5. THE ANCIENT ELEMENTS
The ancient wisdom teaches that the four elements represent conditions or states of matter. Earth meant everything in a solid state. Water meant everything in a fluid state. Air meant everything in a gaseous state. These conditions are recognized by modern science. Fire, however, is not recognized by modern science as a condition of matter.
In any chemistry textbook, the equations of chemical transformations never include the element of heat or fire. Fire is only relative degrees of atomic motion.
The essential quality of fire is ubiquitous. It permeates earth and warms it. It permeates water and air and warms it. It is the actual cause of the chemical transformation from solid to liquid to gas and back again. It is the background or ether for molecular change in the same way light is the ether for making objects visible.
Fire is a trinity of flame, light and smoke and a bridge between the physical and spiritual (meta-physical) worlds. From the burning flame, light and smoke is produced. The light ascends to the spiritual world. The smoke descends to the material world.
The ancient wisdom teaches that smoke creates the material, physical world. In the opaque turbidity of smoke reside elemental spirits or beings. Smoke is already in the chemical state of air or gas, thus the act of flame creates the first state of matter. Air is condensed or densified warmth from the original condition of the flame. As the air condenses, it becomes a liquid and as the liquid condenses, it becomes solid matter. In this way there is an evolution of the states of matter from smoke to air, to gas to solid matter. This also tells us something about the consecutive order of evolution. Air existed before liquid and liquid existed before earth. This order, long recognized as an elementary occult exercise, is obvious is our planetary system. The sun is fire, the atmosphere is air, the oceans are water and the continents are solid matter.
The key to the evolution of the states of matter is the smoke in which elemental beings of fire on salamanders are trapped. This process is the foundation for the occult law of the descent of spirit into matter and the ascent of matter into spirit, in seven stages. At each stage of densification, an elemental being is trapped. In the element of air is trapped the elementals called sylphs. In the element of water is trapped the elementals called undines and in the element of earth is trapped the elementals called gnomes. The higher spiritual hierarchies send down these elementals that live in fire and through the transformation of smoke, trap them in air, water and earth, thereby creating our three states of matter on the descending curve.
On the ascending curve of matter into spirit, the opposite occurs. As earth is transformed by fire into the liquid state, the trapped elementals are released. Likewise, as water is transformed by fire into air, elementals are released. The elementals that are trapped on the descending curve are released on the ascending curve. The transformation of day and night by elementals is a microcosmic event corresponding to this macrocosmic event.
The original teaching of elementals come from the Holy Rishis of ancient India and is preserved in the sacred texts of the Vedas and Bhagavad-Gita. For the Hindus, the king of the gnomes is called Kshiti; the king of the Undines is Varuna; the king of the sylphs is Vayu and the king of fire is Agni.
In the ancient Persian epoch, these teachings were recorded in the sacred text of the Zend-Avesta and preserved in the cult of Mithras, esoterically the constellation of Taurus. The founder of this cultural epoch, Zarathustra, is commonly referred to as the fire magician. Zarathustra is said to have been the son of Vesta,(the wife of Noah) and Oromasis, the king of the fire salamanders. For this reason an eternal flame is kept burning in the temples of the Magi.
In the ancient Chaldean epoch, the four element are grouped in triads through the zodiac. To fire belongs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius; to air belongs Gemini, Libra and Aquarius; to water belongs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces; to earth belongs Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.
In the Chaldean-Hebrew Quabbalah preserved as ceremonial magic to this day, we find the names of the four elements and their dominions.
Each element also has its ruling archangel and sephiroth in the Tree of Life. In addition, each element works through the four fixed signs of the zodiac: air-man-Aquarius; fire-lion-Leo; water-eagle-Scorpio and earth-bull-Taurus.
Ultimately, knowledge of the elementaries living in the four elements led to selfish ceremonial magic and Theurgyvas
personified in Iamblichus. He writes, "the gods, the angels and the daimons as well as the souls, may be summoned
through evocation and prayer. But when, during the theurgic operations, a mistake is made, beware! Do not imagine
that you are communicating with beneficent divinities, who have answered your Ernest prayer, no, for they are bad
daimons, only under the guise of good ones! For the elementaries often clothe themselves with the similitude of
the good, and assume a rank very much superior to that they really occupy. Their boasting betrays them."
