Waldorf Astrology

◊ “[T]he old, real, and genuine Astrology

 expresses itself in the destinies of men.”

 — Rudolf Steiner, 


(Rudolf Steiner Press, 1965), lecture 3, GA 233a.

◊ "The fixed stars work in the human being, 
the moving planets work in the human being...."
 — Rudolf Steiner, 
(Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 84.

◊ "It's a very common practice for Waldorf teachers  
 to do an astrological chart on incoming students."
— Middlearthmama, Mothering.com

On the page "Star Power," we looked at astological beliefs that work their way into the Waldorf mindset. [See "Star Power".] Let's take this subject a little further.

During several faculty meetings at the first Waldorf school, Rudolf Steiner discussed astrological subjects with Waldorf teachers. These were not abstract, academic discussions. Steiner was expressing his astrological beliefs. Such beliefs lie behind many practices at Waldorf schools.

Here are passages recording Steiner’s statements. The editors of FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998) list these passages under the index heading “astrology”.

In the first passage, Steiner links “temperament” to astrological sign. This is revealing. Waldorf teachers often categorize their students according to the antiquated and wholly discredited system of “temperaments” that were once believed to be caused by “bodily humours”. [See “Humoresque”. and "Temperaments".] Here we see that the irrationality of this approach is heightened by the ties Waldorf faculty trace between temperament and the influence of the stars.

“In cholerics, you will probably generally find an abnormally developed sense of balance (Libra) and an external display of that in the ear canal through an autopsy. The experience of rhythm, the sense of balance and sense of movement, the interaction of these, rhythmic experience. In sanguines (Virgo), in connection with the sense of balance and sense of movement, the sense of movement predominates. In the same way, in melancholics (Leo) the sense of life predominates and in phlegmatics (Cancer) the sense of touch predominates physiologically because the touch bodies are embedded in small fat pads. That is physiologically demonstrable.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, p. 91.

In the second passage, Steiner’s wife Marie recommends that the assembled Waldorf teachers read her husband’s lecture "The Twelve Moods". Rudolf himself then explicitly links the book to astrology. (Indeed, in the book, Steiner claims that there are twelve identifiable human moods, each of which can be identified by one of the twelve astrological signs. He did this kind of thing with all sorts of phenomena, breaking them into groups of twelve, for the signs of the zodiac, or into groups of seven, for the seven “sacred planets”.) Note that Steiner says Waldorf teachers “can use” the link between moods and astrology when they teach various subjects.

Marie Steiner: I would recommend Dr. Steiner’s Twelve Moods. 

Dr. Steiner: The Twelve Moods were once tested in connection with astrology. They are cosmically connected. That is something you can use both in the teaching of style and in eurythmy.” — Ibid., p. 362.

Next we find Steiner stating one of his more bizarre clairvoyant “insights”: The continents float and are held in place by the power of the stars. Indeed, Steiner often taught — and Waldorf teachers believe — that the stars, constellations, and planets exert enormous forces upon the Earth, forces that science cannot detect but that clairvoyants such as Steiner recognize.

“Usually people do not think about how it looks if you move toward the center of the Earth. You would soon come to regions where it is very fluid, whether it is water or something else. Thus, according to our normal understanding, the continents swim. The question is, of course, why they don’t bump into one another, why they don’t move back and forth, and why they are always the same distance from one another, since the Earth is under all kinds of influences. Why don’t they bump into one another? For instance, why is a channel always the same width? We can find no explanation for that from within the Earth. That is something that comes from outside. All fixed land swims and the stars hold it in position. Otherwise, everything would break apart. The seas tend to be spherical.

“The contrast is interesting. The continents swim and do not sit upon anything. They are held in position upon the Earth by the constellations. When the constellations change, the continents change, also. The old tellurians and atlases properly included the constellations of the zodiac in relationship to the configuration of the Earth’s surface. The continents are held from the periphery; the higher realms hold the parts of the Earth. In contrast, the Earth holds the Moon dynamically, as if on a leash. The Moon goes along as if on a tether.” — Ibid., pp. 617-618.

