Mi - My

[A]  [B]  [C-Ch]  [Ci-Cu]  [D]  [E-El]  [Em-Ey]  [F]  [G]  [H]  [I]  [J-L]  [M-Me]  [Mi-My]  [N-O]  [P-Q]  [R]  [S-Sn]  [So-Sy]  [T-V]  [W-Z]

- M (cont.) -

Michael - also see Archangels; Michael Hall; Michael Prophecy; Michaelmas; School of Michael; Sun; Sun God; cf. Sorat

In Biblical tradition: an Archangel; St. Michael.

According to Steiner: the Archangel of the Sun; Christ’s countenance; a spiritual warrior and current ruler over human affairs. "The third spiritual being [1] important for an understanding of Steiner's teaching on man's place in the cosmos is the Archangel Michael ... Rudolf Steiner describes the mission of Michael on behalf of humanity in relation to Ahriman, Lucifer, and Christ: 'Michael-Christ [2] will stand in the future as the guiding word at the entrance to the path upon which man may arrive at his world-goal [3]....' The concept of Michael-Christ is a way of expressing 'the most perfect' accord between the Mystery of Golgotha [4] and the Being and Mission of Michael [5] ...  'Michael is already at this time active for humanity from the spiritual world. He is preparing his later work from out of the supersensible. [6] He is giving humanity impulses which preserve the former relation to the Divine-Spiritual world, without this preservation adopting a Luciferic character [7] ... [Man's recent] evolution was guided, through the Michael Mission, into paths which brought the progress of Earth-humanity once more into a good and healthy relation to the spiritual world ... Michael stands in this activity between the Luciferic World-picture and the Ahrimanic World-intellect. [8] The World-picture becomes through him a World-revelation full of wisdom, which reveals the World-intellect as Divine World-activity. [9]" — R. McDermott quoting Steiner, THE ESSENTIAL STEINER (Lindisfarne Press, 2007), p. 375. [See "Michael".]

Michael is one of the seven Archangels who serve, in rotation, as Time Archangels overseeing human evolution during specific 350-year-long periods. [10] Michael has particular importance for humanity today because he currently presides as Time Archangel. Michael previously presided from 550 BCE to 200 BCE. [11] He assumed his current authority in the fateful year 1879 CE [12], and he will continue to preside until 2230 CE. "Archangels rule historical periods of approximately 350 years, which also have a planetary connection, namely: 550-200 BCE Michael (Sun); 200 BCE-150 CE Oriphiel (Saturn); 150-500 Anael (Venus); 500-850 Zachariel (Jupiter); 850-1190 Raphael (Mercury); 1190-1510 Samael (Mars); 1510-1879 Gabriel (Moon); 1879-2230 Michael (Sun)." — Appendix in ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009), a collection of Steiner lectures, p. 234.

In the cycle of Archangelic elevations, Michael assumes office following Gabriel and preceding Oriphiel. [13] As a representative of the Sun, Michael generally brings light into human affairs, but there are shadows during his reign, and darkness looms ahead of us now. "The rulership of Gabriel was replaced by another archangel, under whose leadership we now stand, the archangel Michael. He is the radiant sun that esoteric wisdom lets shine forth on a small band of people [14] ... The radiant leadership of Michael will again be replaced by a dark, horrible age that will begin around the year 2400. Already today simultaneously with Michael a dark god has entered into his rulership: the god Mammon. [15]" — R. Steiner, ESOTERIC LESSONS 1904-1909 (Steiner Books, 2007), p. 232.

As one of the four archangels who oversee the seasons of the year, Michael exerts particular influence in autumn. [See R. Steiner, THE FOUR SEASONS AND THE ARCHANGELS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2008).]


- His Mission and Ours
(SteinerBooks, 1994).

From the publisher: "1879 marked the return of the solar spirit Michael — the archangel of the Sun — to oversee earthly evolution. Steiner always placed his life and work in the service of Michael's evolutionary task. And he recognized that, at the beginning of the twentieth century, humanity emerged from the Kali Yuga — the Dark Age — and entered the Age of Light." [16]

[1] The others are the arch-demons Lucifer and Ahriman. [See "Lucifer" and "Ahriman".] Even more important for us now, Steiner taught, is Christ. [See "Sun God".]

[2] I.e., the joined forces of Michael and Christ. Steiner taught that Christ is the Sun God and Michael is his champion, the Archangel of the Sun. [See "Michael".]

[3] I.e., our evolutionary fulfillment in our present condition of consciousness: Present Earth. [See the entry for "conditions of consciousness" in this encyclopedia.]

[4] I.e., the spiritual mystery that culminated in Christ's crucifixion.

[5] See "Michael". Michael is Christ's closest ally, and through Christ Michael has particular concern for humanity. Michael's "mission" is closely linked to Christ's — both gods work to further humanity's evolutionary progress.

[6] The "supersensible [realm]" is the realm that lies beyond the reach of our ordinary senses: the supernatural or spiritual realm.

[7] I.e., he is enabling us to restore our relationship with the spiritual realm without submitting to the wiles of Lucifer.

[8] I.e., the visions promoted by Lucifer and Ahriman. According to Steiner, Lucifer works largely through the imagination (which he may corrupt) while Ahriman works mainly through intellect (which he has corrupted). Lucifer gave us intellect, Steiner said, but Ahriman is now lord of the intellect. We need intellect, especially at our current level of evolution, but it is extremely dangerous and destructive — we must use it without embracing Ahriman, and we must evolve beyond it. [See "Thinking" and "Steiner's Specific".]

[9] I.e., through Michael (which essentially means through Christ), imagination rises beyond the influences of Lucifer and intellect is purged of the influences of Ahriman. Imagination then becomes revelation, including the revelation that behind "intellect" we find the beneficent activity of the gods.

[10] See the entry for "Time Archangels" in this encyclopedia. 

[11] These numbers are approximate; slightly different dates appear in various texts.

[12] See the entry for "1879" in this encyclopedia.

[13] See the entries in this encyclopedia for "Gabriel" and "Oriphiel". Also see the Waldorf Watch page titled "Oriphiel".

[14] I.e., essentially, Steiner's followers.

[15] Mammon is the demon of greed and the immoral love of wealth. In Anthroposophy, he is usually identified with Ahriman. [See "Ahriman" and "Evil Ones".]

[16] The term "Kali Yuga" comes from Hinduism; it was adapted by Theosophy to denote the spiritual dark age of recent human history. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "Kali Yuga".] Anthroposophists hold that Kali Yuga ended in 1899 when Steiner began delivering occult lectures. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "1899".] The Aage of Light" is the blessed period ushered in by Steiner.

Michael Hall - also see Michael; School of Michael; Waldorf Schools

The first Waldorf school in Great Britain, founded in 1925.

Michaelmas - also see fall festival; festivals; Michael

The celebration of the Archangel Michael, traditionally September 29; at Waldorf schools, this is often called the Fall Festival. The various "seasonal festivals" observed at Waldorf schools have occult purposes. In Anthroposophical belief, Michaelmas honors the fight Michael leads to defeat the arch-demon Ahriman. [1] During the summer, Steiner taught, the Earth cannot receive the beneficial impulse offered by Christ [2] for humanity's improvement. Instead, Ahriman pollutes the Earth in summer with his own influences. When the seasons change, however, the beneficent cosmic influences can again flow into the Earth. ◊ “Because the Earth is a mirror of the cosmos in the summer [3], it is also opaque in its inner nature, impermeable by cosmic influences and therefore, during the summer time, impermeable to the Christ Impulse. [4] At this time the Christ Impulse has to live in the [Earth’s] exhaled breath. [5] The Ahrimanic forces, however, establish themselves firmly in this Earth which has become impervious to the Christ Impulse ... [In autumn] from spiritual heights there comes to the aid of the descending [6] human soul the force of Michael, who, while the Earth’s breath is flowing back into the Earth itself, contends with the Dragon, Ahriman. [7]” — R. Steiner, THE CYCLE OF THE YEAR AS BREATHING PROCESS OF THE EARTH (Anthroposophic Press, 1984), p. 11. [See, e.g., "Magical Arts".] ◊ “Through finding the right way to celebrate Michaelmas (traditionally September 29) we may awaken new human forces needed to create completely open community [sic], grounded in spiritual reality. It was clear to Steiner that much depends on our awakening to such new festivals ... If, in our social life, we can learn to accompany the out-breath of the earth in spring and summer...then with Michael’s help in autumn we can accompany the elemental world’s withdrawal into itself during the winter’s death and darkness. The evil, estranging ahrimanic powers [8] that seek to possess the earth...must now be transformed and illumined from within at Christmas ... Steiner shows how this new understanding of the yearly festivals prepares us for our current historical transition. [9]” — H. Barnes, A LIFE FOR THE SPIRIT (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), pp. 185-186.

[1] See "Michael", "Ahriman", and the entry in this encyclopedia for "1879".

[2] See "Sun God".

[3] Steiner taught that the Earth has moods, because it is alive. In summer, vibrant and active, the Earth reflects the cosmos but does not readily absorb influences from the cosmos. This makes it more susceptible, during summer, to the damaging effects of the Ahrimanic forces that are present on/in the Earth.

[4] This is the impulse Christ, the Sun God, gives us for our proper evolution. [See the entry for "Christ impulse" in this encyclopedia.] Here Steiner indicates that the Christ Impulse, coming from beyond the Earth, does not wholly extend into, and permeate, the Earth during summer.

[5] Steiner taught that, as a living being, the Earth inhales and exhales with the seasons. When the Earth exhales, the Christ Impulse is in effect deflected from the Earth — it does not fully reach down to the Earth itself.

[6] I.e., incarnating. Steiner taught that our lives on Earth represent a descent — we have departed from the spirit realm to incarnate in the lower, physical realm. All souls living on Earth are thus, in a sense, descending or descended souls.

[7] I.e., when autumn succeeds summer, conditions change, cosmic influences again readily reach the Earth, and thus the influences of Michael powerfully reach us again; Michael thus is able to contend with, and protect us from, Ahriman here below. (Michaelmas, coming in September, marks the triumphal return of Michael and autumn.)

[8] I.e., Ahriman's minions.

[9] I.e., our passage to a higher evolutionary stage.

Michael Prophecy - also see Anthroposophy; Michael; reincarnation; School of Michael

According to Anthroposophical teachings, we currently live under the mentorship of  Michael, the Archangel of the Sun. Michael's task at present is to promote human evolution to a new, more elevated level of spiritual consciousness. He is working on this primarily by pouring his spiritual resources into Anthroposophy. The ties between Michael and Anthroposophy (and, through Anthroposophy, Waldorf education) are a matter of central concern for Steiner's followers. "St Michael and anthroposophy are connected in a special way ... Michael inspires all human beings who wish to connect the human spirit with the spirit of the cosmos. Anthroposophy is also called the School of Michael." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 78. Steiner taught that the victory of Michael over the forces of darkness is crucial for our future. This victory will be greatly aided by the fulfillment of Steiner's — the reincarnation of leading Anthroposophists and their allies at the end of the 20th century in order to lend their aid to Michael in his struggle. The period 2012-2033 is especially important, according to this forecast — it will see a culminating triumph of Anthroposophy, attained in large part by the reincarnated Anthroposophical leaders. For more on this, and for Anthroposophical rationalizations concerning the apparent failure of great Anthroposophists of yore to reincarnate on schedule, see S. Hartmann's book THE MICHAEL PROPHECY AND THE YEARS 2012-2033 — Rudolf Steiner and the Culmination of Anthroposophy (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2020.)

Michael, School of - see School of Michael

microcosm - also see cosmos; human being; macrocosm

According to Steiner, the human being is a microcosmic version of the macrocosm, the solar system or universe, the cosmos. We return to the macrocosm in sleep and in death. ◊ "[There are correspondences between the Microcosm (man) and the Macrocosm (the solar system) ... [M]an is born as a Little World, a Microcosm, out of the Great World, the Macrocosm.” — R. Steiner, MACROCOSM AND MICROCOSM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1985), p. 45. ◊ "[T]hrough forgetting his own existence on going to sleep man passes out into the Macrocosm. [1] Every night he passes over from his microcosmic existence into the Macrocosm and becomes one with the latter ... [H]is consciousness ceases the moment he passes into the Macrocosm. That is why it has always been said in occult science [2] that between life in the Microcosm and in the Macrocosm lies the stream of forgetfulness. On this stream of forgetfulness man passes into the Great World, when on going to sleep he passes out of the Microcosm into the Macrocosm.” — R. Steiner, ibid., p. 23. [See "The Center".]

[1] Steiner did not mean, simply, that at night we dream. He taught that at night the higher parts of ourselves literally rise into the spirit realm. [See "Higher Worlds".]

