Every year the cosmic iron enters Earth atmosphere. Meteor showers happen on a yearly basis, following the rhythms of the cosmos. With them they bring iron, and the forces harnessed in it. But why is that? What’s the reason behind this charming show that makes us make wishes? And what does all this have to do with iron?
According to the Catholic lore august meteor shower are the “lacrime di San Lorenzo”—St. Lowrence’s tears. These meteors are known as the Perseids because the point from which they appear to hail lies in the constellation Perseus.
This correspondence with the myth is very interesting. And as we are going to show later on, it finds a valid explanation in the results of a spiritual-scientific investigation.
Perseus and Medusa
Everybody knows Medusa, one of the three monstrous Gorgons, human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Perseus was the hero who confronted her terrible gaze which had the power to turn men into stone.
Actually, the story of Medusa is truly tragic. It is impossible not to empathize with her. Raped by Neptune in the temple of Athena, she was then cursed by the goddess who held her responsible. She turned her into a monster, her hair became snakes and her gaze capable of petrifying men with a single glance.
She was without any doubt a victim. But however sad her history may be, we must also take into account the significance of the monstrous being she was turned into. Alas, we can’t deny that she became the living symbol of the petrifying and sclerotic forces of the serpent. And they bear a deep meaning that we can deepen, alongside the empathy we can have for her.
As we all know the snake is a powerful animal. The powers it represents are both positive and negative. On the positive side, it’s a creature of knowledge and wisdom, bringing forces of healing. On the Negative, the snake is the seducer and the deceiver which petrifies the human will through its hypnotic gaze.
Perseus won the fight against Medusa using the shield of Athena, goddess of the intellect. Through the reflection of the shield (a symbol for thinking), the forces of Medusa’s head where overcome. But what are they? They are forces of ancient wisdom, the forces of knowledge of the serpent, which for some reason turned against mankind.
According to Anthroposophy they are the forces of an atavistic form of clairvoyance. So on one hand they were forces of knowledge. But on the other they were not capable of advancing human evolution. They were becoming sclerotic and retrograde forces that needed to be abandoned to fully develop human self-awareness (Perseus).
Now a new form of consciousness, Imaginative Knowledge, can be developed from the lucid waking state we have achieved. In time, intellect must be overcome as well, but it was a necessary step for humanity to develop it. From the full state of awareness it grants us, we can now turn back to a full perception of the spiritual realities. But this time in full consciousness, not in a dream-like state as the ancient clairvoyance allowed us.
Another important image that reflects the duality between the forces of the serpent and human consciousness is the image of Archangel Michael fighting the Dragon. This image can be directly distilled so to speak from Nature, following the wheel of the year through Imaginative Knowledge.
Michael and the Dragon
According to Anthroposophy in Summer a specific process takes place in the human organism, as light and heat grow stronger and stronger. This is a sort of sulphurising process, because from a spiritual perspective human beings start shining through summer as surrounded by a yellow-bluish “sulphur” flame. This flame is particularly akin to some spiritual beings that wants to take advantage of human freedom for their purposes.
From the standpoint of the cosmos this is a majestically beautiful sight, for it is in glorious astral light that human beings shine out into the cosmos during high summer, but at the same time it gives occasion for the Ahrimanic power to draw near to man. For this power is very closely related to the sulphurising process in the human organism. We can see how, on the one hand, man shines out into the cosmos in the St. John’s light, and on the other how the dragon-like serpent-form of Ahriman winds its way among the human beings shining in the astral light and tries to ensnare and embrace them, to draw them down into the realm of half-conscious sleep and dreams.Four Seasons and the Archangels – Rudolf Steiner
This process of subtle combustion in the human organism causes what in summer comes so natural. A dream-like state where human instincts arise, gaining power over the forces of consciousness and awareness. Who hasn’t experienced it during summer?
We also need to understand that from this perspective the ahrimanic forces are not interested in awakening clairvoyance in men. That would be an old form of clairvoyance, anyway. All they want, is to control humans fooled by their own instincts.
Iron and Blood
When this process becomes unbearable—if not even dangerous—the wisdom of the cosmos gives human beings the antidote. The balancing impulse to counter the forces of sulphur rising from the ground is the cosmic iron.
And when in high summer, from a particular constellation, meteors fall in great showers of cosmic iron, then this cosmic iron, which carries an enormously powerful healing force, is the weapon which the gods bring to bear against Ahriman, as dragon-like he tries to coil round the shining forms of men.
The force which falls on the earth in the meteoric iron is indeed a cosmic force whereby the higher gods endeavour to gain a victory over the Ahrimanic powers, when autumn comes on. And this majestic display in cosmic space, when the August meteor showers stream down into the human shining in the astral light, has its counterpart — so gentle and apparently so small — in a change that occurs in the human blood.
This human blood, which is in truth not such a material thing as present-day science imagines, but is permeated throughout by impulses from soul and spirit, is rayed through by the force which is carried as iron into the blood and wages war there on anxiety, fear and hate.
The processes which are set going in every blood-corpuscle when the force of iron shoots into it are the same, on a minute human scale, as those which take place when meteors fall in a shining stream through the air. This permeation of human blood by the anxiety-dispelling force of iron is a meteoric activity. The effect of the raying in of the iron is to drive fear and anxiety out of the blood.Four Seasons and the Archangels – Rudolf Steiner
From this perspective we can contemplate the amazing show of the meteor showers. We can look at them knowing that the forces of the cosmos are at work to help us. Fear and anxiety are two blocking forces that especially this year have been ensnaring us all. So this makes the meteor shower event even more important and worthy of contemplation.
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I consider myself a free researcher in western spiritual disciplines, in particular Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy and the Neoplatonic Hermetic tradition. I have a three-year training in Astrology at the CIDA delegation of Trieste, the Italian Center for Astrological Disciplines. I graduated in Computer Engineering from the University of Trieste.