Steiner also tells the assembled Waldorf teachers to discuss the zodiac with their students. This might be harmless, if we were sure that Waldorf teachers do not believe in the astrological powers of the zodiac. But because we know just the opposite — that many Waldorf teachers do believe in astrological powers — red flags begin to wave. Thus, devout Waldorf faculty will teach the students not about ancient superstition that should be repudiated, but about ancient occult beliefs that should be embraced as truth.

In particular, Steiner tells Waldorf teachers to lay out the astrological signs appropriate for each type of animal. There is no reason for doing this except that Steiner and his followers believe that the stars literally influence and even control various animals.

“In discussing the zodiac, you should begin with the mammals, represented by Leo; then birds, Virgo; reptiles, Libra; amphibians, Scorpio; fish, Sagittarius; articulates, Capricorn; worms, Aquarius. Then continue on the other side, where you have the protists, Cancer; corals, Gemini; echinoderms, Taurus; ascidians, Aries; mollusks, Pisces. You should realize that the zodiac arose at a time when the names and classifications were very different. In the Hebrew language, there is no word for fish, so it is quite reasonable that you would not find fish mentioned in the story of creation. They were seen as birds that lived in water. Thus, the zodiac is divided in this way, into seven and five parts for day and night.” — Ibid., pp. 659-660.

A few paragraphs later, Steiner returns again to his astrological theme. Note that he explicitly states his doctrine that the forces of the zodiac are projected onto the Earth. And he tells the Waldorf teachers that globes — celestial or zodiacal globes — showing the connections between the zodiac and the Earth will provide what they need to teach “animal geography” properly. Thus, astrology would again enter the classroom.

“When teaching animal geography, you need to consider the zodiac in connection with what I have just said, that is, look at the projection of the zodiac upon the Earth. You will then find the areas of the animal groups on the Earth. You have some globes where the zodiac is drawn upon the Earth. They will provide you with what you need.” — Ibid., p. 661.

The Waldorf take of astrology shows up in other Waldorf books besides FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER. In the following passage, for instance, we find Steiner speaking about the “spiritual forces” that stream down from the Sun. This is the central concept of astrology, that celestial objects project spiritual powers onto the Earth. The book in question here is ESSENTIALS OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 1997). 

Yes, the Sun's rays come down to the Earth. But do these rays include astrological, "spiritual" components? How can we know? How could Steiner know? He couldn't. But he insisted that he could. But let that go. Let's say that he could know and did know. The only point we need to consider at this moment is whether you agree with him and want to choose people who agree with him to be your children's teachers. What Steiner is saying here is that the Sun sends magical astrological influences to the Earth and this is important in the growth of plants. Do you agree?

“The Sun is not merely what is described by astronomy and spectrum analysis; with the Sun’s rays, spiritual forces stream and interweave down to the Earth. In this ensoulment of sunlight we have the element that, for example, determines expansion in the growth of the plant." — Rudolf Steiner, ESSENTIALS OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 56.

Next, in THE ROOTS OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), we overhear Steiner speaking again about the powers flowing down from above. Part of what he says makes sense, or nearly so. The Sun certainly does send down energy that affects life on Earth. But the Moon? And the stars? Note that Steiner speaks of “Moon forces” and he says that the stars “are at work in the plant.” This is nonsense, and doubly so because he is not speaking of physical forces but astrological ones. 

Note that whereas, above, Steiner said that science is at least partly right, here he tells us that science is really just about totally wrong. He rejects real science — such as astronomy — and offers his occult teachings in its place. Our liberation, he says — our passport into the "distant spaces of the cosmos" — depends on our acceptance of occultism (such as is provided by a certain R. Steiner) and our repudiation of the foolish rational system called science. Astronomy has "lost sight of our relationship to the universe." But R. Steiner's version of astrology has not.

(P.S. Steiner admired Goethe. But even Goethe was wrong about many things, according to Steiner. If you want the real truth about anything, you need to apply to the one unassailable source: R. Steiner. Or so R. Steiner said.)

