An Introduction to Alan Chadwick's Lectures
And a Glossary of Terms
"I use words like a lunatic. I use words for their tonal sounds."
― Alan Chadwick
Alan Chadwick’s lectures reflect only a small part of his overall contributions to the art of horticulture. By way of example, if Ludwig van Beethoven had lectured on the subject of music theory from time to time, those statements would no doubt be insightful and valuable for understanding his ideas about musicology. But such lectures would be secondary in comparison to the value of his actual musical output. Likewise, it was not what Alan Chadwick said that was of highest importance; it was what he did that above all merits our greater attention, even though creative gardens do not survive in the same way as paintings, plays or music.
Part of Chadwick’s intention was to counter the tendency of over-reliance on verbosity by his students. The world is a tremendously vast and dynamic place. Only a small part of it can be comprehended by language and the abstract means of communication that necessarily exist in words. Almost nothing of the infinite complexity that is the miracle of a honey bee, for example, is conveyed by the word “bee.” But much of modern education teaches that verbal concepts point the way to knowledge; that if you can label something with a word then you have actually attained something of value. Alan taught that the opposite is more often the case. By labeling a living being with a word you actually cut yourself off from a deeper experience of that being.
His lectures—being verbal—were, of necessity, somewhat in opposition to the direction that he advocated away from words. In order to counter that problem, he would deliberately place mental stumbling blocks here and there throughout his talks that were intended to nudge you back to reality. A basic understanding of his rhetorical methodology is helpful for gaining a clearer sense of what he says in the lectures. To pick apart his statements and dissect them for absolute consistency or scientific accuracy is to miss the point of his underlying message. His goal was to lead the hearts of his students into a more direct realization of their essential relationship to nature. This deeper relationship generally lies hidden so long as one’s head is largely filled with abstract ideas and unable of its own accord to look beyond the limits of language. Scientific materialism will get you results like the atomic bomb, DDT, and synthetic food. In contrast, Chadwick’s more mythological, poetical consciousness leads to a way of looking at the world which is richer on a soul level, more respectful to all living things, and far more conducive to beauty and goodness.
Alan strove to create in his listeners a mood that was open to mystery and magic. For him the world was not a sterile predictable machine. It was, on the contrary, full of surprises, prophetic dreams, and fore-ordained significant meetings between people. In his world, animals speak to human beings, gardens can transform lost souls, and the planets have their special influences on every-day life. Alan recognized that the world is full of mysteries and miracles that demand from us the greatest humility. He felt that we ought to stand in reverence before the profound wisdom of nature that we can never fully fathom in a strictly materialistic context.
When he declares that the beech tree can never be struck by lightning and then observes that his students are accepting that statement with unquestioning credulity, he mocks himself and them by retorting to his own words. “And why can’t it then?” His intention is to remind them that he is repeating sixteenth century herbal lore that in many cases may be exaggerated. His real message is more like the following: Listen to all of this, consider the possibility that people of earlier times knew much more than we do about the beneficial uses of herbs, and then test them for validity. Don’t take my words or theirs unquestioningly.
At one lecture in Virginia, Alan begins to talk about earthworms. He prefaces his statement by saying that what he is about to assert may not be 100% statistically correct, but that his listeners must not report him to the scientists or they will ring up the president who will have him locked up! This is Alan’s way of saying that it does not really matter if there are exactly 68 species of earthworms or if the number is perhaps more like 78 or even 178. The point is that most worms behave in the way he is describing and that practical gardeners need to recognize and respect the work that those animals do in cultivating the soil. “For God’s sake, try to move beyond pedantry and verbosity,” Alan would plead with his students.
Alan also understood the need to keep his listeners awake and interested. Droning on like a scientific textbook would soon put everyone to sleep, so he employed various devices to keep his students alert. Being a professional actor, he knew that the best way to do this is to stimulate the feelings along with the thoughts. Some of the methods he used to engage the attention of his apprentices were:
- Demands for assistance in remembering a particular word or plant name
- Exaggeration or confabulation
- Irritation and anger
- The dramatic telling of fairy tales that evoke ethical values
- Intolerance for interruptions
- Impersonation of plants, parts of plants, animals, or astronomical objects like the sun or moon.
- The use of contradictory statements that—like a Zen kōan—make his students ponder the deeper meanings and underlying dynamics of the subject
- A loud sound for emphasis, a slap on the table, an abrupt shout or sharp clap of hands
- Use of kennings, e.g., “totemism” for the totality of natural forces, or “archangels” for the seasons of the year. These cause an inner activity in the listener who must unravel the kenning, thus fostering a liveliness and interest in the words being spoken.