Obviously, theurgy, is the denigration of the ancient mystery knowledge similar to what Steiner calls the betrayal of the Vulcan mysteries in Atlantean times. Fortunately, at the beginning of the Greek-Roman fourth cultural epoch, Plato clothed the ancient mystery knowledge in symbols of rational thought.
At the age of fourth-nine, Plato was initiated on the alter of the Bembine tablet of Isis in the great pyramid of Cheops. After death on the wooden tao cross, three days buried in the granite sarcophagus, he was raised to the glory of Osiris in the rising sun. Is it strange he would say that fire is a pyramid?
Plato records the ancient wisdom is his TIMAEUS. First, he recognizes the serial order of the descent of spirit into matter. "Let us now therefore distribute the four sorts of things which we have generated into fire, earth, water and air... To fire, the most easily movable form; the second according to the generation to air; that which is third to water...and the most immovable to earth."
Second, he recognized that great occult law of densification, "nature abhors a vacuum". The descending curve is contraction, the ascending curve is expansion. The tendency towards condensation thrusts smaller particles into the interstices of the larger, the lesser divide the greater and the greater unite the lesser. Changes in size cause changes in space and this inequality affords a perpetual motion, both at the present and at all time in the future.
"The circulation then of the universe, since it comprehends the different sorts of things in its circumference,
being of a circular form, and naturally desiring to pass into union with itself, compresses all things within its
spacious receptacle, and does not suffer a void place anywhere to subsist. On this account, fire in the most eminent
degree penetrates through all things."
Third, he recognized the proportional structure of matter, fire to air, as air is to water as water is to earth. For example, "two bodies of fire coalesce into one form of air". Or, "when air becomes vanquished and separated into parts, then from two wholes and a half one form of water is produced". Represented geometrically, one air particle is equal to twenty equilateral triangles. This may separate into two particles of air (eight equilateral triangles each) and one particle of fire (four equilateral triangles); thus 20 = 8 + 8 + 4 equilateral triangles. The constancy of these proportions corresponds to the fixed proportion by weight discovered by John Dalton as the basis of modern chemistry.
Lastly, he recognized the corpuscular structure of matter. To each of the elements he assigned a geometrical shape, the common denominator of each being a scalene triangle. To the element of fire he designated "the solid form of the pyramid is the element and seed of fire". For Plato, the four states of matter are regular stereometrical forms, inherently divisible as are our modern atoms of Bohr and Rutherford. As the polyhedra are split, their equilateral and scalene triangles disperse into spirit, energy and potentiality. As the triangles re-combine, the form of matter returns to actuality in regular, fixed patterns.
Alfred North Whitehead remarked, "the Timaeus of Plato and the Scholium of Newton are the two statements of cosmological theory which have had the chief influence on Western thought. The Timaeus...conveys profound truth...Newton would have been surprised at the modern quantum theory and at the dissolution of quanta into vibrations; Plato would have expected it."
GEOMETRY That R. Buckmister Fuller would recognize the pyramid or tetrahedron as the corpuscle of fire goes without saying. In SYNERGETICS I he discusses the chemical bonding of the tetrahedron and the states of matter as follows.
The single bonded tetrahedra system is similar to a pin joint. All tetrahedra are joined to each other by only one vertex and as a result, each corpuscle can rotate in any direction around the single vertex. This corresponds to the compressible and loan distributing behavior of gases.
The double bond tetrahedra system is like a hinge joint. Two vertexes of each tetrahedra are joined along a single axis, an edge length. Each corpuscle can rotate perpendicularly about an axis. This demonstrates the load distributing but non-compressible behavior of liquids.
The triple bond tetrahedra system is similar to a fixed joint. It occurs when three vertexes of each tetrahedra come together on a face. This close packing, triple-bonded, fixed end arrangement corresponds to the formational and continuing behavior of crystalline molecular compounds, or solid earth.
