And Still...

(1971 - 2018)






This is one of eight "Today" pages

here at Waldorf Watch.

All of these pages present statements made 

by the followers of Rudolf Steiner

in recent years and decades.






Anthroposophists usually deny being slavishly devoted to Rudolf Steiner. They cite the Anthroposophical precept that they can develop their own powers of clairvoyance and thus attain their own, independent spiritual knowledge. Hence, they don't need to rely on Steiner as any sort of guru.

But in practice, Anthroposophists usually defend Steiner tooth and nail, quoting or paraphrasing his work endlessly, and poring over all of his utterances and productions. Here, for instance, we have a book — from the Rudolf Steiner Press, note — that is devoted to interpreting a single painting attributed to Steiner. As is common for Anthroposophists when dealing with Steiner's works, the author and publisher treat the painting with something akin to reverence.

EASTER - Rudolf Steiner's Watercolor Painting

by Angela Lord (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011)


The publisher describes the book in these words:

“This marvelous book explores the deep meaning of the watercolor Easter (or 'Three Crosses') painted by Rudolf Steiner in April 1924. Living through this book into Steiner’s watercolor painting, the reader is led to contemplate the profound mysteries of not only colors and the sense world, but also the divine, cosmic, human invisible reality lying behind them and manifested in the unique event we celebrate as Easter. At first, the coloring and composition of the painting seem relatively simple. But the longer one looks at and mediates upon it, questions begin to press upon the viewer: • Why did Rudolf Steiner use the rainbow sequence of colors? • Why are the crosses so small, seen only from a distance? • Who or what are the white figures ‘below the earth’? • What is the painting actually about?” — SteinerBooks []

You might ask yourself whether Rudolf Steiner and his works deserve reverence. Are you prepared to offer up such reverence? If you enter the Waldorf universe, you will be entering a milieu where Steiner is considerer a great spiritual master and perhaps the greatest genius of all time. You will be expected, at a minimum, not to oppose such views. [See "Guru" and "What a Guy".]

* Who actually created the painting is in doubt. Steiner often received "assistance" in creating the artworks credited to him. See, e.g., "Paintings by Rudolf Steiner".)

“If it is to fulfill its purpose in accordance with the spiritual reality out of which it teaches, then a Waldorf school must be structured and make its administrative and financial decisions in accordance with the same spiritual reality. Those carrying the responsibility for the school — teachers, trustees or board members, and administrators — need to have some understanding of this reality, particularly of the threefold nature of all social and community life. To teach the children on the basis of the reality of the supersensible [i.e., supernatural] world and then work with the money as though no such supersensible world existed is to introduce a dishonesty, a lie, into the life of the school.” — Waldorf lecturer Michael Spence, FREEING THE HUMAN SPIRIT - The Threefold Social Order, Money, and The Waldorf School (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, 1999), opening words, p. 5.

Genuine Waldorf schools try to embody Rudolf Steiner’s social/political vision, called “threefolding.” [See "Threefolding".] The central idea (derived from Steiner’s numerological leanings) is that societies, like human beings, have three main component parts.* The idea is interesting. But more interesting is what often happens when Waldorf faculties discuss such things. Michael Spence indicates that, with their attention focused on “practical” questions, Waldorf faculties sometimes neglect to keep their guard up concerning matters of the spirit. This unfortunate tendency must be guarded against. Here we see an example. Writing about school finances, Spence brings his discussion back to the underlying purpose of Waldorf schools, which revolves around “spiritual reality.” The schools “teach the children on the basis of the reality of the supersensible world.” The schools need to keep this in mind at all times, even when being practical, even when discussing finances. The schools are, ultimately, religious — the religion they practice is Anthroposophy — and this must be remembered at all times.

* Three is the number of divine revelation, Steiner taught. [See “Magic Numbers”.]

In dimly lit rooms with pastel-shaded walls, Waldorf teachers sing quietly to their young students. They regale the children with myths and fairy stories. They coo and chant and recite, speaking musically, inspirationally. Some parents find all this delightful; some find it creepy. The main thing to note, however, is that it all derives from a system of mysticism, the Waldorf belief system, Anthroposophy. The sound of language, more than "the actual" meaning, is important in this system — it lures children into esoteric realms. This is achieved through the pause, the silence — the "divine hiatus" — that such "musical" speech enacts.

“[I]t is highly important that [Waldorf teachers] work at developing their own speech — musicality, rhythm, clarity, enunciation, plastic force, and so on. If we pay too little attention to our own speech...we cannot establish the soul mood ... Through the way we form sounds, we...transmit more than the actual meaning of words ... [I]n working with the musicality of language, with its structure and sounds, we are at work in a  wonderfully heavenly interval: a divine pause, a spiritual hiatus between our future and the student’s past. We entice the student from his or her givens from the past...into this divine hiatus.” — Waldorf teacher Magda Lissau, THE TEMPERAMENTS AND THE ARTS (The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, 2003), pp. 135-136.

Waldorf education is meant to bring children to Anthroposophy. This is fine, if you approve of Anthroposophy. Decide whether you do before sending a child to a Waldorf school.

Waldorf teachers tell their young students a great many fairy tales. This apparently innocent activity is actually a method of sneaking Anthroposophical doctrines into the classroom. Here is the hidden meaning of "Snow White", Waldorf-style: 

“In human development there are certain obvious stages of development. For the first seven years of its life the child is, so to speak, carried by heavenly powers. Then a change takes place ... [W]hen Snow White is seven, it is she who is the most beautiful. She has grown into her own being to a certain extent. The significance is that a new type of human being is coming into existence ... When the queen thinks she is eating Snow White's lungs and liver, she aims at acquiring the new powers ... Snow White...wanders alone in the woods and comes to a little hut which is the home of the seven dwarfs. The significance here is that the child's soul (and the human soul in general at a certain stage) is still in connection with the elemental powers ... The negative powers now attack the developing soul ... The elemental beings can assist humans to some degree but some things are beyond their powers ... [A] higher power is needed to awaken [Snow White]. The power of the higher self, in the form of the prince, arrives ... [T]he old magical powers must die. It is the beginning of a new era."  — Waldorf teacher Roy Wilkinson, THE INTERPRETATION OF FAIRY TALES (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1997) , pp. 16-17.

A quick gloss: 

 ◊ Anthroposophists believe in many gods: There are many "heavenly powers" above us.

 ◊ The universe also includes "elemental beings" or nature spirits, invisible creatures such as gnomes and sylphs that dwell inside nature; they help humans, to some degree, but they can also be hostile.

 ◊ The "higher powers" aid humans to evolve toward becoming "a new type of human being." 

 ◊ Until age seven, a child retains connections with the spirit realm — s/he is "carried by heavenly powers."

 ◊ Children are also connected with elemental powers.)

 ◊ After the seventh birthday, a child becomes significantly different — "a change takes place" and the child is more earthly.

 ◊ Incarnating more fully on earth means becoming more autonomous: "[W]hen Snow White is seven...she has grown into her own being to a certain extent."

 ◊ Humans acquire "new powers" at each stage of life and during each future life; our evolution takes us forward into new historical epochs — so time and again, "It is the beginning of a new era."

 ◊ The death of the Queen/witch shows human spiritual evolution, as we set aside old powers ("the old magical powers must die") and move toward our new, higher powers.

 ◊ The handsome prince who awakens Snow White embodies the "higher power" of the evolved human spiritual ego, the transformed Self (in Anthroposophy, Christ the Sun God is our Prototype — we evolve to become like Him).

 ◊ There are beneficent powers but also "negative powers" such as evil gods, demons, black magicians and witches, and perverse elemental beings.

 ◊ The descent to Earth is a descent toward an unspiritual existence — a necessary step but a hazardous one, akin to wandering "alone in the woods."

The degree to which such Anthroposophical doctrines are conveyed to Waldorf students depends on the form of delivery used by individual Waldorf teachers. But conveying such doctrines is the implicit intention. Note that THE INTERPRETATION OF FAIRY TALES was written by a Waldorf teacher and published by the Rudolf Steiner College, a Waldorf teacher-training institution.

“That fairyland and its denizens should be as much a concern of scientists as they have long been of poets and painters and storytellers was one of Steiner’s deep convictions. For he was a close observer of their [i.e., the fairies’] life and work, and it was clear to him that they were of profound importance to the earth.” — Waldorf educator Marjorie Spock, FAIRY WORLDS AND WORKERS (SteinerBooks, 2013), p. 3. (The book’s dedication: “In memory of RUDOLF STEINER who understood so well the living forces behind Nature.”)

Startling as this may seem to many people, true-blue Waldorf teachers (those who are Anthroposophists or nearly so) believe that fairies really exist. They accept this belief from Rudolf Steiner himself. These fairies are what otherwise are called elemental beings or nature spirits: predominantly, gnomes, sylphs, undines, and fire-spirits. [See "Neutered Nature".]

