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  • Writer's pictureMoana

Maximize Life: Garden with the Sidereal Moon

Gardening to me is not only incredibly therapeutic, but it feeds my family and in this economy with inflation, we need all the help we can get. Back in 2020, I began looking into gardening with the moon. In 2021, I put my theories to the test and ended up growing a 30 pound watermelon in my North Carolina backyard! Incredibly impressive and I will brag about this until I become an ancestor. In 2022, I expanded on this knowledge and grew corn, pumpkins, cucumbers, eggplants, and much more. Here in 2023, I want to teach everyone about how I reached my successes.

Before you begin to plan out your gardening via moon, there’s a few things that you need to understand.

I use the sidereal moon as opposed to the tropical moon because the sidereal moon includes a procession of equinoxes. In tropical astrology, the vernal equinox is at a fixed placement. In sidereal astrology, it gives grace to the Sun as it shifts. Sidereal is also more in tune with the climate and as you know, climate is everything with gardening. Actually, two of the main things to consider before you start planting is the weather and climate. Ground crops, root crops, and seedlings all require different things that the climate can offer.

When it comes to planning out your gardening schedule and routine, you can do this method with tropical astrology. Regardless of what you use, keep in mind that I’m referring to sidereal astrology and any gardening digital files in the future that you may utilize from me is referencing the sidereal moon specifically.

While some combine methods to create their own (myself included), beginners should decide if they’d like to garden by moon phase or by zodiac sign. These are both acceptable ways to astro plan, but they utilize different bio-dynamic systems. Make sure you aren’t flipping and flopping between systems. Your plants need consistency which means your method of gardening needs consistency as well.

We know that the moon affects plants through geotropism meaning the way plants grow in response to gravity, but in order to understand gardening with the moon on a larger scale, you have to first understand the bio-dynamic systems at play since we are connecting agriculture with celestial energy.

Rudolf Steiner is largely responsible for connecting the two through anthroposophy. The textbook definition will tell you that anthroposophy is a formal educational, therapeutic, and creative system established by Rudolf Steiner, seeking to use mainly natural means to optimize physical and mental health and well-being. Essentially, Steiner needed a philosophy that defined the scientific exploration of the spiritual world and he was striving to bridge that gap between science and spirituality.

In order for Steiner to develop this ecological approach, he studied and pulled from many different religions, esoteric systems and philosophies to include Christianity, Rosicrucianism, Hinduism, and Gnosticism, just to name a few. By studying and absorbing all of this knowledge, Steiner developed an animist perspective that gave him the segway to curate the foundations of bio-dynamic agriculture.

Animism is attributing a soul to plants and other inanimate objects based on the belief of a supernatural power who organizes and animates the material universe. So here, we see how all of that studying and learning is coming together to teach us bio-dynamics.

Now, remember how science tells us that the moon controls the tides. Read this quick excerpt from NASA.

Now, the Moon is the biggest influence on Earth’s tides because of its proximity ― but it isn’t the only influence. The Sun ― with about 27 million times the mass of the Moon ― is always the gorilla in the room when it comes to solar system equations. But it’s a distant gorilla, about 390 times farther away than the Moon, which gives it a little less than half of the Moon’s tide-generating force. Yet it still plays a role.
Twice a month, when the Earth, Sun, and Moon line up, their gravitational power combines to make exceptionally high tides where the bulges occur, called spring tides, as well as very low tides where the water has been displaced. About a week later, when the Sun and Moon are at right angles to each other, the Sun’s gravitational pull works against the Moon’s gravitational tug and partially cancels it out, creating the moderate tides called neap tides.”

You can read more, here.

Celestial bodies do have a gravitational pull on water and many living things are made up of water. The human body is in fact 70% fluid and this is why many astrologers and other astro-enthusiasts will track the moon in relation to behavior because it has such a pull on us. How many times have you heard somebody say “is it a full moon?” because the collective energy at the time is crazy.

Since we are using an animist perspective, we have to include plants since we are viewing it as an entity with a soul. That leaves us to connect that humans are made up of water and are affected, so why not plants as well? That part is key. Plants carry water therefore, they are included.

As Steiner laid the foundation, Maria Thun came in and expanded upon the bio-dynamics to create almanacs. Many if not all farmers still use them today to effectively plan their growing season. If you are a gardener reading my blog right now, I implore you to buy the latest farmer’s almanac every single year. It is gold.

Getting to the meat and potatoes of why many are reading this…

If you are gardening with the moon phase, it’s based on the illumination from the moon and takes into account two periods of the lunar cycle. Under a waxing moon, the moon increases in light which will encourage plants to grow more leaves and stems. Bonus points if it’s a water waxing moon as water moons are great for leaf days. Under a waning moon, the moon decreases in light signifying plants to grow roots and bulbs. Even more bonus points if it’s an earth waning moon since earth moons are great for the roots. New Moons, waxing crescent, 1st quarter, waxing gibbous, etc phases also have more correspondences in their own right.

If you are gardening with the zodiac sign, you have to have a base level understanding of the energies that captivate each sign. Capricorn moons are great to build and repair fences or garden beds around the garden that require maintenance or hard labor to put together. Taurus, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are good moons to plant, transplant, and/or graft your plants. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius moons are times to prune and thin out the plants that need it. Then when it comes to things like harvesting, controlling your garden pests, and plowing, there are a few zodiac signs that are great for this as well.

There are other factors at play here such as the elements. Each element will also correspond to various opportunity periods in gardening. For example, flowers have a better lasting scent when cut under an air moon and harvesting under fire moons on fruit days will store better.

For more experienced astrologers, you can conquer gardening with the moon by looking at the aspects as well. I know that I like to plant seeds during a Moon opposite Saturn transit because the moon represents fertility and germination while Saturn represents a strong structure and form. The activity in the soil will be favorable to plant seeds direct to ground.

If you’re still reading this far, thank you! I know a lot of information was just thrown out at you. Before I wrap it up, I do want to circle back to consistency. The varying methods of astrological measure changes with each bio-dynamic system that you use which is why it’s easiest to pick what works for you and get your hands in the dirt.

For those who need a bit more hands-on guidance, I’ve been working on my e-book on this topic for a long time, but I want to make sure I put all of what’s in my head onto paper for your benefit. Keep an eye out on my Etsy, as I will be releasing a planting calendar cheat sheet in the near future. The more people that are able to grow their own food, the better!

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