FondsGoetheanum: Preparations

The receptacles for the biodynamic preparations

The biodynamic preparations stand at the heart of biodynamic agriculture. In very tangible and practical terms, these preparations help bring new, healing powers, new impulses, to agriculture.

The receptacles are key to the biodynamic preparations, transforming and sensitizing their substance. These changes can be discerned in the new smell of the mature preparations when they are removed from their casing and prepared for use.

Consciously composed

The composition of the biodynamic preparations is not random. The herbal remedies used, and their encasings, indicate what process they serve and mediate, and what impulse is living and active in each organ or plant.
The receptacles used for the biodynamic preparations include, from cows, the horns, small intestine (once used for sausage making) and the mesentery - a membrane which wraps itself flexibly around the digestive organs – as well as the bladder of a deer.

The deer’s antennae

A creature such as the deer is intimately connected with its surroundings and the cosmos, “listening” through its antlers to its natural environment and the world of stars. Soul stirrings in the creature’s body arising from this auditory sensitivity also play a part in configuring its organs. Even in its outer movements, we can see that the perceptions and motions of the deer, as an antler-bearing ruminant, are very different from those of the cow. Its antlers have no direct connection to the sinus cavity, and unlike the cow horn, are formed of bone and are devoid of nerves. Each year the antlers are shed, and new ones develop.


Casing for the two spraying preparations: the cow horn is perfused with blood and grows throughout the creature’s life.

Tranquillity incarnate

Unlike the deer, the cow lives for grazing and chewing the cud: it dwells in a kind of inward-focused tranquillity. Its horns develop from the frontal bone region as a hollow ossicone. Formed by the skin, they consist chiefly of ossified dead cells that are filled with fibre-protein. The cow’s sinus cavities, into which gases rise from its rumen, and from which gases are also eliminated, protrude into its horns. The horns are perfused with blood and grow throughout the cow’s life. On biodynamic farms, cattle are not dehorned.

A holistic outlook

Compared to the cow, the deer can be said to be “nervous”. Soul motions, all inner reactivity and sense perception, are reflected in an organ such as the bladder. We know ourselves at first hand that the bladder reacts much more strongly than, say, the liver, to emotional states such as joy, stage fright or stress. Accordingly, a different dynamic is configured in deer and cow, and this principle also plays into the choice of the other preparation sheaths. Biodynamic farmers are aware of the potency that lies in these organ casings.

Georg Soldner, paediatrician, deputy head of the Medical Section