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Willi Sucher

Astrosophy Research Center
Meadow Vista, CA 95722

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Living Universe - Studies in Astrosophy

The articles in Part I were originally published in
The Modern Mystic and Science Review from Jan., 1937 to Jan., 1940.

The lectures in Part II were given at Peredur, East Grinsteard,
Sussex, England - Jan. 1956, andwere first published in

The Living Universe and the New Millennium
by Anastasi Ltd., Throne Hereford Rd.,
Waebley, Herefordshire, UK in 1997-8

Copyright © Astrosophy Research Center, Inc. 2006
ISBN 1-888686-03-0

Editors: Roberta van Schilfgaarde and Darlys Turner

All the diagrams were originally drawn by Willi Sucher

For publication prices or questions, please contact::

Astrosophy Research Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 13

Meadow Vista, CA 95722-0013

Phone: 530-878-2673
E-mail: [email protected]


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
reproduced in any form without the written permission
of the publisher, except for brief quotations embodied

in cretical reviews and articles, or for copies that are
not for sale but for private use.

Printed in the United States of America

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This new incision in the spiritual strivings of humanity approached the human beings of the Middle Ages
time and again—from many aspects. Passing on now into the sphere of Taurus, we find Raymond Lulli, at
whose death—29 June, 1315—Mars stood in this constellation. He was the well-known originator of the
“Lullian art”, as it was sometimes called, trying to reach by subtle combination of philosophic concepts already
known to humanity, new kinds of questions and new answers. His way of thinking influenced many others,
even in much later times—Giordano Bruno for example. Raymond Lulli was born in Mallorca. In his youth
he lived a life entirely given up to the impressions of the senses. Then, of a sudden, he had a visionary
experience which made him change the direction of his life. Thenceforth he devoted himself exclusively and
whole-heartedly to spiritual study and to the great religious questions of his time. This was the decisive event
in his life which was inscribed by Mars in Taurus.

In Aries we saw reflected a human event arising out of a deep inner impulse, an all-absorbing mission. In
Taurus we have the picture of a conversion, a transformation due to a deep experience in spirit. A powerful
incision gives a quite new turn to an existing tendency of life. This quality of Taurus will also be found in other
horoscopes of death.

Now we trace human history in its cosmic aspect further on into the sphere of Gemini, where a deep cleft
arises between the inner and the outer world. We had already encountered this kind of soul’s experience in
Meister Eckhardt. The mystic with his deeply inward orientation of life comes into conflict with the Church.
Gemini, the twin brothers wrestling with one another in every human soul, is revealed here; typified in the
striving of the individual within itself toward the inner light and, in the mighty institution of the Church,
desiring to adhere to past tradition.

Yet evolution took its course in such a way that the old faculties of knowledge gradually died into the
characteristic mystical experience of the Middle Ages. Scholasticism in its best exponents still maintained a
balance by deep discipline of thought. In thought, the conscious inner life of a human being sought to retain
connection with the higher world of Divine Revelation. This faculty became extinguished by and by.

Significantly, we see this happening in such a man as Nicholas of Cusa who died 11 August, 1464. Born at
the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, he grew up in the Scholastic discipline of thought. His inner experience,
however, led him along another path. While voyaging across the sea, a mystical experience came to him as of
being steeped in the eternal ocean of the Spirit, and yet in such a way that the experience no longer penetrated
up into the realm of thought. A “knowing ignorance” is his own name for this experience of the Divine; so he
describes it in his book, De docta ignorantia. Now at this death there is a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the
constellation of Aquarius. Herein we see his connection with Scholasticism. Yet on the other side, Mars and
Venus are in the region of Cancer and Leo. This is the cosmic picture of his own more inward path into the
sphere of docta ignorantia. Between the two constellations, his experience on the sea voyage is recorded in Aries.

