Steiner distinguished between the members of today's solar system and stages of evolution bearing similar names. When he spoke of "Saturn," for instance, he sometimes meant the planet and he sometimes meant the evolutionary period (Old Saturn). If you need to brush up on Steiner's teachings about these matters, see "Planets". You could also look over the "Important 'Clarification'" that appears lower on this page.
Sometimes in his own writings and lectures, Steiner blurred the distinction between places in the solar system and evolutionary periods. Confusion can result for the reader. It is a form of confusion or mystification that weaves throughout Steiner’s doctrines. We need to accustom ourselves to it, keeping the meaning of Steiner's words clear in our own consciousness while allowing the sort of logical laxness Steiner insisted upon. Here’s an example.
The Moon and the Sun. The Moon has proven to be a good habitat for humans and others, Steiner assured us. So has the Sun. The following is from a chapter titled “Life On the Moon”, in Steiner's book COSMIC MEMORY:
Note that humans have been different in many ways in various stages or places. This is due to evolution. We have changed greatly as we evolved. In addition to what we have just seen, Steiner sometimes discussed our ancient jelly-like bodies and our bodies made of ether, among other surprises.
If in the past we existed on other orbs, in some sense, during our lives here on Earth we have maintained connections with beings on other orbs. We have never been wholly Earthmen. Thus,
Note the phrase “lower types of human beings.” A world of misery is contained in such language. I'm biased, of course — being a secularist and rationalist, I'm headed for the Abyss, according to Steiner. You, however, have nothing to worry about. Unless you are black, red, yellow, French, American, Russian... Unless you are an orthodox Christian, or a Muslim, or a Jew, or a Hindu, or... Actually, if Steiner is right, most of us have a lot to worry about. But be of good cheer. He is wrong.
Let’s get our feet under us by considering the interior of a planet we all know and love, the Earth. We currently live on the physical orb known as the Earth, as it exists now in the evolutionary period called Present Earth. But like other celestial orbs, the Earth is not primarily a physical object, it is a spiritual manifestation largely responsive to spiritual influences, including the influences we ourselves exert upon its inner nature:
Steiner's answer is yes, we will such things as earthquakes into existence. The physical universe is malleable, we and other beings make it as we want it to be (consciously or otherwise) through our spiritual powers. Certain uses of our powers can cause catastrophes, such as the sinking of Atlantis. [See "Atlantis and the Aryans".]
The Earth is comprised of nine layers, extending far below the depths plumbed by miners or oilmen.
Steiner repeatedly pronounced scientific findings silly or absurd. The notion that life came first may be attractive — as some people find many of Steiner's teachings to be — but where is the evidence for it? Life almost certainly does evolve from inanimate matter — e.g., by drawing on the organic molecules that are readily available throughout the known universe (despite their name, these molecules are not alive; rather, they provide the building blocks for life as we know it). In any event, note Steiner's explicit opposition to science, i.e., real knowledge. 
The human will, then, is at least partially complicit in so-called natural disasters.
(It will not cry, however, if it sends volcanic eruptions to destroy you. Such eruptions are your own fault.)
The Earth Mirror, the seventh layer, is also known as the Reflector Earth.
And joy to sorrow, and sanity to madness, and...
The eighth layer is the Splintering Earth.
“Mother Earth,” by this accounting, is profoundly destructive and even malignant. When children in Waldorf schools are led to recite graces that thank Mother Earth [see "Prayers"], they may not realize what their teachers think this Mother is really like.
The Earth beneath our feet and the planets above our heads exist — as we now know them now — only for a brief time. They have evolved from very different conditions in the dim past and they will evolve into still other, extraordinary conditions in the millennia to come. Overall, Steiner said, they will have passed through seven major conditions before they and their gods and we reach the culmination of evolution in this corner of the cosmos. (Sometimes Steiner said there will be five more major conditions following these seven, but often he said there will be just seven.)
Before he invented Anthroposophy, Steiner was a Theosophist. The Theosophical account of evolution is stupendous. It entails many, many solar systems or "universes," with gods evolving through vast numbers of stages in realms almost inconceivable to us. Our own solar system and its gods are just one chapter in this immense history. Steiner essentially accepted the Theosophical vision, but he narrowed it, focusing almost wholly on our own little solar system and its own little history.
