2011: Utøya – The Cross and the Roses

This essay first appeared in New View magazine

Autumn 2011

Terry Boardman

In the course of a year, all of us here on Earth move round the Sun once. As the Earth orbits the Sun, so too do all the other planets of our solar system at their differing speeds and thus they come into different mathematical relationships with each other. Astrologers call these relationships ‘aspects’. For example, when, from our perspective here on earth, two planets appear very close to each other, within say, 5° arc of space, they are said to be ‘in conjunction’; they are ‘meeting’; this is normally held to be a ‘harmonious’ aspect, or at least not ‘stressful’. When they are on exactly opposite sides of the Sun, 180° apart, they are ‘in opposition’; this is considered ‘stressful’. There are many other major or minor harmonious or stressful aspects. One of the other stressful aspects is when two planets are at right angles (90°) to each other. So we might look into the heavens and see, for example, Mars set against the  middle of the constellation Aries (Ram) and Venus set against the middle of the constellation of  Gemini (Twins). The 90° arc of relationship then obtaining between these two planets would be called ‘a square aspect’. The planets are constantly changing these aspects to each other like changing harmonies or dissonances in a piece of music. It is these changing aspects against the backdrop of the fixed stars of the Zodiac that give each of our Earth orbits around the Sun a different quality, a character of their own.

In some of our years (orbits), we are particularly affected by a very significant relationship (aspect) between two or more planets in the solar system. Pluto, the ruler of the underworld in Greek mythology, is the name given to the ninth planet from the sun, discovered 71 years ago in 1930. It certainly feels somehow as if the year 2011 has a  ‘plutonic’, or shattering, quality to it. Rebellions and revolutions across the Arab countries, a major earthquake in New Zealand, a monster one (magnitude 9) in Japan, followed by a giant tsunami and a radiation crisis which is still ongoing, the so-called ‘killing of Osama bin Laden’ in May, civil war in Libya, shocks for big organisations like the Murdoch empire and BP, economic breakdown in Greece, mass murder in Norway, a sudden eruption of violent and destructive riots in Britain, sudden rifts between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Turkey, national bankruptcies in several European countries, notably Greece, and  throughout all this, a throbbing economic toothache in the global economy that feels like it’s steadily advancing towards some jaw-shattering event. And sure enough, our modern Chaldean soothsayers, the astrologers, are all pointing to the after effects of the Saturn-Uranus opposition of 2008-2010 and the Uranus-Pluto square that will be with us from 2011 until 2016 as the ’causes’ of these events. Now, Uranus the dramatic revolutionary in Aries (idealism, individual initiative) is square (90°i.e. a major tension) to Pluto the annihilatory transformer in Capricorn (authority, systems, government). The last time these two planets were square to each other was in 1932 and 1933, years which saw the world sink into the pits of the Depression era, the Nazi takeover in Germany, Stalin’s brutality ongoing in Ukraine, Japan’s exit from the League of Nations and its takeover of Manchuria, and FDR’s becoming President of the USA. The last time Pluto, which moves very slowly (it has an orbit of 248 years), was in Capricorn was in 1762 to 1778 – the time of the tension between Britain and its American colonies and then the outbreak of war between them (1775). That period also included the founding of the United States on 4 July 1776. Pluto moved into Capricorn in January 2008 and will exit it in November 2024. The square between Uranus and Pluto in our time now will be very exact seven times ! (see table):

1    24June          2012
2    19 Sept.         2012
3    20 May           2013  
4    1 Nov.            2013  
5    12 April          2014  
6    15 Dec.          2014  
7    16/17 March   2015      

The overwhelming concurrence among astrologers is that we are likely to witness more much shock and awe over the next few years. According to the astrologers, this Uranus-Pluto square is likely to be more potent and destructive because it is happening in the cardinal (hard, energetic) signs of Aries and Capricorn (each Zodiac constellation is called a sign and these also have varying qualities passed down from antiquity) whereas the Uranus-Pluto conjunction that occurred in the 1960s was in the mutable (soft, changeable) sign of Virgo.

