According to Johannes Trimethius (1462-1516), the Seven Archangelic Spirits each rule the universe in turn for an epoch of 354 years. Rudolf Steiner approximates this to 300-500 years for each epoch. Here are the Seven Archangels and their latest epochs, their corresponding Planets, the characteristics of each epoch, and some approximations as to the dates of each Spirit’s rulership over the earth:
• The FIRST Archangel (or Spirit of SATURN) is called ORIPHIEL: 225 b. C – 225 A.D.
– Under his rule, humans are crude and savage. He is the Archangel of Suffering. He bestows pain upon humanity so that we may learn from our sins.
– Notable events: The Crucifixion of the Christ.
• The SECOND Archangel (or Spirit of VENUS) is called ANAEL: 225 A.D. – 525 A.D.
– Under his rule, human beings begin to resurface from their lower ways to a more comfortable station. They begin to re-learn the gentle ways of the soul.
– Notable events: Buddhism spreads in China; Classic period in Mayan Civilization.
• The THIRD Archangel (or Spirit of JUPITER) is called ZACHARIEL: min 525 A.D. – 825 A.D.
– He is the Archangel of Civilization. But under his rule, human beings inevitably begin to divide themselves into segments depending on their ideologies and beliefs.
– Notable events: The disintegration of the Roman Empire; the founding of Islam.
• The FOURTH Archangel (or Spirit of MERCURY) is called RAPHAEL: 825 A.D. – 1125 A.D.
– He is the Archangel of invention and knowledge.
– Notable events: Golden Age of Arab Culture; the founding of the Russian nation; the emergence of a strong papacy.
• The FIFTH Archangel (or Spirit of MARS) is called SAMAEL: 1125 A.D. – min 1525 A.D.
– Every time Samael governs the world, a complete change occurs in some great monarchy or government. Religions and castes are overturned, great princes are exiled, and laws are changed.
– Notable events: The Vikings invasion of Europe; the Muslims destruction of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem; The invasion of China by Genghis Khan; the Crusades; the re-discovery of America by Christopher Columbus; The Middle Ages.
• The SIXTH Archangel (or Spirit of the MOON) is called GABRIEL: 1525 A.D. – 1879 A.D.
– He is the Spirit of Virtue, of Propriety, and of the Arts.
– Notable events: The Renaissance, the Victorian Age.
• The SEVENTH Archangel (or Spirit of the SUN) is called MICHAEL (1879 A.D.—min 2233/max 2379 A.D.)
– Under his rulership, human beings go through great inner and outer awakenings, both as individuals and as a collective, and also come under attack from great forces of darkness.
– Notable events (so far): The First Two World Wars, the Hippie Counterculture movement, the esoteric movements of the end of the 19th century, the industrial revolution.
According to Steiner, Michael’s rulership began in 1879. This would situate the last Michaelic Epoch starting approximately 725 B.C. and ending 225 B.C., during the Graeco-Roman period.
Notable events from the last Michaelic epoch include the epic battle of the 300 Spartans and a mix of their 4000 slaves/allies against Xerxes’s Persian invasion of more than 10,000 soldiers at The Hot Gates of Thermopylae. Due to the sacrifice and leadership of this Spartan nation, Athens and the rest of the Greeks were able to gather forces and successfully ward off the oncoming Persian attack, which was greatly decimated by the Spartan’s forces. The victory of the Greeks over the Persians determined the destiny of our present western civilization.
This was also the time of great philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and also the time of Alexander the Great.