According to the septennial theory, a person’s biological, mental, and philosophical experiences are determined by cycles.
Throughout history, great thinkers have found cycles within the human constitution, not only in the biological sense, as we know that humans and life, in general, are governed by their circadian cycle, but in the sense of construction and formation of the personal structure. One of the thinkers who developed a philosophy based on these cycles was Rudolf Steiner, who believed in the theory of the septennial and how the body regenerates itself every seven years and prepares itself for the situations to come.
According to his observations, Steiner created a philosophy that encompasses his beliefs about how a person’s life is structured. He called it anthroposophy, which gets its name from the terms ‘anthroposophy,’ which translates as ‘human being,’ and ‘sophia,’ which means ‘wisdom.’ This philosophy looks at the spiritual life from an objective and intellectually comprehensible point of view. And it is precisely from anthroposophy that the Septennial Theory is derived.
What is the Septennia Theory?
According to anthroposophy, the septenniums are periods divided into seven years each, which explain the changes that occur during a person’s development. That is, according to the Austrian philosopher, we would be connected in body, mind, and spirituality, which during these cycles evolve hand in hand, preparing us for life experiences. In this way, life itself, through the septennial, is shaping personal growth, and at the same time, the personality is gradually sculpted.
The Septennial Theory is characterized by creating a more understandable way to comprehend more easily how the passage of time fits into the formation of a person. According to Steiner, the first three septennia are the most important in the life of a human being, and these would cover from birth to seven years, from there to fourteen years, and from adolescence to twenty-one years. As we can see, this is the time in which a person reaches adulthood and also represents the time of bodily development. While the next seven years, which go from twenty-one to thirty-five, and then to forty-two, would be focused on emotional and spiritual development.
From 0 to 7 Years of Age
The loss of milk teeth, according to Steiner, is the most visible characteristic of this first septennium and would represent the first important inner transformation in a person’s life. After this happens, the child would be ready to face school life.
Second and Third Septennium
These are also part of the most important life cycles according to anthroposophy. The second septennium, which runs from seven to fourteen years of age, is marked by puberty, the main characteristic of which is maturity, biologically speaking. While the third septennium, from fourteen to twenty-one, is when the person passes from the transition from adolescence to adulthood and reaches social maturity.
From 21 to 28 Years of Age
The theory explains that in the fourth septennium, sensitivity, self-control, and creative self-assertion are developed. This is when the second phase of the cycle begins, which is no longer centered on physical changes, but is in charge of developing social skills and self-affirmation of the subject.
From 28 to 42 Years of Age
Here are included both the fifth and the sixth septennium. During the fifth cycle, which runs from twenty-eight to thirty-five years of age, a key vital phase is developed where maximum development is reached; great authors of history premiered their greatest works in this period of life.
The sixth septennium, which runs from thirty-five to forty-two years of age, is where an immense need arises to conquer the world through our vocation or from the family role we choose.
Beyond the Age of 42
According to Steiner, between the ages of forty and forty-two, we reach a fully mature existence, not only in our souls but also in our spiritual life. But it is from here that life begins to experience a downward curve where the person becomes more and more distant from the outside world to focus more deeply on one’s inner self.
Other changes follow, also divided into septennia, but which are mostly centered on the inner self and the loss of biological reproductive qualities. But the paths of growth towards inner freedom and wisdom are opening up more and more.
Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera