In many ways, before we can consciously work with the biodynamic preparations and even become biodynamic growers we need to grapple with and begin to experience how RS outlined the processes active in plant, animal and human growth. Once this has been achieved we can then start to explore how the preparations can be used in a more creative manner.

In this edition I have joined together the two earlier chapters I have did on plant observation and growth. They explore the different levels of plant growth we are exposed too. First of all how can we identify the basic energies of each plant and then what is the general growth processes outlined by RS.


When observing plants look for the different layers of influence.

Firstly the species indicates an planetary association. is it a conifer ( Saturn ) fruit tree ( Jupiter ) or shrub ( Mars ) for instance. - The Ego level

The subspecies indicates the changes within the species .
Is the form of the conifer type - tight ( Saturn ) , open ( Venus ), branches facing upwards ( outer planet ) or down ( inner planet)? Is there harmony in the form? ( Venus ) Are the leaves needles sharp? ( Saturn, Mars )or soft ( Moon )? almost leaves etc. - The Astral level

What Ethers are working? What is the shape of the leaves? What is the quality of light and spacing of the leaves?. Are there flowers? How do they sit in relation to the leaves? Above the plant, or in beneath the canopy? Does any one part of the plant dominate. - The Etheric level

Then there are the localised influences on planting position, soil type and relationship to other trees. - The Physical level.

Internal Plant Growth Processes

This subject is not particularly straight forward. This is due mostly to needing to approach the question of plant growth from each of the levels we have already described in the Biodynamic Vortex. RS outlined indications for each of the Biodynamic Vortex layers - except the Zodiac. So we need to appreciate the activity of each layer and then overlay them in a sort of multi layered chess game.

As indicated in the 2 fold level in 'The BD Contradiction" there is some debate as to how RS says plant growth working. In lecture one RS outlines the workings of Calcium and Silica however he is not overly specific about which direction they are working from. In lecture 2 though he describes plant growth as being carried by the Calcium stream moving inwards towards the Earth and the Silica stream coming from the Earth outwards into space. This statement is then confused somewhat by statements he made in Lecture 6 when he is discussing plant "diseases", where on page 107 1938 edition he appears to contradict himself when he says the (calcium based) inner planets of Venus, Mercury and Moon work onto the plant through the Earth, while the ( Silica based) outer planets of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars work directly onto the plant from the Atmosphere. Lecture 2 he said the exact reverse.

These contradictions are seemingly reaffirmed when we come to investigating the workings of 500 and 501 . 500 has an obvious relationship to the Calcium stream, inner planets, the elements of Water and Earth, the Life and Chemical ethers and the upward moving growth stream, in that they make plant large and lush, while 501 relates to the Silica steam, elements of Air and Fire, ethers Warmth and Light, outer planets and the inward moving growth stream, in that it contracts plant growth. Sadly this experience does not fit with the information from lecture 2 in ' Agriculture '. So there is a dilemma and some disagreement as to just what he was getting at. Some prominent BD educators in NZ have even been heard to say this contradiction is just not understandable and have left it alone. I think it is understandable and able to be used to very great effect. Having said this I do not feel I have it totally sorted it out and am naturally open to a lively discussion on this subject. With the Agriculture course I feel we have missed a couple of lectures where many of these inconsistencies would have been sorted out. Sadly no more have appeared over the last 75 years and so we must do it ourselves.

The Astrological Theorem's answer

2 fold

The Astrological model points out that nothing functions in isolation. Life always functions through polarity. Initially we see the Calcium and Silica question as polar, one force working on the other. In the earlier four fold section I outlined the 'Macro Polarities' working with the spiritual bodies.

We saw how the Calcium processes were linked to the external workings of the Physical and Etheric bodies coming from the Earth, while the Silica processes carrying the Spirit and Astral influences come from the above and work onto the plant from outside. This picture is in keeping with how 500 and 501 present themselves and how these streams are described in lectures 1 and 6. Life would be this easy if not for lecture 2 where the contradiction occurs.

We should also keep in mind how the Calcium works through the horizontal plane while the Silica works through the vertical plane. Also how at this primary level we are seeing the duality between the 'Substances' of the Earth interacting with the 'Cosmic' activity of the environment. Here we see the BD concept of Forces and Substance presented to us. This needs to be held in ones mind eye as a basis upon which plant growth occurs. This manifests on a couple of different ways. The more physical Forces and Substances level but also when we talk of 'Cosmic' and 'Earthly' activities. Goethe expressed also a duality between the processes of the plant coming into 'Being' and the phase where it comes into 'Manifestation'.

