CCRG Editor’s Note:
The Anthroposophical movement (really a philosophy of life and spiritual science combined) founded by Rudolf Steiner has been called the “Mother of all Environmental Movements”. The world-famous Biodynamic Farms pioneered by Steiner stand as a glowing testimony to this reality. Truly, Rudolf Steiner was immersed in Gaia Consciousness, but had also taken such a rarefied understanding to a much more sublime place—Anthroposophia.
Steiner was the quintessential spiritual scientist who did much, much more than just seek the TRUTH. He put forth a valiant effort to put the TRUTH into everyday practice. Hence, his very life and attitude, work and play became suffused with the avid pursuit of TRUTH. In a phrase, he walked his talk like very few men will ever do in the span of a millennium.
This background information on Rudolf Steiner is critical if one is to have a full appreciation for the following exegesis written by Douglas Gabriel. Gabriel does a masterful job of giving birth to many of Steiner’s most profound and significant writings on the holy subject of Anthroposophia. As the ultimate manifestation of the Divine Mother, Sophia is always pregnant with spiritual wisdom and mundane knowledge which humankind is now in desperate need of.
As a matter of fact, Rudolf Steiner’s latest incarnation (1861–1925) was perfectly timed with the gearing up of the Industrial Revolution — a period distinguished by its dire need of anthroposophical principles and values, particularly those related to the responsible stewardship of Mother Earth. He singlehandedly rebirthed a whole new way of being, of right living, according to the timeless spiritual science gifted by Anthroposophia.
With this historical context in mind for the uninitiated, the following treatise is much more comprehensible; for it delves deeply into the authentic knowledge of the Divine Feminine, are well as the Return of the Mother Goddess as this has benevolently occurred over the past two millennia. Rudolf Steiner’s lofty spiritual philosophy and science, known as Anthroposophy, is an exquisite manifestation of the Goddess Sophia during the 20th Century. However, She is far greater and much more expansive than the limiting Greek notion of Sophia as the Goddess of Wisdom; although She is the original fount of all knowledge and wellspring of all wisdom.
As Anthroposophia, She is actually analogous to Mahashakti of Kashmir Shaivism. In this regard She is much more than the Creatrix and the Creation. She is the very substratum of the Cosmos and foundation of the Universe. She is the ground of being and the very beingness of existence itself. Just as Shakti is the divine consort of Shiva in this ever-unfolding Play of Consciousness*, Sophia is inseparable from Her Creation much like a tapestry is indistinguishable from the fabric and its threads. The highest understanding illuminates Anthroposophia as the weaver and the weaving, the thread and the fabric, the spinning wheel and the loom, the warp and the woof, as well as the tapestry itself and the space that it occupies. She is both the form of Creation and formlessness from whence it emerged.
Verily, as Shiva is inseparable from His beloved Shakti, so, too, is Sophia inseparable from Her Lord. In the person of Rudolf Steiner, She became an embodied soul whose mission it was to articulate the true glory of the Great Goddess Sophia — Anthroposophia — whose utter magnificence and sacred splendor are as unequalled as they are ineffable.
Our deepest gratitude to Douglas Gabriel for his timely and eloquent disquisition on this divine subject matter of great import. He has made quite accessible a veritable Holy of Holies to the entire planetary civilization. Surely, the whole of humanity will benefit tremendously from his outstanding and enlightening work that exquisitely reveals Anthroposophia.
Cosmic Convergence Research Group
*Play of Consciousness refers to the eternal sport of Shiva and Shakti throughout all of Creation.
Who is Sophia?
Is She the Holy Spirit or the wisdom aspect of Christ?
Is She an amorphous primal soup, a duality of heavenly and earthly, the breath that weaves in between the Male Trinity?
Is She a group of syzygies that have united with the Male Trinity? Even after Rudolf Steiner’s indications on Isis, Isis‐Sophia, and Anthroposophia, we find many anthroposophical writers expressing completely different opinions of who this multifaceted being is. Rudolf Steiner said repeatedly that a detailed biography of the being of Isis‐Sophia‐ Theosophia‐Philosophia‐Natura‐Anthroposophia could be written, yet it would seem, at first glance, that he said little about Her. In his book, Riddles of Philosophy, Steiner describes the evolution of philosophy and indicates that She is a being who has grown alongside of human intellectual and spiritual development since 2100 BC. He even describes Anthroposophia as a 42 year old human being (without a physical body) who passes through the individual each time a step in spiritual development is taken.
Steiner said that She was ‘in the room’ during the laying of the foundation stone of the Goetheanum and the Christmas Conference. Who is this being of Sophia and how is a spiritual scientist supposed to sort through the many and varied opinions about her existence? Can we uncover Steiner’s mysterious indications, and find the biography of Sophia?
One of the most accepted versions of Sophia is that She, in some enigmatic way, is the Holy Spirit. As such, She can be found in sacred literature to be one of the creative (or receptive) principles present at the moment of creation. Solving the mystery of how an un‐manifest God (no one has ever seen God the Father and lived) manifests the created cosmos is bewildering. Often, Sophia (Wisdom) is there at creation as a “reflection”, “mirror”, or “epiphany” of the Father God. But at the moment of creation, She is marginalized or demoted from Her Creatrix position to one that is a creature of the Creator. She takes on the role of one who has been created, not one who creates. The logical need for a feminine presence at creation is obvious: Who in nature gives birth to offspring? How could Earthly nature be so radically different than what occurred at a cosmic level whereby, supposedly, the “masculine” gave birth to creation?
The countenance of the divine feminine was buried throughout history, deeper and deeper over time, as patriarchal epochs brought a masculine god to the forefront until all aspects of the divine feminine were extinguished, even to the point that many readers of this article will set it aside as being heresy. Just the thought of a divine feminine, as the counterpart of the divine masculine, is enough to disregard any further considerations of the author.
Sophia as a Creatrix, Goddess of Wisdom, and Mother of All has been dethroned, a manifestation that Steiner calls the killing of Isis by Lucifer. In this case, Lucifer represents human intelligence. Granted, humans have benefitted greatly from Lucifer’s gift of intelligence and the process of “falling from heaven” was necessary for developing individual consciousness and I‐ awareness. But continued movement forward in Earth‐bound intelligence impedes our spiritual advancement in developing Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition.
As Steiner shows us, Lucifer is eventually redeemed and becomes part of the Holy Spirit which helps bring Isis‐Sophia back to humanity. In other words, the thinking human being since 2100 BC has hidden Isis‐Sophia behind the natural world and now the Holy Spirit is helping Her return. The Holy Spirit works together with the reawakened Isis‐Sophia and therefore are clearly two different beings. This is a subtle difference, but one that is confusing to many anthroposophical scholars. Sophia is not the Holy Spirit; however, She is assisted by the Holy Spirit, in the redemption of Lucifer, in Her reappearance as Cosmic Wisdom becoming human wisdom.
Steiner provides the clarity we need as spiritual researchers to distinguish the biography of Sophia from any other being, even the Holy Spirit. As described in this paper, the detailed biographies of the two Sophias, Heavenly and Earthly, are well mapped out by Steiner. If either the Heavenly Sophia or the Earthly Sophia were the Holy Spirit, the biographies Steiner has given would be entirely incorrect. For example, while the Holy Spirit was active in being the messenger of God to Mary, Joseph, and John the Baptist, the two Sophias were accomplishing different tasks. The Heavenly Sophia, referred to as the combined workings of the Kyriotetes, was helping Mary and Jesus (the Paradisiacal Twins) incarnate and helping prepare the soul of the “other” Mary to receive the Paradisiacal Eve into her soul. The Earthly Sophia, Anthroposophia, was actively passing in and out of all of the beings witnessing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and imprinting these spiritual advancements in the etheric realm. Anthroposophia was age 21 during the Mystery of Golgotha and She continued to grow alongside humans as they developed, including Mary, Jesus, and others whose consciousness was advancing at that time.
Anthroposophia (the Earthly Sophia or Isis‐Sophia) or the Heavenly Sophia (the Wisdom Being of the Kyriotetes) cannot be the Holy Spirit because they have entirely different biographies. And yet, there is something in Anthroposophia that was advanced when the tongues of flame descended at Pentecost and brought the Holy Spirit to the Disciples of Christ. Indeed, Anthroposophia and the Holy Spirit work closely together and can be confused as the same being. But they are not. Let’s continue following Her biography.
Anthroposophia works in the realm of the angels with developing Imagination, just as the Holy Spirit does. The difference is that Anthroposophia prepares the soul to advance from Sentient Soul to Intellectual Soul to Consciousness Soul, at which point, Imagination is developed. The purified soul bodies combine to become the Virgin Sophia, the purified Consciousness Soul (also called Spiritual Soul). Then the Holy Spirit, called the Spirit Self, can pour into the Virgin Soul that has been prepared to receive it.
Anthroposophia works to prepare the Virgin Sophia to enter the realm of the angels where Imagination lives with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit Self. This merging is described in great detail by Steiner who tells us that the higher part of the Consciousness Soul, the Spiritual Soul, gleans from the world the eternal thoughts that stand behind sense impressions. The Earthly ego that is derived from the combination of all the eternal (timeless) thoughts that the Virgin Sophia has gleaned from the world of “illusion” is given over to the higher self, the Spirit Self to develop the higher ego. Humans have three egos, the first “earthly” ego is transformed into the “higher” ego that is found in the realm of the Spirit Self. This is the personal higher ego. Sophia is the midwife of this process of ascension. Sophia helps us connect to our personal guardian angel who leads us to the Holy Spirit of Christ. In the far future, humanity will have evolved into the realm of the angels where Imagination lives as archetypal thought forms that continuously create.
In those future ages, Sophia will walk amongst all people and converse with them whenever Wisdom is present in thinking (Imagination). Interacting with Sophia will, in all cases, lead to the Wisdom of Christ’s love and deeper understanding of His cosmic nature. Through understanding and embodying the Wisdom (Sophia) of Christ we become able to redeem the Tree of Knowledge. Eating the fruit brought death in the Garden of Eden, but now we eat the fruit to live and become gods who know the eternal, who are aware of their immortality and the Christ‐power that overcomes death for all times.