In addition, there as a fourth bond that gives the solid-earth element two classes, the first being the crystalline class and the second being the diamond-metal class. The four or quadruple bond occurs when all four vertexes of the tetrahedra are congruent. This is maximum densification of the descending arc and occurs for example, when soft triple-bonded carbon convents into the hard closest-packing quadrivalence of diamond.
In metals we also see this quadrivalence, but not in the vertexes, but in congruent centers of gravity. X-ray diffraction studies by Linus Pauling showed all metals to be tetrahedronally close packed interlinking the gravitational centers of the compounded atoms. The bonds are formed mid-edge and mid-face and demonstrate the superior strength and hardness of metals.
In conclusion, we see the geometrical array of the primary elements in tetrahedronal bonding arrangements as follows:
|AIR||single bond||pin joint||vertex|
|WATER||double bond||hinge joint||edge|
See tetrahedrondal bonding chart
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.
The spirits that live in the ancient elements are bound to a sub-physical earth evolution. The physical earth evolution in this Fourth globe of this fourth round is monadic progression from mineral, plant, animal and man. In the supra-physical or astral evolution is spiritual progression continuing from the three previous planetary evolutions of Old Saturn, Old Sun and Old Moon, through the angels, archangels and archai, etc. On the chain of life below the physical earth evolution and the spiritual astral evolution lie the three elementary conditions.
Steiner says that the three elementary conditions are formed from the detached astral substance of the group
souls of animals. Each animal species is nourished by a group soul existing on the astral plane. When an individual
animals dies, the group soul or group ego remains alive, and replenishes the species with a new individual member,
similar to loosing a hair and then a new hair grows in its place. When an animal species becomes extinct, there
is no death. Death only occurs for humans between the Lemurian and sixth epoch. The extinct group soul metamorphoses
into a higher spiritual being, such as when an archangel ascends into archai.
A situation does occur when a whole series of animals draw too much out of the group soul. In the normal situation, the part that remains over becomes detached from the group soul and leads as separate isolated life as an elementary. Thus, from animals who live in the air, arise sylphs. From animals who live in the water, arise undines and from animals who live on earth, arise gnomes. In a particular situation where the animals have carried their development (such as the ape) too far, have developed an ego or fourth principle similar to that of a human, they cannot return to the group soul and live an elemental existence as salamanders.
These elementary beings actually enter the human physical body and help repair and maintain it. In the food we eat and the air we breathe, enter the elementals which transform foodstuffs through digestion into the three bodily humors of chyle (intestinal fluid), lymph and blood. In a very direct sense, these three body humors impregnated with elementals control the human organism. The glandular system is an expression of the etheric body, the nervous system is an expression of the astral body and the ego finds its expression in the blood. Likewise, the circulation of the intestinal food fluids are connected to the etheric body, the lymph fluid is connected to the astral body and the blue carbon rich blood is transformed into red blood by fire elementals when combined with oxygen in the lungs.
This intimate relationship between our physical, etheric, astral and ego bodies being sustained and nourished by the elementals arriving in our food stuffs has both a positive and negative aspect. It is good in the sense that a nervous system cannot function without astral beings active in it nor can a blood system circulate without ego-beings also active in it. At night, these beings cooperate to restore, rebuild and replenish the strength of our various bodies that has been spent during the day.
However, to the extent that the ego does NOT control the life processes, the elementals control the life processes for us. Human evolution is the development of the higher trinity of Manas, Buddhi and Atma, and this occurs as the ego gains control and mastery over the lower quaternary of physical body, etheric body and astral body. That portion of the astral body transformed by the ego is called Manas, that portion of the etheric body transformed by the ego is called Buddhi and that portion of the physical body transformed by the ego is called Atma. The portion of the lower quaternary under the control of the ego is forever ours, increasing through each incarnation. However, that portion that is untransformed is forever theirs, and in this sense the elementals actually control life processes of our lower quaternary.
THE LAMB IN ARIES.
We know that these elemental beings enter into man during his entire life and remain there imprisoned. The issue is whether or not they can be released at death.
