P - Q - R

DICTIONARY







[A - D]     [E - I]     [J - O]     [P - R]     [S]     [T - Z]






Terms to be defined are shown in bold typeDefinitions excerpted from the SteinerBooks dictionaries are placed within quotations marks. Anything I have added is placed within brackets. Definitions quoted from THE STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PSYCHIC, MYSTIC, OCCULT, published in 1973, are marked "73". Definitions quoted from THE NEW STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PARANORMAL, published in 1980, are marked "80".






- P -



P   "For the Cabalists the letter P symbolized the Messiah...whose name was Podeh."  80 p. 214


[pagan   Religious beliefs outside the mainstream; not adhering to one of the major recognized religions. Anthroposophy mixes doctrines from many traditions, including pagan belief systems. Overall, because it diverges from the major religions, Anthroposophy may be termed a pagan creed.]


Paigoels   "In India and Hindustan, these are devils."  80 p. 214


[painting   Waldorf schools often stress particular types of painting that are thought to have spiritual powers.] 


Pairikas   "(Zoroastrianism)  Evil female beings whose entrancing beauty seduces men and drives them to commit degrading deeds."  80 p. 214


[Palm Sunday   The Sunday before Easter; often celebrated in Waldorf communities as a springtime festival having both pagan and Christian elements.]


palmistry   "Divination by means of the lines and configurations of the hands."  73 p. 152


[panorama   According to Anthroposophic belief: a detailed review of one's life, occurring immediately after death.] 


pantheism   "The feeling that God is all and all is God, that God is immanent in all things...."  73 p. 153


[Para-Nirvana Plane   A term Steiner used in his Theosophical period: the realm of fluid beings, above the Nirvana Plane (the realm of gaseous beings).] 


ParaBrahm   "(Hinduism) The source of all creation, being God without form...."  80 p. 215


Paraclete   "[T]he Holy Ghost...."   80 p. 216


[Paradise Play   A play often performed by Waldorf faculty or students, depicting mankind's expulsion from Eden.] 


[paradox    An apparently logical proposition that leads to absurd results, or an apparently absurd proposition that appears to be true. In esotericism and mysticism, paradoxes are often taken as expressing profound spiritual realities.] 


paraesthesia   "Abnormal prickling or tingling sensations. Mediums are often able to identify a particular control by such physical sensations...."  73 p. 154


parakinesis   "The movement of objects with contact insufficient by itself to explain the motion observed."  73 p. 154   [In parapsychology or spiritualism, parakinesis is the power to move objects with one's mind or spirit.]


Paramesthin   "(Hinduism)  One who stands at the highest place ... [G]ods and great men."  80 p. 216


paranormal   "Supernormal. Not within generally accepted experience of cause and effect."   73 p. 154   [That is, paranormal phenomena (clairvoyance, telekinesis, etc.) cannot be explained by ordinary science.]


parapsychology   "[T]he science for the study of [psychic] processes in the human or animal mind."  73 p. 154   [Parapsychology is generally defined as the study of mental phenomena that seem inexplicable. There is a debate over the existence of such phenomena and thus over the reality of parapsychology.]


[parents   Waldorf schools generally try to involve the students' parents, and may even require volunteer work, etc., from them. Seminars and other events may be offered in an attempt to lure parents toward Anthroposophy. On the other hand, parents are often viewed as outsiders whom the teachers try to supplant in the students' lives; much information about Anthroposophy and the purposes of Waldorf education may be withheld from parents.] 


parinirvana   "(Buddhism)  The bodily death which culminates in complete Nirvana."  80 p. 217


paroptic sense   "A faculty of seeing with the etheric body, without use of the [physical] eyes."  73 p. 154


[Parsifal, Parzival   Hero of medieval Grail epics; in Anthroposophy, he is considered an initiate. His story is often studied in Waldorf schools as an enactment of the search for occult knowledge.] 



A Waldorf teacher's guide [Floris Books, 2003].


passing   "Synonymous with 'dying' in Spiritualist terminology."  73 p. 154


path, the   "Theosophical teaching which refers both to the probationary learning and the learning which lifts one onto the Path."  80 p. 218   [In spiritual movements generally, "the path" is the way to salvation or holiness. According to Anthroposophy, one must choose between the white/good path and the black/evil path.]


[path of perdition   In Anthroposophy: the black path. Steiner said that if you take this path in sixteen incarnations, you fall out evolution, becoming subhuman.]


[pattern drawing - see form drawing]


[peach blossom   The color of human health, Steiner said. (It is the color of Caucasian skin, he said.)]


pearls   "The occult, medicinal qualities of pearls have been heralded since ancient times."  80 p. 218


[pedagogical law   Formulated by Steiner: use of a teacher's etheric, astral, or ego body to work upon a student's next-lower body — e.g., if a teacher wants to affect a student's etheric body, the teacher should work through her/his astral body.]


pentacle   "A magic symbol used in the occult and Black Magic...a five-pointed figure."  80 p. 218   [Actually, a pentacle is a circular or disc-shaped talisman that sometimes is inscribed with a pentagram.]


pentagram   "The five-pointed star...[that] represents the highest power of spirituality on earth."  80 p. 218-219   [In Anthroposophy, the pentagram is the symbol of man or, when inverted, black magic.]


[Pentateuch   The first five books of the Hebrew Bible, traditionally attributed to Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.]


[Pentecost   Whitsun, a Christian festival honoring the Holy Ghost. The festival is often observed in Waldorf schools, but consistent with Anthroposophical doctrine it is reformulated as a celebration of clairvoyance and the formative powers of human speech. (Such doctrines are often left unexplained.)] 


[Perceval - see Parsifal.]


percipient   "The receiver in telepathic communications."  73 p. 155


percussion   "A common feature of the physical seance, usually known as raps...."  80 p. 219   [That is, during a seance mysterious tapping sounds may be heart; they are believed to be communications from the spirit(s) contacted by the medium.]


[perdition   A state of punishment; in Christianity, said to be eternal. Although Anthroposophy is generally affirmative and hopeful, Steiner described various forms of perdition for evil or backward spirits. In some cases, a spirit may be cured by perdition and later promoted; in some cases, not.] 