3 fold

When we come to the three fold level of plant growth we are presented with a picture of the "Agricultural Individuality. " In this picture RS outlines the physical body of the farm, how its nervous system lives below the soil and how we, the plants and animals live within its belly. It is here that we are first confronted with the 'contradiction' as the head is associated to the root sphere and the Silica processes coming from the Earth outwards, while in the belly we find the calcium processes active.

At this stage it is enough to take this at face value. We need to accept the 3 fold picture of nature and its physical bodies. What we are presented with is that the 'head' region works through forces of contraction, as seen in the tap root formation, while the 'belly' acts through expansion and dissipation as displayed in flowering and seeding. The interplay between these two spheres is seen in the leaf realm and its dynamic chemical activity of photosynthesis where it uses products from the belly and produces from the head to feed both.

4 fold

It is at this fourfold level that we can find a solution to this problem. As the forces become more complex - move up the spiral - and come into life, due to the incorporation of the etheric body, we see that at level 4 each pole has divided into two parts. The formative impulses of level 2 becomes manifest at level 4. We have seen how level four provides us with a micro polarity picture of two polarities. The 'Cosmic' Fire activity polarises with the 'Earthly' Earth pole to form the vertical axis, while the 'Cosmic' Air element forms a creative polarity between the 'Earthly' Water element to form the horizontal axis of the gyroscope of life.

There are several ways we can use this information.

Firstly we can see that the "Earthly" Calcium of the BD Vortex divides into two parts the Water and Earth elements. Also that the "Cosmic" Silica pole has two parts the Fire and Air elements. Thus it can be assumed that the Calcium and Silica processes both have two parts as well. Like most things in nature these activities can be seen as a cycle. A close reading of the second lecture tells us the story of how the Silica process works as a cycle. RS outlines how the sand in the soil draws the silica processes to the Earth with the light and the warmth, which dominates in the post summer autumn period. This 'Summer' Silica is drawn into the soil and through the mid winter is crystallised by the contractive nerve sense pole and held by the Silica crystals of the Earth. In the following spring, with the help of the clay in the soil, that the Silica processes again radiate from the Earth. They link with the archetypal 'Egoic' forces of the seed and move through the stem formation towards the setting of new seed. Once this seed is nurtured by the 'Summer' Sun once again, it falls to the Earth with the in moving Silica processes in the Autumn and awaits for the following season to begin its journey anew the following season.

The calcium has a different 'train' to ride. Calcium as an element comes to the Earth from the Sun, in very fine dilution and is absorbed by living entities, from the Air, Water and Earth. Generally though the Calcium has been concentrated on the Earth through the living processes of sea creatures and laid down in ocean deposits. As this Calcium has built up on the Earth, in alliance with the freeing of oxygen into the atmosphere, we have seen the ability for the Earth to attract and concentrate the Cosmic etheric forces in the World Etheric of the Earths atmosphere. We are told in lecture 2 how on the one hand this 'Earthly' lime helps to suck the world etheric forces to the Earth. However we are also told how in the Atmosphere and the 'belly' of the Earth that there is a 'cosmic' calcium in homeopathic dilution which is also vital for plant growth. In "Living Energies" by Callum Coates (pg 221) he describes the wonderful cycle of water in plant growth. In this chapter he outlines how water comes to the soil as rain and picks up the cations calcium, potassium etc and carries these physically into the plant. The plants vascular system starts with large channels and these diminish as they move to the extremities. The water in its journey does not just flow through the veins it spirals and this spiralling processes causes vacuums to form, which causes a potentising process to take place. All the minerals are constantly potentised as the water spirals through the plant. Slowly the minerals are held by the plant and eventually the potentised water it expelled out of the plant through transpiration. This potentised water then becomes part of the moisture in the 'belly' which in turn can be absorbed by the plant. RS picks this up when in lecture 2 he outlines how this atmospheric Calcium is drawn and held to the soil through the formation and incorporation of Humus into the soil. So on the one hand we have the Calcium that is deposited in the Earth through living processes, which then comes back physically and energetically from the Earth as mineral Calcium. Then there is the atmospheric homeopathic calcium which is drawn down and held in the Earth through the Humus. As activities in plant growth the Earthly Calcium provides cell dividion, germination and the ability for the plant to form tissue for the plant structure, built upon the fine Silica strucutre provided by the Cosmic Silica processes coming from the Earth. The Atmospheric or cosmic Calcium is the carrier of the etheric activity and provides the mass or bulk of the plant. So size comes from the atmosphere and is determined - in a organic system - by the quality the humus and the degree the oxygen and homeopathic calcium has been drawn into the Earth. There is evidence though that the World Etheric of the atmosphere can be drawn directly from the atmosphere into the plant. RS indicates this in the 8th lecture when he talks of animal and human nutrition and how the bulk of our bodies comes from what we breath and see rather than what we eat. This is a strange idea at first however the more I live with this whole concept the more I see it to be true. When we come to Plant Predators we will see that insect attack is caused in many cases by a diminished etheric activity and that the Astrality has become too intense. The solution to this is to increase the etheric activity, which can be done by watering, mulching etc. We have also shown with the use of the Garuda 'Pest Protection' that pest control can be achieved by spraying plants with mixtures of the BD preps aimed at increasing the activity of the Etheric body. Nothing more than homeopathic potencies and water are sprayed lightly on the plants yet a motnhs protection from slugs, snails and white cabbage butterfly can be achieved on brassica. It appears to me that this remedy is accessing the World Etheric forces active in the atmosphere and drawing them directly into the plant.

