Lecture by Alan Chadwick in New Market, Virginia, 1979
Lecture 2: The Cycles and the Four Seasons, Part 4
An Introduction to Alan Chadwick's Lectures and a Glossary of Terms
The full text of this lecture segment
Contents of this Segment:
Spring and fall tides affected by the moon as well as water within the human body. The moon also draws out the moisture within the seed of a plant. Two nights before the new moon is the first invection of the magnetic-gravitational effect of the moon on germinating seeds. The plants of the garden appreciate the care that the gardener gives. The declination of the moon causes a kind of dormancy in the growth of plants, so transplanting should be done at that time. The twelve houses of the zodiac and their effects on propagation. (13:06)
Most of what Alan speaks about here is consistent with his general world-view and actual practice in the garden. Although he was not dogmatic about sowing and transplanting in harmony with the phases of the moon, he would try to do so when he could. He told me once that a gardener should observe such lunar cycles as far as possible, but that the important thing is not to fail to sow seeds just because you've missed the ideal time to do so with respect to the moon.
The one theme that he mentions in this lecture that was not a part of his technical practice during most of his work in the USA is the discussion of the twelve houses of the zodiac. I was in charge of all propagation during the last year of Chadwick's work at Santa Cruz, almost the entire time of his work at Green Gulch, the whole time that he was at Saratoga, and was present in the early days of the Covelo project. During these periods I never heard Alan speak about the twelve houses of the zodiac in relation to seed sowing, nor did I ever observe him incorporating such ideas into his work. If anyone would have been in a position to know his views on this matter, it would have been me.
It is possible that in the later years at Covelo and continuing into the Virginia project, Alan incorporated such a practice into his methodology. If so, I would regard this as an experimental procedure that he may have adopted at that time rather than any classical observance that he learned earlier in his life or that was essential to his method.
The other―and to me more likely possibility―is that Alan is exercising poetic license here in an attempt to illustrate his sincere belief that nature is vastly interrelated and intricate in its intelligence and governance of life on earth. His attitude was always that man should stand in awe and utter humility before the vastness and beauty of the natural world. That attitude, for him, was more important than the details of how it all actually worked, which he felt were really almost unfathomable.
― Greg Haynes
Lecture 2, New Market, Virginia, September 4, 1979
The Cycles and the Four Seasons, Part 4
The tidal rise, in such a position would be thirty-two feet above normal, the flow of the waters of the ocean. The normal at the lowest is two feet above normal. Therefore you’ve got a rise of thirty feet, and the moon is practically entirely responsible for that rise and fall as it passes, of that breathing, of that enormous presentiment. And that in Spring, it is that; and in Fall, it is that, the sweeping over, and the sweeping away.
Now it is not only the oceans and the oceanic tides that this moon is governing in this manner. No, it is all moistures. It is the springs in the mountains, it is the flow of rivers, the great estuaries, and it is the moisture in the earth. And it is, at the full moon, the moisture in your skin. But however much you were to draw all the blinds, and the moon is full and you keep waking up and saying, “Phsst, I don’t know what it is tonight, it’s stupid, I can’t sleep. Well it doesn’t matter.” And away you go. But it is that, magnetism. And it is not only the moisture in the skin, it is the moisture between two leaves. And it is the moisture that you, the gardener, have applied to a seed.
And that that moisture is soaking in the husk, and the little embryo of the other world is inside there. The invisible world is between those husks with moisture, the four elements, earth, fire, air, and water, and the invisible embryo is in there. And the moon as it rises, two nights before the new moon, is the first invection of magnetic. “I’m coming.” And then, after two nights it lays off, and that angle, like the elliptic again is slow, until the half-moon. In other words, the angle slows down, the invection. And so that first impulse was a warning: “I’m coming. Something’s going to happen,” a magnetic (thump). And so as it begins to increase towards the half moon, it is an extra beat each night (thump, thump, thump...), and it gets to half-moon, and suddenly, it says, (thump), “Hey, wake up!” And the next night it’s beyond the half. And the excitement is increasing, tremulous. And it says “Hey, (clap, clap) wake up!”. And the next night, (thump, thump, clap, clap), “Hey! I say; wake up! Hey!” Wake up there! And then the husk is split. The moisture was rent from that side. And the star from the invisible world is in the embryo and [?] is let loose into the world. And there is the performance. It is not the moon, but it is the moon with the whole of fertility and the sun, the government of that plant. And here is the birth of seed.
