Sunday, May 14, 2017

Occult Columns

When Rudolf Steiner was faced with the task of designing columns for the first Goetheanum, which was later burned down at the end of 1922, he recognized the spiritual necessity that there should be seven columns, and chose for each one a different kind of wood. Old traditions, (Celtic and Druidic lore) which associated each tree or groups of trees with a certain planet were reawakened to a new life and significance by the eye of the seer and the hand of the artist.

Jupiter & Venus columns drawn by Arild Rosenkrantz

The earth itself advances through seven conditions of evolution, which are called by the names of the seven planets, Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus-states ...

In the year 1907 Rudolf Steiner published the collection Occult SEALS & COLUMNS ...
The pictures, based on his sketches and instructions, have been drawn and re-drawn by a number of artists ...
The seven Seals and Columns decorated the Lecture Hall at the Congress of European Sections of the Theosophical Society, held in 1907 in Munich, where Rudolf Steiner and his pupils were responsible for the arrangements ...

The designs of the seven Columns were afterwards reproduced in fully plastic form in the great wooden pillars supporting the large dome of the first Goetheanum.


Thus speaks the high-reaching
Light-flooded ash.
The Tree of the golden sun.
"O Man, be upright and mobile
Waste not yourself on the worthless
Be conscious of the pure mobility
of Man."


Thus speaks the silvery moon at
May time, through the flowering
Cherry Tree.
Whose blossoms in summer,
to fruit ripen.
"O Man, like the plant, transfer
the lower to the higher
Purify the passions, grow mature
And harvest the fruit of life."


Thus speaks the knotty oak,
The servant of iron Mars,
"O Man, take root in the depths
and reach for the heights,
Be mighty and strong
Be warrior, knight and protector."


Thus speaks the mercurial planet
Through the living growth of
The Elm,
And through her winged seeds
"O Man, be stir yourself,
Be active, lively and quick."


Thus speaks the broad-leafed maple
The tree of Jupiter, to whom tin
is sacred.
"O Man, overcome the haste and hurry within you.
Seek hours of quiet
Which bring goodness and wisdom
To birth."


Thus speaks the coppery Venus
Through the virgin softness
of Birch,
Which is delicately rooted and
drinks in the light.
"O Man, work on your soul
In Tenderness,
Admire lovingly the beauty
of the world."


Thus speaks leaden Saturn
Through the trees of
of shaded forests
The pines, the beeches and
"O man, feel the responsibility
for the need of your time
and of all mankind.
With inner devotion take hold
of the work that life puts
before you."

-Johannes Hemleben, Seven TREES & Seven PLANETS
Sun and Moon columns drawn by Arild Rosenkrantz

Many thanks to Bradford Riley.

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