The Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World. Lecture 3 of 10.
Rudolf Steiner, Düsseldorf, April 13, 1909:
Thus we have three degrees of beings who stand above man. These three degrees of spiritual beings have all passed through the human stage; once they were all men. The beings who are Angels today, if one considers it from the point of view of universal time were human not so very long ago, for they were men upon the old Moon; and just as you, because of earthly conditions, inhabit the Earth as men, so did the Angels inhabit the Moon during their human stage. The Archangels passed through their human stage on the Sun, and the Archai, or spirits of personality, did the same on ancient Saturn. These beings have risen by degrees from their human stage; they are higher beings today, in higher grades of hierarchies than man. If we reckon the sequence of degrees in the kingdoms of the world in a spiritual sense we arrive at the following: On the Earth we have the visible mineral kingdom, the vegetable and animal kingdoms, the human kingdom, and then we pass into the invisible, into the kingdom of Angels, the Archangels or Spirits of Fire, the Archai or Spirits of Personality. While these beings in accordance with their own inner nature were progressing and developing, rising from man to divinity, or to messengers of the divine (the correct description of those beings), while they were thus rising in their evolution, the conditions of the planet, on which and for the sake of which they lived, gradually changed. If we look back at ancient Saturn, on which the Archai or Spirits of Personality passed through their human stage, we find it very different from our Earth.