The twelve-petalled lotus flower, also called the heart chakra (Sanskrit: अनाहत Anāhata "the undamaged"), is one of the seven main soul organs of perception in the human astral body. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the heart. The so-called subsidiary exercises, also known as the six qualities, promote the regular formation and activation of the heart chakra. This creates the basis for the new heart thinking that is to be developed in the present Michael Age. The 12-petalled lotus flower opens up insights that reach the level of intuition. It is the main sense of intuition through which, among other things, retrospection into previous incarnations becomes possible. In order for the heart chakra to become consciously active, the sentient soul must be transformed into the intuitional soul.
„The organ in the neighbourhood of the heart opens up a clairvoyant knowledge of the disposition of other souls. He who has trained it can also recognise certain deeper forces in animals and plants.“ (Lit.:GA 10, p. 84)
„Man has another lotus flower, the one with the twelve leaves. It has its seat in the region of the heart. Once only six leaves were visible. The acquisition of six virtues will bring the six other leaves to unfold in the future. These six virtues are: Thought control, initiative power, mental balance, positivity that allows one to see the best side of every thing, a mind free of prejudice, and finally, harmony of the soul's life. Then the twelve petals will start to move. In them the sacred character of the number twelve is expressed, which we find again in the twelve apostles, in the twelve companions of Arthur - and each time it is a question of creativity, of activity. And so it is, because everything in the world develops in twelve different nuances. In Goethe's poem "The Mysteries", in which the ideal of the Rosicrucians expresses itself, we find a new example of this. According to an explanation given by the poet to young people by Goethe himself, each of the twelve Knights of the Rosicrucian represents a religious current. One equally finds these truths in the signs and symbols, for these symbols are not arbitrary inventions but correspond to realities. For example, the symbol of the cross, like that of the swastika, is the representation of the four-petalled chakram of man. And the twelve-petalled lotus flower finds expression in the symbol of the Rose Cross and the twelve companions. The thirteenth among them, the invisible companion who unites them all, that is the truth, the unifying bond of all religions. Every new beginning, every new religious revelation, is a "thirteenth" that gives a new synthesis of the twelve nuances of spiritual truth.“ (Lit.:GA 94, p. 68f)
Two streams are in the Kundalini fire, the source of which is the heart organ or heart centre, which is formed in the course of the training of the mind near the physical heart by very definite currents and movements in the etheric body: One through the 4-, 6- and 10-petalled lotus flower to the heart organ, the other from the heart organ to the 12-, 16- and 2-petalled lotus flower (Lit.: Contributions 51/52, p. 38).
„When the secret training has come so far that the lotus flowers indicated in the preceding sections begin to move, then the disciple has already accomplished much of what leads to the evocation of quite definite currents and movements in his etheric body. The purpose of this development is to form a kind of centre in the region of the physical heart, from which currents and movements in the most varied spiritual colours and forms emanate. This centre is in reality no mere point, but a very complicated structure, a wonderful organ. It shines and shimmers spiritually in the most diverse colours and shows forms of great regularity which can change with rapidity. And further forms and colour currents run from this organ to the parts of the rest of the body and even beyond, passing through and illuminating the whole soul body. The most important of these currents, however, go to the lotus flowers. They pass through the individual leaves of the same and regulate their rotation; then they flow outwards at the tips of the leaves to lose themselves in outer space. The more developed a person is, the larger the circumference in which these currents spread.
