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  Stirring -- the Vortex                                                                                

"You must make sure, however, that the entire contents of the horn [BD500] have been thoroughly exposed to the water. To do this, you have to start stirring it quickly around the edge of the bucket, on the periphery, until a crater forms that reaches nearly to the bottom, so that everything is rotating rapidly. Then you reverse direction quickly, so that everything seethes and starts to swirl in the opposite direction. If you continue doing this for an hour, you will get it thoroughly mixed."
Rudolf Steiner, The Agriculture Lectures


The Vortex Explained
Peter Proctor --  Grasp the Nettle
Have you ever noticed that water from a hose pipe running down a paved path does not go in a straight line? It starts to move of itself -- it meanders and spirals, and if you observe closely, you will see a pulsing movement. This pulsing is the beginning of the vortex.

The form of the vortex is manifested in many different ways in nature. Galaxies, for instance, move around in great spirals, and spiral movements are the basis of cyclones and anticyclones in weather systems. Observation of the connection of the vortex with life may help the understanding of biodynamic practices, such as the stirring of the preparations.

Water VortexWhat happens in a vortex?
There is a continuous, two-way rhythmical movement of water (or air), expanding and contracting. The water is moving at different speeds - slower at the edge and faster as it moves inwards and downwards and then up and out again. It is amazing that no particle of water is moving at the same speed as any other.

In a large enough body of water the particles furthest from the vortex do not move at all and become still.  In a running stream you can see all kinds of intricate swirling and vortices as the water moves in many different ways at once.


The intricacies of vortices in nature have been described by Theodor Schwenk in Sensitive Chaos (1965). According to Schwenk, vortices are created when two streams of water move past each other at different speeds. A hollow develops, into which oxygen flows: 'Boundary surfaces, with their rhythmical processes are the birthplaces of living things.'

The association of the vortex with pulsing, the life-bringing process, is the basis of many biodynamic practices.

Vortices are formed during hand-stirring of the preparations, liquid manure and cow pat pit. The Virbela flowform has been specially developed to induce spiral vortices in the flowing water as a method of stirring large quantities of preparations.

When we recreate this vortex in biodynamic farming, we are connecting with the universal creative water rhythms or pulse within the body of the earth. This can be found in all living things, for instance in the heartbeat. It is exciting to discover the expression of the vortex in spiral forms in nature also.

Spiral in a flower

The Stirring Process
Ladies stirringWhen you stir BD500 into water you create life-giving vortices and a pulsing effect. After stirring for about 30 minutes, you may notice that the water becomes more slippery and viscous and easier to stir. The water has become enlivened by a similar process to that of the growing plant, the rhythm of the expansion to leaf and contraction to seed. In this process you have increased the oxygen content of the water. At the same time you have introduced the cosmic forces that enable the water to become a dynamic carrier of the life energy of the BD500 as it is spread over the land.

Verba FlowformA similar effect occurs whether the water is stirred in a bucket to form a vertical vortex, or whether a horizontal vortex formed by passing the water through a Virbela flowform. This can be seen through the heartbeat-like pulsing that you can observe in both methods.

Hand Stirring & Virbela Flowform
I have pondered a long time over the connection with hand stirring, with the vortex formation and movement of water within the Virbela flowform cascade. Having been a great observer of water movement all my life, watching streams and rivers, the sea round rocks and smooth beaches, I could see in the flowform a very obvious series of vortices formed as the water ran from bowl to bowl.

Verbala Flowform CupsAlso obvious was the pulsing of the water as it dropped into the reservoir tank at the bottom of the cascade. It is almost at one with the human heartbeat. Also one could observe the rhythmical variation of the water level within each bowl. Sometimes the water would nearly spill over the edge of the bowl, sometimes it would appear quite sluggish. I was reminded of the seventh-wave phenomenon of the sea or the surging of a river around a rock, which is sometimes covered and then exposed as the river flows by.

But what of its connection to what Rudolf Steiner describes in Agriculture (p.73) as the method of stirring BD500 in a bucket and with the vortex?

Firstly I could relate that with hand-stirring in a bucket, the vortices in effect are built up vertically, one on top of another. In the flowform they are spread out horizontally on a sloping plane.

It was not until I watched an experiment on water phenomena by Rob Dewdney, a water researcher, who demonstrated stirring water in a glass jar and dropping one drop of black ink into the middle of the vortex, that I understood what was happening. The ink did not drop to the bottom or disperse through the liquid, but pulsed up and down, diffusing a little and looking like an archetypal jellyfish. Here was the connection between the two methods of water movement. The cosmic pulse! I could thus relate this pulse rhythm of the flowform to the world's great water rhythm, the rhythm of life, the cosmic pulse, the heartbeat of all living creatures,and so it appears to me entirely appropriate to use the flowform for the stirring of large quantities of BD500, liquid manure and cow pat pit.

A large variety of flowforms now exist, allowing a farmer to stir from 250 litres for a smaller farm or market garden upt ot 2500 litres of BD500 in an hour for a large farm.

Stirring for 1 acre,  1-10 acres,  10-200-500 acres  or  just 10ml of BD507


BDAI Secretariat
#20, 16th 'C' Main, 2nd 'A' Cross, 4th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore 560 034, India
bdaind(at) or Secretary at secretary(at)  Tel: +(91) 9448 067 088