From AnthroWiki
Lucifer in a production of Rudolf Steiner's Mystery Dramas at the Goetheanum in Dornach.

Lucifer (from Latin: lux "light" and ferre "to bring"; GreekΦωσφόρος Phosphoros "light-bringer, light-bearer" or Ἑωσφόρος Eosphoros "bringer of the dawn"), in Latin also the poetic name of the morning star, i.e. Venus, literally the "bearer of light", the light-filled red devil, often also called Diabolos (GreekΔιάβολος Diàbolos "muddler, confounder", from Διά-βαλλειν dia-ballein "to throw into confusion") and according to Rudolf Steiner identical with Iblis (also Eblis, Arabic إبليس, DMG Iblīs, "disappointer, deceiver") mentioned in the Koran (Lit.:GA 144, p. 71), is symbolised in the Bible by the serpent who sneaks into paradise and tempts man to eat from the "tree of knowledge". Lucifer is also often depicted as a winged dragon; in Ezekiel's vision also as a winged bull. Lucifer has anchored himself above all in the sentient soul, which has come into being through the transformation of the astral body (Lit.:GA 107, p. 247), and here he incites the sensual desires and drives.

Lucifer and Venus

The "morning star" Venus on the left below the Moon.

The biblical story of creation begins with its description at about the time when the Sun separated from the Earth in the course of the Earth evolution during the so-called Hyperborean period. The most exalted spiritual entities went out with the Sun at that time, while on Earth the formation of man was being prepared at the same time. However, not all spiritual beings above man were already so far advanced that they could have gone with the sun. For them, with Mercury and Venus, suitable dwellings were created between the Earth and the Sun. Lucifer and his hosts found their new home on Venus:

„Thus on Venus also live entities that stand between man and the solar beings. They inhabit Venus and can even become effective on Earth. They become effective in the human body. We call these entities Luciferic entities. In a certain sense they have their home on Venus. That is why Venus is also called 'Lucifer'.“ (Lit.:GA 98, p. 186)

„There were powerful beings during the old lunar evolution, highly elevated spirits, who, however, in a certain respect had not reached the end of their evolution during this lunar evolution. Among these high spirits there was a group which was, as it were, under a leader and which, when the lunar evolution came to an end, had not reached its evolutionary goal and had therefore not reached it when the Earth began its evolution. This multitude now intervened in the evolution of the Earth, assisted in the guidance of mankind, but inwardly with the tragic longing for a star of the universe thrown out of the whole of the old lunar evolution - in the sense in which it has been portrayed in "Occult Science". We have powerful, high, important beings under their leader within our spiritual Earth evolution, who really carry within themselves this longing for a star out there in the universe, which they regard as their true home, but on which they cannot be, because they had to leave the Moon and go to Earth without having completed their evolution. These are the multitudes who are under Lucifer, and Lucifer himself works in the evolution of the earth with a continual longing within himself for his true home, for the star of Venus outside in the universe. This is the most prominent feature of the Luciferic being when we look at it cosmically. And the clairvoyant consciousness actually comes to know what is characterised in the star of Venus by looking into Lucifer's soul, and thus has within the earth the tragic longing of Lucifer, like a wonderful cosmic homesickness for the star Phosphoros, Lucifer or Venus. For all that Lucifer has thrown off like a shell, all that has been sieved out of the Luciferic beings at the death of the Old Moon, just as the physical body is sieved off from the human soul at death, shines down from heaven as Venus.“ (Lit.:GA 129, p. 91)

Venus shows itself similar to the Moon, the abode of Yahweh, in periodically changing phases. Only the fully luminous disc of Venus affects the lower man in the same way as the Full Moon; the quarters affect the breast of man and when Venus, similar to the New Moon, affects only spiritually, it, i.e. the Luciferic forces, seize the head of man. This is especially true in the case of a transit of Venus, where Venus comes immediately before the solar disc.

„From Lucifer we learn that his kingdom is Venus, and that those forces which find their symbolic-physical expression by coming to us as the light of Venus, the morning and evening star, that these physical rays of Venus, which are sent into space, are the symbolic-physical influence of Lucifer on man. Lucifer did not confine himself to influencing the lower human being. He would only work there when Venus shines with her full disc, as with the full moon. You know that Venus has just such phases as the moon, that there is a waxing, a full and a waning Venus. The quarters again have the same effect on the breast-man as the quarters of the Moon. Venus, however, which works spiritually, works on the head of man, so that an expression of what spiritual effects are in relation to man can be seen in the interaction of Sun, Moon and Venus in the heavens. Mind you, an expression of what is in the human spirit.