In SPIRITUAL HIERARCHIES, Steiner says, "When a person goes through the gate of death, there is a distinction between these elemental begins who merely entered into him and have not been led back to the higher elements, and those who, through man's activity, have been guided back to their former condition. Those who have not been transformed have gained nothing by wandering from the outer world into man; others are able to return to their former condition after man's death. During life on earth man builds a cross-road for elementals. When man has gone through life in the spiritual worlds and returns in a subsequent incarnation through the gate of birth, all elemental beings whom he did not release, accompany him into physical existence. Those whom he releases do not accompany him any longer; they return to their original condition."
These interplay of the elementals during earth evolution takes place in the four cosmic arenas of man, earth, moon and sun. In the sphere of man, there is the bewitchment of Lucifer and Ahriman (discussed supra). In the sphere of the earth, elementals live in the processes that transform day and night. A person who is "creative, active, diligent and productive" contributes to day time elementals in their ascending phase. However, a person who is lazy and unproductive does not transform those elementals of the night into productive forces of the day light.
Similarly, there are good and bad elementals that dwell in the waxing and waning of the moon sphere. A person's mood, whether content and cheerful or angry and depressed, determines the release or entrapment of these spirits.
Lastly, there are the elements that live in and transform the summer and winter seasons within the sun sphere over the course of the year. Certain elementals become trapped during the winter and only through human devotion and spiritual understanding, are they released at death.
Thus, in addition to the elementals that become trapped inside man arising from the consumption of foodstuffs, there also are elementals that become trapped inside man arising from the planetary evolution of earth, moon and sun. It is important to distinguish the twofold effect upon personal and planetary evolution.
First, as concerns personal evolution, each individual human carries the karma of these elementals within themselves. Those elementals that are transformed and released are themselves guided to a higher stage of being and can participate in planetary evolution in the earth, moon and sun spheres. However, those that remain trapped are released at death but return to ourselves during the next incarnation.
Second, as concerns planetary evolution, humanity is that fulcrum through which the elementals of nature must pass on the ascending curve of matter into spirit. The Law of Seven teaches that at every level in the spiritual hierarchies, from the Seraphim down to the elementals, there are ascending and descending forces. In the earth sphere there are the ascending forces of daylight and descending forces of nighttime. In the moon sphere, there are ascending forces in the waxing of the moon and descending forces in the waning of the moon. In the sun sphere, there are ascending forces in the summer season and descending forces in the winter season. For each sphere of planetary evolution, there are elementals trapped in the descending forces that need to be liberated and released into the ascending forces. In each sphere, mankind is the crucible in which this transformation either occurs or does not occur.
Ultimately, the heavenly ladder of these lines of forces converge upon the zodiac. This is the cosmic secret expressed in Ezekiel's wheel, first made exoteric by Hargrave Jennings in the ROSICRUCIANS and later by, Madame H.P. Blavatsky in ISIS UNVEILED.
However, it was Steiner in his lecture series entitled, THE INFLUENCE OF SPIRITUAL BEING UPON MAN, (1908) who explains the mystery.
Descending forces come from the five constellations of Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Ascending forces come through Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo and Libra. "The forces which are in the descending phase of evolution have first to pass through man and within him to attain the stage at which they too can become ascending forces."
The purpose of this earth evolution is to develop the fourth principle or ego. To the extent that mankind transforms the descending forces through his ego into ascending forces, the group ego of humanity participates in planetary evolution through the Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan Manvantaras. If mankind accomplishes its task, during the Vulcan Manvantara, our earth will evolve into a sun and our sun will evolve into a member of the Zodiac, whith Christ as our leader.
Christ as a Spirit of Wisdom is a seven principled being, whose lowest member extends down to Libra and whose highest member extends upwards to Aries. In the Table of forces (supra) the lowest member for man is in Pisces and his highest member, Atma, extends upwards to Virgo. It is through the ego that the higher principles develop, so as man evolves up towards Atma in Libra, so does the Christ Being look with his microcosmic ego upwards to the constellation of Aries. Hence, the occult designation of the Mystical Lamb. As described in THE GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE, Christ is the center of the lodge of twelve Budhisattvas directing earth evolution. This is an earthly PREFIGURATION of the cosmic arrangement of Christ being spread into the Zodiac.