When we reflect upon the biography of the being of Wisdom from the ranks of the Kyriotetes, we have a complex account of cosmic deeds that go back to the Sun incarnation of the Earth when the archangels came into being by working with the donations of the Beings of Wisdom. This Being of Cosmic Wisdom used the combined efforts of the Kyriotetes during the Sun Incarnation to create an atmosphere of light in which the archangels found their life. The Being of Wisdom works especially through the Archangel Michael, who is the Sun Archangel and the one called “the countenance of Christ.” In the realm of archangels, the Life Spirit, the Cosmic Being of Wisdom works through the Archangel Michael, especially in our current age which is ruled by Michael. Christ Himself works in the realm of the Life Spirit and brings forth the Waters of Life that spring from New Jerusalem and the Tree of Life. Both the Cosmic Being of Wisdom and Christ (the Cosmic Being of Love) are united in this realm of the Life Spirit. They join together in the mysterious conjunction that appears as the wedding of the Virgin Sophia to the Lamb of God – Sophia to Christ. It is development of this Cosmic Wisdom (Sophia) of Christ that Rudolf Steiner indicated was the aim of the Consciousness Soul era – to attain the ‘Sophia of Christ.’
It is seldom spoken that the Cosmic Being of Wisdom, just like Christ (as the second person in the divine Trinity), came down through the ranks of the hierarchies below Her until She manifested on the Earth. Christ used the body of Jesus of Nazareth (the ‘Sister Soul of Adam,’ ‘the Paradisiacal Adam,’ the ‘Adam Kadmon’), a pure body that had never physically incarnated before, as a vessel for three years starting from the Baptism in the Jordan until His death. Christ accomplished His cosmic deeds on Earth as the “Son” of the Father God, the second person in the Holy Trinity. Christ used the combined forces of the Elohim on the sun as a vessel for His descent through the hierarchies of the Elohim ‐ the archai, archangels, angels, and the human. As Christ descended through each of these three ranks, he performed deeds to help humanity develop the basic foundation necessary for free, individualized thinking.
These deeds are called the “pre‐Earthly” deeds of Christ that Steiner spoke about on numerous occasions. The gifts Christ gave humanity through these pre‐Earthly deeds are referred to as: standing upright, speaking, and thinking. He characterizes these three deeds also as balancing the forces of the zodiac, the planets, and the Earth. He also says these deeds could be characterized as harmonizing the heart and the six major organs (planets), as well as the soul capacities of thinking, feeling and willing.
The Cosmic Being of the Wisdom (Kyriotetes) also descended through the ranks of the hierarchy below the Kyriotetes. The Heavenly Sophia descended through the beings of Wisdom (Kyriotetes), Movement (Dynamis), and Elohim (Form) who reside on the sun and planets, and then through the ranks of the archai, archangels and angels, and into the realm of the human being by over‐lighting Mary (the one called the ‘Mother of Jesus’). The over‐lighting of Mary of Jerusalem was so profound that through it she redeemed the ‘fall into matter’ by uniting the Wisdom brought down from on high and the wisdom given to Her by Jesus before His baptism. One can say that Mary of Jerusalem, who was Eve in a past life, redeemed the expulsion from the Garden of Eden by uniting with her higher self that was brought to her by the Cosmic Being of Wisdom. Mary of Jerusalem was the vessel not only for the Cosmic Being of Wisdom and the wisdom of Jesus of Nazareth but also for the ‘Sister Soul of Eve’ (‘the Paradisiacal Eve,’ the ‘Eve Kadmon’) who like the ‘Sister Soul of Adam’ had remained back in paradise until she incarnated for the first time as the Mary of Nazareth.
Through Steiner’s teachings we learn there were two Marys (Nazareth and Jerusalem) and two Jesus boys (Nazareth and Jerusalem). Just before the baptism of Jesus (of Nazereth) in the Jordan by John the Baptist, Jesus made a soul wrenching confession and transmission to his step‐mother Mary (of Jerusalem). After this profound conversation, the now‐deceased Mary (of Nazareth) united with Mary (of Jerusalem) through the intercession of the Cosmic Being of Wisdom. This union of the Cosmic Being of Wisdom (Kyriotetes) and the ‘Paradisiacal Eve’ in the body of Mary of Jerusalem (the original Eve) completed the full cycle of return to the divine and pointed to the future when humanity will be able to unite with both Sophia and Christ. Then, the Cosmic Being of Wisdom (Sophia) will become ‘physically present’ as an intimate counselor of the spirit who leads us to the understanding of the Comic Wisdom of Christ which is found in the realm of the Life Spirit.
The marriage in New Jerusalem is between our higher ego (Spirit Self) and the being of Christ as our own Christened Self, the Life Spirit. It is the marriage of the Virgin Sophia to the Lamb of God which causes New Jerusalem to descend and the Tree of Life to bring forth fruit as the Waters of Life spring from the base of the tree in four directions. This description is also the universal archetype of the union of the Cosmic Beings who work through the ranks of the Kyriotetes and the Elohim, Sophia and Christ.
The wedding of Christ and Sophia is described in Steiner’s indications concerning the pre‐Earthly deeds of Christ that were accompanied and ‘birthed’ by Sophia (Kyriotetes) on the sun. Sophia helped Christ donate to the creation of the human being from the sun where the archetypal form of the human being was being created. The ‘Sister Souls’ of Adam and Eve, who are called the Adam Kadmon and Eve Kadmon after Hebrew tradition, stayed on the sun (paradise) in the ‘Mother Lodge of Humanity’ until the completed form of the human being was thoroughly prepared to be a free thinker at the time of the incarnations of Mary of Nazareth and Jesus of Nazareth (‘Paradisiacal Twins’). Sophia and Christ were bringing down to humanity what was needed for human intellectual and spiritual development while the paradisiacal twins of Adam Kadmon and Eve Kadmon remained protected from the Earthly forces of the ‘fall.’ Sophia and Christ worked together from the sun through the realms of the archai, archangels and angels to create humanity’s form and to ensure that the realms of Sprit Self, Life Spirit and Spirit Man were created and sustained. These realms are beyond time and space and directly relate to the redemption of the astral (Spirit Self), etheric (Life Spirit) and physical bodies (Spirit Man). These realms, like the physical, etheric and astral bodies that were created by Christ’s and Sophia’s efforts are now raised back up into the realms of angels, archangels and archai from whence they initially came. This is a true wedding of the redeemed lower bodies with their counterparts in the spiritual world.
Since we call Christ the “Son of God”, we can call the Cosmic Being of Wisdom, who used the combined Kyriotetes as a vessel that descended into the being of Mary, the “Daughter of Sophia” who works together with Christ in the realm of Life Spirit where Inspirations live. We can see two distinct beings in Sophia the Daughter (Wisdom of Kyriotetes) who worked together with Christ the Son. The being Anthroposophia evolved over time alongside of human consciousness. We can call Anthroposophia the Holy Sophia because She evolves together with the Holy Spirit in the realm of angels (Spirit Self). One could say that just as the Cosmic Being of Wisdom (Sophia the Daughter) and Christ (the Son) worked together in the closest union, so too, the Holy Spirit and the being of Anthroposophia (Holy Sophia) work together in the realm of the angels, where Imagination lives in the Spirit Self.
We can easily see the activities of two different beings in the “heavenly” and “earthly” Sophia that create two separate biographies. We have heard that both biographies are linked inextricably with two of the three beings in the Male Trinity. The Heavenly Sophia and the Earthly Sophia tend to mirror the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Both Sophias seem to be empowered with a force beyond their rank in the hierarchy. Christ came from the Holy Trinity and “used” the seven Elohim as a vessel. The Heavenly Sophia “used” the combined efforts of the Kyriotetes as a vessel. Since Christ came from a Holy Trinity, the Cosmic Sophia must have come from somewhere before She “used” the Kyriotetes as a vessel. Almost all religions and mythologies say creation came from or was donated by a Great Goddess or Mother of All. This aspect of mythology, theology, and ancient beliefs is almost universal. Then why, one might ask, did Rudolf Steiner not clearly point out the third person in the Divine Feminine Trinity – the primal Mother? If he had, he would have been the first to insinuate a Divine Feminine Trinity.
Actually, Steiner did point out the biography of the Great Goddess, the Mother of All. But first, let’s be clear that the mysteries of Sophia were still a secret in Steiner’s day. He indicated that the Sophia mysteries would not be revealed fully until the Sixth Epoch, which he called the Russia (or Slavic) epoch, a period that does not happen for at least another thousand years. Steiner was not free to speak directly about these mysteries but he said repeatedly that what we needed in our time is the ‘Wisdom of, the Sophia of, the Christ.’ He described two of the three aspects of the Divine Feminine Trinity in greater detail than anyone else before him and therefore did go as far as any other spiritual researcher had gone in revealing Sophia’s true nature. Steiner’s entire work was a revelation of the ‘Wisdom of Christ.’ One could say that Steiner’s spiritual work was Sophia, AnthropoSophia.
You might now be wondering, “If Sophia mirrors the Godhead, who is a trinity, then why wouldn’t Sophia also be a trinity?”
This question certainly resounded in the author for many years until the discovery of a few Steiner quotes that began to shed light on the mystery that he had kept somewhat veiled in his time. In answering some questions at the end of a lecture to the workmen, Steiner remarked that the combined efforts of the hierarchy together sound forth as the word, “suffering.” When asked if there was another word that could be used, he remarked, “Yes, they sound forth the name of the Great Goddess, the Mother of All.” This then, is the Mother of both Sophias, or the first person in the Divine Feminine Trinity of Mother, Daughter and Holy Sophia.
In other places Steiner also says that the ancients knew the previous incarnations of the Earth (Saturn, Sun, Moon) as the “Mothers.” Goethe spoke of this tradition quite accurately in Faust with chilling descriptions of the ‘Realm of the Mothers’ and the fear they instil in anyone who encounters them. Steiner indicated that these ‘Mothers’ were beings who have woven our realm together through all of the efforts, sacrifices, and donations of the nine hierarchies during ancient Saturn, Sun and Moon. We owe the past to the gifts of the Mothers and they are the basis for the universal belief in the Triple Goddess of birth, death and rebirth. There is no end to the enumeration of the many triple goddesses or triune feminine forces found in myths and ancient beliefs. The primacy of the Feminine Trinity is prominent in all religions and the later male extrapolations derive from these sources. That is why the two Trinities of Male and Female are so compatible and incomplete without the missing half.
