Sensing Nature

Water Consciousness

by Rosemary Tayler, Celestial Planting Calendar 2018

Much like homeopaths and biodynamic prep makers, Masaru Emoto (1943-2014) held a fascination with water to such a degree that he believed water had memory and healing powers. He claimed its quality could be influenced by certain external factors. Over many years he developed a healing technique called HADO (Healing and Discovering Ourselves) which he claimed was “the energy or vibration inherent in all things.” To visually demonstrate this belief, he refined equipment to take photographs of water crystals obtained from a variety of pure or contaminated of water sources and crystals of water exposed to specific English or Japanese words. Gradually these teachings were compiled into several books which were translated into some 23 languages.

In his book The True Power of Water, Emoto asks, “Do you know your consciousness has the ability to change water? When you send your gratitude to water, its quality improves.” 

In his book, Love Thyself, The Message from Water III, Emoto asks another question: “How can we know how the power of prayer works?  I can’t explain the mechanism.  The only thing that I can say with confidence, is that when it works in the water, it actually alters its structure.  This means that we’ve proven that physical energy can change in accordance with our wishes. I’ve become absolutely convinced of this after carrying out so many experiments where we’ve prayed over water and actually transformed its crystals into more beautiful forms.”

Hiromasa Emoto, Masaru’s son, offers the following insights about the water crystal experiment at Fujiwara dam in 1998: “The dam water was polluted, but because of a healing prayer, the water really changed. Even the surface of the dam water started to look clear. The sample was taken to the laboratory and his staff looked at it through the microscope; there was one amazing and stunning water crystal found. [see image below] I am sure that this water crystal image really changed my father’s life.”
Sending thoughts of love and gratitude for water is a teaching for which Mr. Emoto is remembered.

Rosemary Tayler - Writer, Editor

Rosemary has a background in biochemistry, marine biology (MSc) and alternative medicine, in particular, homeopathy. She has also extensively studied astrology. From 2000 to 2015 she devoted time to establishing community gardens, composting and organizing local food markets in Ottawa, Ontario.

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Conservation Authorities in Ontario

by Rosemary Tayler, 2018 Celestial Planting Calendar

In the 1940s concerns about the neglect and erosion Ontario’s natural resources became a focal point by agricultural, naturalist and sportsmen’s groups. Accordingly, in 1946 the Conservation Authorities Act was established by the provincial government in collaboration with several municipal councils.
After the devastating impact of Hurricane Hazel in 1954 in Ontario, where thousands of people became homeless and 81 people died, these conservation authorities took on a greater role in long-term flood prevention that even today is reaping the benefits. The following is a brief interview with Terry Murphy, General Manager of the Quinte Conservation Authority. 

“Quinte Conservation Authority was formed 70 years ago when a group of concerned residents got together in someone’s living room and discussed ways to lobby their municipality with the plan to establish what is now Quinte Conservation. This organization is one of 36 Conservation Authorities across the province of Ontario. All 36 authorities have a primary mandate of flood forecasting, flood reduction and water management. 

“Over these years Quinte Conservation has built up working relationships with several environmental and landowner associations and all of our 18 municipalities along the Napanee River, Salmon River and Moira River watersheds and in Prince Edward County. We have undertaken floodplain mapping with the intention of preventing loss of property and life due to increased water levels from storms and winter run off. 

“Recently the impact of climate change has increased the workload on the conservation authorities. Managing natural hazards from one extreme to the other has become a challenge. The drought in southern Ontario during the summer of 2016 contrasted the high water levels and flooding around Lake Ontario and its tributaries in the spring and summer of 2017. 

“The key factor in how the conservation authorities work is the spirit of cooperation between all levels of government. Our goal is to reach satisfactory decisions on how to properly manage and protect local watersheds.”

Conservation Authorities in Ontario have a broad mandate to oversee such programs as flood forecasting and warning, floodplain management and mapping, infrastructure and planning services, private stewardship such as reforestation, water quality improvement, and the creation of windbreaks and shelter belts. 

What makes up our Watersheds? 

A watershed is an area of land over which rain and melted snow drain into a water body such as creek, river or lake. Watersheds support our lives and our lives affect our watersheds.

Practical Tips on Conserving Water

  • Being conscious when using this natural resource enables one to connect with the water element from a place of respect and gratitude.  The average Canadian household uses over 500,000 liters of water per year, with some estimates showing at least 50% of water use is unnecessary and wasteful. 

