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Marie Steiner-von Sivers (born Marie von Sivers, – 27 December 1948) was the second wife of Rudolf Steiner and one of his closest colleagues. She made a great contribution to the development of anthroposophy, particularly in her work on the renewal of the performing arts (eurythmy, speech and drama), and the editing and publishing of Rudolf Steiner's literary estate.14 March 1867
Marie von Sivers was born to an aristocratic family in Włocławek, Poland, then part of Imperial Russia. She was well-educated and was fluent in Russian, German, English, French and Italian. She studied theater and recitation with several teachers in Europe.
Marie von Sivers "appeared one day" at one of Rudolf Steiner's early lectures in 1900. In the autumn of 1901, she posed the question to Steiner, "Would it be possible to create a spiritual movement based on European tradition and the impetus of Christ?" Rudolf Steiner later reported:
With this, I was given the opportunity to act in a way that I had only previously imagined. The question had been put to me, and now, according to spiritual laws, I could begin to answer it.
Marie von Sivers collaborated with Steiner for the rest of Steiner's life and carried his work beyond his death in 1925 until her own death in 1948. She accompanied him and helped him as secretary, translator, editor, and organizer of his lecture tours and other public activities. She assisted Steiner's work with her own resources and in 1908 founded the Philosophical-Theosophical Press (later Philosophical-Anthroposophical) to publish Steiner's work.
On 24 December 1914, von Sivers married Rudolf Steiner. Anna Eunicke Steiner, Steiner's first wife, had died in 1911.Beginning in 1914, Steiner drew up a succession of wills naming Marie Steiner-von Sivers as heir to his entire work and property and his successor in the leadership of the anthroposophical movement.
Starting in 1912, Rudolf Steiner developed the art of eurythmy. With Marie's guidance, it developed in three directions: as a stage art, as an integral part of Waldorf pedagogy, and as a therapeutic method.Under her tutelage, two schools of eurythmy were founded, in Berlin and in Dornach, Switzerland.
Marie von Sivers, who had been trained in recitation and elocution, and made a study of purely artistic speaking. She gave introductory poetry recitals at Steiner's lectures and assisted him in the development of the four Mystery Dramas (1910–1913).With her help, Steiner conducted several speech and drama courses with the aim of raising these forms to the level of true art.
Anthroposophy is a philosophy founded in the early 20th century by the esotericist Rudolf Steiner that postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world, accessible to human experience. Followers of anthroposophy aim to develop mental faculties of spiritual discovery through a mode of thought independent of sensory experience. They also aim to present their ideas in a manner verifiable by rational discourse and specifically seek a precision and clarity in studying the spiritual world mirroring that obtained by natural historians in investigations of the physical world.
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyant. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. At the beginning of the twentieth century he founded an esoteric spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy; other influences include Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.
The General Anthroposophical Society is an "association of people whose will it is to nurture the life of the soul, both in the individual and in human society, on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world." As an organization, it is dedicated to supporting the community of those interested in the inner path of schooling known as anthroposophy, developed by Rudolf Steiner.
The Goetheanum, located in Dornach, in the canton of Solothurn, Switzerland, is the world center for the anthroposophical movement.
Eurythmy is an expressive movement art originated by Rudolf Steiner in conjunction with Marie von Sivers in the early 20th century. Primarily a performance art, it is also used in education, especially in Waldorf schools, and – as part of anthroposophic medicine – for claimed therapeutic purposes.
Anthroposophic medicine is a form of alternative medicine. Devised in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) in conjunction with Ita Wegman (1876–1943), anthroposophical medicine is based on occult notions and draws on Steiner's spiritual philosophy, which he called anthroposophy. Practitioners employ a variety of treatment techniques based upon anthroposophic precepts, including massage, exercise, counselling, and substances.
Sergei Olegovich Prokofieff was a Russian anthroposophist. He was the grandson of the composer Sergei Prokofiev and his first wife Lina Prokofiev, and the son of Oleg Prokofiev and his first wife Sofia Korovina. Born in Moscow, he studied fine arts and painting at the Moscow School of Art. He encountered anthroposophy in his youth, and soon made the decision to devote his life to it.
The relationship between Rudolf Steiner and the Theosophical Society, co-founded in 1875 by H.P. Blavatsky with Henry Steel Olcott and others, was a complex and changing one.
Eduard (Édouard) Schuré was a French philosopher, poet, playwright, novelist, music critic, and publicist of esoteric literature.
Eugen Kolisko was an Austrian-German physician and educator who was born in Vienna. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna, and in 1917 became a lecturer of medical chemistry. He was the son of pathologist Alexander Kolisko (1857-1918).
Elisabeth Vreede was a Dutch mathematician, astronomer and Anthroposophist.
Marjorie Spock was an environmentalist, author and poet, best known for her influence on Rachel Carson when the latter was writing Silent Spring. Spock was also a noted Waldorf teacher, eurythmist, biodynamic gardener and anthroposophist.
Louisa Edith Church Maryon, better known as Edith Maryon, was an English sculptor. Along with Ita Wegman, she belonged to the innermost circle of founders of anthroposophy and those around Rudolf Steiner.
Oskar Schmiedel was a pharmacist, anthroposophist, therapist, Goethean scientist and theosophist.
The American Eurythmy School is a four-year eurythmy training in Weed, California, near Mount Shasta. It was founded in 1984 by Karen Sherman McPherson, who studied under Ilona Schubert in the 1970s in Dornach, Switzerland, and is the second largest four-year eurythmy training in North America. The first graduation from the four-year program was held in 1990. There are many graduates of the School teaching in Waldorf schools and performing in the United States.
Peter Selg is a German psychiatrist. He was born in Stuttgart and studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke, Zurich, and Berlin. Until 2000, he worked as the head physician of the juvenile psychiatry department of Herdecke hospital in Germany. Selg is director of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy and professor of medicine at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Germany). He lectures extensively and is the author of numerous books.
Else Klink was director of the Eurythmeum Stuttgart, the first training centre for Eurythmy founded by Marie Steiner in 1923, from 1935 until 1991. In 1945 she established the Eurythmeum Stage Group, which she also led until 1991. Her work contributed centrally to establishing Eurythmy as a performing art within the culture of Europe and internationally.
Rudolf Steiner wrote four plays that follow the initiation journeys of a group of fictional characters through a series of lives. These plays were intended to be modern mystery plays. Steiner outlined the plot of a fifth play to be set at the Castalian spring at Delphi, but due to the outbreak of First World War, this remained an unfulfilled project.
Johannes Tautz (30 September 1914 in Koblenz am Rhein to 13 March 2008 in Dortmund, was a Historian, Religious scholar, Anthroposophist, Author and Waldorf teacher. He concerned himself with a better understanding of National Socialism and with questions of education in the twentieth century.
Frederik Willem Zeylmans van Emmichoven, was a Dutch psychiatrist and anthroposophist. From 1923 until his death in 1961 he was chairman of the Dutch Anthroposophical Society. He was a familiar figure in public life and had a considerable influence on the anthroposophic movement, particularly through his numerous lectures and his work as an author, which included the first biography of Rudolf Steiner.