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Jupiter and Venus were good (the Auspicious Ones), while Saturn and Mars were evil (the Nefarious Ones).

Sun figures: Enlightenment and wisdom.

Moon figures: Law and ethics.

Mars figures: Leadership and conflict resolution.

Mercury figures: Communication and commerce.

Jupiter figures: Spiritual guidance and prosperity.

Venus figures: Love and beauty.

Saturn figures: Discipline and lasting impact.

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner’s lecture, as per the provided transcript, offers an intricate and esoteric perspective on the planets, particularly focusing on the stages of cosmic evolution. His approach is deeply rooted in anthroposophy, a spiritual philosophy he founded. Here’s a summary of what Steiner explains about the planets:

Rudolf Steiner – planets

Ancient Planetary Stages of Evolution
Steiner describes the evolution of the Earth through preceding planetary stages, namely Ancient Saturn, Ancient Sun, Ancient Moon, and then the Earth itself. These are not to be understood as physical planets in the modern astronomical sense, but as distinct phases or conditions of consciousness and spiritual evolution.

Ancient Saturn
In Steiner’s cosmology, Ancient Saturn is the earliest stage of Earth’s evolution. It is characterized primarily by warmth; it’s a condition or state rather than a physical entity. Steiner argues that Ancient Saturn consisted solely of warmth, and its existence can be understood through clairvoyant investigation rather than physical observation.

Ancient Sun
The next stage is Ancient Sun, where warmth from the Saturn stage condenses into a gaseous or air form. Steiner mentions that alongside this condensation, there’s an ascent to a more etheric, rarefied state – the light ether. During this stage, life is said to be clothed in elements of warmth, light, and air.

Ancient Moon
Following the Ancient Sun stage is Ancient Moon. Steiner describes this phase as having warmth as the middle condition, with a consolidation into air or gas below, and further into water. Above the condition of light, he introduces the concept of ‘sound ether’ or ‘numerical ether,’ which organizes material existence.

The Earth stage adds another level of condensation and rarefaction. Below the warmth, air, and water, the solid or earthy condition is added. Above light and sound ether, life ether is introduced. This stage represents a complex interplay of densifying and etherizing processes.

Spiritual Beings and Planetary Conditions

Steiner emphasizes that these planetary conditions are manifestations of spiritual beings. For example, the Elohim are associated with the Sun stage and the creation of light. The spiritual activities and beings are more important than the physical aspects in his cosmology.

Genesis and Planetary Evolution

He connects these stages to the Biblical account of Genesis, arguing that the creation story is an esoteric description of these planetary stages. The ‘days’ of creation are seen as periods of activity by different spiritual beings or hierarchies.

The Elohim and Their Activities

In these planetary stages, the Elohim play a crucial role. They initiate key processes in each stage and delegate tasks to subordinate beings like the Archai or Time Spirits.

Steiner’s explanations are symbolic and metaphysical, blending spiritual insights with esoteric interpretations of biblical texts and traditional Christian angelology. It’s important to approach his teachings as part of a spiritual, philosophical system rather than a scientific account of planetary development.

The Nabataean Agriculture

The book describes, in various passages, the religious practices of rural Iraq, where paganism persisted long after the Islamic conquest.

Some of the book’s descriptions suggest links between these Iraqi pagans, whom Ibn Wahshiyya called ‘Sabians’, and ancient Mesopotamian religion.

The cult recognized seven primary astral deities: the Sun, the Moon, and the five known planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Venus, and Mars).

Of these Jupiter and Venus were good (the Auspicious Ones), while Saturn and Mars were evil (the Nefarious Ones).

The gods are all subordinated to the Sun, the supreme being.

There are other gods besides the seven; the text describes the fixed stars such as Sirius as gods, and refers to the Mesopotamian god Tammuz as well as to Nasr, a pre-Islamic Arabian deity.

Ibn Washiyya’s description of the Tammuz ritual is particularly valuable, as it is more detailed than any other Arabic source.

In this ritual, people would weep for Tammuz, who was “killed time after time in horrible ways,” during the month of the same name.

Ibn Wahshiyya also explains that the Christians of the region had a very similar practice, the Feast of Saint George, and speculates that the Christians may have adapted their custom from the Tammuz ritual.

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