The Table of Plants; a brief overview
From oneness to duality and back to oneness – the feminine and masculine role
The course of the columns in the table also describes a developmental journey traversing nature’s duality, from its feminine to its masculine pole. The columns offer feminine lessons earlier on and masculine lessons later on, in a journey meant to reveal the range of experiences invoked by the two polarities and combine them into one, dynamic whole – a dynamic that begets all that there is in this world.
The feminine and the masculine should complement and support each other in the internal dynamic that takes place in each of us, woman or man, but because the imbalance is expressed as pathology in one or the other quality, each of the columns has a definite feminine or masculine character.
The dynamic between the elemental feminine and masculine as they emerge and grow, mature, absorb their counterpart, react to one another, reach their prime and bear fruit is the power that sets the table’s process in motion.
In column one, the feminine is active in its primal aspect: life-bringing, all-containing, unifying, shapeless and ever-flowing. From here on, it starts to incorporate into itself the masculine aspect that shapes it and gives it direction. The feminine thus develops and establishes itself, reaching its peak and maturity in the fourth column, so it can learn to contain the masculine in equanimity. From here on, the masculine becomes dominant, dictating the nature of further soul-advancement in a process of splitting from the feminine, whose activity is now suppressed.
The feminine aspect (represented in the left side of the table, namely columns 1-4) describes the process of constructing and integrating the Ego and establishing the basis for existential confidence and the ability to love and be loved. This is done through the support of motherly love and the other feminine qualities – representing the first dimension of love as defined by Didier Grandgeorge.
From the fifth column on (represented at the right side of the table), development continues through the masculine aspect whose task is to teach active doing in the world, as well as to transition the Ego into Grandgeorge’s second dimension of love: the love for another. Once the Ego’s foundation is secure, the masculine quality can further strengthen it by creating within the oneness a complete split, a separation that enables otherness. The Ego now develops into recognizing the other, the world and anything beyond the personal ‘I’, and is supposed to be able to act consciously by integrating the two aspects of its nature.
Sadly, in the sixth and last column there is little integration between the feminine and the masculine, and a development to the next level is still required. The next level – the highest dimension of love – is associated with unconditional love and integration between the reality of personal and communal existence, between the feminine and the masculine. The inherent drive toward the consummation of a new level of love that is both conscious and self-aware is the ultimate agency behind the development and evolution seen in the table. Thus the table points toward the seventh column: the end of the octave, the seventh day of creation (the Sabbath), the coming of the Messiah, the attainment of Christ or Buddha consciousness, and so on.
During this journey, the qualities of the feminine and masculine, positive or negative, balanced or unbalanced, are the power that motivates the table:
The stages of development are established in the fabric of the man-world. This is why the same pattern can be seen repeated in the evolution of the mineral kingdom, in human development, and in the evolution of humankind and civilization. Every phase of this evolution finds its expression in man’s life lessons: in his relationship with himself, with family and others, in partnership and sexuality, and in matters of work, money, belief and religion. Even in the six chakras of the body we find a parallel to those stages of development. On the macroscopic level, every column has analogous expressions in the history of mankind, in cultural development, and even in the literature and other documentation that records this journey of apprenticeship toward maturity and manhood: in myths, legends, folklore and creation stories, and in all the tales by which man has described himself to himself. In a Fractal-like manner, the universe is expressing the same patterns or templates in innumerable shapes and fashions. Careful observation will reveal the order that the archetypes and patterns of creation recount and retell – the story of the wondrous order of the world.
The plant kingdom botanic divisions
Species is the basic unit of living nature, upon which classification and systematics are founded: plants are sorted, in ascending order, as follows:
Species> Genus > Families > Orders > Subclassis > Classis> phylum > kingdom: every plant belongs to a species, then to a Genus, a wider Family, Order, Subclassis and so on.
• Species – the basic unit. A group of closely related organisms that can inbreed and produce a fertile offspring.
• Genus – comprised of closely related species. Every plant (and therefore every plant remedy) is named after its Genus and Species name – for example: Pulsatilla pratensis (like first and last names for people).
• Family – of comprise closely related Genera. The name of a Family always ends with the suffix “aceae” – like “Liliaceae”.
• Order – a higher hierarchy, comprised of closely related Families. The name of an Order always ends with the suffix “ales” – like “Liliales”.
• Subclassis - contains evolutionary linked Orders, arranged by ascending developmental order (from the oldest to the youngest). Subclasses is a column in the Plant Table. The name of a Subclass ends with the suffix “ides” (“Hamamelides”), or “dae” (“Hamamelidae”), the older fashion of nomenclature.
• Classis (Class) - denotes a large group of plants that has a certain basic trait in common – like one or two cotyledons. A cluster of Subclasses, arranged in an advancing evolutionary order, constitute a Classis (or Class).
• Classis is one hierarchy below the plant kingdom.
 Le Cœur Trois Fois Heureux
 "Man-world" is a term coined by the philosopher Rudolf Steiner, referring to the connection between the knowledge of man with the knowledge of the world
 In the Kabbalah, the term “Adam Kadmon” is an image of the universe in its entirety, but it also details the path of humanity’s progress and evolution.
Photo: Hibiscus moscheutos; Jürgen Weiland
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