Picture-forming methods

Research into the life, soul and spirit in nature always necessitates specific methods. Anthroposophical spiritual science tries to observe the sense world in ways that make these dimensions of existence discernible.

Picture-forming methods, developed at Rudolf Steiner’s suggestion, are an aid to pursuing a science of living things. They meet today’s need for high-quality foods from biodynamic cultivation and complementary medical therapies. In addition, scientific procedures that enable a phenomenon to be observed as a pictorial expression of the subject of investigation in its specific context can be characterised as picture-forming.

The common principle of this research procedure – chiefly copper chloride crystallisation, drop pictures, chromatographs and the circular chromatography – involves adding a sample to a system whose innate instability enables it to be affected by slight causes (non-equilibrium system) and reflects this effect in changes to a picture-forming process. The form thus created is then assessed in relation to the subject of research (see Character, results and limitations).

Picture-forming methods are not to be confused with so-called picture-producing procedures for visualising data. They do not produce quantitative results nor do they identify individual substances, but rather they serve, among other things, to characterise the quality of foods (e.g. distinguishing between conventional, organic and biodynamic cultivation methods) or water, and can be used in anthroposophical medical diagnoses.

The Methods:

  • Copper chloride-Crystalization with addition and Blood Chrystalization
  • Information for Doctors about Blood Chrystalization (German - English - Français)
  • Capillary Dynamolysis
  • Drop Picture Method
  • Circular Chromatogram


Kolisko, E., Kolisko, L. (1939): Agriculture of Tomorrow. 2. Aufl., Bournemouth 1978: Kolisko Archive Publications.

Andersen, J.-O. (2001): Development and application of the biocrystallization method. Biodynamic Research Association, Denmark, Report No.1, S. 1-44.

Andersen, J.-O. et al (2000): A concentration matrix procedure for determining optimal combinations of concentrations in biocrystallisation. Elemente der Naturwissenschaft 79, S. 97-114.

Mäder, P. et al (1993): Effect of three farming systems (bio-dynamic, bio-organic, conventional) on yield and quality of beetroot (Beta vulgaris L. var. esculenta L.) in a seven year crop rotation. Acta Horticulturae 339, S. 11-31.

M.-T. et al.: Cupric chloride crystallization with human blood. Study of pictures obtained in different pathologies. Elemente der Naturwissenschaft 61, S. 25-39.

Tingstad, A. (2002): Quality and Method: Rising Pictures in Evaluation of Food Quality. Frederiksberg Univ., Diss., 2001. Kopenhagen: Gads.