Lecture by Alan Chadwick in New Market, Virginia, 1979
Lecture 2: The Cycles and the Four Seasons, Part 1
An Introduction to Alan Chadwick's Lectures and a Glossary of Terms
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Some plants bloom in the middle of the period of sleep, others at the height of summer. Continual cycle of growth. No separation between vegetable and flower cultivation. Asparagus serves both sides. Some flowers bloom only at night, while others bloom during the day. Chicory, scarlet pimpernel, nicotiana affinis. Onions are lilies. All plants are governed by a planet: sun, and moon. Quote from director of Kew gardens: science and common sense. The four seasons. The sun as leader as secundus mobile. The yearly cycle of the sun. The solstice and the equinox. Ancient peoples did not assume that the sun would rise again in the new year. (13:16)
Lecture 2, New Market, Virginia, September 4, 1979
The Cycles and the Four Seasons, Part 1
The camellia comes into bloom in about the middle of the period of sleep. Christmas. And all the Helios come into bloom at the height of the sun. You could consider June, July, August, the great period, June, July, August. And the day then gradually becomes decadent and goes to sleep towards the Fall. And as that as they begin, they begin to go to sleep, that is very soon after July. An enormous quantity, only some of course, but an enormous quantity of the bulbs begin to send out their roots in preparation for a procedure of blossoming from January into the very early Spring. In other words, I am referring to this continual cycle in which you must include bulbs, plants, herbs, trees, shrubs, flowers… the whole of nature, the whole of it.
Do you see? You must, as great horticulturalists, as true gardeners, get out of this verbose thing in the mind, that there is a vegetable garden and a flower garden. “We will attend to the cut flowers.” or “We will attend to the vegetables.” [to audience member] Yes, something? Oh, I see.
For instance, you see, the bride carries Asparagus plumosis nanus, this beautiful Asparagus fern hanging down. And of course for the wedding breakfast, what do they serve with the salmon but Asparagus officinalis to eat? And therefore the vegetable garden and the flower garden are again these crudities of verbosity which have given us very false implications and brought about a huge view of utility instead of adoration. I am asking you to search out and become aware of that, to put away the verbose and begin to see the whole structure of the plant world and the tree world as one, and eventually as us with it as one.
Therefore I am also referring to this astonishment that the Oenothera, the Evening Primrose, will not begin to come out until total darkness is on. And it will stay out into the dawn until the sun is someway proceeded, and will then wither and look like a collapsed entity, which it is not, because it will proceed again in the night. Then you realize there is the Chicorium, the Chicory, that blue flower which opens at most perverse times connected, of course, to the sunniness of the day, and then will stay open, and will suddenly close, nearly always by three o’clock and wouldn’t dream of remaining open after.
Whereas the little Anagallis, the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Come-Again, will open and close according to how the sun and clouds are passing in light and shadow. And indeed you get numerous plants that do this. That as the clouds come over, the whole field goes out, and is green. And as the cloud goes and the sun comes out, the whole field is vermillion, or white or blue. And so you get this night time of blossoming, early morning of blossoming, noon of blossoming, and evening of blossoming.
The Nicotiana afinis, which you must have already realized, however short a time you have been here, not only comes into bloom as dusk comes, but the scent won’t come until after dark has come. And that as dawn is coming, and the awareness of the dawn is coming, so the scent is going and going. Oh, but you must look at this. You see you can only get lost in it. It’s so secret. You can’t connive this in the mind. It’s too incredible, too magical.
And that therefore you must put the whole of the trees and the flowering of the trees, and the growth and resuscitation of the shrubs and the flowering of the shrubs and the blossoming. And you see you’ve got to take your Lilies, which are onions, which are leeks. And although you pull one up and boil it, and put the other in the church at Easter, you can still, and must still make this unity of the matter. And now it is that we are going to relate to this, in its government. And you must also perceive that all of those plants, trees and shrubs are governed by a planet. And it isn’t always the sun, although the sun governs all the planets and the earth. The sun is not the total governor of all the plants.
There are some plants like lineria, which is, for instance, lineria is governed entirely by the moon, as is the little fern, Adder’s Tongue[?]. And so we must look and survey this, and see where the government is, what this great ruling is. And it is not, you will find, in botany. And it certainly isn’t in science. The director of Kew, in giving a lecture, quoted some other lecturer / poet who said that,
“Science is an excellent piece of furniture to have in the second story, providing that you have common sense on the ground floor.”
…which is rather apt, coming from such a source. So let us leap into this because tomorrow we’re going to undo, and it is not going to be an easy day for you to let go and relax. And you will have to. And today will lead into that, you will find. You must not be prepared for the kindness of management’s suggestion. You must not be prepared, to hesitate to build your questions and discussions for afterwards. For this we must have.
Summer and Winter, Spring and Fall. And we rather place a whole performance that as Spring comes, why, the flowers come out and we get ready for blossoming, which foretells that during the Summer we will have fruit, and then there will be seed. And then there will be the Fall when everything begins to go into decadence, and you get color in the foliage, and leaves fall off and you go into Winter, an enormous period of cold, which is the very opposite of Summer, of heat.
Well it’s really got nothing to do with any of it at all.
So let us look, first of all, at the great leader of the matter. The leader of the secundus mobile is the Sun. And as you know, in referring to the secundus mobile, one is of course referring to Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Earth, and all: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. And the governor, the complete governor of that, is the Sun. So let us look at the Sun, and let us take it in complete season. So shall we say, am I right, December the 21st, or is it December the 23rd? December the 21st. And on December the 21st, until that period has been an angle of declination, and that you must realize that the revolvement is not circular, but elliptic, and that therefore there are two periods when this earth is nearer to the Sun than any other time. And there are two periods when this earth is furthest from the Sun than any other time.
Now I point out something instantly to you which is going to shake you, because we will deal with it tomorrow. And it is one of the enormous expansions. The two periods of course when the Earth is nearest the Sun are the two Equinoxes: are Spring, March, and Fall, September. At that period we’re much nearer to the Sun, as you know that in the measurements, thousands and thousands of miles nearer. Strangely enough, both Summer and Winter are the furthest: June the 21st and December the 21st. The Earth is furthest from the Sun. So we will take the Sun on December the 21st, that has been, all the time, very slowly in this great angle of elliptic, declining. Making it slower and slower every day in the movement.
And suddenly, no warning, there’s nothing, in a sense, to prognosticate it. But, the whole thing ends. The whole of the movement ends completely. And it might end totally. And there is no gnostication whether it should or that it shouldn’t. It is only we, in our assumption, having taken it for granted over a long period, presume that there will be a rebirth, a continuance of something. Though you understand the ancient Incas did not presume that, and that it was, of course, a miracle that took place.
So that on December the 21st, the Sun completely opposes what is happening and starts a new procedure which has never happened before, because of the whole of the secundus mobile, and the whole of the prima mobile, and the whole of the terrestrial stars, the ethereal stars, the terrestrial stars, the celestial stars, and the ethereal world of stars. Therefore the mathematics have never been before, and will never be again.
[Transcription 2015 by M. Crawford and G. Haynes]