future stages

Do not confuse Future Jupiter, 

Future Venus, and Future Vulcan

 with Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan.

The former will be periods in time;

the latter are places in the sky

(or, in Vulcan's case, a fantasy).

[See "Planets".]

Here is a preview of the future evolution of 
the solar system and humanity, 
as described by Rudolf Steiner. 

According to Anthroposophical belief, these are the incarnations of the solar system,
also called planetary conditions or conditions of consciousness.
Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon lie in the past.
We currently live in the incarnation called Present Earth.
Ahead of us lie Future Jupiter, Future Venus, and Future Vulcan.

Future Jupiter

According to Steiner, drawing heavily from Theosophy: Future Jupiter will be the next "condition of consciousness" or "planetary condition," i.e., our next major stage of evolution, following the Earth stage (Present Earth). [1] The entire solar system will reincarnate in a form dominated by the forces of Jupiter. [See "Everything" and "Planets".] Future Jupiter will be, in a sense, a mirror-image of Old Moon [2], recapitulated at a much higher level. When we arrive there, we will have the Jupiter consciousness: perfected imagination. [3] 

As the center of the created universe [4], we ourselves will bring about the conditions that will exist during Future Jupiter. 

"[T]he rock formation[s] of the Future Jupiter [will] be the result of our words. The ocean of Jupiter [5], the warmth of Jupiter, will arise out of the feelings of present-day humanity. The beings of Jupiter will arise out of human will. Thus the inhabitants of a previous planet [6] create the basic conditions for its successor [7] ... There will then exist a kind of Jupiter-Lemurian race [8]." — Rudolf Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2019), p. 61.

[1] See the entries for "conditions of consciousness" and "planetary conditions" in The Brief Waldorf/Steiner Encyclopedia. Also see "Matters of Form". 

[2] Old Moon was the condition of consciousness prior to our current condition of consciousness; that is, it was the third incarnation of the solar system. [See "Old Moon, Etc."]

[3] See the entries in The Brief Waldorf/Steiner Encyclopedia for "imagination" and "Jupiter consciousness".

[4] See "The Center".

[5] Steiner's terminology can be confusing; his meaning must often be deduced from context. Here, when he refers to "Jupiter", he means Future Jupiter.

[6] I.e., the previous planetary condition: the previous condition of consciousness.

[7] I.e., the beings who are alive during one planetary condition or condition of consciousness create — through their actions, words, and thoughts — the spiritual circumstances that determine the contents of the next planetary condition or condition of consciousness. The process is akin to karma: What we do in our present lives determines what we will face in our next lives.

[8] I.e., during Future Jupiter we will recapitulate our existence on the lost continent of Lemuria. [See "Lemuria".] Our "race" (i.e., our racial evolutionary form) during Future Jupiter will reiterate some of the characteristics of our racial form during the Lemurian epoch — we will be members of the "Jupiter-Lemurian race."

Future Venus

According to Steiner, this will be the sixth "condition of consciousness" or "planetary condition," the evolutionary stage that will follow Future Jupiter. [1] The entire solar system will reincarnate in a form dominated by the forces of Venus. [See "Everything" and "Planets".] Future Venus will be, in effect, a mirror-image of Old Sun [2], recapitulated at a much higher level. When we reach Future Venus, we will have the Venus consciousness: perfected inspiration. [3] 

◊ "On future Venus [4] a complete consciousness in the etheric body [5] will develop. Then, while man sleeps, he will gain a consciousness concerning the other side of the world. [6]" — Rudolf Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2019), p. 199. 

 Advanced students of initiation can explore Future Venus even during the Present Earth stage of evolution. "The mystery of the shining of light, of the shining of soul-light, arose for the pupil. [7] Thus he was transported into that future when the earth will be changed into the Venus-planet, into the future Venus-planet. [8]" — Rudolf Steiner, MYSTERY CENTRES (Garber Communications, 1985), lecture 9, GA 232.

Future Venus will follow Future Jupiter, and in turn it will be followed by Future Vulcan. But only meritorious or highly, correctly evolved humans will graduate from Future Venus to Future Vulcan; others will be sent to an "irreclaimable Moon". [9]

[1] See the entry for "conditions of consciousness" and "planetary conditions" in The Brief Waldorf/Steiner Encyclopedia. Also see "Matters of Form".

