The shape of the etheric body
The Pentagram, formed by the interweaving of five alphas, is the archetypal form of the etheric body. It is also the sign of the microcosm, since it is through the etheric body that man connects to the world of the elements. Each tip of the Star represents an element, Earth, Water, Air and Fire in addition to the Quintessence, the Ether itself.
Such was the form of the etheric body on the Ancient Sun, when the Dominations or Kyriotetes impressed by the brave sacrifice of the Thrones who created the physical body in the Ancient Saturn, were pervaded by devotion and thus sacrificed their etheric substance to create the etheric body of man. Then man became a vegetable.
The human being shares the embodied etheric body with plants and animals, which gives him the ability to reproduce, grow and develop over time. Life unfolds over time and is therefore also called the vital body. For it is in the etheric, as well as in the active ingredients of plant juices, that all the healing forces of the organism reside.
As long as man has lived in contact with Nature, he lived in a heavenly state, in the flow of the vital ether, yet he had no consciousness of himself nor could he have had it. He was filled with the life of the Cosmos, his ego was not yet fully incarnated. Today man is fully incarnated: he possesses an immense consciousness of himself, but this, if not educated, cuts him off from the consciousness of the Cosmos.
Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge which would lead the spiritual which is in man to the spiritual which is in the Universe.
– Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophical Maxims
To paraphrase, we could say:
Naturosophy or Anthroposophic Naturopathy is a path of well-being that wants to lead to the balance of the spiritual that is in man with the spiritual that is in the Universe.
The shape of the astral body
The Hexagram, formed by the interweaving of two equilateral triangles, is the archetypal form of the astral body. It is also the sign of the macrocosm, since it is through the astral body that man connects to the world of the stars. It was given to the human being by the Spirits of the Movement, the Virtues or Dynamei, during the metamorphosis of the Ancient Moon, when man passed the animal stage.
The human being shares with the animal an incarnated astral body, which gives him the capacity to have sympathy and dislike, attraction and repulsion, as well as desire. That is why it is also called the body of desire. The astral body allows the inner movement of the emotions and feelings that live in the soul, so it allows the physical-etheric body to move in the external environment.
The aura is a coloured irradiation of subtle bodies from whose dynamics and chromatism it is possible to determine the state of a given subtle body. The aura is organized in an oval-shaped auric envelope around the body of the emitting being, be it mineral, vegetable, animal or human. In fact, one can distinguish an etheric aura that pertains to vital conditions, an astral aura that pertains to animic conditions and an aura of the ego that pertains to mental conditions. Being a result of the functioning of the subtle bodies, it depends on a relationship between organs of the etheric body and organs of the astral body, the latter called Chakras or Lotus Flowers. Not only is the aura directly visible through a process of observation of the subtle bodies, but it is possible to observe the effects of its dynamism in the animic atmosphere generated by a person. In fact, the sensation that we have derives from the unconscious perception we have of someone else’s aura through the pineal gland, the Ajna Chakra of the Third Eye.
The Caduceus of Mercury
The polarity of the etheric body has its origin in the androgynous polarity of the astral body. In turn, both these subtle bodies are controlled by the Ego which is the balancing pole between the formation of images in the astral body on the one hand and the radiation of prana by the etheric body on the other. Thus, in the reciprocal relationship between the astral and etheric Ego, the Caduceus of Mercury is delineated:
- Astral current: in Hinduism is Ida, the feminine, lunar current, which rises from the left half of the body. In man it controls the mentality. It is the black serpent on the Caduceus which leads to the materialization of the spirit. It ends in the right hemisphere of the brain (which corresponds to the left side of the body). It is susceptible to warm luciferic disharmony;
- Ego Current: in Hinduism it is Sushumna, the neutral current that rises in the center of the body and has an erect course. It is the central bracket to the Caduceus, it starts from the empty loop between the two soles of the feet aligned and reaches the Crown, passing through the pineal gland, the Third Eye. It is the Christic balancing principle;
- Etheric current: in Hinduism it is Pingala, the male, solar current, which rises from the right half of the body. In man it controls vitality. It is the white serpent on the Caduceus which leads to the spiritualization of matter. It ends in the left hemisphere of the brain (which corresponds to the right side of the body). It is susceptible to cold arimanic disharmony;
The interweaving of the three currents, called Nadi in Hinduism, forms the Seven Chakras which are arranged on the vertical path.
