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Carla Borri

Angelo Antonio Fierro

STELLA MARIS METHOD


A PATH FOR ART-THERAPY OF THE COLOUR

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Carla Borri
Angelo Antonio Fierro

STELLA MARIS METHOD


A PATH FOR ART-THERAPY OF THE COLOUR
according to
Lessenza dei colori by Rudolf Steiner

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Edited by Daniela DAlessandro


Translated by Francesco Settanni
Graphic project by Paolo Catalani
Drawings by Erika Celotti
Thanks to:
Maria Luisa Bergianti, Elisa Ferrini, Viviana Loiacono, Armandina Milani, Manuela Elsa Matteazzi,
Marinella Collina, Laura Gilberti, Anna Mazzanti, Mara Medri, Daniela Vallin, Carlo Catalani
for their kind cooperation.
2010 Editrice CambiaMenti
Ia edizione
ISBN 978-88-96029-09-1
editrice CAMBIAMENTI sas
40125 Bologna Via A. Quadri, 9
tel. 051 522 440 Fax 051 553 857
www.cambiamenti.com
All rights of reproduction or adaptation reserved in all countries.
Reproduction of this book, or parts of it, by any medium, including print, photocopy,
microlm and electronic storage, unless expressly authorized by the publisher, is prohibited.
The editor is available to beneciaries with whom it was not possible to communicate.

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Carla Borri, Easter

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FOREWORD
The authors of Stella Maris Method, described in this book, offer
a free approach to the Anthroposophic colour therapy, setting a
clear, and well thought out, path of exercises, derived from Rudolf
Steiners science of the human being, and from the developments of
his meditations about colour.
Such a result shows to be stimulating, not only for art-therapists
training, but also for the uninitiated who want to enter a path
towards art-therapy, or commit themselves in deepening their
understanding of the essence of colours.
Although circumscribed, this contribution can also be a suitable
source of inspiration for therapeutic educators, and teachers.
I wish this young method, which is forming in Italy, to be organically
inserted in Germany and the Netherlands,in the already differentiated
field of art therapy. It certainly cant replace the teachings and
the practices carried on by Margherethe Hauschka, Liane Collot
dHerbois, Gerard Wagner, Eva Mess-Christeller and others, but it can
be a good integration.
Michaela Glckler
Medical Section at the Goetheanum
Easter, 2010

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THE MYSTERY BACKGROUND OF THE BIRTH


OF STELLA MARIS METHOD WITHIN
THE ITALIAN PEOPLES SOUL

verything, every event in the world,


as well as every human behaviour,
everything has two sides and shows,
I would almost say,
a polarity between two opposites.
Rudolf Steiner

A number of coincidences, mixed with the clinical practice of the painting exercises, made while
trying to set a systematic method, have gradually revealed, and outlined with increasing clarity,
the images rising from the mythological mystery memory of the human being.
In particular, the key images emerged of one of the great southern mysteries of post-Atlantic
era: those related to the god Mithra, whose rising was testified by Plutarch about the 2nd century
b.C. (an historical moment coinciding with the discovery, by Hipparchus, of the precession of the
equinoxes: an event that marks a spiritual turning point), identifying the town of Tarso, in Cilicia
(present Turkey), as the birthplace of the new Mithraic cult.
In Tarso, at that time, an important philosophical school flourished connected with Stoicism, a
thought stream that, despite the assimilation of the Logos to Nature, is affected, in some of its
leaders, by the Chaldean Oracles and the Egyptian theology, and by metaphysical concepts of
Platonic origin. So, that the Mithraic mysteries are echoing both the influences of late-Persian,
derived from Zoroastrianism, and those of Platonism, shown in the image of the Deus creator,
or Demiurge, in the well known myth of the cave (on the walls of which are projected, to
unsuspecting viewers, only the shadows of things), and in the interplanetary journey of the soul
from and to the Empyrean, the Heaven of all Heavens (made of the subtlest igneous substance),
in preparation of every earthly incarnation, corresponding to the ladder with seven initiatory
steps of Mithraism.
In Rome, and up to the extreme boundaries of the Roman Empire (in Britannia, along the Danube
and the Rhine, in Asia Minor) the Mithraic mysteries found a growing mass of followers, and
eventually eclipsed with the failure of the religious reform promoted by the emperor Julian Flavio
(called the Apostate), who wanted to be initiated to the Chaldean Mysteries and to the Egyptian
solar cult, and thus asked to be buried at Tarso.
According to the mythological tradition, Tarso was founded by Perseus, the divine hero, the
winged lion, detectable in the sky in the homonymous constellation close to Taurus, which,
following certain observation paths from the boreal to the austral sky, is also related to Canis
Minor, Snake-Hydra, Cup, Raven, and Scorpio, the images represented into the Mysteries of
Mithras, Lord of the Cosmos, maker of tauroctony (the killing of the bull).
Indeed, the central event of the mystery is the sacrifice accomplished by Mithras, who kills a
white bull in a cave: this is the beginning of the creation of the visible world, the genesis of the
seven planets and the seven metals, of the colours, of the trees and the plants. And the timing
of this event, the dawn of the 16th day (when the full moon sets exactly while the sun is rising)
of the 7th month (which coincides with the autumn equinox), opens to our eyes two scenarios:
an ancient one, the relationship between Mithras-Sun and Taurus-Moon, demonstrated also by
the presence of the triple goddess Hecate in Roman Mithraea, and the presence of the sistrum,

