Monday, April 19, 2010

Planting By The Zodiac

Planting according to the Zodiac used to be widespread, this ancient knowledge being passed down through the generations, but it has sadly fallen into obscurity in our day and age. Modern agriculture can't account for something that seems embarrassingly like "folk wisdom", which is generally disregarded as bunkum. There is however some firm science behind it. In the same way that tides are highest during the new moon and full moon when the gravitational pull is strongest because sun and moon are lined up with earth, so too does the moisture rise in the earth at this time encouraging growth. The highest amount of moisture is in the soil at this time, and tests have proven that seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon.
The Moon moves through the signs of the Zodiac in the heavens every few of days and each of the different signs are associated with an element of earth, air, fire or water. The best signs for planting are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces and Capricorn with Libra being the best time for flowers. It is advisable to buy a good almanac, our favorite is the one put out by T.E. Black, it is straight forward and folksy without the modern articles in the more commonly known almanacs. By looking at which sign each day is ruled by and which phase of the moon you're in you can easily ascertain when to expend the effort to get things planted. Well begun is half done.

The first quarter is best for: asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, corn, lettuce, oats, parsley, onions, spinach and flowering plants.

The second quarter is best for: beans, eggplant, melons, peas, pumpkin, squash, tomatoes and watermelon.

The third quarter is best for: beets, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, radishes and turnips.

The fourth quarter is best for: turning sod and pulling weeds. Never plant in the barren signs of: Aquarius, Aries, Gemini, Leo, Virgo or Sagittarius.

Now, though I firmly believe that it is good and right to plant this way, I do not believe in horoscopes etc. I don't consult them and I think that the Zodiac, which is Biblical, has been co-opted into something that God never intended. I believe that the Zodiac is the "gospel in the stars" which God placed to tell His story for all time, not a tool for witchcraft or divination which is clearly wrong.
I have some seeds to sow tomorrow as the moon is waxing and the sign tomorrow is Cancer. These are herbs that I want to have closer to the house so I can avoid traipsing through the fields to harvest them. :-) I also want to check the woods for Coltsfoot, I have it in a raised bed, but I wanted to glean some elsewhere if possible since I use more than I grow. The big shiny leaves are Coltsfoot, they are best harvested when small, the bigger leaves are good to smoke/inhale but the little ones are best for tea. Coltsfoot is an expectorant and is useful for colds, flu and asthma. I put it in our homemade cough syrup.

These Coltsfoot leaves are only about 2" across and ready to be harvested.


  1. Wow, how interesting! Thanks for this eye-opening post.

    Oh, we received our coloring book...LOVE it! Thank you ever so much :-)

    Lots of love,

  2. Paris,

    Thank you so much for this post.

    Would you mind posting your recipe for homemade cough syrup?