Lifecycle of a Plant and Our Inner Spiritual Development
My love for plants and for co-creating with nature led me to envision how our spiritual development is reflected in the Lifecycle of a Plant from seed to seed. The plant is a fluidic ongoing expression of the formative etheric forces as they animate matter into form. It is a plant’s progression in its many stages of growth through three primary phases – preparation, illumination and initiation - that teaches us how we can spiritually evolve along our own path. We come to realize that this cyclical movement, especially when seen as flowing through the dynamics of the Lemniscate, reveals many mirroring reflections, akin to a motion picture that is able to convey so much more than what we simply see in a series of photos. Our view becomes a living experience as opposed to simply a static cognitive image.
In giving us the “Calendar of the Soul”, which is often set up along the flow of the Lemniscate, Steiner suggests that we guide our understanding into a rhythmic movement of mirror imaging, and thus explore the connections between the inner and outer worlds.. Goethe spoke of the metamorphosis of the plant, and it was Goethe’s younger colleague, Friedrich Schiller, who told us that if we wish to consciously seek the highest in inner development, we should look to the plant, and consciously do what the plant does naturally. Chapter one of Steiner’s “How to Know Higher Worlds” gives us a clear and beautiful outline of the various stages of our human path of inner development. It is this book that inspired me to bring its material alive in a new way, through an archetypally true imagination, one that directly is in tune with the workings in the natural world. Two articles offer a beginning introduction to this analogy and how it can become useful and meaningful to our own lives. See the Lilipoh and Being Human magazine articles under the menu selection “Deepening.”
ReThinking Water: The Element of Life
In the 'ReThinking Water' workshop, we explore the remarkable indications that Steiner gave about water, which the German hydrologist Theodore Schwenk then brought to life in his beautiful book “Sensitive Chaos.” In “Sensitive Chaos,” which is a poetic term used by Rilke to characterize water, Schwenk begins by going deeply into the phenomenology of water and finally concludes by speaking of the Angel of the Waters, in the context of the biblical account of the healing at the pool of Bethesda. It is through water that we can personally come to experience the fluidic qualities of the etheric realm, which animates matter into infinite forms. With this in mind, we explore how the artist, poet and scientist can come to experience and recognize the spiritual qualities of water in their respective expressions. We also touch on how their understanding of water is applied for Biodynamic farming and gardening, for wastewater reclamation, for urban planning and for landscaping, in addition to other disciplines. And we also explore how water enables etheric formative forces to work from the cosmic periphery to come into a specific form of living organisms.
From 'West Running Brook' by R. Frost: See how the brook in that white wave runs counter to itself. It is from this in water we were from. It is this backward motion toward the source, Against the stream, that most we see ourselves in, The tribute of the current to the source. It is from this in nature we are from. It is most us.'
Virtues in the Cycle of the Year
In this workshop, we come to understand the meaningful progression of the Virtues, and how we can deepen into them in a way that they come alive within us. - We experience how the Virtues build upon one another as we place them in the context of the Lemniscate, which is commonly used to depict Rudolf Steiner's “Calendar of the Soul.” - We look at the meaning of the rhythmic progression of the Virtues as they unfold throughout the seasons, and why they are best practiced at specific times within the year. For instance, we know how the Sun moves through and amplifies specific qualities of each respective zodiac sign, and thus equally does so for the corresponding virtue. - We learn what these original twelve Virtues can become as we practice and embody them as a metamorphic deeply transformational progression. The twelve Holy Nights, which are a microcosm of the course of a year, is a great time in which to work consciously with the Virtues. This can be a remarkable way to refine and sculpt our inner soul qualities. If we do this during the Holy Nights in the depths of early winter when the veil between the worlds becomes thin, we will have the opportunity to seed and carry over our intentions for inner work into the following year.