"Oriphiel is called the archangel of wrath."
— Rudolf Steiner


Troubles Coming Down the Line

Don't take Richard Seddon's statements too seriously.

Our focus is on Rudolf Steiner's teachings.

Seddon is useful to us mainly because he provides an example of the sort of

“scholarship” produced by Steiner's admirers.

This is the thinking and worldview Waldorf schools lure kids toward.

This page — which follows from "Prehistory 101 — 
was originally written for a different website.

Picking up our story where it left off: 

[Seddon] “From the early twenty-third to the late twenty-sixth century the ruling Archangel is Oriphiel, the Archangel of the Saturn sphere.” [1]

The Archangel Michael relinquishes some of his duties, in other words, making way for Oriphiel.

This spells trouble. Oriphiel last presided over human affairs when ancient Greek civilization crashed and burned. Next he will preside over the start of another long period of human deterioration and suffering. (Steiner taught that the ultimate fate of good humans — particular those who heed him — will be glorious. But he also said there will be much trouble along the way, especially for those who don't heed him.)

Oriphiel will assume office early in the twenty-third century. Archangels take turns overseeing human life. After Michael — the Archangel of the Sun — steps aside, Oriphiel — the Archangel of Saturn — will step in. To be a bit more precise: Oriphiel is the Archangel "of the Saturn sphere." The "sphere" of a planet is not the planet itself but the entire portion of the solar system bounded by that planet's orbit. So, by presiding over "the Saturn sphere," Oriphiel presides over the entire solar system within the orbit of Saturn. This means that, in a sense, he presides over all the planets having smaller orbits than Saturn's. This encompasses most of the solar system as we know it, and it is all of the solar system as Steiner described it. Steiner said that Neptune and Uranus are not really part of the solar system. 

[Steiner] “The Saturn sphere is really the last one that we...enter, since Uranus and Neptune do not enter our picture.” [2] 

A wrinkle: Steiner often said that the planets do not orbit the Sun. Instead, he said, they travel in line with the Sun. [See "Deception".] This is a major fly in the ointment. If the planets do not orbit the Sun, then there are no planetary "spheres," and thus Anthroposophical cosmology blows a fuse. [3] Fortunately, however, Steiner sometimes said that the planets do orbit the Sun, in which case speaking of planetary "spheres" becomes almost sensible again. Steiner never straightened out his contradictions on this matter — do planets orbit the Sun or don't they? But let's set that issue aside for now and just worry about the mess we will be in after Oriphiel takes over. 

There’s a lot of trouble coming. 

[Seddon] "Many discoveries are made [i.e., will be made] the better to carry on war, and an endless amount of intelligence is used to satisfy the lower impulses. The materialistic outlook continues to advance until AD 2300/2400. The outer world becomes increasingly hostile to human nature ... Giant machines, for example, create demons that come alive and rage against the individual ... Through ever-increasing intellectualistic thoughts the warmth-atmosphere of the earth, already under threat, can be ruined. Fiery volcanic outbursts (Saturn) are put to use. And it even becomes possible to turn the axis of the earth ... The Spirits of Darkness [i.e., demons], who incorporate themselves in bacteria and bacilli, give rise to fear...." [4] 

And so on. Big trouble.

The tribulations that begin under Oriphiel will continue long, long after his reign ends. For centuries, the Antichrist will be promoted by those who seek to overthrow Christ. Conflict and strife will rage, off and on, for six millennia. (We heard Seddon this point previously, but his dire words bear repeating.) 

[Seddon] “Conflict and suffering are therefore inevitable. The Antichrist will even be called ‘Christ’ by his followers. But all true Christians...will oppose him [i.e., the Antichrist] with all the strength at their command ... This is a very real battle to replace Christ by Ahriman for the remaining 6000 years of the Post-Atlantean epoch.” [5]

A wrinkle: Ahriman is not really the Antichrist. At least, Steiner usually tagged someone else a Christ's chief adversary. This is Sorat, the demon of the Sun who is the evil counterpart of Christ, the Sun God. [See "Evil Ones".] However, Ahriman is a terrible, terrible demon in his own right, and sometimes he is used as a sort of stand-in for Sorat; he is a "minor" Antichrist as compared to Sorat, the "great" Antichrist. [6]

The "Post-Atlantean epoch" is the extended historical period — called an epoch or great epoch — in which we currently live. It began with the sinking of Atlantis (hence the name "Post-Atlantean") and will end on or about the year 8000 AD. The Post-Atlantean great epoch consists of seven shorter periods called ages or cultural ages or cultural epochs. In the centuries since Atlantis sank, we have passed through four of these cultural epochs — the Indian, Persian, Egypto-Chaldean, and Greco-Roman. We are now in the fifth cultural epoch, which is sometimes called the Anglo-Germanic Age and sometimes simply the Present.

Ahead of us lie two more cultural epochs, which will wrap up our current great epoch (the "Post-Atlantean epoch"). The coming cultural epochs are the Russian Age and the American Age. The Russian Age will run from 3573 AD until 5733 AD. [7] The transition from our current, fifth cultural epoch to the Russian Age, the sixth cultural epoch, will be cataclysmic.

