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The Daily-round Zodiac: A Little Cosmic Mystery


Scattered throughout his career, Dr. Rudolf Steiner gave peeks at what is for me as yet, a little cosmic mystery. That is, he pointed to the idea that the sun traverses the zodiac (or its `equivalent' or `echo'?) daily. If I present the pertinent quotes, you will see what I mean.

On the 6th Dec. 1910, Dr. Steiner explained: “If you follow the course of the Sun in the daytime from the constellation of Aries, through Taurus, Gemini and so on, to Virgo, you must follow its progress at night from Libra on to Aquarius and Pisces. This is the direction of the Spiritual Sun.” (Background to the Gospel of St. Mark, 1968, pg. 73)

A few days later, on the 18th Dec., the point was made again: “John the Baptist had necessarily to receive and Aquarius Initiation, the expression indicating that the Sun was standing in the constellation of Aquarius. Try to understand it this way: On the day or light side of the Zodiac lie Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, then Libra. The constellations on the night or dark side of the Zodiac are Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Since the last two lie on the night side, the Sun's rays coming from them must not only traverse physical space but they must send the spiritual light of the Sun, which passes through the Earth, through spiritual space . . .

“If we trace the course of the Sun in the heavens we find that as the physical Sun sets the spiritual Sun begins to rise. In its day or summer course the Sun progresses from Taurus to Aries, and so on; in its night or winter course it will reveal to us the secrets of the Initiation of Aquarius or Pisces. Physically, the Sun's course is from Virgo to Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries; spiritually its course is from Virgo to Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius to Pisces. The spiritual counterpart of the course of the physical Sun is the passage from Aquarius to Pisces.” (Background to the Gospel of St. Mark, 1968, pp. 207-208)

As I said, Steiner gave us only `peeks' (so far as I've found) at this idea of a daily round related to or comparable to the zodiac. The next one I've found was given 17 Apr. 1917: “ . . . Constantine therefor embarked upon the ambitious plan to found Constantinople, and the work was completed in A.D.326. He intended that the foundation of the city should coincide with this turning-point in world history. He therefor chose to lay the foundation stone at the moment when the Sun stood in the sign of the Archer and the Crab ruled the hour. He followed closely the indications of the cosmic signs . . . ” (Building Stones for an Understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha, 1972, pp. 138-139)

Indications of this daily round are few and far between; the last I know include, on 20 Jan. 1924: “Now, you can look at the vernal point of the zodiac, where the sun rises every spring. This point is not stationary; it is advancing. In the Egyptian epoch, for example, it was in the constellation of Taurus. It has advanced through Taurus and Aries, and is today in the constellation of Pisces; and it is still advancing. It moves in a circle and will return after a certain time. Though this point where the sun rises in the spring describes a complete circle in the heavens in 25,950 years, the sun describes this circle every day. It rises and sets, thereby describing the same path as the vernal point. Let us contemplate, on the one hand, the long epoch of 25,950 years, which is the time taken by the vernal point to complete its path; and on the other hand, the short period of twenty-four hours in which the sun rises, sets and rises again at the same point. The sun describes the same circle.” (Anthroposophy and the Inner Life, 1994, pg. 29)

And a little later, on 14 June 1924: “ . . . We should really speak of Aries-Sun, Taurus-Sun, Cancer-Sun, Leo-Sun, and so on. For the Sun is a different being in each case. Moreover, the resultant influence depends both on the daily course and on the yearly course of the Sun, as determined by its position in the vernal point.” (Agriculture, 1974, pg. 115)

The terse 1917 reference to “ . . . and the Crab ruled the hour.”, is also reflected in a predictive discussion given later in that year, on 25 Nov. 1917: “ . . . what will matter will be whether one carries out a certain process in the morning, evening, or at noon, or whether one allows what one did in the morning to be somehow further influenced by active forces of the evening, or whether the cosmic influences from morning until evening is excluded, paralyzed . . .

“It will be the task of the good, healing science to find certain cosmic forces that, through the working together of two cosmic streams, are able to arise on the earth. These two cosmic streams will be those of Pisces and Virgo . . . The good will be that one will discover how, from the two directions of the cosmos, morning and evening forces can be placed at the service of humanity: on the one side from the direction of Pisces and on the other side from the direction of Virgo.

“Those who seek to achieve everything through the dualism of polarity, through positive and negative forces, will not concern themselves with these forces. The spiritual mysteries that allow the spirituality to stream forth from the cosmos - with the help of the twofold forces of magnetism, from the positive and the negative - emerge in the universe from Gemini; these are the forces of midday . . . ” (The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric, 1983, pp. 195-200) The long passage from which the above was extracted also indicates Sagittarius as “the forces of midnight”.

When I first noticed this reference to “day constellations” and “night constellations”, I thought of an allegory to the yearly passage through them, but there is definite reference to daily passage. The equally definite indications of practical importance mean that this is a “little mystery” worth pursuing.

Last modified: 09-Sep-2014
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