Our Popular Annual Moon Sign Book Based On Steiner’s Biodynamic Principles
Seeds ‘n Such founder and owner J. Wayne Hilton describes our ever-popular Moon Sign Book as, “The only almanac you’ll need this spring!” He notes that the almanac was “first released over 100 years ago, and the new 2020 edition features complete updated tables and instructions on planting and harvesting. Customers buy it year after year, as it’s accurate and dependable, with nearly 400 pages of gardening information.”
Like most other gardening and farming almanacs, the information provided is based on the teachings of world-renowned philosopher, educator and seer, Austrian-born Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925). Although more famous for his teachings in all those many other areas of expertise, Steiner added agriculture to his anthroposophic principles in 1924, at the request of concerned farmers after World War I, when the first agricultural chemical (gunpowder) was introduced as a nitrogen fertilizer.
Steiner’s 8-lecture course at a conference on agriculture became the “cornerstone of biodynamic agriculture,” says author and veteran German biodynamic gardener Peter Berg in his book, The Moon Gardener: A Biodynamic Guide To Getting The Most From Your Garden. “Rudolph Steiner laid a comprehensive foundation for a renewal of agriculture,” Berg adds, “and at the same time marked the birth of organic farming methods throughout the world.”
After purchasing our almanac, The Moon Book; those of you who want to dig deeper into Steiner’s biodynamic theories behind all the calendars, charts and tables presented, might want to find a copy of Peter Berg’s book, The Moon Gardener, as well. He explains Steiner’s complex agricultural renewal principles in more simple language that any gardener should find useful.
Steiner’s beliefs teach us that everything in the cosmos is connected and that all living things respond to the rhythms, vibrations, etc., of the universe. But in his Agriculture Course biodynamic principles delivered to the anxious farmers in 1924, Steiner “also first introduced his concepts of ‘farm organism’ and ‘farm individuality,’” according to Berg.
“They define an agricultural operation as, ideally, a complete, autonomous organism which can itself produce everything needed for growing high-quality, healthy food,” says Berg, “Thus the farm is not reliant on buying in things from outside. Instead it is a highly-developed, sustainable ecosystem.”
Although Steiner’s theories have been scientifically validated by a number of his biodynamic followers, conventional agriculture attempts to dismiss his “science” as mysterious myths. Steiner’s deep, cosmos-oriented thinking has really gained ground with many gardeners and farmers in recent times, as they search for sustainable solutions to growing healthy food without the use of chemicals in any form.
Here is an excerpt from Berg’s book that demonstrates vividly the spirituality that dominated all of Steiner’s teachings, and the true spiritual meaning that is being carried forward by many of his most devoted followers.
“The soil speaks,” says Berg, “I received the following text from an old friend in the biodynamic movement. Eugen Burnus, who is now about 80. He has spent his life working in the interests of the soil in various regions of the world. I hope these lines will help us to reflect on the way we relate to the soil we walk on each day or drive over in our vehicles:
“A pause for thought. Christmas 2009:
“They are celebrating your birthday once again. Do they know that you came to earth in pure love, in the same way that the whole of Creation arose in pure love? You do not wish to redeem human beings from supposed sins. Your being is embodied only in love for all creatures.
“I, the good earth, know about this mysterious power of love. I was born through the love that you give to all people as a gift. I am not nature, I am the culture of human love. I changed from forest to fertile fields in a process lasting centuries. Generations lived for me and with me, and perceived me. In this shared life, full of mutual dedication and love, I was able to thrive and give human beings the gift of rich harvests. But this wonderful time is past. The number of people who lived with me and for me has continually dwindled. In the place of human beings and their love came machines. People had less time to speak with me, to perceive me. They were less and less able to work upon me meditatively, in reverence. They showed even less regard for my life.
“And so, from being man’s partner I became his slave, without love or perception on my own, rich being. Rich harvests were ever less possible to give. But they found ways to exploit me with subtler methods. By all means I was compelled to provide the fruits of life, and a culture of centuries faded.
“But to my surprise, new people came from the cities and sought to live in community with me. They had as yet to experience of my needs and the necessary rhythms. Nor did they as yet have the ears to hear me. I kept trying to tell them. Sometimes I succeeded in reaching their dreams. And so today I live full of hope when I see how many are coming to me and learning to live rhythmically with me again, to perceive me in love and meditation. Only when this happens day-in, day-out can I once again live as the partner of human beings, and supply them with healthy fruits. Only the shared responsibility of all human beings for me as sustaining soil will allow me to live fruitfully.
“Through centuries I was built up by love, and have almost starved to death through lovelessness. The love of humankind can transform me again, and in love I will be able to give them rich harvests. Please do not leave me alone! Dance and sing with me, and transform the work with and upon me into a healing and holy meditation.”
If our depleted soils could, in fact, speak to us, this is the message they would likely convey, as translated by a long-time devoted promoter of the biodynamic movement. It’s a challenge that we all need to accept as current curators of these soils, which are at the heart of all life-giving forces—nourishing all living things on our planet Earth. Now is the time for us all to join in and regenerate our soils wherever we live, before it’s too late to reverse our wrong actions.