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The Mission of Individual Folk-Souls

Die Mission einzelner Volksseelen im Zusammenhange mit der germanisch-nordischen Mythologie

Rudolf Steiner

Given: Christiania, 1910
(Bn 121, GA 121, CW 121)
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Spiritual teachings tell us that each “folk,” race, or ethnic group has a kind of over-soul that interacts with those people, lending them unique characteristics that affect the karma and destiny of tribes, races, and nations. Steiner explores the nature and activities of various folk souls, their influences, and their meaning in the modern world.

Eleven lectures given in June of 1910 at Christiania (Oslo) from the lecture series entitled, The Mission of Individual Folk-Souls in Connection with Germanic-Scandinavian Mythology, published in German as, Die Mission einzelner Volksseelen im Zusammenhange mit der germanisch-nordischen Mythologie. [Bib. No 121]. These lectures, and those in The Spiritual Guidance of Man, are the only lectures reworked by Steiner for the public.

‘If we wish to understand the inner life of an individual we must study the soul as well as the body, and if we desire to gain real insight into national characteristics we must explore the psychic and spiritual element underlying them. This psychic and spiritual element, however, reflects not merely the activity of individual human souls working in concert, but has its origin in a higher order ... Either one must seek a basis for the psychology of peoples in a spiritual reality or one must abandon such a psychology in total.’ — Rudolf Steiner (from the Preface)

The lectures in these volumes explore the nature and working of the various folk-souls, their influences, and their meaning in the modern world.

Known Publications:

  • Die Mission einzelner Volksseelen im Zusammenhange mit der germanisch-nordischen Mythologie, German language editions: 1982 ISBN 3-7274-1210-0,
  • The Mission of The Folk-Souls,
    Anthroposophic Press, London, c.1929
    Rudolf Steiner Press, London, c.1970
    Garber Communications, Blauvelt, N. Y., c.1985 ISBN 0-8334-2022-4,


GA 121 Selections ...

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Die Mission einzelner Volksseelen im Ausammenhange mit der Germanisch-Nordischen Mythologie

Book Cover Image In dieser Vortragsreihe gibt Rudolf Steiner die geisteswissenschaftlichen Grundlagen zum Verständnis der höheren geistigen Wirklichkeiten, welche den Völker-Entwicklungen zugrunde liegen. Mit einer Vorrede von Rudolf Steiner.
Inhalt (Auswahl): Engel, Volksgeister und Zeitgeister und ihr Wirken in der Menschheitsentwickelung / Das Innenleben der Volksgeister – Die Bildung der Rassen / Rassenentwickelung und Kulturentwickelung / Die Manifestation der Hierarchien in den Naturelementen / Die fünf Hauptrassen der Menschheit / Die fünf nachatlantischen Kulturen – Griechische und germanische Mythologie / Die Mission einzelner Völker und Kulturen in der Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft.



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The Mission of Folk-Souls in Connection with Germanic-Scandinavian Mythology

Book Cover Image The 1929 authorized translation, edited by H. Collison, of eleven lectures given in June of 1910 at Christiania (Oslo). Printed for Members of the School of Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, Class I. Copyright, 1929, by Marie Steiner, Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland.


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The Mission of of the Individual Folk-Souls in relation to Teutonic Mythology

Book Cover Image The 1970 second English edition translation by A. H. Parker of eleven lectures given in June of 1910 at Christiania (Oslo). Translated from shorthand reports, partially revised by the lecturer.


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Souls of the Nations

Book Cover Image A Research Guide written by George Adams Kaufmann in 1938. Being a help to the study of Rudolf Steiner's lecture-cycle (given at Oslo, Norway, in 1910), ‘The Mission of Folk-Souls in Connection with Germanic and Scandinavian Mythology’



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