The Ego sphere functions from the World Ego placed in the Galaxy and through the personalised Ego which is incarnated in Humans and functioning externally as the group soul and Devas in the animal, plant and mineral kingdom. While the Ego is not incarnated in these other spheres its presence is seen. The Ego sphere is the source of the Formative Forces hence it is the repository of all the archetypal forms of each species of life on this planet. It could be surmised that each species of plant and animal has a guiding star of which it is the manifestation. Whether it is this simple I would question. While life forms are a mixture of many influences the archetypal impulse which keeps a rose , a rose comes from the fixed stars. The variations in form,colour and variety is influenced by the planets, the environment and weather.
The basic patterning of the Ego sphere is carried by the zodiac. Two zodiacs are used Steiner (and his followers) use the usual Aries through Pisces zodiac for many applications. However RS has also presented a lesser known Cancer through Leo zodiac, which runs in the opposite direction to the former.
In "Equinoctial Zodiac & Seasonal Zodiac" I explore the relevance of these two zodiacs further.
Also see 12 fold - The Galaxy from 'Astrological Science' for the background structures of the 12 fold level
The basic structure of this level can be found in the Astrological model
This region represents the Cosmic spirit sphere, hence the number twelve will indicate the spiritual seed or Egoic aspect of a given subject, wherever it can be identified. This twelve folding outlined by the zodiac can be carried over as an archetypal structure into many areas of life.
Mineral Kingdom - Chemistry
Rudolf Hauschka outlined in " The Nature of Substance " his appreciation of how the Zodiac forces work into the chemical sphere. The editorial of this work state that this work is a hypothesis, and some of his trials have not been able to be recreated, however there is still considerable merit to the work so they have continued publication. His conclusions are compelling and worth studying. Through excellent observation of the elements concerned he has developed an imaginative association with the constellations of the zodiac.
There is one area however with which I have great difficulty in his thesis and its a limitation shared by many northern hemisphere writers. Dr Hauschka associates the qualities of the elements to the constellations through their placements within the seasons of the year of the northern hemisphere. Seasons are conditional as to which hemisphere you are in so his summer constellations become winter constellations within the southern hemisphere. This is a very limited view of the world which has more than once been the sole reason for totally invalidating Astrological arguments within the scientific community. This association is inappropriate and indeed IMHO incorrect.
His relationship to the constellations are very convincing nevertheless. Note he is using a zodiac which begins with Leo and runs backwards to Virgo
His associations are
Leo Hydrogen Cancer Phosphorus Gemini Sulphur Taurus Nitrogen Aries Silica Pisces Chlorine Aquarius Oxygen Capricorn Aluminium Sagittarius Magnesia Scorpio Carbon Libra Calcium Virgo Sodium
Another contribution he has made was to point out that the elements of protein primarily exist within the atmosphere - Air realm. He goes on to outline how the fourfoldness shown by these elements carries over into the Hydrosphere - the water realm and its main constituents, Sulphur, Halogens ( F, Cl ), Magnesia and the Alkalis ( K, Na ). Also in the geosphere-the mineral realms constituents, Phosphorus, Silica, Aluminium and Lime.
Atmosphere Hydrosphere Geosphere Cardinal Mutable Fixed Fire Hydrogen Sulphur Phosphorus Air Nitrogen Halogens Silica Water Oxygen Magnesia Aluminium Earth Carbon Alkalis Lime
Interestingly if we looked
at the Atmosphere are the Cardinal pole, Hydrosphere as Mutable
and Geosphere as the Fixed pole we would come up with a different
cross reference for constellational influence.
The Plant Kingdom
To date no real 12 fold division of the plant kingdom has come to light. There has however been developments in the way plants are influenced by the zodiac in their growing habits
The Planting Calendar
While the Zodiac is referred to in general Anthroposophical literature , the most common use in Bio-Dynamics for the zodiac is centred around the 'Planting' calendar. Based on work by Maria Thun and Agnes Fyfe, the Bio-Dynamic community has developed an extensive system of planting by the moon. It should be mentioned however that the central authority for Bio Dynamics in Europe has issued articles saying they cannot support Maria Thuns findings. They have been unable to reproduce her trials in the many years they have been trying. The work of Agnes Fyfe however still stands to be challenged.
The system is based on the five Moon rhythms and their cycles through the constellations of the zodiac. This Moon data has become the basic framework for the timing of Bio-Dynamic activity. As part of targeting the effectiveness of an activity, it is important to stir the preparations or sow the seed at a cosmically appropriate time. The B.D., planting guide - based on the Moon rhythms - has become the device by which these times are identified.