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instrument of Isis-Moon, one of the symbols of the fourth initiatory degree of the Lion; and a
new one, the relationship of Mithras-Sun with the Archangel Michael and the Dragon, who is
the Christianized metamorphosis of the myth, except that the Michael points the spear (or the
sword), without sticking, in the neck region, where correspondingly is human thyroid, the brain
of the sentient soul.
The inner path cultivated in the Mithraic mysteries, whose rituals were performed into the cave of
the Sol Invictus (invincible sun) gives full account of their emergence in the present post-Atlantic
era, in which man can make his way towards his Higher Self, starting from his own instinctiveanimal cave, thanks to the solar Christic forces.
In fact, beginning to paint the artistic exercises, the practitioner will find the Mithraic cave in the
exercise of blue; the mantle of Mithras, from which are rising the solar rays, in the exercise of yellow;
the subtle Empyrean light in the exercise of red; the birth of the seven colours in the exercise of
the rainbow; the cosmic-earthly rhythm in the exercises of the trees in the four seasons.
The basis of each exercise is in the Sun-Moon relationship, inweaved in the Mithraic mysteries,
which is also testifying the intersection with the contemporary Egyptian mysteries of Isis and
Osiris, and confirms our decision to call Stella Maris our method of art-therapy of the colour.
Stella Maris, as recalled by Massimo Scaligero in his book Il Graal, represents the goal of the solar
action, the Being of the Sacred Love, the everlasting life of light, the light that dominates the
waters, the marine light.
The glare of sunlight in the mass of silvery mirrors of the sea water, restores the image of the
depth and the meaning of the dialogue between lunar soul and solar spirit, into the path of
self-consciousness guided by the art-therapist, in which the silvery grey hides the colours of the
visible spectrum, and its up to the daring searcher of the third millennium after Christ to lift the
veil of knowledge, on the basis of a renewed determination enabled by the encounter with the
taurine-lunar matter of the colour. Its sublimation is expressed in the rising of peach blossom
pink: ethereal appearance of the encounter between white, colour and soul image of the spirit,
and black, colour and spiritual image of the death; likewise in the mantle of the resurrected Christ
by Piero della Francesca, sealing the victory of the new solar creator, in the role of a patient, in his
initiatory journey through the disease: from its colour, to the light of healing.
The reference to Piero della Francesca also signals a decisive point of contact with the Italian
peoples soul, which has been able to find, in the Renaissance, many links with the late old culture,
some of whose cults, although secretly, were called back into use. In the Villa Medici at Careggi,
near Florence, there is a decorated grotto recalling a mithraic cave, and the practice of painting,
also by the great masters, like Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raffaello, has always got a cosmological
character, making of it a conscious initiatory journey from Earth to Heaven. A character in which
have often been recognized sources from the ancient Egypt.
Therefore, it is important to mention how Rudolf Steiner has indicated the final phase of the
Renaissance period, around 1530, as the time of rising of the conscious soul, and of the birth of
the national character of the Italian people (see Rudolf Steiner, Il mistero della morte, O.O.159,
14/3/1915). In another context, he also attributed to the Italian peoples soul the appropriate
qualities to develop the emotional sentient soul into the I, through art (see Rudolf Steiner, La
missione di singola anima di popolo, O.O. 121, 16 / 6 / 1910): thus the fruitful peculiarities are
appearing, of an artistic dialogue, woven as a lemniscate, between the emotional sentient soul,
and the conscious soul.
On this path, we also think about the revived glare in the current era of culture, of the pulse of
the Egyptian-Chaldean culture; or even about the fact that in the third millennium, in the midst
of the development of the conscious soul, all mankind, from a biographical point of view, is in
the age of the emotional sentient soul (see Rudolf Steiner, Lo studio dei sintomi storici, O.O. 185,
03/11/1918), thus being prepared to see the spiritual peculiarities of the Italian soul, developed
through colour therapy, as a confluence toward recovery.