The twelve-leaved lotus flower has a particularly close relationship to the centre described above. The currents flow directly into it. And through it, on one side, currents go to the sixteen-leaved and two-leaved lotuses, and on the other (lower) side to the eight-, six- and four-leaved lotuses. This arrangement is the reason why special care must be taken in the training of the twelve-petalled lotus flower in the secret training. If anything were missed here, the whole formation of the apparatus would have to be an untidy one.“ (Lit.:GA 10, p. 140ff)
„When the secret disciple carries out what is prescribed for him by the instructions, he teaches his etheric body such currents and movements as are in harmony with the laws and the evolution of the world to which the human being belongs. Therefore the instructions are always a reflection of the great laws of world evolution. They consist of the above-mentioned and similar meditation and concentration exercises, which, when properly applied, have the effects described. The spiritual disciple must at certain times completely penetrate his soul with the content of the exercises, inwardly filling himself with them, as it were. He begins with simple things, which are above all suitable for deepening and internalising the rational and sensible thinking of the mind. This thinking is thus made free and independent of all sensual impressions and experiences. It is, so to speak, condensed into one point, which the human being has entirely under his control. Thus a provisional centre is created for the currents of the etheric body. This centre is not yet in the region of the heart, but in the head. To the clairvoyant it shows itself there as the starting point of movements. - Only such a secret training is fully successful which first creates this centre. If the centre were to be placed in the region of the heart from the very beginning, the budding clairvoyant would be able to gain certain insights into the higher worlds, but he would not be able to gain a correct insight into the connection of these higher worlds with our sensual world. And this is an absolute necessity for man at the present stage of world evolution. The clairvoyant must not become a dreamer; he must keep his feet firmly on the ground.
The centre of the head, when it is properly fixed, is then moved further down, namely to the region of the larynx. This is achieved by further application of the concentration exercises. Then the characterised movements of the etheric body radiate from this region. They illuminate the soul space in the surroundings of the human being.
Further practice enables the secret disciple to determine the position of his etheric body himself. Previously this position was dependent on the forces coming from outside and emanating from the physical body. Through further development the human being becomes able to turn the etheric body in all directions. This ability is brought about by currents which run roughly along both hands and which have their centre in the two-leaved lotus flower in the region of the eyes. All this is due to the fact that the rays emanating from the larynx form round shapes, a number of which go to the two-leaved lotus flower and from there take their way along the hands as undulating currents. - A further consequence is that these currents branch out in the finest way and become a kind of network which, like a network, forms the boundary of the whole etheric body. Whereas previously the etheric body had no external closure, so that the life currents flowed directly in and out of the general sea of life, now the external influences must pass through this membrane. Thus the human being becomes sensitive to these external currents. They become perceptible to him. - Now the time has also come to give the whole current and movement system its centre in the region of the heart. This happens again through the continuation of the concentration and meditation exercise. And with this the stage is also reached on which the human being is gifted with the "inner word". All things now receive a new meaning for the human being. They become, as it were, spiritually audible in their innermost essence; they speak to the human being from their very essence. The marked currents put him in touch with the interior of the world to which he belongs. He begins to live along with the life of his surroundings and can let it reverberate in the movement of his chakras.“ (Lit.:GA 10, p. 142ff)
According to the findings of the German mystic and Jakob Böhme disciple Johann Georg Gichtel, the heart chakra is under the direct influence of the solar sphere. Its colour, according to modern yoga teachings, is green oder peach blossom.
The twelve-petalled lotus flower is symbolised by the rose cross and the twelve companions as described by Goethe in his poem "The Mysteries".
- Florin Lowndes: Die Belebung des Herzchakra: Ein Leitfaden zu den Nebenübungen Rudolf Steiners, Vlg. Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart 1997
- Florin Lowndes: Das Erwecken des Herz-Denkens. Wesen und Leben des sinnlichkeitsfreien Denkens in der Darstellung Rudolf Steiners. Umriß einer Methodik, Vlg. Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart 1998
- Rudolf Steiner: Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der höheren Welten?, GA 10 (1993) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Kosmogonie, GA 94 (2001), ISBN 3-7274-0940-1 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Beiträge zur Rudolf Steiner Gesamtausgabe, Heft 51/52: Der Weg zur höheren Erkenntnis im Lebenswerk und Lebensgang Rudolf Steiners, Rudolf Steiner-Nachlaßverwaltung, Dornach 1975 Beiträge (Contributions) 51/52
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.