Positive and negative polarity
Pranotherapy, in general, is based on the polarity of the etheric body of the human being, which thus has a negative and a positive pole:
- The left half is negative, feminine, lunar and receiving;
- The right half is positive, masculine, solar and radiant.
It follows that the etheric body functions as a magnet with a double polarity. The more there is a potential difference between the two etheric polarities, the more the body is able to emanate prana or ether especially from the radiant centers, especially from the center of the hands, in the form of heat. In general, when the pranotherapist radiates prana from his etheric body, his body temperature increases. However, the body can also cool down, especially when the receiving hand is used to absorb the energy imbalance present in the treated person.
As a result, the pranotherapist uses his hands as instruments:
- Right hand: it is used to irradiate prana;
- Left hand: used to absorb prana.
The parts of the body that undergo a cold disharmony, that is arimanic, are irradiated with ether; while prana is absorbed in the parts of the body that undergo a warm disharmony, that is luciferic. The harmonic ideal that guides pranotherapist is the balance of the vital force that is expressed, externally, in a balance of body temperature.
The aura can be considered as a reflection of the activity of Lotus Flowers or Chakras. The chakras are real super-sensitive organs, made up of an astral corolla, which is the actual chakra, and an etheric chalice, which is made up of the corresponding glands, especially in their etheric counterpart.
- Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra – has effect on all the glands starting from the pineal, the Third Eye. It has 1000 petals, actually indicating an infinite number, this being the spirit;
- Ajna, the Third Eye Chakra – Pineal and Pituitary glands, which together regulate almost all the functions of the organism. The pituitary influences growth, metabolism and regeneration. The pineal gland controls hunger, thirst, sleep and wakefulness, as well as body temperature. It is activated in higher states of consciousness. It has 2 petals which indicate the union of the feminine and masculine principle;
- Vishudda, the Throat Chakra – thyroid gland, regulates the metabolism and energy use and therefore the expressiveness of the body. It has 16 petals, 8 have been given by the Hierarchies, 8 must be developed by applying the teachings of the Eightfold Path of the Buddha as well as the Beatitudes of Christ;
- Anahata, the Heart Chakra – Thymus gland, which until adolescence stimulates the immune system and therefore the perception of identity. It has 12 petals, 6 of which have been donated by the Hierarchies and 6 must be shaped by man; they are developed through the 6 Fundamental Exercises of Steiner;
- Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra – adrenal glands, control the emergency, escape or fight reaction by secreting adrenaline and cortisone. They also regulate metabolic processes, water retention. It has 10 petals that correspond to the foundation of existence given in the Ten Commandments and the 10 Sephiroths of the Tree of Life;
- Svadhisthana, the Sacral Plexus Chakra – Pancreas, helps in the digestion of food substances. It produces insulin by controlling blood glucose levels. It has 6 petals which correspond to the six days of Creation;
- Muladhara, the Root Chakra – gonads, control sexual development in male and female, as well as the main instincts related to sex. It has 4 petals which correspond to the four elements at the base of all Creation.