“Above all, in the astronomical realm we have lost sight of our relationship to the universe. If you look at a plant, you can see how it takes root in the ground — how it arises from a seed, unfolds its first leaves and stem, more leaves and a blossom, and how it then gathers itself together again in the fruit. Goethe described it this way: In the plant you see how it draws out into space, rotates, and then contracts. Goethe was unable to go far enough. He described this expansion and contraction of the plant, but could not come to the point of knowing why this happens. It happens because the plant is exposed to the forces of the Moon and Sun. Whenever the Sun’s forces are active, the plant expands and opens its leaves; when Moon forces act on it, plant life contracts — it develops the stem and then the seed, where the whole plant life is drawn together in a single point. Thus, when we consider this expansion and contraction as Goethe has shown it to us, we see in it the alternation of Sun and Moon forces, and we are led out into the distant spaces of the cosmos. When we can see how the stars are at work in the plant, we do not remain bound and limited.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE ROOTS OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), pp. 82-83.

The following is a passage from DISCUSSIONS WITH TEACHERS (Anthroposophical Press, 1997). The person heading the discussions is, of course, Rudolf Steiner; the other participants are Waldorf teachers. Here, Steiner indicates that “astronomical conditions” are important in the study of geography. (Remember, the stars hold the continents in place.) By implication, he also indicates that the stars affect human beings and human ethnic groups. (In plain language, this means races.)

“In geography, we continue with the study of astronomical conditions and begin to cover the spiritual and cultural circumstances of Earth’s inhabitants, of the various ethnic groups, but always in connection with what the children have already learned about material cultural circumstances — that is, economic circumstances — during their first two years of geography lessons.” — Rudolf Steiner, DISCUSSIONS WITH TEACHERS (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), pp. 191-192.

The "spiritual and cultural circumstances of Earth’s inhabitants" is directly related to "astronomical conditions" — or, in a word, astrology.

Steiner repeatedly taught that various human races are under the influence of astrological forces. For instance, 

“We...find there [i.e., in Asia] the Venus-race or the Malay race. We then pass on across the wide domain of Asia and in the Mongolian race we find the Mars-race. We then pass over into the domain of Europe and we find in the Europeans, in their basic character, in their racial character, the Jupiter men. If we cross over the ocean to America, where the place is at which the races or civilizations die, we then find the race of the dark Saturn, the original American-Indian race, the American race. The American-Indian race is the Saturn race.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE MISSION OF FOLK-SOULS (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1929), lecture 6, GA 121.

The stars influence human history and the inner condition of human experience, Steiner taught.

"People can develop a strong will in the proper way only if we continue to enlarge their perspective and direct them toward those things that act spiritually in the world, those things coming from the stars that have a spiritual effect upon world history and upon the depths of the human heart." — Rudolf Steiner, THE RENEWAL OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 2001), p. 238.

The belief in "things coming from the stars that have a spiritual effect upon world history and upon the depths of the human heart" is, in a word, astrology.

The lines of influence run both ways, Steiner said. The stars affect us and we affect them.

"[H]uman beings need a living spirit, one that permeates their souls, one that can be found everywhere in history and which has an effect right up to the stars." — Rudolf Steiner, THE RENEWAL OF EDUCATION, p. 239.

Steiner found value and inspiration in the study of astrological influences, and he said that Waldorf students will find similar value and inspiration. He put a positive spin on his astrology, in other words. Yet it remains astrology.

"You will learn that what shines down from the moon and stars, what expresses itself and reveals itself in this world that speaks to us when the plants grow green and come up out of the earth in spring, what reveals itself in deep valleys and in the shapes of mountains and in minerals — that all this challenges us to lend a hand and bring forth the best that we can. It challenges us to learn to understand something about the world so that we can work in it." — Rudolf Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER IN THE WALDORF SCHOOL (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 107.

Note that in this instance Steiner was directly addressing Waldorf students ("My dear children, today in this serious moment..." — p. 107.) So here we have a particularly clear indication of astrology being taught to kids attending a Waldorf school ("You will learn that what shines down from the moon and stars...").

