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)


SATURN-1 ~ 15 October 1954


In our last lecture we talked about the Round Table, which is a picture that was used in ancient times. I should like to start with an experiment, which is somewhat novel. In ancient times people observed the courses of the stars with the use of circles that were built with stone images and which they used as their calendars. First of all I will draw the movements of the planets between Michaelmas and Christmas of 1954.

At Michaelmas the Sun was in the constellation of Virgin. Between Michaelmas and Christmas, the planets Venus and Mercury performed loops in which they both entered the constellation of Virgin. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto have been discovered in the more recent past, and they have a connection with “stumbling events”, or revolutions (see the explanation of CMP in Practical Approach III, page 40). Saturn and Neptune were near each other and in a square relationship to Jupiter and Uranus, which were also near each other. This is the significant aspect in the sky.

We are attempting to rejuvenate the ancient star wisdom, and in so doing we must look at what is said in the Book of Revelation of St. John. The Church of Sardis, the fifth church, is meant as a picture of our present age, “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God*, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die … He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment…” An angel carries seven stars in one hand, representing the incarnations of the Earth: Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan. Humanity must read again in the stars. [*Ed Note: The term for the seven human principles: physical body, etheric body, astral body, transformed respectively to spirit self, life spirit, spirit man, with the “I” principle in the center; see Rudolf Steiner’s The Apocalypse.]

Saturn entered the constellation of Scales at Michaelmas, and you are aware that at the autumn equinox the Sun entered the sign of Scales. We define the seasons by looking at the position of the Sun, and every year the Sun enters Scales in autumn about Michaelmas. Saturn needs about 29-30 years to go through all the constellations in the Zodiac. It is a measure of time, making one Saturn year equal to about 30 Earth years. The Saturn year does not fit into the actual seasons; it is an indicator of the seasons in a different way. It is the outermost planet that can be perceived with the naked eye, and it concerns our whole solar system. It is the skeleton of the whole solar system, and it shows the seasons in the sense of soul evolution.

After death the soul goes through the heavenly spheres of the planets. In the spheres of Moon, Mercury, and Venus, the soul experiences Kamaloka and purification; then it enters the spheres of Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

In the Mars sphere the soul experiences, or confronts, the archetypes of the physical-material world, in the Jupiter sphere it experiences the archetypes of life, and in the Saturn sphere there is a direct experience of the archetypes of soul formation, emotion, etc.

Saturn moving through the 12 constellations is an indication of seasons of soul activity. There are 4 seasons and about 29 full years for one Saturn year, plus about a month; therefore, each Saturn season would last approximately 7 years. Saturn in Scales is a time of tremendous awakening and announces the autumn of the soul activity. We must really work to look at Saturn as a clock. It is the oldest and outermost planet of our solar system, and it is the organ of cosmic memory. It is not only memory that lies within it but also the germ of the future. Saturn is depicted in ancient pictures as an old man, which is reminiscent of Ancient Saturn. The rings of Saturn are a remembrance of the activity that surrounded Ancient Saturn, of the hierarchies of spiritual beings who worked and formed it.

In the beginning, nothing could be seen in the regions where the constellations are now. With inner organs, one could have seen hierarchies. The constellations that we see now are the garments of the hierarchies; they are the cosmic memory of Ancient Saturn.

Virgin, Scales, Scorpion: If we go far back we come to regions of spiritual beings. The sign of the Virgin indicates a three times veiled symbol F. If we see through the veils, we come to the Father. Isis says, “I am the One who has been, who is and who will be.” Scales is balance G, and beyond these stars, you will find the region of the Son. It is the motif of handing on the power of the Father to the Son. It is an awakening of that power in human beings where the handing over from the Divine Father to the Divine Son takes place (see Rudolf Steiner’s From Jesus to Christ). From this century onward, we experience karma. When one entered the spiritual world at death, one was presented with a book of life that was called “The Meeting with Moses”, which was according to the Father-principle. Now this has changed, and Christ has become the Lord of Karma — the Son has to take over what is given. Now that Christ has become the Lord of Karma, it means that we have to do something. We get a kind of vision of what we have done. What this really means is that we will “feel” our karma from outside, but we will have to correct it ourselves. In the “I Am”, through which we can partake in the “I” of God, is the region of Scales in which we can become master of our karma. It is the sphere of the power of the Father, which is handed over to the Son.

In a sense, it is a cosmic autumn. It is a declining of the Earth, which will one day be gone. Just as nature in the autumn disappears, so the Earth will disappear. We must also awaken capacities, just as Christ did, in taking on the karma of the Earth. Saturn in Scales is a premonition of that future time.


Answers to Questions


In 1848 there were revolutions all over Europe. Scales is a small constellation; it is a brief interval in the Zodiac but all the more important.

The Earth is declining, moving toward autumn. One can ask, what was the use of the French Revolution? What was the sense of putting social problems into a declining world? (Pointing to flowers on the table) These plants will disappear, will wither and die, but our experience of the plant will not wither. Thought and the cultivation of thought are important. Thought is a spiritual being that will not die. A spiritual being has touched us in thought. We are constantly rescuing thought. When the Earth will disappear, a new cosmos will rise, and it will be formed of substances of our present thoughts. Future Jupiter will consist of layers of thought of present humanity. Creation by the Father-God is the archetypes. Through thought that is also taken up into our feelings, we are uplifted into the world of the Son. It is an incorrect conclusion that the archetypes from the Father-God will remain. The entire creation has to resurrect into the realm of the “I Am”. It is for us to do it.