Astronomy and Spiritual Science: The Astronomical Letters of Elizabeth Vreede
This collection of the astronomical writings by Dr. Elisabeth Vreede is a fascinating compendium of scientific and spiritual knowledge. Between September 1927 and August 1930, Dr. Vreede wrote a monthly “letter,” available by subscription, about both modern astronomy and classical astrology in the light of spiritual science.
These letters include clear explanations of the fundamentals of astronomy and discussions on the role of astrology in the modern world. They also include inspiring presentations of a worldview that sees the stars, planets, and all physical phenomena as manifestations of spiritual beings and spiritual activities.
Foreword by Norman Davidson
YEAR ONE: Letters of September 1927 – August 1928
1 Astronomy and Anthroposophy
2 Concerning Rhythms and Constellations
3 On the Diurnal Movement of the Stars
4 The Annual Movement of the Sun
5 On the Annual Movement of the Sun and Stars
6 Concerning Our Planetary System
7 Concerning the Movements of Venus and Mercury: The Easter Festival
8 More About the Planetary World
9 Eclipses of the Sun and Moon: Whitsuntide [Pentecost]
10 More About Eclipses: The Saros Period
11 The Precession of the Equinoxes
12 More About the Precession of the Equinoxes: Nutation
YEAR TWO: Letters of September 1928 – August 1929
1 When Mercury Stood in Libra: The Writing of the Stars
2 The Nature of Astrology
3 More About Astrology in the Light of Spiritual Science
5–7 The Life Between Death and Rebirth in the Light of Astrology
8 The Horoscope
9 The Future of Astrology: The Life of Christ Viewed in Terms of Astrology
12 Comets III: Shooting Stars and Meteors
YEAR THREE: Letters of September 1929 – August 1930
1 Comets IV: Shooting Stars and Meteors—Cosmic Iron
2 The World of the Stars I: Planets and Fixed Stars
3 The World of the Stars II: The Spiritual Beings in the Stars
4 The World of the Stars III: The Human Being and the Stars
5 The World of the Stars IV: Plants and Stars
6 The World of the Stars V: Nebulae
7 The World of the Stars VI: Nebulae and Variable Stars
8 The World of the Stars VII: New Stars
9 The Copernican System
10 Copernicus, Kepler, and Their Systems: The Movement of the Apsides I
11 The Movement of the Apsides II: Glacial Epochs
12 The World Ages
Notes on the Text
A previous edition was published as Anthroposophy and Astrology.
About the Author
Elisabeth Vreede, Ph.D. (1879-1943), was a native of The Hague, Holland. She was interested early on in the starry sky, read the works of Camille Flammarion and learned French at the same time. At the University of Leyden, she studied mathematics, astronomy, philosophy (especially Hegel), and Sanskrit. She and her parents were theosophists, and her first meeting with Rudolf Steiner took place early on at the Theosophical Congress in London in 1903. After receiving her diploma in 1906, she gave instruction at a higher girl school in mathematics until 1910. From 1910, she lived in Berlin, worked on her dissertation and occasionally worked as a secretary for Rudolf Steiner. In April 1914, she moved to Dornach to help in the building of the first Goetheanum and was often be found there carving wood. After World War I, an intense interest in Steiner’s idea of a threefold social order, and she was the first to bring the idea to England. Around 1918 Vreede began to construct the library and archive at the Goetheanum. Using her own means, she purchased the expensive lecture transcripts as soon as they were typed from notes. Occasionally friends contributed to her efforts to build the archive.In 1920 she moved to Arlesheim, Switzerland, where she had built for herself a little house. It was the second house for which Steiner had given the model in 1919. In 1924, Steiner appointed her to head the Mathematical-Astronomical Section of the School of Spiritual Science of the recently reestablished Anthroposophical Society. In 1935 the separation within the Anthroposophical Society took place and she was expelled from the executive council, while her section was passed to other leadership. After internal discussions in the Anthroposophical Society, she was excluded along with Dr. Ita Wegman from the board of directors. She was also cut off from the observatory and archives that she herself helped assemble. Rudolf Steiner is reputed to have said that Dr. Vreede understood hi
Norman Davidson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1933. He was a journalist in the UK for ten years, writing on social and cultural events. He was a Waldorf school teacher for sixteen years, teaching astronomy, geometry, history, and literature. He has been director of Teacher Training at the Waldorf Institute of Sunbridge College in Chestnut Ridge, New York. Mr. Davidson lectures on astronomy and cultural topics, and is the author of Astronomy and the Imagination, a companion to Sky Phenomena.
Ronald Koetzsch, Ph.D., teaches at Rudolf Steiner College. He is the author of The Parent’s Guide to Alternative Education (Shambhala, 1997).
Anne Riegel teaches at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California.