Happy b-day Goethe

In the reckoning of Spiritual Science, humanity is experiencing now in Our Present Age, a ‘recapitulation’ of Ancient Egypt. In that time Sirius was called the Star of Isis – the Sister/Lover/Resurrector of the Sun-god Osiris. On a spiritual-physical level, the body of Osiris was seen as Egypt itself. This was a precursor to the sacrifice of the Cosmic Christ who become the meaning & body of the whole Earth. In that time, the body of Osiris was like an overlay upon the land, dying, & returning to life each year with the flooding of the Nile, which occurred thru the rising of the Star of Isis – the rescuer & life-giver – ‘The soul of Egypt’. The annual appearance of Sirius just before dawn (starting at the Summer Solstice, in those days) heralded the Resurrection of the Nile, on which Egyptian agriculture depended. (And now the rising of Sirius happens 2 months later due to the precession of the equinoxes)

Temple inscriptions describe the star as the ‘Divine Sepat’, meaning the ‘Soul of Isis’.

And here’s an interesting Ah-Ha to roll around with: All these references in Sumerian & Egyptian texts before 500 AD, describe the star as ‘red -orange’ in color.

But dear friends, after that date, the references change – & Sirius is described as blue!

Today, we can look up into the dawn twilight & see that Sirius is the bluest & brightest most scintillating star in the sky.

It makes me think about how Steiner points out that in the ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer, the Iliad & the Odyssey, we read: Wine-dark sea’ from oînos (οἶνος, “wine”) + óps (ὄψ, “eye; face”) oînops can also refer to oxen-blood, in describing a reddish color. Steiner tells that the human being of ancient Greece was not able to perceive the color blue!

There is a Hopi story that speaks about this shift in color; tying it to a change in epochs: “When the blue star Kachina makes its appearance in the heavens, the Fifth World will emerge.”

The ancient Shinto of Japan called Sirius ‘our second sun’ & aligned their Temples in its direction.

This gives me hope that we can continue to evolve in each epoch – so that in time & with intention, we will ALL be able to see what many cannot see today…Christ in the etheric…

Anthroposophy gives us a powerful imagination that describes how when physical matter was forming there was a lot of upheaval on earth, a picture involving the separation of Sun & Moon – no small thing – So most of humanity, still in our formative state, left the volatile earth & spent time in other planets or stars, until our karma brought us down, when the earth was more stable physically.

Well, maybe you have guessed since I speak so much with Sirius, that I resonate to that, & feel that Sirius is ‘My Star’.

What is YOUR Star?


Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day


Today 28 August in 1749 – The Birthday of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German author, poet, playwright, & diplomat. In 1888, as a result of his work for the Kürschner edition of Goethe’s works, Rudolf Steiner was invited to work as an editor at the Goethe archives in Weimar. As well as the introductions & commentaries to 4 volumes of Goethe’s scientific writings. Steiner wrote 2 books about Goethe’s philosophy: The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’s World-Conception (1886), which Steiner regarded as the epistemological foundation & justification for his later work, & Goethe’s Conception of the World (1897). Steiner writes about Goethe in many places in his huge exegesis, including commentaries on his play Faust.

Goethe and the Evolution of Consciousness, by Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, August 19th, 1921

“…As a young man Goethe necessarily grew up in the outlook of his contemporaries and in the way in which they regarded the world and the affairs of human beings. But he really did not feel at home in this world of thought. There was something turbulent about the young Goethe, but it was a turbulence of a special kind. We need only look at the poems he composed in his youth and we shall find that there was always a kind of inner opposition to what his contemporaries were thinking about the world and about life.

But at the same time there is something else in Goethe — a kind of appeal to what lives in Nature, saying something more enduring and conveying much more than the opinions of those around him could convey. Goethe appeals to the revelations of Nature rather than to the revelations of the human mind. And this was the real temper of his soul even when he was still a child, when he was studying at Leipzig, Strassburg and Frankfurt, and for the first period of his life at Weimar.