The astrologers may be right about the significance of the cosmic events in themselves, but they often go awry when it comes to interpretation of how the heavenly events will be reflected here on Earth. For example, one has written about the events of 2011:

One other thing: as long as free(ish) market capitalism is the economic system that dominates the world, there will probably be democracy. The two go hand in hand. (Apparent) freedom of choice stimulates the economy. The big companies are very keen for the Arab world to become democratized, especially where there is theocracy. Huge markets will open up. Think about the economic ramifications of the liberation of women in the Arab world, for example. (1)

Compare this with the French socialist economist and writer Delaisi who, in his book La Democratie et les Financiers, published  in 1910, already saw how democracy was regarded by financiers as the most effective screen behind which they could hide their manipulations. “Financiers,” he wrote, “were usually imagined to be the enemies of democracy, but this was a fundamental error. On the contrary, they run democracy and encourage it, for it provides a screen behind which they can hide their method of exploitation, and they find it their best defence against any objections which the populace may raise”. He went on to cite 55 individuals who were the real rulers and exploiters of France. Rudolf Steiner described Delaisi as a man who had woken up to reality. (2)

Apart from the earthquakes of 2011, what many of the other events so far this year have in common is a link with the Islamic world. I wrote in a previous issue of New View this year (Spring 2011) about what I think is happening with regard to the Muslim world, so I shall not repeat that, but two points perhaps still deserve to be raised in this connection: a) the ‘age’ of Islam, b) the massacres committed by Anders Behring Breivik.

The ‘age’ of Islam
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months (3) so that one year is 354 or 355 days and for Muslims, this year (2011) is 1432, dating from the beginning of the Muslim calendar in 622. If we consider for a moment that a calendar denotes the passage of time experienced by a developing culture – in this case Islam – and reveals the stages of the biography of this development, then it may be interesting to juxtapose the present passage of over 1400 years of the Islamic ‘biography’ with a similar period from the Christian Sun calendar (365/6 days a year) used in the west. It might seem at first as if this is contradictory due to the differing solar and lunar nature of the calendars, but the point here is not so much the calendrical as the purely numerical, septenary element in both dating systems: 7-14-21 i.e. what happened in both cultures when they were in their respective 7th and 14th centuries? In this way we can look to the 1430s in Europe, which was the time when Prince Henry the Navigator in Portugal was beginning to lead European humanity out beyond itself into new worlds, when Joan of Arc was initiating the French drive to push the English back to their island which would eventually lead them to reorient themselves to the oceans, and when Cosimo de Medici met the Greek scholar Gemistos Plethon, who had travelled to the Council of Florence from what was left of the dying Byzantine Empire. Inspired  by Plethon,  Cosimo de Medici founded the Platonic Academy that did so much to set off the Renaissance.  