[2] Steiner called his teachings — Anthroposophy — "spiritual science." As such, Anthroposophy is a branch of (or it is essentially indistinguishable from) "occult science" — the methodical penetration of spiritual mysteries through the disciplined use of clairvoyance. [See "Occultism" and "Knowing the Worlds".] Steiner's magnum opus, in which he provides an overview of Anthroposophical doctrines, is his book AN OUTLINE OF OCCULT SCIENCE. [See "Everything".]


midnight hour - also see initiation; mystery; Sun at midnight

"[T]he moment...in the spiritual world between two lives, when the 'I' [1] finally takes leave of its previous life and starts preparing the next life on earth ... [T]he phrase is also used to refer to an event that many initiates of the ancient Mysteries experienced [2] ... On the shortest day of the cold season...initiates were led into a completely dark chamber in which they could experience 'the sun at midnight' ... In their innermost being, initiates gave birth to Christ [3] ... This event developed into the Christmas festival...." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 78.

[1] I.e., our spark of divine individuality, the essential identity known only to oneself. [See "Ego".]

[2] "Mysteries," in this sense, are spiritual truths that are comprehended by only a few; "initiates" are those who have gained true comprehension of these mysteries.

[3] I.e., the initiates saw the Sun, Christ, at midnight. (According to Anthroposophy, Christ is the Sun God. [See "Sun God".]) Thus, in a manner of speaking, they gave "birth" to Christ.

Mights - also see Dynamis; Spirits of Movement; Virtues

According to Steiner: gods five levels above mankind. Like other gods, they have contributed significantly to human evolution at various stages, including the earliest stages. “When by the working together of Will and Life [1] a certain stage of Saturn evolution [2] has been reached, other Beings [3] too begin [i.e., began] to work. They also are in the surrounding sphere of Saturn. [4] We may call them Spirits of Movement; in Christian terminology they are Dynamis or Mights. They have no physical body and no life-body [5]; their lowest member is the astral body [6] ... The Spirits of Movement, we might say, make Saturn as a whole appear as an animate being endowed with soul.” — R. Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1963), chapter 4, part 3, GA 13. [See “Polytheism”.]



 •  Dominions, Spirits of Wisdom, 

 Wisdom Spirits, Kyriotetes • 


 •  Mights, Dynamis, Spirits of Motion, 
 Spirits of Activity, Principalities, Virtues • 


 •  Powers, Spirits of Form, Revelations, 
 Exusiai, Elohim, Spirits of Light, Authorities • 

Mights (Spirits of Movement, Dynamis) are gods of the middle rank in the Second Hierarchy. Steiner taught that there are nine ranks of gods divided into three "hierarchies." Mights stand five levels higher than humanity. (Humans stand below the lowest gods; we will become gods in the future.) These are the gods of the Second Hierarchy.

[1] I.e., the divine spiritual forces of will (divine intention) and life (spirit-infused animation).

[2] I.e., a phase of Old Saturn, the first incarnation of the solar system. [See the entry for "incarnations of the solar system" in this encyclopedia.]

[3] I.e., other gods.

[4] I.e., the embodied solar system during Old Saturn. At that stage, virtually everything in the solar system (including its spirits) constituted a single body consisting of spiritual warmth. [See "Old Saturn".]

[5] I.e., etheric body, the first and lowest of the invisible bodies possessed by fully incarnated humans today. [See "Our Parts".]

[6] I.e., the second invisible body possessed by fully incarnated humans today. [See "Incarnation".]

milk teeth - see baby teeth; teeth

mind soul - also see consciousness soul; intellectual soul; sentient soul

According to Steiner: the second of our three souls or soul members, the "intellectual soul" that reflects on the impressions created by the sentient soul. [1] “... A higher principle is brought into being by the work of the Ego [2] on the etheric body [3]: we call it the Mind-Soul, or Intellectual Soul [4] ... Instead of merely keeping his perceptions alive as images in the Sentient Soul, [man] reflects on them and devotes himself to them ... This continued cultivation of impressions received from the outer world is the work of what we call the Intellectual Soul or Mind-soul.” — R. Steiner, METAMORPHOSES OF THE SOUL: Paths of Experience, Vol. 1 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1983), lecture 2, GA 58. [See "Our Parts".]

 ◊ Consciousness Soul ◊ 
 ◊   Mind Soul    ◊ 
 ◊  Sentient Soul   ◊ 
These are the three souls or levels of our soul nature, according to Anthroposophical teachings. The mind soul is also called the intellectual soul or rational soul. The consciousness soul is also called the spiritual soul.

[1] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "sentient soul".

[2] I.e., the "I," our spark of divine selfhood. [See "Ego".]

[3] I.e., the lowest of our invisible bodies. [See "Incarnation".]

[4] When Steiner speaks affirmatively about intellect, he is generally discussing mental acuity of the sort Lucifer made possible, not the "materialistic" workings of the physical brain corrupted by Ahriman. [See "Thinking".] Steiner taught that intellect is necessary to us at our current level of development, but we must evolve beyond it. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "intellect".]

mineral kingdom - also see kingdoms of nature; Mineral Kingdom Condition of Life; minerals

In Anthroposophical teachings, there are four kingdoms of nature, the lowest of which is the mineral kingdom. Above the mineral kingdom are the plant, animal, and human kingdoms. Contrary to the findings of natural science, Anthroposophy holds that minerals came into existence after plants, animals, and humans — the mineral kingdom developed after the higher kingdoms already existed. Only when evolution reached the Present Earth stage [1], Steiner taught, did minerals as we know them now come into existence. "The evolution of the earth was preceded by the Saturn, Sun and Moon evolutions [2], where as yet there was no mineral kingdom in our sense of the word. It was on this earth [3] that our minerals first took on their present forms ... Before that, men, animals, and plants had developed without the mineral kingdom. In order that later the other kingdoms might make further progress, they had to separate the mineral kingdom out of themselves [4], but after they had done this, they could only develop on a planet which had a firm mineral form." — R. Steiner, MANIFESTATIONS OF KARMA (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1969), lecture 1, GA 120.


 ◊  Human Kingdom  ◊ 
 ◊ Animal Kingdom ◊ 
 ◊  Plant Kingdom ◊ 
 ◊ Mineral Kingdom ◊ 

These are the four kingdoms of nature as recognized in Anthroposophy. The kingdoms below the human level are occupied by beings that are unable to continue evolving upward. (They have been ejected from the upward stream of evolution and dwell within segments of existence where subhuman nature spirits [5] hold sway.) Above the human kingdom are the nine ranks of gods. [6] Those humans who continue evolving upward will form a new, tenth rank of gods, Steiner taught. [7]

[1] This is the fourth incarnation of the solar system, according to Anthroposophical teachings. [See the entry for "incarnations of the solar system" in this encyclopedia.]
[2] I.e., the first three incarnations of the solar system: Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon. [See "Old Saturn", "Old Sun", and "Old Moon, Etc.".]
[3] I.e., on the planet Earth as it exists in the Present Earth incarnation of the solar system. (Earth is a single planet; Present Earth encompasses the entire solar system.)
[4] In the Anthroposophical account of evolution, beings progress at least in part by ridding themselves of lower or abnormal components, parts of themselves that are unable to evolve higher.
[5] See the entries in this encyclopedia for "nature spirits" and "elemental beings". To the extent that we humans live as incarnated beings on the Earth, we too are affected by nature spirits. However, our true home is in the spirit realm, and our proper orientation is toward the beings above us, not those below.
[6] See "Polytheism".
[7] See "Tenth Hierarchy".

Mineral Kingdom Condition of Life - also see conditions of life; First Elementary Kingdom Condition of Life; kingdoms of nature; mineral kingdom; minerals; Second Elementary Kingdom Condition of Life; Third Elementary Kingdom Condition of Life

According to Steiner, this is the fourth condition of life [1], the condition in which we currently exist. Here, we have descended to embodiment in a densely physical or mineral form. The three subhuman kingdoms of nature — consisting of minerals, plants, and animals — are manifest around us in this condition. We inhabit physical bodies containing organs made of mineral substances. These organs produce physical (or mineral or material) functions, such as the mineral or materialistic thinking that arises through our mineral/physical brains. We also possess higher bodies and organs on other levels, and we function on the higher levels even during incarnation in the mineral condition. But in the mineral condition of life, we have become very densely physical and thus we stand in danger of being separated completely from the spirit realm. In the course of our proper evolution, we will begin reascending to the spirit realm in our next conditions of life (the fifth, sixth, and seventh conditions). "Only in the fourth (mineral) Condition of Life does there appear the world of nature [2]...which is grasped by our inorganic, mineral thinking [3] ... The actual mineral kingdom is condensed out of the qualities of form of the third elementary kingdom [4]; the plants...develop out of themselves the forms of the second elementary kingdom [5]; and the animal kingdom reflects the [divine] intentions which lie in the first elementary kingdom." — R. Seddon, THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2002), p. 104.


Evolution, as described by Steiner, is anything but straightforward. Here is a small part of the overall pattern. Each condition of consciousness has seven subdivisions — conditions of life, otherwise called kingdoms of life. The conditions of life are: elemental (or elementary) kingdoms 1-3, the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, and the human kingdom. Each of these kingdoms has, in turn, seven subdivisions that may be called stages or conditions of form (in the diagram shown here, most of them are merely numbered, not named). In turn, each stage of form has seven subdivisions that may be called great epochs (they are not shown here). And so forth. We do not evolve upward in a straight line or even in a simple spiral; our progress is tortuous, repetitive, and complex. We evolve through seven conditions of consciousness, 49 conditions of life, 343 great epochs, and vast numbers of still smaller phases. [Diagram from R. Steiner's FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), "Schematic Survey of the Stages of World Evolution", GA 93a; color added.]

[1] According to Steiner, the evolution of humanity and the solar system will proceed through seven major stages, called conditions of consciousness. Each of these stages contains seven subsidiary phases called conditions of life or kingdoms of life. [See the entries for "conditions of consciousness" and "conditions of life" in this encyclopedia. Note that Steiner sometimes said there will be additional conditions of consciousness after the seven that he usually discussed. Note also that conditions of consciousness are incarnations of the solar system.]
[2] Steiner taught that the natural world as we know it came into existence long after we ourselves first evolved. Likewise, he taught that minerals developed only after plants, animals, and humans already existed.
[3] I.e., use of the physical brain. [See "Thinking".]
[4] I.e., minerals incarnate using forms prepared in the previous condition of life, the third elementary kingdom — the condition of life that preceded the Mineral Kingdom Condition of Life.
[5] I.e., plants produce from within themselves the forms they embody, forms that derive from the Second Elementary Kingdom Condition of Life.

minerals - also see elements; mineral kingdom; Mineral Kingdom Condition of Life; nature; physical plane

Fundamental physical substances "formed in ancient times, reminders of cosmic forces originating from the 12 signs of the zodiac ... The forces present in minerals are used in producing anthroposophic medicines, and in making preparations for biodynamic agriculture." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 79.

In Anthroposophical doctrine, the lowest kingdom of nature is the mineral kingdom. Steiner taught that man was essentially (in a nonphysical sense) mineral during Old Saturn. [1] We later evolved to be essentially plant (during Old Sun), then animal (during Old Moon), and now human (during Present Earth). [2] Today, although we are "human," we exist in the Mineral Kingdom Condition of Life. [3] We have mineral (or physical) bodies and are still far from being the perfected humans we should become in the future.

Of the entities in the four kingdoms of nature, Steiner taught, humans evolved first, then animals, then plants, and finally minerals. Minerals evolved from (that is, they dropped away from) higher forms, Steiner said, and they are alive: They may seem dead on the physical level, but on a higher level they are alive and have souls. "[S]tone is without life only on the physical plane. All minerals have their group egos [4] in the higher worlds [5] ... [They] feel pain and pleasure. Only spiritual science [6] can teach us about these matters." — R. Steiner, "The Group Souls of Animals, Plants and Minerals" (lecture transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive).

[1] Old Saturn was the first incarnation of the solar system. [See the entry for "Old Saturn" in this encyclopedia.]
[2] Old Sun, Old Moon, and Present Earth were the second, third, and fourth incarnations of the solar system. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.]
[3] See the entry for "Mineral Kingdom Condition of Life", above.
[4] Group egos are essential group souls — souls shared by all members of a population. [See the entries for "group egos" and "group souls" in this encyclopedia.]
[5] See "Higher Worlds".
[6] As used by Steiner, this term essentially refers to his own teachings: Anthroposophy.

miscegenation - see exogamy

missions - also see divine cosmic plan; messianism; Michael; national missions; racial missions

In Anthroposophy, these are purposes assigned by the gods. Nations, races, individuals, mental constructs, art forms, spirits, and even planets may have missions. [See, e.g., "Michael".] Steiner discussed the mission of the Earth thus: "[E]xistence on Earth is of immense significance. [1] It was necessary that the human being should be so inwardly deepened by his union with the worlds of stars [2] that the forces he had otherwise always drawn from those worlds would become the inmost forces of his soul and be drawn up again from its depths. But that can be done only on Earth. [3] One could say: in primeval times the soma-juice [4] rained down from the heavens into individual souls, was preserved there and must now be drawn forth again from those souls. In this way we acquire a conception of the mission of the Earth. [5]" — R. Steiner, BETWEEN DEATH AND REBIRTH (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1975), lecture 4, GA 141.


