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   A Tale

A Tale

Author: Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Set In . . .
 Europe, Germany
Genre: Other
Time Frame: None
Description: The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily is one of the most important stories of the Anthroposophic and Rosicrucian streams. It is a timeless, allegorical tale of initiation and had a profound impact on Rudolf Steiner and on the formulation of his teachings. He called the fairy tale a kind of "secret revelation," an "apocalypse." As the authors point out in The Time Is At Hand! Goethe’s fairy tale begins with a specific image: a river separating two lands that contrast to each other, as do the sensory world and the spiritual world. The story ends with a bridge, created through sacrifice, that spans the river between the two lands.

Indeed, Rudolf Steiner was so deeply impressed by Goethe’s fairy tale, that he used it as the model for his own first mystery drama, The Portal of Initiation. It is said that, prior to its first performance, he told friends, "I know how long and deeply you have loved Goethe’s fairy tale, and today I am happy to tell you that you will see it performed on stage."

The twelve paintings in this book represent the soul experiences of the "Youth" in the fairy tale. These images are the fruit of an intense collaboration between the artist Hermann Linde and Rudolf Steiner, who commissioned the work. Steiner visited Linde’s studio every day and gave him detailed indications for the treatment of the various motifs. The result is this beautifully illustrated, full-color book.

This is a fairy tale for meditation—and for building bridges of the soul and spirit.

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