Dynamizing | A key practice unique in Biodynamics. It is best described as a rhythmic form of stirring, in this case of those Biodynamic Preparations which require being diluted and stirred in water before being sprayed either directly onto the farm, as is the case with Horn manure 500 (and its derivative Urticae 500), Horn Silica 501, and Equisetum arvense 508; or onto and/or into the Biodynamic compost pile in the case of Valerian 507. The Valerian 507 can also be sprayed directly on to the land.

Water quality | This is a key determining factor in the ultimate effectiveness of the spray. See water

Preparations & sprays which are dynamized | Equisetum arvense 508. | Horn Manure 500. | Horn Silica 501. | Urticae 500. | Valerian 507. | Peter Proctor’s Brick Pit Preparation 502-507. | Maria Thun’s Barrel Compost Preparation 502-507.

Why stir? | The idea behind stirring is to transfer the so-called etheric formative forces from the relevant preparations to either the land directly (500, 501, 507, 508) or compost pile (507) via the medium of water. The theory is that water keeps the ‘memory’ of the dissolved biodynamic preparation (see Michel Schiff, 1995), and that this ‘information’ can be transferred (see Sensitive Chaos by Theodor Schwenk).

On a practical level, stirring helps the physical substances to be thoroughly mixed in the water. The oxygenating effect the stirring has brings a substantial increase of oxygen in the water, up to 75 per cent after one hour of manual stirring, according to Ehrenfried Pfeiffer (1956) and helps microbes present in, for example, the Horn manure 500 or Maria Thun’s barrel compost 502–507 sprays to multiply rapidly.

Hand versus machine stirring | Rudolf Steiner (1993, p76-77) said: ‘Well, you can either be quite strict about things like that [stirring by hand or by machine], or you can decide to gradually slide towards surrogates. There’s no question that stirring by hand has a quite different significance than mechanical stirring, although of course someone with a mechanistic world-view would never admit it. Just consider what a huge difference there really is: when you stir by hand, all the fine movements of your hand go into the stirring, and quite possibly all kinds of other things do too, including the feelings you have as you stir. People nowadays don’t think that makes any difference, but in the field of medicine, for instance, the difference is quite noticeable. Believe me, it is really not a matter of indifference whether a certain medication is prepared by hand or by machine. Something is imparted to the things that are produced by hand.’

Paul Barre of Vignobles Paul Barre in the Fronsac region of Bordeaux told me ‘dynamizing ‘increases the forces contained in the preparations or the plants to be energized. We use a mechanical dynamizer, because it is not easy to properly stir 300 litres of preparations manually. It is important for us that during this period we remain present around the barrel in which the preparation is being stirred. It is the mechanism which imposes its rhythm at the same time as it alleviates fatigue. We feel the need to go further by modifying our dynamizer so as to invert the direction the water is stirred by a hand contact rather than an automatically-timed one. This forces us to impose our own rhythm on the dynamization throughout its duration, first one way, then the opposite way. You are constantly forced to make a decision. This is difficult because you face yourself during this moment, we do not always understand what happens, even if the [positive] result on the vines afterwards is unambiguous.’

Types of dynamizer | Various types of dynamizers are used in Biodynamics. See dynamizers

Bibliography

Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, Biodynamics: Three introductory articles (Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, USA, 1956).

Michel Schiff, The Memory of Water: Homeopathy and the battle of ideas by in the new science (Thorsons, 1995).

Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture by Rudolf Steiner (Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association, Inc. USA, 1993), trans. by C. Creeger and M. Gardner.

Theodor Schwenk, Sensitive Chaos (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996 translated by O. Whicher and J. Weigley).