Waldorf astrology is part and parcel of the Waldorf belief that there are deep spiritual ties between humanity and all of the surrounding universe. This may be an appealing idea, but as Steiner formulates it, it is an astrological idea.

"[T]he human being is a mirror of the world; all the secrets of the universe are contained in the human being. The fixed stars work in the human being, the moving planets work in the human being, and all the elements of nature work there as well." — Rudolf Steiner, THE ROOTS OF EDUCATION, p. 84. 

The stars work in us. The planets work in us. This is, in a word, astrology.

These are doctrines that Rudolf Steiner propounded and that his followers — many of whom teach in Waldorf schools — embrace. Whether astrology surfaces in any particular Waldorf class depends on the specific Waldorf teacher and school in question. But astrological beliefs undeniably lurk below the surface (and sometimes just barely below the surface) of Waldorf pedagogy. 

For more on these matters, 


Star Power”, 






"By looking at what the horoscope shows we can see what is really the matter [with a child]. Take first this horoscope (of the elder sister). It will probably have struck you that you find here in this region, Uranus together with Venus and Mars. You will not really need to carry your considerations any further than this triangle. Here then are Mars, Venus and Uranus. Consider first Mars. For this child, who was born in 1909, Mars stands in complete opposition to the Moon. Mars, which has Venus and Uranus in its vicinity, stands — itself — in strong opposition to the Moon. Here is the Moon and here is Mars. And Mars pulls along with it Uranus and Venus...." — Rudolf Steiner, CURATIVE EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), lecture 11, GA 317.

Here are passages from other Anthroposophical texts
bearing on Waldorf astrology.

"From each region of the zodiac and from the planets there stream to Earth certain forces and these forces become manifest in the physical being of man ... According to the position of the Sun and zodiac, modified by the relationship to the planets, a person receives specific forces at birth ... They are given to him as an endowment." — Waldorf teacher Roy Wilkinson, RUDOLF STEINER (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2005), pp. 43-44.

“Each region of the zodiac can be looked upon as the home of particular spiritual beings and a centre of forces. There are 12 signs of the zodiac and 12 corresponding parts off the human organism ... While the forces of the zodiac correspond to the human physical structure, the planets and their forces are mirrored in the internal organs." — Roy Wilkinson, THE SPIRITUAL BASIS OF STEINER EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), p. 47.

“Astrological chart — A map of the soul’s revelation as it unfolds consciousness through the element of time. Higher spiritual beings reveal their influence, in ebb and flow, through the movement of the planets with stars and constellations as backdrop.”* — Waldorf teacher Ron Odama, ASTROLOGY AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Bennett & Hastings Publishing, 2009), p. 12.

* Horoscopes or astrological charts are rarely displayed openly in Waldorf schools, but — as we saw, above — Steiner himself sometimes made use of horoscopes ("By looking at what the horoscope shows we can see what is really the matter [with a child]...").

“Twelve particular constellations, known as the zodiac...have a particular formative presence in our universe. Their relative movements can be experienced as an ever-changing dance or conversation ...  In long distant ages we could experience fellowship with the beings of the starry world, and addressed them as gods and goddesses ... Out of his spiritual research, Rudolf Steiner also recognized the living quality of the zodiac circle. He experienced it speaking or singing to us, and perceived that a specific consonant...sounds out of each sign of the zodiac ... Likewise, each of the planets sings to the earth with a different vowel quality.” — Waldorf teacher-trainer Cynthia Hoven, EURYTHMY (HeartSong Press, 2012), pp. 29-30.

"Planetary types — also called: 'soul types'. Between two incarnations, the 'I' [i.e., the human spiritual ego] lives in the spiritual world where it travels through the following sequence of planetary spheres: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.* When the 'I' is again born on earth, it arrives there with all the knowledge is has been able to absorb during its sojourn in the spiritual world. This newly acquired knowledge manifests in the soul of the new human being. However, the planetary sphere where the 'I' stayed longest, and where it was really able to absorb new spiritual knowledge, will leave a predominant imprint on the soul." —  Waldorf teacher Henk van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, 2011), p. 95. 