[1] I.e., there is a purpose to our current evolutionary stage, during which we live on the planet Earth as it exists now.
[2] I.e., astrological spheres, presided over by gods. [See "Higher Worlds".]
[3] I.e., for occult reasons, we could internalize the influences of the stars only by living on Earth.
[4] I.e., astral nourishment. ("Soma" is a Theosophical term, referring to the moon mystically transmuted as a beverage for initiates. Steiner rarely repeated the term "soma juice" in other lectures or writings.)
[5] I.e., the mission of the Earth is, so to speak, to make astrological influences available to us as internal powers of our souls.

mistletoe - also see Loki; medicine; plants

A parasitic plant, often used for midwinter decoration. In Norse myths, the trickster god Loki fashioned a dart of mistletoe that was sued to kill the glorious god Baldur. [1]

According to Steiner, mistletoe is a treatment for cancer. ◊ "When the mistletoe is prepared in such a way that [the] superabundant etheric quality which it has taken from the tree [2] is administered to a person under certain conditions, by injection (and, since we are observing all these facts in a spiritual manner [3]), we gain the following information: that the mistletoe, as an external substance, absorbs what is manifest in the human body as the rampant etheric forces in cancer. Through the fact that it represses the physical substance, it strengthens the working of the astral body [5], which causes the tumour, or cancer, to disintegrate and break up.” — R. Steiner, “An Outline of Anthroposophical Medical Research: Abridged Report of Two Lectures” (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1924), GA 319. ◊ “[T]he co-operation, for instance, of mistletoe from an apple-tree, with triturated silver salts, could produce something eminently capable of counteracting all cancers in the hypogastric regions.” — R. Steiner, SPIRITUAL SCIENCE AND MEDICINE (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Company, 1948), lecture 13, GA 312. [See "Steiner's Quackery".]

The extraordinary powers of mistletoe arise from a special circumstance. Steiner explained that mistletoe is not of this Earth. [6] “[M]istletoe does not belong to our earth, it is alien." — R. Steiner, THE APOCALYPSE OF ST. JOHN (Anthroposophic Press, 1993), p. 99. [See "The Gods".]

[1] See "The Gods". Norse myths are given great importance in Waldorf schools.
[2] Plants have etheric bodies, Steiner said. Trees, as exceptionally large plants, have especially powerful etheric forces. Mistletoe grows on trees and, according to Steiner, it receives etheric influences from its host trees. [See the entries for "etheric body" and "etheric forces" in this encyclopedia.] 
[3] I.e., the knowledge Steiner imparted was derived through "spiritual science" or the disciplined use of clairvoyance, he claimed.
[4] I.e., mistletoe is prepared in such a way that it absorbs the harmful forces in cancer, forces that are essentially etheric.

[5] The astral body, Steiner taught, is a nonphysical body higher than the etheric body. [See the entry for "astral body" in this encyclopedia.] 
[6] "Steiner considered mistletoe to be a 'lunar plant animal' having special powers ... According to Steiner, mistletoe comes from an ancient celestial body...which consisted of earth and moon combined. This 'moon body' was 'like a peat bog, soft and alive.' According to Steiner, plants that grew there had physical feelings and were therefore part plant, part animal. Today's mistletoe is one of them." — C. Honey, "The supposed Mistletoe Miracle: The Anthroposophic Master Plan", MedWatch, 12/3/19 [translation by R.R.].


Mithra, Mithras - also see Baldur; Christ; Sun; Mithraism; Sun God

a) The chief god of Mithraism.

b) According to Steiner, the Sun's love; Baldur or Christ. [1] The symbol of Mithras riding a bull depicts human nature rebelling against the limitations of mere physical reality, Steiner taught. "This cultic form was something that had existed since very ancient times and had been brought across from Asia to Europe. It was, in a sense, Christianity viewed from one side [2], viewed from the external, astronomical side, for Mithras was the sun force in man. Mithras was the human being [3] who rebelled against the merely planetary and terrestrial aspects." — R. Steiner, MATERIALISM AND THE TASK OF ANTHROPOSOPHY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1987), lecture 4, GA 204.

[1] See "Sun God" and "The Gods".

[2] I.e., in worshipping Mithras, the devotees of Mithraism were worshipping Christ apprehended imperfectly ("from one side").

[3] Steiner says that Mithras was the divine power of the Sun ("the sun force"); he was a god whose power penetrated the human heart and soul. ("the sun force in man"). Mithras was a god, but he was also, in a sense, a human being (a human who had internalized the power of the Sun). In this sense, he was a variant of Christ, who incarnated in human form as Christ. Jesus.

Mithraism - also see Christianity; Mithras; Sun God

A religion centering on worship of the Sun God. "Mithraism   A religious cult of fertility, which originated in Iran, Persia, about 400 B.C.  ... The Mithraic cult centered around a saviour sun-god hero Mithras, who lived and died for the sins of the world." — G. Riland, THE STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PSYCHIC, MYSTIC, OCCULT (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1973), p. 137. 

Steiner taught that Mithras was both a predecessor of Christ and, at a deeper level, he was Christ himself. [1] “The true Mithras is the Christ; Mithras is his predecessor ... To turn the Mithras worship into a worship of Christ was something that was intensely alive in the first Christian century ... One might say that the [spiritual] stream intending to Christianize this Mithras worship followed after the spreading of the latter. A synthesis between Christendom and the Mithras worship was striven for. [2]” — R. Steiner, MATERIALISM AND THE TASK OF ANTHROPOSOPHY (SteinerBooks, 1987), p. 64. [See "Mithraism".]

[1] Steiner taught that various ancient peoples apprehended Christ, the Sun God, in various ways. Each Sun God worshipped in various faiths was, generally, an incomplete apprehension of Christ. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "Sun God".]

[2] The result would be a fuller recognition of the Sun God. Steiner advocated such syntheses, and indeed Anthroposophy itself is a broad synthesis of various religions and spiritual traditions. "The mission of Anthroposophy today is to be a synthesis of religions." — R. Steiner, ANTHROPOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain, 1964), GA 130.

Molt, Emil (1876-1936)

Owner-director of the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Factory (Waldorf-Astoria-Zigarettenfabrikin Stuttgart, Germany; he commissioned Rudolf Steiner to lead a school for the children of the factory's workers. Opening in 1919, the school took its name, Waldorf, from the factory. That school became the prototype for all subsequent Waldorf schools.

Emil Molt.

[Public domain image; color added.]

Moltke, Eliza von (1859-1932)

Anthroposophist, acquaintance of Rudolf Steiner; married to Helmuth von Moltke. After her husband died, she received messages from him, conveyed by Rudolf Steiner (at least Steiner brought her messages, saying they were from her dead husband, and she took Steiner's word for it). [See "Steiner and the Warlord".] 

Eliza vol Moltke.

[Public domain image; color added.]

MoltkeHelmuth von (1848-1916)

Chief of the German general staff at the start of World War I; married to Eliza von Moltke. Although by some standards Helmuth von Moltke might be judged a war criminal, Steiner defended him vigorously, and after H. von Moltke died, Steiner claimed to establish contact with him from beyond the grave. Steiner relayed many messages from the dead man to his wife, Eliza von Moltke. [See "Steiner and the Warlord".] 

Helmuth von Moltke the Younger, ~ 1912,

Chief of the German General Staff.

[German General Staff photograph, 

public domain; color added.]

monad - also see animated monad; monadism; spirit

A self-enclosed being; the kernel of individual identity. "Monad" is one of the terms Steiner used during his Theosophical phase and later tended to avoid. Essentially, as he used the term, the monad is the spirit, one's eternal spiritual being; it is distinguished from the soul, one's spiritual identity during a single Earthly life. “We have within us an inner kernel of being which we call the Monad. We retain this kernel throughout the three worlds. [1] It lives within us in the physical world, but also in the astral and devachanic worlds. [2] This inner kernel, however, is always clad in a different garment. In the physical, astral and devachanic worlds the garment of our kernel-of-being is different ... We must learn to know man as a duality: as the Monad and what clothes the Monad. [3] We ask: How has the one and how has the other arisen? Where did the astral man live before he became what he is today and where did the Monad live? [4] Both have gone through different stages of development, both have gradually reached the point of being able to unite.” — R. Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 22, GA 93a.

[1] I.e., the physical world, the soul world, and the spirit world. [See "Higher Worlds".]
[2] Theosophical terms: the soul world and the spirit world. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.]
[3] I.e., the true (spiritual) self and the soul that houses the spirit during one incarnation. [See the entries for "spirit" and "soul" in this encyclopedia.] 
[4] Using Theosophical terms, Steiner here speaks of the soul ("the astral man") and the spirit ("the Monad"). Before Earthly incarnation, these exist in two higher worlds, the soul world and the spirit world.


monadism - also see monad; philosophy; world conceptions

One of the twelve justified or defended world conceptions, according to Steiner. "Someone may not take the path we have tried to follow to the activities of the spiritual Hierarchies [1], but may still come to an acceptance of certain spiritual beings. The celebrated German philosopher, Leibnitz, was a man of this kind ... His view was that a being — as, for example, the human soul — can build up existence in itself. But he formed no further ideas on the subject. He only said to himself that there is such a being that can build up existence in itself, and force concepts outwards from within itself. For Leibnitz, this being is a 'Monad' [2] ... A person with this outlook...reflects...upon the spiritual element in the world, allowing it to remain indefinite ... [He picks] out from them an abstract characteristic ... Monadism is an abstract Spiritism. [3]" — R. Steiner, HUMAN AND COSMIC THOUGHT (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1991), pp. 36-37. Steiner associated monadism with Sagittarius. [See “Philosophy”.] 

[1] I.e., gods. (Steiner said there are nine ranks of gods divided into three classes or "hierarchies." [See "Polytheism".])

[2] For Leinitz, a "monad" is a simple, indivisible substance, one of the key elemental essences of which the universe is composed. A monad is self-sufficient and has no component parts. It is similar to an atom except that it does not exist in physical space (which Leibnitz deemed illusory): It is, then, more akin to an underlying idea, a formative concept, than to a physical phenomenon. [Compare this to the Theosophical use of the term "monad," discussed above.] 

[3] See the entry for "spiritism" in this encyclopedia.

Mongolian race - also see Mars; races; cf. Mongols

According to Steiner, "Mongolians" (central Asians) are the "Mars race": They are the product of powers emanating from Mars. "Now let us go up over the wide Mongolian plains. In those plains those Spirits of Form [1] are principally active who work indirectly through the blood. There in the blood is brewed that which brings about a modification of humanity and produces the basic character of the race. [2] There is, however, something very peculiar in this Mongolian race. There the Mars-spirits [3] enter the blood: But they work in it in quite a definite way, viz., they are there able to work towards the six Elohim [4] who are centered in the Sun. In the Mongolian race, therefore, they work towards these six Elohim, and in doing so they make a special attack in the other direction towards Jahve or Jehovah Who has separated His field of action from that of the six Elohim. [5]" — R. Steiner, THE MISSION OF FOLK-SOULS (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1929), lecture 6, GA 121. [See "Races".]

[1] I.e., gods four levels above humanity. [See "Polytheism".]
[2] For Steiner's teachings about blood and race, see "Blood".
[3] I.e., spirits or gods of Mars.
[4] This is another Anthroposophical designation for gods four levels above mankind. Steiner taught that six Elohim are Sun spirits while a seventh, Jehovah, is a Moon spirit. [See, e.g., "Genesis". Note that in Steiner's teachings, Jehovah is not God Almighty; he is one of the gods standing just four levels higher than humanity.]
[5] Steiner taught that Jehovah, the god of the Jews, transferred from the Sun to the Moon. Here Steiner says that the Mars spirits in the blood of Mongolians work toward the Sun Elohim and against Jehovah.