[2] See "Old Sun".

[3] See the entries in The Brief Waldorf/Steiner Encyclopedia for "inspiration" and "Venus consciousness".

[4] Steiner's terminology can often confuse. Sometimes he spoke of conditions of consciousness or planetary conditions as if there were physical planets. "On future Venus" suggests that we will stand on the planet Venus as it will exist in the future. But more accurately, as Steiner often indicated, what he meant is that in the future we will exist within a stage of evolution that can be called (somewhat confusingly) Future Venus. [For Steiner's own effort to clarify his discussions of planets as distinct from conditions of consciousness, see "Stages".]

[4] This is our lowest nonphysical body. [See "Incarnation".]

[5] I.e., the far or hidden side of reality. (Our "complete consciousness" will give us clairvoyant knowledge of events occurring far away.)

[6] I.e., a candidate for occult initiation. (Steiner is describing how the "pupil," receiving spiritual enlightenment — "the shining of soul-light" — is effectively transported to a future stage of human spiritual evolution.)

[7] Present Earth, our current condition of consciousness, will reincarnate as Future Jupiter, which will in turn reincarnate as Future Venus. In this sense, using a sort of shorthand, we may say that Earth will become "the future Venus-planet.." (Such a formulation is, however, potentially confusing. See note #3, above.)

[8] See the entry for "Future Vulcan", below.

[9] See the entry in The Brief Waldorf/Steiner Encyclopedia for "incarnations of the solar system".

Future Vulcan

According to Steiner, this will be the seventh "planetary condition" — the condition of consciousness [1] that will follow Future Venus. Sometimes Future Vulcan is considered the final planetary condition, although Steiner sometimes indicated that there will be five more, indescribable stages after it. 

During Future Vulcan, the entire solar system will reincarnate in a form dominated by the forces of Vulcan. [See "Everything" and "Planets".] We will then all have the Vulcan consciousness: perfected intuition. [2] Future Vulcan will be, in a sense, a mirror-image of Old Saturn [3], just as Future Venus will be a mirror-image of Old Sun [4], and Future Jupiter will be a mirror-image of Old Moon [5]; but of course these reflections will be greatly heightened and far more spiritually evolved. Thus, in reaching Future Vulcan, we will recapitulate and culminate all the stages of our prior evolution. 

We will reach Future Vulcan after laggard and regressive — evil — humans are split off from Future Venus and sent to a sort of cosmic correctional institution. Unfortunately, not much about Future Vulcan can be revealed to the public. 

"Lastly a supersensible consciousness even more highly developed [6] perceives an evolutionary state of the more distant future to which the name of Vulcan may be given. [7] Vulcan is in like relation to Saturn evolution as Venus to Sun and Jupiter to Moon. [8] Thus in considering the past, the present and the future of Earth evolution [9] we have to name its successive stages: Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan [10] ... From Venus [11], at a certain stage, a separate celestial body becomes detached. [12] This — as it were, an 'irreclaimable Moon' — includes all the beings who have persisted in withstanding the true course of evolution. [13] It enters now upon a line of development such as no words can portray, so utterly unlike is it to anything within the range of man's experience on Earth. The evolved humanity [14] on the other hand, in a form of existence utterly spiritualized, goes forward into Vulcan evolution [15], any description of which would be beyond the compass of this book. [16]" — Rudolf Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1969), chapter 6, GA 13.

[1] See the entries for "planetary conditions" and "conditions of consciousness" in The Brief Waldorf/Steiner Encyclopedia. Also see "Matters of Form".

[2] See the entries in The Brief Waldorf/Steiner Encyclopedia for "intuition" and "Vulcan consciousness".

[3] See "Old Saturn".

[4] See "Old Sun".

[5] See "Old Moon, Etc."

[6] I.e., very high clairvoyant awareness.

[7] I.e., clairvoyance reveals a future evolutionary stage which may be dubbed "Vulcan." (Just as we must distinguish between Old Saturn and the planet Saturn, and between Future Jupiter and the planet Jupiter, etc., we must distinguish between Future Vulcan (a stage of evolution) and the planet Vulcan (if it exists). Steiner evidently believed that the planet Vulcan does exist. [See "Vulcan".] But here he is referring to the future stage of evolution, Future Vulcan.)

