Lunar Gardening and its Different Traditions

The European Tradition of the Lunar Gardening

The European tradition, as far as I know it, is associated with the name of Rudolph Steiner.

The fundamental difference of this tradition, in its original form, is that it doesn't use the Tropical Zodiac, and not even use the Sidereal Zodiac. Instead, it uses constellations, i.e. more or less arbitrarily defined groups of stars on the celestial sphere. The problem here is that if we want to follow Steiner strictly, then we need to know the borders between constellations as they were defined in his times, in the beginning of the 20th century.

Constellations and Zodiacs

For an explanation of the difference between the signs and the constellations, as well as between Tropical and Sidereal Zodiac, you might want to read Lesson 3, The Zodiac, of the Astro School.

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out where those borders between constellations should be, so that we could know in which exactly constellation the Moon is in at any specific moment, I have asked several authorities and then a number of different people who might have known the answer, but nobody was able to give me any information on this subject.

Finally, in The Biodynamic Sowing And Planting Calendar by Maria and Matthias Thun, I was able to find the information about the hour when the Moon enters each of the constellations during the year 2010. Taking the average of the Moon's position for different months, I should be able to figure out a reasonably precise information for where the borders between the constellations are. And later, if I will find a more detailed source of information, I could make the numbers more precise.

However, one of the prominent astrological researchers Nick Kollerstrom (referred to as the BBC's Lunar Gardening Correspondent) argues in his book Gardening And Planting By The Moon that because the constellations are irregular, their use creates an imbalance in the energies available to the gardeners. Here is a quotation from the above mentioned book:

The trouble began when Maria Thun imposed the four elements on to this irregular set-up in the 1950s. Her use of these divisions made for a radical imbalance in the four elements. Root days (Earth) were assigned over 50 per cent more of the month than the Flower days (Air). The Air-constellation Libra is very short while the Earth-constellation Virgo is two and a half times longer.

Nick Kollerstrom suggests that instead of constellations, we should rather use the Sidereal Zodiac. The difference between the constellations and the Sidereal Zodiac is that the latter is made of equally sized, each takes 30 degrees of longitude, signs of the Zodiac.

The difference between the Tropical Zodiac (used in the American method) and the Sidereal Zodiac (advocated by Kollerstrom) is that they have different point of origin, and as a result they are shifted against each other.

The difference is approximately 23 degrees, and because of this it can easily happen that according to the Tropical Zodiac, the Moon is in one sign (say Aries), while according to the Sidereal Zodiac, it is in a completely different sign, say Pisces. This is why the times of the Moon's entry into the signs are different between the Lunar Gardening Calendar and the Astrological Moon Calendar (I am often asked about this difference by the visitors of Lunarium).

The current version of the Lunar Gardening Calendar is based on the Sidereal Zodiac. In a later version, I am planning to add as an option the possibility to switch to Steiner's constellations.

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