Finding the Mother Goddess in Anthroposophy is not hard at all when the blinders of past indoctrination are removed. Steiner tells us that the Mothers where three but became one. They were the three sisters known as the Mater Dolorosa (Mothers of Pain) who became the Mater Gloriosa (Mother of Glory). It was historical necessity that the three Mothers become the one Mother. This is reflected in the thought that the initial “Mother of Creation” reflected or mirrored the Godhead, who was a Trinity. Thus, the original Mother was seen as three because She would become three through the deeds of the Daughter and the Holy Sophia, thereby creating a trinity which perfectly reflects the Male Trinity. The Mothers birthed creation up until the time that the Kyriotetes (Sophia) and the Elohim (Christ) entered into the development of the human being (Earth) and made the donations that helped the Mothers (Saturn, Sun, Moon) develop the human being as a free thinker (tenth hierarchy). Then, in 2100 BC, Anthroposophia (Holy Sophia) incarnated and completed the manifestation of the Divine Feminine Trinity. Each member of the Divine Feminine Trinity share their power, wisdom, and love with the other two members.
The feminine qualities involved in the creation, destruction and rebirth of the cosmos and humanity has been marginalized. A religious patriarchy has kept Isis‐Sophia hidden and powerless. Just think about the word “Isis” today in contemporary world matters and think about how every aspect of the feminine has been eradicated in these cultures. Even the human female is kept hidden from public view, with all but eyes showing from heavy garments, while the male force dominants its religion, culture, and geopolitics. This is not the Isis‐Sophia of hope, wisdom, and love, but a perversion of Isis, one of fear, doubt, and hatred. Indeed, what we see is the total and complete eradication of the feminine, Heavenly and Earthly, in all aspects.
The Divine Feminine Trinity comes to life by looking at each of the separate biographies of Sophia and embracing the lost divine feminine in our lives, religions, and cultures. Let the confusion and speculation fall aside as a grand picture of what the Divine Feminine Trinity has suffered for the evolution of humanity comes to light. A true cosmic romance of the deepest love and union comes before our eyes when we look at the golden footprints of Sophia. There is no end to the illumination of human development that arises when we unite the two Trinities of Male and Female as creation becomes complete and the mysteries of the past, present, and future come into focus. We need the rebirth of Isis‐Sophia as the divine feminine nature is redeemed and raised back into a position of respect, honor, and reverence. We need to again seek the Sophia mysteries as the ‘eternal feminine calls us upward and onward.’
We also need to find and resurrect devotion to Wisdom (Sophia) so that we might align with the Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Father God. Sophia and Christ are one, Sophia‐Christos. The Holy Spirit and the Holy Sophia work together as one. The Father is made whole through uniting with the Mother of Creation, the primal substance of suffering, sacrifice and wisdom.
The following selections reveal what Rudolf Steiner has indicated about the primal significance of the feminine nature over the course of human development. The author has provided italics within the Steiner selections for emphasis and provides additional commentary in sections with larger font. The student of anthroposophy is encouraged to study these selections from the original Steiner sources to construct his or her own biographies of Sophia.
Rudolf Steiner on the Primal Significance of the Feminine
Cosmic Memory: The Story of Atlantis, Lemuria and the Division of the Sexes, 1904 GA 11
All who strive for a true understanding of human development must be aware that the first strides in imagining, in the creation of inner images, were made by women. They are the ones who first thought, imagined and remembered, and that is a pre‐requisite for the formation of memory. Memory, in turn, made possible the development of habits, and habits laid the foundation for a legal code, a kind of framework of custom and morality. It was man who knew and dealt with the forces of nature, but in was woman who first interpreted them. The inner rhythms of nature sounded from the lips of ‘wise’ women. People gathered around them, feeling the chanted phrases to be the communications of higher powers. Gatherings such as these were the first religious services.
In relationship to the grand evolution of humanity, the female nature is primary and was the original source of procreation in the far distant past of the Polarian and Hyperborean ages. Parthenogenesis is implied in the development of the human fetus in utero and clearly described by Steiner in his Occult Science an Outline. Generation without the polarity of male and female was the original means of human propagation. Humans were not divided into two sexes until the moon separated itself from the Earth.
Freemasonry and Human Evolution, Berlin, 23 October 1905, GA 93
Now we want to clarify how that came about. It came about thus: in the beginning, before there was a separate male and female sex, there was a twofold sexuality within each single individual. We must now ask: What was it that could become fertilised, and what was it that did the fertilising, in the one single individual? In ancient Greek mythology Zeus is portrayed with ample female breasts. A truth expresses itself therein, which was known in the old mysteries and which we also learn from the records, that the sex ‐ if I may call it that ‐ which immediately preceded our own, outwardly and physically resembled not the male but the female gender. So that, before the outward separation, we have thus both sexes in one individual that outwardly ‐ in physical expression and in all perceptions and being ‐ was female. Therefore at the beginning of the human race, we have to do with a bisexual individual tending towards the female. Only later did the male sex follow. Now we must be clear that in this individual, which had both sexes in it, a fertilising agent, or male seed, was also present. Woman contained man within her. When we have grasped the fact that the woman had the male principle within her, then we can conceive, with our ordinary scientific concepts, that reproduction was ensured. We want to bear in mind that at this time this happened via the woman.
Now came the time when things had to go their separate ways. What character did the fertilising principle in the woman then have, which on the physical plane would fertilise the female nature? What worked in the female body as a seed, was the male; and that was the spiritual, the wisdom. Woman contributed the substance; the spirit gave it form. Any structuring of the physical plane is a realisation of wisdom. Wisdom worked in the female. Now the two differentiated themselves, in that the two things which had previously worked as one now appeared as two separated poles. What was previously united in a single human organ, divided itself, whereby a duality in human development originated. This duality came about thus: first, the fertility ‐ the ability of the female egg to fertilise itself ‐ within the one individual, ceased to function. The female egg lost the possibility of becoming fertilised from its own body. So we are now dealing with a female which has become infertile and, above everything, the spiritual. The division of the two sexes came about through the separation of the physical organs, and the other sex was now endowed with the possibility of fertilisation. Two individuals appeared, one with physical femininity and the other with physical masculinity. With the man, wisdom has a female character, with the woman, it has a male character.
The separation is a very definite event that one can follow; we will now have to be satisfied, however, with just indications. We are dealing, then, with male‐tinged wisdom in the woman and female‐tinged wisdom in the man. This female‐tinged wisdom is passive, suited to receiving, listening, watching ‐ to taking in from the surroundings. The male‐tinged wisdom, the active wisdom, is suited to being productive. Thus we have a two‐ fold wisdom; the female wisdom that is active and that naturally will also be transferred to the men. So that there may indeed be plenty of men who take over the female wisdom, the race propagates itself below on the physical plane; and above, we are dealing with an active intuition stemming from women, and with a passive cognition, decidedly male in character.
This figures in the old mystery teaching as the antithesis between the Sons of Abel, or Sons of God, and the Sons of Cain, or Sons of Man. Abel represents the female, active intuition. Therefore he is unable to take hold of anything from the outside world which needs to be worked upon. He takes up the divine, which streams through him, that flows into his intuitiveness. The ‘Herdsman’ symbolises that. He tends and nurtures life, while intuition nurtures the divine life of wisdom. Cain has the male wisdom that receives the outward. This wisdom espouses the earth in order to till it; the material is outside himself. He is the agriculturalist.
Now there is a very interesting and important legend in which these truths are symbolically expressed for the Freemasons. That is the Temple Legend. And the reason for it is as follows: The Bible itself, the Old Testament, derives from the female, the intuitive wisdom, and bears its stamp. The Old Testament is female wisdom. Male wisdom was not able to attain to intuition. It confined itself to building and work. It took stones and constructed buildings. It took metals and made implements. The Temple Legend puts it thus: One of the Elohim impregnated Eve and Cain was born. Afterwards, another of the Elohim, Jehovah, also known as Adonai, created Adam. And Adam begat Abel by Eve. This legend counterposed the wisdom of Cain and the Biblical wisdom, so that, by the beginning of the fourth Post‐Atlantean epoch, we have two opposing currents: the Bible, representing womanly wisdom, and the Temple wisdom as its opposing male counterpart. Already, in pre‐Christian times, what the male wisdom wanted stood in opposition to the female wisdom.
Spiritual Science and Medicine, April 8, 1920, Lecture XIX, GA 312
It is the task of the male to keep the female world as healthy as possible for it is through women that influences from beyond the Earth will then be drawn into the sphere of earthly processes. Woman has the inclination to unite herself ever more and more with extra‐terrestrial processes. She tends increasingly to be drawn up into heavenly worlds.
It is little wonder that the secrets of the divine feminine have been hidden by males in every way possible. The female had to be diminished and dethroned so that the agenda of male supremacy could come to full birth. The power, wisdom and practices of the feminine divine were kept faithfully by women through rituals, symbols and old wives’ tales. Isis‐Sophia had to be shrouded in order to keep from being destroyed altogether. Her golden footprints were still left for those with ‘eyes to see.’ Her secrets went underground into the mystery religions where the secrets of the Mothers and the Beings of Wisdom were held sacred. Those who still had the remnants of clairvoyance were able to sense the truth beneath the confused teachings about the Triple Goddess. They were pulled upward towards the eternal feminine that calls Her children back home. Women have a capacity of spirit naturally.
The Enigma of the Being Anthroposophia
“When we are in a position to assimilate anthroposophical knowledge not only through reading and listening, but when we are more and more able to experience the content of anthroposophy in our heart, in our feelings, then it is as if living, cosmic beings enter our souls. Then, anthroposophy will appear to us increasingly as a living being. And we will become aware that something is knocking at the threshold of our heart saying, ‘Let me in, because I am you yourself; I am your true nature, your very humanity.’”
