The Incarnation of Ahriman – When and Where? (1)

This is Part 1 of a lecture given by the author at a Der Europäer seminar in the Basel Stadthaus, Basel, Switzerland, 23.12.2019. Part 2 will be uploaded here after it has appeared in print in The Present Age magazine.

Rudolf Steiner gave 8 indications about the incarnation of Ahriman in the latter part of 1919. Before I turn to these 8 indications I would like to draw attention to some earlier remarks of his which can perhaps be seen as ‘preliminary’.

On 16 July, 1918 (GA 181), the day of the execution of the Romanov family in Russia by the Bosheviks, Steiner spoke of “an incarnation of the Ahrimanic spirit” in Enrico Dandolo, Doge (Duke) of Venice, leader of the 4th Crusade in 1204. This was approximately 700 years earlier. 700 years is approximately one third of 2160, the length of a cultural epoch. It is always interesting to see what Steiner had to say about Venice. The insular trading republic has played an extraordinarily important role in the history of Europe and the West, but I don’t have time now to go into detail about that.

So much for Steiner’s first indication of an incarnation, not of Ahriman himself, but of an ahrimanic spirit, in Dandolo of Venice. Then on 27.10.1919 in Zurich, Steiner said:

“Just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer at the beginning of the 3rd pre-Christian millennium, and as there was the incarnation of Christ at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, there will be a western incarnation of the being Ahriman in the 3rd millennium sometime after our present earthly existence ….”

So he was speaking not just of the spirit of Ahriman, not of the overshadowing by Ahriman of a human being, as with Dandolo, but of the incarnation of Ahriman himself, but the time indication is left vague: in the 3rd millennium sometime after our present earthly existence ….”

Now the 3rd millennium is very long – 1000 years, but Steiner chose to say sometime after our present earthly existence, by which he clearly meant either his own life or that of his generation. Assuming Steiner himself might have lived to be a nonagenarian, then his life would have ended approximately in the 1950s. His youngest listeners might have lived till the 1980s. One cannot help wondering why he said sometime after our present earthly existence. It is a very limiting phrase. It suggests not so far off in the future. But he also says: in the 3rd millennium. But when in the 3rd millennium? It might appear that he gives a closer hint in that same lecture when he says:

“…one only really understands this course of historical human evolution within almost six millennia if one sees that a luciferic incarnation stands at the one pole, the Christ incarnation in the middle, and the Ahriman incarnation at the other pole.”(27.10.1919)

Does this then mean that Ahriman’s incarnation is likely only at the end of the 3rd millennium, as we know that a few days later, on 1 Nov 1919 Steiner said that Lucifer incarnated in China at the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC so a balanced mirroring of the two incarnations would suggest that if Lucifer appeared at the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, Ahriman should appear at the end of the 3rd millennium AD, for example around 2900. We shall return to this question in a moment.

These are the dates of Steiner’s 8 main indications regarding the incarnation of Ahriman:

1. 27 Oct.1919 Zurich  (GA 193)

2. 1 Nov. 1919 Dornach (GA 191)

3. 2 Nov. 1919 Dornach (GA 191)

4. 4 Nov. 1919 Bern (GA 193)

5. 15 Nov. 1919 Dornach (GA 191)

6. 21 Nov. 1919 Dornach  (GA 194)

7. 25 Dec. 1919 (GA 195)

8. 28 Dec. 1919 (GA 195)

Following these, on 28.11.1920 (GA 202) he spoke of our age as one of “ahrimanic contamination, infection”. On 20.7.1924 in Arnhem (GA 240) he said that Ahriman “appears” as an author through human souls from the 1880s & throughout 20th century. No mention was made on that occasion of an incarnation in the 3rd millennium. On 1 Nov. 1919 Dornach (GA 191) however, he had declared very clearly and unequivocally:

“And just as there was a physical [fleischliche] incarnation of Lucifer, and a physical [fleischliche] incarnation of Christ, so before even a part of the 3rd millennium of the Christian era will have run its course [ehe auch nur ein Teil des dritten Jahrtausends der nachchristlichen Zeit abgelaufen sein wird], there will be in the West an actual incarnation of Ahriman: Ahriman in the flesh.”

