5 is the Number of Man, of the microcosm, but at the same time also the number of evil or the freedom to choose between good and evil. This is also reflected in the ambivalent symbolic meaning of the pentagram, which on the one hand is regarded as a sign of banishment for evil, and on the other hand, in its inverted form as the Drudenfuss (or Drudenfuß; literally "drude's foot") , is the sign of the devil.
„Five is the number of evil. We can make this clear to ourselves best if we look at the human being again. Man has developed into a four-ness, into a being of creation, but on earth the fifth member, the spirit self, joins him. If man had remained only a four-ness, he would always have been directed from above, by the gods, towards good; he would never have developed into independence. He has become free because on earth he has received the germinal disposition to the fifth member, the spiritual self. This gave him the possibility of doing evil, but it also made him independent. No being that does not appear in the fiveness can do evil, and wherever we encounter an evil that can actually have a corrupting effect of its own accord, there is a fiveness at play. This is the case everywhere, even outside in the world. It is just that man does not observe it, and today's materialistic world view has no conception that one can look at the world in this way. We can see from one example how everywhere where the five confronts us, the justification arises to speak of evil in any sense. How beneficial it would be if medicine were to make use of this and study the course of diseases according to how an illness develops from the outbreak to the fifth day, or how it develops on the individual days in the fifth hour after midnight or in the fifth week. For the number five always dominates that where the physician can intervene most fruitfully. Before that he cannot do much else than let nature take its course; but there he can intervene helpfully if he observes the law of the number five, because there the principle of the number five flows into the factual world, which can justifiably be called harmful or evil. Thus we can show in many fields how the number five has a great significance for external events.
There are seven periods in the life of man: The first is before he is born, the second lasts until the change of teeth, the third until sexual maturity, the fourth about seven to eight years further on, the fifth about thirty years of age, and so on. When people will know what all comes into consideration for these periods and what should best approach or stay away from the human being in the fifth period, then they will also know a great deal about how they can prepare a good old age for themselves. Good or evil can be brought about for the whole of the rest of life. In the first periods much can be done by education according to these laws. But then a turning point occurs in the fifth period of human life, which is decisive for the rest of life. This turning point in the fifth period of human life must at least be passed before the human being can, so to speak, be released into life with complete certainty. The prevailing principle today of sending people out into life at a very early age is very bad. It is of great importance to observe such ancient occult principles. That is why in former times, by order of such as knew something of it, one had to complete the so-called period of teaching and wandering before one could be called a Master.“ (Lit.:GA 101, p. 177ff)
- Rudolf Steiner: Occult Signs and Symbols. CW 101. Translated from German shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer by Sarah Kurland with emendations by Gilbert Church. Anthroposophic Press 1972 rsarchive.org
- Rudolf Steiner, Johanna Collis (Translator): The Book of Revelation: And the Work of the Priest. CW 346. Rudolf Steiner Press 1999. ISBN 978-1855840522; eBook ASIN B07N9LY1VB (2013) rsarchive.org
- Helmut Werner: Lexikon der Numerologie und Zahlenmystik, Komet, ISBN 3-89836-132-2
- Ernst Bindel: Die geistigen Grundlagen der Zahlen, Vlg. Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-7725-1251-8, Inhaltsverzeichnis
- Rudolf Steiner: Mythen und Sagen. Okkulte Zeichen und Symbole, GA 101 (1987), Stuttgart, 15. September 1907 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Vorträge und Kurse über christlich-religiöses Wirken, V, GA 346 (2001), ISBN 3-7274-3460-0 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
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 (by Steiner Online Library).
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold
steinerbooks.org - 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.