Lunar Gardening Calendar - which exactly?

The next feature of the New Lunarium that will be added to the site is the Lunar Gardening Calendar, i.e. the calendar for those who is using the knowledge of the Lunar Lore in their gardening.

However, there are two significantly different approaches to Lunar Gardening, both having their proponents and convincing references to literature. These approaches are:

1. American.
2. European.

I have to admit that the labels for the approaches are quite arbitrarily selected by myself. There are certainly many followers of the European approach in different parts of the world, and the American approach, due to its simplicity, is known to some degree to most students of astrology. But I had to name these two approaches somehow, and in a few moments you will understand why I have selected exactly these labels.

American Approach

This approach is best of all represented by Llewellyn's Moon Sign Book. Its basic ideas are: "plant annuals producing their yield above the ground" when the Moon is waxing (increasing in light), plant root plants, potatoes, bulbs etc., as well as trees and shrubs, after the Full Moon, cultivate, pull weeds before the New Moon. The Signs of the Zodiac are considered from the point of view of their fertility. For example, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are very fruitful while Aries, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Leo, Aquarius are all barren. In this approach, the usual Tropical Zodiac is used, and this is important, because the other approach is based on the Sidereal Zodiac.

European Approach

This approach is based on the ideas of Rudolf Steiner and is used in the Biodynamic Farming. The main distinguishing feature of it is that this approach uses not Tropical Zodiac, and, in the way how it was taught by Steiner, even not the Sidereal Zodiac, but the irregular constellations. Another important idea of this approach is that Earth constellations are good for planting potatoes and root vegetables, Water constellations are good for leaves, Air constellations - for flowers and Fire constellations - for seeds and fruits. A number of other astronomical phenomena are also considered in this approach. Modern researcher into this method Nick Kollerstrom argues that instead of the irregular and somewhat arbitrary system of constellations, a regular Sidereal Zodiac should be used, and I find his arguments convincing.

Now, the question is: which system to use for the Lunar Gardening Calendar on Lunarium?

After some thinking, I decided to use the European system. This is because Sidereal lunar calendars aren't widely available online. Those who prefers to use the American approach can use the Universal calendar, which is already up and running, as it contains all the information that is needed for this approach. I will only add a systematic description of the ideas of this approach.

The next question is whether to use regular signs or irregular constellations. I will try to implement both, and to make it very easy to switch between the two options. Let's see how I will manage all this, I am going to complete the Lunar Gardening Calendar in the next few days.


  1. Hello Alexander,

    I wonder if you can clarify something for me? I have searched high and low on the internet but have not come up with any clearer information.

    I have an intense need to understand WHY something works before I can just accept it, and the synodic schedule of Moon effects (New and Full Moons, quarters, etc), make PERFECT sense to me because by definition they show the Moon's position relative to the Sun (our next best source of gravitational pull on the water table, sap flow, etc). Tide patterns illustrate this perfectly. The sidereal influence claims do NOT make sense to me for the Moon, from a gardening perspective, simply because the Moon's position in a particular constellation will be a completely different set of gravitational influences at each pass, and orbits US rather than the Sun (also the Moon's orbit repeats a full cycle of changes every 8.85 years for apogee/perigee, and 18.6 years for ascending/descending patterns... rather than every 26,000 years to map Earth's orbit change cycle!). Its position relative to the Sun, as well as at what point the alignment occurs within our own orbit, would be COMPLETELY different each time.

    Since constellations are groups of stars burning billions of miles away, their main useful purpose in astrology is in "mapping" the closer bodies of planets, our Moon, and our Sun, relative to ourselves. The Moon's effect on water, and thus gardening, is STRONGLY changed by its, and our, position relative to the Sun. So, how do we justify any predictable effect of the Moon, alone, aligning with a particular constellation, if we are in a totally different relationship to the other bodies around us than we were the last time? And the time before that? The position of the other planets closer to us are not taken into account. So, to what effect are we attributing these supposed influences of the constellations? I think the assigning of groups by the Earth/Air/Fire/Water model, for this application, is a mistake.

    While I do have an interest in astrology, it makes more sense to me as an analysis of multiple planetary positions and influences, MAPPED by the constellations, that affect our natural rhythms and tendencies. Mapping only the Moon relative to the Earth and claiming a separate (sometimes opposite) effect to the proven, COMBINED influence of Sun and Moon together, feels like a step backwards. Especially since the constellation designations of 'Earth', 'Air', 'Fire', 'Water' have NOTHING to do with the actual position of the moon... There are three COMPLETELY DIFFERENT orientations of the Moon relative to ourselves, also completely ignoring other influences, that supposedly have the same effect (for each grouping). Why? The only reasonable explanation for noting sidereal effects at all that I could think of is for minor magnetic changes, BUT then the 'four elements' would have nothing to do with it and adjacent constellations would have similar effects, rather than effects being alternated so rapidly and repeated 3 times around the zodiac belt.

    What is interesting is all of the "studies" (not controlled properly by any means, but at least planting on other days to compare) claiming that the associations by earth/air/fire/water groupings actually increase measurable yield. With so many recent findings that water-particle electromagnetics are influenced astoundingly by researchers' handling, even changing with the researcher's mood, I HAVE to wonder if these increased yields are merely due to the care and attention these plants received from gardeners who were at least partially expecting or hoping for this result, influencing the water they are handling.

    Water is fascinating, isn't it? Sorry for the ramble, but I'm interested to know if anyone has an explanation I haven't thought of.


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