Out in the Open

Most Waldorf teachers do not openly proselytize in class — they do not explicitly advocate Anthroposophical doctrines and ask the students to accept them. Most lead their students toward Anthroposophy, but they do so subtly, indirectly.

But some Waldorf teachers are more direct. Some tell their students exactly what they think — they offer up Rudolf Steiner's occult teachings as the clear and objective truth. 

Here are excerpts from a Waldorf instructional handbook that outlines how Waldorf teachers can introduce teenagers to Rudolf Steiner's occult account of human spiritual evolution. Note that the author has been a Waldorf teacher and a trainer of Waldorf teachers. The book comes from a series of Waldorf instructional manuals that the author calls "the most comprehensive Rudolf Steiner curriculum ever published." [http://www.goldenbeetlebooks.com/]

The book in question is ANCIENT SATURN TO ATLANTIS - A Teenagers' Travel Guide to the Evolution of the World and Man in the Light of Rudolf Steiner's Spiritual Science — A Creative Approach (Golden Beetle Books, 1991). The author is Alan Whitehead. [1]

Whitehead explains Anthroposophical doctrines by scripting a series of semi-dramatic scenes between a pair of teenagers and their parents, during which the parents enlighten the teens about the history of the universe as revealed by Rudolf Steiner. In class, a Waldorf teacher might read these little skits to the students, or students might be assigned parts to read aloud to their classmates, or the skits might actually be acted out, complete with costumes and scenery... Many possibilities can be imagined. In any event, the chief point for us here is to recognize that any such procedures would result in Anthroposophical doctrines being aired extensively in the classroom. In the following excerpts, I will largely skip the little dramatic interplay between the characters in the skits and focus on the exposition of Anthroposophical beliefs.

Even though Whitehead is simplifying for teenagers, the passages you are about to tackle can be very difficult. This is typical of Anthroposophical discourse. Waldorf teachers who follow Whitehead's lead are immersing their students in a dense welter of occult belief and terminology. There will be plenty to discuss and explain in class — the mystical concepts and terms Whitehead uses will need plenty of careful elucidation. In teaching such concepts and terms, the teachers will plunge their students deeply into the belief system propounded by Rudolf Steiner. In sum, the teachers will be conducting a process of occult indoctrination. 

I have added extensive notes and endnotes that are, I hope, considerably clearer than the little lectures delivered by the mother and father.


According to Anthroposophical belief, our evolution began when the solar system first incarnated, an event that occurred in a period called "Old Saturn." No omnipotent God caused the Creation; instead, many gods of various ranks were involved. These gods existed before the beginning of our universe, in a timeless state called Duration, but nothing much can be known about that. Old Saturn consisted of heat; it was an enormous globe of heat, and we were immaterial beings of heat. We were intermingled with all the other parts of the solar system, which initially were not separated from one another. The process of separation began during Old Saturn, but only at an elementary level. We ourselves were essentially comatose, living at the level of minerals.

The kids and parents in Whitehead's skit discuss Old Saturn, thus:

[son]  "Dad?"

[father]  "Yes Michael."

[son]  "How did the world begin?" 

[father[  "It just did that's all...."

[mother]  "...[I]f Dad won't tell you, I will ... The first stage, where it all really began, was one great globe of heat — fire is the first of the four elements [2] ... [The globe of heat] extended out to the orbit of the planet Saturn today, that's why it's called Ancient Saturn ... Apart from the orbital dimension, Ancient Saturn had nothing to do with today's Saturn ... Anyway, before heat, there was nothing."

[father]  "Oh yes there was ... [B]efore heat there was pure Will, or Primal Energy ... All the creation legends conform to the beginning of the world being based on the principle of Will; Will born out of chaos or formlessness ... Apparently the Spirits of Will [gods seven levels above mankind], in an act of supreme sacrifice, [willed] the creation of the world and man — [they] willed it out of their own being...."

[mother]  "The Dominions [gods six levels above mankind], a great hierarchy of spiritual beings, contributed next to the creation of the world. They are [also called] the Spirits of Harmony [3] ... The Dominions...reflected their sublime Being onto the heat planet [i.e., Old Saturn] to create harmonious and intelligent structures within it ... The Mights, or Spirits of Motion [gods five levels above mankind], then reflected THEIR Being into the now wisdom-filled heat globe, and primordial soul became active in the form of a simple attraction-repulsion principle — a positive-negative, or Yin Yang if your like, entered Creation [4] ... The Elohim, or Spirits of Form [gods four levels above mankind], created little independent globes within the Big Globe. Their task was to separate and then consolidate — to 'form'. Ancient Saturn began to take on the nature of a raspberry, a big ball made of little balls — many 'heads' really ... [O]f course Ancient Saturn creation didn't stop there; the next group of Beings poured a primitive level of individuality into those separate 'heads'. These were the Archai, or Spirits of Personality [gods three levels above mankind] ... [T]he senses in general...were given in germinal form to Ancient Saturn man...[by the] Spirits of Fire [gods two levels above mankind]...."

[father] "The Sons of Dusk, or Spirits of Twilight — you know, the Angels [gods one level above mankind]...added a 'life' principle to the seething pre-humans [5] in the form of metabolism ... [O]f course these 'humans' knew nothing of this; they had the same level of consciousness that minerals do today." [6] ...

[daughter] "...I can't wait to get home; Randy's ringing me tonight. What time is it?"

[father] "Ah time ... Apparently in pre-Ancient Saturn [i.e., before Old Saturn,] a timeless condition known as 'Duration' obtained. Time actually began on that great globe of fire, our first home. With the task of the Angels completed, this 7-fold Manvantara, or Creation Period, disappeared from occult view, into Pralaya, or Spiritual Sleep...." [7] 


Interruption by R. Rawlings, on behalf of R. Steiner: Here is the overall design of human evolution, as outlined by R. Steiner. We first arose during the period called Old Saturn; when that period ended, the solar system dematerialized, after which it reemerged during a period called Old Sun; we evolved through various stages of Old Sun, then the solar system disappeared again, after which it reemerged as Old Moon; and so on...

The major stages of our evolution are called "planetary conditions" or "conditions of consciousness." They bear the names of planets, but they are not the same as the planets we see in the sky today. Rather, they are developmental stages during which we acquire higher and higher forms of consciousness and, as shown here, we attain increasing spiritual/moral awareness (justice, truth, beauty, morality). 

We have been through three planetary conditions (Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon), and we are now in the fourth (Present Earth). Ahead of us lie Future Jupiter, Future Venus, and Future Vulcan. The diagram, above, reflects how Steiner sometimes dropped the qualifiers ("Old", "Present", "Future") from the names of the planetary conditions. When he did so, he spoke of "Saturn," for instance, instead of "Old Saturn." This can cause confusion. In general, when reading Steiner, you have to decide whether particular passages refer to evolutionary periods or the planets that we see in the sky today. If, by "Saturn" or "Sun" or "Moon," etc., Steiner means evolutionary periods, then he is speaking of Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, etc. Otherwise, if he is talking about members of the solar system as they exist today, then he is speaking of the planet called Saturn, the star called the Sun, the satellite called the Moon, etc. 