We can describe the dramatic crises through which the Christian world passed during its 14th-15th centuries,  as having been something in the nature of a ‘puberty crisis’, being 14 centuries on from the beginning of the Christian era.  Here we are reckoning that 100 cultural years is analogous to one individual human year – so at 14/15 years a teenager is passing through puberty. One of the features of this puberty phase, both in the life of the individual and in the life of Europe in the Middle Ages  is a ‘coming down to earth’. The religious idealism that had grown between the 11th and 13th centuries faded away; with the famines, plagues and wars of the 14th and 15th centuries, Europe began to orient itself much more to worldly concerns. This was reflected even in the changes in fashion at the time. Until the mid-14th century, the dress of European males of the nobility was not so different from  that of males in the Near East for example, and women also dressed modestly, but a drastic change had set in by 1400. Men of the European nobility now showed their legs right up to their thighs and noblewomen displayed their decolletage; this is an interesting symptom that parallels what happens with the teenager at puberty. It could be said that the Islamic world has been passing through a puberty experience of its own these past 130 years or so in the process of being impacted by western culture and has reacted against that. The West’s own ‘puberty experience’ led to considerable religious strains which eventually erupted in the Reformation. Between approximately 1370 and 1420 the seeds of what would become Protestantism were sown by John Wycliffe’s Lollards in England and Jan Huss’ Hussites in Bohemia. Similarly, the Muslim world over the past decades has seen increasing dissension and conflict between its own factions – between the Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims, for example, and western actions in the region have only exacerbated this. For example, the western year 1980 corresponds to the first year of the   14th  Muslim century, 1301, and in 1980 the terrible Iraq-Iran War broke out which went on for 8 years and cost 1.5 million casualties. This war a religious and cultural undertow, being a struggle between the largely Shi’ite Iranians, who are of course, not Arabs,  and the Sunni Arab leadership of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Saudi Arabia funded Iraq in the war to the tune of $30 billion, and the influence of the radical fundamentalist Sunni Wahhabi sect of,  Saudi Arabia has also been spreading across the world in recent decades. If, however, one sees that the Islamic community is going through its ‘puberty crisis’, so to speak, then that can help one to gain some understanding for what that community is going through. Puberty does not go on forever. However, the religious disturbances in Europe that began in the late 14th century went on until the mid-17th century. Again, this approximately parallels the period of puberty, from the age of 13 to 16. The Muslim world then, is going through a period of turbulence that has some time to run.  This gives us a certain context for now  looking at a troubling event in 2011.

Breivik and the Templars
The Anders Breivik case in Norway also involves Islam, as Breivik’s fanatical ideology was based on opposition to Islam and what he regarded as its penetration and takeover of European civilisation. He even saw himself as a ‘Justiciar Knight Templar’, a crusading knight empowered to judge others and bring them to justice – hence the word ‘justiciar’  – even if it meant killing them. He killed all those young people in the Norwegian Labour Party youth camp on Utøya island because he saw them as the Labour Party politicians of the future who were already preparing to allow more Muslim immigrants into Europe and were anti-Israel. Indeed, the Norwegian Labour Party had been critical of Israeli policies earlier in the year, and the youth camp participants had been discussing the issue in the days before the massacre.

The Templars were regarded during the Crusades by the Muslims as their most feared opponents, precisely because, like the Muslim jihadists of today, they were fanatical fighters for their cause and for the most part, absolutely unafraid of death. They would always fight to the bitter end and sold their lives very dearly. This was why Saladin, the great Muslim champion, often had any Templar prisoners immediately put to death after battles, whereas he would spare other Christian warriors. The powerfully armed Templars on their heavy horses were the first-in-last-out shock troops of their time, the battering ram of the Christian armies in attack and the most stubborn warriors in defence. Fighting them invariably meant a lot of blood would be spilled. The would-be Templar Anders Breivik, who claimed he was motivated by Europe’s ‘Christian values’ yet admitted Christianity was not his real concern, slaughtered 69 people on the island of Utøya, mostly 17 and 18 year olds, and 8 in Oslo where he had exploded a bomb outside the Prime Minister’s Office. He had patiently and methodically prepared for these acts over nine years. His lawyer very quickly suggested to the media that Breivik was insane, but statements by the people who had known him over those nine years and also the 1500-page manifesto (titled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence under the English name “Andrew Berwick”) that he had released on the Internet and had mailed to 1003 email addresses just before he exploded his bomb suggest that he was far from insane. His action was, however, dramatic and utterly cold-blooded. In this, it certainly bears the hallmark of the Uranus-Pluto square planetary configuration that so many astrologers have been saying now hangs over us in the heavens, from 2011-2015 (4): Uranus the dramatic revolutionary and Pluto, who seeks to transform through annihilation. Breivik’s deeds were like a sudden and totally unexpected explosion of mediaeval behaviour in the 21st century: the slaughter of innocents for the sake of one’s beliefs. For the knights of those times, their chivalry notwithstanding, would often slaughter all the helpless civilians of a besieged town once they had forced entry, as happened, for example, after the Crusaders finally broke into Jerusalem in 1099.

