In September 2001, I was in America preparing for a tour of the West Coast. As the events of 9/11 became known, I, along with many others worldwide, experienced that a life sheath had been powerfully wrenched open. At the time I recognized that something had to change in my own life; I needed to take up Metanoia—the Greek word meaning to change one’s direction, to rethink. One year later, I left my career as a professional performer and teacher of eurythmy. I enrolled as a student in The Christian Community’s Priest Seminar, Hamburg, Germany.
During the 36 years prior to the Seminar, I had the opportunity to work and study under the direction of one of the first eurythmists, Else Klink, and to perform with her on stage. Mantric texts by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Christian Morgenstern, Friedrich Nietzsche and Novalis were often the focus of our rehearsing. Now, as a student in the priest training, the words from these poems and texts, as if washed in a new light of experience, returned. Having made the conscious decision to leave eurythmy outwardly, I soon realized that I was beginning to do eurythmy within.
While in the Seminar, listening to the thoughts of theologians, priests, doctors and artists—all of whom had experienced and not just thought what they were saying—I began to have epiphanies. Eurythmy’s Word Roots, its origins in The Logos, sounded in my heart like a quiet, apocalyptic trumpet. After two and one-half years breathing in The Word’s fructifying essence, I had to return to the arts, to eurythmy.
Immediately after leaving the seminar, I embarked upon a journey of research, looking carefully at eurythmy’s biography in relationship to Dr. Steiner’s own spiritual path. Throughout this work I was accompanied by the wise and loving artist, Hebrew-Greek scholar Elsbeth Weymann. From 2005 to the present, the fruits of our research have been shared in the form of a lecture with demonstration entitled, “Whoso danceth not, knoweth not what cometh to pass . . .” (The Acts of John: 95).
As the subtle threads of this extraordinary tapestry revealed themselves to me, a question arose. Did Dr. Steiner give indications for a specific meditative path for one who wants to carry this art esoterically? Knowing that we are talking about an art form, not a religious or scientific practice, I knew it would appear in a form which leaves the individual totally free.
Yes, there it was in plain sight. I set to work, proceeding to take up the word essence of the texts into my inner life, day after day for years. Slowly, they began to sound forth in the English language.
Dr. Steiner himself saw the need for what later was named, eurythmy; he asked the question on May 18, 1908, in Hamburg, Germany. A small crowd of less than 20 individuals was gathered in the salon of a four-story villa on Amgartstrasse 20. After speaking on The Doctrine of the Logos, the Logos as it is presented in John’s High Poetic Hymn, The Prologue, Dr. Steiner approached the Russian painter, Margarita Woloshin asking, “Do you not want to dance this?”
It has been my wish not to publish these texts. I continue to share these results in a living form through the lecture and demonstration. For the first time, as a part of our recognition of eurythmy’s centennial (2012), I feel it is time to print these translations.
Eurythmy Text I
(original German from Rudolf Steiner, April 26, 1913)
He who enlightens the Sphere of Cloud
May He enlighten through
May He sun through
May He glow through
May He warm through
also Me in my I too
Eurythmy Text II
(July 10, 1924, Rudolf Steiner)
The souls wishes are sprouting.
The wills deeds are waxing.
Life’s fruits grow ripe.
I feel my destiny;
my necessity finds me.
I feel my star;
my higher self finds me.
I feel my aims;
my goals find me.
My soul and the World are One.
Life becomes brighter around me.
Life becomes more difficult for me.
Life becomes richer in me.
Eurythmy Text III
(July 11, 1924, Rudolf Steiner)
I seek within:
the creative powers creating,
the creative will working.
Earth’s weight of gravity speaks
through the word will of my feet.
Air’s forming strength speaks
through the moving song of my hands.
Heaven’s light-peace speaks
through my head’s perceiving—
How the world in me
speaks, sings, thinks.
Eurythmy Text IV
(July 12, 1924, Rudolf Steiner)
I stand at peace with the world and with myself – (awakening the “EE” of the human upright posture in silence before beginning the exercise)
I stand at peace with the world and with myself – in silence before beginning the exercise
--I perceive WORD in the world.
--I open myself the the WORD; I take the WORD in, and I SPEAK.
--I have SPOKEN.
--I seek for myself in the WORD.
--I feel myself within myself.
--I am on the way to the I AM of my Spirit Self, the WORD in me.
Discovering and witnessing The Genius of these texts and the relationships between them is a source of light and life. I will indicate only a few of the gems. The verbs in Text IV cite the verbs of the previous texts in reverse order (think, speak, seek, feel). From Text II (ending with the words in me) we are lead directly to the beginning of Text III in which the first person I begins for the first time, I seek within.
The verbs of Text I are all verbs relating to light and warmth. They descend from the sun and clouds into the warmth of the physical body. The verbs of the first triplet in Text II are all verbs related to the plant world.
I want to note that any word(s) in the English that may appear as a change or addition to the original German have been weighed and contemplated. I take full responsibility for each rendering.
These four Texts form a meditative cross. As a wreath of fluid light around this cross, the ten L’s of the Hebrew word Hallelluiah can be imagined. On September 22, 1912, Dr. Steiner gave the specific indications as to how to move this word in eurythmy. Meaning to sing, praise and dance the highest, Halleluiah is our first word.