[Perfected Astral Stage of Form   The fifth stage of form, recapitulating — at a higher level — the third stage of form, the astral stage. Having evolved higher than we were previously, we come to exist more perfectly on the astral plane.]


periapt   "A charm worn as protection against evil."  80 p. 219


[period   In Anthroposophy, often: a cultural epoch or age, a subdivision of a great epoch. However a briefer span — a subdivision of a cultural epoch — may also be meant.] 


[perispirit   In some esoteric teachings: an invisible spirit body existing in or near the physical body; sometimes identified as the double and/or the etheric body.]


[Persian Age   According to Steiner: the second cultural epoch of humanity's evolution on the physical Earth, when ancient Persian culture reached its peak.]


[person   In Anthroposophy: a human being having an "I". (Steiner taught that some people do not have "I's" and thus are not really human.)]


[perspective   In Waldorf education: when a child begins drawing pictures that contain perspective (accurate renditions of spatial depth), s/he is deemed to have reached a new spiritual stage; this is often associated with "crossing the Rubicon" — understanding oneself as existing separately from one's surroundings. This stage usually occurs around age 9 or 10.]


phallic food   "Food has always been associated with the potency of the sexual organs ... [Also] food eaten for religious, ritual, and ceremonial purposes."  80 p. 220


phallism   "Religious, magical, and occult veneration of the male sex organs...."  80 p. 220


phantasm   "A fanciful image possessing no reality."  73 p. 156


phantasmata   "Occult term for 'thought forms' capable of communication."  73 p. 157


[phantasmagoria   Images, usually false or unreal, as seen in a dream.] 


phantom   "An apparition or ghostly figure; the evidence for this is overwhelming."  73 p. 157   [Steiner said that a phantom is a nature spirit created by lying or slander; also, in another sense, a phantom is the spiritual texture or pattern of one's physical body.]


[phenomena   In Anthroposophy, generally: things on the merely physical plane of existence.] 


[phenomenalism   One of 12 world conceptions enumerated by Steiner: concentration on the world of physical phenomena.] 


philosopher's stone   "Believed to be the chemical that turned base metal into silver or gold [i.e., alchemy] ... Eventually, the Philosopher's Stone took on a wider range of powers, being considered not only the secret of life and health, but also possessing a spiritual significance."  80 p. 221   [Steiner said that the philosopher's stone is the power men will develop to transform the physical body into a higher, purer vessel. More broadly, it is the power of human self-transformation and spiritual advancement, he taught.]

[philosophy   Study of the fundamental nature of existence, knowledge, and reality. Steiner set out to be a philosopher, and his followers sometimes speak of his work as philosophical; but once Steiner became an occultist, his work as a rational philosopher essentially ended. His work thereafter was mystical or, according to critics, fantastical.] 


[PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM, THE   A philosophical treatise written by Steiner before he pronounced himself an occultist. He later revised the book, attempting to make it seem consistent with his occult teachings.]



A German edition of THE PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM.


[phlegmatic   In Anthroposophy, drawing from ancient teachings: one of the four temperaments: unemotional, stolid, self-contained but mentally diffuse.] 


phone-voyance   "Clairvoyant faculty akin to 'psychic television' over the public telephone system."  73 p. 158   [Unfortunately, "psychic television" is not defined in THE STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PSYCHIC, MYSTIC, OCCULT.]


phrenology   "[S]tudy of the shape and contours of the human head...[revealing] mental faculties and potentialities."  80 p. 222    [Steiner employed phrenology on some occasions. Science debunked phrenology some time ago.]


[physical body   According to Steiner: the lowliest of our four bodies, the one existing on the physical plane.] 


physical medium   "One whose ability to produce ectoplasm...[makes her or him] able to specialize in the production of physical phenomena."  73 p. 159


[physical nature   According to Steiner: the lowest division of body nature, which itself is the lowest of our natures: the portion of ourselves that exists on the physical plane.]


[physical plane   The level of existence consisting of material or physical phenomena.]


[physical sciences   Sciences that study inanimate physical phenomena, such as chemistry and physics. Cf. life sciences.]


[physical seance   A seance conducted by a physical medium — a seance in which physical manifestations are sought or produced.]


[Physical Stage of Form   In Anthroposophy: the fourth of seven stages of form, the stage in which we currently exist; it was preceded by the Astral Stage of Form and will be succeeded by the Perfected Astral Stage of Form.]


[physical world   In Anthroposophy: the lowest of the three primary worlds, below the soul and spirit worlds.]


[physics   The science of matter and energy, the basic components of physical reality. Because it concentrates on physical phenomena, physics is viewed askance by Anthroposophists, who consider their own system to be "spiritual science" yielding knowledge of worlds higher than the physical universe.] 


[pictorial activity   Steiner said that thinking entails the development of mental pictures: "imaginations" or — at the highest level — clairvoyant images.] 


[piety   Reverence or religiosity. Although he denied that Anthroposophy is a religion, Steiner said it requires piety. He also said that Vulcan consciousness will be a form of perfected piety.] 


[pineal gland   An endocrine gland in the brain. According to Steiner, it was an important sense organ during Old Moon. It is now withered, but the form of the beings who will exist during Future Jupiter will be determined by our use of this gland.]


pink   "As an auric colour, is associated with affection."  73 p. 159


Pisces   "Astrological sign (February 20-March 21) ... Qualities — ...lofty ideals, an attractive personality, psychic and occult gifts ... But they...can be drifters, completely impractical, and famous worriers...."  80 p. 223


[Pitris   Forerunners of humanity, who reached the human stage before us; they have subsequently evolved still higher. Steiner spoke of Lunar Pitris, who now stand at the level of Angels, and Solar Pitris, who are now at the level of Archangels.]


planchette   "A small handrest of castors [sic], in which a pencil is set ... If a suitable medium places his hand on the apparatus, it may write or draw."  80 p. 223 


planes   "See spheres."  73 p. 160   [In esotericism generally, the terms "plane," "realm", "sphere," and "world" refer to levels of existence, consciousness, or spiritual attainment. Subtle or, sometimes, significant distinctions can be drawn between them, but these terms are often used interchangeably. Theosophy recognizes the possibility of an infinite number of planes, including seven within the solar system. Steiner endorsed the ancient concept of seven "spheres" within the solar system.]