Thus we see indicated in the constellation of Cancer a tendency in human spiritual development to with-
draw into the inner life of the soul. This is expressed still more strongly in the horoscopes in Leo. Therefore,
in the horoscopes of death of quite a number of mystics of the later Middle Ages and of the dawn of modern
time, we find the planets entering the realm of Leo. One who stands out among them all is Johannes Tauler,
a disciple of Meister Eckhardt. At his death on 16 June, 1361, Saturn, Mars, and Venus were in Leo. A unique
experience of Tauler’s life was recorded into this constellation. We refer to his so-called conversion by the
Friend of God from the Oberland, a man whose influence extended far and wide in the neighborhood of Basle
at that time. The Friend of God is indeed a mysterious figure in the history of the time. There is no actual
historic evidence of who he was or where he came from, only the stories told in the circle of those amongst
whom he moved refer to him as a wonderful being who had a deep and far-reaching spiritual influence,
including the story of Tauler’s “conversion”. In his encounter with the Friend of God he underwent deep inner
experiences, and his own influence and eloquence as a preacher was wondrously enhanced.

While in this way the constellation of Leo is connected with the quest of spiritual truth in deep recesses of
the human soul, Virgo belongs to the inner peace, the quiet poise of the soul within the Spiritual Being of
nature and of human life. This was already pointed out in relation to Scholasticism in the previous article.

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Unknown to the outer world, in inner silence and serenity of soul, experiences take shape in the sphere of
Virgo, preparing to bring about essential changes in the development of consciousness. Thus in the constella-
tion of Virgo we see one who very strongly represents this trait, the famous alchemist and doctor, Paracelsus,
who died on 23 September, 1541. At his death, Jupiter was in Leo while Mars and Saturn, together with the
Sun and the two inner planets Mercury and Venus, were in Virgo. Saturn was rather on the border-line be-
tween Virgo and Libra. All this belongs to the peculiar place of this great individuality in the spiritual life of his
time. For on the one hand Paracelsus, as an alchemist, was living within that spiritual stream which sought, by
a more inner mystic path, to penetrate to a grasp of the Divine and Spiritual; yet on the other hand he was
already one who consciously turned to the outer world, seeking to find the very roots of nature’s being. We see
this in the way he brings forth a new conception of human nature and also to some extent a new science of
medicine. Paracelsus is a very living representative of the transition from medieval humanity, for whom the
experience of the spiritual world was fading away into the form of Mysticism, to the new tendency of soul
which gave birth to modern Science. True, in this scientific stream the consciousness of the reality of the
spiritual world was and is in danger of being completely stifled; however, this development was also destined
and inevitable; a necessary phase in our evolution, for it led us on the way to Spiritual Freedom.

This turn in the evolution of humanity is potently expressed in the constellation of Libra. Here we find
Saturn in Libra in the horoscopes of death of three great men—inaugurators of the scientific era: Copernicus,
originator of the new astronomy (died 24 May, 1543); Tycho Brahe, the famous Danish astronomer (died 24
October, 1601); and Johannes Kepler, the great German astronomer and mathematician (died 15 November
1630). In the relation of these three to one another, the transition of humanity to the new outlook upon
nature is most impressively portrayed. Copernicus, purely by outward observation and mathematical experi-
ment, laid the foundations of a new world system. Tycho Brahe took a very different line. As an astronomer
he also devoted himself whole-heartedly to outer observation of the starry heavens, but in the depths of his
soul there was living side by side with this, the memory of a former life on Earth when he had still been united
far more intimately with the wisdom of the ancient Mysteries. Hence, he rebelled against the central idea of
the Copernican system which was to place the Sun in the center of our solar system. He evolved a system of
his own, wherein he tried once more to give the Earth a position of central importance. Then Kepler came
and worked with him as his assistant. When Tycho felt his end approaching, he begged Kepler to base his
future work not on the Copernican but on his own, the Tychonic system. Kepler, however, did not do so; he
based his subsequent researches on the Copernican idea.

Thus connected with the constellation of Libra, we see one of the greatest and most decisive turning
points in spiritual evolution. The world picture of the ancients, the Ptolemaic system for example, is super-
seded by the modern point of view of scientific research and experiment. Men now devote themselves to the
examination of external visible nature.

