LECTURES TO MEMBERS - Willi Sucher: from 1 Oct. ‘54 to 1 Apr. ’55

(All drawings by Willi Sucher)

Rudolf Steiner House, London, England

(Notes from lecture, unrevised by author)


MOON NODE - 1 ~ 26 November 1954


I should like to continue today with the Moon and the Moon node. As we know, the Moon moves around the Earth, and this movement we can see for ourselves. It was just new Moon, and during that time we cannot see the Moon for a period of two days. If we watch it from night to night, we will see how it moves through the fixed stars. If on one night it is near the fixed-star Regulus in Lion, the next night it will have moved about 12° closer to Virgin. There are also the phases to take into consideration. This last new Moon was in Scorpion, and we were unable to see it for two days. At that time the light of the Sun was only falling on the backside of the Moon, the side we don’t see. As the Moon moves further and further from the new Moon position, it becomes more and more visible to first-quarter Moon (when the Moon looks as though it is cut in half), then to full Moon, three-quarter Moon, and finally to crescent before the next new Moon.

The Moon will come into this position again in Scorpion after about 27˝ days, and this is called a sidereal cycle of the Moon. However, the Sun will have moved in the meantime into Archer; therefore, the next new Moon will take place in Archer about 29˝ days after the previous new Moon. This time from new Moon to new Moon is called a synodic cycle. There will be a Sun eclipse at the next new Moon, though we will not be able to see it because it will take place before sunrise.

When we spoke about the nature of the Moon, we said that it was a kind of filter or shield of the Earth. We can amplify this picture of looking back, by looking back in time.

At one time the Sun was united with the Earth, but it separated during Lemurian times. What did the Earth look like during Lemurian times? Before the separation of the Sun, the Earth was of gaseous consistency. When the Sun moved away from the Earth, the Earth-Moon became more fluid. This watery condition of the Earth-Moon brought about great vegetation, a jungle-like or tropical growth of gigantic size. It was of much lighter consistency than our present vegetation, as it was more fluid. There were also huge animals with tiny heads, the dinosaurs. Human beings could not live on this Earth. There was then a gigantic metabolism, and the Moon separated from the Earth. From the Moon’s working from the cosmos, normal growth was then possible and kept in check.

We know about the forces of the Moon and planting; i.e., the farmer sows the crops during full Moon. We can see in this, the Moon as the hand pointing to a certain time. All that is growing is connected with the Moon. Therefore, all that is connected with the embryological development is also under the influence of the Moon forces. Through the fact that the Moon was removed from the Earth, it became possible for the human head and brain to be developed stage by stage. As long as the Moon was working from within the Earth, the head could not be developed, and the human consciousness, therefore, could also not develop. So, we have growth, metabolism, and head development. The growth would take place in connection with the phases of the Moon. During the waxing phase, after new Moon, the forces work more and more toward growth and the metabolism pole until full Moon. At full Moon the Sun will fall on the side of the Moon that we see. As the Moon moves past full Moon, it is waning and moves toward the Earth pole and consciousness. Therefore, toward full Moon we have metabolism, which is growth, and toward new Moon we have the pole of consciousness; and in all this the Earth is swimming.

Now, we go back to the nodes. If we draw a line to indicate the Sun’s path or plane around the Earth, we see that the Earth stands roughly in the middle of this plane, as though it is hung up. You will remember last time we talked about the plane of the Sun and how the Moon is inclined to it. Therefore, the Moon crosses the plane of the Sun at two points: when it moves above the plane of the Sun, it crosses through its ascending node; and when it moves below the plane of the Sun, it crosses at its descending node. These points, where the Moon crosses the sphere of the Sun, are the Moon nodes, and these nodes are gateways from the Moon sphere to the sphere of the Sun. As we said last time, these nodes move through the entire Zodiac and back to the same place in 18 years and 7 months, and they move in the opposite direction of the Moon. These nodes or connecting points between the Moon sphere and the Sun sphere are very important for life after death. After death one goes through purification, and in order to go from the soul world into Spirit land, one needs these gates of the Moon nodes. That is how we get from one sphere to the other. It is a point where one can penetrate to a more spiritual aspect of the universe, which is not possible to do in a physical way.

We can follow the Moon, and we see that the Moon will arrive at new Moon on 25 December. The Moon node will be in Archer. We want to find a higher spiritual aspect of the sky. To do that we have to go through this gate or over this bridge of the Moon node; this takes us from the lower sphere into the higher one. As it is now, we can see the Moon but not go through it. If the node were there as well, then we could go through to the higher aspects. We must wait until the Moon node comes to this place, or else we must go to the past and find when the Moon node was there. With the Moon we go forward to Christmas, and with the node we go back to Christmas. If we go from the Moon sphere to the Sun sphere, we go backwards. If we want to get the spiritual aspect of the present new Moon, we have to go back to 1937, or we may have to go back still further, and then we arrive in 1928, which is 9 years 3˝ months and when the opposite node has reached that place. It will depend on what spiritual events have taken place to decide which node to take. In order to find a spiritual aspect or an interpretation, we go against time, and we may have to go back through many returns of the ascending or descending node to that place. However, on the physical plane we have to move forward. When we are seeking the spiritual counter part of the present moment, the spiritual point of view is the one that matters; therefore, if we want to talk about the eclipse on 25 December, we must go back. Rudolf Steiner spoke about it, for instance, indicating that if we want to get in contact with the leading Archai, we have to go back centuries, perhaps even thousands of years.

The year 343 was a moment when certain things were inaugurated that had a lasting effect. Dr. Steiner laid great emphasis on it, i.e., to go away from the ordinary level of time. In Kamaloka our souls go back, but they do not stop at the time of birth but continue to go back to other incarnations, even as far as to the Saturn development. This leads to the exercise of looking back through one’s day in the evening. We look back in abbreviations after death. The bridge of Annun is the bridge to spiritual reality (see Rudolf Steiner’s Cosmic and Human Thought).