Nature as the Handmaid of
have embarked on a topic, which came up intuitively from the
previous lecture on The Alchemical Wedding of
is related to the manifestation of life’s continuous weaving and
becoming out of death in the processes of
Life and creativity was given to us. Mankind is meant to evolve and
to create. Speaking about God, the father principle brings us back
to the old Saturn evolution. The beginning passage of the St John’s
‘In the beginning there was the WORD. And the WORD was with God,
and the WORD was a God. This was in the beginning with God. All
things were made by him and without him was not anything made that
was made. In him was life and the life was the light of the
My story, called
‘The Night-Peacock-Eyes’ with its illustrative art, is a
celebration of ‘life’s becoming out of death’ in the sense world.
It is also an attempt to bring the Phantasy of painting and one of
Nature’s cycles of metamorphosis into
world is active, serving the processes of Nature, so the salamander
being of ‘Tasha’ emerges in my story. My paintings are by not meant
to be supersensible representations, as such. The story is written
in a metre called Hexameter, which will be spoken about
The Alchemical Wedding of
Christian Rosenkreutz 1459 by Valentin Andreae for
which I have illustrated seven paintings contains a Seventh Day
chapter, which refers to the newly made ‘Order of the Golden Stone’
. It came into being through initiation process in the book. The
Order is to be ascribed only to God and his handmaid
Nature. The original language was
the Old Dutch of the early 17th century when Valentin
Andreae intuitively recorded this account.
is one to understand this turn of phrase
‘Nature, the handmaid of
God’ ? Nature, as we know it,
J. W.Goethe, the
German poet and scientist (1749-1832) believed that the
entire world is a living organism that breathes and has a
heartbeat. All visible phenomena follow a polar pulse of separation
his Structure and Formation of
Organic Nature he took the following words,
speaking about God, from the Book of
Job 9 verse 11, as a
GOES BEFORE ME AND TRANSFORMS HIMSELF BEFORE I
in relation to the wonders of Nature are indeed in the service of a
higher law. The handmaid appears to be no other than what in
mythology can be described as the creative forces of the Goddess
Natura, a metamorphosis of the ancient
Since the Mystery
of Golgatha, Christ is in the elements, therefore a metamorphosis
is still evolving. Christ and Mary the mother are now often
experienced as interconnected beings.
In the early
Middle Ages one could still see the suprasensible presence of the
Goddess Natura. The Natura teachings of Ephesus and Eleusis were
well understood by Goethe.
Greek myth, Persephone (Natura) manifests the Godly spiritual
origin and eternal strength, out of which she has emerged and is
constantly emerging. We find no stasis or permanent finished form
in Nature. Everything is constantly in
One can have
intimations of the created
existence as well as the
intrinsicessence, ( The divine
principle and The creation itself, which is always in the process
of becoming and the divine principle which sets that process into
Demeter, Persephone’s mother, (also can be seen to be metamorphosed
into an aspect of Isis Maria Sophia). She is the divine being who
represents the fertile wellsprings of chastity in the periphery
surrounding the earth sphere. But
at this point one is speaking of Natura, the daughter
Rhythm must lie at the base of the ascent and descent of the light
spheres, which also creates the change of the seasons. This is
parallel to the changing process to be understood in the
mythological representation of Persephony’s rising in the spring’s
blossoming and descending back into the depths in the
autumn. The Greeks had 24 rhythms,
which were made of various combinations of the ‘shorts’
representing levity ( the rising) and the ‘longs’ representing
gravity (the fallng). The levity represents summer, the gravity,
winter and all the 24 permutations can be experienced in a 24
Rhythms poem that I wrote.
Goethe wrote poems describing Nature’s plant and animal
metamorphoses in the dactylus metre of Hexameter, which I have also
used for my stories. This metre is an instrument of poetic
perception. Six dactylus to a measure with a beats pause in the
middle (for its proper therapeutic value).
It is used to
help cure stuttering and depression to mention only two
possibilities. The spinal fluid is pushed upward and vibrates in
the organ of the pons, bringing the circulation to the head during
recitation. The sense world becomes more focussed
Human kind lives in
harmony with the cosmos in relation to the human organism.
Hexametre proceeds in accordance with the breath and pulse
Nine lines of Hexameter
equals eighteen breaths. The pulse beat is in the ‘longs’ of the
breathe 18 times per minute, which equals 25,920
on the average 70-71 years, which equals 25,920 days. The world
breathes us in – and- out, and we are born and
Platonic year of the sun, that is at the spring equinox, appears to
go around the whole heavens, shifts around to each Zodiac
constellation, and comes back again in 25,920 years.) that makes
one platonic year. For example, the next Platonic year will be in
the constellation of Aquarius.
