Since 7 is the dynamic expression of the spirit in time (just as 12 is in space), man's spiritual evolution is divided into 7 intervals of time, within which as many seven-year intervals follow one another. This is the anthroposophical nomenclature, but it can be easily traced back to other esoteric traditions. We will describe here the 7 Eras (or Radical races) and the following 7 Epochs of Culture.
Each cultural epoch lasts 2,160 years: such is one of the 12 time intervals of the Platonic Year which lasts 2160 x 12 = 25,920 years. Each cultural epoch is therefore marked by a different sign of the zodiac. At the succession of one cultural epoch in the next, the date of the vernal point moves into the previous zodiac sign, following a counterclockwise direction. This is due to the precession of the equinoxes which causes the vernal point to shift back on the zodiac. It is marked by the meeting between the celestial equator and the ecliptic (the band of the zodiac), and is the point where the Sun passes in the spring equinox rising on the ecliptic.
I will therefore deal with the 172nd Condition of Form, while I will deal with the cosmic evolution preceding this condition of form in another post (The Seven Metamorphoses of the Earth). The 172nd Form Condition consists in the first precipitation of forms in the etheric-physical world since the previous end of the astral form condition (171st).
Here, then, is the subdivision of the 172nd Condition of Fitness according to consecutive seven-year periods:
From bottom to top: 7 Metamorphosis of the Earth or Cosmic Days (manvatara); 7×7 = 49 Conditions of Life; 7x7x7 = 343 Conditions of Form; 7x7x7 = 2401 Ere or Radical Breeds; 7x7x7x7 = 16807 Epochs of Culture.
1. Polar Era: where the Sun, Moon and Earth form one celestial body.
2. Hyperboreal Era: in which the Sun separates from the Earth-Moon.
3. Lemuric Era: in which the Moon separates from the Earth and at the end of the era, the destruction of Lemuria occurs through fire.
4. Atlantis Era, which is divided into a succession of other seven cultural eras:
1. Romohals: Age of Aquarius (22,347-20,187).
2. Tlavatli: Age of Capricorn (20,187-18,027).
3. Toltec: Age of Sagittarius (18,027-15,867)
4. Turans: Age of Scorpio (15,867-13,707)
5. Proto-Semites: Age of Libra (13,707-11,547)
6. Accadi: Age of the Virgin (11,547-9,387)
7. Proto-Mongoli: Age of the Lion (9,307-7,227), at the end of which the Universal Flood, or the destruction of Atlantis through water, takes place.
5. Fifth Post-Atlantic Era (present), which is divided into seven cultural eras:
1. Paleo-Indian Era: Age of Cancer (7,227-5,067).
2. Paleo-Persian Era: Age of Gemini (5,067-2,907)
3. Egypt-Chaldaic Era: Age of Taurus (2,907-747)
4. Greek-Roman epoch: Age of Aries (747 B.C-1413 A.D.), at his half there is the incarnation of Christ and three years later, the Mystery of Golgotha.
5. Anglo-Germanic Era: Age of Pisces (present, 1413-3573)
6. Russian-Slavic Era: Age of Aquarius (3573-5733)
7. American Era: Age of Capricorn (5733-7893), will end with the "War of All against All".
6. Sixth Post-Atlantic Era: Apocalyptic era of the 7 Seals, in which we witness the end of karma, and therefore the conclusion of the physical incarnation and the Moon will return within the Earth.
7. Seventh Post-Atlantic Era: Apocalyptic epoch of the 7 Trumpets.
By virtue of the Law of Cosmic Recapitulation, each stage in the process of evolution recapitulates the successive stages before adding a new one. Thus, each first subdivision of the septenary will be a recapitulation of the first planetary metamorphosis, but on different levels. In the first half (the first three metamorphoses) there is a recapitulation of the spirit toward descending stages in matter. In the middle of the central metamorphosis (the fourth) there is a reversal of this descending evolution into matter which becomes ascending evolution in the spirit (the last three metamorphoses), but in a conscious form.
