Herewith, some surprises about our neighboring planet, Mars.
Astronomers and Buddhists may be especially surprised.

Mars may be called the great 'Talker' in the planetary system ...  Mars is constantly blurting out to the souls in his sphere whatever in the cosmos is accessible to him — which is not everything. particularly active when human beings talk in sleep or in dream.” — Rudolf Steiner, “The Spiritual Individualities of the Planets” (THE GOLDEN BLADE, 1988), GA 228.

Mars consists primarily of a more or less fluid mass, not as fluid as our water but, shall we say, more like the consistency of jelly, or something of that kind ... [E]verything on Mars is much more full of life than on the earth. The earth is a dead planet in a far stronger sense than Mars, on which everything is still more or less living. " — Rudolf Steiner, THE EVOLUTION OF THE EARTH AND MAN AND THE INFLUENCE OF THE STARS (Anthroposophic Press, 1987), lecture 10, GA 354.

“The human being was never on Mars, but his intellectual soul is connected esoterically with this planet.” — Rudolf Steiner, CORRESPONDENCE AND DOCUMENTS, 1901-1925 (SteinerBooks, 1988), pp. 71-72.

"[T]he great majority of human souls had to relinquish their union with the earth [long ago] ... Some soul/spirits were more suited to pursue their evolution on Saturn for the time being, others on Mars, others again on Mercury and so on ... So what we call our human soul condition went through an evolution on the neighboring planets of our earth ... [But] by no means all human soul/spirits left the earth. What we might describe as the toughest souls were able to go on using earthly matter, and remain united with it.” — Rudolf Steiner, GENESIS: Secrets of Creation (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2002), pp. 124-126.

"The men of Mars tend to settle permanently on a certain spot. Men on the Earth are cosmopolitanly inclined; Mars men are wedded to the soil, there are very few cosmopolitans among them. And there is, or rather was, on Mars constant war and strife, due to the astral bodies that are very strong and not tempered and made gentle by an I. If you will think it over you will understand that among men who develop in this way there must inevitably be a terrible amount of strife and conflict. Mars is nothing else than a kind of re-incarnated Moon; what the astral body holds is not tempered with the softening influence of the I, with the result that the men of Mars have quite an exceptional lust for war." — Rudolf Steiner, MAN IN THE LIGHT OF OCCULTISM, THEOSOPHY AND PHILOSOPHY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964), lecture 10, GA 137.


After death, man travels through the spheres of the planets. “During man's passage through the sphere of Mars he acquires conscious knowledge of the Beings who people this region. The spiritual population of Mars consists of Beings who are the Knowers of the Cosmic Speech. There are other Beings too, — for example. Beings who are warlike in nature. But so far as man is concerned, the most important Beings in the Mars sphere are those who in their whole nature are Cosmic Word. They are the Guardians of the Cosmic Speech.” — Rudolf Steiner, SUPERSENSIBLE MAN (Anthroposophical Publishing Company, 1961), lecture 4, GA 231.

“We continue our journey between death and a new birth and, thus, enter the Mars sphere ... While we pass through the Mars sphere, we learn in a conscious way from the beings there. The spiritual population of the Mars sphere consists of beings who know  the cosmic speech, along with other beings who are warlike, and so on.” — Rudolf Steiner, AT HOME IN THE UNIVERSE (Anthroposophic Press, 2000), p. 78.

“In the Mars region the human being lives among the ‘population’ of Mars — if I may so express myself. The inhabitants of Mars are discovered to be either discarnate human souls or Beings of the Hierarchies [i.e., gods].” — SUPERSENSIBLE MAN, lecture 4.

"When we are passing through the Mars sphere, for example, we are ghosts, specters, for the Mars dwellers. We pass through their sphere as strangers, as alien beings. But the Mars beings, too, at a certain stage of their existence, are condemned to pass through our earth sphere and one who possesses certain initiate faculties encounters them when conditions are favorable." — Rudolf Steiner, LIFE BETWEEN DEATH AND REBIRTH (Anthroposophic Press, 1968), lecture 8, GA 140.

