Rudolf Steiner: Mystic for the Modern Era

The work of Rudolf Steiner has impacted more people in the past few years than it ever did in his lifetime. His was a quiet voice and nothing he said ever banged people on the head or threatened to provoke a revolution. From Steiner we get that mouthful of a word ‘Anthroposophy’ which in everyday language translates as knowledge of how to be an authentic human being. His ideas can come across as too abstract, yet though subtle they are consistent and mind-changing. They can take a while to sink in, but eventually what he says can tip over into profound shift of outlook and even a revolution in meaning. He produced thousands of lectures, many of them still little known or yet to be translated.

So for those who love their genie in a bottle, as the mystic vapour can barely be contained inside, it makes sense that Steiner was born a Pisces, on February 25th, in1861*. Pisces is the last zodiac sign where the culmination and completion of all the other signs is supposed to finally absorb into the infinite, and the native presents with a profusion of experiences in one life-time. Pisces as an archetype is about salvation, redemption, going way beyond. They are ready to sacrifice themselves die to enter into the next world while still living ecstatically in this one. Steiner has a twin mystic and visionary in Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) also a Pisces and a purveyor of the ancient psycho-geographies and hidden histories. They both stated openly that knowing about Atlantis, Lemuria and Hyperborea can impact how we live now.

Steiner has an ineffable quality that is difficult to pin down in words as it shifts beyond them. He expresses so well this ultimate essence of Pisces, the bestower of spiritual lessons that dissolve the knotted parts of us to promote individuation and healing, because he has both the Sun, Mercury and Neptune there in Pisces.  Chiron, the wounded healer, is at 28° of Aquarius and his wife Chariklo at 28° of Pisces exactly 30° apart like totemic bookends. His Neptune is also at 28° and that cycles back to the same point in Pisces in 2024. So we are likely to hear a lot more about him then as well. Chariklo is the ground of being so the fact that she combines with Neptune is truly beautiful. Their pairing is in the most creative house too, in the 5th, and he certainly made full use of that high level inspiration.  It is also conjunct Lillith so like everyone he had a dark side though there’s little evidence of any scandal except around his death when close friends claimed he was poisoned.

Atlantis
‘Atlantis’ Richard Pollack Karlin (2014)

I feel Steiner was and still is able to nourish readers somehow. They feel him as a presence that is both blessed and blissed out. People have been feeling Neptune’s voyage through Pisces since 2012 as perhaps a much deeper interest in all things spiritual. It is that Mind-Melt that chips away at all the most cherished certainties. This will bring peak experiences to many as Jupiter conjuncts Neptune on April 12th 2022. The idea of ‘peak’ as Maslow defined it is not necessarily outstanding like climbing a mountain and sitting on the summit like an eagle, but just as Proust said “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes but having new eyes.” Just to see life that you previously perceived as dull and void having nothing for you as suddenly offering a sparkling world of rich possibilities may be enough to say that’s your ‘peak experience.’ Don’t forget to enjoy it while it is happening and not after as it is fading from memory.

Steiner was a polymath which meant he could talk freely about multiple subjects from geo-farming, to education, astrology, philosophy, to performance art, theatre and painting, and colour theory. One distinctive  practice he originated was Eurythmy which was a series of physical movements both aesthetic and therapeutic. By doing all these things, he avoided the pitfalls of over-specialization. There is atomisation that splinters and controls knowledge. He argued that no one area should never be broken off from its context. His impulse was to synthesise all the various strands of knowledge together. That makes him a cross disciplinarian, and what he termed a ‘Spiritual Scientist’ who also happened to be an artist, educator and psychic.

He was seemingly very well in tune with the zeitgeist and of the future. You don’t have to agree with everything he says to recognise that he was a fountain of ideas. Many might disagree with his views on Christianity for example, as Christianity has a body-hating tendency running as a thread through its narrative posing it as ‘dirty’ somehow which in other traditions such as Tantra it is not. This positions ‘high’ morals against ‘low’ and ‘spiritual’ against ‘material’ in a way that can be very reductive and overlook all the nuances between. The body is not just an envelope of flesh to be abandoned on passing, but a living breathing interplay of psyche and soma. This polarising approach does not do justice to the issues. Many Pagans too might say his work glosses over the treasure trove of pre-Christian traditions to which Christianity owes a debt.

Steiner chart
Rudolf Steiner Chart (1861-1925) astrotheme.com

His chart shows an expansive personality with that Jupiter close to the MC.  In Leo, and given a wide berth, the stage is set for Jupiter to shine with endless abundance and generosity of spirit. Some said he exhausted himself though by always being there for anyone who asked, always answering questions as he seemed to know everything. He had time for everyone even the workers on the Goetheanum building. But that left him drained and overstretched.