Mongols - also see Akkadians; Primal Semites; Primal Turanians; Rmoahals; sub-races; Tlavatlis; Toltecs; cf. Mongolian Race

According to Theosophical/Anthroposophical teachings: the seventh sub-race that arose on Atlantis. [1] Among the seventh sub race [2], the Mongols [3], the faculty of thought was also developed. But characteristics of the earlier sub-races, especially of the fourth, remained present in them ... They remained faithful to the feeling for memory. And thus they reached the conviction that what is oldest is also what is most sensible and can best defend itself against the faculty of thought. [3] It is true that they also lost the mastery over the life forces [5] ... [T]hey had lost the power over life, but they never lost their direct, naive faith in it. This force had become their god, in whose behalf they did everything they considered right. Thus they appeared to the neighboring peoples as if possessed by this secret force, and they surrendered themselves to it in blind trust. Their descendants in Asia and in some parts of Europe manifested and still manifest much of this quality.” — R. Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1959), chapter 3, GA 11.



 ◊ 1. Rmoahals ◊                            ◊ 7. Mongols ◊ 
 ◊ 2. Tlavatlis ◊                     ◊ 6. Akkadians ◊ 
 ◊ 3. Toltecs ◊        ◊ 5. Primal Semites ◊ 
 ◊ 4. Primal Turanians ◊ 

According to Steiner — drawing heavily from Theosophy — the major racial form found on Atlantis (the Atlantean "root race") gave rise to seven sub-races. Sub-races represent the progressive steps that reincarnating souls should take during their evolution within a given historical period. These are the seven sub-races of the Atlantean root race.

[1] Steiner taught that before our present evolutionary period on Earth, we lived on the continent of Atlantis. [See "Atlantis".]
[2] In Theosophical and Anthroposophical belief, each major stage of evolution during Present Earth (the fourth incarnation of the solar system) is populated by a major racial form, a root race, which embodies the evolutionary level attained by humanity at that stage. Root races are, in turn, divided into multiple branches or sub-races. In general, root races and sub-races were meant to evolve sequentially, but today multiple races exist simultaneously. [For Steiner's teachings about races, see, e.g., "Steiner's Racism" and "Races".]
[3] In some texts, the term "Mongolians" is used for the seventh subrace, blurring the distinction between between this ancient Atlantean race and the central Asian race extant today. (Steiner taught that some ancient races have continued to exist in the current world.)
[4] Steiner taught that the power of thought evolved gradually; previously, sub-races depended on lower mental capacities such as memory. The Mongols, Steiner says here, had the capacity for thought but they tended to reject it and instead rely on the ancient power of memory.
[5] Earlier sub-races had the ability to directly manipulate life forces, Steiner taught. [See the entry for "life force" in this encyclopedia.]

monism - also see monotheism; cf. dualism; pluralism

The doctrine that the universe arises from a single source or consists of a single underlying substance. Steiner repudiated monism when it is associated with monotheism — Anthroposophy is polytheistic. [See the entry for "monotheism", below.] Note, however, that Steiner affirmed monism in a different sense: rejecting dualism, and finding coherence of will, identity, and freedom as a result. "Whereas the materialistic dualist [1] makes man an automaton [2] whose actions are only the result of a purely mechanical system, the spiritualistic dualist (that is, one who sees the Absolute, the Being-in-itself, as something spiritual in which man has no share in his conscious experience) makes him a slave to the will of the Absolute [3] ... Monism [by contrast] does not see, behind man's actions, the purposes of a supreme directorate, foreign to him and determining him according to its will, but rather sees that men, in so far as they realize their intuitive ideas, pursue only their own human ends ... Monism, then, in the sphere of true moral action, is a freedom philosophy. [4]" — R. Steiner, THE PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964), chapter 10, GA 4.

[1] I.e., someone who differentiates between spirit and matter, and claims that only matter truly exists.
[2] I.e., a robot, a being without a soul or spirit.
[3] I.e., "spiritualistic dualist" thinks that there is an unbridgeable gap between God or the gods, on the one side, and human beings, on the other. Steiner says that the human being is then reduced to the level of a slave.
[4] I.e., monism, in this sense, sees human beings as free agents whose actions and consciousness are not severed from the spirit realm. Men are not, then, slaves to the gods ("a supreme directorate"), but can pursue their own "human ends" by heeding the spiritual wisdom within the human spirit ("they realize their intuitive ideas"). [For Steiner's teachings about freedom, see "Freedom".]

monotheism - also see monism; cf. polytheism

The doctrine that there is just one God. Monotheism is incorrect, according to Steiner — it is a distant goal, not a present reality. “Monotheism or monism in itself can only represent an ultimate ideal; it could never lead to a real understanding of the world." — R. Steiner, THE MISSION OF THE FOLK SOULS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005), p. 115.

According to Biblical tradition, the spirit realm needs no improvement. Indeed, no improvement is conceivable. God Almighty exists and has always existed, and He is perfect — omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. The Theosophical/Anthroposophical view is fundamentally different. The perfect God of monotheism does not exist. [1] The universe is aswarm with many gods, all of them imperfect, all striving to evolve toward perfection (or, in the case of evil gods, to thwart the drive toward perfection). Someday God will exist. Someday lowly beings will evolve upward far enough to become God. We ourselves will spearhead the ultimate evolution of the universe, becoming the highest divinity. Or so Steiner affirmed. [2]

Steiner taught that there are nine ranks of gods below the Godhead [3], with humans standing below the gods and evolving toward becoming gods. Here is the lineup as Steiner described it, using the designations Steiner generally preferred. The nine ranks of gods are numbered from 1 to 9, and they are divided into three groupings that Steiner called hierarchies. Mankind is shown as the tenth rank, not yet divine, but evolving toward divinity.

 The Godhead 

 1. Spirits of Love 
 2. Spirits of the Harmonies 
 3. Spirits of Will 

 4. Spirits of Wisdom 
 5. Spirits of Movement 
 6. Spirits of Form 

 7. Spirits of Personality 
 8. Spirits of Fire 
 9. Sons of Twilight 

  [10.] Mankind 

For more on these matters, see "God" and "Polytheism". (Steiner taught that the various gods described in myths are generally real. He found particular truth in Norse myths. [See "The Gods".])

[1] The Godhead stands either above or behind the ranks of the gods, Steiner taught. The Godhead is not God Almighty or, certainty, Jehovah, Steiner said. Rather, it is the generalized divine will that animates the gods and their works. [See "God".]
[2] Steiner taught that we will soon evolve to become gods [see "Tenth Hierarchy"] and thereafter we will ascend through the ranks of the gods. Ultimatelt, we will become God the Father. [See the entry for "Father, God the" in this encyclopedia.]
[3] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "Godhead".

Moon - also see Lunar Pitris; Moon adepts; Moon beings; Moon crisis; Moon humans; Moon landings; Moon religion; Old Moon

a) The Earth’s natural satellite.

Steiner gave various descriptions of the physical Moon. He said that various beings have lived there, including spirits who assisted humanity long ago. In addition, he identified the God of the Jews — Jehovah — as a Moon dweller. ◊ “[T]he moon today is like a fortress in the universe, in which there lives a population that fulfilled its human destiny over 15,000 years ago, after which it withdrew to the moon together with the spiritual guides of humanity ... This is only one of the 'cities' in the universe, one colony, one settlement among many ... As far as what concerns ourselves, as humanity on earth, the other pole, the opposite extreme to the moon is the population of Saturn.” — R. Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER SPEAKS TO THE BRITISH (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 93. ◊ The Moon has been the seat of Yahweh (Jahve, Jehovah). “Yahweh resides on the Moon.” — R. Steiner, SLEEP AND DREAMS (SteinerBooks, 2003), p. 43. [See "Lunacy".] Thus, Judaism is — according to Steiner — the Moon religion. [See "RS on Jews".]

b) According to Steiner: The term "Moon" also applies to our third evolutionary mega-stage or condition of consciousness, more properly called Old Moon. “By Moon, we mean a former state of the earth [1] that existed in the past and then, just as a human being passes through a spiritual state after death, went through a spiritual state called pralaya. [2] Just as the human being reincarnates, so this lunar planet [3] reincarnated as Earth. [4] Further, what we have characterized as this lunar planetary state is, in fact, the reincarnation of a still earlier state, which we call the Sun. [5]” — R. Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL HIERARCHIES AND THE PHYSICAL WORLD (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 53.  

Old Moon should not be confused with the physical Moon that exists today. The Moon that we see in the sky (see definition a, above) is a physical location, whereas Old Moon was a phase of evolution, a period of time or duration.


Steiner sometimes spoke of "Moon" when he meant Old Moon, our third condition of consciousness. The image above shows the conditions of consciousness tagged as if they are planets. More correct tags would be Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, Present Earth, Future Jupiter, Future Venus, and Future Vulcan. See the entries for "conditions of consciousness", "incarnations of the solar system", and "planetary conditions" in this encyclopedia. These terms are essentially synonymous. [Detail from an image in THE RIDDLE OF HUMANITY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1990); color added. The lines connecting various stages — e.g., Saturn to Earth, and Earth to Venus — suggest streams of particularly strong spiritual influences. Combinations of such influences, extending over the vast periods of our development, give rise to our moral evolution, Steiner taught.]

This second image shows the conditions of consciousness more accurately labeled. We currently live within the condition of consciousness called Present Earth. [Detail from an image in THE TEMPE LEGEND (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2002), p. 357; color added.]

[1] The varying terms Steiner used to describe these matters can be confusing. The seven major stages of our evolution can be called conditions of consciousness and/or planetary stages. Each of these stages is an incarnation of the entire solar system. Thus, the Earth and mankind and the solar system in general first came into existence during the period called Old Saturn. This was the first "state of the earth," just as it was the first evolutionary stage of humanity and the first incarnation of the solar system. Old Moon (or "Moon," for short) was the third such stage.
[2] I.e., after the Old Moon stage of evolution, the solar system ceased to exist in any form for a while — there was a rest period or "pralaya" before the solar system reincarnated as Present Earth (or "Earth," for short).
[3] I.e., Old Moon: the third "planetary condition," as Steiner sometimes called the major stages of evolution. [See the entries for "planetary conditions" and "planets" in this encyclopedia.]
[4] I.e., Present Earth, the fourth incarnation of the solar system. 
[5] I.e., Old Sun, the second incarnation of the solar system.

Moon adepts - also see adepts; Moon; Moon beings; Old Moon

Adepts of the Old Moon period — beings who attained spiritual wisdom sufficient then to become adepts or masters. [1] ◊ "On the Old Moon [2] the predecessors of man [3]...went through a certain normal development. But there were also Moon Adepts who hastened on in advance of the rest of mankind. [4] At the end of the Old Moon evolution these Pitri beings [5] were much more advanced than the rest of humanity, just as the Adepts [6] are today ... Two streams now existed, that of Jahve and that of the Moon Adepts. [7] The interest of the Moon Adepts lay in spiritualising mankind. Jahve, however, wished to make of them beautiful statues. [8] At that time these two powers contested with one another ... ‘Lucifer’ is the name given to the Moon Adepts; they are the bestowers of human intellectuality. [9]" — R. Steiner, THE FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 23, GA 93a.  ◊ "The Moon Adepts formed the atoms of the present-day Earth. One can study the atom when one studies the plan of the Adepts Lodge on the Moon." — Ibid., lecture 25.

[1] See "Adepts" and the entry in this encyclopedia for "masters".
[2] I.e., during the third incarnation of the solar system, the period called Old Moon. [See "Old Moon, Etc."]
[3] I.e., the beings we call Angels now: gods of the lowest rank, one evolutionary level higher than ourselves. [See "Polytheism".] We are evolving behind them and will become gods ourselves, rising to the rank they now hold; they will have risen one rank higher by then.
[4] I.e., they were more highly evolved than the rest of humanity. (Bear in mind that we were not yet truly "human" during Old Moon; the beings we now call Angels were human at that time, while we stood at a proto-human level. [See the entry for "human stage of evolution" in this encyclopedia.])
[5] "Pitris" are forerunners of humanity, associated with the Sun and Moon. Here, Steiner speaks of the Lunar Pitris: i.e., the Moon Adepts. (The term "pitris" is more common in Theosophy than in Anthroposophy. Here is the beginning of the definition as given in THE ENCYCLOPEDIC THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY (Theosophical University Press, 1999): "Pitri(s) (Sanskrit) Pitṛis Fathers; referring to the merely human deceased father and grandparents; also to the progenitors of the human race. The pitris (progenitors) are of seven classes: three classes of arupa-pitris or higher dhyanis, which in our own solar system we call the solar pitris or agnishvattas; and the four lower classes known as barhishads or lunar pitris.") Steiner often indicated that Lunar Pitris are gods equivalent to Angels in rank.
[6] I.e., Earth Adepts: Adepts or masters living among the human race today during Present Earth, the fourth incarnation of the solar system.
[7] Steiner taught that Jahve (Jehovah) is a Elohim who resides on the Moon. [See, e.g., "Genesis". The Elohim are gods four steps higher than mankind, Steiner said. See "Polytheism".Here Steiner says that two separate streams of spiritual power and intention existed during Old Moon, one flowing from Jahve and one from the Moon Adepts. (The Jahve stream was occultly connected to Judaism, since Jahve is the god of the Jews, Steiner said. [See "RS on Jews".])
[8] I.e., the intentions of the Moon Adepts were more distinctly spiritual, while Jahve's intentions were in effect physical. Steiner taught that Jahve is largely responsible for creating the physical form of the human body: He wanted to make us "beautiful statues."
[9] Steiner gave varying accounts of Lucifer, sometimes making him seem beneficent, but often making him seem malicious. Steiner also sometimes said that "Lucifer" is a general term applied not to a single god but to a group of similar spirits; at other times, Steiner indicated that "Lucifer" is indeed a single god, specifically an arch-demon. [See "Lucifer".] Here Steiner says that during Old Moon "Lucifer" was present in the form of the Moon Adepts, and his intentions were lofty and at least potentially beneficial. (Intellectuality is a needed but dangerous and potentially destructive gift, Steiner said. [See "Steiner's Specific" and "Thinking".])

