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The Easter Festival in the Evolution of the Mysteries - Rudolf SteinerThe Easter Festival

in the Evolution of the Mysteries
four lectures by Rudolf Steiner

The Easter Festival lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in Dornach in April 1924, convey the growth and development of what was originally a Mystery rite in the ancient pagan world into a new form as signified by the entry of Christ into world evolution. What is surprising is that the inner meaning of the rite and even its place in the course of the year has been altered through the gradual obscuring of ancient insight and knowledge by the growth of materialism and naturalism.

The Easter festival, as Steiner describes, was not even observed in the early Christian centuries but when it was implemented, it adopted the pattern of the pagan Adonis festival, which was originally practiced in the autumn rather than the spring. This earlier rite dramatised how in the time of decline in outer nature, a death and burial state follows, which gives rise to spiritual birth a resurrection in the spirit. At the time that the Easter festival developed however, this seasonal aspect was lost and was replaced by a festival that was analogous to the pagan spring festival of burgeoning life in nature a different dynamic and one that is somewhat opposite in its qualities.

Steiner further describes the relationship of Easter as a process of death burial resurrection, to the stages of ancient initiation; its connection with the relationships between the spiritual forces of the sun and moon, and all of the planets, in their effects on the formation of the ether body, astral body and ego; he also describes its connection to the Moon Mysteries as practised at the Temple at Ephesus; and much more that gives a deeper foundation to our understanding of the Easter Festival.

Anthroposophic Press
Rudolf Steiner Press
4 lectures, Dornach, 19-22 April 1924, GA 233a
Trans. Brian Kelly
66pp; paperback
ISBN: 0-88010-256-X (AP)
ISBN: 85440355-8 (RSP)

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The Easter Festival - Rudolf Steiner - GA233a