Saving Water Outdoors

  • Cut grass to a higher level (5-8 cm) to reduce evaporation
  • Water gardens by hand in the morning near the roots 
  • Do not let children play in running water 
  • Cover your pool when not in use to reduce evaporation
  • Install rain barrels under the gutter downspouts to catch storm water and use it to water gardens and wash cars
  • Increase water retention in soil by adding compost or peat or mulching around trees and shrubs to retain moisture
  • Grow native grasses and plants as they require less water
  • Plant shade trees to shelter your home and garden 
  • Improve your soil with compost and autumn leaves so it is more nutritious and better holds water
  • Check sprinklers or irrigation systems regularly for leaks
  • Use a broom not a hose to clean off your driveway

Saving Water in the Kitchen

  • Install a low-flow faucet aerator – this will reduce water flow by 24 -50%
  • Soak dishes in soapy water before washing them by hand
  • When washing dishes, use the least amount of detergent possible – this minimizes rinse water needed
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge rather than running tap water until it is cool enough to drink

Saving Water in the Bathroom

  • Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face
  • Install a low-flow shower head
  • Use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain and only filling the tub one-third full.Install low-flow toilets as they account for 45% of indoor water use
  • When waiting for the shower water to warm up, collect the cold water that precedes the hot in a large bucket then use this water for watering plants and other uses 

Photo and Interview, Courtesy of Quinte Conservation

Addendum: During the hurricane season of 2017, there have been several category 4 hurricanes moving across the Carribean and causing extensive destruction and death on the islands as well as on Cuba and mainland USA. Millions of people are beginning the slow process of recovery. They are dealing with loss of electricity, no food or water and no housing. With difficult days ahead, everything from rescue efforts to new building codes and long term preventative planning resonates with the circumstances described in this article.

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Water Awareness

by Hugh Courtney, 2018 Celestial Planting Calendar

Given concerns about the quality of rainwater these days compared to rainwater in Steiner’s time, I started off with some doubt about the use of rain as a source when making biodyamic preparations. Then in 2000, I had the good fortune to read in Rudolf Steiner’s collection of his lectures to the workers at the Goetheanum, From Mammoths to Mediums, a marvelous description of what he claimed is involved at a cosmic level when the earth receives rain. To quote Steiner: 

“Looking at a flower, one is able to say: ‘There the universe – the cosmos is also the universe – fertilizes the flower.’ ... Don’t look at a plant now, but at the earth, how mists rise at a distance ... There the mists are rising. They consist of water. ... But the mists also open out as they rise. So look at the earth here. It is only water which is rising not the solid parts you get when a plant is growing. But the water is rising. When the plant reaches a certain point up there it is fertilized out of the cosmos. When the water, here rising as mist, reaches a certain point, it is also fertilized out of the cosmos. And what happens then? Lightning develops ... the water is fertilized with light and heat by the universe. The same process which occurs in the plant happens up there, and lightning makes it visible. And when the mist has been fertilized up above it comes down again as fruitful rain.  So when you see a cloud of mist rising it is really a gigantic but extremely thinly spread plant. This opens up its flower up there in the cosmos, it is fertilized, contracts, and the fertilized droplets come down again in the form of rain.” 

When I first read this, I suddenly felt a jolt of understanding that rainwater might be the best choice to use in stirring the biodynamic preparations.

However, what can be done about the many contaminants that are now found in rainwater? And what can be done to make other sources of water as pure as unpolluted rainwater which was likely the intention when such water was initially suggested as the desired source to use in stirring the preparations? It appears that the original instructions that Steiner gave for stirring the preparations are already a significant contribution to ‘purifying’ the water. In stirring, we first create a deep vortex and when we reverse stirring direction, the resulting turbulence and chaos serves to impart a cleansing aspect to the water in ways that those researching water quality are still trying to understand.
For too long humans have taken water for granted, and only in the last century or so, have we begun to study water in a more meaningful way. An excellent summary of the current state of water research can be found in Energizing Water: Flowform Technology and the Power of Nature by Schwuchow, Wilkes and Trousdell, 2010. Throughout this book several quotes from various researchers provide a revealing picture of where our awareness of water now lies. “Water is the carrier of rhythm 
and as such is the mediator between organism and environment” (Wilkes 2003). “Water responds very sensitively to cosmic influences” (Schwenk 1967). “According to modern chaos theory, life occurs at the boundaries between chaos and order, whereby so-called ‘strange attractors’ are formed, which indicate turbulence. Turbulences and vortical movement appear to be enhancing and life-sustaining qualities (Gross 2000).”

“The scientific community is giving greater attention to phenomena of rhythm, such as contraction and expansion, and their effects, as it becomes increasingly evident that rhythms play a major role in all human activities and in all life processes.” (Schwuchow, Wilkes, Trousdell, 2010)

Various flowform designs have now been created that appear to substantially improve the quality of water. Numerous quality aspects have been measured using a number of methods, including capillary dynamolysis, sensitive crystallization, the drop-picture technique as well as the effect on seed germination.  These tests seem to bear out the positive effect of energizing water through flowform techniques which imitate water movements which are observed in nature. The stirring methods originally indicated by Rudolf Steiner appear to be a straightforward way to enliven the water as well as to transfer the energy of a preparation into that water.  