Moon beings - also see Lunar Pitris; Moon; Moon humans; Moon religion

Steiner taught that various beings have lived on the Moon, and some live there now; some of these were previously human. In addition, Jehovah resides on the Moon; Judaism is the Moon religion, focusing on the god residing on the Moon. Inability to understand Moon beings may cause humans to become specters. “When human beings cling too strongly to earthly things it may be difficult for them to find their bearings in the sphere of the Moon Beings ... The moon-influences are not really active below the roots of plants [1] ... The moon-influences, rising like mist from this shallow layer [2], may cause human beings who have to pass after death into the Moon sphere — the soul-world [3] — but are unable to understand the Moon Beings, to be trapped by this shallow stratum of moon-influences and they can actually be seen by sensible-supersensible perception [5] wandering about as ghosts, as spectral shades. [4]” — R. Steiner, KARMIC RELATIONSHIPS, Vol. 2 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1974), pp. 150-151. [See "Lunacy".]

[1] I.e., the astrological influences of the Moon penetrate only a short distance below the surface of the Earth: They are found only in a shallow layer of the soil.
[2] The influences of the Moon, having penetrated only a short distance into the Earth, rise again from the soil as a sort of mist.
[3] During sleep and after death, Steiner said, we rise through various planetary spheres (including the Moon sphere) on our ascent into the higher worlds. [See "Higher Worlds".] The soul world is the lower of the two higher worlds; above it is the spirit world. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.]
[4] I.e., humans who — heavily affected by the Moon influences rising from the Earth — cannot understand the Moon Beings, may become trapped in the shallow layer of the Earth where the Moon influences are concentrated; thereafter, they will be ghosts or specters. (Steiner's prescription for avoiding all such dangers is to accept his teachings, Anthroposophy, which provide a correct understanding of virtually all things, including Moon Beings.)
[5] I.e., ordinary vision supplemented by clairvoyance.

Moon crisis - also see Lemuria; Moon

During the Lemurian epoch [1], a crisis occurred as the substance of the Earth hardened and the dense Moon separated from the Earth, or so Steiner said. Most human beings could not incarnate in the newly hardened conditions, so they moved instead to other planets. They were later able to return. "At the time the moon withdrew from the earth only a small number of the human souls that were to incarnate later were on the earth: most of them were distributed over the various cosmic bodies [2]; but during the last part of the Lemurian and the first part of the Atlantean age [3] these souls descended to the earth. Only few human beings, as I told you, had been able to experience the crisis of the Lemurian epoch, for only the most robust — those capable of living in the ever hardening substance prior to the moon's exit — had survived the moon crisis of the earth. [4] But when everything that had solidified during the moon crisis began to soften again...then the souls gradually descended from the various planets and moved into [new earthly] bodies. [6]" — R. Steiner, THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN (Anthroposophic Press, 1948), lecture 5, GA 112.

[1] This was the third great epoch of life on the planet Earth during the Present Earth incarnation of the solar system. At that time, we lived on the continent of Lemuria. [See "Lemuria"; also see the entries for "Present Earth" and "incarnations of the solar system" in this encyclopedia.]
[2] I.e., planets. [See "Planetary Humans".]
[3] After we lived on the continent of Lemuria, Steiner said, we moved to the continent of Atlantis. [See "Atlantis.]
[4] I.e., only a few were hardy enough to stay on Earth and live through the "crisis of the Lemurian epoch." That is to say, only a few were sufficiently hardened to exist in the hardening environment of the Earth during the period when the Moon was preparing to break away.
[5] Steiner taught that the Moon is super-hardened. Earth itself tended to become super-hardened during the period when the Moon was preparing to break away; later, after the Moon left, the Earth softened again somewhat.
[6] I.e., when the Earth became soft enough again, human souls descended from the other planets and incarnated in Earthly bodies.

Moon Fathers - see Lunar Pitris

Moon humans - also see animal man; Jupiter humans; Mars humans; Mercury race; Moon; planetary humans; Saturn humans; Sun humans; Venus humans; Vulcan humans

According to Steiner, humans lived "on" the Moon — that is, we lived through the Old Moon period — before beginning life on the present Earth. [1] Moon man was very different from contemporary Earth humans, but moon heritage and influence inheres within Earth humans still. “Moon man has become earth man ... [W]e still have Moon man in us. Looking upon this Moon man we are able to say: ‘He is what we call the dreamer in us.’ [2]” — R. Steiner, THE DESTINIES OF INDIVIDUALS AND OF NATIONS, (Steiner Books, 1986), p. 216. [See "Dreams".]

Steiner taught that during Old Saturn [3], we as proto-humans existed at essentially the mineral level. During Old Sun [4], we rose to the level of plants. And during Old Moon [5], we rose to the level of animals. "If, as he had developed on the Sun [6], man was called plant man, the man of the Moon can be called animal man ... The animal man of the Moon does not yet [7] have firm bones. His skeleton is still cartilaginous. His whole nature is soft, compared to that of today. Hence his mobility too is different. His locomotion is not a walking, but rather a leaping, even a floating. This could be the case because the Moon of that time did not have a thin, airy atmosphere like that of present-day earth [8], but its envelope was considerably thicker, even denser than the water of today. He moved forward and backward, up and down in this viscous element. In this element also lived the minerals [9] and animals from which he absorbed his nourishment. In this element was even contained the power which later on the earth was wholly transferred to the beings themselves — the power of fertilization. [10] At that time man was not yet developed in the form of two sexes, but only in one. He was made out of this water air [sic]." — R. Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1959), chapter 16, GA 11.

[1] See the entry for "Moon", above.
[2] I.e., Moon man had a dream-like consciousness.
[3] The first incarnation of the solar system. [See "Old Saturn".]
[4] The second incarnation of the solar system. [See "Old Sun".]. 
[5] The third incarnation of the solar system. [See "Old Moon, Etc."]
[6] Steiner often used confusing terminology. By living "on the Sun," he here means living during Old Sun.
[7] I.e., did not. (Steiner is speaking of a period in the past.)
[8] In passages such as this, Steiner speaks of periods of time (such as Old Moon) as if they were places (such as the Moon). He inherited much of this terminology from Theosophy, and ultimately he tried to state things more clearly. [See the footnote in the section "Planetary Migrations" on the page "Everything".] What he means here is that the atmosphere in which we existed during Old Moon was quite different from the Earth's atmosphere now.
[9] Steiner taught that minerals are alive.
[10] I.e., the atmosphere itself caused fertilization or procreation; we did not have this power within ourselves, we were not yet divided into sexes.

Moon landings - also see anti-scientific bias; denial; Moon

Rudolf Steiner's followers today sometimes deny that man has landed on the Moon. Thus, for instance, the Anthroposophical publisher Temple Lodge has printed ONE SMALL STEP - The Great Moon Hoax and the Race to Dominate Earth from Space, by Gerhard Wisnewski. [See "Today 3".] Anthroposophists are led to this denial by Steiner's teachings, which say that the Moon is fundamentally different from the Earth and thus inaccessible to humans beings. Thus, one Anthroposophist has written "[T]he moon is now a superhardened, vulcanized sphere that exists for the purpose of providing a necessary counterweight for earth evolution ... [T]he moon is effectively sealed off and impenetrable." [See "Today".]


G. Wisnewski, ONE SMALL STEP 
- The Great Moon Hoax and the Race 
to Dominate Earth from Space
(Clearview Books, an imprint of 
Temple Lodge Publishing, 2008).

The Moon looms large in Anthroposophy, but it tends to be a moon of fable and myth, not reality. Indeed, Anthroposophists tend to reject real knowledge about the Moon, such as the reality that it is uninhabited. We know about the real Moon thanks to many developments, including flights to the Moon conducted by astronauts. But because what the astronauts found is so completely different from what Steiner taught, Anthroposophists often wind up denying that the astronauts ever went to the Moon.

Here's one sample of Anthroposophical "wisdom" about the Moon: "[I will speak about] what may be called the Moon population ... Within the Earth-evolution itself there once existed a primordial wisdom ... [I]t proceeded from the Beings who continued their existence on the Moon, after the Moon as an external cosmic body had separated from the Earth." — R. Steiner, MAN IN THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE AND THE SUN-INITIATION OF THE DRUID PRIEST AND HIS MOON-SCIENCE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), pp. 69-70. Steiner taught that the Moon is inhabited today; indeed, it is a fortress occupied by Moon beings who left the Earth 15,000 years ago.

Moon men - see Moon humans

Moon node - also see astrology

"[T]he moon node is an astrological term referring to the intersection of the Moon's orbit with the ecliptic (= the sun's apparent orbit) [sic]." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 80.

Moon religion - also see Judaism; Moon beings; Moon humans

According to Steiner, the Jewish religion: Jews worship Jehovah, who has ruled over them from the Moon. ◊ "As you know, we distinguish the Jews from the rest of the earth's population. The difference has arisen because the Jews have been brought up in the moon religion for centuries." — R. Steiner, FROM BEETROOT TO BUDDHISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1999), p. 59. ◊ "From the Moon, Jahveh [i.e., Jehovah] reigned over the heart and soul of the Jewish people..." — R. Steiner, KARMIC RELATIONSHIPS: Esoteric Studies, Vol. 2 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1974), p. 203. [See "RS on Jews" and "Lunacy".]


Moon sphere - see soul world

moral ether - also see Christ; ether; etheric body; etheric force[s); "I"; karma; Moon; Moon beings; soul

Steiner taught that the cosmos is filled with several types of “ether.” The four types usually denoted in Anthroposophical texts are warmth ether, light ether, sound ether, and life ether. “Moral ether” may be considered a fifth type — Steiner said it is the inner side of the etheric body (one of our three invisible bodies), occurring during the new moon. ◊ “[T]he Moon-beings observe all that goes on in the planetary system … The etheric formative forces are drawn from the planets, the ‘moral ether,’ as well as from the four kinds of ether … [W]hen at new Moon there is no moonlight, the whole remaining cosmos works upon the forming of the etheric body. It is then that what Rudolf Steiner called the ‘moral ether,’ or the ‘inner side of the etheric body,’ is incorporated, while the outer side is formed at full moon (lecture, April 21, 1924) ... The Moon-beings create the true balance according to their cosmic observations. Through the etheric body they combine [a person's] previous life with the future one and weave karma into the soul.” — E. Vreede, ANTHROPOSOPHY AND ASTROLOGY (Anthroposophic Press, 2011), p. 179. ◊ "The moral ether (the fifth ether) finds it origin in human activity when the 'I' is imbued with Christ." — C. M. Lainson, COSMOLOGY REBORN (Lindisfarne Press, Steinerbooks/Anthroposophic Press, 2018), p. 126.

morality - also see divine cosmic plan; good and evil; love; normal; white path; cf. evil; sin

Like most other religions, Anthroposophy prescribes correct or virtuous behavior. According to Anthroposophical precepts, moral behavior discharges the obligations of karma [1] and it forwards the divine cosmic plan. [2] Essentially, moral behavior means walking the white path toward correct spiritual evolution. [3] Moral individuals evolve to higher states by virtue of their correct conduct. They thereby rise from lowly incarnated status to higher; they ascend to more lofty racial forms, Steiner said. The result is a general improvement for humanity as a whole. “Souls previously incarnated in quite subordinate races [4], raised themselves to a higher level and could incarnate in the bodily descendants of the leaders in Europe [5] ... This was the reason that the lower races had fewer and fewer descendants, while the higher races had more and more. [6]” — R. Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF MORALITY (SteinerBooks, 1995), p. 30. Other benefits of morality include improved health and well-being, Steiner taught; the moral individual avoids the damage caused by immorality. "Let us suppose that in one life a person manifests a particular tendency towards telling lies ... If a person is untruthful, the actions which proceed from untruthfulness will again arouse the most forcible feelings against himself in the life after death [7] ... Spiritual Science [8] shows that a fickle life which knows neither devotion nor love — a superficial life in one incarnation — expresses itself in the tendency to lying in the next incarnation; and in the third incarnation this tendency to lying manifests itself in incorrectly formed organs. Thus we can karmically trace the effects in three consecutive incarnations: superficiality and fickleness in the first incarnation, the tendency to lying in the second, and the physical disposition to disease in the third incarnation." — R. Steiner, MANIFESTATIONS OF KARMA  (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1969), lecture 3, GA 120. Moral humans avoid such disease; they are normal and generally well-formed, according to Steiner. [9] [See "Morality"] 

The virtues advocated in Anthroposophy are much like those espoused elsewhere, including honesty, truthfulness, kindness, altruism, lovingness, and reverence. Critics contend, however, that some of these virtues are often systematically violated in Anthroposophical conduct. Particular criticism is leveled at Waldorf schools for deceiving outsiders about their practices and purposes — the schools are charged with recruiting students and soliciting financial support under false pretenses, and undertaking clandestine indoctrination of students and their families. [10] The Anthroposophical understanding of moral terms and ideals tends to fall well outside the mainstream [11], and Anthroposophical behavior is often guided by the belief that Anthroposophists possess occult wisdom [12] that must be kept hidden from the uninitiated. [13] Anthroposophists generally believe that they work in the service of a higher morality, and thus ordinary restrictions should not constrain them. [14] Anthroposophists, including Waldorf faculty members, are typically virtuous by the lights of their belief system, and they strive to fulfill the spiritual and moral objectives of that system. [15]

[1] See "Karma".