“Buddha became a Redeemer and Saviour for Mars as Christ Jesus had become for the Earth. The Buddha had been prepared for this by his teaching of Nirvana, lack of satisfaction with earthly existence, liberation from physical incarnation. This teaching had been prepared in a sphere outside the Earth but with the Earth's goal in view. If we can look into the soul of the Buddha and grasp the import of the Sermon at Benares we shall witness the preparation of activity that was not to be confined to the Earth. And then we shall realise how infinitely wise was the contract between Christian Rosenkreutz and the Buddha, as the result of which, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Buddha relinquished his activity on the Earth through which he would have been able, from the spiritual world, to influence human souls between birth and death, in order henceforward to work in the Mars sphere for souls between death and rebirth.” — Rudolf Steiner, BETWEEN DEATH AND REBIRTH (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1975), lecture 5, GA 141.

“A Conference of the greatest and most advanced Individualities was called together by Christian Rosenkreutz. His most intimate pupil and friend, the great teacher Buddha, participated in these counsels and in the decisions reached.” They decided Buddha should go to Mars and fix things. “At that spiritual Conference it was resolved that henceforward Buddha would dwell on Mars and there unfold his influence and activity. Buddha transferred his work to Mars in the year 1604.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE MISSION OF CHRISTIAN ROSENKREUTZ (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1950), lecture 7, “The Mission of Gautama Buddha on Mars”, GA 130.

“Buddha, the Prince of Peace, went to Mars — the planet of war and conflict — to execute his mission there. The souls on Mars were warlike, torn with strife. Thus Buddha performed a deed of sacrifice similar to the deed performed in the Mystery of Golgotha [i.e., Calvary — Christ on the cross] ... Buddha performed this deed on Mars in the service of Christian Rosenkreutz. Thus do the great Beings who guide the world work together, not only on the Earth but from one planet to another. [paragraph break] Since the Mystery of Mars was consummated by Gautama Buddha, human beings have been able to receive different forces from Mars during the corresponding period between death and a new birth ... [T]his word of Peace, issuing mysteriously from Buddha, resounds from the planet of war and conflict to the soul of men on the Earth.” — Ibid.

"Buddha had this special relationship to the Christ, because he had been sent out by the Christ as a forerunner, he did not need to await on Earth the Christ Event. He took with him from Earth the capacity of remembering — even without the help of the Christ, which other men need — what the I means on Earth. Hence he was able also to look down and behold the Christ Event from higher worlds. Thus was preparation made long beforehand in the World All for the remarkable mission that Buddha had undertaken at the behest of Christ. For he was first sent to the Venus men — and compare what I am now telling you with the lectures I gave at Helsingfors  — and afterwards to the Earth; then he made his way back to the Mars men, and there has to continue working, carrying out on Mars the mission for which he had so long been preparing. On Mars it is so, that the men who have remained there stand in great peril, even as the Earth men were in peril, from which Christ set them free. The danger for the Mars men is, that their astral body — they have, as you know, not an I to develop as we — their astral body, and thereby indirectly also their ether body, may suffer a very serious diminution of force and become dried up. The whole nature of the Mars men has proved to be of a kind that leads to terrible wars. The men of Mars tend to settle permanently on a certain spot. Men on the Earth are cosmopolitanly inclined; Mars men are wedded to the soil, there are very few cosmopolitans among them. And there is, or rather was, on Mars constant war and strife, due to the astral bodies that are very strong and not tempered and made gentle by an I. If you will think it over you will understand that among men who develop in this way there must inevitably be a terrible amount of strife and conflict. Mars is nothing else than a kind of re-incarnated Moon; what the astral body holds is not tempered with the softening influence of the I, with the result that the men of Mars have quite an exceptional lust for war." — Rudolf Steiner, MAN IN THE LIGHT OF OCCULTISM, THEOSOPHY AND PHILOSOPHY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964), lecture 10, GA 137.

“[O]n the Earth you think: There is the Sun, shining down upon us; the Sun is in the centre and sheds its rays all around. On entering the realm of the spiritual Sun we find the Sun to be no longer in a definite place — it is everywhere. A man is then within the Sun; it shines in upon him from the periphery, and is, in truth, the spiritual skin of the entity he has become. Moreover, within the realm of the spiritual Sun, we have what must be described as organs. In the same way that in earthly life we have head, heart, limbs, and, immediately after death, Moon, Mercury, Venus [organs], so, after that, we have organs which we must attribute to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.

“These are then our inner organs, just as heart, pineal gland, kidneys, are on Earth. All this has gone through a metamorphosis into the spiritual and these new organs, not fully formed when first we leave the soul-world and enter the world of spirit, now have to be gradually developed. For this purpose we do not describe one circle only in the Sun-existence, as in our Moon-existence, but three. In the first circle the spiritual Mars organ is developed; in the second, the Jupiter organ, and the Saturn organ in the last circle.” — Rudolf Steiner, The EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1966), lecture 10, GA 227.