[Illustration from THE RIDDLE OF HUMANITY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1990); color added.]


The second incarnation of the solar system is called "Old Sun." Like Old Saturn, Old Sun was an enormous globe — indeed, it was larger than Old Saturn. Old Sun consisted of life and light. Again, many ranks of gods pitched in, and we (existing now as immaterial beings of light) had a consciousness similar to deep sleep. We existed at the level of plants (although our bodies were animal-like, in an immaterial way). The process of separation and individualization proceeded — the intermingling found during Old Saturn started to be replaced by duality. The beings who would someday become the animals we know now, finding that they could not keep pace with us as we evolved, split off from us and began their own lines of evolution. (Thus, animals descend from us; we do not descend from animals.) We developed more distinct organs (although basically we just had heads and chests) and we acquired the ability to reproduce. We developed etheric bodies (the lowest of the three invisible bodies that we have now), and a spiritualized version of the etheric body — the "life spirit" — became a distant possibility. We furthered the process of separating from one another by developing different temperaments.

[son]  "...What happened after Ancient Saturn?" ...

[father]  "[T]he second incarnation of our planet [8] was born out of the infinite darkness of its spiritual Pralaya — and like the sun [that exists in our sky today], was a globe of life and light. It was much bigger of course, extending to the orbit of the present day Jupiter ... In Ancient Saturn, the 'semblance' of Life was due to the activities of the Sons of Life — the Angels. But on the Sun [i.e., during Old Sun], the Kyriotetes, Spirits of Harmony, bequeathed independent life to nascent humanity. The planet [i.e., Old Sun], a living being in its own right...consisted of illuminated warmth and life — something like an etherized form of blood today; this was the beginning of what is now known as the Etheric Body." [9] ...

[mother]  "...[T]he Dynamis, Spirits of Motion, incorporated their laws of Movement into the otherwise still air-blood planet — and it began to pulse and circulate." ...

[daughter]  "It's hard to imagine us as a puff of light-filled, warm, pulsing air. When did we separate [into individuals]? When could I tell that I was me?" ...

[son]  "It was the Excuse I ... I remember what you [Mom and Dad] said ... Their job was to separate the people from the big blob." ...

[father]  "...[T]hey're called EXUSIAI [gods four levels above mankind] ... They did create individual 'forms' from the constantly metamorphosing cloud of Sun substance (Not the 'big blob' son!) This marked the mid-point of Ancient Sun development ... [T]he next major (albeit highly refined) physiological factor added on the Sun was Reproduction ... [The proto-humans] reproduced their kind by a 'sweating out' of like substance ... [T]he Archai, or Spirits of Personality, also contributed the seeds of the glandular system on Ancient Sun ... 

[father continues]  "[A]t about this stage of Ancient Sun's development, a large group of its inhabitants found it impossible to take on an Etheric Body. These 'retarded' spirits...had to continue their evolution separately ... [T]hey became a separate kingdom, the one below us." ...

[son] "You mean the ANIMALS?!" [10] ...

[father]  "[Yes] ... [T]heir absence was necessary both for their limited development [i.e., their limited future evolution], and for us to proceed with OUR evolution...."

[mother]  "...Ancient Sun Man — us — had the constitutions of today's plants — and indeed their consciousness [was] something like sleep [11] ... Ancient Saturn man was a being of Unity, but on the Sun he acquired DUALITY...."

[father]  "Man's organization [i.e., our bodily structure] on Ancient Sun was just like a fish today — head and chest only". [12] ...

[son]  "Hey! The Angels — they must have done something on Ancient Sun...."

[father]  "They, in cooperation with the Cherubim [gods eight levels above mankind], drew up the blueprint for the still-distant faculty in human nature called Life Spirit. [13] ... [T]he seeds of the temperaments were [also] planted by the Angels [during Old Sun]...." [14] 



The third incarnation of the solar system is called "Old Moon." In a sense, Old Saturn had been heat and Old Sun had been air. Old Moon was fluid: In a sense, it was water. In this liquid environment, our souls developed the capacity to yearn: We began to seek what lay outside ourselves. We developed a form of consciousness akin to dreaming, and we lived at the level of animals (specifically, we were like "malleable dolphins" swimming in the fluid of Old Moon). The process of separation and individualization went further than before. Certain gods could no longer exist in our environment, so they created a new home for themselves, forming a separate planet — the first incarnation of what we now know as Mars. Thus, gods who had once been intermingled with us and who worked on us from the inside began working on us from the outside instead. We developed more organs and more incorporeal capacities. We became able to reincarnate, and each of us began to have a separate personality. Women today — and the babies in their wombs — still have deep ties to Old Moon; and some humans today — "weepers, bed wetters" — may be recognized as "moon" types.

[son, to his sister]  "I don't see what you are always mooning over [your boyfriend] ... OUCH - !" ...

[daughter]  "What's he mean by that Dad? Mooning I mean — why is the moon associated with, you know, boys and all that?" ...

[father]  "Well, 'boys and all that' is based on desire — or soul yearning, and that aspect of human nature, the soul, had its genesis in the third incarnation of our planet. It was called the Ancient Moon [i.e., Old Moon]" ...

[mother]  "Dynamis [gods five steps above mankind]...provided 'movement' for the soul, so that it could live in a state of continuous metamorphosis ... [During the first stage of Old Moon] the Dynamis sacrificed their Movement Soul for Mankind...."

[daughter]  "And what about the next stage?"

[father]  "The next stage, the Elohim [gods four steps above mankind]..."

[son]  "Spirits of Foam!" ...

[father]  "'Form' actually [i.e., Spirits of Form] — crafted this amorphous soul substance, and in so doing imbued it with DESIRE. The soul is still the organ of desire and passion... [And] what was the third stage of Old Moon Dear?"

[mother] "Actually there was a massive cleavage [then] when the higher Beings, those of the second Hierarchy [15] — Dynamis and Elohim, couldn't exist in the cruder environment of an ensouled humankind. The planet [Old Moon] split in two, and a new cosmic body — later to become the planet Mars — was born ... The divine emigrants [i.e., the gods who went with the new cosmic body] thereafter worked [on mankind] from without rather than within. 

[mother continues]  "Reincarnation began [at this point], the human souls could now enter and leave their ever-changing fluid bodies ... [T]hese fluid forms were now worked on by the highest group of Beings in the Third Hierarchy, the Archai ... [T]hey invested the dolphin-like forms of early humanity with differentiation — each soul had its own 'personality' ... And that, in essence, is a picture of Ancient Moon humanity ... [Proto-humans were like] malleable dolphins — and they had the consciousness of present-day animals...."

[father]  "The, er, planets — I mean plants...um, the third Kingdom [16], that of the plants, was created on Ancient Moon ... 

[father continues]  "[B]oth 'moons', Old and new [i.e., Old Moon and the Moon in our sky today] are special to women — it is the planet of gestation and birth. The baby lives in the moon waters of the womb for ten lunar months, in a state of sublime dreaming, or moon consciousness, such as we attained on the Old Moon. [17] ... 

