Steiner Agriculture Lecture One Biodynamic Preparations

I talked about how the spraying of BD preps sews an organizational field where the sprays are applied, and this sucks the latent (nascent, chaotic) forces from disorder into more organized activity.

The 500 is sprayed–generally in the evening as the dew falls–on the soil in large droplets so it is absorbed. It can be tilled in, which is very effective, and it can be sprayed on in a very light drizzle so it soaks in, which is great, especially on land like lawns and pastures where tillage is not an option. This has a marvelous effect on building the earthly, lime, forces in the soil that anchor the astrality.

Really, the lime itself is coming from solar fusion processes and is thrown off from the sun’s corona as ionic dust into the solar wind. It passes through the mercury and venus nexuses and is swept into the earth vortex with the aid of the moon. The earth’s magnetic field catches this material, funneling it into the atmosphere over the poles. From there it settles out on the earth as a fine, almost homeopathic dust.

So lime comes from the sun via the inner planets and works downward into the earth from above. As it does so it embraces all manner of other things and bonds to them. First and foremost of these are carbon, oxygen and sulfur, though many other things can also be involved. In rudimentary form this leads to the deposition of vast sedimentary beds of limestone or gypsum, which are made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates or sulfates.

rain BD 500 horn clay
Why don’t we grind up limestone and gypsum and fill our cow horns with these? Because these are by no means the most highly organized earthly forms. When it comes down to it, they don’t do much for anchoring the astrality–the nitrogen–which we depend on for activity, to say nothing of intelligence and awareness. Nitrogen makes up nearly 80% of the atmosphere, but in the air it is ever so aloof. It bonds to itself and acts as an inert
gas. It doesn’t enter into organized activity hardly at all. You might say in the atmosphere nitrogen is dead. Yet it is the basis of astrality–of activity, and above all awareness and intelligence, sense and desire.

The trouble is getting nitrogen to enter into organized forms. Just about the only thing with enough attractive power to grab onto nitrogen and draw it into organized forms is lime. Once grounded, however, this astral organization is supremely active. It travels to the greatest degree. In its nature it roams and is animal like. And it is the principle feature of animals that they consume things and digest them. You might say the role of nitrogen in the organic processes is to drag oxygen through the carbon forms so as to digest them and free them of their rigidity.

There we have it. Carbon, the form master, is wonderfully rich in organizational forces, and lime has an immense attraction to carbon. You might say that carbon even precedes lime in the earthly organization of things. As you know, in the formation of the earth first the coal beds were deposited and then the limestone beds were laid down on top of the coal.

In any event, if we want to draw this astrality, this digestive, seeking/doing intelligence into the organization of the soil it is practically useless to grind up limestone and gypsum and bury these in our cow horns. What we need is a good manure that contains plenty of carbon as well as some nitrogen along with the lime. Thus we make horn manure rather than horn lime. In the horn this manure gets all the formative impulses of the solar vortex focused on it for a full winter season, and in this process the quintessential humus is produced.

Humus is protoplasmic. Really protoplasm retains its organizational forms, its rich patterns, much better inside microorganisms than outside. The class of microorganisms that work with nitrogen the best are the nitrobacteria, and if we make really good 500 it will be rich with these.

Hopefully by going into such detail as this I’m giving a better picture of the active role of humus in drawing the astrality from its dead condition in the air into a living condition in the soil.