As the great Sun-Spirit works in man in relation to the Moon-Spirit, in relation to Yahweh or Jehovah, so Lucifer, who is always active in human nature, works in relation to these two. If one wished to represent this law of interaction graphically and give a sketch of it, one could best do so by seeking it in the constellations of the physical Sun, the physical Moon and Venus. As these stand to each other, as these can have a relation, that the one opposes the other, repels it, that the one strengthens the other or that it weakens it by placing itself above it and darkening it, so is the relation of the three spiritual powers, which have been characterised, in man. Man can especially unfold his solar effect when it is impaired neither by the lunar nor by the Venusian forces. But his Sun, so to speak, the forces that are in the middle man, in the heart, can also be eclipsed by the Moon, by the head forces, just as eclipses can also occur through Lucifer, through Venus. As you also know, there are what are called passages, transitions of Venus before the Sun in the space of the world.

Thus you have the interrelatedness of the inner trinity of man, so to speak the Sun-spirit, the Moon-spirit and the Venus-spirit or Lucifer symbolised in space and expressed by the constellation of Sun, Moon and Venus.“ (Lit.:GA 137, p. 167f)

Origin of the Luciferic Beings

On the Old Moon, the former embodiment of our Earth, the Luciferic beings went through their humanity stage, i.e. their I-development, but did not reach their full developmental goal. Today they stand on a level of development between man and angel and become seducers of today's man by implanting selfish sensual urges and desires in his astral body. But precisely through this they also prepare the freedom of man.

„What kind of forces are the Luciferic beings? They are such as belong to beings who, during the previous earthly embodiment, in the old lunar period, remained behind in their development, and thus did not enter into the full hardening of earthly existence into which man has entered, but remained at a stage which lies before the materialisation of man. Thus they have remained more spiritual with their powers than man is. In their development they have only been able to reach a stage which is more spiritual than the stage at which man undergoes his earthly embodiments. By permeating human nature with their powers, they have caused this human nature to be more spiritual than it ought to be. If these Luciferic forces had not existed, man in his astral body would, in the unconscious forces subordinate to the conscious I-forces, have personally spiritualised things, such as the Luciferic forces are, but not such forces as he now has. In his lower nature man has become more spiritual through the Luciferic influence than he would otherwise have been. Man would have received all that he should have received on earth from the powers that are only progressing, but he would not be as spiritual as he is today. He would be without the Luciferic influence.

But man would not have anything else either. Without this influence man could not have had freedom, for if this Luciferic influence had not come he would carry out all his actions in such a way that when he had to do this or that he could only have looked to the motives which had come to him in the form of ideas flowing from the spiritual world. Whatever the human being would accomplish on earth, he would accomplish it in such a way that he would look at the idea that underlies it like a picture that shows him what has to happen without him having to form this idea. It would be like an inspiration from the higher worlds, and it would have such an effect on him that he could not possibly resist it. He would follow the will of the gods as a matter of course.“ (Lit.:GA 150, p. 90f)

Elsewhere Rudolf Steiner characterises Lucifer as a retarded Archangel:

„Lucifer is a being which we can designate as an archangel retarded on an earlier stage, Ahriman a being which we can designate as a Spirit of Personality retarded on an earlier stage.“ (Lit.:GA 154, p. 96)

Lucifer and the Autonomy of Man

Lying is impossible for the regular beings of the third hierarchy]; they must reveal their true nature and have their waking self-awareness in retrospect of this revelation. Any lie, any deception in self-revelation would extinguish their consciousness. The beings of the third hierarchy, however, also have no independent inner life like man. If they willingly turn their gaze away from self-revelation, their consciousness is filled with the contents of the higher spiritual worlds through their unconditional surrender to the higher hierarchies. Spirit-filling is their inner life. It is different with the Luciferic beings:

„Angeloi have no life of their own, their life of their own is revelation, is there for all the world, and as soon as they do not reveal themselves, within them is the life of the higher Hierarchies shining into them. That which induced a number of them to deny their nature was a feeling of strength, a feeling of independence, a feeling of freedom. At a certain time there came over a number of beings of the third hierarchy the impulse, the urge, not merely to be dependent on the beings of the higher hierarchies, but to develop a life of their own within themselves. With this, an extraordinary amount was done for the entire evolution of the planetary system to which we initially belong. For these beings, whom we can call the rebels of the third hierarchy, have done nothing less than prepare the way for man's own independence, for the possibility of man now developing an independent life for himself, which does not reveal itself directly to the outside world, but which can be an inner life independent of external revelation [...].

