Biodynamic Prep 503: Chamomile
By the time your read this, my second grandson may be born. His due date is today, August 1. This topic seems particularly appropriate as I associate chamomile with children, and particularly babies. The homeopathic remedy chamomile is often used for a newborn colicky baby to help sooth a digestive system just coming online. Hopefully this new grandson will not need the remedy, but if he does, or should his mother Melissa need it, we will invite the essence of Matricaria chamomilla, matricaria derived from Latin mater, mother, referring to its use in childbirth to relieve labor pains (Storl, Culture and Horticulture, 356).
As one of the six Biodynamic compost preparations, chamomile draws in the forces of calcium as well as potassium, and “thereby develops what can help to ward off harmful effects of fructification and keep the plant healthy” (Steiner, Agriculture, 97).
I think of chamomile as a consolidating plant. In our bodies, calcium accumulates at stress points in our bones, a history recorded in structure of how energy has moved through our bones. Jungian analyst Ed Edinger discusses the alchemical operation of calcinatio, or calcination, that process whereby a solid is heated and water and impurities vaporized, classically referring the production of quicklime (a form of calcium). When water is added to quicklime, it forms heat. He quotes the alchemist Augustine:
Let us consider the wonders of lime; for besides growing white in fire, which makes other things black, …it has also a mysterious property of conceiving fire within it. Itself cold to the touch, it yet has a hidden store of fire, which is not at once apparent to our senses, but…lies at it were slumbering within it even while unseen. And it is for this reason called “quicklime,” as if the fire were the invisible soul quickening the visible substance or body. But the marvelous things is, that this fire is kindled when it is extinguished. (Edinger, Anatomy of the Psyche, 17-45)
In a garden the forces of calcium ground solar/fire energy. In biodynamics, the formation of fruit is a fire process. When we work with a fruiting plant such as a grape vine, we try to work with those moon forces in fruiting or fire signs: Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius. Too much fruiting will wear the plant out. Calcium consolidates this fiery energy into the structure of the plant—as the hard work of analytical psychology when meeting the demands of depression, disappointment, and/or grief, grounds spirit into the structure of soul, the paradox of fire “kindled when it is extinguished”.
In this way chamomile and its work with calcium has incarnating properties, another appropriate reason to discuss it on this due date of this second grandson!
For more read Harms Farm Log on Chamomile.