Breivik claimed to be fighting to defend European civilisation from invasion and takeover by Muslims, a takeover he argued in his manifesto and in emails to other anti-Muslim groups was being assisted and encouraged by ‘progressive, liberal-minded’ people in Norway. They felt they were doing this in the name of tolerance, compassion and cosmopolitanism. The Waldorf School-educated Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who responded with such admirable restraint after the attacks and encouraged his compatriots to do the same, was described by Peder Jensen, a Norwegian blogger known as Fjordman and cited 111 times by Breivik in his manifesto, as a “pathetic sucker for Islam as it is humanly possible to be” [sic] (5). Tolerance, compassion and cosmopolitanism were also values that the Templars often displayed. They sought to be protectors of pilgrims to the Holy Land; they often showed understanding and compassion for Muslims and even entered alliances with Muslims on occasion. More than other Christian knights, many of whom were in the Holy Land for reasons of materialistic gain, many Templars wanted to understand the Holy Land and its peoples even while they were determined to uphold the Christians’ right to occupy lands there. Rudolf Steiner and others have maintained that the real reason why the Templars and some other Christian knights went to Palestine was that they sought to create in the land where Jesus walked and lived a Christian community that would not be ruled by Rome. According to Steiner, the Templars held that their real spiritual teacher was not the individuality John the Baptist (as a number of writers have tried to argue recently; Steiner was also aware of this argument) but the Christ working through the spirit of the Water-bearer Aquarius that John, who baptised with water, represented (6). This pointed to the Christian spirit of the coming age of Aquarius which would be one of tolerance, compassion and cosmopolitanism, in short, true community and brotherhood. The Templars, Steiner indicated, were working for the far future, planting seeds for that time. They sought to enter into relationship with the peoples of the Near East; they sought to learn and bring back to Europe the star wisdom of those regions, the star wisdom which had in it both the divine feminine wisdom of Isis-Sophia reaching back to the previous epoch of Egypt and Chaldea but also the basis of the mathematics which would transform the architecture and science of Europe. This is why the Templars so honoured the Virgin, the Christian Isis-Sophia, she who provided the star wisdom of the Near East that would transform physical life on earth, as the mother, through her knowledge of heart and mind, transforms a house into a home and makes it a liveable, comforting environment. The mother cares for physical life, for life on earth. This is the deeper meaning and the feminine aspect of natural science – to improve the quality of our physical life in a caring way.

The Templars were also an experiment in community. Insofar as they were monks, praying and labouring, their Order was nothing new; there had been Orders of monks for centuries, but insofar as they were warriors and monks, they were engaged directly in the process of melding the feminine element (the priestly) with the masculine (the knightly) and thereby civilising the rough and violent forces of European culture that had come over from the Dark Ages: this was something new. Previously, the warrior class had only been preached at by monks and priests; now the warriors had a context, a community, in which they could be monks and priests themselves. They learned not only how to get on with each other in the service of God, but also how to get on with others whose religion was different, how to understand those people and interact with them. Furthermore, their Order was much more international than traditional Orders of monks. In addition to the Templar Commanderies in the various European countries which had as members mostly men from the same country, men from many different countries travelled to the Holy Land to join the Templars there. These various characteristics of the Templars planted seeds in European culture of tolerance, compassion, and cosmopolitanism.