[8] I.e., Future Vulcan bears the same relationship to Old Saturn ("Saturn evolution") as Future Venus bears to Old Sun and Future Jupiter bears to Old Moon. (The future stages recapitulate those past stages.)

[9] In Steiner's teachings, the evolution of the Earth is essentially the same as the evolution of the solar system. This evolution centers on our own evolution; it is the evolution from Old Saturn to Future Vulcan and beyond.

[10] I.e., Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, Present Earth, Future Jupiter, Future Venus, and Future Vulcan. [See the entries for these terms in The Brief Waldorf/Steiner Encyclopedia.]

[11] I.e., from the central essence of Future Venus (which may be, somewhat confusingly, discussed as if it were a planet).

[12] I.e., it will become detached. (Steiner uses the present tense, here, although the events he is describing lie far in the future.)

[13] I.e., those individuals who have resisted the proper course of spiritual evolution will be sent to an "irreclaimable Moon." (These wayward souls would seem to be irreclaimable — in some translations, the word "unredeemable" is used — although, as Steiner goes on to say, their moon will undergo a mysterious further evolution.)

[14] I.e., those individuals who have evolved correctly.

[15] I.e., Future Vulcan.

[16] Future Vulcan is the farthest stage of our evolutionary future that Steiner said he was free to discuss, and he said he could divulge very little about it. Beyond it, he sometimes said, are five more stages of evolution that must remain wholly veiled.


 [R. R., 2010.]

This is the overall pattern of human evolution, according to Anthroposophical teachings. We began in a period called Old Saturn, represented here by the orange globe on the upper left. We evolved to Old Sun (pink) and Old Moon (orange) before arriving at Present Earth (pink). This was a descent into a densely physical condition. Wrongdoers will sink even lower, to the "Eighth sphere" (the blue globe below the Earth). Good humans will evolve upward to Future Jupiter, then Future Venus, and then Future Vulcan. In most Anthroposophical accounts, Future Vulcan is our final, highly spiritualized destination at least in terms of these "planetary stages." However, Steiner sometimes indicated that there will be five more stages after Vulcan.

Conditions of Consciousness

In Anthroposophical belief, these are the largest divisions of our evolution: ancient, present, and future evolutionary über-stages. They are also called planetary conditions or planetary stages. We proceed from one to the next, evolving on or during each "planet": Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, Present Earth, Future Jupiter, Future Venus, Future Vulcan, and five more that cannot be named or described. [See "Matters of Form".] 

"Humanity will have to be guided from one planetary condition to another. Spiritual Beings [i.e., gods] must also exist, whose care it is during the whole earth evolution [i.e., Present Earth] to see that when that evolution will have come to an end, humanity may pass in the right manner through a Pralaya [a rest phase] and find its way to the next goal, to the Jupiter goal [i.e., the Jupiter Condition of consciousness: Future Jupiter]." — Rudolf Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL HIERARCHIES (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1928), lecture 6, GA 110.

The essence of the "conditions of consciousness" — and the reason for this term — is that at each stage we develop a new, higher form of consciousness. In Anthroposophical belief, the story of human history and evolution is the story of our ascent to higher and higher forms of consciousness. We started at a very dim level, but we will eventually emerge with godlike awareness. In thumbnail form, here are the conditions of consciousness, roughly speaking:

Old Saturn - coma

Old Sun - deep sleep

Old Moon - dreaming

Earth - waking consciousness

Future Jupiter - imagination

Future Venus - inspiration

Future Vulcan - intuition

The final three forms of consciousness are all, in varying degrees, types of clairvoyance. Everyone who survives to the future stages of evolution will have these types of consciousness. In the meanwhile, here on Earth, preliminary versions of these mental/spiritual capacities are pursued by Anthroposophists and fostered (it is thought) in Waldorf schools.

Although Steiner often referred to the future stages of our evolution as "planets," and despite the fact that he sometimes depicted them as globes or circles, we need to remember that they will not be planets such as we see in the sky now — indeed, they will not really be planets at all. They will be evolutionary stages, conditions of consciousness, spiritual environments. For this reason, instead of visualizing them as globes or circles, you might better visualize them through images like the following —  although of course these images are, in themselves, highly inaccurate; they are efforts to picture what cannot be pictured. These are just my own impressionistic stabs in the dark. Almost any other images you might come up with on your own would do just as well — as long as they do not depict Future Jupiter, Future Venus, and Future Vulcan as planets per se.

