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Healing Madonnas

Exploring the Sequence of Madonna Images Created by Rudolf Steiner and Felix Peipers for Use in Therapy and Meditation

January 2017
More details
  • Publisher
    Lindisfarne Books
  • Published
    16th January 2017
  • ISBN 9781584209898
  • Pages 160 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 15

This book presents and explores a little-known example of Rudolf Steiner’s efforts to bring, in a practical way, a contemporary embodiment of the wisdom that once lived in the ancient mysteries. In this instance, a sequence of fifteen images of the Madonna, intended originally for contemplation under supervision in a clinical setting as a new form of therapy for those suffering soul wounds.

In a 1908 lecture, Steiner addressed the subterranean spiritual links connecting ancient Egypt and our own time and described certain healing functions of the Isis Mysteries. He connected the Madonna Mary, in a sense, as the evolutionary metamorphosis of Isis, focusing on Raphael’s visionary image of her in the Sistine Madonna.

The sequence consists of fifteen images (predominantly by Raphael) and a sculpture. The first half begins and ends with the Sistine Madonna, which frames it. The second half is similarly framed, but by two details from The Transfiguration. One first establishes a meditative soul mood and then slowly contemplates the sequence of images.

Among the numerous topics discussed are divine feminine Wisdom, the Holy Mother, the origin of the Madonna sequence, the etheric body and the sequence, and Rudolf Steiner’s healing mission.

C O N T E N T S:

Guiding Thoughts

1. By Way of Introduction
2. Approaching the Images, or the Mystery of Seeing
3. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness
4. Sacred–Religious or Secular–Spiritual
5. Enter the Sistine Madonna
6. Devotion and Reverence
7. Sophia: Wisdom Becomes Love
8. The Presence of the Holy Mother
9. The Ancient Mysteries
10. Isis and Madonna
11. The Origins of the Madonna Sequence
12. A Short Prehistory of the Pentagram
13. The Images, Etheric Body, and Organization Underlying the Sequence:

– The Healing Images
– Sistine Madonna
– Beautiful Gardener
– Alba Madonna
– Alba Madonna (detail)
– Pazzi Madonna
– Madonna of the Goldfinch (detail)
– Bridgewater Madonna
– Sistine Madonna (detail)
– Tempi Madonna
– Transfiguration (detail)
– Granduca Madonna
– Madonna of the Fish
– Bruges Madonna
– Madonna of the Goldfinch
– Transfiguration (detail)

14. Working with the Images
15. A Note on the Sistine Madonna
16. A Shorter Note on the Transfiguration
17. The Healing Mission of Rudolf Steiner
18. Appendix: A Further Perspective: Reinhold Johann Faeth: The Madonna Pentagram

Bibliography and Further Reading

Christopher Bamford

Christopher Bamford (1943–2022) was born in Cardiff, South Wales, and lived for a while in Hungary and then in Scotland. He studied as an undergraduate at Trinity University in Dublin and earned his master’s degree at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. For nearly thirty years, he was Editor in Chief at SteinerBooks (Anthroposophic Press) and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he lectured, taught, and wrote widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. His books include a selection of his numerous introductions, Encountering Rudolf Steiner: Introductions to Essential Works (2022); Healing Madonnas: Exploring the Sequence of Madonna Images Created by Rudolf Steiner and Felix Peipers for Use in Therapy and Meditation (2017); An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West (2003); and The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity (1990). He also translated and edited numerous books, including Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science (2001); The Noble Traveller: The Life and Writings of O. V. de L. Milosz (1984); and Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness (1982). Essays by Mr. Bamford are included in The Best Spiritual Writing 2000 (“In the Presence of Death”) and The Best American Spiritual Writing 2005 (“The Gift of the Call”). Christopher passed over the threshold on May 13, 2022, at his Mt. Washington, Massachusetts home.