The term "astrosophy" — meaning star wisdom (i.e., clairvoyant knowledge of the stars and their powers) —
is sometimes attributed to Willi Sucher. However, Steiner himself used the term.
Anthroposophists generally apply the term to Anthroposophical astrology.
(Steiner opposed astrology — except for his own version.)
"The Astrosophy Research Center was founded in 1985 by Willi Sucher as a vehicle to maintain, publish, and further develop his work on the new relationship of the human being to the starry cosmos. He called this new star wisdom ASTROSOPHY: Greek - astro = star; sophy = wisdom. His work was inspired by the knowledge imparted by Rudolf Steiner, which was his lifetime study and path of spiritual development. It was developed over many years beginning with his association at a young age with Dr. Elizabeth Vreede, a colleague of Dr. Steiner’s." — Astrosophy Research Center, http://astrosophycenter.com/.
“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, that this will reveal much about the significance of their life and what they are offering back to the spiritual world. Willi Sucher, a pioneer in the field of anthroposophical astrology, which he called astrosophy, made many such studies.” — Margaret Jonas, commentary in ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY, a collection of pieces by Rudolf Steiner (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009), p. 185.
“The Mass, the celebration of the Mass, was what the priests saw as direct doors to the supersensible. That is why they gradually desisted from looking up to revelations of the divine spirit through the starry heavens and all those wonderful prophecies that had remained in what I termed astrosophy — as distinct from astronomy and astrology — this morning.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND THE WORK OF THE PRIEST (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 184. "This morning" refers to the following passage.*
“[O]ne has had to invent leap years, intercalary months, all kinds of things. Such things have always had to be used for the fixing of time. What is offered by a well-developed astronomy that has deepened into astrology and astrosophy (for one can think of it in that way) is all destroyed for immediate use by meteorology. This latter has not attained the rank of a rational science; it is more or less permeated by vision, and will be, more and more. It takes an entirely different path; it consists of what is left over by the other sciences. Modern astronomy itself lives only in names; it is really nothing more than a system for giving names to stars. That is why even Serenissimus came to the end of his knowledge when newly found stars had to have names. He would visit the observatories in his country and let them show him various stars through the telescope, then after seeing everything he would say, “Yes, I know all that — but how you know what that star's name is, that very distant star, that's what I don't understand.” Yes, of course it's obvious, the standpoint you've adopted at this moment when you laugh at Serenissimus. But there's another standpoint: one could laugh at the astronomers. I'd rather you'd laugh at the astronomers, because there's something very strange going on in the world as it evolves.
“If you want to inquire into the old way of naming things, Saturn and so forth, you should think back to our speech course, and recall that in olden times names were given from the feeling the astrologers and astrosophers had for the sound of some particular star. All the old star names were God-given, spirit-given. The stars were asked what their names were, because the tone of the star was always perceived and its name was then given accordingly. Now, indeed, you come to a certain boundary line in the development of astrosophy and astrology. Earlier they had to get the names from heaven. When you come to more recent times when the great discoveries were made, for instance, of the “little fellows” (Sternwichten), then everything is mixed up. One is called Andromeda, another has another Greek name. Everything is mixed up in high-handed fashion. One can't think that Neptune and Uranus are as truly characterized by their names as Saturn was. Now there is only human arbitrariness. And Serenissimus made one mistake. He believed the astronomers were carrying on their work similarly to the ancient astrosophers. But this was not so. They possessed only a narrow human knowledge, while the knowledge of the astrosophers of olden times, and astrologers of still older times, came directly out of humanity's intercourse with the gods. However, if today one would return from astronomy to astrology or astrosophy, and thereby have a macrocosm to live in that is rational throughout, then one would reach Sophia. Then one would find too that within this rationality and Sophia-wisdom meteoronomy, meteorology, and meteorosophy are the things that “don't come out right” by our human calculation, and one can only question them at their pleasure! That's another variety of Lady! In ordinary everyday life, one calls a lady capricious. And the meteorological Lady is capricious all the way from rain showers to comets. But as one gradually advances from meteorology to meteorosophy one discovers the finer attributes of this world queen, attributes that do not come merely from caprice or cosmic emotion, but from the Lady's warm heart. But nothing will be accomplished unless in contrast to all the arithmetic, all the thinking, all that can be calculated rationally one acquires a direct acquaintance with the beings of the cosmos and learns to know them as they are. They are there; they do show themselves — shyly perhaps at first, for they are not obtrusive. With calculations one can go further and further, but then one is getting further and further away from the true nature of the world. For one is only reaching deeds from the past.
“If one advances from ordinary calculation to the calculating of rhythms as it was in astrology for the harmony of the spheres, one goes on from the calculating of rhythms to a view of the organization of the world in numbers, as we find them in astrosophy. On the other hand one finds that the ruling world beings are rather shy. They do not appear at once. First they only present a kind of Akasha photography, and one is not sure of its source. One has the whole world to look at, but only in photographs displayed in various parts of the cosmic ether. And one does not know where they come from.” — Rudolf Steiner, PASTORAL MEDICINE (Anthroposophic Press, 1987), lecture 10, GA 318.
“You remember the description in a chapter of my OCCULT SCIENCE: the dualism recognizing on the one hand Ahura Mazdao, the great Spirit of Light, who sends his impulses into the evolution of mankind ... On the other hand there was the Ahrimanic opposing power, bearing into the world-evolution of mankind all that is dark, and not only dark but all that is evil, all that hinders and creates disharmony.
"This teaching was bound up with the deep and impressive knowledge of the constellation of the stars in the sense of the astrology or astrosophy of ancient times.” — Rudolf Steiner, KARMIC RELATIONSHIPS, Vol. 4 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1983), p. 128.
Books, lectures, readings, etc., associated with Anthroposophy and astrosophy are available through such sources as Star Wisdom - Astrosophy [http://www.starwisdom.org/].
Sample Anthroposophical art,
by Monica Gold.
* “Whilst criticizing the superficial nature of much astrology...he himself made use of horoscopes as we can see in the case of the ‘special needs’ children.” — Margaret Jonas, introduction to ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY, pp. 2-3.
— Compiled by Roger Rawlings
To visit other pages in the sections of Waldorf Watch
that include "Astrosophy", use the underlined links, below.