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Rubicon: The Nine Year Change and Child Development Between the Ages of Seven and Twelve

Selections from the works of Rudolf Steiner
Compiled by Mona Ruef  with some texts newly translated from the German by Nina Kuettel

Rubicon is a new translation of a book, Rubikon, published by the Medical Section of the Goetheanum in Dornach Switzerland.

This book offers considerable help to both teachers and parents in supporting children at crisis moments in their development. Clues as to what is appropriate as the child wrestles with leaps in growth and consciousness that are demanding and exhilarating. Monica Ruef has compiled a comprehensive collection of what Rudolf Steiner has said and written about the nine year change and the three important ages of childhood: age 7, age 9, and age 12. Rudolf Steiner (1861 to 1925, Austrian) introduced and explained a unique and effective way to view child development, in seven-year cycles. Within the second seven years, ages 7 to 14, three significant “Rubicons” must be crossed: age 7, when a child loses milk teeth and grows adult teeth, with a first change of consciousness; age 9, when many children learn that there is no Santa Claus nor tooth fairy, and begin to feel their own competence and aloneness; and age 12 when puberty begins and the capacity for judgement and clear thinking are born. These “Rubicons” children must cross for healthful growth and maximization of capacities require from parents and teachers alike a gentle attentiveness to be handled well. Each child is different but the symptoms tend to be the same at each important threshold the child faces at these ages. This view of these significant changes in children is helpful and supportive for each child to feel increasing independence, social skill, and a sense of responsibility to others. To ignore these important steps and “crises” in consciousness each child must take is to risk incomplete development with lifelong issues of dependence. Freedom is the goal of every youngster: an ability to understand strengths and weaknesses and the gifts of every human being give each individual tools necessary for a happy, clear-thinking, and purposeful life.

This book will illuminate in a new way, support and structure at critical points in a child’s growing up. For every parent, guardian, or teacher responsible for children, this is a book that will carry rich rewards for new ideas in correct relationships from adults as important architectural supports for a growing child.It is a fine resource for both teachers and parents.

It is being published as part of the study material being made available for an upcoming international conference at the Goetheanum in March entitled, “Transitions.” The IASWECE inaugurated the conference and requested the publishing of the book in English.

About the Author

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

Additional information

Weight 17 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.5 × 9 in


Nina Kuettel


Mona Ruef




January 2015






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