~ Rudolf Steiner, Supersensible Man,November 18, 1923, Lecture V
The quote above, and many like it, have puzzled Anthroposphists as they tried to create and maintain a relationship with Anthroposophia, a being they are told is so important and yet they cannot comprehend. On one hand, Steiner tells his students to focus on this being and on the other hand tells them that the mysteries of Sophia will only be revealed in the future. This has led to much speculation that seems to go nowhere. Just as soon as a writer thinks he understands Sophia, a new dimension of Her opens and all previous limitations of Sophia are extinguished. Pretty soon, we don’t know the difference between Christ and Sophia, Anthroposophia and the Holy Spirit, or Archangel Michael and Sophia. It seems that their areas of influence overlap and that they must either work together or perhaps are the same being. The importance Steiner places on the Archangel Michael must be balanced with Anthroposophia, but doesn’t seem logical until one realizes that the Archangel Michael is a ‘Son of Sophia’, one of the highest emissaries of Sophia. Michael is also the emissary of Christ. The confusion mounts until the simple answer is spelled out by Steiner without any “dogma” concerning the Mysteries of Sophia. The answers are found in Steiner’s work, but the formulation of a specific “concept” of the Divine Feminine Trinity was not clearly spelled out.
Through Steiner’s injunctions to ‘let Anthroposophia in’, the student is told to develop a relationship with a spiritual being who knows us better than we know ourselves. Anthroposophia is to become our counselor and the objective reflection of our own personal self‐development. The interaction with this being will take the student to the next steps of self‐knowledge. Anthroposophia will midwife the soul until the Virgin Sophia can be born in our spiritual soul (higher part of the consciousness soul) as a place for the spirit to dwell.
Steiner continues to describe the importance of Anthroposophia in the selections below.
The Anthroposophic Movement, June 16, 1923, Lecture 7, GA 258
A feeling, a kind of sense, that Anthroposophia – quite apart from the existence of anthroposophist – must be looked upon as an independent living being; as one, so to speak, who goes about amongst us and to whom we are responsible at every moment of our lives. It was said in this lecture to the theologians in so many words: Anthroposophia is actually an invisible person, going about amongst visible people, and to whom, so long as they are only few in number, they owe the very greatest responsibility, ‐ one who must really be treated as an invisible human being, actually living amongst us, whose opinion must be sought on every single thing we do in life. Whenever, therefore, so long as there is only a little band of anthroposophists, anything is formed in the way of human associations – friendships, or fellowships, or any sort of clique – it becomes all the more necessary that this invisible being should be asked, and that everything should be such that it can be justified before this invisible being. Of course this will be, in the same measure, ever less and less the case, the more widespread Anthroposophy becomes. But so long as it is only the possession of a little band, it remains absolutely necessary that everything that is done should be done, so to speak, in consultation with this human being ‘Anthroposophia.’ It is one of the essential life conditions that Anthroposophia should be regarded as a living being.
The Being of Anthroposophy, Berlin, February 3, 1919, GA 145
What, therefore, must be developed? It must unfold that, once again, as a matter of course, a “Sophia” becomes present. But we must learn to relate this Sophia to the consciousness soul, bring her down directly to human beings. This is happening during the age of the consciousness soul. And thereby Sophia becomes the being who directly enlightens human beings. After Sophia has entered human beings, she must take their being with her and present it to them outwardly, objectively. Thus, Sophia will be drawn into the human soul and arrive at the point of being so inwardly connected with it that a love poem as beautiful as Dante wrote may be written about her.
Sophia will become objective again, but she will take with her what humanity is, and objectively present herself in this form. Thus, she will present herself not only as Sophia, but as Anthroposophia – as the Sophia who, after passing through the human soul, through the very being of the human being, henceforth bears that being within her, and in this form she will confront enlightened human beings as the objective being Sophia who once stood before the Greeks.
Such is the progression of human evolutionary history in relation to the spiritual questions we have been considering. Here I must leave the matter to all those who wish to examine in even greater detail, following the destiny of Sophia, Philosophia, and Anthroposophia, how we may show how humanity develops progressively through those parts of the soul we call the intellectual soul, the consciousness soul, and the spirit‐self. People will learn how profoundly what anthroposophy gives us is based in our whole being. What we receive through anthroposophy is our very own being.
This once floated toward us in the form of a celestial goddess with whom we were able to enter into relationship. This divine being lived on as Sophia and Philosophia, and now we can once again bring her out of ourselves and place her before us as the fruit of true anthroposophical self‐ knowledge. We can wait patiently until the world is willing to test the depth of the foundations of what we have to say, right down to the smallest details. It is the essence of anthroposophy that its own being consists of the being of the human, and its effectiveness, its reality, consists in that we receive from anthroposophy what we ourselves are and what we must place before ourselves, because we must practice self‐knowledge.
Sophia must become present again. But we must learn to relate this Sophia to the consciousness soul, bring her down directly to human beings. And thereby Sophia becomes the being who directly enlightens human beings. After Sophia has entered human beings, she must take their being with her and present it to them outwardly, objectively. Thus, Sophia will be drawn into the soul and become inwardly connected. Thus, she will present herself not only as Sophia, but as Anthroposophia – as the Sophia who, after passing through the human soul, through the very being of the human being, henceforth bears that being within her. And in this form she will confront enlightened human beings as the objective being Sophia who once stood before the Greeks.
What we receive through Anthroposophy is the essence of ourselves, which in former times descended to man in order to manifest itself as a celestial goddess with whom he was able to find a personal relationship, who lived as the Sophia, as Philo‐Sophia, and to whom he will give birth again out of himself, placing her before him as the fruit of true self‐ knowledge in Anthroposophy. For the being of anthroposophy is such that its own being consists in that which constitutes the essence of man’s being; and the nature of its influence is that man receives in Anthroposophy what he himself is and that he must place this before him, because he must practice self‐knowledge.
The mysteries of Sophia are spoken of by Rudolf Steiner in ways that no one fully understands. The nature of Anthroposophia as a human being is referred to again and again. What he insinuates is that the ‘human’ being of Anthroposophia is essentially the collective consciousness of humanity as it develops over the course of history. This is what makes Anthroposophia so ‘human’ in every way except for having a physical body. Anthroposophia seems to “defy” space and time as She is present to every human who is progressing on his and her personal spiritual path. She works with each individual and is personally present for each person. She is intimately concerned with our personal advancement and takes our hand and shows us the way. These characteristics are inexplicable to the rational mind, and yet Steiner focuses on his students becoming aware of all aspects of the workings of this being.
The Riddles of Philosophy, The World Conception of the Greek Thinkers, GA 18
Anthroposophia is in herself an invisible human being who goes amongst visible human beings towards whom we have the greatest conceivable responsibility who must indeed be regarded as an invisible human being, as someone with a real existence, who should be consulted in all life’s individual actions, to whom we are responsible in everything that happens is to be viewed in consultation with the human being Anthroposophia . . .as a living being . . . So that is what is necessary: true seriousness in our following of that invisible human being to whom I have just spoken.
Perception of the Nature of Thought, Dornach, January, 10 1915, GA 161.
Thus we are living today in the midst of the consciousness soul epoch, looking towards the dawn of the age of the Spirit‐Self; and we know that something is separating itself off from man, something which will, however, carry through the times that are to come what man has won as the fruit of passing through the consciousness soul age. What is it that has to be developed? What must be developed is without doubt the presence once again amongst mankind of a “Sophia.” But man has learnt to relate this “Sophia” to his consciousness soul, to bring her into direct relationship with human beings. This has taken place during the consciousness soul epoch, and the Sophia has thereby become the being who explains man as such. Once she has entered into man, she must take his being with her and place it objectively before him from without. Thus the Sophia enters into the human soul and separates it again, but she will take with her man’s essential being and place it objectively before him – now not merely as the “Sophia” but as Anthroposophia, as the Sophia who, after passing through the human soul, through man’s being, henceforth bears this being of man within her and thus appears before an enlightened human being as once the Sophia stood as an objective being before the Greece.
Towards the end of Steiner’s life, he often referred to Anthroposophia as the living being who fills Anthroposophy with the Wisdom (Sophia) of Christ. He even equates Anthroposophia with the Spirits of Wisdom, who we now know as the Daughter. Anthroposophia seems to have the power and characteristics of the Beings of Wisdom (Kyriotetes). In one way of looking at it, you could say that the Cosmic Being of Wisdom fills Anthroposophia just as Christ fills the Holy Spirit. Again, this points in the direction of the Divine Feminine Trinity and the co‐equal power shared by the two sets of three members of each Trinity.
The Christmas Conference, GA 260
And if you hear this resounding in your own hearts, my dear friends, then what you will establish here will be a true union of human beings on behalf of Anthroposophia, and will carry the spirit which prevails in radiant thought‐light around our dodecahedral stone of love out into the world, where it may shed light and warmth on the progress of human souls and the progress of the world.
Perception of Nature of Thought, Dornach, January 10, 1915, GA 161
Sun evolution within Earth existence! Just think what we have actually reached in these reflections. We are considering the course of philosophical development, of philosophical
thought since the time of ancient Greece, and noting how this has evolved from philosopher to philosopher we say to ourselves: There are active within this not earthly laws but Sun laws! The laws which at that time held sway between the Spirits of Wisdom and the Archangels come to light again on earth in the philosophical search for wisdom.
Read in Occult Science how the Spirits of Wisdom intervene during the Sun evolution. And man develops his philosophy without noticing that in this development the Spirits of Wisdom are pulsing through his soul. Ancient Sun existence lives in the evolution of philosophy; it really and truly lives within it.
With the being of Anthroposophia we find a clear and detailed biography of one of the three aspects of the Divine Feminine Trinity. Through developing a relationship with the being Anthroposophia, the wisdom of Christ unfolds revealing the cosmic workings of the Son (Elohim) and the Daughter (Kyriotetes). The evolving spiritual scientist needs the Holy Spirit to reveal the nature of the Cosmic Christ through the being of Anthroposophia in the realm of the Spirit Self. Likewise, through the Sophia (Beings of Wisdom) the nature of the Son of God the Father becomes revealed through the Archangel Michael in the realm of the Life Spirit. Then, through the Mother, the Father God is revealed by the Archai in the realm of Spirit Man. Anthroposophia has the task of bringing us to the understanding of the other members of both the Male and Female Trinities. Through Anthroposophia, we come to communicate with the higher realms, discern wisdom, and know the beings who inhabit those realms.