[Planet of Death   In Theosophy: a condition or planetary sphere to which wrongdoers are consigned; the "Eighth Sphere." In Anthroposophy, existence of the Eighth Sphere is affirmed; Steiner also foretold a future "irreclaimable moon." In addition, Saturn is sometimes called the Planet of Death, because Steiner said it is the outermost planet of the solar system, beyond which lies dissolution.] 


[Planet of Love   In Anthroposophy: Present Earth; we are evolving toward perfected love in our current condition of consciousness. The Planet of Love is also sometimes called the Cosmos of Love.]


[Planet of Wisdom   In Anthroposophy: Old Moon, our previous condition of consciousness, when we looked to the gods for wisdom. The Planet of Wisdom is also called the Cosmos of Wisdom.]


planetary ages of man   "In ancient astrology, the planets determined the powers influencing each age of man ... [T]he Moon, governing growth, dominated the first four years; Mercury governing education — the period from five to fourteen; Venus, emotion, fifteen to twenty-two; the Sun, virility, twenty-three to forty-two; Mars, ambition, forty-three to fifty-seven; Jupiter, reflection, fifty-eight top sixty-nine; Saturn, resignation, seventy to ninety-nine."  80 p. 224  


[planetary conditions   According to Steiner, drawing from Theosophy: the major stages of our evolution, some lying behind us and some lying ahead. Also called conditions of consciousness and/or planetary epochs, they bear the names of "planets": Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth, Venus, Jupiter, and Vulcan. To differentiate these evolutionary stages from physical planets, the terms "Old," "Present", and "Future" are sometimes added: Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, Present Earth, Future Jupiter, Future Venus, and Future Vulcan. The entire solar system reincarnates, in a new form, during each planetary condition. We currently live in the Present Earth phase of evolution, on the physical planet Earth as it is currently incarnated, Steiner said.]


 1. Old Saturn                              7. Future Vulcan 

 2. Old Sun                      6. Future Venus 

 3. Old Moon       5. Future Jupiter 

 4. Present Earth 


Having descended to Present Earth, we will evolve upward toward Future Vulcan, Steiner said.


[planetary epochs - see planetary conditions]


[planetary gods   Presiding spirits of the planets. In Anthroposophy, these are taken to be real beings. Thus, for instance, Steiner taught that the spirit often seen as God the Father is actually the ruling god of Saturn, while the spirit often seen as Christ is actually the Sun God. Steiner likewise located Jehovah on the Moon, Lucifer on Venus, and so forth.]


[planetary humans   In various Anthroposophical texts: human beings living on other planets, or descended from people who lived on other planets, or who lived during various "planetary conditions," or who have particular spiritual ties to various planets, or who embody particular planetary types.]


planetary information   "There have been several alleged communications regarding life on other planets...all of which must remain speculative."  73 p. 160   [Steiner spoke of life on various physical planets, stars, and planetoids, as well as life during various planetary conditions.]


[planetary migrations   Humans have left the Earth for other planets and returned — or so Steiner said. A major migration occurred during the Lemurian Age, when Earth became too hardened for most humans to bear. The migrants generally returned to Earth during the Atlantean Age.]


[planetary organs   According to Steiner: incorporeal organs that we develop after death as we rise through planetary spheres, particularly the spheres of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.]


[planetary regents   In esotericism: the resident spirits or gods of various planets.]  


[planetary seals   Occult representations of the planets, such as the ones designed by Rudolf Steiner.]


[planetary souls   In Anthroposophy: the souls we develop as we reside in various planetary spheres. If, in sleep or death, you spend more time in a particular planetary sphere, your soul is primarily conditioned by that sphere. See "planetary types".]


[planetary spheres   In Steiner's teachings: concentric regions of spiritual existence defined by the orbits of planets (when he acknowledged that the planets do orbit the Sun, something he often denied). A planet orbiting far from the Sun has a larger sphere than a planet orbiting near the Sun; the smaller sphere is enclosed within the larger sphere.]


[planetary spirits   Gods or spirits involved with various planets, especially those who preside on those planets. Also see "planetary gods".]


[planetary stages  - See planetary conditions.]


[planetary types   In Anthroposophy: soul types; imprints left on souls by passage through the planetary spheres after death. One's main "type" is produced by the planetary sphere where one stayed longest. See "planetary souls".]   


[planets   Steiner sometimes spoke of the actual planets in the solar system: places in space (Mercury, Venus, etc.). He sometimes said they orbit the Sun; sometimes he denied it. He also spoke of "planetary conditions" that bear planetary names. These are not places in space but periods of time or duration (Old Saturn, Old Sun, etc.) See "classical planets", "sacred planets", and "planetary conditions".]


[PLANS   People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools, an organization of volunteers opposing governmental financing or support for Waldorf schools.]


[plant kingdom   In Anthroposophy, drawing from ancient teachings: the kingdom of nature standing between the mineral kingdom and the animal kingdom; the realm of vegetation.]


[Plant Kingdom Condition of Life   In Anthroposophy: the fifth of seven conditions of life: the condition we will evolve to after completing our current existence in the Mineral Kingdom Condition of Life.]


[plant man   According to Steiner: man as he was "on the Sun" — i.e., during Old Sun.]


[plants   Members of the second kingdom of nature, above minerals and below animals. They have both physical and etheric bodies, or so Steiner said.]


[Plato   Ancient Greek philosopher highly regarded in Anthroposophy. Plato taught that physical phenomena are only shadows of their truer, ideal originals that exist in a higher realm. Plato also originated the myth of Atlantis, taken as true in Anthroposophy.]


[Platonism   Philosophical school having at its core the proposition that abstractions such as numbers and geometric forms have an objective existence apart from, and superior to, their reflections in the real world. Influential in the Waldorf community.]