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THE COLOURS AND THE RISING OF IMAGES IN THE SOUL


by Daniela DAlessandro

reets us in perpetual mutations,


down here, the secret force of a chant,
there blesses the earth in eternal peace,
while here, as youth, embraces us.
Is she who pours the light in our eyes,
who gave us the pleasure of every art,
who enjoys the hearts of the joyful and the tired
ones,
in an inebriated marvellous prayer.
Novalis

The human being, as taught by Rudolf Steiner, is generated from an universe of colours, and every
image that arises in him corresponds to the condition he experienced at the beginning of his
earthly existence, in the very first consciousness of himself, and of the world.
This consciousness, adds Rudolf Steiner, with regard to the colours and to the images, manifests
itself already significantly reduced, compared to previous phases in the evolution: on earth, says
Rudolf Steiner, unlike on the ancient moon, man has become a neutral figure, compared to the
flowing ocean of the colour (Lessenza dei colori, Milan, Ed. Antroposofica, 1997, p. 146). Moreover,
on earth the individual steps of evolution entail, as we know, a number of other separations,
unilateral imbalances, producing the oblivion of the primitive images, which are taken over by far
more limited states of consciousness.
In these states, the intellectual reflection overpowers even the sensations produced by sense
perceptions, preventing them from bringing anything new to the consciousness. Thats why
Rudolf Steiner, stating that mans task is to resume the old path, going back to the primitive
consciousness, regained on the ground of the spiritual consciousness (ibid.), invites us to
consciously regain the original link with colours and images, in order to bring harmony into
the individual evolution, which is prevented by an excess of egotism, which is nothing but the
configuration of our existence under the law of karma.
This can be done using the universe of the living images, as allowed by art therapy, which aims to
dissolve every state of consciousness focused only on the ego, empowering, through the colour,
the action on the ego of a deeper reality of perception. Therefore, the path will be to combine the
sensitivity with the souls experience of colour, so that the colour becomes a vehicle to overcome
the limitations of the ego, attaining in the same time the gradual opening to the consciousness
of the spiritual Self.
Beyond the I in his four expressions (see Rudolf Steiner, I quattro aspetti dellIo, in Antroposofia
[1946 and 1948], Milano, Ed. Antroposofica, 1996, vol. II, pp. 68-81), a Higher I is indeed operating
into the human being, the Self, which is the spiritual sheath in which the impulse of Christ is
acting. An impulse that, in the ongoing Michaels age, Steiner links to the warmth-ether operating
in the light, which can be perceived in the relationship between nerve and blood.
While the central nervous system is the tool of the consciousness, and the manifestation of the
astral body, the blood is the tool of life, and the manifestation of the I(a). The nervous system
extends into the body differentiating and manifesting itself in multiple ways, while the blood
shows itself everywhere with an unitary nature. Likewise, we can describe the diversified life of
the soul (thoughts, sensations, feelings, impulses of the will) as something opposed to the I,
which acts as an unitary element, bringing in itself the primeval images and colours, which are
indipendent from the soul.

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The I permeates the whole body, coming into contact with the complex life of the soul, just as
the blood flows throughout the organism, coming into contact with the diversified nervous
system. The blood and the I refer, on the one hand, to the outside world, on the other, to the inner
world. Then we can produce, through meditation and concentration on moral or intellectual
representations in the form of images and colours, such a condition in our organism, that the
blood withdraws from the nerve, separating itself from the nervous activity which is making us
perceive the external world.
Through meditation and intense concentration, we can withdraw from external impressions
which we abandon ourselves to, during the state of waking consciousness; in this way, being in
the soul only what arises in the conscience from the I, and which engages the nervous system,
we can interrupt the connection between nerve and blood. Therefore the nerve is free, being
temporarily detached from the blood system, and from its usual functions for the I. Thus, the
activity of meditation becomes a conscious way in which the I lifts from the sphere of action of
the astral body, so that we feel merged into a macrocosmic I. In fact, the external impressions can
only reach to the point where the nerve endings offer resistance, and then they bounce back.
In summary, we can say that we are able to enter the super-sensible world by isolating the blood
system, evolving up to the higher mans dimension. Detaching our nervous system from the
blood, we rise from the sphere of our own subjective I. And the spiritual world (which we are
always joint with) comes to us through the nervous system, and through the indirect way of
sensory impressions.
Man is then able, in a way, to release his nerves, usually addressed only to the world of sense
perception, freeing them from the action that the outer world is carrying out on the blood. What
happens then in the opposite direction? We have seen that, through exercises of concentration
of our thinking and feeling, we can separate the nerve from the blood. Being focused on the
inner organic life (mystical concentration), we penetrate so deeply into ourselves, that we must
necessarily involve the I, and his instrument, the blood.
It happens then a deep immersion into our divine essence, into the spirituality living and acting
into the man: it isnt rising from the I, but rather diving into the I. Physiologically, a very close
connection between blood and sympathetic nervous system is then established.
Now, something can be inserted into the blood only through the interaction between blood
and nerve. So, also the world of vital organs must be able to act on the nervous system; the
sympathetic system, which extends to all cavities inside the body, is the intermediary to transfer
its effects to the blood.
The sympathetic system has got a relation with the internal organic world and the blood circulation
that is opposite, compared with the relation of the central nervous system (cerebrospinal) with
the outside world and the human life (circulation). On the one hand, through the cerebrospinal
nervous system we know the outside world; on the other hand, conversely, through the
sympathetic system comes to us the experience of the inner world (held below the threshold
of consciousness). In the head we observe, says Rudolf Steiner, that the blood flow undergoes
modifications, impressed from outside by the sense organs, and from inside by the action of
the vital organs. It should be noted, however, that the sympathetic nervous systems task is to
prevent the contact of blood with the processes of the inner world, in order to keep unconscious
the experience of the inner world.
Therefore, we have to recover the soul constituent into the sensory activities, in order to become
aware of a more subtle relationship with the outer world.
Thus we have to consider the sensory process interpenetrated by the soul, in the same way we
used to perceive the breathing process. In a sense, we can say that in all the sensory perceptions
a process of inhalation and exhalation takes place; from the impressions we should not only take
perceptions, but we should add the spiritual element, as is allowed by art-therapy through the
practice of colours and images: only in this way well be able to find the junction point between the
inner, and the outer world (cfr. a drawing of Rudolf Steiner representing the process of perception
in the 5th culture era in id., La missione di Michele, Milano Ed. Antroposofica, 1997, p. 97).