According to Waldorf belief, colors — like everything else — have hidden meanings. There are positive colors and negative colors, high colors and low colors, colors that can be used for this and colors that must never be used for that. The following comes from a guide to painting the Waldorf way. Note that the “truths” about colors hinge on clairvoyance:

The moral effect of color... To the inward vision of the soul [i.e., clairvoyance] the essential nature of each color is revealed ... Yellow: The eye is gladdened, the heart expanded and cheered ...  Yellowy Red: [I]mpetuous, robust, uneducated this colour ... The colours on the minus side are blue, red-blue, and blue-red. Blue: brings darkness ...  Reddish blue: It may be said [occultly] to disturb rather than enligheten ... Bluey Red: [An] unquiet feeling ... [A] carpet of perfectly pure deep blue-red would be intolerable.”  — Waldorf proponent Brunhild Müller, PAINTING WITH CHILDREN (Floris Books, 2010), pp. 9-10.

If you don’t believe in clairvoyance, and voodoo in colors, and bonzo rules (no blue-red carpets!) — Waldorf might not bring brightness into your life.

“In early civilizations the mass of people lived in a child-like state and were guided and directed by personalities who in some respects were more mature, i.e., the priests and kings. These in turn were guided by spiritual beings — gods — and were what is known as ‘initiates,’ by which is meant that they had direct experience of a supersensible world.” — Waldorf educator Roy Wilkinson, TEACHING HISTORY, Vol. 1. (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 2000), p. 4. 

This summarizes a portion of humanity’s evolution as described by Rudolf Steiner. Steiner’s account hinges on the concept of occult knowledge — secret knowledge of the spirit realm possessed by only a few advanced or “mature” human beings, aka initiates. Many ancient societies were indeed built upon such ideas, which have largely become obsolete in the modern world. But such ideas live on in the Waldorf belief system, which accepts them as objectively revealed Truth. 

 ◊ Note that the description is polytheistic — “gods.” The Waldorf belief system recognizes many gods. 

 ◊ "Initiation” is a basic term in occult spiritual traditions. People who rise in the ranks of spiritualists become “initiated” — they are admitted to the inner circle. Steiner described himself as such an initiate, and many Waldorf teachers believe that they, too, have been initiated. 

 ◊ In Waldorf belief, the “direct experience” of initiates is the use of clairvoyance. Steiner taught that people used to have natural clairvoyant powers that modern humans have lost. But he said that “initiates” like himself have attained a perfected form of clairvoyance. 

 ◊ According to Waldorf belief, the “supersensible world” is actually several worlds — spiritual worlds that we cannot perceived with our senses (they are above senses, they are "super-sensible"), but we can perceive them through clairvoyance.

When Waldorf teachers convey such “facts” to their students, openly or indirectly, they are teaching the kids Anthroposophy, not history.


“We can...trace historically the development of humanity from a period when the soul had an instinctive connection with the spiritual, through a time when there were intermediaries in the form of priests, to the present almost wholly materialistic civilization.” — Waldorf teacher Roy Wilkinson, TEACHING HISTORY, Vol. 1 (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 2000), p. 5. 

The Anthroposophical account of human history is occult and mystical. Steiner said that we happen to live in a highly materialistic period* when his occult teachings are not self-evidently true to most people. But he said that occult truths were obvious to people in the past and they will become obvious to people again in the future. The “instinctive connection with the spiritual” that ancient people had was natural clairvoyance, possessed by almost everyone then. In a later epoch, only the priests and initiates had direct knowledge of the higher worlds. Today, only Steiner’s followers and a very few others have such knowledge. 

If Waldorf students are given such ideas, they are not being taught history; they are being indoctrinated in Anthroposophy. 

* By "materialism," Steiner didn't simply mean the love of material possessions; he meant the condition of being deeply incarnated in the material world. We were less physically incarnated in the past and we will be less physically incarnated in the future. Our present deeply physical incarnation is what makes spiritual truths "occult" to us — that is, they are hidden from us at present.

"A growing question in Waldorf kindergartens and schools is to what extent is Waldorf education bound to the Christian religion and to what extent is it more universal. The answer points towards the modern mysteries, for Waldorf education is centered around the Christ as a Universal Being who has helped humans in their development from the beginning of time. Rudolf Steiner speaks of the Christ in the present time as dwelling in the etheric world surrounding the Earth through which each incarnating soul passes ... Waldorf education strives to create a place in which the highest beings, including the Christ, can find their home, but it is not connected to one religion or another.” — Waldorf teacher Joan Almon, WHAT IS A WALDORF KINDERGARTEN (SteinerBooks, 2007), p. 53. 

Waldorf schools usually deny that they are religious institutions — except when they admit that they are. The schools also usually deny that they are Christian — except when they claim that they are. The truth is that Waldorf schools are very religious, but the religion involved is not Christianity — it is Anthroposophy. Here are some of the Anthroposophical doctrines peeking out from Almon's statement. Bear in mind that her statekment, reflecting these doctrines, appears in a SteinerBooks publication about Waldorf kindergartens: 

 ◊ “Modern mysteries”: Anthroposophy consists of “occult” or “mystery” knowledge of the spirit worlds attained through clairvoyance. In this sense, "mysteries" are occult spiritual truths.

 ◊ “Christ as a Universal Being”: The Christ in Anthroposophy is not the Son of God as Christians usually conceive Him; rather, Christ is the Sun God, a god centered on the Sun who (according to Anthroposophical belief) has been worshipped by various peoples in various ways throughout history. Christ came to Earth more or less as described in the Bible, Steiner taught, but Christ also acted to influence human evolution at other times and in other places.

 ◊ “Christ...dwelling in the etheric world”: In Anthroposophical doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ has already occurred, but not on the physical Earth; instead, Christ returned to the invisible “etheric” world beyond the Earth. 

 ◊ “Incarnating souls”: This concept is crucial to Waldorf education; Waldorf teachers are less interested in conveying knowledge to their students than in helping the students to incarnate here on Earth. 

 ◊ “The highest beings”: These are gods. Anthroposophy is polytheistic, it recognizes a vast number of gods arrayed in a hierarchy that extends from spirits just a bit higher than humans to deities vastly higher than humans. (The polytheism of Anthroposophy makes plain that Anthroposophy is not truly Christian; Christianity is monotheistic.)

 ◊ “Create a place in which the highest beings...can find their home”: Anthroposophy is centered on human beings, not gods. Indeed, Anthroposophy teaches that the gods worship us, and we will one day evolve to be higher than the existing nine ranks of gods. The universe is, or will be, ours, and we make it a fit place for the gods to dwell. Genuine Waldorf schools, as an active extension of Anthroposophy, seek to realize this ideal, to the greatest extent possible, here and now. Waldorf schools are, in this sense, temples or churches — homes of the gods. 

 ◊ “Not connected to one religion”: Anthroposophy is a religion, but a very odd one. Among Antroposophy's odder doctrines is the belief that it is not a religion, per se, but a “science” — specifically, the “occult science” or “spiritual science” described by Rudolf Steiner in such books as AN OUTLINE OF OCCULT SCIENCE. As indicated previously, this “science” entails the use of clairvoyance to study the higher spirit worlds. 

[For more on these matters, see, e.g., “Everything”, “Sun God”, "Christ Events", Polytheism”, “Why? Oh Why?”, “Is Anthroposophy a Religion?”, "Was He Christian?", “Incarnation”, etc.]

“The first mathematicians were priests. Mathematics was not a mere physical science, but a revelation of divinity ... [Math has] an ethical quality ... It manifests order in the world ... One could go even further and say that this is a divine wisdom manifesting itself, and in this sense, mathematics becomes a religious study. In thinking mathematically one is tracing the divine pattern.” — Waldorf teacher Roy Wilkinson, TEACHING MATHEMATICS (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1994), pp. 2-3.

Or, as Steiner said, 

"It is possible to introduce a religious element into every subject, even into math lessons. Anyone who has some knowledge of Waldorf teaching will know that this statement is true." — Waldorf founder Rudolf Steiner, THE CHILD's CHANGING CONSCIOUSNESS AS THE BASIS OF PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICE (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 94. 

At Waldorf schools, virtually every subject is a religious study — that is, virtually every subject reaches the students wrapped in Anthroposophical beliefs, even if the presentation of these beliefs is often camouflaged.

"[T]he purpose of education is to help the individual fulfill his karma. The teacher is an intermediary and his task is to guide the incarnating individualities [i.e., children] into the physical world and equip them for earthly existence, bearing in mind what they bring with them from the past and what they are likely to take with them into the future.” — Waldorf teacher Roy Wilkinson, THE SPIRITUAL BASIS OF STEINER EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), p. 52.

There are various ways to describe the purpose of Waldorf education, none of which have much to do with teaching regular subjects to the kids or helping the kids to develop real-world skills. Waldorf schools try to usher the souls of young children from spirit realms to the Earth, guiding them to fulfill their spiritual destinies, and preparing them for their further spiritual evolution. All of this is based on Rudolf Steiner's occult teachings. Parents who choose Waldorf schools for their children, and governments that decide to provide financing for Waldorf schools, need to understand what they are opting for.

(How can Waldorf teachers know what children bring from their lives before birth, and how can they foresee what the children will likely take into their future lives? True-believing Waldorf teachers think they do so mainly through the use of clairvoyance, as per Rudolf Steiner's instructions.)