Think of him as a child with all the religious convictions of his contemporaries around him. He himself relates — and I have often drawn attention to this beautiful episode in Goethe’s early life — how as a boy of seven he built an altar by taking a music-stand and laying upon it specimens of minerals from his father’s collection; how he placed a taper on the top, lighting it by using a burning-glass to catch the rays of the sun, in order, as he says later — for at seven years he would not, of course, have spoken in this way — to bring an offering to the great God of Nature.

We see him growing beyond what those around him have to say, coming into a closer union with Nature, in whose arms he first of all seeks refuge. Read the works written by Goethe in his youth and you will find that they reveal just this attitude of mind. Then a great longing to go to Italy seizes him and his whole outlook changes in a most remarkable way.

We shall never understand Goethe unless we bear in mind the overwhelming change that came upon him in Italy. In letters to friends at Weimar he speaks of the works of art which conjure up before his soul the whole way in which the Greeks worked. He says: “I suspect that the Greeks proceeded according to those laws by which Nature herself proceeds, and of which I am on the track.” — At last Goethe is satisfied with an environment, an artistic environment enfilled with ideas much closer to Nature than those around him in his youth. And we see how in the course of his Italian journey the idea of metamorphosis arises from this mood of soul, how in Italy Goethe begins to see the transformation of leaf into petal in such a way that the thought of metamorphosis in the whole of Nature flashes up within him.

It is only now that Goethe finds a world in which his soul really feels at home. And, if we study all that he produced after that time, both as a poet and a scientist, it is borne in upon us that he was now living in a world of thought not easily intelligible to his contemporaries, nor indeed to the man of to-day.

Those who embark upon a study of Goethe equipped with the modern scholarship acquired in every kind of educational institution from the Elementary School to the University, and with habitual thought and outlook, will never understand him. For an inner change of mental outlook is essential if we are to realise what Goethe really had in his mind when, in Italy, he re-wrote Iphigenia in Greek metre, after having first composed it in the mood of the Germanic North. Nor is it possible to understand Goethe’s whole attitude to Faust until we realise the fundamental nature of the change that had taken place.

After he had been to Italy, Goethe really hated the first version of Faust which he had written earlier. After that journey he would never have been able to write the passage where Faust turns away from the

“… heavenly forces rising and descending, Their golden urns reciprocally lending,” where he turns his back upon the macrocosm, crying: “Thou, Spirit of the Earth art nearer to me.”

…And many other passages can be read in the same sense. Take, for instance, that wonderful treatise written in the year 1790, on the Metamorphosis of the Plants (Versuch, die Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erkennen). We shall have to admit that before his journey to Italy Goethe could never have had at his command a language which seems to converse with the very growth and unfolding life of the plants. And this is an eloquent indication of the place of Goethe’s soul in the whole sweep of evolution. Goethe felt a stranger to the thought of his time the moment he was obliged inwardly to ‘digest’ the result of contemporary scientific education. He was always striving for a different kind of thinking, a different way of approaching the world, and he found it when he felt that he had brought to life within him the attitude of the Greeks to Nature, to the World, to Man…” ~Rudolf Steiner

430 – Deathday of Saint Augustine an early Christian theologian & philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western philosophy.  Among his most important works are The City of God & Confessions. In his early years, he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism & afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus. He “established anew the ancient Faith.” After his conversion to Christianity in 387, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy & theology, believing that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom. He is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes.

632 – Deathday of Fatimah, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad

1189 – The Third or Kings’ Crusade, was an attempt to reconquer the Holy Land. The campaign was largely successful, regaining the important cities of Acre & Jaffa, but it failed to capture Jerusalem, the emotional & spiritual motivation of the Crusade. After the Crusaders had driven the Muslims from Acre, Richard the Lionheart finalized a treaty granting Muslim control over Jerusalem, but allowing unarmed Christian pilgrims & merchants to visit the city.

1833 – The Slavery Abolition Act through most of the British Empire

1850 – Wagner’s Lohengrin premieres at the German National Theatre, Weimar

Image result for The Carrington event, Solar Storm dMichael Delton

1859 – The Carrington event, Solar Storm disrupts electrical telegraph services & causes aurora to shine so brightly that they are seen clearly all over the earth’s middle latitudes.

