Saturn works in warmth – Reading 3


“We have studied certain aspects of the connection between earth-conditions, world-conditions, animals and man. We shall continue with these studies during the coming days. Today, however, I wish to find the transition to those wider spheres which we shall have to consider later. I should like, in the first place, to draw attention to what has already been described in my “Occult Science” as the evolution of the Earth in the cosmos — beginning with the primordial Saturn-metamorphosis of the Earth. This Saturn-condition must be thought of as already containing within itself everything belonging to our planetary system. The separate planets of our planetary system, from Saturn onwards to the Moon, were at that time still within old Saturn — which, as you know, consisted only of warmth-ether — as undifferentiated world-bodies. Saturn, which had not even attained to the density of air, but was merely warmth-ether, contained in an undifferentiated etheric condition everything which later took on independent form, becoming individualized in the separate planets.

We then distinguish as the second metamorphosis of earth-evolution, what, in a comprehensive sense, I have called the Sun-condition of the Earth. Here we have to do with the gradual formation ― from the fire-globe of Saturn ― of the air-globe, the light-permeated, light-irradiated, glittering air-globe, Sun.

Then we have a third metamorphosis, out of which, after the ancient conditions had been recapitulated, there took form on the one hand all that was of a Sun-nature, which at that time still comprised the earth and moon ― all this is described in “Occult Science” ― and on the other hand all that was already externalized, and to which Saturn in its state of separation belonged.

At the same time, however, during this period of the Moon-metamorphosis, we meet the fact that the sun separated from what was now a blend of earth and moon. I have often described how the kingdoms of nature which we know today did not then exist, how the earth did not enclose a mineral mass, but was, if I may so express myself, of the nature of horn, so that the solid constituents freed themselves, forming rock-like projections of horny substance, jutting out from the Moon-mass, which was now of the consistency of water. And then there arose the conditions of the fourth metamorphosis, which are the Earth conditions of today.

Now when we depict these four metamorphoses in their sequence, we have first the Saturn-condition, which still contained dissolved within it everything later contained in our planetary system; then we have the Sun-metamorphosis, the Moon-metamorphosis, and the Earth-metamorphosis. These four manifestations fall into pairs.

Just consider how things were during the evolution of Saturn and on into the Sun-epoch, where even then substance had only advanced to a gaseous state! Evolution takes its start from the globe of fire; the fire-globe becomes metamorphosed, densified to a globe of air, which is, however, imbued with light, glittering with light. Here we have the first part of evolution.

Then we have that part of evolution in which the Moon first plays its own role. For it is the role played by the Moon which enables it to fashion those horny rock-formations. And during the Earth-metamorphosis the moon separates off, becomes a subsidiary planet, leaving behind for the Earth the inner-earth-forces. The forces of gravity, for instance, are essentially forces which, in a physical connection, have remained behind from the Moon. The Earth would never have developed the forces of gravity had not the residue of what was contained in old Moon been left behind; the moon itself departed. The present moon is that colony in cosmic space about which I spoke to you from its spiritual aspect only a few days ago. Its substantiality is quite different from that of the earth, but it left behind in the earth what, speaking in the widest sense, may be called earth-magnetism. The forces of the earth, namely the earthly forces of gravity, the activities described as the effects of weight, these have remained over from the moon. And thus we can say: on the one hand we have (Saturn-and-Sun-condition) the essentially warm, light-irradiated metamorphosis, when the two conditions are taken together; on the other we have (Moon-and-Earth-condition) the moon-sustained, watery metamorphosis, the watery condition which evolved during the Moon-metamorphosis, and which then remained during the Earth-metamorphosis; the solid element is called forth by the forces of gravity.

These two pairs of metamorphosis differ from each other to a marked degree, and we must be clear about the fact that everything present in an earlier condition is again inherent in the later one. What constituted the ancient fire-globe of Saturn remained as warmth-substance in all the subsequent metamorphoses; and when today we move about in the regions of the earth, and everywhere encounter warmth, this warmth which is everywhere to be found is the remains of the ancient Saturn condition. Wherever we find air, or gaseous bodies, we have the remains of the ancient Sun-evolution. When, having imbued ourselves with feeling and understanding for this epoch of evolution, we look out into the sun-irradiated atmosphere, we can say to ourselves with truth: In this sun-irradiated atmosphere we have remains of the ancient Sun-evolution; for had this ancient Sun-evolution not taken place, the relationship of our air with the rays of the sun, which are now there outside, would not have existed. Only through the fact that the sun was once united with the earth, that the light of the sun itself shone in the earth which was still in a gaseous condition ― so that the earth was an air-globe radiating light into cosmic space ― only through this could the later metamorphosis appear, the present Earth-metamorphosis, in which the earth is enveloped by an atmosphere of air, into which the sun’s rays fall from outside. But these sun-rays have a deep inner connection with the earth’s atmosphere. They do not, however, behave ― as present-day physicists somewhat crudely state ― as though projected like small shot through the gaseous atmosphere; but the rays of the sun have a deep inner relationship with the air. And this relationship is actually the after-effect of their one-time union during the Sun-metamorphosis. Thus everything is mutually inter-related through the fact that the earlier conditions ever and again play into the later conditions in manifold ways. But during the time in which, speaking generally, earth-evolution took its course ― as you find in “Occult Science”, and as I have briefly sketched it for you here ― everything on and around the earth, everything also within the earth, has been evolved.

And now we can say: When we contemplate the present-day earth, we have within it what produces the solid element, the inner moon, actually anchored in earth-magnetism; the inner moon, whose action is such that it is the cause of the solid-element, the cause which produces everything which has weight. And it is the forces of weight which form the solid element out of the fluid. We have next the actual earth-realm, the watery element which appears in manifold ways ― as underground water, for instance, but also in the water which is present in the rising mist-formations, in the descending rain clouds, and so on. And further we have in the circumference what is of the nature of air. Moreover all this is permeated by the element of fire, the remains of old Saturn. So that we also have to ascribe to our present-day earth what, there above, is Sun-Saturn or Saturn-Sun. We can always say to ourselves:

Everything which is present in the warm air, which is irradiated with light, is Saturn-Sun. We look up and actually find our air imbued with what is Saturn-activity, what is Sun-activity, evolving in the course of time into the actual atmosphere of the earth, which, however, is only an after-effect of the Sun-metamorphosis. Broadly speaking, this is what we find when we direct our gaze upwards.

When we direct our gaze downwards, it is more a question of what arose from the last two metamorphoses. We have what is heavy, the solid element, or better expressed, the working of the forces of weight into what is becoming solid; we have the fluid element, we have the Moon-Earth. These two parts of earth-existence can be strictly differentiated from each other.”

R. Steiner, Man as Symphony of the Creative Word, Lecture 4, 26 October 1923, CW230