TEUFELSKUNST Occult Art Blog
TEUFELSKUNST
Occult Art Blog

Gardening with the Moon and the Planets

All plants grow towards the sun (helio- or phototropism) and use its light as energy source (photosynthesis). Hence the sun is the dominating factor in all plant life. However, the moon as the closest celestial body near to earth and its gravitational pull, especially on water molecules, influences plant development too, since plants are made up to 98% out of water. Plants are essentially structures or vessels built around water, which is required in all physiological processes.

The closer the moon is to the earth the stronger is its gravitational pull. This strongly affects water molecules, but also the earth’s solid surface. Every night the ground is literally lifted by the moon, yet this is hardly sensible. The sun too has a gravitional effect on earth. If sun, earth and moon align – either during a full or a new moon – this effect is even stronger and results in what is known as spring tide.

The moon hence also has an impact on the growth of plants. During the waxing phase the leaves develop stronger, whereas during the waning phase the growth is directed towards the roots. It is not clear how, but possibly this is due to gravitational changes.

The phenomenon that plants grow straight upwards, at an approximate 90° angle away from earth’s center, regardless of whether they grow on a straight plain or at the side of a hill, is called gravitropism. Better said, parts that grow above ground show a negative gravitropism whereas the roots show positive gravitropism, since they follow earth’s gravitational pull. This is directed mainly by the plant hormone auxin. (*see) Now, the moon’s gravitational pull interacts with earth’s own. During the full moon it gets stronger and thus may increase negative gravitropism in plants and support growth of leaves and stems, whereas during the waning moon it ceases and thus indirectly strengthens positive gravitropism, resulting in increased root growth. If and how the gravitational pull of moon and other celestial bodies influence gravitropism has yet to be studied in detail. But experience shows the following picture:

The observance of the moon and the sky has been employed by agricultural societies and gardeners ever since. However, when referring to a lunar phase or month, it must be clarified which moon is actually meant…

Some terminology….

  • synodic month – the time from one new moon to the next (as shown above) ~ 29d 12h 44m = 29,530 days
  • sidereal month – return to the same star or the time it takes for the moon to travel throught the zodiac signs (shorter than a synodic month) ~ 27d 7h 43m = 27,321 days
  • tropical month – depending on the vernal equinox this lunar month is slightly shorter than a sidereal lunar month and significantly shorter than a synodic lunation ~ 27d 7h 43m = 27,321 days
  • draconic month or nodal period – the return to the same lunar node ~ 27d 5h 5m = 27,212 days

The tropical month is of special relevance in farmer’s almanacs. As opposed to the synodic waning and waxing moon the focus lies here on the diurnal arc of the moon, which is the path the moon draws on the daytime sky. During the first half of a tropical month the moon’s arc is daily getting closer to the horizon line; the moon is “falling” or is nidsigend. During the second half, the moon’s arc is daily increasing and moving further away from the horizon line; the moon is “rising” or obsigend. Both periods last around 14 days. The nidsigent moon is symbolized by an upside down crescent, the obsigent moon is pictured by an upwards pointing crescent, which resembles a bowl.

Btw. the word tropical comes from Greek tropos = “turn”, the terms nidsigend and obsigend come from Alemannic dialect and mean ascending and descending.

Related names, coming from Hawaiian mythology, are “wet moon“, where the upwards pointing moon is likened to a bowl catching up falling rainwater during the winter, and “dry moon“, where the lunar sickle turns upright as summer is approaching and pours out the collected water in the form of summer rains. The wet moon is also pictured as a smile and is called “Cheshire moon” after the grinning cat from Alice in Wonderland. Notably, these names apply to the actual shape and orientation of the sickle moon, not to its culmination on the daytime sky.

According to folk saying, root growth is supported by the nidsigend moon and leaf growth by the obsigend moon. Hence, root vegetables and plants that grow mainly subterranean should be planted during the nidsigend moon. All other vegetables and plants that produce crops above ground should be planted during the obsigend moon. Further, the nidsigend moon is in general considered the favorable phase for planting and separating young plants, since it promotes rooting. The obsigend moon is the phase during which the plants grow in height.