[Steiner] “White mankind is still on the path of absorbing spirit more deeply into its essence. Yellow mankind is on the path of preserving the [prior] period when the spirit was kept away from the body, when the spirit could only be sought outside of the physical human being. But the result will have to be that the transition from the fifth cultural epoch [i.e., the present] to the sixth cultural epoch cannot happen differently than as a violent fight between white mankind and colored mankind in the most varied areas. And world history will consist of those events that will lead to these battles between white and colored mankind, until the great fight between white and colored mankind has been brought about.” [8]


This is a prediction of race war. Steiner says that a war between whites and non-whites is a historical necessity. Evolution cannot proceed properly, otherwise.

Don't be misled by Steiner's use of the term "yellow" (in the original German, “die gelbe Menschheit”). Steiner didn't mean that whites will only have to fight yellow people (presumably Asians). His forecast actually includes all "colored" people (“der farbigen Menschheit”). In any case, he often used the terms "yellow" and "colored" interchangeably. 

In sum, Steiner is saying that once again lower beings must be separated from the upward course of evolution. In this case, the lower beings are members of lower races. [9] And the separation will be violent — it will be "a violent fight between white mankind and colored mankind" in virtually all areas of life. The essence of world history will consist of the forces leading to this "great fight between white and colored mankind."

The horrors of race war will take mankind from the present cultural epoch into the Russian Age. A few centuries later, around 5733 AD, the Russian Age will give way to the American Age. Mankind will then once more be wracked by horrors. Sunken into materialism and science, humanity will create a cataclysm worse than the disasters that destroyed the ancient continents of Lemuria and Atlantis. We will bring the War of All Against All crashing down on our own heads. [See "All vs. All".]

◊ [Steiner] “At the end of our fifth great epoch, the post-Atlantean, there will be catastrophes that will work in a way similar to those at the close of the Atlantean epoch. Through the War of All Against All, the seventh culture of the fifth epoch will find its conclusion.” [10]

◊ [Steiner] “[O]ur epoch will come to an end through...a mighty increase of egoism in human nature, and, on account of this, through the war of all against all. [paragraph break] Only those who turn to a spiritual life will survive the catastrophe, which, in this case, means the war of all against all, just as only a small group of people escaped from the catastrophes of Lemuria and Atlantis. The war of all against all will be still more terrible for those involved in it than were those [i.e., the disasters] of fire and water [which destroyed Lemuria and Atlantis], however terrible we may picture them to have been. Those who are now turning towards a spiritual life should feel it their duty to do all that is possible to rescue the good seed of our age and carry it over into the sixth age [i.e., the sixth great epoch], which will follow the present one. This age [i.e., great epoch] is made up of great subdivisions; the ancient Indian, the Persian, the Egyptian, the Greco-Latin, and the present one, which will be followed by the sixth and the seventh right on to the time of the war of all against all.” [11]

Such is the time that lies ahead, beginning with the reign of Oriphiel. 

Or so Steiner and Seddon tell us. 

This is the violent forecast embedded in Anthroposophy.

— Roger Rawlings


Detail, Rudolf Steiner portrait.


Anthroposophical art — a paean to Oriphiel

with a depiction of the mystic Saturn column designed

by Rudolf Steiner.

Other mystic indications in the image 

are, perhaps, best left unmentioned.

[Monica Gold.]

"Oriphiel has ruled before ... Bad powers of degeneration and decadence were ruling everywhere on earth then. And the human race could only be shaken higher by terrible means. Oriphiel is called the archangel of wrath, who purifies mankind with a strong hand ... [C]irca 2300 [AD] Oriphiel, the terrible archangel of wrath, will be ruling things [again]. And as once before, spiritual light will shine into darkness brightly and radiantly." — Rudolf Steiner, FROM THE CONTENTS OF THE ESOTERIC CLASSES (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), GA 266, December 5, 1907.

According to Steiner, this is the occult symbol for the Antichrist, aka Sorat: two horns above, and a baleful stinger below. 

“Sorat has meant ‘Demon of the Sun’ since ancient times. Every star has its good spirit — its intelligence — and its evil spirit — its demon. The adversary of the good powers of the sun is called Sorat. Christ was always the representative of the sun, namely, the intelligence of the Sun. Sorat is, then, the adversary of Christ Jesus. The sign for Sorat looks like this ... two horns like a lamb ... barb or sting.” — Rudolf Steiner, READING THE PICTURES OF THE APOCALYPSE (SteinerBooks, 1993), p. 19. 

[R.R. sketch, 2010, 

based on the one in the book.]


An Archangel.

[Russian icon.]



Steiner professed the ability to see the future of humanity, the Earth, and the solar system. And yet he seemed to know almost nothing about humanity, the Earth, and the solar system — or, at a minimum, we can say that no one has produced any real evidence to support the statements Steiner made on these (or many other) subjects. Here is the Earth, as it really is — seen from a point a few miles above the surface of the Moon. You are looking at the planet we inhabit, in the solar system we inhabit. This is reality. We have a vast accumulation of real information about our real home and the system in which it really is located. Preferring fantasies such as those Steiner offered is everyone's right — but (if you follow me) it is clearly wrong. There is truth and there is fantasy. There is truth and there is falsehood. The photo you see here shows truth; Steiner's doctrines depict something else. People in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries may have had an excuse for believing nonsense of the sort Steiner offered. Scientific knowledge was sketchier in those days. But people today, in the twenty-first century, really have no excuse. 

