Silica, Feldspar and Mica
In lecture four of the Agriculture Course, Rudolf Steiner mentioned that feldspar could also be buried in a cow horn like the preparation of quartz for 501. In the following reading Rudolf Steiner describes the formative tendencies of silica, feldspar and mica on the growth of plants, where silica supports vertical growth, mica supports horizontal planes, and feldspar mediates between the two.
“If you look at a plant, it first of all grows below ground. This would be the soil. The plant grows in there. But this soil is not indifferent matter; it is really something quite marvelous. In this soil are all kinds of substances. In earlier times three substances were particularly important in the soil. One is a substance called ‘mica’. Today you find only little of it in a plant, but although only so little is found in the plant, it is extraordinarily important. You may perhaps recall, if you have ever seen flakes of mica, that it takes the form of small platelets, little platelets or flakes that are sometimes almost transparent. And at one time the soil was full of such mica flakes. They lay in this direction [horizontal lines in drawing]. When the earth was still soft, there were simply such forces. And other forces went across them; they went like this [vertical lines in the drawing], so that you had a real lattice structure in the soil. And these other forces are today found in quartz, in silica. And in between them is another substance, in the main, and that is clay. This clay connects the other two, filling in the lattice, as it were. As a mineral it is called feldspar. At one time the earth thus consisted mainly of these three minerals. But it was all soft, like porridge. There was mica, which really wanted to make the earth flaky, so that the soil would have been in horizontal flakes. There was silica in it, and that radiated like this. And the feldspar cemented them together.
Today we find these three main constituents of the soil if we take the clay that may be found in the fields everywhere. They were once mixed together in the soil. Today we find them out there in the mountains. If we take a piece of granite, it is quite granular. Lots of fragments are in it; these are split-up mica flakes. Then there are had granules; that is the silica. And other granules link the two; that is the feldspar. These three substances have become worn down, made granular, and we find them out in the mountains today. They make up the ground mass of the hardest mountain ranges. Since the days when the earth was soft, therefore, they have crumbled, been broken down by all kinds of forces that are active in the earth; they have been mixed up, and today they are out there in the mountains, having worn down. But remnants of those old substances, above all remnants of the forces of those old substances may still be found everywhere in the soil. And plants are built from these remnants by the agency of cosmic space.
So we are able to say: ‘Yes, these cosmic forces can no longer do anything today when they are active out there in the mountains. There the rocks have broken down, crumbled, become granular, and they are too hard to be made into plants. But when it comes to what is present in the soil, this can still be used to build up the plant out of the cosmic space – above all because the soil still gives the seed its most important substances and forces.’
……Let us imagine that I have someone before me who is ill, and I can say to myself: What is wrong with him is that he has not enough of the forces that work outside in the universe. He has too much of the forces of gravity – everything imaginable is deposited in him. Now I remember! Yes, I say to myself, it was quartz, silica, that at one time let forces stream out into the universe. If I prepare silica in such a way that the original forces become active again, that is, if I make a preparation from silica, mix it with other substances by which the silica element gets etheric force again and give this as a remedy, then I may be able to make a cure. Very good results can come from a silica preparation. And so in medicine one can use again force which at one time existed in silica in living form. Great achievements in medicine can be secured if one reflects upon the condition of the earth when it was fully alive, when silica was still under the influence of the universe.
Therefore when too little is living in a patient and he needs connecting with the universe, we give him substances that lie out there, having hardened, substances that make very good medicines.
The head goes furthest towards cosmic space. It can therefore be healed most easily with silica. The belly comes closed to the earth, and we therefore can most easily heal it with mica. And the parts that are more in the middle, the lungs and so on, can be treated to good effect with feldspar, if we prepare it in a suitable way.”
R. Steiner, From Limestone to Lucifer, Discussion 1, 17 February 1923, CW349