Observing the animal form


In several places Rudolf Steiner spoke of observing the influence of the sun and moon upon the form of an animal, particularly its skeleton, this is the picture with which he closes lecture two of the Agriculture Course. The type of observation he is recommending requires that participatory looking which moves from observing the forms of the individual bones, to experiencing their transformation and metamorphic movement into each other. When this sculptural seeing passes into movement, the inner experience becomes strangely musical. From an evolutionary perspective, the picture can also be interpreted in the sense that the head-nerve-sense system was developed on Old Saturn, the rhythmic-circulatory system on Old Sun and the metabolic-digestive system on Old Moon. This reflects the picture given in the Agriculture Course that the Sun’s influence extends from the head to the heart, while the forming of the head is supported by the working of the outer planets Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, while the Moon works on the hind end and digestive system with the help of the forces of the inner planets, Mercury and Venus. In a notebook (NB310) from 1923 Rudolf Steiner wrote: “ The mineralising process goes from front-to-back in the animal (Sun), the vitalising process from behind to the front (Moon). The mineralising process is an earthly one that the powers of the Universe have taken up and organised.”

The following readings describe Rudolf Steiner’s indications for observing the animal form from a variety of perspectives.