The Triple Goddess
We have seen through the work of Rudolf Steiner that a Divine Feminine Trinity is implied in his teachings and that Anthroposophia is the guide to help us understand these profound mysteries of the future. Two contemporary students of Steiner’s, Valentin Tomberg and Robert Powell, write about a Divine Feminine Trinity and attribute the source to Cabalistic lore concerning the Tree of Life. Neither author develops the concept much and does not align his ideas with Steiner’s teachings. But they were right that Jewish mysticism teaches that there is a feminine divine principle that is a trinity. Jewish Mysticism and the Cabala suggest that there is a Feminine Divine Trinity that works together in concert with a Male Divine Trinity.
Shekinah (Sophia or Wisdom) is called the ‘Soul of God’, the ‘Mother or Origins’, and the ‘Motherly Space.’ There is an inner glory, and that is the Shekinah and the Holy Ghost together. Shekinah is threefold as ‘Queen’, ‘Daughter’, and ‘Bride of God.’
The Jewish Feminine Trinity is hidden in mysticism. Every aspect of human nature and the cosmos seem to be parceled into a trinity. The trinity is found in the human body with thought, air in speech passing through the larynx, and the wedding of thought and speech to spirit. Everywhere in the human constitution are trinities: thinking, feeling, willing – waking, sleeping and dreaming – body, soul and spirit. It is only natural, since we are created in the image of the divine, that we also find these trinities in ourselves and the world.
On the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Times, Dornach, December 26, 1917, GA 180 These three, — the inspiring Spirit, the Virgin Mother, and the Logos or the Word — must of course be maintained; they must he sought for through Spiritual Science also. I did endeavor to point out these things during my recent lectures, when I described the transition from the old Mysteries to the new. I said that Antiquity only got so far with its Mysteries that it was able to revere in Pallas Athene, the Virgin Wisdom. Pallas Athene is indeed a virgin figure; but within the ancient epoch this Virgin Wisdom did not give birth to the Logos. This is precisely the characteristic feature of ancient Greece, for example; it stops short at the Virgin Wisdom, whereas the new Age passes on to the Son of the Virgin Wisdom — to the Logos, which is there on the physical plane through that which represents it: the human word, human speech or language. For human speech may truly be regarded from the point of view of its connection with Wisdom. In the earthly life of man, Wisdom lives itself out through human thought. The air that is breathed out through our larynx, configured through our larynx and its movements, is wedded to the Wisdom that dwells in our thoughts; and the content we have to express is the inspiring Spirit. Every time you speak — no matter how profane the impulse of your speaking is — you have expressed earthly representation of the Trinity. The thought in your head, and the configured air that passes through your larynx, — these two are wedded and united under the influence of the Spirit (that is to say, when you are voicing things of the sense‐world, united by the percept itself).
It is indeed the earthly expression of the Trinity. And the Divine, the spiritual Trinity, must stand behind it, — the all‐embracing Wisdom which becomes Teaching for mankind, and which expresses the Universal content. Anthroposophical Spiritual Science cannot admit or confess its faith in any earthly constitution; for an earthly constitution, whatever it might claim, would be unfolding mere claims of power. Anthroposophical Spiritual Science takes the Virgin cosmic Word in real earnest.
If we think in the sense of anthroposophical Spiritual Science, then, in this content of all that is brought forward by this Science, we see not a mere sum of abstractions or abstract ideas but a living entity that fills us and infills us; For it can even fill us in our soul with active impulse. Thus it becomes the Word, the Teaching, not in a mere scholastic sense. For spiritual‐scientific Wisdom grows to be of service in the social life. The Word itself becomes of social service, and the content which it expresses — brought down from super‐sensible worlds into the world of sense, so to be the underlying basis of our impulses of action — is the inspiring Spirit. Thus I would say: We look for Pallas Athene, the Virgin Wisdom, the Virgin Wisdom of the Cosmos; but we also look for the Son who is born of her, who finds expression in this: that in all the things we do and will in the social life, the Virgin Wisdom is working with us, giving us that which becomes the guiding impulse of our willing and our doing. Then we express the Spirit — the Holy Spirit, the Supersensible — in our sense‐perceptible actions on the physical plane.
In the realm of the soul there are three soul forces that work on the Sentient Soul, Intellectual Soul, and Consciousness Soul. Each of these forces is represented by one of the “three Marys” under the cross of Christ. Each one of the Marys represents a stage of spiritual development that relates to one of the three aspects of the soul. The Sentient Soul is represented by Mary Magdalen, the Intellectual Soul is represented by Mary the wife of Cleopas, and the Consciousness Soul is represented by the Mother of Jesus. Steiner describes these three Marys and their relationship to the three parts of the soul in the following excerpt.
Gospel of John, Basle, Lecture V, November 20, 1907, GA 100
Let us now consider another scene in this Gospel. In (John 19:25), we read: “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.” If we wish to understand this Gospel it is necessary to know who these three women are. We do not usually give two sisters the same name; neither was it the custom in former times. The passage we have quoted proves that, according to St. John’s Gospel, the mother of Jesus was not called Mary. If we search through the whole of this Gospel we nowhere find it said that the mother of Jesus was called Mary. In the scene of the Marriage of Cana, for example, Chapter 2, we only read, “the mother of Jesus was there.” In these words something important is indicated, something we only understand when we know how the writer of this Gospel uses his words. What does the expression “the mother of Jesus” mean? We have seen that man consists of physical, etheric and astral bodies. We must not consider the transition of the astral body to the Spirit Self so simply. The Ego transforms the astral body very slowly and gradually into sentient soul, intellectual soul and spiritual soul. The Ego goes on working and only when it has developed the spiritual soul is it able so to purify it that Spirit Self can arise in it.
The Spirit Man will only be developed in the distant future, and Life Spirit is also only germinal in most people of the present day. The development of the Spirit Self has only just begun; it is closely united with the spiritual soul (somewhat like a sword in its sheath). The sentient soul is similarly united with the astral body. The human being thus consists of nine parts or principles; but as the Spirit Self and the spiritual soul, and the sentient soul and the astral body are so closely united, we often speak of seven parts. Spirit‐Self is the same as the “Holy Spirit,” who according to esoteric Christianity, is the guiding Being in the astral world. According to the same teaching, Life Spirit is called the Word or the Son; and Spirit Man is the “Father Spirit” or the “Father.”
Those human beings who had brought the Spirit Self to birth within them, were called Children of God; in such men “the light shone into the Darkness and they received the light.” Outwardly they were, men of flesh and blood, but they bore a higher man within them; the Spirit Self had been born within them out of the spiritual soul. The “mother” of such a spiritualized man is not a bodily mother, she lies within him; she is the purified and spiritualized spiritual soul; she is the principle who gives birth to the higher man. This spiritual birth, a birth in the highest sense, is described in St. John’s Gospel. The Spirit Self or the Holy Spirit pours into the most highly purified Spiritual Soul. This is referred to in the words, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.” (John 1:32).
As the Spiritual Soul is the principle in which the Spirit Self develops, this principle is called the “mother of Christ,” or, in the occult schools, the “Virgin Sophia.” Through the fertilization of the Virgin Sophia the Christ could be born in Jesus of Nazareth. In the occult school of Dionysius, the Intellectual Soul was called “Mary,” and the Sentient Soul “Mary Magdalene.”
Mary Magdalene represents the process of cleansing the astral body to develop new organs of super-sensible perception. That is why the spiritual scientist must understand and move through this stage of spiritual development. Conquering the desires of the astral body is a necessary stage of renunciation and purification.
Reflections of Consciousness, Super‐consciousness and Sub‐consciousness, Munich, February 2, 1912, GA 143
Let us suppose that someone desires most intensely to be the reincarnated Mary Magdalene, (I once mentioned that I have already met twenty‐four reincarnated Magdalenes in my life); let us assume that someone desires most intensely to be Mary Magdalene. But let us also assume that this person does not confess this wish to himself (we need not confess our wishes to ourselves — this is unnecessary). Well — someone may read the story of Mary Magdalene and may like it immensely. In his sub‐ consciousness the desire to be Mary Magdalene may now immediately arise. He is aware of nothing in his usual consciousness except that he likes this character. The person in question has a liking for this character. He is aware of this in his upper consciousness. But in his sub‐consciousness lives the burning desire to be himself this Mary Magdalene — yet he knows nothing about this. He does not bother about this. He is guided by the facts of his usual consciousness; he can go through the world without being compelled at all to become aware of this erroneous fact in his consciousness — the intense wish to be Mary Magdalene. But let us suppose that such a person has attained, in some way or other, a kind of occult training. This would enable him to descend into his sub‐consciousness — but he would not become aware of the fact, “in me lives the desire to be Mary Magdalene” — he would not become aware of this in the same way that he becomes aware of a headache.
If he were to notice this desire to be Mary Magdalene then he would be sensible and assume toward this desire the same attitude as toward a pain — namely, he would try to get rid of it. But through an irregular descent into sub‐consciousness, this does not take place, because his desire acquires the form of something which is outside his own personality, and to the man in question it appears as the vision: “You are Mary
Magdalene”. This fact stands before him, is projected outside his own being. Moreover, a human being at this stage of development is no longer able to control such a fact through his Ego. This lack of control cannot arise when we undergo a regular, sound and absolutely careful training; for then the Ego accompanies all experiences in every sphere. But as soon as the Ego no longer accompanies all our experiences, the fact described above can arise in the form of an objective outer happening.
The observer believes that he can remember the events connected with Mary Magdalene and feels himself identified with this Mary Magdalene. This is unquestionably possible. I emphasize this possibility, because it shows you that only a careful training and the conscientiousness with which we penetrate into occultism, can rescue us from falling into error. If we know that we must first see before us an entire world, that we must see around us facts, not something which we apply to our own selves, but something that is in us, and yet appears like the picture of a whole world — if we know that we do well to consider what we first see before us is the projection of our own inner life — then we possess a good shield against the errors which can beset us along this path. The best thing of all is to consider at first everything that rises out of our inner being as if it were an exterior fact. In most cases these facts arise out of our desires, vanities, and ambition — in a few words, out of all the qualities connected with human selfishness.
