The Four Ethers

Full Moon In Virgo - The Perfect Human -
Geori Jennsten

translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler
My Inborn Truth
The human spirit speaks.
The growing I,
in self-forgetfulness
and conscious of its origin,
is speaking to the whole enwoven world:
In you, releasing my subjective fetters,
I fathom my true being.

rudolf steiner quotes - Google Search | Rudolf steiner, Rudolf, Steiner

One of the goals of Astrosophy, being part of the Anthroposophical stream, is to create a bridge between the world of the stars, providing an image of the higher worlds – unveiling the spiritual realities beyond the world of the senses – To observe & identify the Archetypes at play in the physical world.

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The Physical World doesn’t require much explanation. It’s the world of the senses that we experience everyday of our life. But even though we are very familiar with it, there are some very important distinctions that we need to make. for one thing, the reality of the Physical World doesn’t rely on our senses only, but also on concepts & ideas. We need to know this to start discerning what’s material from what’s physical. A rock is material, right? It’s made of what we usually refer to as matter. But what about warmth, or wind? It’s physical but not material.

Johfra Bosschart The Zodiac Series — DOP
Johfra Bosschart

There are two very important aspects of the Physical World -the Four Elements & the Four Ethers.

Sacred Geometry Art Blog
Derry Bembble

Earth – physical
Water- liquid
Air – gaseous
Fire – warmth
– a bridge between the Four Elements a & the Four Ethers. Fire is the most rarefied of the elements, & thru a process of condensation we gradually find Air, Water & Earth. The most interesting part of all this is that Steiner described how, starting from Fire, we have a double process happening at the same time. On one hand we have a condensation process going downward, creating the denser elements. On the other, we have a rarefaction process going upwards, where we find the four Ethers.

The Four Ethers & the Four Elements create the seven layers of the Physical-Etheric World, & the 7-fold human being.

The Four Ethers and the Four Elements in the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner. They create the seven layers of the Physical-Etheric World.
Big thanks to Rob Treiste

The finest of the four elements is Fire, a bridge between the other states of matter & the etheric realm.

Warmth Ether: We can also think of warmth as the densest of the ethers. When we experience outer warmth, we are in the Fire Element. When we experience inner warmth, we get in touch with the Warmth Ether. This is because according to Anthroposophy the Elements can be experienced mostly outwardly, whereas the Ethers can be experienced inwardly.

Light Ether: On one hand the Fire Element condensing downward becomes the Air Element. And on the other, the Warmth Ether rarefying upwards becomes Light Ether.

How can we imagine the Light Ether? Light in itself is invisible to us. We see illuminated objects, but we can’t see the light itself. Light enables us to see, sacrificing itself, so we can see thru it. But by seeing the objects we become aware of “the darkness”, not of the light.

True light is an inner experience. And if we could perceive the light clairvoyantly we could also grasp its subtle action, because the Light Ether is a subtle force of expansion- light expands from the source at the center, towards the periphery.

We can see a reflection of this in how gas expands. This because the Light Ether has an indirect effect on the Air Element, controlling it.

From the biological perspective, the Light Ether acts in all processes of expansion & growth. The direction in which a tree branch stretches & expands, growing towards a specific direction, is due to its action.

Sound Ether: The third stage, is the condensation of the Air Element into the Water Element, & the rarefaction of the Light Ether into the Sound Ether. This passage is crucial, because for the first time we are dealing with a substance that maintains the shape it is given, even if just temporarily. We know that Astrologically the Water Element has a strong connection with the Moon & with its ability to reflect the cosmic forces. Those forces can be reflected by the surface of any fluid, creating waves shaped in several ways.

So, why Sound Ether? This ether has many names: chemical ether, tone ether & even number ether. All these names try to describe the same phenomenon: the action of subtle waves organizing subtle matter into specific shapes. It’s easier to see it in action than to speculate on it, so I recommend you to watch this video. But we need to understand that this is just an example, & that the Sound Ether is not really sound, since we are dealing with an etheric substance which vibrates beyond any physical level. Secondly, the medium in which the Sound Ether creates the shapes is always a liquid, or in other words the Water Element. But watching the video it’s very easy to imagine how this ether acts to organize & preserve life. The shapes are all very organic, recalling images of biological processes at a cellular level.