As for the aura, the activity of the chakras can be determined by the activity of a person, depending on the way of life. In the Western tradition these are considered seven and correspond to the Seven Planets: just as in the Cosmos there are the cosmic centers of the planets, so in the human body there are the chakras. It follows that the chakras are the planets in man, the planets are the chakras of the Cosmos. In the western tradition one starts from the first chakra of the Crown and continues to the root chakra, in inverse sequence with respect to the eastern one, so that this correspondence emerges:
- Saturn – Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra
- Jupiter – Ajna, the Third Eye Chakra
- Mars – Vishudda, the Throat Chakra
- Sun – Anahata, the Heart Chakra
- Venus – Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra
- Mercury – Svadhisthana, the Sacral Plexus Chakra
- Moon – Muladhara, the Root Chakra
The Supersolar planets, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars are the planets of Thinking, connected to the Neurosensory System, the Sun is the planet of Feeling connected to the Rhythmic System and finally the sub-solar planets Venus, Mercury and Moon are the planets of Will, connected to the Metabolic System and the Membranes. In fact, the planets are connected to the respective vital functions of the etheric body:
Soprasolar planets, responsible for knowing the world:
- Saturn: Life of the senses, where life becomes dead perception;
- Jupiter: life of the nerves, where life is liberated and retained;
- Mars: life of the breath, where life is created by the word;
The Sun as the diaphragm of the Cosmos, responsible for understanding the world:
- Sun: life of the circulation, in which life expands and contracts:
Subsolar Planets, responsible for existence in the world:
- Venus: Life of metabolism, where life becomes the physical organs;
- Mercury: Life of movement, where life becomes power;
- Moon: life of reproduction, in which life renews itself.
The Seven Sacred Planets of Alchemy are the macrocosmic reflection of the seven Planetary Genii, or Seven Archangels. Just as in the macrocosm there are seven planets, so in the microcosm there are reflections of their spiritual nature: these are the metals, the fruits of the bowels of the Earth, whose alchemical properties reflect the behavior of the wandering planets in the celestial vault. (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are external planets that are not part of the planetary chain of the Earth that gave origin to the seven planets plus the Earth). Moreover, before passing into the body of the Earth, the influences of the planets are reflected in the etheric body of man, forming seven astral centers, astral current wheels, which are called chakras in the Eastern tradition. The same influences then reach the etheric body, forming the seven etheric organs, fundamental for establishing the vital balance between the human body and the body of the cosmos. This is followed by the name of the planet, that of the metal, the chakra and finally the etheric organ:
- Saturn – Lead – Sahasrara or Crown – Spleen.
- Jupiter – Tin – Ajna or Third Eye – Liver
- Mars – Iron – Vishuddha or Gorge – Gallbladder
- Sun – Gold – Anahata or Heart – Heart
- Venus – Copper – Manipura or Solar Plexus – Kidneys
- Mercury – Mercury – Svadhisthana or Sacral Plexus – Lungs
- Moon – Silver – Muladhara or Root – Genitals / Brain
In the vision of pranosophy the human body is the most perfect expression of the Creator Hierarchies, the angelic hosts, who held the human ego in their womb for as long as possible before it became fully incarnated in the middle of the Atlantis Era. The Hierarchies kept man’s “I” in the spiritual world so that man’s “I” could finally inhabit a body that was not too specialized. The group spirits of minerals, vegetables, and animals inhabit bodies which man has gradually discarded in the course of evolution on the spiritual plane, and for this reason have crystallized on the physical-sensitive weeping. Consequently, if we look at the physical body of minerals, vegetables and animals, we always see a more specialised body than the general body of man, which, in its physical imperfection, represents spiritual perfection made concrete.
The body of man presents a series of centers that can radiate both astral substance, i.e. the chakras, and etheric substance, the organs. Both the chakras and the organs can become radiant centers, that is, centers from which, through concentration and the state induced by the emission of prana, both astral and ether can be emitted. However, the main radiant centers used in the practice of pranotherapy are the hands, followed by the hands, eyes and heart. As already mentioned, from the point of view of the Christian tradition and therefore in the anthroposophical interpretation, these radiant centers correspond to the wounds of the nails of the cross, the crown of thorns and the spear of Longinus in the body of Christ Jesus.
