Biodynamic Preparations and Drought
How certain notions arise and become entrenched is a bit of a mystery, especially when they are wrong. Yet they do get started and entrenched. One of these is the belief that when things dry up and little moisture is available we cannot put out biodynamic preparations—as if these were delicate microbial cultures that must have moist conditions to establish and thrive. This is so far from true it seems impossible that it ever got started. Yet it did.
It is when things dry up, everything looks dead and rain looks months away that we most need to apply our biodynamic field sprays. Times like these when the organisation of moisture in the atmosphere is at its lowest that we need to enliven both the atmosphere and the soil and get them working together again. In a drought nothing else does so much for so little effort.
Particularly during summer, evaporation from the equatorial Indian Ocean is high. This moisture rises up into the troposphere and as it cools it glides downward toward the polar vortex, flowing like a river in the sky above Australia and New Zealand on its way to the South Pole. Variations in the Jet Stream determine where and when this river feeds moisture into storm fronts that drop—or fail to drop—summer rainfall over Australia. What organises moisture in the atmosphere is life—and that is the heart of what biodynamics is about.
Organisation is the basis of life, and life defies the rules of lifeless things. Life draws organisation to itself and builds more life. Biodynamic preparations are especially made to be so rich in life they draw life into wherever it is they are applied. The very reason we can stir up such tiny doses of preparations in water and sprinkle them over large areas and thereby bring these areas to life is because life energy flows from lower concentration to higher concentration. When we spray an area and enrich its vitality, more life energy, more organisation, flows to the area sprayed. The more we spray preparations and boost the life energy of an area, the more strongly it draws in organisation from the surrounding universe.
Back in 1988 a small group of biodynamic farmers held the first Southeast US Biodynamic Conference at my farm in Blairsville, Georgia. Hugh Courtney, who recently founded JPI (Josephine Porter Institute of Applied Biodynamics) came from Virginia to lead workshops on making and applying the preparations, and the workshop attendees all joined in stirring and applying every preparation rather generously to my farm despite the whole southeast being in the midst of a summer drought. Literally out of the blue a summer thunderstorm showed up and drenched us thoroughly. Courtney did the same thing at JPI in Virginia and the drought was history. The next summer the same thing happened at our second conference, also breaking a summer drought. By then Hugh Courtney had given preparation workshops at various widespread locations and in every case, rain—or at least technical precipitation—occurred when all the preparations were applied in a back-to-back sequence. Courtney explained to me, Harvey Lisle and others that he believed the preparations had the ability to draw to themselves whatever was needed to make life thrive.
Historically, this was the beginning of what Courtney later called Sequential Spraying. At first we didn’t know the preparations could break droughts, but the occasion arose to demonstrate stirring and spraying all the preparations in sequence and we all were grateful for the result.
I have applied this technique with favourable outcomes on many occasions since coming to Australia. It seems to work best if launched when the moon is in a water or earth constellation at the approach to full moon, so use the Antipodean Astro calendar and plan ahead. In order to get just the right amount of rain (rather than a flood) always couple these sequential sprays with the following intention:
“If it be Thy will, let the powers of nature converge to increase and enhance beneficial energies and transform detrimental energies into beneficial ones for the location intended for now and in the future for as long as is appropriate, in deep gratitude. Amen”
One of the most notable of these occasions was the Woodford Festival in 2003 where the weather was virtually perfect and attendance broke 100,000 for the first time.
Draw 8 litres of water in a 10 litre bucket, or 33 litres water into a suitable container If the water is chlorinated, leave this overnight or stir for 30 minutes to outgas the chlorine. It should be warm, though no warmer than blood temperature. It may be warmed with sunlight, wood or gas. Electricity is not ideal. To this add the preparation to be stirred.
Stirring: With arm or stirring stick, stir round and round to create a vortex. The water becomes organized into laminar layers as the cooler, denser water moves to the middle and the warmer, lighter water seeks the edge. The vortex will look like a spinning funnel. Reverse direction so the water froths in chaos until a new vortex is formed. As each new vortex matures, reverse direction again and again, back and forth. Stir Combined Soil preparation and Atmospheric preparations for an hour, and Soil Activator, Manure Concentrate and Equisetum (BD508) decoction for 20 minutes. Every time a new vortex is formed a new organization of order is created. This organization is the basis of life, and creating successive generations results in an evolution of order. This charges the remedy with life force and imparts the stirrer’s intentions to the water. Then what one thinks, one grows.
Spraying: Preps draw energy toward themselves so we spray preparations where we want the energy to go. Soil sprays should soak into the soil like the dew, and should be sprinkled on in late afternoon in large droplets. Atmospheric sprays should work upward into the atmosphere, so they are sprayed overhead into the atmosphere as a fine mist. Each droplet radiates up to two metres, so there is no need for uniform coverage. Since life force flows from lower to higher concentration, spraying in this fashion builds life force into the soil and atmosphere from the surrounding cosmos. A bucket and a hearth brush are sufficient for applying the soil preparations, but a garden sprayer is needed for the atmospheric preparations.
Method as Instructed in the Drought Breaker’s Kit
Day 1 – In the evening stir Biodynamic Soil Activator for 20 minutes and spray out.
FARM (1ha) – 75g in 33 litres water
GARDEN (2000m2) – 15g in 8 litres water
Day 2 – In the morning (as near to sunrise as possible) stir the following preparations together for 1 hour and spray in a fine mist over the same area covered the previous night.
FARM (1ha) – 2gm Horn Silica (501), 10gm of Summer Horn Clay and 10ml Fresh Equistetum (508) in 16 litres water
GARDEN (2000m2) – 1g Horn Silica (501), 4gm of Summer Horn Clay and 5ml Fresh Equistetum (508) in 5l water for up to 2000sq m
Day 2 – In the evening stir Combined Soil Preparation for 1 hour and spread over the same area.
FARM (1ha) – 245g in 33 litres water
GARDEN (2000m2) – 100g in 8 litres water
Day 3 – In the morning (as near to sunrise as possible) stir for 20 minutes and spray out the following in a fine mist:
FARM (1ha) – 4ltr of Fermented Equisetum and 10ml Valerian Preparation (BD507) in 16 litres water
GARDEN (2000m2) – 2ltr of Fermented Equisetum and 5ml Valerian (BD507) in 8 litres water.
NB: Fermented Equisetum is usually used as a soil spray, however in this situation of encouraging rain it is used as an atmospheric preparation.