About 12,000 years ago the final destruction of the civilization of Atlantis transpired through air and water catastrophes. The highly advanced agriculture science of the Atlanteans survived the world's water destruction on the island now called Ireland. It was the radiations of the Hibernian-Atlantean knowledge that I feel was the inpirational seed in Rudolf Steiner's soul that grew into the agriculture course he gave in 1924. This series of lectures became the book AGRICULTURE, which is Biodynamic science today. In COSMIC MEMORY Steiner is quite clear about Atlantean wisdom:
...the Atlanteans could control what one calls the life force. As today one extracts the energy of heat from coal and transforms it into motive power for our means of locomotion, the Atlanteans knew how to put the germinal energy of organisms into the service of their technology. One can form an idea of this from the following. Think of a kernel of seed-grain. In this an energy lies dormant. This energy causes the stalk to sprout from the kernel. Nature can awaken this energy which reposes in the seed. Modern man cannot do it at will. He must bury the seed in the ground and leave the awakening to the forces of nature. The Atlantean could do something else. He knew how one can change the energy of a pile of grain into technical power, just as modern man can change the heat energy of a pile of coal into such power. Plants were cultivated in the Atlantean period not merely for use as foodstuffs but also in order to make the energies lying dormant in them available to commerce and industry. Just as we have mechanisms for transforming the energy dormant in coal into energy of motion in our locomotives, so the Atlanteans had mechanisms in which they so to speak burned plant seeds, and in which the life force was transformed into technically utilizable power. The vehicles of the Atlanteans, which floated a short distance above the ground, were moved in this way. These vehicles traveled at a height lower than that of the mountain ranges of the Atlantean period, and they had steering mechanisms by the aid of which they could rise above these mountain ranges.
B.C.J. Lievegoed in MYSTERY STREAMS IN EUROPE AND THE NEW MYSTERIES, states:
Secluded in a forgotten area in Ireland, the great Hibernian mysteries lived on as deep, secret, direct Sun mysteries, a continuation of the central Sun Oracle of Atlantis.
One feels that what Rudolf Steiner said about the Hibernian mysteries before the Christmas Foundation meeting could become the foundation for Biodynamic agriculture after the meeting.
The Hibernian mysteries did not follow the route from Middle Atlantis to Central Asia. They continued directly from the great Atlantean Sun Oracle and were connected with Atlantean clairvoyance.
These (the Hibernian-Atlantean esoteric knowledge) were the great mysteries great because of the vast span between Saturn and Vulcan. and the direct encounter with the Christ.
In the druids initiation of the later Celts in the small mysteries was to be found a reflection of the great mysteries. The small mysteries, however, also served the Christ before He appeared in Palestine.
In the Hibernian dolman the priests, screened from the outer sun and in darkness, could experience the spiritual activity of the Sun.
The dark space of the dolman led the priests away from the outside light into the spiritual forces of the elements and the cosmos.
In addition to these structures, stone circles were spread over the whole of Hibernia and Western Europe, even as far as Palestine. They were used for astronomical observations. The largest was Stonehenge in the south of England. Thanks to its astronomical orientation, it is possible, through the shifting of the vernal equinox in the zodiac, to determine accurately the dates of the erections of the stone arrangements. Thus, we know that Stonehenge was built in three stages. The first outer circle was built about 1800 B.C., an inner circle 150 years later, and the center with the horse-shoe stones about 1400 B.C.
The Alignments of Brittany are rows of stones, kilometers long, that rise higher and higher to end in a circle with an altar. Each has its own orientation toward spring, autumn and winter in connection with spring sowing, harvesting and winter sowing. The 21sf of March and the 21st of September, however, are not observed exactly, the cross being somewhat shifted for purposes of agriculture.
The great mysteries of Hibernia stood in the background of this megalithic culture. They assured the continuity of the initiates, who could build the stone monuments, and afterwards the priests who served these open temples.
One is repeatedly amazed at the construction of the stone monuments. The huge stones of Stonehenge, weighing ten to thirty tons, were brought a distance of 600 miles. How were they transported over such great distances? We must assume that these direct descendants of the Atlantean peoples still possessed a natural magic, which, as we know from Rudolf Steiner's lectures, was present in old Atlantis. Among the last legendary remains are stories of building a stone circle in one night.
The megalithic structures, open circles and underground spaces were partly decorated with spiral scratches of continuously interweaving lines that showed the connection this primal population had with the etheric world. These rhythmic interlacings often condensed to signs of the sun.
The druids gave the direction for agriculture and cattle breeding. They were the great spiritual leaders who observed the spiritual forces in their closed-off dolmans. They carried on the work of the great Hibernian Mysteries of the past. They knew that the great Sun spirit was preparing to descend to the earth. They saw the approaching Christ and experienced the change that occurred in the etheric world when Christ allowed his life spirit to flow out into the etheric world.