“Our school is not a religious school, and no particular religion or philosophy is taught ... [C]hildren [in the school] will learn about some of the world’s great spiritual movements ... A key point to remember for you as parents is that Waldorf education is based on the spiritual nature of the child, and that your family's particular beliefs will be respected.” — 2011-2012 PARENT HANDBOOK, Anchorage Waldorf School, p. 12.

This is a typical Waldorf claim, and in some ways it is true — as far as it goes. Just as the racism in Anthroposophical doctrines (teaching that some races are higher than others) does not prevent Waldorf schools from treating members of all races well, Anthroposophy's claim to superior spiritual wisdom does not prevent Waldorf schools from treating members of all faiths well. Steiner taught that there is some degree of truth in almost all religions. But he also taught that the degree of truth in spiritual systems outside Anthroposophy is limited, and only Anthroposophy (which he called a science instead of a religion) is truly correct for humanity now. With these teachings in mind, Steiner’s followers want to recruit members of all religions to their own “superior” vision and institutions, such as Waldorf schools. Their aim is to eventually win over and convert members of all other belief systems.

But what conclusion does this lead us to? Are Waldorf schools religious or not? They are not, if Anthroposophy is conceived as a science — specifically, "spiritual science." But Waldorf schools certainly are  religious if Anthroposophy is accurately recognized for what it is — a religion. [See "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?"] 

“One question that is often asked is: ‘Is a Waldorf school a religious school?’ ... It is not a religious school in the way that we commonly think of religion ... And yet, in a broad and universal way, the Waldorf school is essentially religious.” — Waldorf teacher Jack Petrash, UNDERSTANDING WALDORF EDUCATION (Nova Institute, 2002), p. 134.

Mysticism suffuses everything in authentic, Anthroposophy-inspired Waldorf schools. And here is what may seem like a riddle. The schools place great emphasis on play. Why? It may seem stranegly frivolous, in schools that take their mission so seriously. But the answer is actually fairly straightforward. True-believing Waldorf teachers think children enact and thus manifest mystical truths. 

“Already at a very early age, the child enjoys the game of hide-and-seek ... These games reflect the transition from there to here, from the spiritual to the physical world, which takes place every morning on waking up.” — Waldorf proponent Heidi Britz-Crecelius, CHILDREN AT PLAY: Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development (Park Street Press, 1996), p. 18.

In Waldorf belief, the soul leaves the body during sleep and travels to the spirit realm — in reality, not in dreams. Specifically, the astral body and the ego body leave the Earth while the physical body and the etheric body remain behind. 

“[W]e go to sleep at night, setting forth with our Ego and astral body, leaving behind the body of our waking life...until we re-awaken.” — Waldorf founder Rudolf Steiner, “Man as a Picture of the Living Spirit” (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), a lecture, GA 228. 

Children do not yet have fully incarnated astral bodies and egos, but they go the spirit worlds nonetheless, and their play reflects this. Or so dyed-in-the-wool Waldorf teachers believe.

There has been widespread discussion recently about the Waldorf aversion to computers. In Waldorf belief, the arch-demon Ahriman — a monster of intellect and technology — incarnates in sophisticated modern computers. 

“[T]he computer has taken a giant step in furthering its ability to imitate the human being. In particular, the technical basis for a separate, incarnating consciousness has been laid — but a consciousness of a purely intellectual, mechanical (albeit self-aware) nature. With the achievement of the stored program computer [i.e., a computer that carries its programs internally], it begins to be possible to talk in terms of a (macrocosmic) incarnation vehicle capable of sustaining the being of Ahriman.” — Waldorf backer David B. Black, THE COMPUTER AND THE INCARNATION OF AHRIMAN (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1981), p. 33. 

Although technologically outdated, this dotty little book continues to circulate in Waldorf circles.

“1879 was mentioned by Rudolf Steiner as having particular significance in the history of Ahriman and most specifically November of that year. At that time, a battle between the being Michael (the countenance of Christ) and Ahriman, begun in 1841, ended with Ahriman being cast out of the heavenly spheres to the earth, specifically into the heads of humans. Direct results of this event were experienced by Thomas Edison....” — Pro-Waldorf computerphobe David B. Black, THE COMPUTER AND THE INCARNATION OF AHRIMAN (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1981), p. 25.

For more on the crucial year 1879 (crucial in Anthroposophical lore, anyway), see the entry for that year in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.* (You might also consult the "historical narrative" in that invaluable reference work.)

* Look for the year as if it were spelled out: eighteen seventy nine.

“The discovery of a textbook demonstration of the occult guidance of history [i.e., the influence of occult powers on human history] ... [C]ertain necessities of an astrological nature were involved in the timing of the planet’s discovery ... By transits of Saturn and Uranus to the position of Pluto’s discovery [i.e., by making an astrological chart of these things], the timing of the explosion at Hiroshima and the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb in 1952 were determined with great accuracy. This coincidence also makes clear the nature of at least part of the [demonic] forces introduced through Pluto.” — Rudolf Steiner fan David B. Black, THE COMPUTER AND THE INCARNATION OF AHRIMAN (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1981), pp. 31-32.

This is a fairly representative example of “deep” and “intellectual” discourse among Rudolf Steiner’s followers (notice who published this little Black book). A footnote on p. 31 provides another example: 

“Pluto was discovered at about the time of Godel’s proof [i.e., an unrelated mathematical proof], and so would have some association with it.” 

Anthroposophists assume that everything is interconnected in mysterious, spiritual ways. Nothing happens by chance, really — there are no coincidences; everything has a hidden, astrological/mystical/gnostic cause. Black’s main point about the discovery of Pluto is that the discovery was connected with the invention of computers and the incarnation of the demon Ahriman in human affairs (as signaled by the dropping of the first A-bomb and the test of the first H-bomb). Perhaps so, perhaps so. Pluto was discovered in 1930. Hiroshima was bombed in 1945. The first H-bomb was detonated in 1952. According to Steiner, Ahriman descended to Earth in 1879. Coincidence? I think not! Ahriman came to Earth once upon a time, and Pluto was discovered a mere 51 years later, and then just 22 years after that, an H-bomb was tested. Aha!

From the publisher of OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE: 

“The anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner is not a theoretical system, but the results of research based on direct observation ... Whereas the findings of natural science are derived from observations made through the senses, the findings of spiritual science, or anthroposophy, are 'occult' inasmuch as they derive from direct observation of realities which are hidden to everyday perception ... A substantial part of Occult Science is occupied by a description of the preliminary training which is necessary to make such spiritual observations.”  — Rudolf Steiner Press, downloaded 11-2-2011.

Steiner’s “observations” consisted of the use of clairvoyance. Natural science uses the senses and the measuring, observing, probing equipment available in the real world; Steiner's “occult science” depends on a form of “observation” that is in fact mere fantasy or delusion. [See “Clairvoyance”.] The “preliminary training” described in OCCULT SCIENCE and in Steiner’s book HOW TO KNOW HIGHER WORLDS is training in the development of clairvoyance. This is the fundamental effort expected of all Anthroposophists, including  Waldorf teachers. 

"Not every Waldorf teacher has the gift of clairvoyance, but every one of them has accepted wholeheartedly and with full understanding the results of [clairvoyant] spiritual-scientific investigation concerning the human being.” — Waldorf originator Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1995), Vol. 2, p. 224. [See “The Waldorf Teacher’s Consciousness”. ] 

Waldorf teachers' reliance on clairvoyance would make sense if the training worked; and the training might work if clairvoyance existed. But clairvoyance doesn't exist, so the training doesn't work, so the reliance doesn't make sense. This is a house of cards that collapses in the least breeze of rationality.

“Modern Mandalas. In 1907 Rudolf Steiner created linear patterns drawn in connection with the seven planets. They were pure artistic forms carried out in a mandala format ... Steiner’s description of...what one can receive from [them] is in accord with mandala tradition.” — Waldorf teacher Van James, THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF FORM (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 2007), pp. 74-75.

Mandalas are abstract representations of the universe. Generally cIrcular, they are used in meditation and sacred rituals. The doctrines of Anthroposophy recognize two sets of seven planets. The planets having astrological powers — and symbolized by Steiner’s mandalas — are Saturn, the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus. A somewhat different line-up of seven "planets" is found in the Anthroposophical account of human spiritual evolution. These planets or planetary stages are Saturn, the Sun, the Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan. Both of these lists include “planets” that are not planets (the Sun, the Moon, Vulcan), and both lists exclude some real planets (Uranus and Neptune). In reality, the solar system has eight planets, not seven. Counting outward, they are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Steiner knew about Uranus and Neptune, but he denied that they are members of the solar system. (If we count Pluto, the solar system actually has nine planets. And if additional planets are discovered farther out from the Sun...)

“Steiner describes [his] mandalas and their accompanying forms as arising out of the ‘occult script’ and he says ... ‘When a [design] has a particular lawfulness, it works so as to lead a person directly to great cosmic mysteries....’” — Waldorf teacher and teacher-trainer Van James, THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF FORM (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 2007), p. 139. 