When their Order was destroyed by Philip the Fair in 1307-1314, the Templars were not only tortured and killed, they were also discredited and defamed, unfairly accused of horrendous sins, heresies and crimes. Their white garments were turned black, as it were, their reputation inverted. This inversion has been a characteristic of the past 15 years or so in many of the books, documentaries and films about the Templars. On the Internet and in alternative history circles, for example, the Templars are often seen as the satanic originators of the ‘banksters’ of our era, because they were the first Europeans to practise a kind of international banking. One could deposit money with the Templars in one country and rest assured that it could be picked up or paid out in another country at the other end of Europe or across the Mediterranean. This was possible precisely because the Templars handled money in an ethical way and in the ethical context of their Order and practice. It was only after the destruction of the cosmopolitan Templars by the gold-obsessed Philip IV of France, that banking increasingly came to be defined by such as the Bardi and Peruzzi in Italy or the Fuggers in Germany, who all developed banking in the self-interest of their own families. The Templars are also often unfairly damned today as the ancestors of the Freemasons and the Illuminati (7), who in turn are said by their many detractors to be the originators of the infamous ‘New World Order’. A closer and more accurate parallel would be with the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. Like the Templars, the Jesuits were founded independently of the Papacy and were accepted by it as an effective force in its service. The Society of Jesus was also founded by a former warrior, Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) and organised on a military basis, but the Jesuits did not bear arms and were subject, like the Templars, to strict discipline and obedience, above all to the Pope. Unlike the white of the Templars, the Jesuits wore black. They became known as the most effective spiritual warriors of the Counter-Reformation. They too were a cosmopolitan Order and strove to get close to, even right under the skin of, the peoples of other cultures who they wished to influence or convert. However, in fact, the Society of Jesus was the first inversion of the Order of the Templars, for unlike the Templars, the Jesuits strove in the service of the Popes as Caesars and in the service of Jesus as King; whatever the Pope in Rome commanded was their will, and in so doing, they were looking back to the impulse of the Roman Empire rather than forward, like the Templars, to the Age of Aquarius the Water-bearer.

Anders Breivik’s massacre on the Lake
Anders Breivik has been another example of such an inversion of the Templar spirit this year. He turned inside out what the Templars strove to be. In his online rants he denied tolerance; in his killings he showed hardly any compassion (8), and cosmopolitanism he accepted only when it suited his own personal interests. His neo-Templar Order was in fact, like the Nazi SS, an anti-Templar Order – the inversion of the Templar Order. He lived and acted in the service of his ideals not in real human community but largely

 Anders Breivik                            Alan Lake                    Tommy Robinson

by himself and with an international virtual community of anti-Muslims on the Internet. He failed to recognise that it had been the Muslim world, precisely from the time of the Crusades, that had mediated to Europe the scientific knowledge of which westerners are often so proud and from which Breivik himself, as a rich middle class young man, evidently benefited so much. The feminine spirit of the Virgin Mary/Isis-Sophia that was adored by the Templars Breivik rejected, and here we can perhaps begin to try to find it in our hearts to feel some compassion for him, for he clearly suffered as a child and teenager from his parents’ broken relationships, and his calls for a return to a strong patriarchy in Europe would seem to reflect his own frustrated need for a strong and constant but caring father. His father, a former diplomat, in fact declared after his son’s atrocities that he disowned him and wished to see him dead.