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Acquiring such an awareness is the commitment inspired to mankind by the Archangel Michael.
(R. Steiner, La missione di Michele, p. 98-103). Rudolf Steiner says: What is experienced in painting
is - so to speak the free movement of the soul in the cosmos. It does not matter if we experience
the image into ourselves, or if we see it outside, when, abstracting from the imperfection of
the external medium of the colour, we see a coloured image (Lessenza dei colori, Milano, Ed.
Antroposofica, 1997, p. 167)
In fact, when the sensory perception reflects an imaginative reality which is broader, compared
to the consciousness and to the memory of the perceiver, the I is freed from the material side of
the perception process, becoming a vase for the Self according to the image of the Cup of the
Grail. At the same time, it becomes the central meeting point of the lemniscate between sentient
soul and conscious soul, taking the position of the etheric heart, dwelling between the physical
heart, and the reflective consciousness.

Fig. 1 The I in the open lemniscate

Fig. 1

So, going into the future means connecting each step of our evolution to the previous state
of consciousness, changing it with an increasing awareness of our own biography: our origin,
and our destiny. Our soul - says Rudolf Steiner - is involved in what continues to flow from the
past into the future, and what from the future comes to us (Psicosofia in Antroposofia- Psicosofia
Pneumatosofia, Milano, Ed Antroposofica, 1991, Cfr. IV conference, p. 171).
And he adds: the representations emerge to consciousness when a new impression awakens
the memory of the old representation that had continued to live in us. Therefore, in this way the
ancient representation is reflected (Ibid., pp. 171-174 passim) into the new one.
In fact, in the human being theres a synthesis process, developed by the imaginative contact
between the inside and the outside; a process that makes us find inside ourselves what we find
into the things, in the same way we find in the outer world the space that we experience into
ourselves, and that we recognize as a part of us, when we look at ourselves again. As we have the
spatial world within us, we have around us a world of colours and sounds that interpenetrate each
other. We can speak of an objectified world of colours and sounds, a fluent, coloured, resonant
world, in the same way we speak of the space around us ( Rudolf Steiner, Cultura e antroposofia,
Milano, Ed Antroposofica, 1996, p. 36).

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Subjectivity and objectivity are completing each other:The imagination - says Rudolf Steiner is
being woven into things (ibid., p.37). This brings to our mind the function of the fresco, and of
the painting in general, creating with colours an autonomous reality, which at the same time is
weaved together with the space which is containing it.
The experience of colour has got a revealing ability, establishing an active link between us and
the nature; precisely, this relationship seems to be the character of the Italian peoples soul, that
in Tuscany, especially in the area of Florence, makes the connection with art an approach which
involves human activities in their entirety. The Tuscan landscape - has been mentioned - is a
masterpiece of harmony. If you compare it with the backgrounds of the paintings of the fifteenth
and sixteenth century, one wonders if the painters were copying the farmers, or the farmers were
copying the painters (I. Montanelli, La mia Firenze, Fucecchio, FM edizioni, 2005 p.26). This confirms
that the task of the Italian peoples soul is to give a living nature to the culture, a nature that
turns into an unselfish pleasure, according to the principles of the Order of Rosminiani: worship,
keep silent, enjoy (cit. in Claudio Gregorat, Lanima di popolo italiana, Milano, Ed. Antroposofica,
2006, p. 99). The unselfish pleasure is indeed a direct relationship with the divine as stated by
Hammann and Herder, who inspired Goethe and finds in art its outmost expression, and its
most appropriate way of realization (b).

