Lunar Gardening and its Different Traditions

Since time immemorial, people are using the cycles of the Moon as a guidance in their household activities. This is not a superstition: even contemporary mechanistically minded science has a significant amount of research showing that the lower forms of life (such as plants, for example) are strongly, intimately albeit invisibly connected to the rhythms of the Moon, that they are synchronising their life activities with the Moon.

Unfortunately, our science is madly prejudiced against everything that even remotely resembles astrology. As a result, we don't have any reliable, scientifically tested and verified set of rules that would allow us to use the knowledge of the Moon's cycles in gardening with confidence.

Instead, we have the tradition, and not just one but at least too different traditions of lunar gardening. I tend to call these two traditions the American and the European, although I admit that this naming might be not 100% precise as apparently researchers from both sides of the Atlantic have made their input into both traditions.

Both traditions have a significant number of followers, both have a number of documented experiments supporting their rules, but the rules are quite different and in certain cases contradicting each other. So I suggest you make a clear choice, which tradition you are going to follow, and then stick to it.

The American Tradition of the Lunar Gardening

The rules of the American tradition are listed in many books, and they are quite simple. One good source of these rules is the Llewellyn's Moon Sign Book. In the end of this article I will give you the links to the books that I could recommend you. I am not going to list all the rules and nuances, please refer for those to the books, but the main rules are:

  1. If you want to get the result above the earth, use the Waxing (growing) Moon. According to this rule, you would plant your flowers, strawberries, tomatoes etc. when the Moon is increasing in light, i.e. after the New Moon but before the Full Moon.
  2. If you want to get the result under the earth, use the Waning (decreasing in light) Moon. So if you are going to plant potatoes or carrots then according to this tradition you are supposed to do that after the Full Moon but before the New Moon.
  3. There are fruitful signs (Taurus, Cancer, Libra, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces) when you are supposed to do everything that promotes growth. The Moon spends about two and a half day in each sign, and you need to use a lunar calendar, like the Astrological Moon Calendar, to find out when she is in one or another sign in your particular time zone.
  4. There are also barren signs: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Sagittarius, Aquarius. When the Moon is there, you should do things that prevent growth, like pruning, cutting etc.
  5. The important bit of information is that the American tradition uses Tropical Zodiac. This is the zodiac that is very widely, almost exclusively, used in the Western Astrology. For example, when saying that Aries people are born from the 20th of March to the 19th of April, you are implicitly referring to the Tropical Zodiac.

If you prefer to follow the American Tradition, then everything you need for your lunar gardening is the Astrological Moon Calendar. It gives the dates and times of the lunar phases as well as the dates and times of the Moon's entry into each of the signs of the Tropical Zodiac for virtually any location on the Earth.

Here are some examples that will help you to find out what means what, but basically just check the symbol explanations underneath the calendar, and you should be able to figure out everything yourself.

New Moon in the Astrological Moon Calendar

Here the Astrological Moon Calendar shows that the New Moon takes place at 11:29. After this moment, the Moon will be waxing, before it the Moon was waning.

Full Moon and Aries Ingress in the Astrological Moon Calendar

Here the Astrological Moon Calendar shows that the Moon enters the Sign of Aries at 9:47. She will then stay in Aries until she enters the next sign, Taurus, after approximately two and a half days. Before this moment, the Moon was in the previous sign, Pisces.

Also, there is a Full Moon at 10:17. Before that moment, the Moon is waxing, after it the Moon is waning.

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