You see, this is why you must understand that the spirits of the third hierarchy, who had attained this instinct, did not do what they did in order to lie, but for the sake of developing a life of their own, but with this development of a life of their own they had to take upon themselves the consequence of becoming spirits of untruth, spirits of denial of their own beings, spirits of lies in other words [...].

Now all those spiritual entities which have arisen in this way, like a second category alongside the spirits of the third hierarchy, through the denial of their inner nature, we call in occultism the Luciferic spirits. The concept of Luciferic spirits consists essentially in the fact that these spirits want to develop an independent inner life. The only question now is, what did they have to do, these spirits, in order to reach their goal? We have just seen what they had to develop as a consequence. What they had to do in order to reach their goal, to develop an independent inner life, will be revealed to us by another observation. What did they want to overcome, these spirits? They wanted to overcome the spirit-filling with the substance of the higher Hierarchies. They wanted to be filled not only with these entities of the higher hierarchies, but with their own being. They could not do this in any other way than by cutting themselves off, splitting themselves off from the entities of the higher hierarchies, instead of filling themselves with the spirit of the higher hierarchies and, as it were, leaving open to themselves the free outlook towards the higher hierarchies, in order in this way to procure for themselves their own substance from the substance of the higher hierarchies.“ (Lit.:GA 136, p. 98ff)

Drawing from GA 136, p. 100

The imaginative portrait of Lucifer

Master Bertram of Minden, Grabower Altar, Petri Altar, right outer wing, inner side (1375-1383); Kunsthalle Hamburg
top right, the Tree of Paradise with the Serpent
Lucifer, cast of the model designed by Rudolf Steiner for the large wooden statue of the Representative of Humanity.

In his basic form, Lucifer appears as a serpent with a human head. The head is an image of the earlier planetary stages of world development. The snake's body represents the not yet completely ossified spinal cord, which represents the actual earthly man.

„Out of the whole universe, through innumerable beings of many hierarchies, is woven that which then becomes our head, which contains within itself a wisdom of the most immense magnitude and scope, a wisdom which is built up on all the experiences gained through Saturn, Sun and Moon. And that which is attached to it is earth-produced. Our head is actually an heirloom of Saturn, Sun and Moon. The Earth with its powers has only been able to bring about what is attached to it. The other human being, not the head with the spinal cord, but what is attached to it, is actually the earthly human being.

How then, looking inwardly, will one have to represent Lucifer, that is, actually a lunar being? One will have to depict a human head and something like a snake hanging from it: the backbone that is not yet ossified. This is how that thirteenth- or fourteenth-century Master Bertram depicts Lucifer on the tree between Adam and Eve. In the Hamburg Museum you can see the picture represented in this way.“ (Lit.:GA 167, p. 46f)

In the statue of The Representative of Humanity between Lucifer and Ahriman, created by Rudolf Steiner together with Edith Maryon, the imaginative image of Lucifer becomes particularly clear.

„Man carries the impulses of the Luciferic within him. He carries them within himself in such a way that they sit in his head, and from his head they penetrate the astral body, in which the Luciferic has remained. Thus, while the spirits of form have otherwise formed his head, the Luciferic impulses push themselves into his head, but also into that which is formed from the astral, into the spinal cord. If we were to draw out the head and its extension, the spinal cord, of a human being, we would get a snake, a snake-like formation with a human head. Of course, the whole thing can then be thought of astrally, the head still somewhat a replica of the human head, and the spinal cord, which is attached to it, snakes out like this. If you think of it projected out objectively, it is a snake with a human head. That is, whoever sees Lucifer externally in the picture could actually say: snake with a human head. - Not a serpent with a serpent's head, for that is no longer Lucifer, that is an earthly serpent on which the spirits of form have already worked as an earthly being. So snake with the human head, we would have to say. This means that a painter who wanted to paint Lucifer on the tree would have to depict the serpent writhing on the tree and a human head at the top. Then he would paint out of the knowledge of our spiritual science. So we would have to imagine Adam and Eve by a tree, and entwined in the tree, similar to a snake's body, just the spinal cord that has become astral, and what imitates the human head. When the woman first sees it, it is naturally modelled on the female face.“ (Lit.:GA 168, p. 28)

