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The Cycle of the Year as Breathing-Process of the Earth

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

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The Cycle of the Year as Breathing-Process of the Earth

On-line since: 11th April, 2004

Translator's Note

My mother, Frances E. Dawson (1872 – 1961) left to me her translation of this cycle, made thirty to forty years ago. In preparing this edition, I have referred to her copy so extensively that I wanted to name her as co-translator. We have been compatible colleagues in sharing the view that Rudolf Steiner's unique style of speaking is better served by keeping the translation as fresh and pictorial as may be, rather than clothing it in Latin terms and perhaps more literary turns of phrase. We hope this effort will help the reader to picture the time and place and even the audience of members gathered together to share what Dr. Gunther Wachsmuth described as “these sacred hours which carried the inauguration of the spiritual cult of the festival times at the Goetheanum to a new stage of development.”

It should become clear to the reader as he reads that I have employed the unusual usage of capitalizing “Earth” and “Nature” — and even of referring to them now and then as feminine — because they are so clearly personified in the text. Keeping the remarkable repetitiveness of the closing lectures perhaps also requires apology, in the primary sense of the word. Rudolf Steiner's every word and deed was so intensely conscious that it is safe to assume that even such repetitiousness had its reason (beyond someone coughing in the audience!). Rather than inflicting my view on him, I will leave the reader to wonder — and perhaps to discover — the reason.

Barbara Betteridge
Santa Paula, California

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