[2] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "divine cosmic plan".

[3] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "white path"; also see "White/Black".

[4] I.e., lowly races. [See the entries in this encyclopedia for "degenerate races" and "evil races"; cf. "advanced races".] Steiner taught that some races are higher than others; some more closely approximate the correct form for humanity. “A race or nation stands so much the higher, the more perfectly its members express the pure, ideal human type." — R. Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1944), p. 149.

[5] I.e., good souls rose and became white people — they became the offspring of leading figures in Europe.

[6] I.e., as good souls moved upward to higher racial forms, there were fewer souls left in lower racial forms.

[7] Anthroposophy teaches that we live many lives, through the process of reincarnation. Between lives on Earth, we have lives in the spirit realm. [See "Reincarnation".]

[8] I.e., Anthroposophy. [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "spiritual science".]

[9] See the entry in this encyclopedia for "normal"; cf. "abnormal".

[10] See "Secrets" and "Indoctrination". (There are also frequent charges that abusive behavior, including bullying and sexual misconduct, are often found at the schools. See, e.g., "Extremity" and "Slaps".)

[11] See, e.g., Steiner's explications of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. [See "Commandments" and "Sermon".]

[12] See "Occultism".

[13] For an overview of the Anthroposophical understanding of initiation, see "Inside Scoop".

[14] The "higher" purposes of Anthroposophy are best summarized in Steiner's books AN OUTLINE OF OCCULT SCIENCE and KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT. [See "Everything" and "Knowing the Worlds".] For a reveiw of Anthroposophical intentions pursued, often covertly, at Waldorf schools, see the entry in this encyclopedia for "Waldorf education: goals." For guidance Steiner gave his followers in deceiving outsiders, see "Secrets".

[15] To consider Anthroposophy and Waldorf in terms Anthroposophists affirm, see, e.g., "Upside" and "Glory".

morning lesson - see main lesson

Mother Earth - also see Earth; mother forces; nature; root children

The term "Mother Earth" is often used metaphorically, to designate the nurturing forces of nature embodied by the Earth. In Anthroposophical teachings, the term is sometimes used in this way, but sometimes it is also used more literally, as referring to a real spiritual being. Steiner often taught that the Earth is a living entity (although he also sometimes taught that the Earth, previously alive, has died). [1] As a living being, the Earth is generally represented in Anthroposophy as female. Anthroposophical tradition distinguishes between male and female spiritual forces, often (but not always) associating female forces with the more earthly side of human experience. [2] ◊ "The earth is seen as the feminine aspect of Creation, and the surrounding cosmos as the masculine aspect ... In [Anthroposophical] children's stories [Mother Earth] represents the life-giving forces of nature, and is often assisted by 'root children' [3] ... [T]his [vision] aims to convey to children a deeper sense of the earth as a nurturing sentient being.... [4]" — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 81. ◊ "[W]e must look to mother earth as to our great nourishing mother." — R. Steiner, THE SPIRIT IN THE REALM OF PLANT (Mercury Press, 1984), GA 60. ◊ A prayer or grace often used in Waldorf schools runs

Mother Earth who gives to us this food,

Father Sun who makes it ripe and good,

Blessed Earth, Blessed Sun,

We’ll not forget what you have done. [5]

[1] See the entry for "Earth" in this encyclopedia.
[2] See, e.g., "Gender" and "Goddess".
[3] These are imaginary beings, associated with gnomes, who are said to dwell near the roots of plants. [See the entry for "root children" in this encyclopedia.]
[4] Van Oort describers, here, the sorts of children's stories often told to young students in Waldorf schools, and he provides at least part of the rationale.
[5] See "Prayers". Taken literally, a prayer addressed to the Earth and Sun is pagan. In Anthroposophical belief, this is moderated somewhat because the Sun is the realm of the Sun God, whom Anthroposophists identify as Christ. [See "Sun God".]

mother forces - also see father forces; female; Mother Earth; Mother Lodge; mother principle

Feminine primordial creative spiritual forces. In Anthroposophical tradition, there are significant differences between "male" and "female" spiritual forces [1], and these differences are considered crucial in Waldorf pedagogy. Especially in the lower grades at Waldorf schools, both male (or father) spiritual forces and female (or mother) spiritual forces are meant to be observed and utilized. As the author of one influential Waldorf text has written, “I have made an attempt to...to follow the ‘golden thread’ of teaching out of the background of the Father (and Mother) forces in the early grades.... [2]” — R. QueridoTHE ESOTERIC BACKGROUND OF WALDORF EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1995), p. xii. [See "Soul School".]

Mother forces are manifested in mother's milk, Steiner taught: "The virtue for the child of the mother's milk, for example, lies in the fact that there lives in it what was called in the archaic language of an earlier way of thought the 'good mummy' in contrast to the 'bad mummy' that lives in other products of excretion. The whole mother lives in the mother's milk. Mother's milk is permeated with forces that have, as it were, only changed their field of action within the organisation. [3] For up to the time of birth, these forces are active in the region that belongs in the main to the system of metabolism and limbs [4], while after birth they are chiefly active in the region of the rhythmic system. [5] Thus they migrate within the human organisation, moving up a stage higher. In doing so, the forces lose their I content [6], which was specifically active during the embryonic time, but still retain their astral content. [7] If the same forces that work in the mother's milk were to rise a stage higher still — moving, that is, to the head — they would lose also their astral content and have active within them only the physical and etheric organisation. [8] Hence the harmful effect upon the mother, if these forces do rise a stage higher and we have all the abnormal phenomena that can then show themselves in a nursing mother." — R. Steiner, CURATIVE EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), lecture 12, GA 317.


Although their proponents often present Anthroposophy and Waldorf education as both modern and forward-thinking, in fact they are often conservative to the point of being reactionary. Thus, for instance, Anthroposophists often argue that the most fitting, spiritually apt role for mothers is to be homemakers who constantly attend to their husbands and children. "For a working person, a week of 168 hours divides into 40 hours of working time, 56 hours of sleeping time, with 72 hours remaining for home. The homemaker...must be present during the 72 hours of free time belonging to her husband and children ... [H]er work time is 112 hours. This extended number of hours shows just how important this area is...." — M. Schmidt-Brabant THE SPIRITUAL TASKS OF THE HOMEMAKER (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2008), p. 33. There can be exceptions (many Waldorf teachers are mothers), but generally Anthroposophists consider woman's proper place to be at home, fulfilling the spiritual tasks of homemaking.

[1] See, e.g., "Gender".
[2] See the entry for "father forces" in this encyclopedia. Querido indicates that forces flowing from various gods should inform the Waldorf curriculum at all levels. This is consistent with Steiner's teachings. [See, e.g., "Schools as Churches".]
[3] I.e., within the female body and its constitution.
[4] This is one of the three main systems of the physical body, Steiner taught: the "metabolic-limb system." [See the entry in this encyclopedia for "metabolic-limb system".]
[5] This is another of the three main bodily systems, according to Steiner. Its chief organs are the heart and lungs. [See the entry for "rhythmic-circulatory system" in this encyclopedia.]
[6] I.e., the component of the mother forces directly linked to the mother's "I" or spiritual ego. [See "Ego".]
[7] "Astral content" is, as it were, the soul content, arising in the mother's astral body. [See the entries for "astral body" and "soul" in this encyclopedia.]
[8] I.e., the content arising from the mother's physical and etheric bodies. [For a summary of Steiner's teachings concerning the human organism, see "What We're Made Of" and "Our Parts".] The third of the three main bodily systems, according to Steiner, is the nerve-senses system, which is centered in the head. [See the entry for "nerve-senses system" in this encyclopedia.] Steiner taught that the etheric body, the astral body, and the "I" incarnate at different times. This process of incarnation is, in a sense, the central task of childhood. [See "Incarnation".]

mother lodge - also see lodges; White Lodge

A central, nurturing lodge [1], especially the great Mother Lodge of humanity presided over by Noah, which has fostered human evolution in many ways: "Whence...came the great vivifying, vitalising power of the Nathan Jesus-child? [2] It came from the Mother-Lodge of humanity directed by the sublime Sun-Initiate, the Manu [3] ... [A]fter the Fall [4], certain forces were no longer in 'Adam' [5], and the still guiltless part of his being was nurtured and fostered in the great Mother-Lodge of humanity." — R. Steiner, THE GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964), lecture 4, GA 114.

[1] Lodges, in this sense, are gathering places for great spiritual leaders, masters, and initiates. The lodges may be manifest on the physical plane, but there true location is in the spirit realm. [See "The White Lodge" and the entry for "lodges" in this encyclopedia.]
[2] Steiner taught that there were two Jesuses, one from the line of Nathan and one from the line of Solomon. They later merged to become the host for the Sun God. [See "Was He Christian?"]
[3] I.e., Noah. [See the entry for "Manu" in this encyclopedia; also see "Old Testament".] A "Sun-Initiate" is a seer who has penetrated to the occult wisdom embodied in the Sun.
[4] I.e., mankind's descent into sin and error. [See "Genesis".]
[5] Steiner gave varying accounts of Adam; he said Adam was a rare human who was sufficiently hardened to remain on Earth while other human souls fled to other planets, and he said that "Adam" was the primordial consciousness shared by many early generations of humans. [See "Genesis" and the entry for "Adam" in this encyclopedia.]

mother principle - also see goddesses; mother forces; cf. father principle

According to Steiner: the feminine "principle" that works in the etheric and astral bodies, conferring a happy nature and joyful creativity. "[T]he mother-principle [sic] predominates in the etheric and astral bodies [1] ... [F]rom my dear mother [I receive] my happy nature and joy in creative fantasy. [2]" — R. Steiner, confirming Goethe, DISCUSSIONS WITH TEACHERS (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 61. The mother principle stands in conjunction with, and in contrast to, the father principle, which is associated with the "I" or ego. "[A]ll that makes man an ego [3] — derives from the father, the male element ... By reason of having an etheric and an astral body man has the mother principle in him: in addition to his outer mother, the mother of the physical plane, he has, so to speak, the maternal element within him — the Mother [4], and besides his physical father he has within him the paternal element — the Father. [5]"  [See "Discussions".]