Why Sophia is Not the Holy Spirit
Much confusion surrounds the idea of Sophia’s place in relationship to the Male Trinity. She is often confused with the Holy Spirit (third person in the Male Trinity) in an attempt to make Her the female aspect of the Trinity. She is called the feminine side of Jesus (second person in the Trinity). She is also called Wisdom, who was present at creation like the Father God (first person in the Trinity). She is also pictured as the developing human consciousness– Anthroposophia. Sophia is parcelled out in every combination and arrangement except the obvious, a Divine Feminine Trinity.
Let’s examine a few remarks of Rudolf Steiner’s concerning the question of why Sophia is often conflated with the Holy Spirit.
The Mystery of Golgotha, Cologne, December 2, 1906, GA 97
The same event which took place upon Golgotha took place in the ancient Mysteries. Under the Cross stood the Disciple “whom the Lord loved,” the Disciple who had rested upon his bosom and had been raised to his heart. Also the women are there under the Cross: the mother of Jesus, his mother’s sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene. John does not say that the mother of Jesus was called “Mary,” but that this was the name of his mother’s sister. His mother’s name was “Sophia.”
John baptizes Jesus in the river Jordan. A dove descends from heaven. At this moment a spiritual act of conception takes place. But who is the mother of Jesus who conceives at this moment.
The Chela, Jesus of Nazareth, at this moment divests himself of his Ego, his highly developed Manas (Spirit Self) is fructified and the Buddhi (Life Spirit)enters into it. The highly developed Manas that received the Buddhi is Wisdom — Sophia, the Mother who is fructified by the Father of Jesus. Maria, which is the same as Maya, has the general meaning of “Mother name.” The Gospel records: “The Angel came in unto her and said: Hail thou that art highly favored, — behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son — the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” The Holy Ghost is Jesus’ father: the descending dove fructifies the Sophia that lives in Jesus.
The Gospel should therefore be read as follows: “Under the Cross stood the mother of Jesus, Sophia.” To this mother Jesus says: “Woman, behold thy son.” He himself had transferred the Sophia that lived within him to the Disciple John; he transformed him into a son of Sophia and said: “Behold, thy mother.” “Henceforth you should recognise the divine wisdom as your mother and dedicate yourself to her alone.” John had recorded this divine wisdom; Sophia is embodied in the Gospel of St. John. Jesus had given him this wisdom, and he was authorized by Christ to transmit it to the world.
The Consciousness Soul (Spiritual Soul) is the home of the Virgin Sophia both microcosmically and macrocosmically. The Holy Spirit is truly separate and different than Sophia, Anthroposophia or the Mother of All.
The Gospel of St. John, The Nature of the Virgin Sophia and of the Holy Spirit, Hamburg, May 31, 1908, GA 103
The Father of Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit, who begot the Christ in the bodies of Jesus.
In Egypt the fully spiritualized astral body was called, the Virgin Sophia. The etheric body that received the Virgin Sophia was called, the Holy Spirit. The fruit of their meeting was called, the Son of Man.
The Spirit Self or Holy Spirit flows into the purified Consciousness Soul. The Consciousness Soul is called, the “mother of Christ” or, in the esoteric schools, the “Virgin Sophia.” The Intellectual and Sentient Souls were called, respectively, Mary and Mary Magdalene.
Sophia must become the being who directly enlightens human beings. After passing through us, Sophia will take our being with her and present it to us outwardly – as Anthroposophia.
Christ will appear in spiritual form during the twentieth century not simply because something happens externally, but to the extent that we find the power represented by holy Sophia.
One makes one’s astral body into the pure, chaste, wise Virgin Sophia and is illuminated from above – if you wish, you may call it “overshadowed” – by the “Holy Spirit,” the cosmic, universal “I.”
This is the great school of the Virgin Sophia, the St. John’s Gospel itself.
Spiritual Science has the mission of raising Christianity into Wisdom, of rightly understanding Christianity.
There is one remark that numerous authors have quoted as proof that Steiner believed the Holy Spirit is female and perhaps Sophia. But this quotation is incomplete and comes from “notes” in a letter to one of Steiner’s students in the early days of the Anthroposophical Society. This source is not corroborated anywhere else that the author has found. With careful reading, you can see that Steiner does not say Sophia is the Holy Spirit.
A Letter to Wilhelm Hubbe‐Schleiden, 1902, GA 39
It is doubtless correct that the Christ in us is not really different from what theological dogma terms the Holy Spirit, but it seems to me that we should nevertheless make a distinction between these two concepts in relation to something else. The Holy Spirit and the Christ within are one and the same, but at different stages of development. One could also say that the ‘Holy Spirit’ is the (female) Mother principle of the (male) Son principle Christ. We owe the ‘Christ within’ to the development which proceeds in us through the ‘Holy Spirit’ (or Christ‐creator).
In another place we find a somewhat ambiguous remark that leads to confusion about the Holy Spirit and its feminine nature. But close examination will show that Steiner is not saying that the Holy Spirit and Sophia are one and the same.
Collected Articles and Letters, GA 39
For originally the Holy Spirit was nothing other than the mother of God (Isis, etc). Christianity rejected this feminine (Isis) principle and only retained the Son.
In the Holy Spirit Christianity retained a rudiment of the feminine principle. It is for this reason that Christian dogma naturally fuses the Holy Spirit with the ‘Son.’ They are one and the same, and the discarded Isis principle became incomprehensible as ‘Holy Spirit’ on the one hand, and yet was adopted in a exoteric way again as the ‘Virgin Mary.’ Isis was first dissipated into the ‘Holy Spirit’, and then re‐established as ‘Mary’ without people being aware of the connection.
Esoteric Christianity: The Virgin Sophia, Lecture XII, GA 103
The fact is that the body of Jesus of Nazareth, which he had left behind, was so mature, so perfect, that the sun Logos, the being of the six Elohim who are the spiritual being of the sun, was able to penetrate into it. It could incarnate for three years in this body, could become flesh. The sun Logos who can shine into human beings through illumination, the sun Logos himself, the Holy Spirit, entered. The universal ego, the cosmic ego, entered and from then on for three years the sun Logos spoke through the body of Jesus. The Christ speaks through the body of Jesus during these three years.
The Holy Spirit was the vehicle for the incarnation of Christ, not Sophia. The Nature of the Holy Spirit is also clearly shown to be quite different than the development of the Virgin Sophia in the human soul that is accomplished with the help of Sophia (Anthroposophia).
The Gospel of St. John, The Nature of the Virgin Sophia and of the Holy Spirit, Lecture XII, May 31, 1908, Hamburg, GA 103
Two things are needed for this namely, that the human being prepare himself through catharsis and illumination, and then that he open his inner being freely to the spiritual world. In this connection we may liken his inner nature to the female aspect, the outer spiritual to the male. The inner being must be made susceptible of receiving the higher self. When this has happened, then the higher human self streams into him from the spiritual world. One may ask: Where is this higher human self? Is it within the personal man? No, it is not there. On Saturn, Sun and Moon, the higher self was diffused over the entire cosmos. At that time the Cosmic Ego was spread out over all human kind, but now men have to permit it to work upon them. They must permit this Ego to work upon their previously prepared inner natures. This means that the human inner nature, in other words, the astral body has to be cleansed, purified and ennobled and subjected to catharsis, then a person may expect that the external spirit will stream into him for his illumination. That will occur when the human being has been so well prepared that he has subjected his astral body to catharsis, thereby developing his inner organs of perception. The astral body, in any case, has progressed so far that now when it dips down into the ether and physical bodies, illumination or photismos results. What actually occurs is that the astral body imprints its organs upon the ether body, making it possible for the human being to perceive a spiritual world about him; making it possible for his inner being, the astral body, to receive what the ether body is able to offer to it, what the ether body draws out of the entire cosmos, out of the Cosmic Ego.
This cleansed, purified astral body, which bears within it at the moment of illumination none of the impure impressions of the physical world, but only the organs of perception of the spiritual world is called in esoteric Christianity the “pure, chaste, wise Virgin Sophia.” By means of all that he receives during catharsis, the pupil cleanses and purifies his astral body so that it is transformed into the Virgin Sophia. And when the Virgin Sophia encounters the Cosmic Ego, the Universal Ego which causes illumination, the pupil is surrounded by light, spiritual light. This second power that approaches the Virgin Sophia, is called in esoteric Christianity — is also so called today — the “Holy Spirit.” Therefore according to esoteric Christianity, it is correct to say that through his processes of initiation the Christian esotericist attains the purification and cleansing of his astral body; he makes his astral body into the Virgin Sophia and is illuminated from above — if you wish, you may call it overshadowed — by the “Holy Spirit,” by the Cosmic, Universal Ego. And a person thus illuminated, who, in other words, according to esoteric Christianity has received the “Holy Spirit” into himself, speaks forthwith in a different manner.
How does he speak? When he speaks about Saturn, Sun and Moon, about the different members of the human being, about the processes of cosmic evolution, he is not expressing his own opinion. His views do not at all come into consideration. When such a person speaks about Saturn, it is Saturn itself that is speaking through him. When he speaks about the Sun, the Spiritual Being of the Sun speaks through him. He is the instrument. His personal ego has been eclipsed, which means that at such moments it has become impersonal and it is the Cosmic Universal Ego that is using his ego as its instrument through which to speak.
Thus we have acquired two concepts in their spiritual significance. We have learned to know the nature of the Virgin Sophia, which is the purified astral body, and the nature of the “Holy Spirit,” the Cosmic Universal Ego, which is received by the Virgin Sophia and which can then speak out of this purified astral body. There is something else to be attained, a still higher stage, that is the ability to help someone else, the ability to give him the impulse to accomplish both of these. Men of our evolutionary epoch can receive the Virgin Sophia (the purified astral body) and the Holy Spirit (illumination) in the manner described, but only Christ Jesus could give to the earth what was necessary to accomplish this. He has implanted in the spiritual part of the earth those forces which make it possible for that to happen at all which has been described in the Christian initiation.
