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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

The Calendar of the Soul
GA 40

Introduction

Inner life changes along with the changing seasons of nature, as the two are intimately connected. The verses commence in the spring, at the time of the vernal equinox, the full moon, and Sunday, which by definition is Easter. This is when the sun’s path, the ecliptic, viewed from earth, crosses the heavenly extension of the Earth’s equator and so starts to leave Pisces and enter Ares. Similarly, summer begins when the sun starts to leave Gemini to enter Cancer, fall begins when the sun starts to leave Virgo to enter Libra, and winter begins when the sun starts to leave Sagittarius to enter Capricorn. The verses are paired 26 weeks apart, for spring in one hemisphere is autumn in the other. These verses are mantic, from the muse, with their own rhythm, beauty, and meaning. Although Christmas and Saint John’s Day are fixed by the solstices (Christmas being 4 days off since the correction of the Julian Calendar), both Easter and Michaelmas move, as they are connected not just with the earth-sun-stars axis, but also with moon rhythms and planetary human rhythms. Everything is in flux, moving always, and so each of us will have to fit the 52 verses of the year into the rhythms of the universe, which are actually our inner rhythms also. In some years, if Easter comes early after the equinox, verses will have to be doubled up. In other years, if Easter comes later after the equinox, verses will have to be held over for another week. And as always, the dating and significance of Easter and of Michaelmas create lots of discussion. “Human beings are able to develop the consciousness soul precisely through the exertion of energy required to penetrate such riddles”. 1Rudolf Steiner in Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse, 5/23/09. The celestial equator and the ecliptic: 2Tau’olunga https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

— Translation by John Riedel MD - 6 May 2023

Week 1 Spring

When from afar the sun breaks forth
To warm the hearts and minds of men,
And joy springs to life again
To unite with shows of light,
Then drawn from self’s high hull
Thoughts emerge in ranging space
And bind together dimly
Human ways with spirit being.

Week 27Autumn

Insistence builds in my being’s depths:
A yearning fraught with meaning stirs,
That in self-observing I should find myself
The gift of summer’s sun, a seed
Alive and warm in autumn’s hold
As the force that drives my soul.

Week 2

In thrall to everything in sight
The mind forgets its sense of self;
Worlds of spirit will commune
With human progeny once again,
For as their seed lies deep within,
Just so their fruits of soul
As well must be found within.

Week 28

I can with fresh interior gaze
Feel the wealth of inner ways
And streaming thoughts filled with might
Emblazoned by my inner light
Engaged in solving riddles of life,
Fulfilling many a wish of yore,
Whose wings of hope were clipped before.

Week 3

With World-All in deep discourse,
Attention slips from selfish course,
Archtypal form of man my care,
The growing sense I am aware:
In you I am freed inside
From fetters formerly mine,
And I forge my proper course.

Week 29

To kindle the illumination of thinking
By my own strong endeavor,
Clarifying experience with meaning
From world-spirit’s mighty source,
For me is not only summer’s gift,
But autumn’s rest, and winter’s hope.

Week 4

I feel the essence of my being:
So speaks perception,
Which in sun-brightened world
Unites itself with floods of light;
It will give thinking
Warmth through clarity
And bind man and world
Fast together as one.

Week 30

By sprouting me in soul’s sunny light
As the ripe fruit of thinking,
In the certainty of self-awareness
All feelings are transformed.
With joy I can perceive
Autumn’s spirit-awakening:
Winter will wake in me
The summer of my soul.

Week 5

In the light from spirit depths
Weaving afar on fertile field
The work of gods stands revealed:
In it appears soul’s essence
Broadened to world existence
And resurrected
From selfhood’s narrow course.

Week 31

The light from spirit depths
Strives outward sun-imbued:
It becomes the willed force of life
And glows in sensory dullness,
To releases such strength,
That creative might in trials of soul
May ripen in human deeds.

Week 6

Arisen out of individuality
My self finds itself To be a world-revelation
In the interplay of time and space;
The world portrays me overall
As archetype divine,
The very image of truth.