Goetheanum
Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland

There was his persistent trait too marked by Mars in Taurus. Mars here ruled by Venus is not in its greatest placement, but when paired up Venus and Mars can oscillate between harmony and opposition. But there is always a frisson of energy for good or ill. Mars in Taurus can be realistic, practical and by no means flaky or weak but steadfast and sensual. Mars here can also be a warrior ambassador for art. It gets a booster from Pluto by its side enabling and empowering a vision that can transform people’s outlook.  It took him more than a decade to establish himself via his talks and papers- yet he persisted. The building of the Goetheanum also took many years of painstaking effort involving numerous performances and collaborations.

Mars is conjunct Pluto, so that is two rulers of Scorpio right on the Descendant. This intensity was propelled into working with others in dynamic and constructive ways where he would have been perceived as the rightful leader. He promoted the idea of the Gesamkuntswerk which is the ‘total work of art’ where each layer contributes to the whole where even the construction workers were included in the discussions. The first building burned down on 31st December 1922 but Steiner reframed this disaster as a blessing to create an even better one- the 2nd building which opened in 1928.

Saturn in Virgo is solid for any craftsman perfecting their craft and solving problems with ingenious solutions born of hard work. The Moon in Virgo too would have made him picky and fastidious in discernment about all matters to do with research, taste, aesthetics, food and nutrition.

Steiner’s North Node is at 20° Capricorn prompting him to be the ultimate CEO of his new movement- a kind of empire builder. It seems he was in tune with that mission, even though in the Placidus House system Capricorn is intercepted. Yet his legacy in the 21st century is going strong. He had planted all the right seeds and prepared the ground well but may have struggled to realise those goals. But this suggests he overcame that limitation and was aligned to his personal compass point, the north node. This 20° point was being triggered during 2019 as both Saturn and Pluto traversed it almost the whole year. It was about when I started delving deeper into Steiner’s books and lectures.  Steiner was in the news In 2019 when a fight with Offstead blew up. Steiner-Waldorf schools accused Offstead of ‘bullying’.  Their approach to teaching is to develop the full potential of students encouraging their imagination, curiosity, communication, problem solving and creativity. Students of these schools prove to be high in imagination, drawing skills and creativity making great teachers, artists and scientists. Steiner schools insist that education should not be ‘exam-driven’ and students not be obsessed with grades. So since 2019 I have been  take  drawn more into his orbit.  

Young Steiner
Steiner as a youth

While softness and wispiness may be an impression given by Pisces sun signs- and his is in the 4th house of the self giving him a lordly swagger, there was also a dash of intensity that comes with the Scorpio Ascendant.  He may have divided people who met him- where there was no middle ground as to whether you liked him or not. Or, most likely, he would have seen through other people’s pretensions instantly and concentrated on the sober realities of being high priest of his movement instead. He is reserved on that matter having some gravitas. There is a hint of this charisma hidden in the dark eyes in this phot of him as a youth.

His Jupiter was opposite Venus in Aquarius. This is good to have these two so-called ‘benefics’ connected, even if it is in opposition. But Venus in Aquarius can be funky and forceful and tends to love of ideas and ideologies rather than putting her heart and soul into cultivating individual relationships for their own sake. His wife was Marie Sivers who was on the path of promulgating his philosophy- and for him it perhaps not any other way. She was also a Pisces, born March 16 1867, so they blended their life paths together very well.

The Kaleidoscopic Viewpoint: Astrology and Theosophy

His view on astrology was at first disdainful. He implied that it was ‘rubbish, but’- that ‘but’ to qualify what he meant is significant as he immediately went on to say that  the stars have cosmological, aesthetic and symbolic influence, just not so clunkily fated as magazine-style astrology suggests.  His was the ultra-esoteric which is the long view on world affairs and the development of the individual.

Three Zodiacs
The Three Zodiacs astronomicon.co

Steiner was unique in that according to Roberto Corona he used not just one but three zodiacs. He considered not only the tropical zodiac, but also the sidereal and the ‘astronomical’ zodiacs into his deliberations. There is a three-timed clock for viewing all three zodiacs simultaneously which is quite mind expanding. This is ultra-Piscean as it floats ethereally above the fray by never moralising about which one system is ‘right’ or positing that another zodiacal division of the heavens is therefore wrong. In this view, the Tropical zodiac based on the Aries 0° ingress point zodiac is accurate for the daily astral, etheric and personality traits. The Sidereal zodiac is accurate for matching the life of the star system to human fate and the Astronomical zodiac based on the actual size of the constellations is accurate for bio-dynamic farmers and the alignment of the moon phases for the growth of plants. The implications of this are huge, and this is just a thumbnail. Several of his followers pursued further research into astronomical and cosmological narratives that formed a sub branch that was named Astroposophy.

He laid the ground stone of the Goethenuem based on astrological timing. Sculptures inspired by each individual  zodiac sign by Gertaud Godwin can be found at the Rudolph Steiner House in London.

His lectures are littered with validations of astrology:

“The casting of a horoscope . . . those who know these things can read the forces which determine a person’s physical existence.

and..

“The forces that come out of the cosmos, from the zodiac belt, take on form and shape in the animals.”

and..

“The fixed stars work in the human being, the moving planets work in the human being, and all the elements of nature work there as well”

So like C.G. Jung Steiner walked the tightrope of implying to many colleagues that he had scepticism on the subject of astrology so as not to repel the ultra materialists. He could claim that his views were ‘Scientific’ but at the same time he drew from astrology as from a vast hidden source of knowledge that can be found nowhere else. What sets his astrology apart is this kaleidoscopic view which is esoteric in nature.

He was also a man of letters and cultural analyst. In another lecture he talks about Goethe’s Faust and how Schiller influenced his ideas while writing this play. Goethe as a poet basically talked of the Imagination with a capital I and this was borrowed from Schiller who said that the intellectual and sensation modes of the artist needed to fuse together. This is instinct and intuition fusing with logic and reason, or in modern parlance, the conscious with the unconscious, the right brain with the left. They were way ahead of the psychoanalysts who only formulated these concepts. He was visionary in this way and stated that people need psychic protection and that a ‘medical papacy’ might evolve which could divorce people’s souls from their bodies. He said this in 1917 and many see now it as a remarkable prophecy. Pisces can see into the future while at the same time tripping over what is in front of them.

Steiner quote

Steiner was adamant that his own approach Anthroposophy did not just grow out of Theosophy like a baby branch from the mother-tree but was already independent from the start. So the claim that Anthroposophists were ‘thrown out’ of the Theosophical Society is false. He is even critical of Madame Blavatsky though in a balanced way. He said her Russian etheric body brought a whole new character to esoteric groups in England and the United States. It was less ego-driven but still easily thwarted by her dependency of less scrupulous followers.

Besant
Annie Besant before 1900

On Theosophy he said ”what it used to be is no longer alive today.” There was a disharmony between his Anthroposophy and Theosophy. Theo means ‘god’ so it is it god-centred and Anthro means ‘man’ so it is the reverse end of the spectrum which is ‘human-centred. This is very distinct and hints that the theo emerges from the anthro.  This reflects the great ‘re’membering of classical knowledge which brought about the paradigm shift achieved by the Renaissance which upset only those who wised to define the world in strictly narrow theological terms.

Steiner also had to fight with Annie Besant, then head of the TS as she brought in a political overlay to Theosophy that proved fatal to its original esoteric core. Steiner noted that the TS wanted a sphere of influence of the East over the West. He also saw a destructive element in the TS from the beginning- the machinations of her followers propelled by ‘cultural’ tendencies. Steiner believed Annie Besant was ‘biased’. Her first lecture was ‘Theosophy and Imperialism’ where she said things without fully understanding the implications.  But Steiner did understand them as he was present. He noted that the Theosophical Society wanted to separate England from India via these ‘innocuous’ steps laying the groundwork for schisms and fault lines that last to this day.

This is a classic type of observation that Steiner would make from his universalist point of view.

“It has always spelled the beginning of the end for spiritual movements and societies when they have started to introduce partisan and political elements into their activity. A spiritual movement can only develop in the world today if it embraces all humanity. Indeed, one of the most essential conditions for a spiritual movement, whose intention is to give access to the human spirit is to embrace all humanity. And anything that is intended to divide humanity in any way is from the beginning a destructive element. “

It is another example of how Steiner’s pervasive spirit blends into what is relevant in the 21st Century. It might explain  why many are seeking out his ideas once more. For some, they never went away as he has been studied in earnest for decades by his followers.

It is good finally to take note that if his ideas could have an impact on people such as Russian artists, Wassily Kandinsky and on Marlon Brando and even Marilyn Munroe, through method style acting that came from Michael Chekov (nephew of Anton) influenced by Steiner’s methods, then we are dealing with a person of vast and diverse talents whose voice transcends the limits of time.

 

© Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, February 25th, 2022,

All rights reserved.   

* Steiner’s birth date is disputed – which in itself is indicative of a Piscean dilemma- confusion and mystification over the correct day. Did he come sooner or later?  Sometimes, that’s the way Pisceans like it, that we may never know. 

Some sources such as astro.com, astroseek.com and astrotheme.com, a letter from his friend Eugenie Bredlow and many others say it was Feb 25th as there was a mix up with the baptism and the birth certificate had to be backdated, but others such as Britannica.com, sunsigns.com, sources at the Rudolf Steiner House in London,  and notable biographies.com say it was February 27th.

Guenther Aschoff after researching the Steiner archive said it was Feb 27th and that this was apparently confirmed via Alan Leo who was given the birth data at a conference in 1909. 

If born on the 27th, Steiner’s Moon would have moved into Libra, the angles would all be the same,  and the slower moving planets would all be at the same degree. Mercury would be even closer to Neptune by 2°. Venus would be closer to the IC by 2° and Mars would be closer to Pluto by one degree.

A composite chart of both the 25th and 27th would still give the moon in early Libra.

 

Please click the hyperlinks for all sources used.

Unless otherwise stated, image credits are in the Public Domain via WC 

LinkTree/Proteus

Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook and my home page:

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Published by Kieron Devlin

Growing, guiding, nurturing, cultivating, encouraging, accepting kindness and truly understanding your place in life and the planetary archetypes and cycles of change.

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