[play at Waldorf schools   Emphasized in the lower grades, to stimulate imagination and to postpone harmful intellectual development.]


pleroma   "A name formerly used for the totality of the heavenly gods."  80 p. 224


[pluralism   A conditionsystem, or philosophy recognizing more than one source, member, or authority. Steiner argued that the universe arises from the actions of multiple spirits; reality is pluralistic or polytheistic.]


Pluto   "In astrology, this last planet to be discovered represents man's urge to develop and make flourish his culture and institutions."  80 p. 225    [Pluto was discovered five years after Steiner's death. Considered the ninth and most distant planet for decades, Pluto was later demoted to the category of dwarf planet. Steiner taught that Saturn is the outermost planet in the solar system.]


[pneumatism   One of 12 justified world conceptions, according to Steiner — he said it is acceptance of a doctrine of spirit, but in a somewhat vague form.]


pneumatographers   "Mediums for the production of direct writing [i.e., writing directed from beyond]."  73 p. 161


[Podeh   In Jewish liturgy, a name that may apply to God or to a human redeemer.]


point of love   "In astrology, Venus' position in a solar chart...."  80 p. 225


[Polaria   A mythical lost continent in polar regions, or — in Anthroposophy — the first condition of the Present Earth stage of evolution.]


[Polarian Epoch   The first great epoch, i.e. the first stage of Present Earth existence, according to Steiner.]


poltergeist   "A mischievous agency or entity who makes noises, throws objects about, causes fires and breaks domestic crockery."  73 p. 161


polyglot invocation   "In demonology, a potent spell that calls upon Hebrew, Greek, and Syrian gods...."  80 p. 225


polytheism   "The worship of many gods."  80 p. 225   [Anthroposophy is polytheistic.]


pontica   "A stone with lurid blood markings which the possessor uses to force demons to reply to his questions."  80 p. 225


[PORTAL OF INITIATION, THE    The first of Rudolf Steiner's four mystery plays; written in 1910.]


possession   "Temporary surrender of a subject's organism to the control of another spirit, usually discarnate...."  73 p. 162


[Post-Atlantean Epoch   In Anthroposophy: the period of Earth evolution following the destruction of Atlantis; in general, the present.]


postmortem messages   "Instances where a deceased person communicates the contents of a sealed letter written prior to death for the express purpose of proving survival."  80 p. 226   [Steiner claimed to receive postmortem messages from a German military chief of staff.]  


[Powers   In Christian esotericism: angels of the sixth rank. In Anthroposophy: Spirits of Form; gods four levels above mankind. As such, they rank among the lowest gods of the Second Hierarchy, and they are centered in the Sun.]


prajna   "(Buddhism)  Transcendental wisdom, the divine intuition...."  80 p. 227


[pralaya   In Theosophical and Anthroposophical teachings, derived from Hinduism: an intermission between evolutionary stages, or — more generally — a period of rest.]


prãna   "A subtle form of energy permeating the universe, but manifesting in a special form in the human organism."  73 p. 163   [In Theosophy, prãna is breath, the breathing spirit, the breath of life, or life itself. In Anthroposophy, prãna is life ether.]


Pranasophie   "A recreation [sic] of the old German adherence to Teutonic superiority...infused with occult theosophy and the esoteric mystical theosophy of Odinism [i.e., worship of Odin]."  80 p. 227


pranayama   "The fourth stage of Yoga. The science of breathing."  73 p. 163


pratya hara   "The fifth stage of Yoga. Withdrawal of attention from objects."  73 p. 163


prayer   "A mental attitude of reaching our to absorb greater awareness of spirituality."  73 p. 163   [More commonly, prayer is defined as a request or an expression of praise directed to one or more gods. Waldorf students and teachers commonly recite prayers — disguised as "morning verses" — written by Rudolf Steiner.]


preanimism   "The first feeling of fear, of awe, of wonder instigated by supernatural events."  80 p. 227


precious stones   "The occult qualities of precious stones...stress their direct power on the owner and wearer."  80 p. 228


[precognition   The ability to foresee the future. Steiner claimed to possess it.] 


[pre-earthly life   In Anthroposophy: life in the spirit world between earthly incarnations, and/or life during earlier stages of evolution (Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon).


preexistence   "The belief that we have had a previous life before our earthly birth...."  80 p. 228


premonition   "Prediction where details are nor precisely outlined. The lowest degree of prophecy."  80 p. 228


[preparations   In biodynamic agriculture: organic substances — especially those prescribed by Steiner — applied to fields.] 


[preschool   In education: programs for very young children, before the beginning of regular schooling. Many Waldorf schools offer preschool programs, but usually they give little or no academic preparation for elementary education. There are also Waldorf-inspired preschool programs operated outside Waldorf schools, and these generally have the same limitations.] 


[the present   In Anthroposophy generally: shorthand for the fifth cultural epoch, the Anglo-Germanic age — the age in which we currently live. It will end in 3573 AD and be followed by the Russian Age, Steiner indicated.]


[Present Earth   According to Anthroposophy: the current incarnation of the solar system. It was preceded by Old Moon and will be followed by Future Jupiter. (Within Present Earth, now, we live on the planet Earth as it is currently formed.)] 


presentiment   "The prediction of vague future events of a personal nature only."  80 p. 229   [The prediction or vision may be vague. but the events themselves presumably are not.]


prevision   "Presentiment in visual form."  80 p. 229


[priestly office   Working in the capacity of priests. Waldorf teachers often consider themselves to be, in effect, priests.] 


[Primal Semites   The fifth sub-race that, according to occult teachings, arose on Atlantis.]


 1. Rmoahals                                                           7. Mongols 
 2. Tlavatlis                                         6. Akkadians 
 3. Toltecs                  5. Primal Semites 
 4. Primal Turanians ......

In Theosophy and Anthroposophy: sub-races of Atlantis.


[Primal Turanians   The fourth sub-race that, according to occult teachings, arose on Atlantis.]


[primal wisdom   In Anthroposophy generally: the Godhead; also innate human spiritual wisdom.]


[Primeval Beginnings   Gods three levels above mankind, according to Steiner. They rank among the highest gods of the Third Hierarchy, helping to lay the foundations for evolving human civilizations. They make their home in the sphere of Venus.]


