We have already talked about the Holy Trinity and the Three Logoi. We will deal here with the subject of the Trinity of Evil, which can only be well understood in relation to the Holy Trinity. The Secret of Evil is one of the 7 Ineffable Secrets of the Occult, in particular it is the 5th Secret and therefore it is spiritually linked to the mission of the 5th Post-Atlantic Era, as a whole, in which we still find ourselves, and, in a more precise sense, to the mission of the 5th Epoch of Post-Atlantic Culture, the so-called European Era, the Era of Pisces.
This was the task that Steiner had to accomplish by giving Europe and the Western world the objective knowledge of the Mystery of the Duality of Evil, of Lucifer and Ahriman, and of Christ at its center. However, already at that time, Steiner also spoke of other spirits of the Obstacle, in particular the Asura, who would act especially from the following Epoch of Culture and Sorath, the Solar Demon. Thus, as the 6th Epoch of Culture approaches, the discourse on the objective existence of Evil can no longer be limited to Lucifer and Ahriman, but must necessarily include the Asura as well as Sorath. Together they form the Trinity of Evil.
The following text, therefore, is intended to be a deepening of the knowledge of the Secret of Evil, as well as of those spirits of the Obstacle who represent the various dimensions of Evil. In order to explore this Secret, we shall make use of the powerful method of the Spiritual Science, applying it both to Anthroposophy and to the Hermetic Kabbalah, the two branches of Western esotericism which have most penetrated this 5th Ineffable Secret, to the unveiling of which our 5th Post-Atlantic Era is called. To know the many names of these Obstacles is to bring their powers back to the center of consciousness of the I and therefore to have the possibility to work for their redemption.
To deepen this subject you can read The 3 Logoi of the Holy Trinity
However, I must give a warning, so that no misunderstandings may arise: this study has no claim to “explain” the Mystery of the Trinity of Evil and its relations with the Most Holy Trinity. Quite the contrary. The intention of this scientific-spiritual study is to “unfold” the relations between the Trinity and the Trinity of Evil, so as to provide a map of relations through which to orient oneself. The Most Holy Trinity is the most grandiose and sacred mystery of which man is a witness: for this very reason it is necessary to become aware of it.
In the same way, it is necessary for man to become conscious of the nature and work of the spirits of the Obstacle. This study will in fact demonstrate that the anthroposophical conception of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Trinity of Evil opens boundless horizons to the spiritual seeker who investigates its essence and manifestation, and also provides instruments to know the Evil to face it and eventually redeem it. Like any other study on this blog, there may be inaccuracies and errors that I will be happy to discuss, modify and correct.
The Trinity of Evil
The Trinity of Evil is opposed to the Trinity, but while Father, Son, Holy Spirit also exist in Eternity; Asura, Ahriman and Lucifer exist only in the sphere of evolution and will therefore come to some extent rendered by human spiritual action. Only Sorath, the solar demon, exists outside of time and space.
We can consider the Trinity of Evil as the shadow of the Trinity: the Trinity is expressible as 3, the sum of the three Persons in One = 111. Since each of the three Persons relates to itself and to the other two Persons, we arrive at 3 times the three Persons = 333. 333 is therefore the number of the internal relations of the Trinity in Eternity. The sum of three times three is 9, the number of the occult constitution of man (triple body, triple soul, triple spirit) and of the angelic choirs, the agents of the Trinity (Father: First Hierarchy, Son: Second Hierarchy, Holy Spirit: Third Hierarchy). If we multiply the 3 of each of the Persons of the Trinity by the 3 angelic choirs through them, we obtain 999, which is the opposite of 666 the number of the Beast. Therefore, if through 999 the Trinity manifests itself in evolution, in the same way that man proceeds in evolution; in 666 its opposite occurs and therefore man proceeds in involution under the number of the Antichrist.
666 can be considered the number of the Trinity of Evil (Asura-Ahriman-Lucifer), that is, the reversal of the perfect square of the Trinity 333. In the context of evolution, Asura is the reversed Father (body), Ahriman is the reversed Son (soul), Lucifer is the reversed Holy Spirit (spirit). But in the sphere of Eternity there is only one being, the Anti-God, called Sorath the solar demon and antichrist par excellence. But not only: 666 is also a precise indication of a series of evolutionary stages of the Earth: at the sixth metamorphosis, sixth condition of life and sixth condition of form of the Earth (666) the great barrier will be completed: the definitive separation of the planetary chain of the Earth from the alternative one governed by the powers of the obstacle (luciferic, ahrimanic, asuric and the antichrist Sorath), the Eighth Sphere, will be complete. Evolved humanity will have redeemed evil and will be free to proceed in evolution until it reaches the divine stage. The rest of humanity is no longer human, it is trapped in the Eighth Sphere and will be led towards an evolution among the choruses of the asuric, arimanic or luciferic powers of the barrier.
