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The Thrones (Greekθρόνοι thrónoi; Latin throni), also called Spirits of Will by Rudolf Steiner, belong together with the Cherubim and Seraphim to the first hierarchy, whose physical expression is the Zodiac. Like all entities of the first hierarchy, they have the "immediate sight of the Godhead" and do not act out of themselves, but are the executors of the divine will. Their dominion is the sphere of Saturn.

By the Hebrews they are called Galgalim (Hebrewגלגלים "wheels", from גַּלְגַּל}} Galgal "wheel") or also Aralim[1] (Hebrewערלים "warriors, heroes, brave ones"). Occasionally they are also equated with the Ophanim (Hebrewאוֹפַנִּים "wheels"), the wheels of the Merkabah, the Throne Chariot of God.

„The name of the highest and most exalted Thrones signifies that they are unclouded by any earthly lowliness, that they strive supramundanely upwards and are steadfastly moved away from every lowest rank, that they are placed around the truly highest with all their fullness without wavering and secure, that they enjoy the contemplation of God in all freedom from sensual, material disturbances, that they are God-bearers and reverently opened to the reception of the divine illuminations.“

Dionysius Areopagita: Celestial Hierarchy, 7th Chapter[2]

The lowest substance of which the Thrones consist is will.

„We then perceive entities which we cannot characterise otherwise than by saying: they do not consist of flesh and blood, nor of light or air, but they consist of that which we can only perceive in ourselves when we become conscious that we have a will. They consist, in respect of their lowest substance, only of will.“ (Lit.:GA 136, p. 79)

In which the Spirits of Will sacrificed their will-substance as heat, the Old Saturn, with which the evolution of our planetary system began, could come into being. They thus supplied the basic mineral substance for further development, which at first, however, only manifested itself as mineral warmth and at the same time formed the substantial basis for the physical body of man. On the Old Sun they condensed this basic substance to the air element, on the Old Moon to the water element and on the Earth to the solid earth element. The name "Thrones" derives precisely from this, because with the solid they built the thrones on which all earthly being can be based.

The group souls of the minerals are their descendants.


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. Apart from the Thrones, in the Christian context the Aralim are also referred to the Kyriotetes, the Spirits of Wisdom.
  2. ibid p. 33