Hugh Courtney - Writer, Mentor, Researcher 

In addition to contributing articles, Hugh Courtney has taken on the advisory role of forecasting favourable and unfavorable times for this calendar. He has devoted more than 40 years to perfecting the art of making biodynamic preparations. Taking a cue from his own mentor, Josephine Porter, who declared, “These preparations are no secret, I will teach anyone who wants to learn how to make them,” he has mentored hundreds of people on the finer points of making quality preparations. 

Ever concerned about keeping this special art form alive into the future, in 2009, along with his grandson, Jeremiah Proctor, Hugh founded Earth Legacy Agriculture, LLC to provide quality preparations for discerning practitioners.

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Giving Thanks to the Elementals

by Hugh Courtney, 2017 Celestial Planting Calendar

In our use of a biodynamic calendar, one of the first things we learn is to pay attention to the nature of the constellations as the Moon travels through the Zodiac each month and year. We understand early on that we will likely have better results if we plant tomatoes in a Fruit period rather than in a Root, Leaf or Flower period. Going a little deeper into the meaning of the constellations, we learn that each of these plant organs also relates to a fundamental characteristic of the various constellations with Fruit equated to the element of Fire; Root to the element of Earth; Flower to the element Air; and Leaf to the element Water in a rhythm that repeats itself three times throughout the solar year. Each of these elements―Fire, Earth, Air, and Water―is viewed according to ancient wisdom as a condition of matter or material substance. Everything in the physical world manifests with one or a combination of these material conditions. 

The concept Earth encompasses everything deemed a solid substance. Water encompasses everything of a liquid nature. Air encompasses all that is of a gaseous nature. Fire encompasses everything possessed of warmth. It should be noted that present day material science no longer recognizes the concept Fire as a condition of material substance, allowing only the three conditions of Earth, Water and Air to exist in any scientific calculations. 

We are assured by Steiner in his numerous lectures that behind the visible world of matter there can be found an infinite number of spiritual beings who stay busy ensuring that the physical world continues to exist. Steiner, using the terms of traditional wisdom (or folklore), speaks of  “very useful” elemental beings referring to Gnomes, Undines, Sylphs and Salamanders. 

Each of these groups of beings has responsibility for a particular domain of the conditions of matter with Gnomes concerned about Earth, Undines about Water, Sylphs about Air and Salamanders about Fire. Steiner often uses the term Fire Spirits for the latter beings. He repeatedly indicates that without the work of these various elemental beings the plant world could not exist. 

Those of us not gifted with Steiner’s clairvoyance generally bring a hefty skepticism to the concept of elemental beings because we have been conditioned through modern education to disregard anything that cannot be perceived with the senses. Without capability of being weighed, measured and counted, such things as Steiner describes obviously do not exist to the modern well-educated person. Nevertheless, Steiner urges that recognition by humanity of the existence of elemental beings is absolutely vital to further the positive evolution of planet Earth and all that exists thereon, including human beings.  Besides Steiner, there are more than a few other people who seem able to perceive elemental beings.
One such individual was Hugo Erbe (1894-1953), who was a serious student of Steiner, a dedicated biodynamic practitioner and ultimately someone who could converse easily with elemental beings, having experienced their presence onward from his early childhood. Erbe became deeply disturbed by the disruption experienced by the elemental kingdoms after the plethora of atomic and hydrogen bomb testing and he worked with great diligence at developing new biodynamic preparations to address this disruption. Altogether, he developed a total of 21 different preparations; each one aimed at solving specific problems in agriculture which he felt could not be fully addressed by the original biodynamic preparations introduced by Steiner. 

In particular, two of Erbe’s preparations are intended to foster a cooperative working relationship with the elemental kingdoms. The Three King’s Preparation (HE8), consisting of gold, frankincense and myrrh in a special solution, and made and applied at a particular time of the year, was intended to create a circle of protection within which positive elemental beings find both nourishment and sanctuary, while barring entry to malevolent beings. The Harmonizing Preparation (HE9), consisting of sunflower oil, salt, egg whites, honey, cow’s milk and red grape juice specially blended with wheat grits or whole wheat flour and applied during the season of Michaelmas (September 29), is intended as an expression of gratitude to the elemental beings.  