The fact is that the corporality of Jesus of Nazareth which he had left behind was so mature, so perfect, that the Sun Logos, the Being of the six Elohim, which we have described as the spiritual Being of the Sun, was able to penetrate into it. It could incarnate for three years in this corporality, could become flesh. The Sun Logos Who can shine into human beings through illumination, the Sun Logos Himself, the Holy Spirit, entered. The Universal‐Ego, the Cosmic Ego entered and from then on during three years, the Sun Logos spoke through the body of Jesus. The Christ speaks through the body of Jesus during these three years. This event is indicated in the Gospel of St. John and also in the other Gospels as the descent of the dove, of the Holy Spirit, upon Jesus of Nazareth. In esoteric Christianity it is said, that at that moment the ego of Jesus of Nazareth left his body, and that from then on the Christ is in him, speaking through him in order to teach and work.
And this Gospel of St. John is the Gospel in which the writer has concealed powers which develop the Virgin Sophia. At the Cross, the mission was entrusted to him of receiving that force as his mother and of being the true, genuine interpreter of the Messiah. This really means that if you live wholly in accordance with the Gospel of St. John and understand it spiritually, it has the force to lead you to Christian catharsis, it has the power to give you the Virgin Sophia. Then will the Holy Spirit, united with the earth, grant you illumination or photismos according to the Christian meaning. And what the most intimate disciples experienced there in Palestine was so powerful that from that time on, they possessed at least the capacity of perceiving in the spiritual world. The most intimate disciples had received this capacity into themselves.
The Mother of the Divine Feminine Trinity
The following remarks of Rudolf Steiner highlight the nature of the Mother aspect of the Divine Feminine Trinity. The evolution, or biography, of this being is part of the creation of the natural world. All that presents itself to us in the world around us are the prior donations of the Mothers, the three previous incarnations of the Earth (Saturn, Sun, and Moon).
The Realm of the Mothers: The Mater Gloriosa, Dornach, August 16, 1915, GA 272
The Mothers, who are also an “Ever‐Feminine,” are three in number; the Mother, the Mater Gloriosa, is singular. Now these two kinds of striving – to the Mothers on the one hand, which places us in the period of evolution before the Mystery of Golgotha, and to the Mother on the other, the Mater Gloriosa, which places us in the period of evolution after the Mystery of Golgotha – don’t they show us with the their overwhelming poetic splendor what the Mystery of Golgotha has brought us? The three Mothers became the one Mother, the Mater Gloriosa, in that the human being has progressed to the point of being inwardly permeate by the “I,” in the manner with which we are familiar. And this transition from the Ever‐Feminine as a trinity to the Ever‐Feminine as a unity is one of the greatest, most wonderful, most beautiful of all the artistic enhancements in the second part of Faust.
Isis and Madonna, Berlin, April 29, 1909, GA 57
The Mothers weave and live in a region where the forms of the visible world are fashioned. We must transcend everything that lives in space and time if we wish to penetrate to these Mothers. Formation, transformation, is the essence of their realm. They are mysterious goddesses who rule in a spirit realm behind sensible reality. All that is given to our senses is born out of this realm of the Mothers. This mysterious mother realm of all earthly and physical things is the realm of the divine substance of all things. The realm of the Mothers is the realm of the spiritual world. They are the primordial grounds of existence.
The human soul dwelling within us is, in a certain sense, Isis, the eternal feminine in us that draws us onward to the realm out of which we are born.
When our gaze falls on the Madonna and is permeated with deep feeling, the soul partakes in certain knowledge of the mighty riddle of the world. We realize that in such surrender our soul, seeking in itself the eternal feminine, yearns for the divine Father Spirit born out of the cosmos, to whom we give birth as the Son in our own soul.
Goethe’s Faust from the Standpoint of Spiritual Science, Strasbourg, January 23, 1910, GA 272
The Mothers have always been what people come to know when their spiritual eyes are opened. The very foundation of physical objects is no longer visible through physical eyes, but where it is, is where the Mothers are. The realm of the Mothers is the spiritual world.
The “Ever‐Feminine” is what the human soul represents as it stands face to face with the mystery of the universe. It is what yearns as the eternal element in the human being: the eternal feminine that draws the soul onward and upward to the eternally immortal, the eternal wisdom and that surrenders itself to the eternal masculine.
Mystical Knowledge and Spiritual Revelation of Nature: Perception of Spirits, Dornach, August 14, 1915, GA 252
The interior of the female organization – what is bodily and physical as well as what expresses itself as soul in connection with the physical body – all this bears the marks of Saturn, Sun, and Moon periods in the most eminent sense. The macrocosmic aspect of the Saturn, Sun, and Moon evolutions is carried over within the woman and is taken up into the microcosm of the woman, whereas the macrocosm of the immediately preceding part of Earth evolution is taken up into the microcosm of the man.
Mater Gloriosa (Sophia) has carried the everlasting effects of the Saturn, Sun, and Moon periods over into the Earth period in the purest way, has left them untouched by what is earthly and united herself with the macrocosm by being allowed to prepare the Christ for the earth.
The Christmas Conference, Chapter V, GA 260
This human karma is at first only the background, a curtain, like a veil. But if we look behind this veil, we gaze at the weaving deeds and workings and influences of Archai, Archangeloi, Angeloi; Kyriotetes, Dynamis, Exusiai; Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones.
We can see by these remarks that the being that stands behind Anthroposophia (Holy Sophia) and the Cosmic Being of Wisdom (Kyriotetes‐ the Daughter of Sophia) is the ‘combined nine hierarchies’ – the Mothers, who later became Mater Gloriosa, the Mother of All. Together they make the Divine Feminine Trinity of Mother, Daughter, and Holy Sophia.
The Daughter of the Divine Feminine Trinity
The nature of the Cosmic Being of Wisdom (Kyriotetes) is well documented in Anthroposophical literature. The description of the biography of this Being of Wisdom is a key element in Steiner’s Christology. Only Steiner brings forth these revelations in our current age and leaves them as an open secret for those with ‘eyes to see’ and ‘ears to hear.’ The descent of the Being of Wisdom into the being of ‘the mother of Jesus’ was unprecedented at that time. No greater merging of an avatar (Cosmic Wisdom) with a bodhisattva (Mary‐Eve) has ever happened in history before.
The Search for the New Isis, the Divine Sophia, Dornach, December 24, 1920, GA 202
We must realize that Isis, the living, divine Sophia, had to be lost. We shall, however, also realize that when living Imagination is awakened out of the dead field of mathematics, kinematics and geometry this is the finding of Isis, the finding of the new Isis, the divine Sophia, whom human beings must find if the Christ force which they have possessed since the Mystery of Golgotha is to become fully alive, that is, filled through and through with the light of purest awareness.
The Gospel of St. Luke, September 26, 1909, GA 114
Then during the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, the immortal part of the original mother of the Nathan Jesus descended from the spiritual world and transformed the mother who had been taken into the house of the Nathan Joseph (the Solomon Mary) and made her once again a virgin. Thus the soul of the mother whom the Nathan Jesus had lost was restored to him at the time of the Baptism by John. The mother who remained with him harbored within her the soul of his original mother, called in the Bible the “Blessed Mary.”
The John Gospel, Stockholm, January 11, 1910, GA 157
At the Baptism in the Jordan the mother principle experiences a re‐birth in that the pure etheric body of the Nathan mother descends and permeates the other mother. Now she is again a virgin, and a deep connection is formed between Christ and the mother.
The Gospel of John in Relation to the Other Three Gospels, Kassel, July 3, 1909, GA 112
At the same moment in which the Spirit of Christ descended into the body of Jesus of Nazareth and a transformation took place such as we have described, an influence was also exerted upon the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. This influence consisted in that at the moment of the Baptism she regained her virginity, that is to say, she reverted in her inner organism to the condition of the female organism before puberty. At the birth of Christ, the mother of Jesus of Nazareth became a virgin.
As a consummation of the ages, the sons of men will once again find the daughters of God and will ascend to them. But this can only happen when human wisdom has been sacrificed for divine wisdom, for then we shall again find the daughters of the Gods, thedivine Wisdom (Sophia). Then will the sons of men ascend to the daughters of the Gods. And with this begins the second half of earthly evolution.
The Christian Mystery, February 11, 1906, GA 97
After His life on earth, Christ ascends and now marches triumphant through the starry heavens. Only Christ and Mary could take their physical body with them into the realm of the fixed stars. Jesus and Mary had sanctified the physical body to so great an extent that they could take it with them up to the highest regions.
The Search for the New Isis, Basel, Christmas 1920, GA 292
Through the revelation to the poor shepherds in the field, through the revelation to the Magi from the Orient there worked the divine Sophia, the Heavenly Wisdom.
Finding of the new Isis, the divine Sophia, whom man must find if the power of Christ – which he has had within him since the Mystery of Golgotha – is to become alive, fully alive, in him, that is, filled with light.
We must have a living picture in our minds of all that we have acquired through the newly‐found Isis, so that the whole heavenly universe, the cosmos, becomes for us spiritual again.
It is not the Christ we lack, it is the knowledge of Christ, the Isis of Christ, the Sophia of Christ that fails us.
We must set out on the quest for the dead body of the modern Isis, the corpse of the divine Sophia, with a force which we cannot understand but which is nevertheless within us.
Then, through this newly‐found power of Isis – which is now the power of the divine Sophia – the Christ, who since the Mystery of Golgotha has been united with earthly existence, will enter fully into activity within man, because He will be rightly understood. The Christ will appear in His spiritual form during the twentieth century not through an external happening but through people finding that power which is represented by the divine Sophia.
The Holy Sophia of the Divine Feminine Trinity
Isis‐Sophia, Theosophia, Sophia, Philosophia, Anthroposophia
The Holy Sophia is also another aspect of the Divine Feminine Trinity that is exclusive to the work of Rudolf Steiner. Ralph Waldo Emerson had pointed out that the natural human intellect was evolving over time but he did not attribute that evolution of consciousness to a “being.” Steiner tells the biography of Isis‐Sophia from Her physical birth in 2100 BC to Her etheric, astral and ego births each 700 years, or so, thereafter.
