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It is difficult to prepare an unfamiliar reader for the content of Dr. Steiner's observations. These essays form an attempt to do that from the point of view of astronomy-astrology, although they did not originate from that impulse. Rather, in 1996 and 1997 I produced essays in an attempt to show clearly Steiner's view on two topics in dispute or confusion: 1) The application of the terms Mercury and Venus to the night sky; and, 2) The identification of the signs or constellations of the zodiac and their relation to the cultural epochs of man. These are contained here in slightly revised form. Because I intended to help solve an evident problem with these essays, as well as reflect the intelligible picture given by Steiner, they fully mention, if not quote, all non-redundant references I have found to date. While doing this, I noticed that a few other topics could be likewise covered. Thus the essays on comets, the `day-round zodiac', and the exclusion of Uranus and Neptune comprehensively represent what Steiner observed throughout the 180 - odd texts and lecture cycles reviewed. As is hopefully evident in the essays themselves, the ones on old and new star-knowledge, celestial movements and basic celestial influences are merely representative. Steiner's many details on sun, moon - specific planets and constellations - evolution, etc. require fuller treatment than possible in essay form, in my opinion

The content of essays contained here, is the result of research work from the point of view of gathering scientific facts. In this case these facts are most accurately represented by the direct quotes of the observer - Steiner. These facts can of course be expressed in terms other than Steiner's, but their content has been so hidden and confused that credibility and continuity become almost as important as content . . .

There is no intention here to promote any kind of mere `belief' in Dr. Steiner's work; however, few others have provided points of view on the possibility of intimate celestial effects on earth in clearly scientific and holistic terms. We need to open-mindedly test the pictures that emerge when his scattered facts are collected and correlated.

Personally, I would like to thank Phillip Thatcher, Magdelene Warner, and Sherry Wildfeuer. Their critical interest not only gave the initial impetus, but aided greatly in supporting the will to finish an introduction appropriate to the topic. The information in these essays has been taken from a much larger survey called Foundations at the Periphery: Rudolf Steiner's Observations On Star-Knowledge, comprising over four hundred pages and currently in working manuscript form. The last essay in this series, `References . . . ', is essentially a bibliography of the larger work. The attempt has been to maintain the exact character of the edition cited, so varying treatments of uppercase \ lower case and British vs. American spellings (etc.), occur.

This larger summary of Dr. Steiner's observations was begun because I can find it nowhere else . . . so I in it I organized, at first chronologically, information that can aid in outlining both general principles and specific relationships of stars, sun, planets and moon with earth and man. I have tried to limit myself to the most direct references of celestial phenomena or stages of human star-knowledge, with some purely methodological observations that qualify the nature of the information given.

For whatever reason, the first, almost introductory, change in relevant quotes comes with the year 1908. This could of course change, but what I have found to date shows brief facts of solar system evolution, or qualities and relationships of a few celestial bodies given from 1901 to 1907. Beginning in 1908, detailed descriptions and whole lecture cycles describe the nature of the solar system.

As an introductory summary of Rudolf Steiner's view of the nature of the solar system, observations he reported from 1901-1907 give a provocative picture. Reading them will show that there is a depth to be discussed; I would like to bring forward the following facts to aid in the orientation of the reader:

  1. The present solar system is the fourth incarnation of a pattern of seven `great cycles' or evolutionary planets, called respectively (old) Saturn, (old) Sun, (old) Moon, Earth, (future) Jupiter, (future) Venus, and (future) Vulcan. The speed of evolution slows to the point when the inception of human self-consciousness occurs, during late Atlantean times of our Earth, and is now speeding up again.
  2. Mankind has been present at various evolutionary stages throughout this pattern, and life in general is able to persist and evolve forms in states of purely fiery and gaseous conditions.
  3. The Zodiac is the creator of and exists beyond the physical existence of the evolutionary planets, this fact being reflected in the twelve daylight and twelve night-time hours.
  4. Civilization has epochs related to the occurrence of the vernal sun in different constellations of the Zodiac. The governance of each sign was revised to a then-consistent 2,160 years, with the sun entering Aries about 747B.C. and entering Pisces about 1413A.D. (see 3 & 8 Oct. 1905, June 1906, 25 Aug. 1906, 4 Sept. 1906)
  5. Sun, moon and earth were united in one body, but the sun had too fast, too dissolving a pace of evolution, so it had to depart the earth and moon. (see 1904)
  6. Sometime after the sun left the earth+moon, Mars penetrated the fiery, gaseous mass and left astral iron. Mercury left etheric mercury in mid-Atlantean times; thus occultists sometimes designate the evolutionary planet Earth, as “Mars - Mercury.” This had been incorporated into the naming of the days of the week. (see 1 & 28 Oct. 1905, June, 1906, 30 Aug. 1906)
  7. The moon departed because it had a too hardening, mummifying effect on the early albumin; but its leaving also weakened the reproductive forces of the earth and caused the sexes to arise. (see 1904, 31 Aug. 1906)
  8. The movements of sun, earth and planets are actually spirals within spirals.
  9. Radioactivity has only existed for a few thousand years because the Earth-evolution is on the decaying side. Rocks were formerly softer and `more alive'; they are progressively hardening and crumbling, including nuclear decay.

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