- Long pauses added for emphasis
- Use of idiosyncratic language, e.g., French, Latin, and Greek terminology that evokes associations beyond the familiar and prosaic English words.
As an example of his use of contradictions, Alan would sometimes say that eating food that you haven’t grown yourself can have absolutely no beneficial effect on your body. Of course, he did not mean this absolutely literally. He himself often bought food from the grocery store in order to supplement what he grew in the garden. But his point is that food that you grow yourself will nourish you in ways that commercially purchased food never can. First, it will be fresher and also more nutritious because you will have nurtured it with the best of organic composts and fertilizers, without pernicious chemical pesticides that are detrimental to your health. Second, by eating your home grown vegetables, you participate in a creative process with nature that directly connects you with the garden and all its plants from conception through all the life cycles—a process that nourishes you on a deeper soul and spiritual level. Thirdly, the self-reliance that you achieve through independently growing your food will contribute to your self-confidence and freedom from the need to sell your time for money to buy food. You are no longer a slave to industrial society, but rather a free agent who thinks and acts in conformity with your own inner promptings, not those of the media-programmed masses.
That is one example of how Alan Chadwick used exaggeration and contradiction to make his point. He always reserved the right to use poetic license in his lectures, and that is perhaps one of his more masterly gifts. He was a genius in leading your mind to where it needed to go despite the resistance of your conventional ingrained attitudes. He attempted to break you out of the limited mindset that had been imposed on you by an overly unbalanced and materialistic upbringing.
Kennings are poetic devices that use one word or phrase to represent another concept. They were employed extensively in Old Scandinavian and Old English poetry to add color and complexity to the well-known stories and songs of the traveling bards. A few examples: The earth is obliquely referred to as “the wife of Odin,” the sea as “Ymir’s blood,” or “encircler of islands,” the sun as “sister of the moon,” fire as “ruin of houses,” summer as “comfort of serpents,” and gold as “gleam of the hand.”
Since those who listened to the bards were intimately familiar with the old stories, they typically recognized quickly what was being referred to by the numerous kennings. These provided flavor and originality to the retellings, and they served the additional purpose of holding the attention of the audience who had to unravel the riddle of the kenning on the fly in order to catch the intended meaning of the poet. Alan Chadwick frequently used this technique in his lectures as a rhetorical effect to engage and hold the attention of his students. Some of Alan’s favorite kennings, as well as a few of his key concepts, are described below:
Adhesion: Interaction. See inclination and declination. When the inclination of the sun corresponds to a period of inclination of the moon, then the incitement to growth is increased. But when the inclination of the sun corresponds to a period of declination of the moon, then the incitement to growth is reduced because of the canceling-out effects of the two bodies. And when the sun is declining, there is a corresponding interaction with the periods of the inclination and declination of the moon: sometimes augmenting and sometimes canceling. Alan Chadwick referred to this interaction between the sun and the moon as "adhesion."
Angelic Force: Alan frequently uses this term to refer to the bountiful generosity of nature. Expressing this idea in modern scientific terms, one could say that the process of photosynthesis delivers an endless supply of new organic matter to the earth. But Chadwick prefers to see this as an angelic gift from a generous creative intelligence that is beyond our comprehension.
Approach, or Attitude of Approach: Central to Alan Chadwick's system was the tenant that the intentions of the gardener exert a strong effect on all of the beings in the natural world, either for good or for ill. See emanation.
The Four Archangels: One of the few books by Rudolf Steiner that Chadwick was familiar with was, “The Four Seasons and the Archangels.” There Steiner describes his belief that each of the four seasons is under the dominion of a different archangel. Spring is under the governance of Raphael; Summer of Uriel; Fall of Michael; and Winter of Gabriel. Since Alan was fond of personifying nature, he liked this idea and incorporated something of Steiner’s vocabulary into his lectures. It would be a mistake, however, to believe that by this occasional use of terminology Chadwick had adopted Steiner’s anthroposophical outlook. Alan mostly uses these words as kennings. When he speaks of Uriel handing the grail to Michael, for example, he is using metaphorical language to refer to the changing of the seasons from summer to fall, which for him was always a sacred process and therefore merited the more poetical description.