The “occult script” (also called the “stellar script”) is the hidden writing that makes up the Akashic Record, a celestial storehouse of knowledge accessible through clairvoyance. That’s what Steiner said, anyway, and it is what his followers still believe. [See "Akasha".]

The following is from the website Waldorf Answers [November 15, 2011]: 

“The role of the heart in the human organism is very complex ... The discussion of the heart in Waldorf education is primarily concerned with doing justice to the complexity of the role of the heart in the human body and in human life. The picture of it as a mechanical ‘pump’ reflects only in a very simplified way one aspect.” []

This is misleading; it obfuscates rather than clarifies. Rudolf Steiner taught that the heart is not a pump [1], and this false view is sometimes conveyed to Waldorf students. Steiner was wrong. The heart is a pump. [2] Asserting otherwise demonstrates how seriously Steiner and his followers have disconnected themselves from reality. Defenders of Waldorf schooling would do well to admit that Steiner was wrong about at least a few things. But this is generally unthinkable to them (especially those who are outright Anthroposophists), so they desperately defend him on almost all counts — cutting the ground from under themselves in the process. [3]

[1] “[Science] sees the heart as a pump ... Now there is nothing more absurd than believing this....” — Rudolf Steiner, PSYCHOANALYSIS AND SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY, (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1990), p. 126.

[2] “Heart — organ that serves as a pump to circulate the blood.” — ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA. 

[3] "The not an organ that pumps the blood around [in] us." — Waldorf teacher Henk van OOrt, ANTHROPOSPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 55.

The following is not a spoof. I did not make it up. Taken from a book published by Rudolf Steiner College, it is a sample of Anthroposophical discourse. The teachers at typical Waldorf schools study such texts. 

“The important educational factors in the first years of life are learning to eat, to take in substance and transform it — an action of the ego [1] — and learning to sleep, which is a breathing rhythm between the soul-spirit [2] and the earthly body. [3] Until the change of teeth [4], the child lives in an organism [5] in which there lives a replica of the spiritual world. [6] The archetype of the physical body as the Word of the Zodiac [7], the impress of the planets on the life organs — lungs, liver, heart, etc. — and the movements they made during the embryonic period [8], this is the content of the body of formative forces [9], which is imbued with life from the cosmic ether [10], which the soul-spirits of children draw to themselves in the moon-sphere [11] before their birth.” — Waldorf teacher Audrey E. McAllen, SLEEP - An Unobserved Element in Education (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 2004), p. 33.

[1] The “I” or ego body — the third of our invisible bodies to incarnate.

[2] The combined soul and spirit.

[3] The physical body.

[4] The loss of baby teeth, signifying the incarnation of the etheric body, the first of our invisible bodies.

[5] The physical body, perfected during the first seven years of life. (In a sense, of course, we continue to live in this body; but Anthroposophists believe we accumulate additional bodies as we age.)

[6] Children come to Earth bearing the imprint of the spirit realm.

[7] Astrology. The physical body is the exhaled embodiment of stellar powers. The "Word of the Zodiac" is the expressed formative effect of the stars and their gods, the foremost of whom is the Sun God, the embodied Word of God.

[8] Astrological influences are especially great upon embryos.

[9] The etheric body.

[10] The universal etheric medium.

[11] The region of cosmic space dominated by the Moon.

At Waldorf schools, even the play of children is seen through the lens of esoteric dogma. 

“[P]rimal memory is experienced ... It enlivens many an early game or even transfigures it ... [T]he incarnation of the soul into the physical body, is the subject of countless games ... The children are playing at becoming incarnated.” — Waldorf advocate  Heidi Britz-Crecelius, CHILDREN AT PLAY - Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development (Park Street Press, 1996), p. 105. 

Primal memory, in Waldorf belief, is the imprint of one's past lives in the spirit realm. According to Anthroposophy, incarnation is the main purpose of childhood, and Waldorf faculties often think guiding incarnation is the main objective of schooling. [See "Here's the Answer" and "Incarnation".]

"When visiting a Waldorf school we meet the faculty; getting to know them as individuals and sensing how they relate as a group. We experience how the character of the school is affected by who they are, and how they work together. 

"If we return a few years later, faculty members may have left and the group working changed [sic]; the school, however, has retained its essential personality. What we are now recognizing is the element unique to each individual Waldorf school

"Visiting a number of schools, we perceive each school as part of an educational movement, which includes more than just the schools themselves: national associations, colleges, teacher trainings, foundations, publications, and so forth, are all involved in maintaining and developing the Waldorf education movement. 

"Looking further afield, we see the Waldorf school movement as part of a much larger phenomenon symptomatic of a global spiritual awakening....





— Waldorf teacher Reg Down, 

"The Role of the Teacher-Artist 

in the Seven-Fold Waldorf School",


downloaded Oct. 26, 2014

(I have edited the chart slightly. - R.R.)

This is how true-believing Waldorf faculties see themselves and their schools. They are part of a global spiritual awakening, which is overseen by gods three levels above mankind, the Archai. The Waldorf movement itself is overseen by gods two levels above mankind, the Archangels. Individual Waldorf school are overseen by gods one level above mankind, the Angels. Each individual Waldorf faculty is overseen by the "college of teachers" — that is, the central controlling committee in that school, consisting of the leading (initiated) members of the faculty. (In effect, these highly spiritual human beings take their place in the hierarchy of the gods.) Thus, Waldorf schools serve the gods and they are supervised and protected by the gods.

“It should be understood by any school or institution seeking affiliation with AWSNA [the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America] that Waldorf Education is based on Anthroposophy, the philosophy initiated by Rudolf Steiner. Waldorf is a trademark name in the United States and is reserved for independent schools which meet the membership standards established by AWSNA ... Only schools which have been accepted as Sponsored or Full Members of AWSNA may represent themselves as Waldorf schools or use the words ‘Waldorf’ or ‘Rudolf Steiner’ in their names or subtitles.” — Why Waldorf Works, 11-22-2011

Rudolf Steiner’s followers have long had difficulty distinguishing the fascinating from the absurd, the profound from the sham. But this is what enables them to be Rudolf Steiner’s followers. 

“Today much of the original occult wisdom of the Tarot has long been forgotten ... Therefore this republication of Arthur Edward Waite’s classic work on the Tarot will certainly evoke considerable interest in this important chapter in the ever-fascinating record of man’s endless striving toward knowledge of the Eternal.” — Anthroposophical lecturer Paul M. Allen, Introduction, THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1971), p. iv.

Rudolf Steiner said alchemy was a real and noble pursuit. He said almost no one except himself understands the true nature of alchemy, but he said much the same about numerous superstitions and fallacies that he endorsed. His followers have accepted his perspective, which is why SteinerBooks printed, for instance, the book ALCHEMISTS THROUGH THE AGES (SteinerBooks, 1971). Here is how the publisher described this tome: 

“[This] well-researched a fascinating panorama of alchemical searches over the centuries, in which the quest is only secondarily the transmutation of base metal into gold. The real quest of the alchemists is the transformation of themselves — the unfolding of the higher self from out of the baser self....” 

In other words, “true” alchemy was a forerunner of Anthroposophy, the “science” that helps us evolve to become our truer, higher selves. But Anthroposophists believe much the same about innumerable other superstitions and fallacies that they embrace as forerunners of their belief system. To be an Anthroposophist means occupying a mental universe in which alchemy, astrology, magic, divination, and many other ancient falsehoods are embraced as truth or, at a minimum, as precursors of Truth— i.e., Anthroposophy.

(So alchemy was different from what you thought. Steiner's followers accept alchemy as Steiner redefined it. Don't doubt, however, that Anthroposophists also tend to accept alchemy and other fallacies in their old-fashioned, literal forms. Thus, Arthur E. Waite, the author of ALCHEMISTS THROUGH THE AGES, assures us that alchemists did turn base metals into gold. 

"I am of the opinion, from the evidence at hand, that metallic transformations did occur in the past." — Ibid., p. 33.)







From SteinerBooks: 

“Having evolved through the ages, money is no longer an object so much as it has become a ‘worldwind’ of circulation, moving at various speeds and achieving a myriad of results ... From object to pure movement, money is now poised to serve our highest goals. As we have nurtured money in its evolution, we must now take responsibility for directing its great potential in transforming social life, thereby bringing healing to the world.” — Publisher's description of MONEY CAN HEAL, by Waldorf teacher Siegfried E. Finser (SteinerBooks, 2006).

Rudolf Steiner’s followers rarely yearn for wealth. You don’t become an Anthroposophist in order to get rich. On the other hand, the need for money is often a preoccupation for Waldorf schools — covering school expenses can be an unending challenge.* Thus an Anthroposophical financial literature has developed, offering financial guidance and seeking to define the correct role of cash in a world of spirit. Anthroposophists absorb these lessons to varying degrees, putting financial concerns nearer or farther from the center of their attention, depending on their circumstances and dispositions.

* Hoping to relieve this challenge is a major reason some Waldorf schools seek acceptance into public school systems as charter schools. The public coffers would then open to them.