Again, the nidsigend and obsigend moon are not to be confused with the waning and waxing phase. Things get really interesting, when seeking out the best time for planting. The moon may be waning and in an earth sign (perfect for roots), but is also obsigend and thus not favorable for root growth. So you wait until the moon is nidsigend and in an earth sign, but alas, the moon is waxing and in addition, the moon is in one of its nodes or draconic. It is said, that lunar nodes should be avoided for any gardening activity.

So, which is the right time pertaining to the moon? Start with the waxing and waning moon, then have a look at which sign it is in, then see if its ascending or descending and finally avoid lunar nodes. Take notes in a personal gardening calendar, writing down your activity, day and time, add the moon phase and sign and other aspects, which you can look up and add later. You can also purchase a lunar gardening calendar by Maria Thun or download one for free.

Other factors that might impact the development of a plant are constellations of sun, moon and the planets. Apparentyl there is a correlation between the orbital period and the pattern that a planet draws when it circles around the sun and the growth pattern of plants and fruits. More precisely, both orbital period and plant growth follow Fibonacci sequences… (see graphic above)

For the nerd….

The orbital period is the time the planets need to return to their starting point when revolving around the sun. Plants mirror this movement pattern for example in the way in which their leaves are arranged around their stems. These patterns are also found in the way how the seeds are packed on sunflowers or pine cones. The succession in which planets orbit and leaves revolve around the stem follow infact the sequences that Fibonacci introduced to Western European mathematics.

Annual or short-lived and fast developing plants are influenced by the Moon and the sub-solar planets Mercury and Venus. They are sown in spring and brought outdoors after the last frosts. Some annual plants, ie poppies, can also be sown in late summer and then behave as biennials.

Biennial plants may be under the influence of Mars or slower revolving planets. They are best sown in July/summer – the warmest and brightest time of the year. They often produce a basal leaf rossette and long root during the first and a large stem, flowers and fruits during the second year.

Perennial plants can be grouped under Jupiter and Saturn, and under the latter especially shrubs and trees. They are best sown in autumn and often require cold periods ahead of germination. These slow growing plants often take 2-3 years before starting to flower and producing seeds.

Taking things even further, one could create a natal chart for all gardening activity or follow other rules for planetary magic such as are outlined in Picatrix. But rather than getting entangled in astrological theory, better tend to your garden and perhaps and foremost consult the plant devas themselves.

Lastly, plants also respond to the individual. Sometimes we are just not ready yet for certain plants and they may come to us at a later point – not when we think that we need them, but when we or perhaps also the creatures around us do. That is when a plant may suddenly occur in nature to us, even repeatedly, or when a seed, we have forgotten in a pot or flower bed suddenly germinates. The passionate gardener not only tends to the physiological needs of the plants (which are usually dealt with during day time) but also comes back to the garden at night, for feeding the devas, elves and gnomes that inhabit the soil, stones and vegetation. This way the plants help us reconnecting spiritually to our selves and beyond.

May 3, 2024

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds, Garden

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Seed Boxes

Wooden Seed Boxes

Wooden Boxes, Hand-Branded and varnished

We have expanded our Seed contingent and offer now seeds from over 50 different plants. As a special offer you can now buy a beautiful hand-branded and varnished wooden box containing seed-samples from over 40 plants we currently have in stock. Along with the box you also receive sowing instructions for each herb, illustrated with our unique plant seals. If you think that is just too much you can also get the wooden boxes in smaller size with seed samples from at least 22 different plants.

The same seeds can also be purchased with a sigil-adorned Cardboard-Box. Printed sowing instructions are included here as well.

  • Wooden Box with seeds from over 40 plants: 66€ + shipping*
  • Wooden Box with seeds from 22 plants: 44€ + shipping*
  • Cardboard Box with seeds from 22 plants: 38€ + shipping

*Only few available at a time

For more special offers check our Seeds Collections or view the A-Z list of available seeds including prices on single seed portions.

Order via info@teufelskunst.com

Note: Wooden boxes are currently sold, but new ones are on the way…

December 21, 2012

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds, Ritual

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