Area of Discontinuity: The point of transition or boundary between two natural features. This could be, for example, between the sea and the air, the land and the air, the land and the water. Alan Chadwick observed that it is in such transitional areas that the greatest concentration of life can be found. More, More
Au fait: This is a French expression used frequently by Alan Chadwick to mean: knowledgeable, familiar, conversant with, up to speed on. For example, he might say, "Are you au fait with the procedure for dividing dahlias?" He pronounced this expression as if it were English: "oh fay."
Basilisk, or The Chains of Basilisk: The subject of a Russian fairy tale, a dragon or serpent, that is the embodiment of all that is evil in the world, and which is unleashed through the unbridled and insatiable desire of human beings. He can be subjugated again only through the intervention of nature, and through human understanding and compassion toward the creatures of the natural world. More
Biodynamic: A word coined by the followers of Rudolf Steiner to refer to the agricultural methods that he advocated. Since Steiner was one of the first to recognize the destructive effects of synthetic chemical fertilizers, he recommended a strict “organic” approach to farming. In addition, he made suggestions for a series of homeopathic preparations that he claimed would attract beneficial spiritual forces and therefore boost the positive effects of food produced using these methods. Steiner’s use of various animal body-parts in these esoteric preparations prompted Alan Chadwick to refer to them as “potions,” because they rely on what would typically be regarded by non-believers as “magical” properties. Alan considered them entirely unnecessary and never employed them in his gardening practice.
Beginning in the last few years of his work in Santa Cruz, Chadwick started to use the term Biodynamic to describe his own system of gardening technique, although he almost invariably combined it with the term “French Intensive” that he had used previously. Thus the name, Biodynamic French Intensive System (or Method) came to be the term that he employed to describe the body of his agricultural techniques. These include the use of hand-dug raised beds, organic methods of fertilization and composting, the use of companion planting to bring about a natural resistance to insect attacks, close spacing of plants to achieve a layer of thermal control at the soil surface, and many other features. He would also sometimes refer to specific herbs or wild plants as “biodynamics” when speaking of their properties and abilities to contribute to a healthy balance of nature in the garden.
Cancer and Capricorn: Chadwick sometimes uses this expression to indicate intermediate positions between two extremes. Just as the equator is halfway between the two poles, so also is moist soil between completely dry soil and soil that is thoroughly dripping with water. The tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are intermediate points between the poles and the equator, and so figuratively represent the one-quarter and three-quarter points in any scale of values. When Alan refers to a range being "from the north pole to the south pole" he means from one extreme to the other, as for example, from the most acidic to the most basic.
Clairvoyer: A device used in landscape design that consists of a path or roadway, flanked on both sides by a border of perennial flowering plants backed by shrubs and trees, that leads the eye onward and upward toward a geographical feature in the distance. This becomes a metaphor for the upward striving human spirit and it has a pleasing and uplifting effect on visitors to the garden. Alan Chadwick employed this type of feature wherever he could in his garden designs, as he always saw the garden as a spiritualizing force in the human soul. More, More
Classic: For Alan Chadwick, this word expresses a way of being and acting that is in accordance with the highest and best principles that we humans can perceive. It embodies the epitome of the art-forms that have been discovered and developed from ancient times right down into the present, both in horticulture and in all of the other disciplines. More
Cold Sun: From time to time, Chadwick would call attention to the fact that sunshine is not hot, as is commonly believed. Although this may sound counter-intuitive, he is absolutely correct. Heat is only produced when solar energy comes into contact with earthly substance. Solar energy also only becomes light when it contacts the retina of our eyes, and even then only a small portion of that energy falls within the visible spectrum. Physicists have the contradictory habit of calling “light” what is actually dark, for example, “ultraviolet light.”
Conservatoire: A French word meaning greenhouse, as in English conservatory. Alan used this word to describe his method of close plant spacing that created a protected area of thermal control at the soil surface produced from the effect of the interlacing leaves above. Alan also uses this word to refer to concentrations of fertility, either naturally or in a form created by the work of the gardener. More, More
Cycles: By the term "cycles" Alan Chadwick referred to the cycles of the heavenly bodies, primarily the sun and the moon, and their effects on plant growth. The sun has an obvious relationship to the seasons of the year, from cold to warm and then back to cold. This repeats in an eternal cycle. Likewise, the moon has a very strong influence upon the water of the earth, witness the lunar tide cycles and the 28 day menstrual cycle of the human female. The cyclical influences of the sun and the moon interplay in the growth of plants, and the awareness of this interplay is a mainstay of the Biodynamic French Intensive method.