[primeval clairvoyance   According to Steiner, ancient people had innate clairvoyant powers that modern humans have largely lost. Also see "natural clairvoyance".] 


[Primeval Forces - see Primeval Beginnings.] 


[primeval teachers   Superhuman guides for humanity during Old Moon; they are on the Moon now, Steiner taught.]


primum mobile   "[T]he outermost sphere — the tenth, which carried all the fixed stars in its daily motion."  80 p. 229   [This harkens to the Ptolemaic conception of the solar system, in which the stationary Earth was the center of a system of celestial spheres.]


[Principalities   In Christian tradition: angels of the fifth rank. In Anthroposophy: gods three levels above mankind. Ranking among the highest gods of the Third Hierarchy, they help guide the evolution of human civilizations. They make their home in the sphere of Venus.]


principles of man   "According to long occult tradition, the seven principles of man constitute the seven principles of the cosmos ... [They are the] divine, spiritual, psychic, egoic, astral, etheric, physical."  80 pp. 229-230   [Steiner largely accepted these principles, although adding his own twists. He variously said that we have nine, seven, four, or three essential constituents.]


prize   "In dream interpretation...to dream of winning a lottery was a certain sign of poverty and misery."  80 p. 230


[probation   In occultism: testing period for a candidate for initiation.]


prodigies   "Infants who exhibit mature powers of technical or artistic perfection."  80 p. 230


progression   "The pathway of each spirit through the many phases or spheres of experience...."  73 p. 166


[progressive education   Forms of education using new, forward-looking techniques. Waldorf education is sometimes mistakenly dubbed progressive. While being undeniably a form of alternative education, Waldorf employs generally old-fashioned — non-progressive — educational approaches.] 


prolologoi   "[T]he seven primal forces that developed into archangels."  80 p. 231   [The Archangels recognized in Anthroposophy, drawing from Judeo-Christian esotericism, are Anael, Gabriel, Michael, Oriphiel (or Uriel), Raphael, Samuel, and Zachariel. Steiner said that Archangels are gods two levels higher than humanity.]


promittor   "In astrology, that which 'promises'...."  80 p. 231


prophecy   "In the occult [sic] the power of true prophecy belongs only to those psychically attuned to the Akashic or Astral records."  80 p. 231


prophet   "One who declares [sic], who is a messenger of God, foreteller of the future, and, finally, an interpreter of God's will."  80 p. 231


prostitution, sacred   "Prostitutes in the role of beneficent agents are and have been since ancient times a part of many religions."  80 p. 231


[proto-humans   In Anthroposophic belief: stages of human development before we became truly human by attaining "I's".] 


[prototype for humanity   In Anthroposophic belief: Christ the Sun God, who assumed human form and gave us the model for correct human conduct and consciousness.]


Psalmomancy   "Divination by the use of the Psalms...."  80 p. 232


[pseudepigrapha   Pseudonymous or spurious writings, particularly spurious Hebrew writings ascribed to various ancient figures but composed near to the time of the birth of Jesus.]


psi   "Processes and factors in human personality or in nature, which appear to transcend or deny the accepted limiting principles of science...."  73 p. 168   [More generally, the term "psi" is applied to purported psychic phenomena or powers.]


psychagogue   "[A] necromancer who raises the spirits of the dead."  80 p. 232


psychic   "Non-physical ... Descriptive of supernormal phenomena."  73 p. 168   [More generally, the term "psychic" is applied the soul or mind, and especially to apparently inexplicable soul or mind phenomena or powers such as clairvoyance.]


[psychic consciousness   Generally, the awareness made possible through the use of psychic powers.] 


psychic photography   "Although highly publicized in the early years of this century, psychic photography has suffered a huge decline...."  80 p. 233   ["Psychic photography" is the production of photographs purporting to record psychic or spiritual events or beings; sometimes the pictures are said to be made without use of a camera. They have been debunked.]

 

psychic power   "A general term descriptive of the various forces employed in the exercise of psychic or mediumistic faculties."  80 p. 226   [In Anthroposophy, the true psychic power is disciplined or "exact" clairvoyance.]


psychic rods   "Rod and levers built from ectoplasm...for the purpose of moving or holding objects...."  73 p. 169


psychic science   "A system of knowledge which states: 1. That at death man continues to function as a conscious being. 2. That he functions after death in a refined spirit-body .... 3. That this soul...is organic, having brain, nerves, [etc.]... 4. That the soul can communicate...with persons on earth... [etc.]   73 p. 169


[psychism   One of 12 justified world conceptions, Steiner said — the view that ideas exist as spiritual realities rather than simply as abstractions.] 


psycho-energetics   "[T]he discipline that studies the reaction of material objects to psychic energy."  80 p. 235


psychokinesis   "[A]lleged direct influence exerted on a physical system by a person without the use of any known physical instruments...[or] physical energy."  73 p. 171   [More correctly, the purported ability to move objects by mental power.]


[psychometrics   The science of measuring mental abilities and processes.] 


psychometry   "A faculty...whereby an object when held by a sensitive person, produces a community of sensation conveying the nature and history of the object."  73 p. 171   [More correctly, the purported ability to learn about events or beings by touching objects associated with them.]


psychophobia   "A dread of destiny and...what is not seen."  80 p. 235


psychoplasm   "[E]ctoplasm."  73 p. 172   [A distinction is sometimes drawn, with psychoplasm said to be a primordial, etheric substance that underlies both psychic and physical phenomena, whereas ectoplasm is generally described as a mysterious, generally viscous substance produced by mediums.]


psyclode   "[E]ctoplasm...."  73 p. 171


psylli   "[P]ersons who were believed able to charm snakes."  80 p. 236


[pure thinking   In Anthroposophy, generally: active thought, directed by the will and/or "I"; as opposed to passive receptivity.]


[purgatory   In some religious traditions: a region one enters after death in order to expiate sins before entering the true spirit realm. In Theosophy and in Steiner's teachings, it is called Kamaloka and, sometimes, is identified with the soul world (which Steiner said is below the spirit world).]


purification   "[I]ndividuals or groups cleanse themselves of sin, or make an effort to propitiate the spirits or the gods...."  80 p. 236


[Purification   In Anthroposophy: the fifth of seven Regions of Soul, a period of soul evolution attainable only after karma and the physical body have been set aside, a period of preparation for receipt of the soul forces released by the opening of the Apocalyptic seals. Leo will preside.]