"Human functioning goes through four stages — one on each planet. [18] The first is 'germ' — the senses were, as you remember, mere seeds on Ancient Saturn. [19] The 'precursory' senses, the second stage on Ancient Sun, were functioning but in a primitive kind of way. Stage three is 'perfection' — on Old Moon, the senses could hear, see, smell and taste EVERYTHING ... 

"[The] Moon/soul base of humanity, or Astral Body as it's called, [was developed during Old Moon and] incarnates [today] by virtue of the nerves. [20] ... [T]he Astral Body is also called the Sentient Body. It came into being when Man's senses were perfect [during Old Moon] ... [Also] the Archangels, Spirits of Fir..."

[daughter and son]  "We know, Spirits of Fire!"

[father]  "...worked on Man's Life Body [21], incorporating Memory...."

[mother]  "[And] the Angels advanced the human Physical Body to a third state — all the fluids, like the blood and lymph — and the metabolic organs, kidneys and so on which process them — were brought to a sublime state of chemical functioning on Old Moon. In fact 'fluidy' people are 'moon' types — wet lips, weepers, bed wetters — all have their reflection in our third, Astral, planetary home [i.e., our third evolutionary mega-stage, Old Moon]."



The fourth incarnation of the solar system is called "Present Earth." During this period, the solar system gradually assumed the form we know today, consisting of separate planets, including the planet Earth as we now know it. At the beginning of the Present Earth period, the Sun and Moon (and other parts of the solar system) were still united with the "Earth" (i.e., the intermingled totality of the solar system), but gradually they branched off. The various gods, working more and more from the outside, continued to foster increased specialization and individuality in us, and gradually we became the physical, distinct, individual beings we are today. But it took a long time, and even during the first three epochs of Present Earth, we were essentially immaterial. The "descent" to physical existence represented evolutionary progress, but it also meant moving far from our origins in the spirit realm, and as physical beings able to conceptualize with physical brains, we approached the Abyss wherein lies destruction and horror. 

[mother and father, together]  "Four is the number of Earth Incarnation...." [22]

[daughter]  ..."[T]he solid earth on which we stand is the fourth stage of evolution. Remember, Ancient Saturn, the 'heat earth', is number 1; number 2, Ancient Sun, a planet of light and gas..."

[son]  "I remember, then it was Ancient Moon, a watery planet, as number 3. So that's what it was all leading up to — Earth, number 4, is a mineral planet, the fourth element." [23] ...

[father]  "[O]ne way [the power of the number 4 can be found on Earth] is the four stages of Ego development in the human being up to the age of 21. [24] "The Ego is seen at age one, when the child [first] stands — the Spirits of Form are active here. The next stage is when we are three, when we say 'I' at last [25] — this self-consciousness is an Ego manifestation, under the aegis of the Spirits of Personality...."

[mother]  "...The third stage is around 9 1/2 years — a new kind of objectivity is seen in the child...a new independence, all carefully guided by the Spirits of Fire ... The, er, next Ego stage is about 18 to 21 — the first time the human being is capable of independent judgement." [26] ...

[mother continues, later] "The Lunar Pitris, or Moon Fathers — the Angels — working in cooperation with the Elohim, they created the 4th Principle of Man, the Ego, or selfhood ... The gift of true Individuality comes with a price; the down side is fragmentation. The Earth is actually slowly disintegrating, dying — and we're killing it ... [I]t is Man's spiritual obligation to stem this terrifying descent into an abyss [27] ... [T]he [nuclear] bomb is a product of heartless, analytical thinking, and activity of the Ego in the service of Materialism...." [28]



The first period of "earthly" life occurred in the "Polarian Epoch." The solar system was still essentially immaterial, so Earth was not the sphere we know now; we did not exist "on" a physical planet as such. Conditions were, indeed, still extremely difficult to visualize using our ordinary, present-day consciousness. The creation of the Earth, recounted in the Bible as the Adam and Eve story, refers primarily to the Polarian Epoch. As children today develop and mature, they recapitulate the phases of Earthly evolution. Thus, children aged 3-4 recapitulate Polarian life.

[mother]  "[T]he greatest 'pain' ever felt by Mankind was the loss of function of that most enigmatic organ, the Pineal ('pinelike') Gland — the story of Adam and Eve recounts this in the expulsion from Paradise. With the pineal gland, we had direct communion with the gods ... [This gland is] the little apple-like organ just behind the eyes — the 'apple' of Eve fame...." [29]

[father]  "The pineal is the physical basis for the highest of all spiritual organs, the 1000 Petal Lotus [30], in aeons hence, to be awakened at the top of the head, like you see in some of the Buddhas ...

[father continues]  "[T]he very first of the 7 Earth Rounds [was] Ancient Polaria. [31] ... Polaria was, in a higher form, a recapitulation of Ancient Saturn, [32] the Physical Body planet ... Polaria was smaller than [Old] Saturn, though still immense; it was about the size of the earth's orbit today. In fact Polaria still contained both sun and moon [33] and, like Ancient Saturn, was a globe ... [T]he blueprint for the mineral world was laid down in Polaria ... Man's substance, albeit still supersensible [i.e., undetectable by ordinary senses] was drawn from the cosmos ... The 'heat people' [i.e., people made of heat] — Polarians — were by now infinitely complex [34] ... In both Ancient Saturn AND Polaria, the over-riding principle of creation was WILL — Will born of pure heat energy. It took this kind of Divine Will to create the mineral world we stand on today ... Cosmic Will cooled, and in so doing, crystalised. In fact the name Polaria was given because of the 'continent's' gradual retreat to one particular part of the planet [i.e., one part of the globe of Polaria] — the South Pole, Antarctica...."

[mother]  "...[The] 3 to 4 child [i.e., a child between the ages of 3 and 4]...is reliving Polarian consciousness. [35] Polaris is the first period to evoke the power of the Ego ... A 3/4 [i.e., 3 to 4] year old shows incipient stirrings of Ego when s/he says 'I' instead of 'me' ... [The] pineal gland is still somewhat active in 3-4 year olds; they have a dim clairvoyance...." [36]



During life "on" Earth, we exist perilously close to the Abyss. One consequence is that each epoch of Present Earth ends in calamity, essentially caused by human error and sin. Polaria, an epoch of warmth, ended in the frozen grip of the Antarctic. The second stage of Present Earth, Hyperborea — an epoch of light — ended in dreadful darkness. Traces of the Biblical account of Creation can be found in the history of Hyperborea, just as in the history of Polaria. The Sun separated from the Earth during Hyperborea, and for the first time humans experienced "death." Five-year-old children today recapitulate Hyperborea. 

[father]  "[The] second stage, or 'Round Two' [i.e., the second great epoch] of the evolution of our present Earth, begins with the first 'day' [as mentioned in Genesis]. Because during this period, the Sun-Moon-Earth Being our planetary home then was, became only a Moon-Earth. [37] The Sun, taking with it the higher spiritual beings [i.e., gods], detached itself during the Hyperborean era, and began to shine from OUTSIDE [i.e., it shone down from outside the Moon-Earth orb]...."