„With Lucifer we have to do with a peculiar way of forming the upper part of the head, which is only reminiscent of the human head. There is all movement of the spiritual, there is nothing that forces us to keep the individual limbs of the forehead within fixed limits, as is the case with man, but there each one is as mobile on the upper head as the fingers and the hands are mobile on the arm. Of course, one can only put this down if the movements are the real movements as they are found in Lucifer. And then it should be noted above all that in this form there is that which has remained in the Lucifer being from the lunar existence. It covers the actual face, which recedes very deeply into it.

You can already imagine from this description that we are dealing with something quite different from the ordinary human face. It is as if the head of the skull were in itself, and that which is the human face were inserted into it at the bottom. And then there is something else: that a certain connection is added, especially in Lucifer, between the ear and the larynx. The ear and the larynx have only been cut apart in man since his earthly existence; in his lunar existence they were one organ. The small wings on the larynx were mighty enlargements which then formed the lower auricle. Mighty auricles were formed about there, while the upper ear, which now goes outwards, is formed from the forehead. And what is separated today, so that when we speak and sing, this goes outwards and we only listen with the ear, went inwards during the lunar time and from there into the music of the spheres. The whole human being was an ear. That comes from the fact that the ear was the wings; so that you have ear, larynx and wing formations, which move harmoniously-melodically according to the vibrations of the world ether, which then bring forth the peculiar appearance of Lucifer; which bring forth what is macrocosmic, for Lucifer has only localised what is actually only cosmic.

You will see that concessions have to be made so that people are not frightened when they see a face that does not show us human form. Then you will see that his face must be elongated. Lucifer must look like an elongated face, for he is all ear, the wings are all ear, an elongated auricle. Ahriman, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite, and it is natural that in the modelling, wherever something is powerfully extended in Lucifer, where we fully develop it in Lucifer, there are only hints in Ahriman. Whereas with Lucifer the forehead wing is powerfully developed, with Ahriman it is the lower jaw. The whole materialism of the world expresses itself in the formation of the masticatory and dental system.“ (Lit.:GA 157, p. 253f)

„There is a second being up here. This being has a human-like, I can only say human-like head. The head is really such that one can say that a human head reminds one of this head. For this head is formed in such a way that the part of the skull, especially the part of the forehead, is powerfully developed. Whereas in humans these parts are relatively immobile, in this being everything is mobile. Everything is an expression of the soul. Just as a human being can move his hands with his fingers, but not this part here, this being can move everything up here. And you can see in the sculptural work that everything up there is movable. The lower part of the face of this being is very receding. One might say that the powerful skull arches over the receding face. I can only discuss individual parts, for every single stroke of this figure is of great significance. But then the peculiar thing is that there is a connection between what has atrophied into the larynx in man and the ear in this figure. That which is in it as the laryngeal lobule curves upwards and forms the lower part of the ears. The upper part is formed by the forehead. On the other side are two structures reminiscent of birds' wings, between which a body is spread out, which is as if it were a reshaped human face in its entirety. Wings and larynx and ear are formed in one, so that one will recognise: with the wings the being lives within the harmony of the spheres, vibrates through space, through the waves of the harmony of the spheres, and this localises itself in the ear. In man all this is atrophied. Now, when the representative of humanity raises his left hand here, the wings of this figure on the rock are broken and it falls from the rock. - You can guess that this figure falling from the rock, with its broken wings, means Lucifer.“ (Lit.:GA 159, p. 293)

„To understand Lucifer, you must think of what appears as the spirit form of Lucifer in a very strange way. Think of that which is most Ahrimanic in man away from the human form, that is, the head away, but instead think of the ears and the auricles, the outer ear, considerably enlarged, naturally spiritualised and formed into wings and shaped into an organ, but the organ wrapped around its body, the laryngeal wings also enlarged; so that head, wings, ears form one organ together. And the wings, the principal organ, is that which results for the figure of Lucifer. Lucifer is an enlarged larynx, a larynx which becomes the whole form, out of which then develops, through a kind of wing, a connection to the ear, so that one has to imagine: Lucifer is such a form, which receives the music of the spheres, takes it into this ear-wing organism; and without the individuality speaking, the universe, the music of the spheres itself, again expresses itself through the same organ, which is transformed forward into the larynx, thus is another metamorphosis of the human form: larynx-ear-wing organ. Hence the head is only indicated.“ (Lit.:GA 181, p. 315)

