TEUFELSKUNST Occult Art Blog
TEUFELSKUNST
Occult Art Blog

Gardening with the Moon, the Signs and the Planets (revision)

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.

Taking things further, one would now observe the sign the moon is in and apply these to the different parts of the plant according to the elements, meaning earth signs for roots, water signs for leaves, air signs for flowers and fire signs for fruits and seeds. Eg root plants should be sown when the moon is nidsigend and in an earth sign, flowering plants such as sunflower would be best sown when the moon is nidsigend and in an air sign and so on.

To give an example, the planting times for August and September 2024 would look as follows:

Besides, the days when the moon meets one of it’s orbital nodes (when it crosses the ecliptic), should be avoided for any greater gardening activity and no seeds should be sown then. These lunar nodes are also known as head and tail of the dragon, whereby the head corresponds with the ascending = Northern node above and the tail with the descending = Southern node below the ecliptic.

Seeking out the best time for planting can become a challenge. The moon may be waning and in an earth sign (perfect for roots), but obsigend and thus not favorable for planting. 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.

Luckily there are lunar calendars available online and in printed form. For further reading see the writings of Maria Thun, who has dedicated her life to gardening with the moon and the zodiac.

Take notes in a personal gardening diary, in which you write down your activity, day and time. Add the moon phase and sign and other aspects, which you can also look up and add later.

The microcosm of the plant mirrors the macrocosm of the universe in movement; as above so below.

Other factors that might impact the development of a plant may be constellations of sun, moon and the planets. This delving into an actual plant astrology since, apparently 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 first illustration)

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.

Least we forget…

Plants 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.

For further info on plants, seeds and gardening please visit my garden blog at https://pflanzenkunst.wordpress.com

May 3, 2024

Posted In: Garden, Herbs & Seeds

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Seed Boxes 2024

The first 5 seed boxes have been shipped during the vernal equinox week! It’s been a hell of a work again and took longer than last time from start to finish. Extras inlcuded are some rare Echinacea ‘Green Twister’, darkred climbing monkshood, different ‘slate black’ lenten roses, Caucasian mandrake, some lovely low growing foxglove called ‘silverfox’ and big fat mandrake seeds harvested by my German friend @bussardflug Further this year’s box comes with seeds for growing your own fragrant sweet grass (Hierochloe odorata) and the endangered white sage (Salvia apiana).

This year’s seed box is different! The boxes are pyrographed on all sides, with a variation of the Sigillum Major (Greater Seed Sowing Sigil) on the lid and devils and lunar planting symbols on the sides. The bottom is pyrographed again with the Sigillum Minor (Lesser Seed Sowing Sigil).

I have now started on the next 5 boxes… there’s exactly one box left for pre-order. 🙂

The preview shows the plain pyrographed boxes. In the next step these are stained with dark oak on the corpus and dark green to light oak color on the lid.

They are filled again with the annual seed harvest, gathered from my own witch plants, as well as seeds sourced from trusted nuseries and herbalists. The full list:

  • Aquilegia atrata
  • Aconitum napellus
  • Aconitum hemsleyanum ‘Red Wine’ (rare!)
  • Atropa belladonna
  • Datura ferox (rare!)
  • Datura innoxia
  • Datura metel var. Fastuosa ‘Black Currant Swirl’
  • Datura metel var. Fastuosa ‘Golden Queen Triple’ (rare!)
  • Datura stramonium
  • Digitalis purpurea ssp. heywoodii ‘Silverfox’ (rare!)
  • Helleborus foetidus
  • Helleborus x orientalis, dark color mix (rare!)
  • Hyoscyamus niger
  • Mandragora caulescens (rare!)
  • Mandragora officinarum (rare!)
  • Nicotiana tabacum
  • Papaver somniferum ‘Black Peony’
  • Solanum dulcamara
  • Angelica archangelica
  • Artemisia absinthium
  • Circaea lutetiana
  • Echinacea purpurea ‘Green Twister’ (rare!)
  • Foeniculum vulgare ‘Bronce’
  • Helianthus annuus ‘Black Magic’
  • Hierochloe odorata
  • Hypericum androsaemum
  • Rudbeckia occidentalis ‘Green Wizzard’
  • Ruta graveolens
  • Salvia apiana
  • Symphytum officinale
  • Tropaeolum minus ‘Black Velvet’
  • Valeriana officinalis
  • Verbena officinalis

Below are some examples of plants and flowers I have grown successfully from seed and which are included in this year’s seed box:

Update: the pre-order for the second batch of boxes is sold out. When I have finished these I will announce the next five boxes.

April 1, 2024

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds, Garden

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Seed Boxes 2019

The past months were spent crafting and filling another row of Teufelskunst seed boxes. This year’s regular series included again a variety of new and old witch herb classics, while the recent “Black Flowers” edition, which was finalized this week, holds again a little treasury of extravagant, black or near black flowering plants as well as some vegetables with black fruits. Below are a few impressions of the final boxes. All remaining black flowers boxes will be shipped on the 15th of July. Please watch your email inboxes (and spam folders) for shipping notifications.

July 13, 2019

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Seed Boxes 2018

Over three months in the making – the seed boxes for 2018 are finally here! All those, who had asked to be added to the reservation list, have been notified in e-mail earlier and pre-orders have now been processed. It is with joy, that I can say, the special “black flowers” edition sold out within a few days. There are still 3 of the regular seed boxes left. For ordering please go here.

Some impressions of the work progress on these latest seed boxes:

6 regular (red) with seeds for 69 different witch herbs + 4 “black flowers” boxes

wooden seed boxes, pyrographed, stained and varnished by hand

new motif for the “black flowers” special, applied by hand with blueprint paper

finished “black flowers” seed boxes, pyrographed, stained and varnished by hand

For details about the seeds contained in these boxes and growing info please view the listings in the Teufelskunst webshop and visit my garden blog at Pflanzenkunst.

