5 lectures, Dornach, March 31 - April 8, 1923 (GA 223)
"Humankind must attain esoteric maturity so as to think not merely in abstractions but to think so concretely that we can again become festival creative. Until then, it will be impossible to unite the spiritual with the cycle of sensory phenomena." —Rudolf Steiner
These five lectures were given at Easter, 1923. In a fully conscious way, Steiner provided a basis for celebrating the Christian festivals of Christmas, Easter, St. John's Tide, and Michaelmas. He begins with a description of how the cycle of festivals evolved over long ages through the Earth's cycle of inhalation and exhalation—forces that are actually the Earth's soul activities in relation to the cosmos.
Steiner reveals the deep relationship between humanity and the seasons of the Earth—the solstices, and the equinoxes. And through the festivals of the seasons, he shows our human relationship to the Christ being The esoteric realities behind the festivals are also discussed in relation to subearthly and supraearthly forces, the ancient mysteries, the activity of the Archangel Michael, morality, and the arts.
This volume is a translation of five lectures from Der Jahreskreislauf als Atmungsvorgang der Erde und die vier großen Festeszeiten. Die Anthroposophie und das menschliche Gemüt (GA 223). The remaining four lectures from the German volume (in Vienna) are contained in Michaelmas and the Soul-Forces of Man.