“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.

"Now let us go up over the wide Mongolian plains. In those plains those Spirits of Form [i.e., powers] are principally active who work indirectly through the blood. There in the blood is brewed that which brings about a modification of humanity and produces the basic character of the race. There is, however, something very peculiar in this Mongolian race. There the Mars-spirits enter the blood: But they work in it in quite a definite way, viz., they are there able to work towards the six Elohim [gods] who are centered in the Sun. In the Mongolian race, therefore, they work towards these six Elohim, and in doing so they make a special attack in the other direction towards Jahve or Jehovah Who has separated His field of action from that of the six Elohim.

“But besides this co-operation of the Mars-spirits with the six Elohim and Jahve, which results in the Mongolian race, there is still something quite special. Just as the six Elohim from the Sun and Jahve from the Moon act upon the Mongolians, whilst the Mars-spirits work towards them, so in another case we must imagine that from the direction of the Moon the Jahve forces again meet and co-operate with the Mars-spirits, and that thus a special modification arises. Here you have a special modification of humanity, viz., that which belongs to the Semitic race, explained from its most occult background. In the Semites you have a modification of collective humanity, in which Jahve or Jehovah shuts Himself off from the other Elohim and invests this people with a special character, by co-operating with the Spirits of Mars, in order to bring about the special modification of this people.” — Ibid.

“The complete fulfilment of what I have just been describing — the development into Mars man, Jupiter man, Saturn man — will come about only in the future. During our present epoch we can make only the circle of the Mars region after death, through the activity of world-forces; after that we are unable to do more than touch on the Jupiter region. We have to go through many earthly lives before being able — between death and rebirth — to enter fully the Jupiter region and, later still, that of Saturn.

“In order that man, though not yet able to enter the Jupiter region, may receive, between death and a new birth, something of the forces of Jupiter and also of Saturn, many planetoids are interspersed between Mars and Jupiter; in their outer aspect they are constantly being discovered by the astronomers. They make up the region which in its spiritual aspect is experienced by a man after death because he cannot yet reach Jupiter. They have the remarkable characteristic of being spiritual colonies, as it were, of beings from Jupiter and Saturn who have withdrawn there. And before a man is ripe for existence on Earth, he can find in this region of the planetoids, which are there for that purpose, a kind of preparatory substitute, before he is able to enter the region of Jupiter and Saturn. At present, therefore, by the time a man has gone through death and rebirth, he has achieved his Mars-organisation, and has absorbed those Jupiter and Saturn forces to be found in the colonised regions of the planetoids. With the after-effects of this — we still have to learn about them — the human being embarks on another earthly life.” — The EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS, lecture 10.

“[T]here exists an unbroken connection between the different planets ... Beings that live on the moon can therefore carry out their operations on the earth with the aid of astral forces. One might call them the reverse side of other beings whom we also find in the astral world, beneficent beings ... These beings are likewise to be found within our astral world; they have their actual scene of action on another planet. As the first-named beings are at home on the moon, these second are at home on Mars, they inhabit Mars and are in fact the main population — as certain human races are the principal population on our earth ... On Venus too we find yet a second species of beings who — in contrast to the gentle, amiable kind — present a wild and furious vitality, and whose principal occupation consists in mutual fighting and plunder.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE INFLUENCE OF SPIRITUAL BEINGS ON MAN (Anthroposophic Press, 1961), lecture 1, GA 102.

“There were also beings who had detached Mars from the common cosmic substance and made it their dwelling place under the leadership of their most advanced member. A third type of human beings fell under their influence. These were 'Mars humans,' who also came into existence through interbreeding." — Rudolf Steiner, AN OUTLINE OF ESOTERIC SCIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 238.

Concerning animal anatomy: “From the snout towards the heart, the Saturn, Jupiter and Mars influences are at work; in the heart itself the Sun, and behind the heart, towards the tail, the Venus, Mercury and Moon influences ... [T]he Sun-influence goes as far as the heart and stops short just before the heart. For the head and the blood-forming process, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are at work. Then, from the heart backward, the Moon influence is supported by the Mercury and Venus forces.” — Rudolf Steiner, AGRICULTURE COURSE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2004), pp. 40-41.

"[T]he butterfly does not entrust its egg to the earth, but only to the sun. 
Then out creeps the caterpillar, which is under the influence of Mars-activity ... 
Then the chrysalis is formed, and this is under the influence of Jupiter-activity.” — Rudolf Steiner, MAN AS SYMPHONY OF THE CREATIVE WORD (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1970), lecture 5, GA 230.