Now we will perceive why the Chinese, eight thousand years ago, decided to sow their seeds with the moon. When the seeds sow themselves, they sow themselves because they are governed by the planets and that sowing is relative to the planet’s control. But when we take seeds, and put them, and dry them, and keep them in packets, it is of assistance that having… We’ve already been of assistance—and you realize they come to know this. Do you realize how bees love for us to build hives, and to look after them beautifully, and they respond to this utterly, and become full of adoration. And indeed so do flowers and all the plants, and the trees like them. There is no question of this response, and this awareness, and that the seeds love this performance of man’s. And therefore you see, how the Chinese, of course following other great periods of philosophical life, that must have led the ancient Chinese to the same thing. That the whole education of nature must lead all such to its law and its performance. And that therefore they sowed the seeds accordingly, to that magnetism.
And likewise, you realize then, that when you get the declination of the moon, you get the cessation of that magnetism of moisture and light. In other words you get a sleep or rest or repair area. Well you know perfectly well that when you have a patient in a hospital that’s been worked upon, why [?] rest is recuperation. And likewise, with a plant, that when you plant it out, it is an operation. And of course it has to repair, and wants rest. And that that period of the declination is of course, the absolutely correct one. And that the plant itself, when it seeds and comes up from its own seed in its own form, goes into rest in that period, and the performance of the seed.
And that therefore, you see, it is not just a matter of the production of seed with the moon, “Do you sow your seed with the moon?” “Oh yes, sir, three bags full!” That is only the beginning of the life of the matter. That the whole performance of the growing of a tree, of its growing after eight years into floration, into fruition. The whole of a garden after a hundred years growing into something is incredible magic of the control of the great mathematics of God. And therefore this is an observance of this magic and a comprehension and an obedience towards it.
Now I must point out to you the relationship between these performances of the moon, and indeed this revelation about the inclination of the sun and the declination of the sun concerning the zodiac or the twelve houses, and we will also refer to it to humanity. And that is that you realize that the moon, in its inclinations and declinations passes through in that twenty-eight days, passes through the houses, the twelve houses of the zodiac. And that those twelve houses are divided into the triplicities, caused by the four elements of earth, fire, air and water; if you like, north, south, east and west; hot, cold, wet and dry.
If you like to go to those extremities, that’s perfectly feasible, but I warn you—and we will deal with this intricately tomorrow—do not mistake the four elements to be forces or energies. Now all forces, all energies are God, and none other. The elements are the intermediaries between the invisible world and the visible world that bring the forces and energies into play, from the invisible into the visible. It is utterly important that we comprehend this as the ancient view. For today, you understand, that they look upon the elements as forces. And this is the whole error of the education of that matter. It’s a huge, enormous misleading error, so that the whole comprehension of the cosmic world is completely misread and misunderstood, and we will place it on the table tomorrow, and today.
I go back to this triplicities: that you have earth, fire, air and water, and your twelve houses, have you not? And that therefore you have six houses that are known as stable or firm. Now, you realize that the fertile are instable, and the infertile are stable. And so you have these opposites again. You must be aware of that. But you must understand that there are the six houses which are a positive to the performance of the inclination. And you have the six houses through which the moon passes [?] to which it is positive to propagation. And likewise, you must understand that this infers the other performances in the opposite areas that concern cultivation, what we—and you must be very careful, because here verbosity will undo everything in your mind at once—what you might call the destructive. And you see it’s only because of the destructive that you can have the constructive.
So you’ve got these twelve houses to pass through, and you realize that the moon passes through each one of them during the month, spending one, two or three nights in each. And that they follow each other in stability and instability, so that you have got your fire and air signs as known as stable or infertile. And so you have got your earth and water signs as being the instable and the fertile, or the productive, or the positive. Do you comprehend?
Now, you must perceive then, how intricate is this performance in the triplicities, and you must also understand and beware that it is second place—in fact it comes third place because of other factors—the planet that governs the plant. Then there is the government of the sun, and now, thirdly, is the government of the moon. And therefore you must put this into third position, the third position of importance, and weigh it so.
In other words, what one is saying is, that Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, which are fire signs, are stable and should not be considered for sowing. But of course are utterly suitable for certain collections, and certainly for…
[Here the recording that we possess breaks off. Others exist, but they are being kept from public access as of the present time.]