* According to Waldorf belief, the human spirit travels to the planetary spheres when the physical body is asleep and after the physical body dies. [See, e.g., "Higher Worlds".] Here, a Waldorf teacher explains that children have different "soul types" depending on which planetary spheres they have stayed in longest. 

“The discovery of Pluto...is a textbook demonstration of the occult guidance of history [i.e., the influence of occult powers on human history] ... [C]ertain necessities of an astrological nature were involved in the timing of the planet’s discovery ... By transits of Saturn and Uranus to the position of Pluto’s discovery [i.e., by making an astrological chart of these things], the timing of the explosion at Hiroshima and the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb in 1952 were determined with great accuracy.” — Anthroposophist David B. Black, THE COMPUTER AND THE INCARNATION OF AHRIMAN (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1981), pp. 31-32.*

* Rudolf Steiner College is a Waldorf teacher-training institution. 

“[F]rom the heliocentric horoscope comparison, it is possible to see if recurring astrological rhythms that signal an indication of reincarnation patterns are evident.”* — Steiner disciple Robert Powell, PROPHECY - PHENOMENA - HOPE (Lindisfarne Books, 2011), p. 13.

* Steiner taught that human soul types are largely determined by the planets, but reincarnation and karma are linked to the stars. Here, an Anthroposophist discusses the use of horoscopes to learn about patterns of reincarnation.

“It is in our will that our karmic intentions are stored, intentions which have been prepared during the long period between lifetimes in the company of the spiritual beings of planetary spheres and beyond. But can these intentions be read in a horoscope? Whilst criticizing the superficial nature of much astrology, Steiner shows that we do indeed attempt to choose the appropriate birth time to match the destiny that we are to live out ... On occasion he himself made use of horoscopes as we can see in the case of the ‘special needs’ children.” — Anthroposophist Margaret Jonas, introduction to ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009), pp. 2-3.

Do Waldorf teachers ever draw up horoscopes of their students? 
Considering the beliefs reflected in the passages we have seen, 
it seems inevitable in at least some instances. 
It is not, however, something Waldorf teachers 
generally admit in public. 
Waldorf teachers are practiced in maintaining their secrets. 
[See "Secrets".] 
So do they or don't they? 
It seems inevitable in at least some instances. 

Online chats are not the most reliable sources of knowledge. 
Still, the following is interesting. 
It is from a discussion at Mothering 

Q. “I’m just curious. I noticed that the waldorf school application form asks for my child's city of birth. I'm trying to figure out how that's pertinant info for an application form, and the only reason i could think of is that the teachers might want to plot a birth chart. They didnt ask for time of birth, but you can get a fairly accurate chart without it.” — Moss

A1. “I'm sure they are not planning to do an astrological chart for your child. Can't think why the city of birth would be wanted though….” — Deborah

A2. “It's a very common practice for Waldorf teachers to do an astrological chart on incoming students... one was done on our child as part of the admissions process for a Waldorf school here in So Cal... not sure if all do it or if they admit readily to it, but I asked if that's what it was for and the lead teacher said 'it's a bit more complicated than that, but yes...'

"Did they ask for details about your child's birth? I had a very traumatic labor/delivery followed by time in the NICU and I could tell this was a concern for them... course we're not enrolling there anyway, but it's not quite true to say anyone's SURE they're not doing a chart on her child... many [Waldorf] schools do…” — Middlearthmama

Discussing something doesn't necessarily mean affirming it. 

But Anthroposophical discussions of astrology 

generally are affirmative. 

Steiner taught that the planets and stars 

exert astrological influences on Earthly affairs. 

Instead of renouncing astrology as nonsense, 

Steiner affirmed it, adjusting it only in minor ways, 

such as by revising the zodiacal symbols. 

Here are four of his revisions: 





[R.R. sketches, 2009-2010, based on images in

Rudolf Steiner, CALENDAR 1912-1913,

Facsimile Edition

(SteinerBooks, 2003).]