[1] These are the first two invisible bodies that, Steiner taught. real human beings come to possess; the former incarnates at around age seven, the latter at around age 14. [See "Incarnation".]
[2] Steiner is speaking here of mothers and children in general, not specifically his mother and himself.
[3] This is the third invisible body; it incarnates around age 21, according to Steiner. Possessing an "I" or spiritual ego makes one truly human; it is one's spiritual individuality. [See "Incarnation" and "Ego"; also see the entry for "father principle" in this encyclopedia.]
[4] I.e., one has within the spiritual essence of motherhood, the mother principle.
[5] The "Mother" and "Father", in the sense Steiner means here, are the archetypal spirits of motherhood (the female spiritual essence) and fatherhood (the male spiritual essence). [See the entry for "archetypes" in this encyclopedia; also see "Gender".]


mother's milk - see mother forces

motion pictures - see films

movement, sense of - also see senses

One of the twelve human senses enumerated by Steiner. "[W]ith this sense we become aware of the movements of our own body [1] ... This sense also plays a role when we observe the shapes and movements we see in everyday life around us. Inwardly we imitate every shape and every movement we observe." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 81. The sense of movement, which Steiner said is a physical sense [2], falls under the influence of Sagittarius. [3]

[1] I.e., predominantly, the physical body. Anthroposophists believe that human beings have four bodies. [See "Incarnation" and "What We're Made Of".]
[2] Steiner taught that some senses are centered in the physical body, while others are centered in the soul and in the spirit.
[3] See, e.g., A. Soesman, OUR TWELVE SENSES (Hawthorn Press, 1990), p. 142.

movies - see films

music - also see arts; music of the spheres

Like other arts, at Waldorf schools music is supposed to create a direct connection to the spirit realm. Composers, with their keen appreciation of music, are most affected by the spiritual power of music; but all humans, if properly led, are susceptible to greater or lesser degrees. “[O]n listening to music, [the composer] has an inkling...of the spiritual world. [1]” — R. Steiner, quoted in ART INSPIRED BY RUDOLF STEINER, John Fletcher (Mercury Arts Publications, 1987), p. 136. The composer's keen appreciation of music and its spiritual effects is an extension of the general power and impulse of all arts. “This is what gives art its essential lustre: it transplants us here and now into the spiritual world.” — R. Steiner, quoted in THE GOETHEANUM: School of Spiritual Science (Philosophical-Anthroposophical Press, 1961), p. 25. [See "Magical Arts".] 

Generally, classical music is emphasized in Waldorf schools, and contemporary music such as jazz, rock 'n' roll, rap, etc., is suppressed. Often all students are required to play instruments (frequently recorders) and participate in choral singing. The singing of hymns and other religious music is often emphasized. [See "Prayers".]

Children of various "temperaments" (choleric, sanguine, melancholic, phlegmatic) [2] are often encouraged or required, in Waldorf schools, to play specific musical instruments to which they are "suited" by their temperaments. According to Waldorf belief, choleric children are suited to percussion instruments, and they generally want to play solo. Sanguines are adapted to brass and reed instruments, and they enjoy being part of an orchestra. Phlegmatics are drawn to the piano; they enjoy choral singing. Melancholics have an affinity for stringed instruments; they want to sing solo. [See "Temperaments".]

Steiner also taught that we are immersed in supernal music at night while we sleep. [See the entry for "music of the spheres", below.]

[1] Steiner here refers to the spirit realm in general. He taught that there are two "higher" or spiritual worlds within the general spirit realm; he called the lower of these the soul world and higher of these the spirit world. [See "Higher Worlds".]

[2] Anthroposophists and Waldorf teachers often differentiate between people on the basis of an ancient — and generally discredited — theory of human temperaments and the bodily fluids ("humours") that underlie them [See, e.g., "Humouresque".]

music of the spheres - also see clairaudience; divine cosmic plan; harmony of the spheres; music; rhythm; sphere 

According to mystical tradition: inaudible music made by the motions of the celestial spheres; detectible by clairaudience. [1] "Whenever anyone falls asleep, his astral body [2] goes out from his physical body; his soul then lives in the devachanic world. [3] Its harmonies [i.e., the harmonies of that world] make an impression on his soul; they vibrate through it in waves of living sound, so that every morning he wakes from the music of the spheres, and out of this realm of harmony he passes into the everyday world. Just as the human soul has a sojourn in Devachan [4] between incarnations [5], so we can say that during the night the soul rejoices in flowing tones of music: they are the very element out of which it is itself woven and they are its true home." — R. Steiner, "The Occult Basis of Music" (THE GOLDEN BLADE, 1956), GA 283.

Steiner taught that the music of the spheres is, essentially, the harmony produced by the gods; it is the divine cosmic plan expressing itself in the operations of the physical cosmos (which incarnates the spirit realm). Or, Anthroposophists believe, we may understand the physical cosmos to have arisen as the embodiment of the harmonies of the spirit realm, the harmonies of the gods themselves. "[T]he physical world originated from the formative music of the spiritual world ... Spiritual formative forces shape solidifying matter through sound." — H. van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 54.

[1] Clairaudience is the aural version of clairvoyance: hearing what is inaudible to our ordinary ears or sense of hearing.
[2] I.e., the second of our three nonphysical bodies, according to Steiner. [See "Incarnation".] Steiner taught that the astral body and the "I" (the third of our three invisible bodies) go to the spirit realm each night while the physical and etheric bodies (the lowest of our invisible bodies) remain on Earth. He meant this literally; he was not simply referring to dreams.
[3] I.e., the higher of two transcendent worlds: the spirit world. [See "Higher Worlds".]
[4] I.e., the devachanic world, the spirit world, or — more generally — the spirit realm.
[5] Steiner taught that we lead many lives, through the process of reincarnation. [See "Reincarnation".] After physical death, we travel to much the same spiritual regions we visit each night when we fall asleep. We remain in the spirit realm until our next incarnation on Earth.

mystai - also see initiate; mystery; mysticism

Ancient initiates. "The mystai had been concerned with levels of divinity within themselves ... Mysticism is the unmediated feeling or perception of God within one’s own soul ... A gulf begins to yawn between the experience of the soul and the God asserted by Christianity. [1] It is the gulf between conviction and belief, between knowledge and religious feeling. For the mystai of the ancient world there could be so such divide ... It is through [Christ] that the [Christian] mystic ascends to the highest point within. [2] So does the mysticism of medieval Christianity differ from the experiences of the mystai in the ancient Mysteries. [3]" — R. Steiner, CHRISTIANITY AS MYSTICAL FACT (Steinerbooks, 1997), p. 152. [See "All".]

[1] I.e., Christianity locates God outside the soul; the worshipper is thus divided from God. (Note that in such passages, Steiner suggests the difference between his teachings and orthodox Christian teachings.) [See "Was He Christian?"]

[2] Steiner speaks here of the mystical/gnostic traditions that have long existed at the fringes of orthodox Christianity. Anthroposophy stems, in part, from such Christian mysticism or gnosticism. [See, e.g., "Gnosis" and "Rosy Cross".]

[3] Mysteries, in this sense, are spiritual approaches that unlock spiritual conundrums, matters that surpass ordinary understanding. Steiner professed to offer the key to such mysteries. [See the entries for "mystery", "mystery knowledge", "mystery streams", etc., below.]

mystery - also see Akashic Record; apocrypha; gnosis; mystery knowledge; mystery plays; mystery science; mystery schools; occultism

In religion or spiritualism: a secret or miraculous movement, ceremony, event, or piece of wisdom. Often, for believers, the more mysterious or incomprehensible something is, the more profound or sacred it may seem. In various traditions, mysteries are disclosed only to a select few, often at "mystery schools," which themselves may be referred to as "mysteries" and/or "secret temples." Steiner often referred to ancient and modern mysteries, as well as mysteries embodied in various spiritual streams. Thus, for instance, “[I]n this arising of the Holy Grail [1] there stands before us everything that went into the post-Christian renewal of the principle of the ancient Mysteries. [2] Fundamentally speaking, the phrase the 'Holy Grail', with all that belongs to it, involves a reappearing of the essence of the Eastern Mysteries. [3]” — R. Steiner, THE MYSTERIES OF THE EAST AND OF CHRISTIANITY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), lecture 4, GA 144. [See "Grail".]

The concept of mysteries is basic to Anthroposophy. Steiner informed his followers that much of the wisdom humanity needs is hidden, for various reasons, and it must be sought through occult means. The highest, most reliable means of seeking this hidden wisdom consist of his own teachings, the "spiritual science" that uses "exact clairvoyance" to pierce the veil of illusion. In this sense, Anthroposophy is a mystery system, built on gnosis: hidden or occult knowledge. [4] Steiner taught that we advance (evolve, or rise, or save ourselves) not through faith or good works, primarily, but through the acquisition of occult knowledge. [5] In practice, this means that Anthroposophists are largely dependent on the word of their founder, Rudolf Steiner himself, who professed to reveal many mysteries, as in his key text AN OUTLINE OF OCCULT SCIENCE. Steiner said he penetrated mysteries by using "exact clairvoyance." [See "Exactly".] This faculty did not make him infallible, he said, but in practice his followers treat his utterances as nearly unquestionable: Steiner's teachings are, by and large, exactly correct. [6]

To the extent that Anthroposophists attempt to attain their own, direct perception of spiritual mysteries — which Steiner encouraged — they seek to emulate Steiner, using clairvoyant powers like his, disciplined in accordance with procedures he outlined. [See "Knowing the Worlds".] Much mystery wisdom is available in ancient texts, such as the apocrypha, Steiner indicated, but such texts may also be outdated to one degree or another. Direct, mystical experience is more sure — so long as one follows the correct procedures and attends to one's guru. [See "Guru".] Fortunately, much if not all information about the evolution of the cosmos can be read clairvoyantly through access to the Akashic Record, or so Anthroposophists believe. [See "Akasha".] Anthroposophists generally believe that independent clairvoyant research into spiritual mysteries will largely confirm Steiner's teachings. The occult wisdom contained in "mysteries" is much as Steiner indicated, or so they affirm.

[1] I.e., the development and spread of tales about the Holy Grail. [See the entry for "Holy Grail" in this encyclopedia.]

[2] Steiner sometimes indicated that his own teachings are essentially Christian; at other times, he indicated that his teachings stand at the forefront of a post-Christian spiritual awakening in which mysteries overlooked in orthodox Christianity have become, again, central to human evolution.

[3] I.e., mysteries contained in ancient Eastern religions. (Steiner taught that all things spiritual or incorporeal are themselves actual spirits. Thus, each mystery may be deemed a spirit, a being. Ancient mysteries still exist, Steiner said — as spirits that remain active in our own time. Becoming known, a mystery helps energize and steer human evolution.)

[4] See "Gnosis".

[5] See "Knowing the Worlds" and "Occultism".

[6] Steiner urged his followers to develop their own clairvoyant powers and make their own spiritual discoveries. In this sense, Anthroposophists often claim that they do not depend on Steiner's occult visions and teachings: They have their own visions. But Steiner indicated that anyone who uses "exact clairvoyance" will see essentially what he saw; they will essentially confirm his own visions. Generally, this is what happens among practicing Anthroposophists: They "see" what Steiner "saw" — which may amount to little more than autosuggestion or self-deception. Sometimes, of course, individuals will have unique visions, differing from Steiner's; this often causes rifts and schisms within Anthroposophy. [See, e.g., "Why? Oh Why?", "Fooling (Ourselves)", "Inside Scoop", and "Serving the Gods".]

mystery centers - see mystery schools

mystery knowledge, mystery wisdom - also see esoteric; gnosis; gnosticism; mystery; mystery schools; mystery science; mystery streams; myths; occultism

Generally, gnosis — occult or hidden knowledge of spiritual mysteries. [1] Different mysteries have been comprehended in different periods and different regions, Steiner said. All mysteries are one at root, but there are lower and higher apprehensions of the truth, and different mystery knowledge has been attainable in different regions. The experiences underlying the Northern Mysteries [2] were more intimately and directly connected with the existence of the stars, with nature, with earthly fertility ... [T]he Mystery-truths are great and potent impulses in the evolution of mankind [3] ... [W]hat linked the Northern Mysteries with the whole evolution of the universe, arose from the earth, just as the Gnostic wisdom, inspired from the cosmos, was connected with happenings in the far distances of the universe. How the secret of man [4], linked as it is with all the secrets of the cosmos, comes into operation when a human being enters physical existence on the earth — it was this that, with greater depth than anywhere else at a certain period of earth-evolution, lay at the root of these ancient Northern Mysteries. [5]” — R. Steiner,  THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING, Vol. 1 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1955), lecture 4, GA 173.

A primary premise in Steiner's teachings is that the greatest truths are hidden or occult. These mysteries can be uncovered only by initiates such as himself. Associations of initiates possessing mystery knowledge help guide human evolution, Steiner said. [See "The White Lodge".]

[1] See "Gnosis".
[2] I.e., the mystery knowledge attained in the northern hemisphere, especially in northern Europe (Germany and Scandinavia). Much of this "knowledge" is embodied in Norse myths, which are emphasized in Waldorf schools. [See "The Gods".]
[3] I.e., mystery knowledge provides the impulses needed for further human evolution. [See, e.g., "Evolution, Anyone?"]
[4] I.e., the secret meaning of human life and evolution, the secret of mankind's real nature. We are spirits, Steiner taught, who will evolve to become gods and, ultimately, the highest gods. [See, e.g., "Tenth Hierarchy".]
[5] Steiner said that Norse myths, embodying northern mystery knowledge, present the truest projection of human evolution.

