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Whitsun: the Festival of Freedom

Iris Art
Before the Son could be active, in the Hyperborean Era a part of the general spiritual principle had to be separated and pushed down to follow other paths. This event is expressed in the Serpent, the symbol of knowledge, the luciferic principle. It was this spark of the Spirit that made it possible for man to become a free being and made him capable of loving good by his own impulse. The Spirit who descended on men at Pentecost is akin to the Spirit who was then pushed down and who was also incarnated in Prometheus, the same one who rekindled the spark so that our Ego would decide to follow the Spirit, as it will then follow the Son and again after the Father. Man could indeed give himself to evil, but on the other hand only at that cost could he be brought back to the spiritual world from which he came. This is the connection of the Feast of Pentecost with the luciferic principle. Consequently, the Feast of Pentecost is also the Feast of Prometheus and Freedom. – Rudolf Steiner, GA93, The Feast of Pentecost and the Sacrifice of Lucifer, Berlin, June 5, 1905.

40 days after the Easter of Resurrection Christ Jesus ascends into the etheric atmosphere of the Earth together with the breath of the Earth: for 10 days the disciples gather together, feeling the lack of the one who had enlightened them from outside. 40 is the number that comes from the multiplication of the number 4, that is the quadruplicity of the elements, bodies and parts of personality, for the number 10, that is the 10 principles that regulate the cosmic existence as a whole, the 10 Sephiroth, the fruits of the Tree of Life, emanations of the divine that are the original evolutionary archetype of the 10 Commandments.

Number 4:

  1. Fire – I am

  2. Air – astral body

  3. Water – etheric body

  4. Earth – physical body

Number 10:

  1. Kether – The Crown

  2. Chokmah – Wisdom

  3. Binah – Intelligence

  4. Chesed – Grace

  5. Geburah – Strength

  6. Tiphareth – Beauty

  7. Netzach – Victory

  8. Hod – Splendor

  9. Yesod – Foundation

  10. Malkuth – The Kingdom

When the number 40 is involved, it is a “quarantine” or quadruple purification of the elements, bodies and parts of personality. Noah, because of the Universal Flood remains 40 days and 40 nights in the Ark, the time necessary to purify the black magic practiced by the Turans in the Atlantis. After another 40 days, he comes back to the mainland. Moses frees the chosen people from slavery in Egypt and wanders for 40 years in the desert. Jesus Christ meditates for 40 days in the desert where he overcomes the 3 Temptations of Lucifer and Ahriman, unlike the people led by Moses who succumbed to Lucifer in the form of the Golden Calf, thus making it impossible for Moses to communicate the Tree of Life in direct form and having to give it a negative form, the 10 Commandments.

10 days later, on the 50th day, the 12 disciples orphaned by the Master gathered around Mary who was enlightened by Sophia, and it was through her intermediation, as the new 13th in the center, that the circle of 12 disciples received the Baptism of Fire, so that from now on they will be known as the 12 Apostles. They are the 12 representatives of the new humanity to come, the Men of Good Will, they are those who bring the Good News of the Ego to the world. The first example among them is John the Evangelist, the one who receives complete initiation into the element of the Fire of the Ego. Sophia, the Soul of the World, receives the Comforter promised by Christ, the Paraclete, Lucifer reborn in the new Holy Spirit who gives them the 7 Gifts: Wisdom, Intellect, Counsel, Fortitude, Science, Mercy, Devotion.

Science as a gift of the Holy Spirit is the possibility of receiving the “consolation” of the understanding of the Christ principle in a scientific-spiritual form given by Rudolf Steiner. Rudolf Steiner gave man a method that allows us to resuscitate our perception of life, from the smallest everyday details to the greatest mysteries of the cosmos. This gift had already been anticipated in the consolamentum of the Cathars, who knew the Mystery of the Redemption of Lucifer in Lucibel, the Morning Star. However, this gift comes to full maturity only in the science of the spirit is Science of the Holy Spirit. Just as in Mary the Sophia, the Cosmic Wisdom, is manifested in Pentecost, so the Science of the Spirit is the possibility of the manifestation of Sophia in man: when men awaken their consciousness of the Ego, they make themselves available to become the physical body of Sophia: anthroposophical manifestations of Anthroposophy in the world. Man and wisdom thus form the Being Anthropos-Sophia.