If we look at the effect of Lucifer in social life, another picture emerges:

„There we see how Lucifer lives. I cannot use this image, which is an image, but as an image is actually born out of the correct Ahrimanic ideas, the image of the ossified, creeping, bald-headed Ahriman, who creeps around the educational institutions and wants them to stay that way. This image would not be apt for the Luciferian being. But another picture is apt: if you let the mere egoism, the absence of cosmic feeling, and the good will and the social desires that are believed to be good, express themselves everywhere, then the Luciferic being will emerge from what is speaking. With these social demands, which are aroused in the world without cosmic feeling, man exudes from himself what then becomes the beautiful Lucifer. It lives in men themselves, in their stomachs corrupted by social instincts - but that spiritually conceived -, in their corrupted lungs, there lives the Iuciferic source. It struggles loose, man exudes it from his whole being, and thus our spiritual air is filled with this Luciferic essence, filled with social instincts not felt by the feeling of the connection of man with the cosmos. The bald Ahriman creeping around our abstract education, the long, the skeletal, the gaunt one on the one hand, on the other hand that which at first slimily wriggles out of man himself and assumes the appearance of beauty and thus beguiles man, these are images, but they are realities of our time. And only through self-knowledge and only through a feeling of the connection of the human being with the cosmos does the human being find the equilibrium between the ossified and the appearance of beauty, between the bone being and the slime being, between that which creeps around him and that which wants to wrest itself out of him. And he must find this equilibrium, this balance. What has become of culture, of the civilisation of recent times, is basically nothing other than what one might call the marriage between the bony and the slimy.“ (Lit.:GA 203, p. 159f)

Lucifer and Elohim

„When the Elohim, at the beginning of the evolution of the earth, decided to create man, it was their intention to make man entirely in their image, so that each member of man's nature would correspond to one of the Elohim. They wanted to mirror themselves in humanity. But this did not happen on earth as we know it, but in a sphere which we would now have to draw around the earth, similar to the ring around Saturn. The Elohim acted upon this sphere from space and mirrored themselves in the humanity they had created. And the human beings in turn looked down on a point in the middle of the sphere and saw themselves being mirrored there. They in tun could now say to themselves - that is you. If Lucifer had not appeared, it would always have remained so. People would have experienced eternal youth, and the consciousness they would have had of themselves would have been the consciousness of what they saw of themselves on earth as the "you are" ( I am).

Drawing from GA 265, S. 290

But when Lucifer appeared with his activity, he also wanted to reflect himself in humanity, and he did so by entering into the innermost part of man radiating his influences from there. Instead of the beautiful and sublime in which man had hitherto seen himself, the ugly and shapeless now emerged. Like the serpent coiling around the tree in the story of Paradise, the reflection of Lucifer appeared. To prevent man from seeing himself in the ugliness of Lucifer, the Elohim pressed the sphere together and threw man to earth.

As man was then, he would always have remained an infant, for in the infant the constructive forces of the Elohim still work. Man would have taken nourishment by absorbing the substance of plants and animals - which were then quite different from what they are now. In his consciousness, too, man would not have progressed beyond infant consciousness.

In order to make self-consciousness possible for man, the Elohim have placed death in all earthly processes. Everything on earth has thereby been subjected to death, and now these forces work in such a way that, through the destruction they carry within them, they at the same time give the strength to overcome the destruction, and thus to attain to a higher state (of conscious realisation). Our concept of death, like almost everything on the physical plane, is the antithesis of its true nature. Only through death is it made possible for us to return to the relationship we formerly had to the gods and the spiritual world. Something must die in us before we can find the right connection again.“ (Lit.:GA 265, p. 289ff)

Fall of Man and Expulsion from Paradise

Michelangelo: Fall of Man and Expulsion from Paradise (ceiling fresco in the Sistine Chapel)

Through the Luciferic influence, man's senses were opened to the outer world - and at the same time his sensual desires were awakened. The Fall of Man began. Man thus became entangled earlier and deeper in the sensual world than was originally intended. Through this Luciferic influence on the astral body, the etheric body and the physical body were also affected. The possibility of error arose in the etheric body and the possibility of inner illness was implanted in the physical body.