Mystery of Golgotha - also see Christ; evolution; Golgotha; mystery

In Anthroposophy, this is the mystery of Christ's life and death on Earth. "His [i.e., Steiner's] phrase 'the Mystery of Golgotha' refers to the redemptive, world-transforming presence of Christ in Jesus. [1]" — R. McDermott, THE NEW ESSENTIAL STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 2009), p. 40. The meaning of the Mystery of Golgotha is complex, Steiner taught, but fundamentally Christ came to Earth to foster correct human evolution, which he did in his role as a spiritual healer. “[B]efore the Mystery of Golgotha the Father Principle [2] held sway. Yet it was felt how man had departed ever more and more from the Father, to whom as we look up we say Ex Deo nascimur. [3] Mankind stood in need of healing, and the seers and initiates lived in expectation of the Healer, the Hælend,  the healing Saviour. To us [4] the conception of Christ as the Healer is no longer living. [5] But we must find our way to it again, for only when we can feel His presence once more as the Cosmic Physician, shall we also realise His true place in the Universe.” — R. Steiner, “The Mystery of Golgotha” (ANTHROPOSOPHIC QUARTERLY, Vol. 1, 1926), a lecture, GA 214. [See "Prototype".]

Steiner's teachings about Christ sometimes seem familiar to mainstream Christians, and many of his lectures have the tenor of sermons. Christian theologians have long pondered the mystery of God's (Christ's) incarnation as a human (Jesus). The Anthroposophical vision is distinct, however, deviating significantly from other teachings about Christ. Anthroposophical doctrine rejects monotheism: The universe is populated by multitudinous gods, one of which is Christ, the Sun God. The other spirits that are usually identified as persons of the triune Christian God are in fact separate gods, distinct from Christ, Steiner taught. "The highest Ruler of Saturn...appears to us as the Father God, and the highest Ruler of Sun, the Sun-God, as the Christ. Similarly the Ruler of the Moon stage of Earth [6] appears to us as the Holy Spirit....” — R. Steiner, ROSICRUCIAN WISDOM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000), p. 100. 

The Anthroposophical view of the Christian mystery or the Mystery of Golgotha is unique and, from an orthodox Christian perspective, heretical: It tells of the mysterious incarnation of the Sun God in the body of a man named Jesus, whose soul incorporated the soul of a second man also named Jesus. The combined Jesus souls represented the spiritual forces of Buddha and Zarathustra, according to Steiner. The Sun God remained incarnated on Earth for three years, during which time he redirected human evolution, establishing himself as our evolutionary model. [See "Was He Christian?" and "Prototype".]

[1] The phrase "Christ in man" has specific meaning in Anthroposophy. Steiner taught that Christ is the Sun God who incarnated in the body of a human being named Jesus.  [See "Sun God" and "Was He Christian?"]

[2] I.e., the male spiritual principle, projected principally by the god of Saturn. [See the entries for "Father God" and "father principle" in this encyclopedia.] The influence of the god of Saturn gave way to the influence of the Sun God, Steiner taught.

[3] Latin: We are born of God.

[4] I.e., modern humans.

[5] I.e., this knowledge has died out. Steiner's self-assigned role was, in part, to renew mankind's grasp of spiritual mysteries such as the Mystery of Golgotha.

[6] I.e., the third major stage of cosmic evolution, called Old Moon. [See "Old Moon, Etc.".]

mystery plays - also see mystery; mystery knowledge; myths

Pageants depicting spiritual mysteries or spiritual phenomena and truths. A medieval form, the traditional mystery play related Biblical stories or dramatized the lives of saints. Steiner wrote four new mystery plays embodying his own occult vision: THE PORTAL OF INITIATION, THE SOUL'S PROBATION, THE GUARDIAN OF THE THRESHOLD, and THE SOUL'S AWAKENING. These plays have little to do with the Bible but a great deal to do with clairvoyance [1] and man's struggle against the demon Ahriman. [2] They are one vehicle Steiner chose for conveying his own conception of mystery knowledge. [3] The plays are often staged at the Anthroposophical headquarters, the Goetheanum. [See "Plays".]


[Anthroposophic Press, 2007.]

[1] See "Clairvoyance" and "Exactly".

[2] See "Ahriman".

[3] See the entry for "mystery knowledge", above.

mystery schools - also see initiation; mystery; mystery knowledge; mystery streams; oracle

Gatherings of spiritual savants and their pupils; occult temples or oracular nexuses where chosen pupils attain gnosis/initiation. [1] "At various locations in Europe [2] there were mystery centers, the existence of which is reported in many old sagas. For example, behind the legend of King Arthur and his Round Table is hidden a report of such a secret school. King Arthur was a high initiate [3] who made known the wisdom of the mysteries to his pupils." — R. Steiner, ESOTERIC LESSONS 1904-1909 (Steiner Books, 2007), p. 427. Mystery schools convery wisdom that transcends ordinary understanding. One of the first lessons taught is that ordinary sense observation is unreliable; one needs to develop alternative ways of seeing. "On entering the Mystery Schools the neophyte was left in no doubt that however much he may have learned through sense-observation [4], this information could offer no answer to the great riddle of human nature when religious issues were involved." — R. Steiner,  TRUE AND FALSE PATHS IN SPIRITUAL INVESTIGATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1969), lecture 1, GA 243. The necessary form of perception, Steiner taught, is clairvoyance. [5] The School of Spiritual Science, established by Steiner at the Anthroposophical headquarters, the Goetheanum, may itself be considered a mystery school. [6]

[1] See "Gnosis" and "Inside Scoop".
[2] Other mystery schools or centers existed elsewhere, Steiner taught.
[3] See "Pagan".  The search for the Holy Grail undertaken by Arthur and his knights was, Steiner taught, the search for mystery wisdom. [See "Grail".]
[4] I.e., observation through use of the ordinary senses.
[5] See "Clairvoyance" and "Exactly". 
[6] See the entry for "School of Spiritual Science" in this encyclopedia. For information about the Goetheanum, see "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?"

mystery science - also see mystery; mystery knowledge; mystery schools; mystery streams; mysticism; occult science; spiritual science

In Anthroposophical usage, the term "mystery science" may apply to spiritual science itself (i.e., Anthroposophy) or to earlier forms of "scientific" investigation of the spirit realm and its mysteries. [1] Such investigation can reveal much of the hidden truth about ourselves and our universe, Steiner said, but there are limits that even he apparently could not overcome. “The names used in mystery science for [the first three evolutionary] stages are the Saturn, Sun and Moon periods. [2] It will become apparent that these designations at first have nothing to do with the heavenly bodies of today which bear these names in physical astronomy, although in a broader sense a relationship to them exists, which is known to the advanced mystic ... [T]his research is not based on speculation, on a day dreaming in terms of mere concepts, but on actual spiritual experience. [3] As our physical eye can see outdoors only as far as a certain boundary line and cannot look beyond the horizon, so the 'spiritual eye' can look only as far as a certain point in time. Mystery science is based on experience and is content to remain within this experience. [4] Only in a conceptual splitting of hairs will one want to find out what was 'at the very beginning' of the world, or 'why God really created the world.' [5] ... Behind the general mass of men stand the inventors, artists, scientists, and so forth. Behind them stand the initiates of mystery science, and behind them stand superhuman beings. [6]” — R. Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1959), chapter 11, GA 11.

[1] See the entries in this encyclopedia for "Anthroposophy" and "spiritual science"; also see "Altogether".

[2] I.e., Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon. [See the entries for these terms in this encyclopedia.]

[3] I.e., the use of clairvoyance to study spiritual realities. This is the essence of Steiner's "spiritual science," the discipline in which he professed to train his followers. [See "Knowing the Worlds".]

[4] I.e., it is a real science.

[5] I.e., mystery science does not speculate about matters that cannot be known. [See "Origins".]

[6] I.e., gods or, generally, beings more advanced than humans. [See "Polytheism" and "Supermen".]

mystery streams - also see mystery; mystery knowledge; mystery schools

In Anthroposophical usage: cultural traditions, bearing mystery (occult) knowledge, that feed into Anthroposophy. The northern stream, carried especially in Norse myths, is also called the Vidar stream. The western stream, also called the Arthurian stream, is found in the mythology of the Celts and Irish, and in the legends of King Arthur and his knights. The southern stream, also called the Rosicrucian stream, comes through the occult teachings of Ancient Egypt and Rome, and from the Knights Templar. The eastern stream, also called the Grail stream, was carried through ancient India, Persia, and Greece. See H. Van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), pp. 82-83. Also consult R. Steiner, WORLD HISTORY AND THE MYSTERIES IN THE LIGHT OF ANTHROPOSOPHY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998). 

Sometimes Steiner spoke particularly of the Arthur(ian) and Grail streams, the two streams he associated most closely with Christianity. "Two streams come to meet one another — the pre-Christian Christ stream [1]...and the Christian Christ stream. [2] The one is known, subsequently, as the Arthur stream; the other as the Grail stream. Later on they came together; they came together in Europe, above all in the spiritual world. [3]" — R. Steiner, COSMIC CHRISTIANITY AND THE IMPULSE OF MICHAEL (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1953), lecture 6, GA 240.

[1] Pre-Christian knowledge of Christ, according to Steiner, was the apprehension of the Sun God vouchsafed to ancient peoples, who understood that god only imperfectly.
[2] I.e., the stream manifested in the Christian religion, which had a truer comprehension of the Sun God. (Steiner argued that his own teachings, Anthroposophy, contain knowledge of the Sun God that is still truer, surpassing that found in mainstream Christian churches.)
[3] I.e., these streams merged in the spirit realm; on the physical plane, the merger was manifested in Europe.

mysticism - also see esoteric; mystery; occult; philosophy; world outlooks

Belief in attainment of occult wisdom (gnosis) [1] and/or union with the divine, achieved through spiritualistic processes. Steiner taught that mysticism is generally inward-looking, in accordance with the belief that the essence of spiritual reality lies within oneself. "Mysticism is the unmediated feeling or perception of God within one’s own soul." — R. Steiner, CHRISTIANITY AS MYSTICAL FACT (Steinerbooks, 1997), p. 151. Anthroposophy fits this definition. 

Steiner said that mysticism is one of the seven world outlooks. [2] "[W]hen the soul has become quiet and seeks inwardly for the divine Light, this soul-mood can be called Mysticism ... [O]ne can be a mystic through all the twelve mental constellations. [3] It would certainly not be specially favourable if one were a mystic of materialism — i.e. if one experienced inwardly not the mental, the spiritual, but the material ... One can be a Mystic of the world of matter, and one can be a Mystic of Idealism. [4]" — R. Steiner, HUMAN AND COSMIC THOUGHT (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1991), pp. 47-48. Steiner associated mysticism with Venus.

The mystical beliefs of Anthroposophy deeply affect the curriculum and activities in Waldorf schools. [See, e.g., "Spiritual Agenda", "Mystic Math", and "Power Words".] 

[1] See "Gnosis".

[2] These are essentially dispositions of the soul, subjective approaches to reality. [See "Philosophy".]

[3] I.e., mysticism is possible under each of the twelve world conceptions, or under each sign of the zodiac. 

[4] I.e., mysticism is not necessarily spiritual. One can have a mystical approach to materialism or to idealism — or, inferentially, to any of the other world conceptions. (Steiner's contentions, here, are certainly questionable, and are difficult to reconcile with his definition of "mysticism" quoted above.)

myths - also see fables; fairy tales; folk tales; legends; Norse myths

a) Myths are traditional tales widely told within a culture, generally depicting the imagined ancient history of the people(s) who share that culture, and often relating the actions gods or other supernatural beings. These tales are often seen as offering explanations of natural phenomena, the will of the gods, and the purpose of life. They are also, however, a form of entertainment, and even in unsophisticated societies they are often not taken literally.

b) According to Steiner, myths are true accounts of clairvoyant visions had by people in olden times. When interpreted properly, myths reveal spiritual truths. ◊ “Actual facts concerning the higher Spiritual Worlds [1] lie at the foundation of all myths.” — R. Steiner, UNIVERSE, EARTH AND MAN in their Relationship to Egyptian Myths and Modern Civilization (Kessinger Publishing, 2003), p. 94 {facsimile of 1931 H. Collison edition}, GA 105. ◊ “Myths...are the memories of the visions people perceived in olden times ... At night they were really surrounded by the world of the Nordic gods of which the legends tell. Odin, Freya, and all the other figures in Nordic mythology [2] were...experienced in the spiritual world with as much reality as we experience our fellow human beings around us today.” — R. Steiner, THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 198.

Myths — and especially Norse myths — are heavily emphasized in Waldorf schools. [See "Oh My Word" and "The Gods".]

[1] See "Higher Worlds".

[2] I.e., the Norse gods. Odin was the highest Norse god; Freya, sometimes identified as Odin's wife, was the goddess of love, night, war, and death.