We stand at the center of this solar system or universe; the gods here direct much of their attention to us. We are the center of action and concern here, the focus of divine guidance. [See "The Center".] Our evolution is the point of this solar system’s existence, and as we evolve we transmute the solar system. We are on our way to attaining glorious heights of divinity — or Steiner's follower are, as Steiner assured his followers. [See, e.g., “Tenth Hierarchy”.]
Let’s return to Richard Seddon and his book THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER. Here is how Seddon summarizes the evolutionary history presented and foreseen by Steiner:
Evolution, in other words, is all about climbing to higher and higher levels of spiritual awareness. This is the narrative found in Steiner’s teachings. The narrative is a condensed, truncated version of the far broader tale told in Theosophy, but Steiner and Seddon insist that we cannot really know anything except the little history of our own little solar system.
“Real knowledge” is a key phrase, obviously. The issue facing anyone interested in Waldorf schools and the thinking behind them is whether any “real knowledge” can be found in Steiner’s teachings. How firm a foundation did Steiner create for his followers to build on? How real are the things he described?
You’ve heard and seen a lot of Steiner’s teachings, by now. Pause, please, and ask yourself how much real knowledge you detect in them.
For Steiner, reality is unreal. We will be evolving beyond it. The great trap in Steiner's perspective is that we can end up caring deeply about fantastic, unreal future states of being, while neglecting — even wasting — our one real life on our one real planetary home in the real universe. That course does not promote human welfare or, indeed, evolution. It is a potentially catastrophic dodge. So, in a manner he did not intend, Steiner was right that we may be responsible for Earthly catastrophes — and we would be all the more likely to do great harm if we attend to fantasists like Steiner.
Presenting Steiner's views is a challenge. In explaining them, we may give them a superficial coherence and logic that they do not, in fact, possess. But if we do not explain them, they remain so weird as to defy comprehension. Despite his claim that he was presenting an objective “science,” Steiner was in fact a mystic who dealt in mystification more than clarity. And yet, he attracted followers, and he has followers today. Consider carefully whether you want to join that band of believers — and whether you want members of that band to “educate” your children.
— Roger Rawlings
It can be a little difficult (or a lot) to know what Steiner is talking about when he refers to planets. Sometimes he means what most people mean: the natural satellites of the Sun, the physical celestial bodies that orbit the Sun and that we call by such names as Saturn, Earth, Venus, and so on. But sometimes he means something very different: stages of evolution, periods when the entire solar system passed through spiritual/physical conditions of development that occultists refer to using planetary names such as Saturn, Earth, Venus, and so on.
Steiner eventually realized that his terminology (which he adopted largely from Theosophy) was confusing people, so he added this "clarification" at the end of his most important book, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE:
For more on all this, stay tuned. [Specifically, go to "Matters of Form".]
Irrelevant, of course. But here is the real Mars.
"The Post-Atlantean Epoch
"This epoch needs to be sketched more fully before we proceed to the future....
For more on humanity's past, present, and future
(as described by Steiner) see
Here is one concept of Lemuria.
We bring catastrophes on ourselves. But the stars are involved, too. There's an interchange: What we do and think affects the Earth below us and it affects the stars above us; and what happens deep in the Earth and high overhead affects us, deeply.
Even when we take ourselves out of the picture, there is an interchange: The Earth affects the stars and the stars affect the Earth. Thus, for instance, stars pull stuff out of the depths of the Earth.
Here's a curious idea that has a fair number
of adherents here and there
— especially, for some reason, in Germany.
It is the idea that the Earth is hollow, Hohlweltlehre.
The idea is poppycock, of course,
but it is given some credence by Anthroposophists.
Steiner said that the Earth is not generally
hollow for human beings,
but it is hollow for gnomes.
(Yes, he believed in gnomes).
Some of Steiner's followers have taken
the hollow-Earth idea further.
See, for instance,
Sigismund von Gleich,
THE TRANSFORMATION OF EVIL -
and the Subterranean Spheres of the Earth
(Temple Lodge Publishing, 2005).
Von Gleich says that the hollow-Earth concept
has been "confirmed by spiritual research."
Worrisomely, he adds, the "hollow interior of the earth"
is anything but benign. [p. 33]
But I wouldn't lose sleep over it, if I were you.
