Herewith, a little that you may not know about planets and their spirits:
“There are spiritual beings, for instance, working in connection with our earth, with our earth-planet, who allot the work of the nature-spirits to the seasons of the year, and thus bring about the alternations of the seasons for the different regions of the earth, by distributing the work of the nature-spirits. These spiritual beings represent what we may call the astral body of the earth, into which man plunges with his own astral body at night when he falls asleep. This astral body, consisting of higher spirits which hover round the earth-planet and permeate it as a spiritual atmosphere, is united with the earth; and into this spirit-atmosphere man's astral body plunges during the night-time.
“Now to occult observation there is a great difference of nature-spirits, the spirits of Earth, Water, etc., and those beings which on the other hand, direct these nature-spirits. The nature-spirits are occupied in causing the beings of nature to ripen and fade, in bringing life into the whole planetary earth-sphere. It is different with those spiritual beings which in their totality can be called the astral body of the earth.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL BEINGS IN THE HEAVENLY BODIES AND IN THE KINGDOMS OF NATURE (Steiner Book Centre, 1981), lecture 2, GA 136.
“When I say that a man becomes one with the planetary spirit, that he lives in union with this planetary spirit, you must not suppose that this implies an advanced degree of clairvoyance; this is but a beginning. For when a man awakens in the manner described, he really only experiences the planetary spirit as a whole; whereas it consists of many, many differentiations — of wonderful, separate, spiritual beings — as we shall hear in the following lectures. The different parts of the planetary spirit, the special multiplicities of this spirit, of these he is not yet aware. What he realizes first of all, is the knowledge: “I live in the planetary spirit as though in a sea, which spiritually laves the whole earth planet and itself is the spirit of the whole earth.” One may go through immensely long development in order further and further to experience this unification with the planetary spirit; but to begin with, the experience is as has been described. Just as we say with regard to man: “behind his astral body is his ego ” — so do we say that behind all that we call the totality of the Spirits of the Rotation of Time is hidden the Spirit of the Planet itself, the Planetary Spirit. Whereas the Spirits of the Rotation of Time guide the nature-spirits of the elements in order to call forth the rhythmic change and repetitions in time — the alterations in space of the earth-planet — the Spirit of the Earth has a different task. It has the task of bringing the earth itself into mutual relation with the other heavenly bodies in the environment, to direct it and guide it, so that in the course of time it may come into the right relations to the other heavenly bodies. The Spirit of the Earth is, as it were, the great sense-apparatus of the earth, through which the earth-planet enters into the right relationship with the Cosmos . If I were to sum up the succession of those spiritual beings with whom we on our earth are first of all concerned, and to whom we can find the way through a gradual occult development, I must say: — As the first external veil we have the sense-world, with all its multiplicity, with all we see spread out before our senses and which we can understand with our human mind. Then, behind this sense-world, we have the world of nature-spirits. Behind this world of nature-spirits we have the Spirits of the Rotation of Time, and behind these the Planetary Spirit.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL BEINGS IN THE HEAVENLY BODIES AND IN THE KINGDOMS OF NATURE (Steiner Book Centre, 1981), lecture 2, GA 136.
"Just as the ego of man perceives the physical environment of earth, so does the Planetary Spirit perceive everything in the periphery, and in cosmic space as a whole outside the planet; it adjusts the acts of the planet and also the feelings of the planet, of which we shall speak tomorrow, according to these perceptions of cosmic space. For what a planet does outside in space when it passes on its way in cosmic distances, and what it effects its own body, in the elements of which it consists, that again is the result of the observations of the Planetary with regard to the external world. Just as the individual human soul lives in the world of the earth side by side with other men, and adjusts himself to them, so does the Planetary Spirit live in its planetary body, which is the ground on which we stand; but this Planetary Spirit lives in fellowship with other planetary Spirits, other Spirits of the heavenly bodies." — Rudolf Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL BEINGS IN THE HEAVENLY BODIES AND IN THE KINGDOMS OF NATURE (Steiner Book Centre, 1981), lecture 2, GA 136.
"I had to begin the lecture yesterday by telling you about the man of inner movement, in order to explain to you how man can take a still further step in initiation into the higher worlds; and in that connection I gave expression to a truth which was perhaps at first hearing difficult to grasp (we shall return to it again presently) — the truth, namely, that Lucifer shows himself in a completely changed form when we advance to this second stage of initiation, appearing before us as the ruler in the realm of Venus. I told you also how the Sun, which hitherto we have thought of as being supreme in power and might, now appears as a planet among the seven planets, and Christ as the Spirit of the planet of the Sun. Christ himself manifests in this connection as a planetary Spirit, brother to the Spirit of Venus. In other words, Christ appears as a brother of Lucifer. This opened the way for a consideration of the post-Earthly destiny of the Buddha. For the later destiny of the Buddha cannot be livingly experienced in its pure and original truth, without attaining to this second stage of initiation; it is impossible to arrive at the truth which we expounded yesterday concerning the Buddha, unless one goes beyond the first meeting with death and with Lucifer where one beholds the scene of the Temptation, and passes on to the next stage of initiation where the seven Spirits of the Planets become manifest. This had, therefore, first to be described. Should you still ask whether the truth concerning the life of the Buddha after he left the Earth is not in some way attainable by external consciousness — the consciousness, that is, which is directed to impressions from without — then the reply must be that it is not possible for the consciousness of Earth to make such research into the conditions of life and culture on Mars as could reveal what the Buddha accomplishes there. The moment, however, initiation penetrates as far as to the stage we described yesterday, it becomes possible for the consciousness without external object to have this experience by virtue of its own nature. Therefore in relation also to this truth about Buddha it is a question of acquiring the consciousness without external object, The conditions and circumstances of the facts here revealed to us are of course external. For the Buddha lives — quite really — on Mars." — Rudolf Steiner, MAN IN THE LIGHT OF OCCULTISM, THEOSOPHY AND PHILOSOPHY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964), lecture 10, GA 137.