Christ not only wanted to act in the world, but he also wanted to be known, he also wanted to be understood. Therefore it is part of Christian reality that the inspiring spirit, the Holy Spirit, should be sent to mankind. Pentecost is spiritually part of Easter. The Holy Spirit is none other than the Luciferic spirit resurrected and now risen to purer and greater glory, the spirit of autonomous knowledge, of knowledge full of wisdom. Christ himself prophesied for men this spirit, prophesied that it would appear after him; and we must continue his action in this sense. And what is to continue his action? Let us try to understand it: it is precisely the universal current of the science of the spirit that continues its action! This current is the wisdom of the spirit; it is that wisdom which raises to full consciousness what would otherwise remain unconscious in Christianity. Christ is preceded by the torch of Lucifer resurrected, of Lucifer converted to good. He is the bearer of light; Christ is the light. As his name says, Lucifer is the bearer of light. Precisely this has to be the spiritual scientific movement. And those masters who have understood that the progress of humanity depends on understanding the great event of Golgotha, are united together within the great lodge that guides humanity, as “Masters of Wisdom and Harmony of Feelings. And just as the tongues of fire once descended upon the community, almost like a living universal symbol, so what Christ himself called the Holy Spirit dominates as light upon the lodge of the twelve masters. The thirteenth is the guide of the lodge of the twelve. It is they, then, who make the wisdom of the Holy Spirit flow on Earth for humanity. The contents of wisdom transmitted by the scientific-spiritual movement in order to understand the world and spiritual beings will gradually lead humanity to a free self-conscious understanding of Christ and the event of Golgotha. And it will result as a consequence that here, in the physical world, men will progress in the moral field, in the field of intellect, in the field of will. Through life on the physical plane the world will spiritualize itself more and more. They will bring into the supersensible life the fruits of this sensitive life; and again and again, with each new incarnation, from the supersensible life they will bring them back here, and thus more and more the Earth will become an expression of its spirit, an expression of the spirit of Christ. – Rudolf Steiner, GA107, Scientific-Spiritual Anthropology

Where earlier the Snake tempting Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden said, “God knows that on the day you will eat it, your eyes will open and you will be like gods, having the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 3:5) inducing you to eat the Fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil to imitate God “you will be like gods” – now it is time for Christ to say, “Jesus Christ answered them: ‘It is not perhaps written in your Law: I said, “Are you gods?” (John 10:34). The solar god Christ becomes man by allowing man to become God himself in Christ. The Christ who already gave karma as a means for subjective salvation, now intervenes in evolution for objective salvation, compensating for the karma of the world. It is at Pentecost that the temptation of Lucifer, the gift of a claimed freedom, becomes so mature that Men of Good Will will have in them the wisdom of the serpent and the purity of the dove: “Be cunning as serpents and pure as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

Thus, when the Serpent of Paradise Lucifer’s Serpent is given back the wings that were torn from him in the Fall, he becomes the Dove, the renewed Holy Spirit. This is also the alchemical secret why the Mercurial Serpent, that is Lucifer, must be fixed in his volatility not on the Tree of Knowledge where he becomes the tempter, but on the Tree of Life, which is the True Cross where Christ accomplishes the Mystery of Golgotha, at the same time redeeming the Good Thief, Lucifer’s incorporation: “We rightly, because we receive the righteous for our actions, he instead has done nothing wrong. And he added: “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom. He answered him: “Verily I say unto you, thou shalt be with me in Paradise today. (Luke 23:41) through Christ Lucifer will be admitted again into Paradise, the sphere of the Sun, and there he will be in the company of his brother.The Ancient Moon is the Cosmos of the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit, the Cosmos of Sophia. Just as there is an individual free will proper to the Soul of Man, so there is a cosmic free will proper to the Soul of the World. In fact, when in the Lemuric Era Eve and Adam were tempted by Lucifer, they lived the reflection of what had happened among the cards of the angelic hierarchies in the Ancient Moon, at the moment when Lucifer and his hosts began to work selfishly on the astral cosmic substance sacrificed by the Virtues. This divided the astral of the world, that is the Soul of the World, in two: this means that Sophia was tempted by Lucifer and a part of her remained in the spiritual worlds as Heavenly Sophia, while the other part fell becoming the Acamoth Sophia, who remains and enchanted in the created Nature lost contact with the ineffable Father, at the same time desiring Him nostalgically: this is what the Gnostic myth of the Fall of Sophia deals with. At the moment when at Pentecost the redeemed Lucifer appears in the Circle of 12 with Mary Sophia at its centre, Sophia, who is the Soul of the World, receives her free will, redeemed by her husband, the solar spirit of Christ. Thus comes a new union of the lunar and solar currents of cosmic evolution. Just as the redemption of Lucifer in us allows us to conquer subjective free will, so the redemption of Lucifer by Christ in Good Thief allows the karma of the Fall of Lucifer in the Ancient Moon to be transformed into cosmic free will. The Christ acting in the Eternal Present also redeems the Fall of the Ancient Moon and with it the current of objective karma, the cosmic lunar karma. The cosmos of ancient Wisdom, the Ancient Moon, can now become the cosmos of Love, the Future Jupiter.

Whitsun is the realization on the stage of the history of the cosmic image that manifested itself in the initiatory secret in the underground temples of the Mithras Mysteries, where the god of light cut the throat of the cosmic bull, thus releasing the forces of regeneration of the cosmos: the end of the Age of Taurus was thus sanctioned, the third epoch of Egyptian-Chaldaic culture and the Age of Aries, of the Lamb of God, the fourth epoch of Greek-Roman culture, was inaugurated. The forces of the blood of the group soul and of the Brotherhood of the Blood represented by the Taurus, were lacking to be renewed in the fire of the Ego and the Brotherhood of the Spirit.

