Fight in Heaven

From AnthroWiki

Fight in Heaven is the term used in anthroposophy to describe the struggle between truly advanced and retarded spiritual mights that took place at the beginning of the third planetary stage of world evolution (→ Old Moon) and in which the primordial secret of evil lies.

In the transitional period from the Old Sun to the Old Moon, spiritual beings from the hierarchy of the Dynameis (Spirits of Motion or Mights) were, as it were, "commanded" to act as adversaries to hinder the progressive development, but precisely by this means to bring about a new essential evolutionary leap. These mights were not yet evil in themselves and could not have become inhibiting forces of their own will. But by running up a storm against normal development and thereby opening up new paths for evolution, they ultimately also became producers of evil.

„In the interim between the Jupiter and Mars evolutions[1] a number of spiritual beings were, if I may express myself trivially, detached from the sphere of the Mights; they were so placed in the course of evolution that, instead of leading the evolution forward, they placed obstacles in its way. This is what we have come to know as the conflict in the heavens. So the deeds of the mights that had been commanded, if we may say so, were thrown into the development, for the ruling world mights of the hierarchies had to say to themselves: That which was to come into being could never come into being if the path were to go straight on. Something greater must come into being.

Just think, you have a cart to push. By pushing it forward, your powers develop in a certain way. If you load the cart with a heavy ballast, then you have to push harder, but your strength develops more. Think of it, if the Deity had left the world evolution as it was, beyond Jupiter: certainly, human beings could have developed well; but humanity could have become even stronger if obstacles to development were placed in its way. For the good of humanity certain powers had to be detached. These mights did not become evil at first, one need not regard them as evil mights, but one can even say that they sacrificed themselves by placing themselves in the way of development. These mights can therefore be called the gods of obstacles, in the fullest sense of the word. They are the gods of hindrances, the obstacles that have been placed in the way of the path of development; and from now on the possibility was given for all that took place in the future. These mights that had been detached were not in themselves evil; on the contrary, they were the great promoters of evolution by running up a storm against normal evolution. But they were the generators of evil; for by their running up a storm, evil gradually came into being.“ (Lit.:GA 110, p. 162ff)

The inner solar system, from the Sun to Jupiter, including the asteroid main belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The consequences of the fight in heaven are still visible in the sky today in the form of the debris field of the asteroid belt, which today spreads out between Jupiter and Mars. It was formed in the early days of earth evolution and is made up of a multitude of asteroids and dwarf planets that move around our Sun on partly very eccentric orbits between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. However, the prerequisites for this were already created when the Old Moon formed from Old Saturn and its successor, the Old Sun.

„Now we have reached that point where we want to remember that when the Old Moon was formed from Saturn and the Sun, something quite new happened. A part of the dense substance was now thrown out, and two bodies arose. One body took the finest substances and spiritual beings and became a finer Sun, the second body became an all the denser Moon. So this third state of our planetary system develops in such a way that it is only a uniform planet for a time; but then it throws a planet out of itself, which is now beside it. At first, then, the Moon, so long as it is a unitary body, reaches as far as Mars. Then, however, the sun contracts, and it is orbited by a body, and that approximately where the present Mars orbits it, that is, approximately in the periphery of the original unitary body.

How did this separation come about in the first place? How did one world body become two? It happened at the time of the reign of the Mights, Dynamis. For those who have already followed many things in this field with me, it is not unknown that in the whole universe something similar happens as in ordinary human life. Where beings develop, there are those who advance and others who lag behind. How many a father has to lament the fact that his son is left behind at grammar school, while others advance rapidly. So we have to do with a different pace of development. It is the same in the whole cosmos. And in particular, for certain reasons, which we shall get to know, something occurs now that the powers have begun their mission, their function, which in all esotericism, in all mysteries, is called the fight in heaven. And this doctrine of the fight in heaven forms an essential, an integrating part in all mysteries; it also contains the primordial secret about the origin of evil. The Virtutes, the Mights, were of very different degrees of maturity at a certain time in the evolution of the Moon. Some of them longed to rise as high as possible spiritually, others again had remained behind or at least had progressed in their development in a normal way. So there were Mights who were far ahead of their comrades on the Old Moon. The consequence of this was that these two classes of Mights or Virtutes separated. The more advanced ones drew out the solar body, and the more retarded ones formed the Moon orbiting it. Thus we have first sketchily described the fight in heaven, the tearing apart of the Old Moon, so that the secondary planet, the Old Moon, comes under the dominion of the Virtutes who have remained behind, and the Old Sun under the dominion of the more advanced Virtutes.

Something of this fight in heaven echoes in the first sentences of the divine Gita, which symbolically in the fight at the beginning resounds something of this mighty fight in heaven. Oh, it was a mighty battlefield that was there. From the time when the Dominations or Dominationes or Kyriotetes worked to produce the Old Sun until the time of the production of the Old Moon, when the Mights or Dynamis began their mission, there was a mighty battlefield, a mighty strife in the heavens. The Dominions drew together our entire solar system mass as far as the milestone of Jupiter, and the Virtutes or Mights then drew together the whole system as far as the milestone of today's Mars. Between these two planetary landmarks in the sky lies the great battlefield in the midst of the heavens. Look at this battlefield in the sky! It was not until the nineteenth century that we rediscovered with our physical eyes, so to speak, the devastation wrought by the strife in the heavens. Between Mars and Jupiter you have blown up the army of small planetoids. These are the debris of the battlefield of the celestial conflict that was fought between the two cosmic moments when our solar system was drawn together as far as Jupiter and later as far as Mars. And when our astronomers point their telescopes out into the celestial space and still discover planetoids, they are the debris of that great battlefield of strife between the more advanced Virtutes and the less advanced Virtutes, which also brought about the blasting away of the Moon from its Sun.“ (Lit.:GA 110, p. 88ff)

So during the actual evolution of the Earth the following happened:

„During the repetition of Saturn's state, Uranus, Vulcan and Saturn detach themselves from the Earth. During the repetition of the state of the Sun, Jupiter and Mars detached themselves. After the Sun separated from the Earth, it split off Mercury and Venus, after the Sun separation, the Earth split off the Moon. The splitting apart of the Old Moon was done by the forces of the advanced mights, which pulled out the body of the Sun, while the normal and retarded ones formed the Moon orbiting it. In all mysteries this is called the fight in heaven. The scattered planetoids are the debris of that battlefield in which also the primordial secret of the origin of evil must be sought.“ (Lit.:GA 109, p. 228f)

Already during the old lunar development, the Dynameis who remained behind became seducers of the Angeloi (Angels) who were then passing through the stage of humanity. A part of these angelic beings thereby remained behind in their development, whereby they became Luciferic beings. During the later development of the Earth, these Luciferic Angels inoculated the consequences of the fight in heaven into the astral body of man and thereby gave him the possibility of evil, but at the same time opened the way to freedom.


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.


  1. When Rudolf Steiner speaks here of the interim period between the evolution of Jupiter and Mars, he means the transition from the Old Sun to the Old Moon; for the Old Sun reached to where Jupiter now traces its orbit and the Old Moon reached to where Mars now has its orbit.