Week 32

I feel fruiting inherent ways,
Strengthening, bestowing me on the world;
I feel my individuality growing strong,
Till clear in mind I walk my way
Within the destined weave of life.

Week 7

My self will surely fly away,
For worldly lights draw it astray.
Now step forth, ancient lineage mine,
Into your rightful place,
Power of thinking, appear in me,
For otherwise in the sensory show
It would itself be lost.

Week 33

Now I begin to feel the world,
That aside from my soul’s presence,
Manifesting only frosty empty life
And showing itself devoid of power,
That souls remaking themselves anew
Would find there only death.

Week 8

My power of mind waxes strong
In union with the work of gods,
And draws the force of thinking
Out of dull and dreamy ways.
If beings divine
With my soul will unite,
Then human thinking lost in dreams
Must humbly come to rest.

Week 34

Mystery wisdom honored of old
With newly acquired sense of self,
To feel it coming alive within:
It should pour awakening world forces
Into my life’s external work
And stamp me in the here and now.

Week 9

Forgetting personal self-concern,
World’s warmth heralding summer
Fills my heart and mind;
To lose myself within the light
The spirit-show commands me,
And strongly heralds the notion in me:
Lose yourself, yourself to find.

Week 35

Can I existence recognize,
Finding it once again
In creative acts of soul?
I feel power imparted to me,
Allowing true self to settle in
Humbly as part of world-self.

Week 10

To summery heights the Sun’s being
Radiantly raises itself;
It takes my human feelings along
Into its spacious realm.
An inner notion begins to stir,
An impression dimly heralding
What one day you will realize:
You were felt just now by a being divine.

Week 36

It speaks within my being’s depths
Toward revelation surging
Mystery-filled the word of worlds:
Imbue the purpose of your work
With the light of my spirit,
To offer up yourself through me.

Week 11

It’s up to you in these sunny hours
Wise tidings to come to know:
Surrender to the world’s beauty,
Experience the feeling that it is you:
Human-I can be set aside
To find oneself in World-I.

Week 37

To carry spirit-light in wintery-world-night
Strives in holiness my heart’s desire,
That illuminating seeds of soul
Take root in firmament around,
And God’s word resounds in sensory dark,
Clarifying all that is.

Week 12

The world’s radiant beauty
Compels me out of depths of soul
Releasing me from a life my own
To the god-like power of world-flight;
To abandon myself,
Trusting only in seeking myself
In worldly light and worldly warmth.

Week 38

I feel enchantment-freed
A spirit-child enfolded in soul;
It has within my heart in glory
Inscribed the holy word of worlds,
The hope-filled heavenly fruit,
So that joy will resound in distant worlds
Out of ways of God that are found in me.

Week 13

And when I am in sensory heights,
There flames in my soul’s depths
From spirit’s fiery worlds
The word of truth of gods:
Glean and seek in spirit-grounds
To find your spirit-related self.

Week 39

Devoted to spirit-revelation
I attain the force of thought,
World-being’s light,
Which grows in clarity to give me myself,
And in awakening releases in me
Due to thinker’s might the sense of self.

Week 14 Summer

Embedded in these sunny days
I lose my self-controlling ways,
And dreamy thoughts, seemingly,
Have numbed and drawn me far away,
Yet awakening now I soon shall know,
Profound thoughts in the sensory show.

Week 40 Winter

And when I am in spirit depths,
In my own soul’s grounds
Out of heartfelt worlds of love
Singularly empty illusions fill
With the world-word’s fiery might.

Week 15

I feel as though enchanted
In an apparent spirit-woven world:
The sensory show has dumbfounded
And enfolded my solitary self,
Thereby granting me the strength,
Powerless myself to give,
To find my “I” in its embrace.

Week 41

The soul’s creative power,
From its base within the heart,
Strives to inflame in human lives
Godlike forces, rightful acts,
To establish itself
In human love and in human work.

Week 16

Shelter spirit gifts within
My inner muse demands of me,
That ripening gifts of God,
Sprouting in grounds of soul,
Will bring as fruit the sense of self.

