Esoteric Practices

There are a number of farming and gardening practices based on belief in a non-physical world closely aligned with our physical reality. Those who use these practices believe that conditions in this unseen realm influence, or even dictate, what happens on a material level. They take pains to understand these influences and adjust their farm activities. In some instances, they act to influence events. Obviously, these practices are rooted more deeply in metaphysics than in the conventional sciences.

The most well-known of these esoteric practices is the scheduling of planting or other field operations according to lunar or other astrological signs. Dowsing and other forms of divining may also be used to guide scheduling, fertilizer selection, and other facets of farming. The use of potentized preparations, as done in Biodynamic™ farming, is also a metaphysical practice. (35) Radionics, energy balancing towers, "medicine" wheels, prayer

— these are further examples of practices used by some farmers to bring a tangible spiritual element into their farm operation.

Esoteric practices like these (there are many others) are not inherently part of organic agriculture. In all likelihood, only a small-to-modest minority practice them or believe in their efficacy. Still, esoteric practices are sometimes associated with organic agriculture, and it is almost a given that practitioners of "energetic agriculture" are either certified organic or actively pursue a sustainable form of agriculture.

The rationale for this association of organic with the esoteric is not difficult to understand. Most metaphysical practices are founded on a world-view similar to that of ecology, in which everything is related to everything else. The difference is that ecology considers this interrelationship only on a hard physical level; metaphysics perceives it also on a non-physical level. This belief tends to cast humankind as part of nature, not merely as an inhabitant. This perspective would tend to make one more concerned about the environment and, therefore, more readily drawn to organics as a philosophy and pragmatic farming approach. To put it in a nutshell, it is natural for the metaphysically-inclined to choose organics; it is far less likely, however, that the average organic farmer is drawn to metaphysical practices.

A further factor plays into the association between esoteric farming practices and organics. It relates to the fact that organic agriculture has, for many years, been marginalized and treated as pseudoscience by the mainstream — an experience shared by practitioners of metaphysical arts. It is not surprising for underdogs to seek common ground.

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