The Anthroposopher Hans Peter van Manen has written about this statement (Das Goetheanum 3.3.1996)1:

“either it means right at the beginning of the third millennium – possibly the year 2000 – or it could even be earlier! The latter case would mean that the incarnation event would begin earlier, in the last years of the 20th century, and then come to its climax and in its conclusion in the first years of the 21st century. In my opinion, the unusually careful way these words are weighed tends to point in the direction of the latter, second possibility.” van Manen went on:

3000     2000    1000      MoG   1000        2000       3000


Lucifer                        Christ                Ahriman

“We see then that both Lucifer and Ahriman incarnate at the beginning of ‘their’ respective third millennia to “set the tone” for it. Steiner didn’t give exact prophecies, indications etc because he wanted to leave people free…to facilitate a free formation of judgments on the basis of facts that anyone can check for themselves….Anyone can figure out for himself how close Ahriman’s incarnation is on the basis of the symptoms that he [Steiner] described in detail.” (van Manen)

Here then is van Manen’s answer to the question posed earlier about the 3rd millennium: beginning or end ? Personally, I am inclined to accept van Manen’s argument. Now, if we look at the markers of the preparation for Ahriman’s coming in modern times, mentioned by Steiner in 1919, we see that they are:

1. Spread of the mechanistic view of the universe

2.  Social life driven by economics;  avoidance/rejection of threefolding

3. Spread of nationalism

4. Spread of party politics

5. A view of Christianity based only on a literal interpretation of the text of the Bible

6. Intellectual spiritual life; statistics

7. Unconscious reception of spirit through food and drink

8. Great inventiveness in physical life

We note further, that all the foregoing have already occurred since Steiner’s time in addition to a number of things hardly even imagined by his contemporaries, such as the A-bombs and the Internet. But Steiner himself said on 28 Nov 1920:

“…one does not very often get a time like the one since the last third of the 19th century in which something as special as ahrimanisation has developed with such tremendous rapidity”.

Then on 4.11.1919 in Bern (GA 193) he said:“The human mind will become very inventive in the domain of physical life. And through the growth of this very inventiveness in physical life….the bodily individuality in whom Ahriman can incarnate, will become possible and inevitable.”

Could this refer to genetic engineering? Cloning? Will the ‘human’ vehicle for Ahriman result from genetic manipulation? Dolly the sheep was created at the Roslin Institute in Scotland in 1996. That unfortunate animal was given the number 6LL3 at the Institute. L is the 12th letter of the alphabet, and 6 + 12 + 12 + 3 = 33). The first hybrid human clone (created from a man’s leg cell & a cow’s egg) was created in November 1998, by American Cell Technologies; it was destroyed after 12 days. The context of Steiner’s remark does not in fact support the assumption of genetic engineering.

Ahriman and the 21st century

Now Ahriman must get a move on towards his incarnation because since the opening of “the doors of perception” in 1899/1900 more and more people are waking up to a spiritual reality and see through the miasma of materialism. Secondly, the age of the Etheric Christ has already begun (c.1933) and in 2033 will complete its first century. Thirdly, the Age of Michael has already entered its second century (1979) and Michaelic impulses of spiritualisation growing stronger. Fourthly, in the year 2029, the 5th Post-Atlantean epoch will pass from its 2nd (‘dualistic’) period (308 years: 1413-1721-2029) to its 3rd (‘trinitarian’) period. And fifthly, mankind becomes 21 in the 21st century: this is the crucial Ego century for Mankind.

If Ahriman is to prevent Man from realising that his global Ego is the  Etheric Christ, he surely has to do it in this century, in this (5th Post-Atlantean) Epoch. If he can succeed, then humanity will fail to unite with its global Ego (Christ) in this 5th Post-Atlantean epoch(1413-3573), and human society will descend into a kind of totalitarian nightmare: this will be a version of Francis Bacon’s neo-Atlantean society of Bensalem – the rulership of the ‘sheep’ by the 21st century “Mystery Temple shepherd-priests”  – paternalistic oligarchical scientists, technocrats, businesspeople and their minions in politics, the military and the media. The task of the 5th Post-Atlantean epoch, the epoch of the Consciousness Soul – for individuals to develop their autonomy, their awareness of themselves as spiritual beings and to apply their capacity to think in an ethical way – would then be completely frustrated.

