E.D.B: In this edition we are also in the company of Mark Moodie. Mark is the driving force behind the web site Considera, which we recommend all of you to check out. Before all the readers dash to your web site, can you explain briefly what its purpose is?
M.M. The primary purpose of the site is to collect and make information available on the treatment of plants with dynamised remedies. It started from the ‘biodynamic’ agricultural work of Rudolf Steiner and Lilly Kolisko and then grew with cooperation from the likes of Glen Atkinson, Enzo Nastati, and Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj. I was trying to find out if the positive reports that were around could be trusted. I did some of my own trials and realized that it would take a highly focused and dedicated lifetime to approach a secure answer to that question and build a discipline upon it. However, I thought that if many people were interested in compiling their experiences, there was a chance to get some really worthwhile indications.
Glen’s unsolicited testimonial for his frost protection was the report that really galvanized me into action and got me excited about the use of dynamised substances to treat plants, pests and even soils. The possibility of creating an effective tool for productive farming, and one that is not harmful to the environment, is something that needed to be tested, documented and shared.
Glen Atkinson has already convinced the market down-under of the efficacy of diluted substances and many of his preparations are used by those who don’t care about its creation – they just want something effective. Enzo Nastati in Italy is also working hard to clarify the theoretical aspect of the preparations and building upon this to induce some really remarkable effects on plants and soils. V.D. Kaviraj has found his inspiration within the pure Hahnemannian or classical homeopathic tradition and I’ve published his book- Homeopathy for Farm and Garden. I now am working with Glen to get his preparations available in the UK. We have them certified as ‘permitted inputs’ to organic and biodynamic and land. I also help with making his preparations in the UK and working to get the test information that clarifies their capacity. Glen is coming to the UK in 2009 and if people are around he is giving a public weekend course in Sussex from the 20th to 22nd February entitled “A Unified View of the Agriculture Course”. I am also studying with Enzo and have been translating his works into English. The big one on the desk is his commentary on Steiner’s original Agriculture Course. There are several books in English now and about 80 in Italian, but the main one Hpathy might be interested in is his ‘New Basis for Potentisation’. His preparations are only available to members of his Albero della Vita organisation and I’m helping get these from Italy to the UK. He works at cost with these, as it’s an ethical issue in the Steiner world of making what you need available at cost, and what is not necessary can be sold for profit – like the publications and a few other gadgets.
My website, Considera, is there to invite people from all over the world to share their experiences, whether they are positive or negative. I feel it may be very important that we bring all this knowledge together. This would then eventually constitute a database for dynamised substances for plants like the materia medica for homeopaths. You have 200 years of advance on us agro-‘homeopaths’. I hope that the web, with its ability to reach so many people, will make catching up go faster.
E.D.B. If you make a materia medica based on ‘cured symptoms’, this is very different from a materia medica based on proving symptoms. That makes me wonder whether the applications of ‘Belladonna’ for rust is more an ‘herbalist’ recipe than a homeopathic prescription for a plant, which should be by nature ‘individual’.
M.M. I was taught homeopathy by Misha Norland in the 1980’s, and was a med student for three years before that, so I have some exposure to the differences between a prescription based on the isolated symptoms and a prescription aimed at the context in which these manifest themselves. To really answer your question goes rather deeper than I would really like to go in a public space. The common ground of homeopathy and biodynamics and more orthodox scientific endeavour is, “Does it work on the ground?” That question is the one I am happy to work on in public and is Considera’s raison d’etre.
Considera is like a big experiment to find out what works and what doesn’t work, where we should direct our research and what directions appear fruitless. We may find out that Belladonna only effects plant rusts in certain cases. It seems that there are differences in plant reaction between the different continents: what works in one continent does not always work in another. It is a data accumulating project.
The more interesting side for me is to answer the question – how can an ultramolecular bit of water effect a farm? I am not happy with some quasi-material answer about the ‘nano-phase’ or ‘water clathrates’ etc. Coming to peace with this question and finding answers that are potentially satisfying is what needs to accompany the trials and data crunching, because it can feed back to improve the discipline and not abandon it to trial and error – but it really does cut one off from ones more orthodox scientifically-trained colleagues. So I do that elsewhere.
However, coming back to your question, it is from these other studies that one comes to some model of plants and the difference between them and humans, and then one can test the implications of this difference for treating a person in a different way from plants and soils. Sorry to be a little vague, but I guess I am a little protective of what is culturally publishable and what just brings more heat than light upon oneself. I’m sure most homeopaths know this dynamic.