From top to bottom: Future Jupiter (as it were),
Future Venus (in a sense), and Future Vulcan (or not).

[R. R., 2010.]

Concerning the additional evolutionary stages 
that await us after Future Vulcan, 
Anthroposophists dig through Steiner texts, 
seeking clues. 
(Although Anthroposophy should empower them 
to make their own clairvoyant discoveries, 
they generally rely absolutely on Steiner 
for such things.) 
Here is one example: 

"What might the next stage of this [evolutionary] process be like? Naturally it could not be answered if Rudolf Steiner had not given us a few indications from his spiritual research concerning the subsequent evolution after the Vulcan condition. In THE SPIRITUAL HIERARCHIES AND THEIR REFLECTION IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD, he stated: 'In the Vulcan development [1], all the beings that emerged as it were from the modest beginnings of the Saturn existence [these words refer primarily to human beings] [2] are spiritualized to the highest degree; all of them together have become not only sun but super-sun.' [3] ... And further on: 'When a sun has advanced so far that it has once again united with its planets, it turns into circumference; it turns into a zodiac', in order to move on to new creating in the universe ... If we take what Rudolf Steiner stated here...we can say: After the Vulcan-existence the Archangeloi will begin the new world evolution and create a new 'space' (zodiac) ... And into this stream of world evolution the actual creator of the new solar system will enter, and they will be the human beings ... For in that time mankind will have turned itself into the tenth hierarchy [4] ... This hierarchy will then create a solar system, the foundation of which...will be the power of the Christ...and the power of the Holy Spirit [5] ... Out of the combination and joint activity of the two forces, the Love of Christ and the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit, will emerge the creative Deeds of Good from the soul, deeds of Good out of which the tenth hierarchy will create the new solar system [6] ... For in the 'Christ-Sun'...we already have a germ of that Super-Sun which eventually is intended to emerge out of the creative deeds of humans at the end of the Vulcan aeon. [7]" — Sergei O. Prokofieff, THE FOUNDATION STONE MEDITATION (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2006), pp. 16-17.

[1] I.e., during Future Vulcan.

[2] I.e., beings whose evolution began during Old Saturn, the first incarnation of the solar system. [See the entry for "Old Saturn" in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]

[3] In Anthroposophy, Christ is the Sun God. [See "Sun God".] He is the genius or spirit of the Sun, and in this sense he is the Sun itself. All who follow him correctly (i.e., in accordance with Anthroposophy) become like him, and thus they themselves become suns. In the distant future, Steiner taught, they will effectively surpass Him and become super-suns.

[4] See "Tenth Hierarchy".

[5] In Anthroposophy, the Holy Trinity comprises three separate gods, not three aspects of a single God. The Son is the Sun God, Christ; the Holy Ghost is the god of Old Moon; the Father is the god of Saturn.

"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 appears to us as the Holy Spirit.” — Rudolf Steiner, ROSICRUCIAN WISDOM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000), p. 100.

[6] I.e., humans will have evolved to such a high state that they will in effect be God the Father. Steiner tells of the contributions of Christ and the Holy Spirits, two members of the Trinity. The third member, in his account, is highly evolved humanity. 

"[W]e shall have gradually achieved the transformation of our own being into what is called in Christianity 'the Father'." — Rudolf Steiner, THE LORD'S PRAYER (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2007), p. 17.

[7] I.e., currently, in the world today, we have in the Sun God the seed or germ of our future highly evolved state, when we will have become a super-sun, or, specifically, God the Father. We will be a super-sun and we will create a super-sun. We will, in other words, create ourselves as the highest of gods, the Father.

From the Waldorf Watch "news" page:

May 10, 2018



Waldorf faculties tend to have an extraordinarily exaggerated view of their own importance. They think Waldorf schools are crucial to the continued evolution of humankind. They are, in this sense, on a messianic mission. [See "Mission".]

The following, written by a Waldorf teacher, is from a Waldorf text published in the 21st century. I have added some explanatory footnotes.

