Epiphany: Three Kings Preparation
At the turning of the year, each January 6, we do a “gift” spray on our ranch: The Three Kings Preparation. It is a time of gratitude to the land for its gracious abundance and of renewed promise to work with the land and all that resides there in the coming year to the end that we all thrive.
The following is an excerpt from Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation, describing this process.
Natalio arrives at 1:30 pm, just as I am beginning to stir the Three Kings Preparation. He comments, “I hope the Three Kings are light!” His unintended pun strikes me as apt.
He hopes that the Three Kings are not heavy, as he is about to carry two gallons and two cups of the preparation around the perimeter of our property, a good bit of the way quite rugged. Every fifty feet he will spray the prep outward, forming a “magic circle” of protection. This spray is called a “sacrifice” spray, which offers the energies of homeopathicgold and the resins of frankincense and myrrh at the turn of the year, an invitation to the spirits to return to their plants and animals here.But I also see a second meaning to Natalio’s words, as I hope the Three Kings Preparation brings the light of illumination to all of us on this land and to all humankind, that we may live in accordance with our inner wisdom, knowing that life on Earth is sacred.
As usual, Natalio wants to talk. I was planning on silence. The instructions state that “the person stirring be fully conscious of and focused on the purpose,” and I was hoping to spend the full German stirring hour contemplating the energetic task at hand. Now Natalio informs me that he plans to stir, which somehow feels right. He also lives here and is connected to this land. He sacrifices his good energy to keep the plants growing and thriving. He should also be part of this offering.So I try to explain the purpose: We are making a magic circle around the property for protection against the workings of opposing forces, within and without. In a certain way, by attending to the energy bodies of all that live here, we are farming soul: if not of the plants, the animals, and of the land itself, then of ourselves.
I look up at Natalio, frowning. I take a deep breath. “No, Natalio, this is biodynamics.”
Natalio points to a picture of the three rather robust kings arriving at the nativity scene, part of an article from a recent biodynamic newsletter. “The Three Kings did not bring protection,” Natalio says wryly. Then he adds, joking, “And they do not look thin.”
We laugh together. Again, I try to explain the theory, that this preparation is for the return of spirit to earthly life: gold symbolizing wisdom; frankincense, the cosmic ethers where the spirit resides; and myrrh, the survival of death. “We are warding off anything that could stop that,” I say. “We are making a promise to the spirits of our land to take care of the land and all the plants and animals that live there.”
“Bruja!” Natalio nods. He is not joking now, and I give up trying to convince him that we are not concocting a witch’s brew.
As I stir, the heady aroma of the frankincense rises. We are in the sacred circle. Our laughter is part of it. Take nothing too seriously! While Natalio stirs, I dig potatoes. Donald loves potatoes, and these are very sweet and tender.
We take turns stirring, repeating fragments of our conversation, over and over, Natalio hoping that the three kings are thin, and then contemplating: Is this bruja work? Meanwhile, through stirring first one way and then the other, we throw the water into chaos so that it may receive the energies of the Magis’ gifts. To these gifts, we add one of our own, laughter. Donald comes to the kitchen door to observe us. The dogs also watch for a while and then, bored, go to sleep.
At 2:30 pm, Natalio strains the preparation into the backpack sprayer and takes off. “If this is a magic circle,” he says, now quite serious, “then it is important to end where I begin.” I wonder if he knows the layers of meaning in his words. He walks first to the valley oak from which the spiral of stars appeared to me several years ago, then proceeds west with determination. He stops and sprays once outwards, then walks ahead 50 feet and sprays again.
I open and stretch my heart to encompass the meadow as the energy of the meadow swells to meet me. The mist from the backpack sprayer catches the sun, shimmering with rainbows, then fades into a golden arc. As Natalio disappears into the forest, I imagine the arc of light becoming a sphere that contains all the living things on this land, my family and me; the animals, birds, and insects; plants in abundant variety; and even the spirit realm, where devas and deities reside.
In my vision, we are all thriving.
I picture my teachers living and dead, and those family members who have also passed, and I give thanks for them. I feel their love. Everything is a part of the web, inextricably connected to everything else. I remember Pansy’s sweat lodge prayer: Mitakuye oyasin.
All my relatives.
The world feels larger as the new year begins.