1862 – American Civil War: Second Battle of Bull Run

1943 – World War II: In Denmark, a general strike against the Nazi occupation

1957 – U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, an ardent segregationist, begins a filibuster to prevent the Senate from voting on Civil Rights Act

Image result for 1963 – March on Washington 

1963 – March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom: The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his I Have a Dream speech

1968 – Riots in Chicago, during the Democratic National Convention

1988 – Ramstein air show disaster: Seventy-five are killed & 346 injured

1990 – Iraq declares Kuwait to be its newest province

Saturday 23 September 2023

Community Prep-Stir / Potluck / Bon-fire

*Autumnal Equinox

*Yom Kippur

*Michaelmas Festival

6 – 8 pm at the Lucchesi-Archer-Ginsberg domicile

Please Bring Food & Drink to share, & a jar for the prep

RSVP Hazel@ReverseRitual.com

30 September 2023 – Michaelmas Festival & Zinniker Farm Day

for more info.

4 thoughts on “Happy b-day Goethe

  1. Hazel, thanks so much for commemorating Goethe’s birthday!

    To celebrate the occasion, I link to a paper I gave in April 1999 at Purdue University for the “Goethe, Chaos and Complexity Symposium.” At the time, I was teaching Physics labs at Vanderbilt U in Nashville.

    It’s a riff on Goethean Science, but I introduce the idea that Faust was Goethe’s attempt to present the metamorphosis of a single human being, namely Henry Faust.

    Goethean Science: Bringing Chaos To Order By Looking Phenomena Right In The “I”

    Goethe’s Faust as the “Metamorphosis of a Single Human Being”


    1. Hi Tom – thanks for joining the conversation, & sharing your Goethean Math-Wit. And your translation of Faust is comprehensive, a conversational prose that hits the mark.

      I love these Quotes from your paper:
      “Can we bring chaos to order or are we just stuck teetering on the edge of Occam’s Razor 12because we subconsciously harbor such a phobia against chaos and complexity? Why are we so afraid to make that epistemological leap from passive approximation of reality to active intuitive perception of reality? If we don’t make that leap of intuition, then all science beyond the inorganic will remain a reductionistic rubble of useless information— except for technological progress. I’m not knocking technology; but technology will answer no questions beyond the closed system its own self-consistent and therefore self-satisfied inorganic realm..

      Who am I anyway? I mean, how far out do I extend? Am I really bounded by this limited body I seem to inhabit? All around me, outside of me seem to exist objects and beings who are not I. Myself the rest of the universe. Inner, intensive Subject—outer, extensive Object. Forever cut off from each other? Yet if we are all part of this inorganic “Grand Unification” scheme that leads us out to the ends of the universe — only to take an intuitive leap to organic wholeness and incalculable completeness — might we then not then conclude that whatever constitutes my self, my I, my ego and your self, your I, your ego, is out there, too? Is this pure solipsism on the road to megalomania or are we simply anthropomorphizing the universe?…

      So, what if we were to stop being so miserly and give back to that objective world the “I” that we hoard so deeply within our subjective Kantian fortress? What if we were to lend some of that subjectivity to the phenomena of that external world so that they might “observe” us humans as the “Selbst an sich” (Self-in-itself) just as Kant observed the object as “Ding an sich” (“Thing in itself”). A Goethean science would then balance these two polarities according to the title of Goethe’s essay: “The Experiment as Mediator between Subject and Object.”

      Just as we anthropomorphize light into an object, so does light itself enlighten us as subjects— at least as far as we think. The key, to me, is expressed in Goethe’s dying words: “More light!”…

      “Darkness that gave birth to light; the proud light that now competes with Mother night concerning her more ancient rank and place.”

      Here are the last 4 lines of Goethe’s Faust, part 2, the Mystical Chorus singing:

      Alles vergaengliche ist nur ein Gleichnis.
      Das Unzulaengliche, wird hier’s Ereignis
      Das Unbeschreibliche, hier ist’s getan
      Das ewig-weibliche, zieht uns hinan.

