Gifts for the Soil - The Josephine Porter Institute

Gifts for the Soil

The biodynamic preparations represent a gesture of expansive life and love for the source of life itself, as expressed especially in flowers which seek to return to their source. It's as if the growth of plants is inspired not by mere chemistry, but a real inner affinity for light, a love for the Sun itself. 

If it were not for bees, much of what flowers produce as nectar would evaporate and disappear back into the atmosphere. Where does all that sweetness go? In biodynamics, we seek to retain some of this nectar in the form of the biodynamic preparations. We gather fresh blossoms, ideally, and place them inside sheaths that naturally contain the process the medicinal herbs influence. Then we hang these on the east side of a building, where the hanging preparations can ripen almost like fruits in the mild morning sun. 

In alchemy, the source of fertility is considered to be dew. Rain is necessary, yes, but there is a fattening quality in the dew that enriches and adds combustible oil. When we let the biodynamic preparations hang somewhere that dew collects, but not where the afternoon sun might scorch away this precious fertility, day by day the preparations inhale a little more dew, and then become dry to the touch on the outside. This rhythmic inhalation and exhalation of dew means that the preparation continues to assimilate more and more from the cosmos as it ages. Steiner gives the indication to bury the winter preparations somewhere that the sun shines (morning - east, in the northern hemisphere) but the snow doesn't melt (shaded by midday), so this corresponds, generally speaking, with the eastern side of a building.

As many of you likely know, a fig is technically a flower that never opens. The sweetness inside is the nectar that is retained as the excess water evaporates through the tiny hole at its end. Inside the fig you see a natural form of "honey" forming. In the biodynamic preparations, it is almost as if the flowers waken to life -- briefly -- every day and produce a little more nectar. When you find a bladder filled with yarrow blossoms, what is really happening? We are making a yarrow fruit which doesn't exist in nature! We are containing and ripening the floral process much like how a fig produces a honeylike substance inside its unopened flower. 

With biodynamics we are gifting to the soil a concentration of forces and a kind of "sweetness" that naturally wouldn't occur by chance in nature. And that is the secret of alchemy: taking things to their fulfillment when Nature, left to herself, could not do so.

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