This is because in the middle of the fourth metamorphosis the I of the Earth, the Christ, enters into earthly evolution. Half of the fourth metamorphosis thus acts as a mirror of cosmic evolution so that: the first metamorphosis (Ancient Saturn) is reflected in conscious form in the seventh (Future Volcano) i.e. 1=7; the second metamorphosis (Ancient Sun) is reflected in conscious form in the sixth (Future Venus) i.e. 2=6 and finally the third metamorphosis (Ancient Moon) is reflected in conscious form in the fifth (Future Jupiter) i.e. 3=5
Each day of Creation recounted in Genesis therefore contains much more than a literal interpretation of the Bible would like. Those very profound words contain a wisdom that is lost in past eras of Earth and man, a long and fascinating history that Rudolf Steiner's science of the spirit, anthroposophy, is able to explain to humanity today. Thanks to his very high clairvoyance skills, Steiner was able to read the events of the history of Creation contained in Genesis through the Chronicle of the Akasha, also known as the Memory of Nature: the Earth, as a living organism, possesses its own memory, inscribed in the world immediately superior to the Physical World, the Etheric World. Just as human memory is situated in the etheric body of man, so the memory of the Earth is situated in its Etheric World. And it is precisely within this chronicle of the world that all the facts of history are recorded from the spiritual point of view. Thus, the clairvoyant gaze, which transcends space-time, can perceive them as continually occurring in the eternal present.
The whole of the Seven Elohim, or eyes of God, forms the seal of the Mystical Lamb.
A note, before beginning with a scientific-spiritual explanation of the Bible: the word "God" is considered inadequate to explain the complex process of Creation described in Genesis. Therefore, the original Hebrew word "Elohim" is preferred: this word is the plural of "Eloah" but is used in a singular sense. When the church lost the connection with the source of the spiritual worlds, it changed the name of Elohim to God, denying the reality of these creative entities. Steiner explains that the Elohim (or Exusiai or Powers), are the Spirits of Form, as well as the Seven Planetary Spirits (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon) who are in charge of human evolution during the fourth terrestrial metamorphosis. From the sacrifice of their lower spiritual limb will arise the I of man. Although they are seven, they act in Genesis in unison, creating the Earth and man up to their present condition.
The creation of the Elohim takes place in a sequence of six days. Each of the six days of Creation is clearly not a 24-hour day, but a spiritual entity. In Latin the word "dies" for the day, the part of the day in which light reigns, comes from the same root of "deus" for the deity: the deity is therefore first of all light. In Genesis the entities that correspond to the days are the Eons of which Gnosticism speaks, the emanations of God in the course of time, and in particular those related to the creation of the Earth and man are the Spirits of Time, also known as Archai or Principalities. In the light of the divinity, darkness is contrasted, with which each biblical day concludes with the formula:
And it was evening and it was morning.
Each day of creation (small manvatara) is followed by a small night of creation (small pralaya), where what has been done before is partially dissolved in chaos by the obstructive entities of light. Thus a biblical day is a cosmic period in which two opposing spiritual entities operate, one of light and one of darkness. During the day the regular Archai operate, while during the night the Archai remain behind, balancing the forces of the creative work of the Elohim.
Before the first day of Creation: Polar Era
One can consider the Polar Era as a recapitulation of Ancient Saturn at a higher evolutionary level. It can be considered the mineral stage of human existence on Earth. The Sun, the Moon and the Earth form a single sphere of vital ether that extends to the orbit of the present planet Saturn. There was still no light. From a single initial sphere, mankind differentiated into small spheres of vital ether, which together made up this enormous sphere of the Earth. The state of consciousness is that of trance. Most of life is concentrated at what will be the North Pole of the Earth. In human embryogenesis this stage is recapitulated when the egg cell is fertilized, thus forming the unicellular embryo, the zygote. The biblical reference to this first stage can be read in Genesis 1:1-2 where it is said:
In the beginning Elohim created Heaven and Earth, and the Earth was a desert and vacuous thing, and darkness was over the face of the Abyss, and the Spirit of Elohim moved over the face of the waters.