V: star

A symbol that waldorf parents ought to be more aware of than perhaps they are — because it often appears in various waldorf settings, sometimes subtly, sometimes quite blatantly — is the pentagram, the five-pointed star. It’s also an important symbol at christmas, for example, it adorns the top of the christmas tree. Christmas stars are, of course, not uncommon and come in all kinds of varieties, six-, seven-, eight-pointed, you name it. Some are inexpensive, made of paper. On the photo above, you see a selection of such relatively cheap advent stars that are very common in Sweden (interestingly, I googled, and found out these window stars are popular mostly in Sweden and Germany, from where they originally came). But the star shape is common in a number of different christmas ornaments, and this post is supposed to be about the pentagram, the five-pointed star favoured by anthroposophists. So, why the pentagram? Let’s listen to Steiner:

‘Finally, the cosmic symbol of Man is the pentagram, hanging at the top of the tree. Of the deepest meaning of the pentagram we may not now speak. But it is the star of humanity, of evolving humanity; it is the star that all wise men follow, as did the Priest-Sages of old. It symbolises the very essence and meaning of earth-existence. It comes to birth in the Holy Night because the greatest Light shines forth from the deepest Darkness. Man is living on towards a state where the Light is to be born in him, where words full of significance will be replaced by others equally significant, where it will no longer be said: ‘The Darkness comprehendeth not the Light,’ but when the truth will ring out from cosmic space: The Darkness gives way before the Light that shines in the Star of Humanity — and now the Darkness comprehendeth the Light!’ [Source.]

If you want to know read more, I strongly suggest this. Actually, I strongly suggest reading it even if you don’t want to know more. In particular for waldorf parents who still believe that ignorance is bliss (and that anthroposophy’s influence on waldorf education is marginal)! Perhaps my readers can come up with examples of the pentagram’s presence in waldorf education? Because it’s not just a decorative object. I remember, for example, drawing it — big, with big crayons, on big sheets of paper. It’s also a shape used in eurythmy.

(The pentagram on the photo is a part of the nativity scene at the biodynamical gardens, Rosendal, Stockholm.)

7 thoughts on “V: star

  1. Alicia,

    I found a crucial misprint in this lecture and notified James Stewart at the elib.

    Scroll down 3/4 to read

    * Saturn’s movement is two and one-half times that of Jupiter’s;
    * Jupiter’s is five times that of Mars;
    * Mars’ twice that of the Moon.
    * Saturn’s movement however, is 1,200 times that of the whole celestial dome.

    That last line should read

    * Moon’s movement however, is 1,200 times that of the whole celestial dome.

  2. Wow, Alicia, it’s worse than a simple misprint. The entire translation is messed up. I went to the German and that all makes sense. Look at the difference.

    Die alten okkulten Astronomen sagten sich:

    Der Sternenhimmel, welcher scheinbar ruhend sich ausnimmt, ist in
    Wahrheit in Bewegung und dreht sich um den geistigen Mittelpunkt
    mit solcher Geschwindigkeit, daß er in 100 Jahren um 1° vorrückt.
    Es verhalten sich nun die Geschwindigkeiten der Planeten zuein-
    ander wie folgt:

    Geschwindigkeit des Saturn = 2 1/2 mal die des Jupiter
    des Jupiter = 5 mal die des Mars
    des Mars = 2 mal die von Sonne, Merkur und Venus
    der Sonne = 12 mal die des Mondes

    wobei die Geschwindigkeit des Saturn 1200mal größer ist als die des
    ganzen Sternenhimmels, oder 12° im Jahre vorrückt.

  3. Odd. You ought to notify James Stewart about this too. I wonder if the English translation is wrong, then, or if it’s a scanning issue (of which there are plenty in the texts on rsarchive.org)?

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