They called him Christ, the King of the Elements.
Much like the Atlanteans, the ancient Irish students of the Hibernian Mysteries became masters of the life forces, thus experts in creating plants and animals. They were able to work with the cosmic creatof beings that build the nature kingdoms on earth. These are the primary life forces on earth. Genetics are only the result of the forces of these spiritual beings that contemporary humanity calls angels and ancient civilizations called gods. A lecture Dr. Steiner gave in Torquay, England, two months after his agriculture lectures is quite succinct. On the 13th of August 1924, Dr. Steiner states in what is now the book TRUE AND FALSE PATHS IN SPIRITUAL INVESTIGATION.
We then realize that the plants we see growing out of the Earth are a reflected image of that majesty and grandeur which sparkle out amongst the world of stars like the dewdrops upon the plants. Indeed, the firmament and all that therein is, takes on substantial reality, form, color and even resonance when we apprehend it with this higher consciousness that is divested of sensory impressions. Then we can look back upon the Earth and perceive that the world of plants in reality is a reflected image of cosmic beings, of cosmic deeds.
I should like to draw your attention to a peculiar phenomenon when we observe the world of stars on the one hand and the world of plants on the other. I should like to describe these things entirely from the point of view of inner experience, exactly as they occur, as they are revealed to direct spiritual experience and investigation. My description will not be supported by any tradition, literary or otherwise. But first of all I should like to point out a peculiarity that is familiar to anyone who explores the spiritual in the way I have described.
Let us visualize the following picture: above us is the world of stars, below is the Earth. The point from which we start our enquiry we call our point of observation. At the second level of consciousness, a consciousness that sees the world of the stars and of plants in the manner already described: we are able to confirm that the archetypal forms are present in the Cosmos, that they are mirrored in the Earth, not as reflected images but in the form of living plants. These plants do not appear as lifeless, unreal, nebulous images, but as concrete reflections created by the Earth. One feels that the Earth must be there to act as a mirror, so that the plant-beings in the Cosmos can spring up out of this terrestrial mirror.
Without the solid Earth there could be no plants. And just as a mirror intercepts the light and acts as resistance for otherwise it could not reflect so the Earth must act as a reflecting medium in order that the plants may come into being.
The Hibernian (Irishman) who was a student of the mysteries was trained to expand his soul-spirit into the periphery of his senses in what Dr. Steiner described as a winter experience. A twelvefold fragmentation of his ego took place and union with his angel was necessary to master the splitting of the ego. Dr. Steiner said,In this way he learned to expand his soul spiritually on one side into the Cosmos. . . into the universal All. In the second experience the opposite occurred. Dr. Steiner termed this a summer experience in which the student . . .inwardly gathered into a unity; he felt held together in his heart. Dr. Steiner said this on Dec. 8, 1923. (for more details of the Hibernian Mysteries and their relation to Biodynamics see issues 181, 185, 192, 197)
Through the above training (initiation) the Irish student became a master of the nature forces which in reality are the cosmic deeds of cosmic beings. The Irishman learned that all earthly forms are manifestations of the spiritual hierarchies that are both above and below the human kingdom. He then used these spirit forces to create his agriculture science and artistic (architectural), achievements on earth. Knowledge of how to creatively use the dead substance from the earth's past and the living substance of spiritual deeds met in the unique meditations of the Irishman. This gave him a control over the nature kingdoms that the science of Biodynamics in many ways can replicate in this century.
On June 11,1924 Dr. Steiner gave lecture 3 of what is now the book AGRICULTURE. From the Hibernian perspective he states:
At this point, I need to interject something so that you can see that sue/i things are not just thought up out of the blue. Let's ask ourselves what we are actually doing when we meditate. In the Orient, people used to do it in a particular way. We in the West, in Europe, do it differently. Our kind of meditation is only indirectly dependent on the breathing process; we live in the rhythm of concentration and meditation. Nevertheless, what we do iii devoting ourselves to these soul exercises still has a bodily counterpart, even though it is very delicate and subtle. In a very subtle way, the regular pace of our breathing, which is so closely tied to human life, is always slightly changed during meditation. While mmmcd itating, we retain somewhat more carbon dioxide than we do in a state of normal waking consciousness. A little extra carbon dioxide always remains behind in us. Usually we are eager to thrust the full force of the carbon dioxide out into our surroundings, but in this case we hold some back. We don't thrust the full force of the carbon dioxide out there, into the environment that is filled with nitrogen. We hold some back.
You see, if you bump your head against something hard - a table, for instance - you will only be aware of your own pain. If, however, you rub against it more gently, you will become aware of the surface of the table and soon. It is the same when you meditate. You gradually grow into an experience of the nitrogen f/mat surrounds you. That is the real process involved in meditation. Everythimmg becomes known including everything that lives in nitrogen. And this nitrogen is a very smart fellow who can teach you about what Mercury and Venus and the rest of them are doing, beca use it knows these things and is sensitive to them. Activities like meditation are based on very real processes.