Astronomical signs

Now let us look at some celestial signs of the years 1979-2054 that further lend support to the probability that Ahriman’s incarnation will take place in the 21st century and is therefore actually imminent:  1979 was 21 years before the 21st century opened. On 26 Feb 1979 Pluto penetrated within the orbit of Neptune and until March 1999 it approached closer to the Sun than Neptune. On 26 Feb 1979 there was a total eclipse of the Sun in sidereal2 Aquarius. During the eclipse the Moon’s shadow passed over Mt. St Helens in the northwestern USA. On 20 March 1980 the volcano began to shake with earthquakes. There was a massive eruption on 18 May 1980 (Ascension Sunday).

The decade of the 1980s was overshadowed by the return of Halley’s comet, traditionally associated with materialist impulses. On 1989 4 May (Ascension Day) Pluto approached closest to the earth and Sun in its 248 year orbit. In 1988-1993 there were triple conjunctions (meetings) of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. In 1990-91: Jupiter in sidereal Gemini () opposed Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in Sagittarius (♐). On 26 Feb 1998 Pluto was approaching conjunction with Antares, the star at the heart of Scorpio () and there was then a total Sun eclipse in Aquarius (). All through 1999 Pluto remained in conjunction with Antares  at the centre of Scorpio. In astrosophical terms the meeting of Pluto with Antares in Scorpio is a very ‘dark’ combination. On 11 Aug 1999 there was a total Sun eclipse. The path of the shadow of this eclipse passed over all the regions associated with the post-Atlantean cultural epochs one after the other in reverse order, beginning with Nova Scotia  in N. America and ending in the Bay of Bengal (see below).

On 17-18 Aug 1999 there was a Grand Cross in the Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) i.e. the signs of the 4 evangelists (Luke, Mark, John and Matthew respectively) (see illustration below). This Grand Fixed Cross is known traditionally as the Cross of Crucifixion. It apparently presents a tremendous challenge to all fixed and outdated forms – physical, social, emotional, and mental. In the following months of 1999 the Earth was beset with a remarkable series of natural disasters – notably earthquakes, but also floods and storms, which closed the century and continued right up to its end.

The famous French astrologer of the 16th century, Nostradamus, specifically indicated the year 1999 in one of his most well-known verses about the future. He was not normally so specific with regard to particular years.3 Some 270 days (the period of a human gestation) after the eclipse,  in the first week of May 2000 and continuing on through  Easter (23rd April) and Ascension (1st June),  all the heavenly bodies traditionally associated with the human soul (i.e. not Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), except for Mars, were gathered together in sidereal Aries, the Ram/Lamb (tropical Taurus). This was a remarkable stellium, a mighty cosmic conference of the planets traditionally associated with the human soul. Mars (the planet traditionally associated with aggression but also with courage and which, since the 17th century, according to Rudolf Steiner, has been the planet of the redemptive activity of the Buddha) then led this whole group from sidereal Aries into Taurus (traditionally, the sign of the Holy Spirit). One by one, they passed in opposition to Pluto, which was united in conjunction with Antares (the heart of the constellation of the Scorpion) on the other side of the Zodiac.

Stellium of planets in (tropical) Taurus opposite Pluto and Antares 3 May 2000


 Here (above) we see the pattern for 3 May 2000, though I must apologise that this slide is arranged for the tropical zodiac, in which all planetary positions are some 23°different from the sidereal zodiac. For the sidereal positions, please imagine that the group of planets is in Aries and Pluto is in Scorpio.

Then on 28th May 2000, just before Ascension, there was a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter (traditionally, the planets of past and future respectively).

So, from 11 August 1999 (the Grand Cross in the Fixed Stars and the total sun eclipse)  to the first week in May 2000 and its line-up of all the traditional heavenly bodies relating to the human soul, all in opposition to Pluto’s meeting with Antares, the ‘heart’ of the Scorpion.  The question I think we should consider is whether this 9 month period was the period of gestation of the human being that will serve as a vehicle for Ahriman.