From SteinerBooks: 

“For centuries learned men studied precious and semi-precious stones to uncover their connection with the secrets of creation, and to discover their powers of healing. This book garners into a single fascinating volume practical uses and occult lore of such stones... It is because of the relationship between the secret wisdom of the precious stones and the life of man that it is important that this major work by a British physician of the twentieth century is made available at this time.” — THE OCCULT AND CURATIVE POWERS OF PRECIOUS STONES, by Anthroposophy ally William T. Fernie (SteinerBooks, 1973).

Flying saucers. Yes or no? No. In standard Anthroposophical belief, there are no spaceships from other worlds whizzing through our skies. Only the powers of darkness want us to believe in UFOs — they want to divert us from the new clairvoyance Rudolf Steiner promised. But there are glimmerings in our skies, non-physical presences perceived with the new clairvoyance Rudolf Steiner promised. Both as illusions and as realities, flying saucers (like everything else) show us that Steiner was right. About everything.

“[S]ome people may be experiencing the first beginnings of the new clairvoyance, without understanding what is happening. Through this lack of understanding, through a materialistic outlook, what should be true imaginative pictures of the etheric realm may well be distorted and clothed in images of physical objects — flying saucers and ‘little men’ ... [M]any of the UFO’s are real phenomena. But they need not be solid objects. Certainly they are not space-craft from other planets. We are not being watched nor visited by physical space men. The important thing to realize is that what we are experiencing in our time is the powerful activity of adverse spiritual forces which seek to bring about a state of fear and bewilderment. We need to be awake to the fact that it is an attempt to distract and confuse man, and to divert him from his true task, which is a new spiritual development, an attainment of higher faculties [through] a deeper study of Rudolf Steiner’s Spiritual Science.” — Anthroposophist Georg Unger, FLYING SAUCERS: Physical and Spiritual Aspects (New Knowledge Books, 1971), pp. 35-41.

Probably most Anthroposophists do not believe in flying saucers, as such. Yet Anthroposophy predisposes them to think that most paranormal phenomena are, one way or the other, real. Or perhaps we should turn this around and say that their predisposition to believe in paranormal phenomena inclines them to accept the bizarre teachings that constitute Anthroposophy. And this predisposition can extend beyond Anthroposophy to encompass such things as flying saucers.

◊ "Flying Saucers [are] technically described as U.F.O.'s, or unidentified flying objects. There is general agreement about the saucer shape with three spherical supports beneath. Sound evidence can be found for the existence of these unheralded objects...." — THE STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PSYCHIC, MYSTIC, OCCULT (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1973), p. 85.

◊ "Flying Saucers [are] technically described as U.F.O.'s, or unidentified flying objects. However, after thousands of sightings the world over, the famous saucer shape (once universally regarded as its only design) has now been discovered to be but one style among a number. Sound evidence for the prevalence of U.F.O.'s has been presented by some contemporary astronomers...." — THE STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PARANORMAL (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1980), p. 102.

Some Anthroposophists are impressively smart. A few have written impressive, thought-provoking books. But the primary requirement for becoming an Anthroposophist is credulity.

From the Anthroposophic Press: 

“The dominant attitude of modern medicine is that illness should not exist. Therefore millions of research dollars are poured annually into medical science and technology in the hope of eradicating sickness and disease. Patients and doctors alike suffer the terrible consequences of this impossible dream of material perfection. But there is another view, one whose vision of the human being and human evolution is large enough to include 'illness' as an essential part of being human." — BLESSED BY ILLNESS, by Waldorf teacher L. F. C. Mees (Anthroposophic Press, 1990). 

For an introduction to Anthroposophical medicine, see "What We're Made Of" and "Steiner's Quackery". A major premise in Anthroposophical medicine is that illnesses — even fatal ones — are good for you if they help you fulfill your karma.

In Anthroposophical belief, children need to undergo certain childhood diseases. Interfering can be harmful. Kids should be allowed to be sick so that they can harmonize the invisible "I" with the physical body. Being sick is good for children. (And being vaccinated to prevent diseases is not so good.)

"Childhood diseases...result from a necessary developmental process ... The child must bring inherited substances into line with his own 'I' ... The intensity of this process depends on the degree of conformity between the physical body and the 'I'. The bigger the difference, the more intense the harmonization process expressed in these types of disease will have to be. This basic concept of the origin of childhood diseases has been complicated by new forms of medication that suppress symptoms (vaccination) ... [T]he harmonization process is partly blocked by their use." — Waldorf teacher Henk Van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 20.

“[W]hen we read a spiritual-scientific [i.e., Anthroposophical] communication as we read a normal book, there is no question of ‘study’ in the sense of the first step on the cognitive path ... Higher thinking is...clairvoyant thinking ... Such thinking is imaginative thinking, which proceeds wordlessly.” — Anthroposophical confederate Georg Kühlewind, WORKING WITH ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1992), p. 36.

Rudolf Steiner instructed his followers not to think too much, particularly about his teachings. In and of itself, this tells us a great deal about the validity of his teachings. And yet his followers generally accept his guidance on this point, limiting their capacity to form rational judgments. They are, by and large, believers, not great thinkers. [See, e.g., "Steiner's Specific" and "Thinking".]

"Waldorf teachers study Anthroposophy and the works of Dr. Steiner as part of their training to become Waldorf teachers, and the Waldorf curriculum continues to be informed by Anthroposophy today." — 2011-2012 PARENT HANDBOOK, Anchorage Waldorf School, p. 5.

“[Y]oung children develop gradually as the earliest human beings did. It is the teacher’s job to see that the child is not cheated out of any of these developmental stages ... In his or her first seven years, the child is open to receive the foundation of every later phase of life.” — Waldorf teacher Betty Peck, A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER LOOKS AT THE WORD GOD (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 2008), p. 11.

You might think that the teacher’s job is to teach children, but you would be wrong. The teacher’s job, says Waldorf teacher Betty Peck, is to help children to recapitulate human spiritual evolution through a series of seven-year-long stages during which the three invisible human bodies incarnate, thus laying the foundation for the additional seven-year-long developmental stages that follow in adulthood. At the end of the first seven-year phase of childhood, the etheric body incarnates. At the end of the second seven-year phase, the astral body incarnates. At the end of the third seven-year phase, the ego body or the "I" incarnates. And if you believe that...  [See “Incarnation” and “What We’re Made Of”.]






“The infernal powers know their own, but there are also rare souls, known and unknown, who are the servants of the light, unfailingly devoted to advancing the greater purposes of existence no matter what the sacrifice and inevitable hardships. In the future, we may well look back on the first third of the twentieth century and recognize the two major antagonists who epitomized the spiritual conflict — namely, Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Steiner.” — Waldorf teacher William A. Bryant, A JOURNEY THOUGH TIME (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 2006), p. 163.

Anthroposophists enormously inflate the stature of Rudolf Steiner, looking on him as a virtual Christ figure. The truth is that, despite the wide range of his interests and activities, Steiner was a minor historical figure. His chief significance today is found in the schools that bear his name, Steiner schools, otherwise known as Waldorf schools. Other than that, Steiner is mostly forgotten. (And for good reason.)

Immediate Need: 3rd Grade teacher 

“Orchard Valley Waldorf School [Vermont, USA] is a developing Waldorf School offering programs from infant/toddler through eighth grade to over 180 students. We seek applicants for the position of 3rd grade teacher for the 2011-12 school year ... We seek teachers with Waldorf training, and teaching experience. The ability to work harmoniously through openness and a commitment to building inner strength, through the living practice of anthroposophy are qualities we seek in our faculty.”  [12-22-2011] 

When they must, Waldorf schools sometimes hire teachers who have not been trained in Waldorf practices and beliefs. But they try to avoid this. The Waldorf movement is tightly bound to Anthroposophy, the religion created by Rudolf Steiner, and Waldorf teacher training usually involves study of Steiner’s spiritual doctrines. In addition, faculty members at Waldorf schools generally continue their study of Anthroposophical tenets throughout their lives. Faculty meetings at Waldorf schools may include such study, and/or special study sessions may be arranged. Steiner laid out the essential stipulation for Waldorf faculties in these words: 

“As Waldorf teachers, we must be true anthroposophists in the deepest sense of the word in our innermost feeling.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 118. 

[For more on these matters, see “Teacher Training”, “The Waldorf Teacher’s Consciousness”, and “Here’s the Answer”.]

Currently being featured at the Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore [January, 2012]:

"PROPHECY . PHENOMENA . HOPE: The Real Meaning of 2012 by Robert Powell, explores what 2012 really means, updating the research presented in his timely and ground-breaking book CHRIST & THE MAYA CALENDAR: 2012 and the Coming of the Antichrist (coauthored with Kevin Dann).

"In this new book, Powell focuses on two important and significant prophecies by Rudolf Steiner. The first (from 1909) concerns the Second Coming of Christ, his appearance to humanity as the Etheric Christ. The second prophecy (from 1919) represents the shadow side of Christ's Second Coming. It concerns the incarnation in human form of the being known as Ahriman (ancient Persian tradition) or Satan (Judeo-Christian tradition)."  []

This is the sort of thinking that appeals to Anthroposophists. Steiner's own teachings are characterized by superstition and irrationality. [See, e.g., "Astrology", "Waldorf Astrology", "Astrosophy", "Alchemy", and "Superstition". For some of Steiner's predictions, see "Millennium". For Steiner's prophecy of an apocalyptic future, see "All v. All". For Steiner's teachings about Ahriman and the Antichrist, see "Ahriman" and "Evil Ones". For Steiner's teachings about the Second Coming, see "Was He Christian?" and the entry for "Second Coming of Christ" in "The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia".]