Apparently, Thun and Fyfe did not use Astrological reference in their experimentation. However, their findings are 'Astrologically' correct. The experiments in Thuns case were/are carried out by sowing seeds everyday, watching their growth patterns and then in retrospect observing where the moon ( and other planets) were placed. Fyfes' experiments were different in that they included the use of Chromatography pictures of the plant sap at the time of harvest. (17)
Both researchers came to the same conclusion. The moon's movement through the unequal constellations of the zodiac - as they appear in the sky- had a definable influence on plant growth. More specifically, they proved that the element (level 4) of the constellation in which the moon was placed was enhanced by its presence, i.e. it has a direct bearing on the corresponding crop type. This means that all fire constellations influence the Fruiting plants and the water constellations influence the Leaf and foliage plants etc. There is however no differentiation made between the constellations of the same group.
The influences of the other planets have also been defined but these are not generally used in common B.D. practice.
A general summary of the principles of Moon planting.
The five moon rhythms all influence the plant in a manner similar to the Sun in its annual journey around the Earth. The Sun's path can be broadly divided into two stages, from Mid winter to Mid-Summer and then From Mid-Summer to Mid-winter. During these times we see an expansion of plant life from the winter solstice to the Summer solstice. Similarity plant life moves through a contracting phase from the Summer solstice to the winter solstice.
Moon rhythms also influence the plant towards expanding or contracting.
The Moon rhythms are:
Waxing and waning - the lit surface of the Moon enlarges and diminishes according to its angle with the Sun.
Ascending and Descending - As the Moon moves around the Earth its daily path rises higher for two weeks, then lower across the sky. In the same way the Suns' path appears too through the seasons of the year.
Nodal Rhythm -The nodes are the points where the paths of the Sun and the moon cross. These points revolve around the zodiac in 18.6 years in a retrograde direction.
Apogee and Perigee -Due to the Moons path being an ellipse, it moves close to, and away from the Earth. Apogee is the furthest point. While Perigee is the point closest to the Earth.
Through the Constellation -The constellations are the groups of stars in front of which all the planets move. The elements that relate to the particular constellation connect them to certain parts of the plant. Fire/Seed, Air/ Flower, Water/Leaf, Earth/Root. (level 4)
While these are all individual rhythms and act independently of each other, they all have an expanding and contracting phase. The Expansion phase is an out breath from the Earth and draws sap into the upper parts of the plant, enlivening the flowers. The contracting phase is an in breathing towards the Earth and draws the plant sap towards the Earth.
These extremes can be are related to Level 2, the expansion to the Male Sun and the contraction rhythms to the Female Sun.
The two extremes can be listed as follows:
Expansion Contraction Sun Winter Sol. -> Summer Sol. Summer Sol. -> Winter Sol. Moon Waxing period Waning period Ascending period Descending period Apogee Perigee Air and Fire constell. Water and Earth Constell. Ascending Node Descending Node
The phases of the moon and the ascending / descending periods are used in a similar manner to the Sun cycle of the seasons. That is, during the whole length of the period, the expansion or contracting influence - 2 weeks in the moons case - is taken into account. The Apogee, perigee and nodes periods on the other hand are seen as periods of time isolated to within 48 hours of the exact point.
A general rule in deciding what moon rhythm to use is to consider what season you would normally tend to your particular job. Summer or Winter and then look to the corresponding moon cycles.
The five Moon rhythms do not occur at the same time and often will counteract one another. It is up to you to decide which is the stronger. It is very possible at times they balance each other to a point of equilibrium, in which case you can do as you please.
Phases of the Moon - A general overview
The phases of the moon are significant points in the cycle of the Moon's journey around the Earth. One circuit of the moon indicates a completed cycle of time. This momentum can be used to consciously help any process of development reach fruition
The New Moon is the beginning of the cycle and is the time to picture what it is that is to come into being. Be as clear as possible with regard the details of the situation or phenomena you are working towards. Explore potentials and do what is necessary to make it occur.
In Plants the New moon has been shown to be a fairly barren period. Plant matter dries quickly. Seeds can be sown in the right constellation a few days after New Moon onwards. Aerate soil, Mow hay for quick storage, Begin spraying 501.
The First Quarter is the first
challenge to this impulse and highlights a time to consolidate
the initial exploration taken place since the New moon. There
can be a feeling that if things are not consolidated they will
disperse into many different possibilities.