NOTES
The terminology used in this text, in the parts relating to the occult physiology, comes as a direct
quotation, or a conceptual paraphrase, from Rudolf Steiner Una fisiologia occulta, Milano, Ed.
Antroposofica, 2005, pp. 34-52 passim.

(a)

(b)

As far as the enjoyment is concerned, in the form in which it is considered in this text, H. R. Jauss
says: The oldest basic meaning of enjoyment (Genieen), namely the use or the usefulness of
an object is still perceived only as an obsolete, or technical expression [..] but also the historically
dominant meaning [..] has maintained up to the German classicism the specific sense of getting
pleasure from something. In the religious poetry of the seventeenth century, to enjoy might be the
equivalent of participating in the grace of God; according to pietism, the two meanings of the verbs
- to enjoy and to participate are united in an act through which the believer becomes immediately
aware of the presence of God; Klopstocks poetry goes on to the idea of thinking pleasure (Denkend
Genu); Herders concept of spiritual pleasure lays the foundations of the certainty of the self (SelbstGewienheit) as an auroral owning oneself (Sich-Haben), to which follows an auroral owning the
world (the existence is pleasure - Existenz ist Genu) ; finally, in Goethes Faust, the concept of pleasure
could be extended to every level of experience, up to the highest demands of knowledge (from the
pleasure of the individual life - Lebens-Genu der Person to the pleasure joint with awareness Genu mit Bewutsein -, to the pleasure of the creative act - Schpfungs-Genu, according to the
known scheme used in Faust. Cfr Apologia dellesperienza estetica, Torino, Einaudi, 1985, pp. 6-7.)

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THE THERAPEUTIC PATH OF


STELLA MARIS METHOD

olour is the soul of nature and of the entire cosmos,


and we take part in this soul as we participate
in the life of colour, experiencing it.
Rudolf Steiner

The method configured in the artistic exercises appeals to the deep substrates of the soul in the
unconscious. Initially, the exercises are chosen on the basis of a codified opening set, then, going
on with the sessions, according to the individual case; through an appropriate and measured
sequence, the hidden feelings, the removed emotional contents emerge to the consciousness,
to be tempered, softened, lightened and transformed by the immersion in the experience of
colour.
Living an inner experience of the colours, hence not limited to an external relationship, the
patient gradually begins to get a conscious contact with the divine-spiritual power (submerged
in the unconscious) that guides him through his biographic events.
The artistic experience becomes therapeutic as it suggests, at first, a feeling of wonder (the
key feeling of the emotional-sentient soul) while spreading the colour, and observing its
transformations in the encounter with other colours.
In a second stage, during and at the end of the exercises, it gives rise to feelings of veneration and
devotion (key feelings, respectively, of the emotional and of the conscious soul), the appropriate
approach to raise awareness of the self, to find out, in the dismay of suffering, the strength to
progress inside, and evolve according to a deeper understanding of the test that life is assigning
to us. The repetition of the same exercises at home imprints into the etheric body the underlying
therapeutic message, confirms it over time, and strengthens the steps of evolution that were
performed.
Therefore, the patient discovers into the life of colour, in its essence, the Anima Mundi, reconciling
himself with it, and becoming a living witness of it.
The artistic exercises draw from the same sources of fairy tales, hidden in the depths of human
soul, in its darkness, in that emotional-sentient component that stays asleep into our conscience
and close to our body, which is the guardian of human wills mysteries.
This method, unlike other methods effectively operating since a long time, awakens, in fact, the
stream of the I flowing through the astral body, the etheric body and the physical body, to finally
meet with the other stream of the I, which directly penetrates the physical body. The stimulated
stream is closely related to the strength of blood, seal of the transforming will (we refer to the
physiological indications given by Rudolf Steiner in Luomo invisibile in noi, O.O.221, 11-2-1923). In
fact, he refers to the blood-nerve relation, particularly active in the metabolic system, in which
the blood imprints its impressions into the sympathetic neurovegetative system.
The man must find a way to spiritualize the astral body again, to compenetrate it again with
what the I is processing. And, as the man spiritualizes the astral body, thus finding his way back,
he must meet again the floating interpenetrating waves of colours, from which he emerged
for the development of the I (see Rudolf Steiner, Verso un nuovo stile architettonico, O.O. 286,
26/7/1914).
The artist-I of the patient breaks the spell of his animal, of the King of the fairy tale of his life, the
devoted good angel who is at his side at every vicissitude, in every unexpected turn of fate, in
every storm, or success. In this way, the germ of mans spiritual self is slowly growing.
As taught by Goethe , the colours arise from the interaction of two forces: light and darkness. In
light, the strength of thinking radiates from the past, in darkness the strength of will seeps from