June 16, 2018

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Wooden Seed Boxes #31-36

Wooden Seed Boxes, April 2017

In follow to the wonderful feedback and many emails received after the last boxes had been sold, I spent the past weeks crafting and researching what would become the content of the next row of wooden seed boxes, these being numbers 31-36.

This time my focus was drawn towards magical herbs, which can be found on a blooming summer meadow and are traditionally used on the summer solstice. Many of these herbs are sown in April and May, hence the timing. Some annuals, such as poppies, you may be able to harvest already this summer, if sown now.

Besides this I wanted to include some new venific herbs, to accompany the well-known nightshades and popular poison plants. In my search my attention was drawn to the spurge, more precisely the caper spurge (Euphorbia lathyris). Earlier I had been asked for spurge to use in a martial incense recipe and had trouble finding the right type. By chance I came across references pointing to the caper spurge with its poisonous milky sap, prominent size and auspicious shape. The plant seems to have been well known in Germany. It would be planted near one’s home as a protection against curses and it was used to break the spells of other witches. It was also thought to ward of moles and is hence also known as mole plant in English language.

Besides this I included the wild relative of the candle larkspur, named field or rocket larkspur (Consolida regalis), with its lovely deep blue flowers. The flowers are used in protection spells and the herb is planted to protect the home, similar to the closely related delphinium. The rocket larkspur is unfortunately in decline due to intensified agriculture. Another reason, to include it here.

A threatened herb with strong healing attributes is the lovely centaury (Centaurium erythraea). It has been attributed a plethora of benific properties and is rare to find in the wild these days. I am thus happy to have found a supplier of seeds for this rare healing herb. Another old and perhaps forgotten about healing herb of antiquity, which is now experiencing a renaissance is the wood betony (Stachys officinalis). Likewise the motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) was a popular healing herb in medieval times until interest in the plant declined. It makes for a nice background plant with other purple and pink flowering herbs and interesting addition to the ‘witch’s garden’.

In selecting the herbs I also paid attention to the 13 plants described in Harold Roth’s book “The Witching Herbs” (signed copies available here) and thus included seeds for each.

Altogether there are now seeds for over 50 different sorcerous benific and venific herbs contained in one box. The box itself is pyrographed stained and varnished by hand. The sigil on the box is the “Sigillum Major” or “Greater Sowing Seal”. It includes references to the work with plants, crossroad symbolism etc. and is also used as the official logo for Teufelskunst. The sigil inside the box is called “Sigillum Minor” or “Lesser Sowing Seal” and is an abbreviated form of the former, traceable in one stroke of a line. Each box is numbered on the bottom.

Printed sowing instructions in tabular form are included with each box. For detailed information on each herb please visit my plant blog.

Update: The boxes are sold. You can still e-mail me for the complete list of seeds contained in this series at info@teufelskunst.com. I will work on 4 more boxes this spring to round up the number before the summer solstice. Than that’s it for a while.

April 20, 2017

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Seed Boxes Follow-up

The latest seed boxes have been sold and shipped. I received much more inquiries than expected and will get back to each individually. Please bare with me if this takes a few more days. I have also started preparations for the next boxes, these being #31-36. It will take a couple of weeks to complete these. My plan is to have them ready in time for mid-spring – for sowing all those herbs that like it warm. The other seeds that come with the box can be sown in autumn or given the artificial cold treatment in the fridge.

About the boxes: they contain seeds from at least 44 different venific and benific ‘witch’ herbs. The boxes are pyrographed with the “Sigillum Major” or “Greater Sowing Seal”, which you also see as the official logo of Teufelskunst. The boxes are then stained and varnished. Following this, hundreds of little paper bags are labeled and filled with the seeds, which I partly gather by myself and partly purchase from other places. I usually spend at least 40 hours on four of these boxes. It is a tedious but also rewarding process, which gives me the chance to connect deeper with the herbs and it also empties the mind and brings new inspiration. I also learn how the seed for each herb looks and what it requires to break its dormancy. It is my hope that the content of these boxes will bring joy to others and aid them in their own studies.

Please write to me at info@teufelskunst.com if you wish to reserve one in the future!

March 17, 2017

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

Wooden Seed Boxes #27-30

Seed boxes #27-30, completed

The boxes contain seeds from at least 44 different venific and benific ‘witch’ herbs. The boxes are pyrographed with the “sigilum major” or “greater sowing seal”, stained and varnished. Then hundreds of little paper bags are labeled and filled with the seeds, which I partly gather by myself and partly purchase from other places. I usually spend at least 40 hours on four of these boxes. It is a tedious but also rewarding process, which gives me the chance to connect deeper with the herbs and it also empties the mind and brings new inspiration. It is my hope that the content of these boxes will bring joy to others and aid them in their own studies.

Update: the boxes are sold. Please write to me at info@teufelskunst.com if you wish to reserve one in the future!

March 9, 2017

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Wooden Seed Boxes, Autumn Equinox 2016

The seeds have been gathered and new wooden seed boxes are nearing completion. With joy I offer again this treat for the tenders of sorcerous gardens, just in time for the autumnal equinox. Below is a preview of the boxes:

Available are boxes #23-26. They will contain again a fertile mix of seeds from various benific and venific herbs. Four boxes are available, three of which are already reserved. For those that will not receive one this time, I plan to craft a few more until Samhain. If you want to make sure to get your hands on one, then I recommend placing a reservation now.

For ordering and reservations please e-mail me at info@teufelskunst.com

September 13, 2016

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Comment