Numbers and Sorath

Moving on from celestial events, it is of interest to note that there are only 3 years which, when divided by 3, result in the number 666, namely: 1998, 1999, and 2000:

1997 / 3  = 665.6666 recurring

1998 / 3 = 666

1999 / 3 = 666.3333 recurring

2000 / 3 = 666.6666 recurring

2001 / 3 =  667

This brings us to the 666 year rhythm of the Sun Demon Sorath, who is mentioned in the 13th chapter of the Book of Revelation of St. John [although the events described there relate to the very end of Earth evolution and not to our own time, according to Steiner]. Here we should note the obvious point that the year 666 falls in the 7th century, 2 x 666 i.e. the year 1332 falls in the 14th century, and 3 x 666 i.e. 1998, although it does not fall in the 21st century, is extremely close to it, only 2 years short of it, and certainly casts its shadow well into it; we can think of 9/11 for example. We thus have the three phases that are so important in the life of the growing human being and in human history: 7-14-21. Steiner describes Sorath as a powerful being of ‘ahrimanic nature’. As the counter-intelligence of the Sun, the Sun Demon, he is obviously opposed in a special way to Michael, the Sun Archangel who, according to Rudolf Steiner4, is in the process of rising to become one of the hierarchy of the Archai. Steiner identified Sorath in particular with the impulse of black magic: in the mystery of 666 is hidden the secret of black magic. Thus there appears on our horizon, so to speak, the division of humanity in the far distant future: those who choose Christ will finally be the white magicians, and the adversaries, the terrible wizards, the black magicians who cannot escape from matter….5

We recall at this time of the 3rd repetition of 666 that the battle flag of the Knights Templar was the Beaucéant, a rectangular flag that consisted of a square of black above a square of white. And what did we see around the time of the millennium emerging from the cultural life of the Anglo-American world?

Two great cinematic trilogies –The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix, which both presented, in their very different ways, the very image of which Steiner spoke: the division of humanity: those who choose the Christ, the white magicians, and the adversaries, the black magicians who are bound in matter.  The two films are also filled with an atmosphere of inexorably rising threat and tension  – the power of terrible dark forces which seek to dominate the entire world and enslave and/or slaughter mankind – this just after the year 1998 (3 x 666). It takes several years to bring a film from initial conception to the cinemas, so we can assume that in the year 1998 those films were either in the planning stage or were actually being made. According to Rudolf Steiner: the signature of the 3rd repetition of 666 would be beings moving among us with non-human faces and the beginning of the division of humanity into two, non-racial, groups races – the moral and the immoral, or amoral. The Sorathic gesture, he said, would begin to show itself in the outer appearance of some human beings. Here (Below left) we see a man in the late 1990s who wanted to transform his body into that of a lizard, and (below right) a Swedish rock singer with the metal band Dark Funeral; vocalists with such bands do not sing but growl or scream. He calls himself Lord Ahriman. In the 1990s, with the spread of the Internet, the names Ahriman and even Sorath were becoming more well-known, especially among young people such as those in the metal rock scene.

First conclusion

I come then now to my first conclusion: namely, that the physical vehicle for Ahriman was conceived, so to speak, in August 1999 at the time of the Grand Cross and the total Sun eclipse and was then born 9 months later in early May 2000 at the time of the meeting of the 7 planets opposed to Pluto conjunct Antares in the Scorpion.

Having being born in 2000, the human vehicle in 2003 would be 3 years old, so, assuming birth in May 2000:

From May 2000 to May 2001 he was learning to stand and walk

From May 2001 to May 2002 he was learning to speak

From May 2002 to May 2003 he was learning to think

One can look at the events of the years 2000 – 2009 from this perspective. 2008 was his 9th year. The 9th/10th year in child development is the year when Ahriman slips into the subconscious experience of the child. Many children begin to wonder if their parents are really their parents. Angst can set in. 2008-2009, the 9th/10th years of the new millennium, were marked by the economic ‘tsunami’, the signature of which was intense fear that the economic ground would suddenly be removed from under the feet of all of us. I see the situation thereafter with regard to the ‘vehicle’ evolving as follows:

•     From birth – 21 the vehicle would keep a low profile, though world events would ‘reflect’  the stages of his development, especially at the ages: 7-9-12-14-18 and 21.

•    He would then “come fully of age” in 2021.

•    He would then make his presence felt on the world stage in the 2030s.

