Calendar of the Soul Facsimile, by Rudolf SteinerSteiner Books
The Calendar of the Soul, Rudolf Steiner's book of fifty-two weekly meditative verses that run from Easter to Easter is familiar to most anthroposophists. Few, however, know anything of its history. The form in which it usually appears today derives from the 1925 edition, which appeared only a few days after Steiner's death. This was the first printing of the verses in their current form in a commercially available edition. Seven years earlier, in 1918, an edition with a short introduction by Rudolf Steiner appeared as the thirteenth of the "Colourful Waldorf Astoria Booklets," tiny books packaged with Waldorf Astoria cigarettes and intended for soldiers in the trenches.
The project was the initiative of Emil Molt, the owner of the cigarette company, who was an anthroposophist and close friend of Rudolf Steiner. Molt was also a friend of Hermann Hesse. This is why, as the Calendar of the Soul accompanied cigarettes into the trenches, it also appeared in a series of books edited by Hesse for German prisoners of war. Neither of these editions was available in bookstores.
The Calendar itself, however, had come into being seven years previously. Imma von Eckhardstein, who had been a member of Steiner's inner circle of co-workers since 1904, first had the idea in spring 1911. Soon thereafter, for reasons of health, Marie von Sivers (Steiner) decided to spend three months at Portorose, near Trieste, on the Adriatic. Imma von Eckhardstein accompanied her. Rudolf Steiner also spent much time there when not lecturing. Imma von Eckhardstein was given the task of illustrating the calendar following Steiner's indications for new monthly zodiacal images, as well as for other images.
Publication was planned for the end of 1911, with the help of a grant from the Foundation for Theosophical Art. The actual printing occurred in Munich in March 1912 under the watchful eyes of Imma von Eckhardstein. Books were available in April. Only a limited edition was published, and it was never reissued.This original edition is now available with an introduction and translations by Christopher Bamford. It includes the original illustrations of the new zodiac signs as well Steiner's own preliminary sketches and oral explanations of them.