[mother]  "[The new rhythm of day and night, beginning when the Sun separated from the Moon-Earth] was mirrored in the first experience, for humanity, of death. The spiritual core of the individual would...gather round itself a sheath of gaseous substance — a body. When this entity's forces grew too strong for the delicate soul, it would be abandoned and left to disintegrate — death ... Of course with death came new life...."

[mother continues] "Hyperborea was still only a ball of hot light/gas — a recap of Ancient Sun, but on a higher level ... [38]

"...[L]ofty Venus Beings [i.e., gods], the Archai...poured their substance into [a newly forming] 'continent' [the first semi-physical feature on the Moon-Earth]; and it was [then] that the planet, Occult Venus (the one astronomers call Mercury) was also parted from the Earth ... [39]

"...Hyperborea is...reflected in the development of the child in the 5th year of life...." [40]

[a visitor]  "Ah, the Hyperboreans [i.e., the occupants of Hyperborea] ... [The ancient] Greeks were very aware of them, the 'people from beyond the North Wind' as [the word] Hyperborean means ... [T]he first Hyperboreans [as related in Greek myths] were the brother and sister, Apollo and Artemis actually. Artemis was a 'Moon' [Being], rather than a 'Sun' Being, and represents...the next stage to come, Ancient Lemuria ... Apollo is a true Hyperborean, a Sun God ... 

[the visitor continues]  "Man was only a head-chest on Hyperborea."

[son] "Like a fish! ... Dad (or was it Mom?) said that the first 'Day' of Hyperborea was...the Age of Fishes."

[visitor]  "...Another Greek characterization of Hyperborean Man was the Cyclops ... The one-eyed Cyclops were see-ers, seers; the one eye representing the ORIGINAL Pituitary Gland...." [41]

[the visitor continues]  "As a 'light' continent, Hyperborea was destroyed by Darkness ... Just as the 'heat' continent, Polaria, met a frozen end...." [42]


"Man extruded his 'fish nature' on Hyperborea.
Alas not everyone — I know people with souls like these!"

[ANCIENT SATURN TO ATLANTIS, p. 61; tint added;
caption by Alan Whitehead.] [43]


After darkness engulfed Hyperborea, humanity continued its evolution on the "continent" of Lemuria. This was, in effect, an Atlantis (a "lost continent") coming before Atlantis proper. Polaria had been an epoch of heat, Hyperborea an epoch of "air." Lemuria was a time and place of fire. The proto-humans of Lemuria came under the influence of Lucifer. Playing with fire, and fighting with dinosaurs, they ultimately destroyed Lemuria in mighty volcanic eruptions and vast firestorms. This was, in effect, the expulsion from Eden: Mankind lost "paradise" and descended to a more deeply physical level of existence. Six-year-old children recapitulate Lemuria, and Australian Aborigines (having originally been like six-year-old kids) preserve certain Lemurian influences today.

[from an article written by the father]  "A knowledge of ancient Lemuria is useful in beginning to understand the Mystery of the Australian Aborigine [44] ... Lemuria was purported to have been destroyed by fire; unlike later Atlantis which sank into a watery grave. Youthful Mankind on Lemuria, as yet still 'spirit beings', were said, in their immature enthusiasm, to have raged over the inflammable land in scandalous abandon, eventually releasing giant fire-storms which, over time, engulfed the entire continent, causing it to sink ... The ancient Lemurians were, not surprisingly, called the 'Sons of Fire' ... Lemurians were said to be in continuous battle with 'giants' [i.e., dinosaurs] ... The vulcanism which supposedly [45] scuttled Lemuria and created Australia is seen in the ubiquitous red volcanic sand throughout the interior [of Australia] ... Fire People [i.e., Aborigines — descendants of the Sons of Fire] harmonized with [the] natural order; one hunting method was 'ring-burning'; the Aborigines would torch a circle of brush, leaving an opening for game to escape — regretfully into a hail of spears ... Being Fire People, it is perhaps not surprising to find that the tribal Aborigine's blood is a couple of degrees warmer than that of the rest of humanity [46] ... "

[son]  "So THAT'S Lemuria...."

[father]  "Well, all that can safely be revealed to the hoi polloi; any more spiritual content would scare the horses — as well as the editors ...

[father continues]  "...Lemuria was the 6th evolutionary stage [47], reflected in 6 year olds even today. Some people refer to Australian Aborigines as 'Lemurian remnants', but, apart from the fragment of truth that this contains, they are so much more — having evolved, albeit slowly, a full 40,000 years since the destruction of Lemuria. Some soul aspects of the original inhabitants were '6 year old'; such as their sense of humor — and their love of imitation ... [48] The expulsion from the Garden of Eden signalled the end of Lemuria [49] — Adam (meaning 'red earth') and Eve had to then wrest a living from the dust of the ground — the gradual realization of Atlantis. [50] Adam...was the last Lemurian, the first Atlantean. The unruly power of this Lucifer-inspired youthful Ego [51] created the great fire storms which destroyed the continent."



After destroying Lemuria, the surviving proto-humans — beginning to assume something like humanity's present form — continued their evolution on Atlantis. Not all of the residents of Lemuria made the transition: Backward or "sinful" souls dropped away, failing to advance; only "higher" beings were able to evolve further. Atlantis was a "watery" time and place, and the people living there were mermaids, as it were. They had to yawn a lot, to keep their Egos from escaping. The Atlanteans subdivided into three branches: the "higher" beings, who evolved to become real human beings such as we know today; dwarfs, who descended into subterranean life; and giants, who died out. Seven-year-old children today are like Atlanteans (although a conspiracy of silence has suppressed the truth about Atlantis).  

Humanity destroyed Atlantis just as it destroyed its previous habitations; the destruction of Atlantis came through vast floods and tidal waves. (The Biblical account of Noah and the Flood is a garbled version of this history.) Atlantis existed in the North Atlantic. The "highest" people, those who managed to escape the destruction of Atlantis, tended to bring their influence to bear chiefly in Northern Europe (e.g., Germany). Not all of these influences have been beneficial (although the effects found today in Anthroposophy most certainly are!). The Nazis, for instance, plugged into some of the worst forces stemming from Atlantis, and the ancient Atlantean spirit who once was the God of Generosity later succumbed to perversions that made him the Patron of Greed: Santa Claus.

[father, answering a question his son posed about cattle]  "[W]hen we look into the languid eyes of a European cow, we behold the magic of Ancient Atlantis itself."

[son and daughter, together]  "What?" ...

[father]  "The continent of Atlantis has left more remnants in Northern Europe than anywhere else ... The Atlanteans [i.e., the residents of Atlantis] developed animal husbandry to a high art, and the beautiful cattle herds we have today are a legacy of this ... The Atlanteans had an alliance with nature, in so far as they could control reproduction/growth forces in plants and animals ... [T]heir skill with animals is depicted in the story of Noah [52] ... 

[father continues]  "Seven is the number of Atlantis...."

[son]  ..."How was [Atlantis] destroyed?"

[mother]  "Why don't you start at the beginning Dear?" ...

[father]  "Well ... [A] handful of relatively 'pure' escapees [from the destruction of Lemuria] traveled westward...to a new 'land' in the North Atlantic...." [53]

[mother]  "Atlantis was a great, flat swamp — very soft and unstable. But as these peripatetic 'human beings' were pretty insubstantial themselves [i.e., not yet densely physical], they swam comfortably in this rich and supportive environment. Later they became semi-aquatic — [they were] mermaids, yes?"