Purusha   "(Hinduism)  The original eternal man...."  80 p. 237


pyramid   "In occultism, it represents Cosmic Man descending from heaven...."  80 p. 237


pyramidology   "An occult system of prophecy based on various proportions and measurements of the Great Pyramid."  73 p. 173


pyromancy   "Divination by the observation of fire."  80 p. 237






- Q -



Qu'ran   "The sacred writing of Islam."  73 p. 174


Quabala   "See Cabala."  73 p. 173   [Cabala (or Caballa, Kaballah, Qabalah) is the Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible.]


quadrant   "In astrology, one quarter of the twelve houses of the Zodiac's circle."  80 p. 238


quaternity   "Those concepts in the theories of Theosophy, Anthroposophy, and Eastern doctrine which perceive man as a union of four basic components...physical body, etheric or life body, astral or soul body, and 'I' the egoic [sic]."  80 p. 238


[querent   A seeker, inquirer, or plaintiff.]


Quetzalcoatl   "[The Mexican/Aztec] god of good, of light, of peace, of the arts and crafts...."  80 p. 239


quevent   "In horary astrology[,] the person who asks questions of the astrologer."  80 p. 239


quinary   "The mystical arrangements of five elements, which could be five colors, five planets, or five occult innovations."  80 p. 239


quintessence   "[T]he fifth element...the celestial ether or astral light that fills the universal space ... [I]t is believed to contain the total secrets of ESP and the complete domain of the occult."  80 p. 240






- R -



Ra   "In ancient Egyptian mythology, the creator of the world and of men; the world's soul, the god of the sun."  80 p. 240   [In Anthroposophy, Ra is the Sun God, Christ, as perceived by ancient Egyptian initiates.] 



Ra: the ancient Egyptian comprehension of Christ, Steiner said.


Rabdos   "The demon who symbolizes the most potent object of magical power, the wand."  80 p. 240


[race   In Anthroposophy, races embody levels of human development; we evolve upward through the racial forms, Steiner taught. The black race is the lowest and most childlike, he said, the yellow race is adolescent, the white race is the highest and most mature, the red race is senescent. Steiner said that in the future we will evolve beyond racial forms as we now know them, although there will continue to be "races" — particularly the "good race" and the "evil race" — far into the future.]


[race soul   In Anthroposophy: the group soul of a race.]


[Race Spirit  In Anthroposophy, one of the five gods — abnormal Spirits of Form — that confer distinguishing characteristics to the five major human races.]


[race war   Steiner forecast a war between human races — a war that he said is historically necessary — at the end of our present cultural epoch.]


[racial missions   According to Anthroposophy: purposes, tasks, or goals assigned to human races by the gods.]


[racism   Belief that some races are inferior to, or lower than, others; or, conversely, the belief that some races (usually including one's own race) are superior to, or higher than, others.]


[Radiating Flames   In Anthroposophy: gods seven levels above humanity. They stand among the lowest gods of the august First Hierarchy. Dwelling in the outmost precincts of the solar system, they help supply the planets and their spheres with the materials needed for proper evolution.]


[Radiating Lives - see Radiating Flames.]


radical   "In astrology, the horoscope at the moment of birth, called the radix or radical map."  80 p. 240


[radical subjectivity   The inward focus, with reliance on one's feelings and intuitions, promoted by Waldorf schooling.]


[Radiesthesia   Dowsing for prized substances, especially water.]


[radix - see radical.]


Ragnarök   "In the ancient mythology of Scandinavia this is the world's ultimate destiny, being the event which is the twilight of the world."  80 p. 241   [Ragnarök is the ultimate battle between the gods and giants in which all are destroyed and the world ends. However, a new world is later born.]


Rahab   "(Judaism)  The Archangel who is the Prince of the Sea...."  80 p. 241


Rahamin   "(Cabalism)  Represents the sixth of the ten sepiroth [sic], meaning 'the compassion of God.'"  80 p. 241


Rahu   "(Hinduism)  The greatly feared demon snake who is believed to have almost swallowed the sun...."  80 p. 241


rainbow   "[D]eemed a bridge between heaven and earth, particularly in Norse mythology...."  80 p. 241   [In the Bible, the rainbow is the sign of God's covenant with Noah following the Flood. In Anthroposophical belief, the Flood caused the destruction of Atlantis, after which Earth's atmosphere changed sufficiently to make rainbows possible.]


raja-yoga   "The Yoga pathway of philosophy."   73 p. 174


Rama   "[T]he seventh incarnation of Vishnu."  80 p. 241   [In Hinduism, Rama is the the ideal man, and — for some sects — the supreme god.]


ramganny   "A dancing girl who exercises her talents in some Hindu temples to excite desire...."  80 p. 241


rap   "Sound produced during physical mediumship."  80 p. 241   [During seances, mysterious sounds such as raps or tappings are said to be communications from the spirits that have been contacted.]


Raphael   "One of the ten Archangels ... [T]he Prince of Healing...."  80 p. 242   [Varying spiritual traditions cite varying numbers of Archangels — some speak of seven, some ten, etc. In Anthroposophy, Raphael is the Archangel of Mercury.]


rapport   "An intimate community of sensation, such as exists between...control and medium...."  80 p. 242


Rashnu   "(Zoroastrianism)  One of the three judges who weigh the souls of the dead...."  80 p. 242


Rati   "The Venus of the Hindus...."  80 p. 242


[rational soul   In Anthroposophy: the mind soul or intellectual soul. Incarnating at about age 35, it contemplates the impressions gathered at a lower soul level.] 


[rationalism   According to Steiner: one of the 12 justified world conceptions — perceiving the world through externally verified knowledge.]


[Reader   In Anthroposophy: an appointee who reads Steiner texts aloud at Anthroposophical meetings.]