And in fact, it is at this point that the spirit in our inner activity begins to acquire a certain relationship to farming. This interaction of our soul and spirit with everything that is around us is what has always particularly aroused the interest of our dear friend Stegemann. It is not a bad thing, you know, when a farmer can meditate and thus become ever more receptive to the revelations of nitrogemm. Our agricultural practices gradually change once we become receptive to what nitrogen can reveal. Suddenly we know all kinds of things, they are simply there. Suddenly we know all about the mysteries at work on the land and around the farm. I cannot repeat what I already said here in the previous lecture, but perhaps I can characterize it again in a certain way. Take a simple farmer, someomme an educated person would not consider educated. The educated person may say the farmer is stupid, but in fact that is not true, for the simple reason that the farmer is actually a meditator. He meditates on many, many things during the winter nights. And indeed he arrives at a way of acquiring spiritual knowledge; he is only not able to express it. It just happens that it is suddenly there. As he is walking through the fields, it's suddenly there. He knows something, and afterwards he tries it out. I lived among farmers when I was young, and I saw this happen over and over again. It really does happen.
These are the kinds of things that have to be linked on to. Mere intellectuality is not enough; it does not get us deep enough. Nature's life and flow are so fine and subtle that in the end they slip right through the coarse mesh of our rational concepts. That's the mistake science has made in recent times it tries to use coarse conceptual nets to catch things that are actually much too fine for them.
So, all of these elements sulfur, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen are combined in protcimi. And now we'll be able to understand the process of seed formation more exactly than before. Wherever carbon, oxygen and nitrogen are present in leaf, flower, calyx or root, there they are always bound to other substances in some form; they are not independent of these other substances. Only in two ways it is possible for them to become independent: either when hydrogen carries them out into time expanses of the universe, taking away all their specific characteristics and letting them dissolve into a general chaos; or when hydrogen drives them into the seed-forming process and emancipates them there, so that they become receptive to the influence of the cosmos. Chaos is present in the formation of the tiny seed as well as way out there in the periphery; and when the chaos in the seed interacts with the chaos in the periphery, that is when new life comes about.
If you can picture seed formation you can gain great insight into the Hibernian-Atlantean Sun Mysteries, thus the process transpiring in the Irishman's soul, that led to his knowledge of agriculture. The forces of life and death, past and future and how to use these to create, became open knowledge to the Hibernian. He first expanded out to the far expanses of the Cosmic All. He experienced a void between past and future and then contracted back into his microcosmic body, centering rather than expanding his soul forces. He became the mediator between earthly chaos and cosmic chaos. After years of training in the Hibernian meditations his earthly ego gave way to his eternal macrocosmic ego permeated with the light of the descending Sun God (Son God to be), in the vernacular of the 20th century - Christ!
On the 9th of December, 1923, Steiner gives the world the spiritual reality of the part of his lecture we first examined. The following comes from MYSTERY KNOWLEDGE & MYSTERY CENTERS, the Great Mysteries of Hibernia:
"DRUIDENSTEIN" By Rudolf Steiner
It will be clear to you that the Hibernian Mysteries belong to what Spiritual Science calls the Greater Mysteries. For the Initiation achieved by the pupils gave them a vista of man 's pre-earthly and post- earthly life. At the same time it gave them a vista of the cosmic life with which man is interwoven and out of which he is born into the course of the ages. Thus the pupil learnt to know the Mircocosm, that is to say, himself as a being of spirit, soul and body in relation to the Macrocosm. But he also learnt to know how the Macrocosm itself evolves, how it arises, undergoes metamorphosis and ultimately passes away. The Hibernian Mysteries were verily the Great Mysteries.
They were in their prime during the era preceding the Mystery of Golgotha. But the essential feature of the Great Mysteries was that in them the Christ of the Future was spoken of, just as men spoke later of the Christ as One was connected with events already past. And when, after the first Initiation the image of Christ had been shown to the pupil as he was leaving the Temple, the purpose was to bring home to him that the whole evolutionary course of the Earth in cosmic existence is oriented to the event of Golgotha which at that time lay in the future.
On the island which later endured so many sore trials there was a centre of the Great Mysteries, a centre of Christian Mysteries before the Event of Golgotha - a centre where the spiritual gaze of human beings lived before the Mystery of Golgotha was directed in the right and true way towards it.
Thus, when we meditate on this sketch of Druidstein, together with the material above, we ideate the forces the Biodynamic science, the Biodynamic preparations, the BD Compost Starter and the Stella*Natura planting calendar enhance.
L.A. Rotheraine is a writer, lecturer and award winning biodynamic gardener in Bradford, PA.