[father explains that Atlanteans could see only three colors: red, black, and white]

[mother continues]  "...[W]e can often identify some aspect of modern life by its insistence in representing those three colours. Take the story...of Snow White; she was an Atlantean — black hair, white skin, and oh-so-red lips. In fact a close look at the story of Snow White reveals many mysteries of the Lost Continent." [54]

[son]  "What about the German swastika? ... That's red, black and white...."

[mother]  "Ah ... Hitler was a devotee of the Northern Mysteries [i.e., the mythology and occult traditions of Northern Europe] ... The Nazis had recourse to the degenerate form of Atlantean spiritual life — indeed the same [degenerate forces] that destroyed the continent [Atlantis]; the unbridled moral corruption so well described [in the story of] Noah...."

[son]  "And what about, um, Santa — Santa Claus dresses in red, black, and white...."

[mother]  "...[T]he spirit, or phantom at least, of Santa DOES exist — as an Atlantean residue! He now insinuates himself into children's souls as the Patron of Greed. This was not always so; the same being, 10,000 or more years ago, was the God of Generosity...."

[father, thinking]  "Atlantis was the 7th evolutionary period ... So many sevens — 7 dwarfs; [7] tones; [7] vowel/diphthongs; [7] colours ... The seven colours of the rainbow that Noah saw as the curtain was wrung down on [Atlantis] ... [T]he seven sub-races of humanity which developed from the Atlantean root race [55] ... [I]n Atlantis the 7 Races [each] had a distinct cultural mission...." 

[mother, thinking]  "...[T]he curious habits we carry which are remnants of Atlantean Man; like yawning. [Atlantean Man] continually had to inhale the Ego back into the body from its continuous yearning to escape the earth. The contagious aspect of yawning, is especially Atlantean — they WERE imitators, just like children up to 7 years ... [The mother next mulls over] the conspiracy of silence, from Egyptian times to today, cloaking this important phase oh human evolution [i.e., hiding the fact that Atlantis existed]....

[mother continues thinking]  "... [There occurred] the separation of the Atlantean community into three groups; the Divine Messengers, those who had direct access to higher worlds, [56] and hence [were] the leaders of mankind. Then there were the dwarfs, they who developed conceptual life of a kind, at the expense of the prevailing rampant life forces ... And finally the giants; retarded behemoths who could not advance to a post-Atlantean stage and hence died out...."



I think we can leave it there. Whitehead's book goes on a bit further, but we have covered the main points.

I'd encourage you to think carefully about what we have seen. This is a glimpse of the Anthroposophical vision of reality. "Planetary stages." Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon. Multiple gods. Manvantara. Clairvoyance. Venus beings. Lunar pitris. Polaria. Hyperborea. Lemuria. Atlantis. Mermaids. Santa Clause. Conspiracies. Dwarfs. Giants...

I'll end by repeating here, more prominently, two points I tucked into the endnotes:

• Think of the effect the mother and father in Whitehead's book are likely to have on their unfortunate children. They are indoctrinating their children in a system of falsehood and fantasy from which the children may never be able to extricate themselves.

• What if Anthroposophy is wrong about its fundamental beliefs — clairvoyance, polytheism, cosmic evolution, astrology, numerology, and the rest? Consider how misguided an educational system would be if it were rooted in the falsehoods and fantasies of Anthroposophy. This is precisely what Waldorf education is. Even when Waldorf teachers refrain from spelling out Anthroposophical doctrines in class, they nonetheless inculcate Anthroposophical ways of thinking, feeling, and being — which can have devastating lifelong consequences for the students.

Think about it. Please.

— Compilation and commentary by Roger Rawlings


Multiple portraits of Rudolf Steiner:
page 99 of ANCIENT SATURN TO ATLANTIS; tint added.
(These six portraits are preceded 
by three others on page 98.)

For more on the indoctrination of Waldorf students
as advocated by Alan Whitehead,

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


A look back, plus

Mystical thinking, realistic thinking


Reports and advice from parents whose children attended Waldorf schools

A report by a mother who was drawn to a Waldorf school but left disillusioned

Talking it over

Had enough?

Describing the near-collapse of the Waldorf school I attended

Deprogramming myself after Waldorf

Who the heck am I?

Doom and deliverance

Short and sweet

Can you trust me?


[1] Not all Anthroposophists agree with Whitehead on all points of Anthroposophical doctrine. Some would offer differing interpretations of Steiner's teachings and/or differing "clairvoyant" visions. But the point here is that Whitehead advocates bringing Anthroposophy openly into the classroom.

Note that Whitehead's book is full of typos and grammatical errors. I will quote him verbatim, without pointing out the surface flaws.

[2] Anthroposophy largely rejects the findings of modern science while affirming ancient teachings. Thus, Anthroposophists cling to the ancient idea that there are really just four elements: heat, air, water, and earth.

The mother here explains that Old Saturn, the first incarnation of the solar system, was a vast globe of heat. Everything that now exists as a separate sphere or entity in the solar system was, at that time, intermingled with everything else. It was all heat and nothing but heat.

The mother and father proceed to describe how gods of various ranks contributed to the creation and development of Old Saturn. The gods poured their essence into the newly created globe of heat.

Note that the sources sited, generally, by the father are "the creation legends" of various peoples and religions. Anthroposophy is generally rooted in legends and myths, which Anthroposophists believe are essentially true. [See "The Gods" and "The Ancients".]

[3] More typically, Anthroposophists identify Spirits of Harmony as gods eight levels above mankind.

Anthroposophists use many different terms for gods of various ranks. Sometimes these varying terms indicate differences between gods of the same rank, sometimes they do not. [For a primer on Anthroposophical polytheism, see "Polytheism".]

[4] The Anthroposophical terminology tossed around by the parents may well be impenetrable for most teenagers. Whitehead does his best to make Anthroposophy seem clear and accessible to his students, but he is generally faithful to the sort of dense terminology used by Steiner. Teachers following Whitehead's script probably have a lot of explaining to do in class.

[5] The life forms being created during Old Saturn were proto-humans: They were us in the form we assumed at the time of our initial creation. They were the "Ancient Saturn men" or "seething pre-humans" that the mother and father discuss. Our progenitors (ourselves in our original incarnation) were not yet truly human by a long shot, but they would later evolve upward toward true human status.

In Anthroposophy, being "human" means reaching a certain level of evolutionary development. Gods have evolved, just as we have evolved; gods of various ranks went through their own "human" stages before becoming gods. Also, some beings who seem to be human really aren't — they are subhuman — and real humans who are wicked may cease to be human — they sink to subhuman status. All of these are Anthroposophical teachings. As Rudolf Steiner once said to Waldorf teachers, for instance, 

"Quite a number of people have been born since the [1890s]...[who] are human forms filled with a sort of natural demon. There are quite a large number of older people going around who are actually not human beings ... [T]hey are human beings only in regard to their form ... I do not like to talk about such things since we have often been attacked even without them. Imagine what people would say if they heard that we say there are people who are not human beings. Nevertheless, these are facts." — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), pp. 649-650.