„When man entered the Earth, he consisted of the physical body, the etheric body and the astral body and continued to form these. From certain exalted beings, who preferably resided on the sun and the moon, the ego was bestowed upon him. These beings worked, so to speak, on the ego. But there were certain other beings who, during the evolution of the Satum, the Sun and the Moon, had not so far ascended that they could have assisted in this incorporation of the I. They could only do what they had done on the Sun and the Moon. They could only do what they had learned on the moon. They had to confine themselves to working on the astral body of man, so that something was incorporated into the astral body of man which did not belong to his noblest, which did not come from the sublime higher beings, but from the late, retarded intruders. If these beings had done this on the moon, it would have been a supreme thing. But by doing it on earth as latecomers, they incorporated something into the astral body which placed it lower than it could otherwise have become. It was endowed with instincts and passions and with egoism.

We must bear in mind that man was acted upon from two sides, that man also received impressions in the astral body by which it was degraded. But something like this, which affects the astral body, does not only affect the astral body. In the earthly human being the effect on the astral body is continued by the astral body itself on the etheric body, and the etheric body continues the effect on the physical body. The astral body works everywhere, and so those spirits work through the astral body on the etheric body and the physical body. If these spiritual beings had not been able to exert such an effect, then what came into the human being at that time would not have occurred. That is an increased selfhood of the human being, an increased sense of self. What this brought about in the etheric body is all that arose in the clouding of judgement, in the possibility of error. All that which was brought about by the astral body in the physical body is the basis of what arose as illness. This is the spiritual cause of man's illnesses; in animals, the becoming ill is something else.

We see how disease is transplanted into man. Disease is connected with the causes which have been indicated here. And as the physical and the etheric body are connected with the hereditary causes, the principle of disease passes through the line of heredity. It should be emphasised here once more that we must distinguish between that which is inner disease and that which is outer injury. If a person is run over by a car, that has nothing to do with it. Certain inner diseases can also be connected with external causes. If a man eats something that upsets the stomach, that is of course also something external.“ (Lit.:GA 106, p. 150f)

As a result of Luciferic influence, man is cast out of paradise, i.e. he is deprived of the direct sight of the divine world. The purely spiritual being that man once was descends into the sensual world and takes on physical-bodily form. Because man now becomes a materially corporeal being, he loses his original immortality and takes death into his corporeal nature. At the same time, the originally single-sex being becomes a two-sex being - the separation of the sexes is a direct consequence of the Luciferic impact. As a result, man is no longer the pure unadulterated image of the divine being as which he was originally predisposed, but only a one-sided distorted image of the spiritual creative powers. Mankind is gradually divided into races, tribes and peoples. And further, the prerequisite for the gradual individualisation of man is finally created. Humanity disintegrates into single individuals. Man thus becomes more independent; Lucifer brings him individual freedom, but also seduces him to egoism. From now on, he can distinguish between evil and good by his own strength. Lucifer brings man the capacity for moral knowledge - but also exposes him to the danger of becoming deeply entangled in moral transgressions. Both are necessary, however, for man to become a morally responsible being. Thus, Lucifer can indeed be understood as an adversary who opposes the divine creative powers, but through this resistance he simultaneously promotes development by bringing freedom and moral knowledge to man. He must therefore by no means be understood as a one-sided evil spiritual power. Man becomes evil when he surrenders unilaterally to the sensual desires aroused by Lucifer. Lucifer works well when people receive the light of wisdom and the sense for the beauty of the sensual world through him, the "light bearer". All sciences and arts are a gift of Lucifer - and so is all moral awareness based on knowledge. Without him, human culture would not exist.

Lucifer wanted to lead man into the sensual world, but it was not in his intentions to bind him at the same time so firmly to the material world as is now the case. Matter is the realm of Ahriman, and it was through him that humanity became more and more entangled in material existence. It is true that it was Lucifer's work that made it possible for Ahriman to seize man and bind him to matter, but he is thereby acting against Lucifer's interests. Ahriman and Lucifer are opponents. Lucifer wants to pull man out of the pure divine world and lead him into his own spiritual kingdom, but this is not deep in the material world, where Ahriman dwells, but it is on the border between the sensual and the supersensual world. Lucifer is therefore always anxious today to detach man from the merely material world. He does not want him to become a completely earthbound being. He is a spirit of elevation, of visions, illusions, ecstasy and intoxication, who wants to lift man away from the Earth into his fleeting immaterial sensual-supersensual realm. Ahriman, on the other hand, wants to pull us down into the purely material sub-sensible world. Only in a healthy balance between these earth-volatile Luciferic and earth-addicted Ahrimanic forces can man find his true freedom.