To understand the mystery of the Fall of Angels, we must understand how they possess both soul and spirit, but their self-conscious “I” is in close connection with the Trinity. They are self-conscious but their consciousness is at one with God in His three Persons. The First Hierarchy in the Father, the Second in the Son and the Third in the Holy Spirit. Unlike us human beings, who with our I can have consciousness of ourselves and thus freedom, the angels perform the evolutionary tasks assigned to them by God. If they forget that they are divine emanations when they perform their task, their light is extinguished in darkness. Thus they become fallen angels, they fall into the ranks of the three Obstacles. Likewise, in Gnostic doctrines, the Eons, evolutionary emanations of the God of the Deep, become Archons, jailers of Creation. They remain behind, continuing to perform their original tasks but without ever evolving: in other words, they bring disharmonious impulses with respect to the rhythm of time and space in evolution, in advance or late. Such is Evil, a good out of place, in time and space, a separation from the current of spiritual evolution which is God.
The Trinity of Evil is therefore the counterfeit of the Holy Trinity. It is the triple root of Doubt, Hate and Fear. It is formed by the three main Fallen Angels and their ranks:
Lucifer, the archangel who remained behind during the metamorphosis of the Ancient Moon, taking with him those who passed the stage of Angels and now Luciferic spirits. He was the spirit who presided over the ancient initiations that had as their motto “Know thyself”: in the hermetic, orphic and Gnostic current. He decayed when the knowledge of the spiritual world faded as a result of Ahriman’s materialism. But he, who after the Mystery of Golgotha, began his redemption to the Heights together with Christ, the true Lucifer, gave way to his inferior double: Lucifuge. He is the spirit of selfishness. He inhabits the first three layers of the Earth, with his bolge he opposes the action of the Holy Spirit, transforming Wisdom into Ignorance, thus acting on the human astral body, making the virtues decay into vices. This is the negative aspect of Uranus. With his fallen intelligence he governs in the realm of the nether realm of nature the electricity, dark light;
Ahriman, the principality that remained behind during the Ancient Sun, taking with him those who were then Archangels and now Ahrimanic Spirits. So called by Zarathustra, who first experienced it in opposition to his twin Ahura Mazdao, the god of light, prefiguration of Christ. He is the spirit of materialism. He inhabits the second three layers of the Earth, with his bubbles he opposes the action of his Son, transforming Love into Fanaticism, thus acting on the human etheric body, making life dead. This is the negative aspect of Neptune. With his fallen intelligence governs magnetism, trapped sound;
We now come to that spirit, a power, which remained behind during the Ancient Saturn, bringing with it those who then were principalities and now Asuric spirits. Steiner does not give us his name, but following the Kabbalistic attributions, it belongs to the inverse of the Kether Sphere, that is Thaumiel, of which an Archduke is Moloch, in other anthroposophical texts it is found as Azura or Asur, which therefore we will consider as the equivalent of Moloch.
In this regard, in order to further understand the nature of the spirits of the Obstacle, it is possible to deepen the subject by enlightening the wisdom of the Kabbalah through the Spiritual Science. See, for example, the comparison between Kabbalah and Anthroposophy, and the book “Kabbalah and Anthroposophy”.
Moloch is connected to the fire gods, like the Asura of the Vedas. In the Hindu tradition he is called Rahu, the Caput Draconis of astrology, drank amrita the nectar of the gods but, before swallowing it, the god of the Sun and the Moon discovered him so that he was beheaded by Vishnu. After cutting off his head, Rahu became immortal and swore vengeance to the Sun and Moon gods who swallowed in eclipses to infect the Earth with his influences. Moloch is the spirit of nihilism. He inhabits the last three layers of the Earth, with his fallen angels he opposes the action of the Father, transforming Power into Ambition thus acting on the physical human body, annihilating the spirit into matter. This is the negative aspect of Pluto. With his fallen intelligence he governs the nuclear force, reverse life.