The Breivik case has focused attention on the underground network of radical nationalists, neo-Nazis, and anti-Muslim groups across the western world. The Guardian newspaper has published a very useful map, based on Breivik’s manifesto, showing all the connections between these groups and networks and between them and more visible public figures (9). The extent of these networks is considerable and when one puts these together in one’s mind with all the networks of organised crime, white-collar criminals and leftwing revolutionaries, one is reminded of how much our conventional society still exists unwittingly amidst or above so much violent and anti-human behaviour in the depths – how precarious and precious is this thing we call ‘society’ and ‘democracy’. More than a few of the threads in Breivik’s manifesto led to Britain. It was interesting to note that the media quickly tried to pin the blame for the inspiration for Breivik’s ideas on an Englishman named Paul Ray, who blogs on the internet under the name ‘Lionheart’ and also considers himself to be a Knight Templar. It soon became evident, however, if one investigated but a little – which the mainstream media mostly seemed uninterested in doing – that Ray was being set up. Ray himself and the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight instead pointed the finger at Alan Lake, a millionaire English businessman with extensive overseas connections to numerous rightwing and anti-Muslim groups. The mainstream media seemed uninterested in Lake, but one only has to watch Lake in action at a lecture he gave at a  rightwing Sweden Democrat party seminar (10)  to see that his ideas are echoed in detail in Breivik’s manifesto. Although he himself has denied the charge, Lake, clearly no street-fighter himself, has been identified as a major financial backer of the far right anti-Muslim English Defence League, which specialises in street protest and violence. Lake is on record, however, as saying he is keen to establish links between ‘thinkers’ and ‘street-fighters’. Breivik claimed his activities had been inspired by a secretive foundational meeting of his ‘Knights Templar’ group in London in 2002 at which  he had been ‘initiated’. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the English Defence League, chatted with their members frequently online and wanted to set up a Norwegian equivalent of the League. Lake is also on record as saying (to Norwegian TV) he would like to see liberals such as the Archbishop of Canterbury and Nick Clegg exiled to Muslim enclaves in Britain and executed if they tried to escape (11). Referring to Breivik’s crimes, Lake wrote on his website 4Freedoms : “He did this attack to protest against the way that Islam is taking over large parts of Europe. By attacking the leftist politicians that are enabling this, the chickens have come home to roost.” Lake speaks like Hitler did in the 1920s, but he is not anti-Jewish; on the contrary, he speaks highly of Israel and Zionism. In fact, both he and Breivik refer approvingly to virulent rightwing Jewish or pro-Zionist Islamophobes in Europe such as the Dutch politician Geert Wilders and in America such as Pamela Geller, Rabbi Nachum Shifren, and  Richard Spencer (12). For Hitler, it was the  ‘Jews’; for Lake and Breivik, it is not the Jews but the Muslims.

700 years on….
It is indeed significant that the motif of the Knights Templar has come up so many times over the last thirty years. The 700th anniversary of the suppression of the Templars by King Philip IV of France (1285-1314) and Pope Clement V occurred on 13 October 2007. After 700 years, a Vatican researcher, Barbara Frale, in 2001 discovered in the Vatican Secret Archives a document she claimed had gone missing in 1628 which showed that the Pope had in fact absolved the Templars of any charge of heresy in 1308. This was finally published by the Church on 25 October 2007, 700 years to the month of the Templars’ suppression. One can wonder whether this timing had anything to do with the pressure the Church has been under in recent years due to the Dan Brown publishing phenomenon and the Hollywood movies that have been made of Brown’s books (The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons) and prior to this, the lesser but perhaps even more influential publishing phenomenon of the books by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, which began with The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail in 1982. The Knights Templar have figured largely in all these books and films, and have usually been presented in them as either a positive or an ambiguous force. Indeed, these books and films  have  usually suggested that the Templars were not really Christians at all, but some kind of Gnostic pagans. By contrast, Christianity, and especially the Roman Catholic church, has been portrayed in them for the most part in a very negative light.

Steiner associated the destruction of the Templars with the being traditionally known as Antichrist and referred to in the Apocalypse of St John (chapter 13) who acts, not only at the end of the world, as described in the Apocalypse, but also every 666 years, approximately, through certain human beings (13). The mystical number of this being is 666 and its name is Sorath (14). In the 7th century (666), according to Steiner, it acted through a powerful leader at the Academy of Gondishapur in Persia. In the 14th century (1332) it manifested notably in King Philip IV’s destruction  of the Templars (15). Some 66 years before the third appearance of the activity of this dark Sun being (around 1998), it was first ‘announced’ by Adolf Hitler. Each manifestation of Sorath occurs not only in one year but in a kind of window of time around it. Steiner always associated the destruction of the Templars with the second manifestation of Sorath’s activity in 1332, but the Templars were in fact destroyed not in 1332 but some 25 years earlier, between 1307 and 1314. It is interesting, however, to map this 25-year periodicity (1307-1332) with a similar 25-year periodicity prior tothe third manifestation of Sorath’s activity in 1998 – thus, the period 1973-1998. If the Sorathic activity does not end with the years 1332 and 1998 but occurs around them, ‘how far around’ them does it occur? Steiner’s indication for the 14th century would seem to suggest a period of at least 25 years prior to the exact centre of the Sorathic activity: 1307-1332. We can therefore imagine that there was a similar 25-year period on the other side of the central exact date, which would take us to 1357. We can imagine here an impulse fading in to a peak and then fading out again. If there is anything to such thoughts, we would  expect that this 50 year period would be especially marked by severe crises. What do we find?

