Archangel regencies

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The Archangel regencies comprise smaller developmental periods of about 300 - 350 years, which are led by the highest evolved Archangels. The "Zeitgeister" (Time SpiritsArchai), on the other hand, lead entire cultural epochs that last about 2160 years. Rudolf Steiner gave the following information on the duration of the archangel regencies (Lit.:GA 245, p. 171):

Oriphiel (Saturn) 200 BC - 150
Anael (Venus) 150 - 500
Zachariel (Jupiter) 500 - 850
Raphael (Mercury) 850 - 1190
Samael (Mars) 1190 - 1510
Gabriel (Moon) 1510 - 1879
Michael (Sun) November 1879 - c. 2400[1]

The mystic Trithemius of Sponheim had already recorded this sequence of archangel regencies, but assumed a fixed duration of 354 years 4 months each. He oriented himself to the synodic lunar rhythm of approx. 29.53 days. This gives the lunar year 12 * 29.53 = 354.36 days. If one takes one day for each year, as it corresponds to an old Chaldean rule, the period length is 354 years 4 months (and 12 days, if one calculates exactly). Trithemus thus calculates June 4, 1525 as the beginning of the Gabriel Age and arrives at September/October 1879 for the beginning of the new Michael Age (Lit.: Vreede, p 31). Rudolf Steiner found through his direct spiritual research that this cosmic measure is not observed quite exactly, but varies within certain limits.

„But essentially it does depend on the time spirits regulating the successive incarnations of men. Now the Time Spirits, for their part, regulate this whole course of human destiny by having, as it were, subordinates. And these are the Archangels. Such Archangels rule, as it were, in subordinate positions for a much shorter time than the Time Spirits. While the Spirits of Time reign as long as I have just mentioned, so that we can assume a spirit of time from the foundation of Rome to the sixteenth century, the spirits whom we count among the hierarchy of Archangels reign only between about three and four centuries. They alternate in such a way that about six or seven come in succession while one spirit of the age reigns. So that at the time when the Mystery of Golgotha takes place, we first have the government in the spiritual development of that archangel whom we call by the name of Oriphiel. Then comes the government of Anael, then the government of Zachariel, Raphael, Samael, Gabriel; and now, since the year 1879, we have the government of that Archangel whom we call Michael. So, when we look at the spiritual worlds, we have, as it were, the higher government of the spirits of time, and below them, successively in the order of time, the governments of Archangels. Because man cannot absorb everything that the Spirit of Time would give him, he does not take it directly from the hand of the Spirit of Time, but from the hand of the Archangel, the less higher power. Let us therefore hold fast: Directly our personal protectors belong to the hierarchy of the Angeloi. Above them are those who regulate more the people in the context of the people. And above them are the Archai or Spirits of Personality or Spirits of Time.“ (Lit.:GA 159, p. 208f)

The Rise of Michael to the Spirit of the Age

The special significance of the present Michael Age lies in the fact that Michael is ascending from the Archangelic rank to the rank of a so-called "Zeitgeist" (Spirit of the Age) and can thereby stimulate a spiritual deepening of all humanity that transcends all peoples.

„When we speak of the hierarchy of the Archangeloi, we can say that they do indeed take turns as I have said. But the highest in rank, the supreme, as it were, is the one who begins to rule in our age, is Michael. He is one of the Archangeloi, but he is in a sense the most advanced. Now there is a development, and the development embraces all beings. All beings are in an increasing evolution, and we are living in the age when Michael, the highest of the Archangeloi nature, is passing into the Archai nature. He will gradually pass into a leading position, become a leading entity, become the spirit of the time, the leading entity for all humanity.

That is the important thing, the tremendously important thing of our age, that we understand that what was not there in all previous epochs, what was not there for the whole of humanity, can now be, must become a good for the whole of humanity. What has hitherto occurred among individual peoples - spiritual deepening - can now be something for the whole mankind.“ (Lit.:GA 152, p. 60)


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.