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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Esoteric Lessons I
GA 266

Number 46

Munich, 3-8-'09

The more the beings we see during meditation that look like sphinxes, Seraphim and Cherubim, the surer one can be that one is seeing good, sublime beings and that one is on the right path with one's meditation. The rats and mice that one eliminates through a caduceus come from a sub-physical world.

Everything that has a life of its own is enclosed in a skin. Our astral body also has a skin. A dependent, weak man has a very thin, cracked and easily breakable skin, and that's why such people often wish that they could merge with the universe. An independent, strong-willed man has a thick astral skin. But all astral skins get used up during the day, that is, they get holes, become tattered and hang limply when the man gets tired. On going to sleep we should tell ourselves reverently that we're returning to the Gods who created us. The astral body draws new forces from the Gods to form a new skin for the astral body. The reforming of this astral skin is symbolized for us by the snakes on the caduceus. We can use the Mercury staff before evening and morning meditations and also during them to ward off bad influences.

Red roses on a cross are the symbol for new life springing from death. The red roses are in the deepest sense the symbol for the holy blood of Christ. Evil powers must withdraw from anyone who places this black wood cross with its seven blooming dark red roses before his soul That's why one should let it come to life within one after every meditation. It's a symbol from which we can draw endless strength.

Let's imagine a quiet sea and then the same sea with towering waves, and that we're on a sinking ship in this wildly surging water so that death is inevitable. Anyone who can feel no fear of death but only the wonderful beauty of the unfettered elements and the grandness of creation at such a moment knows what soul peace is.

We should let such images, such thoughts, live in us in their whole richness and greatness as often as possible. Then we'll feel that fear and terror about the elements and eruptions disappear, and we'll draw strength from all hindrances that life puts in our path.