Elements, The Four Elements: These are the four elements of ancient Greek physics: earth, air, fire, and water. Chadwick observed that soil fertility requires the presence of all of these four elements together in balance.
Elevé: A French word, akin to English elevation, that means to increase or to lift up. Chadwick used this term in two ways. First, it could refer to the increase in the fertility of the soil as a result of applying the methods of the Biodynamic French Intensive System. Second, it could refer to the lifting up of the human spirit that comes about through the gardener’s increasing ability to commune intimately with nature.
Emanation: Chadwick used this term in two ways: physical and spiritual. Physically speaking, the emanation is the fragrance or the chemical effect of a plant on its environmnet. Chamomile, for example, was used in classical gardens as a natural couch for lying on when one was feeling a bit melancholic, and the emanation of that plant, when it was walked upon or lain upon, was such as would restore the spirits and lift the melancholia. In a spiritual sense, Alan often uses this word to refer to a gardener's attitude of approach, his or her intention, inward radiation or aura. Such an inward attitude, be it one of charity or greed for example, will always cause an effect on the living beings in the environment. Animals, plants, and other human beings will (often unconsciously) perceive your intentions and respond accordingly. More.
Environment: Pronounced as in French: “ahn-vee-rahn-mwáh.” Alan uses the French variation here to evoke a sacred quality to the concept of the natural environment, which for him was ensouled with the goodness and intelligence of a higher spiritual creative guidance. He would sometimes call it “creation” or “God,” but without the religious connotations that the latter word typically carries.
Exploding Box: Alan’s pet name for the motor car.
Fear of Death: The acceleration of growth and tendency toward flower and seed formation that results from a plant sensing that death may be imminent. This may take place through lack of water, disturbance to the roots, a confinement of physical space for root growth, or through disease. The gardener may artificially induce this reaction in order to force the plant to flower earlier in the year than it ordinarily would, or to bring about an acceleration in its development at a young stage of growth. When insects and animals experience this fear of death, usually through inadequate nutrition caused by eating foods that have been produced by artificial chemical fertilizers, they are subject to the same intense instinct to procreate madly. This is the origin of what we call "pest." Rarely, Alan Chadwick referred to this phenomenon with the alternative name: "shock of stoppage, or shock of extermination."
French Intensive: This term formed part of the name Alan Chadwick gave to his system of organic gardening. It grew out of his knowledge of the techniques employed in France in the latter part of the nineteenth century that was highly productive. Alan combined elements of this practice with his own discoveries that used herbs and wild plants to help achieve a healthy balance of nature within his garden that made the use of insecticides unnecessary.
God, or The Hand of God: Alan does not use this term in a traditional religious sense, but rather to refer to the intelligence that exists behind the vast inter-workings of nature, about which he was supremely reverent. Other words that he sometimes uses to express this concept are Creation or Totality.
Houses of fertility and Houses of Destructiveness: These are very late additions to Chadwick’s thinking, and probably did not ever enter into his actual practice, or if so, only in an experimental way near the end of his life. More
Ideé: A French pronunciation of the English word idea. It implies the concentrated essence of a living being as found, for example, in a seed. Its opposite is called metamorphosis, which is the most complete manifestation of that essence in, for example, the fully formed oak tree. The one arises out of the other in a continuous cycle. Chadwick also used this word to indicate “intuition” or “creative inspiration.” More
Image: Pronounced as in French, “ee-mázsh,” with the final sibilant vocalized as in the English word measure. Here again, the French word is intended to avoid the prosaic English word image, which implies a simple visual experience. The French word evokes a spiritual vision or creative inspiration that transcends the mere physical sense organs.
Inclination and Declination: These are terms which Alan used to refer to the periods of increasing and decreasing influence of the sun and moon. When applied to the sun, Alan called the period from the winter solstice (December 21) to the summer solstice (June 21) “the inclination,” because during this time the apparent motion of the sun is gaining in altitude from its lowest point in the south up to its highest point near the zenith. This period encompasses the primary growing seasons of spring and summer (in the northern hemisphere), and so exerts a strongly positive effect on plant growth. The period of the year from the summer solstice back to the winter solstice, Alan termed “the declination.” Encompassing the period of fall and winter, it has a generally more negative effect on plant growth. When applied to the moon, the word “inclination” refers to the period of the waxing of the moon. “Declination” refers to the period of the waning of the moon. Chadwick observed that the moon has a very strong influence on the water of the earth, witness the lunar cycle of the ocean tides and the lunar (28 day) cycle of the female human menstrual periods. He believed that the moon also affected the water inside germinating seeds and that the lunar cycle should be taken into account in the timing of sowings. And since the declining moon tends to promote root growth in plants, this is the classic time for transplanting. More, More
Invective; invect: Contagious, communicable; infect, affect. For example, a healthy stand of weeds growing in a vegetable bed will infuse its vitality into the surroundings and invect the vegetables with its life forces and strength, thereby avoiding diseases.
