In all spiritual world views water is recognized as one of the essential four or five elementals. It has traditionally been celebrated as a sacred substance by all cultures, usually related to baptism. Water literally unites heaven and earth. The water cycle mediates between what the native American nations called mother earth and father sky and thereby creates our climate which allows for life on earth. It also mediates the formative life forces that stream into our world from the peripheral world of the stars. Both ancient indigenous teachings and modern academic teachings, such as are found in biodynamic agriculture substantiate this essential connection.
Spirit Within Nature
I have come to take my primary inspiration from a spiritual path of the heart, which has profoundly anchored the worlds of Soul and Spirit into the many practical matters of our everyday lives here on Earth. Recognizing Spirit in Nature integrates the teachings of Western and Eastern Mystery Wisdom .
Co-Creating With Nature
Recognizing the sacredness of all that is, allows us to co-create with nature on many levels. Growing food is one such essential co-creative activity. We see the sacredness of food reflected in the practice of speaking a grace before breaking bread together or eating. It expresses the foundational virtue of gratitude for life. The original meaning of the archetype of the garden, as found in many creation stories, also speaks to this. Even in today’s largely secular world it still underlies our natural impulse to create a garden as a sanctuary for daily living. We still seek to fulfill what today we call our re-creational needs by seeking out nature, be it the seashore or the mountains.
There are several approaches to understanding the world. Today’s materialistic academic approach to science is one of many. One alternative, taught today in the Walldorf School, is called Goethean Science. It is based on Goethe’s understanding that we can only understand that which we can approach out of a loving and respectful desire to know. As a poet and artist, Goethe sought to connect with the underlying spiritual essence of the phenomena he was seeking to understand.
There are many sacred symbols. One important symbol for understanding the analogy of the Lifecycle of the Plant and our Spiritual Development is the lemniscate, the primordial symbol for eternal flow and change. All life cycles appear to follow this archetypal movement pattern. In a continuous fluid whole, the lemniscate brings resolution to antinomies in a way that make paradoxes accessible and understandable. The continual fluid movement of the lemniscate holds together the polarities of life and death, light and dark, beginnings and endings, weaving the resolutions of these polarities into our fruitful realizations. The heart or crossing point of the lemniscate can be said to encapsulate the whole of the earth’s impulses of inhalation and exhalation, night and day, expansion and contraction, and past and future. Furthermore, the life-empowering, serpentine movement of the lemniscate also counters stagnation. When we are stuck, the health of our life and soul weakens, causing us to keep repeating the same mistakes over and again. By following the lemniscate we can move out of our mistakes and move towards natural regeneration and fluidity.
Anthroposophy: Path of Initiation
Anthroposophy refers to the wisdom of what it means to be a human being, in other words, to be simultaneously a child of light and the salt of the earth. This path includes natural conscious approaches to many aspects of our lives, weaving together the healthy ecological cultivation of our food, how we educate our children with healthy environments and creativity, holistic sensitive healthcare, new inspirations in the arts for painting, architecture, theater, speech, movement, and a humane way to include and care for those with developmental challenges. And much more.
Divine Feminine and Divine Wisdom
We are familiar with Sophia from the word philo-sophy, meaning the love of wisdom. To the Greeks, Sophia was a divine being, whom they revered as the Soul of the world, the feminine face of God and the imminent wisdom of the Godhead or the Spiritual source of all matter. Indeed the word Matter is intimately related to Mother. The Greeks spoke of Sophia and the Logos as two sides of the same medallion. They also spoke of the Anthropos as the human being made or created in the image of the Divine. It is our understanding of reality that calls for divine wisdom. We can say that when we manifest divine wisdom, we truly begin to walk on Mother Earth in a sacred manner. When Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy, related to us what he heard as the Divine Mother aspect of Sophia speaking to us as human beings, it sounded like this:
“If you seek me with true desire to know, I shall be with you. I am the seed and the source of your visible world; I am the ocean of light in which your soul lives. I am the measure of space; I am the origin of cycles of time. Earth, water, air, fire, light obey me. Feel me as the spiritual origin of all matter, and as I have no consort on earth call me Maya.”
It is my hope that this feminine divine Being we call by various names such as Sophia, Kuan Yin, Tara or White Buffalo Woman will find many dedicated consorts here on earth to engage in what may be called a battle for the Soul of the World. May we find our way to a selfless love through caring and presence within the world with the wisdom-imbued light of Sophia. This is a portal to the spiritualization and reverence for Matter, and the realization of the sacredness of Earth.
The dynamics of life imply movement, as it is exemplified by the flowing cycles of water, which also connects the world of the stars to our earth and to all living beings. The clearest expression of these cosmic formative life forces in the realm of the etheric are the plants. Biodynamic agriculture recognizes these etheric forces , which are what animates matter into living plants. It recognizes that all of us, plants animals and people are citizens of the ordering of the stars. This understanding results in a wholistic and an ecologically sound approach to agriculture, one that recognizes the sacredness of elements of earth, water, air and fire.