The whole 50-year period 1307-1332-1357 takes in: the destruction of the Templars, the great north European famine of 1315-22, the deaths of the three sons of Philip IV one after the other and the demise of his dynasty, the outbreak of the 100 Years’ War and the subsequent near-collapse of the kingdom of France, the European economic crisis that followed the collapse of the great Italian banking houses of Bardi and Peruzzi (1345), and the Black Death pandemic (1347-1353), which wiped out between 30-60% of the population of Europe. The last time there had been such a massive pandemic had been in the 6th and 7th centuries (541-750) with the great plague of Justinian that spread from Egypt to Constantinople and the rest of Europe (16). The first period of 666 (641-666-691) also saw the  eruption of the Islamic conquests throughout Asia and North Africa and the collapse of the Persian Empire. These events in the 7th and 14th centuries when Sorath manfested its activity were major turning points in history. If we map a similar window of time onto our present era, then we get a 50-year period of Sorath’s activity over the years 1973-1998-2023, rising from the early 1970s to a peak around 1998 and then fading again towards 2023. It is not difficult to recognise that thus far, as we have approached and entered this 21st century, this period too has been one of exceptional crisis for humanity.(17)

Cross and Roses
It is at puberty, around 14, that the most drastic changes can happen in a child’s physicality. Anders Breivik, who has a typical Nordic type appearance, was born in 1979. When I first went to Norway in 1972, there were hardly any non-Europeans in the country. Since then, the number has grown to over 420,000, while the total immigrant population is 601,000, over 12% of the total Norwegian population of just under 5 million, a huge increase in 40 years for such a small country. According to Reuters, Oslo is the fastest growing city in Europe because of immigration. Since the 1970s immigration throughout Europe has been rapidly increasing in many countries, and it has been driven mostly by liberal elites for various reasons – compassion for the victims of oppression among some and the desire to weaken the nation state and national consciousness among others – and also by business circles, eager to attract cheap labour. But many people are now realising that the pace of absorption of all these peoples from very different backgrounds has been too fast. This in essence is what Breivik was reacting against so brutally. Recognising this might be hard for some  liberals to accept, because they are usually led by their ideals, which sometimes do not correspond to the reality of their fellow citizens’ feelings. Liberals often expect or demand that their fellows should be as progressive and open as they themselves are, but this is to ignore the facts of development, the growth and evolution of consciousness. A politics based on social liberals vs social conservatives, each asserting that their way is the right one,  will achieve little that is healthy in the long run. We can try to see that we need both liberals and conservatives, as we need both the accelerator and the brake to drive a car. And as we also need a gear to help adjust the speed, we can recognise that we need a quality of balance in ourselves to move between liberal and conservative ways of thinking and acting appropriately at the right time.

