Madonna and Pentagram - introduction

The connection between 'I' and Soul

Serious self-reflection may lead to an awareness that in the depths of our being, enveloped by the soul, our own 'I' lives as an independent being. It is apparent that this 'I' is the source of our self-awareness, and of all functions connected with it.  *footnote

Modern psychology acknowledges the existence of self-awareness and views it as a higher function of the soul. However, the fact that the 'I' is an independently functioning higher being is not acknowledged. 'I' and self-awareness are deemed equal.

This misconception is understandable: psychology is, after all, a science of the soul. The 'I' however, is an integral part of the human spirit and therefore simply out of reach of psychology. Merely the effect of the 'I' upon the soul can be observed and described by it.

The Sistine Madonna by Raphael

The connection between 'I' and soul was also experienced in the past. We can see artistic expression of it in all depictions of the Madonna.

The 'I' in organic functions

Agrippa von Nettesheim (1533)

click = start/stop moving


The 'I' is deeply involved in all human organic functions. Its dynamics are experienced as the shape of a five-pointed star (pentagram).

The Madonna and the Pentagram

Especially for people in whom the balance between 'I' and soul has been disturbed, Rudolf Steiner developed a series of 15 depictions of the Madonna. In each depiction, the Madonna holds her Child in a different position. When viewed in the right sequence, this series creates an impression of the child following the shape of a pentagram along its Mother's body.

This series was given to Dr. Felix Peipers in München in 1911 for use in his clinic. Dr. Peipers projected the images onto the wall. In the following pages, you will find a modern transposition: a slideshow for your computer.

Healthy adults and children will also undergo its harmonising influence upon viewing. It is not necessary to consciously observe the movements of the pentagram.

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