"Christ is far above the other planetary Spirits. He is the Spirit of the Sun. Here, however, where we are not merely describing how the individual planetary bodies are quickened to life by their Spirits, but where our task is above all to describe the several states of consciousness, we have to show how Christ through His own special character and nature has, during the course of the evolution that has taken place between old Sun and the present time, passed through an upward evolution, and from having been a Spirit who was of like nature with the planetary Spirits has become the Ruler or Regent of the whole solar system." — Rudolf Steiner, MAN IN THE LIGHT OF OCCULTISM, THEOSOPHY AND PHILOSOPHY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964), lecture 10, GA 137.
"Beings went with the Sun when it separated from the Earth. And their Leader is the Christ. For at the time in Earth evolution when the Sun separated from the Earth, What one may call the taking precedence by the Christ over Lucifer and the other planetary Spirits had already come to fulfilment. Then later on, Venus separated, and Mercury. Let us consider for a moment the exit of Venus from the Sun. Together with Venus are Beings who had also at first gone with the Sun but were not able to remain there. These break away and inhabit Venus. Among them is the Being who stands behind the later Buddha. He went as a messenger from the Christ to the dwellers on Venus. The Christ sent him to Venus, and here on Venus Buddha passed through all manner of stages of evolution. Later on, souls came back from Venus to Earth. The ordinary human souls were of course but little developed. Buddha, however, who also descended to Earth with the Venus souls, was a highly evolved Being, — so highly evolved that he could at once become a Bodhisattva and afterwards early a Buddha. Thus we have in Buddha one who had long ago been sent out by Christ and had the task of preparing the work of Christ on Earth. For his mission to the Venus men had this meaning, — that he should go to Earth beforehand, as a forerunner of the Sun. And now you will be able to understand that Buddha, having been with Christ for a longer time than the other Earth men — for the Earth separated off earlier — needed only that portion of the Christ Impulse which he still had in him from the Sun, to enable him to follow the Christ Event from the spiritual world. For Buddha that sufficed. Other human beings had to await the Christ Event on Earth. But because 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.
"The three parts of the brain (thinking, feeling, willing) must later become completely separated. Then man's consciousness must be master of his brain, as in an ant heap a higher consciousness rules. But as in the ant heap, one can separate the workers, the males and females from one another, so, later, a complete separation into three parts can also take place in the brain. Then man becomes a planetary spirit, a creator who brings things into being. As the Earth Spirit builds the crust of the earth, so at that stage man also will build a planet." — Rudolf Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 3, GA 93a.
"[S]ince the Event of Golgotha [i.e., the Crucifixion] the Being we call Christ has been the planetary Spirit of the Earth, the Spirit by whom the Earth's body will gradually be transformed." — Rudolf Steiner, “The Christmas Mystery, Novalis, the Seer” (ANTHROPOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, Vol. 12, No. 4, 1967), GA 108.
"If you look upon Christ-Jesus as the highest planetary Spirit of the Earth, and the earth as His body, you will understand that you literally tread the body of Christ-Jesus with your feet." — Rudolf Steiner, THEOSOPHY AND ROSICRUCIANISM (Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2010), chapter 12, GA 100.
[R. R., 2010.]
* The "astral body" is one of three invisible bodies you possess. See "Incarnation".
“In the human astral body* other beings are embedded like maggots in cheese — forgive the unappetizing comparison — but it is so. And in fact the astral beings** which are embedded in, and connected with, the human astral body are those whom I have described as having their real habitat on the moon or Mars ... They are here the parasites of men ... [T]he preponderance of moon beings or Mars beings of this nature circling through a man gives his lymph its special character. If more moon beings circulate through his body he is a man who inclines more easily to wrong-doing, irritation and anger, if more Mars beings, then he is a man who is more inclined to gentleness, kindliness, mildness.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE INFLUENCE OF SPIRITUAL BEINGS ON MAN (Anthroposophic Press, 1961), lecture 1, Ga 102.
Choose a Waldorf school for your child, if you want. But choose it with your eyes open, bearing in mind that Waldorf schools are also called Steiner schools because the “wisdom” of Rudolf Steiner guides them. You have just read some of this wisdom.
** Invisible beings from the astral plane, the soul world.
— Quotations compiled by Roger Rawlings
For more on these and related matters,
see "Fantasy Flights".
To visit other pages in the sections of Waldorf Watch
that include "Planetary Spirits", use the underlined links, below.
PLANETS, PLANETARY STAGES