The moments of nature transformations can well be described in
Hexametre. Listen to this description of the Night Peacock Eyes in
Hexametre. The moment from contraction in the cocoon to the
emergence of the winged moth, is an artistic parallel – to a kind
- her ‘sarcophagus’ would
as beloved seeing
wings, the night
dance in the
so Tasha was
glad to be
last make its
the dainty new
below ‘til they
the brown chrysalid.
such as petals of
flap and to
while encouraged by
That is one moment of transformation in Nature out of seeming
death. In the rainbow’s progression one can experience this
principle of ‘steigerung’ or enhancement in atmospheric phenonema,
as well as in the cycles of plant and animal metamorphosis. Out of
the red emerges yellow and finally the blue.
Polarity as seen in the complementary colours, for example and as
male and female etc. -is a property of matter in so far as we think
of it as material; and ‘steigerung’ is
matter insofar as we think of it as
spiritual at the seed moments
when spiritual evolution can be made manifest. Steigerung is
where the next step can be made possible. This is also true in the
human organism. We are still evolving.
understand Goethe’s Theory of Colour in polarity and steigerung,
and apply it to artistic, transformations, Rudolf Steiner dedicated
much of his university research in Weimar. His work stands behind
the ‘Nine Nature Sketches for Painters’ and the ‘Motif Sketches’,
which he gave in the early 1920’s.
There are four
principles that Goethe experiences in the phenomena of Nature
competition. Lets listen now, to Goethe’s ‘Hymn to Nature’ in
which we can experience these principles poetically as deeds of
‘the Handmaid of God’:
we are by her surrounded and embraced.
to step outside her bounds,
powerless to enter more deeply in.
us into the circling of her dance
drives us with her on,
begin to tire
away from her arms.
creates ever new forms;
renewed and still as of old.
builds ever and destroys ever;
in endless children,
mother, where is she?
the unique artist…
eternal living, becoming and moving in her;
ever in transformation
s not a moment stagnation in herr.
premeditated , and considers steadfastly.
beings are all in her and she in all.
unnatural is in Nature;
clumsiest pedantry has something of her
rejoices in illusion…
children are without number.
spurts her creations out of nothing into
her most beautiful invention;
having a lot more life.
a human being in stupor
him ever toward the light.
he rebels against them;
he would work against her.
everything that she gives a blessing.
no language or speech,
creates tongues and hearts
which she feels and speaks.
clefts between all creatures,
things she would swallow up.
isolated all things,
all together again.
rewards herself and punishes herself,
and torments herself.
future she does not know.
present time is her eternity.
kind. She is wise and still.
whole and yet ever uncompleted.
she appears in a particular shape.
conceals herself in a thousand names.
always the same.
drawn me in;
lead me out again.
myself to her.
been spoken by her,
she is to blame.
Everything is her
Within this poem exist
many characteristics that Goethe perceived in Nature. Rudolf
Steiner has said that only that which exists in seed
form in Nature forces, and in the workings of
Nature and becomes ‘held back’ in a sense, can eventually evolve
into higher forces of cognition. This ‘holding back’, a seeming
‘death in the seed point’ where metamorphosis can be understood is
Death is indeed Nature’s device for having a lot more life. It is
similar to the plant’s development from bud to blossom and in the
steps of the butterfly’s metamorphosis from the caterpillar. Both
the bud and the cocoon bear a likeness to this ‘holding back’ seed
appearance only to prepare for a higher life form. Nature weaves
the dead into living, a hidden parallel to the forces of
Natura (Persephone forces of ancient
such living – unfolding – weaves a tapestry – above me
am – the one arising –
wide spread – carry me – out of death into form – out of form into
stream widens – in the restful glow of light
‘Art is Nature’s servant’ and ‘Nature is the daughter of time.’
Nature reveals her secret to the one who is able to further her
creativity through Art. The struggling artist can make a
breakthrough just at that point where the greatest trial occurs.
Death-point or catharsis is then seen as positive. That is the
attitude that brings new creation in art.
Believe, that the next colour
choice may save the day, so to speak, and you are working in
accordance with human evolution. Art may manifest the
prefigurations of future human evolution that are expressed in
natural phenonema like the cycle of the Night Peacock Eye. It is a
manifestation of the divine plan, if we can only perceive its
Artists’ inner productive forces, such as after-images, come from
organ. ( Goethe wrote that he could
inwardly perceive the metamorphosis of seed to leaf to blossom,
etc). This work of the ‘primal organ’ must be allowed to unfold
freely. Artistic perceptions must grow, expand, and contract in
order to eventually evolve objective being out of the ‘shadowy’
inward development is fostered by what can be called the divine
Sophia ( transformed Demeter forces of ancient
Out of -
this flame – a breath of fire – can florish
A seed –
which streams light – into all worlds –
unfolds free centres – living powers – in the breadths
arise in carrying – and rise up lifting
stream – of transformed shapes –
creativity – was given-
– glows –spraying sparks-
within – in the act – of coming into being-
Self-kindled – fleeting light
– brightens the cold –
exists – within – is yourself-
warmth – streams to you – in amethyst rays.
Translated by Katherine
Copyright 2011 Katherine Rudolph Exploring The Word in Colour