HOW TO WORK WITH THE BIODYNAMIC SOWING CALENDAR
Since we started working on the Agricultural Course at the RUMI Centre on Arzu Duran’s farm near Istanbul in 2019, an ever growing group of people has come together to share their interest in the biodynamic work. There are currently 112 people in the group, all engaged and actively communicating with each other. Given this level of interest, we invited people to take part in an online workshop on “How to work with the Biodynamic Sowing Calendar” at the beginning of March. Within a very short time more than 100 people subscribed to participate in the training. “What is life?” Rudolf Hauschka asked Rudolf Steiner 100 years ago. Steiner answered this important question for him thus: “Study the rhythms. Rhythm carries life!” This was the central theme of our talk. My granddaughter is swinging and I give her a push. If I don’t pay attention to her rhythm, I will disturb her swinging and she will immediately complain: “Grandpa, what are you doing?” Only when I become attentive to her swinging and give her the push at the right moment, then she calls out: “Grandpa, more!” Nature experiences this in the same way. Only when I pay attention to the rhythms of nature and tune into them does it go well!
Maria Thun has researched the rhythms of nature. Since the 1950s she has given biodynamic agriculture a powerful impulse to work rhythmically in a new way with the living things in nature, with the soil and the plants, and above all with the preparations, completely in the sense of the swinging child! As a young person I had the chance to meet her personally and experience her, and since then, but especially through my teachers Count Finckenstein, Peter Blaser and Karl Tress who were close to her, her research has shaped and rhythmicised my farming work. She has encouraged my inner and outer conversation with nature. So I take the work with the sowing calendar into my projects in international advisory. It supports the practical work with the preparations on the farms. For this purpose I prepare a FARMBOOK for each geographical location, with a biodynamic working calendar in which it is possible to look ahead, plan and then document. The contents of the workshop had the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the seed days, what the astronomical contexts for them are, and in what way they can become the basis for practical work, especially the preparation work. It is extremely exciting to see how the large group of Turkish friends responded to the workshop. For more than two weeks, an intensive exchange pulsated via WhatsApp on all kinds of topics, with experiences and wisdom from traditional Turkish agriculture being shared in particular. Arzu Duran, President of Demeter Turkey, was very enthusiastic about the meeting, with participants not only from Turkey but also internationally. The introduction to the subject was very nice and the process smooth. People appreciated very much the following piece from Faust for understanding the rhythms considered as a kind of cosmic music.
In Goethe’s FAUST, there is a verse:
„Die Sonne tönt nach alter Weise
In Brudersphären Wettgesang,
Und ihre vorgeschriebne Reise
Vollendet sie mit Donnergang.“
which means translated:
„The Sun sings out, in ancient mode,
His note among his brother-spheres,
And ends his pre-determined road,
With peals of thunder for our ears.“
The sun is singing! Listen!
Everyone was really satisfied, and deeply impressed by the introduction recalling the connection between human, agriculture and the cosmos. It is a great feeling for us, guiding people to grow their consciousness, and to light a candle to help them see and think about the sky in a more sophisticated way. We only invited our closed group to this online meeting, but the people who heard about it later said they all would like to attend our coming online training. What an excitement! They say that, although the online meeting is over, they are still hanging on the topic and would like to know more about biodynamic agriculture and Rudolf Steiner. Obviously people have the key to reach to knowledge and we must continue our work. We will include other topics like the Agriculture course readings and anthroposophy as well as biodynamic agriculture in our next meetings. Now the people know about the Maria Thun calendar, they have already started to use the copy Hans made for Turkish farmers in Turkish language. Everyone is very grateful.
„The most important thing is to make the benefits of our agricultural preparations available to the largest possible areas over the entire earth, so that the earth may be healed and the nutritive quality of its produce improved in every respect…
…This is a problem of nutrition. Nutrition as it is today does not supply the strength necessary for manifesting the spirit in physical life. A bridge can no longer be built from thinking to will and action. Food plants no longer contain the forces people need for this“
Rudolf Steiner, Agricultural Course, 1924
We hope to meet everyone again at the RUMI Centre in the near future, both for practical and theoretical training. As long as it is difficult to meet physically and work together, we will continue to use the online medium to pursue our studies of the Agricultural Course. Hans Supenkämper for the Wanderschule & Arzu Duran for Demeter Turkey