      Please excuse the liberties I take with this translation, which I make as a kind of anthem to intuition as it begins to grasp the wholeness of the universe.

      Everything past is but a metaphor!
      What cannot be calculated is happening right here!
      What cannot be described is being accomplished right here!
      The Eternal Feminine (Mother Chaos, Mother Night) evolves us ever more and ever more.

      And I would throw in:

      Everything ephemeral is just a parable.
      The unknown is happening right here
      The indescribable, here it is made manifest.
      The Eternal Feminine draws us ever onward.

      Nur der verdient sich Freiheit wie das Leben
      Der täglich sie erobern muß.

      Freedom & life are earned only by those
      Who conquer them anew each day.

      Wer immer strebend sich bemüht,
      Den können wir erlösen.

      Whoever strives to the utmost
      Can be redeemed
      These last lines from Faust work strongly in me. For despite my faults I am a striving human being…

  2. Greetings,

    Goethe,and his drama Faust,

    Faust is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, which leads him to make a pact with the Devil at a crossroads, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.
    in link,
    Lilith and Faust image?
    Goethe’s Faust complicates the simple Christian moral of the original legend. A hybrid between a play and an extended poem, Goethe’s two-part “closet drama” is epic in scope. It gathers together references from Christian, medieval, Roman, eastern, and Hellenic poetry, philosophy, and literature.

    The composition and refinement of Goethe’s own version of the legend occupied him, off and on, for over sixty years. The final version, published after his death, is recognized as a great work of German literature.

    The story concerns the fate of Faust in his quest for the true essence of life
    The final scene has Faust’s soul carried to Heaven in the presence of God by the intercession of the “Virgin, Mother, Queen, … Goddess kind forever… Eternal Womanhood.[13] The woman is thus victorious over Mephistopheles, who had insisted at Faust’s death that he would be consigned to “The Eternal Empty”.

    Goethe’s Faust Play!

    Faust stories are found across the ages and the arts. From its earliest to most recent expressions, the Faust figure continues to capture our imagination, dealing with problems and themes that are still relevant for a twenty-first century audience. Of the many variations on the Faust-myth, Goethe’s remains especially provocative and laden with meaning and is the work most responsible for determining the subsequent character of the Faust archetype. His Faust reflects an individual who asserts, yet wrestles unrelentingly with the futility of faith, the bankruptcy of knowledge, and the loss of meaning. One of the greatest texts of both German and world literature, Faust, Parts I and II, confronts us with pressing questions about rebellion and suffering, faith and its loss, reality and simulation, order and chaos, weakness and power, technology and human improvement. This monograph offers a new interpretation of Goethe’s famous play, emphasising its continuing significance today.

    1. “We shall never understand Goethe unless we bear in mind the overwhelming change that came upon him in Italy. In letters to friends at Weimar he speaks of the works of art which conjure up before his soul the whole way in which the Greeks worked. He says: “I suspect that the Greeks proceeded according to those laws by which Nature herself proceeds, and of which I am on the track.” — At last Goethe is satisfied with an environment, an artistic environment enfilled with ideas much closer to Nature than those around him in his youth. And we see how in the course of his Italian journey the idea of metamorphosis arises from this mood of soul, how in Italy Goethe begins to see the transformation of leaf into petal in such a way that the thought of metamorphosis in the whole of Nature flashes up within him.” GA 206, 19 August 1921

      The secret to Goethe concerns going to Italy when he was about 40/41 years old, and experiencing the renewal needed for his Faust, and the Metamorphosis of Plants. You see, he had lived as an Athenian at the time of the elderly Plato, who much admired his abilities as a sculptor; yet, he would follow another philosopher, who had just left the Academy by a certain decree. This was Aristotle.



      In this former life, Goethe had been Theophrastus, who was the disciple and successor of Aristotle for some 35 years. His life as Goethe forms one of those lives that very much replicates the past, and very much needs to be renewed. Rudolf Steiner would meet this incarnation by way of the reincarnated Plato as his own professor!

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