E.D.B. From reading on the website Considera, it appears to me that the work of Glen Atkinson and Enzo Nastati has a very holistic nature to it. In human and veterinary homeopathy we know how important it is to know every little detail of the patient’s personal sensitivities in order to achieve a true homeopathic prescription. I suppose the same is true in agro- homeopathy, so how do you achieve this? We can interview a client when his animal is the patient. Can you interrogate plants? Can you interrogate a farmer to obtain information on his plants or land just as you would do this for the owner of an animal?
M.M. Well there has been some real success just applying preparations to single, readily identifiable syndromes. So we are having success with stinky slurry pits in the UK with the same remedy – Glen’s ‘BdMax E7’ for instance. We get much less smell and the pits lose their crust accumulation and the grass does not ‘burn’ when the muck is irrigated. However, this same remedy can also be used where there is a general lack of vitality in plants too. Another of Glen’s preparations – ‘BdMax ZeroIn’ has shown significant results bulking up roots but has also been successful in stopping fruit from splitting at the final maturation stage whilst allowing dry matter to increase and the Brix rating to climb too. So these are along the line of a ‘pill for an ill’ but that is, as much as anything, a way of trying to get the growers up and running without having to get too deep into non-standard science.
I guess another way is to try and accumulate the same amount of information for plant and soil homeopathy as for human or animal homeopathy. Interviewing the farmer is part of this. The information is gathered more from what might be called an alchemical point of view. This can be used as a second line if the first shot is not successful.
That is where the work of Hahnemann and Steiner meet. I have taken a little flak for this work not being ‘real homeopathy’ and, in a way, that is justified. However, I think it honours Hahnemann’s undoubted genius by not imitating him and assuming that he defined all the parameters once and for all. Rather I think that Considera’s work and its debt to Steiner comes from drawing on the same sources of inspiration as did Hahnemann. This is not something I can cover well in a brief interview – it would take us a long, long way down an interesting sidetrack – but is very stimulating and satisfying for me. Just as you have to learn a new language to understand and practice human/animal homeopathy in a reliable way, you can get further by learning a way of viewing Nature beyond a Linnean taxonomy, or physical-chemical assumptions – and thus learn to use a different filter to view the world. I would refer those interested to Goethe’s work on plants and Wolfgang Schad’s work on the animal world. It can be learned but there’s a little unlearning for most of us too.
I still expect a long battle ahead to win the hearts and – more so – the minds of those who find it difficult to accept that there are other ways to see the world around us than the reductionist, pure materialistic approach that has prevailed in the last centuries.
E.D.B. It was my impression that there must be another tool out there to enable good quality agro-homeopathy and that there was maybe a key in anthroposophic science according to Steiner.
M.M. Indeed, the work of Steiner is a secure place to start, but it’s not so simple to digest. It now works for me but I’m sure there must be other disciplines that would suit. And surely, there are others who are more lucky and this work would come naturally with a kind of green thumb. But yes, I would readily recommend Steiner’s work to anyone with deeper questions about this work.
E .D.B. Where would the homeopathy and agro-homeopathy communities benefit from each other’s work?
M.M. One connection point between the two is the fact that we work with some of the same principles when preparing our remedies. Actually, there may be something for homeopathic pharmacists to learn here. I know that Kaviraj has tried interesting variations and Enzo has written a booklet called ‘A New Basis for Potentisation’, which suggests some radical practices and interpretations.
Of course agro-homeopathy might also be a reliable field to prove the existence of the effects resulting from our remedy preparation techniques. It is difficult to conceive of orthodox scientists insisting that changes in plants and slurry pits are due to the placebo effect.
An important lesson that this new discipline can learn from homeopathy is that this should, in my opinion, remain ‘open source’. The benefit of this, is that this tool is not patented and in the hands of a few businesses for their shareholders’ gain. Actually that cuts two ways; it also means that there is no huge commercial pot from which to pay for the research. It means that it is done little by little, by amateurs, boffins and enthusiasts in between their commercially productive activities.
E.D.B. Thank you very much Mark for sharing some of your thoughts with us. During our interview you pointed out a number of exiting and successful uses of agro-homeopathy. I will direct the readers to your website where they can find the details. There is also a forum where they can discuss these issues with you. We hope your project will be successful. We are also grateful for the contribution you are making to bring our dynamised remedies into mainstream acceptance.
# # #Visit Mark Moodie at his website:
See Mark Moodie’s article Homeopathy for Plants in the July 08 issue of the ezine: https://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/homeopathy-for-plants/