As can be seen in the drawing from an early Christian mosiac, Christ is also referred to as the sacrifical lamb, seen here with a sword penetrating the body of a lamb (esoterically Aries). The sacrifice of Christ is that he held back or remained behind in his own macrocosmic evolution twice, once during the Old Sun Manvantara and again during the Old Moon Manvantara. Christ developed his ego or fourth principle outside earth evolution and for this reason He was not directly connected with earth evolution, as are the Spirits of Form of the sun who are directly connected with earth evolution. Christ sacrificed his macrocosmic ego so that mankind could develop its microcosmic ego during the earth evolution. Because He remained behind, the greater sacrifice was that He did not take the opportunity to develop his fifth, sixth and seventh principles. Because He united with earth evolution, mankind will evolve with Him during the Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan Manvantaras.
THE LAMB IN THE SECOND SEAL
In our early Christian mosiac , we see the lamb in the center surrounded by the four
beasts of the Apocalypse. Being an archetypal symbol, it relates on many levels, from correspondances with the
ancient four elements to the cardinal signs of the zodiac. What is this symbolism of the sacrifical lamb as the
second seal used by St. John?
Dr Steiner in his APOCALYPSE OF ST. JOHN (1908)explains that mankind did not always have a individual soul. During the first four sub-races of the fourth Atlantean root race, mankind shared a common group soul, similar to the way plants and animals share a common group soul for each species. Technically, these group souls are offspring of the second angelic hierarchy. These group souls are in fact a common group EGO (as fifth microcosmic principle) that live on the astral plane.
In the kingdoms of nature, for minerals, plants and animals, the group ego has not descended into the physical plane. For mankind, the descent of the macrocosmic ego occured during the fifth sub-race during the epoch of Libra, the scales. As shown on the previous plate of Ezekiel's Wheel (esoteric), Libra is the midpoint of the ascending and descending forces of the zodiac. Prior to this time, up thru Virgo, the forces were not balanced, the descending forces out weighing the ascending forces. With the entry of the cosmic ego into individual men during the Libra epoch, the ego can henceforth participate in the forces of the zodiac. Now, the scales have tipped and there are seven ascending forces and only five descending forces. This is the exact meaning of what was said earlier about the descending forces in evolution must first pass thru mankind.
Prior to the descent of the cosmic ego into the microcosmic individual ego, there had to be an evolutionary development in successive stages on the physical plane. Each of the four beasts represent a sub-race of Atlanteans:
|1. Tmoahl race||bull cult|
|2. Tlvatli race||lion cult|
|3. Toltec race||eagle cult|
|4. Turanian race||man cult|
The BULL represents the perfect animal of digestion as reflected in the abdomen of the human. He converts earthly
forces into spiritual forces and when he dies, his forces return to the earth, to renew the earth.
The LION represents the perfect animal of the breast as reflected in the thorax of the human. Here there is an equilibrium between breathing and blood circulation. Digestion is relatively quick, giving a balance between breathing and the heartbeat. Notice the smile on the lion or cat after dinner.
The EAGLE represents the perfect animal of the head as reflected in the head of man. It lives so much on breathing, that the other processes of digestion and circulation are almost non-existant.
All these beasts take earth forces and transform them into spiritual forces. The animals represent the three fold human organism of head-chest-abdomen. Together, in unity, they represent the fourth beast, the perfect man. In man, the cow-bull is the earth animal and evolutionary perfection of digestion in the abdomen. It belongs to the sphere of moon-mercury-venus.
The lion is the evolutionary perfection of breathing and circulation and is represented in the sun sphere. The
eagle is the evolutionary perfection of head forces and is represented in the sphere of mars-jupiter-saturn. Thus,
the three fold human organism is represented in the three beasts and in the three planetary spheres. Also, these
three spheres are represented in humanity as a whole, with the East and Orient as the cow-bull; Central Europe
as the lion and Western Europe and America as the eagle.