The Full Moon is the peak of the cycle. The point where the impulse crystallises, but not yet manifest.. A stage however, where o one can determine what is possible to achieve on this cycle. Major hurdles can also surface. The culmination that takes place, indicates the tasks that need to be carried out over the remainder of the cycle, to bring manifestation.
For plants, Before the Full Moon is seen to be an excellent period for sowing seeds.
Following the Full Moon and until the Third Quarter, the decision has been made, and now the details have to be taken care of. The Third Quarter asks for further clarification of the process, so that the last phase up until the New Moon can be used in completion of the tasks. This clarification also allows for reassessments to take place, so that the next cycle beginning with the New Moon can begin clearly and be well directed.
After the Full Moon begin to transplant, prune, spread compost, Make compost heaps, Spray 500
Large projects both physical and psychic, can take more than one moon cycle to complete. Each moon cycle can be used to complete definite stages of the whole process. There are thirteen Moon cycles within one Solar cycle. Just as the Solar influences of the Seasons dominate in nature, so does the Solar year override the moon cycles for us. The Moon cycles throughout the year work within this greater framework.
Moon through the Constellations
The plant types are based on the moon moving through the Constellations of the zodiac. The element of the constellation i.e. Earth, Fire, Air or Water: relates that constellation to either the root, the seed, the flower or the leaf.
ELEMENT Fire Air Water Earth PLANT Seed Flower Leaf Root CONSTELL Aries Gemini Cancer Taurus Leo Libra Scorpio Virgo Sagittarius Aquarius Pisces Capricorn
Any work on plants and soil at that time can enhance that basic quality. Plants are categorised by which part of the plant is the desired end product.
Leaf plants -lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, and ornamental foliage plants.
Root plants - carrots, turnips, potatoes and kumara.
Seed plants -are anything that fruits. Corn, tomatoes, apples
Flower plants - Roses, azaleas, perennials and annuals. If the plant is predominantly a leaf plant but you wish to save the seed, attend to it during seed days.
Sow , weed,, and harvest all in the appropriate period..
Ascending and Descending
As the Moon's path is 5 degrees inclined to the ecliptic (or Sun's path) , it will spend two weeks moving in an upward direction with regards to the ecliptic and two weeks moving in a downward direction. The Descending phase of the moons cycle occurs when its path across the sky moves lower every day. The ascending period is the days when the moon's path rises higher in the sky. This rhythm causes contraction in the case of the Descending period and expansion when the Moon is Ascending. Tasks such as pruning, taking cuttings and wrenching are best done during this the transplanting period. Apply 500 then also. It helps to activate soil life. The ascending period is best used for sowing seeds, aerating the soil, grafting and applying preparation 501 to the leaf areas of the plant.
In the northern hemisphere this rhythm will naturally be reversed from how we experience it in the South.
When the Moon is passing the Nodes it appears to have a detrimental affect on seeds sown at that period. It is generally thought that this is not a good time for any gardening activities.
Apogee and Perigee
Both of these are seen as extremes
that interfere with plant growth. The Apogee days tend to be clear
and sunny. However any seeds sown on these days tend to rush to
seed before they should. The perigee days on the other hand tend
to be still and cloudy, if not oppressive. Seeds sown at this
period find it difficult to really find their place in the air
and often die of fungal or insect attack. Again some care is needed
on these days. A marked increase in the occurrence of fungal attacks
has been noticed to occur at this period.
For a thorough introduction to Planting by the Moon, Maria Thun's publications are recommended.
Remember the Moon is only one part of one layer of the game. The workings of the Ethers, elements, chemicals and soil condition are all to be taken into account when working with the constellation's influences. Steiner pointed out the moon forces are strongest when it is wet, while Saturn works strongly in hot dry conditions. Glass houses show how the atmosphere of an environment can totally overpower the workings of the constellations. This is a multi-layered reality and the constellations are the most distant part of it. refer Earths Layer Cake
The Animal Kingdom
Steiner outlined the animal kingdom in 12 divisions or Phyla. He allotted these phyla to specific zodiacal constellations.
Through the work of several Geothean scientists a colourful picture of the animal kingdom has been developed. The various Phyla or species are seen as remnants of the various developmental stages Humans have moved through.