The Trinity of Evil is therefore opposed to the Trinity, but while Father, Son, Holy Spirit also exist in Eternity; Asur-Moloch, Ahriman and Lucifer exist only in the sphere of evolution and therefore will come to some extent rendered by human spiritual action. Only Sorath, the solar demon, exists outside of time and space
Demons, Specters and Ghosts
What we call Demons, Specters and Ghosts have a relationship with the activity of the Obstacle Entities in the astral, etheric and physical bodies. In fact, when during sleep, the astral body and the I come out of the physical and etheric body, some spiritual beings of the Hierarchies enter the physical and etheric body to proceed with healing, and penetrate the astral body, weaving dreams into it. However, man’s activity can interfere with this process of repairing the etheric and the physical body, as well as in the dreamlike activity of the astral body. In particular, it is human morality that interferes with their spiritual activity: in the astral body one finds erroneous theories while in the etheric body one finds antisocial tendencies.
Everything that is a lie in the physical world, in general, is equivalent to murder in supersensitive worlds. Thus, these various forms of lies are capable of “hurting” the corresponding bodies of spiritual beings who act for us during sleep. It is as if, during sleep, “hooks” were left in the bodies that are able to tear off parts of the subtle bodies of angels. The union of the lie with part of the subtle bodies of man generates three types of irregular beings. In other words, we could say that they are images of physical, etheric and astral bodies linked to the terrestrial sphere that do not dissolve regularly because of the illusions of materialism, consumerism, atheism, nihilism that are inseparably linked, being in fact forms of Black Magic. They are filled by spirits of the Obstacle.
- Demons: Demons are astral bodies filled with luciferic spirits, created by selfishness, mental prevarication and lies;
- Specters: etheric bodies filled with Ahrymanic spirits, created by materialism and consumerism, by human laws that do not respect vital principles;
- Ghosts: physical (but not material) envelopes filled with asurical spirits, created by atheism and nihilism.
Each of these irregular entities can be dissolved by means of rectification in their respective bodies, according to the spiritual law whereby the similar dissolves the similar on which homeopathy is also based.
In a sense it is the Doubles of the spirits of the deceased, as well as pieces of the physical, etheric, astral bodies that are torn from the spirits of the obstacle during moments of unconsciousness, sleep, oblivion. The same can happen to decayed elementals which therefore become vehicles for the spirits of the obstacle.They will constitute the future inhabitants of the Eighth Sphere, i.e. the anti-elementals, the three Subnature Kingdoms, as well as the bodies of the Beast-Men, the human beings left behind in the Future Venus, at the time of 666, the 6th Metamorphosis, 6th Condition of Life and 6th Condition of Form.
Eighth Sphere and Tree of Death
In synthesis we can divide both the Tree of Death and the bowels of the Earth according to the Trinity of Evil, and therefore the activity of the Obstructors in the bowels of the Earth represents the first attempt to differentiate the Eighth Sphere from the being of the Earth. Here you can see the subdivision of the 9 Inner Layers of the Earth.
Steiner tells us about this:
We have the physical world, the astral world and the Lower Devachan and the Upper Devachan. If the body is pushed down even lower than the physical world, it reaches the subphysical world, the lower astral world, the evil Lower Devachan, and the evil Upper Devachan. The evil astral world is the realm of Lucifer, the evil Lower Devachan is the realm of Ahriman, and the evil Upper Devachan is the realm of the Asura. When the chemical action is conducted down below the physical plane – in the Evil Devachan – magnetism arises. When light is propelled into the sub-material world- i.e., to a lower stage than the material world-electricity arises. If that which lives in the Harmony of Spheres is pushed even further down, in the realm of the Asura, an even more terrible force – which cannot be kept hidden for much longer – will be generated. One can only hope that when this force will be known – a force that we must conceive of as more powerful, much more powerful than the most powerful electric discharge – one can only hope that before some discoverer puts this force into the hands of humanity, man will have nothing immoral left in him.
This conference, held in 1911, anticipates the tragic events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by 34 years. Let us leave the reader to meditate on Steiner’s account and on how we are about to describe the inner layers of the Earth.
Let us now describe the realms of Lucifer, Ahriman and the Asura in relation to past cosmic evolution. For more details on these topics, see also the 9 Angelic Choirs and the 9 Layers of the Earth as well as the 7 Metamorphoses of the Earth and the 7 Days of Creation.