[6] Anthroposophists believe that everything is alive, even minerals. The consciousness experienced by minerals is, naturally, extremely low — it is similar to being in a coma. This is the consciousness that we, as proto-humans, had during Old Saturn.

[7] The Anthroposophical creation narrative, drawing heavily from Theosophy, says that the creation of the world occurred not in seven "days" but in seven stages of "Manvantara" (from the Sanskrit): periods of manifestation. Our solar system or, if you will, our universe first blinked into existence as Old Saturn. After the stages of Old Saturn that the mother and father have outlined, the solar system sank out of manifestation — it disappeared, receding into a form of formlessness called "pralaya" (again from Sanskrit): dissolution or retirement. The solar system would next manifest itself as Old Sun, after which it would again enter a pralaya. Thereafter, the solar system would continue appearing and dematerializing in a sequence of manifestations and retirements: Old Moon, pralaya, Present Earth, pralaya, Future Jupiter, pralaya, etc.

[8] In this Anthroposophical account, some terms have multiple or complex meanings. The "planet" referred to here is essentially indistinguishable from the solar system as a whole: It is Old Sun, which is the second incarnation of the solar system, the second stage of our evolution, which may be termed our second "planetary condition" or our second "condition of consciousness." Although it is named for the Sun, it is not the Sun as we know it now, even if we choose to called the Sun a planet (as Steiner sometimes did). Nor is Old Sun the Earth as we know it now. The Earth, as it existed during Old Sun, was essentially coextensive with the Sun and/or with the entire solar system.

[9] According to Anthroposophy, a fully incarnated human being has four bodies: the physical, etheric, astral, and ego bodies. [See "Incarnation".]

For Anthroposophical teachings on blood, see "Blood".

[10] Steiner taught that animals evolved from humans, not vice versa. Specifically, animals branched off from the upward-evolving human line. [See "The Brief Waldorf-Steiner Encyclopedia, A-B".]

[11] In other words, during Old Sun proto-human rose to the level of plants, and their consciousness was akin to deep sleep. Recall that, during Old Saturn, proto-humans were at the level of minerals and their consciousness was like coma.

[12] Despite being at the level of plants, we had animal-like bodies.

[13] The Anthroposophical account of human nature is complex and occult. Life Spirit is the elevated and transformed etheric body, enabling a high stage of consciousness. [See "Our Parts".]

[14] Drawing from ancient Greek medicine, Anthroposophists believe that there are four basic human temperaments: phlegmatic, melancholic, choleric, and sanguine. These are associated with bodily fluids called humours. Medical science rejected these ideas long ago, but they live on in Anthroposophy and are often accepted in Waldorf schools. [See "Humouresque" and "Temperaments".]

[15] Steiner taught that there are nine ranks of gods, subdivided into three hierarchies or assemblies. The highest gods are in the first hierarchy, directly below the Godhead. Middle-rank gods occupy the second hierarchy. The lowest gods are in the third hierarchy. [See "Polytheism".]

[16] Steiner taught that there are four "kingdoms" of incarnated, living beings: the mineral kingdom, plant kingdom, animal kingdom, and human kingdom. [See "The Brief Waldorf-Steiner Encyclopedia, J-M".]

[17] Having been like minerals during Old Saturn and like plants during Old Sun, proto-humans became animal-like during Old Moon, which Steiner said was a fluid environment (Old Saturn having been heat and Old Sun air). Here the father explains that human females today retain a connection to the lunar conditions — their menstrual cycles are coordinated with moon phases, and the babies in their wombs live at the level of Old Moon existence.

[18] That is, humans on the Earth today develop through four stages that recapitulate the evolution of humanity through four planetary stages: Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, and Present Earth.

[19] Steiner taught that humans have twelve senses, not five as is usually said. Here the father traces the development of at least the basic human senses from their original state during Old Saturn to their much higher state during Old Moon. He labels the stages of this development "germ" (Old Saturn), "precursory" (Old Sun), and "perfection" (Old Moon).

[20] Mankind developed it's "etheric body" during old Sun, and then it developed the "astral body" during Old Moon. [For more on these bodies, see "Incarnation".]

[21] The "life body" is the etheric body. [For a primer on the various terms Steiner used for the various components of the human constitution, see "Our Parts".]

[22] Numerology is woven through Anthroposophical teachings — various numbers are said to have specific spiritual import. [See "Magic Numbers".]

We should also note that "Earth" can be a confusing term in Anthroposophy, just as "Saturn," "Sun," and "Moon" can be confusing. According to Anthroposophical teachings, we currently live in the Present Earth stage of evolution — the fourth major incarnation of the solar system, following Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon. In the Present Earth stage, we inhabit the physical planet called Earth. This is the planet that we are all familiar with. Bear in mind that the Earth also existed (and will exist) in different forms in other stages of solar evolution. The physical planet we live on now is merely the current incarnation of the Earth. In summary, we currently live on the current incarnation of the physical planet Earth, during the Present Earth stage of solar evolution.

[23] As we noted above, Anthroposophists cling to the ancient idea that there are really just four elements. In the evolutionary narrative the father and mother are laying out, Old Saturn was a condition of heat (the first element), Old Sun was a condition of air (the second element), Old Moon was a condition of water (the third element), and Present Earth is a condition of earth (the fourth element: mineral).

This neat pattern (four elements represented in four planetary conditions) epitomizes Anthroposophy. Steiner and his followers (drawing heavily from Theosophy) have patched together a cosmology in which everything seems to fit, and thus a patina of plausibility is created. What is missing, however, is real knowledge: the very findings of modern science that Anthroposophists fail to truly acknowledge. The neat patterns in Anthroposophy are meaningless and false precisely to the degree that they are divorced from factual truth. There are not four elements; to date, science has identified more than 100. Likewise, virtually all Anthroposophical teachings reflect ancient misconceptions or modern fantasies, not real knowledge. Children who are taught Anthroposophical doctrines are not being educated; they are being indoctrinated in a system of falsehoods. [See "Steiner's 'Science'" and "Science".] 

[24] The Ego or "I" is the fourth of our four bodies, according to Anthroposophical doctrine. (It should not be confused with the ego discussed in psychoanalysis.) Steiner taught that the four bodies incarnate at different times. He also indicated that we are born with all four bodies inherent in us, and thus the Ego — which does not fully incarnate until age 21 — gradually unfolds in four stages between physical birth age 21.

[25] Although Waldorf schools often claim to honor each child's individuality, we should note that — according to Anthroposophy — all children develop according to a more or less fixed schedule, as if they mature in lock step.

[26] Waldorf schools generally discourage children from thinking for themselves until high school, because Anthroposophy teaches that humans are incapable of rationality until at least age 13. True independence of thought is impossible until age 18-21, according to Anthroposophical belief. (But, if the purpose of Waldorf education has been achieved, children who have spent their entire lives in Waldorf schools will reach the stage of "independent thought" deeply indoctrinated in Anthroposophical beliefs: Their "independent" thoughts will tend to be Anthroposophical thoughts.) 