Another person who had a direct awareness of elemental beings was Ehrenfried Pfeiffer (1899-1961), who was largely responsible for bringing biodynamic agriculture to North America. Pfeiffer, in his 1941 presentation “Elemental Beings in the Spiritual World – The Bearers of the Lower Forces in Nature,” noted the following: 

“It is a peculiar reality, not just accidental, that the elementary world of North America is more easily accessible than the elementary world of Europe, except for certain regions of Scotland, Norway and the Swiss mountains. ... The elemental beings in Europe are in general older and more experienced. The American elementals as compared with the Eastern ones are relatively ‘young.’ ... As a matter of fact the elemental beings are nourished or starved by thoughts or feelings. The celebration of a ritual has an educational value to them. ... In general the elemental beings which have had the chance to follow the stream of the old mysteries in the center of Asia westward to Europe, finally a being connected with the mystery of Golgotha, are very refined beings filled with energy, harmony, peace, balance and health. Beings which have not had this influence are weaker, easier to disturb and so forth. Especially the lack of reverence among the peoples of any continent of the earth tends to make the elemental brings rather uneducated and naughty. ... It seems to be a great task to improve this spiritual undernourishment of the North American elemental world.” 

Pfeiffer recommends several steps to address this challenge: 
1. Open the human mind to the spiritual situation in the elemental
    world and the struggle these beings have in North America; 
2. Educate to increase the desire for beauty and harmony; 
3. Educate to develop feelings and thoughts of harmony, balance
    and construction;  and finally, 
4. Develop a spiritual school conducted by those persons 
    conscious of order where a ritual can be celebrated in which
    the elementals participate. Such a center needs to be free of all
    desire, including the impulse to become powerful. 

How then do we in our biodynamic practice rise to the challenge of working with the elemental beings? What can those of us who are still lacking the clairvoyant abilities of Rudolf Steiner, Hugo Erbe or Ehrenfried Pfeiffer do to answer Steiner’s call to recognize and work with the elemental beings? Of course we can continue our own efforts at spiritual development which can benefit from Steiner’s guidance in that regard. In the meantime, we can simply start a dialogue of recognition and acknowledge that these beings do exist and actually thirst for our awareness. 

One additional conscious step we can each take individually is to address the elemental beings directly at any time we stir or apply a biodynamic preparation. In other words, we each in our own way can consciously include the elemental beings when we apply these preparations. A thought that is worth holding is that these preparations constitute very positive nourishment for the elementals and they furnish powerful tools for these beings to use in accomplishing their work with the plant kingdom. 
An excellent starting point for creating a ritual to include the elementals, which each of us can implement on our own, is available in the Sequential Spray Technique which employs all nine of Steiner’s preparations in one form or another. This technique addresses the needs of each of the groups of elemental beings within the full spectrum of all the preparations. 

If beyond our individual use of this technique we arrange with others in the biodynamic community to participate with us at the same time of the year, say at St. John’s Day (June 24), we would already be fairly far down the path toward establishing a center such as Pfeiffer wished. Such a center does not require a physical, geographic location; it simply can be established in our hearts especially when accompanied by our deeds. In fact, Pfeiffer actually referred to such a center as a “cult of the heart.” 

If we also take up the use of both the Three Kings Preparation and especially the Harmonizing Preparation and incorporate them as part of our biodynamic practice each year, we will go a long way towards gaining the cooperation of these elemental beings as Steiner deemed so necessary. One of the most powerful aspects of using the Three Kings Preparation is to realize that dozens if not hundreds of people throughout the world are applying this preparation all at the same time. Such a concerted effort sets up a mighty resonance between each participating site that has to have a profound effect. If we also commit to using the Harmonizing Preparation during the time between Michaelmas and the Thanksgiving holiday (Canadian or American matters not), a further resonant energy will be created that may let the elemental world know that there are at least some humans who are acknowledging their presence and their role. 

Beyond the seasonal use of a Sequential Spray Technique, incorporating both the Harmonizing Preparation and the Three Kings Preparation in the yearly approach to our biodynamic efforts can go a long way in establishing a North American Biodynamic Elemental Cult of the Heart.

Sequential Spray Technique - involves a rhythmical application of all nine of the biodynamic preparations (including Barrel Compost, BD500, BD501 and BD508) over a two or three day period with all sprays preferably applied when the Moon is in a Leaf/Water constellation (for lack of moisture) or in a Fruit/Fire constellation (when moisture is excessive). 

For availability of HE8 & 9, contact Earth Legacy Agriculture, L.L.C., PO Box 72, Woolwine, VA 24185 USA; via e-mail at; or phone: 276-930-1377

Hugh Courtney - Writer, Mentor, Researcher 

In addition to contributing articles, Hugh Courtney has taken on the advisory role of forecasting favourable and unfavorable times for this calendar. He has devoted more than 40 years to perfecting the art of making biodynamic preparations. Taking a cue from his own mentor, Josephine Porter, who declared, “These preparations are no secret, I will teach anyone who wants to learn how to make them,” he has mentored hundreds of people on the finer points of making quality preparations. 

Ever concerned about keeping this special art form alive into the future, in 2009, along with his grandson, Jeremiah Proctor, Hugh founded Earth Legacy Agriculture, LLC to provide quality preparations for discerning practitioners.

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