The Earthly Incarnation of Lucifer

According to Rudolf Steiner, Lucifer incarnated on Earth in the 3rd pre-Christian millennium.

„If we go back in the development of humanity before the Mystery of Golgotha, then we come to find in ancient times of oriental cultural development a human personality on Earth within that culture from which today's Chinese culture has developed, a human personality who was the outer human embodiment of Lucifer, who at that time really walked on Earth as a human embodiment, and who was the bearer of the human light that we find on the ground of ancient pre-Christian wisdom, with the exception of Judaism. Even in Greekism, through that which worked in art, in world-view, in statesmanship, flows through that which went out from the Lucifer incarnation millennia before the Mystery of Golgotha.“ (Lit.:GA 195, p. 38)

The Yellow Emperor, Huangdi, the legendary founder of Chinese culture, was presumably this earthly incarnation of Lucifer, although Rudolf Steiner did not explicitly refer to it by name ("There was a Chinese Lucifer incarnation in the beginning of the 3rd millennium." (Lit.:GA 193, p. 185f). He brought people tremendous wisdom and deep insights in the medical field, but could not yet give any moral impulses:

„The actual moral impulse for humanity was first prepared by Judaism, then further developed by Christianity.

And the question must arise: Where does it come from that the glorious old pagan wisdom, which for example still had an artistic and philosophical flowering of the most beautiful kind in Greece, had no moral impulse in it? If, however, we were to go further back into the third millennium of pre-Christian times, we would find that with the impulse of wisdom comes at the same time a moral impulse, and that this is absolutely so, as I have already explained here: that in the impulse of wisdom was contained at the same time that which the ancient people needed as their morals, as their ethos. But a special ethos, a special moral impulse, as it then came with Christianity, was not inherent in pagan wisdom as such. Why? Because for the millennia that immediately preceded Christianity, this pagan wisdom was inspired by a place far over in Asia, but inspired by a very strange being, the being of Lucifer, who really incarnated in Asia over there, far in the East, in the third millennium before Christ.

And to the many things we have learned about the development of mankind, it is necessary that we also add the knowledge that just as there was the incarnation of Golgotha, the incarnation of the Christ in the man Jesus of Nazareth, there was also a real incarnation of Lucifer in the third millennium before Christ in Asia. And a large part of the ancient culture was inspired by the side that can only be described as an earthly incarnation of Lucifer in a human being who lived in flesh and blood. Even Christianity, the Mystery of Golgotha, when it took place among men, was first conceived in such a way as men could grasp it through what they could get from the old Luciferic wisdom. The one-sidedness of the otherwise extraordinarily profound gnosis also stems from the fact that this Lucifer incarnation passed through the old world. The full significance of the Mystery of Golgotha cannot be properly understood unless it is known that it was preceded - not quite three thousand years - by a Lucifer incarnation.

To add to this Lucifer inspiration that which brings this Lucifer inspiration out of one-sidedness, came the Christ incarnation.“ (Lit.:GA 191, p. 197ff)

At first, even the understanding of the earthly incarnation of the Christ was prepared by the earthly embodiment of Lucifer:

„At the beginning of the third millennium, an important event took place in eastern Asia. A child from one of the noble Asiatic families of that time grew up in the surroundings of the ceremonial services of the Mysteries. Circumstances presented themselves in such a way that this child was allowed to take part in the ceremonies, probably because the leading priests of the Mysteries felt it to be an inspiration that they should allow such a child to take part. And when the person who lived in this child had reached the age of about forty, something strange happened. It turned out - and it must be said that the priests of the Mysteries foresaw the event prophetically to a certain extent - that this man, who had been allowed to grow up in one of the East Asian Mysteries, suddenly began, towards his fortieth year, to grasp through human judgement the meaning of what had previously only entered the Mysteries through revelation. He was, so to speak, the first to be allowed to make use of the organs of the human intellect, but only with reference to the Mysteries.