From this study, a key to understanding the place and role of each animal or pest can emerge. E. Kolisko in the work entitled "The Twelve Groups of Animals" (22) has outlined this view very concisely. Other writers including Popelbaum and K.Konig have also covered the same topic. ( refer Bibliography )
The animal phyla can be divided as follows:
Protozoa Single celled Cancer Coelenterata Hydra polyps and medusae Gemini Echinodermata Starfish and sea urchins Taurus Tunicata Sea Squirts and salpae Aries Mollusca Shellfish and snails Pisces Vermes Worms - segmented bodies Aquarius Arthropoda Insects, spiders, crabs Capricorn
Pisces Fish Sagittarius Amphibia Frogs Scorpio Reptilia Snakes, lizards Libra Birds Song, prey and running Virgo Mammalia Ruminants, Prey, Rodents Leo
Initially the animal world can be divided into Invertebrates - soft bodied with no skeleton- and the Vertebrates - beings that have a true skeleton. This division suggests that the invertebrates relate to the Moon and the Vertebrates relate to the Sun polarity. As a synopsis to this large and intricate study, E. Kolisko offers a wonderful overview in which he outlines the major function of each phylum and its relationship to the whole. He suggests that there are three steps along the path of development that lead to the human . In each step the same process occurs, however at a higher level. Within each of the steps, there are four stages
Protozoa - The cellular system is developed
Coelenterata - The digestive system is developed
Echinodermata - The rhythmic system is developed
Tunicata - A harmony of all the organs occurs however still at an embryonic stage.
Mollusca - The reproductive system dominates
Vermes - Digestion process are the dominate process
Insecta - Respiration is the dominant feature
Pisces - The blood circulation is developed. Early stages of the heart exist and the harmony of all the organs is at a higher stage
Amphibia - The reproductive system again is highly developed
Reptilia - The digestive process are again emphasised
Aves (Birds) - The respiratory system is further developed
Mammalia - Animals that have a true heart, warm blood.
This outline suggests that the same process takes place at different levels. So in the Coelenterata (polyp), Vermes (worm) and Reptiles (snake), the development of the digestion occurs however at different phases of development. Often within each phyla there are subgroups that also emphasis the one sided development of each particular physical system.
The Earth signs:
Taurus - Echinodermata Starfish Rhythmic
Capricorn - Arthropoda Insects Respiration
Virgo - Aves Birds Respiration
The Water signs:
Cancer - Protozoa One cell Cellular system
Pisces - Mollusca Shellfish Reproductive
Scorpio - Amphibia Frogs Reproductive
The Air signs:
Gemini - Coelenterata Polyps Digestion
Aquarius - Vermes Worms Digestion
Libra - Reptiles Snakes Digestion
The Fire Signs:
Aries - Tunicata Salpae Harmony of organs
Sagittarius - Pisces Fish Harmony of organs & blood
Leo - Mammals Ruminants True heart and blood.
The above diagram indicates the correspondences of the systems to the elements indicating that the system development is at least archetypally related by element. The reasoning and phenomena leading Kolisko to present this correlation, is well worth examining.
Other books on this subject are:
"Man as Symphony of the
Creative Word." ..... Rudolf Steiner
"A New Zoology" ..... E. Popelbaum.
Some years ago a homeopath friend used these correspondences as a basis for treatment and found them to be very effective.
The Human Kingdom
The physical body is often divided up into twelve
Aries - Head Taurus - Neck Gemini - Shoulders Cancer - the Chest Leo - Heart region Virgo - Intestines Libra - Renal area Scorpio - Genitals Sagittarius Up. legs Capricorn - Knees Aquarius -Low legs Pisces - Feet
RS developed work on the Twelve senses. From the little I have studied of this work it seems most appropriate to approach it using the lemniscate form.
Using the lemniscate in relation to the 12 fold process is outlined in "Equinoctial and Seasonal Zodiacs"
Seen in this context the natural flow of the zodiac is maintained, while the planetary polarities from the Astrological theorem are also evident.
RS has two ways of working with this model. One starts at Libra and goes in a continuous pattern around as if it were a circle, breaking it into three different zones or groups of senses. Libra to Capricorn are the physical senses, Aquarius to Leo are the Souls senses, while Cancer to Aries are the Spiritual senses.
The second uses the development of the senses as a polarity relationship between the signs as shown in the astrological model. eg, Aries \ Libra, Taurus \ Scorpio, Sagittarius \ Gemini.
Yet another way RS used the signs is in his work on the Twelve philosophic standpoints.
I would hope you can agree that Rudolf Steiner was indeed an excellent Astrologer and that Anthroposophy is set squarely and solidly on the exact same archetypal base as Astrology. I trust there is enough presented here for you to see the patterns and use of the Astrological theorem as applied to Biodynamics. The real use of this process comes from how it is used from here when addressing specific Biodynamic questions. For this I suggest you investigate the specific topic series published by Garuda -'Biodynamic Essays" and " The Preparations" as images of what new understandings can be achieved through using the Astrological theorem.