If you'd like to explore Steiner's views on the celestial spheres, this would be a good place to start. Within the covers of this book, you will find such gems as 

"[S]cience speaks under the influence of the demonic Mars-forces." — Rudolf Steiner, ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009), p. 126.

Science (as, for instance, astronomy) is almost always wrong, according to Steiner. [See "Science".]  But pseudoscience (as, for instance, astrology) met with his approval. And this is what you will find in or behind Waldorf schools, today. 

(Please note: Steiner made his silly statements long ago. But Steiner's followers still affirm them. This book was published in 2009.)

For some additional glimpses of Waldorf links to astrology, 

see "Ex-Teacher 4". 

The author became a Waldorf teacher. 

“[In college] I chose to study psychology and astrology ... [Later] I began to study Anthroposophy ... I went to work as a Waldorf teacher ... After two years, we left to start a Waldorf School in South Dakota ...  Financial hardships forced the teachers [there] to abandon Waldorf education ... I [left] to teach Special Education on the Pine Ridge [Amerindian] Reservation ... After two years I went to work in the public school system ... [Later] we found a Waldorf school where I could teach and our children attend ... [Then] I went to work as an insurance agent/financial planner ... I found a position [at a Waldorf school] in Kona, Hawaii ... I was forced out due to political differences ... My last teaching attempt was at a Waldorf school in Bellevue, Washington. To my dismay I found that the Waldorf school was not following Rudolf Steiner’s indications ... I retired and began to devote my time to astrology....” — Ron Odama, ASTROLOGY AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Bennett & Hastings, 2009), pp. viii-xi.

Why do horoscopes work? 
Because at the moment of a child's birth, 
the stars leave an imprint on the child's brain — 
 an imprint reflecting the stars' unique positions 
at that moment. 
Or so Anthroposophists tend to believe. 

• "[I]n the same moment the cosmos leaves a permanent image of itself imprinted on the brain ... Rudolf Steiner speaks of this ... 'The human being has within himself an image of the heavens and each has a different one, depending on the time and place of birth.'" — Elizabeth Vreede, ANTHROPOSOPHY AND ASTROLOGY (SteinerBooks, 2001), pp. 189-190.

• "[T]he karma of the preceding life expresses itself in the horoscope, in that it becomes forces that induce a human being to be born. And equally true is what Rudolf Steiner stated ... 'In that human beings let themselves be born, they find themselves at home on Earth according to their individual constellation of the stars.'" — Ibid., p. 198.

"[A]strology is a highly sophisticated occult science 

predictive in many areas." 


(Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1980), p. 17. 

The zodiac as displayed at one Waldorf school:

From “First Grade Overview for Homeschoolers”, 
 Waldorf Curriculum, 2006 
“When the child is coming down from heaven, she passes first through the zodiac and receives her gifts, one of them being the consonants ... This is the anthroposophical belief.” — p. 25.


Leo - T or D

Cancer - F

Gemini - H

Taurus - R

Aries - V

Pisces - N

Aquarious - M

Capricorn - L

Sagitarius - G

Scorpio - S

Libra - K

Virgo - B or P”

— p. 115.


Lectures from the 

2008 International Waldorf 

Early Childhood Conference 

Wilton, New Hampshire

Published by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, 

on behalf of the

International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education


In 2008 — during the 21st century, mind — a Waldorf teachers' conference was held to discuss the needs of young children and how Waldorf education can "meet" those needs. A significant portion of the conference consisted of lectures detailing the astrological powers that affect children and their adult caregivers.

Particular emphasis was placed on the four zodiacal signs that Anthroposophists believe have special meaning for the guidance of young children. The point was to help Waldorf teachers understand the significance of astrological powers for their work in early childhood education.