This picture can be added to Geothes image of the Being and Manifestation processes which where enlarged upon by Lievegeod. I suggest the 'Being - Cosmic' phases of the Silica and Calcium processes where described by RS in lecture two while the 'Manifestation - Earthly' side of the processes was described in lecture 1 and 6. It is from this basis that I named the forces associated with these activities the Cosmic Silica, Cosmic Calcium, Terrestrial Silica and terrestrial Calcium.

3 fold and 4 fold Plant Growth

To join up levels 3 and levels 4 I have found it useful to refer to the first diagram in lecture 8. In this diagram RS tells us that the Nerve Sense system is made up of Cosmic Forces (Cosmic Silica) and Earthly Substances (Earthly Calcium), while the Metabolic pole consists of Cosmic Substance ( Earthly Silica) and Earthly Forces ( Cosmic Calcium). This provides us with this diagram.




The influences of the planets are described in the course in a general way, almost as an attachment to their carriers the Calcium and Silica streams. What is evident is that wherever you have Calcium and Silica working you also have the inner and outer planets active. So just as there are the 'Being' and 'Manifestation' duality of the elements and ethers so there will be a dual set of planetary influences.

Lievegoed ( ) gives us an important indicators here in his discussion of the primary and secondary planetary processes in plant growth. (8)

Lievegoed outlines a growth series well worth considering. I wish to only summaries it here

 Saturn 1



 Saturn 2

Cosmic Forces 

 Jupiter 1

 Plastic forces

 Essential Oils

 Jupiter 2

Cosmic Substance

 Mars 1

 Growth in Space

 Forming Protein

 Mars 2

  Venus 1



 Venus 2

Earthly Forces 

 Mercury 1

 Sap flow

 Supporting Organs

 Mercury 2

Earthly Substance

  Moon 1



 Moon 2

Lievegeod goes on to outline how the planetary activities work in pairs of opposites Saturn 1 with Moon 2, Jupiter 2 with Mercury 1 etc. I am not sure where he has got this method.

If we refer his suggestions to the pictures we have found active in the 4 fold level and use RS indications we come up with the accompanying diagram for the planets in relationship to the 3 & 4 fold levels of activity. The lemniscate twist of the Earthly Forces and Cosmic Forces need to get this diagram is seen as a process used by RS in the Twelve Sense and also in tracking how the Astrological model of the Zodiac becomes the manifest Zodiac we see in the sky outlined earlier on this site.

The Spiritual Bodies

Generally, the plant embodies the Etheric into its Physical sphere, while the Astral and Ego bodies stay as "World" activities and thus external. The Astral and Ego under normal circumstances only impact upon the plant externally, through the terrestrial Silica stream and secondary outer planets, working inwards carried through the light and warmth of the atmosphere. They work internally through the light and warmth ethers and the primary outer planets carried on the cosmic Silica processes. They show as stalk and seeding strength.

Throughout "Agriculture" it is also mentioned how the Ego works into the physical sphere. In the third lecture we are told of the World Ego working through (Hydrogens relationship to) Carbon. In the eight lecture an outline is given of how the Ego forces find their way to the root of the plant carried by the animal manure we provide. We are told "...this ego potentiality , working on the plant from the root, will cause it to grow upwards from the root in the right way according to the forces of gravity."

Both of these statements bring me to consider the vertical pole of the gyroscope - The Ego/Physical pole, and how plants, being so removed from an incarnated Ego, are forced to draw the Ego in more directly through the physical side of this polarity and the etheric carriers the warmth and life ethers.

The task at hand is to now bring all these pictures together and to see them working simultaneously. The last diagram has all the activities outlined, just image the plant in the middle.