“In the first three years of life, before the child is so engrossed in material life, it has a close relationship with the angels. At night, while asleep, the children meet their angels. They dream of them or have other experiences of them. As we grow up, the qualities of our childhood mature and develop in us and can evolve as imagination, inspiration and intuition. We too can relate to the angels. It generally happens in our sleep, for it is such a remarkable experience that we might be filled with fear if these contacts were to happen in our waking life.” — Waldorf Today, 2-6-2012 [] 

No one should have any doubt that Waldorf education is built on the mystical foundation of Anthroposophical religious belief. The passage quoted above is the beginning of an item posted prominently at the Waldorf Today website early in February, 2012. It contains references to numerous Anthroposophical doctrines: 

 ◊ Young children arrive on Earth retaining a relationship with the spirit realm where they lived before their new earthly incarnation. This is why Waldorf schools strive to keep children young and postpone the beginning of academic education until at least age seven. [See, e.g., “Thinking Cap”.]

 ◊ Angels are gods one level above humans. Each angel oversees one human being. (Archangels — gods two levels above humans — oversee groups of humans, such as nations and races.) In this sense, we can be said to have guardian angels. [See, e.g., “Polytheism” and “Serving the Gods”.]

 ◊ In Waldorf belief, humans have four bodies, only one of which is visible. At night, parts of us (the astral body and the ego body) rise up and travel into the spirit realm, returning the next morning. 

"When we are asleep our physical and etheric bodies lie on the bed, and our astral body and ego are outside them.” — Rudolf Steiner, PASTORAL MEDICINE (Anthroposophic Press, 1987), lecture 11, GA 318.

Young children do not yet have a full set of fully incarnated bodies, but nonetheless they "meet their angels" at night. According to Steiner, many of our dreams are actually true accounts of experiences we undergo in the spirit realm while the physical body and the etheric body slept. Steiner's followers thus think dreams are sources of truth, and Waldorf teachers sometimes consult their dreams in deciding how to handle their students. [See, e.g., "Incarnation", “God” and “Dreams”.]

 ◊ The true form of cognition, according to Waldorf belief, is clairvoyance. Waldorf schools emphasize "imagination, inspiration and intuition" because these are precursors to, or forms of, clairvoyance. Steiner taught that we can acquire and perfect these faculties now by following his guidance, but in the future everyone will have them. (To understand the next quotation, you need to know that Steiner said we will evolve to live "on" Jupiter, then Venus, then Vulcan — not the planets, as such, but future stages of cosmic evolution.) 

“Now let us consider the three states of consciousness which are still to come ... The next state known to the initiate is the so-called ‘psychic-consciousness’ or Imagination ... On the planet which will replace our Earth, the whole of humanity will have this psychic-consciousness’ or Imagination, the ‘Jupiter’ consciousness ... Then there is the sixth state of consciousness man will one day possess ... Man will look deep, deep into the nature of beings, when he lives in this consciousness, the consciousness of Inspiration ... This will be the consciousness of man when our planet will have passed into the ‘Venus’ condition ... The seventh state of consciousness is the ‘spiritual consciousness’ or Intuition...which [man] will have in addition to all the other states of consciousness when he will have reached ‘Vulcan’.” — Rudolf Steiner, UNDERSTANDING THE HUMAN BEING, (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1993), pp. 30-31. 

This is what lies behind the "arts-based" Waldorf curriculum with its emphasis on imagination. [See "Clairvoyance", "Exactly", "Academic Standards at Waldorf Schools", and "Magical Arts".]

Don't kid yourself. While not all Waldorf teachers are deeply committed Anthroposophists, many are — and Steiner said they all should be.

When you send children to Waldorf or Steiner schools, you are likely putting them in the charge of people who believe the tenets of Anthroposophy. And, of course, since Waldorf teachers generally think Anthroposophy is the truth, they want to lead your children toward it. That is the ultimate purpose of Waldorf schools. [See, e.g., "Here's the Answer" and "Spiritual Agenda".]

Recounting the things that she found attractive when visiting a Waldorf school, one writer speaks of this: 

“[There was a] dreamlike photograph of Rudolf Steiner which hung in a prominent position in the pale pink assembly hall. As far as I remember, there was something about him that was a little secretive and of which one did not speak.” — Waldorfesque educational psychologist Agnes Nobel, EDUCATING THROUGH ART - The Steiner School Approach (Floris Books, 1991), p. 30.

The walls in Waldorf schools are often painted ethereal hues. There is often a muted vibe in the air; hints of things left unsaid, hints of deep revelations unspoken. Photos of Steiner are rarely prominent, but sometimes they can be spotted, and often enough they are treated as being somehow spiritual. Certainly there is often a suggestion of reverence directed to him, the founder and leader. 

For some visitors, such indicators are attractions; for others, they are warning signs. In retrospect, you may find that visiting a Waldorf school has told you more about yourself than about the school itself (which typically knows how to guard its secrets well). [See, e.g., “Clues”, “Secrets”, and “Advice for Parents”.]

“[A] former Waldorf instructor [has said]: ‘I heard in a faculty meeting that there were many important souls waiting to reincarnate in this century and that they would only be able to do so if there were enough Waldorf schools. By the end of the year I taught there I was completely convinced that Waldorf constituted a cultlike religious movement which concealed its true nature from prospective parents.’" — Non-Anthroposophical Journalist Meagan Francis, "What’s Waldorf?" (SALON, 5-26-2004).

“[I]n one’s study of the so-called American ‘people’, it appears more justifiable to refer here to the formation of a new race [sic]. In checking off the characteristics of a race of people according to its own particular anatomical and physiological phenomena, taking into account such factors as skin color, hair growth, position of the eyes, the formation of the skull, etc., all in accordance with older racial theories, it becomes obvious that, [among you] in America, out of a large number of European peoples, there is something in formation which exhibits all the characteristics of a race in genesis.” — Anthroposophist F. W. Zeylmans von Emmichoven, AMERICA AND AMERICANISM (St. George Publications, 1984), p. 15.

Rather than repudiating Rudolf Steiner’s racial teachings, his followers have tended to speak of nations and races is the same terms he used. [For Steiner’s racial views, see, e.g., “Steiner’s Racism”, “Races”, and “Differences”. We should note, in passing, that Emmichoven finds merit in "older theories"; in particular, he laments modern psychological and sociological work, preferring the old ways of looking at things, ways he finds in Steiner.] 

As of August, 2016, AMERICA AND AMERICANISM is still for sale at the Rudolf Steiner College bookstore, under the imprint of Rudolf Steiner College Press.

Remarks delivered at a conference of Waldorf teachers:

“It has been twenty-one years since I took the Waldorf school teacher training, and in those past twenty-one years, I have not heard much about the double [1] among teachers in conversation or at conferences ... [A] presentation on this topic is long overdue ... Rudolf Steiner himself in a series of lectures...strongly urged teachers to take into account in their process of educating children the workings of the double ... There must be a new awareness of this second being within us.

“Dr. Steiner makes one aspect of the double very clear. Today in our times the double stands totally in the service of Ahriman [2] ... [T]he number 666 announces the attempts of the beast to gain a stronger foothold in the affairs of men. In the year 666 an ahrimanic, intellectual culture was introduced into the world through Arabism [i.e., Arab culture] ... [I]n 666 Ahriman won a great victory. [3]

“...In spite of the negative aspects of the double, he is a necessary part of our incarnation process. Left to himself, man would never give up his heavenly home and exchange it for earthly existence. It is the legitimate role of the double to help us into incarnation by placing in our lower nature an affinity for the earth.

“...I would like to try, very briefly, to state the specific aims of the double and Ahriman with regard to man, especially Western man. The double wants man to forsake his spiritual nature — his ego [i.e., his “I” or divine spiritual self]. The double wants to cut man off from the Christ and the Cosmos. The double wants to help develop a soulless society of intellectual automatons, in other words, an Ahrimanic race that will unite itself with the earth on a permanent basis and forsake the cosmos and the cosmic goals of the original creative Gods.

“...We must keep ourselves constantly informed about the workings of the double in us and in our students.” — Waldorf-trained educator Richard Schmitt, “The Double — A summary of a lecture given at the Teachers’ Conference of the Sacramento Waldorf School in February 1981” (Rudolf Steiner College Press, undated booklet, pp. 1-19 — still sold by the Rudolf Steiner College bookstore as of March, 2012).

[1] The doppelgänger, the evil twin that we carry within us. According to Waldorf belief, the double is not a part of our own psyche, but literally a second being who rides within our body to the Earth when we incarnate. [See “Double Trouble.”]

[2] Satan. [See “Ahriman”.]

[3] The speaker adds that Ahriman won again in 1222 A.D. and could win a third time in 1998.