[reading   Waldorf schools generally delay instruction in reading until approximately age 7, when (according to Anthroposophy) the loss of baby teeth signals the incarnation of the etheric body.]


[realism   One of the 12 justified world conceptions as enumerated by Steiner — limiting one's perceptions to what one can apprehend with the ordinary senses.]


[reality   The universe as it actually is. The essential question about Anthroposophy and Waldorf education is whether they are in touch with reality.]


[realm   A region of existence. In esoteric teachings, subtle yet significant distinctions can be drawn between the terms "kingdom", "plane," "realm", "sphere," and "world", but often these terms are used interchangeably.]


[Realms of Spirit   a) In Anthroposophical belief: seven periods (Continental, Oceanic, Atmospheric, First Woe, Second Woe, Third Woe) during the seventh great epoch (Trumpets). Following evolutionary periods centered on the soul (Regions of Soul), these periods will center on the spirit, which Steiner said is higher than soul. b) Also in Anthroposophy, more generally: the higher worlds.]


[recapitulation   According to Anthroposophy, drawing from Theosophy, we evolve in an elaborate, cyclical pattern. As we progress, we frequently repeat or re-experience previous evolutionary stages, cycling back through them at new, higher levels.]


receptivity   "A mental condition necessary for mediumship. Only by quietude and the stilling of one's thoughts can the first faint beginnings of spirit communication be recognized."  73 p. 175


rectification   "In astrology that special skill which is used to correct the time of birth...."  80 p. 243


red   "As an auric color, red symbolizes passion and anger."  80 p. 243


red pigs   "[W]itches were believed to turn straw or hay into red pigs which they then sold ... [When the] pigs crossed running water they became transformed into the original straw and hay."  80 p. 243


["red race"   In Steiner's teachings, these are Native Americans. Steiner sometimes included the "red race" in his descriptions of modern human races, but he often indicated that Native Americans are either extinct or on the verge of extinction.]


[redemption   Being saved from error, evil, and sin. Christianity teaches that Christ is the world's redeemer. In Anthroposophical belief, Christ does not redeem us so much as point us in the direction of proper evolution and provide a new impetus for such evolution. Our ultimate fulfillment will come when we attain the highest possible levels of evolution, Steiner taught.]


refranation   "In astrology...the situation of two planets which are applying an aspect to each other."  80 p. 243


[Regions of Soul   In Anthroposophy: seven periods (Sense-Free Thinking, Moral Feeling, Sacrificial Will, End of Karma, Purification, Sealing or Ordeal, Silence) during the sixth great epoch (Seals). Following evolutionary periods centered on the mind, these periods will center on the soul. They will be followed by periods centered on the spirit (Realms of Spirit).]


reincarnation   "The theory that the soul can return to earth many times. A fundamental doctrine widely accepted...."  73 p. 176   [In Anthroposophy, reincarnation is a central mechanism enabling spiritual evolution.]


[religion   Belief in, and worship of, gods or God. Anthroposophy claims to be a science, not a religion, and Waldorf schools usually claim that they are not religious institutions. Both claims are incorrect.]


[religious education in Waldorf schools   As Rudolf Steiner said, all subjects at Waldorf schools are — or should be — suffused with religious elements.]


[remote viewing   The ability to see things, often at a great distance, without use of ordinary vision: clairvoyance or extrasensory perception.]


[Representative of Humanity, The   Monumental sculpture of Christ in the Goetheanum; Christ is depicted as humanity's prototype. Ahriman and Lucifer are also represented, and for this reason the sculpture is sometimes called The Group. The statue is usually described as Steiner's work, but most of the actual sculpting was done by sculptress Edith Maryon.]



The Representative of Humanity, or The Group [public domain photograph].


repulsion   "An inexplicable aversion to a person could be explained by the incompatibility of the respective auras."  80 p. 244


[responsive soul   The sentient soul, the first of our three soul members, according to Steiner; it forms feelings and concepts that it passes to higher soul members. It fully incarnates at about age 28.]


[Resurrection   In Christianity: Christ's return from death. In Anthroposophical doctrine, Christ's "resurrection" was really the renewal of the Earth and the new impetus for evolution provided by the Sun God.]


[resurrection body    According to Steiner: the phantom of Christ Jesus's physical body.]


retrocognition   "Knowledge of the past, supernormally acquired."  73 p. 178   [Steiner gave detailed descriptions of the distant past as well as the distant future, based on his profess clairvoyant abilities.]


retrograde   "In astrology, the apparent backward motion of a planet."   80 p. 244    [The term actually comes from astronomy. The apparent backward motion of an outer planet is caused when the Earth overtakes that planet.]


retroversion   "The procedure during satanic rites of reciting backward prayers."  80 p. 244   [Steiner was no Satanist, but one version of the Lord's Prayer he used begins with "Amen" and works backward through the prayer. Other backward processes and rites found in Anthroposophy are detailed in the book REVERSE RITUAL (Anthroposophic Press, 2001). Also see "review".]


[Return of Christ in the Etheric   In Anthroposophy, this is Second Coming of Christ, which has already occurred (around 1930 CE) — Christ "returned" not to the physical Earth but to the etheric realm encompassing the Earth. In essence, the "return" meant that Christ became knowable, specifically through Anthroposophy. The Second Coming was, essentially, the culmination of the emergence of Anthroposophy.]


revelation   "A sudden withdrawing of the veil between the physical and spiritual spheres."  73 p. 178


[Revelations   In Anthroposophy: gods at the lowest level of the Second Hierarchy, four levels above mankind. Dwelling in the sphere of the Sun, they help make manifest the intentions of higher gods in the unfolding pattern of human evolution and in the human form.]


reverence   "Fear, mingled with respect."  73 p. 178   [Reverence is needed for spiritual development, Steiner said. Waldorf schools try to instill it in children.]


[review   In Anthroposophical practice, "review" is a spiritual exercise in which the events of the day are recollected in reverse order. The effort involved is supposed to loosen the "I" from the physical body.]


rhabdomancy   "Water-divining, dowsing."  73 p. 179


[rhythm   In Anthroposophical belief, the universe, the planets, evolution, and human life manifest rhythms: outward and inward pulsings. Waldorf teachers try to structure each class, day, and set of classes in rhythmical patterns. The musical and harmonic effects of rhythm are supposed to benefit the astral body.]