Children incarnate on Earth through a gradual process, Anthroposophists believe. [See "Incarnation".] Helping children to incarnate properly is often conceived to be a central task for Waldorf teachers. [See, e.g., "Here's the Answer".] At the conference, wisdom such as this was dispensed:

"In approaching the question of the essentials of early childhood education let us begin with four imaginations [i.e., true spiritual pictures] of incarnation, which will extend our thinking out to the Zodiac. Rudolf Steiner has encouraged us to do so, to look at these pictures of incarnation, if we want to educate children and especially, one may add, very young children ... On the one hand, out of the cosmos, the Zodiac and the planets, come those forces which form the child's body in the womb and continue their formative activity through the first seven years [of a child's life]. On the other hand, Rudolf Steiner indicates that there is a continuation of cosmic influences, something like 'archetypal' experiences shared by all children ... [These experiences] are connected to the spiritual qualities behind specific signs of the Zodiac. In particular, Steiner points to the signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer...as powers behind incarnation." — Renate Long-Breiphol, lecture in MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD TODAY, p. 16.

The astrological lore presented in MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD TODAY is fascinating, particularly because teachers working in the 21st century are asked to accept it. Very few teachers anywhere except in Waldorf schools would accept any of it, but Waldorf teachers are expected to accept all of it. Here is a brief sample, the beginning of the section on Aries:

"Images of Incarnation
"Aries in relation to the child: The ram looking back

"The image described by Steiner is the ram with his head turned back, a frequent form of depicting the zodiacal sign. 'Looking back' also is one of the gestures of the young child, not as a conscious act but out of a kind of 'spiritual habit' [i.e., looking back to life in the spirit realm before Earthly birth]. Steiner speaks about the 'telephone connection' which children still hold to the spiritual world." — Ibid., p. 19.

Other astrological signs, including signs that do not bear specifically on incarnation, are given similar treatment. A summary of sorts is offered in these words:

"Openness to the spiritual world is part of the gesture of Aries, of the practice of devotion in the face of the spiritual world. Openness and magnanimity is [sic] the beginning of the practice of love in the face of the needs of the earth. Aries and Pisces: these two belong together as the beginning and ending of the journey through landscapes of the thinking-feeling soul and the working fields of the will." — Ibid., p. 32.

This is astrology as conceived for the use of Waldorf teachers. It is Waldorf astrology. In the 21st century, mind.

“Not only is a birth horoscope significant 
but here Rudolf Steiner introduces the 
conventionally unfamiliar idea that we can equally study 
the horoscope for the moment of a person’s death.....” 
 Margaret Jonas, commentary in ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY 
(Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009), p. 185. 

It seems almost incredible that 

a Waldorf teacher might use 

a horoscope or offer to 

create one for a student, 

and yet here is a report from a mother 

who sent her child to a Waldorf school 

[see "Coming Undone"]: 

"Many alarm bells rang during our time there. I remember the intense gaze of the teachers that would continue far longer than was comfortable. There was little laughter, everything was carried out in a very slow and purposeful way with a sing-song voice, the lighting of candles, the wearing of strange hats, their infatuation with wool — I recall a felting session where the teacher spoke of the special energy of the wool, declaring it had come from a biodynamic sheep. I recall the time the teacher took both my hands in hers and explaining my son had 'chosen me as his mother,' on a further occasion she stated he had 'chosen the school' and that children 'get what they need' – ostensibly an innocent cliché until one understands it's particular meaning within Anthroposophy. I also recall politely refusing a teacher's offer, made during a parent and toddler group session, to lend me a copy of [a popular mystical book] and compile an astrological chart based on my son's birth date."

— Compilation and commentary by Roger Rawlings

To visit other pages in the sections of Waldorf Watch
that include "Waldorf Astrology", 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?


ASTROLOGY : for real

ASTROSOPHY : star "wisdom"

HOROSCOPES : for real

STAR POWER : astrology Waldorf-style

ZODIAC : high above

Signs of the zodiac as redesigned by Rudolf Steiner

and drawn by Imma von Eckhardstein:

Starting at the upper left, we find 

Pisces, Aries, Taurus, 

Gemini, Cancer, Leo, 

Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, 

Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius. 

[Rudolf Steiner, CALENDAR 1912-1913 

(SteinerBooks, 2003).] 

These images were created to accompany 

meditative verses written by Rudolf Steiner. 

Anthroposophists today still use these meditations, 

known collectively as the Calendar of the Soul.