 From SteinerBooks, a description of ONE SMALL STEP - The Great Moon Hoax and the Race to Dominate Earth from Space: 

“Is it possible that the famous American moon landings were nothing but an illusion — all a fabrication? Could NASA have fooled the world by broadcasting simulations that had been filmed for training purposes? From the very first manned flight into orbit right up to the present day, there have been serious anomalies in the official narrative of the conquest of space. Bestselling author Gerhard Wisnewski dissects the history in minute detail ... The evidence he presents casts serious doubt on the possibility of humans ever having walked on the moon.” []

The book was published in 2008 by Clairview, an imprint of Temple Lodge, an independent Anthroposophical publisher. SteinerBooks is a distributor for the book. 

Rudolf Steiner’s followers are generally willing to believe almost any occult fantasy (gnomes, fairies, Atlantis, astrology, curative crystals... [see “Occultism” and "Superstition"]). They are also prepared to embrace many conspiracy theories [see, e.g., “Double Trouble”]. Anthroposophists sometimes deny that humans have been to the Moon. Why? Because they do not want to accept science's description of the solar system; they want to believe Steiner descriptions instead. For instance, 

“[T]he moon today is like a fortress in the universe, in which there lives a population that fulfilled its human destiny over 15,000 years ago, after which it withdrew to the moon ... This is only one of the ‘cities’ in the universe, one colony, one settlement among many.” — Rudolf Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER SPEAKS TO THE BRITISH (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 93.

Other books by “bestselling” author Wisnewski — all in German, most about conspiracies — bear titles such as MASTERMIND OF POWER, THE TV DICTATORSHIP, CLASSIFIED TERROR, and HIDDEN, COVERED-UP, FORGOTTEN. (These are my translations of the titles.)

“On several occasions [in this book] we have had to point to the tendency to differentiate between two classes of faculty members in a Waldorf school, the higher and the lower level ones ... [T]here have always been two classes in society, the haves and the have-nots ... This tendency toward polarization can be found in Waldorf schools as well ... I have mentioned the esoteric circle [among the faculty] ... Most of those who are interested in Waldorf schools probably already know that the teachers who so desire (in other words who are being admitted) already have an esoteric connection [i.e., they are Anthroposophists]. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, not even exclusivity. This is part of human freedom. It merely must remain in the purely spiritual sphere.” — Waldorf alumnus Dieter Brüll, THE WALDORF SCHOOL AND THREEFOLD STRUCTURE (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, 1997), pp. 83-85.

According to Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf schools should be staffed almost entirely by Anthroposophists. In practice, however, this is often impractical — as even Steiner knew. Thus, Waldorf faculties are often divided between Anthroposophists and non-Anthroposophists. The former generally have a long-term commitment to their school and they often form the inner core, wielding the power in the school. The latter are often distinctly second-class citizens who may be replaced when Anthroposophists can be found to take their places. In the meantime, considerable tension can build up, often to the detriment of all involved — including the students. (There are also occasional divisions between the Anthroposophists on a faculty — over doctrinal or "ideological" differences — which only make things worse. [See, e.g., "His Education".])

“It is wise, on encountering a fairy, not to be too overeager in one’s scrutiny. Little People — like those other innocents, animals, and children — have an intense dislike of being stared at. They love to stare at us, of course, but will turn away at once and disappear the moment we return the favor. They have grown shy in the face of our disbelief in them.” — Waldorf teacher Marjorie Spock, FAIRY WORLDS AND WORKERS (SteinerBooks, 2013), pp. 36-37.

Most people would consider such a statement silly or, at best, sweetly fanciful. But according to the Waldorf belief system, fairies really exist. [See “Neutered Nature”.] It is hard to believe that Rudolf Steiner’s followers believe what they do. But they do.

"It is no easy feat for people of our time to see the fairies. Yet there are four professions which offer their practitioners unique opportunities to know them. Farmers, fishermen, foresters and miners work not just at the threshold of fairyland but well inside it ... An insightful farmer can learn to transform dead wastes into life by composting ... Fairies are strongly attracted by this practice. They swarm to the farmer's aid ... As suggested by Rudolf Steiner, the biodynamic farmer adds a further attraction. Four kinds of sprays are made ... To strengthen gnome activity in roots a spray of treated cow manure is used... [etc.]." — Waldorf teacher, eurythmist, biodynamic gardener, and anthroposophist Marjorie Spock, FAIRY WORLDS AND WORKERS (SteinerBooks, 2013), pp. 34-36.

"The brain does not produce thoughts." — Waldorf teacher Henk van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 16.

Some of Rudolf Steiner's teachings are simply, obviously, factually false. You would think that anyone with sense would see this and respond accordingly. Yet Anthroposophists usually accept even the most absurd of Steiner's teachings. Thus, in addition to agreeing with him that the heart does not pump blood, they agree that the brain does not really think. Here is Steiner on the brain: 

◊ “[T]he brain and nerve system have nothing at all to do with actual cognition....” — Waldorf founder Rudolf Steiner, THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE (SteinerBooks, 1996), p. 60. 

◊ Within the brain nothing at all exists of the nature of thought." — Rudolf Steiner, WONDERS OF THE WORLD (Kessinger, facsimile of 1929 edition), p. 88. 

◊ "[T]he materialistic brain represents a process of decay: materialistic thinking unfolds only through processes of destruction, death-processes, which are taking place in the brain.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), pp. 147-148. 

We probably should ask ourselves whether a valid form of education can be based on such ideas. Shouldn't educators have a high regard for brains — especially those of their students? Isn't true education, at one level, an effort to help students develop their powers of thought — that is, the use of their brains?

[To go into this more deeply, see "Thinking".]

As we have seen, Anthroposophists believe that no real thinking occurs in the brain. Indeed, they fear that pseudo-thinking coming from the brain will prevail against the true thinking that reaches them from supernatural sources. Anthroposophists believe that hrue thinking, or living thoughts, come to humanity from the gods. Our brains are, at most, receivers that may gather such thoughts. But more fundamentally, we do our thinking by relying on our hearts, our imaginations, our non-physical organs of clairvoyance. [See, e.g., "Thinking".]

"[T]he brain acts as a mirroring ground upon which [the gods'] thinking can manifest ... [I]t mediates between the spiritual and physical world just as a radio mediates between the broadcaster and the listener ... The brain does not produce thoughts." — Waldorf teacher Henk van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 16.

The implications of all this for the education of children are, to put it mildly, worrisome.

“The issue is, will thinking fall prey to the mechanism of the brain? Will ‘the brain thinks’ become reality? ... When the cerebral apparatus dominates thinking, it makes no difference what  we think ... Anthroposophy, for its part, presupposes that thinking does not remain bound to the brain ... It recognizes that when thinking is determined by the brain its loses its autonomy and can no longer act freely....” — Anthroposophical ally Georg Kühlewind, WORKING WITH ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1992), p. 11.

Waldorf education is anti-intellectual. It stresses arts, crafts, manual work, gardening — almost anything except vigorous use of the brain. The reason lies deep in the worldview that shapes this education. Rudolf Steiner taught that the brain is not capable of true thought. True thinking, he said, is clairvoyance, and this occurs not in the brain but in immaterial, invisible “organs of clairvoyance.” In brief, Waldorf education is built on an extraordinary fallacy. Hence it threatens to lead children far from reality and from the ability to think rationally about reality.

Rudolf Steiner taught that we can — and should — communicate with the dead. His teachings on such matters can be found in books bearing the titles WORKING WITH THE DEAD, STAYING CONNECTED, THE DEAD ARE WITH US, and so on.

Amazingly, the first of the books I have mentioned — WORKING WITH THE DEAD — was published by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, and it advocates encouraging young children to communicate and work  with the dead.

Here is some of the guidance offered in the book to Waldorf teachers: 

"Should we foster ways to serve the dead with small children?  ... Yes, celebrate the death day [i.e., the day someone died] like an earthly birthday ... Children who become accustomed to celebrating from a very early age the birthdays and death days of people who are part of their social life, learn to accept the spiritual world of beings as real. Thus they gain a basis for religious experience." — Waldorf teacher Helmut von Kügelgen, WORKING WITH THE DEAD (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, 2003), p. 2.

So, children should be encouraged to celebrate death as much as life, and to accept the continued existence of the dead. All of this is will contribute to the ultimate (albeit usually hidden) purpose of Waldorf education: creating "a basis for religious experience."

But how can children actually "work with" the dead? When should they expect to receive messages from the dead?

"The moment of waking is of particular importance for [receiving] a message from the dead ... Whatever the dead person has to communicate to us, the living, is carried from the spiritual worlds at the moment of waking." — Rudolf Steiner, quoted on p. 5 of WORKING WITH THE DEAD.

Consider these matters carefully. Children should help to "serve the dead." They should be taught to celebrate death. They should be taught that the dead are still "part of their social life." They should be taught that any words or ideas that pass through their minds in the foggy moments of waking up — these may well be messages from beyond the grave!

Consider these matters when selecting a school for your young children. These are the sorts of things Waldorf educational authorities publish and believe today. This is the sort of guidance that Waldorf teachers receive today. Young children should work with and serve the dead. Verily.

