This interview by Alexander Rist for the European magazine Das Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland happened just after Hurricane Katrina when there was a renewed interest in climate study.
Alexander Rist: When did you start to pay attention to weather phenomena? What was triggering the decision to start your research in this area, what was your motivation?
Dennis Klocek: I started studying weather patterns in 1979 by keeping daily observations on a Kimberton Hills Agricultural Calendar from the Bio-Dynamic Association in the United States. I was originally inspired by some comments in Maria Thun's publication Work on the Land and the Constellations regarding planetary positions and weather phenomena. My motivation was a life-long interest in clouds and weather phenomena going back to my grade school days when I built a small home made weather station in my backyard. My first Steiner book was the Agriculture Course and I continue to be an avid gardener, weather observer and cloud painter.
AR: For your different forecasts you are applying a new methodology that is based on the position of the sun at the time of a moon or sun eclipse. Could you tell us a bit more about those relationships and how they influence the weather development?
DK: I have found that the occurrence of either a solar or lunar eclipse is a very significant event for the life force body of the Earth. It appears to me that this type of event forms what could be called a cramp in specific areas of the life forces of the Earth. This tendency towards cramping in specific areas lasts until the next set of eclipses moves the longitude of the eclipse points to the west in a regular rotation of 18.6 years.
To follow these influences, every morning I download government charts of a polar projection of the Northern Hemisphere at the 500mb level. That means that the chart shows the highs and lows of the global weather systems on that day at an altitude about half way up in the atmosphere. I have found that this level is particularly sensitive to the motions of the planets. I layer this US government climate chart into charts of my own design that allow me to project the positions of the eclipses onto the surface of the Earth through geometric techniques that have a lot in common with some of the procedures in projective geometry. I have done this every day for the past two decades and have seen some remarkable coincidences between planetary motion and the onset of unusual weather phenomena.
AR: What kind of empirical observations did you find in your research that supports such relationships?
DK: Using certain indications taken from Kepler's BookV of the Harmonica Mundi as a basis for constructing the eclipse charts, I have found that there exists a set of harmonic zones in the atmosphere at predictable distances in longitude from the eclipse points. I call these harmonic zones jet curves because the polar jet stream has a tendency to form itself against these curve shaped zones in a given season. When planets, moving in their orbits, cross the positions of the current set of eclipses, they appear to stimulate predictable weather potentials along the jet curves. The art of this is to know just how the polar jet will react in a particular geographical placement of a jet curve. I have had to study a lot of historical climate records to develop my weather eye in this respect. Using these past studies as a database, I can then apply the historical climate patterns to the current placements of the eclipse points in order to form sets of analog years. I consider an analog year to be a year in which the eclipse points were in a similar placement to the current year. Once I have seen how the jet curves respond in the analog years I can then build forecasts of the coming year with a greater degree of accuracy.
AR: You also use a fair amount of projective geometry to establish the typical weather patterns for the American continent? Could you tell us more about the importance of projective geometry in your research?
DK: A projection arises when one form such as a point is projected onto a line that is remote to it. The projected point is considered to be moving and it's motion describes a line that crosses the remote line in another point. The system of lines and points makes up a projection. To place an eclipse event in a particular longitude onto the surface of the Earth involves such a projection from the position of the planet onto a particular place on Earth. To do this I put Orion over Africa with his belt on the equator. I have been told by a colleague that this type of projection was suggested by Rudolf Steiner although I haven't been able to find the source. With Orion in this position the rest of the Zodiac is spread out on the Earth in a very interesting way. With this system of coordinates it is possible to project the Zodiac onto the Earth. This forms the basic chart. In addition, in my system I have used the geometric technique of translation to project the angles of arc from eclipse points onto the Earth and found that significant angles of arc between planets correspond to specific zones in the patterns of global wind circulation when translated onto Earth. I have also found some provocative insights into El Nino rhythms by projecting planetary retrograde and direct looping patterns onto the Pacific Basin using this Zodiacal projection technique.
