiacal circle as a man designed out there in the Cosmos, then you have that which corresponds to the powers of the Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim who created the first beginnings of the physical human body.

This is the great Cosmic Man, the Man who is found in all the World Myths, and all the national legends or sagas, out of whom single individuals of the earth are composed in the most varied forms. Think of the giant YMIR who is spread out in the great Cosmos; microcosmic man is formed out of this giant.

Up above is the macrocosmic man who is a Creator, who, out there, comprises all that man has within him. Profound truth lies in the depths of such representations, truth which comes to light more or less imperfectly, according to the degrees of the clairvoyant power of the nations. It also shines through that wisdom which finds its outward expression in the old Testament. It shines in that wisdom which, as the old Hebrew mystery-teaching, leads back to that Mystery teaching which was the foundation of the Old Testament — to Adam Cadmon of the Kabbala. The macrocosmic Man is none other than the one we have now designed in the Cosmos; only we must form our conceptions of him in the right way.

1908-09-10-GA106 - see full extract on Group souls of humanity, a key point being:

The time during which the sun traverses a sign has some significance, but such a period would not suffice for the change that had to take place in order for Man to progress from sexuality under the sign of the Scorpion to the evolving of his hips under the sign of the Balance.

We should have a false picture of this, if we thought that it could have occurred in one transit of the sun. The sun goes once through the zodiac, and only after this complete circuit does the forward step occur. In earlier times it had to make the transit oftener before the forward step could take place. Therefore we cannot apply to more ancient epochs the familiar time-reckonings of post-Atlantean times. The sun had first to go completely around - in earlier ages even several times - before evolution could progress a step. For those members that required a stronger molding, the time lasted even longer.

1910-12-31-GA126 - see also Nerve-sense subystem

It should not be beyond the scope of modern physiology to know where the microcosmic counterparts of the twelve Amshaspands are to be found. They are the twelve main nerves proceeding from the head; these are nothing else than material densifications of what arose in the human belong through the instreaming of the twelve macrocosmic powers. The ancient Persians pictured the twelve Archangel-Beings working from the twelve directions of the Zodiac, working into the human head in twelve rays, in order gradually to produce what is now our intelligence. Naturally they did not work into man for the first time in the ancient Persian epoch, but finally they worked in such a way that we can speak of twelve cosmic radiations, twelve Archangel-radiations, which then densified in the human head into twelve main cerebral nerves.




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References and further reading