[rhythmic-circulatory system   One of the three main physiological systems, Steiner said — it involves breathing and the circulation of bodily fluids, especially blood. In non-Anthroposophic medical science, the lungs and heart are deemed parts of different systems, but Steiner categorized them together.]


[rhythmtic man   The inner man that embodies the forces of the rhythmic-circulatory system, Steiner said. Rhythmic man (or chest man) mediates between head man and limb man.]


Ridiah   "The Archangel who is the Prince of Rain...."  80 p. 246


Rig-Veda   "Earliest Vedic book of sacred Indian literature...containing over a thousand hymns in archaic Sanskrit."  80 p. 246


right-hand path   "'The Path of Light,' which throughout esoteric writings opposes the 'Path of Darkness," the 'Left-Hand Path.'"  80 p. 247   [Steiner taught that indeed there are two spiritual paths, the "white" or "right-hand" path and the "black" or "left-hand" path.]


Rishi   "Hindu for inspired person or seer."  73 p. 180   [More accurately, a Rishi is a Hindu saint or sage.]


[rites   Solemn ceremonies or acts, often religious. Asused in Anthroposophy, rites are spiritual ceremonies meant to bring the spirit realm into Earthly life. Festivals and other activities at Waldorf schools are meant to serve as such rites.]


[Rmoahals   The first sub-race that, according to occult teachings, arose on Atlantis.]


[rock being   A mysterious elemental being or nature spirit, expressing cosmic humor, that hovers above the other figures in the statue The Representative of Humanity (also known as The Group).]


[Romanticism   Artistic/philosophical movement, originating in the late 18th century, stressing individualism, subjectivity, and inspiration. Anthroposophy has roots in Romanticism.]


Ronach   "(Cabalism)  The middle level of life which confronts the astral world."  80 p. 247


rooster   "Since ancient times a bird used...in augury and occult manifestations. Its crowing before midnight...was considered a certain omen of death...."  80 p. 247


[root children   Imaginary children of Mother Earth, dwelling in or around plants' roots; stories about them are often told in Waldorf schools.]


root races   "An esoteric supposition of successive ages of mankind's earthly progression, by the establishment on continental masses, of 'root races'. There are said to be seven: Polarian (Adamic), Hyperborean, Lemurian, Atlantean, Aryan [the present], and two yet to come."  73 p. 180   [Essentially, in Theosophy and Anthroposophy, a "root race" is the form humanity has attained at a particular stage of its evolution. There is variation within this stage: seven sub-races within each root race. Steiner said the gods intended for only one racial form to exist at any given time, but some races from prior stages exist now due to demonic interference.]


rose   "[T]he rose has generated many occult, religious, mythological, and mystical beliefs ... The Rosicrucians view the 'rosy cross' as a transcendent mystic symbol. In occultism there is a prevailing view that demons, witches, vampires, and werewolves cannot touch or smell a rose."  80 p. 248


[Rose Cross - see Rosy Cross.]


Rosenkreutz, Christian   "Some believe he was the founder of the...Rosicrucian order ... Other authorities believe he was initiated into the doctrine and became its most important proponent."  80 p. 248    [Rosenkreutz is almost certainly a mythic figure who never lived, but Steiner taught that Rosenkreutz is an important member of the Great White Brotherhood. Anthroposophists believe Rosenkreutz may be "M," the second of the two spiritual beings who gave Steiner occult initiation.]


[Rosh Hashanah   The Jewish New Year, the first of the ten Days of Repentance that culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.]


[Rosicrucian stream   In Anthroposophy: one of four spiritual streams that culminate in Anthroposophy. Christian Rosenkreutz is said to have brought this stream from Egypt to Northern Europe. Also see "Rosicrucianism".]


Rosicrucianism   "A secret society which flourished in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries ... They practised healing occultism and alchemy ... Their symbol is a rose in the center of a cross."  73 p. 181   [Steiner taught that Rosicrucianism, as revised by himself, is the proper spiritual path for modern humanity. In this sense, it is virtually indistinguishable from Anthroposophy.]


[Rosy Cross   The symbol of Rosicrucianism: one or more red roses set at the intersection point of a cross. It is used as a meditative focus in Anthroposophical practice. The rose(s) are usually said to represent Christ or his blood.]


[Round Table   In legends: the table used by King Arthur and his knights. According to Steiner, King Arthur was a pagan initiate; he and his knights sought occult wisdom (symbolized by the Holy Grail).]


[rounds   In Theosophy: a term used to denote complete evolutionary cycles at various levels. As Steiner used the term, rounds are essentially equivalent to conditions of life.]


Ruach   "(Judaism)  The breath of God's ineffable soul which at the creation...God breathed into man's body."  80 p. 249


[Rudolf Steiner College   A Waldorf teacher-training institution located in Fair Oaks, California, USA.]


[Rudolf Steiner Institute   An educational institution offering summer courses for adults, centered on Anthroposophy; located in Easton, Massachussetts, USA.]


[Rubicon   A stream separating Italy from ancient Gaul. Also see "crossing the Rubicon".]


Rudra   "(Buddhism, Hinduism)  God of storms...."  80 p. 249


ruler   "In astrology...the planet which is associated with a sign."  80 p. 249


rune   "Used by the Germanic peoples...the word means a secret, a mystery ... Runes have been held to possess the power to resurrect the dead...."  80 p. 249   [Runes are letters in the ancient Germanic alphabet.]


[Rupa   A Sanskrit term; as used in Theosophy, it means having form, materialized, bodily (but not fully physical). Cf. Arupa.]


[Russia   According to Steiner: a Luciferic region, counterpoint to Ahrimanic America.]


[
Russian Age   In Anthroposophical doctrine: The cultural epoch that will follow our present cultural epoch. Beginning in 3573 AD, it will be preceded by a race war. It will end in 5733 AD, giving way to the American Age.]


Ruta
   "[A]n island that belonged to the Kingdom of Atlantis."
  80 p. 249