In 1924, Rudolph Steiner, an Austrian esotericist and clairvoyant presented a series of lectures on what he coined anthroposophic agriculture. These lectures amounted to what is now considered by many as the foundation of the first modern organic agriculture, better known today as “biodynamic”. Biodynamic farming, in short, is a set of principles and practices that utilize the energetics and cycles of the solar system to grow food/medicine in an abundant, nutritive and regenerative manner that aligns with nature. One where humans are considered as nature and not outside of it. Of course, long before the biodynamic techniques Steiner outlined, many peoples from around the world had long since been utilizing their knowledge of natural cycles in order to act accordingly and in stewardship of the land. This is not in question and is not meant to downplay Steiner’s accomplishments or brilliance, only to highlight that biodynamic farming utilizes Hermetic esoteric knowledge that had existed throughout the corpus contained within the disciplines of astrology and alchemy. A specific methodology so-to-speak, whereby scientific study has now been applied and documented for those who should care to seek it out.
A summary of biodynamic astrological and alchemical practices includes the following:
- Waxing towards full moon – For a few days prior to the full moon the “water” forces of life are particularly powerful so it is a good time to sow.
- Waning towards new moon – For a few days prior to the new moon the flow of sap up from the roots is weaker so it’s a good time to prune.
- Ascending moon (Southern transplanting) – Sap is enlivened in upper parts of the plant so it is a good time to cut flowers and harvest fruit or to take cuttings for grafting.
- Descending moon (Northern transplanting) – Sap is more vital in the lower parts of the plant so it is a good time to transplant as roots will connect with the soil more easily. Good time to top dress with compost in order to stimulate root activity. Good time to prune as sap flow is weak.
- Apogee – When the moon is farthest from the Earth thus giving weak “water” influence, therefore, sowing crops that easily bolt is best avoided.
- Perigee – When the moon is closest to the Earth thus giving strong/chaotic “water” influence, therefore, best to go surfing and leave most gardening tasks for another day.
- The sidereal cycle – When the moon magnifies the energy of each of the constellations throughout its monthly cycle. Whereby:
- Earth constellations (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) are root days.
- Water constellations (Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio) are leaf days.
- Air (Aquarius, Gemini and Libra) are flower days.
- Fire (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) are fruit and seed days.
- Compost alchemy utilizing the following “biodynamic preparations” whereby each plant preparation has its planetary archetype with specific signatures and correspondences:
- BP 502 – Yarrow (Venus – Potassium for balancing of trace minerals)
- BP 503 – Chamomile (Mercury – controls nitrogen)
- BP 504 – Nettle (Mars – iron for strengthening action)
- BP 505 – Oak Bark (Sun – calcium to control disease)
- BP 506 – Dandelion (Jupiter – silica to create an environment of expansion)
- BP 507 – Valerian (Jupiter – phosphate activation)
- BP 508 – Horsetail (Saturn – silica to control fungal growth)
- BP 500 – Horn manure mixed with structured water then used as spray when the moon is descending
- BP 501 – Horn silica (ground quartz) mixed with structured water then used as spray when the moon is ascending
Note: The term “structured water” was not used by Rudolph Steiner but came about in the early 20th century through the work of Viktor Schauberger, who is also considered to be one of the fathers of permaculture. In the context of biodynamic farming, water is stirred clockwise (Northern hemisphere) to create a vortex, then an abrupt change in direction is applied in order to “create chaos”. This technique is then applied over and over such that the water can organize into an intelligent universal pattern that mirrors cosmic law.
“Comprehend and copy nature.” – Viktor Schauberger
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