[Photo by NASA astronauts orbiting the Moon.]

The "sphere" of a planet (such as the sphere of Saturn)

encompasses the area defined by the orbit of the planet

(bear in mind, however, that Steiner sometimes 

said such orbits are illusory).

More properly, in Anthroposophical doctrine, 

a planet's "sphere" is the spiritual region 

presided over by the god who guides that planet.

[R.R., 2010.]

We will continue the story at "Evil"



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



An examination of Steiner’s central text

Steiner’s extraordinary, sci-fi-like narrative of human evolution.
The tale of our ancient past and our distant future, as told by Steiner. It continues in:


Steiner promoted love, sort of

Surprising violence in Steiner's kindly vision

And badder, and baddest

America, Germany, and Waldorf

How to, he said


Steiner’s occult conspiracy theories


Back-room maneuvers

The formatting at Waldorf Watch aims for visual variety, 
seeking to ease the process of reading lengthy texts on a computer screen. 

Some illustrations on the various pages here at Waldorf Watch 
are closely connected to the contents of those pages; 
others are not — they provide general context. 





[2] Rudolf Steiner, AT HOME IN THE UNIVERSE: Exploring Our Suprasensory Nature (SteinerBooks, 2000), p. 74.

[3] Steiner often presented his wisdom in pictorial form, offering images rather than literal descriptions. Steiner generally indicated that real knowledge and real apprehension are pictorial or "imaginative" (i.e., clairvoyant). Sometimes, somewhat differently, he indicated that he had to resort to pictorial expositions because the truths of the spiritual realm cannot be truly expressed in human language or concepts. (His discourse can give rise to mixed metaphors, as I indicate here (wrinkle, fly, fuse). But that's neither here nor there.) 

[4] TFOHATEAFBRS, p. 31. 

In interjecting the world "Saturn," Seddon means to say that volcanic forces are controlled by Saturn. Remember that Oriphiel is the Archangel of the Saturn sphere, which encloses the Earth sphere.

[5] TFOHATEAFBRS, p. 29.

[6] Identifying Ahriman as the Antichrist is common. The following is part of a fascinating posting from July, 2009:

“[T]he July 22, 2009 total solar eclipse could mark the occasion of the incarnation of Ahriman, known more widely as ‘Antichrist’ ... There are a number of other astrological aspects of the July 22 eclipse to suggest that it is a cosmic echo in our time of the event that Rudolf Steiner referred to as  ‘the Mystery of Golgotha’ — the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ.  Steiner emphasized that at the point of maximum solar eclipse, profound changes occur in the Earth's aura ...  In 1924, Rudolf Steiner indicated that Japan is the apex of a tetrahedral form of the Earth with its curved sides tracing the paths of the Earth's active or formerly active volcano belts ... James Gillen suggests that the vision of the axis going from the Moon sphere through the Earth center is more than a mathematical alignment: ‘This is going through the tenth Sephirah (Malkuth) of the Tree of Life into the realm of the Mother, connecting the Mother with the cosmic light of the stars, which according to Rudolf Steiner rays through the Moon (the Moon is transparent for it).’”  [Kevin Dann, “The July 22nd Solar Eclipse and the Riddle of 2012” http://www.realitysandwich.com/july_22nd_solar_eclipse]

[7] TFOHATEAFBRS, p. 41.

[8] Rudolf Steiner, DIE GEISTIGEN HINTERGRÜNDE DES ERSTEN WELTKRIEGES {The Spiritual Background of the First World War}, p. 38.

If Steiner was choosing his words carefully (something he didn't always do, as we've seen), combat will start soon. Note that in the passage above, Steiner refers to cultural epochs (in the original German, "Kulturepoche"). Specifically, he dates the "violent fight" as coming during the transition from the fifth Cultural Epoch ("fünften Kulturepoche") and the sixth Cultural Epoch ("sechste Kulturepoche").

If Steiner was speaking imprecisely (something he often did), then this race war may be deemed a version, or portion, or preliminary stage of the War of All Against All.

[9] See "Steiner's Racism".

[10] Rudolf Steiner, EGYPTIAN MYTHS AND MYSTERIES (Anthroposophic Press, 1971), lecture 2, GA 106.

[11] Rudolf Steiner, UNIVERSE, EARTH AND MAN (Collison, 1931) lecture 10, GA 105.

Steiner's use of language is often slippery. Here he uses "age" to refer to great epochs, whereas usually he uses this term to apply to cultural epochs. We can decipher his meaning here when we note that the "age" he refers to consists of seven shorter periods: the Indian, Persian, etc. These latter are what are usually called cultural epochs, so the "age" containing them is in fact a great epoch.

[R.R., 2017.]