It is through Pentecost that one passes from baptism with the Water of the Old Testament to baptism with the Fire of the New Testament. The Spirit of the Fire, bearer of Freedom, is now united to the soul of the Apostles. Lucifer, since the detachment of cosmic evolution in the Ancient Moon, regent becomes the holder of the ancient cosmic wisdom, the Ancient Moon being the Cosmos of Wisdom, having removed it from the Holy Spirit. As Lucifer diverted the people elected desert in his retrograde form as idol, the Golden Calf, now Lucifer appears as the mediator of Christ, that is, as the Mercury that carries the forces of the Sun within itself. It is therefore the first manifestation of the redeemed Lucifer, that sublime spirit of Venus that presents itself for the first time after the Fall as the inspirer of freedom combined with the love of his brother, the sublime spirit of the Sun, Christ. In this sense, the redeemed Lucifer, Lucibel the Comforter, allows each individual man to receive the consolation of Christ in a free and therefore entirely individual form.

In Pentecost the Sun shines in the Sign of Taurus (in the Sidereal Zodiac it goes from 14th May to 15th June), the Cosmic Word that is expressed in the creative forces. The Taurus is also the sign of Lucifer: the Taurus, as an animal of the thorax, with its digestive process represents an astral world enclosed within itself, this superabundance of vital forces is also manifested in the sexuality of the Taurus and therefore in the sensual luciferic lust. What still appears in the Zodiac in the form of the animal of the bull will one day be transfigured into the image of the bird. Birds are in fact a symbol of astrality free from sensuality: what in the bull manifests itself as closed astrality in itself, is freed in the image of the bird hovering in the sky: the strong ribcage of the bull that harnesses the lust for life, metamorphosis in the hull of the birds that frees life in the cosmos. Here is the image of the dove: just as the Holy Spirit manifested Himself on Christ in the form of a dove, now the tongues of fire are manifested on the 12 apostles, so that in the future the Sign of the Bull will be transmuted into the Sign of the Dove.

Just as one can link the Christmas feast to the etheric body and Easter to the astral body, so one can associate the “I” to Pentecost as the feast that represents the immortality of our “I”, which is like a mark of the imperishable world of our “I” and at the same time an indication that we humans do not only live in the overall natural world, we do not simply pass through death, but we are individual immortal beings who are reborn. How wonderfully all this is expressed by developing more and more ideas about Christmas, Easter and Pentecost! The Christmas holiday is in direct connection with earthly events, at the time when it is celebrated: it falls at the winter solstice, when the earth is shrouded in the deepest darkness. In a certain sense with Christmas one follows the existence of the earth with its laws: when the nights are longer and the days shorter, when the earth is frozen, one withdraws into oneself to connect with the spirituality that lives in it. It is, so to speak, a feast linked to the spirit of the earth. With Christmas we are constantly reminded that as earthly beings we are part of the earth, that the spirit had to descend from the heights of the cosmos to assume an earthly figure and be a child of the earth among the children of the earth. The feast of Easter is completely different! We know that it is linked to the relationship between the Sun and the Moon. It falls on the first Sunday after the full moon of spring, the one that follows March 21. According to the relationship between the Sun and the Moon, we set the date of Easter. Thus we see how wonderfully the feast of Christmas is connected to the terrestrial element and that of Easter to the cosmic element. At Christmas we remember what is most sacred on earth, at Easter what is most sacred in the sky. The thought of Christian Pentecost is connected to what, one would say, goes beyond the stars; it is connected to the cosmic fire of the universal spirit which individualizes itself and descends upon the apostles like fiery tongues, to the fire which is neither only heavenly nor only earthly, neither cosmic nor telluric, to the fire which permeates everything and at the same time individualizes itself and goes toward each individual man! The feast of Pentecost is connected with the entire cosmos. Just as Christmas is connected with the earth, Easter with the world of stars, so Pentecost is connected directly with people by the sparks of spiritual life which they receive from all worlds. We see in a certain way what has been given to mankind in general, for the man-God descends to earth preparing for each one the tongues of fire of Pentecost. Let us then see represented in the tongues of fire what exists in man, in the cosmos, and in the stars. He who is searching for the spirit finds in Pentecost a truly profound content and an exhortation to continue always in this search. It seems to me that today it is necessary to take these thoughts about the feasts more seriously than in other times. How we shall emerge from the painful and sad events of today will depend greatly on how these thoughts will be taken into account. One can already feel in certain circles that souls need to work to free themselves. I should say that one should share to a greater extent, which is inherent in the Science of the Spirit, this need today; one can speak of the need to animate spiritual life again everywhere in order to escape materialism. One can only escape it if there is the good will to enkindle the spiritual world within oneself, to celebrate Pentecost in a truly inner way and to take it seriously. – Rudolf Steiner, Pentecost as a testimony of the immortality of our ego, Berlin, June 6, 1916
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