Now, each of these four beasts has a corresponding group soul that guided these four evolutionary stages. In the APOCALYPSE of St. John, each beast was a symbol of each group soul. In the fifth sub-race, during the time of the sun's precessional cycle in Libra, the seed of the individual ego was laid and these typical etheric forms disappeared.
The lamb in our mosiac is a symbol of the fifth group soul which will exist throughout the entire manvantara. As a whole, it represents the higher trinity in man of Manas-Buddhi-Atma. In our old Pythagorean symbolism of the lower quaternary, as a square of the lower four principles: physical, etheric, astral and ego; the lamb represents the higher triangle. This is an eternal symbol because it represents the higher triangle as MACROCOSMIC PRINCIPLES. The cosmic ego that descended during the Libra epoch was in fact the macrocosmic ego of the Christ being. HE too has only evolved his fourth principle, his ego, and the grand purpose of the Divine Plan of this earth manvantara is for humanity as a whole to evolve its fourth ego principle. Because of HIS sacrifice, Christ will share in our future evolution during the next three manvantaras.
During the Jupiter manvantara, on the fourth globe of the fourth round, He will again come to earth and give mankind his manas principle which HE is now evolving. Likewise, during the Venus manvantara, on the fourth globe of the fourth round, He will again come to earth to give us his Buddhi principle. Because Christ has united with earth evolution, as He evolves His fifth, sixth and seventh principles on a macrocosmic scale (our higher group souls) He will successively give these to all mankind as microcosmic principles, descending from the ether as the cosmic ego did during acient Atlantis.
Granted, one might argue that certain people have evolved their higher principles to a certain degree, and this is good. Certainly, a genius has developed his manas and a saint his buddhi principles. However, this individual microcosmic development should not be confused with the Divine Plan of each manvantara. The development of these instances only occur through the assistance of Luciferic beings of an angelic nature, which because they did not complete the evolution of their higher principles during the last Old Moon manvantara, must now develop them personally thru us as individuals. So, we may have glimpses or even long years of these higher principles because the Lunas Pitris who temporarily live within us, but the higher qualities are not yet grounded in humanity as a whole, they are not yet born in us as the ego principle is already seeded into the fetus. This is a task for future manvantaras. The group soul of the Christ being, the active intelligence of Manas, will not descend upon humanity as a whole until the Jupiter manvantara, and when it does, it will be a further gift of the Christ, a gift of His being.
THE ATLANTEAN BEAST
Further symbolism in the APOCALYPSE of St. John is reflected in the beast with 7 heads. In the ancient mysteries,
each typical animal form was represented as a HEAD. This is why Old Testament visions at the level of the first
angelic hierarchy saw one beast with four heads. The vision of Ezekiel is such an example. When animal-man passed
over to the human form in the fifth sub-race, he left behind the four animal head forms. In addition to the four
animal heads, there are three more, reflecting the 5th, 6th and 7th sub-races of the Atlantean root race. Thus,
there were in fact seven heads in the fourth root race and this is why the beast in chapter 13 of the APOCALYPSE
has seven heads. As a symbol of the fifth root race, the beast of seven heads represents the animal nature in mankind
which must be evolved and passed over in the future.
The horns of the beast with seven heads represent, in the ancient mystery wisdom, the various organs in the physical human body. Each physical organ is a condensation from the corresponding etheric spiritual organ, known as chakras. What is called a horn is the organ in the physical body which evolved from the corresponding etheric chakra as an archetype. For example, the human heart reached its perfection during the second sub-race of the so-called lion cult and the heart is called the horn of the etheric lion head. So too for the bull and eagle.
