Ca & Si / Ethers


This essay is represented from a BDNOW post and I acknowledge Hugh Lovel as an invaluable co author of this piece.

This post is in response to one submitted by Hugh Lovel some time ago onthe ethers role in plant growth and Gareth Bodles request for more on Ca and Si.

I would have liked to have responded to this immediately however the pressures of life just did not allow it. So this one comes to you from (thankfully ) an air conditioned hotel room overlooking an Asian tropical rainforest complete with its contradictory bush clad ridge dwelling pagoda and ever present large powerlines. (13.6.1998)

Hughs description of the functoning of the ethers in plant growth strikes me as an excellent picture of this aspect of Biodynamics perception of plant growth. The stimulus for me to write comes from a perception that the ethers are not the only formative impulses present in plant growth.

In my studies, and as mentioned here on other occassions, I percieve RS as outlining manifestation on a six layered model, which is best understood as a six layered vortex. (Biodynamics Decoded) Image it as a six tiered game of chess. What Hugh has described so eloquently is one aspect of the fourth layer.

The two fold layer tell us about the functioning of Ca. & Si, The 3 fold layer will tell us how the physical systems of Nerve sense, metabolism and Rhythmic are interrelating to make up the "agricultural individuality", the four fold level outlines the ethers working along with the elements, the double Ca & Si cycles and how the four bodies work in and on the plant. The sevenfold layer shows us the planetary process ala B Lievegeod (1951) and Agriculture lecture 2, while the 12 fold layer provides a picture of how the fixed stars relate to all the above. My journey and at times my struggle is to percieve how all of these layers processes are active similtaneously in plant growth. Luckily there are many cross references between layers as well as the excellent sign posts RS has dotted along the way. To date my attempt to write this down has lead to a small book sized essay, which is still in the process of completion. To quote a earthy Taurus/Capricorn associate " trying to concieve all of this picture at once, makes my brain hurt." The best I can do, especially here is to deal with little bits at a time.

Two parts of this puzzle have sprung to mind when reading Hughs post. What is the roles of the spiritual bodies and (from Gareth Bodles question) how does Ca. & Si play into this process? Both are sizable questions however the answers could be useful in the discussions of understanding plant growth processes ( the present Ca & Si thread ) which ultimately has major consequences for how we use the preparations and how we can consciously meet other preparations such as Horn Clay.

It maybe possible to answer many aspects of these two questions similtaneously. My diagram "Earths Layer Cake" was put together to outline the various layers of creation we are confronted with. A key to its practical use is to establish that the formative forces coming from the fixed stars work inwards towards the Earth. As they move through each layer they use a carrier / resident of that layer. RS points this out in Lecture 2 where he is combining the planets, ethers, elements and Ca & Si in his descriptions. We can therefore find a synastry between the spiritual bodies and their carriers into the physical , the ethers as well as the dual Ca & Si processes.

I appreciate the dual Ca & Si processes are not yet a conscious part of the traditional Biodynamic language or understanding however I find them a necessary development with many functional and cross reference applications.

Many readers will be aware of the fact that in Biodynamics we are dealing with Substance and Force and that while we must take care of the substances through good soil science and remineralisation we can also take care of the forces through the use of the Biodynamic preparations. We are therefore left with the picture that each substance has an accompanying force process associated to it. So with Ca & Si we have a similar activity. We have one side of the the Ca polarity working more with the force and the other more with the substance. So we can say we have the Force/Cosmic Ca process and the Substance/Earthly/Terrestrial Ca process. Naturally the substance Ca is carried by mineral lime. In Lect. 2 RS tells us the Cosmic Ca is bought into the soil and plant through the humus content. When working with the preparations we can see the Ter. Ca is strengthened through the Oak Bark prep. while the Cos. Ca is strengthened through the Chamomile prep. Similarly the Terrestrial/Earthly Si is carried by the Silica most notably the Silicic acid, quartz and sand in the atmosphere and soil while the Cosmic Si can work upon the plant through the mediation of the clay.

As an aside we must therefore ask the question regarding the Horn Clay "How is it facilitating the Cosmic Silica process to work more strongly?"

When dealing with the spiritual bodies and their path into manifestation we can see that the Spirit is carried by the Cosmic Si., the Astral by the Ter. Si, the Etheric upon the Cos. Ca and the Physical by the Ter. Ca. To associate these to the Ethers and the chemical elements we have the following

 Ego  Warmth  Cos. Si.  H
 Astral  Light  Ter. Si.  N
 Etheric  Tone  Cos. Ca.  O
 Physical  Life  Ter. Ca.  C

Before leaving the spiritual bodies it may serve to explore the 'traditional' understanding of how the spiritual bodies are seen to be working upon plants. As plants are beings which are generally only an incarnated etheric body lifting physical substance into space, we can see the Spirit/Ego and Astral bodies work primarily as external forces directly from the planets and fixed stars respectively. They work from the outside inwards carried by the light and warmth ethers.