Lucifer wants to take possession of the I to remove it from the material world, thus abandoning everything physical to the other Hierarchies of the Obstacle. He governs the fossils of the activity of the Ancient Moon, when he rebelled and took with him the angelic hosts:
- Moon Orbit, Mineral Earth, -1 Lilith/-2 Gamaliel, Fallen Angels;
- Mercury Orbit, Fluid Earth, -3 Samael, Fallen Archangels;
- Venus Orbit, Vapour Earth, -4 Harab Zaraq, Fallen Archai;
It is essentially the counter-image of the Astral World, which cabalistically is the World of Formation (Yetzirah).
Ahriman aims to possess the I for himself, depriving human beings who will become his slaves, like perfect automatons. In this way he will be able to suffocate the Light of Christ and extend his Kingdom of Darkness, that is, the World of Matter. He governs the fossils of the activity of the Ancient Sun when it rebelled and took the archangelical armies with it:
- Sun Orbit, Form Earth, -5 Thagirion, Fallen Elohim;
- Mars Orbit, Fruit Earth, -6 Golachab, Fallen Virtues;
- Jupiter Orbit, Igneous Earth, -7 Gha Agsheblah, Fallen Dominations;
This is essentially the counter-image of the Lower Mental World or World of Thought (Lower Devachan), which cabalistically is the World of Creation (Briah).
Asur or Moloch
The asura aims to bind the I to the physical body to make it mortal and then destroy it. The fragments of the I will become nourishment for the heart of the Eighth Sphere. It governs the fossils of the activity of the Ancient Saturn when it rebelled and took with it the ranks of the Archai:
- Saturn’s Orbit, Earth Mirror, -8 Sathariel, Fallen Thrones;
- Starry Sky and Zodiac, Fragmenter, -9 Ghogiel, Fallen Cherubs;
- First Mobile or Crystalline, Earth Seed, -10/-11 Thaumiel, Fallen Seraphim.
This is essentially the counter-image of the Higher Mental World or World of Reason, which cabalistically is the World of Archetypes (Atziluth). In a certain sense, we should consider the upper part of this cabalistic world as the next one, the Buddhist World.
It follows from this arrangement that the Archdevils associated with the Qliphoth can be classified according to the three hierarchies of Hurdle Spirits:
- Luciferic Spirits, shadow-double of the Third Hierarchy: Lilith and Nehema, Addramelech, Baal;
- Ahrimanic Spirits, shadow-double of the Second Hierarchy: Belphagor, Asmodeus, Astaroth;
- Asuric spirits, shadow-double of the First Hierarchy: Lucifuge, Beelzebub, Satan and Moloch.
These are the Sub-Natural Spheres, of sub-nature, the Decayed Nature. They are the same that will form the organs of the Eighth Sphere, understood as a planetary being formed by what is stolen from the metamorphosis operated by Christ in the Luciferic and Ahrimanic (and Asuric) dimension of the Earth.
Conversely, we can see how the layers of the Earth are connected to the original activity of the Trinity in the past Metamorphoses of the Earth:
- Ancient Moon – Holy Spirit: -2 to -4 where reside the counter-initiative forces of the anti-Spirit as astral counter-forces through the inversion of the Cosmos of Wisdom of the Ancient Moon;
- Ancient Sun – Son: from -5 to -7 where reside the counter-initiatory forces of the anti-Son as counter-etheric counter-forces through the inversion of the Cosmos of Light of the Ancient Sun;
- Ancient Saturn – Father: from -8 to -10/-11 where reside the counter-initiatory forces of the anti-Father as physical counter-forces through the inversion of the Cosmos of Will of the Ancient Saturn; Ancient Saturn – Father: from -8 to -10/-11 where reside the counter-initiatory forces of the anti-Father as physical counter-forces through the inversion of the Cosmos of Will of the Ancient Saturn;
- Present Earth – Christ: -12 where reside the counter-initiatory forces of the anti-Christ as counter-forces of the I by means of the inversion of the Mystery of Golgotha in the middle of the metamorphosis of the Earth.
For those who were conceiving the Tree of Life as mirroring and completely opposite to the Tree of Death, it is good to say at once that this is not an adequate representation, since the Tree of Life is quadruple, consisting of the conflation of the 4 Trees of Life in the 4 Kabbalistic Worlds, while the Tree of Death is “one-dimensional”, i.e. it extends into only one of these worlds which in synthesis is the counter-image of the World of Action of Assiah and, only through this, of the superior worlds. There are also the Three Veils of Negative Life, of which only the Ain, the Nothing, dangles the Tree of Death. See the paragraph “The Worlds of the Kabbalah” for a complete scheme. Also in this case the absolute dualistic concept is denied.