Now we come into the sphere of Scorpio. There we see Mars, both in the horoscope of death of Kepler
and in that of Galileo (8 January, 1642). In Kepler’s Mars is inscribed his turning to the Copernican system
after the death of Tycho Brahe; in Galileo’s there is the period of his life when he was carrying on important
researches at Padua. Moreover, in the later life of Galileo it represents the time when he was taking a coura-
geous stand on behalf of the Copernican system before the Inquisition. To Scorpio, therefore, belongs a
profound transformation in the world outlook of humanity. Kepler, Galileo, and many others confront the old
ideas with the foundations of an entirely new method of research. Scorpio has to do with the destruction of
old traditions, yet at the same time with transmutation and progress.

The cycle of evolution now leads us on into the sphere of Sagittarius. This sphere, as we already saw in the
destruction of the Order of Knights Templars, is connected with the rise and fall of spiritual streams in
evolution. There is a wrestling for spiritual continuity in human progress. The horoscope of death of Martin
Luther for example (18 February, 1546) is penetrated in a very decisive way with this constellation. Saturn and
Mars are in Sagittarius, while Jupiter is passing on from Sagittarius to Capricorn. Saturn in Sagittarius repre-
sents the time when Luther, nailing his theses to the castle church at Wittenberg, set foot along the way which

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bodies), but at the same time, toward death and at death, we give back something: the Imaginations, Inspira-
tions, and Intuitions which are, so to speak, imprisoned in our organism. They are saturated by what the
human being did upon Earth. Thus we are in a sort of balanced condition; we receive, but we also give back,
and the cosmos is waiting for what we hand back. Therefore, the relationship between Sun and Earth, in the
sense of the aura, of stepping into the place where the Sun had been, must have changed since the time of
Christ, and indeed it has. Now let us see what we can do with it. Actually it concerns the seasons. At
Midsummer, when the Sun is in the center (Fig. 6), then the Earth can take up that which has been radiated into
the atmosphere, into the aura as the gift of Easter. This Earth event tinged, as it were, by the greatest Earth
event, that of the Mystery of Golgotha, can then radiate—can be taken up by the Sun and com-municated to
the cosmos.

At Michaelmas the Sun would be [on the right in the diagram] with the Earth in the center. Now you see
that the Earth can receive something and at the same time give. It receives, as it were, the judgment. Here the
deed is communicated, the great Earth Deed, life through death, to put it in a nutshell. That is communicated
to the cosmos in this position. Here it is received by the cosmos through the Sun, through that Sun which
really reaches out to the periphery of the whole solar universe. So, all of that universe would partake in that
message. Now it remains to be seen if that message, which has been communicated to the cosmos, holds
fast—whether it is really of the kind that is of value to the cosmos. Then the Earth steps into the center and
can receive the judgment of the Earth Deed of the preceding Easter and make decisions on these grounds—
Michaelmas decisions—decisions to really use the Sword of the Spirit in order to work still deeper into that
which is the task and Spirit purpose of the Earth. When we come then to Christmas, the Sun has moved into
the center with the Earth [on the right]. Now the Sun can take up what has been born out of the Michaelmas

The time between Michaelmas and Christmas is always a time of preparation. It must really start with the
Michaelmas decisions, the Sword of Michael must, as it were, clear the road toward Christmas so that some-
thing new can be born, and when the Sun then steps into the place where the Earth has been at Michaelmas,
there can once more be communicated to the whole cosmos that which has been created upon Earth as
Michaelmas decisions. So you see, it is something that one should expect to have a decisive bearing on all
existence, which can go into many details or fields of human activity and be realized in them.

Again I must confess this is a very sketchy description. You see we have, for instance, to leave out the
movements of the planets; that would really lead us too far, and we would need another hour to make it clear.
But I believe if you only have the picture of the lemniscate and see behind that picture the seed of a concep-
tion of the universe as a living being, that is already a great achievement.

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Rudolf Steiner’s
Statue of Christ

Constellation of


. .

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