To add complexity to this general image we are told in 'Agriculture' that the spirit works into the physical carried by hydrogen combining with carbon moistened by sulphur. We are also told that the Spirit is bought to the soil through the left over Ego forces in cow manure. I also contend that the spirit activity is carried into the earth through the Cosmic Silica processes which are crystallised at mid winter and which work upwards again mediated by clay to produce the strong stalk and highly reproductive true to type seed. The warmth ether mediates all of the above. So wherever we see the light ether active we see an incarnated astrality activity, wherever the warmth ether is active we see an incarnated spirit.

To add to the complexity of any discussion of the ethers and to fully appreciate Hughs post we must refer back to that small but significant part of lect 2 (pg 32) and Malcolm Gardiners excellent post on Living [Bound] and Dead {free] elements.

Like all information it is not in the concieving of it that has real value, it is how it is put into practice which really matters. So merely as a beginning suggestion I will add these extra layers to Hughs ethers piece.

Hugh Lovels original piece:-

Plants build up vitality (esp. tone and life ether) [LIVING, COS CA/ETHERIC & TER CA/PHY] in the roots over the winter and give off vitality (as warmth and light ether) [ DEAD, COS/SPIRIT & TER SI/ASTRAL] in the tops over summer. During their vegetative (Spring) phase they are storing sugars due to photosynthesis and the complexity of their chemistry, which takes place in the leaves (where tone [LIVING COS CA/ETHERIC]and life [LIVING TER CA/PHY] interact with warmth [DEAD COS SI/SPIRIT] and light [DEAD TER SI/ASTRAL]),reaching their peak when they begin to bloom. Throughout the blooming phase plants are giving off their warmth [LIVING COS SI/SPIRIT] and light[LIVING TER SI/ASTRAL] [TO BECOME DEAD] and "burning up." Inthe Fall warmth [ DEAD COS SI/SPIRIT] and light [ DEAD TER SI/ASTRAL] wane as the flow of tone [ LIVING COS CA/ ETHERIC] and life [ LIVING TER CA/PHY] comes back to the roots with whatever warmth and light [LIVING] may be saved. This is the annual Solar Cycle. It is modified by the character of each constellation the Sun passes through, and of course there are many individual variations amongst the species of plants.

There is also the daily Solar Cycle to consider. Free ether streams into the Solar System continually from the widest expanses of the Cosmos. It enters the Earth Vortex at the Eastern Horizon, otherwise known as theAscendant, or sometimes in casting horoscopes the Rising Sign. Anyway, it travels from east to west, following the Sun. At Sunrise the ether, which is always streaming toward the Sun, is flowing parallel to the Earth'ssurface and undergoing transition from tone and life ether to warmth and light ether. At high noon the ether is flowing forth from the Earth as warmth and light toward the Sun. At Sunset the ether again is flowing parallel to the Earth's surface and undergoing transition from warmth andlight to tone and life. At midnight the ether is flowing into the Earth as tone and life. [ ALL THE ABOVE IS IN THE DEAD STATE]

Plants live in the free tone [DEAD COS CA/ETHERIC] and life [ DEADTER CA/PHY] ethers while giving off warmth [ LIVING COS SI/ SPIRIT] and light [ LIVING TER SI/ASTRAL] [DEAD] over the growing season. That is they absorb the moisture and fertility of the soil turning it into bound [LIVING]ether which they volitalizeas free [DEAD]warmth and light at their surfaces and extremities.(Animals do just the opposite as they automatically absorb the free [LIVING] warmth [COS SI/ SPIRIT] and light [TER SI/ ASTRAL] ethers while having to drink and digest to concentrate sufficient tone [COS CA/ ETHERIC] and life [TER CA/PHY] ether in bound [DEAD] form. Another way of looking at this is that ether works entirely the opposite of substance. Where free matter is ever dispersing from high concentration to low concentration, free ether is ever condensing from low concentration to highconcentration. Where plants concentrate and build up bound [DEAD] substances they disperse and dispense free [LIVING] ether. True to the rule, where animals break down and disperse free [DEAD] substances they absorb and condense bound [LIVING]ether.) Always living organisms are made up of a subtle interplay of bound [LIVING] earth,water, air and fire elements and bound [LIVING] warmth, light, tone and life ethers. Every living organism has a bit of every element and every ether, but with different organisms different elements and ethers predominate,and different combinations work in different ways. Let's say you want to grow the most aromatic lemon balm and harvest it so as to maximize its aromaticity. The aroma is an astral [LIVING TER SI/LIGHT ETHER] quality actually, and it relates to the air element and the light ether. But since it is an astral characteristic it can be enhanced by growing the lemon balm in the vicinity of a very astral [LIVING TER SI/LIGHT ETHER] herb, namely stinging nettle. Or, one might give the lemon balm patch stinging nettle mulch or stinging nettle ferment/tea.To maximize the build-up of light [ LIVING TER SI / ASTRAL] ether the lemon balm should be cut justas it is going to bloom in a waning Moon or just after Full and preferably in an air constellation. Quite naturally the first harvest of the season will be the strongest, though I imagine a second harvest is possible in some places. As for time of day, just before the dew burns off in the morning would be ideal, as once the fog or dew lifts the light [LIVING, TER SI/ASTRAL] ether goes up into the atmosphere and the plant tends to lose some of the aromaticity it built up overnight.

Best wishes, Hugh Lovel

The above is only a suggestion and a spark for further conversation,

thought and discussion.


Glen Atkinson

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