Invisible World: Chadwick did not see seed formation as a mere mechanical process where random atoms and molecules somehow rearrange themselves to create new beings. He rather imagined that some type of intelligent order from a higher source governed these matters in accord with an inspired force of destiny. The mysterious place where this source resides, and from which the multitude of cosmic and planetary influences stream downward to earth, Alan refers to as the invisible world. Sometimes he uses the word “Paradise” to express the same concept. He never presumes to know the details of this realm, but simply and humbly consigns this to the unknowable. Or more accurately perhaps, the largely unknowable, since a human being, through self discipline and through application of the three stages of consciousness that he called, “Concetro, Meditato, Contemplo,” may at certain moments put his hand into paradise and draw out a jewel.
Lea Areas: Areas apart from the intensive production beds where cover crops are grown, particularly legumes, that will be used as compost for improving the garden soil. Alan Chadwick described the optimum ratio of lea areas to production areas as between 33% and 66% lea. More, More, More, More.
Lucerfic and Ahrimanic: These were also terms employed by Rudolf Steiner. In anthroposophical terminology, Luciferic refers to an over-abundance of light, warmth, and enthusiasm, whereas Ahrimanic refers to the opposite: an over-abundance of cold, darkness, and materialistic calculation. In Steiner’s cosmology, these qualities are personified into spiritual beings who can act as adversaries to humans. For the most part, Chadwick used the words as kennings. The subterranean forces of the earth (coldness, darkness and gravity) he sometimes called the Ahrimanic. The celestial forces of the sun and moon and planets (warmth, light, and the upward striving of plants) he characterized as Luciferic.
Metamorphosed: Formed, produced, changed, brought into physical being. See, Ideé. More. Alan sometimes also refers this process of change and transformation as Metamorphisis.
Oasis: An undisturbed plot of land with abundant natural fertility acquired as a result of the birth and decay of plant life over extended periods of time. More
Oikos-nomia: This is Alan’s pronunciation of the Greek roots of the modern English word, economy. “Oikos” is Greek for house or home. “Nomia” is the Greek word for rule, law, or order. Hence, the word economy, at the etymological level, means the intelligent ordering of the household.
Origin: Alan Chadwick used this word to refer to wild plants that have not been genetically tampered with by human beings and so retain their full force of native strength and resistance to insect predators.
Pardae: Paradise, the ancient Persian word meaning “garden.” See "Invisible World"
Participant: Alan uses the French pronunciation of this word, whereby the final “t” is dropped and the preceding “n” is strongly nasalized so that it can sound somewhat like an “l”. Chadwick often used a French vocabulary in order to add emphasis and shake his audience out of a dry “wordism.” In this case, he employs the French to add nuance to the prosaic English word “participant” that merely connotes a member of a group that is engaged in some activity. By elevating the word to its more exalted French pronunciation, Chadwick adds the sense of a sacred community of co-creators, organized by a higher, even divine, intelligence.
Paysan: This is a French pronunciation of the word peasant, or rural agricultural worker. The English word is often used in a derogatory way because simple farmers are looked upon with scorn by modern society, whereas Alan regarded these people and their traditional knowledge of herbs and agricultural techniques with the greatest of respect. Typically, Alan’s use of French serves to elevate a concept to a more refined and respected position.
Planetary Influences: Alan often makes references to the planetary influences in his lectures, but one should not make too much of this. He uses the term “planet” in the ancient sense of the wandering celestial bodies that includes the sun and the moon as well as the other planets as far out as Jupiter and Saturn. Certainly the sun, and probably also the moon (through its gravitational effect on water) have a major influence on plant growth, and these are ninety percent of the planetary effects that Alan refers to. When Chadwick mentions the effects of the other planets, he is mostly alluding to imponderable environmental influences that can’t really be quantified or precisely identified. Although he will sometimes insist that a particular astrological house of the moon is predominant on a certain day, or that a given plant is under the dominion of a particular planet, he mostly means this in a figurative sense. His actual practice did not take such matters into consideration, with the possible exception of a purely experimental approach at the end of his career. More than anything, his intention in invoking these planetary influences was rhetorical. He wished to lead his students away from the idea that nature could be comprehended as in a laboratory, where everything is dissected and chemically analyzed, but where the essence of life is lost completely. The imponderable magic and mystery of life in nature was therefore poetically personified, to a large extent, in the character of the minor planets.