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the future. The colour, spread in its slightness and levity, veils the light. In the Stella Maris method
the colour itself is spread starting from its tangible component; this is the outer side of willing:
the matter. Seen from inside, the matter is willing, likewise light, seen from inside, is thinking
. (Rudolf Steiner, Il ponte fra la spiritualit del cosmo e lelemento fisico delluomo, O.O.202, 5-121920).
The darkness rejects the visible light, which is only a reflection of the light; actually, it lets the
invisible light seep in, receiving its spiritual sun, the midnight sun. The willing inherent to the
darkness is the spiritual sun, which softly irradiates the soul, waiting to be unveiled.
The patient is conducted into the mines of his soul, in search of those gems that he will have to
bring in the daylight, in the light of consciousness.
We could characterize this therapeutic strength in a Dionysian sense (a polarity, then, compared
to the Apollonian force that transpires, for example, from the method of Collot dHerbois). It refers
to the underworlds deities, to the chthonic deities, the same which dramatic poetry addresses to.
Yet, theres another derivation that can be drawn from the mystery field.
We refer to the mysteries of Mithras, already explained above, in which the instrument of
knowledge of Egyptian-Chaldean era was used: the soul body, to develop the sentient-emotional
soul. Mithras, the solar being, the man-bull, the superior man who must rule his own lower nature
and purify it, the nature linked to the metabolic-rhythmic system, which has to dilute into the
heart, the twelvefold organ of the subconscious perception of blood and life processes. That
image of the superior man on the bull metamorphoses, after the event of Golgotha, into the
image of the Archangel Michael on the dragon.
This fine sensitiveness , after millennia, has been inherited by the Stella Maris method, and led
to christification by the impulse of Michael-Mithras, the bearer of solar intelligence, the one who
turns on the light of thinking, from a pure heart.

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OPENING WITH THE BASIC EXERCISES


BLUE - YELLOW - RED - THE BIRTH OF GREEN
EXERCISE OF THE FREE WILL

MAN, KNOW YOURSELF!

The opening of the art-therapeutic path counts four basic exercises, plus a free one, which are
aimed to carry out the preliminary overview, in order to build up a guidance image for the
patient. These exercises are: Blue, Yellow, Red, the birth of Green, and the exercise of the Free will,
with blue, yellow and red.
The first four exercises are disciplinary, as they have mandatory guidelines, and a nature and a
movement of their own.
Starting with disciplinary exercises may suggest the idea that the patient isnt left free to choose
which and how many colours he will start with, to experience his sympathy or antipathy towards
the world of colours, but our experience, on the contrary, shows that only in this way the patient
expresses himself freely, because, often ignoring from the very beginning the instructions he
received by the art-therapist, he provides valuable clues that will allow the art-therapist to build
up, through the method to read the exercises, an objective picture of the ongoing individual
problems, of the unbalances which are the sources of his difficulties.
The art-therapist who operates according to the essence of colours of Rudolf Steiner, aims
to lead the human being back to the primordial laws of creation, giving to him, through the
proposed path, the means to revive those laws into himself, regaining a balance between the
human microcosm and the spiritual macrocosm, taking into account the planetary evolution
described by Steiner, in the context of his Occult Science. Every man keeps a precious memory
of that evolution, which can be awakened by using the correspondence between colours and
the supersensible world, as if through a ladder, whose rungs are made up of the planets, each of
which has the characteristics of a spiritual experience.
Through the exercise of Blue, the patient will be brought back to the experience made on the
Old Saturn; with Yellow, to the experience of the Old Sun; with Red (which has got movement in
itself ) to the experience of the Old Moon; with the Birth of green, to the experience of the Earth,
carrying within itself the impulse of freedom, capable of transforming two colours into a third
one.
On this basis, moreover, Rudolf Steiner explained the threefold human soul, dividing it into
thinking, feeling and willing, and identified the three colours, yellow, blue and red, calling them
splendour colours, in the sense that in them shines the outer side of a spiritual essence.
Yellow, splendour colour of the Spirit, is tied to the sphere of thinking; blue, splendour colour
of the soul, is tied to the sphere of feeling; and red, splendour colour of the living, is tied to the
sphere of willing. The human microcosm is thus revealed as a krater, a vase of a collection of
spiritual forces, that have a match in the phenomena of nature and the cosmos, as is also seen in
the naturalism of the Renaissance (and especially in the doctrine of planets such as levels of the
Anima Mundi ), which had a development center in Florence, with Marsilio Ficino.
The connection between yellow and the sphere of thinking is strictly linked to the theme of
light; in fact, they say Im enlightened, now everything is clear. Thinking and light both have a
privileged link with the neurosensory system, with the head. In the light, moreover, the strength
of thinking radiates from the past.

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Blue is tied to the sphere of feeling, and to the sky that holds everything: the mantle of the
Madonna, as a symbol of the Anima Mundi, and spiritual mold of the Creation as a whole.
Red, on the other hand, is linked to the sphere of willing, meant as strength of the I, which finds in
the blood its vehicle to the world.
Somehow yellow has always to radiate says Steiner while blue should always be used where
there is, so to speak, a withdrawal into oneself. I would say that red represents the balance
between the two (R. Steiner, Lessenza dei colori, page 41).