If the 14th century was the Christian world’s ‘puberty crisis’, we could perhaps compare the 7th century with the kind of  ‘change of teeth’ crisis that every child goes through when it loses its baby teeth and gains its adult teeth, beginning to establish its own sense of self as separate from its mother’s life body. Following this analogy, the 21st century is then the Ego crisis, the time when the young person, in this case mankind, which is being led in this epoch, for better or worse, by the so-called Christian western countries, experiences itself as truly self-conscious and responsible for its own fate and its way into the future. Around the age of 20 the young person can experience beauty, courage, optimism and self-confidence but also fear, confusion, pain, loss and sadness as he or she tries to establish an independent place in life. All of those qualities and feelings were experienced by the young people, most of them in their late teens and early 20s on Utøya island, before, during and after the murderous attack on them. And how did the Norwegian people, led by their calm Prime Minister, respond to Andreas Breivik’s sudden annihilatory act of terror? They responded with roses.

In central Oslo on 25th July Norwegian Cross flags floated over a sea of roses carried by 150,000 people who came together in response to Breivik’s deed, to show their love and compassion for the victims and their families and to demonstrate their solidarity with each other and for the sake of Norwegian society. There were far fewer flags than roses. It was for what the flag symbolised for him – Norway, his imagined culture, his imagined people -  that Breivik killed his victims, seeing them as traitors or potential traitors to his flag and his image of his country and culture. It was surely right that there should be some flags there nonetheless on the 25th July in Oslo but even more right that they should be so greatly outnumbered by the roses. For the Norwegian people’s spontaneous response to the awful violence that had been done to them, to their young ones, their future, in the name of the blue and white cross on the red flag was to raise the flower of Man in many colours: red, white, orange, yellow, pink. The rose – the flower of beauty and pain, the five-petalled flower of Man. Man, who must choose between good and evil.


(1) Lara Owen at http://planetaryenergies.net/articles/the-uranus-pluto-square-2011-2016/
(2) quoted from a lecture by Rudolf Steiner, 28.10.1917 (Collected Works GA 177) in The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1993)
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_calendar
(4)http://livingmoonastrology.com/2010/04/26/2008-2010-years-of-the-saturn-uranus-opposition/  and  http://planetaryenergies.net/articles/the-uranus-pluto-square-2011-2016/
(5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fjordman
(6) Steiner lecture of 3 Dec. 1905, GA 192
(7) The Order of the Illuminati – a secret society to overthrow the entire traditional  religious and social order, founded by the Jesuit-educated Professor of Canon Law Adam Weishaupt, a radical rationalist, in Ingolstadt Germany, 1 May 1776
(8) Breivik spared the lives of just two who he came across on the island, an 11-year old boy and a 22-year old man. All others he shot at, either on land or in the water.
 (9) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/07/anders-breivik-hate-manifesto     The Centre for American Progress is a left-leaning thinktank that has conducted a detailed study, based on Breivik’s manifesto and other sources,  into the powerful rightwing political and economic forces that fund and propagandise Islamophobia in the US. It makes for interesting reading:
(10) Alan Lake lecture to Sweden Democrats’ seminar :
Alan Lake on Norwegian TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfV6yO12rHs
(11) http://www.edlnews.co.uk/edl-news/alan-lake-his-final-solution
(12) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Geller ;
(13) Rudolf Steiner, lectures 7 & 8 in The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest (Rudolf Steiner Press,1998)
(14) See n.12.  Sorath – the name has a profound esoteric meaning. It was referred to by the Renaissance era occultist Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa as the negative spirit  or dark intelligence of the Sun in his book De Occulta Philosophia liri tres (1531-33) and can be understood as ‘the doppelganger of the Sun’. Cf. the Nazis’ use of the ancient swastika sun sign and contemporary neo-Nazis’ use of the Celtic sun and cross symbol.
(15) See n.12, lec. 8
(16) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plague_of_Justinian
(17) To mention only a few phenomena: the oil crises of 1973 and 1979, the political terrorism of the 1970s, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, the nuclear weapons tensions of the early 1980s, the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf Crisis and War 1990-1, the Balkan Wars of the 1990s,  the economic crises of the late 1990s, 9/11, the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, the financial crisis of 2007-11.

© Terry Boardman

First uploaded 9.7.2012  Last updated 16.7.2012