In a certain sense, we can say that the Tree of Death is the Malkuth of the Tree of Life in the 4 Kabbalistic Worlds, being the product of a primeval Fall when the first spirits of the obstacle came to be born. This event, cabalistically is described as the “Break of the Vessels”, while in anthroposophy it is described as the “Refusal of the Sacrifice of the Thrones” by some Cherubim during the Ancient Saturn. This anomaly in the process of manifestation allowed the introduction of the event of Evil, understood as necessary for evolution.
Just as the Tree of Death is made up of the Qliphoth, the inversion of the Sephiroth, the Pillars are also inverted by sinking from the Earth’s surface in Malkuth to the Centre of the Earth:
- Pillar of Coercion Column, as Jakin’s inversion, Pillar of Force. Where in Jakin descends Divine Life permeates everything that exists forming Cosmic Life, in the Coercion Column life is desecrated by being blocked in its flow to form traffic jams, self-referential complexes that contribute to the degeneration of Creation;
- Pillar of Compulsion, as an inversion of Boaz, Pillar of Form. Where in Boaz the Forms of Creation are born to their mission when infused with Divine Life, in the Column of Compulsion the forms that come to life are born to destroy the divine plane of evolution;
- Pillar of Condemnation or Slavery, as a reversal of the Pillar of Equilibrium. Where in the Column of Equilibrium man ascends to become the Tenth Hierarchy, the Spirits of Liberty, in the Column of Condemnation, man condemns his Spirit to non-existence, committing the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit.
The Qliphoths are so spread out:
- Coercion Column: -4 Harab Zaraq, -7 Gha Agsheblah, -9 Ghogiel;
- Compulsion Column: -3 Samael, -6 Golachab, -8 Sathariel;
- Condemnation Column: -1 Lilith, -2 Gamaliel, -5 Thagirion, -10/-11 Thaumiel, -12 Belial.
In a way, Lucifer and Ahriman correspond to the two inverted Columns:
- The Pillar of Coercion can be associated with Lucifer, as the dissolution of individuality in instinctual life. It is also named after Leviathan, the sea serpent that rises in the Air. It has 7 heads and 10 horns which are the Qliphoth;
- The Pillar of Compulsion to Ahriman, as stiffening and death in form. It also takes the name of Behemoth, the beast of Earth and Fire, which represents the synthesis of all the shadows of the spirits of the 12 Zodiacal Signs.
Steiner describes how “Satan” is not a name, but a title that is given in the course of spiritual evolution to the leader of the Obstacles who most acts in that particular age of culture. 3000 before Christ, Lucifer was Satan, since by incarnating in the Yellow Emperor of China, Huang Di, he was the first to systematize esoteric knowledge in written form. Later, at the time of Christ, Ahriman became Satan, since his materialistic impulse was not immediately spiritualizable, but possible only through the man who became the bearer of Christ. It follows that the next one to become Satan will be the head of the asuric spirits, Moloch, when these will supplant the Arymanic spirits.
However, there is also a “Satan of all Satans”, called in fact the Archdevil Satan, identifiable as the true first and last Adversary of Christ and therefore of man: he is the Solar Devil, whose name is Sorath, the Antichrist. He resides in the dark half of Thaumiel. He opposes the Principle of Christ outside the current of time, but he acts through the Trinity of Evil of Lucifuge, Beelzebub-Ahriman and Moloch.
The rhythm of time in which Sorath acts through the Trinity of Evil is 666, the number of the Beast. The 666 can be considered the overthrow of the perfect square of the Trinity 333. In the context of evolution Moloch (Asura) is the overthrown Father (body), Beelzebub (Ahriman) is the overthrown Son (soul), Lucifuge (irredent Lucifer) is the overthrown Holy Spirit (spirit). But within Eternity there is only one being the Anti-God, called Sorath the solar demon and Antichrist par excellence. But not only: 666 is also a precise indication of a series of evolutionary stages of the Earth: at the sixth metamorphosis, sixth condition of life and sixth condition of form of the Earth (666) the great barrier will be completed: the definitive separation of the planetary chain of the Earth from the alternative one governed by the powers of the obstacle (luciferic, ahrimanic, asuric and the Antichrist Sorath), the Eighth Sphere. Evolved humanity will have redeemed evil and will be free to proceed in evolution until it reaches the divine stage.The rest of humanity is no longer human, it is trapped in the Eighth Sphere and will be led to an evolution among the choruses of the asuric, ahrimanic or luciferic powers of the obstacle.