To visit other pages in this section of Waldorf Watch,
use the underlined links, below.
◊◊◊ 11. THE WALDORF WORLDVIEW ◊◊◊
Some illustrations on each page here at Waldorf Watch
are closely connected to the essay on that page;
others are not — they provide general context.
 Rudolf Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY (SteinerBooks, 1986), pp. 193-195.
 Rudolf Steiner, AN OUTLINE OF ESOTERIC SCIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), pp. 238-239.
 Rudolf Steiner, THE INTERIOR OF THE EARTH: An Esoteric Study of the Subterranean Spheres (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2007), p. 29.
 Ibid., p. 10.
 Is it possible that there are important regions of reality lying undiscovered, outside the known universe? Certainly, it is possible. And might there be life forms out there that are totally unlike life as we know it? Certainly, this is also possible. But here is the crucial point: We don’t know. Maybe we will know someday, but for now, we don’t. It is frustrating not to know the answers to important questions. But honesty and self-respect sometimes require us to make such admissions. The alternative is to deceive others and, perhaps, ourselves.
Steiner claimed to know things that are unknowable by ordinary means. Could the universe really be as he described it? (Brace yourself for a shock.) Yes. It is, just barely, conceivable that Steiner was right. But here is another important point: Steiner gave us no good reason to believe him. All he did was to make unsupported assertions that hinge on a form of “cognition” — clairvoyance — that is highly suspect, to put it mildly. The likelihood that Steiner was right is slim, and it grows slimmer each year as science reveals more and more of the universe's actual workings. [I discuss these matters at some length in such essays at "Steiner's Blunders", “Steiner’s ‘Science’”, and "Steiner's Illogic".]
We will almost certainly discover new regions of reality — science makes such discoveries frequently. And we may very well discover bizarre forms of life — we recently found some near thermal vents deep in the Earth’s oceans. Such discoveries become part of the known universe, and sometimes they expand the boundaries of life as we know it. (Not life as we live it, as intelligent mammals, but life are our intelligence enables us to comprehend it.) If we discover that some amazing life forms do not depend on organic molecules, then we will have to change our understanding of such molecules. And that will be great, because that’s how we advance, by gaining new knowledge, learning new truths. Our glory lies in the enlargement of comprehension and compassion; it does not lie in the spinning of fantasies, no matter how alluring they may seem.
 Ibid., p. 30.
 Ibid., p. 30.
 Ibid., p. 30.
 Ibid., p. 30.
 Ibid., p. 30.
 Ibid., p. 31.
 Ibid., p. 27.
 Ibid., p. 31.
 Ibid., p. 31.
 Ibid., p. 31.
 Ibid., p. 32.
Steiner was inconsistent. For instance, sometimes instead of the Fluid Earth, he spoke of the Soft Earth, and he occasionally called the Air Earth the Steam Earth. His descriptions of the ninth layer were especially varied. Here's a version that makes #9 seem potentially less malignant:
Of course, having a brain and a heart doesn't necessarily make this spirit our friend. Certainly the spirit isn't a friend if it is a source of spiritual evil for us.
In any event, note that Steiner implicitly concedes that, in describing planets, he is talking about physical members of the solar system: The spirit dwells within the ninth layer of the Earth, which is physical. The whole point of “spiritualizing” the Earth is to take something physical and make it spiritual. What holds for the Earth presumably holds for the other planets as well — words such as “Saturn” do, at least in part, apply to physical spheres.
It's also worth noticing that the Earth spirit is comparable to us because it, too, has a (sort of) brain and a (sort of) heart. Steiner waffled on the subject of brains, sometimes emphasizing them (as when he said that fair blonds have better brains than dark-skinned, dark-haired folks [HEALTH AND ILLNESS, Vol. 1 (Anthroposophic Press, 1981), pp. 85-86]), but often he disparaged brains, saying that to really know anything we need to use organs of clairvoyance instead [KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1944), p. 28]. As for hearts, perhaps his most enduring legacy is his wacky, but oft-repeated, assertion that hearts do not pump blood [e.g., FREUD, JUNG, AND SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY (SteinerBooks, 2001), pp. 124-125]. On the latter point, he was at least consistent — consistently wrong.
 Richard Seddon, THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER (The Temple Lodge, 2002), p. 8.
 Ibid., pp. 8-9.