[27] Anthroposophists believe that the Earth — like essentially everything else — is a living being. Earthly life is wonderful, in its way; we should revere the Earth and nature. But Earthly life is also dreadful, in various ways. On Earth, we live in a densely physical, unspiritual realm, the physical realm, the realm of material existence, the realm of nature. The Anthroposophical vision of nature is deeply divided. [See "Neutered Nature".] Our "descent" to Earth marks spiritual progress, Anthroposophists believe, but it is also a descent to a mineralized, fragmented, dying realm from which we may slip into the "Abyss". [See "Hell" and "Sphere 8".] On Earth, we are far removed from the spiritual realm. [See "Higher Worlds".] Our goal on Earth must be to gain the benefits of this stage of evolution while avoiding the Abyss and worldwide destruction. This is the task Waldorf teachers think that are charged with. [See "Mission".] Some elements of the Anthroposophical vision may accord, to some degree, with reality. Surely we should protect the Earth and the life forms upon it. But, clearly, many elements of the Anthroposophical vision are mystical, fantastical, and divorced from reality.

[28] Anthroposophists believe that true thinking is done for us by the gods; we receive the gods' thoughts through our hearts and souls, not our brains. The thinking we do with our brains is "heartless, analytical" — and false. [See "Steiner's Specific" and "Thinking".] Thus, modern science and modern scholarship of all kinds are essentially false, since they depend on brain-centered thinking. One epitome of heartless, false science is the nuclear bomb, which makes hellish misuse of atoms, which science fundamentally misunderstands. [See "Atoms".] Thus, Anthroposophists produce such books as Georg Unger's ON NUCLEAR ENERGY AND THE OCCULT ATOM (Anthroposophic Press, 1982).

We can all agree, probably, that nuclear weapons are terrible and must never again be used. But the Anthroposophical rejection of science — as in the insistence that physicists do not understand atoms — and the Anthroposophical disparagement of rational, intellectual thought are deeply problematic. Parents should think long and hard before sending children to schools that are fundamentally anti-scientific and anti-intellectual. Surely schools should foster rational thought, they should not teach kids to fear and distrust it.

We should also note that by "materialism," Anthroposophists mean far more than excess interest in material possessions. They mean excessive involvement in the material plane of existence, descent too far into Earthly life, and use of a physical organ — the brain — for "thinking." They oppose all these things. [See "Materialism U".] Once again, we may all be able to agree — up to a point. Materialism in the ordinary sense is a fault; we should avoid it. But avoiding "materialism" in the Anthroposophic sense takes us into occultism instead, which is an equally grave, or indeed greater, error. The material, physical level of existence has many shortcomings and it creates many traps, but at least it actually exists. The occult universe of Anthroposophy is a fantasy — trying to live in it detaches one from reality. Think of the effect the mother and father in Whitehead's account are likely to have on their unfortunate children. They are indoctrinating their children in a system of falsehood and fantasy from which the children may never be able to extricate themselves.

[29] Much of Anthroposophical belief is based on ancient falsehoods and/or faulty information current in Steiner's day. If the pineal gland was once "enigmatic" — allowing such mystical speculations as the mother and father voice here — its functions are now known to science (and have nothing to do with mystical speculations): 

"pineal gland, endocrine gland found in vertebrates that is the source of melatonin, a hormone derived from tryptophan that regulates circadian rhythm (sleep cycle). The pineal gland develops from the roof of the diencephalon, a section of the brain. In some lower vertebrates the gland has a well-developed eyelike structure; in others, though not organized as an eye, it functions as a light receptor." — "pineal gland." ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, Online, 17 Nov. 2013.

[30] Anthroposophists believe they can develop clairvoyant powers of the kind Steiner claimed to possess. These powers are seated in immaterial "organs of clairvoyance" that are developed by performing mental/spiritual exercises prescribed by Steiner. [See "Knowing the Worlds".] Such immaterial organs are sometimes referred to as "lotuses" or "chakras." Different "lotuses" have different numbers of "petals" (i.e., different immaterial organs have different spiritual powers). The 1000 Petal Lotus would be a supreme organ providing universal, transcendent, clairvoyant spiritual awareness — it may be attained in the far-distant future. Some supremely enlightened spirits — "Buddhas," possibly including Steiner — have attained this Lotus already, Anthroposophists believe.

[31] "Rounds" is a term from Theosophy. Steiner used the term early in his occult ministry, but later he preferred such terms as "conditions of life" or "kingdoms." Basically, Steiner taught that we will pass through seven extended evolutionary periods during Present Earth, the fourth incarnation of the solar system. Polaria was the first of these seven periods. Note that whereas later periods were recognizably physical stages existing on the planet Earth, Polaria was originally — in the father's telling — a cosmic condition not yet reduced to the recognizably physical level. This gradually changed as Polaria evolved, so that a sort of "continent" — Antarctica in its earliest form — became apparent in/on the Polarian "globe." (The second period of "earthly" existence — Hyperborea — was also not physical in any ordinary sense.)

[32] Anthroposophy, drawing from Theosophy, describes evolution as a vast series of recapitulations. We do not progress upward in a straight line. Instead, each step forward is — generally — a repetition of a prior stage, but at a slightly higher level.

[33] In the Anthroposophical narrative, the entire solar system and all its parts and residents began as a single unified body. Gradually, as evolution slowly proceeded, the parts of the solar system separated from one another — i.e., the Sun, Moon, and Earth pulled apart from the generality of the solar system and from each other — but in the future we will all evolve to rejoin one another and attain unity again. [See "Stages".]

[34] That is, they had evolved to a high degree of internal differentiation — they had many "internal organs" of various kinds. They were no longer undifferentiated beings such as they had been during Old Saturn.

[35] Just as the solar system progresses through a long, long series of recapitulations, so each human being recapitulates evolutionary stages in her/his own development. Or so Anthroposophists believe — and the Waldorf curriculum is designed to conform to this pattern of evolutionary progression-through-recapitulation. Thus, for instance, sixth graders are thought to stand at the evolutionary level of ancient Rome, and thus their studies — such as astronomy — are meant to reflect the cultural/mental/spiritual level of ancient Rome (as conceived in Anthroposophical doctrine). [See, e.g., "Oh My Stars".]

[36] Belief in clairvoyance is absolutely fundamental to the Anthroposophical world view and Waldorf education. [See "Clairvoyance".] Waldorf teachers attempt to develop and use clairvoyance. [See "The Waldorf Teacher's Consciousness".] Moreover, they believe that children are born with innate powers of clairvoyance as well as memories of life in the spirit realm. The Waldorf curriculum attempts to keep children young as long as possible in order to prolong this connection to the spirit realm. [See "Thinking Cap".] The Waldorf approach is precisely the opposite of normal practice, which seeks to encourage young children to mature, developing their brainpower starting at an early age. The damage inflicted by the Waldorf approach may last a lifetime. [See, e.g., "Mistreating Kids Lovingly".]

