Biodynamics as Michaelic Deed Workshop

29 September to 1 October 2023

Michael subdues the Dragon through the strength of his Iron Sword. Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture lectures of 1924 take place on the high iron soils of the Koberwitz farm, hosted by the Iron Count and the Iron Countess. Iron will is required for the practice of biodynamics.

Rachel Pomeroy and James Millton guide us to awareness of our true relationship to the things around us as we do the following:

  • An evening equinoctial full moon BD500 stir. The preparation will be spread from Te Mata Peak in the mood of “500 For the World”
  • Stir and spray BD501 at sunrise
  • Making super-good, rat-free, kitchen scrap compost. Adding the compost preps and discuss their qualities. This method is totally applicable for large scale composting.
  • Practice the uses of Cow Pat Pit as liquid manure, foliar feed, root stimulant, and tree paste
  • Lift a soil sample to examine the interaction of healthy soil and plant roots in a biodynamic garden plot.

The following questions will be addressed:

  • How do we action healing deeds for land and people?
  • Why an equinoctial full moon preparation stir on Te Mata Peak?
  • Why hold this course at Taruna, on Te Mata Peak?
  • Why is this course at Taruna taking place exactly 100 years after Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on Michael and the Dragon?
  • What is the significance of the mythical and biblical image of Michael subduing the dragon through the strength of his iron sword?
  • From a medical and wider view, what is the role of iron in the blood?
  • As we work in agriculture, can we develop the perceptive quality of the heart?

Drs Helen Proctor and Richard Drexel will share their wisdom of the heart and iron rich blood in relation to strength and courage for will activities, subduing our dragons, and actually just doing the tasks of biodynamics. Helen and Richard will bring their experience to the three topics of:

Iron Particularly highlighting the significance of iron in the human blood in relation to will power, ego strength, human health and the connection to the iron sword of Michael, meteoric iron, shooting stars and how this is all so necessary for those carrying biodynamics into the future.

Developing the Perceptive Heart Entering into the plant world with interest, love, enthusiasm, heart-mind activity, is so much a part of biodynamics.

The Dragon To pass the plants by unnoticingly, not seeing the true nature of plants, feeds the tendency towards disease in the body.

This course is for:

  • People who wish to action good biodynamic regenerative practice in their own farms or gardens
  • Biodynamic practitioners who would like to experience the wider context of biodynamics
  • Those interested in wellness for land and people
  • Anyone wishing to increase their perceptive powers of land, soil and life
  • People who wish to explore their own dragons and create their own iron swords

Tutors inlude:

  • Rachel Pomeroy, Course Director – Rachel Pomeroy has many years experience of biodynamics and star watching, producing a Gardening Moon Calendar for Organic New Zealand, making and using biodynamic preparations, living with star and seasonal rhythms, and sharing her experience with others.  As we approach the celebration of 100 years of biodynamics, Rachel is currently researching why it was that Rudolf Steiner emphasised on the first day of the Agriculture Course, June 1924, the importance of the course being held on this farm with high iron in the soil, and it’s being hosted by the Keyserlingks, the Iron Count and Iron Countess, as he called them.
  • James Millton, Co course-holder – James brings to this course a lifetime love of grape growing and wine making.  He is a living example of sensitivity in perception, initiative and courage in action, translating to award winning wines.
  • Drs Helen Proctor and Richard Drexel, Guest Lecturers, in association with Weleda NZ. Helen and Richard bring their extensive medical experience.

Cost: $370 per person for the weekend (includes morning tea and lunch Saturday and Sunday)

We are grateful to the Kete Ora Trust who are supporting the possibility of this workshop

The Kete Ora Trust has also kindly offered travel scholarships, please enquire to for further information

The timing of this weekend is significant for several reasons:

  • September 27 – October 1, 1923, 100 years ago, Rudolf Steiner gave four Michaelmas lectures in Vienna, on the spiritual reality in the image of Michael and the Dragon. With his iron sword raised, Michael holds the dragon in check. In these lectures we are called to work consciously in nature, and develop the perceptive quality of the heart in order to forge the iron sword with which to subdue our own dragons.   He also gave indications towards the forming of a meaningful Michaelic Festival.  This Michaelmas course of lectures feels like the springboard from which the Agriculture course was launched nine months later, at Whitsun, June 1924.  At the Koberwitze farm where the 8 Agriculture lectures were given, Rudolf Steiner noticed the strong iron content of the soil in that area and referred to his hosts as the Iron Count and the Iron Countess Keyserlingk, What Rudolf Steiner initiated requires such strength of will to put into practice, that the quality of iron pervaded the whole course.  So this Taruna course can also be considered as a springboard for launching  the Biodynamics New Zealand 100 year celebration of the Agriculture Course, to be held 3 – 5 May 2024, in Hawkes Bay.
  • Four days after the four Vienna lectures, on his return to Dornach, Rudolf Steiner commenced the five lectures known under the title The Four Seasons and the Archangels. The first of these lectures, given on the 5th October 1923, on the Michael and the Dragon image, is permeated through by the true significance of iron and how to come to know the healing power of iron.
  • Full moon closest to the spring equinox. Rudolf Steiner gave an enigmatic lecture on 25th November 1917, where he spoke of the beneficent energy coming from the balanced equinox points of the zodiac, in Pisces and Virgo, compared with the energy between the polarities of Gemini and Sagittarius.  The polar forces could be picked up and used against the good forces in humanity, whereas the Pisces Virgo forces can only be used in service of the good.
  • Easter in the northern hemisphere is set as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. Sunday 1st October, 2023 is seasonally that day for us in the southern hemisphere. So what more appropriate activity than stirring and spraying the fine mists of 501 into the air from Te Mata Peak that morning at sunrise.
  • October 1993 was when Peter Proctor gave his first seminar in India, buried the horns and made his first Cow Pat Pit in India. So it feels appropriate to celebrate this date 30 years later.  And this impulse was initiated at Taruna, when Indian farmer, Kutti Menon, attended the 3 weeks preparation making section of the Diploma of Biodynamic Agriculture, a 10 month full time course offered by Taruna through the 1990s.  Peter’s work in India over the subsequent 21 years, was indeed an example of Biodynamics as Michaelic Deed.


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