THINKING

FEELING

WILLING

Table 1

After the patient has experienced the first four exercises, the three splendour colours, blue, yellow
and red are used in the fifth exercise, the one of the Free Will, which gives him the opportunity to
experience the victory, as the growth of his wings to overcome the abyss.
Rudolf Steiner has then presented four more colours, that he called image colours: white, black,
green, and pink (peach blossom). Again, he indicated their spiritual essence, and a path to search
that essence, through, on the one hand, a projection of shadows, and on the other hand, a source
of light (R. Steiner, Lessenza dei colori, page 36).
Please note, with regard to white, that I is spiritual, but he must experience himself on the
soul level; he makes this experience in the moment he feels enlightened. White, or light, is the
animated image of the spirit (ibid., page 31). Black, although alien to life, can be permeated by
the spirit, and thus represents the spiritual image of what is dead. Green is the dead image of life
(ibid.). With regard to peach blossom pink, it is the living image of the soul (ibid.)

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Shadow projector

Source of light

Image

Spirit

Dead

Black

Dead

Living

Green

Living

Soul

Peach blossom

Soul

Spirit

White
Table 2

cfr. R. Steiner, Lessenza dei Colori, Milano, Ed. Antroposofica, 1997, page 36

In Table 2 we also find the link with what Steiner says about the fourfold man, consisting of bodies
and spiritual principles (or pulses) which can be identified on the basis of these colours. In this
occult conformation, the I, as we have already seen, is essentially in relation to white; the astral
body to the peach blossom pink; the etheric body to the green; the physical body in relation
to black. If we include in this set the three splendour colours, linked to the light, we find the
relationship between the sevenfold man and the splendour and the image colours (see Rudolf
Steiner, Teosofia, Milano, Ed. Antroposofica, 1990, page 45). But, to give a better understanding of
what we have been telling, we must now describe the sense of each splendour colour, bringing
even specific guidelines of life and thought.

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BASIC EXERCISES

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BLUE

splendour colour of the Soul

COLOURS: prussian Blue.


SUBJECT:
Mithras mantle/Michael as the cave of the soul.
MODALITY: Horizontal sheet.

INTRODUCTORY IMAGE
Blue, says Rudolf Steiner, demands that we make it radiate from the edge inward. It requires a
maximum of intensity at the edge, and a gradual attenuation towards the inside ... It stagnates at
its borders, accumulates on itself, thus forming a barrier that surrounds a lighter blue (Lessenza
dei colori, page 40). The gesture of blue is then a hug, an eurhythmic B, that we imagine starting
from outside the sheet, from a distance, as to indicate that the deep path of the soul spreads
from, and into unknown spaces. Each dome, likewise the Madonna of Beato Angelicos mantle,
is conceived as the vault of heaven, with a precise movement which physically starts from the
shoulders, goes down with a large chamber along the arms joined with the hands, in which, in
the centre, shines the light (the Child). Blue is a colour that gives security, peace: it represents the
emergence of light from darkness (from black to blue), it represents interiority. Our soul must live
in gentleness. We are darkness, and we bring light. The soul is a shell, its closed, but theres a point
of light that allows to work on the soul itself. This point is at the centre of the soul, as a pivot.
Blue is related to motherhood, to the maternal womb (the Madonna with the Child). In relation to
the head, its the cosy blue of the cranium. Its the dark area of our interiority, with an inner light.
Moreover, blue is the cave of our soul, reflecting the stars in the central light of his interiority.

IMPLEMENTATION
The movement is from the outside towards the inside, starting from the upper left of the sheet,
clockwise: the colour is darker in the corners, then more and more clear, till the central luminosity.
Thus, one moves from the material component of the colour, to its spiritual essence. In this way
the stream of feelings meets the stream of consciousness, typical of the I. Blue becomes a
movement of the soul that points toward a central spot, and then withdraws into itself; therefore,
it needs boundaries to be contained in, where it can gather, and find itself in its inner light.

READING THE IMAGE


Its the first one of the basic exercises, a cornerstone of the Stella Maris method (according
to Lessenza dei colori by Rudolf Steiner). It can be read in the keys: 2, 3 and 9, after the
phenomenological observation with the sequence pictures.

THERAPEUTIC INDICATIONS
The I is involved in this transition from darkness to light. Its important to face with confidence
the difficulty of this transition which dissolves the shape, and has in itself an element of Saturnine
warmth emerging from the depths, thanks to the involvement of the I, and arrives to our rhythmic
system. The irradiation of the blue is centripetal, and its linked to what is moving in the mans
feeling. Little by little, the light illuminates the dark shadows, and fills the soul with greater vigour
and peace.

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THE BIRTH OF GREEN


COLOURS: prussian blue, lemon yellow.
SUBJECT:
the archetype of green, the thinking of the hearth, the Michaels thinking
MODALITY: horizontal sheet.