At the end of the fourth sub-race of Atlantis, mankind had four heads and four horns. After the descent of the individual ego in the fifth sub-race, these horns evolved a male-female duality and nature and became double. Thus, at the end of the seventh sub-race, at the time of the Biblical flood, the etheric body of man was represented by seven heads and ten horns, one horn each for the first four sub-races (4) and two each for the next three epochs (6), which equals 10. For our seer of Patmos looking backwards in time over the evolution of the Atlantean root race, he saw a beast with seven heads and ten horns as described in chapter 13.,
Looking forward in time over the fifth root race, our seer of Patmos had a vision of evolution with the Christ principle within mankind. The symbol of this "Christ within' is the lamb of the second seal. It is the end of the evolution of the fifth root race that St. John is describing in the APOCALYPSE as the Armageddon of humanity. For St. John, those people who have not evolved with the Christ principle within, past the animal nature expressed in the seven heads, will be cast aside in the abyss. They will retain the ancient Atlantis etheric form of the beast and will re-appear in the age of the pouring out of the vials of wrath, when the earth splits into two halves. The Christ men will appear, in the age of the seven seals (the sixth root race) in the white garments and the non-Christ men will appear as the beast with seven heads and ten horns.
TABLE OF FORCES
A final aspect of elementals that deserves consideration are those that have been trapped by the Luciferic and
From the direction of the moon towards earth and living in the earth's atmosphere are elementals manifested in the wind and weather. They are composed of the fire and air elements and have
no connection with the water and earth elements. These are the Luciferic spirits to which Steiner often refers.
From the direction of the center of the earth towards the planet surface are elementals manifested in the geological processes of plate tectonics including volcanoes, earthquakes, and so-called hot spots. They are composed of the earth and water elements and have no connection with the fire and air elements. Steiner refers to them as Ahrimanic beings.
Both of these classes of elementals work with more advanced and mature planetary beings. The Luciferic beings work with planetary forces instreaming from the moon, Venus and Mercury and work against the instreaming forces coming from Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. Likewise, the Ahrimanic forces work with the planetary forces instreaming from Saturn, Jupiter and Mars and work against the instreaming forces coming from moon, Mercury and Venus. It is the ordained task of the sun forces to keep these conflicting forces in check, for not to do so, leads to the Eighth Sphere.
The task of the elementals influenced by Altriman is to draw men down and fasten him forever to the earth. During life, they draw the instinctive nature out of man and at death, they try to chain the soul to earth. This effect can be seen in the shortened spiritual life, after death and before rebirth, while the soul travels through the spiritual hierarchies. By reducing the time the soul spends in a spiritual after life, the more this soul is drawn to earth and less likely to incarnate. The overall process is a sort of re-building of the group soul of humanity which has been reduced thru the development of the ego principle. The evolution of the ego through successive earth incarnations is necessarily a detachment from the group ego existing on the astral plane. Those two processes are inversely proportional and a war is waged in man over these competing forces. In those kingdoms that have a group soul, the mineral, plant and animal, there is no such conflict. Ultimately, Ahriman and his legions of sub-human earth- water elementals would desire to have mankind grounded to earth evolution and prevent the future Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan Manuvantara's.
The task of the elementals influenced by Lucifer is in opposition to everything Ahrimanic. The Luciferic forces are connected to the higher bodies of man and desire to make him a spiritual and moral being, however, without freedom. This concept corresponds in me to a beehive or anthill in which there is a very highly sophisticated social and moral order, but without freedom. These elementals would like to see man evolve past his physical earth-water connection to the earth and live an angelic moral life in an astral condition, without a physical body.
In conclusion, we have the Luciferic spirits composed of fire and air competing for the higher triad. We have the Ahrimanic spirits composed of earth and water competing for the lower quaternary. Finally, we have man composed of all four ancient elements. When we add the houses of the zodiac from the Chaldean calendar that relate to the triads of the elements, we get a
picture of man like this:
Thus, as the ego transforms the astral body into Manas, we have the planets Jupiter and Mercury. As the ego transforms the etheric body into Buddhi, we have the planets Mars and Venus. As the ego transforms the physical body into Atma, we have the common planet Saturn and the union of the sun and moon. The lower quaternary is grounded in the earth and water elements while the higher triad is approached by the fire and air elements. Each principle is an expression of a duality in both the planetary level and the zodiacal level. At the zodiac level, the houses represent degrees of consciousness, of which there are twelve in all, with man reaching from Pisces up to Virgo, the highest level obtainable during this evolution of seven manvantaras.