It will be understood, therefore, that just as the pranosophist yearns for his ideal which is Christ as cosmic therapist, so the event of the crucifixion and death on the cross of Christ Jesus led to a complete transformation of these centers in the whole of humanity. The Mystery of Golgotha, that is, the supersensible conception of the supreme act of sacrifice performed by Christ Jesus on Mount Calvary, has literally opened further chakras in the hands, feet, forehead and heart of man. This is because Christ Jesus, by incorporating the original archetype of humanity, the so-called Second Adam, opened this possibility by himself experiencing the wounds of the nails, the crown of thorns and the spear of Longinus. The archetype of man has therefore evolved through what Christ Jesus did on Golgotha. So much so that after the resurrection the original physical body, the so-called “phantom”, was restored by the Fall, becoming the Body of Resurrection of Christ, who presents the same wounds inflicted on Christ Jesus on the Cross.
Let us see in detail the radiant centers.
Right Hand and Left Hand
belong to the metabolic and replacement pole, which is connected to the power of the soul of the will. The hands connect man with the future by doing, by action, and thus represent the free will before him events of destiny, or karma. From the hands the Ego is expressed in the form of spiritualized will, the ether of heat. The nails of the cross are two, which represent Lucifer and Ahriman, the Good Thief and the Bad Thief crucified respectively on the right and left of Christ Jesus.
Lucifer is incorporated in Dismas, that is the one who will be admitted in the Kingdom of Heaven immediately to the Mystery of Golgotha, while Ahriman is incorporated in Gestas, the evil Thief who will be redeemed only by man in connection with the spiritualization of matter. Lucifer is at the right hand of Christ Jesus and therefore at the left hand of the observer, governing the female half of the human being; while Ahriman is at the left hand of Christ Jesus and therefore at the right hand of the observer, governing the male half of the human being. Our left hand is under the influence of Lucifer, while our right hand of Ahriman, the pranosophist must therefore pay attention in balancing the two gestures.
Right foot and left foot
Like the hands, they belong to the pole of metabolic and replacement, which is connected to the power of the soul’s will. However, the feet are connected with movement toward a purpose and thus to the encounter with events of destiny, or karma. The feet lead to events, the hands allow one to choose how to behave before these events. For this reason the nail of the cross is unique: it represents the union of the two opposites before karma, which, although ineluctable, is nevertheless an opportunity to exercise freedom.
Unlike the hands, the feet are placed on the central axis of the cross thus manifesting their centrality and connection with the vertical, the head, by means of the heart in the center. The feet are the organs connected with Christ, as Ichthys, the Fish, being the Christ who comes into the Age of Aries as “Lamb of God who takes away the Sins of the World” to bring man into the Age of Pisces, the age in which the Ego finally becomes completely incarnated in the human figure and connects to the power of the soul of thinking.
The two eyes and the Third Eye form a radiant center composed of several sub-centers, namely the right eye, the left eye and the Third Eye. Together they form a “diadem” that descends from the forehead to the face. The eyes belong to the neurosensory pole, which is connected to the power of the soul of thinking. The Crown of Thorns placed on the head of Christ opens a series of radiant points around the head, which are the most immediate expression of the Crown Chakra, the highest, which however is expressed more directly in connection with the Chakra of the Third Eye. What is received as Inspiration from the Crown Chakra is translated into Imagination in the Third Eye Chakra. The two petals of this chakra represent the right and left eye that are joined in the center in the middle of the forehead, placed at the root of the nose, also called the “throne of the Ego”, because it is where it is still in the physical body. It is a vision by images or a thinking by images, the ability to see thought-forms, outwardly connected to vision.
Originally this radiant center was directed toward the spiritual world: it was located as an external third eye in the Lemurians and was able to directly perceive the Astral World in Imaginations. Subsequently, after the expulsion from the Earthly Paradise, the Third Eye retreated inside the head, and with the formation of the Sun and the Moon both the solar man and the lunar woman were formed, as well as the right solar eye and the left lunar eye. The vision that was initially internal became progressively external due to the effect of “the opening of the eyes” by Lucifer on the one hand, and the progressive materialization of the physical world by Ahriman on the other. When the pranosophist thinks of the eyes he must imagine them as wounds that expose the soul to the outside, making it pour out: hence the saying “the eyes are the mirror of the soul”. When the eyes are redeemed from the inner vision corrupted by Lucifer and from the outer one corrupted by Ahriman, they become powerful instruments of irradiation of the ether of light, which translates into the “light of the eyes”, perceptible in the gaze.