"A Waldorf school is more than just another independent school that provides a developmental education. [1] It is an organization that seeks to allow the spiritual impulses of our time [2] to manifest on earth in order to transform society [3] ... Steiner described the founding of [the first] Waldorf School as a ceremony within the Cosmic Order [4] ... [T]he founding of every subsequent Waldorf school also has cosmic significance ... [W]e may celebrate the founding of a Waldorf school because it strives to bring the soul-spiritual [5] into the realm of human life.” — Roberto Trostli, “On Earth as It Is in Heaven”, Research Bulletin, Vol. 16 (Waldorf Research Institute, Fall 2011), pp. 21-24.

Waldorf schools are important to the "Cosmic Order." The founding of every new Waldorf school is a cause for celebration because of the spiritual significance of the Waldorf movement. Waldorf schools serve the will of the gods — they enable "spiritual impulses" from on high to be enacted upon the Earth.

Rudolf Steiner taught that humanity is evolving from an extremely primordial condition to ultimate apotheosis. We will become gods. Indeed, we will become the highest gods. And Waldorf schools serve to promote this evolution.

Anthroposophists believe that we have evolved as the solar system has incarnated and reincarnated over and over. The gods have overseen this process, and it has been for our benefit. The first incarnation of the solar system — the first stage of our evolution — was a period called Old Saturn. This was followed by periods called Old Sun and Old Moon. We now live at an evolutionary stage called Present Earth (we live on the physical planet Earth during a period of cosmic evolution in which the other planets of the solar system also exist as separate worlds). When this stage ends, the solar system will next incarnate in a form called Future Jupiter, which will be followed by Future Venus, and then Future Vulcan. [See "Future Stages" and "Vulcan".]

[This is a portion of a chart from THE TEMPLE LEGEND, 
a collection of Steiner lectures (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009), p. 357; color added.]

The main thing that has happened during this evolution, Steiner taught, is that we have risen to higher and higher states of consciousness. During Old Saturn, we were essentially comatose. During Old Sun, we reached a consciousness similar to deep sleep, and during Old Moon, we rose to a consciousness akin to light dreaming sleep. Now, during Present Earth, we have ordinary waking consciousness. During Future Jupiter, we will attain perfected imagination — a form of clairvoyance, "Jupiter consciousness". During Future Venus, we will attain a higher stage of clairvoyance, perfected inspiration — "Venus consciousness." And during Future Vulcan, we will attain a still higher stage of clairvoyance, perfected intuition — "Vulcan consciousness."

Waldorf schools here and now play a crucial role in all this (or so the devout members of Waldorf faculties believe). Waldorf schools here and now emphasize imagination, inspiration, and intuition among the students because they are laying the foundation for humanity's attainment of higher levels of these mental stages on Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan. The sort of imagination fostered in Waldorf schools is not a stage of perfected clairvoyance; it is — generally speaking — just imagination. But it is meant to foster in children a consciousness that will lead to clairvoyance eventually, if not in this life then in a future life, and if not during Present Earth then during Future Jupiter. The same holds for inspiration and intuition. Waldorf schools emphasize these because they are supposedly linked to clairvoyance.

Not every Waldorf teacher believes all this. Not every Waldorf teacher is a devout Anthroposophist. But for the true-believing followers of Rudolf Steiner who work in Waldorf schools, these beliefs are virtually gospel truths.

This is why the founding of new Waldorf schools should be celebrated.

Or not.

Waldorf Watch Footnotes:

[1] Waldorf education is "developmental" because it is keyed to the incarnation of a series of invisible bodies — the etheric body at age seven, the astral body at age 14, and the "I" at age 21. The arrival of these bodies mark the developmental stages of childhood, according to Anthroposophical teachings. [See "Incarnation".] 

[2] In Waldorf belief, these impulses are summarized in Anthroposophy.

[3] Anthroposophy seeks to remake all human institutions; it is a revolutionary movement. [See, e.g., "Threefolding".]

[4] I.e., a divine cosmic event, overseen by the gods.

[5] Anthroposophists believe that humans have both souls (spiritual identities during a single incarnation) and spirits (immortal spiritual identities).

— Compilation and commentary by Roger Rawlings

To visit other pages in this section of Waldorf Watch, 
use the underlined links, below.


future stages

millennium : the will be that wasn't

tenth hierarchy : us, later

universal : human