Teachers should focus on their students' invisible bodies. This is why, for instance, they should tell second graders many fables and stories about saints. 

"Fables and stories of saints form part of the story-telling curriculum of Class Two in Waldorf schools. In fables...every animal [displays] only one determining quality ... In stories of saints, on the other hand...saints are lord and master of their own astral body [sic]. Both types of stories offer the child support as the astral body begins to emancipate itself." — Waldorf teacher Henk van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 43. 

[Concerning our invisible bodies: see "Incarnation".]

More on invisible bodies, and what happens when we sleep and when we wake up: 

"[W]hen we are asleep, the astral body and the 'I' are in the spiritual world [attaining] images inspired by the hierarchies [i.e., gods] ... On waking up, when the astral body and the 'I' re-enter the ether body and the physical body, these images can become manifest in our daily consciousness."  — Waldorf teacher Henk van Oort, ANTHROPOSOPHY A-Z (Sophia Books, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2011), p. 44. 

This is just a bit of the thinking found in Waldorf schools today.


Consider all this carefully, please.










Painting by a Waldorf student,

courtesy of People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools.












If you become interested in 

Waldorf education and/or Anthroposophy,

you might want to dig up various 

Anthroposophical publications,

especially those that are not intended 

for outsiders such as you and me.

[See, e.g., "Clearing House".]

Here are excerpts from a 2013 edition of 

the General Anthroposophical Society’s newsletter 



I have added a few 

explanatory endnotes.

◊ “In the age of the consciousness soul [1] human beings are at work on developing their I [2], and doing so under special conditions ... With their spirit knowledge developed to the point of envisioning [i.e., the formation of true images via clairvoyance], human beings can now recognize karmic tendencies [3] so that individual steps light up, steps that might lead to effective work in the earthly realm ... Depending on each soul’s propensity, activity in the world brings the human being into dramatic confrontation with the work of Ahriman and Lucifer. [4]” [pp. 1-2]

[1] This is one of several types or components of soul that, Steiner taught, humans possess. [See, e.g., “Our Parts”.] Humanity as a whole has been developing the consciousness soul since the year 1413 CE. 

[2] The “I” or “ego body” is the third of three invisible bodies that incarnate during the first 21 years of life, according to Steiner. [See, e.g., “Incarnation”.]

[3] Karma and reincarnation are key Anthroposophical doctrines. [See "Karma" and "Reincarnation".]

[4] Ahriman and Lucifer are arch-demons who tempt and threaten humanity while also bestowing valuable gifts. [See “Ahriman” and “Lucifer”.]

◊ "Dear members, 

We warmly invite you to attend the 2013 Annual Conference of the General Anthroposophical Society to be held at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, on March 22–24, 2013. We will be reporting on some painful developments and also discussing a entire range of new ones ... We would like to remind you that the Annual Conference and the Annual General Meeting are open only to members of the General Anthroposophical Society; the pink membership card will be required for admission." [p. 3]

◊ "We — a group of members from around the world — are deeply concerned that central impulses of the General Anthroposophical society are not being pursued actively enough. We want to try working positively to encourage a dialogue among members so that we are at least on the way to the Society’ original intention.… The General Anthroposophical Society needs active members so the Society can be a 'body' for the being of anthroposophy.…” [p. 8]  

◊ “The annual meeting of the Christian Community [1] leadership (The Circle of Seven) and the Goetheanum Executive Council took place at the Goetheanum [2] on January 20–22. The main theme of the gathering was the nature and mission of the two movements.

“We took the nature of the Anthroposophical Society and the Christian Community as our theme, and we discussed the connection of the two movements to the time spirit, Michael. [3] Beginning in 1913 Rudolf Steiner spoke more and more about Michael — particularly in London at the beginning of May — and then was able to help found the Christian Community because of his own relationship to Michael. We worked together on aspects of the Class [4] lessons, especially in regard to the distortions and lies that modern people encounter.” [p. 12]

[1] The Christian Community is the overtly religious offshoot of Anthroposophy. [See "Christian Community".] Whether it is truly Christian is, at best, moot. [See "Was He Christian?"]

[2] The Goetheanum is the headquarters of the worldwide Anthroposophical movement. [See "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?"]

[3] Michael is the Archangel who, according to Steiner, presides over the current phase of human evolution; he is the current "time spirit." [See "Michael".]

[4] The First Class is an exclusive study group within the Anthroposophical Society. Steiner meant to establish other classes as well, but he died before doing so. [For more on the First Class, see, e.g., "Six Facts You Need to Know About Steiner Education".]

◊ "The third group [of Anthroposophical meditations] is composed of an array of review exercises like the daily review, and of those exercises in which recall [sic] a specific situation or a year, or several years, or an entire lifetime. [1] Here I am trying to develop an overview and conscious relationship in regard to my life and what I have done. The May, 1924, karma exercises [2] represent a special form of these exercises. I expand my consciousness of how the spirit (i.e., my higher I [3] that passes through incarnations) shows itself." [p. 16] 

[1] The practice of Anthroposophy largely involves doing various spiritual exercises and meditations prescribed by Steiner, aimed at developing one’s powers of clairvoyance so that one may attain direct, personal knowledge of the spirit realm. [See "Knowing the Worlds".]

[2] I.e., exercises prescribed by Steiner at that time.

[3] The "higher I" is the portion of the I that, instead of incarnating in the physical realm, remains in the spirit realm. 








Anthroposophical publications intended for a wider audience 

are also, of course, of interest.

The following announcement of a new Anthroposophical book 

is from the Waldorf Watch News.

It returns us to some subjects we have dealt with previously

June 11, 2018



A new publication from Rudolf Steiner Press, available this month:

[Rudolf Steiner Press, 2018.]

From the publisher:


Connecting to those who have Died

[by] Rudolf Steiner

As a spiritual teacher, Rudolf Steiner wrote many inspired and beautifully-crafted verses. Often they were given in relation to specific situations or in response to individual requests; sometimes they were offered to assist generally in the process of meditation. Regardless of their origins, they are uniformly powerful in their ability to connect the meditating individual with spiritual archetypes. Thus, the meditations provide valuable tools for developing experience and knowledge of subtle dimensions of reality.

Matthew Barton has translated and selected Steiner’s verses, sensitively arranging them by theme. In this collection – for maintaining a connection to those who have died – Rudolf Steiner offers hope and consolation to the bereaved. The first section features words of wisdom on death and its deeper, spiritual meaning; the second part consists of verses which stress the continued links between the living and the dead, indicating how our thoughts can help those who have departed earthly life. The final section is devoted to verses which express something of what the dead experience in their new existence.


Waldorf Watch Response:

The "verses" written by Rudolf Steiner are, in reality, prayers. [See "Prayers".] 

Most of the verses or prayers written by Steiner are addressed to gods, but some are addressed to the dead. Several collections of funereal Steiner prayers have been published previously; they have borne such titles as LIVING WITH THE DEAD (Sophia Books, 2003), THE DEAD ARE WITH US (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2006), OUR DEAD (SteinerBooks, 2011), and STAYING CONNECTED: How to Continue Your Relationships with Those Who Have Died (Anthroposophic Press, 1999). The new collection, MEDITATIONS FOR THE DEAD, enlarges this roll.

We should note that Anthroposophical prayers addressed to the dead are often meant to help, encourage, or strengthen departed souls in one way or another. Here is one such prayer, in this case addressed to a soul who committed suicide:

"Your will was weak.

Strengthen your will.

I send you warmth for your coldness.

I send you light for your darkness.

My love to you.

My thoughts with you.

Grow, walk on."

— Rudolf Steiner, LIVING WITH THE DEAD, p. 34.

Presumably the dead are grateful to receive such constructive thoughts.

Of course, prayers and meditations for the dead are not meant exclusively to help souls who have gone on to the spirit realm. Many are also meant to bring consolation to the living. Steiner taught that we can sometimes receive messages from the dead, thereby maintaining our bonds with the beloved departed. Steiner consoled the widow of a German general, for instance, by conveying messages from him to her. [See "Steiner and the Warlord".]

Young children in Waldorf schools are sometimes taught to recite prayers for the dead or to undertake other actions that will aid the dead. The children are taught to "serve" the dead by, for instance, celebrating "death days" — the days on which various individuals died. 

It is good, by the way, to see Rudolf Steiner identified as a "spiritual teacher," as Rudolf Steiner Press does in the promotional material quoted above. Often, for PR purposes, Steiner's followers call him a "philosopher," or a "scientist", or an "educational reformer." But, in reality, he was a spiritual teacher, an occultist, the leader of a new religion. It was in this capacity — not as a philosopher or scientist or educational reformer — that he wrote prayers for his followers to use. Writing such prayers is something that religious leaders do. It is something that Steiner did.

— R.R.


For more contemporary statements 

by the followers of Rudolf Steiner,

see "Today 4".


For another compilation of statements 

by Anthroposophists,

see "Who Says?"







Paintings by Waldorf students,

courtesy of People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools.


For another compilation of statements 

by Anthroposophists,

see "Who Says?"







Painting by a Waldorf student,

courtesy of People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools.