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Beuys, Joseph - The Queen Bee 1952



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Artistic Alchemy of Joseph Beuys – Dr David Adams

Steiner's lectures on bees suggested rich possibilities to Beuys. One need only consider Steiner's enunciation in the first lecture that nothing that "exists somewhere in nature is without certain powers." Not only would Steiner's characterizations of the intimate ecological relationships active in the "household of nature" have appealed to Beuys, but Steiner repeatedly emphasized that we must learn to recognize the spiritual processes at work in nature and that these can provide significant pictures for human life as well.

"Looking at things in a properly natural way," he said in the ninth lecture, "we can see in all the processes of nature, symbols and representations of those things that occur in human life." As examples, Steiner spoke of the relationship between the beehive and the human head and body, between the selfless wisdom living in the bee colony and future human social life, between a swarm of bees leaving and returning to the hive and human reincarnation, and between the "hexagonally-acting powers" expressed in the structure of the beehive (and quartz crystals) and those active in the building processes of human blood, muscles, and bone.


The source of the experience

Beuys, Joseph

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Believing in the spiritual world