The Path of Spiritual Knowledge and the Renewal of the Artistic Worldview, October 1, 1915, GA 161
Thus we see a being weaving its way through history for whom a century is as a year. And if we wanted to we could, I may say, write the biography of this being, who as regards spirituality is man’s superior to the extent that a century is longer than a year. Thus the historical birth of this being amongst mankind, that is, its first contact with it, took place in approximately 2100 BC. The beginning of the development of its etheric body was in 1400 BC, while the development of its astral body begun in 700 BC.
Abraham, then, was the first man to develop within himself an inner reflection of divine wisdom (the Sophia), divine vision, in an entirely human way as human thinking about ‘the Divine.’
And so out of the mists of the history of philosophy a being comes towards us to whom we look up as to a Goddess descending from the divine heights, whom we see young in ancient times and whom we see grow even if slowly, so that a century for her corresponds to a year in a human life.
For this is the essence of Anthroposophy, that its own being consists of what man’s being consists; and the essential quality of its activity is that man receives in Anthroposophy what he himself is and must place this before him, because he must practice self‐knowledge.
Perception of the Nature of Thought, Dornach, January 10, 1915, GA 161
Something lives in history which passes through the etheric body, the sentient body etc., a real, actual Being. I said in my book that in the Grecian era thought was born. But in modern times it comes to actual self‐consciousness in the consciousness soul: thought is an independent active Being. This could not of course be said in an exoteric book intended for the public. The anthroposophist will find it however if he reads the book and notes what was the prevailing trend of its presentation. It is not brought into it, but results of itself out of the very subject matter.
You see from this that very many impulses of transformation as regards the spiritual life are coming forward in our time. For here we see something evolving that is like a human being except that it has a longer duration of life than an individual man. The individual man lives on the physical plane: for seven years he develops the physical body, for seven years the etheric body, for seven years the sentient body etc. The Being which evolves as philosophy (we call it by the abstract name ‘philosophy’) lives for 700 years in the etheric body, 700 – 800 years in the sentient body (the time is only approximate), 700 – 800 years in the sentient soul, 700 – 800 years in the intellectual or mind‐soul and again 700 – 800 years in the consciousness soul. A Being evolves upwards of whom we can say: if we look at the very first beginnings of Grecian philosophy this Being has then just reached the stage of development which corresponds in mankind to puberty; as Being it is like man when he has reached the 14th – 16th year. Then it lives upwards to the time when a human being experiences the events between the 14th and 21st year; that is the age of Greek philosophy, Greek thought. Then comes the next 7 years, what man experiences from the age of 21 to 28; the Christ Impulse enters the development of philosophy. Then comes the period from Scotus Erigena up to the new age. This Being develops in the following 700 – 800 years what man develops between the ages of 28 and 35 years. And now we are living in the development of what man experiences in his consciousness soul: we are experiencing the consciousness soul of philosophy, of philosophical thought.
Philosophy has actually come to the forties, only it is a Being that has much longer duration of life. One year in a man’s life corresponds to a hundred years in the life of the Being of philosophy. So we see a Being passing through history for whom a century is a year; evolving in accordance with Sun‐laws though one is not aware of it.
And then only there lies further back another Being still more super‐sensible than the Being that evolves as humanity except that a year is as long as a century. This Being that stands behind evolves in such a way that its external expression is our personal destiny, how we bear this through still longer periods, from incarnation to incarnation. Here stand the Spirits regulating our outer destiny and their life is of still longer duration than the life of those for whom we must say that a century corresponds to a year.
So you see, it is as if we look there into differing ranges of Beings, and how, if we wished, we might even write the biography of a Being who stands spiritually as much higher than man as a 100 years is longer than a year.
An attempt has been made to write the biography of a such a Being as had its puberty at the time of Thales and Anaxagoras, and has now reached the stage of its self‐ consciousness and since the 16th century has entered, so to say, into its ‘forties’. The biography of this Being has furnished a ‘History of Philosophy.’
From this you see, however, how Spiritual Science gives vitality to what is otherwise abstract, and really animates it. What dry wood for instance, is the usual ‘History of Philosophy’! And what it can become when one knows that it is the biography of a Being which is interwoven in our existence, but evolves by Sun‐laws instead of Earth‐laws!
It was my wish to add these thoughts to what we have been considering lately about the life‐forces which arise in us when we look at Spiritual Science not as a theory but seek it in the guidance to living. And it is just through Spiritual Science that we find the living. What is so unalive, so dry, and withered as the history of philosophy comes to meet us out of the mist as though we looked up to it as a Goddess who descends from divine cloud‐ heights, whom we see young in ancient times, whom we see grow even if with the slowness where a century corresponds to a year of human life. Yet all this becomes living — the sun rises for us like the Sun within Earth existence itself. For just as the sun rises on the physical plane, so do we see the ancient Sun still radiate into the earthly world in a Being that has a longer lifetime than man. As we follow man’s development on the physical plane from birth to death so we follow the development of philosophy by seeing a Being within it. When in this way we look at what Anthroposophy can be to us we reach the point of seeing in it not only a guide to knowledge but a guide to living Beings who surround us even though we are unaware of them.
Awakening to Community, 1923, GA 257
Our modern ideal of thoughts and ideas can no longer have kinship with the Greek ideal, which felt thoughts to be inner witnesses to the divine. Nowadays we have to exert purely human forces, work in a purely human way, to develop thoughts. But once we have made the effort and achieved thoughts free of any taint of egotism, self‐seeking, subjective emotionality or partisan spirit such as colors thoughts with prejudiced opinions, once we have exerted ourselves as human beings to experience thoughts in the form they themselves want to assume, we no longer regard ourselves as the creators and shapers of our thought, but rather as the inner scene of action where they live out their own nature. Then we feel the greatness of these selfless and unprejudiced thoughts that seem to be our own creations, and are surprised to find that they are worthy of depicting the divine; we discover afterwards that thoughts that take shape in our own hearts are worthy of depicting the divine. First, we discover the thought, and afterwards we find: The thought is nothing other than the Logos!
While you were selflessly letting the thought form itself in you, your selflessness made it possible for a god to be the creator of that thought. Where the Oriental felt thought to be revelation and where the Greek found it proof of divine reality, we feel it to be living discovery: we have the thought, and afterwards it tells us that it was permitted to express divinity. That is our scientific ideal.
Goethe’s Faust as a Picture of His Esoteric View of Life, 1899/1902, GA 161
Within the human being, the connection with the “Ever‐Feminine” brings to birth the child that is not transitory because it belongs to the eternal.
A being evolves upwards of whom we can say: At the very beginning of Grecian philosophy this Being has just reached the stage of development which corresponds in mankind to puberty; the Being is like a human individual at the age of 14‐16. Then the Being develops through a period corresponding in man to the time between the 14th and 21st years: that is the age of Greek philosophy, of Greek thought. Then comes the period corresponding to the next seven years in man, from 21 to 28 years: The Christ‐impulse enters into the development of philosophy. After this follows the period stretching from Scotus Erigena to the beginning of modern times: Over the next 700 to 800 years this Being develops what man develops between the ages of 28 and 35 years. And now we are living in the development of what man experiences in his consciousness soul: We are experiencing the consciousness soul of Philosophia, of philosophical thought.
The birth and evolution of the being of Anthroposophia gives extraordinary insight into human development provided only by Rudolf Steiner. The mysteries of Sophia are a key in understanding our future. Our spiritual development is in the hands of this being and She treats each of us as Her child. Anthroposophia prepares our soul to be a bride for the wedding of our spiritual soul to our higher self. She helps us create the grail vessel in the heart that is made ready for the groom who descends like tongues of flame at Pentecost. Anthroposophia is the new Pentecost of the heart that purifies the spiritual soul to step across the threshold into the spiritual world. We can only step across this abyss with the help of our spiritual midwife, Sophia.
If the tenets of this article are true, we will see it come to pass as time goes by and the future introduces us to beings who stand ready to help bring spiritual revelation into the world. As we spiritually advance, so too Anthroposophia will develop and show us objectively if we are taking the right path to the spirit. Through all of the many theories of Sophia, the one that is right for the student will become apparent. As Rudolf Steiner tells us, “Each person resembles the God he or she understands.” This truth is self‐evident but does not remove the blinders of the student seeking the full measure of Wisdom’s manifestation. Your version of the Divine is limited by your own understanding. The limits of your understanding of the divine become your personal limits. You ‘resemble’ the God or Goddess you understand. As your understanding grows, so should your vision of the Divine.
This article is an attempt to help each reader expand his and her view of the Divine, especially the Divine Feminine Trinity. This is not a doctrine of Sophia, just an exploration of the Divine Feminine that hopefully illustrates that we should not be quick to place limits on Sophia, otherwise, those limits will become who we are. We are the image of the Divine that we worship. Opening the panoramic view of Sophia will give Her a chance to ‘knock at your heart’ and ‘objectively’ present your spiritual strivings to your own consciousness. Through this spiritual dialogue, we trust that the glory and wisdom of the Divine Feminine will reveal to you the mysteries of your evolving self. It is our task in the current age to ‘lift the veil’ of Isis‐Sophia and live.
For initiates ready to step beyond ordinary time and space and conventional intellectual exercises of Anthroposophy, The Gospel of Sophia trilogy offers just such an introduction to the Being Sophia, through three biographies that unveil the Mother, Daughter, and Holy Sophia. A path of “labors” takes the aspirant through the twelve archetypes that comprise the Divine Feminine Trinity. In Volume 2, the path of revelation and apocalypse is unfolded to provide the aspirant with the wisdom to interpret the symbols associated with crossing the threshold into the spiritual world through initiation. Volume 3 of The Gospel of Sophia, the Sophia Christos Initiation, is a spiritual self‐initiation that further advances the aspirant’s process of ascension. This self‐initiation process is in harmony with sacred rites and rituals of the ancient mystery schools updated with the spectrum of wisdom given by the Divine Feminine Trinity. Through the three volumes of The Gospel of Sophia, the aspirant can find new archetypes and spiritual icons that seed the future Sixth Epoch.
The physiological, psychological, theological, philosophical, and scientific description of the Sophia found in the human body and the world create a comprehensive vision of the Eternal Feminine and Her place alongside the Male Trinity and human spiritual development. Thus, the injunction of our age is:
Know Her and you will Know Thyself.
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