Copernicus taught such silly ideas as that the planets orbit the Sun. But this is merely maya, illusion [see "Deception"]. “Mars used to radiate different forces. The Mars culture that human beings experience between death and a new birth went through a great crisis in the earth’s fifteenth and sixteenth centuries ... When these conditions came into force on Mars, the natural consequence would have been for Mars to continue sending down to earth human beings who brought Copernican ideas with them, which are really only maya. What we are seeing [i.e., were seeing], then, is [was] the decline of the Mars culture. Previously Mars had sent forth good forces. But now Mars sent forth more and more forces that would have led us deeper and deeper into maya. The achievements inspired by Mars at that time were ingenious and clever, but they were maya all the same.”  — Rudolf Steiner, ESOTERIC CHRISTIANITY AND THE MISSION OF CHRISTIAN ROSENKREUTZ (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000), p. 289.

“It is because the Moon Beings remain so firmly entrenched in their fortress that modern scientists know nothing essential about heredity. From a deeper insight, and in terms of cosmic language, it could be said that when at the present time heredity is discussed in one or another domain of science, the latter is ‘Moon-forsaken’ and ‘Mars-bewitched’. For science speaks under the influence of the demonic Mars-forces and has not even begun to approach the real mysteries of heredity.” — “The Spiritual Individualities of the Planets”.

“Now a great deal is said about ‘canals’ existing on Mars. But why ‘canals’? There is nothing to be seen except lines, and these are called canals. In one sense that is correct, but in another, incorrect. As Mars is not solid to the degree that the earth is solid, one cannot, of course, speak of canals as we know them on the earth. But it can be said that on Mars there is something rather similar to our trade winds. You know that the warm air from the Torrid Zone of the earth, from Africa, streams toward the cold North Pole, and the air from the cold North Pole streams back toward the central region of the earth. So that if looked at from outside, such lines would indeed be seen, but they are the lines of the trade winds, of the air currents in the trade winds. There is something rather similar on Mars.” — Rudolf Steiner, FROM SUNSPOTS TO STRAWBERRIES (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2002), pp. 147-148.

This is a fine example of Steiner’s technique. He claimed to possess precise knowledge about almost everything, thanks to his “exact clairvoyance.” [See "Exactly".] But in fact he knew very little about anything. Thus, he latches onto a falsehood and, without realizing that it is false, he puts his own stamp on it. Sure, he says, the “canals” on Mars really exist — that is, we can see long, straight lines on Mars, But everyone except himself is wrong about the real nature of these lines. They are not canals — long ditches full of water. Instead, he says, they are really wind patterns. Wow, his admirers say. Great stuff! But this overlooks something. There are no long straight lines on the surface of Mars or in its atmosphere. Today we possess quadzillions of photos of Mars taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and by probes orbiting Mars. They all prove that there are no long straight lines visible on or above Mars. People who believe in canals on Mars are wrong. And people who think there are long straight wind patterns in the atmosphere of Mars are wrong. Steiner — as usual — claimed superior knowledge, but in fact he was just plain wrong. A prerequisite for believing Steiner is to have very little real knowledge of the real world. Many Waldorf teachers fill this bill.

Steiner’s overall construct, Anthroposophy, is an impressively extensive and detailed synthesis of borrowed and original occult doctrines. The borrowed material far outweighs the original stuff, but Steiner put his unique stamp on everything, so we should give him full credit for his teachings. Some people, wowed by the range and apparent inner logic of these teachings, become Steiner’s devout followers. Other people, seeing the contradictions and absurdities in Steiner’s teachings, wonder how anyone could possibly take the man seriously.

P.S. On other occasions, Steiner explained that the “winds” on Mars are not ordinary airflows. His followers find such explanations convincing. Other find them mere elaborations of absurdity, piling absurdity on absurdity. Steiner said the Martian “winds” are actually streams of force flowing between two locations similar to places described in Norse myths: Niflheim, the place of fog, and Muspellsheim, the place of fire. “What I have just said lies at the root of the observations of so-called ‘canals’ on Mars. It is there a matter of certain streams of force which correspond to an earlier stage of the earth and are described in the old Germanic myths as streams flowing from Niflheim to Muspelheim.” — Rudolf Steiner, OCCULT HISTORY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), p. 91.

[R. R., 2010.]

— Compilation by Roger Rawlings