Rudolf Steiner House London, England

(Notes from lecture, unrevised by author - Included in Cosmology Course I,

published by Astrosophy Research Center)


GREAT CONJUNCTIONS ~ 28 December 1954


Today we are starting another series of talks in which we will speak about the cosmic events that took place 2,000 years ago. There is a rhythm that repeats itself, which was inaugurated at the time of Christ. Therefore I refer you to Rudolf Steiner’s, Spiritual Guidance of Mankind.

In the case of a normal human being, we always have a conflict between the cosmic and terrestrial forces. However, in the case of Christ the spiritual forces were accepted. There was no struggle against them, as Rudolf Steiner indicated when he said, “The Christ is the representative of the whole cosmos.” On the foundation of this indication, I have made cosmic researches for about 35 years now. They are researches with regard to the cosmic events that took place in the sky at the time of Christ. These researches reveal cosmically what Rudolf Steiner said. What is presented here is only part of the research. In order to do this, we must also do a bit of astronomy.

I shall speak tonight about Saturn and Jupiter. These two planets are moving at a certain distance from each other. Jupiter is closer to the Sun and moves through the whole Zodiac in about 12 years, while Saturn is further away and takes about 30 years. At a certain moment they meet (come into conjunction), and then they move apart again as Jupiter moves faster than Saturn. These two planets make a beautiful pattern in the sky  —  a grand triangle. At the time of Christ three such meetings took place between Saturn and Jupiter. The first meeting of Saturn and Jupiter took place in Fishes, the second in Archer, and the third was in the constellation of Lion. It is these three meetings of which I would like to speak.

These conjunctions form a triangle in the sky; however there is a slight difference, after 60 years, when Saturn and Jupiter meet again in this corner of Fishes, as the conjunction has moved a little further toward Ram. The same thing happens to the conjunctions in Lion and Archer, thus the whole triangle is moving, or rotating. During these nights we want to speak about these corners of this triangle as they were at the time of Christ.

The conjunction in 7 BC, which took place in Fishes, is related to the birth of Jesus, in a spiritual sense, according to the Gospel of St. Luke. I hope to show you how closely this conjunction is connected with the birth of Jesus. It is the spiritual nativity; and the spiritual nativity is much more important than the natural nativity itself, as was suggested by Dr. Steiner (see Article under No-Date: The Constellation of Cosmic Thought).

In 14 AD the conjunction took place in Archer, and on or near that moment another event took place. It was when the 12-year-old Jesus child was in the temple. We hear how the 12-year-old Jesus was lost and then found in the temple among the sages talking with them and teaching them.

Finally we come to the conjunction of 34 AD that took place in Lion. This is connected with the Mystery of Golgotha, in a broad sense, as the event took place on the 3rd of April 33 AD, according to references of Dr. Steiner. This conjunction also has to do with the conversion of St. Paul at the gates of Damascus.

These conjunctions are like corner stones. All that, which we can put into the lovely picture of the shepherds  —  the shepherd stream and its rebirth in Christianity  —  is connected with the conjunction in 7 BC, which at that time was in Fishes. It was the birth of the simple souls who are closely connected with the planet Earth and its life of sufferings but also its joy  —  all that goes on through history. In the movement of the three-cornered star, we can follow the shepherd stream in humanity. The same can be followed with the other corners.

The conjunction in 14 AD is closely connected with the Kings’ stream. We can see how the stream of the Kings developed, even the inner movement, if we follow the movement of this corner of the star. This stream of the Kings had just entered Archer, coming from Scorpion. The King stream was represented by the Three Wise Men of the East. This stream has gone through tremendous crises. It is manifest in the figure of Herod who brought about the massacre of the innocent, the children.

The conjunction in 34 AD is connected with the conversion of St. Paul. It is a different aspect of Christianity, connected with the entry of the Cosmic Christ into the body of Jesus at the Baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan. The Christ that St. Paul experienced at Damascus was the Cosmic Christ. Thus Christ had taken the tremendous developmental step by uniting with the Earth. St. Paul’s experience with the risen Christ is written in this conjunction of 34 AD. We can follow this stream in the history of humanity, which has also gone through tremendous crises. It is the interplay of the cosmic and the terrestrial forces in history.

One Great Conjunction in this series took place between 1940 and 41, and an earlier one took place in 16034, which was connected to the 30 years’ war in history. Here we must distinguish two aspects. The actual events and the conjunction do not always take place at the same time. Events can happen during the time approaching a Great Conjunction but also during the subsiding time when Jupiter moves away from Saturn. The character is then different. The conjunction in 7 BC was not the actual event, it was an approach to the event. [Ed. Note: Later Willi associated this conjunction with the spiritual nativity of both the Jesus children in 6&7 BC.] It is similar with regard to 14 AD. The 12-year-old Jesus would have been in Jerusalem during the year 13, not 14. In 34 AD events took place on the Earth and worked toward that conjunction, which was taken through the reflecting sky into the future. It is something similar to the indication of a clock  —  it is the indication of time. When such an event takes place in the spiritual world, then it later becomes an earthly event. Something took place in the spiritual world in 7 BC, then 6 years later it happened on Earth; thus, what had been decided in the spiritual world was fulfilled at a later time.

Why are these two planets Saturn and Jupiter so important? This can only be explained if one considers the cosmos as an integrated organism, the body of the Deity, for similar constellations had taken place before the time of Christ. How is it possible to speak about this as an integrated organism? The human form gives us a certain indication. It has been worked out in all details. The outer planets indicate the functions of the head, and the inferior planets (including the Earth) are connected in the cosmos with the functions that take place within the body of a human being. Saturn, the planet of cosmic memory, writes down everything. It is like the skull that has been closed in order to cut the human being away from the external world. At birth the fontanels of the baby are still open. Saturn’s functions are to make the human being perfect and completely integrated within itself. Saturn is also the guardian of the threshold to the extra solar world, into the higher world. It is also connected with another activity: that which keeps the human being upright, and this uprightness comes from a place or point in the skull that also contains uplifting forces. The weight of the human body would crush us if it were not for these uplifting forces, and we would not be able to stand upright. Saturn is such a willpower of uplifting force. These great Will forces of the Deity in the solar cosmos are working in Saturn as the great memory forces of all the past.

Jupiter in that picture of the human organism comes next. In the microscopic scale of the human body it is located between the eyes. It is here where we have the capacity of thinking. This happens in the micro cosmos. In the cosmos it is the sphere where the divine thinking takes place. Jupiter is the great thinker of the universe. This is an activity that is creative and which works into the future. In Jupiter divine beings are working who direct the thinking of the cosmos. They are preparing the cosmic thought for the future incarnation of the Earth.

If these two beings from the two spheres meet when there is a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, it is an indication that events take place in the spiritual world, and on the Earth there is a reflection. The conjunctions indicate that decisions are taking place  —  past and future. Memory, the past, is the world of the Father (Saturn), which meets what comes in the future (Jupiter). The conversation between Jupiter and Saturn is preparing the new creation. These two worlds have what we might call a conference. In that moment certain decisions are made, decisions for which everything that happens in history is used. One can imagine that in rhythmical intervals they meet in the spiritual world. It can always be integrated with earthly happenings that we can see how these three pillars of the triangle are reflected in history.