Week 42

In the depths of winter’s lair,
Stirs the soul and strives to bear
Impulses that are rightly there;
Into darkness take the field,
Notions filled with feeling wield,
In warmth of heart is all revealed.

Week 17

So speaks the world-word,
That I through senses’ door
May be led to grounds of soul:
Imbue your spirit-depths
With my world-breadth,
To find me one day in you.

Week 43

In the depths of wintery waste
Warming spirits truth embrace;
In worldly frost true life does start
In inner purity of the heart;
In growing strong the cold is trounced,
And mankind’s spark of soul announced.

Week 18

Can I open up the soul so wide
That it unites itself
With received world-forming-words?
I sense that I must find the strength
To worthily shape my soul,
To mold itself with spirit clothes.

Week 44

Sensory wonders newly viewed
With clarity of my soul imbued
I construe as actual spirit births,
Twining the buds of what may be
With creative power of thought in me.

Week 19

New impressions filled with mystery,
To hold them in the arms of memory
Shall be my striving’s wider aim:
This should wake in me
Strengthening inner forces
And increasingly give to me myself.

Week 45

Assured becomes the power of thought
With what the spirit’s birth has brought,
And drab allure of sense is raised
By clarity of inner gaze.
When full abundance of my mind
With world’s evolving is combined,
Must offerings of the world out there
The light of my own thinking bear.

Week 20

Just now I feel that my being,
Apart from its presence in the world,
Only in itself, must meet its end,
And building merely on inherent grounds,
Only in itself, must surely pass away.

Week 46

The world threatens to overcome
Unique perspectives I have won;
Now step forth, memory,
Illuminate from spirit depths
And strengthen my beholding,
For through strength of will alone
Can the mind maintain a sphere its own.

Week 21

I feel fermenting an unfamiliar power
Strengthening, awarding me myself,
A kernel I sense ripening
And weaving light-filled notions
In me about selfhood’s might.

Week 47

From world’s womb will to be arises,
Quickening the sensory show.
It must find my power of thinking
Equipped by means of powers divine
That strongly live in me.

Week 22

The light from world expanse,
Lingers strongly on within:
It becomes the light of the soul
Illuminating in spirit depths,
So that fruit is given birth,
Human-self from world-self,
Allowed to ripen in course of time.

Week 48

In the light from heavenly heights
In which the soul would sail with might,
Should appear, unraveling soul-riddles,
The certainty of world-thinking,
Gathering up its mighty strands,
Waking love in human hearts.

Week 23

Pursuits of pleasure fade and dim
As autumn weather ushers in;
Into offerings of light are mixed
The veil-like mists of fall.
I myself shall take the stage
In autumn’s hibernating space.
Summer’s hold upon the field
Is given over to me.

Week 49

I feel the force of world-existence:
So speaks clarity of thought,
Recalling suitable spirit growth
In gloomy world nights,
And it bends its rays of inner hope
To the world day drawing near.

Week 24

By continually refining inner self,
Soul-existence wakes itself;
A world-spirit now strides forth
Newly enlivened in self-awareness,
And forms out of soul-darkness
Self-directed willing’s fruit.

Week 50

It speaks to human “I-am” core
From mighty revelation’s door,
Releasing its intrinsic power,
The will-to-be of world-existence:
Carrying my life in you,
Out of its enchanting spells,
I attain my rightful aim.

Week 25

Now may I hold my inner reins
And radiantly spread my inner light
In the gloom of space and time.
As natural creatures drift toward sleep,
Depths of soul should awaken,
And in awakening bear a sunny glow
In the cold and wintery flow.

Week 51

Into mankind’s inner ways
Bursts the wealth of sensory rays.
The world-spirit finds itself
Mirror-imaged by human eyes,
So that it’s force out of this
Must be remade anew.

Week 26

O Nature, your motherly essence
I carry within my willful ways;
And my will’s fiery might
Tempers me in spirit trials,
Till given birth is self-esteem,
To carry myself in me.

Week 52

When from depths of soul
The spirit wends to worldly course
And beauty springs to life on earth,
Then drawn from heaven afar
The force of life moves in human flesh
And unites, with mighty effect,
Spirit ways with mankind’s core.