Like the Biodynamic® preparations, Steiner discusses the role of the cosmos and the planets of our solar system. In early chapters and chapter 6 of the Agriculture Course, more specifics are provided regarding the role and influence of the nearby planets of the Moon, Venus and Mercury (those planets between the Earth and the sun) and the distant planets of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (those planets between the Earth and the greater cosmos). The lectures discuss the influences of these planets upon the soil and the plants. Pfeiffer tells us in the preface to the Adams edition of the Agriculture Course, “In reply to a question about plant diseases, Dr. Steiner told the writer [Pfeiffer] that plants themselves could never be diseased in a primary sense, ‘since they are the products of a healthy etheric world.’ They suffer rather from diseased conditions in their environment, especially in the soil; the causes of so-called plant diseases should be sought there.” This reference to the relative purity of the plant world makes one shudder at the rise and use of genetically modified organisms (GMO).
Many Biodynamic® farmers in the U.S. use a planting calendar (such as Stella Natura) when making decisions about planting, cultivating, harvesting or applying preparations. There are as many different uses of the calendar as there are Biodynamic® practitioners. The best illustration of how a planet affects what happens here on Earth is the moon. Most people are familiar with full and new moon because we can physically see how the moon moves through the night sky and ‘changes’ shape over the course of its twenty-eight day cycle. Its visible shape changes because of its relationship to the sun. In Steiner’s world conception, the moon acts like one very large mirror in that it reflects the light of the sun from a period of total darkness (new moon) to one of total light (full moon). Most people know, and those closest to the oceans experience, the rise and falling of the tides as the tides are directly connected to the behavior of the moon. Does one think that the effects of the moon stop at the high water mark of the oceans? Even though Steiner does not go into detail, or in some cases does not mention such things at all in the Agriculture Course (it is discussed in other non-related lectures), he nonetheless explains how the days of the week are named after certain planets and discusses other moon rhythms of ascending/descending and apogee/perigee and the effects of those movements and positions on the Earth.
Thus, one can see or come to understand the entire cosmos. Planets and constellations influence and affect movements, forces and events upon what St. Francis of Assisi calls “our Sister,
Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.” Once again, one may come to understand how the Biodynamic® farmer uses what divine creation provides in the form of cosmic rhythms to accentuate the life forces within the farm organism necessary to turn human thinking into will into action through nutrition.