AR: How big is the curiosity of your colleagues who do traditional weather research? Was it possible to get some of them interested in your research?
DK: Unfortunately, if you are at a climate conference in the United States and you mention that you work with planetary motion to climate scientists attending the conference, they tend to try to find another table at which to eat their breakfast. I have also sent materials describing my work to scientists in the US and in Europe but as of yet, have not met with much interest from scientists. I have, however, experienced interest in my work from the business community and I am in regular dialogue with several persons at the Chicago Board of Trade regarding long-range forecasts for the coming growing season.
AR: What is the relationship between your research and the work that is done by Maria Thun? Where are the differences?
DK: In my garden when I am working with plants I use the indications given by Maria Thun with much success. I attended lectures on bees that she gave in England last summer and found that her insights were accurate when I tried them on my hives this fall. I respect her work and, as I said earlier, her work was my initial inspiration.
Over the years however, I have had to modify my approach to follow what the phenomena of the atmosphere were telling me. I now use an even house system of regular 30° divisions that is different from her work. I also do not assign a particular quality to a planet other than what I would call its approach and retreat gesture. Planets have particular rhythmic dance or, I could even say, sound quality as they move in arc. The cadences of the various motions have a musical, rhythmic quality that is characteristic of planetary motion in general. In a general way, the quick or slow motion in arc events can provide somewhat of a particular quality to the motion of one planet that can be experienced as distinct to that planet alone. However, these rhythms change as the planet moves retrograde or direct or is in its apogee or perigee cycle in its orbit. The change in quality is similar to the way the sound of an airplane changes as it approaches and then moves away from an observer. This change in tone is what science calls the Doppler effect.
In my work, I pay a lot of attention to the particular Doppler counterpoint qualities of the weaving movement sequences as they unfold in a particular time segment. As a result I often do not assign a particular "quality" to a particular planet. To me the counterpoint of the rhythms of the motions of a planet in a particular time frame are much more significant for the atmosphere, than any one particular constant quality a planet might have traditionally. Although it is true that Jupiter moving in arc in its orbit tends to have one "tone" and the node moving in arc is definitely another "tone", in my work the unfolding of that specific "tone quality" is most often blended into the movement signatures of the whole field moving in time. For instance, sometimes Mars moving in arc and Venus moving in arc can link in a tandem approach to an eclipse point. When that happens it is very difficult to tell Venus from Mars in my system since their rhythms are identical and it is the counterpoint of the interpenetrating rhythms of the motion in arc events that is the most important qualitative factor in my work.
AR: Your new approach is one that is based on "Goethean" approach towards science. What can your results show us about the processes on a living organism, such as the planet earth?
DK:It is interesting to me that most Goethean science is based on a phenomenology of things that can be seen with the senses. For me the true nature of Goethe's contribution is not only his ability to observe physical phenomena but his impeccable ability to represent the phenomena to himself inwardly in the form of clearly sequenced inner pictures. In my work there are no observable phenomena. I spend most of my time with my nose buried in an Ephemeris of planetary motions the pages of which are filled with numbers. Based on these numbers, I strive to form accurate inner pictures of weather events usually a year or even two years in advance of the actual events. It is November 2004 and I am working on the forecasts for July 2006. I have to do this because of my work for the Urban Almanac, a publication by Eric Utne in the US. I do the yearly forecasts for the continental US and my deadline is seven months before the year in which my forecasts will be published. Since the phenomena that I am studying haven't happened yet this puts me into a funny place phenomenologically speaking. This means that my inner eye must be tuned to lawfulness in the soul of the Earth. The level of my attentiveness when a storm is approaching is heightened by the fact that I have tried to see the storm in the void of time. My feelings are that the Earth Spirit appreciates my striving to hold these time sequenced pictures in my soul in advance of the unfolding of the actual phenomena in space. As I understand it this is what Rudolf Steiner referred to as the development of etheric vision.
Alexander Rist/December 1, 2004