The heart belongs to the rhythmic pole, which is connected to the power of the soul of feeling. The heart is located halfway between the head, with the radiant centre of the eyes, and the hands and feet, with their radiant centres, so in the tripartite man, feeling is the centre of exchange and mediation between thinking and will. The heart as radiant centre is indicated by the penetration of the spear of the centurion Longinus into the side of Christ, thus testifying to his death. With this action Longinus saves the body of Christ from the mockery that was made of the bodies of the two thieves, to whom the guards of the High Priest Caiaphas broke the skull, arms and hands, symbolically indicating that Lucifer and Ahriman are false Messiahs. In fact Isaiah had pronounced the protection according to which the Messiah “Not a bone of Him will be broken” and so it was. This allowed Christ to carry out the complete restoration of man’s phantom through resurrection by spiritually penetrating even the bones. The Spear of Longinus penetrates precisely into the right side between the 4th and 5th coast.
This precise position indicated by the Christian tradition is an equally precise esoteric indication. In fact, there are 7 coasts of the ribcage, like the Epochs of Culture which arise with the Ancient Indian Age, also called the Astrological Era of Cancer. Cancer, lunar sign, in turn represents the forces of the chest with its ability to enclose the Heart, the solar organ par excellence, associated with Leo, solar sign precisely. If we therefore compare the ribs to the epochs of culture, we have that the 4th Epoch is the Greek-Roman one, while the 5th is the Current one, European. Christ comes exactly in the transition between the 4th and the 5th Epoch, that is, in the transition between the Age of Aries and the Age of Pisces. The Lance represents the ego that in a prefiguration of the future of humanity must come to dwell in the heart in what Steiner calls the “thinking of the heart”. The blood and the water gushed out from the wound of the Lance represent the ether of heat (blood) and the ether of sound (water) that together have healing properties, having the ability to “restore the sight” to Longinus, that is to say to make him see with the eyes of the heart. Alchemically, blood represents the male principle and water the female one, which in Christ are united, just as Ahriman and Lucifer are in equilibrium.
Therefore, the “Spear of Destiny” is such because it represents the destiny of humanity. In a wider sense it can represent the 4th Atlantis Era and the 5th Post-Atlantic Era, thus marking the progressive descent of the Solar Spirit of Christ towards the Earthly Sphere and thus the Incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth. However, the significance is the same on a more cosmic level, that is, the cosmic Ego that comes ever closer to the individualized man. The radiant center of the heart will become such only when the pranosophist has created the six missing petals of the heart chakra, 6 have been created by Hierarchy, and 6 will have to be created by man, thus completing the 12 petals.
The Angel Man
Once the human being has completed his earthly evolution, he will no longer have a physical body, but only an etheric body. Of the physical body, however, he will still have the pure archetype, the “phantom”, which was restored by the action of Christ through the Mystery of Golgotha.
His higher limb will then be the Spiritual Self, known in ancient India as Manas: through this new spiritual limb man will be both himself and in the Cosmos. Thus will he flow in the vital processes of Cosmos, as now does the Hierarchy of Angels.
The union of the microcosmic forces of the etheric body, of the macrocosmic forces of the astral body, will give rise to a new star, a seven-pointed star, the Heptagram. This is the Star of the Man-Angel and it is in the Metamorphosis of the Future Jupiter that humanity as a whole will have reached this evolutionary stage.
In order to avoid misunderstandings remember that Pranotherapy has nothing to do with Medicine, only the doctor can diagnose and treat psychological pathologies. The Pranotherapist deals with the maintenance of the well-being of the person, as well as with disharmonies present in the absence of organic or psychic pathologies. That of the Pranotherapist is a free profession within the holistic disciplines governed by Law No. 4 of January 14, 2013.