One of my first memories is walking down a street in Philadelphia with my father and questioning him about the moon. First he said that it was made of cheese. It didn't look like cheese to me. No, I didn't buy that and told him. "Well," he said, "if you look hard you can see the face of a man." I strained to create a face in the green and silver globe and there seemed to be something in that picture. I was between three and four at the time. It was one of my first conscious experiences.
Six or seven years later I was walking alone on a cold fall night looking at the stars. Suddenly, I stopped as if frozen still by their sparkling light. A deep feeling came into my soul that I knew what they were. I stood there thinking, straining my thought as hard as I could, but I could not remember. A few minutes passed and I continued my walk home filled with great sadness as though I had lost something very precious, but could not remember what it was I had lost.
A perceptive study of world cultures shows that ancient civilizations knew how to use the formative heavenly forces in science, art, architecture and agriculture-all manner of earthly endeavors. The ancients learned how to do this in what was called "Mysteries." The highest of these were the ancient Irish (Hibernian) Mysteries, a remnant of the Atlantean Sun Mysteries. They are the basis for biodynamic agriculture today.1
Ireland after the flood still possessed this instinctive, heavenly wisdom. B.C.J. Lievegoed states in his Mystery Streams in Europe and the New Mysteries:
"...to the one who experienced these mysteries, it was possible to work, in connection with the life-giving sun forces in agriculture and cattle breeding on earth."In the Hibernian Mysteries the human soul was trained to perceive climatic changes and how these sculpted the earth. An initiation into the creative processes of earthly and heavenly interaction transpired. The pupils were trained to experience winter as a picture of the earth's ancient past and summer as a process leading to the earth's cosmic future. Lievegoed concludes,
"One feels that what Rudolf Steiner said about the Hibernian mysteries could become the foundation for biodynamic agriculture."It has! However, in the time between the disappearance of the Irish Mysteries and the foundation of biodynamics, the living macrocosmic (heavenly) concepts which arose out of ancient Hibernia were sacrificed for the cold intellect of contemporary consciousness. Yet even this event can be viewed from a "Hibernian" point of view in the way our modern process of thought imitates external weather.
Can we not still experience that inner fear and outer cold have the same nature? They produce similar physiological reactions: a tightening of the physical body is produced as soul and spirit try to hide in the bones. Fear is actually a microcosm of the winter experience-ice, cold, snow.
It is this spirit of love-which controls the elemental etheric world-that the biodynamic method was created to enhance. Through a scientific understanding of the biodynamic processes shall come a conscious understanding of this creative etheric world-the world of the resurrected Christ.
Whereas the Hibernians entered the winter and summer experiences in extraordinary states of consciousness, the human being of contemporary times encounters such a myriad of feelings in the struggles with daily life that if he embraces biodynamics with the proper objectivity, enthusiasm, and sensitivity, he will gradually get a feel for the formative worlds that are the creators of life-he will see the resurrected Christ.
In his lectures on Hibernia, Rudolf Steiner said,
"...we know that spirit is all the time dying in matter, announcing this in freezing benumbed nature. A void is continually produced. And out of this void something is born, something resembling, to begin with, the dreams of nature. And the dreams of nature contain the seeds of the Cosmic Future."He also stated that the Irish Mysteries were the last Great Mysteries to perish. But through Steiner they have not perished, because the winter of the Hibernian Mysteries begins to have its summer in biodynamics. A metamorphosis has taken place in their being from their death at about the time Christ was born on earth-esoteric death-to their exoteric resurrection during the first agriculture course at Koberwitz, Silesia, now Germany, on June 7, 1924. 3
The biodynamic preparations4 are the bridge that unites, in a conscious working way, the human kingdom with the angelic hierarchies. The preparations are the Hibernian Mysteries, buried in the earth, to raise the earth and her mineral, plant and animal kingdoms to the angelic spiritual hierarchies that are the true Creator Beings.
If used properly the biodynamic preparations reorient not only the earth with the celestial formative forces but the human being with a conscious knowledge of how man is an immortal being. People must use these preparations in conjunction with their internal weather to win a bit of the knowledge of the Hibernian Mysteries back from the negative human beings and the negative spiritual hierarchies that wish to keep this wisdom from humanity.
When I look at the moon and the stars now a warmth enters me, for as I state in my book Thunderform Gods:
The stars and planets in cosmic space
1. The Hibernian Mysteries are described by Rudolf Steiner in Mystery Knowledge and Mystery Centers, 23 November to 23 December 1923.
2. see LILIPOH Winter/ Spring 1997 - Earth's Gardening Angels (Hibernian Mysteries, Part I)
3. Agriculture Course, Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophic Press, Hudson, NY.
4. Biodynamic preparations consist of yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion and valerian, 'horn' manure and 'horn' silica-each specially made by utilizing the energy of the stars, planets and earth. They are made applied according to homeopathic principles (see JPI ad, page 20).
L.A. Rotheraine is a writer, lecturer and award winning biodynamic gardener in Bradford, PA.