•    He would dominate world affairs, most likely through proxies, as he would prefer to remain  unrecognised, for at least 3 years till 2033 (which is 2000 years from the three years of the Mystery of Golgotha and 100 years on from what Rudolf Steiner indicated would be the coming of the Beast from the Abyss in 1933), or for perhaps 12 years 2030 – 2042.

In 2011-2012 he experienced his first Jupiter return – the 12 year cycle. In 2012-14 he passed through puberty. We all know the great and often tumultuous changes that can take place at that time in child development. One can think of how in the years before 2012 we were prepared by the media to look forward to the Olympic Games which were to take place in London, and that city was to be for a key period the focus of world attention. The various Olympic Games ceremonies in 2012 were deliberately staged global cult spectacles far more sinister and suggestive in nature than the even larger spectacles presented in Beijing four years earlier.  Towards the end of the Ahrimanic vehicle’s puberty experience, in 2014 we had the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, which had begun the agonies of the 20th century. The crisis of 1914 had its immediate forerunner in the Balkan Wars (1912-13) which came out of the Italo-Turkish War of 1911, a conflict fought mainly in North Africa. This was paralleled in our time by the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ event of 1911 and the Greek economic crisis 2012. Then, in 2013/2014 came the Ukraine Crisis and the beginning of what was soon recognised as the second Cold War between Russia and the West. The Syrian Civil War was a terrible theatre within this larger conflict and it produced the unprecedented horrors committed by the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (also known as ISIS or IS). The following four years were a period of gathering tension between and within countries, not least due to the waves of mass migration that flowed from the Middle East to Europe which was itself increasingly consumed by social crises.  In late 2018 we saw the centenary of the end of the Great War, which all in all, including the Soviet revolution, can be seen as constituting for Ahriman both a great achievement and a great defeat: Steiner spoke of how in 1914 Ahriman had clouded the consciousnesses of the 40 or so men in the chancelleries of Europe that were responsible for the July Crisis that led to war. And also late 1918 and the first half of 2019 signified the first Moon Node of the vehicle (18 years 7 months). Finally, in 2020 – 2021, the Ahrimanic vehicle will experience ‘adulthood’ ; the full incarnation  of some kind of ‘ahrimanic ego’.

[P.S. And now in March 2020 we are seeing the deceptive manipulation of an alleged medical pandemic crisis to bring about a complete transformation of the socio-economic order; the overall gesture of this current crisis is contraction: fear, restriction and total control in a global scale, the suspension of freedoms and liberties – all effected with tremendous rapidity.]


1. Hans Peter van Manen, The Incarnation of the Adversary Powers as Seen by Rudolf Steiner (Mercury Press, 1996, original in Das Goetheanum, 3.3.1996)

2. There are two systems of astrology commonly referred to by astrologers: ‘sidereal’ and ‘tropical’. The first is Indian in origin, still widely used in India today and by some western astrologers. In the tropical system, because the constellation observed behind the rising sun on the vernal equinox (spring point) changes over time (causing the spring point to shift one degree every 72 years) the vernal equinox (spring point) is no longer where it was when the Greek astronomer Ptolemy fixed it in the second century AD when the vernal equinox happened to coincide with the First Point of Aries (1° of Aries, the Ram). Such was the prestige of Ptolemy and his writings, however, that the spring point has remained fixed at 1° of Aries in the mind of western astrology. Because the First Point of Aries, traditionally the first of the 12 signs,  defines how the 12 signs of a horoscope are drawn up, the result is that the spring point has in fact ‘wandered’ some 23°and 50 minutes from its actual astronomical position near 1° of Aries in the second century AD. This means that all the positions of the planets given in the system of tropical astrology today are in fact some 23°out of sync from their true astronomical  position. Bizarrely, this does not mean that tropical astrology is no longer valid, as both in personal and mundane (world affairs) applications, its ‘explanations’ of events seem to continue to make sense of those events.

3. The year 1999 seven month,

From the sky will come a great King of terror:

To bring back to life the great King of Angolmois,

Before, after Mars to reign by good luck

(Century X, Quatrain 72)

4. Lecture of 18 May 1913, Stuttgart (GA 194).

5. Lecture of 29 June 1908, GA 104.