Pulsation: The tension and relaxation brought about primarily through the movements of the sun and moon. This would include the polarities of night and day, summer and winter, wet and dry, warm and cold. In later years, Alan Chadwick substituted the term "revolutionibus," referring to the revolutions of the sun and moon, for the earlier term "pulsation."
Qui vive: Attentive, awake, aware. Alan might say, for example, "Stay on the qui vive." meaning: Pay attention, keep awake, watch what you are doing. Pronounced as if English: key veev.
Relationship and Dis-relationship: The dynamics out of which a healthy balance of nature can be recreated in the garden. Some plants love to grow in proximity to a particular herb, while others cannot stand to be anywhere near it. Certain insects are attracted to a plant, which then traps them in the fine hairs of its stem. The words relationship and dis-relationship could be approximately translated as attraction and aversion. They are basis for the gardener’s art of fostering a healthy environment without the use of poisons.
Revolutionibus: This word was a late addition to Chadwick’s vocabulary, as he never used it at Santa Cruz, Green Gulch, Saratoga, or in the early days at Covelo. Ptolemy, the Roman-era astronomer, used this word in his book describing the movements of the stars and planets, and Chadwick picks it up in a similar sense. When Alan speaks of revolutionibus he means the influences of the celestial bodies, principally the sun and moon, on the changes of the seasons and the growth of plants. But the concept also involves a sense of the tension and relaxation inherent in the cosmic breathing that informs all of life. More, And much more here.
Sharp: By this term, Alan means sharp sand. Not sand taken from a river bed where it has been tumbled and rounded, but rather sand taken from a quarry where it still retains its sharp edges. From a practical point of view, this type of sand can usually be purchased from a masonary supply yard as plastering sand. Check it by squeezing it in your hands and listen for a squeeking type of sound. A really sure bet is sand-blasting sand, sold by the bag. This is the best, but tends to be much more expensive. The plastering sand is sold by the cubic yard and is generally reasonably priced.
Soil vs. Dirt: For Chadwick, soil is the precious, fertile, earthly substrata that supports plant growth and deserves our highest respect and reverence. Dirt, on the other hand, is the filth that you sweep out of the house when you want to clean up. To call both by the same name is highly offensive to the refined sensibilities of Alan Chadwick.
Sport: A natural variation of vegetative growth, usually on a fruit tree. The necterine, for example, was a sport that first appeared quite suddenly on a peach tree, but because it possessed desirable characteristics, it was propagated asexually and perpetuated in that way.
Synergist: By this term Alan often means the solvent by which a plant essence can be extracted. With some plants, water will dissolve the fragrance or medicinal property, with others, oil or alcohol must be used. Rarely, Chadwick used the same term to indicate a catalyst of some kind.
Tension and Relaxation: These are the two aspects of the pulsation that drives nature in all of its cycles. The tension of the seed gives way to the relaxation of the leafing out. This then contracts again into the tension of the bud, which in turn relaxes with the manifestation of the flower. The flower then contracts again into the tension of the seed, and the cycle repeats endlessly. The apparent revolution of the sun, for example, also creates a tension and relaxation that we can see in the movement in time from the solstice to the equinox. See here for further discussion of this concept, which Alan later characterized as revolutionibus.
Totemism, or Totalism, or Totality: This is a kenning, originally introduced by Maetterlink, that Chadwick uses to refer to the totality of natural forces, often as a corrective force to rebalance the imbalances that man has created. For example, if man strips nature of its original diversity and substitutes a monoculture, then nature will often respond by breeding great quantities of insect “pests” to attack that monoculture and return it to diversity. One could substitute the words “ecological balance and diversity” for Chadwick’s term totemism, and not be far off.
Toys of the Nursery: Alan's way of referring to "child's play," or activities which are perhaps diverting, but which are of no real consequence to the essential tasks and challenges facing us as a culture at this time.
Triplicities: The three sets of four catagories (earth, air, water, and fire) of the twelve zodiac signs through which the moon passes during each of its twelve lunar cylces in the year. See: Houses of Fertility and Houses of Destructiveness.
Uplift: See Elevé
Wisiky: A weakling or plant with stunted growth.