INTRODUCTORY IMAGE
Green is the colour of earth, a wonder tied to the essence of the encounter between the splendour
colours yellow and blue. Yellow is the colour that is most similar to light, although not identified
with the light, which is colourless.
Plotinus says, ... if the eye was not solar, it could not see the light, if the man was not similar to
God, he could not hear God.
This means that similar substances enter into communication with each other, namely that all
things made of the same matter, similar to each other, interact with light.
In fact, if we look at the plants, for example the grass, we immediately notice how harmonious is
the process of assimilation of light, of living nourishment, and then of production of oxygen, vital
to humans and to the atmosphere.
Sun is life. Light rises when the sun rays come into contact with ozone in the atmosphere. The
cosmos is dark, without light.
The encounter of two elements creates something totally new, which yet retains the characteristics
of the two original elements.
The same concept can also be observed in terms of social relationship: we are different, according
to the people with whom we enter into communication. If not, we would stay closed in a tower,
being sterile and unproductive.
To allow the encounter with a new person, we should offer a side of us similar, as much as possible,
to that person.
Equally, green rises in the encounter between yellow (radiating movement) and blue (encircling
movement). Green is the colour of the vegetable kingdom, and its law expresses itself in the
vertical and in the horizontal: a meadow, a forest, while being composed of vertical elements, give
us the image of the horizontal. In green is the cosmological theme of the cross and, by analogy,
the birth of green from blue and yellow represents the social encounter between giving and
receiving.
The movements of yellow and blue, meeting together, give away their brightest part: the blue
becomes a cup (like the symbol of the Grail) that yellow radiates for a half (see fig. 2).
In the central belt occurs the encounter of the earth with the light of the Christ. The solar spirit
gives itself to the soul of the earth.

IMPLEMENTATION
Spread the blue, starting from the right side, with movements from top to bottom (see fig. 1),
covering more than a half of the surface (slightly lightening).
From the centre of the left side of the sheet (see Fig. 1), gradually radiate with yellow, then get into
the blue, keeping the gesture of the yellow.
After each meeting between the two colours, the paintbrush should be washed to avoid soiling
the yellow, and to be ready for a new meeting: each meeting must happen in the light, without
keeping anything of the previous meeting. At the end, spread again blue into green, to avoid any
prevalence of colour.

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READING THE IMAGE


This is the fourth basic exercise. It can be read in the keys: 3 and 9, after the phenomenological
observation with the sequence pictures. To have a balanced exercise, each of the three colours
should occupy one third of the sheet. The yellow colour indicates the strength of penetration of
the thinking into the willing component, represented in this exercise by the blue. Green represents
the thinking of the heart, the emerald cup that manifests itself in the vertical vision of the sheet.

THERAPEUTIC INDICATIONS
This is a key exercise to strengthen the etheric body, with revitalizing effects on the whole
endocrine being.

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EXERCISE OF THE FREE WILL


COLOURS: lemon yellow, prussian blue, carmine red.
SUBJECT:
the three splendour colours transforming the human being.
MODALITY: horizontal sheet.

INTRODUCTORY IMAGE
The goal of this exercise is to find armony through a catharsis of the soul.
We work with the three splendour colours: yellow (splendour of the spirit), blue (splendour of the
soul), red (splendour of the living).
We can feel sympathy or antipathy for a specific colour; living in this alternation means that we
are not free, but rather tied to the needs of the astral body, which is the body that also animals do
have. Man embodies the I, and the I must prevail in us over the intemperance of the astral body.
The I prevails when we are courageous, without being reckless, when we induce a transformation
of our souls life, when fear, hatred, doubt lose their power, and are transformed into certainty,
love, devotion, courage.
At that point, well feel that our soul has grown wings, so to be able to proceed in its evolution,
towards the goal of our own destiny.

IMPLEMENTATION
All the three colours should be used, without creating shapes; we should have them interact
with each other, transforming them in many new shades. During the exercise we should feel
the metamorphosis thats happening in the encounter between one colour and the other. The
colours should neither be too light, nor too deep.
The exercise is to be considered completed when the harmony is reached, and the colours, even
in the drama of their expression, are in peace.

READING THE IMAGE


This the fifth basic exercise. It can be read in the keys: 2, 3, 4 and 9, after the phenomenological
observation with the sequence pictures.
The exercise shows the free flowing of the images, which gets a symbolic value, giving a precious
clue to go on in the path of the art-therapy.

THERAPEUTIC INDICATIONS
This is another cornerstone of the method: it is a key exercise to reinforce the etheric body, with
revitalizing effects on the whole endocrine sphere. This exercise brings an harmonization of all
the keys.
Frequent repetitions of this exercise allow us to get rid of the old forms of thinking that are
stiffening our soul; so we can wake up and, with a renewed courage, take possession of our own
destiny, clarify our tasks, and walk towards the future.

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