What if Anthroposophy is wrong about its fundamental beliefs — clairvoyance, polytheism, cosmic evolution, astrology, numerology, and the rest? Consider how misguided an educational system would be if it were rooted in the falsehoods and fantasies of Anthroposophy. This is precisely what Waldorf education is. Even when Waldorf teachers refrain from spelling out Anthroposophical doctrines in class, they nonetheless inculcate Anthroposophical ways of thinking, feeling, and being — which can have devastating lifelong consequences for the students.

[37] A bit scrambled. Whitehead is saying that, at the beginning of the Present Earth period, the Sun, Moon and Earth were all united as a single body. Then the Sun split off and became a separate body, while the Moon and Earth remained united.

[38] Just a Polaria was a recapitulation of Old Saturn at a higher level, Hyperborea was a recapitulation of Old Sun at a higher level. Thus, the "Earth" (which still held the Moon inside itself) was still not a physical globe of the kind we know now.

[39] The Sun-Moon-Earth of the early Hyperborean epoch also contained other members of the solar system. At this stage, "Occult Venus" (the planet Mercury) split off. (The names of planets and "planetary conditions" are usually difficult to follow in Anthroposophy and other systems associated with astrology. Astrology does not make sense, and it is incompatible with the science of astronomy. For this reason, astrologers and other mystics make multiple rationalizations, such as "When I say Venus, I actually mean Mercury, you understand..." Steiner and his followers share this approach.)

[40] Children aged 3 to 4 recapitulate Polaria; children aged 5 recapitulate Hyperborea.

[41] See the previous discussion of the pineal gland. Here the visitor — who is not wholly to be trusted — attributes clairvoyant powers to the pituitary gland.

[42] The visitor refers to Polaria and Hyperborea as continents, which is not quite accurate. However, this terminology is often used, even by some Anthroposophists, since the next two stages of Present Earth will be, in a sense, literal continents: Lemuria and Atlantis.

Note that in the Anthroposophical narrative, each stage of Present Earth is destroyed by a catastrophe. In the version of the narrative given here, Polaria dies by being frozen, Hyperborea is destroyed by darkness. Lemuria will be destroyed by fire, and Atlantis will be undone by water. Our own stage, the Post-Atlantean, will be destroyed in the War of All Against All. [See "All v. All".]

[43] See the previous discussion of animals and evolution. According to Steiner, humanity has expelled various animal natures from itself at various times, so that we could evolve higher. Here, we are told that humanity (or at least the good humans) expelled "fish nature" during Hyperborea.

[44] "Mystery" is a loaded word in Anthroposophy — it generally refers to spiritual mysteries, i.e., secret knowledge accessible only through occult initiation. [See the entry for "mystery" in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]

In Anthroposophical belief, Lemuria was the third great epoch of Present Earth. Lemuria was more clearly a physical continent than anything that had come before, although the Lemurians (the proto-humans living on Lemuria) were still essential non-physical. The father, an Australian, tells his Australian readers and children about the mythic history of Australia and its aboriginal inhabitants, based on Anthroposophical teachings: Australia is a sort of remnant or successor of Lemuria, and the Aborigines are successors of the Lemurians.

Racism pervades Anthroposophical teachings, even though it is usually unconscious and even well-meant. The father describes the Aborigines in ways that make them significantly different from the members of other races. In Anthroposophy, racial differences are far more than skin-deep: Steiner taught that different races stand at different spiritual and evolutionary levels. [See "Steiner's Racism" and "Races".]

[45] Steiner often qualified his own statements, distancing himself from them slightly by injecting phrases such as "as it were" and "so-called." He meant that the things he was talking about were extremely hard to describe in ordinary human language; also that the various myths and traditions he drew from, while true, need to be interpreted correctly (i.e., Anthroposophically). Moreover, he usually took care to moderate his remarks when dealing with people outside the Anthroposophical fold.

The father here uses a similar approach. He tells what he deems to be the truth, but he distances himself slightly from the report he provides. He is simplifying and obfuscating, in order to get his article accepted for publication. This is consistent with typical Anthroposophical behavior when dealing with outsiders. [See, e.g., "Secrets".]

[46] Steiner taught that there are significant differences between the blood types of various races. [See "Blood".]

[47] Lemuria is the third epoch of Present Earth, which followed three previous planetary stages. Thus, the father is saying that the proto-humans of Lemuria stood at the sixth level of human/solar evolution. The levels have been 1. Old Saturn, 2. Old Sun, 3. Old Moon, 4. Polaria (the first epoch of Present Earth), 5. Hyperborea (the second epoch), and 6. Lemuria (the third epoch).

[48] See the previous note about unintended racism. [Also see "Embedded Racism".] The father says that Australian Aborigines continue to manifest, to some slight degree, the spiritual condition of mankind on Lemuria. The original Aborigines stood at a level equivalent to six-year-old (white) children today. Subsequently, the Aborigines evolved further, "albeit slowly." This is consistent with Steiner's teachings on such matters. Steiner said that only the most advanced humans proved capable of full, proper evolution. Others remained behind as lower races. [See "Steiner's Racism" and "Races".]

[49] The parents follow the Anthroposophical practice of reinterpreting various religious and spiritual traditions so as to fit them into the mosaic of Anthroposophy. Here the father says that the destruction of Lemuria is reported in the Bible, metaphorically, as the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. [For a look at the Anthroposophical take on the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, see "Old Testament".]

[50] That is, Atlantis — a more densely physical condition — gradually arose and solidified. It became mankind's new home, farther removed from the spirit realm than any previous stage of human evolution.

[51] In Anthroposophy, Lucifer is an ambiguous figure. He is evil; he tempted Adam and Eve, and they fell. (Thus, on Lemuria, the youthful human Ego — Adam — was swayed by Lucifer, leading to the catastrophic destruction of Lemuria.) But Lucifer also offers humanity valuable gifts. These gifts may harm us, but if we accept them under the moderation of Christ, the Sun God, they may prove beneficial to our further evolution. [See "Lucifer" and "Sun God".]

[52] Steiner taught that Noah was a high occult initiate on Atlantis. When Atlantis sank — an event described in the Bible as the Flood — Noah led a remnant of survivors to safety in other lands. [See "Old Testament".]

[53] Anthroposophists sometimes say that, according to Steiner, we all evolve along the same trajectory and thus we will all be saved. But, in fact, Steiner often told of souls that branch off from the central line of evolution, failing to keep up. Sometimes he spoke of abnormal, inferior beings that fall out of evolution altogether, in effect losing their souls; sometimes he spoke of such beings entering into lines of evolution that are incomprehensible to us. Sometimes he spoke of "the Abyss", the Eighth Sphere, or even Hell. [See "Sphere 8" and "Hell".]

[54] For the Anthroposophical take on fairy tales, see "Fairy Tales". (A somewhat different interpretation is given there to the tale of Snow White.)

[55] In Theosophy and Anthroposophy, each epoch (or its equivalent) is supposed to have a single dominant race, a "root race," which finds expression in seven sub-races. Each race represents a particular level and aspect of spiritual development; each is the embodiment of a particular god. [See the entries for "race soul", "root races" and "sub-races" in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.] 

[56] In Anthroposophical doctrines, the spirit realm consists of multiple, overlapping higher worlds, spheres, and planes. [See "Higher Worlds".]

[R.R., 2017.]