Life Ether: Lastly, we have the Life Ether. The Water Element condensates further into the Earth Element, where the Sound Ether rarefies upwards becoming the Life Ether. Again, in order to understand the ether we can look at the element it has power on. The Earth is the first element that not only has a shape, but it is also capable of retaining it. In a liquid a shape it is very temporary. In a solid state, it lasts. This enables this element to create solid bodies having a specific shape thru which they can separate from their context.

For this reason Earth is also the element which mostly represents matter. In order to penetrate & organize matter itself the subtler & highest etheric forces are needed. So how does the Life Ether work?

We are now dealing with a closed & separate system capable of retaining its shape. On a biological level the simplest example would be a single-celled organism. The Life Ether is in charge of organizing all the internal components of the cell in order to retain its form. In order to do that, the Life Ether makes use of the Sound Ether (biochemical processes), the Light Ether (growth & expansion) & the Warmth Ether (warmth production).

The Vitruvian Man In Pentagram Digital Art by MysticaLink

In the Western Mystery Traditions we can find a trace of the ethers in the symbol of the pentragram. The five pointed star is indeed the symbol of the four elements balanced by a “fifth element”. This fifth component was called quintessence or, more precisely, the ether.

In Anthroposophy the pentagram isn’t just a symbol – It’s a correct representation of the Etheric Body, the subtle body in charge of preserving & organizing the life functions of the Physical Body. Its shape corresponds to the shape of the human being: a five pointed star.

And being made of the four ethers, it can act on the physical body thru the four elements. So in this context the Pentagram represents the synthesis of the four ethers at the service of life.

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Franny Backster

Among the Planetary Spheres, the Earth is the one that represents the Physical World in all its complexity. This Physical-Etheric World has 7 levels in total. Three of them are Physical (Earth, Water & Air). Three, are Etheric (Light, Sound & Life). And one stays in between, bridging the physical & the etheric (Fire-Warmth).

Planets Painting original Acrylic painting on by ThisArtToBeYours | Planet  painting, Planets art, Space painting
Jerry N. Trent

I’ve been working to understand the ethers for a while now. I’m still learning, so any insights are appreciated. Thanks


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Living into the Spheres of Cosmic Life and Cosmic Light: Easter, Ascension, Whitsun in the Calendar of the Soul  with Luigi Morelli, Hazel Archer and Geoff Norris – Zoom Host Frank Agrama

13 May 2021 Ascension Thursday 5- 6:30pm PT / 6-7:30 pm MT / 7 pm – 8:30 pm CT / 8-9:30 pm ET / 1 am – 2:30 am GMT / 2 am – 3:30 am CET

Join Zoom meeting: 

Meeting ID: 705 293 1041 – Passcode: Ascension

Find your local number:

Welcome – Frank Agrama

Verse #6 – Geoff Norris

Ascension: The Secret Teachings, The Elementals, & The Etheric Christ – Hazel Archer

Calendar of the Soul – Luigi Morelli

For those who are familiar with the Calendar of the Soul we could say that during spring and summer we follow the ascent of cosmic life, cosmic light, cosmic warmth and cosmic Word as gifts bestowed upon the human being by the cosmos. By being receptive to them we strengthen our connection to cosmos and Self.

We will briefly explore the dynamics of the year, then look at what qualities of soul we need to develop as we move into spring and summer, most particularly from Easter to Ascension and Whitsun. We will look at the verses of the calendar in conjunction with the artistic renditions of Anne Stockton and Karl König, drawn for each of the verses.

We will ask ourselves: How can we live into and grow from this time of the year? How can we deepen our inner relationship to the event of Ascension? What can we receive and what can we give?

Break-out Groups

Large Group sharing: Gathering dew drops

Group Speech Work with Geoff Norris

“Angels, in the early morning
May be seen the Dews among,
Stooping — plucking — smiling — flying —
Do the Buds to them belong?”
~Emily Dickenson

Closing ThoughtsHazel Archer

Celebrating Pentecost King Arthur Style – The Golden Echo

Sangraal: A Pentecost Pilgrimage & Whitsun Festival with the Central Regional Council

After working with Karma & Reincarnation for 3 years the CRC has chossen a new Theme: ‘The Mysteries of the Holy Grail, from Arthur and Parzival to Modern Initiation’

Join us on Whitsunday 23 May 2021, at 11 am PT / 12 noon MT / 1 pm – 2:30 pm CT / 2 pm ET / 8 pm CET

Details coming soon

You are invited to get the Book & Join us for study sessions through out the year as well.

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