If we translate what the priests of the Mysteries said about this matter into our present-day language, we must say: In this man was incarnated no more, no less than Lucifer himself. - And that is an important, a significant fact, that there really was a fleshly incarnation of Lucifer in the 3rd pre-Christian millennium in the East of Asia. And from this incarnation of Lucifer in the flesh - for this personality then taught - emanated that which is actually called the pre-Christian, pagan culture, which still lived in the gnosis of the first Christian centuries. One must not simply pronounce a derogatory judgement on this Lucifer culture. For the beauty and even the philosophical insight of Greek culture, which also lives in ancient Greek philosophy, in the tragedies of Aeschylus, all this would not have been possible without this Luciferic incarnation. This Luciferic incarnation was, as I said, still powerful in the south of Europe, in the north of Africa, in the west of Asia in the first Christian centuries. And when the Mystery of Golgotha took place on Earth, it was essentially the Luciferic wisdom through which the Mystery of Golgotha could be understood. That which first prepared itself as gnosis to comprehend the Mystery of Golgotha was thoroughly fertilised by Luciferic wisdom. So that we must first of all emphasise: There was a Chinese Lucifer incarnation at the beginning of the third millennium. There was the incarnation of the Christ at the beginning of our era. And at first even the incarnation of the Christ was understood by the fact that the power of the old Lucifer incarnation was still there, which actually only disappeared for human insight, for human self-power, in the 4th century after Christ.“ (Lit.:GA 193, p. 185f)

Luciferic culture in the East

„If we ask ourselves where the Luciferic principle is still present in the development of human beings today, then we must look over to the East. In the East, in Asia and in European Russia, Lucifer rules through culture. And although, as I have explained in the cycle on the mission of the folk souls, the Russian element is called to develop the spiritual self in further evolution, there is nevertheless a danger in Russian culture of being ensnared by Lucifer. It is on the way to this. The Luciferic principle is that good spirits are left behind. In the Greek Orthodox Church there was a good spirit until the 6th, 7th century, but what is a good spirit at one time is transformed into a Luciferian spirit if it is kept beyond that time. The adherence to orthodox religion is a "being in the clutches of Lucifer". And this is much more intensely the case with the spiritual forms which develop in the Orient, which have had their justification for ages. By preserving themselves, they enter into the Luciferic element. Over there in the East we find in very many people who have incarnated there that they have to go through something in the world of the Luciferic.“ (Lit.:GA 159, p. 235f)

Christ and Lucifer

„In former times Christ was found to be a cosmic being, Lucifer an inner human being. They crossed their path. The Christ moves into the human soul, he becomes the planetary Earth spirit, he becomes more and more the mystical Christ in the human souls, he is deepened and recognised through the inner experiences. Through this the soul becomes more and more able to see the other being who has taken the opposite path, from the inner to the outer. Lucifer, from an inner human being, a purely earthly being, where he was sought in the mysteries that led into the lower realm, becomes a cosmic God. More and more he will shine forth outside in the world that we see when we look through the carpet of the sensory world. People's gaze is reversed. If one has seen Lucifer behind the veil of the inner world of the soul, if one has seen the Christ, like Zarathustra, behind the outer sensual world, then in the future one will be able to recognise the Christ more and more through immersion and internalisation in one's own being. Lucifer will be found by looking outwards into the cosmic region.

Thus we have a complete reversal of human cognitive relations in the course of human development: the Christ has become from a cosmic God to an earthly God who is the soul of the Earth in the future. Lucifer has changed from an earthly God to a cosmic God. And if man wants to ascend again in the future to the outer spiritual world, which is hidden behind the veil of the sense world, if he does not want to remain with that which is external, only grossly material, then he must penetrate through the things of the sense world into the spiritual world; he must allow himself to be carried into the light by the "light-bearer". And no abilities to penetrate will arise for man if he does not create these abilities out of the forces which flow to us from Lucifer's kingdom. Humanity would sink into materialism, would remain in the belief that everything is only an outer material world, if it did not rise to inspiration through the Luciferic principle. If the Christ principle is called to make our inner being stronger and stronger, the Luciferic principle is called to sharpen and train our faculties, which should penetrate the world to the full. Stronger and stronger for comprehending and knowing the world Lucifer will make us, stronger and stronger inwardly Christ will make us.“ (Lit.:GA 113, p. 127f)

The Salvation of Lucifer

„The salvation of Lucifer is through love, through the higher love which is free from egoism. The salvation of Ahriman happens through thinking.“ (Lit.:GA 266c, p. 167)

See also


Steiner big.jpg
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: URL:
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 - 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.